2009 Regional Accomplishments

By Regional Chair Gary Carr   Photo of Gary Carr, Regional Chair

Every day, Halton Region works to provide the residents and businesses of Halton with valuable programs and services. From social housing and health protection; to business development and emergency management; from waste collection to water/wastewater treatment, we are committed to doing what we do in a cost-effective and easily accessible manner.

I’m proud to tell you more about some of Halton Region’s major accomplishments for 2009. Read on for more details.

  • Community Sustainability Forum
    The Mayor of Whistler, B.C., Ken Melamed, spoke at the Halton Community Sustainability Forum, Thursday, January 8 about leading Whistler’s community sustainability plan, Whistler2020, which was attended by over 130 people. More than 15 “green” initiatives, such as the Air Quality project and the Landfill Gas Capture project; were showcased, along with other environmental work being done across the community.
  • Start of construction for Bonnie Place II
    In January 2009, an announcement  was made about the construction of the $15.6 million project, Bonnie Place II (510 Claridge Road, Burlington).  This will provide 76 rental units for people of low and modest incomes within an 83-unit building, completion targeted in early 2010.
  • Enhancing Supportive Housing Services at the Bruce Apartments in Milton
    Supportive Housing helps clients with their personal care and activities of daily living.  As a result, service hours changed to 24/7 at the Bruce Apartments in Milton starting January 15, 2009. Before this enhancement, supportive housing services were provided onsite from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., seven days a week.
  • Establishing the Halton Housing Task Force
    A group of knowledgeable and experienced community members have joined to form the Housing Task Force, which started its work in January to identify immediate housing development opportunities and solutions across the Region. 
  • Recognition of communications promoting Halton programs
    The communications plan for GreenCart, "More Blue & Green for a Better Planet" won:
    • Gold Quill Award of Merit from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC): an internationally recognized achievement
    • top Ovation Award of Excellence in the category of social responsibility from the Toronto chapter of IABC
    • Pinnacle award for Communications Management from the Canadian Public Relations Society, Hamilton Society
    • PR News Award of Merit

    The Health Department won an IABC Ovation Award of Merit for the “Active and Safe Routes to School” program in the community relations category

  • Leadership Matters
    The Leadership Matters Forum was held at the Halton Regional Centre on February 18.  Community leaders, volunteers from the non-profit and voluntary sector, and  students from Sheridan College attended to hear a keynote address by Dr. Vince Molinaro, author of “The Leadership Gap”. Industry leaders who specialize in leadership best practices also lead leadership workshops for the participants.
  • Our Kids Network Releases 2008: A Vision for Children in Halton Report Card
    The Our Kids Network (OKN) External Link launched the Networks’ “A Vision for Children in Halton Report Card 2008” Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF)1.65MB in February supporting their mission that all children thrive.  This report provides detailed information about the issues facing children and youth in Halton.
  • Georgetown nominee recognized at Halton Regional Council for his young Heritage Leaders Award  Christian Burrows received a Young Heritage Leaders Award from the Ontario Heritage Trust Halton acknowledging over 10 years of volunteer work at the Old Seed House Garden in Georgetown.
  • 60% of residential waste now diverted from the landfill
    Halton residents are now diverting just over 60% of waste, with 27,448 less tonnes of garbage going to the landfill therefore extending the life of the landfill by approximately seven years from 2023 to 2030. Blue Box participation rates now exceed 90% on a weekly basis and GreenCart participation rates average 79% in the urban areas and 61% in the rural areas.
  • Moving forward with Sustainable Halton
    Under the Provincial Places to Grow Plan External Link, Halton is mandated to grow and plan for 780,000 people by 2031.  This translates to an additional 134,000 people and 54,000 jobs between 2021 and 2031.  During January-March 2009 we focused on building growth concepts and options that staff could present to the public in the spring.  Regional staff, Local Planning Staff, the Niagara Escarpment Commission and Conservation Authorities are working together on:

 

  • 13 technical reports
  • Directions Report for the Official Plan Review
  • updating the website to make it more user-friendly for the public.
  • Waste Management School and Community Workshops
    Halton’s Waste Diversion Education Coordinator provided 90 workshops to over 9000 students and community group members, from January 7 to March 30.
  • Live video streaming of Regional Council meetings online
    Live broadcast of Halton Regional Council meetings are available on www.halton.ca via a video stream.  This allows online viewers to watch Council meetings in real time or download a podcast of the meetings at a later date.

