From left Coun. Stephanie Jaworski, warden Carma Williams, Coun. Tony Fraser. Courtesy Photo

THE COUNTIES – Warden Carma Williams identified three priorities for the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry during an inauguration ceremony Friday where she became just the second female to be elected to the position.

Williams, during her first speech as the 2022 warden, said her priorities will foster inclusion, responsibility, and augmenting opportunities for future generations.

“We are embarking on a Rural Education Strategy, as well as a Rural Education Symposium early in the New Year where we intend to pressure the province to garner support for rural communities across Ontario where access to quality learning is lacking,” said Williams. “Our environment legacy is equally as important. The Regional Waste Management Study must be completed, ensuring it serves the needs of SDG municipalities and paves the road for innovative, efficient, and environmentally responsible solutions.

“And finally, I wish to cultivate and augment relationships the counties enjoy with our neighbours and partners. Partnerships are essential to our success. We are stronger if we work together, and I will foster increased collaboration across the region.”

Williams was led to the seat at the head of council by counties’ councillors Tony Fraser and Stephanie Jaworski, who had initially nominated her for the role earlier this fall. The event took place in council chambers at the Counties Administration Building.

Friday’s inauguration was attended by counties’ council members, past wardens, counties ‘staff, and dignitaries including Senator Bernadette Clement, MP Francis Drouin, MP Eric Duncan, MPP Amanda Simard, MPP Jim McDonell, Cornwall Mayor Glen Grant, Mohawk council of Akwesasne Grand Chief Abram Benedict and Prescott-Russell warden Daniel Lafleur.

Estella Rose, the first female warden of SDG, was also in attendance.

“After having to cancel the ceremony last year due to the pandemic, it’s very good to be back in person observing this occasion, an occasion that has taken place each December for 171 years,” said counties’ CAO Tim Simpson. “This yearly ceremony continues our long tradition of putting in place a warden to guide and lead our municipality for the upcoming year.”