Preparing for severe winter weather

Plan ahead to keep your family safe! The winter months can sometimes bring heavy snowfall, freezing rain and extreme cold to our community. By preparing today, you can ensure you are protected tomorrow and throughout the season.

You can follow three simple steps to be ready for any emergency:

Know the Risks

Step one: know the risks
Identify potential hazards in your area that might cause or contribute to an emergency, especially during winter weather.

 

Make a planStep two: make a plan
Ensure your household knows what to do during and after an emergency, as well as how to evacuate your home, where to go and how to stay in touch.

 

Emergency kitStep three: get a kit
Assemble or buy kits for your home and car that include medication, food, water and essential items your household would need to stay safe and healthy for 72 hours.

 

In the unlikely event that dangerous conditions require you to leave your community, we can notify you using social media, mobile alerts or a call to your landline phone. If you need to evacuate, follow our checklist and seek shelter with family or friends. The Region may also open an evacuation centre in one or more of the following local facilities to provide temporary shelter:

On November 29, Halton tested its emergency plans with an exercise that simulated a severe weather event. We participate in several exercises and drills throughout the year to ensure the Region is ready to respond.

As winter approaches, I encourage you to take personal precautions that can help protect your family, your home and your community. To learn more about how you can prepare for severe weather and other emergencies this season, visit halton.ca.

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”.

Thank you to Halton’s paramedics for keeping our community safe

When I speak with residents in our community, I often hear stories about how our paramedics have made a positive impact in their lives in some way. Their timeliness, professionalism and life-saving skills help residents every day. I am proud and thankful for their brave and dependable services.

Halton’s paramedics provide our community with a wide-range of emergency and medical programs and services:

  • Primary Care and Advanced Care Paramedic medical emergency response: Halton has more than 270 paramedics working at the primary care and advanced care levels. They respond to nearly 50,000 calls and transport 30,000 patients to local hospitals each year.
  • Tactical Paramedic response: Our tactical paramedics are specially trained to work closely with the Halton Regional Police Service Tactical Rescue Unit to provide emergency medical support during high-risk situations.
  • Bike medics: Bike medics respond to emergencies in small, contained areas that might not be accessible by an ambulance. You’ll often see them at community events such as the Sound of Music Festival in Burlington, the Downtown Festival in Milton and other local events.
  • Community education courses: To assist residents with the knowledge and tools to perform in an emergency situation, Halton’s paramedics have several community programs in place. For example, Halton’s CPR and Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) courses can help residents improve someone’s chance of survival. For a full list of courses, visit halton.ca.

To learn more about how residents can help support our paramedics and safety in our community, I encourage you to visit halton.ca. We all make a difference to ensure Halton remains 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”.

 

Honouring Canadians who serve and protect our country

This Remembrance Day marks the 100-year anniversary of the Armistice of November 11, 1918, which ended the violence of World War I. For the last century, we have used this anniversary to honour Canadian soldiers who gave their lives in wars, peacekeeping missions and military exercises around the world.

Throughout our history, Canada’s veterans have protected our nation, our values and our way of life through their brave service—they secured the rights and freedoms we enjoy today. Our members of the Canadian armed forces continue to represent our country with honour and pride, bringing much-needed aid and support to areas in conflict. Their actions help preserve global security, freedom and peace wherever innocent lives are threatened.

poppy-flower.pngBy placing themselves at great risk to maintain peace around the world, Canada’s veterans have allowed the rest of us to live our daily lives in safety and security. Our way of life is their legacy for us all, and we must never forget the sacrifices made to protect it.

On November 11, Canadians from coast to coast to coast will honour our nation’s veterans, including the many brave individuals who sacrificed so much for us. I encourage you to wear your poppy with pride and observe a moment of silence this Sunday to remember the service and sacrifice of those that helped make 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”.

Halton secures top credit rating once again

Halton has earned yet another AAA credit rating from S&P Global Ratings, indicating a high level of international confidence in the Region and its Local Municipalities. This achievement ranks us at the top end of Canadian municipalities, and we are pleased to celebrate another year of success.

S&P Global Ratings’ decision to uphold our top credit rating is based on our excellent financial performance, low exposure to risks and high-quality financial plans, policies and reports. Their research update features a wealth of high praise for the Region’s practices, including the following:

“Halton’s management is very strong, and has consistently proven its capacity to implement its strategic plan and budget. The region provides robust, comprehensive, and transparent disclosure and has well-defined financial policies and a well-documented financial plan… it has prudent and conservative policies as well as a stable and well-qualified management team to govern its debt and liquidity management. Halton demonstrates what we view as good political and managerial strength.”

