Q4 Accomplishments 2013

Fiscal Responsibility

 2014 Budget and Business Plan Approved

Halton Regional Council approved the Region’s 2014 Budget and Business Plan, delivering a zero per cent tax rate increase for Regional programs and services. Over the past eight years, we have either reduced or frozen taxes, this is an incredible achievement. Halton Region has one of the best records in Canada for keeping taxes low while maintaining and enhancing service levels.

 Attracting & Retaining Jobs

 Halton Real Estate Forum

Industrial, commercial developers and real estate brokers from the Greater Toronto Area, along with Regional and Local Municipal elected officials and staff, attended the Halton Real Estate Forum in Burlington on October 29. The event provided an opportunity for businesses to network and learn about economic and real estate performance and trends as well as development cost competitiveness across Halton and the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area. The session featured a keynote address and panel discussion with industry leaders who provided their analysis and insights on office and industrial development opportunities and why companies are choosing to do business in Halton.

Halton Export Forum

On November 14, Halton Region partnered with the Canada-Ontario Export Forum to host the Halton Export Forum in Oakville. The forum provided an opportunity for both new and experienced exporters to hear tips, learn how to increase exports, discover export funding programs and network with government and export service providers.

Entrepreneurship Week

During the last week of November, the Halton Small Business Centre, in conjunction with Haltech (the Regional Innovation Centre), celebrated a successful Entrepreneurship Week with a host of events held throughout the region.

Business to Business (B2B) Networking Event

On December 2, Halton Small Business Centre hosted its first B2B networking event.

Promotion of Halton’s Digital Technologies, Cleantech and Advanced Manufacturing Sectors

This fall, Economic Development staff participated in a number of meetings to promote Halton’s Digital Technologies, Cleantech and Advanced Manufacturing sectors.

Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance Partnership Renewal

The renewal of Halton Region’s partnership with the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance was approved by Regional Council on November 13.

2012 Allocation Program Approval

The 2012 Allocation Program was approved at Council on November 13. The program not only allows for the development of 13,300 single detached equivalent units of residential in Milton and North Oakville, but also for the Region’s servicing of the Derry Green Corporate Business Park in Milton to allow Halton to capitalize on the next wave of office and industrial developments.

 Promoting Tourism

 Halton Region’s Pumpkin Trail

In October, Halton Region launched its first ever Pumpkin Trail, showcasing pumpkin-themed experiences presented by more than 20 businesses, farms and tourist attractions throughout the region.

Harvest Halton

On October 6, the Region’s inaugural agri-tourism and culinary event, Harvest Halton, brought together Halton’s best chefs, local farmers and agri-tourism businesses in support of Halton Food for Thought. In addition to sampling unique foods and beverages, attendees had an opportunity to take in the sights at Country Heritage Park.

Halton’s Agritourism Action Plan Approved

On November 13, Regional Council approved Halton’s Agri-tourism Action Plan to provide direction for Halton Region’s priorities in agriculture and food tourism development and service delivery.

 Emergency Preparedness

 Exercise “Howling Wind”

On November 19, Halton Region, the Town of Halton Hills and local emergency staff and officials participated in Exercise “Howling Wind” as part of emergency exercise programs. As the name suggests, participants responded to a simulated community emergency – a large, area-wide power black-out that lasted several days – the result of a damaging hurricane and floods that swept across the Region.

Community Emergency Notification Service Rolled Out
On November 1, Halton Region rolled out an improved emergency notification service. The Region now has access to a more complete database (eCNS) that includes contact information for more than 95 per cent of Halton residents and businesses with traditional land line telephone service. In the event of an emergency, Halton’s enhanced Community Emergency Notification Service (CENS) will phone affected households throughout Halton to provide emergency information. As one of the first Canadian municipalities to have access to this enhanced data for use in emergency situations, Halton Region continues to be a leader in delivering community emergency notification services.

Emergency Management Training
A number of Emergency Management training programs were conducted with staff and community partners in fall 2013 including Virtual Emergency Operations Centre (VEOC) software training for key staff and Emergency Response partners.

Paramedic Station Expansion

Construction started in December on a new northwest Oakville paramedic station at Bronte Rd. and Pineglen Rd. This new station will open in late 2014.

