2016 a strong year for job growth and investment in Halton

Halton welcomes more than 4,000 new jobs in 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Celebrating 40 years of service excellence

It was on July 31, 1973 that Premier William Davis appointed Allan M. Masson, Chairman of the new Regional Municipality of Halton. On January 1, 1974 the County of Halton was dissolved and the Regional Municipality of Halton was established by the Regional Municipality of Halton Act, 1973.

For the past 40 years, Halton has cost-efficiently and effectively provided high quality programs and services. Today residents can connect with Halton Region in multiple ways – in person, by phone, through our website Halton.ca and multiple social media channels, including our new Twitter account, @RegionofHalton.

Halton Region is committed to being resident focused, well planned, safe and healthy.  In 2014, we offer more programs and services than ever before. Our offerings include:

And while delivering these programs and services, we have maintained an AAA credit rating with a zero per cent property tax increase for the past eight years.
I am very proud of our past accomplishments and look towards a bright future, while celebrating 40 years of outstanding service to the residents of Halton.

On behalf of Regional Council, I want to thank all residents for helping to guide our Citizens’ Priorities, which we continue to deliver in 2014.

Halton Region is a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. I invite you to watch our new video to see why.

Happy Canada Day!

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 (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 (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.

Regional Accomplishments: October – December 2011

Every day, Halton Region works to provide residents and businesses with valuable programs and services. From affordable housing and public health; to business development and emergency management; from waste collection to water/wastewater treatment, we are committed to delivering our programs and services in a cost-effective and easily accessible manner.I am pleased to share with you some of Halton Region’s major accomplishments for the 4th quarter of 2011.If you have any concerns or comments, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca.
 

Fiscal Responsibility

  • Approved 2012 budget with a zero per cent tax increase
    On December 14, Halton Regional Council approved the Region’s 2012 Budget and Business Plan, delivering a zero per cent tax rate increase for Regional programs and services. In the past six years, Halton Region has one of the best records in all of Canada for keeping taxes low. The approval of the 2012 budget marks the third consecutive year the Region has not increased taxes for its services, while maintaining service levels in a growing community. Regional services account for approximately 25 per cent of the residential property tax bill received by Halton residents.

Attracting and Retaining Jobs

  • The Economic Development Strategy 2012-2021 Implementation Plan
    The Economic Development Strategy 2012-2021 Implementation Planwas approved by Regional Council on December 14th. The Implementation Plan will guide Halton Region Economic Development, in concert with its local municipal partners to fulfil the Region’s vision for economic development by 2021.
  • Halton Region’s Small Business Centre reaches 1000 followers
    Over 1,000 people are now following the Centre on Twitter and connecting with each other for small business news, tips, expert advice, and information about the Centre’s services, resources, and events.
  • Entrepreneurship Week
    Halton Region’s Small Business Centre and HalTech, Halton’s regional innovation centre, combined for a successful inaugural Entrepreneurship Week, November 15-17 at Sheridan College in Oakville. More than 200 registrants participated in learning sessions and enjoyed networking opportunities.
  • Release of the Development Charges Background Study
    Halton Region released a Development Charges Background Study for Water, Wastewater, Roads & General Services Development Charges pdf 4.5 MB on November 30. The Background Study has been prepared in accordance with the Development Charges Act, 1997 and, together with the proposed By-laws, is being made available to the public prior to a public meeting scheduled for February.

Promoting Tourism

  • Social media
    Halton Tourism announced the winner of the fall photo contest on its Facebook page and reached 442 twitter followers.
  • Halton Region Museum hosted successful fall events
    Halton Region Museum hosted a number of events in fall 2011. In addition to its successful Jazz at the Museum concert series, the Museum brought back its popular Hearthside event, an evening of entertainment, great music and superb food. Held in honour of the Museum’s 50th anniversary celebration, the well-attended event featured a new caterer, talented Juno nominated entertainment and a younger trio and served to showcase the Museum.

Be an Employer of Choice

  • Halton named one of the GTA’s Top Employers for 2012
    Halton Region was named one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for 2012. The annual Greater Toronto’s Top Employers competition recognizes employers that lead their sectors in areas such as health, financial and family benefits; performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement.

Safe Communities

  • Halton announced as safest regional municipality in Canada
    For the fourth year in a row, Maclean’s Magazine has named Halton Region the Safest Place to live in the Great Toronto Area and the Safest Regional Municipality in Canada. Maclean’s bases its ranking on aggregate results of the 2010 annual crime data from Statistics Canada’s for Municipal police services serving the nation’s 100 largest populations and the Crime Severity Index (CSI) scores.

