Celebrate Canada Day in Halton this long weekend

CanadaDayOn July 1, we celebrate Canada Day, which marks our nation’s 151st birthday. This day is an opportunity to reflect on what makes our country, and our community, a great place to live. It reminds us of our values for freedom, diversity and inclusion, and it is a time to reflect upon our history, learn new aspects of our culture and identity, and take pride in the community we have built together.

This Canada Day, there are many ways you can come together and celebrate with your community.  Communities across Halton are hosting special events to celebrate our nation’s birthday. For a list of local events in honour of Canada Day, please visit your local municipality’s website.

Happy Canada Day everyone and thank you for helping make Halton Region a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire!

Halton Region’s essential and 24-hour services will remain available this weekend and during long weekends throughout the summer. For more information, please visit halton.ca or call 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”.

 

Tips to stay safe and have fun in Halton this summer

Today marks the first official day of summer. As the days get warmer and you spend more time outside, I’d like to remind residents about some of the Regional programs and services available to help keep you safe and protect you and your family this summer.

Be ready for warm days

Are you going outside for the day to explore our region? Remember to protect yourself by checking the forecast, dressing appropriately for the weather and drinking plenty of liquids! On extremely warm days, try to avoid prolonged sun exposure or reschedule outdoor activities to cooler parts of the day.

If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to sign up for heat and air quality alerts, which send notifications directly to your mobile device. Visit halton.ca/heat or halton.ca/aqhi to subscribe and find more tips to prevent heat-related illness or injuries.

Stay safe at the beach

The Region’s public health inspectors monitor beach water quality to make sure it is safe for swimming. If you are planning on going to a beach in Halton, you can find the latest beach water quality results at halton.ca/beach.

Food safety

Hosting a long weekend BBQ or taking the family to a local park for a picnic? Practice these four food safety tips—clean, separate, cook and chill—to reduce the risk of food-borne illness. Learn more at halton.ca/foodsafety.

Protect yourself from West Nile virus and Lyme disease

The Halton Region Health Department works hard to reduce the risks of West Nile virus and Lyme disease in our community. Make sure you are prepared by wearing light, long-sleeved clothing and using insect repellant with DEET or Icardin and avoid going outdoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active. Find more safety tips at halton.ca/wnv and halton.ca/lymedisease.

By making safe choices this summer, you can stay safe and healthy while enjoying everything that makes Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

Have a great summer and enjoy all Halton has to offer!

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.”

 

Make an informed decision on June 7

The Provincial election is quickly approaching, and it will soon be time to cast your vote to elect a local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) to represent you at Queen’s Park.

In a previous post, I outlined the importance of the Region’s partnership with MPPs in advocating for a strong Halton. Council will actively engage the successful candidates to support our requests for solutions from the Ontario government that protect existing taxpayers from the costs of Provincially mandated growth.

On May 10, we sent a questionnaire to candidates in local election ridings. It asked them to indicate their position on the following issues:

  • confirming Regional and Provincial regulatory roles in the proposed CN truck-rail hub;
  • investing in roads and infrastructure to support growth targets;
  • investing in adequate funding to support mandatory public health programs to close the $9.3 million funding gap;
  • immediately investing in new technologies and establishing enforceable performance agreements for area Central Ambulance Communications Centres; and
  • investing in safe, affordable and accessible government-assisted housing.

We are posting candidate responses as we receive them, and will continue to post new responses until Election Day.

Regional Council will work closely with the successful candidates to preserve Halton’s high quality of life. To learn more about our ongoing advocacy efforts to secure long-term, predictable funding and legislative changes from other levels of government, visit halton.ca/advocacy.

I encourage you to read the responses from candidates in your riding before you visit the polls. Remember, your vote counts, and it will help shape the future of our community. By making an informed decision, you help keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

The Provincial election will take place on Thursday, June 7, 2018. Ridings in Halton include Burlington, Milton, Oakville, Oakville North—Burlington and Wellington-Halton Hills—to check your riding or register to vote, visit Elections Ontario.

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”.

 

Stay informed about Provincial election candidate positions on community issues

The Provincial election on June 7, 2018, provides voters with the opportunity to elect local Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) in addition to the Premier. As your voice at Queen’s Park, MPPs help secure solutions from the Ontario government in response to local challenges and opportunities. Regional Council supports these efforts, and we work closely with Halton’s MPPs to advocate for long-term, predictable funding and legislative changes that address key issues in our community.

Our partnership with local MPPs and MPs allows the Region to achieve the support we need to protect existing taxpayers from the cost of growth. The Provincial Places to Grow Act, 2005, mandates that Halton’s population reach one million residents by the year 2041. To meet this target, the services and infrastructure required to support development must be planned and funded before they are needed. Ensuring growth pays for itself is essential to Halton’s future, and we must all work together to preserve our community’s high quality of life.

To help residents prepare for the upcoming Provincial election, the Region sent a questionnaire to candidates running in each of our local ridings:

The questionnaire asks the prospective MPPs to clarify their position—and that of their respective parties—on some of the Region’s key advocacy issues, including:

  • confirming Regional and Provincial regulatory roles in the proposed CN truck-rail hub;
  • investing in roads and infrastructure to support growth targets;
  • investing in adequate funding to support mandatory public health programs to close the $9.3 million funding gap;
  • immediately investing in new technologies and establishing enforceable performance agreements for area Central Ambulance Communications Centres; and
  • investing in safe, affordable and accessible government-assisted housing.

