Regional Accomplishments: January - March 2010

Every day, Halton Region works to provide our 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 some of Halton Region’s major accomplishments for the first quarter of 2010 with you.

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

Halton paramedics in Haiti

Shortly after the massive earthquake happened in Haiti, 10 Halton Region paramedics volunteered their time and skills to help provide medical treatments, care and desperately needed medical supplies to the many victims affected by this disaster. One regional paramedic was in Haiti when the earthquake struck and is still there now finishing his one-year medical mission. From the level of treatment residents receive to having one of the best call response times in the province, Halton Region is thankful for the service and dedication of our paramedics.

Halton’s 9m smoke-free by-law

As of February 15, 2010, by-law No 24-09 will prohibit smoking within 9-metres from any entrance or exit of buildings (Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF)35KB) owned or leased by the Regional Municipality of Halton or its Local Municipalities. Municipally owned or leased buildings includes municipal offices, community centres, libraries, indoor swimming pools, arenas, museums, art galleries, public washrooms, recreational centres, police stations, fire halls and ambulance stations.

During the first 3 months (Feb-May), the emphasis will be on educating violators and promoting awareness of the by-law. Following the initial three-month period, individuals in non-compliance of the by-law could be issued a Provincial Offence Summons to appear in court.

3 new well water depot locations

The Halton Region Health Department opened 1 new well water sample bottle location for pick up and drop off and 2 new locations for well water sample bottle pick up only.

The new pick-up and drop-off well water depot is located at the Halton Hills Civic Centre, 1 Halton Hills Drive in Georgetown. The new pick-up only locations are at the Canadian Tire store in Georgetown and the Acton Home Hardware Store. Both the sample water bottles and testing for total coliform and E. coli are free.

Dial 311 for all the well water depot locations and hours.

Our Kids Network a Leader in Community Research Partnerships

The Halton Our Kids Network External Link was recently recognized for its strength as a community research partnership. The selection was done by The Ontario Education Research Panel (OERP), in partnership with the Education Research and Evaluation Strategy Branch. As part of the selection, a video on the Our Kids Network was produced and showcased at the February 2010 Ontario Education Research Symposium in Toronto. The video tells the Network’s story of collaborative research and focuses on how they created the partnership and what has made the Our Kids Network a successful research partnership.

Waste Management School and Community Workshops

Halton Region’s Waste Management Services Division provides workshops to both elementary and secondary schools in Halton Region and to various community and business groups. From January 1 - March 31, Halton’s Waste Diversion Education Coordinator provided 89 workshops to over 13,915 students and community group members. The workshops focus on the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle). Participants learn how waste is recycled, composted or put in a landfill and how to reduce the amount of waste their lunches generate, as well as ways to increase their class and home recycling efforts.

Final H1N1 immunization clinic

Halton participated in the largest immunization program, with our H1N1 immunization clinics.  Overall, people’s experience of the clinics were quite positive.  By the end of the 2009-2010 flu season, Halton Region provided over 146,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine within the region, of which 90,000 doses were given at Health Department clinics. To put this into perspective, the number of people immunized would fill both the Air Canada Centre and the Rogers Centre/Sky Dome twice. 

H1N1 program disruptions

The end of Halton Region’s H1N1 immunization clinics in January saw several Health and Social Services programs return to normal. Because of the demand for the H1N1 vaccine, many Health Department and some Community and Social Services staff were temporarily reassigned to work with the immunization clinics. Once the final clinic was held on January, 16, 2010, the reassigned staff went back to their normal duties. Some of the disrupted programs included parenting support programs (e.g. Calling New Parents, Prenatal Classes, Triple P seminars), some home visits to seniors, food safety inspections and all other types of immunization clinics. All of these programs have been fully restored.

Public Health Nurse presents at International Conference

A Halton Region Public Health Nurse from the Youth Health Program presented at this year's Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) External Link Conference. The conference was entitled "Critical Transformation in Education" and the presentation was made in partnership with some staff and students from Iroquois Ridge High School (Oakville), and a parent from the community. They shared how the school, in partnership with the Halton Region Health Department, designed and created a school environment that values leadership and promotes the student voice, parent involvement and community participation. Iroquois Ridge has now created a community where everyone thrives—especially the students.

