Building a Better Halton

Infrastructure investments support a high quality of life in Halton

With the summer construction season in full swing, Halton Region is busy making infrastructure improvements across the region. Through our Building a Better Halton Plan, Halton Region is investing $4.1 billion over 10 years into capital infrastructure projects, including $1.9 billion to fund state of good repair projects.

MidHaltonSignBuilding a Better Halton is Halton Region’s infrastructure construction plan for roads, water and wastewater projects across the region. These projects keep our traffic moving, ensure access to clean drinking water and protect the environment, which helps maintain a high quality of life in Halton that is second to none.

Helping residents get where they need to go safely and on time is an important priority for Halton Region. By visiting our website and social media channels, residents can stay informed of up to date planning and construction activities.

To learn more about regional improvements happening in your neighbourhood this summer, view the map below and click on the icons for each project to find out more information.

To find out more about improvements we are making across the Region year-round, visit halton.ca/construction, follow us on Twitter, and look for a Building a Better Halton sign at construction projects and investments happening near you. Thank you for working with us 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”.

Maintaining a strong financial position for a bright future

I am proud to share that once again, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its highest credit rating for Halton Region! The AAA rating came with high praise for our financial management practices, and the agency’s research update described a stable outlook for our future.

MidHalton ConstructionOur top credit rating allows Halton and its Local Municipalities to finance major projects at the lowest possible long-term costs by providing continued access to the best capital financing rates available. This means it helps us keep taxes low and maximize investments in Halton’s future while minimizing the cost for taxpayers.

Halton’s credit rating is assessed by two international agencies, each issuing opinions annually: Moody’s Investors Service, whose highest rating is “Aaa”, and S&P Global Ratings, whose highest rating is “AAA”. Consistently earning the highest ratings from both agencies places us at the top end of Canadian municipalities, and has become increasingly rare for jurisdictions around the world.

The agencies assign their ratings based on financial performance, exposure to risks, and quality of financial planning and reporting. For Halton, S&P Global Ratings’ decision was based on:

  • our strong, diverse and growing economy with excellent access to GTA markets;
  • our strong financial management practices, prudent policies, robust budgets and transparent annual reports;
  • our strong, stable budget performance and low debt; and
  • our exceptional access to liquid funds from internal and external sources.

Our top credit rating is the foundation of our strong financial position, which is supported by an ongoing three-part cycle that includes planning and reporting as well as performance. At the July 12 meeting of Regional Council, we approved the 2018 Budget Directions Report, which will help ensure next year’s budget keeps tax increases at or below the rate of inflation while preserving our top credit rating. Meanwhile, the upcoming 2016 Annual Financial Report will provide an in-depth analysis of Halton’s finances and help inform the next credit opinion from Moody’s Investors Service in January. Each part of this process is connected to ensure transparency and accountability for residents.

We are proud to have achieved a top credit rating for 29 years, and this distinction is the direct result of our diligent planning and transparent reporting. By maintaining a top credit rating and strong long-term financial position, we can continue to make investments that help keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

I encourage you to learn more about fiscal responsibility at Halton—to view our award-winning financial plans, policies and reports that demonstrate how we succeed by putting residents first, visit halton.ca/finances.

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 celebrates the grand opening of the Skyway Wastewater Treatment Plant

Halton Region is committed to the health and safety of our residents by investing in quality infrastructure. The expansion and upgrade of the Skyway Wastewater Treatment Plant will enable us to continue to further enhance the protection of the natural environment.

6In celebration of the grand opening of the plant, MP Karina Gould and MPP Eleanor McMahon joined us on November 7 to tour the state-of-the-art tertiary building and to see the plant upgrades in person.

At a cost of almost $160 million, the Skyway Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion is the largest capital project undertaken to date by Halton Region. Funding for this project was provided by all three levels of government – the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and Halton Region – as part of the Green Infrastructure Fund.

2Regional Council was instrumental in advocating the funding for this project, which resulted in the single largest investment in municipal infrastructure by the federal and provincial governments in Halton Region’s almost 40-year history. We are very excited to say that plant upgrades and expansions are now complete.

The Skyway expansion will:

  • expand the capacity of the plant, allowing the Region to safely treat higher volumes of wastewater from the City of Burlington and the west side of Oakville;
  • improve  the water quality in Hamilton Harbour; and
  • manage increased water flows during storms and extreme weather.

9Although the Skyway Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion has been Halton’s largest capital project to date, we are maintaining, upgrading and expanding the wastewater collection and treatment system across Halton Region, as part of the Building a Better Halton initiative.

High quality infrastructure projects, including the Skyway Plant expansion, are one of the reasons Halton is such 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”.

Building a Better Halton: Construction season underway

Summer is fast approaching and Halton Region has started to work on a variety of construction projects as part of our continued commitment to well planned, built and maintained infrastructure. As Halton Region continues to grow it is important to maintain existing infrastructure and build new infrastructure that is required to meet the needs of the community today and in the future.

Residents have told us that infrastructure planning and construction are key priorities for the Region and that high quality infrastructure is one of the many reasons why Halton is such a great place to live. Due to smart financial planning, Halton has been able to invest in our infrastructure while keeping taxes low, with eight consecutive years of a tax freeze. The Region’s 2013 Budget included more than $3 billion for the 10-year Capital Program primarily for roads, water and wastewater infrastructure.

