Working together to keep Halton safe and healthy

The Halton Region Health Department works closely with doctors in our community to help enhance the health and well-being of Halton residents. From May 1-5, 2017, we will celebrate the 14th annual Halton Physician Appreciation Week on social media and through the local papers to formally acknowledge the ongoing commitment and dedication of our local doctors in keeping our communities safe and healthy.

PhysicianAppreciationHalton’s Physician Appreciation Week was originally launched as part of the Halton Physician Recruitment Initiative, an important program that works to bring family doctors to our communities. By working with each of our Local Municipalities, hospitals, doctors, clinics and community representatives, our Physician Recruitment Initiative has helped to recruit and retain more than 270 new family doctors to Halton since 2003. The program also supports hospitals by recruiting specialists, such as psychiatrists, pediatricians, emergency room physicians and hospitalists.

Through programs such as the Physician Recruitment Initiative, our goal is to enhance the quality of life for all people of Halton, today and into the future. Halton’s doctors play a significant role in achieving this vision. We are grateful that they have chosen to practice medicine in Halton! Thanks to our physicians, Halton is a safe and healthy community and a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire!

For a list of new doctors in Halton who are accepting patients, visit halton.ca/newdoctor or dial 311. To learn more about Halton Region’s Physician Recruitment Initiative, visit haltondoctors.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”.

Earth Day 2017: Enjoy and protect the region’s natural environment

Saturday, April 22 is Earth Day – an annual global event that reminds us to celebrate and protect the natural environment today and every day.  The theme of this year’s event is “EarthPLAY: Connect to your nature!” and I encourage residents to do just that. Get outside, explore the natural beauty of our region and most importantly – have fun!

If you are looking to get active and celebrate Earth Day, you can visit any one of Halton’s three Regional Waterfront Parks along Lake Ontario, cycle through the trails at Kelso, Mountsberg or Hilton Falls, or explore Halton’s over 700 hectares of rich and diverse Regional forests.

Celebrate Earth Day in your local community

Residents can also take part in local community events to celebrate Earth Day:

Burlington
Halton Hills
  • 22-Minute Makeover – Friday, April 21
  • Community Clean-Up Day – Saturday, April 22
  • Halton Hills Earth Day Event – Saturday, April 29
  • Earth Day & Sustainability Fair – Saturday, April 29
Oakville
  • 26th Annual Earth Week Clean Up –  Saturday, April 22
Milton
  • Nassagaweya Rural Road Clean-up Day – Saturday, May 6
  • Good Neighbours Community Day – Saturday, May 6

Working together to plan for a green, sustainable future

As the region continues to grow, our Regional Official Plan – our guide for land-use planning and decision making – ensures we are protecting the environment through healthy, sustainable investments in our community.

We are also committed to making it easy for residents to be environmental stewards. Below are some suggestions on how you can support your community:

  • Residents can help to divert waste from the landfill by participating in Halton’s Green Cart and Blue Box programs, and using the Halton Waste Management Site for the safe and proper disposal of household waste.
  • Residents and businesses can help protect drinking water sources through responsible use and proper disposal of hazardous chemicals such as fuels, solvents, pesticides and fertilizers. Halton is also implementing Source Protection Plans, aimed at reducing risks associated with potential contamination and overuse of our municipal drinking water sources. If you are unsure about how to properly dispose of waste, use our online Put Waste in its Place Tool to find out how easy it can be.
  • Landowners with forest resources are encouraged to apply for the Region’s Woodlands Stewardship Program which provides financial assistance for preparing a forest management plan, purchasing and planting nursery stock and employing tree marking services.
  • Residents can consider alternative modes of transportation, such as carpooling. Smart Commute Halton’s online tool helps residents find carpool partners within their organizations or along their commuting route to save time, money and protect the environment.
  • Halton Region also continues to implement the Active Transportation Master Plan to provide safer and more accessible transportation choices, while reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and contributing to our sustainable future.

I invite you to take part in local Earth Day events, explore the great outdoors and be an environmental steward every day of the year. By working together we can protect our natural environment for future generations and continue making Halton a great place to live, work and play.

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 is adapting to a changing climate

Halton Region and communities across the country are experiencing more severe weather and environmental impacts, in large part due to climate change. Halton Region is committed to ensuring we are all ready to adapt to new weather patterns and are all doing our part to reduce the region’s carbon footprint and mitigate the impacts of a changing climate.

