Celebrating Chinese New Year

Gung Hay Fat Choy! I would like offer my best wishes to Halton residents celebrating Chinese New Year on February 10, 2013.

In Chinese culture, Chinese New Year is the most important traditional holiday. It is a special time where families and friends gather together to celebrate. Festivities include traditional meals, music, gift exchange and fireworks. Traditionally, people clean their homes to clear out any bad fortune and make way for incoming good fortune. Doors and windows are decorated with red couplets and children are given red envelopes with money inside. The colour red is significant as it represents happiness and good fortune.

The Halton community is composed of people from various cultural backgrounds and traditions. We welcome, value and celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of all residents. We are proud of our own traditions and customs and we value the heritage of our friends and neighbours. People who choose to make Halton Region their home increase our diversity and make us the community we are today.

Halton Region actively supports inclusion when delivering programs and services. We work hard to ensure that all residents have access to Regional programs and services, regardless of their background, abilities or circumstances. 311 services are offered in over 170 languages to connect residents to Local Municipal and Regional government services, Halton Regional Police Services and Halton School Boards.

I am proud of the many community services and organizations within Halton that encourage newcomers to engage and connect with the larger community, to build friendships and support systems while still preserving their heritage and culture.

As we reflect on the past year and look forward to the future, let us celebrate our similarities and share in each other’s experiences. By doing so, we are sure to make 2013 a prosperous and happy 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 or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”