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Burlington’s CSSRA Committee gets list of Mayor’s Planned Virtual Conferences for 2021

Photo by Chris Montgomery on
Photo by Chris Montgomery on

At the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee meeting on Jan. 11, committee members received a Mayor’s Office report detailing Mayor Meed Ward’s virtual conferences she plans to attend in 2021.

Here is a full copy of the report: MO-01-21 Mayor’s virtual conferences for 2021.

Please note, this item was approved by Burlington City Council on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions and precautions, the Mayor has no physical travel yet planned for 2021. Given the evolving nature of the pandemic, the Mayor’s Office will look to be flexible if the situation improves and provides an opportunity to attend any key conferences or events in person outside of Burlington.

At present, the following are conferences the Mayor intends to attend virtually (or otherwise if circumstances permit):

January 25-26, 2021: Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Conference

Each year, ROMA hosts a conference where municipal leaders have the opportunity to connect with colleagues and the province and learn from experts on important and timely rural issues. This year’s focus areas include broadband access, flooding, waste, OPP matters, municipal impact of cannabis growing, and community paramedicine.

The 2021 event will take place virtually, and the registration fee of $400 will be paid for via the Mayor’s budget.

June 3-6, 2021: Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Conference

Each year, FCM hosts a conference where municipal elected officials and staff are invited to attend from across the country. The conference provides an opportunity to shape and vote on advocacy items for the federal government that has, in the past, succeeded in federal commitments to significant municipal infrastructure funding and support for municipal initiatives. There are also professional development sessions and “study tours” where information and learnings are gained and brought back to share with colleagues and the community. The Ontario Big City Mayors (OBCM) meet as a group and with other groups during this event as well and the Mayor attends those meetings as an OBCM member.

This year’s event was planned to take place in Montreal but may need to be fully virtual due to the pandemic. Registration, estimated at approximately $900, (with potential travel and hotel costs TBD if applicable) will be paid for via the Halton Region budget as per precedent.

The cost of one staff member attending with the Mayor to provide support for the Mayor’s activities as well as for their own professional development will be approximately $900 for registration, paid for via the City’s Government Relations – Conference Registration budget.

August 15-18: Association of Ontario Municipalities Conference (AMO)

The purpose of this conference is to bring together municipal governments from across Ontario to work together on issues of shared importance and to provide an opportunity to meet with provincial ministers and advocate on behalf of Burlington and Halton Region. The Mayor is now a member of the AMO Board of Directors, sitting on the Large Urban Caucus and will be attending Board meetings as part of AMO as well.

This year’s event will take place again virtually, with the Mayor’s registration fee (approximately $600) being paid for via the Halton Region budget as per precedent.

One staff member will virtually attend with the Mayor to support the Mayor’s activities as well as for their own professional development and awareness, and the cost of their registration will be approximately $600, paid for from City’s Government Relations – Conference Registration budget.

Estimated costs and allocations for the Mayor and team at this time are as follows:

Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Conference – Mayor expenses$400Mayor’s Budget
Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Conference – Mayor expenses$900Halton Region Budget
FCM Conference – Staffer registration$900City’s Government Relations Budget
Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Conference – Mayor expenses$600Halton Region Budget
AMO Conference – Staff registration$600City’s Government Relations Budget

The total financial impact to the City’s budget (government relations and Mayor’s office combined) is $1,900 (remainder paid for via Halton Region budget).


*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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Media Specialist: John Bkila