Celebrate fall at the Halton Region Museum’s 3rd annual Alexander Family Farm Day

On Sunday, September 8th, the Halton Region Museum will once again host Alexander Family Farm Day.  This day-long event truly offers something for everyonDSCF0308e.

Take this opportunity to learn about one of Halton’s original farming families, participate in fun-filled games and geocaching, visit the Blacksmith shop, take in musical performances from children’s performers Groovin’ Toons and Turkey Rhubarb and help create the Museum’s piece of the Quilt Trail.  

This year, raptor specialists from Conservation Halton will be on hand to present a “Nose-to-Beak” Birds of Prey show.DSCF9557

You can bring a picnic or enjoy food and beverages provided by the Rotary Club of Milton, along with a special 1812 Bicentennial ice cream cone.

Alexander Family Farm day is also an official family event of PwC Epic Tour Halton. This annual mass-participation cycling event is expected to bring 3,000 recreational cyclists to Halton Region for its inaugural event on Sunday September 8th.  With routes of 140k, 80K, 50K and a Family 10K, Epic Tour (www.epictour.ca) is an event designed for all ages and cycling abilities.

This September 8, I invite you to bring the whole family and explore Halton’s natural and cultural heritage with the Halton Region Museum. Learn more by dialing 311 or visiting www.halton.ca/farmday.  You can also join the event on Facebook.  Tickets are $5 for adults. Children 18 and under are free.

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 Quarterly Accomplishments (Q1, 2013)

Fiscal Responsibility

AAA credit rating – Halton’s AAA Credit Rating was reaffirmed by Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s. The AAA Credit Rating is an achievement that is widely recognized in the investment industry and an acknowledgement of Halton’s strong financial position.

Attracting and Retaining Jobs

Celebrating women in business – On March 6, in celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8), Halton Region’s Small Business Centre, in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, hosted a business event for Women Entrepreneurs to “learn, connect and grow!”

Lowe’s Distribution Centre – On March 11, Halton Region joined the Town of Milton at a board cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Lowe’s Canada Distribution Centre at 3333 James Snow Parkway (West of Hwy. 25) in Milton.

Economic Development Strategy report – Halton Region’s Economic Development Strategy is on track, with all 50 actions scheduled for 2012 complete, according to a report presented to Regional Council on March 27. This is the first report marking the progress of the Region’s 10-year Economic Development Strategic Implementation Plan, which was approved by Council in 2011.

Promoting Tourism

Cycling event announced – Three-time Olympic cycling medalist Curt Harnett was at the HaltonRegionMuseum on January 22 to help announce the PwC Epic Tour Halton, a GranFondo-style mass participation cycling event featuring some of the most spectacular cycling terrain in the Greater Toronto Area. The first annual event is scheduled for September 8, 2013, coinciding with the Museum’s 3rd annual Alexander Family Farm Day.

Museum performances – On Monday, February 11 the Halton Museum Foundation presented two performances of “The Spirit of Harriet Tubman” at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. The performances celebrate the life and work of the famous Underground Railroad conductor.

Public Engagement

2012 Report to the Citizens – Halton Region issued the second annual Report to the Citizens about progress on the Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan.  Key accomplishments highlighted in the 2012 Report to the Citizens illustrate how Halton Region continues to deliver value to taxpayers.

Partnerships

Non-profit networking – Over 90 people from various sectors participated in the first session of the Let’s Talk…Let’s Connect networking series with the non-profit sector on February 13. The session focused on creating opportunities for conversation, networking and learning to strengthen relationships and build capacity within the non-profit sector.

Be an Employer of Choice

Recruitment video – Human Resources launched a recruitment video to help job seekers see the advantages of working for Halton Region.  The video is posted on Halton’s website and on YouTube.

Transportation

EA completed – To help make sure road infrastructure is ready in 2015 for the opening of the new Oakville hospital, Halton completed the Class Environmental Assessment Study for widening Dundas Street to six lanes that will include curb High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes. The expanded Regional Road will include enhancements that will create an attractive space for pedestrians and cyclists in order to encourage and facilitate active transportation.

Infrastructure

Watermain Replacement – Sections of the watermain on Martha Street and Lakeshore Road in downtown Burlington were replaced as part of the Region’s infrastructure maintenance and improvement program. Final restoration of the work area will take place this spring.

New Watermain installed along Louis St. Laurent – Construction of a new transmission watermain along Louis St. Laurent Avenue, between Fourth Line and Regional Road 25 in the Town of Milton, was completed and commissioned. The new watermain will deliver water to new and established neighbourhoods in the area.

Zone 5 Pump Station at Fourth Line in Milton – In January, construction was completed on a new water booster station on Fourth Line south of Louis St. Laurent Avenue. The new pumping station will help deliver clean, safe drinking water to residents of Milton.

New infrastructure to support commercial development – New water and wastewater mains were installed along Steeles Avenue, between Trafalgar Road and Eighth Line North. The new Halton Hills Wastewater Pumping Station #3, located east of Eighth Line North, is also now in service.

