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Halton Region is home to more than 580,000 residents in four communities. Along with its Local Municipalities (City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, Town of Milton, and Town of Oakville) Halton Region is an effective two-tier government recognized for its strong financial position, safe communities, natural environment, progressive approach to urban development and citizen-focused reliable services.

COVID-19 update

Halton Region has remained committed to keeping our community safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic and to delivering essential services when Canadians need them most.

Halton has been working closely with the Federal and Provincial Governments to support our communities through these unprecedented times and in moving forward into recovery. We look forward to continuing to support our community partners to stabilize our local economy. We are calling on all levels of government to take action so that municipalities can continue to deliver essential frontline services and support Canadians through this crisis.

Related correspondence

 

The Advocating for a Strong Halton campaign outlines Halton’s advocacy issues and acts as a guide to support Regional Council in their advocacy efforts. Halton advocates on behalf of the community for legislative and policy changes on issues that have been identified as important to residents and in maintaining their quality of life. Halton Region has been advocating for support from all levels of government to ensure that Halton’s taxpayers are not burdened with the cost of growth and that the appropriate services are in place to meet the needs of the community. Halton’s advocacy positions align with Halton’s programs and services, reflect Council’s approved positions, and respond to priority issues identified by the Halton community, Council, our polling data, and Halton’s Strategic Business Plan. Regional Council has been successful in:

 
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Advocating

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Raising awareness

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Advancing key priority issues

Shared Priorities

A Strong Halton for a Strong Ontario

Halton Region shares the Provincial Government’s priority of protecting the health and safety of Ontarians while working toward a safe and responsible re-opening of the economy, and adapting to a new normal. Learn more in the In This Together: Halton and Ontario document.

While facing unprecedented challenges, municipalities have played a vital role in supporting residents, non-profits, and businesses during the COVID-19 emergency. Municipalities have experienced significantly increased costs and large decreases in revenue while delivering critical services and responding to the new normal

Halton Region has incurred significant costs due to COVID-19, estimated to total over $17 million

Halton very much appreciates the $12.6 million in emergency operating funding from the Provincial and Federal Governments under the Safe Restart Agreement.

Ontario’s economic recovery will rely on municipalities continuing to deliver economic stimulus, infrastructure projects, child care, public health services, and water and wastewater treatment while addressing increased costs in long-term care and public health in the post-COVID-19 world. Hatlon Region’s recovery relies on the Federal and Provincial Government continuting to work together

estimated cost of COVID-19 is $17 million

Halton requests:

  • Immediate delivery of the recently announced municipal allocations of the Safe Restart Agreement funding.
  • A commitment that relief funding will continue to be provided to municipalities beyond the duration of the Safe Restart Agreement if needed, to support ongoing recovery efforts, particularly if a second wave emerges.

Ensuring the health and safety of Halton residents has been a priority for the Region during the pandemic and will continue to be during the recovery period. As the economy re-opens, case management and contact tracing will remain critical to responding to potential outbreaks and a second wave. At the same time, Halton will need to continue to meet essential requirements under Ontario’s Public Health Standards.

Halton requests:

  • Support for resources, such as staffing, to ensure Halton’s capability to continue to conduct timely case management and contact tracing while still being able to deliver programs required under Ontario’s Public Health Standards.

Municipalities play an important role in Ontario’s health system. Public Health and Paramedic Services are integrated into the Regional organization and Halton community. Public Health and Paramedic Services participate in a number of collaborative community partnerships including Halton’s Community Safety and Well-Being Plan, Our Kids Network and are contributors to Halton’s Ontario Health Teams.

Halton has a proven model that delivers essential programs to residents in an efficient and coordinated way. The ability to continue to do this will be critical to recovery and to ensure the safety of the people of Halton.

