City And County To Make Joint Bid For AMO Conferences

(Photo by Paul Pedro)

Essex County politicians have agreed to join the City of Windsor in a bid to host up to four Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conferences.

If successful, the conferences will likely be held at Caesars Windsor from 2021-2024.

The $85,000 hosting cost is to be split between the two councils but not all around the county table are happy with the county share.

Leamington Mayor John Paterson is not against hosting the conferences but says the cost share is not fair because Windsor has all of the hotels and will reap the benefits.

“The fair way to do this would be to have the city pay a much larger portion than what the county is paying, even though I know that’s not going to happen,” says Paterson.

The county was told the last AMO conferences held in Windsor in 2010 and 2016 brought in over 2,600 delegates each year from across Ontario and generated $3-million each in economic benefit.

A letter of intent must be sent by Friday with the bid to be submitted by April 9.

Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara urged his colleagues to look beyond the hotels because the conference will showcase the region and is more affordable for local politicians.

“We got to look at what does it mean to the region, and it also gives many of our councillors a tremendous opportunity to attend a conference at a very reasonable cost. It saves on travel,” says McNamara.

McNamara says if the 2016 numbers are any indication, the county will benefit from these conferences.

“Every tour that came out to the county was sold out. The last one in 2016 put extra buses on. So, there is an opportunity, in particular for the wineries and others,” McNamara says.