Toronto, Ontario, August 19, 2020 – The third and final day of the 2020 Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Conference wrapped up today. More than 1,500 municipal delegates took part, along with Ontario’s Premier, Cabinet, and all party leaders. Delivered entirely online, it was largest gathering of government leaders since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
 
“I know that relationships between municipal, provincial and federal governments will continue to be tested,” said newly elected AMO President Graydon Smith, Mayor of Bracebridge. “The public health challenges have not changed. The economic challenges are profound. We know recovery will be a long and difficult. More than ever, we need to make sure that we focus on those things that we can achieve together.”
 
Steve Paikin, from TVO’s The Agenda, hosted a panel on economic recovery. It featured Finance Minister Rod Phillips, Ontario Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Rocco Rossi, and Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO of the Retail Council of Canada. AMO was pleased to partner with TVO on their 50th Anniversary. The partnership allows more Ontarians to participate in well-informed discussion on important topics.
 
A common theme was the need to ensure that everyone in Ontario has broadband access, given the social and economic impacts of COVID-19. Federal, provincial and many municipal governments have made significant investments to improve connectivity. There is consensus that even more needs to be done.
 
“Everyone in Ontario – and Canada – needs broadband service to participate in our digital economy, to learn online, and to access critical services like health care,” said Mayor Smith. “Municipalities are keen to work with the federal and provincial governments to find solutions and to build capacity as quickly as possible.”
 
On Wednesday, AMO also signed a Declaration of Mutual Commitment and Friendship with the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC). Friendship Centres are places where Indigenous people living in urban communities can gather, connect and receive culturally based services. A number of municipal governments across Ontario have signed local declarations and more are in the works.
 
Featuring more than 40 speakers and sessions, the Conference has facilitated more than 480 delegation meetings between municipal governments, and Cabinet ministers and parliamentary assistants.
 
AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. AMO supports and enhances strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.
 
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