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”.

The 2018 Halton Region Guide & Waste Calendar is here!

Find your weekly collection dates and get helpful waste reduction tips

waste1On behalf of Regional Council, I am pleased to present the 2018-2019 Halton Region Guide and Waste Collection Calendar. Check your mailboxes this week for your copy of this year’s calendar.

The annual guide and calendar is your resource to understanding waste management services in Halton and the programs Halton Region has to offer, including:

  • weekly collection dates from February 2018 to January 2019;
  • tips and resources about how to reduce waste and what waste materials are accepted each week;
  • services offered at Halton Waste Management Site;
  • programs and services available to residents and businesses; and,
  • information on the priorities of Regional Council and the 2015-2018 Halton Region Strategic Action Plan.

At Halton Region, we want to make sure that you have options to make managing your waste and using programs like the Green Cart and Blue Box as easy as possible. In addition to the calendar, there are a variety of online tools and resources available to make it easy for you to reduce waste at home and in the community. Visit halton.ca/waste or download the OneHalton app to:

  • sign up for weekly waste collection reminders that are sent right to your mobile device;
  • access landfill information and fees;
  • sort your waste using the Put Waste In Its Place tool;
  • schedule metal or appliance pick-ups; and
  • order yard waste labels and garbage bag tags.

Achievements in waste reduction

Last year, the Halton Waste Management Site celebrated 25 years of providing residents with reliable and convenient waste management services. Over the years, we have madewaste2 important investments in waste reduction technology, improved our curbside waste collection services and have seen a real commitment from residents to reduce waste at home and in the community. Through our shared commitment, we have helped extend the lifespan of the landfill from 2012 to 2044–30 years longer than expected. This has saved taxpayers more than $15 million by deferring the significant costs associated with building a new site.

Through your continued participation in the Green Cart, Blue Box and landfill programs, our community continues to come together to protect and enhance the natural environment for future generations. Together, we can help keep Halton a great place to live, work, retire and raise a family.

To learn more about waste management in Halton, please visit halton.ca/waste, download the OneHalton app or follow us on social media for useful tips and reminders.

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”.

Another year as one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers

I am pleased to announce that Mediacorp Canada Inc. has once again named Halton Region as one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for 2018! This award distinguishes us as an industry leader offering progressive working environments that promote the growth and engagement of our employees.

We have received this award for the last seven years, and it has become one of our most important recurring achievements. Our team delivers essential programs and services to residents—Regional Council has a strong relationship with Regional staff, and we recognize that our team is the foundation of our success.

As a value-based organization, we deliver exceptional public service through collaboration and continuous improvement. Our positive and supportive work environment is defined by our commitment to employee recognition, well-being and professional development.

Halton employees can also take pride in the knowledge that their work supports local individuals, families and businesses and enhances the quality of life in the community.

Another of Halton’s strengths recognized by this award is our commitment to hiring emerging talent and helping young people launch their careers. Next month, Halton Region will post opportunities for the 2018–2019 Internship and Apprenticeship Program. This initiative allows recent graduates to gain paid, meaningful experience in their fields by supporting and enhancing Regional programs and services.

The 20 interns who joined us in 2017 have already contributed to strategic projects, learned from seasoned professionals and developed skills that will help them succeed in their careers. We look forward to providing similarly positive experiences to a new group of high-performing young people this year.

Candidates must be eligible to work in Canada and have graduated (or will graduate) with a recognized post-secondary degree, post-graduate certificate or diploma between January 2017 and June 2018. To learn more, visit halton.ca/internship.

Halton is a great place to work, and I would like to thank all Regional employees for their service to the community and earning us another year as one of Greater Toronto Top Employers!

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”.


Season’s greetings from Halton Region!

Chair's social media- Facebook1

On behalf of Halton Regional Council, I would like to extend my best wishes to everyone in Halton this holiday season. This is a wonderful time to gather with family, friends and neighbours to celebrate traditions, create new memories and reflect on everything we are fortunate to have here in Halton.

Whether you are a resident spending the Holidays at home or visiting us from another community, there are plenty of fun things to see and do in Halton! Visit any of our four municipalities—Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton or Oakville—to discover family-friendly activities and events. Explore all Halton has to offer, from breathtaking natural landscapes and winter hiking to quaint downtown cores and fantastic local shopping, restaurants and more.

Our essential and 24-hour Regional services will remain available during the holidays. If you require assistance from Halton Region during this time, please visit halton.ca or call 311. Some public facilities will be closed from 4:30 p.m. on Friday, December 22 until 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 2. To learn about holiday hours at our public facilities, please visit halton.ca/closures.

I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and I look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

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”.

Investing in resident priority areas with the 2018 Budget and Business Plan

On December 13, Regional Council approved Halton’s 2018 Budget and Business Plan, establishing our financial roadmap for the coming year. It outlines how we will deliver Regional services and address resident priority areas to support the successful completion of our current Strategic Action Plan.

