Bell Let’s Talk Day

January 30, 2019 is Bell Let’s Talk Day, a day to come together to talk about mental health. One in five Canadians experience a form of mental illness, and today, Canadians across the country join the conversation.

Bell Canada promotes this annual campaign to raise awareness and important funding to support mental health programs. For every social media post using #BellLetsTalk Bell Canada will donate five cents to mental health initiatives.

It is important to join the conversation today and throughout the year, as so many people are affected by mental illness in some way, either directly or through a friend, family member or colleague. By sharing stories and experiences, we can challenge stereotypes, reduce stigmas and create a more inclusive community for everyone.

This campaign has started conversations across the country, and has helped millions of people, giving approximately 6,313,777 individuals access to mental health care in Canada. It has also created 534 community fund grants, to help established organizations continue to deliver essential mental health services.

In Halton, there are many supports and programs available to residents if you are struggling with mental illness. I encourage you to use the resources available to you to, such as the Canadian Mental Health Association Halton Region Branch and Distress Centre Halton to receive the support you need.

I also encourage everyone to continue to have conversations about mental health with your family, friends and colleagues. By breaking the silence together, we make Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

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”.

Halton’s 2019 Budget supports services and infrastructure

linkedin_budgetbusinessplanOn January 16, Regional Council approved Halton’s 2019 Budget and Business Plan, which ensures top value for taxpayer dollars as we prepare our strategic plan for this term of Council.

The Budget is based on prudent, forward-looking financial planning principles that help preserve Halton’s strong long-term financial position. It also leverages our top credit rating, which helps us finance major investments by providing continued access to the best capital financing rates available.

By identifying savings and reorganizing resources, the 2019 Budget increases Regional investment in priority areas identified by residents and Council. Some of these increases include:

  • Water and Wastewater State-of-Good-Repair Capital Program: $7.7 million increase in funding to support the water and wastewater state-of-good repair capital program.
  • Transportation State-of-Good-Repair Capital Program: $1.9 million increase in funding to support Regional roads.
  • Paramedic Services: $827,000 to provide additional resources to address call volume pressures.
  • Waste management: $791,000 for waste management contracts due to inflation, tonnage growth and organics market pressures.
  • Road maintenance: $677,000 increase in road maintenance contracts to address growth in the Regional road network.
  • Red Light Cameras: $100,000 for three new red light cameras in 2019, bring the total number of cameras to 20.
  • Relief staff resources: $431,000 for additional relief resources to maintain service levels in Paramedic Services and Services for Seniors.
  • Regional Facilities State-of-Good-Repair Capital Program: $380,000 to maintain Regional facilities.
  • Halton Region Community Investment Fund: $300,000 strategic investment to increase funding for programs that support the health, safety and well-being of Halton residents.
  • Emerald Ash Borer: $272,000 to support program implementation by Conservation Halton and Credit Valley Conservation.

The Budget also fulfills Council’s objective to keep property taxes low—it includes a 1.9 per cent increase for Regional services and a 3.7 per cent rate increase for water and wastewater services. It continues our 12-year track record of keeping property tax increases at or below the rate of inflation to help individuals, families and businesses succeed in Halton.

By supporting services and infrastructure to maintain a high quality of life, the 2019 Budget and Business Plan will help us keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. To learn more, please visit 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, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

 

Healthy living resources and supports for Halton residents

As a former professional hockey player, I know that many factors contribute to your overall health and well-being. Getting enough physical activity, eating healthy and living smoke-free are just a few of the keys to maintaining good health. Halton Region has the resources and supports to help residents achieve their health goals.

Add some fun physical activities to your daily routine

running

Increasing your physical activity can help prevent certain chronic diseases and improve mental well-being. Check out some of the great physical activity resources available for all ages at halton.ca.

 

haltonparentsiconcircleFinding the time to get active can be challenging, especially for today’s busy parents! Learn how your entire family can maintain a healthy, active routine by connecting with the HaltonParents team of public health nurses.

Build a nutrition plan to boost your health

familyhandholdingMaking simple, positive changes to your diet is an important step towards achieving any health goals. Whether you want to have a healthy pregnancy, or already have a toddler, preschooler, or child in school, Halton has the nutrition resources to support your family.

applestemCanada’s food guides are another great way to learn about making healthy food choices.

 

Get support and information to help you quit smoking

If you want to quit smoking, Halton has the resources that can help. Our Stop Smoking Clinic also offers personalized support from a health care professional to help you develop a plan to quit.

To find more healthy living resources, visit halton.ca. Halton supports the overall health of our community—you too can play a part by improving your health and your family’s and make Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. Wishing you and your family a safe and healthy 2019!

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”.

Reduce your household and community waste this season

Halton Region offers many ways to manage your household waste and contribute to community waste reduction. I would like to thank residents for their continued participation in our easy to use Blue Box and Green Cart programs and drop-off services at the Halton Waste Management Site. Community-wide participation in these programs is integral to reducing our impact on the environment.

