Q2 Accomplishments 2014

Fiscal Responsibility

Tax Policy Report approved
On April 16, Regional Council approved Halton Region’s Tax Policy Report which details the Region’s final 2014 tax rates based on the 2014 Budget and Business Plan, approved by Halton Regional Council on December 11, 2013.

Public Engagement 

Citizens’ Report 2013 released
On April 2, Halton Region released the Citizens’ Report 2013 which highlights accomplishments related to key actions and initiatives in the Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan.

Customer Service

Region marks 40 year anniversary
The County of Halton was dissolved and the Regional Municipality of Halton was established on January 1, 1974. Halton Region marked the anniversary and celebrated 40 years of customer service excellence with the launch of a new Twitter account, @RegionofHalton. Additionally, to recognize the contributions of Halton’s namesake, Major William Halton, to the development of the Region and the province, the new North Oakville Transportation Corridor between Bronte Road (Regional Road 25) and Ninth Line, will be named William Halton Parkway. Construction on the new corridor will begin this year. 

Be an Employer of Choice

Halton Region appointed two new commissioners
On April 16, Regional Council approved the appointment of two new commissioners to fill positions recently vacated following the retirements of the Region’s Commissioner and Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner of Public Works.

James A. Harnum was appointed as Commissioner of Public Works, effective Tuesday, May 20, 2014 and Dr. Hamidah K. Meghani was appointed as Commissioner and Medical Officer of Health, effective Monday, July 14, 2014. 

Advocacy

Pre-election advocacy campaign informed voters
In advance of the June provincial election, Halton Region prepared a questionnaire for the candidates from the ridings of Burlington, Halton, Oakville and Wellington-Halton Hills. The questionnaire provided candidates with an opportunity to explain to voters how they would advocate for Halton and how their party would resolve the challenges facing Halton Region. Responses were posted at Halton.ca/OntarioElection2014.

Economic Development

Halton Region endorsed Sheridan College’s plan to become a university
In June, Halton Regional Council voted in favour of Sheridan College’s plan to expand postsecondary education options. Halton Region endorsed Sheridan’s plan to pursue university status because it will improve access to local postsecondary education, ensure a strong labour force to meet the needs of local employers and attract talent to Halton.

Starter Company announced
Halton Region announced the launch of a new program called Starter Company, perfect for those aged 18 to 29 who have always wanted to be entrepreneurs. The program is offered by Halton Region in partnership with the Ontario Government and provides training, mentorship, business skills development and grants of up to $5,000 to help eligible individuals start a new business, expand a business or purchase a business.

Physician Recruitment Week a success
Every year, Halton Region and local hospitals celebrate the efforts of Halton’s physicians and recognize their contributions to our community with Physician Appreciation Week, which took place this year from April 28 to May 2. Now in its 11th year, Physician Appreciation Week in Halton was originally established in 2003 by the Halton Physician Recruitment program. Attracting new physicians to establish medical practices in Halton continues to be a priority in Halton’s Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan. Halton Region’s Physician Recruitment program has helped bring more than 200 new family doctors to Halton since 2003.

Waste Management

Winter Ice Storm Yard Waste Collection Program
Halton Region implemented a special bulk brush collection service in designated service areas from March 31 to May 30, followed by a call-in service throughout June for roadside brush collection in non-serviced areas in response to the December 2013 major winter ice storm. The Region worked closely with the Local Municipalities to ensure that storm debris was collected in an effective and efficient manner. In addition, the Region continued to waive the tipping fee for yard waste at the Halton Waste Management Site to the end of June so that Halton residents and contractors could drop off brush debris or chipped materials at no charge.

Special Waste Drop-off Days held in Burlington, Halton Hills and Oakville
Halton Region held Special Waste Drop-off Days this spring in Burlington, Halton Hills and Oakville. Approximately 2,800 residents attended the events designed to provide Halton residents with a convenient opportunity to safely recycle and dispose of items like electronics and household hazardous waste, which should not be placed in the garbage.

