Celebrating 30 years with a top credit rating

I am proud to announce that Moody’s Investors Service has upheld Halton Region’s Aaa credit rating for another year. The agency has maintained its highest rating for the Region since 1989, making this our milestone 30th year at the top.

Earning the top credit rating from two international rating agencies—Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa) and S&P Global Ratings (AAA)—provides us with access to the best capital financing rates available. This means we can fund major infrastructure projects at the lowest possible long-term costs. By leveraging this advantage, we maximize investments in Halton’s future while keeping taxes low.

Moody’s credit opinion report confirms that we continue to succeed through diligent planning and transparent reporting. It highlighted the following credit strengths as part of its analysis:

  • excellent track record of posting strong fiscal results each year, supported by stable operations and an effective multi-year budgeting process;
  • forward-looking operating and capital plans to address pressures and spending requirements early on;
  • high levels of liquidity and declining, affordable debt burden; and
  • diversified economy and strong population growth.

S&P Global Ratings upheld Halton’s top credit rating in June 2017, and earning this distinction from both agencies is a key objective of 2018 Budget and Business Plan.

The relationship between the Region’s top credit rating and infrastructure investment is essential to maintaining our strong long-term financial position. It enhances every program and service we provide while supporting low property taxes, sustainable growth, economic prosperity and a high quality of life. Our future is dependent on this strong long-term financial position that has placed us at the high end of Canadian municipalities and it helps keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

To learn more, watch my video on fiscal responsibility or visit halton.ca/budget.

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”.

 

Enjoy winter fun in Halton this long weekend

Winter is a great time to explore Halton—from outdoor adventures to unique shopping, dining and entertainment experiences, Halton is your destination for winter fun. This Family Day weekend, I encourage you and your family to explore everything Halton has to offer!

Get active outdoors

As a former hockey player, I enjoy being physically active, and winter is a great time to get active and explore outdoors. From sleigh rides at Mountsberg to skiing at Glen Eden, Halton truly has something for everyone. Explore the Bruce Trail or hike with the family at Bronte Creek Provincial Park or Crawford Lake. If you want to get active indoors, check out Mattamy National Cycling Centre for drop-in cycling for a world-class experience. Find more fantastic winter tourism activities at halton.ca/tourism.

Don’t forget to check the forecast before you head out and you can always sign-up for cold alerts at halton.ca to get instant updates and tips.

Enjoy premium shopping, dining and entertainment experiences

Prefer something indoors?  Explore any of our four municipalities—Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville—for premium shopping, dining and entertainment experiences. Check out new exhibits at local museums and performances at some of our theatres. Dine at restaurants and cafés and discover our unique local shops and businesses in our downtown cores. Or head over to the Toronto Premium Outlets, one of the premier shopping destinations in the Greater Toronto Area. You can find more information on what to see and do in our delightful downtowns and villages from local Business Improvement Areas (BIA).

However you choose to experience Halton this long weekend, I hope you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends!

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”.

Social and financial supports that residents can rely on

Affordable housing, employment opportunities and financial security are important factors that contribute to an individual’s and family’s well-being and quality of life. Halton Region provides easy access to a wide range of programs and services for residents who may need assistance with housing affordability, employment, or the cost of dental care, public transit and child care.

Below are some of the programs and services we offer and links to more information:

Affordable and assisted housing

  • The Region offers many supports including our Halton Housing Help service, assisted housing, rent supplements and one-time financial assistance for individuals and families that are experiencing difficulty with housing costs.
  • Residents that need support with housing can visit halton.ca/housing to learn more about eligibility requirements and the services that are available.

Financial assistance for basic needs

  • Ontario Works is a provincial program delivered through Halton Region to those who qualify for financial assistance for basic needs like food, clothing and shelter.
  • Our Subsidized Passes for Low Income Transit (SPLIT Pass) reduces the cost of a monthly bus pass for public transit in Burlington, Milton and Oakville and provides subsidies for the cost of the ActiVan and taxi scrip programs (subsidized taxi fares) in Halton Hills.
  • If you require child care, our child care subsidies can help alleviate the costs.
  • If your children require dental care, the Healthy Smiles Ontario program provides dental cleaning, check-ups and treatment for eligible children and youth 17 and under. Adults who require dental care may be eligible for financial assistance for dental care through adult and seniors’ oral health programs.
  • To support local programs in delivering sufficient, safe and nutritious food to those in need, Halton provides funding through the Halton Region Community Investment Fund.

Employment support for job seekers and employers

  • Employment Halton offers a wide range of programs and services to nearly 12,500 job seekers every year.
  • They also provide a variety of services to employers in Halton to support their recruitment efforts and help fill more than 400 positions every year.
  • Job seekers can also access a variety of programs including our Second Career and Youth Job Connection programs.
  • Visit halton.ca/employmenthalton to learn more about services that may be helpful for you.

Ensuring residents have the supports they need when they need them the most is an important priority for me and the Regional Council. We continue to work closely with our community partners and other levels of government to ensure Halton remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. To learn more about the services and supports we offer, visit halton.ca or call 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”.

The 2018 Halton Region Guide & Waste Calendar is here!

Find your weekly collection dates and get helpful waste reduction tips

waste1On behalf of Regional Council, I am pleased to present the 2018-2019 Halton Region Guide and Waste Collection Calendar. Check your mailboxes this week for your copy of this year’s calendar.

The annual guide and calendar is your resource to understanding waste management services in Halton and the programs Halton Region has to offer, including:

  • weekly collection dates from February 2018 to January 2019;
  • tips and resources about how to reduce waste and what waste materials are accepted each week;
  • services offered at Halton Waste Management Site;
  • programs and services available to residents and businesses; and,
  • information on the priorities of Regional Council and the 2015-2018 Halton Region Strategic Action Plan.

