Regional Accomplishments: April - June 2010

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

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 second quarter of 2010.

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

  • Silver Creek Place Adult Day Program helps seniors and their caregivers
    A new adult day program for Halton Hills residents offers programming to help seniors and adults with disabilities to continue to live independently in the community by providing social and therapeutic recreation programming. Adult Day Programs also support family caregivers with their responsibilities of daily care giving.
     
    Silver Creek Place is located at 235 Guelph St. in Georgetown. The program supports up to 15 seniors and adults with special needs and is open Monday - Friday, from 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Halton Region named one of Canada's Best Employers for New Canadians for second consecutive year
    In April, for the second year in a row, Halton Region was rated as one of Canada's Best Employers for new Canadians by Mediacorp Canada Inc, based on our commitment to programs and initiatives that help recent immigrants integrate into Halton's workforce. The award recognizes employers offering programs to assist new Canadians in making the transition to a new workplace and life in Canada. Halton 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.
  • Halton Region and Volunteer Halton thank volunteers for making Halton thrive
    On Monday, April 19, 2010, Halton Region and Volunteer Halton External Link hosted a volunteer awards breakfast to honour 16 volunteers from across Halton who have dedicated their time, passion and skills to helping others in their community. The breakfast coincided with National Volunteer Week, which took place from April 18th - 24th.

     

    The Cheers to Volunteers and Community Volunteer awards provide non-profit, voluntary and grassroots organizations with a way to acknowledge and thank volunteers for the important contributions they make to the community. The award recipients come from a variety of backgrounds and organizations and were selected from across all municipalities in Halton.

  • 2010 Regional Chair's Environmental Awards
    The winners of the 2010 Regional Chair's Environmental Awards were announced at The Regional Chair’s Breakfast on the Environment in April. The breakfast challenged those in attendance to think about their own environmental footprint. The Halton Regional Chair's Breakfast on the Environment was held at the Burlington Convention Centre and featured Spencer West External Link, a thought-provoking motivational speaker who inspires people to find opportunity in every challenge to create positive change. 5 students received Scholarship Awards and 13 young people and student clubs received Environmental Excellence Awards.
  • Halton's landfill life extended by additional 2 years
    As a result of the ongoing weekly participation by residents in Halton's waste collection programs, 2009 waste diversion data has indicated that Halton's landfill site has gained an additional 2 years of capacity. In 2008, when the new waste collection programs including GreenCart began, the projection was that the landfill site would reach maximum capacity by the year 2030. With the continued early success of the waste diversion programs, we have exceeded that goal and the landfill is now projected to reach capacity in the year 2032.
  • Halton Region first region in Canada to adopt local sustainable food procurement practices
    Halton Region has become the first region in Canada to adopt local sustainable food procurement practices for its municipal food services. An agreement with Local Food Plus (LFP) External Link will bring fresh, local sustainable food to the cafeteria at the Halton Regional Centre (1151 Bronte Road), and help support Ontario’s farm economy while reducing green house gas emissions.

     

    Based in Toronto, LFP is a non-profit organization that certifies Ontario farmers and processors who follow a strict set of sustainable practices such as reduced pesticide use, safe and fair labour conditions, humane care for livestock, and reduced on-farm energy use. The organization then links Certified Local Sustainable farmers and processors with food service contractors, restaurants, and grocery stores to successfully establish local sustainable food procurement initiatives.

