Help preserve Halton this Earth day!

2015 Scout Tree Planting event

On April 22, six million Canadians will participate in recognizing one of the world’s largest environmental events: Earth Day. This year’s Earth Day event focuses on growing the global forest. Halton Region is committed to protecting and enhancing our rich, natural environment and is currently involved in a number of projects that support forest and tree growth in Halton, such as:



  • The Annual Scout Tree Planting Event, hosted by Halton Region on April 30. It is part of the Region’s ongoing tree planting and maintenance program at the Halton Waste Management Site (HWMS). Over the last 15 years, this initiative has supported the planting of over 5000 native trees.
  • The Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park Master Plan, which will begin implementation later this year. The Master Plan includes plans to restore the sensitive beach and dune area located within the park with native trees, shrubs and other plants.
  • The Biodiversity Strategy for Regional Forests, which is a 10-year strategy that guides the Region’s many sustainability initiatives by managing the preservation of our rich and diverse landscape.

Resident wishing to take part in local Earth Day events can attend the many community events that have been planned by our local municipalities and environmental groups throughout Halton. These events include:

I am pleased to join residents and community partners in their tireless efforts to preserve the natural environment for future generations. What we do today, matters for tomorrow. Together we are preserving Halton’s future as 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”.

Sunday pilot program: increasing waste diversion and customer service

HWMSHalton Region is committed to supporting waste diversion efforts and providing high-quality customer service that is easy to access for all residents. We take great pride in making Halton a great and sustainable place to live and we are always looking for new ways to improve the programs and services we provide.

To help residents with their waste disposal and recycling and to support our waste diversion efforts, Halton Region will be opening the Halton Waste Management Site (HWMS) on Sundays from April 17 to July 10. As part of a pilot program, the site will be open between the hours of 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. to measure resident interest and assess the long-term feasibility of having the landfill site open on Sundays.

During the three-month pilot period, Halton residents are invited to take advantage of the extra day to drop off recyclables, yard waste, household hazardous waste and garbage. All regular services at the HWMS will be available, including:HWMSdriveway

  • Recycling and Garbage Disposal
  • Yard Waste Drop Off
  • Household Hazardous Waste Depot
  • Paint and Stain Reuse Depot
  • Salvation Army Reuse Depot
  • Blue Box and GreenCart Pickup/Exchange

We are committed to protecting the natural environment which is a priority in our Strategic Action Plan 2015-2018. By participating in our waste management programs, residents of Halton continue to achieve a remarkable waste diversion rate. Since 2008, more than 60 per cent of residential waste has been diverted from Halton’s landfill. This is a remarkable accomplishment that has resulted from working together to promote long-term sustainability in our community.

Thank you all for your ongoing efforts to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. What we do today, matters for tomorrow. Together, we are preserving Halton’s future, ensuring that Halton remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

For more information about the Halton Waste Management Site, the new pilot program, and waste reduction and diversion tips and programs, please visit halton.ca/HWMS 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”.

The new Halton Guide and Waste Collection Calendar coming soon!

Waste Calendar coverRGBTo keep residents informed about Regional programs and services and their waste collection schedule, and to better help residents with their waste reduction efforts, the Region produces The Halton Guide and Waste Collection Calendar every year. The new edition will be delivered to residents by late March.

What’s new this year?

  • This year’s edition has been redesigned to provide homeowners with information on many Regional programs and services, as well as seasonal household tips.
  • Bulk waste will now be collected more frequently: every other week on the same day as your garbage collection.
  • This guide also contains tips on how to use the 3R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) to support sustainable practices and encourage the use of the Blue Box and GreenCart for appropriate waste.

Preserving Halton today for tomorrow helps ensure a high quality of life in our Region, making it a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire for generations to come. I appreciate the efforts Halton residents have made when it comes to waste diversion. Since 2008, single-family households have diverted over 60 per cent of their waste from landfill and have extended the life of the landfill site from 2012 to 2044!

I hope Halton residents will continue to look for ways to reduce their waste every day. For tips and more information about the Region’s waste collection services, and to sign up for automatic waste collection reminders, visit halton.ca/waste.

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”.