Delivering value for taxpayers

budget business plan chairs cornerHalton’s annual budget demonstrates how we continue to succeed by putting residents first. It is an essential part of our annual financial cycle—including planning, performance and reporting—that preserves our strong financial position and AAA credit rating.

The 2018 budget ensures our programs and services provide top value for taxpayers while supporting a high quality of life in Halton for years to come. It focuses on:

  • identifying savings and efficiencies while promoting long-term sustainability by reorganizing resources to priority areas;
  • maintaining service levels for Regional programs and services; and
  • making strategic investments in new and existing community infrastructure.

As always, it is based on prudent, forward-looking financial planning principles, and keeps property tax increases for Regional services at or below the rate of inflation.

Budget highlights

  • Children’s Services: $9.4 million increase (no net Regional impact) to improve quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and inclusivity in licensed child care programs based on Provincial/Federal funding allocated for 2018.
  • Comprehensive Housing Strategy: $3.2 million increase (no net Regional impact) to acquire new housing units and provide additional rent supplements for Halton housing clients based on Provincial/Federal funding allocated for 2018.
  • Paramedic Services: $1.8 million to address increasing call volumes and maintain existing service levels.
  • Roads Capital State-of-Good-Repair: $1.7 million increase ($1.0 million in the operating base budget and $726,000 in Federal Gas Tax funding) to address rising state-of-good-repair needs and updated costs.
  • Relief Staff Resources: $835,000 increase for the phase-in of additional casual relief hours required to maintain services levels in Paramedic Services, Services for Seniors and Children’s Services.
  • Greenland Securement: $800,000 increase to provide sustainable funding for the Waterfront Master Plan.
  • Regional Facilities State-of-Good-Repair: $651,000 increase to support the corporate facilities State-of-Good-Repair capital program.
  • Waste Management: $490,000 increase for the inclusion of plastic bags and film in the Blue Box beginning in April 2018.
  • Road Maintenance Program: $396,000 increase to support road maintenance contracts with the Local Municipalities and address growth in the Regional road network.
  • Halton Region Community Investment Fund: $350,000 to increase the fund’s total annual contribution to $2.4 million to support community initiatives with a focus on health or social services.
  • Capacity to Prevent and Address Homelessness: $346,000 increase (no net Regional impact) to help prevent homelessness based on provincial funding allocated for 2018.
  • Emerald Ash Borer (EAB): $121,000 increase in operating contributions to the Tax Stabilization reserve in support of the EAB program implementation by Conservation Halton and Credit Valley Conservation.

The 2018 budget includes a 1.9 per cent increase in property taxes for Regional services and a 3.8 per cent increase in the water and wastewater rate to support these actions.

Learn more

Making community investments for today and tomorrow helps us continue to improve the quality of life in our region. To learn more or view the 2018 Budget and Business Plan, visit halton.ca/budget.

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”.

Have a fun and safe holiday season

Halton continues to be one of the safest places to live in Canada. Halton Region provides programs, services and resources for individuals and families to make safe and healthy decisions. Below are some tips and resources Halton Region has to ensure you and your family have a safe and fun holiday.

Prepare for winter driving conditions and drive safely

  • Always carry an emergency kit in your vehicle. Your kit could include blankets, a
    flashlight, a first aid kit and snow removal items such as a scraper and shovel.
  • Drivers should also consider putting on winter tires – they perform much better than all-season tires on snow and icy pavement.
  • Visit halton.ca/beprepared for more safety tips and how to assemble your emergency kit.
  • If you plan to drink at a holiday party, please don’t drink and drive. Make sure you plan a safe ride home. You can call a taxi, take public transit or arrange for a designated driver.
  • Remember, impaired driving is a crime in progress so if you see someone you suspect may be impaired, call 911.
  • Visit halton.ca/drivesafe for more safe driving tips.


Follow the four food safety tips

Gathering with family and friends over a meal is one of my favourite things about the holiday season. Follow these tips to ensure any holiday meals you prepare and serve are safe to eat.

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


If you’re dining out, check our Dinewise information to find the latest inspection reports for restaurants across Halton. For more tips on safe food, visit halton.ca/foodsafety.

Protect yourself and others from the flu

The holidays are prime time for spreading cold and flu viruses as we attend many social gatherings. Here are simple ways to keep yourself and others protected:

  • Wash your hands frequently and cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • If you don’t feel well, wait until your symptoms have gone away before visiting loved ones in retirement homes or long-term care homes. Older adults are at a greater risk of complications from illnesses such as the flu.
  • Get the flu vaccine at your pharmacy or family doctor.
  • To find out where to get your vaccine and learn more about protecting yourself
    and others, visit halton.ca/flu.

Enjoy a healthy and happy holiday season! As we get ready to ring in 2018, thank you for all you do to make Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire…and keeping our community safe.

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”.