Environmental Protection and Conservation of Water

Public Works recognized by the Consulting Engineers of Ontario – The recently completed Inlet Works project at the Acton Wastewater Treatment Plant was the recipient of an “Award of Excellence” from the Consulting Engineers of Ontario. This award was presented on April 20 at the Ontario Science Centre.

Lake Erie Proposed Source Protection Plan – To help protect the sources of Halton’s municipal drinking water systems, Halton Region’s Water Services, together with the Local Municipalities, reviewed and provided comments on the Lake Erie Proposed Source Protection Plan. The Plan is a component of The Clean Water Act, passed by the Province of Ontario.

Annual reports for municipal drinking-water systems – Halton Region Water Services completed annual reports for each of Halton’s five municipal drinking-water systems. The reports, legislated by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, demonstrate the Region’s continuous commitment to providing safe drinking water.

Waste Management

Online waste collection toolIn February, Halton Region launched the new online Waste Collection Calendar Tool at www.halton.ca/wastecalendar. The new tool allows residents to easily and quickly search for the dates and materials of their next waste collection by inputting their address. Users can also sign up to receive email, phone or Twitter waste collection reminders, or add a waste collection schedule to their personal iCal, Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook calendar.

Service request tool for garbage tags – Halton Region launched an online service request tool to help resident order garbage tags from Halton’s website. A total of 3,102 online orders placed through www.halton.ca/GarbageTags were successfully fulfilled in March 2013.

Blue box pick-up events – In March, Waste Management Services held eight Blue Box Pick-up events for residents.  At the events, new larger (22 gallon) Blue Boxes were available to residents to help them manage new recycling materials (www.halton.ca/NewInBlue) accepted in Halton’s Blue Box program as of April 1. Blue Boxes were also available at Halton Regional Centre, Robert C. Austin Operations Centre, and the Halton Waste Management. A total of 50,000 Blue Boxes were handed out in March.

Corporate Sustainability

Earth Hour – Halton Region turned participated in Earth Hour on March 23 by turning off the lights and all non-essential electrical equipment in support of this global initiative to raise awareness about the importance of taking action to fight climate change.

Children and Youth Development

Online prenatal program – The Health Department’s new online prenatal program—The Gift of Motherhood—was evaluated earlier this year. The evaluation showed a significant reduction of the waitlist for face-to-face classes and that 600 additional families have now been able to receive prenatal education. The online prenatal program continues to be offered free of charge to Halton residents.

Seniors

Accreditation with Exemplary Standing – Halton Region’s Service for Seniors Division and the North Halton Mental Health Clinic achieved Accreditation with Exemplary Standing as the final result for the 2012 Accreditation Canada on site survey. Exemplary Standing is the highest level of performance that a Canadian healthcare provider can receive, indicating that the services provided have met and exceeded national standards.

Assessment Entry Module – On March 18, Halton launched our new Assessment Entry Module software in our Community Programs. This new software allows assessment information to move with a client from one health service provider to another to improve quality of care.

Protecting Public Health

Food handler training – On January 1 the first phase of Halton’s Mandatory Food Handler Training Bylaw came into effect. It requires all high-risk food premises to have a certified food handler on site while the kitchen is operating.  To support owners and operators in Halton, the Health Department offers several options to complete the food handler certification training including online study guides, a full day course and on-site training.

Income and Health Inequalities report – On January 29 the Health Department released the Income and Health Inequalities in Halton Region (pdf) that examined 23 health indicators to determine how much income effects health for Halton residents.

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


Halton’s quarterly accomplishments (Q4, 2012)

Fiscal Responsibility

2013 Budget and Business Plan – On December 12, 2012, Regional Council approved the 2013 Budget and Business Plan with a zero per cent tax increase. This is the seventh consecutive year with an average zero percent tax increase for Regional programs and services. This is one of the best records in all of Canada.

Attracting and Retaining Jobs

Real Estate Forum – On November 8, 2012, more than 200 industrial, commercial developers and real estate brokers from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) attended Halton Region’s Real Estate Forum, for an update on the industrial and commercial real estate market in Halton and the GTA. Participants took away the key message that Halton is indeed a location of choice, and a “hot spot” for forward thinking businesses.

Entrepreneurship Week – From November 12 to 14, 2012, more than100 entrepreneurs in Halton Region attended the second annual Entrepreneurship Week Event hosted by Halton Region Small Business Centre and the regional innovation centre, HalTech.

Data centre launched – Halton Economic Development launched a new online regional data centre in November.  The data centre provides a central online resource location for Regional economic research and investment information.  These new pages include a wealth of data and information regarding Development Activity, Economic Activity, Demographics, Labour Force, Industries, Taxes and Utilities.

Promoting Tourism

Jeff’s Home award – On October 18th 2012, the Halton Region Museum received an Award of Excellence from the Ontario Museum Association (OMA) for Jeff’s Home: a virtual tour of the escarpment in Halton. The OMA Award of Excellence in Programs is awarded to individuals, institutions, corporations or agencies for programming that creatively engages new audiences, or provides exemplary service to existing ones.  Since it was launched, there have been more than 38,000 visits to the Jeff’s Home website.

