Every day, Halton Region works to provide residents and businesses with valuable programs and services. From affordable housing and public health; to business development and emergency management; from waste collection to water/wastewater treatment, we are committed to delivering our programs and services in a cost-effective and easily accessible manner.
I am pleased to share with you some of Halton Region’s major accomplishments for the 3rd quarter of 2011.
If you have any concerns or comments, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Administration and Finance
Attracting and Retaining Jobs
- This past summer, through the provincially funded Summer Company program, Halton Region’s Small Business Centre worked with 16 young entrepreneursto help them start and grow their own businesses. Summer Company students received cash awards of up to $1500 from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade to help pay for start-up costs and up to $1500 at the end of summer as an award for completing the program.
- Minneapolis-based retailer Target Corporation announced this fall that it would be opening a distribution centre on a 79-acre site on Boston Church Road, just north of Hwy. 401, west of Esquesing Line in Milton. It is estimated that the distribution centre will employ several hundred people and generate several hundred thousand dollars in property taxes for the Town and Region.
- Siemens Canada announced in August that it will build its new corporate head office in a five-storey, 110,000-square-foot facility on the site located at 1565 North Service Road East in Oakville. The Oakville facility, which will be built to Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, is expected to employ approximately 800 people. Siemens is the one of the world’s largest and most diversified electrical engineering companies.
- Halton Region Museum celebrated the Museum’s 50th anniversary with Alexander Family Farm Day September 18. More than 350 people attended the day which featured activities such as Pioneer Chores & Games, Living as a Blacksmith and Pond Study, musical performances and a Birds of Prey show.
- Over the past year, Halton Region Museum worked with partners to create an interactive, informative and easy to use online exhibition of the Niagara Escarpment in Halton. “Jeff’s Home” was undertaken in partnership with heritage and education groups in Halton to promote an understanding and respect for Escarpment heritage conservation.
- In September, Halton Region and its emergency management partners tested the Community Emergency Response Plan. Participants responded to a mock emergency, “Exercise Twisted,” a tornado that “touched down” in Oakville. The exercise was part of ongoing efforts to ensure that Halton is a disaster resilient community ready to deal with any potential, imminent or actual emergency.
- Services for Seniors Division, Halton Region Emergency Management and Oakville Fire Department staged an evacuation that involved a mock fire drill using volunteers. The exercise at Post Inn Village was held to help ensure that Halton Region’s long-term care homes meet the standards for emergency preparedness required by the Long-Term Care Homes Act 2007 . It also supported the efforts of Halton Region’s three long-term care homes – Allendale, Creek Way Village and Post Inn Village – to continue to meet Accreditation Canada Standards .
- Halton Region now offers the latest news about Halton’s museum, tourism and waste management program through several new social media tools that include Twitter, Facebook and a blog. Halton staff will be available on weekdays on all sites to share information and discuss related topics. Halton Region Emergency Management will use Twitter to communicate information in the event of an emergency situation or incident, as well as regularly share emergency preparedness tips.
- An advocacy document A Strong Halton for a Strong Ontario – Partners for the Future was developed in advance of the provincial election. The platform set out Halton Region’s position on key issues impacting residents. Candidates were asked to respond to questions about how they would resolve critical issues facing Halton and those responses were posted online. Halton’s advocacy web pages had over 5,200 page views during the provincial election campaign.
Planning and Public Works
- The following transportation infrastructure projects were completed:
- Upper Middle Road is now a four-lane roadway with an upgraded signal at the Bronte Road intersection and new signals at Reeves Gate and Grand Oak Trail.
- Completion of Regional Road 25 widening (North Service Road to Upper Middle Road, Oakville). This extensive project received its final paving and is getting a facelift through landscaping and tree plantings on Bronte Road.
- To help improve Milton traffic flow, Derry Road was widened to four lanes from Tremaine Road to Bronte Street. Halton also installed new signals at all intersecting streets.
- The following transportation infrastructure projects were completed:
- Oakville South West Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades were completed on schedule and on budget. This $58 million project, funded by Halton Region and the provincial and federal governments, was completed in September with final landscaping underway.
- The Todd Road Water Tower in Georgetown has been completed. This new water tower was built to store more water for Georgetown’s current and future population.
Environmental Protection and Conservation of Water
- The sixth annual Halton Children’s Water Festival was held from September 27 to 30 with almost 4,000 Halton students from grades two to five participating. The Festival provides children with a unique opportunity to learn about water in a fun and interactive way. The Festival featured nearly 60 activity centres that incorporated four main themes: water science and technology, water conservation and protection, water health and safety and water and society.
