West Nile virus: Prevention is the key

Summer is finally here! As we enjoy the warm weather at one of Halton’s beaches, at the Bruce Trail, on vacation or in our backyards across Halton – it is important to take action to protect ourselves from mosquitoes and West Nile virus (WNV).

To help control the mosquito population and reduce the threat of West Nile virus, Halton Region treats areas of standing water with a larvacide to prevent the mosquito larva from maturing into hungry adult mosquitoes.

This is an important step in protecting Halton residents; however the most important steps we can take to prevent mosquito bites are simple and up to us.

  1. Wear insect repellent with DEET.
  2. Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn.
  3. Cover up: wear light coloured clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  4. Remove areas of standing water from your home. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water that does not flow.

Did you know that the type of mosquito that carries WNV is found much more frequently in urban areas than rural or forested areas?  

If you notice any areas of standing water on public property that can’t be drained or removed, please report it to the Health Department and an assessment can be conducted to determine if larvaciding is necessary.

Health Department staff also set mosquito monitoring traps throughout Halton Region to determine the level of WNV risk. The number and types of mosquitoes are examined and sent for WNV testing.

Visit our West Nile Virus surveillance webpage to see the locations of larvaciding as well as other tracking data.

For more information on WNV or to report standing water, dial 311 or call Halton Region at 1-866-442-5866, or email accesshalton@halton.ca.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook.

Halton Region’s heat and smog alerts

Summer is here and everyone is thrilled to be outside: biking, camping, exploring, swimming. You name it. It’s a great time of year to be active and having fun. However, there are times when the temperature and the humidity rise so high that we have to be careful to be safe in the heat.

That’s why you might want to sign up to receive heat or smog alerts from the Halton Region Health Department. Last summer the Health Department issued three heat alerts spanning 10 days. That means the temperature topped 30 degrees Celsius or higher and the humidex reached 40 degrees or more, or the temperature itself is 40 degrees or greater.  We also had two days where smog alerts were issued, meaning air quality is poor.

So far, in 2014, there haven’t been any alerts issued, but we know they are likely to come.

Poor outdoor air quality can be a risk to our health if we’re not careful. Those with asthma or heart conditions, or who work or exercise in the heat are particularly vulnerable. So it’s worth getting the alert so you can plan ahead.

For more information on any of these alerts, visit halton.ca/airqualityalerts or dial 311. You can also email accesshalton@halton.ca.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook.

Keeping Halton moving by investing in infrastructure

To meet the needs of a growing population, Halton Region has continued to deliver a roads capital improvement program which invests, on average, more than $120 million every year towards ongoing or new construction projects. In 2013, Halton committed $289 million to Regional roads, an increase from $50 million in 2006. Not only is investing in infrastructure important to our residents, it also attracts businesses to our region which helps keep our economy strong.

Join me at Halton’s first Regional, dual-lane roundabout on Tremaine Road in Milton as I discuss the importance of investing in our transportation infrastructure.

By continuing to plan for today and tomorrow, Halton Region will make sure our transportation infrastructure meets the needs of our community, while protecting the environment, today and in the future. I’m proud that our investment is helping keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Active Transportation: Making it easier to walk, bike and roll in Halton

It’s important that Halton residents have a safe, convenient and well-connected active transportation network. With more choices for traveling throughout our Region, residents will be able to choose to be more active as there will be more opportunities for walking, cycling, roller-blading, skateboarding and the use of mobility devices. 

Through the creation of an Active Transportation Master Plan (ATMP), Halton will be building new on-road and off-road facilities including bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, cycle tracks and paved shoulders, as well as working with the Local Municipalities to create sidewalks and multi-use trails – making it easier to walk, bike and roll in Halton! 

The Active Transportation Master Plan (ATMP) is being developed to help promote an integrated, accessible and efficient active transportation network for residents, while providing safe and easy options for alternative forms of transportation. 

Citizen feedback has played a crucial role in the development of the Master Plan as residents have been engaged throughout the process through public information centres and stakeholder workshops. We have been working closely with Halton Region’s Health Department and the Local Municipalities to ensure that all relevant factors are considering future Regional Cycling and Walking Networks. 

Halton residents have one of the highest standards of living in Canada, in part because of Halton Region’s strong commitment to being well planned, resident focused and safe and healthy. Our dedication to planning complete and vibrant communities helps make Halton a great place to live. 

Working together we can ensure we have created a Master Plan that works for the Halton community and provides enhanced opportunities for active transportation. If you would like to learn more about the Active Transportation Master Plan, please dial 311 or visit www.halton.ca/activetransportation

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Providing employment lands in Halton to keep our economy strong!

Halton Region is an economic hotspot! Businesses are choosing to locate here because of our low taxes, strong financial position and high quality of life. Halton has had eight consecutive years with a tax freeze and has made significant investments in infrastructure. For example Halton committed $289 million to Regional roads in 2013, an increase from $50 million in 2006. Importantly, 99% of Halton residents rate their quality of life as very high, something we are committed to maintaining.

Providing employment lands in Halton is critical to ensuring we support the Region’s long-term economic development potential. With 14 existing and three new employment areas planned by 2021 – Winston Park West in Oakville, Derry Green in Milton and 401 Corridor East in Halton Hills – Halton is investing in a long-term supply of employment lands to meet our forecasted growth and strengthen our economy.

