All eight mayors gave their unanimous support to strategy for highlighting local infrastructure needs in the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR), prior to attending the annual Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference, over the January 19 weekend in Toronto.
During its January 15 committee of the whole session, UCPR council reviewed the four topics for its delegation, throughout meetings with provincial ministers or senior executives for ministries, during the two-day conference. Infrastructure needs made up three of four items on the list.
Sunday, UCPR members, led by Mayor Paula Assaly of Hawkesbury, were scheduled to meet with MPP Stephen Crawford, parliamentary assistant for infrastructure, to discuss UCPR projects, which could qualify for assistance through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure program. The provincial government reviews applications for funding under the program, and then recommends to Ottawa the ones that deserve priority consideration.
Monday’s ROMA session had three UCPR delegation meetings scheduled for the morning, starting with a breakfast-hour meeting with MPP Andrea Khanjin, parliamentary assistant for environment, conservation and parks. Mayor Guy Desjardins of Clarence-Rockland was designated leader for that meeting, to talk about assistance for the local wastewater treatment plant upgrade.
The remaining two Monday morning meetings saw Warden Pierre Leroux take over as delegation leader for topics focused on UCPR priorities. First was a meeting with Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney regarding the future four-lane expansion of the County Road 17/Highway 174 link between Rockland and Orléans.
The last meeting before the noon break was with Health Minister Christine Elliott and concerned the ambulance dispatch situation between the UCPR and the City of Ottawa.