Part of the Region’s commitment to infrastructure is keeping residents informed about construction activities. Our Building a Better Halton communications program is designed to help residents and business owners get the notifications they need about upcoming Regional construction projects and identify any potential impacts to them. The program includes road signs, direct mailings, newspaper advertisements, online information and e-newsletters for areas where multiple projects are occurring and/or planned.

For more information about current construction projects, alerts for road closures and lane restrictions, and links to your local municipality’s construction information, please visit www.halton.ca/construction.

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.”

Meeting Halton’s Infrastructure Needs Today and Tomorrow

Planned, predictable provincial funding for schools, hospitals and our transportation network is required to ensure we can meet the growth requirements set out in the Provincial Places to Grow Plan. Long term investments from other levels of government are required to ensure funding is in place for required infrastructure. We have new schools that open only to require portables a year or two later; hospitals with capacity issues; and transportation networks that are congested slowing the movement of people and goods.  If we are going to meet the needs that will be required with a population of 780,000 by 2031, we are going to have to do better.

Transportation continues to be the number one issue of importance to Halton residents.  At Halton Region we have been planning ahead and making strategic investments so that our Regional road network can meet the needs of today and tomorrow.  Halton’s capital budget for Regional roads to ease congestion and improve safety has increased from $50 million in 2006 to $289 million in 2013. This is the biggest investment in roads ever for Halton Region.  We are investing billions of dollars to upgrade wastewater and water plants and to improve our road network.  We have a plan in place and now call upon other levels of government to commit to how they will support us to ensure the proper infrastructure is in place to support the growth they require.

Metrolinx has indicated that improvements to GO service for Milton, Georgetown and the Lakeshore GO line identified in the Metrolinx Plan, The Big Move, will be delayed.  The delay to these improvements will only further exacerbate our transportation issues in Halton.  Improvements to Highway 401 through Halton are also required to reduce congestion and improve productivity for businesses throughout the Greater Toronto Area as the highway’s capacity has not kept pace with growth.  These are all issues that Halton Region continues to advocate for on your behalf to the Provincial Government.

Halton Region has created a series of position papers that highlight our advocacy efforts on behalf of Halton residents.  Learn more about our Advocating for a Strong Halton campaign.  You can also view my recent video blog, Investing in Infrastructure to Ensure a High Quality of Life for Today and Tomorrow, to learn more about the planning and investments we are making to address infrastructure needs in 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. 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.”

Investing in Infrastructure to Ensure a High Quality of Life Today and Tomorrow

Even though we have reduced taxes, Halton Region is investing billions of dollars to upgrade wastewater and water plants and to improve our road network.   The Regional Construction page on our website provides a great overview of projects currently underway.  Halton’s capital budget for Regional roads to ease congestion and improve safety has increased from $50 million in 2006 to $289 million in 2013.  This is the biggest investment in roads ever for Halton Region.  Consistent increases in our capital budget for roads reflects the additional revenue available from new development fees and supports Regional Council’s position that infrastructure related to new growth should pay for itself. We are also investing $150 million to upgrade our Skyway Wastewater Treatment Plant.  Join me on a walk by the pier at Bronte Harbour in Oakville as I reflect on the importance of investing in infrastructure so that we are well planned to meet the needs of the future.

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.”

Construction Update newsletter now available via email and www.halton.ca/construction

Halton Region has now launched a new e-newsletter version of Construction Update. The semi-annual publication features updates on Regional road improvements and other infrastructure construction for water and wastewater services.

The newsletter gives details of what’s happening now and what’s planned for the Region’s busiest construction areas. Subscribers can choose the Dundas Street (north Oakville and Burlington) edition or the Milton/Halton Hills edition, or both. Visit www.halton.ca/construction to read Construction Update online or sign up to have future issues emailed directly to your inbox.

Why an e-newsletter? Earlier this year, the Region conducted an online survey to ask residents how they would like to be informed about Regional construction work and infrastructure planning. Sixty per cent of residents surveyed said they would like to receive an electronic newsletter.

Knowing what is important to residents helps us deliver our programs and services in the best way possible. Our new Construction Update e-newsletter is just one more way we are improving our web-based information resources for Halton residents.

The Region will continue to post information on our website, place notices in local newspapers, and use door-to-door delivery and direct mail when appropriate to keep everyone informed about infrastructure construction and planning.

Transportation and infrastructure are key priorities for Halton residents as identified in The Citizens’ Priorities- Halton Region’s 2011-2014 Action Plan. In fact, since 2006 we have significantly invested in transportation related costs.  In 2006 Halton Region’s transportation capital infrastructure budget was $50 million and it has increased to $289 million in 2013.graph

Over the next 10 years, Halton Region expects to spend more than $2 billion on water and wastewater infrastructure. These investments will help reduce your commute time, improve your water supply, and ensure the health of all residents and our natural environment through our infrastructure improvement program.

Through sound fiscal management, Halton Region has delivered quality programs and services for residents while maintaining an average zero per cent tax increase for the past seven years. I’m proud to say that this is one of the best records in all of Canada.

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.”