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Halton's People

A Strong Halton for a Strong Ontario - Partners for the Future

This page details Halton's needs for its people and what Halton requests from the Province to ensure services keep pace with growth. 

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

With population growth in Halton, calls for EMS have increased by 52% in the last decade. Current provincial legislation, through the Ambulance Act, sets a response time standard that Halton EMS has met every year but one. Circumstances beyond Halton’s control – dispatch and hospital offload delays – raise urgent concerns about the ability of Halton EMS to maintain its high standard while our communities continue to grow.

Governance for EMS services was downloaded by the Province to municipalities in 2000, with the promise of ongoing provincial funding. Currently the program is underfunded by the Province because the cost sharing agreement of 50:50 is not being met. More recently, the Province announced funding claw backs for 2008, and possibly for 2009.

Halton calls are routed for dispatch through a Central Ambulance Communications Centre (CACC) in Mississauga, run by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MoHLTC). This CACC has been unable to meet the call handling (time) standard set by its own Ministry.

Regional Council has advocated for an accelerated review of the CACCs and improved implementation of protocols for handling emergency calls.

More recently, Council has considered the need for Regional governance over a Halton Dispatch Centre, with 100% funding from the Province.

Regional Council has also advocated for a coordinated and effective province-wide approach to ambulance offload delays at hospitals.

Despite a significant increase in dedicated offload nurses’ hours, hospital offload delay has remained consistent and problematic.

What Halton requests of the next Provincial Government

  • Work with Halton Region and others to resolve offload delays, including the development of protocols and sustained funding
  • Sustained cost sharing of EMS that meets ongoing and required system improvements
  • Agree to 100% provincial funding and work with Halton Region to establish a municipally managed regional dispatch centre
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The Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs)

The Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) were created in 2006 to plan and provide funding for a variety of health services. The LHIN boundaries were aligned around hospital catchment areas rather than regional geography. For Halton, this means working with two LHINs – the Hamilton-Niagara-Haldimand- Brant LHIN contains Burlington health services and the Mississauga-Halton LHIN has jurisdiction for the remainder of Halton.

With three Long Term Care Homes, Day Programs and the North Halton Mental Health Clinic funded by the LHINs and with a variety of public health, EMS and other community health services for people of all ages and circumstances, having collaborative relationships with both LHINs is essential. Halton Region has enjoyed the opportunity for these partnerships.

Nonetheless, the administrative complexity of dealing with two LHINs is problematic because, with two geographic areas, there are different protocols with different administrative requirements for the same services.

What Halton requests of the next Provincial Government

  • Review the effectiveness of the LHIN model as it applies to health care services in Halton
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Public Health & Social Services Funding

Public Health & Social Services funding has not kept pace with population growth, particularly for a high growth area like Halton, where the methods for allocating funds to programs and services is not synchronized with growth needs.

In recent years, great strides have been made between the Province and 905 communities to negotiate a more equitable distribution of funds, while recognizing that the funding formulae could be revised further.

Halton has unique growth needs. The population grew 17% (to 439,300) between the Census years of 2001 – 2006, with 71% growth in the Town of Milton – making it Canada’s fastest growing community.

Development growth and the subsequent influx of people has and will continue, with Halton mandated to grow to 780,000 people by 2031 (Places to Grow).

Demand for services is also growing. Provincial programs, traditionally 100% funded, such as mental health services, are seeing increased demand from children, youth and seniors, but the Province is not meeting the cost of the demand.

In the past, Regional Council supported the Strong Communities Coalition (Durham, Halton, Peel and York Regions) in advocating for an accelerated process to review health and social services funding for Greater Toronto Area (GTA) municipalities that would be based on population growth and future service needs.

Council also advocated for the uploading of services to the Province and an end to GTA regional municipalities having to pay for Toronto social services from GTA pooling dollars.

The Province responded with the Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review, a partnership unprecedented in its cooperative nature. As a result, GTA pooling is being phased out. Costs for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and drug benefits are to be uploaded in 2011. Costs for Ontario Works and court security will be fully uploaded to the Province by 2018.

What Halton requests of the next Provincial Government

  • Honour the agreement on phasing out GTA pooling and uploading programs to the province
  • Prevent further downloads of services to municipalities
  • Provide 100% population growth funding for health and social services
  • Base funding allocations on population size, growth and characteristics
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Services for SeniorsFront of Post Inn Village

Services for Seniors programs are regulated by provincial mandate to ensure a high degree of service integrity. As stated through Multi-sector Service Accountability Agreements (MSAA) and Long Term Care Sector Service Accountability Agreements (LSAA), regulations for programs such as Long Term Care, Geriatric Mental Health, Adult Day Programs and Supportive Housing are highly prescriptive.

The regulations for Seniors' programs do not differentiate between government run programs and services and not for profit services.

While Halton Region appreciates the need to regulate the seniors’ sectors, the Province should recognize the Region’s status as another government body with its own regulatory controls and increasing funding responsibilities.

What Halton requests of the next Provincial Government

  • Work in partnership with Halton Region to review the regulations and agreements for municipal services providers, in recognition of their status as administrators and funders of services and programs for seniors
  • Increase provincial funding of Long Term Care such that the ratio returns to the expected cost sharing ratio of 80:20 (province: region)
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Children’s Services

In September 2010, Ontario initiated the Early Learning and Child Care Program. The program provides a full day of learning to four and five year olds as part of the Province’s plan for a stronger school system, a well educated workforce and a reduction in poverty. The program should reach full implementation by 2015-2016.

Until full implementation of Early Learning into the school system, demand for child care services in Halton will remain strong, and providers are already unable to meet demand because provincial funding for child care spaces has not kept pace with population growth.

What Halton requests of the next Provincial Government

  • Maintain the current level of Best Start funding to support Halton Region’s population and service needs until the system has stabilized from the full implementation of the Early Learning Program
  • A commitment to extend and sustain Early Learning and Child Care funding
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Affordable and Assisted Housing

Since the downloading of social housing by the Province in 2001, municipal service managers administer and subsidize social or assisted housing units and have borne the bulk of capital costs for new and aging housing structures.

This causes increased financial pressure on municipalities, especially as demand increases and wait lists for social housing units grow.

Under the provincial Special Priority Policy, victims of domestic violence are given placement priority over other applicants on the housing wait list. Victims of domestic violence are housed immediately.

Halton has established a local priority arrangement that gives homeless individuals, newcomers to the country (less than three years) and youths (16 and 17 year olds) some priority on the housing waiting list, whereby every 10th vacancy is offered to a household in one of these categories.

At the end of 2010, 2,140 applicants remained on Halton’s waiting list for social housing, an increase of 9.6% from 2009.

What Halton requests of the next Provincial Government

  • Provide longer term transitional and supportive housing for victims of domestic violence to increase their capacity to live independently
  • Allow municipalities to develop criteria for priority applicants based on local needs
  • Commit permanent provincial dollars toward building and rehabilitating social housing and ending homelessness
  • Continue the consolidation of housing programs without capping or reducing current available funding
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Accessibility for People with Disabilities

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005) (AODA) sets out a commitment to make Ontario accessible to people with disabilities by 2025. To achieve this, the AODA requires the development of accessibility standards that will apply to both the public and private sectors.

To date, the provincial government has developed Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429-07 and more recently the Integrated Accessibility Standards 191-11.

The Province continues work on the development of accessibility standards for buildings.

What Halton requests of the next Provincial Government

  • Work with Halton Region and other municipalities to set clear and consistent compliance evaluation criteria
  • Provide timely support and resources for implementation and compliance, including interpretive and training guides and templates for policies and procedures
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