Halton Region Quarterly Accomplishments (Q2, 2012)

Attracting and Retaining Jobs

  • From April 30 to May 4, Halton Region celebrated Physician Appreciation Week, recognizing physicians for their contribution to our community.  Halton Region, with support from corporate sponsors, hosted a networking evening for physicians on Thursday, May 3.
  • On May 29, Halton Region and the Town of Oakville celebrated the groundbreaking of First Gulf’s new LEED Gold office development.  First Gulf has secured PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) LLP as its lead tenant for the six-storey, 150,000 square foot office development which is estimated to bring at least 400 jobs to Oakville.
  • On April 26, Halton Region and the Town of Halton Hills celebrated the start of construction of the Toronto Premium Outlets retail centre. The new outlet centre is expected to create more than 500 jobs, hundreds of local construction jobs and once complete, will bring more than two million visitors to the Region.

Promoting Tourism

  • On Sunday, June 10, the Halton Region Museum served as host venue for Milton Hospital Foundation’s first annual “Indulge Culinary Bliss” fundraising event. The event featured 16 Culinary Participants, hosted over 150 local community members and raised over $10,000 for Milton District Hospital.
  • Attendees at the Halton Museum Foundation’s 2012 monthly spring jazz concert series, Jazz at the Museum, held in the Alexander Barn, enjoyed top notch performances from a variety of musicians.

Emergency Preparedness

  • On April 18, members of Halton Regional Council and Local Councillors participated in a mock emergency exercise named “Whirlwind” as part of Emergency Management training.  The session included presentations from Halton’s Emergency Management staff and Emergency Management Ontario. During the session, elected officials played the roles of a simulated Emergency Control Group.
  • During Emergency Preparedness Week, May 7-12, Halton’s Emergency Management staff ran contests and had displays at Burlington City Hall, Halton Hills Fire Department’s Public Education Information Centre in Georgetown Market Place, Milton Town Hall and in Oakville at Hopedale Mall, Oakville Place Mall and Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital.
  • To ensure that Regional and Local Municipal staff are better prepared for emergencies, Basic Emergency Management training was provided in June.

Customer Service

  • Halton Regional Council  focused on the 311 phone number and Halton.ca in its communication messages about how to contact Halton Region.  By focusing on the promotion of 311 and Halton.ca as an easy way to engage with and access regional programs and services, Halton’s communication message has been simplified and the public’s understanding of how to connect with Access Halton will continue to increase.

Public Engagement

  • Halton Region launched Halton MVP (My View Point), Halton’s online survey panel.  Recruitment is ongoing and the first survey launched in early July.
  • Halton Region released its first Report to the Citizens which was accompanied by a video highlighting 2011 Action Plan accomplishments.  The accomplishments in the report are related to many of the priority areas in the Citizen’s Priorities Action Plan including administration and finance; planning and public works; and health and social services. The video has received over 100 views.
  • The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) named Halton Region as the recipient of the 2012 Don Rennie Memorial Award for its communications strategy that helped engage the community in an innovative approach to traditional strategic planning.  This strategy influenced wide-spread participation from citizens and encouraged their input during the development of the Citizen’s Priorities Action Plan.

Safe Communities

  • Two red light cameras have been operating in Halton for four months and have captured almost 200 red light runners on film. Since March 2012, there have been 190 red light camera tickets issued to drivers running red lights in Halton. The two cameras, at Brant Street and Dundas Street in Burlington and at Trafalgar Road and Upper Middle Road in Oakville, are the first of 12 red light cameras Halton Region is planning to install to help improve road safety.

Transportation

  • Cyclists in Halton Region have a new tool to help them plan their bike rides thanks to an updated cycling map. The map, which includes route suggestions for seven different rides around Halton on both urban and rural roads, is available in hard copy by emailing accesshalton@halton.ca or online at www.halton.ca/cycling.
  • Halton started consultation on the development of the first Regional Active Transportation Master Plan that will outline the strategy, infrastructure, initiatives and programs to improve active transportation opportunities across the Region. Input from residents is critical and can be shared on the project webpage.
  • After a three year process, the Environmental Assessment recommending the widening of Tremaine Road (Regional Road 22) in Milton was filed in June. In order to accommodate traffic demands to the year 2031, the Region will widen Tremaine to six lanes between Derry Road (Regional Road 7) and Britannia Road (Regional Road 6).
  • For the first time, Halton Region was designated as a Smart Commute Gold workplace by Smart Commute, a program of Metrolinx.
  • A new traffic signal website was launched to give residents a chance to see what Halton is doing to improve traffic flow across the Region by efficiently timing its traffic signals.