Transportation

  • Tremaine Road widening, Derry Road to Main Street, Milton, includes roundabout
    Thank you to all the drivers who use Tremaine Road, between Derry Road and Main Street, for your patience during the construction over the last two years. This $16 million project (including federal and provincial funding) included widening Tremaine Road to four lanes between Derry Road and Main Street, installing new watermains, building Halton’s first Regional roundabout, creating dedicated on-road cycling lanes, adding multi-use paths on the east side of the road and more. For more details on how to safely drive the roundabout, visit www.halton.ca/goround.
  • Derry Road repaving from Walkers Line to Tremaine Road including intersection improvements at Walkers Line and Derry Road
    This quarter also saw the repaving on Derry Roadbetween Walkers Line and Tremaine Road. Not only will this give a smoother ride to drivers, but the intersection at Walkers Line and Derry Road has been improved.
  • 16 Mile Creek North Bridge (Dundas Street from Proudfoot Trail to Neyagawa Boulevard)
    Drivers using Dundas Street in Oakville will have noticed construction between Proudfoot Trail and Neyagawa Boulevard. This infrastructure project hit a milestone this quarter when the new north bridge crossing the 16 Mile Creek opened to traffic in October. When the project is finished later this year, Dundas Street will be six lanes with bicycle paths and sidewalks on both sides of the two new bridges.
  • Transportation Master Plan
    On Wednesday, October 5, Regional Council approved Halton’s most recent Transportation Master Plan, The Road to Change, which plans the Regional transportation system up to the year 2031. The master plan examines transportation infrastructure, identifies new road corridors and ways to provide for cycling and walking, promotes travel demand management programs (such as carpooling) and accommodates enhanced municipal and inter-regional (GO) transit services. For more details on The Road to Change – Halton’s Transportation Master Plan 2031, please visit www.halton.ca/htmp

Infrastructure

  • Water and Wastewater Master Plan
    On October 5, 2011 Regional Council approved the Sustainable Halton Water and Wastewater Master Plan. This plan ensures that Halton will continue to provide a safe and uninterrupted water supply for all Halton residents and businesses that receive Regional water, as well as ensuring that wastewater is treated efficiently and effectively.

Waste Management

  • Solid Waste Management Strategy
    On November 16, Regional Council approved Halton’s new Solid Waste Management Strategy which will guide Regional waste diversion programs towards the goal of achieving a 65 per cent waste diversion rate by the year 2016. To learn more about each of the new initiatives included in the 2012 to 2016 Solid Waste Management Strategy visit www.halton.ca/wastestrategy.

Planning Sustainable Communities

  • Approval of ROPA 38
    On November 25, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing external link issued a Notice of Decision to approve ROPA 38 (Sustainable Halton) with modifications to align the Region’s Official Plan with the Province’s Growth Plan, Greenbelt Plan and the Provincial Policy Statement.

Affordable and Assisted Housing

  • Completion of two new HCHC seniors buildings – Martin House Residence in Milton and Aldershot Village in Burlington
    The construction of two new Halton Community Housing Corporation (HCHC) seniors’ housing developments was completed at the end of 2011. Martin House Seniors Residence  pdf 203 MB, located at 189 Ontario Street South in Milton, provides Halton with 80 new units for seniors, including eight units for persons with disabilities. Aldershot Village Residence pdf 144 MB, located at 540 Plains Road East in Burlington, offers 65 new affordable housing units and is home to the Burlington Public Library’s new Aldershot Branch.

Children and Youth Development

  • Innovation funding
    Halton’s Our Kids Network/Early Years Committee received Innovation Funding from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services external link for the development of a new Service Navigation System model. The new system will allow Halton to move forward with the Best Start Child and Family System (BSCFS) designed to support families during a child’s early years
  • Our Kids Network Report Card
    Halton Our Kids Network external link released A Vision for Children in Halton, Report Card 2011. The third report card since 2004, A Vision for Children in Halton 2011 is a powerful tool and more information can be found online external link pdf 5.69 MB.
  • Halton Our Kids highlighted in Ontario’s Chief MOH Annual report
    On December 1, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arlene King, released her 2010 Annual Report, Health, Not Health Care external link– Changing the Conversation. The report cited Halton Our Kids Network (OKN) as an example of an Ontario municipality crossing government and sectoral lines to create healthy public policy. Halton Region’s Health and Social and Community Services Departments are key partners in OKN.
  • New intake/information line accessed by dialing 311
    Based on the research from two focus group surveys conducted in 2010, the Health Department created a new intake/information line staffed by public health nurses to increase access to comprehensive health and parenting information. This new intake/information line went live on December 5. Public health nurses provide comprehensive, best-practice advice, information, support, and counselling on a variety of topics. They also assist with linkages and referrals to Halton Region programs, classes, services and other community resources. The line also benefits health care professionals, school staff, childcare professionals, and staff from community agencies.
  • Halton Baby Friendly Initiative common messages document to become provincial resource
    In November, the Health Department signed an agreement with the Province to adapt the department’s “Key Common Messages Supporting the BFI (Baby Friendly Initiative)” working document into a provincial resource. The document has been widely used in the Halton community to provide consistent messages for health care providers. Health Nexus, Best Start Resource Centre external link and the Ontario Breastfeeding Committee external linkrecognized it as a valuable tool for other organizations working towards BFI accreditation and maintenance. This recent agreement means that the Halton document will be adapted by a committee of academics, hospital and community experts and become a provincial resource.
  • Community of Aldershot focuses on mental health
    In October the Aldershot community hosted a youth event called the Big Chill. The day was organized by the “Partnering Aldershot Safety Team” to promote mental health and increase awareness of community resources.