Earning the highest possible credit rating from two international rating agencies—Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa) and S&P Global Ratings (AAA)—provides the Region with access to the best capital financing rates available. We use this advantage to help your tax dollars go further when we complete major road, water and wastewater projects in Halton.

Over the next 10 years, we will invest $4.2 billion into community infrastructure, with $1.6 billion for transportation and $2.1 billion into water and wastewater. While these strategic investments will help preserve the high quality of life in Halton, our top credit rating will help the Region ensure that every dollar spent delivers maximum value for taxpayers.

Our excellent track record is the result of prudent planning, strong performance and transparent reporting. By maintaining our strong financial position supported by a top credit rating, we can maximize investments in the future to ensure Halton remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. To learn more about our finances and investments, visit halton.ca.

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”.

Celebrate Canada Day in Halton this long weekend

CanadaDayOn July 1, we celebrate Canada Day, which marks our nation’s 151st birthday. This day is an opportunity to reflect on what makes our country, and our community, a great place to live. It reminds us of our values for freedom, diversity and inclusion, and it is a time to reflect upon our history, learn new aspects of our culture and identity, and take pride in the community we have built together.

This Canada Day, there are many ways you can come together and celebrate with your community.  Communities across Halton are hosting special events to celebrate our nation’s birthday. For a list of local events in honour of Canada Day, please visit your local municipality’s website.

Happy Canada Day everyone and thank you for helping make Halton Region a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire!

Halton Region’s essential and 24-hour services will remain available this weekend and during long weekends throughout the summer. For more information, please visit halton.ca or call 311.

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”.

 

Tips to stay safe and have fun in Halton this summer

Today marks the first official day of summer. As the days get warmer and you spend more time outside, I’d like to remind residents about some of the Regional programs and services available to help keep you safe and protect you and your family this summer.

Be ready for warm days

Are you going outside for the day to explore our region? Remember to protect yourself by checking the forecast, dressing appropriately for the weather and drinking plenty of liquids! On extremely warm days, try to avoid prolonged sun exposure or reschedule outdoor activities to cooler parts of the day.

If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to sign up for heat and air quality alerts, which send notifications directly to your mobile device. Visit halton.ca/heat or halton.ca/aqhi to subscribe and find more tips to prevent heat-related illness or injuries.

Stay safe at the beach

The Region’s public health inspectors monitor beach water quality to make sure it is safe for swimming. If you are planning on going to a beach in Halton, you can find the latest beach water quality results at halton.ca/beach.

Food safety

Hosting a long weekend BBQ or taking the family to a local park for a picnic? Practice these four food safety tips—clean, separate, cook and chill—to reduce the risk of food-borne illness. Learn more at halton.ca/foodsafety.

Protect yourself from West Nile virus and Lyme disease

The Halton Region Health Department works hard to reduce the risks of West Nile virus and Lyme disease in our community. Make sure you are prepared by wearing light, long-sleeved clothing and using insect repellant with DEET or Icardin and avoid going outdoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active. Find more safety tips at halton.ca/wnv and halton.ca/lymedisease.

By making safe choices this summer, you can stay safe and healthy while enjoying everything that makes Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

Have a great summer and enjoy all Halton has to offer!

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.”

 

Halton’s Simply Local: your guide to local farms and markets

One of the many great features of Halton region is our diverse local agricultural community including local farms, stables, markets and recreational activities. Halton’s farming industry also provides us with access to fresh, local produce that has many health benefits and simply tastes great.

Supporting our local economy, including agri-business, has always been a priority for Regional Council. Our Simply Local program aims to promote and support the many agri-businesses across the region and provide resources for residents looking to find local activities, buy local produce and support local farms.

The summer is a great time to explore everything Halton’s agricultural community has to offer:

  • Local farms to pick in-season produce and take part in fun activities for the whole family.
  • Seven farmers’ markets across Halton’s four local municipalities.
  • Ranches and stables to participate in equestrian activities such as riding lessons and camps.
  • Nurseries and garden centres to stock up on native plants and shrubs for your home garden.

Plan your visits to local farms and markets using Halton’s Simply Local map!

Residents and tourists can use our interactive online map to access year-round up-to-date information on farms and markets, including what produce is in season and ripe for picking.

Visit halton.ca/simplylocal to learn more or follow @RegionofHalton on social media to get updates on what local produce is in season and discover what makes 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.”