Spring Compost Giveaway
In May, approximately 3,500 residents attended Halton’s annual Spring Compost Giveaway at the Halton Waste Management Site. During the event, residents picked up processed compost to use in their garden and landscaping projects. Halton residents also generously donated 4,340 kg of non-perishable food items and contributed $7,720 for local Halton food banks. 

Scout tree planting event
In May, Halton Region partnered with Conservation Halton and Halton Area Scouts to host the annual Trees for Watershed Health planting event at the Halton Waste Management Site.  The event was a big success with over 300 volunteers planting 3,000 trees at the site. 

Environmental Protection and Conservation of Water

Rain barrel sales events
Halton Region held its sixth annual rain barrel truckload sales events as part of Halton’s Water Efficiency and Conservation Program. Approximately 2,225 rain barrels were sold over the four events. The use of rain barrels helps to reduce outdoor water use.

Outdoor Water Use Program launched
Halton Region launched the annual Outdoor Water Use Program in June. The program is designed to help reduce peak demand associated with summer water use when water consumption often doubles. 

Infrastructure

Well upgrades completed

  • The Region completed a comprehensive upgrade of the Fourth Line Well Field in Acton to ensure that wells continue to meet all provincial water quality standards and to provide water for future growth within Acton.  
  • Upgrades were completed at the Lindsay Court Well Field to include a standby well and to ensure that the wells continue to meet all provincial water quality standards.  The upgrades will ensure that Georgetown’s water supply remains reliable and safe for the long term.  

Planning Sustainable Communities 

Completion of the Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) 38 Guidelines
In June, Halton’s Inter-Municipal Liaison Committee endorsed the Regional Official Plan Guidelines. The 17 guidelines, developed through an extensive public consultation process, will assist municipalities and the public with policy implementation of the Region’s Official Plan. 

Annual update on employment activity in Halton
Council received the 2013 Employment Survey Results report in June. The report highlights key findings on employment activity and land use patterns resulting from the 2013 comprehensive door-to-door survey of businesses in Halton Region. 

Annual update on housing trends in Halton
Council received the Halton Region – 2013 State of Housing Report. The report provides an update on housing trends to assist in monitoring the success of the Region’s housing and growth management policies. The report highlights that the Region’s Official Plan targets related to density and affordability for new housing units in Halton were both exceeded in 2013. 

Defining and Preserving Natural Heritage 

75th Anniversary of Halton Regional Forests:  A Biodiversity Strategy and Property Acquisition
This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the Halton Regional Forests.  To commemorate this event, on June 18, Regional Council approved a Biodiversity Strategy for the Regional Forests, as well as the purchase of a 37 hectare property. This is the first expansion to the Regional Forest in nearly 50 years.  Biodiversity is key to maintaining the function and integrity of the Regional Natural Heritage System. The Biodiversity Strategy will guide conservation and enhancement of the Halton Regional Forests over the next 10 years. 

Halton Region Museum Master Plan
On June 18, 2014, Regional Council approved the Halton Region Museum Master Plan which details a long-term plan and vision to transform the Halton Region Museum into the Halton Heritage Centre (HHC). The Master Plan outlines a new and innovative model for the delivery of regional heritage services in which the Museum will not only continue to care for the Region’s own collection but will provide professional services in exhibit planning and design, public program development and artifact conservation. The details and strategy for implementing the Halton Heritage Centre will be determined during the Region’s next term of Council.

New exhibit launched at the Halton Region Museum
A new exhibit, Flights of Folly: Learning from the Passenger Pigeon, was launched at the Halton Region Museum Visitor Centre on June 11, 2014. Flights of Folly acknowledges the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon by offering an interactive and educational experience that explores issues surrounding extinction and de-extinction and present-day species at risk. 

Corporate Sustainability 

Corporate Sustainability Action Plan on track
Implementation of the Corporate Sustainability Action Plan is on track, as reduction of the Region’s ecological footprint for internal operations continues. Recent accomplishments include the Region receiving the E3 Bronze Fleet Rating, recognition as the Smart Commute Halton Employer of the Year and recognition from Oakville Hydro Corporation for completed energy retrofit projects. 

