Regional Accomplishments: July - September 2010

Every day, Halton Region works to provide residents and businesses with valuable programs and services. From affordable housing and public health; to business development and emergency management; from waste collection to water/wastewater treatment, we are committed to delivering our programs and services in a cost-effective and easily accessible manner.

I am pleased to share with you some of Halton Region’s major accomplishments for the third quarter of 2010.

If you have any concerns or comments, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca.

  • AAA Credit Rating
    For the 21st consecutive year, Standard & Poor’s Rating Service External Link reaffirmed Halton Region’s AAA credit rating, the highest credit rating available to any issuer of long-term debt in North America. The rating ensures the Region and the Local Municipalities can borrow money at the lowest possible interest rates, minimizing the longer term costs of infrastructure capital.
  • Library Pedometer Program gets residents walking
    Count Your Steps...To Better Health is the Halton-wide library pedometer lending initiative that encourages adults to borrow a pedometer and walk 10,000 steps per day with 2,000 to 4,000 steps at a brisk pace to improve cardiovascular health. The pedometer lending initiative is a partnership between Halton Region and public libraries in the region. Since the pedometer lending program began in 2007 with Milton Public Library, there have been over 2,300 circulations of the 350 pedometers now available. The program has now expanded to public libraries in all four Local Municipalities.
  • Keeping electronic and hazardous waste out of our landfill
    In July and September, Halton Region hosted two Special Waste Drop-off Days to make the recycling of household hazardous waste and electronic waste more convenient to residents. More than 1,700 residents dropped off more than 31 tonnes of household hazardous waste and more than 51 tonnes of electronic waste during the two days. Thanks to all our residents who continue to bring their hazardous and electronic waste to our special drop-off days or to the Halton Waste Management Site to help protect our environment.
  • 16 local youth launch their own Summer Companies
    For the 10th consecutive year, Halton Region's Small Business Centre has given Halton students an opportunity to be their own boss and earn cash rewards. Summer Company, a Ministry of Economic Development and Trade program coordinated locally through the Halton Region Small Business Centre, provides hands-on business training and mentoring to help students start and run their own summer businesses. Successful applicants receive up to $1,500 in the spring to help with business start-up costs, and up to $1,500 in the fall upon successful completion of their Summer Company experience.
  • Building a Better Halton
    Summer is always a busy time for construction and this year we had many large projects underway to help us build a better Halton. In Milton, we’re widening Tremaine Road (Reg. Rd. 22) from two to four lanes between Derry Road (Reg. Rd. 7) and Main Street. This summer we started construction and the four lanes are scheduled to open to traffic in the spring.
     
    The Dundas Street (Reg. Rd. 5) widening in Oakville is a significant job impacting the thousands of Halton drivers that drive along Dundas every day. Not only are we widening Dundas from four to six lanes between Neyagawa Boulevard and Proudfoot Trail, but also upgrading the traffic signals and building new twin bridges crossing over the 16 Mile Creek. The bridge girders are being installed now and the project is expected to be completed next fall.
     
    Another road project designed to help traffic flow more easily through the Region is the Bronte Road (Reg. Rd. 25) widening from the QEW to Upper Middle Road. The Ontario government widened the Bronte Road/QEW interchange from two to four lanes and traffic started using the new road and ramps in June. Halton is widening Bronte Road from the North Service Road to Upper Middle Road (Reg. Rd. 38) from two to four lanes. The road realignment was designed to preserve the existing Oak Tree and there will be sidewalks and multi-use paths to encourage more active transportation.
     
    To help keep residents better informed about construction projects, we redesigned our construction projects web page at www.halton.ca/construction, where you can find updates on all of our infrastructure construction activities. We created brochures and door knockers and redesigned our construction notices so that they were easy to understand. Not only do we want to build a better Halton, but we want to make sure you know what’s going on while we do it.
  • Power Pledge Community Challenge
    Halton Region became the first Region to win the Power Pledge Community Challenge award. The Ontario Power Authority presented the award to Halton Region, as Halton had the most pledges from any Region within the competition. The Power Pledge Community Challenge was a competition where communities competed for leadership in energy conservation by lowering energy use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Power Pledge campaign is a conservation awareness initiative developed by the Ontario Power Authority. It consists of an online pledge comprised of six actions to help Ontarians take simple but meaningful acts of energy conservation.
  • Celebrating the Official Opening of Bonnie Place II
    In August,  Halton Region was joined by the Honourable Lisa Raitt External Link, Minister of Labour and Member of Parliament for Halton and Jim Bradley, Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, to officially open Bonnie Place II – a newly completed affordable seniors building. Owned and operated by Bonnie Place, the building boasts 76 affordable rental units and is conveniently located close to the Roseland Plaza and the Burlington Seniors Centre.
  • Breaking Ground on a New Affordable Housing Development at 538 Plains Rd in Burlington
    In August,  Halton Region was joined by the Honourable Lisa Raitt External Link, Minister of Labour and Member of Parliament for Halton and Jim Bradley, Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing External Link, to officially break ground on a new affordable seniors development located at 538 Plains Road East in Burlington. When completed, the new building will provide 65 affordable housing units for seniors living on low income. The new building will be owned and operated by Halton Region’s Community Housing Corporation.
  • Completion of Full Accrual-Based 2009 Financial Statements with Tangible Capital Assets Compliance
    Halton Region completed an audit of its full accrual-based 2009 Financial Statements with Tangible Capital Assets (External LinkAdobe Portable Document Format (PDF)243KB) – a first under the new municipal tangible capital asset reporting requirements set by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountant’s Public Sector Accounting Board. With the new requirement, all municipalities in Canada are expected to be able to track and report on the current value of their assets, including the original capital cost of each asset and its amortized value. These assets include major capital infrastructure such as streets and roadways, sewer and water lines, and parks facilities.
  • Halton Region Awarded the 2010 Excellence in Municipal Systems Award from the Municipal Information Systems Association (MISA)
    Halton Region is proud to the have won the 2010 Excellence in Municipal Systems Award from MISA External Link for the Region’s SAP Tangible Capital Assets Software Incubation. The innovative software solution helped the Region meet the new municipal tangible capital asset reporting requirements set by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountant’s Public Sector Accounting Board.  
  • Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
    The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada External Link (GFOA) recognized Halton Region with a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the 2010 Budget and Business Plan.
  • Wise Outdoor Water Users
    Halton Region invited residents to enter to win one of three Wise Outdoor Use prize packages as part of Halton’s Outdoor Water Use Program – Know Your Colour, Know Your Limits – which asks residents to be mindful of their outdoor water use during the summer months. More than 500 residents entered the contest and shared how they reduce their outdoor water use during the summer when water consumption often doubles. Congratulations not only to our winners, but also to all our residents whose efforts at conserving water are helping conserve this precious resource.
  • ‘HaltonParents’: an online community for parent talk at all stages
    On September 20, Halton Region launched ‘HaltonParents,’ a new online community for parents that offers the latest in local parenting news, tips, health matters, events in the community and more. It’s a place for parents to talk directly with a team of Public Health Nurses and Child Development staff, and to connect with other parents about their parenting experiences.
     