Seniors

  • Successful bid for provincial funding to support community seniors’ fall prevention
    Halton Region Health Department staff provided key leadership in a successful bid for provincial funding of seniors’ fall prevention research. The research project, “Engaging Community-Based Organizations in Fall Prevention for Older Adults: Moving from Research to Action,” received $100,000 to better inform public health and the community to prevent falls in older adults.

Protecting Public Health

  • Health indicators reports
    Monitoring the health of Halton citizens is a key priority for Regional Council and the Halton Region Health Department (HRHD). Using data from a variety of sources including the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System, Canadian Community Health Survey, Our Kids Halton Youth Survey and sources such as vital statistics births and deaths, and hospital discharges, HRHD regularly develops Health Indicator Reports on various health issues such as tobacco use or body mass index (i.e., weight). Each report includes demographic comparisons by age, sex, and municipality, as well as trends over time related to that health issue and helps to inform HRHD programs and services. In the fall, several new and updated reports were posted on the Region’s website.
  • Fall 2011 paramedic continuing medical education training
    All paramedic staff completed an eight-hour continuing medical education session in November. Continuing education is delivered throughout the year to ensure Halton paramedics are proficient with current standards, and to educate paramedics on new protocols, medication and equipment.
  • Emergency Services tiered response agreement completed
    In the early 1990s, a tiered response guideline was established amongst the three emergency services—EMS, police and fire services. The agreement outlined when the various emergency service agencies would be dispatched to emergency incidents that require more than once agency to respond to assist the primary emergency service. Halton’s EMS, police and fire services have been working under this guideline since 2000 when Halton Region assumed responsibility for EMS. One of Regional Council’s key actions identified in the 2011-2014 Action Plan was to create an updated tiered response agreement with the three emergency services. The new agreement was completed in fall 2011 by a working group of Deputy Chiefs from each agency, and was implemented early January 2012.  

Promoting Healthy Living

  • Healthy Weights Takes Action Community of Practice
    On November 22, 2011, the Halton Region Health Department launched the Healthy Weights: Halton Takes Action Community of Practice (CoP). CoP’s are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. Twenty-one participants, from many sectors such as education, community-based organizations, NGOs, health and municipal/provincial governments, gathered for the event. The CoP is just one in a series of comprehensive efforts to address obesity in Halton.
  • Halton continues to support smokers in their quit attempts (STOP program)
    On December 13, 2011, 43 Halton residents participated in the STOP on the Road external link program. Each participant received counselling and a five-week supply of nicotine replacement therapy. Telephone follow-up will now be offered to participants by the Center for Addiction and Mental Health. During the past quarter, Halton offered a variety of training opportunities to cessation practitioners. Two hundred practitioners attended sessions on best practices, motivational interviewing, cessation evaluation, and gender-specific approaches to cessation.
  • Safety Drives Us presents at national injury prevention conference
    Safety Drives Us (SDU) external link: Road Safety Initiatives for Newcomers in Halton” is a committee comprised of a unique partnership in Halton, Peel and Hamilton Regions between ethnic media, settlement agencies, children’s safety advocates, public health, police and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. On November 15, SDU presented at the Safe Kids Canada’s Injury Prevention conference in Vancouver. SDU initiatives include translation of child car seat pamphlets and videos into seven languages, training of settlement workers in car seat safety, car seat clinics for newcomer families and PSAs on multicultural radio programs, newspapers, and cable TV.