Promoting Healthy Living 

Health Department hosts successful Workplace Health Networking Meeting
On June 17, the Health Department hosted a Workplace Health Networking Meeting entitled “How Much Are You Sitting? Move More at Work, Sit Less!” Over 60 workplace representatives heard keynote speaker Dr. Travis Saunders discuss “Is Sitting Killing Us?” He shared the latest research evidence and effective approaches workplaces can implement to encourage physical activity at work.   

April 8 Smoking Cessation Best Practice Workshop
On April 8, the Health Department participated in the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario’s Nursing Best Practice Smoking Cessation Initiative by hosting a Smoking Cessation Best Practice Champion Workshop. Forty-eight health care professionals learned simple intervention techniques to dramatically reduce rates of smoking, in addition to connecting with Canada-wide champions and learning about best practice tools and resources. 

Family Health Information Line receives 99 per cent satisfaction rating
A recent evaluation of the Family Health Information Line showed a 99 per cent satisfaction rating from Halton residents who access the line to connect directly with a public health nurse for information and resources.  

Air Quality 

Halton Region climate change picture books recognized with three awards
In June, Health Department staff were recognized with three awards for the ‘Owls for Climate Change’ children’s picture book series, including a 2014 Gold Quill Award of Excellence (from the International Association of Business Communicators – IABC), a 2014 Conservation Halton Award, and a 2014 Apex Award for Publication Excellence. To view or purchase the books, visit: www.halton.ca/owlbooks.   

Children and Youth Development 

Promoting safety with two community car seat safety spot checks
As part of Halton Region’s commitment to community safety, Regional staff, Halton Regional Police Services, Milton and Halton Hills Fire Departments and Cooperators Insurance jointly supported two car seat safety spot check clinics in Acton (April) and Burlington (May). In total, 266 seats were seen at the quick check with 117 requiring a full inspection due to installation errors. 

Over 100 trained in effective youth engagement
Aligned with a release of a new guideline for working with youth by the Our Kids Network, Health Department staff delivered training related to how to engage youth in health and social services to over 100 staff and community partners. 

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.”

 

Q1 Accomplishments 2014

Fiscal Responsibility

Moody’s Investors Services Reaffirms AAA Credit Rating for Halton Region
In February, Moody’s Investors Services assigned an AAA credit rating to Halton Region in recognition of the Region’s strong financial position and prudent budgetary practices. In its annual review, Moody’s attached a “stable outlook” to this rating, indicating its confidence in Halton’s ability to maintain this standing in the future.

Attracting & Retaining Jobs

Women Entrepreneurs in Halton Invited to ‘Learn, Connect and Grow’
On March 5, in celebration of International Women’s Day, the Halton Region Small Business Centre partnered with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment to host a business event for over 60 Women Entrepreneurs and small business owners at the OE Banquet Hall & Conference Centre in Oakville.  

Economic Development Strategy on Track
On March 26, Regional Council approved the Progress Achieved under Halton Region’s Economic Development Strategic Implementation Plan 2012-2021as well as the 2013 Economic Review. The review highlights both the significant real estate and business investment in Halton in 2013 and the tremendous growth in non-residential development over the past several years.

Physician Recruitment Initiative 2013 Reports Year-End Results
On March 26 Regional Council approved the 2013 year-end report for the Physician Recruitment Initiative which saw the recruitment of 22 new family physicians to Halton.

Promoting Tourism

Halton Food Tourism Summit
On March 6, Halton Region held the Halton Food Tourism Summit at the Halton Region Museum. This session, part of the Region’s Agritourism Action Plan, provided educational and networking opportunities for local farmers and restaurateurs interested in taking advantage of the rapidly growing local food movement. Topics included Food Tourism 101, Food Tourism Best Practices and Strategies for local food sourcing.

