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Many colleagues and I from both County and Township just returned from the ROMA Conference in Toronto. ROMA stands for the Rural Ontario Municipalities Association and this body does some very important advocacy work on behalf of Rural Municipalities. It is difficult to have the same voice as big cities but as they say, there is strength in numbers and by working together we are as strong as any city in our messages to the Province.

This conference featured a record participation and it is an invaluable education tool to be able to meet and interact with rural leaders from right across Ontario. I had the honour to be able to be a presenter this year where I spoke about our PEER Committee and the great work that our Community Groups do for TLTI. In addition, I led a Leeds and Grenville delegation on Long Term Care as we work towards expanding the number of beds available for residents of our region.

I always learn something valuable at these conferences and through networking I get to meet people who are true agents of change in the world. This year, our very own Dr. Jim Raffan was the Opening Keynote speaker and his story, as always was inspirational. It is always a privilege to listen to his interpretations and experiences. ROMA is also the opportunity to lobby and advocate with Provincial leaders, ministers and their teams. The relationships that I have built over the last 3 years have been invaluable and have placed the Township of Leeds and Thousand Islands front of mind for the decision makers in Provincial leadership. I am pleased that once again this year, new relationships have been formed and existing friendships reinforced as we work for non partisan solutions to the issues we all face. Looking forward to a busy 2018 and I hope to post some new video updates soon about some important issues for TLTI.