To further grow and support our strong economy there is important work being done with Halton’s local municipalities.

City of Burlington:

The City of Burlington and the Burlington Economic Development Corporation have undertaken a major Employment Lands Strategy to review the competitiveness and marketing of its five distinct employment districts – Prosperity Corridor (QEW East and West), Downtown, 407, 403 West and Bronte Meadows (west of Burloak Drive).

Town of Halton Hills:

Halton is working closely with the Town of Halton Hills to leverage the infrastructure in place for the Toronto Premium Outlets. The servicing of the Halton Hills 401 Corridor east of Trafalgar Road supports the Halton Hills Premier Gateway. The Region and Town are also working on a Regional Official Plan Amendment to service the employment lands (between Sixth and Eighth Lines and north of Steeles Avenue) to facilitate development before 2021.

Town of Milton:

Halton Region and the Town of Milton are working together to obtain final approval for the existing Derry Green Corporate Business Park Secondary Plan. Once the Secondary Plan is approved, Halton Region will move forward with servicing for Derry Green which will allow the Town to capitalize on the next wave of office and industrial developments.

Another exciting development is the Mattamy National Cycling Centre (Milton velodrome) currently under construction for the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Games. The velodrome is part of the larger Milton Education Village. The proposed future home of the Milton Education Village Innovation Centre is currently located at 555 Industrial Drive. The Milton Education Village could feature a 150-acre Wilfrid Laurier University satellite campus.

Town of Oakville:

The new Oakville Hospital is the catalyst for the Town to create a distinct 200-acre global innovation park focused on the life sciences and technology sectors. The proposed Life Sciences & Technology Park will include a cluster of companies in product development, services and research and development (R&D). The Park also proposes to integrate academic institutions that link education and business in R&D and commercialization initiatives. Transportation and regional infrastructure upgrades are underway throughout Oakville to support both the new hospital and the Winston Park West employment district on the west side of Highway 403.

By protecting and investing in our employment lands we’re ensuring Halton’s economy will remain strong. See first-hand how Halton’s strong economy supports the high quality of life for Halton residents – keeping Halton a great place to live, work and retire.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Celebrating 40 years of service excellence

It was on July 31, 1973 that Premier William Davis appointed Allan M. Masson, Chairman of the new Regional Municipality of Halton. On January 1, 1974 the County of Halton was dissolved and the Regional Municipality of Halton was established by the Regional Municipality of Halton Act, 1973.

For the past 40 years, Halton has cost-efficiently and effectively provided high quality programs and services. Today residents can connect with Halton Region in multiple ways – in person, by phone, through our website Halton.ca and multiple social media channels, including our new Twitter account, @RegionofHalton.

Halton Region is committed to being resident focused, well planned, safe and healthy.  In 2014, we offer more programs and services than ever before. Our offerings include:

And while delivering these programs and services, we have maintained an AAA credit rating with a zero per cent property tax increase for the past eight years.
I am very proud of our past accomplishments and look towards a bright future, while celebrating 40 years of outstanding service to the residents of Halton.

On behalf of Regional Council, I want to thank all residents for helping to guide our Citizens’ Priorities, which we continue to deliver in 2014.

Halton Region is a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. I invite you to watch our new video to see why.

Happy Canada Day!

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Halton’s water is too good to waste – do your part to save by reducing your outdoor water use

Water consumption can double over the summer months due to the increase in seasonal activities such as lawn watering and car washing. While Halton Region considers sustainability in all we do, we can’t do it alone. This summer think twice before turning on your hose in order to reduce your outdoor water use.

By following some simple tips you can make a big difference in the amount of water used across the Region this summer.

  • Adjust your sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk or street.
  • Minimize evaporation by watering during the early morning hours, when temperatures are cooler and winds are lighter.
  • Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. Longer grass shades root systems and holds soil moisture better than a closely clipped lawn.
  • Install a rain shut-off device on your automatic sprinklers to eliminate unnecessary watering.
  • Use a broom to sweep your driveway instead of washing it with your hose.

Residents are also asked to conserve water by following Halton’s Outdoor Water Use program. The program is based on a three level, colour-coded system that considers water demand, water storage levels, groundwater levels and weather patterns:

LEVEL 1 (Blue) - Careful Use

  • Voluntary odd/even lawn watering between 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. & 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

- Properties with odd address numbers water on odd numbered calendar days
- Properties with even address numbers water on even numbered calendar days
- Properties with even address numbers water on even numbered calendar days

  • Although level one is voluntary, resident cooperation to reduce regular outdoor water use is important.

 LEVEL 2 (Yellow) - Limited Use

  • Mandatory odd/even lawn watering between 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. & 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.:

- Properties with odd address numbers water on odd numbered calendar days
- Properties with even address numbers water on even numbered calendar days
- Properties with even address numbers water on even numbered calendar days

  • Use a hand-held device such as a watering can.to water trees, shrubs and gardens.

LEVEL 3 (Red) - Stop Use

  • No outdoor lawn watering or car washing is permitted in order to conserve water for emergency and essential services.
  • Watering of trees, shrubs and gardens can be done using a hand-held device following the odd/even watering rule.

For more tips on how to reduce your outdoor water use and to sign up to receive an email alert when water restrictions are in effect visit halton.ca/savewater.

Working together, we can meet our water needs today and tomorrow and keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”