Emergency Preparedness

Station Expansion
On March 11, construction started on the new northwest Oakville paramedic station located at Bronte Rd. and Pine Glen Rd. The new station will help paramedics respond to calls in the area more quickly, improving patient outcomes and saving lives. The new station is scheduled to open in early 2015. 

Customer Service 

SQM North American Call Centre Industry 2013 Award
This past January, Service Quality Measurement Group (SQM) recognized Access Halton as a Service Quality Award of Excellence Winner for 2013. Halton Region received the SQM North American Call Centre Industry 2013 Award for highest customer service in government. This award is based on first call resolution (FCR), the measure of how many calls are required to resolve an issue, answer a question or get a requested service. Halton Region measures call centre customer satisfaction annually. 

Accessibility Update
During the first quarter, Halton Region continued to remove barriers to people with disabilities and meet provincial accessibility standards. Halton worked with the Local Municipalities to arrange joint training for Regional and Local Municipal staff on new accessible built environment standards and accessibility changes in the Ontario Building Code. The Accessibility at Halton Region booklet was completed to supplement the accessibility training module launched in 2013. 

Advocacy

Advocating for a Strong Halton
On March 26, Regional Council approved recommendations provided through the report “Advocating for a Strong Halton Update”, to support Council in their ongoing advocacy work. Halton Region continues to Advocate for a Strong Haltonon issues that are important to Halton residents. The support of both levels of government in the form of long-term predictable funding is essential to maintaining the quality of life in Halton. 

Infrastructure

2014 Civil Engineering Infrastructure Project of the Year Award
This spring, Halton Region received the 2014 Civil Engineering Infrastructure Project of the Year Award, presented by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (Halton-Hamilton Engineering Week). The award was presented for outstanding work on the Halton Zone 3 Interconnecting Watermain project (Burlington and Oakville). 

2014 Project of the Year Award
On March 1, Halton Region received the 2014 Project of the Year Award in the Civil Large Project Category for the North Oakville East Wastewater Pumping Station. The award was presented by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers at the Hamilton/Halton Engineering Awards Ceremony.

Planning Sustainable Communities

Partial Approval of Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) 38
On February 4, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) issued a decision partially approving ROPA 38 to bring it into conformity with the provincial Growth Plan. 

Environmental Protection and Conservation of Water

Drinking Water Quality Management Review Completed

This spring, the 2013 Drinking Water Quality Management Review was completed for Halton’s water systems. This review reconfirmed that the Region’s water systems are well managed to ensure safe drinking water services for all residents.

100% Compliance Rating for Halton’s Drinking Water Systems
Eleven annual Ministry of the Environment inspections were completed for Halton’s drinking water systems for the 2013 cycle. The findings revealed zero instances of regulatory non-compliance and 100% compliance rating for each of the 11 inspections.

Waste Management

Winter Ice Storm Emergency Yard Waste Collection Program
From January 1 to February 7, Halton Region implemented an emergency yard waste collection program in response to the December 2013 major winter ice storm. The Region worked closely with the Local Municipalities to ensure that storm debris was collected in an effective and efficient manner. 

The Region deployed a variety of resources to manage the storm generated yard waste, including retaining contractors to provide forestry-type equipment to chip and shred brush at the curb, adding waste collection vehicles to manually collect brush from the curbs and boulevards, assisting the Local Municipalities to set up temporary transfer sites where residents and contractors could drop off brush materials at no charge, and waiving the tipping fee for yard waste at the Halton Waste Management Site so that Halton residents and contractors could drop off brush debris or chipped materials at no charge. 

Defining and Preserving Natural Heritage 

Halton Museum Foundation Celebrated Black History with Two One-Woman Shows
On March 5 and 6, over 1,300 Halton students attended the Halton Region Museum’s presentation of the Spirit of Harriet Tubman and Things my Fore-Sisters Saw. The shows were held in celebration of Black History month and International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

Children and Youth Development 

New Online Oral Health Education Guides (OHEG) Available to Teachers
In February, a new online oral health teaching tool for educators was launched. Developed in collaboration with consultants from both Halton school boards, the Oral Health Education Guides connect oral health education directly to the Ontario Curriculum. 

