Halton is your destination for active, summer fun

Throughout the year, and especially during the summer months, I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Halton’s many vibrant communities. Whether I’m in Acton, Burlington, Georgetown, Milton or Oakville, a common trend emerges in my conversations with Halton residents – how happy you are to live in a region that offers so many options for a healthy, active lifestyle.HaltonSummerFun

Like many of you, I recognize how vital healthy, active communities are contributing to a high quality of life. As a former professional athlete and active living enthusiast, easy and sustainable alternative transportation options for residents are always top of mind.

A great example of the work Halton is doing to keep our community healthy, active and safe is the ongoing implementation of the Active Transportation Master Plan. So far, we have built approximately 190 kilometres of on-road exclusive bikes lanes and paved shoulders along Regional roads for you to safely bike, roll or stroll to enjoy summer activities across Halton.

Plan a fun and active day in Halton this summer

Take advantage of Halton’s active transportation network and natural landscapes, which are perfect for summer activities with family and friends. Here are some ideas:

No matter what activities you are interested in, we have it here in Halton. I encourage everyone to enjoy an active lifestyle by taking advantage of the many bike lanes, multi-use paths and trails that make Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. To learn more about all that Halton has to offer or to plan a fun summer day, please visit halton.ca/tourism.

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”.

Seeking input on Halton’s Community Safety & Well-Being Plan

Halton Region, Halton Regional Police Service and the Halton Regional Police Services Board want to hear from you!

According to Statistics Canada’s Crime Severity Index, Halton is ranked as one of the safest regional municipalities in Canada. Halton Region and the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) are continually working with our community partners on key issues such as community safety to ensure we are doing all we can to keep Halton safe. However, there is always more that we can do to support safety and well-being in our communities.

Halton Region and the HRPS recently partnered to develop a Community Safety and Well-Being Plan (CSWB) for Halton. The goal of the plan is to strengthen collaboration amongst ourselves and our community partners to support individuals who may be vulnerable in our community and to build safe and healthy communities.

Community safety and well-being planning is about proactively responding to issues in our communities in areas like mental health, neighbourhood safety, addictions, housing and homelessness, and social isolation so that those in need of help receive the right response at the right time (before there is a crisis).

The draft Plan is now ready for review. Halton residents, service providers, community agencies, businesses and others with an interest in community safety and well-being issues are invited to attend public consultations that will take place in Halton municipalities in June and July to learn about the plan and provide their input. Those interested can also provide feedback by completing a survey at halton.ca/safetyandwell-being.

Public consultation sessions on Community Safety & Well-Being in Halton: A Plan for Collaboration and Action will be held at the following locations:

  • Tuesday, June 20, 9 to 11 a.m., Burlington Lions Club (Lions Hall),  471 Pearl Street, Burlington
  • Tuesday, June 20, 6 to 8 p.m., Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre (Black Box Theatre), 2302 Bridge Road, Oakville
  • Tuesday, June 27, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Gellert Community Centre (Kinsmen Hall B), 10241 8 Line, Georgetown
  • Wednesday, July 12, 6 to 8 p.m., Milton Sports Centre (Optimist Room), 605 Santa Maria Boulevard, Milton

You can register at halton.ca/safetyandwell-being to attend any of these sessions.

Halton Region is committed to improving access to services for residents by working closely with our community partners on key issues including mental health, access to nutritious food, supports for families, older adults and newcomers and community safety. Together, we make Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

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

Tips to keep you safe this holiday season

The holiday season is well underway and many people are travelling to friends and families and enjoying holiday parties and activities. No matter what you have planned, there are some simple tips you can follow to keep you and your family healthy this December.

Drive safely

  • Be prepared for winter weather. Always carry and an emergency kit in your car and drive according to the conditions on the road.
  • Consider switching to winter tires – they perform much better than all-season tires on snow and icy pavements.
  • Call a cab or arrange for a designated driver—if you are drinking at a holiday party, make sure you can get home safely and don’t drink and drive.
  • If you see someone you suspect may be impaired, call 911.

Visit halton.ca/beprepared to learn more about emergency car kits and halton.ca/drivesafe for safe driving tips.

Remember the four food safety tips

Preparing and handling food safely is key to preventing foodborne illness. Follow these tips so to ensure any holiday meals you prepare and serve are safe to eat.

  • Clean – Always wash your hands, utensils and cooking surfaces with soap and hot water before you handle food, repeatedly while you prepare it, and again when you have finished.
  • Separate – Keep certain foods, like meats and their juices, separated from other foods during storage and preparation and use separate cutting boards for raw meat and vegetables.
  • Cook – Prepare foods quickly, cook them thoroughly, and serve them immediately. Don’t let foods linger at temperatures where bacteria can grow. The danger zone is between 4°C (39°F) and 60°C (140°F).
  • Chill – Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within two hours..

If you are a guest at a dinner or party, ensure what you eat is properly heated or chilled. If you are dining out, check out our Dinewise information to find the latest inspection reports for restaurants in Halton. For more details on the four safety tips visit halton.ca/foodsafety.

Wash your hands regularly to prevent colds and get immunized against the flu

  • Holiday time is the perfect time for the spread of colds and flu.
  • With more people gathered together indoors (or at malls in crowded conditions), it is more likely you will encounter germs that can make you sick.
  • Wash your hands to prevent colds and other illnesses.
  • If you are sick, wait until your symptoms have gone away before visiting loved ones in retirement homes or long-term care homes. Older adults are at greater risk of complications from illnesses such as the flu.
  • Get the flu vaccine to protect yourself and others.

