Updated: Jan 26
Update: January 23, 2023
Councillor Kelly checks in from ROMA in Toronto:
As a rural councillor in the City of Ottawa I am thrilled to be joined by my colleagues Catherine Kitts and Riley Brockington at the 2023 ROMA conference.
From left to right, Councillors Clarke Kelly, Catherine Kitts and Riley Brockington
It has been a great learning experience as a new Councillor and it’s refreshing to be surrounded by over 1500 delegates all here to talk about making life better for rural communities. I look forward to reporting to Council on the productive conversations and sharing of ideas on how to tackle our biggest challenges as rural communities in Ontario.
It was another busy day at ROMA. Today I attended sessions on how to better divert waste from landfills and heard more about the provinces plan to shift responsibility for blue box recycling to producers. This was a no brainer for me given that that as a city we will be developing a new solid waste mater plan during this term of council. I also attend sessions on supporting seniors in rural communities and dealing with emergencies such as colloids and tornados as well as an information session from Ontarios Independent Electricity System Operator (ISEO)
And we heard from several provincial ministers as well as the Federal Minister of Rural Economic Development on the very important role rural communities play in our economy and the many opportunities that lay ahead.
Premier Ford address delegates at ROMA Conference
And on a personal note, finally I got to meet my favourite host of any political or current affairs program, Steve Paikin, host of TVO’s The Agenda. I watch it every evening at 8 and always learn a thing or two and have my own assumptions challenged. Something we should all do now and then.
- Councillor Kelly
Councillor Kelly meets with Steve Paikin, moderator at ROMA and TVO’s The Agenda.
ROMA Conference 2023 Background:
The 2023 ROMA (Rural Ontario Municipal Association) Annual General Meeting and Conference is back live and in person for the first time in 2 years this weekend. Ward 5 Councillor Clarke Kelly was selected as the City of Ottawa's delgate to ROMA and will join over 1,000 municipal colleagues, provincial and federal elected officials and senior staff for this much anticipated event in Toronto this Sunday (January 22nd). The 2023 Conference will have all of the critical rural municipal issues front and centre so that delegates can engage, learn, network and bring innovative solutions to rural communities like West Carleton-March.
"I am honoured to have been selected as the City of Ottawa’s delegate to the Rural Ontario Municipal Association," Kelly said. I am looking forward to connecting with leaders from across Ontario’s rural communities to learn, share, and discuss the many critical issues that rural municipalities and wards will face in the coming years. I know that this will be a great learning and networking experience for me as new councillor who is passionate about rural affairs and making life better for rural residents in the City of Ottawa."
The Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) is the rural voice of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO). The Association is an integral part of AMO and a number of its Executive Members serve on the AMO Board of Directors. Policy, research and advocacy activities are undertaken by ROMA through AMO. ROMA represents rural communities through its policy and advocacy and recently includes resources such as:
Opportunities for Rural Ontario in a Post-Covid World - An Action Plan
Attainable Housing Task Force Report
Supports for elected officials on broad band decision making and implementation
Policy and advocacy on a range of issues impacting rural communities
Support for federal fairness to Ontario
ROMA is committed to promoting, supporting and enhancing strong and effective rural governments and socially and economically sustainable rural communities, today and into the future. Leadership is provided by the Chair and the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee meets approximately eight times a year at the AMO offices in Toronto.
Rural communities and the people who live within them are the core drivers of ROMA’s advocacy work. This is supported by ROMA's commitment to:
Rural municipal government, the value and unique qualities of rural communities, and the diversity of interests within rural municipalities
The autonomy of rural municipalities
Fairness and equity for rural municipalities
Consultation and cooperation with member municipalities
The ROMA Executive undertakes a range of activities on behalf of its membership:
Develops policy positions and reports on issues having an impact on, and of interest to rural municipalities in particular
Represents and expresses the rural municipal viewpoint within AMO and to other levels of government and authorities
Represents the rural municipalities in intergovernmental discussions and negotiations
Informs rural municipal governments, the media and the public on municipal issues.