Emergency Preparedness

Exercise “Lights Out” – On October 4, 2012, Halton Regional and Local emergency staff and officials participated in Exercise “Lights Out” as part of Halton Region’s emergency exercise program. As the name suggests, participants responded to a simulated community emergency – a large, area-wide power black-out that lasted several days – the result of an ice storm.

Community Emergency Notification Service test – On Thursday, December 6, 2012, Halton Region and the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton and the Town of Oakville successfully tested Halton’s Community Emergency Notification Service (CENS). CENS is an emergency telephone notification service. In the event of a major disaster or catastrophe, CENS will phone affected households throughout Halton.

Partnerships

Launch of Halton Newcomer Portal – The Halton Newcomer Portal was launched in November before an audience of over 200 newcomers who attended the annual Halton Information Services Fair.  The portal is a community based website that helps newcomers identify the community supports and services they can access prior to or when they arrive in Halton. The portal is part of the Halton Newcomer Strategy which is a key initiative in the Citizens’ Priorities – Halton Region’s 2011-2014 Action Plan. Through the Halton Newcomer Strategy, Halton Region’s focus is on removing barriers to employment for newcomers and supporting initiatives that improve access to services for newcomers in Halton.

Planning Sustainable Communities

Joint public information session: review of the current Master Plan for the Burloak Regional Waterfront Park – On December 12, 2012, together with the City of Burlington, the Town of Oakville and Conservation Halton, Halton Region held a successful Public Information Meeting to invite public input into the review of the current Master Plan for the Burloak Regional Waterfront Park as well as to invite comment on a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment Study for the Burlington East drainage area to confirm the preferred wastewater servicing strategy.

Affordable and Assisted Housing

Be a Hero contest and awards ceremony – A class from Assumption Secondary High School won first place for their YouTube video entitled “Home” at the Be a Hero – Be a Voice for Affordable Housing awards ceremony on November 21, 2012. Over 200 people were in attendance at the awards ceremony and over 160 youth participated in this year’s contest. Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free The Children and Me to We was the keynote speaker at the awards ceremony.  The Be a Hero contest challenges Halton youth (ages 14-18) to use their creativity to raise awareness about the issues of affordable housing and homelessness in Halton.

Children and Youth Development

Events supporting parents and positive youth development – In November, the Halton Our Kids Network hosted the Do Your Part! National Conference on Positive Youth Development. Over 240 people, including over 40 youth, participated in the two-day conference dedicated to positive youth development. The two days were filled with 28 inspiring learning sessions; many led and delivered by youth.

At the conference, public health nurses presented the “A New Kind of Parenting: Raising Kids Ages 10 to 16” resource to service providers from across Canada. The resource was also presented to Halton parents at the annual Parent Involvement Conference with the Halton District School Board, to support parents in their journey and promote positive parenting and developmental assets messages.

Events for Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week (November 18 to 24) – During Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week, the Our Kids Network Bullying Prevention Task Force held two events on November 22, 2012.  A community forum was coordinated during the morning as an opportunity for service providers to dialogue about gaps in bullying prevention and intervention programs and services and to identify potential opportunities for collaboration to address bullying among children and youth across Halton Region.  An evening presentation was also held for parents with a keynote presentation by Dr. Tracy Vaillancourt of the University of Ottawa, which focused on debunking myths about bullying.

Consultation with schools and child care centres – Halton Region Children’s Services Program Support Consultants visited approximately 20 classrooms in the Halton District and Catholic District School Boards, and used the Environmental Ratings Scales to complete an observation and consultation with the Early Childhood Educators and Kindergarten Teachers. Supporting Full Day Kindergarten programs in this manner gives the educators an opportunity to look at their room set up, supervision of children and program through consultative discussions.

Five community child care centres and three schools offering Full Day Kindergarten toured our Halton Region Child Care Centres to observe inclusive, high quality and play-based curriculum. In total, 15 Early Childhood Educators and four Kindergarten Teachers have toured and observed classrooms.  

Protecting Public Health

Making progress with Ontario’s Defibrillator Access Initiative – In 2012 Halton Region received grant funding from the Government of Ontario, through the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, to place 116 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in all elementary schools in the Halton District School Board and the Halton Catholic District School Board.   This grant funding includes training of at least 10 people per defibrillator location. Halton EMS instructors placed over 100 of the AEDs and trained over 1000 people in October, November and December alone.

Halton EMS participating in drug study to improve patient outcomes – For several years Halton EMS has participated in the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium, a large North American study regarding cardiac arrest and traumatic injury.  Halton EMS was the first service in Canada to enroll a patient in the new ALPS (Amiodarone, Lidocaine or Placebo Study)trial that started in October 2012.  The goal of ALPS is to determine if survival to hospital discharge after cardiac arrest is improved with early (and if necessary) repeated administration of a new formulation of IV amiodarone compared to no antiarrhythmic drug (placebo) or lidocaine.

