Working together to keep Halton safe and healthy

As part of our commitment to enhancing the health and well-being of residents, Halton Region works closely with physicians and the local health care community.

From May 2-6, the Region will celebrate its 13th annual Halton Physician Appreciation Week. This annual event enables us to take time to formally acknowledge the ongoing commitment and dedication of our local doctors in keeping our communities safe and healthy.

Halton’s Physician Appreciation Week was originally established as part of the Halton Physician Recruitment Initiative, which undertakes a comprehensive and coordinated Halton-wide strategy to attract and retain family doctors in our region.

PhysicianAppreciationChairsCornerBy collaborating with each of our Local Municipalities, hospitals, clinics and community representatives—and of course our local doctors—our Physician Recruitment Initiative has helped to recruit and retain almost 250 new family doctors to Halton since 2003, an important step towards supporting the health and well-being of all Halton residents. The program also assists hospitals with their specialist recruiting, such as psychiatrists, pediatricians, emergency room physicians and hospitalists.

Halton’s Physician Recruitment Initiative also continues to support the Halton McMaster Family Health Centre in Burlington. The Family Health Centre is part of the 2009 Halton McMaster partnership. This partnership, including the Family Health Centre and a teaching affiliation between Joseph Brant Hospital and McMaster’s Department of Family Medicine, provides care to more than 10,000 patients. Since June 2013, 16 medical residents have completed their residency through the Halton McMaster Family Health Centre and 10 of those have remained in Halton, practising in all communities and local hospitals.

Through programs such as physician recruitment and appreciation, our goal is to enhance the quality of life for all people of Halton, today and into the future, and Halton’s doctors play a significant role in the achievement of this vision. We are grateful that they have chosen to practice medicine in Halton! Thanks to our physicians, Halton is a healthy and safe community and a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

If you are looking for a family doctor in Halton, we can help. For a list of new doctors in Halton who are accepting patients, visit halton.ca/newphysicians or dial 311. To learn more about Halton Region’s physician recruitment program, visit 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”.

Ready to respond: celebrating Emergency Preparedness Week

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Halton Region Chief of Emergency Management Ralph Blauel; Halton Regional Police Services Deputy Chief Nishan Duraiappah; Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr; Regional Fire Coordinator and Burlington Fire Chief Tony Bavota; and Paramedic Services Deputy Chief Peter McMurrough

Halton Region works with residents throughout the year to ensure our community is prepared for an emergency, and we are pleased to join municipalities across the country in celebrating Emergency Preparedness Week from May 1 to 7. Emergency preparedness is an essential part of fostering a safe community, and this annual event provides a valuable opportunity to learn how you can plan today so you are protected tomorrow.

 

Emergencies can happen anytime, and your best defense is to be prepared. Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility, and you can help ensure your family’s safety in an emergency by following three simple steps.

  1. Know the risks
    Familiarize yourself with risks or potential hazards in your area and consider how to mitigate them.
  2. Make a plan
    Ensure everyone in your household knows what to do before, during and after an emergency, from evacuation to communication.
  3. Get a kit
    Assemble or buy an emergency kit to meet the needs of your family and pets for 72 hours, at home or during an evacuation.

I also encourage Halton residents to reach out to neighbours, family and friends who may be particularly vulnerable during an emergency to help ensure that they are properly prepared.

Just as we encourage Halton residents to build strategies of their own, the Region is prepared to respond to emergencies in the community. In addition to keeping Halton’s communities safe through emergency preparedness and education, we work with local partners to minimize the risks, coordinate response efforts and reduce the impact of emergency situations.

Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility that involves every individual, government and our community. By ensuring that we are prepared for emergencies in Halton, we also provide an important aid to first responders, allowing them to continue to focus their attention on those in immediate need. May 1 is First Responder’s Day in Ontario, and I would like to thank Halton’s dedicated paramedics, police officers and firefighters for their tireless efforts to keep us safe. I would also like to recognize the many organizations, individuals and teams mobilized in emergency situations for their invaluable support.

By working together to ensure that our communities are ready to respond, we all help keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. To learn more about emergency preparedness, please visit halton.ca/beprepared.

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”.

Helping residents divert waste through spring waste events

Halton Region is committed to protecting and enhancing our rich natural environment. As part of that promise, we work to increase the Region’s waste diversion rate by encouraging residents to practice the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – making Halton a more sustainable place to live.