As we receive responses to our questionnaire, we will post them on halton.ca/ONelection2018. You can also visit our website to learn more about our advocacy issues and how we advocate for long-term, predictable funding and legislative changes from all levels of government to address them. A strong Halton helps build a strong Ontario—by working together, 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”.

New and easier ways to recycle in Halton!

Reducing community waste and keeping our neighbourhoods clean is a priority for Halton Region and top of mind for most residents as you manage your weekly household waste. Two common issues among residents are the amount of recyclables that become wind-blown litter on windy days and unacceptable plastic material. Halton Region has heard these concerns, and is responding with enhancements to the Blue Box/recycling program.bluebox changes 2

I am pleased to share that starting the week of April 2, all residents, businesses and facilities are able to recycle plastic bags and plastic overwrap. This means everything from plastic shopping bags to packaging around bathroom tissue and newspaper bags can be placed in the recycling and diverted from the Halton Waste Management Site landfill.

Along with these enhancements, residents in single family households will have more options to suit their household’s needs and prevent wind-blown litter. Recyclables for curbside collection can either be placed in a clear plastic bag, in the Blue Box only, or a combination of both! Also, there is no limit to the number of plastic bags or Blue Boxes collected each week.

bluebox changes

We are always looking for ways to improve our waste diversion rates and ensure that we are providing the best possible customer service. And thanks to resident commitment to waste reduction, Halton Region has one of the highest Blue Box participation rates across the province, and 90 per cent of Blue Box material collected in Halton is sold and recycled into new products.

Enhancements and service improvements like these and your continued participation in waste management services keeps Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

For more information including acceptable items and recycling tips, visit halton.ca/bluebox or download the OneHalton app and use the Put Waste in its Place sorting tool.

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”.

Enjoy winter fun in Halton this long weekend

Winter is a great time to explore Halton—from outdoor adventures to unique shopping, dining and entertainment experiences, Halton is your destination for winter fun. This Family Day weekend, I encourage you and your family to explore everything Halton has to offer!

Get active outdoors

As a former hockey player, I enjoy being physically active, and winter is a great time to get active and explore outdoors. From sleigh rides at Mountsberg to skiing at Glen Eden, Halton truly has something for everyone. Explore the Bruce Trail or hike with the family at Bronte Creek Provincial Park or Crawford Lake. If you want to get active indoors, check out Mattamy National Cycling Centre for drop-in cycling for a world-class experience. Find more fantastic winter tourism activities at halton.ca/tourism.

Don’t forget to check the forecast before you head out and you can always sign-up for cold alerts at halton.ca to get instant updates and tips.

Enjoy premium shopping, dining and entertainment experiences

Prefer something indoors?  Explore any of our four municipalities—Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville—for premium shopping, dining and entertainment experiences. Check out new exhibits at local museums and performances at some of our theatres. Dine at restaurants and cafés and discover our unique local shops and businesses in our downtown cores. Or head over to the Toronto Premium Outlets, one of the premier shopping destinations in the Greater Toronto Area. You can find more information on what to see and do in our delightful downtowns and villages from local Business Improvement Areas (BIA).

However you choose to experience Halton this long weekend, I hope you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends!

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”.

Social and financial supports that residents can rely on

Affordable housing, employment opportunities and financial security are important factors that contribute to an individual’s and family’s well-being and quality of life. Halton Region provides easy access to a wide range of programs and services for residents who may need assistance with housing affordability, employment, or the cost of dental care, public transit and child care.

Below are some of the programs and services we offer and links to more information:

Affordable and assisted housing

  • The Region offers many supports including our Halton Housing Help service, assisted housing, rent supplements and one-time financial assistance for individuals and families that are experiencing difficulty with housing costs.
  • Residents that need support with housing can visit halton.ca/housing to learn more about eligibility requirements and the services that are available.

Financial assistance for basic needs

  • Ontario Works is a provincial program delivered through Halton Region to those who qualify for financial assistance for basic needs like food, clothing and shelter.
  • Our Subsidized Passes for Low Income Transit (SPLIT Pass) reduces the cost of a monthly bus pass for public transit in Burlington, Milton and Oakville and provides subsidies for the cost of the ActiVan and taxi scrip programs (subsidized taxi fares) in Halton Hills.
  • If you require child care, our child care subsidies can help alleviate the costs.
  • If your children require dental care, the Healthy Smiles Ontario program provides dental cleaning, check-ups and treatment for eligible children and youth 17 and under. Adults who require dental care may be eligible for financial assistance for dental care through adult and seniors’ oral health programs.
  • To support local programs in delivering sufficient, safe and nutritious food to those in need, Halton provides funding through the Halton Region Community Investment Fund.

Employment support for job seekers and employers

  • Employment Halton offers a wide range of programs and services to nearly 12,500 job seekers every year.
  • They also provide a variety of services to employers in Halton to support their recruitment efforts and help fill more than 400 positions every year.
  • Job seekers can also access a variety of programs including our Second Career and Youth Job Connection programs.
  • Visit halton.ca/employmenthalton to learn more about services that may be helpful for you.

Ensuring residents have the supports they need when they need them the most is an important priority for me and the Regional Council. We continue to work closely with our community partners and other levels of government to ensure Halton remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. To learn more about the services and supports we offer, visit halton.ca or call 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”.