Air Quality

  • A Farewell to Featherwagons
    On December 22, 2011, Halton Region posted e-book translations on the Region’s website of the popular children’s picture book for children aged four to eight, A Farewell to Featherwagons. The book is now available in French, Spanish, Polish and Cantonese, reflecting the top four languages spoken most often at home in Halton, other than English. A Farewell to Featherwagons introduces children to air quality and climate change themes to inspire earth-friendly living at an early age. Since its launch in June, more than 2,500 copies have been distributed to libraries, schools and day care centres across Halton and there have been close to 2,000 visits to www.halton.ca/featherwagons.

Regional Accomplishments: July – September 2011

Every day, Halton Region works to provide residents and businesses with valuable programs and services. From affordable housing and public health; to business development and emergency management; from waste collection to water/wastewater treatment, we are committed to delivering our programs and services in a cost-effective and easily accessible manner.

I am pleased to share with you some of Halton Region’s major accomplishments for the 3rd quarter of 2011.

If you have any concerns or comments, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca.

Administration and Finance

  • Attracting and Retaining Jobs

    • This past summer, through the provincially funded Summer Company External Link program, Halton Region’s Small Business Centre worked with 16 young entrepreneursto help them start and grow their own businesses. Summer Company students received cash awards of up to $1500 from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade to help pay for start-up costs and up to $1500 at the end of summer as an award for completing the program.
    • Minneapolis-based retailer Target Corporation External Link announced this fall that it would be opening a distribution centre on a 79-acre site on Boston Church Road, just north of Hwy. 401, west of Esquesing Line in Milton. It is estimated that the distribution centre will employ several hundred people External Linkand generate several hundred thousand dollars in property taxes for the Town and Region.
    • Siemens Canada External Link announced in August that it will build its new corporate head office in a five-storey, 110,000-square-foot facility on the site located at 1565 North Service Road East in Oakville. The Oakville facility, which will be built to Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, is expected to employ approximately 800 people. Siemens is the one of the world’s largest and most diversified electrical engineering companies.
  • Promoting Tourism

    • Halton Region Museum celebrated the Museum’s 50th anniversary with Alexander Family Farm Day September 18. More than 350 people attended the day which featured activities such as Pioneer Chores & Games, Living as a Blacksmith and Pond Study, musical performances and a Birds of Prey show.
    • Over the past year, Halton Region Museum worked with partners to create an interactive, informative and easy to use online exhibition of the Niagara Escarpment in Halton. “Jeff’s Home” was undertaken in partnership with heritage and education groups in Halton to promote an understanding and respect for Escarpment heritage conservation.
  • Emergency Preparedness

    • In September, Halton Region and its emergency management partners tested the Community Emergency Response Plan. Participants responded to a mock emergency, “Exercise Twisted,” a tornado that “touched down” in Oakville. The exercise was part of ongoing efforts to ensure that Halton is a disaster resilient community ready to deal with any potential, imminent or actual emergency.
    • Services for Seniors Division, Halton Region Emergency Management and Oakville Fire Department staged an evacuation that involved a mock fire drill using volunteers. The exercise at Post Inn Village was held to help ensure that Halton Region’s long-term care homes meet the standards for emergency preparedness required by the Long-Term Care Homes Act 2007 External Link. It also supported the efforts of Halton Region’s three long-term care homes – Allendale, Creek Way Village and Post Inn Village – to continue to meet Accreditation Canada Standards External Link.
  • Public Engagement

    • Halton Region now offers the latest news about Halton’s museum, tourism and waste management program through several new social media tools that include Twitter, Facebook and a blog. Halton staff will be available on weekdays on all sites to share information and discuss related topics. Halton Region Emergency Management will use Twitter to communicate information in the event of an emergency situation or incident, as well as regularly share emergency preparedness tips.
  • Advocacy

    • An advocacy document A Strong Halton for a Strong Ontario – Partners for the Future was developed in advance of the provincial election. The platform set out Halton Region’s position on key issues impacting residents. Candidates were asked to respond to questions about how they would resolve critical issues facing Halton and those responses were posted online. Halton’s advocacy web pages had over 5,200 page views during the provincial election campaign.