The Halton Waste Management Site (HWMS) is Halton’s “one-stop” solution for the 3Rs, providing residents with yard waste composting, the safe disposal of household hazardous waste and garbage disposal. To help increase diversion efforts, Halton offers residents with a series of events each year to make it easier for residents to properly dispose of their waste and help support a more sustainable Halton.

This May, we will once again offer our Spring Compost Giveaway and Special Waste Drop-off Day events, providing us with an opportunity to increase diversion rates while also giving back to the community.

Spring Compost Giveaway

Halton is offering free compost to residents through the Spring Compost Giveaway. The high-quality compost is made up of the leaf and yard waste collected through the Region’s yard waste collection program, with a portion offered back free of charge to Halton residents. This year’s spring event will be hosted at the Halton Waste Management Site, from Saturday, May 9 to Sunday, May 15. The 2016 dates and times include:

  • Monday, May 9 – Saturday, May 14
    8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 15
    8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

If you plan on attending, please remember to bring the following:

  • Your own bags or containers (maximum seven garbage bags or equivalent per household) and a shovel, in order to bag your own 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 (spring and fall), 4,400 residents picked up approximately 2,000 tonnes of compost. Residents also donated $9,784 and close to 4,500 kilograms of food to local food banks as part of the event. For a complete list of event details, please visit halton.ca/compost.

Special Waste Drop-off Days

To make the recycling of household hazardous waste and electronics waste more convenient for residents, we will hold a series of Special Waste Drop-off Days throughout the year. The first event will take place on Saturday, April 30 at Robert C. Austin Operations Centre in Georgetown (8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.) in partnership with the Halton Hills Earth Day Event.

A few items being accepted include:

  • Pesticides
  • Paint
  • Motor oil
  • Propane tanks
  • Computers/phones
  • TVs

Be sure to view the complete list of acceptable materials before you head to one of the drop-off locations – commercial waste will not be accepted. For a full list of event dates, please visit halton.ca/dropoff.

I encourage everyone to practice the 3Rs, give back to our community and help reduce our ecological footprint to keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. For more information, tips and online waste tools, visit halton.ca/waste or dial 311.

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”.

Help preserve Halton this Earth day!

2015 Scout Tree Planting event

On April 22, six million Canadians will participate in recognizing one of the world’s largest environmental events: Earth Day. This year’s Earth Day event focuses on growing the global forest. Halton Region is committed to protecting and enhancing our rich, natural environment and is currently involved in a number of projects that support forest and tree growth in Halton, such as:



  • The Annual Scout Tree Planting Event, hosted by Halton Region on April 30. It is part of the Region’s ongoing tree planting and maintenance program at the Halton Waste Management Site (HWMS). Over the last 15 years, this initiative has supported the planting of over 5000 native trees.
  • The Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park Master Plan, which will begin implementation later this year. The Master Plan includes plans to restore the sensitive beach and dune area located within the park with native trees, shrubs and other plants.
  • The Biodiversity Strategy for Regional Forests, which is a 10-year strategy that guides the Region’s many sustainability initiatives by managing the preservation of our rich and diverse landscape.

Resident wishing to take part in local Earth Day events can attend the many community events that have been planned by our local municipalities and environmental groups throughout Halton. These events include:

I am pleased to join residents and community partners in their tireless efforts to preserve the natural environment for future generations. What we do today, matters for tomorrow. Together we are preserving Halton’s future as 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”.

Sunday pilot program: increasing waste diversion and customer service

HWMSHalton Region is committed to supporting waste diversion efforts and providing high-quality customer service that is easy to access for all residents. We take great pride in making Halton a great and sustainable place to live and we are always looking for new ways to improve the programs and services we provide.

To help residents with their waste disposal and recycling and to support our waste diversion efforts, Halton Region will be opening the Halton Waste Management Site (HWMS) on Sundays from April 17 to July 10. As part of a pilot program, the site will be open between the hours of 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. to measure resident interest and assess the long-term feasibility of having the landfill site open on Sundays.