  • Five newly-arrived family physicians accepting patients in Halton Region
    Members of the Halton Physician Recruitment Initiative welcomed five newly-arrived family physicians to Halton in February: two physicians in Oakville and one physician in each of the other three local municipalities: Burlington, Halton Hills, and Milton. 

  • Tourism Summit and New Tourism Web Pages
    The Halton Tourism Advisory Committee and the Region's Business Development Division hosted the first annual Halton Tourism Summit at Rattlesnake Point Golf Club in Milton, March 30.  The theme was "Tourism in Halton - Competitive in 2009, with keynote speaker: Assistant Deputy Minister of Tourism Michael Kurts who spoke about the Ministry's recently released tourism competitiveness study. A panel consisted of representatives from Halton's top attractions talked about their strategies for success.
  • Public health inspectors testing new technology
    The Halton Region Health Department is piloting the use of mobile inspection tablets (MIT) while conducting food premise inspections, from January-July.  This enables the inspector to immediately update and electronically record their reports, save administration time, and provide more data accuracy for reporting purpose.
  • Well water initiatives
    The Region’s first 24-hour well water depot opened in Campbellville, in partnership with the Town of Milton’s Fire Department.  Located at Fire Station #2, 2665 Reid Side Road, residents can drop off well water samples for testing at the Ontario Public Health Agency Laboratory.
  • Federal/Provincial funding announcements
    The Federal and Provincial Governments have recently invested a total of $147 million in Halton Region to address our infrastructure needs. Through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, Halton Region has received:

    $103 million for the expansion and upgrade of the Skyway Wastewater Treatment Plant  in Burlington.

    $33.4 million for improvements to the Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant in Oakville.

    $10.6 million for the widening of Tremaine Road between Main St. and Derry Rd. in Milton.

    I would like to thank both levels of government for ensuring that Halton residents get the infrastructure they need to improve their quality of life.
  • 2010 budget directions support 0% tax and rate freeze
    May 13, Halton Regional Council approved the Budget Directions Report for the Region’s 2010 Budget and Business Plan. As requested by Council, the approved directions call for a 0% Regional tax and rate freeze in 2010.

    With recovery from the current recession not anticipated until late 2010, the tax and rate freeze is Council’s response to the existing economic conditions and the significant financial pressures being felt by many of Halton’s residents and businesses.

    The Region’s strong financial planning principles will ensure this community continues to receive the services and programs it expects, while providing residents with the financial relief they need.
  • Halton Region’s response to H1N1 influenza virus
    Halton Region began implementing sections of Halton’s Pandemic Influenza Plan well before the World Health Organization (WHO) moved the WHO Pandemic phase up to phase 6 on June 11. The implemented elements of our plan include working closely with the Provincial and Federal governments towards heightened community surveillance, increased communications, and public health measures.

    Community spread of novel H1N1 virus has been occurring in Halton for several weeks. Moving to phase 6 not result in any immediate local changes. We will continue to intensify our planning for the fall influenza season.

  • Halton Region one of best employers for new Canadians
    Halton Region was rated as one of Canada's Best Employers for new Canadians by Mediacorp Canada Inc. based on the Region's commitment to programs and initiatives that help recent immigrants integrate into Halton's workforce. Halton Region participates in several mentoring programs and internships to help foreign trained professionals gain Canadian experience and develop the skills needed to successfully enter the labour market.
  • Rain barrel sales
    water conservation program, we recently hosted five rain barrel sales.  This pilot project proved to be very popular, with a total of 6,177 rain barrels sold. If these 6,177 purchasers used the 205 litres of rainwater their rain barrel can hold after a major rain event in place of municipal water, this could reduce municipal water consumption by over 1.2 million litres each time.
  • Safe Roads… Your Call campaign
    This past June, as part of  Halton's Drive SAFE (Safety Awareness For Everyone) program, we partnered with the Halton Regional Police Service and M.A D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) to introduce the Safe Roads...Your Call campaign.

    Under the program, motorists who suspect another driver of being impaired are asked to call 9-1-1 and provide a description of the vehicle, the nearest intersection where the suspect was witnessed, direction the vehicle was headed and, if possible, a licence plate number. Look for signs installed in prominent locations throughout Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton, and Oakville.