Promoting Healthy Living

Dental supplies to food banks – A new initiative to provide dental supplies to food banks began in mid 2012 with the goal of providing tools and education to reduce oral health problems experienced by residents attending food banks. Through early December, staff distributed oral care products to 11 Halton area food banks. A total of 34,026 items including tooth brushes, toothpaste, dental floss, and brushing instructions were donated. Follow-up evaluations showed great appreciation and continued need for these supplies. Based on these responses, the Health Department will continue the distribution twice per year.

The Honourable Bob Rae, M.P., and Dr. Amy Cheung keynote speakers at Halton Suicide Prevention Coalition annual general meeting – On November 9, 2012, the Halton Suicide Prevention Coalition welcomed The Honourable Bob Rae, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and M.P. for Toronto Centre, and Dr. Amy Cheung to their Annual General Meeting. Over 300 people attended this event. Mr. Rae provided an inspirational message to those working in the mental health field, and also offered his insights into Bill C-300, a Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention. Dr. Amy Cheung, a psychiatrist specializing in child and adolescent depression and suicide highlighted the risk factors and interventions for youth at risk of suicide.

Air Quality

Rollout of “Wings and Thingamajigs” – In September, the Health Department’s children’s book, “Wings and Thingamajigs,” was distributed to elementary schools. This was followed by several additional events, including distribution at several libraries, health and environmental events throughout Halton. At a few events, owls from Mountsberg’s Raptor Centre helped to present the book. In addition, staff were invited to present at the Municipal Communications Conference on “A Farewell to Featherwagons,” the first book in the series and a featured 2012 Gold Quill Award Winner.  

Seniors

New Programming Options for Seniors in HCHC Sites – In the fall, staff in the Older Adults Program collaborated with the Halton Community Housing Corporation to launch several activities designed to support residents’ health. The activities include: facilitating additional sites for the Food for Life Program; organizing display racks for information on community resources; introducing an outreach program from one of the seniors’ centres; initiating a pedometer-lending kit program; and facilitating a WalkOn workshop to improve walkability in the neighbourhood.

Milton Place celebrates 25th anniversary – On October 25, 2012, Halton Region’s Milton Place adult day program proudly celebrated its 25th anniversary.  Milton Place offers innovative, therapeutic recreational programming to seniors, adults with disabilities and their caregivers.

Allendale celebrates 60th anniversary – On November 12, 2012, Halton Region’s Allendale Long-Term Care Home celebrated its 60th anniversary.  Allendale originally opened in 1952 as Halton Centennial Manor and is now home to 200 residents.

Waste Management

Revised waste collection by-law – In November, Halton Regional Council passed a new waste collection By-law which will assist in the public education and implementation of waste collection program changes starting on April 1, 2013, including more acceptable items in Blue Boxes and a new garbage bag limit.

Waste management awards – Halton Region’s  Waste Management program was the recipient of several awards from the Recycling Council of Ontario in October, including: Combined Gold Waste Minimization Award for Municipal Diversion for overall program, Communications for HaltonRecycles social media program, and Unique Program for the hot beverage paper cup recycling pilot with industry partners.

In October, Halton Region also received Promotion & Education Awards from the Municipal Waste Association, including Gold Digital Tool for HaltonRecycles social media program, Gold Newsletter for WasteLess News (Spring 2012 issue), and Bronze Brochure/Booklet for “Rethinking Our Waste: 2012-2016 Solid Waste Management Strategy” booklet.

Transportation

New CN Rail overpass on extended James Snow Parkway in the Town of Milton – A four-lane extension to James Snow Parkway (Regional Road 4) was completed recently, extending east from Regional Road 25 to Boston Church Road in the Town of Milton. The project also included the construction of a new four-lane overpass for the Canadian National Railway line east of Regional Road 25.

Dundas Street widening and Sixteen Mile Creek bridges in the Town of Oakville – Halton Region’s five-year and almost $60 million project to widen a section of Dundas Street (Regional Road 5) and replace the bridge spanning Lions Valley Park was completed last year. The road was widened from four to six lanes between Proudfoot Trail and Neyagawa Boulevard (Regional Road 4), and the existing four-lane bridge was replaced by twin bridges, each with three vehicle lanes and a three-metre dedicated pedestrian/bike path.

Road resurfacing in the Towns of Milton and Halton Hills – As part of the Region’s road resurfacing program, work was completed on four roads in the Town of Milton and the Town of Halton Hills: Campbellville Road (Regional Road 9) from Milburough Line to Guelph Line; Steeles Avenue (Regional Road 8) from Martin Street to Esquesing Line; Martin Street (Regional Road 25) from Steeles Avenue to Highway 401; and Trafalgar Road (Regional Road 3) from 5 Side Road to 15 Side Road.

Citizens view of Regional construction projects – In December, Halton Region launched a new interactive mapping tool to help residents learn more about Regional construction projects. The online tool is being tested as part of a pilot project. Try it at www.halton.ca/construction and give us your feedback!

Infrastructure

Watermain replacement completed on Elmwood Crescent in the Town of Milton – In a joint project with the Town of Milton, Halton Region replaced the aging watermain on Elmwood Crescent, from Bell Street to Heslop Road to ensure a safe and reliable drinking water supply.

