There is no “better way to champion a northern cause than to have these elected officials right on our doorstep.”
The City of North Bay will apply to host the annual conferences of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities in 2023, 2024 and 2025.
North Bay is also hosting this year’s event May 9-11 after the 2021 conference was held in an online environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Com. Johanne Brousseau tabled the motion and pointed out that the conferences are opportunities to introduce North Bay to provincial and other northern municipal authorities – and are covered by national media.
There are economic benefits involved as the three-day conferences regularly attract over 250 delegates and exhibitors and represent an opportunity to boost the hospitality industry with some 500 hotel stays, according to the motion. This year’s conference includes visits to the Cascades Casino and Capitol Center.
North Bay City Council unanimously passed a motion at Tuesday’s regular meeting asking staff to ask to bring FONOM conferences to North Bay during the first or second week of May for a combination of the next three years. Com. Mac Bain is the executive director of FONOM and has declared a conflict of interest.
Com. Chris Mayne seconded the motion and moved: “One of the most important things we do as councilors is try to attract new business, conventions, conferences – anything that is of economic benefit to the community.”
If there is a preference to host even one of these years, it is clear that the 2025 edition – which coincides with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the city’s incorporation – is the preferred choice, but Brousseau says the city will apply in consecutive years to increase its exposure.
Noting that many provincial ministers attend the conferences, Brousseau remarked that there is “no better way to champion a northern cause than to have these elected officials on our doorstep.”
Three of the four provincial party leaders are scheduled to take part in a northern leaders’ debate at this year’s event.
FONOM represents 110 municipalities in Northeastern Ontario and works to improve municipal government in Northern Ontario and improve local government legislation in the North.