Flooding can happen when you least expect it: ensure your home is protected

DownspoutDiagramThe region has already experienced significant rainfall this spring and there are many things homeowners can do to protect their home from flooding. Residents can take advantage of Halton Region’s Basement Flooding Mitigation Subsidy Program which helps make it easier and more affordable to protect your home. The program provides financial support for four (4) flood-prevention modifications:

DownspoutDisconnectionWEBDownspout disconnection
100 per cent subsidy, up to a maximum of $500
Disconnecting downspouts from the sewer system and directing water away from your home will reduce the amount of rainwater that enters the sewer system, preventing any sewer back up.

 

WeepingTileDisconnectionWEB

Weeping tile disconnection and sump pump installation
100 per cent subsidy, up to a maximum of $5,000
Disconnecting the weeping tiles (found around the foundation of your home) from the sewer system will prevent overloading of the sewer systems. Water from the weeping tile will be re-directed to a sump pit installed inside your basement and the sump pump will discharge it outside and away from your home.

BackwaterValveWEBBackwater valve installation
50 per cent subsidy, up to a maximum of $675
Installing a backwater valve on your home’s underground sewer lateral (pipe) will help prevent wastewater from re-entering your house.

 


SewerlateralPipeWEBSewer lateral (pipe) lining and repair

50 per cent subsidy, up to a maximum of $2,000
A sewer lateral is the pipe that carries wastewater away from your home to the municipal sewer system. Ensuring your laterals are in a state-of-good-repair and clear of debris can help prevent sewer backup.

FloodingPreventionGuideHalton Region will continue to invest in proactive measures that ensure the community can handle more frequent and severe wet weather. This includes investing $2.1 billion in our water and wastewater systems over the next 10 years to ensure municipal infrastructure is in a state of good repair and resilient to withstand heavy and significant rain events.

I encourage residents to take advantage of Halton’s subsidy program and ensure that your home is ready for whatever a changing and unpredictable climate may bring us.

To apply for a subsidy or read our Flood Prevention Guide that offers additional tips to ensure your home is flood-protected, visit halton.ca/basementflooding.

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”

Working together to protect the natural environment

NaturalHeritage1Earth Day is this Sunday April 22 and a time to reflect on the natural environment. When I think about Halton’s future and the environment, I think about our community and the strong partnerships in place that can make a difference.

Much of Halton Region’s work to protect the natural environment is guided through our Regional Official Plan.  This document sets the policies and provides direction on land use planning decisions and ensures that 50 per cent of all natural land including forests, green spaces and ecosystems are safeguarded. Our current Official Plan – Sustainable Halton – is a key policy document that ensures we are balancing the demand to grow with the need to preserve the environmental characteristics that make Halton a great place to live.

NaturalHeritage2Halton Region and our local partners work to protect our Natural Heritage System, which consists of 18,500 hectares of forests, wetlands, rivers and stream corridors in Halton, as well as large sections of the Lake Ontario shoreline and the Niagara Escarpment. Halton is also one of the most biologically diverse areas of Canada, with nearly a quarter of the country’s wild plant species located in the region.

In addition to our policies and plans, Halton Region offers programs and services for residents that contribute to protecting the natural environment.  Here are a few examples programs you can participate in:

  • Starting this month residents, businesses and facilities can recycle plastic bags and plastic overwrap. I encourage all residents, businesses and facilities to participate in our waste reduction programs. Visit halton.ca/bluebox or download the OneHalton app to learn more and find tips to use the Blue Box and Green Cart programs properly.
  • If you are a landowner with forest resources you can apply for the Woodland’s Stewardship Program, which provides financial assistance to those developing a forest management plan.
  • Residents and businesses are encouraged to properly dispose of hazardous materials and bring hazardous waste to the Halton Waste Management Site, free of charge.
  • Businesses can contribute to clean drinking water by implementing Source Water Protection Plans that protect natural drinking water sources from potential contamination caused by land use and human activities.

Community partnerships in action

NaturalHeritage3This month our local Scouts will be planting 300 mix-species trees at the Halton Waste Management Site. Over the past 17 years, Halton Region, Conservation Halton and local Scouts have planted over 6,000 trees at the site. I look forward to meeting with this year’s Scouts and talking about how we can work together to make a difference to sustain our community for future generations.

By working together to protect the natural environment, we are keeping Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. For more information about Halton’s Natural Heritage System, visit halton.ca/environment.

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”

 

Employment Halton helps boost our local economy

Halton Region’s skilled labour force is in high demand by top employers with 75 per cent of residents having attained a post-secondary education, the highest in Canada. Campuses of over 20 different universities are within an hour of Halton – fuelling the region’s highly educated workforce. Halton’s robust job market is further supported by its low unemployment rate of 4 per cent – well below the provincial average of 6.1 per cent (Halton Region 2017 Economic Review).