Do your part to reduce waste

Last week was Waste Reduction Week (Oct 19-25). The purpose of the week was to raise awareness about the need for all of us to think about and manage our waste responsibly, and the importance of practicing the 3Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle.

At Halton Region, we are a leader in sustainable practices, both in the workplace and in the community through our waste reduction programs and services, and education efforts with residents. In our Strategic Action Plan 2015-2018, ‘Protecting the Natural Environment’ has been identified as one of our key priorities. Our goal is divert 62 per cent of our waste from the landfill, and we are already well on our way.

Thanks to the participation of Halton residents in our waste management programs, we have already achieved a waste diversion rate of 60 per cent, and these efforts have already extended the lifespan of our landfill from 2012 to 2044. This means that we offset the one billion dollar cost of a new landfill, which is great news!

I encourage all residents to continue to work together and look for way to reduce your waste. Here are some tips under each of the 3Rs:

Reduce

  • Buy only what you need.
    • Reduce waste by avoiding unnecessary purchases. Rent or borrow items that rarely get used.
  • Buy all-purpose household cleaner or make your own.
    • Don’t buy different cleaning solutions for each role.
    • Remember that in most cases, vinegar and water cleans just the same.
  • Make enough food to have leftovers, or just enough that you don’t have to throw any away.
    • Use leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.
  • Choose products with little packaging.
    • This way, less packaging ends up in the Blue Box or garbage. This can include buying in bulk. This will save you money as well as reduce waste.

Reuse

  • Pack a waste-free lunch.
    • Use reusable containers for lunches and snacks, a thermos for water and juice, reusable cutlery and a cloth napkin so nothing gets thrown out!
  • Choose products that can be reused.
    • For example, rechargeable batteries, cloth napkins and reusable drink bottles.
  • Bring your own bags when shopping.
  • Lug a mug.
    • Bring a reusable travel mug to the coffee shop. Many offer small discounts for using a reusable mug too.
  • Donate or buy from or have a yard sale
    • Support local charities by donating reusable clothing and other household items that are in good condition. Visit halton.ca/reuse for a list. Yard sales are also great ways to reuse items. Have one yourself, or check out classified ads for yard sales in your neighbourhood.

Recycle

  • Recycle or have a bin in every room.
    • Look at putting a bin in different rooms in your house for collecting recyclables or organic items. For example, in the bathroom, collect plastic shampoo and soap bottles for your Blue Box, and collect used facial tissues for the GreenCart.
  • Clear out the basement and garage.
  • Think about recycling when shopping.
    • Single serve yogurt cups go in the Blue Box, while yogurt tubes go in the garbage.
    • Paper egg cartons go in the GreenCart and clear plastic egg cartons go in the Blue Box, while Styrofoam egg cartons go in the garbage.

Practicing the 3Rs helps preserve our natural environment for future generations, so Halton remains 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 on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter,”The Carr Report.”

Q2 Accomplishments 2014

Fiscal Responsibility

Tax Policy Report approved
On April 16, Regional Council approved Halton Region’s Tax Policy Report which details the Region’s final 2014 tax rates based on the 2014 Budget and Business Plan, approved by Halton Regional Council on December 11, 2013.

Public Engagement 

Citizens’ Report 2013 released
On April 2, Halton Region released the Citizens’ Report 2013 which highlights accomplishments related to key actions and initiatives in the Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan.

Customer Service

Region marks 40 year anniversary
The County of Halton was dissolved and the Regional Municipality of Halton was established on January 1, 1974. Halton Region marked the anniversary and celebrated 40 years of customer service excellence with the launch of a new Twitter account, @RegionofHalton. Additionally, to recognize the contributions of Halton’s namesake, Major William Halton, to the development of the Region and the province, the new North Oakville Transportation Corridor between Bronte Road (Regional Road 25) and Ninth Line, will be named William Halton Parkway. Construction on the new corridor will begin this year. 

Be an Employer of Choice

Halton Region appointed two new commissioners
On April 16, Regional Council approved the appointment of two new commissioners to fill positions recently vacated following the retirements of the Region’s Commissioner and Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner of Public Works.