During the three-month pilot period, Halton residents are invited to take advantage of the extra day to drop off recyclables, yard waste, household hazardous waste and garbage. All regular services at the HWMS will be available, including:HWMSdriveway

  • Recycling and Garbage Disposal
  • Yard Waste Drop Off
  • Household Hazardous Waste Depot
  • Paint and Stain Reuse Depot
  • Salvation Army Reuse Depot
  • Blue Box and GreenCart Pickup/Exchange

We are committed to protecting the natural environment which is a priority in our Strategic Action Plan 2015-2018. By participating in our waste management programs, residents of Halton continue to achieve a remarkable waste diversion rate. Since 2008, more than 60 per cent of residential waste has been diverted from Halton’s landfill. This is a remarkable accomplishment that has resulted from working together to promote long-term sustainability in our community.

Thank you all for your ongoing efforts to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. What we do today, matters for tomorrow. Together, we are preserving Halton’s future, ensuring that Halton remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

For more information about the Halton Waste Management Site, the new pilot program, and waste reduction and diversion tips and programs, please visit halton.ca/HWMS or dial 311.

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”.

Oral health supports keep Halton residents smiling

Halton Region is committed to supporting the health and well-being of all residents by connecting them to the services they need. Good oral health is integral to one’s overall health and Halton offers residents an excellent selection of oral health supports.

This April, we recognize both National Oral Health Month and National Dental Hygienists Week by highlighting some of the activities carried out through the Health Department’s Oral Health Program. To help residents of all ages and stages, Halton Region:

  • delivers free oral health screenings to elementary students in Halton to identify any issues requiring urgent attention. In 2014-15, our team of registered dental hygienists visited 118 schools, assessing over 16,500 Halton students;
  • developed the Oral Health Education Guide in partnership with local school boards. This easy-to-use online teacher’s toolkit integrates oral health education into Ontario’s elementary school curriculum;
  • promoted oral health in six high schools through the use of informative displays and provided free oral health screenings to 81 students;
  • administers Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO), a free program for children and youth 17 and under who don’t have any form of dental coverage. In 2015, HSO helped 1030 children and youth in Halton;
  • runs community based clinics where low-income adults are screened to assess their eligibility for dental treatment through Halton’s Dental Care Counts fund or the Ontario Works Adults program;
  • provides financial assistance for dental treatment through the Dental Care Counts fund to residents without dental insurance and who have difficulty paying for treatment, including adults under 64 with special needs and seniors 65 and older. In 2015, 487 Halton residents received treatment through this fund and Halton is one of the few health units in Ontario to offer this assistance; and
  • provides a wealth of online oral health information and resources at halton.ca/oralhealth, and through our HaltonParents blogs.

For more information on these and other oral health programs in Halton, please dial 311 or visit halton.ca/oralhealth.

Our dedicated staff continues to work with our community partners to help support good oral health for everyone and to ensure that Halton Region remains 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 @garycarrhaltonLinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Helping students launch their own Summer Company

The Halton Region Small Business Centre (SBC) has the tools and resources to help small businesses and entrepreneurs, including youth, succeed. This supports not only our small business community, but also helps grow the regional economy which is one of our strategic priorities.

Entrepreneurship plays a critical role in innovation and job creation, and by providing entrepreneurship programs for youth, Halton is giving the next generation the tools and guidance they need to bring their business ideas to life. A great example of our supports is the Summer Company Program which provides hands-on business training and mentorship to help enterprising students between the ages of 15-29 start and run their own summer business.

Summer Company is an annual Ontario Government initiative for youth entrepreneurship and employment that is coordinated locally through the SBC. This spring, successful applicants can receive up to $1,500 to help with business start-up costs, and in the fall, can receive an additional $1,500 upon successful completion of their Summer Company experience.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, May 6, 2016. This is a competitive program, so I encourage students to complete their application as early as possible. In order to qualify for the program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • currently attending high school, college or university in Ontario;
  • currently living in Ontario;
  • not currently running a business; and
  • not working another job or going to school for more than 12 hours a week during the summer program.

For a complete list of program requirements or to apply online, visit the Summer Company website at ontario.ca/summercompany.

Supporting a healthy and sustainable economy continues to be a top priority for Regional Council, and entrepreneurship plays a critical role in economic growth. By giving our youth access to quality program and services, we ensure that in the future Halton will remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

If you have any questions about the application process or require assistance in completing the application, including preparing a business plan, please visit halton.ca/summercompany or dial 311.

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”.