Be prepared for winter weather

On November 1, Halton Region rolled out an enhanced emergency notification service which gives us access to an improved database. We can now reach more than 95 per cent of Halton residents with traditional land line telephone service in emergency situations.  As one of the first Canadian municipalities to have access to Bell Canada’s 9-1-1 data for use in emergency situations, Halton Region continues to be a leader in delivering community emergency notification services. 

We all need to be prepared, because emergencies can happen any time and any place. In Halton, our emergency response partners work together to plan for and manage emergencies.  Our goal is to ensure that residents are safe and that Halton is a disaster resilient community, ready to deal with any potential, imminent or actual emergency. 

While governments and partners at all levels work hard to keep residents safe, individuals also have an important role to play. Are you prepared?  Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility.

As winter approaches, we face the possibility of:

I encourage you to take time to learn more about emergency preparedness. This winter, be prepared…take the steps!

For more information about Halton’s Emergency Management Program, dial 311 or visit www.halton.ca/beprepared. You can also follow Emergency Preparedness on Twitter for emergency updates and preparedness tips. 

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.”

Participate in Earth Hour this Saturday

Halton Region encourages all residents and businesses to participate in Earth Hour on Saturday, March 23, 2013 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Earth Hour is an annual, world-wide event, organized by World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The event encourages businesses and households to turn off non-essential lights and appliances for one hour.

Earth Hour

The purpose of Earth Hour is to bring awareness about the importance of taking action to fight climate change. Earth Hour brings people together for a common goal; to think about our role in climate change and consider the steps we can take toward greener, sustainable living.

Halton Region is focused on making positive changes to help minimize our impact on climate change. Corporate Sustainability is noted as a key initiative in the 2012-2014 Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan. Residents have indicated that this initiative is of great importance in Halton.

Internally, Halton staff has developed a Corporate Sustainability Action Plan. This is our plan of how we will meet the sustainability priority set in the Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan as a corporation.

The plan focuses on several initiatives:

  1. Corporate Facilities and Land Management – Energy Star electronic equipment (printers, photocopiers, computer monitors) used in all Halton Regional facilities
  2. Transportation and Fleet Management – reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions and other air pollutants associated with transportation
  3. Corporate Energy Management – reduce energy consumption, participate in energy conservation programs
  4. Water Conservation and Waste Management – increase water diversion at corporate facilities; Green Cart program expanded to all Regional facilities
  5. Green Procurement – include sustainable practices and products for bid calls and future contracts of goods and services
  6. Sustainability Culture – reduce paper use, paperless Council meetings

Starting at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, lights and non-essential electrical equipment at Regional facilities, those that do not compromise public safety or interfere with essential services, will be turned off for one hour in support of this global initiative.

I encourage you to join other communities across the world in this event to show your commitment to fight climate change. Turn off all non-essential lights and appliances in your own home during Earth Hour. Spend some time thinking about what you and your family can do to reduce your energy consumption.

What can you do to live more energy efficiently? How will you make a difference?

For tips on what you can do to reduce climate change, please visit our website www.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 or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Air Quality (video)


Chair Carr’s YouTube channel Youtube logo

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 or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Celebrating and protecting our natural environment – with Barn Owls!

In Halton Region, we enjoy a beautiful natural environment. Last month, in celebration of Clean Air Day on June 8, the Halton Region Health Department launched a new children’s book, A Farewell to Featherwagons, with a public reading to students by Jeanne Wilson, a teacher at Sedgewick Crescent Child Care Centre in Oakville.   

The book showcases local wildlife, the Escarpment and our lakes and creeks, to educate and entertain young readers and their families. Written by Halton Region Environmental Health Specialist Beckie Jas and illustrated by freelance artist Brandon Koepke, the book tells the story of three barn owls who enjoy spending time at the Great Lake. When traffic, bad air and storms begin to spoil their plans, they begin to think about how their “featherwagon” contributes to air pollution and climate change. The owls discover a better way to get to the Lake—using their wings to fly.  

Jeanne Wilson, a teacher at Sedgewick Crescent Child Care Centre in Oakville reading to children.The picture book is part of Halton’s Air Quality/Climate Change Health Promotion Program meant to educate the public about the health impacts associated with air quality and climate change, and the actions we can take to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gases. The book includes facts on Barn Owls and air quality and climate change, plus tips on how to make a difference. It was developed in consultation with experts on air quality, climate change, and physical activity—in addition to a raptor specialist, literacy consultant, and professional illustrator.