Infrastructure

  • In April, construction was completed on a $2.4 million upgrade to the treatment process at the Acton Wastewater Treatment Plant. The new process equipment will accommodate future growth in Acton.
  • In March, the installation of a $5 million ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system at the Oakville South East Wastewater Treatment Plant was completed. All of our wastewater treatment plants are now using a UV system instead of chlorine for disinfection. This upgrade improves the overall quality of the treated wastewater while aligning with federal regulations to reduce the amount of chlorine entering our waterways.
  • Halton recently completed the development of a comprehensive Master Plan for managing the biosolids produced at the seven wastewater treatment plants. The Master Plan, which will guide our biosolids program to the year 2031, recommends continuing our land application program, looking at composting to create an enhanced product for land application, and investigating thermal oxidation (incineration) opportunities that exist outside the Region to accommodate times when land application isn’t appropriate.
  • Halton recently completed the Class Environmental Assessment to expand the Burloak Water Purification Plant. This will enable the Region to clean an additional 110 megalitres of water a day, bringing the total amount to 165 megalitres.
  • In May, upgrades to the water treatment system at the Region’s Burlington and Oakville water purification plants were completed. The upgrades have improved system operation and will ensure that the treatment process serves Halton Region for the long-term. Total project cost was $772,000.
  • As part of the Region’s infrastructure maintenance program, more than $600,000 of work was completed at the Region’s drinking water reservoir located at Eighth Line and Upper Middle Road in Oakville.
  • More of Halton Region’s roads were improved with the completion of resurfacing work on Bronte Road in Oakville (Wyecroft Road to Speers Road) and Brant Street in Burlington (QEW to Fairview Street). Total project cost was just under $1 million.

Environmental Protection and Conservation of Water

  • In May and June, Halton Region hosted four rain barrel truckload sales to promote wise outdoor water use. Halton residents purchased nearly 3,200 rain barrels through this year’s sales. More than 16,500 rain barrels have been purchased since the program began in 2009 which has the potential to save 3.3 million litres each time all 16,500 rain barrels are used.

Waste Management

  • Halton Region’s popular Spring Compost Giveaway ran from May 7 to 12 at the Halton Waste Management Site. This year’s event was a great success with over 3,860 residents attending. More than 1,500 tonnes of processed compost was available for residents to pick up and use in their garden and landscaping projects. Halton residents also generously donated 4.79 tonnes of non-perishable food items and contributed $8,525 dollars for local Halton food banks.
  • In May, Halton Region completed the implementation of the Region’s GreenCart program with all 157 publicly funded elementary and secondary schools that make up the Halton District School Board, the Halton Catholic District School Board, the Conseil Scolaire de District Catholique Centre-Sud, the Conseil Scolaire Viamonde and the Provincial Schools Branch.  Halton Region is a municipal leader in this field and is now the first in Ontario to achieve full implementation.
  • Halton’s school-based GreenCart program has been recognized as a Municipal Beneficial Best Practice by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, has been given an Award of Excellence in Environmental Education by the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication and has also received the Conservation Award of Excellence by Conservation Halton.
  • Halton Region has been named as a top municipal electronics recycler from Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES) for working with residents to divert 1,584 tonnes of electronic waste away from the landfill between April 2009 and December 31, 2011.
  • On June 16 and June 23, Halton Region hosted Special Waste Drop-off Days to make the recycling of household hazardous waste and electronic waste more convenient to residents. Approximately 1,236 residents dropped off household hazardous waste and electronic waste over the two events.

Assisting Halton’s Low Income Residents

  • The number of passes being issued for the SPLIT pass public transit program continues to increase in Burlington and Oakville as a result of community outreach.

