Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

CH_chair-s-corner-christmas-cardOn behalf of Halton Regional Council and staff, I would like to wish you Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season! I hope you enjoy your celebrations with family, friends and loved ones. I always enjoy meeting new people and learning about the many ways Halton residents celebrate during this time of the year.

If you are looking for something to do with family or friends, our Local Municipalities offer seasonal fun for people of all ages. Visit their websites to check out events, festivals and attractions happening in Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville.

Essential Regional services will remain available over the holidays. If you require assistance from us during this time, please visit halton.ca, use our OneHalton App or call 311. Some public facilities will be closed from 4:30 p.m. on Friday, December 21 until 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 2. To learn about holiday hours at our public facilities, please visit, halton.ca.

I would like to thank everyone in Halton for keeping our community a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. Season’s greetings and happy New Year from my family to yours—I look forward to working with you in 2019!

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”.

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Stay safe in Halton this winter

Whether you are on the road, at home or in the community this winter, it’s important to be prepared and practice safe and healthy behaviours at all times.

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Gear up for winter conditions

It’s never too early to prepare for the cold Canadian weather. Stock your car with an emergency kit and extra supplies, and consider putting winter tires on your vehicle. While driving, stay alert and be mindful of pedestrians. Severe winter weather may make roads more hazardous, so remember to slow down, take your time and arrive to your destination safely.

Be prepared before the cold temperatures arrive by signing up to receive our cold warning alerts by email. Visit halton.ca to sign up for alerts and find additional tips for preventing cold-related illness and injury.

Be safe while celebrating the holidays

Hosting friends and family during the holidays? Make sure your guests get home safely by using a designated driver or car service. Remember: you or your guests should never drive while impaired.

Ensure all walkways and sidewalks around your home are well lit, free of ice and snow and icy surfaces have been properly salted or sanded to prevent any outdoor falls.

If you’re preparing food for your family or guests, follow these four food safety tips to avoid food-borne illness: clean, separate, cook and chill.

Prevent flu and other illness while out in the community

Flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter months. The best way to protect yourself, your family and your community from the flu is by getting your annual flu shot. You can get the flu shot at your local pharmacy, doctor’s office or walk-in clinic (children under five can only receive their flu shot at their doctor’s office). Also, remember to wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer often and cough or sneeze into your elbow to reduce the spread of germs.

To find more safety tips, visit halton.ca. Let’s work together to keep Halton one of Canada’s safest communities during the winter season and throughout 2019.

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”.

Preparing for severe winter weather

Plan ahead to keep your family safe! The winter months can sometimes bring heavy snowfall, freezing rain and extreme cold to our community. By preparing today, you can ensure you are protected tomorrow and throughout the season.

You can follow three simple steps to be ready for any emergency:

Know the Risks

Step one: know the risks
Identify potential hazards in your area that might cause or contribute to an emergency, especially during winter weather.

 

Make a planStep two: make a plan
Ensure your household knows what to do during and after an emergency, as well as how to evacuate your home, where to go and how to stay in touch.

 

Emergency kitStep three: get a kit
Assemble or buy kits for your home and car that include medication, food, water and essential items your household would need to stay safe and healthy for 72 hours.

 

In the unlikely event that dangerous conditions require you to leave your community, we can notify you using social media, mobile alerts or a call to your landline phone. If you need to evacuate, follow our checklist and seek shelter with family or friends. The Region may also open an evacuation centre in one or more of the following local facilities to provide temporary shelter:

On November 29, Halton tested its emergency plans with an exercise that simulated a severe weather event. We participate in several exercises and drills throughout the year to ensure the Region is ready to respond.

As winter approaches, I encourage you to take personal precautions that can help protect your family, your home and your community. To learn more about how you can prepare for severe weather and other emergencies this season, visit halton.ca.

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 Canadians who serve and protect our country

This Remembrance Day marks the 100-year anniversary of the Armistice of November 11, 1918, which ended the violence of World War I. For the last century, we have used this anniversary to honour Canadian soldiers who gave their lives in wars, peacekeeping missions and military exercises around the world.

Throughout our history, Canada’s veterans have protected our nation, our values and our way of life through their brave service—they secured the rights and freedoms we enjoy today. Our members of the Canadian armed forces continue to represent our country with honour and pride, bringing much-needed aid and support to areas in conflict. Their actions help preserve global security, freedom and peace wherever innocent lives are threatened.

poppy-flower.pngBy placing themselves at great risk to maintain peace around the world, Canada’s veterans have allowed the rest of us to live our daily lives in safety and security. Our way of life is their legacy for us all, and we must never forget the sacrifices made to protect it.

On November 11, Canadians from coast to coast to coast will honour our nation’s veterans, including the many brave individuals who sacrificed so much for us. I encourage you to wear your poppy with pride and observe a moment of silence this Sunday to remember the service and sacrifice of those that helped 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”.

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”.