The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) met for the third time this year on Friday, May 14, 2021, by ZOOM. The Board discussed many of the issues and challenges facing their 110 members. Since the COVID19 Pandemic caused the cancellation of FONOM’s Annual Conference in 2020, the FONOM Board is excited that on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, they will be hosting this year’s conference virtually. With over 20 presentations scheduled, the Board believes the Agenda will have something for everyone. The event includes Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Ford, Telesat, FedNor, Starlink, a Ministers Forum, intact Insurance, and much more.
The Board had a delegation with Minister Jill Dunlop as a part of the Province’s Municipal Code of Conduct Consultation. The Board used this forum to discuss the roles of the Integrity Commissioners, and the impacts greater enforcement and penalties would have on Councils and Councillors. President Danny Whalen said, “I hope this process will improve accountability for council members” and “that education for the elected officials is as important as it is for the Integrity Commissioners.”
The Board also received a presentation by H&M COFI, and they shared the vision of the project of bringing high-speed connectivity to the Huron Shores and the Manitoulin Island. The Board also discussed building a stronger relationship with the Northern Policy Institute, support for the Northern School of Medicine, and Municipal aid provided on Crown Land.
During the Board’s Regional Reports, each Member shared the Pandemic impacts in their region. They also discussed the effect the Provincial Stay at Home Order has on small businesses in all communities.
FONOM is an association of some 110 districts/municipalities/cities/towns in northeastern Ontario mandated to work for the betterment of municipal government in Northern Ontario and to strive for improved legislation respecting local government in the north. It is a membership-based association that draws its members from northeastern Ontario and is governed by an 11-member board.