    In addition to the free parenting services and supports, the Health and the Social and Community Services departments have been offering for years, ‘HaltonParents’ now brings that work into Twitter and a parenting blog. It highlights the parenting resources on the Region’s website, and provides a direct-access e-mail. This initiative is helping us build stronger capacity to promote healthy growth and child development, and create stronger family units in Halton.
  • Two new EMS station openings
    In September, two new Emergency Medical Services (EMS) stations in Halton were officially opened: Both of these stations are strategically located to support Halton EMS’ goal of providing residents with exceptional pre-hospital care.
  • Construction of new Oakville Sexual Health Clinic
    Construction on the new Oakville Sexual Health Clinic, located at 232 South Service Road Oakville, commenced in September.
     
    Similar to the other sexual health clinics in Halton, services offered will include pregnancy testing options and counselling, birth control counselling and contraceptive prescription, cervical cancer screening, sexually transmitted infections (STI) testing and treatment, free STI medication to clients, HIV/AIDS counselling and testing, sexuality and sexual orientation counselling, needle exchange, and the sale of contraceptives at low cost or free to those in need.  Services are free and confidential. Watch for a formal announcement of the opening of the clinic in the local media.
  • Halton Region Museum special events well received
    The Halton Museum Foundation monthly jazz concert series, held on the second Sunday of each month this fall, has been a big hit.  This critically acclaimed jazz series has developed a loyal following. The concerts are a great way to experience local jazz while enjoying the Museum’s historic surroundings.  On Friday, September 24, 2010, from 4 to 7 p.m., Halton Region Museum celebrated an important moment in Halton's history with a special reception and presentation of "Ford Oakville Rising." This unique exhibition of photographs depicts the construction of Ford's Oakville Assembly Plant, located at Windsor Drive and the Queen Elizabeth Way. www.halton.ca/jazzatthemuseum
  • Halton Region’s 2009 Progress Report
    Halton Region’s 2009 Progress Report was released in September. The report contains the Region’s 2009 Financial Statements and highlights many of the Region’s major achievements in 2009 with easy-to-follow performance measures indicating progress in key areas.
  • 4,000 children attend four-day Halton Children’s Water Festival
    The fifth annual Halton Children’s Water Festival was held from September 28 to October 1 with more than 4,000 Halton students from grades two to five participating. The four-day festival took place outdoors at the picturesque Kelso Conservation Area in Milton and continued to educate children about one of the world’s most precious resources, water. Over the last five years, nearly 18,000 children have participated in the festival which provides a unique opportunity to learn about water in a fun and interactive way while covering Ontario curriculum requirements. The Festival is a community partnership that depends on more than 150 volunteers each day, as well as relying on in-kind and monetary support from organizations in the Halton community. A big thank you to all our volunteers and sponsors.
  • Planning for the Future
    Planning for how to meet Halton’s needs for the future is an important part of what we do. Right now staff are working on several plans to ensure that we can accommodate approved growth to the year 2031.
     
    Halton’s Transportation Master Plan – The Road to Change has been underway since last year and public consultation is critical to the process. Staff have been diligently working to ensure that public feedback received in March at Public Information Centres (held in each Local Municipality) and from the Public Workshop held in June is being incorporated into the draft transportation strategy that will go back out to the public in early March 2011.
     
    It’s also critical to ensure that we have the infrastructure in place to meet our water and wastewater needs so the Sustainable Halton Water & Wastewater Master Plan has been underway since last year. Having met with the public in the spring, we’ll also be going back to talk with the public this winter.
  • Compost give away keeps Halton growing
    Every year Halton Region offers compost to Halton residents free of charge at two special compost give away events. This September, more than 950 people collected 1,000 tonnes of compost from the Halton Waste Management Site. The compost comes from the leaf and yard waste collected through our yard waste collection program. During the event, Halton staff collect non-perishable food items or monetary donations to support food banks within the community. In 2010, 4,240 Halton households took advantage of the Compost Give Away events and donated over 6,000 kilograms of food and $9,257 to local food banks.