James A. Harnum was appointed as Commissioner of Public Works, effective Tuesday, May 20, 2014 and Dr. Hamidah K. Meghani was appointed as Commissioner and Medical Officer of Health, effective Monday, July 14, 2014. 

Advocacy

Pre-election advocacy campaign informed voters
In advance of the June provincial election, Halton Region prepared a questionnaire for the candidates from the ridings of Burlington, Halton, Oakville and Wellington-Halton Hills. The questionnaire provided candidates with an opportunity to explain to voters how they would advocate for Halton and how their party would resolve the challenges facing Halton Region. Responses were posted at Halton.ca/OntarioElection2014.

Economic Development

Halton Region endorsed Sheridan College’s plan to become a university
In June, Halton Regional Council voted in favour of Sheridan College’s plan to expand postsecondary education options. Halton Region endorsed Sheridan’s plan to pursue university status because it will improve access to local postsecondary education, ensure a strong labour force to meet the needs of local employers and attract talent to Halton.

Starter Company announced
Halton Region announced the launch of a new program called Starter Company, perfect for those aged 18 to 29 who have always wanted to be entrepreneurs. The program is offered by Halton Region in partnership with the Ontario Government and provides training, mentorship, business skills development and grants of up to $5,000 to help eligible individuals start a new business, expand a business or purchase a business.

Physician Recruitment Week a success
Every year, Halton Region and local hospitals celebrate the efforts of Halton’s physicians and recognize their contributions to our community with Physician Appreciation Week, which took place this year from April 28 to May 2. Now in its 11th year, Physician Appreciation Week in Halton was originally established in 2003 by the Halton Physician Recruitment program. Attracting new physicians to establish medical practices in Halton continues to be a priority in Halton’s Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan. Halton Region’s Physician Recruitment program has helped bring more than 200 new family doctors to Halton since 2003.

Waste Management

Winter Ice Storm Yard Waste Collection Program
Halton Region implemented a special bulk brush collection service in designated service areas from March 31 to May 30, followed by a call-in service throughout June for roadside brush collection in non-serviced areas in response to the December 2013 major winter ice storm. The Region worked closely with the Local Municipalities to ensure that storm debris was collected in an effective and efficient manner. In addition, the Region continued to waive the tipping fee for yard waste at the Halton Waste Management Site to the end of June so that Halton residents and contractors could drop off brush debris or chipped materials at no charge.

Special Waste Drop-off Days held in Burlington, Halton Hills and Oakville
Halton Region held Special Waste Drop-off Days this spring in Burlington, Halton Hills and Oakville. Approximately 2,800 residents attended the events designed to provide Halton residents with a convenient opportunity to safely recycle and dispose of items like electronics and household hazardous waste, which should not be placed in the garbage.

Spring Compost Giveaway
In May, approximately 3,500 residents attended Halton’s annual Spring Compost Giveaway at the Halton Waste Management Site. During the event, residents picked up processed compost to use in their garden and landscaping projects. Halton residents also generously donated 4,340 kg of non-perishable food items and contributed $7,720 for local Halton food banks. 

Scout tree planting event
In May, Halton Region partnered with Conservation Halton and Halton Area Scouts to host the annual Trees for Watershed Health planting event at the Halton Waste Management Site.  The event was a big success with over 300 volunteers planting 3,000 trees at the site. 

Environmental Protection and Conservation of Water

Rain barrel sales events
Halton Region held its sixth annual rain barrel truckload sales events as part of Halton’s Water Efficiency and Conservation Program. Approximately 2,225 rain barrels were sold over the four events. The use of rain barrels helps to reduce outdoor water use.

Outdoor Water Use Program launched
Halton Region launched the annual Outdoor Water Use Program in June. The program is designed to help reduce peak demand associated with summer water use when water consumption often doubles. 

Infrastructure

Well upgrades completed

  • The Region completed a comprehensive upgrade of the Fourth Line Well Field in Acton to ensure that wells continue to meet all provincial water quality standards and to provide water for future growth within Acton.  
  • Upgrades were completed at the Lindsay Court Well Field to include a standby well and to ensure that the wells continue to meet all provincial water quality standards.  The upgrades will ensure that Georgetown’s water supply remains reliable and safe for the long term.  

