Explore Halton Region this Family Day

To celebrate Family Day on February 20, 2017, bundle up and get outside and enjoy the many activities and adventures Halton Region has to offer. Take in the beauty of our natural surroundings and the wide variety of activities available to us in our own backyard. There is something for every member of your family to see, do and experience across Halton Region.

It may be chilly outside, but it’s the perfect time to enjoy Halton’s stunning landscapes. Explore Conservation Halton for an active, fun day of sleigh rides at Mountsberg to skiing and snowboarding at Glen Eden. If snowshoeing or hiking is your thing, visit Bronte Creek Provincial Park or Crawford Lake to explore the many trails in the area. Halton Region is also home to a large portion of the Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest footpath. The region offers a number of hiking trails and skating rinks for you to enjoy.

If the great outdoors is not your thing, take in a show at one of Halton’s great theatres. Find a performance at:

If shopping is on your list of things to do, explore the Toronto Premium Outlets, downtown areas and shopping districts in each of our municipalities. Visit local shops and see what unique finds await you.

In addition to the various outdoor activities, each of Halton’s municipalities has plenty of fun planned. For local schedules and events visit your municipality’s website:

Halton is a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire, and is a perfect destination for your Family Day activities. For a complete listing of all winter activities, visit halton.ca/winter. Also, a reminder for residents that all Halton essential services will remain available on the Family Day holiday. For more information, please visit halton.ca/closures or dial 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”.

Halton Region named top employer for sixth year in a row

Halton Region takes pride in being a great place to work and our commitment to attracting a talented and dedicated workforce is reflected in the high-quality service we provide to residents. This is why we were honoured to learn that Halton Region was named one of the Greater Toronto Employers for 2017 by Mediacorp Canada Inc.

The annual competition measures a wide range of criteria, identifies organizations offering exceptional working environments that promote employee engagement and success.

Professional development opportunities and a competitive compensation package were among the reasons why Mediacorp selected Halton Region as a top employer. This included:

  • a newly-launched internship and apprenticeship program;
  • summer student and co-op opportunities;
  • retirement planning assistance and a defined pension plan; and
  • maternity and parental leave benefits.

I am proud of all our staff at Halton Region. We have a diverse workforce that is committed to job number one—making Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

To learn more about career opportunities at Halton Region, visit halton.ca/jobs. For information about the Greater Toronto’s Top Employers 2017 competition, visit canadastop100.com/toronto/.

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”.

Winter safety starts with you

Tips on how to stay safe in the cold, at home and on the roads

We are well into winter and it is a good time to review basic safety tips that can help you and your family stay safe during the cold winter months. If you are headed outdoors or on the road, you will want to pay close attention to the weather to ensure you are prepared for the temperature and weather conditions. Halton Region issues cold warnings when the temperature drops below -15 degrees Celsius (without wind-chill), or when weather conditions are severe enough to warrant alerting the community to the risks involved with prolonged exposure.

Anyone can be affected by extreme cold-related weather conditions, depending on how long one is exposed to cold conditions and exertion levels. Those especially at risk include: adults over the age of 65, infants and young children, people who work outdoors, people who exercise outdoors (hikers, skiers) and people who have limited resources to house or protect themselves. During extreme cold, call or visit friends and neighbours who may be at risk and keep pets inside.

Protect your health

  • Plan ahead and check the weather forecast.
  • Cover exposed skin using multiple layers of loose-fitting clothes with a wind-resistant outer layer, a hat, mittens, and scarf.
  • Dress appropriately when going outside. Frostbite can occur within minutes.
  • Always be on the lookout for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Prepare emergency kits for your home and car.
  • Sign up for automatic cold warnings.

For more information on cold warnings and what you can do to protect your health, visit halton.ca/cold.

Protect your home

Every winter, some Halton residents experience water outages or frozen water pipes, service lines or meters. To reduce this risk during cold temperatures:

  • remember to shut off and drain pipes leading to outside faucets;
  • ensure doorways to basement areas and crawl spaces with water meter and plumbing are opened enough to ensure the temperature in these areas remains warm;
  • do not set your household temperature too low at night or when the house is vacant; and
  • wrap foam pipe insulation around pipes most susceptible to freezing (e.g., near outside walls, under kitchen and bathroom cabinets, in crawl spaces and attics).

For more tips on avoiding frozen water pipes, visit halton.ca/frozenpipes.

Protect yourself on the roads

Plan ahead for winter driving to ensure your trip is a safe one.

  • Clear snow and ice from all windows, lights, mirrors and roof and make sure that you have plenty of windshield washer fluid and that it is rated to -40oC or lower.
  • Plan your route ahead of time. Let someone know of your destination and expected time of arrival. Bring a map and be prepared to take an alternate route.
  • Always keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Bring a cell phone.
  • Use winter tires.
  • Make sure there is enough space between you and other cars.
  •  Keep a winter driving survival kit in your car that includes booster cables, washer fluid, emergency flares, a survival candle, blanket, first aid kit and highway help sign.

To learn more visit halton.ca/winterdriving and halton.ca/beprepared.

Being prepared is the most important step you can take to stay safe this winter. I wish you all a safe and healthy winter season!

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”.

