EASTERN ONTARIO — The Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus has appointed Warden Debbie Robinson as the 2021 Chair and Warden Liz Danielsen as the 2021 Vice-Chair, both by acclamation.
Debbie Robinson is Warden of the County of Renfrew and the Reeve of the Township of Laurentian Valley. Liz Danielsen is Warden of the County of Haliburton and Deputy Mayor of the Township of Algonquin Highlands. Both have previously been members of the EOWC and bring valuable experience to their positions.
Warden is the Ontario term for a head of council — equivalent to mayor or reeve — but at the county level. Several of these Eastern Ontario wardens gather as a ‘caucus’ to raise awareness and lobby senior levels of government on common regional issues.
The Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) Chair and Vice-Chair serve as the main point of contact for the caucus and play a leadership role in helping to ensure that key EOWC priorities and advocacy move forward. Both positions are one-year terms, each filled by one of the 13 EOWC members. Appointments are based on a vote by the EOWC members or, in the case of a single candidate.
“I am honoured to lead this incredible group of dedicated municipal politicians as the 2021 Chair of the EOWC and represent the County of Renfrew. As Chair, I will continue to advocate on behalf of the 103 municipalities and the 750,000 property taxpayers across rural eastern Ontario,” stated Chair Robinson. “Over the past year, the EOWC showed its resiliency, efficiency and leadership on behalf of the region. We were able to respond quickly and effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic and make progress on our priorities and advocacy. I look forward to working closely with Vice-Chair Danielsen and fellow Caucus members to deliver results in the coming year for eastern Ontario and our residents.”
“The EOWC’s greatest strength is its ability to speak with a one, strong regional voice at the decision-making table. As we work toward advancing EOWC priorities in 2021, we will continue to work closely with the provincial and federal governments, as well as key partners, in order to best serve our region’s communities,” stated Vice-Chair Danielsen.
The EOWC’s priorities heading into 2021 include long-term care, municipal recovery, affordable housing, and the Cellular Network Gap and Mobile Broadband Improvement Project for Eastern Ontario. The project is in partnership with Eastern Ontario Regional Network and it aims to improve cell service in areas where it is poor or non-existent.
“Demand for cell service is growing as people depend more and more on smartphones and tablets for work, social connections, entertainment and to access public services,” said EORN Chair J. Murray Jones.
“We remain dedicated to bringing greater connectivity to the region. While we wait to see if other funding becomes available for the Gig Project, we look forward to supporting EOWC members as they pursue funding,” shared EOWC Chair Debbie Robinson. “EORN has extensive regional experience and technical knowledge it can bring to member municipalities to help them navigate the process.”