Emergency response activities for the December 2013 ice storm

The Region coordinated with and supported Local Municipality response to the ice storm including opening up warming and evacuation centres and regular communications via web, media releases and social media.

Customer Service

Accessibility Update

Halton Region continued to remove barriers to people with disabilities and meet provincial accessibility standards.  Halton updated and developed new accessibility policies and procedures to support staff in providing services to people with disabilities, completed a 2013 Accessibility Progress Report, and launched an accessibility training program.   Halton also submitted a compliance report to the Ontario Government confirming the accessibility requirements it had addressed.

Partnerships

Halton Information for Newcomers to Canada Event 

On October 2, Halton Region staff organized Halton Information for Newcomers to Canada (HSINC) event in partnership with settlement and English as Second Language (ESL) training providers. Over 300 adult English language learners attended the half-day session. They had the opportunity to learn more about Regional programs and services such as immunization, social housing, business development and waste management.  Community service providers had also the opportunity to display resources about their services.  This event has demonstrated a true partnership between Halton Region and the community partners that serve newcomers to our community.

Let’s Talk…Let’s Connect Series

The focus of the 3rd session of Let’s Talk…Let’s Connect networking series for the non-profit sector was on accreditation and social enterprise. Over 90 people attended the session which was held on November 7.  Guest speakers spoke about Imagine Canada’s Standards Program for accreditation and Innoweave’s tools to help non-profit organizations achieve social, cultural and environmental goals through social enterprise.

Assisting Halton’s Low Income Residents

Update to Comprehensive Housing Strategy Approved

The Comprehensive Housing Strategy (CHS) is Halton’s roadmap for housing services in Halton.  The CHS has been updated to serve as the new 10 year plan for housing and homelessness required by the Provincial Government under the Housing Services Act, 2011.  This update was approved by Regional Council on November 14.

Annual Job Fair – October 16

Over 800 skilled and motivated job seekers met with 43 employers from across Halton at Halton Region’s annual job fair on October 16. This year’s job fair featured employers from a range of industries including technology, government, manufacturing, retail, hospitality sector and healthcare sectors.

Be an Employer of Choice

Halton Region Recognized as a Top Employer for Third Year in a Row

Halton Region was recently recognized as an employer of choice with three distinct awards, including being named one of the top employers in the Greater Toronto Area by Mediacorp Canada Inc.

Halton was also acknowledged by Metrolinx and Oakville Hydro Corporation for its commitment to corporate sustainability efforts.

Online Accessibility Training

This past fall, Halton Region used e-learning and a Learning Management System to deliver accessibility training to the entire organization in only four months.  Completion of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) training by all staff ensures the Region is in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

Advocacy

Councillor Somerville Represented Halton Region at Advocacy Days Conference

Regional Councillor Clark Somerville, Halton Region’s representative and Board Member for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM), met with Federal leaders to discuss critical issues facing Halton at the association’s annual Advocacy Days Conference in December. The conference featured 141 meetings between municipal leaders and federal parliamentarians. The meetings covered a range of issues impacting Canadian communities including infrastructure funding, the need for investments in affordable housing, and other critical issues to our community, such as rail safety.

Transportation

 Dundas EA completed from Neyagawa to Oak Park

The Class Environmental Assessment (EA) Study for the Dundas Street (Regional Road 5) widening from four to six lanes from Neyagawa Boulevard to Oak Park Boulevard is completed and will be proceeding to the detail design phase.

Infrastructure

2013 Ontario Concrete Award for Infrastructure

Public Works received the 2013 Ontario Concrete Award for Infrastructure for its outstanding work on the Halton Zone 3 Interconnecting Watermain project.

Corporate Asset Management Plan Developed

This plan lays the foundation for further Asset Management practice enhancement opportunities to ensure the best decisions continue to be made regarding the construction, maintenance, renewal, replacement, expansion and disposal of infrastructure assets.

