Working together to keep our roads safe this summer

With plenty of warm days ahead of us, summer activities across the region are still in full swing. Whether you’re out enjoying the region’s attractions and festivals or simply getting together with friends and family, please remember to drive safely so everyone can continue to enjoy a great summer.

Move to the right for sirens and lights

Every year, Halton paramedics respond to more than 50,000 calls and transport more than 30,000 people. When they deal with potentially life-threatening situations, you can help paramedics by moving to the right for sirens and lights. By clearing the way, you help paramedics reach or transport their patients as quickly as possible.

Stop on red

RedLightCameraHalton has 12 red light cameras at intersections across the region and will add another five cameras by the end of the summer. These cameras, which take a picture of vehicles entering an intersection after a light has turned red, help remind people how important it is to keep your eyes on the road and drive with care. To learn more about how red light cameras work and how they help improve the safety of our intersections, please visit halton.ca/stoponred.

Drive sober

SafeRoads_SignPlease remember to drive responsibly and if you plan on drinking, don’t drive. If you’re on our roads and think you see an impaired driver, call 911 to report it. Impaired driving is a crime in progress and one call could save a life!

Share the road

ShareTheRoad_SignThanks to our many beautiful parks and trails, world-class velodrome, and strong community interest in recreational and competitive cycling, Halton has become the home of cycling. This summer, I’d like to remind everyone to share the road while traveling throughout Halton. Both cyclists and drivers have a responsibility to obey the rules and share the road with each other.

Thank you for helping us keep Halton’s roads safe and enjoy the rest of your summer!

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, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Be prepared for severe summer weather

EmergencyPrepWEBAs we move into August, it’s important to remember that great weather can quickly take a turn for the worse. Floods, tornadoes and lightning storms are more frequent during the summer—storms can also bring down power lines and cause wide-spread power outages across a municipality or region.

The Region works closely with our community partners to help protect residents and businesses from emergencies, including severe weather. Through planning, joint exercises and ongoing evaluation, we ensure that we are ready to respond in a crisis; however, emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility that involves individuals, all levels of government and local organizations. By preparing your home and family, you can help reduce the impact of severe weather and improve the resilience of our entire community.

Follow the steps

You can prepare for any emergency, including severe weather, by following these three simple steps:

  • Know the risks—identify potential hazards in your community and stay informed about emergencies through alerts from the province or your local news provider.
  • Make a plan—determine what each member of your household would do during and after various emergencies, also considering neighbours, family and friends who may be particularly vulnerable.
  • Get a kit—assemble, buy or refresh the items your household would need to stay safe for 72 hours, including supplies for older adults, children and pets.

Staying up-to-date on current weather conditions can also help you prepare or react when a severe warning is in effect. Check the radio or television, visit halton.ca/severeweather or call 311 for updates and information.

When you are prepared and keeping up-to-date on important information, first responders can focus their attention on those in immediate need during an emergency situation. By working together, we help keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

To learn more about emergency preparedness, visit halton.ca/beprepared. To learn about how the Region is adapting to climate change to increase resiliency and support the needs of the community, visit halton.ca/actionplan.

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, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Building a Better Halton

Infrastructure investments support a high quality of life in Halton

With the summer construction season in full swing, Halton Region is busy making infrastructure improvements across the region. Through our Building a Better Halton Plan, Halton Region is investing $4.1 billion over 10 years into capital infrastructure projects, including $1.9 billion to fund state of good repair projects.

MidHaltonSignBuilding a Better Halton is Halton Region’s infrastructure construction plan for roads, water and wastewater projects across the region. These projects keep our traffic moving, ensure access to clean drinking water and protect the environment, which helps maintain a high quality of life in Halton that is second to none.

Helping residents get where they need to go safely and on time is an important priority for Halton Region. By visiting our website and social media channels, residents can stay informed of up to date planning and construction activities.

To learn more about regional improvements happening in your neighbourhood this summer, view the map below and click on the icons for each project to find out more information.

To find out more about improvements we are making across the Region year-round, visit halton.ca/construction, follow us on Twitter, and look for a Building a Better Halton sign at construction projects and investments happening near you. Thank you for working with us to keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

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, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Proud to call Halton home – Safest Region in Canada

For the eighth straight year, I am proud to say that Halton Region continues to be the safest region in Canada, according to Statistics Canada’s recently released annual report.

The results are determined based on Statistics Canada’s 2016 Crime Severity Index (CSI) that track six personal and property crimes including homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault, auto theft, robbery and breaking and entering.