Planning and Public Works

  • Transportation

    • The following transportation infrastructure projects were completed:
      1. Upper Middle Road is now a four-lane roadway with an upgraded signal at the Bronte Road intersection and new signals at Reeves Gate and Grand Oak Trail.
      2. Completion of Regional Road 25 widening (North Service Road to Upper Middle Road, Oakville). This extensive project received its final paving and is getting a facelift through landscaping and tree plantings on Bronte Road.
      3. To help improve Milton traffic flow, Derry Road was widened to four lanes from Tremaine Road to Bronte Street. Halton also installed new signals at all intersecting streets.
  • Infrastructure

    • Oakville South West Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades were completed on schedule and on budget. This $58 million project, funded by Halton Region and the provincial and federal governments, was completed in September with final landscaping underway.
    • The Todd Road Water Tower in Georgetown has been completed. This new water tower was built to store more water for Georgetown’s current and future population.
  • Environmental Protection and Conservation of Water

    • The sixth annual Halton Children’s Water Festival External Link was held from September 27 to 30 with almost 4,000 Halton students from grades two to five participating. The Festival provides children with a unique opportunity to learn about water in a fun and interactive way. The Festival featured nearly 60 activity centres that incorporated four main themes: water science and technology, water conservation and protection, water health and safety and water and society.
  • Planning Sustainable Communities

    • In July, Regional Council approved updates to the Best Planning Estimates and Regional Phasing. These two documents together state how the Region is expected to grow over the next 20 years. This is in response to the Provincial Places to grow and implements the Regions Official Plan and Sustainable Halton.
  • Defining and Preserving Natural Heritage

    • Halton Region celebrated International Year of Forests External Link with reforestation at the Halton Waste Management Site involving the planting of 4,760 trees, enhancements to the Regional Forests website, and a public hike of the Britton and Robertson Tracts.

Health and Social Services

  • Assisting Halton’s Low Income Residents

    • In September, Regional Council approved a 12 month pilot project to cover 50% or more of the cost of monthly bus passes for low income students, adults and seniors in Burlington, Milton and Oakville. The SPLIT pass is being offered in partnership with the transit services in Burlington, Milton and Oakville.
  • Children and Youth Development

    • As of August, pregnant women and their partners now have the option to attend prenatal classes or to learn online on their own schedule. The “Gift of Motherhood” is an interactive e-learning program that includes many illustrations, videos, audio with text and quizzes, all designed to help women and their partners prepare for labour, childbirth and caring for their new baby. The program also provides an alternative option for families who are waitlisted due to classes that are at capacity, or for women on bed rest.
  • Seniors

    • Post Inn Village Wins Quality Improvement Award. Since March 2010 Post Inn Village has been participating in Residents First External Link, through the Ontario Health Quality Council (OHQC). The Residents First program provides quality improvement education and leadership to the long- term care sector. Post Inn was one of 100 long-term care homes across the province to volunteer to participate in the project. Through the Residents First program, Post Inn Village has reduced the number of resident falls from 24% (June 2010) to 14% (June 2011).
    • The new Continence Clinic at Allendale Long-Term Care Home in Milton seeks to improve the health, wellness and quality of life for seniors by maximizing continence. A nurse specialist with “Nurse Continence Advisor” certification works with seniors 55 years of age and older who live in the community to help them learn to control bladder or bowel issues. The Allendale clinic is part of a Regional Continence Program being funded and managed by the Mississauga-Halton Local Health Integration Network External Link. To book an appointment call 416-521-4090 or 1-888-271-2742.
    • One of the most anticipated events each year at the Adult Day programs is the annual mini-vacation that takes place every September. For the third year in a row 15 clients and staff from Milton Place and Silver Creek Place Adult Day Programs enjoyed outdoor activities, food and accommodations at the Fern Resort in Orillia. Special events included a boat cruise around the Lake Couchiching and a visit to the Police Museum. The Willow Foundation External Link provides funds to cover some of the costs associated with the annual trip, with clients contributing the remaining costs.
  • Protecting Public Health

    • Six Halton Region Primary Care Paramedics began advanced care paramedic training on September 19 to ensure Halton EMScontinues to utilize a combination of primary and advanced care paramedics across all areas of Halton Region. Advanced care paramedics are capable of providing a broader range of skills that have been proven to improve patient outcome. The paramedics will complete a seven week course followed by a six week clinical rotation at Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital and a 600-hour field preceptorship in Halton Region. The target date for completion of this course is May, 2012.
    • Property has been secured at Derry Rd. and 5th Line for a future EMS station to service the new growth anticipated in East Milton. This new station will be constructed in the next three to five years.
    • Health Department staff offered three pool and spa operator’s courses to help operators understand their legislative responsibilities and to help ensure pools and spas in the Region are maintained in a safe and clean manner. As a result of the demand for this training and positive feedback, the Health Department plans to offer three one-day sessions in 2012
    • As the result of input from various stakeholders in the Halton food service industry, the following initiatives have been implemented:
      1. Food handler study guide is now available for free download at the Region’s website in both English and Simplified Chinese. This created a low cost option for food handler certification.
      2. Food handler resources (i.e., posters) have been translated into the five most commonly observed languages in the food service community in Halton. The posters are available for free printing at the Health Department online resource database.
      3. On-line registration for Food Safety Education and Certification Program was launched in May 2011.
      4. The Food Safety Guidelines for Food Banks (Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF)753KB) was created in collaboration with community food providers and is available for free download.
  • Promoting Healthy Living

    • walkON is a program that supports the creation of well-designed, compact communities where people can walk to school, work, stores, parks, and restaurants, and need to drive less. A walkON information session was held at the Bronte Youth Centre for local youth and a follow-up workshop is planned for early November. The program is continuing to build a reputation of community empowerment and change for making communities safe and walkable.