To learn more about flu, visit halton.ca/flu.

Enjoy a healthy and happy holiday season! Together we make Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

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

OneHalton: the Region at your fingertips

One tap. OneHalton.

onehalton-rotatingbannerwebLast week, Halton launched its free mobile application (app) designed to put the Region’s high-quality services in the palm of your hand. With OneHalton, our most popular online information and service requests are just one tap away—anytime, anywhere.

OneHalton optimizes the user experience for Apple and Android devices, making it even easier to connect, request or engage with your region. We are committed to high-quality customer service that is easy to access for all residents, and this app will help us continue to deliver service excellence for mobile users.

OneHalton provides direct access to many of Halton’s most popular online services:

Download

To learn more and download OneHalton, visit the App Store on your iPhone or iPad, or visit Google Play on your Android device. If you are using a computer, our many services remain easy to access for all. To learn more about the app or try our online service finder, visit halton.ca/OneHalton.

OneHalton will help the Region continue to promote service excellence in its many program offerings. By improving service access for residents, we help keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

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

Honouring the sacrifices of Canada’s veterans

Remembrance Day honours those who courageously fought in wars and conflict zones across the globe to protect our rights and freedoms. On November 11 at 11 a.m., please observe a moment of silence to honour the bravery, dedication and sacrifice of Canada’s veterans.

poppywebAs Canadians, we have the opportunity to vote, participate in all levels of government and openly celebrate our diverse heritage and culture together. However, our many freedoms came at a great personal cost, paid by the everyday heroes who risked and sacrificed their lives for the good of future generations.
The poppies we wear from the last Friday in October until Remembrance Day serve as reminders that honour all those who have fallen. As Heather Robertson says in A Terrible Beauty, The Art of Canada at War,

We must remember. If we do not, the sacrifice of those one hundred thousand Canadian lives will be meaningless… The meaning of their sacrifice rests with our collective national consciousness; our future is their monument.

Canada’s veterans protected our country’s foundational values of peace, liberty and hope, and those who continue to serve carry this legacy forward. Halton’s vibrant communities owe their bright future to these courageous individuals.

On behalf of Halton Region, I encourage all residents to wear a poppy this November and honour the sacrifice of all those who braved war and conflict to preserve our future. Lest we forget those who have faithfully served our country—by honouring our nation’s heroes, we celebrate the values that keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

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

Halton’s 35th Annual Farm Tour – showcasing farming diversity

farmtour1Halton Region is home to an active and vibrant farming industry that includes a wide range of farming types, including livestock operations, cash crops, fruit and vegetable growers, horse farms, nurseries and more. Halton is committed to preserving this vibrant sector by working with community partners to support the sustainability of agriculture and food industries locally.

As part of our commitment to preserving this vibrant sector, the Halton Agricultural Advisory Committee (HAAC) hosted the 35th Annual Halton Farm & Food Tour.

The Tour showcases farm operations within the region and provides attendees with the opportunity to learn about Halton’s agricultural sector and see first-hand some of the challenges facing the farming industry. This year, attendees visited three unique agricultural businesses and learned about their farming operations.

  • Mabel May’s farm in Burlington is a diverse farming operation. The farm is involved in quality forage production and services an extensive list of equine clients. They are also involved in innovative farming practices such as biomass production, a renewable energy source. They raise chickens, duck, lamb, grass fed beef and heritage pork, which are available for purchase at their on-farm shop.
  • Terre Bleu is the largest lavender farm in Ontario and offers an extensive list of products, all made with lavender from the farm. This farm is unique as all of their promotion is exclusively done through social media – specifically Facebook. In fact, Facebook for Business International wrote a front-page case-study about their outstanding success.
  • J.P. Saliba Market Gardening Inc. in Halton Hills is a commercial vegetable farm specializing in broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Their farming operation has a long standing history of selling products at the Ontario Food Terminal – the largest wholesale fruit and produce distribution centre in Canada. They also currently sell their produce to Bay Shore vegetable shippers in Burlington.

farmtour2Participants of the tour included representatives from Regional and Local Councils, as well as regional staff. Attendees had the opportunity to meet and hear from agricultural leaders, ask questions and learn about common misconceptions about the industry.

This important event reminds us that as a region we need to continue to support our agricultural neighbours. They provide us, and the communities around us, with food to eat and jobs within the region. Halton’s agriculture industry helps to keep our community a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

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

Improving lives by connecting people and employers

Halton’s commitment to attracting and retaining jobs, helping job seekers find work and employers find employees is demonstrated through the success of our Employment Halton offices.

jobfairEmployment Halton offers a wide range of programs and services to more than 8,000 job seekers and 200 employers every year. Employment Halton also provides a variety of services to employers in Halton to support their recruitment efforts and help fill more than 250 positions every year. Employment Halton programs include apprenticeship opportunities and programs such as Second Career which provides financial assistance to participants as they retrain for a new career.

This is another example of a Regional program that not only contributes to the success of our residents, but also to the businesses that choose Halton as their home. Halton’s unemployment rate is significantly lower than both the provincial and national rates and we’ll continue to partner with local employers to provide opportunities for job seekers, helping to keep our economy strong.

Whether residents need help launching a career or employers want assistance attracting the right employee, our employment resource centre, free online job posting board and job fairs can help people build a presence in Halton.

The next job fair is coming up on October 19 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Burlington Convention Centre. To learn more about what we can do for you, and how we’re keeping Halton a great place to live and work, visit halton.ca/employmenthalton or dial 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”.