New Support to Children with Mental Health Concerns
As of this spring, Mental Health Liaison Nurses are providing early identification and support to children with mental health concerns from kindergarten age to grade eight. Families can access this service through their child’s school or by calling 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.”

Q4 Accomplishments 2013

Fiscal Responsibility

 2014 Budget and Business Plan Approved

Halton Regional Council approved the Region’s 2014 Budget and Business Plan, delivering a zero per cent tax rate increase for Regional programs and services. Over the past eight years, we have either reduced or frozen taxes, this is an incredible achievement. Halton Region has one of the best records in Canada for keeping taxes low while maintaining and enhancing service levels.

 Attracting & Retaining Jobs

 Halton Real Estate Forum

Industrial, commercial developers and real estate brokers from the Greater Toronto Area, along with Regional and Local Municipal elected officials and staff, attended the Halton Real Estate Forum in Burlington on October 29. The event provided an opportunity for businesses to network and learn about economic and real estate performance and trends as well as development cost competitiveness across Halton and the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area. The session featured a keynote address and panel discussion with industry leaders who provided their analysis and insights on office and industrial development opportunities and why companies are choosing to do business in Halton.

Halton Export Forum

On November 14, Halton Region partnered with the Canada-Ontario Export Forum to host the Halton Export Forum in Oakville. The forum provided an opportunity for both new and experienced exporters to hear tips, learn how to increase exports, discover export funding programs and network with government and export service providers.

Entrepreneurship Week

During the last week of November, the Halton Small Business Centre, in conjunction with Haltech (the Regional Innovation Centre), celebrated a successful Entrepreneurship Week with a host of events held throughout the region.

Business to Business (B2B) Networking Event

On December 2, Halton Small Business Centre hosted its first B2B networking event.

Promotion of Halton’s Digital Technologies, Cleantech and Advanced Manufacturing Sectors

This fall, Economic Development staff participated in a number of meetings to promote Halton’s Digital Technologies, Cleantech and Advanced Manufacturing sectors.

Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance Partnership Renewal

The renewal of Halton Region’s partnership with the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance was approved by Regional Council on November 13.

2012 Allocation Program Approval

The 2012 Allocation Program was approved at Council on November 13. The program not only allows for the development of 13,300 single detached equivalent units of residential in Milton and North Oakville, but also for the Region’s servicing of the Derry Green Corporate Business Park in Milton to allow Halton to capitalize on the next wave of office and industrial developments.

 Promoting Tourism

 Halton Region’s Pumpkin Trail

In October, Halton Region launched its first ever Pumpkin Trail, showcasing pumpkin-themed experiences presented by more than 20 businesses, farms and tourist attractions throughout the region.

Harvest Halton

On October 6, the Region’s inaugural agri-tourism and culinary event, Harvest Halton, brought together Halton’s best chefs, local farmers and agri-tourism businesses in support of Halton Food for Thought. In addition to sampling unique foods and beverages, attendees had an opportunity to take in the sights at Country Heritage Park.

Halton’s Agritourism Action Plan Approved

On November 13, Regional Council approved Halton’s Agri-tourism Action Plan to provide direction for Halton Region’s priorities in agriculture and food tourism development and service delivery.

 Emergency Preparedness

 Exercise “Howling Wind”

On November 19, Halton Region, the Town of Halton Hills and local emergency staff and officials participated in Exercise “Howling Wind” as part of emergency exercise programs. 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 a damaging hurricane and floods that swept across the Region.

Community Emergency Notification Service Rolled Out
On November 1, Halton Region rolled out an improved emergency notification service. The Region now has access to a more complete database (eCNS) that includes contact information for more than 95 per cent of Halton residents and businesses with traditional land line telephone service. In the event of an emergency, Halton’s enhanced Community Emergency Notification Service (CENS) will phone affected households throughout Halton to provide emergency information. As one of the first Canadian municipalities to have access to this enhanced data for use in emergency situations, Halton Region continues to be a leader in delivering community emergency notification services.