Regional Accomplishments: April – June 2011

 

Every day, Halton Region works to provide residents and businesses with valuable programs and services. From affordable housing and public health; to business development and emergency management; from waste collection to water/wastewater treatment, we are committed to delivering our programs and services in a cost-effective and easily accessible manner.

I am pleased to share with you some of Halton Region’s major accomplishments for the 2nd quarter of 2011.

If you have any concerns or comments, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca.

  • Region’s 2011-2014 Action Plan Approved by Council

    On June 22, 2011, Halton Regional Council approved The Citizens’ Priorities – Halton Region’s 2011-2014 Action Plan which sets out Council’s work plan and agenda for the next four years. Included in the Action Plan are 25 priority areas ranging from fiscal responsibility, planning sustainable communities, protecting public health and public engagement, as well as measurable key initiatives and key actions. The plan serves as a framework for decisions on fiscal, policy and operational matters and forms the foundation to effectively align the priorities established within the Region’s budget and business plan.

    Halton Regional Council undertook a uniquely different approach to developing its Action Plan by ensuring citizens and stakeholders were given the opportunity to have their say. Some of the ways community members shared their thoughts included a telephone survey and focus groups, Halton’s first ever Citizens’ Reference Panel and a public roundtable meeting.

  • Implementation of Building a Better Halton

    Construction to improve Halton’s Regional transportation system and address the Region’s infrastructure needs continued throughout the spring, including:

    • Bronte Road Reconstruction

      Construction work to widen Bronte Road (Regional Road 25) from two lanes to four lanes between North Service Road and Upper Middle Road in Oakville was completed in June. The remaining landscaping will be completed in fall 2011. The extra lanes will help ease traffic congestion.

    • Improving Derry Road

      Construction work to widen Derry Road (Regional Road 7) from two lanes to four lanes between Tremaine Road (Regional Road 22) and Bronte Street in the Town of Milton was completed in June. The additional lanes will help ease traffic congestion and the multi-use pathways and on-street bicycle lanes will connect pedestrians and cyclists to local shopping and amenities.

    • Improving Tremaine Road

      Construction work to widen Tremaine Road from two lanes to four lanes between Derry Road and Main Street in Milton is continuing through the summer. This project is being financed in part through the Federal and Provincial Stimulus Program and includes Halton’s first roundabout. The new circular intersection, located at Tremaine Road and Main Street, is scheduled for completion at the end of July 2011, and will help improve road safety and manage increased traffic demand. Learn more about roundabouts.

      Thank you to everyone for your continued patience while we work to improve our Regional road network and make getting around Halton easier for all of us.

  • Dundas Street Bus Rapid Transit

    Halton Region held a Public Information Centre for residents on June 23 regarding a Corridor Study being undertaken to consider improvements on Dundas Street from Brant Street (Regional Road 18) to Trafalgar Road (Regional Road 3) within Burlington and Oakville, The Study includes consideration of the opportunity to implement Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) within the corridor.

    The Dundas Street Corridor plays an important role in the movement of people and goods through the region, and the Corridor Study is looking at opportunities to develop improvements that will provide people living or working in Halton Region with alternatives to automotive travel. This study also provides an opportunity to examine ways to enhance Dundas Street as an attractive corridor for pedestrians and cyclists.

    The Public Information Centre provided an opportunity for residents, businesses and other interested individuals to review work completed to date and have input into the study process. Public consultation is an important part of this study and further consultation is expected this fall.

  • Niagara to GTA Corridor

    Halton Region has spent many months successfully working with the City of Burlington and other community groups to lobby against the Niagara to GTA Corridor.  On July 26, the Minister of Transportation confirmed that the Province will not proceed with the Niagara to GTA Corridor through Burlington.   

  • Physician Recruitment/Physician Appreciation

    Halton Region partnered with the Doctors’ Hockey Club and the Alzheimer Society of Hamilton Halton to sponsor the Docs on Ice External Link charitable hockey tournament as part of its physician recruitment program. Held in Oakville, April 7 – 9, 2011, the tournament raised a record $150,000 for the Alzheimer Society of Hamilton Halton and brought more than 800 physicians and 100 Medical Students to Oakville for the weekend.