JobFair1Connecting this talent pool with meaningful employment opportunities and assisting Halton employers in their recruitment efforts is an important priority for Halton Region.

Employment Halton connects nearly 12,500 job seekers to over 250 local employers every year. They work closely with local businesses to provide free job postings, access to job fairs and over 400 high quality placements each year. Job seekers can also benefit from free employment workshops, skills training and networking opportunities, including those offered at job fairs.

This year’s spring job fair will be held on Tuesday, April 17 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Oakville Conference & Banquet Centre. Whether you are just starting out in your career or looking to make new connections, job seekers of all experience levels are invited to attend. This is a great opportunity to network with local employers from industries such as government, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, media, retail, technology and more.

JobFair2Employment Halton also offers programs such as Youth Job Connection, which provides placement opportunities for young people between the ages of 15 to 29, giving them a head start in their careers.

For those looking to transition into a new career, the Second Career program can provide financial assistance necessary to succeed.

Halton Region continues to invest in new and innovative programs that provide enhanced supports to those who need them the most. The new Employment and Wellness program offers addiction and mental health supports through counselling and skills development to help individuals with addictions obtain and maintain a job.

JobFair3These programs and services are offered through Employment Halton’s new Oakville location at 567 Michigan Drive and the Milton location, both of which are accessible resource centres.

I hope you take advantage of these services and if you’re seeking employment and networking opportunities, you will definitely want to attend this year’s job fair. To learn more about our employment supports, visit halton.ca/employmenthalton or haltonjobs.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”.

 

A thriving local economy and strong employment numbers keep Halton a great place to live

The numbers are in and Halton continues to be a highly attractive place to live, work and invest.

The 2017 Economic Review has revealed strong economic growth and shows that businesses continue to see Halton as a premier place to invest. The annual Economic Review analyzes key indicators that point to the overall strength of the local economy and helps to guide future planning decisions. Here are some of the highlights from this year’s Review:

Commercial & industrial space is in demand

  • Local businesses are expanding and new businesses are investing in Halton. Overall building construction and permit value – including commercial, industrial and residential – has set records and reached $3.1 billion in 2017. This tops last year’s record high of $2.1 billion in total permit value.

TotalValue

Residents are highly educated and in demand

  • UnemploymentRateHalton residents are among the most educated in Canada with 75 per cent having attained post-secondary education.
  • Businesses are tapping into our highly trained workforce. Halton reached full employment with a 4 per cent unemployment rate, which is well below the provincial and national averages of 6 per cent and 6.4 per cent respectively.

National and international businesses are taking notice

In 2017 Halton collaborated with Toronto Global to submit a bid for Amazon’s second headquarters (HQ2). In January this year, we learned that the Toronto Region bid which includes three Halton sites (Milton, Oakville, and Burlington) had been shortlisted by Amazon.

Other national and international businesses have taken notice and have invested or expanded in Halton:

  • Bradford-White Canada opened its 75,000 sq. ft. distribution and training centre last year.
  • Kraft Heinz Company announced a new distribution centre in Halton Hills, bringing more than 150 jobs to the region.
  • Magna’s two automotive parts plants in Milton underwent expansions in 2017.
  • Oakville’s Geotab was named one of the fastest growing telematics technology companies in North America.
  • Finland-based robotics company, Orfer, chose Burlington’s TechPlace as its North American location.

Businesses are confident in Halton as a place to live and work

The annual Business Conditions Survey provides a good perspective on how businesses are doing, their future plans and overall outlook. Results from the 2017 Survey align with the statistics coming out of the 2017 Review – people are investing, living and thriving in Halton:

  • four out of five businesses are optimistic about the future and expect economic conditions to remain stable or improve,
  • 65% of respondents rank Halton’s quality of life and safety as a locational advantage compared to the rest of the GTA,
  • more than half of businesses anticipate increased profits over the next 12 months,
  • one third of businesses planning to expand and hire additional staff in the next 12 months.

To learn more about investment opportunities in Halton, please visit halton.ca/invest. There, you will find the full 2017 Economic Review and Business Conditions Report, receive information on how to connect with one of our business consultants or learn about why Halton is a great place to live, work and invest.

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”.

 

New and easier ways to recycle in Halton!

Reducing community waste and keeping our neighbourhoods clean is a priority for Halton Region and top of mind for most residents as you manage your weekly household waste. Two common issues among residents are the amount of recyclables that become wind-blown litter on windy days and unacceptable plastic material. Halton Region has heard these concerns, and is responding with enhancements to the Blue Box/recycling program.bluebox changes 2

I am pleased to share that starting the week of April 2, all residents, businesses and facilities are able to recycle plastic bags and plastic overwrap. This means everything from plastic shopping bags to packaging around bathroom tissue and newspaper bags can be placed in the recycling and diverted from the Halton Waste Management Site landfill.