  • "It's Your Voice" Youth Conference hosted by the Halton Regional Youth Advisory Committee
    The Halton Regional Youth Advisory Committee (HRYAC) External Link, supported by Public Health Nurses from the Health Department’s Youth Health team, hosted the “It’s Your Voice” Halton’s Youth Empowerment Conference on April 29, 2010. Over 120 youth from all over Halton attended. The students heard inspirational messages, learned practical advice about how to make an impact in their communities and took part in dynamic discussions about youth issues in Halton. Conference workshops were lead by HRYAC, Me To We, and YATI (Youth Advocacy Training Institute). HRYAC members discussed top issues facing youth in Halton: drugs, alcohol, bullying, mental health, and sexuality and relationships, offering suggestions as to what can be done to help youth make positive choices. As a result of the conference, HRYAC is in the process of working on a Road Show to further discuss issues with youth around Halton.
  • Scouts plant 100 trees at the Halton Waste Management Site
    On Saturday, May 1, Halton Region in partnership with Conservation Halton and local Halton Scouts raised environmental awareness and enhanced the landscaping of the Halton Waste Management Site by participating in an annual tree-planting event. Approximately 40 Scouts planted 100 trees at the landfill site located at 5400 Regional Road 25 in Milton (view map External Link).  The Scout tree-planting event is part of Halton Region’s ongoing tree planting and maintenance program at the Halton Waste Management Site. Over 1,500 trees have been planted on the Site since it opened in 1992.
  • Health Department receives official Baby Friendly designation
    The Halton Region Health Department (HRHD) received official Baby Friendly designation on May 4, 2010. The Baby Friendly Initiative puts the health of new mothers and babies first by ensuring the education and support they need are in place. A representative from each of the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada and the Ontario Breastfeeding Committee was on hand to present the official plaque, making HRHD the first health organization in the region and the 4th health unit in Ontario to achieve this status.
  • Physician Appreciation Week
    During May 3 - 7, 2010, Halton Region and local hospitals celebrated Physician Appreciation Week, in recognition of Halton physicians for their tremendous contribution to our community. To pay tribute to the dedication and support of the physicians working throughout Halton, local hospitals hosted morning coffee events during the week with the Mayors of their respective communities. With support from a number of corporate sponsors, Halton Region hosted a successful networking event for physicians on May 5th.
  • 9th Annual Commercial Summit, "Synergy of the West GTA – Economic Development and Initiatives"
    On May 6, 2010, Halton Region Economic Development presented at the 9th Annual Commercial Summit, "Synergy of the West GTA – Economic Development and Initiatives" hosted by the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington External Link. Halton Region's presentation focused on current building trends, key business park development, as well as the industrial and commercial opportunities that will arise with the designation of 1,200 hectares of new employment lands through the Sustainable Halton process.
  • Affordable Housing at 189 Ontario Street
    On Friday, May 7, representatives from the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, Halton Region, and the Town on Milton, gathered together to announce funding for the development of a new affordable seniors housing project. The 80-unit housing project received a total of $4.8 million under the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program for 32 units for people living on low incomes and 8 units for persons with disabilities. Halton Region is contributing $10,160,000. Located at 189 Ontario Street South, the new building will be owned and operated by Halton Community Housing Corporation, and will be just steps from the Milton Seniors Activity Centre and the Milton Mall.
  • Ontario Healthy Schools Coalition – 9th Annual Forum
    Public Health Nurses, in partnership with the Halton Catholic District School Board External Link (HCDSB), showcased their innovative collaborative work at the May 7, 2010 Ontario Healthy Schools Coalition’s 9th annual Forum: “School Connectedness: Providing A Sense of Belonging”.

     

    2 presentations emphasized the collaborative relationship the Health Department has with the HCDSB, and the successes they have achieved in promoting school health through with the involvement of students, school administration, lead teachers and community partners, all working together to promote a healthier school culture.

  • Spring Compost Giveaway a big success!
    Halton Region's popular Spring Compost Giveaway ran from Monday, May 10 - Saturday, May 15 at the Halton Waste Management Site (HWMS). The compost was available for residents as a thank you for diverting all of the leaves, brush and other yard waste material from the landfill by setting them out for collection in the Region’s yard waste program. This year’s event was a big success with over 3,280 residents attending. More than 1,500 tonnes of processed compost was available for residents to pick up and use in their garden and landscaping projects. Halton residents also generously donated 4.6 tonnes of non-perishable food items and contributed $7,400 dollars for local Halton food banks. These contributions will truly make a difference within the Halton community.
  • Halton McMaster Family Health Centre
    On May 19, 2010, Halton Region and representatives from the City of Burlington, McMaster University, and Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital gathered to officially open the doors of the Halton McMaster Family Health Centre External Link. The new community-based family practice teaching unit provides care for Halton residents while training new doctors and other health care professional students of McMaster University, including physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and family medicine doctors.
  • Rain Barrel Sales Event summary
    In May, Halton Region held 4 rain barrel sale events to help promote wise outdoor water use during the summer months. Diverting water from a downspout into a rain barrel allows residents to capture rainwater and store it for future use to water garden flowers, shrubs and plant pots. This year's rain barrels had a new look and price at only $36 each, and provided the same great water capture ability. The sales events were held at 4 Halton community locations where Halton residents purchased over 4,500 rain barrels.
  • Building a Better Halton
    As part of our commitment to achieving our goal of creating sustainable communities, we are investing $362 million in infrastructure in 2010 to build a better Halton.