Planning Sustainable Communities 

Completion of the Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) 38 Guidelines
In June, Halton’s Inter-Municipal Liaison Committee endorsed the Regional Official Plan Guidelines. The 17 guidelines, developed through an extensive public consultation process, will assist municipalities and the public with policy implementation of the Region’s Official Plan. 

Annual update on employment activity in Halton
Council received the 2013 Employment Survey Results report in June. The report highlights key findings on employment activity and land use patterns resulting from the 2013 comprehensive door-to-door survey of businesses in Halton Region. 

Annual update on housing trends in Halton
Council received the Halton Region – 2013 State of Housing Report. The report provides an update on housing trends to assist in monitoring the success of the Region’s housing and growth management policies. The report highlights that the Region’s Official Plan targets related to density and affordability for new housing units in Halton were both exceeded in 2013. 

Defining and Preserving Natural Heritage 

75th Anniversary of Halton Regional Forests:  A Biodiversity Strategy and Property Acquisition
This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the Halton Regional Forests.  To commemorate this event, on June 18, Regional Council approved a Biodiversity Strategy for the Regional Forests, as well as the purchase of a 37 hectare property. This is the first expansion to the Regional Forest in nearly 50 years.  Biodiversity is key to maintaining the function and integrity of the Regional Natural Heritage System. The Biodiversity Strategy will guide conservation and enhancement of the Halton Regional Forests over the next 10 years. 

Halton Region Museum Master Plan
On June 18, 2014, Regional Council approved the Halton Region Museum Master Plan which details a long-term plan and vision to transform the Halton Region Museum into the Halton Heritage Centre (HHC). The Master Plan outlines a new and innovative model for the delivery of regional heritage services in which the Museum will not only continue to care for the Region’s own collection but will provide professional services in exhibit planning and design, public program development and artifact conservation. The details and strategy for implementing the Halton Heritage Centre will be determined during the Region’s next term of Council.

New exhibit launched at the Halton Region Museum
A new exhibit, Flights of Folly: Learning from the Passenger Pigeon, was launched at the Halton Region Museum Visitor Centre on June 11, 2014. Flights of Folly acknowledges the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon by offering an interactive and educational experience that explores issues surrounding extinction and de-extinction and present-day species at risk. 

Corporate Sustainability 

Corporate Sustainability Action Plan on track
Implementation of the Corporate Sustainability Action Plan is on track, as reduction of the Region’s ecological footprint for internal operations continues. Recent accomplishments include the Region receiving the E3 Bronze Fleet Rating, recognition as the Smart Commute Halton Employer of the Year and recognition from Oakville Hydro Corporation for completed energy retrofit projects. 

Promoting Healthy Living 

Health Department hosts successful Workplace Health Networking Meeting
On June 17, the Health Department hosted a Workplace Health Networking Meeting entitled “How Much Are You Sitting? Move More at Work, Sit Less!” Over 60 workplace representatives heard keynote speaker Dr. Travis Saunders discuss “Is Sitting Killing Us?” He shared the latest research evidence and effective approaches workplaces can implement to encourage physical activity at work.   

April 8 Smoking Cessation Best Practice Workshop
On April 8, the Health Department participated in the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario’s Nursing Best Practice Smoking Cessation Initiative by hosting a Smoking Cessation Best Practice Champion Workshop. Forty-eight health care professionals learned simple intervention techniques to dramatically reduce rates of smoking, in addition to connecting with Canada-wide champions and learning about best practice tools and resources. 

Family Health Information Line receives 99 per cent satisfaction rating
A recent evaluation of the Family Health Information Line showed a 99 per cent satisfaction rating from Halton residents who access the line to connect directly with a public health nurse for information and resources.  

Air Quality 

Halton Region climate change picture books recognized with three awards
In June, Health Department staff were recognized with three awards for the ‘Owls for Climate Change’ children’s picture book series, including a 2014 Gold Quill Award of Excellence (from the International Association of Business Communicators – IABC), a 2014 Conservation Halton Award, and a 2014 Apex Award for Publication Excellence. To view or purchase the books, visit: www.halton.ca/owlbooks.   