Affordable and Assisted Housing

  • Recognizing the demand for all-ages one-bedroom apartments, Halton Community Housing Corporation completed renovations to 36 units located at its community at 111 Ontario Street, Milton known as Harmony Court

Children and Youth Development

  • In April, Halton Region Health Department co-hosted the 11th annual Ontario Healthy Schools Coalitions Forum with the Halton District School Board & the Halton Catholic District School Board, as well as partners from the boards in Hamilton and Niagara. The forum attracted 330+ delegates, which far exceeded the 175 delegates from the previous year. The forum provided an opportunity for Halton Region to showcase its innovative work around mental health promotion in schools through workshops facilitated by public health nurses from the School Years program.
  • Halton Region Public Health Nurses collaborated with the Halton District School Board to plan and participate in their Safe Schools Action Team Conference in May. Approximately 400 principals, teachers and students representing elementary and secondary schools in Halton attended.
  • On May 1, the Halton Cannabis Awareness Strategy group launched a new website for parents: www.whataboutweed.org. The aim of the website is to assist parents in initiating a dialogue about cannabis use with their teen(s), dispel many of the myths regarding the use of cannabis, identify the risks associated with using the drug and present evidence and scientific research-based facts about the effects of cannabis.

Seniors

  • The Services for Seniors’ life enrichment team at Creek Way Village long-term care home was nominated for a Service Awards for Geriatric Excellence (SAGE) award. Created to celebrate the accomplishments of those who are passionate and committed to improving the quality of life of seniors, the SAGE awards is the only program in Ontario that recognizes professional excellence in health care and community services for seniors and their families.
  • On Saturday, May 26, the 10th annual Lively Dragon Boat Race was held at Kelso Conservation Area, raising $9,145.30 for the residents of Halton Region’s Allendale long-term care home and adult day programs.
  • Services for Seniors’ assisted living team hosted a workshop at Bonnie Place in Burlington on May 9 featuring Leap of Faith Together (LOFT), a community agency that provides supportive housing to residents with mental health issues and/or addictions.

Protection Public Health

  • Five Halton paramedics have graduated from the Canadian Medical Association accredited, Advanced Care Paramedic program and are now working in Halton in the Advanced Care Paramedic capacity.
  • Twenty-three paramedics were chosen from over 700 applicants during this year’s Halton Region EMS recruitment process. The new recruits completed an intensive one-month orientation which ended on June 4.

Promoting Healthy Living

  • To address the Citizens’ Priority Action Plan initiative to prevent chronic disease, staff engaged in professional and public-targeted initiatives as follows:

Professional:

  • On May 7, the Halton Region Health Department hosted a Workplace Health Networking Meeting. Forty-two local business professionals met to learn more about how to help reduce the risk of chronic disease among their employees.
  • The Healthy Weights: Halton Takes Action initiative continues to send out monthly e-blasts to community partners, highlighting the latest research and information on strategies for reducing obesity.
  • Tobacco cessation staff delivered three “Lunch & Learn” information sessions to private dental office personnel. Oral health professionals learned how to support patients who may be interested in quitting smoking.

Public:

  • In June, Health Department staff coordinated the distribution of Walk This Way Toolkits to six area diabetes centres. The kits promote walking as a way to build physical activity into a healthy lifestyle and will be given to over 150 clients.
  • Community Food Advisors trained volunteers who promote reliable information and education on healthy eating and safe preparation and storage of food. They also made nine presentations to workplaces and community groups.

Air Quality

  • The Health Department celebrated Canadian Environment Week (June 3-9) and Clean Air Day (June 6) with the first public reading of Wings and Thingamajigs, a picture book for children aged four to eight. Wings and Thingamajigs is the second in a three-book series about the implications of air quality and climate change on human health. To download an electronic version of Wings and Thingamajigs, visit www.halton.ca/thingamajigs.
  • The Health Department recently completed two reports on the work of Halton Region’s air quality program: Climate Change in Halton: A Health Perspective and Air Quality in Halton: Traffic Corridor Report Queen Elizabeth Way. Both reports were adopted by Regional Council and are available at www.halton.ca/airquality.
  • A Farewell to Featherwagons, Halton Region’s children’s picture book, won an International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) 2012 Gold Quill Award of Excellence (Social Responsibility) for the creation, production, promotion and distribution of the book. The project was also chosen by the IABC panel of judges as one of the “best of the best” of 2012, and has been featured in the latest issue of IABC’s Communication World magazine. A Farewell to Featherwagons is also a recipient of a 2012 Pinnacle Award (CPRS, Hamilton Chapter) and a 2012 Ovation Award of Merit (IABC Toronto). To download an electronic version of the book, visit www.halton.ca/featherwagons.
  • As part of the Region’s Air Quality Awareness and Education program, two of Halton’s Daily Web TV videos are screening at Silver City Burlington, Silver City Oakville, and Galaxy Milton during the Cineplex “pre-show”. To view all the videos in the Climate Change Champions series, visit www.halton.ca/airquality.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”  You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook.