The 2017 Halton Guide & Waste Collection Calendar is here

wastecalender-cover-2017I am happy to announce the release of the 2017 Halton Region Guide & Waste Collection Calendar for all Halton residents! This year’s waste collection calendar provides residents with resources for waste collection and information about living, working and retiring in Halton. Some of the information you will find in this year’s calendar include:

  • weekly collection dates from February 2017 to January 2018 and accepted waste materials;
  • tips and resources about how to reduce waste at home and in the community;
  • how to access Regional programs and service that may be of interest to your or members of your household;
  • how to use the Halton Waste Management Site and services; and,
  • information on the priorities of Regional Council and the 2015-2018 Halton Region Strategic Action Plan.

Halton is committed to protecting and enhancing the natural environment through investments in green initiatives and helping residents reduce their household waste. Our services include Blue Box recycling and Green Cart for organic food waste, locations for the proper disposal of hazardous waste and options for the re-use of household goods.

I want to thank Halton residents for their continued participation in our recycling, composting and safe disposal programs. Due to your efforts, 62 per cent of residential waste has been diverted from Halton’s landfill. Maintaining this waste diversion rate has helped extend the lifespan of this site from 2012 to 2044 – saving taxpayers over $15 million by deferring the significant costs associated with building a new waste management site.

Together, we can build on these successes and continue to protect the natural environment today and for generations to come.

Please check your mailbox for your copy of the calendar. To access the calendar online, sign up for waste collection reminders, or to request a paper copy please visit halton.ca/wastecalendar, download the OneHalton mobile app 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”.

Partnering with police to protect lives of Halton residents

The new Project Lifesaver Halton program is another example of how we’re working with partners, including the Halton Regional Police Service, to keep our community a safe place to live.

Project Lifesaver Halton helps protect family members who may wander due to Alzheimer’s disease, autism, down syndrome, acquired brain injury or other kinds of cognitive impairment, by providing police with a quick and easy way to find people who are wearing the program tracker if needed.

dsc_7703People participating in the program, coordinated by the Halton Regional Police Service, wear a small bracelet with a transmitter that sends out a radio tracking signal 24-hours a day, seven days a week. If caregivers notify police that the individual is missing, a specially trained emergency response team will use mobile tracking equipment to find them.

As part of our commitment to connect people with the services they need, the Region is supporting Project Lifesaver Halton by offering financial assistance to those eligible for the program. If program participants are in need of financial support to cover program costs, the Halton Regional Police Service will connect them with Halton Region.

dsc_7747Project Lifesaver Halton is just one example of how Halton works to enhance the health and well-being of all residents, no matter what their income, age or stage of life. The Region has several programs and services that provide residents with access to the important supports they need. Residents can find more information online about how Halton provides support in areas such as housing, Ontario Works, transit, employment and childcare.

For more information on Project Lifesaver Halton, residents can visit haltonpolice.ca/projectlifesaver, halton.ca/lifesaver or contact the Halton Regional Police Service by dialing 905-825-4810 or projectlifesaver@haltonpolice.ca.

Through various Regional programs and by working together with our community partners, we can keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire for everyone.

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”.

Healthy changes for the New Year

Holiday resolutions can be maintained by making small, incremental changes

2017 is here and for many of us we are looking for ways to maintain or improve our health. The start of a new year is often the time when people decide to make changes that can have a positive impact on their health. Physical activity is a great way to keep your body and mind healthy, and it is easy to incorporate into your daily routine, if you take small steps.

If you are just starting out, think about the small changes you can make to improve your health. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Walking is one of the best ways to build physical activity into your day. Halton has a beautiful landscape, from the escarpment in the North to Lake Ontario in the south, with many conservation areas and walkable communities in between. Take some time to get outside, enjoy the fresh winter air and walk for your health.
  • Increase the amount of time you spend moving each day. At home and at work, take regular walking and exercise breaks.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, both at work and in the community, to build more physical activity into your day.
  • For families, there are many fun activities you can do together to help keep everyone get and stay healthy. From walking, skating and skiing outdoors to swimming and playing sports indoors at your local community centre – the options are endless!

To meet your weekly requirements for vigorous physical activity—a minimum of 2.5 hours a week—set goals that incorporate active living into your daily routine. Physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease, some types of cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, depression, stress and anxiety. These are great reasons to get started today!

Halton’s website has a many great resources to help people of all ages stay healthy and physically active. To learn more, visit halton.ca/healthyliving. By making small investments in our wellbeing, we can better enjoy everything that makes 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”.