Halton Region has specific corporate goals and actions to reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to a sustainable and liveable region for all. We ensure all corporate operations – from our facilities and fleet of vehicles to our Green Procurement Policy – aim to reduce energy consumption.

We are committed to making it easy for residents to reduce their carbon footprint and adapt to a changing climate. Here are some examples:

  • A good example of this is our commitment to implementing the Active Transportation Master Plan, the Smart Commute program and important partnerships with Metrolinx and Local Municipalities. These plans and partnerships don’t just plan for and provide alternative forms of transportation to keep our roads moving, but they also contribute to limiting air pollution in our community.
  • Halton works closely with the Ministry of Environment & Climate Change to monitor the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI), so we can provide the community with local and timely air quality updates so they can take necessary steps to protect themselves and others. To sign up for air quality alerts, visit halton.ca/airquality.
  • We are also helping residents to protect their homes and neighbourhoods from flooding. In recent years, Halton and communities across the country have seen heavier amounts and more frequent rainfall, resulting in basement flooding in some areas. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of Halton’s Enhanced Basement Flooding Prevention Subsidy Program which makes it easier and more affordable for residents to take the necessary steps, such as downspout disconnection, sump pump installation and other improvements to reduce the risk of basement flooding. To learn more about this program and other ways you can prepare for severe wet weather, visit halton.ca/basementflooding.

As our climate changes, we are ready to respond. Halton Region is committed to protecting the health and safety of all residents from the effects of a changing and often unpredictable climate. We will continue to make the necessary investments – in our infrastructure, health programs and resident support programs – to ensure Halton continues to be 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”.

2016 a strong year for job growth and investment in Halton

Halton welcomes more than 4,000 new jobs in 2016

Whether you’re running a multi-national company, opening a small business or looking for employment opportunities closer to home, Halton Region has proved, once again, that our region is a highly attractive location to live, work and invest. The latest statistics from the 2016 Economic Review indicate that continued investment and economic development led to 4,000 new jobs being added to the local economy.

Attracting business investment, supporting business start-ups and creating new jobs is more than just about the numbers – it’s about planning for a balance of business development, growth and sustainability to ensure a high quality of life for all, and providing meaningful employment opportunities in the community for our highly skilled residents.

Still, the numbers are impressive. Here are some statistics that point to our successes in job growth and business development in 2016:

  • 4,273 new jobs created in 2016.
  • Halton is home to 15 of the top 500 fastest growing companies in Canada in 2016:
    • ABL Employment
    • Acorn Global Investments
    • Astound Group
    • Avnan
    • Burlington Merchandising & Fixtures
    • ClubRunner
    • Dynamic Connections
    • HostPapa
    • Javelin Technologies
    • MarkIT Staffing Solutions
    • Mico Systems
    • Rock Star Real Estate
    • Rock Universe (Blue Rays)
    • Secure Sense Solutions
    • Three O Four
  • Halton’s unemployment rate is 5.5 per cent which is lower than the GTA, Ontario and Canadian averages of 7.0 per cent, 6.6 per cent and 7.0 per cent, respectively.
  • $832.5 million invested in institutional, commercial and industrial construction, an increase of 21 per cent since 2015, with an average annual increase of 19 per cent over the last decade.
    • $368.5 million invested in new commercial construction in 2016, an increase of 33 per cent since 2015.
    • 42 per cent increase in institutional development since 2015; 73 per cent increase over the last decade.
  • $2.14 billion worth in new building permits – a record-setting year.

These figures tell us an important story – businesses continue to invest in Halton Region and we continue to grow. With low taxes, easy access to major markets and commitment to building a healthy and complete community, Halton has what every business is looking for and offers a place where employees feel at home.

To learn more about our economic success, job growth or to read the 2016 Economic Review visit halton.ca/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”.

Providing easy access to Regional programs and services

ServiceAccessRegional Council and staff work year-round to enhance resident access to our programs and services. Our one-window approach to service delivery leverages multiple channels to help you find information and support as quickly as possible. If you’re looking for government services in Halton, your Region is only one click, one tap or one call away.

halton.ca

For online tools, service request forms and detailed program information, visit halton.ca.

