FONOM Annual General Meeting ‘Successful, Full of renewed Hope in the North’ After Meetings with Premier, Ministers

Date published: Monday, May 13, 2013
Alan Spacek, Mayor of Kapuskasing, and President of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM), spoke very positively about the 53rd FONOM Annual General Meeting. The meeting was held at the beautiful Charles W. Stockey Centre in Parry Sound.

He said “This year’s theme: Connecting and Strengthening Communities was well suited for this year’s AGM. Over the past year, we have attended literally dozens of meetings with decision makers. But today, for the first time in memory, we met with the Premier and five of her Cabinet Ministers – connecting the dots for them, to help them understand that a Strong North is important to all of Ontario.”

President Spacek went on “While we still face pressures from other levels of government and from our aging infrastructures, I felt encouraged by the level of participation and engagement shown by Premier Wynne and her Cabinet. Not only that, we had Tony Clement, a senior Cabinet Minister from the Harper Government and who is responsible for FEDNOR and now the Federal lead for the Ring of Fire file. So we had the ear of the key government decision makers in Canada – and they were generous with their time.”

Spacek noted, “For example, we held a ‘no holds barred’ meeting with Municipal Affairs Minister Jeffrey about some of the devastating recent rulings made by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation(MPAC). While not making any promises, she said that she will follow up on our concerns quickly due to their gravity for many Northern municipalities, and that ‘she has our backs’. This is the kind of dialogue we’ve been missing in the North for a long time, so I feel encouraged.”

Another highlight of the meeting was the Special Recognition Award for Reeve Austin Hunt, from Kagawong, who is in his 60th year of elected office. Spacek exclaimed that “this type of dedication is rare, and shows the true love Northerners have for their communities – both large and small.”

Spacek concluded “As Northerners, we only want what’s fair. We want to be good, collaborative partners. We really need to pull together. Working with all three levels of government, we must seek to achieve social and economic equity. Together, we can re-build the strong, vital economic engine that Northern Ontario is for Ontario and for Canada as a whole. I have great hopes for the future of Northern Ontario.”

For more information, contact:

Alan Spacek, President, FONOM
705-335-0001 [email protected]

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