Halton requests:

  • End planned cuts and reform review as well as ensure adequate cost sharing.
  • As the economy continues to open, and other critical public health services resume in response, and in anticipation of a second wave, additional resources for continued case management, contract tracing and managing outbreaks remain critical.
  • Paramedic Services continue to be delivered by Halton Region.
  • Improved performance and capacity at the Mississauga Central Ambulance Communications Centre, including the implementation of new technology and triage tools.
  • Increased funding for mental health services to support people in the early stages of their mental health illness to adequately manage their needs and prevent a mental health crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical need for long-term care reform and that there is an insufficient number of long-term care beds available to meet the needs of the current population. Care requirements at long-term care homes in Ontario are increasing as per the increasing Case Mix Index (CMI). Halton Region is also experiencing this reality. CMIs at all Halton long-term care homes exceed the current provincial average

Halton Region is supportive of the Provincial Government’s decision to overhaul the “one-size-fits-all” funding model for long-term care homes and looks forward to working with the Province to accelerate the development of new and redeveloped beds within the region.

Halton requests:

  • Additional long-term care beds in Halton to meet the growing needs of our aging residents and underserviced communities.
  • Increased care, service and supports to those seniors whose needs cannot be safely or effectively managed with current service levels.
  • Participation and the ability to provide input into the transformation of the long-term care system, including the Independent Commission.
  • Assistance and support with ongoing long-term care resourcing including human resources and staffing, personal protective equipment and financial supports.

Reliable access to broadband internet drives economic investment and job creation and enables small businesses to effectively compete in a digital world. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical need for universal access to broadband internet services to support on-line learning, mental health resources, family and government support services and working from home capabilities.

Halton requests:

  • Increase the eligibility of rural Halton Region to all and any funding programs.
  • Approve applications to Improving Connectivity for Ontario (ICON) program for rural Halton.
  • That the Province continue to incentivize and encourage investments, partnerships and innovation for broadband deployment in Halton.
  • Coordinate broadband funding and enhancements with the Federal Government.

Watch our webinar from Wednesday, August 12 to learn about broadband in Halton and opportunities to participate in industry-led solutions. Participants heard from Regional staff on:

  • Background on rural broadband in Halton
  • Current state of rural broadband, including gaps and challenges
  • Recent, current and future broadband funding programs
  • Opportunities to participate in industry-lead solutions

Halton is one of the fastest growing communities in Canada, and is vital to the Ontario economy. Halton Region is mandated to grow to a population of 1 million by 2041 in order to meet the expectations of the Provincial Growth Plan.

Halton and the Local Municipalities experience a combined funding shortfall of approximately $87.7 million per year as a result of limitations related to existing funding tools. Municipalities need appropriate funding tools that allow delivery of planned infrastructure to achieve provincial growth projections, while ensuring that growth pays for itself, which is critical to the long-term recovery of the community.

Halton requests:

  • Provincial investments and municipal funding tools to ensure that growth pays for itself

Halton's population growth

Halton Region and its Local Municipalities have long-term infrastructure plans to ensure that municipal infrastructure is available to support planned growth and grow the economy in a responsible way

The reliability and frequency of GO train service throughout Halton is vital to the Region’s economic prosperity. The absence of a provincial multiyear, multi-ministry infrastructure plan focused on growing communities, including the delivery of schools, hospitals, highways, has resulted in obstacles to increasing housing supply and economic growth. This remains critical to the Halton community through the recovery phase.

Halton acknowledges and appreciates the recent announcement of funding that will be directed to building four new schools in the region. However, 20 short-term Halton school improvements are still required and enormous pressures are being placed on the region to increase school capacity.

Halton requests:

  • A coordinated, multi-year, multi-ministry provincial infrastructure investment plan and funding connected to the Growth Plan for the delivery of schools, hospitals, transit, highways and housing. This would include commitments to:
    • Timing and delivery of all day, two-way GO service to Milton and Georgetown to support significant planned population growth.
    • Timing and delivery of a new GO station at Trafalgar and Highway 401 which is a key hub in Halton’s Mobility Plan.
    • Highway improvements to the 401 and QEW.
    • Continued approval and development of schools in high growth areas within Halton.