New watermain installed along Steeles Avenue in the Town of Milton – Last November, the Region replaced an aging watermain on Steeles Avenue, between Martin Street and Harrop Drive, as part of the road resurfacing project between Martin Street and Esquesing Line in the Town of Milton. The existing cast iron watermain had reached the end of its service life and was replaced with a new watermain to ensure a safe and reliable drinking water supply.

Dundas Street corridor projects completed in the Town of Oakville – A number of projects were completed along the Dundas Street corridor in North Oakville. A new wastewater main was completed on Neyagawa Boulevard (Regional Road 4) between Sixteen Mile Drive and Burnhamthorpe Road (Regional Road 27). The existing wastewater main was upgraded along Third Line between Upper Middle Road (Regional Road 38) and Dundas Street. The new North Oakville East Wastewater Pumping Station was also completed and commissioned at the end of 2012.

Environmental Protection and Conservation of Water

Submission of joint municipal comments on proposed source water protection plans – Halton Region staff provided input into a joint submission with the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville on the proposed Source Water Protection Plans (CTC and Lake Erie Source Protection Areas) to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the Plan’s implementation requirements, issues and challenges.

Municipal water treatment facilities and distribution systems achieve 100% compliance rating – All of Halton’s municipal water treatment facilities and distributions systems inspected by the provincial Ministry of the Environment in 2012 achieved a 100% compliance rating.

Halton Region completed biennial audit of Region’s environmental laboratories – The Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation Inc. conducts biennial on-site assessments of Halton’s water-testing laboratory along with regular proficiency testing to ensure the laboratory constantly demonstrates quality and competence in testing. Laboratories performing testing on drinking water in Ontario must be licensed by the Ministry of the Environment, accredited and inspected. Accreditation is also a regulatory requirement for some types of wastewater and biosolids testing. Laboratory accreditation is an important mechanism to provide assurance to regulators and customers.

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

Celebrate Family Day 2013 with a Halton Happening!

Searching for a new Family Day tradition? This long weekend, find fun right here in Halton. Halton Region offers parks, museums and galleries, special events, unique dining, shopping and much more!IMG_3089

In Burlington

In Halton Hills

In MiltonGlen Eden 26

In Oakville

Halton offers countless opportunities – truly something for everyone.  You can find a list of things to see and do in Halton on the Region’s tourism portal, Discovering Halton.

Enjoy this weekend with your family and friends!  To learn more, dial 311 or visit www.halton.ca/tourism. Find Halton Tourism on Facebook and join the conversation on Twitter @HaltonTourism or Pinterest at pinterest.com/haltontourism.

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

Halton’s quarterly accomplishments (Q3, 2012)

Attracting and Retaining Jobs

  • Summer Company

This past summer, the Halton Region Small Business Centre once again worked with young entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their own businesses through participation in the provincially funded Summer Company program. This year’s eight Halton Summer Companies offered a variety of services – everything from graphic design and exterior painting to swimming lessons and flyer delivery services.

  • Lowe’s Canada’s Distribution Centre

On August 1, Halton Region joined the Town of Milton for a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction of Lowe’s Canada’s Distribution Centre at 3333 James Snow Parkway in Milton. The new 626,000 sq. ft. Canadian Distribution Centre is expected to provide more than 500 full and part-time jobs plus local construction jobs.

  • Delegation from Liaoning Province in China

On September 6th, Halton Region and Oakville Mayor Rob Burton welcomed a delegation from Liaoning Provincial Government of the People’s Republic of China. Delegates attended presentations about Halton’s economy, key industries, sustainable economic and planning policies as well as Halton’s entrepreneurship and innovation services. The meeting ended with a discussion around opportunities for synergies and collaboration.

Promoting Tourism

  • Alexander Family Farm Day

On Sunday, September 9th, the Halton Region Museum hosted Alexander Family Farm Day. More than 250 people attended the day which featured such activities as Pioneer Chores & Games, Living as a Blacksmith, concerts from children’s entertainers and a petting zoo.

  • “Back to the Land Camps”

The Halton Region Museum hosted five weeks of “Back to the Land Camps” in partnership with Planet Kids featuring environmental, cultural, and historical programming during July and August.

Planning Sustainable Communities

  • Online access to employment data

In July, Halton Region launched its first web-based mapping tool that offers a bird’s eye view of employment characteristics in Halton.  The new tool, GeoEmployment Viewer, provides access to Halton-specific 2011 employment information which is based on data collected by the Region’s Planning Services Division through its annual employment survey. Halton Region uses this data to understand employment and industry trends, as well as employment densities within specific geographic areas.

  •  Consultation on draft ROPA 38 Implementation Guidelines

Halton Region launched new web pages in July to encourage dialogue and feedback on a series of draft Guidelines, designed to assist in the implementation of Regional Official Plan Amendment No. 38 (ROPA 38), “An Amendment to Incorporate the Results of Sustainable Halton, Official Plan Review Directions and Other Matters.”  Regional staff will take all comments received into consideration when finalizing the Guidelines and will forward a report to the Region’s Inter-Municipal Liaison Committee with the final draft Guidelines, with a recommendation for Council to approve the Guidelines in early spring 2013.

