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Cellular network, economic development among priorities for 2018

2018 Vice-Chair Jennifer Murphy, outgoing 2017 Chair Robert Quaiff, and 2018 Chair Robin Jones.

Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff passed the reins of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) to this year’s chairman, Robin Jones, warden of the counties of Leeds and Grenville and the mayor of the village of Westport.

The annual leadership change over was held in Kingston. Jennifer Murphy was elected as the 2018 vice-chair. She is warden of the County of Renfrew, and Mayor of the Township of Bonnechere Valley.

The role of the chairs is to be the main point of focus for the caucus and to ensure established key priorities move forward.

“I am honoured to chair the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus in 2018, alongside my colleagues, and to advocate for this year’s priorities in support of the 750,000 property taxpayers across rural Eastern Ontario,” said Jones, the EOWC’s first female chair since its incorporation in 2008.

“As we are aware, 2018 is a critical year for both the province of Ontario and the municipal sector, with elections scheduled for both levels of government,” said Jones, noting the EOWC intends to send a clear message to Queen’s Park.

“For this critical election year, the EOWC has kept its focus simple and identified the two most important projects for Eastern Ontario. The rest of the year – and specifically the next few months – will be spent on advocating at the provincial and federal government levels for multi-stakeholder solutions to these proposals,” said Jones.

Two priorities were established for the Caucus in the coming year – Building the cellular and public safety broadband network and implementing economic development strategy.

The cellular network involves continued support of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) on its $299-million business case to the provincial and federal governments, to close many cellular network gaps, boost mobile broadband service across Eastern Ontario, and increase public safety for residents and first responders during emergencies.

To implement the Eastern Ontario Economic Development Strategy the caucus continues support of the Eastern Ontario Leadership Council (EOLC) in ongoing implementation of recommendations outlined in the Regional Economic Development Strategy – the first regional plan of its kind across Ontario.

“By helping securing financial support from the province, the strategy’s implementation would address Eastern Ontario’s future economic development needs, being a) workforce development and deployment, b) technology integration and innovation, and c) integrated, intelligent transportation systems,” the EOWC states.

“As always, the EOWC and its partners have done the necessary research before submitting their proposals,” said Murphy. “Not only is the cellular and public safety broadband network project essential for businesses and economic development, it would absolutely increase public safety for our residents and our first responders – such as police, fire and paramedics – during emergencies.”

Quaiff stated he was honoured to serve as chair in 2017.

“Under this strong leadership team, I am certain that EOWC will continue to improve service delivery, remove financial burdens, and encourage growth and economic development opportunities in our region.”

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. mike says:

    If this includes boosting internet to outside of outside of town limits – cue the applause…

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