Economic Development Strategy Approved

A strong and innovative business community is key to ensuring that Halton Region can continue to prosper. More and more businesses, such as Target, Siemens, UPS and Sensient are choosing to call Halton home. Combined, these four companies are bringing 1,300 to 1,400 jobs to Halton. They choose to locate here because of Halton’s high quality of life and our excellent track record with keeping taxes low.

To continue this trend, on December 14, 2011, Regional Council approved a new ten-year Halton Region Economic Development Strategic Implementation Plan that will guide Halton Region Economic Development, in partnership with our local municipal partners in Burlington external link, Halton Hills external link, Milton external link and Oakville external link.

The Strategic Implementation Plan:

  • builds on the vision for economic development approved by Halton Regional Council last fall
  • establishes direction for Halton Region’s Economic Development services and programs
  • informs decision making for economic development within the Region. 

One of the key Citizens’ Priorities identified by Halton residents is to attract and retain jobs. To help achieve this goal, the Strategic Implementation Plan sets out 23 directions with specific actions, targets and performance measures. 

In addition, a Strategic Directions Report was developed by Millier Dickinson Blais Inc. This report provides directions in five key pillars supporting economic growth in the region, namely:

  • Employment lands – ensure sufficient supply of employment lands in Halton to meet Halton’s growth forecast and fiscal objectives and monitor land absorption
  • Existing and emerging sectors – undertake information gathering, liaison and support local sector-based strategies
  • Investment attraction and retention – establish an investment attraction plan for office and export-oriented development, a “Regional investment response” team, an online data resource centre and ensure industrial tax rates and non-residential development charges are competitive
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation – Establish a north Halton Small Business Centre, empower young entrepreneurs and develop entrepreneurship programs for Newcomers
  • Quality of place – support priority areas, e.g., physician recruitment, tourism and agriculture

Halton Region’s Economic Development division will report back to Council annually on its progress in achieving the Strategic Implementation Plan.

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.”

Advertisements

Waste Management 2012 Calendar Cover Art Contest Awards

Earlier this fall, Halton Region held its fourth annual Waste Management Calendar Cover Art Contest. The contest began in 2008 and was designed to help raise awareness about the importance of the environment in children from kindergarten to grade eight while providing an opportunity for them to be creative.

On the evening of January 10, I attended an event at the Halton Regional Centre to recognize the young winners of the art contest and celebrate their artistic talents which will be showcased on the 2012 Waste Management Guide and Collection Calendar.

Halton’s Waste Management Calendar is distributed each year to all homes throughout the Region and informs residents about all of Halton’s waste management programs such as the Blue Box, GreenCart and yard waste collection including many additional ways to help protect and preserve the environment.

There are four versions of the calendar, one for each of our Local Municipalities: Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville. The winning artwork from this contest will be featured on the cover of each of the calendars.

For this year’s art contest, we asked children to follow the theme of “you are the difference – reduce, reuse, recycle” and feature a Blue Box, GreenCart and showcase a positive environment.

We received over 545 entries of colourful artwork which was an overwhelming response! All the submissions were reviewed by a panel of judges from Halton Region who then selected the top four pieces.

I am very proud of the five children whose creative work was selected to be published on the four calendars this year. The five winners are:

  • Michelle Kozdras (14) and Gabrielle Dimech(13) from Halton Hills, St. Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Elementary School
  • Kate Jung(12) (Haram Jung) from Oakville, Joshua Creek Public School
  • Abril Rebollo(13) from Burlington, St. Christopher Catholic Elementary School
  • Christine Kilfoil (12) from Milton, WI Dick Middle School
The winners of the 2012 Calendar Cover Art standing in front of their submissions with Regional Chair Gary Carr.

Having now met each of the young artists personally, I know that they will continue to create more colourful artwork in the years to come and share the important message about protecting the environment with all of their friends and family.

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.”

2012 Budget and Business Plan (Video)

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.”

Halton remains safest Regional Municipality in Canada

As Regional Chair, it brings me great pride to announce that for the fourth year in a row, Maclean’s Magazine External Link has named Halton Region the Safest Place to live in the Great Toronto Area and the Safest Regional Municipality in Canada.  

Our reputation as the Safest Region in Canada is one of the reasons that so many people and businesses choose to call Halton home. Maclean’s bases its ranking on aggregate results of the 2010 annual crime data from Statistics Canada’s for Municipal police services serving the nation’s 100 largest populations and the Crime Severity Index (CSI) scores. The CSI scores six personal and property crimes including homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault, auto theft, robbery and breaking and entering.

One of the Region’s action items, as laid out in the Citizens’ Priorities – Halton Region’s 2011-2014 Action Plan, is to work with the Halton Regional Police Service External Link (HRPS) and community partners to improve community safety. Our ongoing partnership with the HRPS is crucial as we continue to take on several key programs to support safety in our community. Some of the programs we have implemented include Speedi, Halton Community Road Watch External Link, and Drive SAFE. In November of 2011 we also added two new Vehicle Activated Traffic Calming Signs to Halton’s Road Safety Programs. Other community programs include D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) External Link, and Motive8 External Link, two programs that teach students about positive decision-making and drug abuse prevention.