Emergency Management Training
A number of Emergency Management training programs were conducted with staff and community partners in fall 2013 including Virtual Emergency Operations Centre (VEOC) software training for key staff and Emergency Response partners.

Paramedic Station Expansion

Construction started in December on a new northwest Oakville paramedic station at Bronte Rd. and Pineglen Rd. This new station will open in late 2014.

Emergency response activities for the December 2013 ice storm

The Region coordinated with and supported Local Municipality response to the ice storm including opening up warming and evacuation centres and regular communications via web, media releases and social media.

Customer Service

Accessibility Update

Halton Region continued to remove barriers to people with disabilities and meet provincial accessibility standards.  Halton updated and developed new accessibility policies and procedures to support staff in providing services to people with disabilities, completed a 2013 Accessibility Progress Report, and launched an accessibility training program.   Halton also submitted a compliance report to the Ontario Government confirming the accessibility requirements it had addressed.

Partnerships

Halton Information for Newcomers to Canada Event 

On October 2, Halton Region staff organized Halton Information for Newcomers to Canada (HSINC) event in partnership with settlement and English as Second Language (ESL) training providers. Over 300 adult English language learners attended the half-day session. They had the opportunity to learn more about Regional programs and services such as immunization, social housing, business development and waste management.  Community service providers had also the opportunity to display resources about their services.  This event has demonstrated a true partnership between Halton Region and the community partners that serve newcomers to our community.

Let’s Talk…Let’s Connect Series

The focus of the 3rd session of Let’s Talk…Let’s Connect networking series for the non-profit sector was on accreditation and social enterprise. Over 90 people attended the session which was held on November 7.  Guest speakers spoke about Imagine Canada’s Standards Program for accreditation and Innoweave’s tools to help non-profit organizations achieve social, cultural and environmental goals through social enterprise.

Assisting Halton’s Low Income Residents

Update to Comprehensive Housing Strategy Approved

The Comprehensive Housing Strategy (CHS) is Halton’s roadmap for housing services in Halton.  The CHS has been updated to serve as the new 10 year plan for housing and homelessness required by the Provincial Government under the Housing Services Act, 2011.  This update was approved by Regional Council on November 14.

Annual Job Fair – October 16

Over 800 skilled and motivated job seekers met with 43 employers from across Halton at Halton Region’s annual job fair on October 16. This year’s job fair featured employers from a range of industries including technology, government, manufacturing, retail, hospitality sector and healthcare sectors.

Be an Employer of Choice

Halton Region Recognized as a Top Employer for Third Year in a Row

Halton Region was recently recognized as an employer of choice with three distinct awards, including being named one of the top employers in the Greater Toronto Area by Mediacorp Canada Inc.

Halton was also acknowledged by Metrolinx and Oakville Hydro Corporation for its commitment to corporate sustainability efforts.

Online Accessibility Training

This past fall, Halton Region used e-learning and a Learning Management System to deliver accessibility training to the entire organization in only four months.  Completion of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) training by all staff ensures the Region is in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

Advocacy

Councillor Somerville Represented Halton Region at Advocacy Days Conference

Regional Councillor Clark Somerville, Halton Region’s representative and Board Member for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM), met with Federal leaders to discuss critical issues facing Halton at the association’s annual Advocacy Days Conference in December. The conference featured 141 meetings between municipal leaders and federal parliamentarians. The meetings covered a range of issues impacting Canadian communities including infrastructure funding, the need for investments in affordable housing, and other critical issues to our community, such as rail safety.

Transportation

 Dundas EA completed from Neyagawa to Oak Park

The Class Environmental Assessment (EA) Study for the Dundas Street (Regional Road 5) widening from four to six lanes from Neyagawa Boulevard to Oak Park Boulevard is completed and will be proceeding to the detail design phase.

Infrastructure

2013 Ontario Concrete Award for Infrastructure

Public Works received the 2013 Ontario Concrete Award for Infrastructure for its outstanding work on the Halton Zone 3 Interconnecting Watermain project.