Agriculture

  • Farm Tour

On September 20, the Halton Agricultural Advisory Committee successfully hosted its 32nd Annual Halton Farm Tour, “Horsepower in Halton.”  The tour highlighted three equine operations in Halton. Attendees had the opportunity to meet and hear from agricultural leaders, ask questions, and learn about issues and trends affecting Halton’s equine industry.

  • Simply Local: Your Guide to Halton Farms

In August, Halton Region released Simply Local: Your guide to Halton farms. This updated publication provides a directory of Halton farms open to the public, nurseries and garden centres, farmers’ markets, heritage farms, fall fairs and horse farms offering riding trails, lessons and camps.

Customer Service

  • 311 Halton online

On September 4, Halton Region launched 311 Halton Online. This new online tool allows residents to find, pay, register, report and request services from Halton Region, the Halton Regional Police Service and the Local Municipalities, including the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton and the Town of Oakville.

Public Engagement

  • Enhanced social media options for Waste Management and Tourism

To reach out to and engage with new audiences, Halton Region’s Tourism group has added to its social media arsenal with a presence on Pinterest. Pinterest is a content sharing service that allows members to “pin” images, videos and other objects to a “pinboard.” Halton Region’s Waste Management group also recently added Pinterest to their current social media offerings (Twitter and Blog). The addition of Pinterest to both Halton’s Tourism and Waste programs is another step to provide residents with an interactive, engaging platform to share and learn about all the interesting things to see and do in Halton including learning about all aspects of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle.)

Partnerships

  • More community programs benefiting from the Halton Region Community Investment Fund

Children, seniors and people with disabilities are among the groups benefiting from funding allocated this year to 26 community projects and programs through the Halton Region Community Investment Fund. In July, Regional Council approved allocations to 10 organizations for multi-year funding and 16 community programs for one-time grants, to support programs that provide community health or social services to the Halton community. The total amount awarded for one-time grants and multi-year funding this year is $771,195.

Be an Employer of Choice

  • Long service celebrated

On September 27, Halton Region celebrated the long service of Regional employees. This year’s long service award recipients represent more than 2700 years of public service to the residents of Halton Region.

Advocacy

  • Advocating against a proposed new provincial highway in Burlington

On July 4, 2012, representatives from the Niagara-GTA Provincial Highway project team made a presentation to the Halton Region Planning and Public Works Committee on the current Environmental Assessment (EA) Study being conducted related to the proposed Provincial Highway. This presentation provided Regional Council with another opportunity to express their opposition to any new highway cutting through the Escarpment in north Burlington. The Province’s project team is continuing to work to evaluate transportation options. Halton Region and the City of Burlington continue to work together to oppose a new provincial highway in Burlington.

Transportation

  • Keeping our roads moving

Making sure that drivers on our Regional Road network are moving safely and efficiently is a critical priority for Halton Region. As a result, three transportation progression analyses were completed to make sure traffic lights are coordinated and helping to improve traffic movement. In addition, a workshop was held to begin to develop guidelines and identify best practices for Transportation Demand Management initiatives to help relieve congestion on Regional roads.

  • Reconstruction started on Regional Road 25 from Derry Road to Britannia Road including Regional Road 25 4-lane widening and reconstruction from Highway 401 to 5 Side Road

Work is underway on two road projects on Regional Road 25 in the Town of Milton. The section between Britannia Road and Derry Road  is being widened to four lanes and includes the replacement of the bridge over Sixteen Mile Creek. The section between Highway 401 and 5 Side Road is also being widened and reconstructed with the base layer of asphalt to be completed by the end of 2012.

  • Construction started on James Snow Parkway from Regional Road 25 to Boston Church Road, including construction of the Canadian National Railway overpass structure

Work is being completed on a new Canadian National Railway overpass structure on James Snow Parkway in the Town of Milton. The project also includes the widening of James Snow Parkway to four lanes between Regional Road 25 and Holgate Crescent, and the construction of a new four lane street extension from Holgate Crescent to west of Boston Church Road. New street lights, sidewalks and a multi-use pathway are also being constructed as part of the work. All work will be completed by the end of 2012.

Infrastructure

  • Infrastructure report card

In order to continue to invest in transportation, water, waste and wastewater infrastructure, it’s critical to know the current state of Regional public works infrastructure. The recent Public Works infrastructure report card shows us where we need to focus our efforts and budget. We also completed the Wastewater Pumping Station Master Plan, which will guide improvements to our wastewater pumping stations.

  • Construction started for Phase 2 Upgrades to the Oakville Water Purification Plant

In July, Halton Region began upgrading the Oakville Water Purification Plant to ensure the plant continues to provide safe, clean drinking water to the residents of Oakville and Milton. Work will include upgrades to the filter building and the raw water pumping station, and relocation of the treated water pumping station within the plant. Some landscape and architectural improvements will also be made. The $30 million project is partially funded through the federal Gas Tax Fund.

