Photo courtesy of John F Tomecek, via Carmen McGregor.

As the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference continues, one of Chatham-Kent’s councillors is emphasizing the importance of meeting with provincial decision-makers.

Ward 5 Councillor Carmen McGregor, who is one Chatham-Kent’s delegates attending the conference in Ottawa, said it gives municipal representatives the chance to meet with several Ontario ministers to discuss the issues that matter most to their municipality.

“It’s very important to have that opportunity. You can mail all the letters you want but when you get a face-to-face and you’re able to provide them with the information… so that it can bring attention to the actual issues,” she said.

McGregor met with Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Minister Neil Lumsden on Monday to discuss how the province can help to revitalize the tourism industry in Chatham-Kent following two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There was a lot of money that was pulled out of tourism because of COVID and there’s no real indication about getting the money reversed around and back in when we’re starting to push and move our tourism again for Chatham-Kent,” she said.

According to McGregor, the AMO conference also provides delegates with the opportunity to further their knowledge on provincial funding initiatives that could potentially benefit their communities.

“We not only get that educational piece but we can see what’s going on across the province,” said McGregor. “That’s often when you start to see motions [in council] for direction on reports so we can start investigating these things that we learned while we were away.”

During the conference, Chatham-Kent’s delegates will be attending sessions concerning agriculture, infrastructure, tourism, renewable energy, health, and the environment.

Along with McGregor, the Chatham-Kent delegation includes Mayor Darrin Canniff, councillors Karen Kirkwood-Whyte, Clare Latimer, Doug Sulman, Melissa Harrigan, and Brock McGregor, as well as top administrative officials.

The AMO conference runs from August 14-17.