Planning Sustainable Communities
- In July, Regional Council approved updates to the Best Planning Estimates and Regional Phasing. These two documents together state how the Region is expected to grow over the next 20 years. This is in response to the Provincial Places to grow and implements the Regions Official Plan and Sustainable Halton.
Defining and Preserving Natural Heritage
- Halton Region celebrated International Year of Forests with reforestation at the Halton Waste Management Site involving the planting of 4,760 trees, enhancements to the Regional Forests website, and a public hike of the Britton and Robertson Tracts.
Health and Social Services
Assisting Halton’s Low Income Residents
- In September, Regional Council approved a 12 month pilot project to cover 50% or more of the cost of monthly bus passes for low income students, adults and seniors in Burlington, Milton and Oakville. The SPLIT pass is being offered in partnership with the transit services in Burlington, Milton and Oakville.
Children and Youth Development
- As of August, pregnant women and their partners now have the option to attend prenatal classes or to learn online on their own schedule. The “Gift of Motherhood” is an interactive e-learning program that includes many illustrations, videos, audio with text and quizzes, all designed to help women and their partners prepare for labour, childbirth and caring for their new baby. The program also provides an alternative option for families who are waitlisted due to classes that are at capacity, or for women on bed rest.
- Post Inn Village Wins Quality Improvement Award. Since March 2010 Post Inn Village has been participating in Residents First , through the Ontario Health Quality Council (OHQC). The Residents First program provides quality improvement education and leadership to the long- term care sector. Post Inn was one of 100 long-term care homes across the province to volunteer to participate in the project. Through the Residents First program, Post Inn Village has reduced the number of resident falls from 24% (June 2010) to 14% (June 2011).
- The new Continence Clinic at Allendale Long-Term Care Home in Milton seeks to improve the health, wellness and quality of life for seniors by maximizing continence. A nurse specialist with “Nurse Continence Advisor” certification works with seniors 55 years of age and older who live in the community to help them learn to control bladder or bowel issues. The Allendale clinic is part of a Regional Continence Program being funded and managed by the Mississauga-Halton Local Health Integration Network . To book an appointment call 416-521-4090 or 1-888-271-2742.
- One of the most anticipated events each year at the Adult Day programs is the annual mini-vacation that takes place every September. For the third year in a row 15 clients and staff from Milton Place and Silver Creek Place Adult Day Programs enjoyed outdoor activities, food and accommodations at the Fern Resort in Orillia. Special events included a boat cruise around the Lake Couchiching and a visit to the Police Museum. The Willow Foundation provides funds to cover some of the costs associated with the annual trip, with clients contributing the remaining costs.
Protecting Public Health
- Six Halton Region Primary Care Paramedics began advanced care paramedic training on September 19 to ensure Halton EMScontinues to utilize a combination of primary and advanced care paramedics across all areas of Halton Region. Advanced care paramedics are capable of providing a broader range of skills that have been proven to improve patient outcome. The paramedics will complete a seven week course followed by a six week clinical rotation at Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital and a 600-hour field preceptorship in Halton Region. The target date for completion of this course is May, 2012.
- Property has been secured at Derry Rd. and 5th Line for a future EMS station to service the new growth anticipated in East Milton. This new station will be constructed in the next three to five years.
- Health Department staff offered three pool and spa operator’s courses to help operators understand their legislative responsibilities and to help ensure pools and spas in the Region are maintained in a safe and clean manner. As a result of the demand for this training and positive feedback, the Health Department plans to offer three one-day sessions in 2012
- As the result of input from various stakeholders in the Halton food service industry, the following initiatives have been implemented:
- Food handler study guide is now available for free download at the Region’s website in both English and Simplified Chinese. This created a low cost option for food handler certification.
- Food handler resources (i.e., posters) have been translated into the five most commonly observed languages in the food service community in Halton. The posters are available for free printing at the Health Department online resource database.
- On-line registration for Food Safety Education and Certification Program was launched in May 2011.
- The Food Safety Guidelines for Food Banks (753KB) was created in collaboration with community food providers and is available for free download.
Promoting Healthy Living
- walkON is a program that supports the creation of well-designed, compact communities where people can walk to school, work, stores, parks, and restaurants, and need to drive less. A walkON information session was held at the Bronte Youth Centre for local youth and a follow-up workshop is planned for early November. The program is continuing to build a reputation of community empowerment and change for making communities safe and walkable.