We update the website daily to ensure our content is helpful and current, from documents and resources to alerts about severe weather and high-impact events. The website is a quick and easy way to check your waste collection calendar, register for events and learn about critical supports.

OneHalton app

To access our most popular information and service requests on your Apple or Android device, download the OneHalton app.

The app optimizes service request forms for yard waste labelsdiaper bag tags, immunization reportingprenatal classes and metal and appliance collection. It also features other waste collection resources, job postings, videos and more to put the Region at your fingertips.

AppleStore GooglePlay

access@halton.ca

If you email us, you will receive the same comprehensive, high-quality service available by phone. Responses will confirm service requests or follow up for additional information, and will always include detailed instructions or useful links. For a written response by the end of the next business day, email access@halton.ca.

311

Our award-winning contact centre is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist you with your questions. To speak with one of Halton’s customer service representatives, call 311 or 1-866-442-5866.

One click. One tap. One call.

In addition to the four primary ways to access our government services, we also serve residents on social media and in-person.

By ensuring easy resident access to professional, consistent, informative and friendly Regional services, we 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”.

How our top credit rating helps keep Halton a great place to live

I am pleased to let you know that for a 29th consecutive year, Moody’s Investors Service has awarded its highest credit rating to Halton Region! This distinction ranks Halton at the top end of Canadian municipalities, indicating an expectation of consistent and positive financial outcomes for the years ahead.

The Aaa rating is the result of an extensive and objective third-party analysis of our financial reports, plans and practices. The Region’s Aaa credit rating allows Halton and its local municipalities to finance major investments at the lowest possible long-term costs by providing continued access to the best capital financing rates available. It ensures we can continue to maximize the community impact of every dollar we invest in the future and is essential to maintaining Halton’s strong long-term financial position.

Halton Region is a transparent, accountable and fiscally responsible government that ensures value for taxpayer dollars. Moody’s report profiles this commitment through its wealth of high praise for the Region, affirming that our fiscal policies continue to support a thriving community.

The report reads:

“Halton’s operating results are supported by strong governance and prudent fiscal policy. The Region has forward-looking operating and capital plans that allow it to address pressures and spending requirements early on. […] Management also adheres to conservative debt and investment management policies, which limit the Regional Municipality’s exposure to market-related risks and helps ensure relatively smooth debt servicing costs. These fiscal management measures are also supported by comprehensive, transparent and timely financial reporting.”  

These strengths are the foundation of our strong long-term financial position, which allows us to deliver high quality programs and services while keeping taxes low. Moody’s analysis confirms that Regional Council and staff continue to succeed by putting residents first, and I am proud that Halton Region has earned this recognition once again.

By maintaining a strong financial position, we help keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. To learn more about the Region’s finances, visit halton.ca/budget.

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 Small Business Centre Provides Support and Networking for Entrepreneurs

At Halton Region, we are committed to helping local entrepreneurs succeed. We work with all levels of government and community partners to support small business enterprises in Halton. Our Small Business Centre offers free consultations, networking opportunities and educational sessions to support entrepreneurs, youth and newcomers looking to start, run and grow businesses in Halton, which helps our economy thrive now and in the future.

Here are some exciting entrepreneurial events coming up in March:

  • Wednesday, March 8: International Women’s Day Networking Breakfast

    Halton Region’s Small Business Centre is proud to participate in this international event that recognizes the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and women entrepreneurs globally.

    This year’s theme, “Entrepreneurship Across the Generations,” addresses the various expectations and needs of women entrepreneurs at different stages of their careers. The event offers women a chance to connect with peers, learn from each other, and provide support and inspiration through shared examples of success. The event is held in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth.

  • Tuesday, March 28: Foodiepreneur Event

    The theme for this year’s event is “The Business of Food” where attendees will learn the best recipe for starting and running a successful food business.

    Attendees will hear from local spotlight speakers about their personal experiences with their foodie businesses. They will also learn about food safety rules and regulations, required licenses and permits; and find out more about funding opportunities, connections to local farmers, and the hot topic of ‘commercial kitchens.’

With its high standards of living, strong local economy and quality public services, Halton is one of the best places in Canada to grow a business. I encourage you and your small business to register for upcoming events and learn why more and more businesses are choosing to locate and grow in Halton Region.

To register for upcoming events or learn more about the programs and services available through the Small Business Centre, please visit halton.ca/smallbusiness.

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”.