Yet, even smaller actions, like putting the right items in the right place, can make a big difference in achieving waste reduction targets. Here are some simple tips to help you use our waste programs:

  • Place paper or cardboard with food residue such as paper plates, coffee cups, napkins in the Green Cart.
  • Place tissue paper (no tape or confetti) in the Green Cart.
  • Place wrapping paper in the garbage.
  • Place rigid plastic packaging in the Blue Box.
  • Reuse items like gift bags, ribbons and bows.
  • Rinse and empty all plastic and glass materials such plastic grocery bags, jars, dinnerware and food containers before placing in the Blue Box.
  • Donate items in good condition such as clothing, toys and books to Reuse centres and local charities.

By working together, we can continue to extend the life of the Halton Waste Management Site and protect the natural environment for generations to come. Thank you for helping to keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

Visit halton.ca/waste or download the OneHalton app to learn more about Halton’s waste management programs, including holiday reminders, acceptable items and curbside collection information. Also, be sure to check your mailbox at the end of January for your copy of the 2019-2020 Halton Region Guide and Waste Collection Calendar. You can also sign up anytime to receive weekly waste collection reminders and updates through email, phone or Twitter.

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.”

 

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

CH_chair-s-corner-christmas-cardOn behalf of Halton Regional Council and staff, I would like to wish you Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season! I hope you enjoy your celebrations with family, friends and loved ones. I always enjoy meeting new people and learning about the many ways Halton residents celebrate during this time of the year.

If you are looking for something to do with family or friends, our Local Municipalities offer seasonal fun for people of all ages. Visit their websites to check out events, festivals and attractions happening in Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville.

Essential Regional services will remain available over the holidays. If you require assistance from us during this time, please visit halton.ca, use our OneHalton App or call 311. Some public facilities will be closed from 4:30 p.m. on Friday, December 21 until 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 2. To learn about holiday hours at our public facilities, please visit, halton.ca.

I would like to thank everyone in Halton for keeping our community a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. Season’s greetings and happy New Year from my family to yours—I look forward to working with you in 2019!

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”.

Stay safe in Halton this winter

Whether you are on the road, at home or in the community this winter, it’s important to be prepared and practice safe and healthy behaviours at all times.

CH-1813164 Rich Media Holiday Safety (Revised)-Twitter1

Gear up for winter conditions

It’s never too early to prepare for the cold Canadian weather. Stock your car with an emergency kit and extra supplies, and consider putting winter tires on your vehicle. While driving, stay alert and be mindful of pedestrians. Severe winter weather may make roads more hazardous, so remember to slow down, take your time and arrive to your destination safely.

Be prepared before the cold temperatures arrive by signing up to receive our cold warning alerts by email. Visit halton.ca to sign up for alerts and find additional tips for preventing cold-related illness and injury.

Be safe while celebrating the holidays

Hosting friends and family during the holidays? Make sure your guests get home safely by using a designated driver or car service. Remember: you or your guests should never drive while impaired.

Ensure all walkways and sidewalks around your home are well lit, free of ice and snow and icy surfaces have been properly salted or sanded to prevent any outdoor falls.

If you’re preparing food for your family or guests, follow these four food safety tips to avoid food-borne illness: clean, separate, cook and chill.

Prevent flu and other illness while out in the community

Flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter months. The best way to protect yourself, your family and your community from the flu is by getting your annual flu shot. You can get the flu shot at your local pharmacy, doctor’s office or walk-in clinic (children under five can only receive their flu shot at their doctor’s office). Also, remember to wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer often and cough or sneeze into your elbow to reduce the spread of germs.

To find more safety tips, visit halton.ca. Let’s work together to keep Halton one of Canada’s safest communities during the winter season and throughout 2019.

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”.

Preparing for severe winter weather

Plan ahead to keep your family safe! The winter months can sometimes bring heavy snowfall, freezing rain and extreme cold to our community. By preparing today, you can ensure you are protected tomorrow and throughout the season.

You can follow three simple steps to be ready for any emergency:

Know the Risks

Step one: know the risks
Identify potential hazards in your area that might cause or contribute to an emergency, especially during winter weather.

 

Make a planStep two: make a plan
Ensure your household knows what to do during and after an emergency, as well as how to evacuate your home, where to go and how to stay in touch.

 

Emergency kitStep three: get a kit
Assemble or buy kits for your home and car that include medication, food, water and essential items your household would need to stay safe and healthy for 72 hours.

 

In the unlikely event that dangerous conditions require you to leave your community, we can notify you using social media, mobile alerts or a call to your landline phone. If you need to evacuate, follow our checklist and seek shelter with family or friends. The Region may also open an evacuation centre in one or more of the following local facilities to provide temporary shelter:

On November 29, Halton tested its emergency plans with an exercise that simulated a severe weather event. We participate in several exercises and drills throughout the year to ensure the Region is ready to respond.

As winter approaches, I encourage you to take personal precautions that can help protect your family, your home and your community. To learn more about how you can prepare for severe weather and other emergencies this season, visit 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, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.