Keeping Our Infrastructure Working for You

Ongoing maintenance and repair is critical to ensure our infrastructure can continue to meet the needs of our citizens. In the fourth quarter, we were busy completing the construction supporting the:

  • Watermain replacements on Plains Road East, Marley Court and Treeland Street in the City of Burlington;
  • Watermain replacements on White Oaks Boulevard, Eton Place and Robarts Road in the Town of Oakville; and
  • Watermain and wastewater main project on Fairview Street and Walkers Line in the City of Burlington.

Ensuring Infrastructure Works in More Ways Than One

Not only is it important that infrastructure does its job, it’s also important that, if possible, it enhances the community and keeps Halton a great place to live. Halton Region was proud to receive the 2013 Town of Oakville Citizen’s Choice Award for Livable Design for the North Oakville East Wastewater Pumping Station. The design of this distinctive pumping station on Dundas Street, not only serves a critical infrastructure need, but also preserves the heritage character of the community.

Planning Sustainable Communities

ROPA 38 Partially Approved

On August 9 and October 21, the Ontario Municipal Board approved significant parts of Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) 38, including policies related to the urban boundary, phasing of development, financial and development cost requirements, housing, employment, and intensification.  This approval represents a significant step forward in defending and delivering Council’s vision for managed and sustainable growth in Halton.

Environmental Protection and Conservation of Water

Water Efficiency

The Region carried out acoustic listening on 5,000 hydrants spanning 850 m of watermain in Oakville water distribution system in order to detect any water leaks and flag them for repair.

Waste Management

Special Waste Drop-off Days

The last of seven Special Waste Drop-off Days was held in Campbellville.  Nearly 400 residents attended this event designed to provide Halton residents with a convenient opportunity to safely recycle and dispose of items like electronics and household hazardous waste, which should not be placed in the garbage.

Defining and Preserving Natural Heritage

Delivered environmental programming to 700 participants

The Halton Region Museum facilitated programming for over 700 Halton students in experiential outdoor learning events on the Niagara Escarpment.

Children and Youth Development

Oral Health Assessment for high school students 

Through a pilot project, the Oral Health team provided high school students with information, oral care supplies and the opportunity for a free oral health assessment. For more information about oral health, visit www.halton.ca/oralhealth.

Seniors

Fall Prevention for Older Adults

The Health Department completed a two year provincial research project, funded by Public Health Ontario. Results will inform public health work with community partners in preventing falls among older people. Final study update.

Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Health Quality and Safety Award

The inaugural Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Health Quality and Safety was awarded to the Supports for Daily Living Programs in the Mississauga-Halton LHIN.  Halton Region along with seven other SDL programs in the LHIN  were honoured (as a team) with this prestigious award.  Halton Region delivers the Supports for Daily Living Program in Oakville at John R. Rhodes Apartments.

Meds Check Pilot Program

The Supports for Daily Living program is piloting a Meds Check program for clients to assist with medication safety for seniors in the community.

Protecting Public Health

The Flu Ends with U 

On October 15, Halton Region held its first flu immunization clinic of the season. Vaccination is recommended for everyone age six months and older. For more information, visit www.halton.ca/flu.

Public Health Clinic in Georgetown has moved to Health@280

On December 2, Halton Region’s public health clinic in Georgetown moved to Health@280, located at 280 Guelph Street, Unit 76 at the Georgetown Market Place. For information on clinic and other services, dial 311 or visit www.halton.ca.

Halton Perinatal Mood Disorder Coalition

The Halton Perinatal Mood Disorder Coalition held a conference November for health professionals which was attended by representatives from 10 health departments, seven hospitals and 15 community partners. The aim was to provide information to better support women experiencing a perinatal mood disorder.

Promoting Healthy Living

Halton Drug Strategy Community Forum

The Halton Drug Strategy Steering Committee, held a community forum on October 8 which was attended by 150 people representing 30 community agencies and people with lived experience. The purpose was to engage stakeholders to identify priorities for a drug strategy in Halton Region. Short-term funding has been secured from the Mississauga-Halton LHIN.

Three New Evaluations Completed

Epidemiology staff worked with the Community Health Services Program to complete three evaluations: The HaltonParents e-Bulletin Client Satisfaction Survey, the Social Determinants of Health/Health Equity Staff Education Sessions Evaluation, and the  Halton Substance Use Program and Services Survey. Results are being used to inform program planning/development.

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.”