Municipal politicians and members of provincial parliament came together for a meeting in late May to talk about issues affecting both levels of government. Haliburton County Warden Liz Danielsen front row far left said that the MPPs were open to listening to the proposals put forward by the Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus at the meeting. /Photo submitted

Eastern Ontario reps sit down with MPPs

Provincial politicians heard from eastern Ontario municipal leaders about issues concerning the region during a meeting on Friday May 24 co-hosted by the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus chair Andy Letham and MPP Todd Smith.

The annual gathering gave members of two levels of government a chance to talk about topics including affordable housing health care emergency services and the financial impacts on municipal service delivery according to a press release issued by the wardens’ caucus following the meeting.

“The EOWC recognizes the province’s support for our number-one priority being the improvement and expansion of the cellular and mobile broadband networks in eastern Ontario and thanks our MPPs for their efforts in securing the province’s $71-million contribution to the project” Letham said.

Haliburton County Warden Liz Danielsen said the meeting included six MPPs meeting in a single session followed by lunch and informal discussions.

“While there was a brief presentation made showing the impact of recent decisions made by the province on 2019 municipal budgets and into 2020 discussion was primarily based on comments made by our chair Andy Letham outlining EOWC’s chief concerns about streamlining/governance long-term care facilities ambulance and overall delivery of health care broadband and cell service housing shortages and reducing red tape at all levels” she wrote in an email to the Echo.

“The primary message that we wanted to deliver as a group (one voice) was that we were listening to the province’s concerns about the deficit and desirous of working with the government to find eastern Ontario solutions. The members of the EOWC are unanimous in where our priorities lie and include the priorities of Haliburton County council” she said.

Danielsen said the MPPs seemed open to hearing proposals on difficult issues and to working with the wardens’ caucus which she said has consistently delivered high quality research.