Environmental Protection and Conservation of Water

  • Hosted the 7th Annual Children’s Water Festival

The seventh annual Halton Children’s Water Festival was held from September 25 to 28, 2012, with almost 4,000 Halton students from grades two to five participating. The four-day festival is co-hosted by Conservation Halton and Halton Region in partnership with the Halton District School Board, the Halton Catholic District School Board, the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville and took place outdoors at the Kelso Conservation Area in Milton.  The Festival provides children with a unique opportunity to learn about water in a fun and interactive way while covering Ontario curriculum requirements.

Waste Management

  • Special Waste Drop-Off Days in Burlington and Oakville

On Saturday, August 25 at the Burlington Closed Landfill and Saturday, September 22 at the Suncor Energy Facility in Oakville Halton Region held Special Waste Drop-off Days.  The drop-off days were designed to provide Halton residents with a convenient opportunity to safely recycle and dispose of items which should not be placed in the garbage. Almost 1500 residents attended both events.

  • Pilot program for hot beverage paper cup recycling implemented

On September 20, 2012 Halton Region launched a four month pilot project in Ward 4 Burlington, to determine whether hot beverage paper cups can effectively be recycled in the Blue Box instead of being composted as part of the GreenCart program. This pilot project will allow Halton Region, other municipalities, brand owners, Stewardship Ontario, and recycling companies to find out how well hot beverage paper cups can be recycled in a municipal Blue Box program.  The paper cup pilot is funded by Stewardship Ontario, a private, not-for-profit, industry led stewardship organization through support from Halton Region, Emterra (Halton’s Blue Box processer) and Tim Hortons.

  • Halton Waste Management Site 20th anniversary event

On Saturday, September 29, over 600 Halton residents of all ages attended a community drop-in event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Halton Waste Management Site. The Halton Waste Management Site opened in 1992 and was originally expected to last only 20 years or until the year 2012 but thanks to the efforts of Halton residents participating in Halton’s waste diversion programs the landfill life is now projected to the year 2040.

  • Pilot program for Halton’s household hazardous waste depot

At the Waste Management 20th Anniversary event, Halton Region launched a pilot project for an Orange Box to collect household hazardous waste. The Orange Box was designed to be used at home to easily store and transport household hazardous waste to the Halton Waste Management Site for recycling or safe disposal. This pilot project will determine whether the Orange Box assists residents in the diversion of their household hazardous waste products.

Children and Youth Development

  • Halton responds to provincial discussion paper

In September, together with Our Kids Network-Early Years and Partners for Children with Special Needs, Halton’s Children’s Services submitted a response to Modernizing Child Care in Ontario, a discussion paper released by the provincial Ministry of Education. Released earlier this year, the discussion paper invited Ontarians to provide feedback about the child care system in Ontario. Among the items Halton and its partners advocated for was stable funding to ensure a vibrant and well-connected early learning and child care system where qualified staff receive adequate compensation. To view the complete response, visit Our Kids Network’s plans, strategies and other resources.

  • Council endorses bullying prevention activities

On September 4, Regional Council endorsed support for activities led by the Our Kids Network Bullying Prevention Task Force. The task force consists of a number of community organizations, including the Halton Region Health Department, who are committed to addressing issues of bullying across Halton Region. The task force’s activities have included the completion of a literature review to identify recommended strategies for bullying prevention and support for children and youth.

Seniors

  • Services for Seniors awarded accreditation with commendation from Accreditation Canada

In September 2012, Halton’s Services for Seniors programs, including Allendale, Creek Way and Post Inn Village long-term care homes, adult day programs and seniors assisted living sites were surveyed by Accreditation Canada. This was a voluntary process to measure Halton’s programs and services against national standards of excellence. Halton Region received an official award of Accreditation with Commendation, an impressive accomplishment that illustrates the hard work of staff dedicated to providing safe and quality services within a culture of caring.

Protecting Public Health

  • New ambulance and two emergency response units now in service

On July 16, one new ambulance and two new emergency response units that were approved by Regional Council in the 2012 budget were placed in service.  These vehicles are staffed 12-hours per day during peak demand periods, and are deployed throughout the Region as required.  These new resources are intended to address growth and reduce paramedic response times.

Promoting Healthy Living

  • Health Department hosted Workplace Health Networking Meeting

On September 12, the Halton Region Health Department hosted a Workplace Health Networking Meeting in partnership with Transportation Services on the topic of Smart Commute, called “Taking the Work Out of Getting to Work.” Twenty-seven professionals met to learn more about Active Transportation (walking and cycling) and carpooling as options for their employees’ commutes. They were educated on the health benefits for employees that result from reduced employee stress and increased physical activity.

  • Chronic Disease Prevention team supported the employee Health and Safety week at Costco Burlington

During the week of September 10 to 14, the Chronic Disease Prevention team supported the employee Health and Safety week at Costco Burlington, a workplace with more than 250 staff.  Community Food Advisors provided information and education on healthy eating to staff, while health promoters provided education and consultation on preventing chronic disease and quitting smoking.

