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”.

Halton paramedics are everyday heroes keeping us safe

Halton’s highly trained paramedics are on the front line of health care, helping to keep our community safe. Providing critical medical care to Halton residents when they need it most, paramedics are saving and improving the lives of Halton residents every day.

The statistics speak for themselves

ParamedicDayChair2The Region’s paramedics are always ready to respond:

  • More than 250 dedicated paramedics work out of 12 stations across the region to help residents 365 days per year.
  • Paramedics transport over 30,000 patients, on average, to area hospitals each year, including over 200 heart attack patients to a cardiac catheterization lab for immediate, specialized care.
  • They answer more than 50,000 calls every year.

Their timeliness, quick thinking and life-saving skills impact the health and safety of our residents every day, but too often we only recognize their value when we are faced with an emergency situation. I am proud and thankful for their heroic and reliable services.

ParamedicDayChair1Community partnerships

Paramedics can respond more effectively when an engaged and educated community is ready to support them. To help empower residents so they know what to do in emergency situations, Halton has several community programs in place. This year we will be:

  • Providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training to more than 1,600 people in community groups across the region;
  • ParamedicDayChair3Installing more Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) in the community and providing training resources to help residents understand how to use an AED. This is in addition to the 566 AEDs currently in municipal buildings, community centres, schools, golf courses, gyms and other important community locations;
  • Continuing the Community Paramedicine @Clinic program (CP@clinic) for residents living in certain assisted housing communities that experience high volumes of 911 calls. Paramedics assess residents’ risks of high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and falls, while providing healthy living education. This innovative program has helped reduce the number of calls for paramedic services by approximately 40 per cent at the subsidized housing community in Milton and 20 per cent at the Georgetown location; and
  • Building more paramedic stations in Oakville and Milton to serve these growing communities.

Celebrate Halton Paramedics with us

ParamedicDayChair4Last year more than 1,300 people joined us for the first annual Paramedic Day to celebrate our paramedics and learn about the important work they do to protect the safety and health of our community. I hope to see even more residents at our second annual Paramedic Day on Saturday, May 26 at Halton Regional Headquarters – 1151 Bronte Road.

This year’s event will offer a variety of exciting activities for kids and people of all ages, and residents can learn about the important role paramedics play in keeping our community safe. Stay tuned for more information!

I encourage you to visit halton.ca/paramedic to learn more about the many services our paramedics offer to 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”.

 

Halton helps local businesses go global

On February 28, I had the pleasure of celebrating the official launch of the Halton Global Business Centre (GBC), located at the Halton Regional Centre at 1151 Bronte Rd. in Oakville. Alongside attendees including industry partners, Regional Councillors and Regional staff, we unveiled the center and discussed what the GBC means for local businesses, entrepreneurs and our local economy.

The creation of the GBC means Halton businesses looking for help in exporting have a place to go. Businesses who export also benefit from higher revenues, faster revenue growth and can see an increase in productivity. When businesses are ready to start exporting, the GBC can help them reach new markets, expand their customer base and diversify their products and services. And, our local economy depends on businesses who take advantage of national and international market opportunities.

GlobalBusinessCentre

The new Centre completes the suite of services Halton has to offer businesses to start, scale up and expand. New resources, services and programs include:

  • export counseling;
  • market entry support;
  • access to information on grant opportunities;
  • workshops and seminars;
  • information on government programs; and
  • networking opportunities.

The GBC is only one of the many ways that Halton Region is supporting local businesses and building a strong, local economy. With access to our Small Business Centre and partnerships with other local and provincial experts, Halton is one of the best places to do business. Together, we can ensure Halton Region remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

To get in touch with a consultant, register for an upcoming seminar or workshop, or to learn more about the programs and services available through the GBC, visit halton.ca/goglobal.

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”.

 

Celebrating 30 years with a top credit rating

I am proud to announce that Moody’s Investors Service has upheld Halton Region’s Aaa credit rating for another year. The agency has maintained its highest rating for the Region since 1989, making this our milestone 30th year at the top.

Earning the top credit rating from two international rating agencies—Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa) and S&P Global Ratings (AAA)—provides us with access to the best capital financing rates available. This means we can fund major infrastructure projects at the lowest possible long-term costs. By leveraging this advantage, we maximize investments in Halton’s future while keeping taxes low.

Moody’s credit opinion report confirms that we continue to succeed through diligent planning and transparent reporting. It highlighted the following credit strengths as part of its analysis:

  • excellent track record of posting strong fiscal results each year, supported by stable operations and an effective multi-year budgeting process;
  • forward-looking operating and capital plans to address pressures and spending requirements early on;
  • high levels of liquidity and declining, affordable debt burden; and
  • diversified economy and strong population growth.

S&P Global Ratings upheld Halton’s top credit rating in June 2017, and earning this distinction from both agencies is a key objective of 2018 Budget and Business Plan.

The relationship between the Region’s top credit rating and infrastructure investment is essential to maintaining our strong long-term financial position. It enhances every program and service we provide while supporting low property taxes, sustainable growth, economic prosperity and a high quality of life. Our future is dependent on this strong long-term financial position that has placed us at the high end of Canadian municipalities and it helps keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

To learn more, watch my video on fiscal responsibility or 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”.

 

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”.