More signs of Halton’s strong economy in 2014 Employment Survey Results report

Employment Survey Results 2014On April 20, 2015, I posted a blog about the healthy outlook for Halton’s economy, based on the results of Halton Region’s 2014 Economic ReviewOn Wednesday, April 29, another key annual report, the 2014 Employment Survey Results, was presented to Regional Council, providing more evidence of the region’s strong economy.

Halton Region’s 2014 Employment Survey Results report indicates that in 2014, Halton experienced an increase of over 8,000 jobs and almost 500 new businesses—both indicators of strong economic growth in the region.

The Survey supports the Region’s planning for water, wastewater and transportation infrastructure, and provides us with key information regarding effective land use planning and trends in Halton’s economic development. Reports such as the Employment Survey allow us to effectively plan for growth, attract new businesses and visitors, and support economic sustainability in Halton Region.

Key findings of the 2014 report include:

  • An increase in Halton jobs to 218,257 (a year-over-year net increase of over 8,200 jobs).
  • An increase in businesses in Halton to 13,193 (492 greater than in 2013).
  • Halton’s top three sectors by number of jobs were: retail trade (32,201), manufacturing (31,176) and health care and social assistance (19,880).
  • Four out of five jobs in Halton were in the service-based sector.
  • Over 90 per cent of businesses surveyed in 2013 were still operating in 2014.
  • Most jobs in Halton (70 per cent) provided full-time employment.

The Employment Survey is a comprehensive, door-to-door business survey that captures employment and land use information.  The data is collected by face-to-face interviews or telephone conversations conducted between May and September. In 2014, over 13,000 businesses in Halton Region participated.

To learn more about the 2014 Employment Survey Results report, visit halton.ca/employmentsurvey.

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 Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “the Carr Report”.

Halton Region celebrates our dedicated Public Works staff

PW-WeekHalton Region is proud to celebrate National Public Works Week (NPWW), which runs from May 17 to May 23, 2015.  Celebrated in municipalities across the country, NPWW recognizes the tens of thousands of North American men and women who provide and maintain the infrastructure and services collectively known as public works, such as planning, waste management, transportation, water and wastewater services.

NPWW provides us with a great opportunity to recognize the commitment and hard work of all public works professionals in our community and increase awareness of the important services they provide in the region and our Local Municipalities. It is appropriate that the theme of this year’s National Public Works Week is “Community Begins Here.”  Halton’s PW staff work diligently to help us plan healthy, complete communities and protect the natural environment, two of the priority areas identified in Halton Region’s Strategic Action Plan 2015 – 2018.

To help plan and deliver healthy, complete communities to our residents and businesses, our dedicated PW staff is committed to continually improving the Region’s transportation network—a safe, well-managed network, which currently includes 309 km of Regional Roads, 90 bridges and 232 traffic signals.

Our dedicated PW staff also helps the Region deliver infrastructure to support growth in urban areas across Halton.  Our staff:

PW-Week2This year alone, Halton Region is making a significant commitment to infrastructure by investing over $300 million in water, wastewater, transportation, waste management and planning projects.  Over the next 10 years, the Region will invest $2.9 billion in infrastructure projects—all part of Building a Better Halton, Halton Region’s infrastructure construction plan for roads, water, wastewater and waste management projects across the Region. It’s our commitment to improving your quality of life through reduced commute and drive times, high-quality water supply and wastewater collection, and the creation of sustainable communities.

On behalf of Regional Council, I would like to thank our Public Works (PW) staff for the important work they accomplish 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

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 @garycarrhaltonLinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

National Nursing Week

May 11-17 is National Nursing Week in Canada.  This week also coincides with International Nurses Day and with the May 12 birthday of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. This year’s theme “Nurses: With you every step of the way” emphasizes the important role that nurses play in our community — at every age, in all health situations.

In Halton Region there are approximately 320 skilled nurses who play an irreplaceable role within our healthcare system. Every day, they bring their expertise, compassion and dedication to our clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, schools and into our homes.

In our long-term care homes, our nurses have had a tremendous impact on the quality of life of all residents, many of whom have complex medical and physical conditions.

I also want to acknowledge our devoted Public Health Nursing team and the work that they do by providing quality health information, as well as clinical and health promotion supports on a range of issues in our community. These supports are all easily accessible by dialing 311, or through Halton.ca.   You can also find Public Health Nursing support through social media such as Twitter and Facebook by joining us at HaltonParents.

If you or someone you know is a qualified nurse and looking for a rewarding career, Halton Region is always looking for skilled, dedicated nursing professionals. Please visit the Halton Region job board for more information.

Again, thank you to all nurses for their essential contribution in making Halton Region a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

Thanking Halton’s doctors for keeping residents safe and healthy

Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani and Regional Chair Gary Carr

Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani and Regional Chair Gary Carr

Every year, Halton Region dedicates one week in May to acknowledge the ongoing commitment and dedication of our local doctors.  Physician Appreciation Week is this week, May 4 – 8 and is now in its 12th year,

Originally established in 2003 as part of the Halton Physician Recruitment program, Physician Appreciation Week is celebrated across the region.  Together with the four hospitals in our region, we celebrate the important contribution Halton doctors make to our community.  With the support of corporate sponsors, Halton Region is hosting a networking event and dinner for physicians from across Halton.  Halton’s four hospitals are also holding breakfast or lunch events to recognize the efforts of our hard-working physicians.

Halton is committed to the health and wellbeing of all residents and increasing the number of doctors with practices in Halton is an important step towards reaching that goal.  Halton Region has undertaken a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to attract new physicians to establish medical practices in Halton through our Physician Recruitment program.  By collaborating with each of our Local Municipalities, hospitals, clinics and community representatives—and of course with our local doctors—our Physician Recruitment program has helped to recruit (and retain) over 200 new family doctors for Halton Region since 2003.

