Members of the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (WOWC) met virtually on Friday, April 1, 2022, to discuss and review the region’s strategic approach and direction for advocacy in 2022 and early 2023.
The Caucus has identified the following key priorities for the coming year:

  • Affordable and Attainable Housing in Rural Areas
  • Workforce Development through the Implementation of the Western Ontario Workforce Strategy
  • Continued Broadband Infrastructure Investment and Advocacy
  • Mental Health and Addictions

Furthermore, the Caucus will continue advocating for Long-Term Care and Seniors Funding as well as ensuring that municipalities are included in the Ontario Health Teams governance. These two issues were identified in the past and will continue to be supported on an as-needed basis.“The WOWC looks forward to continuing to collaborate with the member municipalities in Southwestern Ontario, and to use the collective regional power to advocate on the key priorities at both the Provincial and Federal level,” stated WOWC Chair George Cornell. “The Caucus will build on the successful advocacy efforts of the past year and continue its important work into 2022 and early 2023 through additional research, delegations with both levels of government, and ongoing collaboration with regional stakeholders.”
Affordable and Attainable HousingAs confirmed by the Western Ontario Workforce Strategy, the Western Ontario region requires 173,000 new housing units by 2041.
The WOWC’s strategy for attainable housing consists of five primary areas: model policies, developer interactions, a resource centre, rental programs, and overall program promotion/marketing.
WOWC will develop a policy framework that member municipalities can use and adapt to expand the opportunities and access to attainable housing.
Workforce DevelopmentFurthermore, as confirmed by the Western Ontario Workforce Strategy, there will be an estimated 214,000 jobs to be filled across the region between 2020 and 2030.
WOWC member municipalities are committed to working together to ensure there is sufficient workforce today and tomorrow to achieve the region’s economic potential and support key industry sectors.
WOWC members recognize the power of regional collaboration. They face many of the same challenges: attracting more newcomers, educating youth about career opportunities in their own backyard, and recalibrating postsecondary education to meet emerging demand. 
Broadband Infrastructure Investment & AdvocacyThe WOWC recognizes that broadband has become an essential service and that universal access to high-speed internet plays a fundamental role in securing the future prosperity of small urban and rural communities in Southwestern Ontario. Residents in our underserved communities are at an economic and social disadvantage when compared to their urban counterparts.
The Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus is committed to improving access to high-speed internet services across Southwestern Ontario through SWIFT in partnership with member municipalities and the governments of Ontario and Canada.
Mental Health and AddictionsOur region is facing ever growing numbers of opioid overdoses and the strains of mental health and addictions on our rural communities. The WOWC is committed to encouraging coordination and collaboration between all stakeholders to improve the health outcomes of our most vulnerable. 
AboutThe Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (WOWC) is a not-for-profit organization representing 15 upper and single-tier municipalities in Southwestern Ontario, representing more than 1.5 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

source: media release


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