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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 goal to create an environment where businesses and residents thrive and taxpayers are provided with high quality programs and services in a cost effective manner. Learn more in the Halton and Ontario Focusing on Shared Priorities document.

Halton Region effectively meets the needs of the people of Halton. Some of Halton’s long standing achievements include the following:

98%
of residents rate their
quality of life very high

97%
of residents are satisfied with the
quality of Regional services

13 years
of keeping average property tax increases
at or below the rate of inflation

AAA
Credit Rating for 31 years

13 years
as the safest municipality in Canada

8 years
as one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers

Halton Region and its Local Municipalities have worked together for many years to meet the needs of the people of Halton while ensuring there is minimal overlap in the delivery of services. We are committed to continuous improvement and have established regular reviews of various service arrangements to identify further opportunities to reduce costs and more effectively provide services to the people of Halton.

Halton requests:

  • Details on audit and accountability funding and the proposed changes to the municipal fiscal year.

Halton is one of the fastest growing communities in Canada and must grow to a population of 1 million by 2041, more than doubling its population since 2008, to meet the expectation of the Provincial Growth Plan. Halton’s success in delivering this level of growth is key to achieving the Province’s goal to increasing housing supply.

Infrastructure to Support Growth

A mental health and addictions working group has been looking at ways to improve how community partners plan and work together to best serve the community.

Achieving growth projections is dependent on the delivery of supporting infrastructure. Halton Region and its Local Municipalities have long-term infrastructure plans to ensure that municipal infrastructure is available to support planned growth.

The absence of a provincial multi-year, multi-ministry infrastructure plan that is focused on growing communities, including the delivery of schools, hospitals, highways, has resulted in obstacles to increasing housing supply and economic growth.

Halton's population growth

In addition, municipalities need appropriate funding tools that allow us to deliver infrastructure as planned to achieve provincial growth projections while ensuring that growth pays for itself. In Halton, the Region, Local Municipalities and the School Boards, experience a development charge funding shortfall totalling approximately $87.7 million per year as a result of limitations of the existing funding tools. This negatively impacts Halton taxpayers.

Halton requests:

  • Provide for the appropriate level of funding tools and mechanisms, including development charges and the new community benefits charge that deliver sufficient, timely funding to pay for infrastructure required to support growth.
  • The development of a coordinated, multi-year, multi-ministry provincial infrastructure investment plan, connected to the Growth Plan, that includes:
    • The approval and development of schools in planned growth areas.
    • Highway improvements to the 401 and QEW, including building the missing interchanges at QEW/Royal Windsor Drive and at Highway 401/between James Snow Parkway and Trafalgar Road (5 ½ Line).
    • Completion of the GTA West study.
    • A commitment to timing and delivery of all day, two-way GO train service to Milton and Georgetown.
    • A commitment to the timing and delivery of a new GO station at Trafalgar and Highway 401 which is a key hub in Halton’s Mobility Plan.
    • Improved performance and capacity at the Mississauga Central Ambulance Communications Centre, including the implementation of new technology and triage tools, to ensure the safety of the people of Halton.
    • Additional Long-Term Care beds to meet the growing needs of our aging and underserviced communities.
    • Investments in universal broadband internet to ensure access for all Halton residents to maintain a high quality of life and businesses to thrive in a competitive digital economy.

Halton Region shares the Provincial Government’s goal of reducing regulatory burdens to create an environment where businesses and residents thrive.

Municipalities create a vision and framework for their communities that is consistent with provincial plans and policies. Final planning decisions should rest with municipalities that are conforming to provincial legislation rather than with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). The LPAT adds significant cost and delays to the delivery of affordable housing through expensive, time consuming hearings, contrary to the intent of the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019.

Halton requests:

  • Changes to the LPAT:
    • In the short-term, restore the amendments to the Planning Act that mandated evaluation of appeals based on consistency and conformity with provincial polices and plans; and,
    • In the long-term, eliminate the LPAT entirely.

Public Health and Paramedic Services in Halton are integrated into the Regional organization. Halton has a proven model that delivers these critical programs to residents in an efficient, coordinated and cost-effective way.

Municipalities play an important role in the overall health system in Ontario. Public Health and Paramedic Services in Halton are integrated into the 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 the proposed Ontario Health Teams in Halton.

Halton requests:

  • Public Health to continue to be delivered by Halton Region with Regional Council serving as the Board of Health.
  • Boundaries of new Regional Public Health entity to reflect Halton Region’s geography.
  • Paramedic Services to continue to be delivered by Halton Region.

Halton Region is supportive of creating efficiencies and ensuring the most appropriate programs and services are delivered to residents in the most cost effective manner.

Municipal governments collect only 9 cents of every household tax dollar yet we provide many critical and essential programs and services to our residents. Provincial support to municipalities accounts for only $4.2 billion (3%) of the $133.7 billion in total provincial transfer payments. Municipalities are not a major contributor to financial challenges currently facing the Provincial Government.

Halton requests:

  • That priorities for change be focused and consideration be given to their cumulative impacts on municipalities’ ability to provide essential services to residents.
  • Provide timely, detailed information regarding budget and service delivery changes so that Halton can effectively plan, adjust and accommodate the impacts of transformational changes announced by the Provincial Government.


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.

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