Corporate Asset Management Plan Developed

This plan lays the foundation for further Asset Management practice enhancement opportunities to ensure the best decisions continue to be made regarding the construction, maintenance, renewal, replacement, expansion and disposal of infrastructure assets.

Keeping Our Infrastructure Working for You

Ongoing maintenance and repair is critical to ensure our infrastructure can continue to meet the needs of our citizens. In the fourth quarter, we were busy completing the construction supporting the:

  • Watermain replacements on Plains Road East, Marley Court and Treeland Street in the City of Burlington;
  • Watermain replacements on White Oaks Boulevard, Eton Place and Robarts Road in the Town of Oakville; and
  • Watermain and wastewater main project on Fairview Street and Walkers Line in the City of Burlington.

Ensuring Infrastructure Works in More Ways Than One

Not only is it important that infrastructure does its job, it’s also important that, if possible, it enhances the community and keeps Halton a great place to live. Halton Region was proud to receive the 2013 Town of Oakville Citizen’s Choice Award for Livable Design for the North Oakville East Wastewater Pumping Station. The design of this distinctive pumping station on Dundas Street, not only serves a critical infrastructure need, but also preserves the heritage character of the community.

Planning Sustainable Communities

ROPA 38 Partially Approved

On August 9 and October 21, the Ontario Municipal Board approved significant parts of Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) 38, including policies related to the urban boundary, phasing of development, financial and development cost requirements, housing, employment, and intensification.  This approval represents a significant step forward in defending and delivering Council’s vision for managed and sustainable growth in Halton.

Environmental Protection and Conservation of Water

Water Efficiency

The Region carried out acoustic listening on 5,000 hydrants spanning 850 m of watermain in Oakville water distribution system in order to detect any water leaks and flag them for repair.

Waste Management

Special Waste Drop-off Days

The last of seven Special Waste Drop-off Days was held in Campbellville.  Nearly 400 residents attended this event designed to provide Halton residents with a convenient opportunity to safely recycle and dispose of items like electronics and household hazardous waste, which should not be placed in the garbage.

Defining and Preserving Natural Heritage

Delivered environmental programming to 700 participants

The Halton Region Museum facilitated programming for over 700 Halton students in experiential outdoor learning events on the Niagara Escarpment.

Children and Youth Development

Oral Health Assessment for high school students 

Through a pilot project, the Oral Health team provided high school students with information, oral care supplies and the opportunity for a free oral health assessment. For more information about oral health, visit www.halton.ca/oralhealth.

Seniors

Fall Prevention for Older Adults

The Health Department completed a two year provincial research project, funded by Public Health Ontario. Results will inform public health work with community partners in preventing falls among older people. Final study update.

Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Health Quality and Safety Award

The inaugural Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Health Quality and Safety was awarded to the Supports for Daily Living Programs in the Mississauga-Halton LHIN.  Halton Region along with seven other SDL programs in the LHIN  were honoured (as a team) with this prestigious award.  Halton Region delivers the Supports for Daily Living Program in Oakville at John R. Rhodes Apartments.

Meds Check Pilot Program

The Supports for Daily Living program is piloting a Meds Check program for clients to assist with medication safety for seniors in the community.

Protecting Public Health

The Flu Ends with U 

On October 15, Halton Region held its first flu immunization clinic of the season. Vaccination is recommended for everyone age six months and older. For more information, visit www.halton.ca/flu.

Public Health Clinic in Georgetown has moved to Health@280

On December 2, Halton Region’s public health clinic in Georgetown moved to Health@280, located at 280 Guelph Street, Unit 76 at the Georgetown Market Place. For information on clinic and other services, dial 311 or visit www.halton.ca.

Halton Perinatal Mood Disorder Coalition

The Halton Perinatal Mood Disorder Coalition held a conference November for health professionals which was attended by representatives from 10 health departments, seven hospitals and 15 community partners. The aim was to provide information to better support women experiencing a perinatal mood disorder.

