Norfolk County Mayor Amy Martin and members of senior staff were part of the delegation that attended the 2023 ROMA (Rural Ontario Municipal Association) Conference.

The event allowed 1,000 municipal, provincial, and federal officials, as well as senior staff to discuss critical rural issues with provincial ministers in-person.

While at the conference, the Norfolk County delegation brought forth several key themes from housing to mental health, and Indigenous relations to healthcare.

“Together, the Province of Ontario and municipalities in Southwestern Ontario must use their expertise and collective regional knowledge to work through our mutual priorities – from workforce and housing challenges to social services and health care improvements,” said Mayor Martin. “Investing in municipal services will lay foundations for the continued recovery and future prosperity of our communities.”

A top priority was insisting the province share in the funding of the design, construction, and delivery of the Norfolk-Haldimand-Six Nations Inter-Urban Water Supply System.

This proposed, multi-jurisdictional cooperative project has four key objectives:

  1. To deliver high-quality water services,
  2. To ensure fire flow to all urban centres,
  3. To ensure water supply to meet 2041 growth forecasts,
  4. To build reliable infrastructure and act as a catalyst for investment and growth, enhancing our economic development potential.

A second but related request to the province was to share in funding the design and construction of the Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades and a County-Wide Biosolids Management Facility.

“As water capacity increases, wastewater capacity also increases,” Martin said. “We want to be proactive and ahead of the curve, prepared to meet the demand and grow our community sustainability.”

While the County is focusing on long-term goals, there must also be a plan in place to meet the water needs of Norfolk County now. Work currently in progress includes upgrades to the Water Treatment Plants in Port Dover and Port Rowan, the rehabilitation of existing water mains, and continuous monitoring and reporting of wells.

To find out more about the 2023 conference that ran from Jan. 22-24, visit