Earth Hour 

On Saturday, March 27, Halton Region joined more than 4,000 cities and towns in 126 countries to turn out the lights for Earth Hour External Link. Between 8:30 - 9:30 p.m., Ontario saw a four per cent drop in electricity demand.

Funding for Affordable Housing

Halton Region has received $6 million in Federal/Provincial funding under the Affordable Housing Program Extension (AHP-E) External Link for the development of a Halton Community Housing Corporation 65-unit affordable housing project in Burlington. Construction on the project is set to begin in April 2010, with completion by the spring of 2011.

Social Housing Renovation and Retrofit Program Funding 

Halton Region has received $5.6 million in funding from the Federal/Provincial Social Housing Renovation and Retrofit Program. The money will be used to assist 23 social housing providers in Halton with high-priority repair projects and energy-efficiency improvements to reduce operating costs and energy consumption. The $5.6 million is part of a total allocation of $9.8 million in funding, over 2 years.

Halton’s redesigned website

Our website has been redesigned so that information about our programs and services are more accessible to all Halton residents. Halton.ca is now simpler to use, thus making it easier to find the information you are looking for. We also have some new customer service tools that are designed to provide our residents with a better experience. Halton’s website offers a Share button on every page. This button allows anyone to share information they find on Halton’s site on over 224 social media tools, such as Twitter and Facebook.

Transportation Master Plan

The 2010 Transportation Master Plan – the Road to Change was initiated in support of the Sustainable Halton Plan to accommodate approved growth to 2031. The Plan will look at all modes of travel (automobiles, transit, cycling and walking) in developing a plan to meet the Region's needs over the next 20 years. A key component of the Master Plan process is Council and public consultation. There was a special meeting of Planning and Public Works Committee on January 20 and public meetings held in each Local Municipality:

  • March 23 in Burlington
  • March 25 in Halton Hills
  • March 30 in Milton
  • March 31 in Oakville

Completion of the plan is anticipated for early 2011.

Bronte Road Widening

Preparations for the widening of Bronte Road from the North Service Road to Upper Middle Road from two lanes to four lanes, have begun. Special considerations for this project include new signalized intersection and ring road at Woodlands Operation Centre, the preservation of the existing Oak Tree, and sidewalks and multi-use paths. The project is scheduled for a summer 2011 completion.

4 years of low taxes

Regional Council and staff have worked diligently to ensure the Region’s budget is one that offers residents the financial relief they need while enhancing our community's core services and service levels. The Region’s budget focuses on an investment in the services and programs you have told us are important to you, including infrastructure, employment and social assistance programs, emergency preparedness, and public health. In 2 of the last 4 years, Halton has actually reduced its tax portion for Regional programs and services. Over the last 4 years, the combined tax increase for Regional programs and services has been less than 0.5% - one of the lowest among municipalities in Canada.

GreenCart Implementation

Within the last 4 years, we have made significant changes to Halton’s regular waste collection programs. These changes were made to increase the opportunities for you to recycle and compost and to reduce the amount of garbage being sent to our landfill. By reducing our waste and reusing and recycling products when possible, we all have the opportunity to play an important part in protecting our environment. The biggest change we made was the implementation of the GreenCart Program. As a result of the GreenCart Program, Halton is now diverting almost 60% of our waste from the landfill.

Take It Back! Halton

Do you have a bag of batteries sitting in a drawer somewhere? Ever wondered what to do with an old compact fluorescent light bulb, expired medication, plastic bags or an old cell phone? These and many other items can be “taken back” to various local businesses, non-profit organizations, and municipal facilities to be reused, recycled or disposed of as part of Take it Back! Halton. Take It Back! Halton is a directory of local businesses, non-profit organizations and municipal facilities that take back materials to be reused, recycled or disposed.

Investment in Infrastructure

One area where we have spent considerable time and energy is that of infrastructure (e.g. Regional roads and water and wastewater facilities) within the region. You have told us in recent polls that two of the top priorities facing Halton Region are maintaining current infrastructure and planning for future infrastructure and growth. Through the $147 million in funding Halton Received from the federal and provincial governments in 2009, we have been able to begin improving the Skyway Wastewater Treatment Plant in Burlington, the Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant in Oakville, and widening Tremaine Road in Milton.

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