Our goal is to enhance the quality of life for all people of Halton, today and into the future.  Halton’s doctors play a major role in the achievement of this vision.  To the physicians, we are grateful that you have chosen to practice medicine in Halton! Thanks to you, Halton is a healthy and safe community, and a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

For a list of new doctors in Halton who are accepting patients, dial 311 or visit halton.ca/newphysicians. To learn more about Halton Region’s physician recruitment program, visit www.haltondoctors.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, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

First Responders’ Day & Emergency Preparedness Week: I am Ready. We are ready.

On Friday, May 1, Halton Region celebrated First Responders’ Day in partnership with the Halton Regional Police Service, Halton Paramedic Services, local fire departments and emergency management professionals. First Responders’ Day is a provincially designated day that gives residents across Ontario the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the sacrifices and hard work of our first responders who have devoted their lives to public services and safety.

First Responders’ Day also provided us with a great occasion to officially kick off the 2015 Emergency Preparedness (EP) Week, which runs from May 3 to 9 with the theme: I am Ready. We are Ready. This serves as a great reminder that emergency preparedness is everyone’s responsibility. It is important to be properly prepared, and for residents, it only takes three simple steps.

Step 1: Know the hazards and risks in your area;

Step 2: Make a plan to protect your family in the event of an emergency; and

Step 3: Get a Family Emergency Go-Kit so that you and your family are self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.

It’s also important to remember that some individuals may not have the support or capacity to properly deal with an emergency situation. In the spirit of this year’s theme I ask that all Halton residents take the time to reach out to neighbours, family and friends who may be vulnerable during an emergency to ensure that they are also properly prepared.

At Halton Region, we are also ready. Community safety remains a top priority. We work closely and collaboratively with our local partners to ensure we have the right plans in place, and we regularly test our plans to ensure we are ready to respond effectively in an emergency.

To celebrate EP week, Halton Region will have a series of staffed events and visuals displays set up a number of locations throughout the week for residents to visit. To learn more about dates and times of displays, or to find out more about what you can do to prepare for emergencies, please visit halton.ca/beprepared.

Aging Well in Halton

In Halton, we are experiencing a period of growth and change in our community.  Similar to other communities across the province, the number of older adults living in Halton is increasing.  Halton Region’s Best Planning Estimates projects the number of older adults 65 years and older living in our community will nearly double to 127,000 by 2031. Halton residents are living longer, healthier lives.

Regional Council recently approved a four year plan that will enhance policies, programs, services and environments to respond to the growing, aging population in Halton.  The Halton Region Older Adult Plan 2015-2018 (HOAP) focuses on priorities, objectives and actions that are within Halton Region’s authority to plan, manage and deliver.

The goal of HOAP is to support the health and well-being of older adults and promote healthy aging in Halton.  The plan seeks to enhance quality of life for older adults through meaningful engagement, strengthened community partnerships and integrated client-centered services that apply an older adult perspective to all Regional activities.

This four year plan highlights the Region’s commitment to older adults and acknowledges that investments at every age support healthy aging in Halton.

The plan focuses on six priorities:

  • Consider older adults in the development of policies and delivery of programs;
  • Optimize the engagement of older adults with Halton Region;
  • Support the enhancement of aging-friendly Regional environments;
  • Support opportunities for older adults and Halton communities to prosper;
  • Support older adults to be active, connected and to age well; and
  • Support older adults to maintain their independence.

HOAP involves all departments at the Region and contains strategies to build partnerships that will enhance innovation and service coordination. HOAP aligns with other Regional plans and strategies including Halton Region’s Strategic Action Plan 2015-2018, the Regional Official Plan and the Comprehensive Housing Strategy Update 2014-2024.

This plan of action not only ensures that Halton Region remains committed to being a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire, but demonstrates why so many older adults who call Halton home are living longer, more active and healthy lives.

To learn more about the plan, visit Halton.ca/hoap.

Halton’s Spring Compost Giveaway event starts May 4!

Halton is committed to working with residents to make the Region a more sustainable place to live. That’s why Regional Council has made protecting the natural environment one of its strategic priorities in the Halton Region Strategic Action Plan 2015-2018.

One of the action items highlighted in the plan is to increase the Region’s waste diversion rate in order to extend the life of the Waste Management Site. Halton residents have helped significantly to extend the waste site’s lifespan with an impressive waste diversion rate of 62 per cent for single-family households in 2013, offsetting the $1 billion cost of a new landfill—something we hope we can continue to build upon.

To keep the momentum going, every spring, Halton Region provides additional waste services and hosts a variety of events to make it easier for residents to practice the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

One of our most popular events is Halton’s Spring Compost Giveaway. This annual event provides residents with an opportunity to pick up high-quality compost for their garden, free of charge. This year’s giveaway will take place from Monday, May 4 to Saturday, May 9, 2015 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m at the Halton Waste Management Site (5400 Regional Road 25, Milton).

Residents are asked to bring:

  • Their own bags or containers (maximum seven garbage bags or equivalent per household) and a shovel in order to bag their compost; and
  • A non-perishable food item or cash donation to be distributed to Halton-area food banks.

During last year’s Compost Giveaway events, 4,000 residents picked up approximately 2,000 tonnes of compost created from all of the leaves, brush, tree and garden trimmings collected curbside and dropped off at the HWMS.  Residents also donated $9,041 and over 5,000 kilograms of food to local food banks as part of the event.

By taking steps to divert household waste from the landfill, we help strengthen the economy and preserve our natural environment across the region. After all, the responsible use of our resources and protecting green space helps ensure a high quality of life in Halton, both today and for future generations, and makes Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

For more information about the upcoming Compost Giveaway event, please visit halton.ca/compost or dial 311.