A Strong Halton for a Strong Canada

To be successful in meeting the expectations and addressing the concerns of Halton residents, a strong, collaborative, action oriented partnership with the Federal Government is necessary. Learn more in A Strong Halton for a Strong Canada document.

Transportation and infrastructure continue to be priority issues of concern for Halton residents. Investments in infrastructure make Halton Region a strong economy and a desirable place to live and do business.

Halton Region is committed to creating complete communities that ensure a high quality of life for residents and a competitive economy. Investments in infrastructure support a strong economy and a desirable place to live and do business. Making significant investments in infrastructure is a priority for Regional Council. While Halton Region is appreciative of the Federal Government’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan, our 10-year capital infrastructure program totals $4.3 billion, including $2.1 billion to fund the state of good repair. Federal Gas Tax funding is $0.2 billion. Funding for necessary infrastructure with outdated funding tools, that do not provide long-term sustainable funding, continues to be a challenge for our growing community.

Halton requests:

  • Permanently double the Gas Tax transfer to support local infrastructure
  • Provide long-term sustainable infrastructure funding and investments to support the movement of goods and people.

Halton Region is committed to responding to climate change by reducing the impacts to the environment, ensuring its infrastructure and services are resilient, and that risks associated with severe weather events are mitigated. Halton has committed $85 million to flood mitigation strategies and continues to make this a priority as well as reducing our carbon footprint.

Halton requests:

  • Provide sustainable funding and climate change mitigation support to enable municipalities to deliver resilient communities.

The provision of safe, affordable, accessible housing is a critical component of fostering healthy communities. For many residents, affordable homeownership remains out of reach.

Halton Region is investing $107 million in our social infrastructure through the 10-year Comprehensive Housing Strategy (2014-2024). This Strategy provides government-assisted housing options to low income residents. Long-term sustainable investments allow for the planning and delivery of, and access to, safe, affordable, and accessible housing which improves the lives of residents and strengthens communities.

By the end of 2019, Halton will have created a total of 1,701 government-assisted housing opportunities, since 2008. Halton is projecting to have 1,752 government-assisted housing opportunities by the end of 2020.

Halton requests:

  • Deliver predictable long-term, sustainable federal/provincial funding to match the Region’s commitment, in affordable and assisted housing.
  • The anticipated timeline to deliver long-term assisted housing funding to municipalities.

CN Rail has declared its intention to proceed with a new truck-rail development in the Town of Milton that would operate seven days a week, 24 hours a day and add at least 1,600 truck trips a day on regional roads located in close proximity to 34,000 existing and planned residents. CN Rail has declared that the Province of Ontario and the Halton Municipalities have no regulatory role with respect to the proposed truck-rail development.

While Halton recognizes the economic importance of the railway system, our experts have identified significant concerns related to the proposed truck-rail hub in Milton that impact the community including: health and safety issues; proximity to residents, schools, long-term care homes, and a hospital; traffic congestion; impacts on Regional natural heritage; and, approximately 1,370 less jobs than we had planned for the site.

Halton requests:

  • Continue to support and take action to address Halton Region’s concerns as they relate to the proposed truck-rail hub in Milton.

Universal access to broadband internet enables small businesses to access high-speed internet to effectively compete in a digital world. It is essential that the Federal Government partner with municipalities, the Provincial Government and service providers, to ensure that universal access to broadband internet is available. This will support Halton in maintaining a high-quality of life, while ensuring that our local businesses can thrive in a competitive digital economy.

Halton has advocated for universal access to broadband internet for several years. In the 2019 Federal Budget, it was announced that all Canadians will have access to broadband by 2030. This commitment is welcomed news, but it is too far in the distant future.

Halton requests:

  • Provide funding and access to universal rural broadband internet, regardless of proximity to urban communities, within the next four years.

Watch our webinar from Wednesday, August 12 to learn about broadband in Halton and opportunities to participate in industry-led solutions. Participants heard from Regional staff on:

  • Background on rural broadband in Halton
  • Current state of rural broadband, including gaps and challenges
  • Recent, current and future broadband funding programs
  • Opportunities to participate in industry-lead solutions

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