May 28, 2021 – The Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) Mental Health Working Committee presented draft recommendations to support and complement the Province’s Road to Wellness plan which seeks to improve mental health and addictions services across Ontario. Committee co-chairs Mayor Marianne Meed Ward of Burlington and Mayor Darrin Canniff of Chatham-Kent have led discussions with the working committee over the past several weeks to develop actionable policies to fill service gaps, address wait times, and strengthen prevention efforts.
Once this important groundwork is complete, OBCM will advocate for the proposed recommendations and collaborate with other levels of government and local service providers to ensure residents can access the help they need, where and when they need it.
“Our municipalities are ready and eager to support the province as it works to improve mental health and addictions supports. Real change won’t be easy, but the pandemic has taught us that we can face any challenge when we do it together,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman, Chair of the OBCM. “Once our recommendations are finalized, we look forward to sharing them with our provincial partners and advocating for the changes we need in our communities.”
Advocating for Changes to the Municipal Code of Conduct
The caucus was pleased to welcome Minister Jill Dunlop for an open discussion on the municipal code of conduct as the province undertakes a consultation process. OBCM is supportive of the recommendations put forward by the Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) and is calling for stronger consequences for members of Council who violate the code. As elected officials, we have a responsibility to carry out our responsibilities ethically and with integrity. A fair and arms-length process should be in place to ensure proper actions are taken when egregious violations of the code occur.
At its caucus meeting, OBCM also discussed the province’s ongoing response to the pandemic including discussions about schools reopening and a return to normal for small business and the service industry.
About Ontario’s Big City Mayors
Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM), formerly known as the Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario, includes mayors of 29 single and lower-tier cities with a population of 100,000 or more, who collectively represent nearly 70 per cent of Ontario’s population. OBCM advocates for issues and policies important to Ontario’s largest cities.
Mayor Jeff Lehman