    To pay tribute to the dedication and support of Halton’s physicians, local hospitals hosted morning coffee events during physician appreciation week, the first week of May. Additionally, on May 5, over 200 local physicians attended a networking event hosted by Halton Region, with support from local sponsors.

  • Economic Development Strategy – Business Community Workshops

    Halton Region is developing a new 10-year Economic Development Strategy. Phase One saw the development of a White Paper that provided an overview of Halton’s economy, labour force and demography, development trends, taxable assessment trends and the importance of business growth, industry cluster analysis, and broader economic trends. In Phase Two, Millier Dickinson Blais and Queen’s School of Business led two Halton Business Community Workshops in Oakville and Milton to engage a select group of Local and Regional government representatives, business leaders, and community stakeholders from across Halton and the Greater Toronto Area on Halton’s economic priorities.  The results of these discussions and other stakeholder consultations will be incorporated into a formal Strategic Directions Report, to be issued this fall.

  • CPR Research

    Starting in June, Halton Region EMS paramedics will be participating in an approximately two-year long research study to compare the benefits of standard cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with a modified version of CPR that involves continuous chest compressions.  This research study is being conducted through the  Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC), which is a large North American study coordinated through the University of Washington.  Locally the study is being coordinated by Rescu at the University of Toronto/St. Michaels Hospital.  The study consists of 10 clinical centers in Canada and the United States.   

  • New Paramedics

    14 new paramedics completed a comprehensive four-week orientation session during the month of May and are now working in the community.  

  • Children’s Picture Book Launched

    A Farewell to Featherwagons, the first illustrated children’s picture book produced by the Halton Region Health Department, was launched on Clean Air Day, June 8, 2011 with a reading at Sedgewick Crescent Child Care Centre in Oakville. The book was published in May as part of the air quality education and awareness raising program, and is intended to introduce young readers to air quality and climate change themes to inspire earth-friendly living at an early age. The book is being distributed to libraries, schools, and childcare centres (in the form of a storytelling kit, with related resources). For more information: www.halton.ca/featherwagons.

  • Air Quality

    The Health Department has completed two more studies related to air quality in Halton Region. The first study used an airshed model to assess the impact on human health from air pollution due to local sources versus air pollution from outside the region. The airshed model will be a useful tool to help inform decisions as the Region plans for significant growth out to 2031. The second study reports on air quality in Halton Region for the calendar year 2010. This is the second annual air quality in Halton report. Both reports are available at www.halton.ca/airquality.

  • Oral Health Supporting Innovative Knowledge Exchange

    In the second quarter, the Oral Health program participated in an evaluation of the reach of a series of webinars that they provide in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Seniors Health Research Transfer Network External Link (SHRTN), Oral  Health Community of Practice.  Oral Health co-leads the Community of Practice by providing the webinars that focus on seniors’ oral health and are presented online, audio-recorded and uploaded to the SHRTN website http://beta.shrtn.on.ca/nodes/shrtn-ke/cop/content/11senior External Link for broader access.  The reach of these webinars has exceeded our expectations with nearly 1,300 people participating to date, with the majority registering from Ontario, and others joining from across the United States and around the globe.

  • HaltonParents: 1,000+ Twitter followers and growing

    On May 10, the HaltonParents social media initiative reached a milestone: 1,000 followers on Twitter. HaltonParents offers quality, evidence-based information in an informal forum, for residents at any stage of their parenting journey: pregnant with their first child, or raising their third teenager. Parents can connect directly with a group of Public Health Nurses and Child Development staff who are tweeting and writing blogs about all things parenting. With the growing number of followers on Twitter and more than 2,300 readers of the blog in May alone, the social media communications channel is hitting the mark with local parents, community organizations, and others across Canada and the world.

  • Breastfeeding Symposium

    On June 20, Halton Region hosted The Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC) National Symposium, which featured key note speaker Randa Jarudi Saadeh, Coordinator and senior scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO) Nutrition Department, and David Morley, Director of UNICEF Canada. In a panel presentation, Halton’s Baby Friendly (BFI) Coalition, including two Early Years Health staff from the Halton Region Health Department (HRHD), presented the Halton community BFI journey, including the HRHD’s BFI Accreditation.

  • Employment Halton exceeds annual service targets

    Employment Halton is a new service offered by Halton Region that provides a comprehensive range of programs and services including Employment Ontario (EO) External Link to job seekers and employers in Halton. Funding for this program is provided by the Ontario Government. The funding agreement with the Province sets a number of service targets that Employment Halton must achieve annually. These targets require Employment Halton to provide the Employment Ontario program to at least 200 individuals and to help 79% of EO participants complete the program by obtaining employment, training and/or education.