Along with these enhancements, residents in single family households will have more options to suit their household’s needs and prevent wind-blown litter. Recyclables for curbside collection can either be placed in a clear plastic bag, in the Blue Box only, or a combination of both! Also, there is no limit to the number of plastic bags or Blue Boxes collected each week.

bluebox changes

We are always looking for ways to improve our waste diversion rates and ensure that we are providing the best possible customer service. And thanks to resident commitment to waste reduction, Halton Region has one of the highest Blue Box participation rates across the province, and 90 per cent of Blue Box material collected in Halton is sold and recycled into new products.

Enhancements and service improvements like these and your continued participation in waste management services keeps Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

For more information including acceptable items and recycling tips, visit halton.ca/bluebox or download the OneHalton app and use the Put Waste in its Place sorting tool.

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 paramedics are everyday heroes keeping us safe

Halton’s highly trained paramedics are on the front line of health care, helping to keep our community safe. Providing critical medical care to Halton residents when they need it most, paramedics are saving and improving the lives of Halton residents every day.

The statistics speak for themselves

ParamedicDayChair2The Region’s paramedics are always ready to respond:

  • More than 250 dedicated paramedics work out of 12 stations across the region to help residents 365 days per year.
  • Paramedics transport over 30,000 patients, on average, to area hospitals each year, including over 200 heart attack patients to a cardiac catheterization lab for immediate, specialized care.
  • They answer more than 50,000 calls every year.

Their timeliness, quick thinking and life-saving skills impact the health and safety of our residents every day, but too often we only recognize their value when we are faced with an emergency situation. I am proud and thankful for their heroic and reliable services.

ParamedicDayChair1Community partnerships

Paramedics can respond more effectively when an engaged and educated community is ready to support them. To help empower residents so they know what to do in emergency situations, Halton has several community programs in place. This year we will be:

  • Providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training to more than 1,600 people in community groups across the region;
  • ParamedicDayChair3Installing more Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) in the community and providing training resources to help residents understand how to use an AED. This is in addition to the 566 AEDs currently in municipal buildings, community centres, schools, golf courses, gyms and other important community locations;
  • Continuing the Community Paramedicine @Clinic program (CP@clinic) for residents living in certain assisted housing communities that experience high volumes of 911 calls. Paramedics assess residents’ risks of high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and falls, while providing healthy living education. This innovative program has helped reduce the number of calls for paramedic services by approximately 40 per cent at the subsidized housing community in Milton and 20 per cent at the Georgetown location; and
  • Building more paramedic stations in Oakville and Milton to serve these growing communities.

Celebrate Halton Paramedics with us

ParamedicDayChair4Last year more than 1,300 people joined us for the first annual Paramedic Day to celebrate our paramedics and learn about the important work they do to protect the safety and health of our community. I hope to see even more residents at our second annual Paramedic Day on Saturday, May 26 at Halton Regional Headquarters – 1151 Bronte Road.

This year’s event will offer a variety of exciting activities for kids and people of all ages, and residents can learn about the important role paramedics play in keeping our community safe. Stay tuned for more information!

I encourage you to visit halton.ca/paramedic to learn more about the many services our paramedics offer to help 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”.

 

Halton helps local businesses go global

On February 28, I had the pleasure of celebrating the official launch of the Halton Global Business Centre (GBC), located at the Halton Regional Centre at 1151 Bronte Rd. in Oakville. Alongside attendees including industry partners, Regional Councillors and Regional staff, we unveiled the center and discussed what the GBC means for local businesses, entrepreneurs and our local economy.

The creation of the GBC means Halton businesses looking for help in exporting have a place to go. Businesses who export also benefit from higher revenues, faster revenue growth and can see an increase in productivity. When businesses are ready to start exporting, the GBC can help them reach new markets, expand their customer base and diversify their products and services. And, our local economy depends on businesses who take advantage of national and international market opportunities.

GlobalBusinessCentre

The new Centre completes the suite of services Halton has to offer businesses to start, scale up and expand. New resources, services and programs include:

  • export counseling;
  • market entry support;
  • access to information on grant opportunities;
  • workshops and seminars;
  • information on government programs; and
  • networking opportunities.

The GBC is only one of the many ways that Halton Region is supporting local businesses and building a strong, local economy. With access to our Small Business Centre and partnerships with other local and provincial experts, Halton is one of the best places to do business. Together, we can ensure Halton Region remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

To get in touch with a consultant, register for an upcoming seminar or workshop, or to learn more about the programs and services available through the GBC, visit halton.ca/goglobal.

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”.