  • Special Waste Drop-off Days
    Halton Region held free Special Waste Collection Drop-off Days in Oakville and Burlington to make the recycling and safe disposal of household hazardous waste and electronic waste more accessible for residents. At these events, 2051 residents diverted approximately 48 tonnes of household hazardous waste and 49 tonnes of electronics from Halton’s landfill site! Additional drop-off days are scheduled throughout the Region, visit the Recycling & Waste Events and Resources page for specific dates and locations.
  • Careful planning: the key to getting through an emergency
    Halton Region continues to work hard to make sure that we are as prepared as we can be in the event of an emergency. In May, Halton launched an education and awareness campaign to encourage residents to take action towards being prepared. Simple steps, such as making an emergency plan and assembling a survival kit are essential to help minimize the impact of an emergency on your family.
  • Guided Tour of Halton Farms guidebook published
    Halton released the newly updated edition of “A Guided Tour of Halton Farms”. The publication provides a map-style directory of Halton farms that are open to the public. “A Guided Tour of Halton Farms” is published by Halton Region’s Simply Local initiative which strives to promote Halton’s agricultural industry, to encourage healthy eating and physical activity, and to create a connection between Halton residents and Halton farms.
  • Halton Physician Appreciation Week, 2009
    Halton Region and local hospitals recognized physicians during the seventh annual Halton Physician Appreciation Week, May 4 to 8, 2009. The week was designated by the Halton Physician Recruitment Initiative which was established in 2003 to address Halton’s shortage of family physicians, and to date has resulted in over 90 new family doctors practicing in Halton
  • Summer Company
    Halton Region helped 11 new student entrepreneurs open businesses as part of its 2009 Summer Company program. Secondary and post-secondary school students between the ages of 15 and 29 are eligible to receive up to $3,000 to help them start and run their own summer businesses. Students receive guidance from local business professionals who volunteer to provide training on marketing, bookkeeping, and how to run a successful business.
  • Winners of the 2009 Business Plan Competition honoured
    The winners and participants of the 2009 Halton Region RBC Business Plan Competition were honoured at a special awards celebration held in June. The competition gave Halton secondary school students the chance to win cash awards for their business plans. The first place winner, Elyse Simpson, now advances to the Central Region Regional Competition, where she will compete with the winners of other local competitions for the regional title.
  • Mental health identified as the key issue facing Halton’s children and youth
    The Halton Our Kids Network recently invited service providers, elected officials and community members to five community forums held throughout the region. Two hundred and fifteen forum participants were shown highlights from the newly released Vision for Children in Halton Report Card which examines the health and well-being of children and youth. Participants also identified the key issues facing children and youth in their communities and developed action plans for how to best address these issues. Mental health was identified as the number one issue in all five of the forums. Other top priority areas include poverty, healthy weights, parental engagement, developmental readiness for school, school engagement and binge drinking.
  • Housing Task Force hears from public about housing affordable opportunities
    Halton Region's Housing Task Force held two public meetings in May and heard 18 delegations from residents, community agencies and the private sector who identified affordable housing options, opportunities and approaches which could be implemented across Halton over the next several months. The Task Force will be bringing their recommendations to Regional Council in the fall.
  • Active and Safe Routes to School Pilot Project Closes
    After a year of collaboration with the Halton District School Board (HDSB), the Region closed a successful pilot that worked on "getting kids" to use active transport to travel to school. The pilot culminated with a final report containing 22 recommendations for the HDSB to consider if they were to continue the program. The HDSB responded by approving a budget to expand the program to 25 more schools in the 2009-2010 school year.
  • Community Food Advisor Launch
    On April 3, Halton Region launched the Community Food Advisor Program. Halton’s Community Food Advisor program is a nutrition education initiative endorsed by the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion. The Community Food Advisor program provides, through trained volunteers, reliable information and education to consumers in Halton to promote safe and nutritious food selection, preparation and storage practices.

As you can see from the above accomplishments, we have been working together to achieve a better Halton to live, work, raise a family, and retire.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, "The Carr Report".

Gary Carr, Regional Chair

Halton Regional Centre
1151 Bronte Road
Oakville ON L6M 3L1

Bus: 905-825-6115
Fax: 905-825-8273
Toll Free: 1-866-4HALTON (1-866-442-5866)
TTY: 827-9833
E-mail: gary.carr@halton.ca