This achievement is the result of our residents, businesses and local municipalities, working together with the great police officers and staff of the Halton Regional Police Service, to ensure Halton Region is a safe place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

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.”

Remember to Drive SAFE this winter

Halton has a reputation as Canada’s safest region, partially due to the great work of our police officers, but also due in large part to the vested interest residents have in ensuring one another’s well-being.

As part of Halton Region’s ongoing partnership with the Halton Regional Police Service and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.), Halton has the Safe Roads…Your Call program to educate motorists about the dangers of drinking and driving.

This program encourages motorists to help police by calling 9-1-1 immediately when they witness a suspected impaired driver on Halton roads.

Once 9-1-1 operators receive a call from the public through the Safe Roads…Your Call program, it is assigned high priority and all available police resources are used to locate the suspected vehicle. Motorists reporting a suspected impaired driver in progress should have a description of the vehicle, the nearest intersection where the suspect was witnessed and direction the vehicle was headed, and if possible, a license plate number.

We want everyone to stay safe on our roads, so motorists should not jeopardize their own safety, or that of other motorists in order to provide police with any of these details – only report what you can safely observe.

The Safe Roads… Your Call is only a piece of the puzzle to help reduce aggressive driving on our roads. You can also do something about aggressive driving – report it!

If you see a driver demonstrating unsafe driving behaviour, you can submit a Citizen Report Form through the Halton Community Road Watch program. The police then send an information letter to the registered vehicle owner explaining that their vehicle was observed being operated in an unsafe manner at a specific time and location and asking for voluntary compliance. For more information, visit www.haltonroadwatch.ca External Link.

Driving sober and following the rules of the road are things everyone can do all year round. With winter weather coming, Halton’s Drive SAFE website has winter driving tips to remind you of how to stay safe on our roads this winter at www.halton.ca/winterdriving.

Working together, we can help keep our roads safe and make sure Halton stays a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

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.”

Working to improve food safety in Halton

Yesterday, Halton’s Regional Council approved the By-law Respecting Mandatory Food Handler Certification. This new by-law requires an owner or operator of a food establishment to ensure there is at least one certified food handler working during all hours of operation.

Over the last year, Halton Region’s Health Department staff surveyed residents and food premises owners about the possibility of a mandatory food handler certification by-law. More than 85 per cent of adult Halton residents included in the survey said that food handler training in restaurants, take-outs and other food premises should be mandatory.

This response from residents was consistent with the feedback from the 412 food premises owners that also participated in a survey. When asked whether food handlers should be trained in food safety, 88 per cent of that group responded positively.

As these results show, food handler training and certification programs are important to all of us. These programs not only help to keep customers safe and happy, they add an extra level of quality to local businesses. Ensuring food safety is also one of Halton Region’s key initiatives as laid out in the Citizen’s Priorities Action Plan 2011-2014 – a plan that focuses on services identified by Halton residents as important.

To support owners and operators in Halton, the Health Department will continue to offer several options for food handlers to complete the training including online study guides, a full day course and on-site training.

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.”

Red Light Cameras Help Save Lives

Starting this winter, you’ll see red light cameras at some key Regional intersections to help improve intersection safety.

Drivers passing through the Dundas Street (Regional Road 5) and Brant Street (Regional Road 18) intersection will be the first in Burlington to see the new red light camera location, which was chosen based on collision history. Oakville drivers will also have a red light camera intersection this year at Upper Middle Road (Regional Road 38) and Trafalgar Road (Regional Road 3)

Over the next three years, Halton will be installing red light cameras at 12 intersections throughout the Region, while at the same time running a community safety campaign encouraging all drivers to drive responsibly and stop on red.

Running red lights puts everyone at risk. To help reduce the risk of intersection collisions, and to help save lives, Halton Region is joining many GTA communities in the Provincial Red Light Camera Program. Other municipalities participating in this program have seen a reduction by more than 25 per cent in deaths and personal injuries. This program is another tool in Halton’s toolbox to help improve roadway safety.

The current fine for a red light camera violation is $325 ($265 + a $60 victim surcharge).

Red light cameras are only a piece of the puzzle to reduce aggressive driving on our roads. You too can do something about aggressive driving – report it!

If you see a driver demonstrating unsafe driving behaviour, you can submit a Citizen Report Form through the Halton Community Road Watch program. The police then send an information letter to the registered vehicle owner explaining that their vehicle was observed being operated in an unsafe manner at a specific time and location and asking for voluntary compliance. For more information, visit www.haltonroadwatch.ca External Link.

Working together, we can make our roads safer for everyone.

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.”