The Regional Municipality of York is the fastest growing municipality in Canada and among the fastest growing in North America, attracting 41,000 new residents and 20,000 new jobs in 2000. This strong population growth and employment action, joined with positive residential, industrial, commercial and institutional activity, are clear indicators of the Region's continued buoyant economy. Reflective of this and our progressive fiscal management, Moody's Investor Service once again bestowed on York Region the highest AAA credit rating.
Our success is not, however, just about economics ... it is about people. The Region places great emphasis on planning for the current and future needs of all residents and businesses, earning international recognition as a leader in municipal program delivery and innovation. Our many achievements would not be possible without the vibrant partnership that we share with our nine member municipalities and the richly diverse communities that we serve together.
At this time of rapid growth, there is great need for service innovation, restructuring and program cost effectiveness. The Human Services Strategy was launched in 2000 to enhance communication and integration between community service providers. Continuing its reputation as a leader in child care management, York Region was chosen by the Ontario government to lead the successful development and implementation of a Province-wide automated Ontario Child Care Management System. And reflecting the Region's customer service approach to business and service delivery, the Customer Service Strategy was initiated for roll out in 2001.
Expanding to new areas of responsibility, two significant programs were transferred from the Province to York Region. Phase one of the Social Housing Devolution brought 1,695 public housing units under the Region's direct ownership and management, and operational responsibility for the Region's land ambulance service was successfully assumed by York Region Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Also, great progress was made in preparation for the 2001 launch of a Region-wide transit system for residents.
The Region is fortunate to have abundant and environmentally-significant greenlands. Our commitment to the protection of our rich natural resources, a safe water supply and healthy communities is reflected in such programs as the Greening Strategy of York Region, the award-winning Water for Tomorrow educational project and the passing of the York Region No-Smoking By-law.
FOCUS ON THE FUTURE
York Region will continue its commitment to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly-growing communities ... our focus on the future will continue to be a focus on people.
Alan P. Wells
Chief Administrative Officer