The Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus at Queen’s Park

On November 23, 2023, the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) Chair, Peter Emon (Warden of Renfrew County) and Vice-Chair, Bonnie Clark (Warden of Peterborough County), met with provincial officials at Queen’s Park in the City of Toronto.

The EOWC’s Chair and Vice-Chair met with the Honourable Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; the Honourable Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry; the Honourable Rob Flack, Associate Minister of Housing; and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Matthew Rae.

The purpose of the meetings was to present and discuss the EOWC’s strategic priority of housing, including the 7 in 7+ Regional Housing Plan. The Plan aims to build 28,000 housing units during a seven-year build period across Eastern Ontario. 7,000 of the units would help house individuals waiting on municipal community housing wait lists, and 21,000 units are intended to be market-rate using a private-public partnership approach. The Plan supports the Ontario Government’s goal of building 1.5 million homes by 2031.

In addition, the EOWC highlighted the ongoing project work around the Frontenac Municipal Services Corporation which supports building rural housing and the waste and wastewater services required, faster. The County of Frontenac and the four member municipalities have established this regional municipal services corporation under the Municipal Act, 2001, to coordinate the delivery and maintenance of communal services for housing. The work of Frontenac Municipal Services Corporation is tangible evidence of the commitment in Eastern Ontario to meet the Ontario Government’s housing targets and support the EOWC’s 7 in 7+ Regional Housing Plan. The EOWC 7 in 7+ Regional Housing Plan Business Case Study highlighted the Frontenac Municipal Services Corporation project as an ideal, scalable pilot for rural housing.

On November 27, 2023, the EOWC Chair and Manager of Government Relations and Policy were also pleased to participate in the Ontario Housing Forum hosted by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing which took place in the City of Toronto. The EOWC was among 75 housing sector organizations including other municipal partners such as the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Rural Ontario Municipal Association, the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, and the Ontario Big City Mayors. The purpose of the forum was the strengthen collaboration across Ontario and the sector and inform the next Housing Supply Action Plan.

"Success means that governments work together, and we thank our provincial colleagues for their collaboration during our time at Queen’s Park and at the Housing Forum," said Peter Emon, EOWC Chair.

“The EOWC appreciates the discussions around our 7 in 7+ Regional Housing Plan and we look forward to continuing to represent the region of eastern Ontario by bringing forward solutions at Queen’s Park,” said Bonnie Clark, EOWC Vice-Chair.

The EOWC is ready to work with the Ontario Government around building the housing supply, supporting infrastructure that builds communities, and enhancing the health, wellbeing, and economy of Eastern Ontario. The EOWC looks forward to meeting with provincial and municipal officials at the upcoming Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Conference between January 21 to January 23, 2024.

About the EOWC

The Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) Inc. is an incorporated non-profit organization comprised of the Heads of Council of 13 municipalities (11 upper-tier counties and two single-tier municipalities). The EOWC covers an area of approximately 50,000 square kilometres from Northumberland County to the Québec border. The EOWC supports and advocates on behalf of its 90 local municipalities and 800,000 residents across the region. The EOWC has gained support and momentum by speaking with a united voice to champion regional municipal priorities and work with the government, business leaders, the media, and the public.

Posted on 12/08/2023
Bonnie Clark, EOWC Vice-Chair, Honourable Graydon Smith, Peter Emon, EOWC Chair, and Meredith Staveley-Watson