  • Spreading the “Silence Hurts” message for World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10, 2012 marked the 10th anniversary of World Suicide Prevention Day. The Halton Suicide Prevention Coalition partnered with the Health Department’s Talking about Addictions and Mental Illness program to raise awareness about suicide prevention. Seventy-seven people were reached through four sessions of “Silence Hurts: Sustaining Life and Preventing Suicide,” held throughout Halton.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”  You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook.

Discover Halton this summer!

There’s no better place to enjoy summer fun than Halton. This summer, stroll along Burlington’s Waterfront Trail or take part in the Joseph Brant Day Festival on August 6.  Enjoy first class jazz at Downtown Oakville’s Jazz Festival, August 10-12, or visit one of the Town’s many shops, galleries and restaurants.

Drop by a Farmers’ Market in Georgetown or Acton or participate in Acton’s Leathertown Festival on August 12. Take in a movie under the stars at Kelso Conservation Area or register for Alexander Family Farm Day at Halton Region Museum.  Experience life on the farm with antique tractors and steam engines at Country Heritage Park in Milton.

Halton offers countless opportunities for entertainment, recreation, education, relaxation and fun – truly something for everyone.  You can find a list of things to see and do in Halton on the Region’s tourism webpages, Discovering Halton.

We also recently released an updated 2012 Cycling in Halton map. This easy-to-use map not only includes a bird’s eye view of the entire Region, but also recommends seven loop rides with suggested routes that include urban areas and nearby scenic, rural roads suitable for cycling.

This month we are also releasing Simply Local: Your guide to Halton farms.  This resource lists farmers’ markets, nurseries, horse farms, pick your own and on-farm markets.

Whether you are planning a staycation, looking for ways to keep out-of-town guests entertained, or just want to help promote our wonderful community, I invite you to discover and share Halton on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.  And you still have one day left to enter our latest contest. Tell us about your favourite summer activity in Halton and/or send us your best summer photo to be entered into a draw to win great prizes courtesy of Conservation Halton.

To learn more, visit www.halton.ca/tourism, dial 311, 905-825-6000, toll free 1-866-442-5866, TTY 905-827-9833. Find Halton Tourism on Facebook and join the conversation on Twitter @HaltonTourism or on Pinterest at pinterest.com/haltontourism

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

Halton Region Museum unveils Jeff’s Home

As Halton residents, we are fortunate to live in the path of the Niagara Escarpment. The landscape, recreational and learning opportunities it provides truly add to the high quality of life we enjoy in Halton Region. 
 
Earlier this month the Halton Region Museum officially unveiled a new website featuring the Escarpment in Halton called Jeff’s Home. The interactive, informative and easy-to-use experiential exhibition on the Escarpment in Halton is named after the Jefferson Salamander, an Escarpment inhabitant.

Jeff serves as the site’s tour guide. He was chosen as guide through the site’s Escarpment Discovery Hike, Educators’ Corner and information resources in The Escarpment in Halton pages because he is an indicator species. (An indicator species provides clues about the quality of the environment. The disappearance of Jefferson Salamanders from an area may serve as an early warning of pollution.)
Jeff’s Home provides an accessible way for people of all ages to take a virtual hike, learn facts and find great resources for teaching about the Escarpment in Halton, without leaving home.

Work on the project began in the fall of 2009 and involved many community partners, including heritage and education groups in Halton. With the “virtual Museum” as the starting point, the site aims to foster an appreciation and awareness of the Escarpment as a significant natural heritage feature, further the conservation and preservation of Escarpment ecosystems, increase the viability of tourism on the Escarpment and promote organizations and sites conserving it.

Made possible with the assistance of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s Museums and Technology Fund, the site was developed with technical assistance from eSolutionsGroup.

Partners include Conservation Halton, Credit Valley Conservation, Halton-North Peel Naturalists, Willow Park Ecology Centre, Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club, Toronto Bruce Trail Club, Limehouse Kiln Society, Country Heritage Park, The Bruce Trail Conservancy, City of Burlington, Norval Heritage Society and Royal Botanical Gardens. The Niagara Escarpment Commission, the Ontario Heritage Foundation, the Halton Catholic District School Board, the Halton District School Board, and Halton Region’s Planning Services Division also contributed.

The site will serve as a teacher portal, offering access to environmental learning, heritage and escarpment facts and activities for students. It can also be used by the community at large, by a broader audience who may be thinking of visiting the Escarpment, as well as by those who are not able to visit in person, but who will now be able to enjoy a virtual experience.

Try your hand at Salamander Run, learn about ways to reduce your carbon footprint, or explore the many parks and historical sites located along the Escarpment.  Enjoy the site and then consider making a trip to the Halton Region Museum, your gateway to the Escarpment.

You can visit the site at http://jeffshome.halton.ca and share your Escarpment stories and photos on Facebook. The first 50 people to post an Escarpment comment or photo on the Museum’s Facebook page will be entered into a draw, to be held just after Earth Day, April 22, for a Museum prize pack, valued at $250. 

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”