The mayors and chief administrative officers/city managers from northern Ontario’s five largest municipalities met in Greater Sudbury on November 6 to discuss a number of key issues affecting the region.
Topics of shared interest discussed at the Northern Ontario Large Urban Mayors (NOLUM) meeting, hosted by Greater Sudbury Mayor Paul Lefebvre, included:
- Advocating to the provincial government to declare intimate partner violence an epidemic in northern Ontario.
- Ongoing housing and homelessness challenges and opportunities across the north, including next steps on the National Housing Accord.
- Continued advocacy to the provincial government for the funding of consumption and treatment services.
- The desire for the federal Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) program to become permanent once the pilot ends in February.
- Funding options for the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) University to ensure its ongoing viability.
- Advocating to the federal government to consider the unintended consequences associated with air passenger protection regulations that can impair economic development efforts and the sustainability of small regional airports.
NOLUM is comprised of the mayors of Greater Sudbury, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay and Timmins. The group regularly collaborates to discuss steps to improve quality of life in northern Ontario and advocate to higher levels of government on key issues.
“I thank my colleagues for coming to Greater Sudbury for this important meeting. While every northern community deals with its own challenges, we share common ground on a number of issues that affect our entire region, particularly when it comes to community safety, housing, health care and economic development. I look forward to continuing to work together on these critical issues as we advocate collectively for the benefit of our residents.” said, Mayor Paul Lefebvre, Greater Sudbury
“Collaboration among northern mayors is key to addressing common issues within all our communities and unlocking the full potential of our region.” added, Mayor Peter Chirico, North Bay
Sault Ste. Marie Mayor, Matthew Shoemaker talked about the issue of intimate partner violence .
“NOLUM meetings are a good opportunity to discuss areas of common concern and determine how we can work collaboratively on behalf of our respective communities – a united voice is a stronger one. ” said Shoemaker. “Heath care represents a foremost challenge impacting many aspects of life in Northern Ontario, and we will continue to aggressively lobby for the support we need, including increased funding for the Northern Ontario School of Medicine University, action on the intimate partner violence epidemic, and consumption and treatment services across the North.”
“The opportunity to share solutions and ideas with our colleagues across the north is invaluable. We are able to highlight the common issues each community is facing, and the work we need to do, together, to advocate for support and change.“ said Timmins Mayor, Michelle Boileau .
The Mayors will meet again in April 2024.