Thanks to our dedication to community safety and our strong relationships with our police partners, Halton Region had the lowest overall crime rate, violent crime rate and property crime rate among Ontario’s ‘Big 12’ police services. We also maintained the lowest values for each of the indicators for eight straight reporting years.

DSC_1797Even though Halton is ranked as one of the safest regional municipalities in Canada, we’re always working with our community partners on key issues to ensure we’re doing all we can to keep Halton safe. Our recent partnership with the Halton Regional Police Service on developing a Community Safety and Well-Being Plan for Halton is an excellent example of this ongoing work.

Draft-Community-Safety-and-Well-Being-Plan-1Community safety and well-being planning is about proactively responding to issues in our community like mental health, neighbourhood safety, housing and homelessness and social isolation so that those in need of help can receive the right response at the right time (before there is a crisis).

If you’re interested in keeping our community safe, I encourage you to visit our web page to sign up for email updates about the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan and other community safety and well-being issues and initiatives. We also want to hear from you, so please tell us your thoughts by completing our survey.

red_light_road_signOther programs we’re implementing to encourage safety across our community include red light cameras, Project Lifesaver Halton and Drive SAFE programs including reminding people of the dangers of distracted driving and impaired driving.

Halton’s reputation as a safe community is one of the reasons so many people and businesses choose to call Halton home. 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 remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

To learn more about community safety, visit halton.ca/safetyandwell-being, haltonpolice.ca and halton.ca/drivesafe.

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, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Maintaining a strong financial position for a bright future

I am proud to share that once again, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its highest credit rating for Halton Region! The AAA rating came with high praise for our financial management practices, and the agency’s research update described a stable outlook for our future.

MidHalton ConstructionOur top credit rating allows Halton and its Local Municipalities to finance major projects at the lowest possible long-term costs by providing continued access to the best capital financing rates available. This means it helps us keep taxes low and maximize investments in Halton’s future while minimizing the cost for taxpayers.

Halton’s credit rating is assessed by two international agencies, each issuing opinions annually: Moody’s Investors Service, whose highest rating is “Aaa”, and S&P Global Ratings, whose highest rating is “AAA”. Consistently earning the highest ratings from both agencies places us at the top end of Canadian municipalities, and has become increasingly rare for jurisdictions around the world.

The agencies assign their ratings based on financial performance, exposure to risks, and quality of financial planning and reporting. For Halton, S&P Global Ratings’ decision was based on:

  • our strong, diverse and growing economy with excellent access to GTA markets;
  • our strong financial management practices, prudent policies, robust budgets and transparent annual reports;
  • our strong, stable budget performance and low debt; and
  • our exceptional access to liquid funds from internal and external sources.

Our top credit rating is the foundation of our strong financial position, which is supported by an ongoing three-part cycle that includes planning and reporting as well as performance. At the July 12 meeting of Regional Council, we approved the 2018 Budget Directions Report, which will help ensure next year’s budget keeps tax increases at or below the rate of inflation while preserving our top credit rating. Meanwhile, the upcoming 2016 Annual Financial Report will provide an in-depth analysis of Halton’s finances and help inform the next credit opinion from Moody’s Investors Service in January. Each part of this process is connected to ensure transparency and accountability for residents.

We are proud to have achieved a top credit rating for 29 years, and this distinction is the direct result of our diligent planning and transparent reporting. By maintaining a top credit rating and strong long-term financial position, we can continue to make investments that help keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

I encourage you to learn more about fiscal responsibility at Halton—to view our award-winning financial plans, policies and reports that demonstrate how we succeed by putting residents first, visit halton.ca/finances.

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, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Simply fresh. Simply fun. Simply local.

Halton Region is home to a thriving agricultural industry. One of the great things about living in a community with a strong and diverse agricultural sector is the ability to travel a short distance to buy fresh, local produce. Halton Region is proud to support this vibrant industry by working with community partners to ensure farming land and practices are sustainable and are here to enjoy for generations to come.

The Simply Local program is a great example of how Halton supports local agri-businesses, many that are family-owned. Simply Local also encourages healthy eating and helps connect Halton residents with local farms.

Plan your agri-venture using our Simply Local map.

Halton’s Simply Local interactive map makes it easy for you to discover Halton’s local farms, farmers’ markets and agri-businesses. This summer, explore Halton’s thriving agricultural industry and visit:

I encourage you to show your support for our agricultural community and local economy by buying, eating and visiting local. Check out halton.ca/simplylocal and start exploring today! Halton’s vibrant and diverse agricultural sector is just one of the many reasons why Halton is a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

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, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.