Here’s to a clean and green 2017

Happy New Year from Halton Region!  As we enter a new year, it is an opportunity to make positive changes in our daily lives, including how we impact the natural environment.

Protecting and enhancing Halton’s natural environment is one of our highest priorities. Halton Region is preserving the natural environment by investing in green initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint to keep it beautiful today and for generations to come.

We all have a role to play in making Halton cleaner and greener. As you tidy up after the holidays and start the New Year, here are a few things to remember:

  • Put bundled cardboard boxes, aluminum cans, foils and trays, dairy and juice cartons and disposable plastic containers in the Blue Box;
  • Put items such as turkey bones, baked good, paper plates, cups and napkins in the Green Cart;
  • Put items such as gift wrap, bows, plastic utensils, plastic wrap and bags in the garbage;
  • Keep items out of the landfill and help local charities’ fundraising efforts by donating items in good condition to a reuse centre in Halton; and,
  • Christmas trees (free of decorations, stands and plastic bags) will be collected the week of January 9 and week of January 16. Please put your tree at the curb on your regular collection day.

Every household and business in the community can make a difference – together, we can achieve Halton Region’s goal of a 62 per cent waste diversion rate by 2018.

What we do today matters for tomorrow. Together, we are preserving Halton’s future to 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”.

Happy Holidays!

Family having fun in winterOn behalf of Regional Council and staff, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and wonderful holiday season!  The holidays give us a chance to reconnect with family and friends, participate in festive traditions and create memories for years to come

Over the holidays, all our essential and 24-hour Regional services will remain available. If you require assistance from Halton Region during this time, please visit halton.ca or dial 311.

thinkstockphotos-621597666-halton-ca

Some public facilities will be closed from 4:30 p.m. on Friday, December 23 until 8:30 a.m. on Monday, January 2. For more information about holiday hours at our public facilities, visit halton.ca/closures.

If you are staying in town for the holidays, there are so many great things to see and do in Halton. Family-friendly events and activities take place throughout the winter season in Halton’s local municipalities—Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville—and at Conservation Halton parks. Click on the links to find out more details.

It is my wish that your holidays are filled with peace, joy and good company. From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy 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”.

2017 Budget delivers investments and value for taxpayer dollars

Investments in state of good repair infrastructure, Paramedic Services and new Long-Term Water Meter Strategy among highlights

On December 14, 2016, Regional Council approved the 2017 Budget and Business Plan, maintaining service levels in the community while making strategic investments and keeping the tax rate increase for Regional services within the rate of inflation.

Ensuring value for taxpayer dollars and protecting Halton’s strong long-term financial position are the focus as we prepare our annual budget. Our goal at Halton Region is to deliver a budget that will keep taxes at or below the rate of inflation while maintaining our AAA credit rating and financial sustainability.

The budget, our financial plan for 2017, outlines the implementation of key priorities in the Halton Region Strategic Action Plan 2015-2018 and includes strategic investments in essential areas such as state of good repair for infrastructure, affordable and assisted housing, Paramedic Services and the Halton Region Community Investment Fund.

Additional investments are also included to support the implementation a Long-term Water Meter Strategy and the next stages of implementation in various Regional Waterfront Master Plans. These investments will all contribute to preserving the high quality of life in Halton. The 2017 Budget includes a 1.9 per cent increase in property taxes for Regional services and programs, and a 5.1 per cent increase in the water and wastewater rate.

Highlights in the 2017 Budget include:

  • increased funding for Paramedic Service resources for the new East Milton station as part of the Paramedic Services Master Plan implementation;
  • funding to implement new governance arrangements with the Oakville Seniors Citizen’s Residence;
  • increased funding for non-profit organizations in Halton through the Halton Region Community Investment Fund;
  • additional funding for the Waterfront Master Plans implementation;
  • increased funding to provide housing subsidies for survivors of domestic violence, help prevent homelessness, and provide more assisted housing stock and rental assistance in Halton Region;
  • adjustments to rate revenue and structure to ensure financial sustainability for investments and to promote fairness in revenue collection and water conservation; and
  • funding for a Long-term Water Meter Strategy to accelerate water meter replacement to ensure more accurate water bills and to develop a strategy to support radio frequency reading technology in the future.

Investing for today and tomorrow is an important part of our financial success at Halton. Our forward-looking budgetary practices and sound financial management help us keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

The 2017 Budget and Business Plan can be viewed online at 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 on 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”.