Matichuk, along with mayors Al McDonald of North Bay, Deb Amoroso of Sault Ste. Marie, Tom Laughren of Timmins and Keith Hobbs of Thunder Bay, will use the conference to present their position paper, “Priorities: Linking Municipalities and the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario.”
The paper stems from a working group the mayors formed in May to address critical issues facing Northern Ontario’s largest cities, including infrastructure funding, energy policy, workforce development, research and innovation and the acute need for fair and equitable revenue sharing.
“We need to sell the North, to talk about the huge potential of Northern Ontario,” Matichuk said in a news release. “The Growth Plan is a good start, but we need to move into implementation and lay the groundwork for a new relationship between the province and the North’s five largest cities.”
Also attending the conference are Premier Kathleen Wynne, Infrastructure Minister Glenn Murray and Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Linda Jeffrey. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Tim Hudak, leader of Ontario's Progressive Conservatives, will also attend the conference.
“This conference is a valuable opportunity to share experiences and best practices with other Ontario municipalities and put our concerns in front of cabinet ministers,” Matichuk said. “It’s going to be a very busy and productive few days.”
City councillors Fabio Belli, Claude Berthiaume, Doug Craig, Evelyn Dutrisac, Terry Kett, Andre Rivest are also attending the conference.
The AMO meetings will feature more than just politicians. Chris Hadfield, the recently retired astronaut and former commander of the International Space Station, will make a presentation, as will Marnie McBean, a three-time Olympic gold-medal-winning rower.
Also giving a talk is Sudbury native Terry O'Reilly, host of CBC Radio's The Age of Persuasion and, more recently, Under the Influence.
For more than 100 years, Ontario’s largest municipal conference has brought municipal, provincial and federal officials together to plan for the future.
This year’s program features close to 50 plenary sessions and workshops, and more than 75 speakers. Priority topics include leadership, municipal law, infrastructure, energy and conservation, public sector pensions, policing costs, accessibility, social housing, planning, water and wastewater treatment, waste diversion and biodiversity.
Sessions will also cover pressing issues affecting municipalities, ranging from green energy and waste diversion to service delivery and infrastructure.
AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. More details about the Ottawa meetings can be found at www.amo.on.ca.
Follow the conference on Twitter: @AMOPolicy Hashtag: #AMO2013