The OSUM Board has developed an outstanding program that examines and addresses issues of the day facing small urban municipalities. 


Wednesday, May 1  
12:00pm - 7:00pm

Registration open - sponsored by Redbrick Communications

5:00pm - 7:00pm City of Orillia Welcome Reception with Exhibitors
Thursday, May 2  
8:30am - 8:35am


Don McIsaac, Mayor, City of Orillia

8:35am - 8:45am

Hilda MacDonald, Chair, OSUM

8:45am - 9:00am Chief Ted Williams, Chippewas of Rama First Nation
9:00am - 9:20am

AMO's Social and Economic Prosperity Review

Municipalities are grappling with increasingly complex challenges, from addressing homelessness to confronting the impacts of climate change, without the financial tools to solve them. AMO has called on the provincial government to update the provincial-municipal fiscal partnership to support sustainable communities, economic prosperity and quality of life.

Lindsay Jones, Director of Policy and Government Relations, Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO)

9:20am - 9:35am



AMO Policy Paper Insight-Considerations on the Water and Wastewater Pressures Facing Municipalities

Funding for municipal core infrastructure will be a challenge with mounting growth pressures. Can a municipal service corporation for water and wastewater be a helpful tool? What are some significant factors to consider? AMO will be releasing a paper to share some perspectives on where the model has been used and what to think about if choosing to explore it.

Kenny Li Cheong Man, Senior Advisor, Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO)

9:35am - 9:45am Moose Hide Campaign
9:45am - 10:15am Coffee Break with Exhibitors, sponsored by Enbridge
10:15am - 10:25am Marit Stiles, Leader of the Official Opposition and NDP 
10:25am - 11:30am

Revitalizing the Local Media Landscape

The demise of local media is having a significant impact on democracy and elected officials’ ability to connect with community and adhere to legislative requirements . This panel will examine the state of local media including consideration on the revival of local news and information and how this really requires an ecosystem approach, and philanthropy and other approaches can play a critical role through strategic funding.

  • Tai Huynh, Founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The Local
  • Brian Lambie, President of Redbrick Communications
  • April Lindgren, Professor, School of Journalism, Toronto Metropolitan University
  • Will Pearson, Publisher and Editor, Peterborough Currents
11:30am - 11:45am Matt Vines, Vice President of Growth, Hydro One
12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch, sponsored by NWMO
1:00pm - 1:30pm Dessert with Exhibitors, sponsored by Enbridge
1:30pm - 1:40pm Mike Schreiner, Leader, Green Party of Ontario 
1:40pm - 2:25pm

The Year of the Strike - Preparing for a Labour Disruption

Economic circumstances and unions seeking to make permanent flexible and hybrid work arrangements has resulted in Canadian workers engaging in strike action at a frequency not seen in nearly two decades. Participants will walk away with the tools they need to successfully manage through a labour disruption – beginning with a strategic bargaining plan.

  • Jamie Burns, Associate, Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP
  • Julia Nanos, Partner, Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP
2:25pm - 2:45pm

LAS: Supporting Ontario’s Small Urban Municipalities

Small urban municipalities face big challenges every day. Whether finances, safety or operations, LAS is by your side. Hear about the exciting new initiatives we’re working on to help your community work better.

Shannon Devane, LAS Program Manager - Municipal Risk Management, Local Authority Services (LAS)

2:45pm - 3:15pm Coffee break with Exhibitors, sponsored by LAS
3:15pm - 4:00pm

Six Years with Premier Ford

Midway through Premier Ford’s second majority government, a look at where Ontario has been, and where it’s heading.

Steve Paikin, Host, TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin

4:00pm - 4:30pm

Economic Development in Small Urban Municipalities

This session will explore how to build a foundation for prosperity and resiliency in small urban municipalities using community economic development approaches.  Practical tools and tactics, local examples, and resources will be shared to support economic development in your community. 

  • Karen Fischer, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor, Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs
  • Carolyn Puterbough, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor, Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs
Friday, May 3  
8:30am - 9:10am

More divided than ever? Exploring the issue of political polarization 

Politics in Ontario and Canada and around the world appears increasingly polarized. Political opponents seem further apart than ever, and less interested than ever in setting aside their differences to find workable compromises. Political discussions, especially on social media, feel increasingly uncivil, if not outright aggressive. And the overall public mood is often summarized with just one word: angry.

Public opinion research counts all voices, and not just the loudest ones. This leads to a more complete and more nuanced picture of the public mood and the state of our democracy. Drawing on data from several different recent surveys, as well as reminders from the archives, this session will explore the extent of political polarization in Ontario (and beyond) and challenge the assumption that we are more divided than ever.

Andrew Parkin, Executive Director, Environics Institute

9:10am - 9:20am

AMO's Healthy Democracy Project

The AMO Board of Director’s Healthy Democracy Project is a unique initiative focused on improving local democracy through civic engagement that is respectful and diverse. AMO is committed to supporting the needs of local elected officials and candidates running for office through the Project. This update will give you insight into the research, strategies and actions being considered to improve the health of local, municipal democracy in Ontario. 

Stewart McDonough, Municipal Engagement Advisor, Lead, Healthy Democracy Project, Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO)

9:20am - 9:45am

The Road to Municipal Politics: Barriers and Solutions to Consider for Healthy Local Democracies

Fewer people are running for office in Ontario’s municipal elections. Why is that? One of the first steps in the AMO Board of Director’s Healthy Democracy Project has been to conduct a first-of-its kind research project in Canada to better understand the barriers and challenges faced by diverse candidates running in Ontario’s municipal elections. Zahra and Kofi will share an early look into the top insights and themes from the research including ideas and prototypes from interview participants on how to address the most significant challenges for candidates.

Zahra Ebrahim and Kofi Hope, Co-founders, Monumental Projects

9:45am - 10:15am Coffee Break, sponsored by Enbridge
10:15am - 10:25am Bonnie Crombie, Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party
10:25am - 10:40am Colin Best, President, AMO
10:40am - 10:50am The Hon. Paul Calandra, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
10:50am - 11:00am Robin Jones, Chair, ROMA
11:00am - 12:00pm

Strategies to address the Big Issues: homelessness, employment, accessible, affordable and sustainable housing.

Homelessness, housing encampments and the challenge for many to afford viable housing are real problems for many more people on a daily basis. Your colleagues share their strategies and innovation to address the seemingly unbreakable cycles and find new ways of financing local housing.

  • Alex Bierk, Councillor, City of Peterborough
  • Deb Doherty, Councillor, Town of Collingwood
  • Fay Martin, Vice President, Haliburton Places for People
  • Keith Riel, Councillor, City of Peterborough
  • Marilyn Struthers, Facilitator for the Social Finance & Housing Group Institute of Southern Georgian Bay
12:00pm Conference Closing