The needs and wants of rural Ontario are being heard by Ontario’s top politician.

Fresh off returning from the Rural Ontario Municipal Association Conference in Toronto, Dysart et al Mayor, Andrea Roberts spoke with to share some of the takeaways from the annual meeting.

Roberts says as much as going to these conferences can be seen as expensive, she notes they are also beneficial. She says that it is professional development, and this conference gives councillors the chance to hear from speakers and gain knowledge based on issues that affect many rural areas including Haliburton County.

Roberts explained that she and her colleague Carol Moffatt, the Mayor of Algonquin Highlands, were a part of a session on food tourism, saying that is definitely on the radar of Haliburton County.

Another session that stuck out for the Dysart politician was a sit-down conversation with the Minister of Education Lisa Thompson. Roberts says that herself, Moffatt, Minden Hills Mayor Brent Devolin, and Highlands East Deputy Mayor Cec Ryall sat with the Minister to talk about the number of licenced childcare spaces in the county. As well she says they spoke with Thompson about the precariousness of childcare in the area and the almost closure of a Minden daycare last summer.

One of the other takeaways, Roberts says, was the fact that Premiere Doug Ford spoke to the people in attendance and voiced that the concerns of rural Ontario matter. “That was nice to hear,” says Roberts who goes on to say “hopefully they will keep that as a priority, and understand that we do have different needs than the urban areas.”