Promoting Healthy Living

Halton Drug Strategy Community Forum

The Halton Drug Strategy Steering Committee, held a community forum on October 8 which was attended by 150 people representing 30 community agencies and people with lived experience. The purpose was to engage stakeholders to identify priorities for a drug strategy in Halton Region. Short-term funding has been secured from the Mississauga-Halton LHIN.

Three New Evaluations Completed

Epidemiology staff worked with the Community Health Services Program to complete three evaluations: The HaltonParents e-Bulletin Client Satisfaction Survey, the Social Determinants of Health/Health Equity Staff Education Sessions Evaluation, and the  Halton Substance Use Program and Services Survey. Results are being used to inform program planning/development.

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

Chair’s Corner: Q3 Accomplishments

Fiscal Responsibility

AAA credit rating reaffirmed

On July 25, Standard and Poor’s affirmed its highest credit rating, AAA for Halton. This marks the 23rd consecutive year that Halton has maintained the highest rating of AAA.  Standard and Poor’s has also attached a stable outlook to this rating indicating its confidence that Halton will continue to demonstrate strong budgetary performance.

Budget directions meeting in July
On July 10, Regional Council set 2014 budget directions, supporting a tax increase at or below 1.5%. Regional staff are working to prepare the 2014 Budget and Business Plan, which will be discussed at the budget review committee on December 9 and will go to Regional Council on December 11 for final approval.

Attracting & Retaining Jobs

Successful Summer Company program

Eleven Halton students participated in Summer Company, a provincially funded program which helps students aged 15 to 29 start and grow their own businesses. Summer Company provides participants with up to $3,000 and hands-on coaching and mentoring to start and operate their own business. Halton Region’s Small Business Centre coordinates the program in Halton for the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment and delivers it with the help of volunteer business advisors from the community.

Promoting Tourism

Summer Wonderful Photo Contest

Halton Tourism held a summer wonderful photo contest celebrating summer which received approximately 50 entries.  A selection of entries was posted on Halton Tourism’s social media channels, Pinterest and Facebook, helping to promote the many beautiful attractions here in Halton Region.

Continue reading…

Halton’s Quarterly Accomplishments (Q2, 2013)

Attracting & Retaining Jobs

Physician Appreciation Week – More than 300 physicians attended a networking event hosted by Halton Region.

Gold Quill Award of ExcellenceOn June 24, Halton Region’s Small Business Centre was presented with a Gold Quill Award of Excellence for its Social Media Program which includes Twitter, Facebook and a blog by the International Association of Business Communicators at its annual conference.  

Regional Economic and Employment Lands Update – On May 8, Halton Region presented a regional economic and employment lands update at the Hamilton Burlington Commercial Real Estate Summit.  The event attracted an audience of 100 Realtors who work with businesses interested in locating in Halton.

Promoting Tourism

National Tourism WeekOn June 14, Halton Region celebrated National Tourism week at a networking event with tourism partners and held a photo contest celebrating spring in the Region which received nearly 150 entries.

Emergency Preparedness

Paramedic Recruitment – Paramedic Services hired 15 new paramedics who represent the top 2% of the candidates who applied. They have completed a four-week orientation process and are “on-the-road” and working. These new paramedics will staff two additional ambulances 12-hours each day, 7 days per week as approved by Regional Council in the 2013 budget.

Emergency Preparedness WeekEmergency Preparedness displays were set up across the community, and Halton’s Emergency Management team also delivered emergency management training for Regional and Local Municipal staff and conducted a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) exercise for Emergency Services personnel from the Local Municipalities, Police Services and Halton Paramedic Services.

Enhanced Community Notification Service (eCNS) – On June 19, Halton Region approved the Enhanced Community Notification Service (eCNS), a new service that will augment the Region’s community emergency telephone notification service, used to deliver a message to households in the Region in the event of an emergency. The Region will be one of the first Canadian municipalities to have access to Bell’s Reverse 9-1-1 data and the first to use geospatial coordinates (latitude and longitude) for its civic addresses.

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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.”