The 2017 Halton Guide & Waste Collection Calendar is here

wastecalender-cover-2017I am happy to announce the release of the 2017 Halton Region Guide & Waste Collection Calendar for all Halton residents! This year’s waste collection calendar provides residents with resources for waste collection and information about living, working and retiring in Halton. Some of the information you will find in this year’s calendar include:

  • weekly collection dates from February 2017 to January 2018 and accepted waste materials;
  • tips and resources about how to reduce waste at home and in the community;
  • how to access Regional programs and service that may be of interest to your or members of your household;
  • how to use the Halton Waste Management Site and services; and,
  • information on the priorities of Regional Council and the 2015-2018 Halton Region Strategic Action Plan.

Halton is committed to protecting and enhancing the natural environment through investments in green initiatives and helping residents reduce their household waste. Our services include Blue Box recycling and Green Cart for organic food waste, locations for the proper disposal of hazardous waste and options for the re-use of household goods.

I want to thank Halton residents for their continued participation in our recycling, composting and safe disposal programs. Due to your efforts, 62 per cent of residential waste has been diverted from Halton’s landfill. Maintaining this waste diversion rate has helped extend the lifespan of this site from 2012 to 2044 – saving taxpayers over $15 million by deferring the significant costs associated with building a new waste management site.

Together, we can build on these successes and continue to protect the natural environment today and for generations to come.

Please check your mailbox for your copy of the calendar. To access the calendar online, sign up for waste collection reminders, or to request a paper copy please visit halton.ca/wastecalendar, download the OneHalton mobile app or dial 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”.

Partnering with police to protect lives of Halton residents

The new Project Lifesaver Halton program is another example of how we’re working with partners, including the Halton Regional Police Service, to keep our community a safe place to live.

Project Lifesaver Halton helps protect family members who may wander due to Alzheimer’s disease, autism, down syndrome, acquired brain injury or other kinds of cognitive impairment, by providing police with a quick and easy way to find people who are wearing the program tracker if needed.

dsc_7703People participating in the program, coordinated by the Halton Regional Police Service, wear a small bracelet with a transmitter that sends out a radio tracking signal 24-hours a day, seven days a week. If caregivers notify police that the individual is missing, a specially trained emergency response team will use mobile tracking equipment to find them.

As part of our commitment to connect people with the services they need, the Region is supporting Project Lifesaver Halton by offering financial assistance to those eligible for the program. If program participants are in need of financial support to cover program costs, the Halton Regional Police Service will connect them with Halton Region.

dsc_7747Project Lifesaver Halton is just one example of how Halton works to enhance the health and well-being of all residents, no matter what their income, age or stage of life. The Region has several programs and services that provide residents with access to the important supports they need. Residents can find more information online about how Halton provides support in areas such as housing, Ontario Works, transit, employment and childcare.

For more information on Project Lifesaver Halton, residents can visit haltonpolice.ca/projectlifesaver, halton.ca/lifesaver or contact the Halton Regional Police Service by dialing 905-825-4810 or projectlifesaver@haltonpolice.ca.

Through various Regional programs and by working together with our community partners, we can keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire for everyone.

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”.

Healthy changes for the New Year

Holiday resolutions can be maintained by making small, incremental changes

2017 is here and for many of us we are looking for ways to maintain or improve our health. The start of a new year is often the time when people decide to make changes that can have a positive impact on their health. Physical activity is a great way to keep your body and mind healthy, and it is easy to incorporate into your daily routine, if you take small steps.

If you are just starting out, think about the small changes you can make to improve your health. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Walking is one of the best ways to build physical activity into your day. Halton has a beautiful landscape, from the escarpment in the North to Lake Ontario in the south, with many conservation areas and walkable communities in between. Take some time to get outside, enjoy the fresh winter air and walk for your health.
  • Increase the amount of time you spend moving each day. At home and at work, take regular walking and exercise breaks.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, both at work and in the community, to build more physical activity into your day.
  • For families, there are many fun activities you can do together to help keep everyone get and stay healthy. From walking, skating and skiing outdoors to swimming and playing sports indoors at your local community centre – the options are endless!

To meet your weekly requirements for vigorous physical activity—a minimum of 2.5 hours a week—set goals that incorporate active living into your daily routine. Physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease, some types of cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, depression, stress and anxiety. These are great reasons to get started today!

Halton’s website has a many great resources to help people of all ages stay healthy and physically active. To learn more, visit halton.ca/healthyliving. By making small investments in our wellbeing, we can better enjoy everything that 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”.

Here’s to a clean and green 2017

Happy New Year from Halton Region!  As we enter a new year, it is an opportunity to make positive changes in our daily lives, including how we impact the natural environment.

Protecting and enhancing Halton’s natural environment is one of our highest priorities. Halton Region is preserving the natural environment by investing in green initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint to keep it beautiful today and for generations to come.

We all have a role to play in making Halton cleaner and greener. As you tidy up after the holidays and start the New Year, here are a few things to remember:

  • Put bundled cardboard boxes, aluminum cans, foils and trays, dairy and juice cartons and disposable plastic containers in the Blue Box;
  • Put items such as turkey bones, baked good, paper plates, cups and napkins in the Green Cart;
  • Put items such as gift wrap, bows, plastic utensils, plastic wrap and bags in the garbage;
  • Keep items out of the landfill and help local charities’ fundraising efforts by donating items in good condition to a reuse centre in Halton; and,
  • Christmas trees (free of decorations, stands and plastic bags) will be collected the week of January 9 and week of January 16. Please put your tree at the curb on your regular collection day.

Every household and business in the community can make a difference – together, we can achieve Halton Region’s goal of a 62 per cent waste diversion rate by 2018.

What we do today matters for tomorrow. Together, we are preserving Halton’s future 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”.