Warden George Cornell of the County of Simcoe has been acclaimed as Chair of the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (WOWC), during the organization’s Annual General Meeting held virtually on February 5, 2021.
“I am honoured to have been placed in the position of Chair of the Caucus, to represent Southwestern Ontario, and I look forward to advancing the objectives and advocacy of the WOWC,” said Chair Cornell. “The coming year will be an important and critical one for the WOWC in terms of advancing its priorities and projects, including the expansion of broadband infrastructure for the region, through the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT).”
The AGM was followed by a separate meeting with many MPs and MPPs from across Western Ontario, in addition to several Ministers, both to discuss SWIFT and the need for federal and provincial funding to ensure its success. Ministers present included Laurie Scott, Ernie Hardeman, Sylvia Jones, Caroline Mulroney, Lisa Thompson, and Bill Walker.
“We would like to thank our MPs, MPPs and Ministers for attending the meeting, engaging in good conversation with us, and demonstrating how they value our perspective,” added Chair Cornell. “This excellent cooperation among all levels of government will only continue to foster the future success of Southwestern Ontario and the SWIFT projects.”
Prior to his appointment as Chair, Warden Cornell served on the Caucus in 2019 and 2020, representing the County of Simcoe. As WOWC Chair, Warden Cornell will also sit on the AMO Board, County Caucus, and will continue to serve as Mayor of Tiny Township, as he has done since 2014, as well as the Vice-Chair of the SWIFT Board of Directors.
Also appointed at the AGM as WOWC officers were Darren White, Warden of Dufferin County to the office of Vice Chair; Sonya Pritchard, CAO of Dufferin County as Treasurer; and Mark Aitken, CAO of Simcoe County as Secretary.
In addition, Mayor George Bridge, Minto Township, was re-appointed as Chair of the WOWC Economic Development Sub-Committee; with committee membership to include the following Wardens and Mayors: Darren White, Kevin Marriott, Walter McKenzie, Jim Ginn, George Cornell, and Gary McNamara, supported by WOWC member CAOs and Economic Development specialist staff.
The Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (WOWC) is a not-for-profit organization representing 15 upper and single-tier municipalities in Southwestern Ontario, representing more than three million residents. The WOWC aims to enhance the prosperity and overall wellbeing of rural and small urban communities across the region. Caucus members work collectively to influence federal and provincial legislation and programs through advocacy, research, analysis and education. For more information, visit www.wowc.ca
Kate Burns Gallagher, Executive Director Economic Development
Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus
NEWS RELEASE / FEB. 8, 2021