     

    We launched Building a Better Halton, which is our infrastructure plan for Halton Region, in May. Through our plan, we will upgrade and add to our infrastructure to, among other things:

    • reduce commute times
    • provide a high-quality water supply to new communities
    • complete preventive maintenance on key services such as wastewater mains
       
  • 2010 Halton Region RBC Royal Bank Business Plan Competition
    On June 10, 2010, the winners and participants of the 2010 Halton Region RBC Royal Bank Business Plan Competition were honoured at a special awards celebration held at the Halton Regional Centre in Oakville. The competition, administered by Halton Region Economic Development, gave Halton secondary school students the chance to win cash awards for their business plans. The top prize of $1,000 was awarded to Madeline Ottaway and Vickie Leahy from Nelson High School in Burlington for their business plan for Exquisite Ensembles, an enterprise specializing in costume design for dance, skating and gymnastics.
  • Renewable Energy Initiative Funding
    On June 10, Halton Region received $1.25 million in funding under the Ontario government's Renewable Energy Initiative External Link, Affordable Housing Program Extension. The money will go towards the installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system at a new affordable housing development for seniors located at 538 Plains Road East in Burlington, to be owned and operated by the Halton Community Housing Corporation. The geothermal system will improve energy efficiency and significantly reduce the building's greenhouse gas emissions. The Renewable Energy Initiative is funded equally by both the federal and provincial governments as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan External Link for Ontario.
  • Ontario Municipal Social Services Association Awards recognize 2 regional partnerships as 2010 community champions
    In honour of the 60th anniversary of the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA) External Link, new awards of recognition have been created by the association to recognize the innovation and leadership of social service agencies across Ontario. 2 community partnerships involving Halton Region were awarded the 2010 Community Champion designation at the annual OMSSA conference in June.
     
    Halton Region's Employment & Social Services Division and the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College - Bronte Harbour Chiropractic Clinic, were recognized as a 2010 OMSSA Community Champions. The award was given for the partnership they formed to help social assistance recipients who were having difficulty obtaining employment due to injuries and or physical ailments, receive the therapeutic assessment and treatment they need to support their return to work.
    The Halton's Our Kids Network was also recognized as a 2010 OMSSA Champion for their commitment to planning, managing and delivering quality services for children and families in Halton through integration, collaboration and evidence based practices.
  • New Accessible Employment Resource Centre in Milton helps individuals with disabilities
    The Milton Employment Resource Centre located at 470 Bronte Street South in Milton is open to the public and has been designed with accessible features to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities.

     

    The employment resource centre has specialized equipment including screen reading and magnification software, assistive communication devices, and adjustable height workstations. It has been configured to make it easy to move about the centre using mobility aids such as wheelchairs. Members of the general public are welcome and encouraged to make use of the centre and services when searching for employment.

  • Full Day Kindergarten Program – update
    Halton Region, as a member of the Early Learning Program Steering Committee, continues to provide support to the local school boards and the childcare community during the transition to the full day Kindergarten program in Ontario. Staff has been sending regular updates to the childcare community to keep them informed about the resources available to them in preparation for the changes that will occur to their businesses as a result of the full day Kindergarten program. In June, Halton staff sent a plan to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services with recommendations for how “stabilization” funding could be used to support the childcare community in Halton. Approval of the plan is expected in September.
  • Leadership Matters – Legal Workshops
    The Leadership Matters collaborative hosted a series of legal workshops in the spring for non-profits and charities. Led by lawyers from Carters Professional Association, the workshops explored a variety of topics related to legal issues that could face volunteer board members or staff at non-profit organizations in their role with the organization. Over 120 people attended the spring sessions. 2 additional sessions are planned for fall, 2010.
  • Older Adults Program
    Staying healthy, safe and strong is getting easier for Burlington seniors, with 2 new programs thanks to Public Health and Aging at Home External Link partners.  Community Rehab External Link ran the 12-week Stand Up! Program, which aims to encourage active daily living in seniors, free of charge to the residents of Pinedale, a Halton Community Housing building. The Home Support Exercise Program was made available to Burlington seniors, through the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Community Care Access Centre, to help make everyday tasks easier by trying 10 simple moves with their support worker from Acclaim Health, Comcare, ParaMed, or Red Cross, or a trained volunteer from Acclaim Health.

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