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Building Bridges Tour: Minister McMeekin & MPP Mauro Meet with Local Rural Mayors

Province Seeking to Strengthen Municipal Partners

Hon. Ted McMeekin, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH), and MPP Bill Mauro met today with municipal leaders from six rural municipalities in the riding of Thunder Bay-Atikokan. Participating in the meetings were the Mayors/Reeves of Atikokan, Conmee, Gillies, Neebing, O’Connor and Oliver Paipoonge.

The Ontario government representatives heard councils’ views and concerns about issues that affect their municipalities – what is working well, and what areas need improvement.

Minister McMeekin, as part of his Building Bridges Tour, is meeting with municipal leaders across Ontario to listen to local concerns regarding municipal and housing issues, and to find more ways the province and municipalities can work together effectively as partners. 

The vision of our government and of Minister McMeekin, through engaging in these first-hand ‘listening sessions’ with municipal leaders, is to discuss best practices and innovations – including innovations in housing and homelessness services – towards building stronger relationships.

QUOTES

“Minister McMeekin and I are here today to learn more about the challenges and opportunities our northern rural municipalities face and how our governments can work together to generate lasting benefits for people, families and communities. We’re looking to strengthen our municipal partnerships.”

—    Bill Mauro,  MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan 

“I was here to listen and learn from local mayors about issues that affect northern rural municipalities. The discussions were productive, and I’ve received a number of suggestions to take back with me to Queen’s Park.  Continued consultation is key as we work together to build a stronger and better Ontario.”

— Hon. Ted McMeekin, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Minister McMeekin and MPP Mauro for inviting each of the local rural mayors to participate in these discussions, which I anticipate will be positive and productive for each of us.  Efforts to strengthen municipal-provincial partnerships through sessions such as these – which ultimately affect economic growth within our communities – are truly valuable to all of our residents, especially those who are the most vulnerable.”

—    Mayor Lucy Kloosterhuis,  Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge 

QUICK FACTS

  • Northern communities will receive from the province $215 million through the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund, equivalent to $583 per household – over nine times the average level of support in the rest of the province. 
  • Northern municipalities receive an additional benefit of $128 million as a result of the provincial uploads.
  • Since 2004, the Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board has received over $21,000,000 to support social and affordable housing. 
  • Changes to the Building Code allowing up to six-storey wood-frame buildings came into effect on Jan. 1, 2015. 

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