Copies of the publication, along with a complementary Storytelling Kit, have been provided to public libraries External Link. Over the next few months, they will also be distributed to child care centres, schools, and community partners. So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

I invite you to check out this new resource at www.halton.ca/featherwagons. The first 50 people to complete an online evaluation will receive a free copy of the book.

A Farewell to Featherwagons We all have an important role to play in protecting the environment. This resource provides tips on how to make a difference for readers of all ages.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Are you a climate change champion? Learn more and take action!

Halton Region’s air quality health promotion campaign aims to educate Halton residents about the links between air quality, climate change and human health, and the steps you can take to reduce your impact on the environment.

This initiative encourages us to reduce our energy use at home and on the road, and to use the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) to help plan outdoor activities. The campaign is part of Halton Region’s air quality program which aims to protect and enhance Halton’s air quality and protect Halton residents’ health.

The campaign includes four short videos – Energy Reduction at Home External Link, Energy Reduction on the Road External Link, Active Transportation External Link, Air Quality and Your Health External Link – which have aired on Daily Web TV External Link over the past six months.

The campaign also features a contest open to Halton residents over the age of 18. The contest winner will have the opportunity to star in a Climate Change Champion Video, to be aired on Daily Web TV this fall. The grand prize package also includes a Home Energy Assessment, an Energy Efficiency Home Starter Kit, a copy of Halton Hikes Trail Guide and a Pedometer, a Family Pass to the Halton Region Museum and a copy of the 20/20 Home Energy Planner.

To enter the contest External Link, in a short essay (500 words or less) tell us why you are climate change champions and describe what you or your family is doing at home and on the road to reduce energy and improve air quality. The contest closes Thursday, June 30, 2011. Visit www.halton.ca/airquality or Daily WebTV External Link to submit your entry.

In addition to education and raising awareness, Halton Region’s air quality program includes airshed modeling, air monitoring, policy development and review of  planning applications. To introduce issues associated with air quality and climate change to younger audiences, the Health Department just published A Farewell to Featherwagons, an illustrated children’s picture book, for children aged four to eight.  The book is being distributed to schools, day care centres and libraries in Halton.

Visit www.halton.ca/airquality to learn more or dial 311, 905-825-6000, toll free 1-866-442-5866 or TTY 905-827-9833.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Join Halton Region and communities around the globe in support of Earth Hour

This Saturday – March 26, Halton Region will join communities around the world by turning out the lights for Earth Hour External Link. Starting at 8:30 p.m., lights and non-essential electrical equipment at Regional facilities, that do not compromise public safety or interfere with essential services, will be turned off for one hour to symbolize the Region’s commitment to fighting climate change.

I encourage Halton residents and businesses to also take action and participate in Earth Hour. Commit to doing what you can to reduce energy for Earth Hour and every day throughout the year.

As part of its efforts to help protect and enhance our environment, Halton Region has a number of on-going initiatives, including:

  • Landfill Gas Capture Projectat the Halton Waste Management Site
  • Waste diversion programs such as the Blue Box for recycling and the GreenCartfor organics collection
  • Halton’s Naturally Green Programdesigned to help residents grow and maintain healthy lawns without the use of pesticides
  • Smart Commute Program to promote car-pooling
  • Forest management, including protection of the Region’s 1,645 acres of forest
  • Halton Region’s Land Stewardship Programto increase the quality and quantity of forested areas
  • Halton’s Tree By-law to protect forest ecosystem and prevent clear cutting of woodlands
  • Corporate initiatives to reduce energy consumption and use alternative fuels
  • Involvement with, and support for, organizations such as the Halton Partners for Clean Air, the GTA Clean Air Council, and Partners for Climate Protection.

In February, Halton Region kicked off its air quality promotion campaign. The program aims to educate Halton residents about the links between air quality, climate change, human health, and the steps they can take to reduce their impact on the environment.  

The campaign includes four short videos: Energy Reduction at Home, Energy Reduction on the Road, Active Transportation, Air Quality and Your Health. The videos will be aired on Daily Web TV External Link over the next six months.  

For more information about these and other initiatives, visit www.halton.ca. For more information about Earth Hour, visit www.wwf.ca/earthhour External Link.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”