At Halton Region, we want to make sure that you have options to make managing your waste and using programs like the Green Cart and Blue Box as easy as possible. In addition to the calendar, there are a variety of online tools and resources available to make it easy for you to reduce waste at home and in the community. Visit halton.ca/waste or download the OneHalton app to:

  • sign up for weekly waste collection reminders that are sent right to your mobile device;
  • access landfill information and fees;
  • sort your waste using the Put Waste In Its Place tool;
  • schedule metal or appliance pick-ups; and
  • order yard waste labels and garbage bag tags.

Achievements in waste reduction

Last year, the Halton Waste Management Site celebrated 25 years of providing residents with reliable and convenient waste management services. Over the years, we have madewaste2 important investments in waste reduction technology, improved our curbside waste collection services and have seen a real commitment from residents to reduce waste at home and in the community. Through our shared commitment, we have helped extend the lifespan of the landfill from 2012 to 2044–30 years longer than expected. This has saved taxpayers more than $15 million by deferring the significant costs associated with building a new site.

Through your continued participation in the Green Cart, Blue Box and landfill programs, our community continues to come together to protect and enhance the natural environment for future generations. Together, we can help keep Halton a great place to live, work, retire and raise a family.

To learn more about waste management in Halton, please visit halton.ca/waste, download the OneHalton app or follow us on social media for useful tips and reminders.

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”.

Another year as one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers

I am pleased to announce that Mediacorp Canada Inc. has once again named Halton Region as one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for 2018! This award distinguishes us as an industry leader offering progressive working environments that promote the growth and engagement of our employees.

We have received this award for the last seven years, and it has become one of our most important recurring achievements. Our team delivers essential programs and services to residents—Regional Council has a strong relationship with Regional staff, and we recognize that our team is the foundation of our success.

As a value-based organization, we deliver exceptional public service through collaboration and continuous improvement. Our positive and supportive work environment is defined by our commitment to employee recognition, well-being and professional development.

Halton employees can also take pride in the knowledge that their work supports local individuals, families and businesses and enhances the quality of life in the community.

Another of Halton’s strengths recognized by this award is our commitment to hiring emerging talent and helping young people launch their careers. Next month, Halton Region will post opportunities for the 2018–2019 Internship and Apprenticeship Program. This initiative allows recent graduates to gain paid, meaningful experience in their fields by supporting and enhancing Regional programs and services.

The 20 interns who joined us in 2017 have already contributed to strategic projects, learned from seasoned professionals and developed skills that will help them succeed in their careers. We look forward to providing similarly positive experiences to a new group of high-performing young people this year.

Candidates must be eligible to work in Canada and have graduated (or will graduate) with a recognized post-secondary degree, post-graduate certificate or diploma between January 2017 and June 2018. To learn more, visit halton.ca/internship.

Halton is a great place to work, and I would like to thank all Regional employees for their service to the community and earning us another year as one of Greater Toronto Top Employers!

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 makes it easy to stay healthy

Halton Region offers many programs and services to help you make healthy choices and live an active lifestyle all year round. The new year is a great time to set new goals for your health and well-being. So whether your goal is to get active, eat healthier or stop smoking, Halton Region’s resources and services make it easy for you to stay on track.

Make a plan

HealthyChoicesPlanning is an essential part of achieving any goal. Write down the reasons why you want to make a change, set concrete goals and develop an action plan to achieve those goals. Halton Region has plenty of online resources to help you get started.

Keep it simple

Set yourself up for success by taking small steps. If you’re looking to get active, start by walking to add more physical activity into your day and gradually build up your endurance.

We are building safer walking, running and biking paths across the region to make it easier to add physical activity to your daily routine. To learn more about improvements coming to your neighbourhood, visit halton.ca/activetransportation to learn more.

A simple change to your diet is also a great way to achieve your health goals. Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide is a great tool to learn about healthy food choices.

Include your family and friends

SkatingTalk to your family and friends and enlist their support in helping you achieve your goals. Take advantage of outdoor activities across the region that can be fun for you, your family and friends. Visit halton.ca/tourism to find skiing, cycling and hiking trails and outdoor skating rinks. The region offers something fun for everyone. You can also try eating together as a family to encourage healthy eating habits among your kids and get them off to the right start!

Halton Region is dedicated to supporting you in making active, healthy choices and keeping our region a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. For more information or to access our healthy living supports, visit halton.ca/healthyliving, follow us on social media or call 311.

On behalf of Halton Regional Council and staff, we wish you and your family a very happy and healthy New 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 @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

 

Season’s greetings from Halton Region!

Chair's social media- Facebook1

On behalf of Halton Regional Council, I would like to extend my best wishes to everyone in Halton this holiday season. This is a wonderful time to gather with family, friends and neighbours to celebrate traditions, create new memories and reflect on everything we are fortunate to have here in Halton.

Whether you are a resident spending the Holidays at home or visiting us from another community, there are plenty of fun things to see and do in Halton! Visit any of our four municipalities—Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton or Oakville—to discover family-friendly activities and events. Explore all Halton has to offer, from breathtaking natural landscapes and winter hiking to quaint downtown cores and fantastic local shopping, restaurants and more.

Our essential and 24-hour Regional services will remain available during the holidays. If you require assistance from Halton Region during this time, please visit halton.ca or call 311. Some public facilities will be closed from 4:30 p.m. on Friday, December 22 until 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 2. To learn about holiday hours at our public facilities, please visit halton.ca/closures.

I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and I look forward to seeing you in the New 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 @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.