    Staff are pleased to report that in the first eleven months of operation, Employment Halton has exceeded the service intake target by 270 per cent.  In addition over 90 per cent of people accessing Employment Ontario services have left the program due to employment, training and/or education.

  • Online Application for Social Assistance

    Halton Region was selected by the Province to pilot the Online Application for Social Assistance External Link. The online portal was successfully launched on April 12, 2011 affording Halton residents the ability to apply in both official languages for the Ontario Works program from any computer equipped with an internet connection, 24-hours a day, seven-days a week.

    Halton’s experience in implementing this cutting-edge technology proved to be very valuable for our municipal and provincial colleagues as we assisted them to prepare for the province-wide launch in mid-May. This launch saw the use of the portal expanded to include applications for each of the four social assistance programs in the province. Halton Region was officially recognized by the Province for the significant role we played in making the launch a success.

  • ESAC Age-Friendly Communities Forum

    On June 2, Halton Region’s Elder Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) hosted an Age-Friendly Communities Forum. The forum presented outcomes of the research conducted by ESAC in 2010. This research, based on the World Health Organization model includes transportation, housing, outdoor spaces and buildings, community involvement and community support and health services as key elements of an age-friendly environment.

    Citizens and representatives from the private, non-profit and public sectors discussed the opportunities and explored actions that would build on current initiatives and improve the quality of life for seniors.

    Nearly 100 percent of the participants felt the workshop enhanced their knowledge of issues related to older adults and 87 per cent indicated that they will work with another person or agency on an action as a result of the forum. Further information can be viewed at www.halton.ca/esac .

  • Dragon Boat Fundraising Event

    With the support of the Lively Dragon Club, the Halton Region Adult Day Program and Allendale Long-Term Care Home, raised over $7,500 to enhance the lives of clients and residents.  The race was held on Saturday, May 28, 2011 at Kelso Lake. For the last eight years, the Lively Dragon External Link has chosen the Services for Seniors department as their ‘Charity of Choice’ and through this effort over $75,000 has been raised to date. The Adult Day Program and Allendale teams who participated in the race consisted of staff, volunteers, family and friends. Each team competed in three races throughout the day.  Congratulations to the Day Program team ‘Greased Lightning’ who walked away with first place medals for their heat!

  • Supports for Daily Living

    On June 7, 2011 The Supports for Daily Living (SDL) program received recognition with the prestigious 3M National Health Care Quality Team Award. The award encourages and recognizes innovation in health services by linking two important concepts: quality and teams. 

    SDL is an innovative regional service delivery model targeting high-needs seniors who want and are able to continue living in their own home through access to supports over a 24-hour period.  Halton Region is a provider of SDL along with MICBA Forum Italia Community Services, Nucleus Independent Living, Oakville Senior Citizens Residence, Ontario March of Dimes, Peel Senior Link, Victorian Order of Nurses and Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care.

    SDL bridges the gap between scheduled homecare visits and long-term care and addresses the issue of nursing home waits in Ontario. It has had proven success in developing alternative living options in the community and reducing hospital stays for seniors.  

  • New Bathing Program at Bonnie Place

    In April 2011, the Supportive Housing Program at Bonnie Place began a therapeutic bathing program.  Bonnie Place II opened its doors in March 2010. Among many of the building’s new features is a therapeutic tub room. This room is wheelchair accessible and is equipped with a walk-in shower and whirlpool tub.

    Currently, the service is offered two mornings a week. Participants must be a client of Supportive Housing and have a signed permission slip from their doctor to participate. Priority is given to those senior clients who score moderate to high for pain on their the Community Health Assessment as well as clients who suffer from anxiety and who show improvement as a result of their tub experience.  An evaluation of the bathing experience is currently underway.

  • Winners of 2011 Regional Chair’s Environmental Awards inspire change and a greener Halton

    The winners of the Regional Chair’s Environmental Awards were announced at a special breakfast event held on April 21, 2011 that inspired those in attendance to make a difference in their community and across the world. Approximately 400 people attended the Halton Regional Chair’s Breakfast on the Environment at the Burlington Convention Centre which featured Canadian adventurer, environmentalist and educator Geoff Green as the keynote speaker. Jessica Tarka from Christ the King Catholic Secondary School in Georgetown was the first recipient of the Halton Environment Leadership Award.  Seven students received Scholarship Awards and 18 young people and student clubs received Environmental Excellence Awards.