Children and Youth Development 

Promoting safety with two community car seat safety spot checks
As part of Halton Region’s commitment to community safety, Regional staff, Halton Regional Police Services, Milton and Halton Hills Fire Departments and Cooperators Insurance jointly supported two car seat safety spot check clinics in Acton (April) and Burlington (May). In total, 266 seats were seen at the quick check with 117 requiring a full inspection due to installation errors. 

Over 100 trained in effective youth engagement
Aligned with a release of a new guideline for working with youth by the Our Kids Network, Health Department staff delivered training related to how to engage youth in health and social services to over 100 staff and community partners. 

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 Region Spring Compost Giveaway runs until Saturday May 10

There is still time to take advantage of Halton Region’s Spring Compost Giveaway. Every year Halton collects your yard waste – leaves, garden trimmings and brush – and converts it into high-quality compost.

Until Saturday, May 10, you can visit the Halton Waste Management Site at 5400 Regional Road 25 in Milton to pick up compost free of charge. The annual spring event, which began on May 5, runs daily from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

I invite you to visit the landfill to pick up garden-ready compost for your spring gardening and landscaping projects.

Remember to bring: Compost 2014

  • your own bags or containers (maximum seven per household) and a shovel in order to bag your compost; and
     
  • a non-perishable food item or cash donation, to be distributed to Halton-area food banks.

Halton Region runs the Spring Compost Giveaway every year to thank residents for helping to divert yard waste away from Halton’s landfill. Halton residents are diverting 60 per cent of single-family household waste by participating in Blue Box, GreenCart, reuse, household hazardous waste and yard waste programs – this is an incredible achievement.

Halton’s waste management practices, including our yard waste program, both protect the environment and make good financial sense. Our landfill site was originally scheduled to close in 2012. Thanks to the waste diversion efforts of Halton residents, the landfill life has been extended by more than 30 years to 2044, saving taxpayers the estimated $1 billion cost of a replacement site.

For more information about the Spring Compost Giveaway, visit Halton.ca/compost or dial 311. You can also follow Halton Waste Management on Twitter @HaltonRecycles, #HaltonCompost, and visit the blog at Haltonrecycles.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.”

 

Q1 Accomplishments 2014

Fiscal Responsibility

Moody’s Investors Services Reaffirms AAA Credit Rating for Halton Region
In February, Moody’s Investors Services assigned an AAA credit rating to Halton Region in recognition of the Region’s strong financial position and prudent budgetary practices. In its annual review, Moody’s attached a “stable outlook” to this rating, indicating its confidence in Halton’s ability to maintain this standing in the future.

Attracting & Retaining Jobs

Women Entrepreneurs in Halton Invited to ‘Learn, Connect and Grow’
On March 5, in celebration of International Women’s Day, the Halton Region Small Business Centre partnered with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment to host a business event for over 60 Women Entrepreneurs and small business owners at the OE Banquet Hall & Conference Centre in Oakville.  

Economic Development Strategy on Track
On March 26, Regional Council approved the Progress Achieved under Halton Region’s Economic Development Strategic Implementation Plan 2012-2021as well as the 2013 Economic Review. The review highlights both the significant real estate and business investment in Halton in 2013 and the tremendous growth in non-residential development over the past several years.

Physician Recruitment Initiative 2013 Reports Year-End Results
On March 26 Regional Council approved the 2013 year-end report for the Physician Recruitment Initiative which saw the recruitment of 22 new family physicians to Halton.

Promoting Tourism

Halton Food Tourism Summit
On March 6, Halton Region held the Halton Food Tourism Summit at the Halton Region Museum. This session, part of the Region’s Agritourism Action Plan, provided educational and networking opportunities for local farmers and restaurateurs interested in taking advantage of the rapidly growing local food movement. Topics included Food Tourism 101, Food Tourism Best Practices and Strategies for local food sourcing.

Emergency Preparedness

Station Expansion
On March 11, construction started on the new northwest Oakville paramedic station located at Bronte Rd. and Pine Glen Rd. The new station will help paramedics respond to calls in the area more quickly, improving patient outcomes and saving lives. The new station is scheduled to open in early 2015. 

