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Town of Grimsby Successfully Advocates for Municipal Priorities at the 2022 AMO Conference

August 18, 2022

Town of Grimsby Successfully Advocates for Municipal Priorities at the 2022 AMO Conference

Pictured from left to right: Dave Sharpe, Councillor; Kevin Ritchie, Deputy Mayor; Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure; Lianne Vardy, Councillor; Sam Oosterhoff, Member of Provincial Parliament; and Wayne Fertich, Regional Councillor.

The 2022 Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference was held in Ottawa this past week from August 15 to 17. The AMO conference is a yearly event which brings municipalities together to discuss best practices and share industry knowledge, while also allowing municipal representatives and Ministers to meet to discuss the municipalities’ strategic priorities, to advocate for local issues, and to discuss program and funding partnerships.

Five (5) representatives from the Town of Grimsby attended this years’ conference, including: Harry Schlange, Chief Administrative Officer; Sarah Sweeney, Director, Parks, Recreation and Culture; Kevin Ritchie, Deputy Mayor; Dave Sharpe, Councillor; and Lianne Vardy, Councillor. Regional Councillor for the Town of Grimsby, Wayne Fertich, was also in attendance at the conference.

The Town’s Deputy Mayor, Kevin Ritchie, noted that having the opportunity to discuss the Town’s strategic priorities and represent the residents in the meetings with the Ministers has been invaluable. He “thanked the Councillors and Town Staff who were in attendance, as it was the first time in three years that they were able to meet with the Ministers and MPPs from across the Province”.  

The Town has been very pleased with the support they have received from the Provincial Government in regards to its’ strategic priorities, especially during the last council term. Deputy Mayor, Kevin Ritchie, noted that the Town will “continue to promote the Town’s strategic priorities through communication and collaboration with the Province”.

At this year’s conference, the Town of Grimsby secured three (3) delegation meetings with the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Ministry of Health.

The following projects and strategic priorities were discussed:

Infrastructure Projects – Ministry of Infrastructure

The Town has received over $18 million through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), which has allowed the Town to complete the Gibson Street pedestrian bridge, phase 1 of the ‘Downtown Reimagined’ project, and the HVAC replacement project at the Grimsby Public Library and Art Gallery.

The Town also discussed the Peach King Centre expansion, phase 2 of the ‘Downtown Reimagined’ project (which will include a watermain replacement), and high-speed internet investments on the escarpment – all of which are scheduled to be completed during the next council term.

The Town and Province agreed to continue to deliver infrastructure improvements to residents that will create strong, caring, and healthy communities.

Grimsby’s Business Retention & Expansion – Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

This past council term, the Town initiated its’ first-ever Business, Retention, and Expansion (BR&E) Action Plan (2022-2025). The Action Plan looks to enhance engagement with the local business community, and to create jobs and boost growth. The Town split funding with the Province through its Rural Economic Development (“RED”) program in order to support this initiative.

The Province committed to meet with the Town in future meetings, and offered their support and assistance in the implementation of the BR&E Action Plan.

West Lincoln Memorial Hospital – Ministry of Health

The Town of Grimsby participated in a joint delegation with Town of Lincoln and the Township of West Lincoln to discuss the construction of the new West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH), and the development of the ‘health campus’ in West Niagara.

Having been previously disappointed with the cancellation of this project in 2012, the Town was extremely excited to be chosen for the investment of the new hospital. Construction of the new hospital is on-track, and is expected to be completed in early 2025, with full occupancy shortly thereafter. Additionally, the McNally House Hospice is expanding and will increase its capacity by 10 additional beds. Staffing improvements are being invested at Deer Park Villa to provide more direct care to residents, and the addition of the WLMH Foundation offices will ensure that the ‘health campus’ meets the needs of all residents.

The Town and Province are very pleased to be investing in these vital resources to support a healthy community for the residents of West Niagara, and for the dedication shown by all partners to advance this critical project. The Minister expressed her desire to visit and to see the ‘health campus’ come to life.

Response to Bill 109 – Ministry of Municipal Housing and Affairs

The Town of Grimsby, alongside the Niagara Region and seven other municipalities, also put forth a delegation request in response to Bill 109, the More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022. This topic was discussed at length during the conference. Planning experts shared best practices and innovative ways municipalities can improve the planning process, while still meeting residents’ expectations. The Town is looking to implement the best practices discussed during the next council term.

Overall, the Town of Grimsby had a successful 2022 AMO Conference. This past council term, the Town has received unprecedented support from upper levels of government, which has been influential in completing the strategic priorities set in 2019. Deputy Mayor Kevin Ritchie noted that “Grimsby will continue to foster the relationships we have made here at the AMO Conference, and we look forward to collaborating on future projects with the Province”.


Contact Information:

Harry Schlange

Chief Administrative Officer | (905) 401-8245

Sarah Sweeney

Director, Parks, Recreation and Culture

Town of Grimsby | (905) 979-3287

Contact Us

Town of Grimsby
160 Livingston Avenue
Grimsby ON, L3M 0J5
Phone: 905-945-9634
Fax: 905-945-5010

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