EOWC elects new Chair and Vice-Chair, sets its 2014 Priorities

NEWS

The Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC), at its annual inaugural meeting held in Kingston this past Friday, January 17, elected Warden Jean Paul St. Pierre from the United Counties of Prescott and Russell as its Chair for 2014. Northumberland County Warden Linda Thompson was elected as Vice-Chair of the Caucus.

The EOWC also set its key priorities for the coming year.

BACKGROUND

Chair & Vice-Chair

Each year, the EOWC meets to elect a Chair and Vice-Chair whose job is to provide the main point of focus and contact for the Caucus and ensure the established priorities are moved forward.

Chair St. Pierre is also the Mayor of the Township of Russell. Vice-Chair Thompson is the Mayor of the Municipality of Port Hope.

2014 Priorities

Three key priorities were established for the Caucus in the coming year:

  1. Completing a new Economic Development Strategy for Eastern Ontario and working with its partners, including the Eastern Ontario Mayors’ Committee, to finalize a plan for its implementation.
  2. Continuing its research and advocacy work on matters related to the financial sustainability of municipal government in Eastern Ontario. This will include the writing and publication of three new ‘white papers’.
  3. Working to stop the spiraling costs of policing that are crippling municipal budgets.

For more details see the attached Backgrounder Report.

QUOTES

"I am truly thrilled to have been elected to the Chair’s position," stated EOWC Chair and Warden Jean Paul St. Pierre. "The Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus is working very hard to support all property taxpayers in the 103 member municipalities across the EOWC region and I look forward to lending my help to such efforts. The EOWC takes pride in doing its homework and coming up with new ideas that contribute to positive change in our municipalities."

"One of our major concerns is the spiraling cost of policing. The EOWC is lending its support and its voice to the efforts to reduce those costs because they are simply unsustainable. Municipalities already have to consider spending reductions on critical infrastructure such as roads and bridges because of escalating police budgets," added St. Pierre.

"The EOWC is prepared to look at any strategy, including working with all eastern

municipalities on negotiating a single, region-wide contract. Simply changing the distribution of existing costs between municipalities is akin to shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic," concluded Chair St. Pierre.

"The economic development of our region has been recognized as a priority, and for that reason I welcome the release and implementation of the forthcoming regional economic strategy for Eastern Ontario. I’m eager to see the results of this year-long collaboration, whose distribution next month will represent a significant step forward for the EOWC and its many partners," said Linda Thompson, EOWC Vice-Chair.

"Municipalities across the region continue to face significant financial shortfalls, and one way to curb this tide is to promote economic development and encourage permanent, sustainable funding," she added. "We have a lot of work to do this year. We have taken the first important steps by setting our priorities and we will stay focused on them. Without a doubt, 2014 will be another busy year."

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Attachments