Customer Service 

SQM North American Call Centre Industry 2013 Award
This past January, Service Quality Measurement Group (SQM) recognized Access Halton as a Service Quality Award of Excellence Winner for 2013. Halton Region received the SQM North American Call Centre Industry 2013 Award for highest customer service in government. This award is based on first call resolution (FCR), the measure of how many calls are required to resolve an issue, answer a question or get a requested service. Halton Region measures call centre customer satisfaction annually. 

Accessibility Update
During the first quarter, Halton Region continued to remove barriers to people with disabilities and meet provincial accessibility standards. Halton worked with the Local Municipalities to arrange joint training for Regional and Local Municipal staff on new accessible built environment standards and accessibility changes in the Ontario Building Code. The Accessibility at Halton Region booklet was completed to supplement the accessibility training module launched in 2013. 

Advocacy

Advocating for a Strong Halton
On March 26, Regional Council approved recommendations provided through the report “Advocating for a Strong Halton Update”, to support Council in their ongoing advocacy work. Halton Region continues to Advocate for a Strong Haltonon issues that are important to Halton residents. The support of both levels of government in the form of long-term predictable funding is essential to maintaining the quality of life in Halton. 

Infrastructure

2014 Civil Engineering Infrastructure Project of the Year Award
This spring, Halton Region received the 2014 Civil Engineering Infrastructure Project of the Year Award, presented by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (Halton-Hamilton Engineering Week). The award was presented for outstanding work on the Halton Zone 3 Interconnecting Watermain project (Burlington and Oakville). 

2014 Project of the Year Award
On March 1, Halton Region received the 2014 Project of the Year Award in the Civil Large Project Category for the North Oakville East Wastewater Pumping Station. The award was presented by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers at the Hamilton/Halton Engineering Awards Ceremony.

Planning Sustainable Communities

Partial Approval of Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) 38
On February 4, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) issued a decision partially approving ROPA 38 to bring it into conformity with the provincial Growth Plan. 

Environmental Protection and Conservation of Water

Drinking Water Quality Management Review Completed

This spring, the 2013 Drinking Water Quality Management Review was completed for Halton’s water systems. This review reconfirmed that the Region’s water systems are well managed to ensure safe drinking water services for all residents.

100% Compliance Rating for Halton’s Drinking Water Systems
Eleven annual Ministry of the Environment inspections were completed for Halton’s drinking water systems for the 2013 cycle. The findings revealed zero instances of regulatory non-compliance and 100% compliance rating for each of the 11 inspections.

Waste Management

Winter Ice Storm Emergency Yard Waste Collection Program
From January 1 to February 7, Halton Region implemented an emergency yard waste collection program in response to the December 2013 major winter ice storm. The Region worked closely with the Local Municipalities to ensure that storm debris was collected in an effective and efficient manner. 

The Region deployed a variety of resources to manage the storm generated yard waste, including retaining contractors to provide forestry-type equipment to chip and shred brush at the curb, adding waste collection vehicles to manually collect brush from the curbs and boulevards, assisting the Local Municipalities to set up temporary transfer sites where residents and contractors could drop off brush materials at no charge, and waiving the tipping fee for yard waste at the Halton Waste Management Site so that Halton residents and contractors could drop off brush debris or chipped materials at no charge. 

Defining and Preserving Natural Heritage 

Halton Museum Foundation Celebrated Black History with Two One-Woman Shows
On March 5 and 6, over 1,300 Halton students attended the Halton Region Museum’s presentation of the Spirit of Harriet Tubman and Things my Fore-Sisters Saw. The shows were held in celebration of Black History month and International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

Children and Youth Development 

New Online Oral Health Education Guides (OHEG) Available to Teachers
In February, a new online oral health teaching tool for educators was launched. Developed in collaboration with consultants from both Halton school boards, the Oral Health Education Guides connect oral health education directly to the Ontario Curriculum. 

New Support to Children with Mental Health Concerns
As of this spring, Mental Health Liaison Nurses are providing early identification and support to children with mental health concerns from kindergarten age to grade eight. Families can access this service through their child’s school or by calling 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.”