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York Regional Council Highlights - March 23,2017



King Township Councillor Avia Eek appointed to York Region Agricultural Advisory Liaison Group

York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson announced the appointment of Township of King Councillor Avia Eek as Regional representative on the York Region Agricultural Advisory Liaison Group.

Councillor Eek’s involvement in the agricultural community is long-standing. In addition to this appointment, Councillor Eek is actively involved in eight boards and committees including Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority board of directors, is interim Chair of the Greater Toronto Area Agricultural Action Committee and is a member on the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance.


York Region bids farewell to Commissioner, welcomes new staff member

York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson and members of Council recognized outgoing Community and Health Services Commissioner Adelina Urbanski at her final meeting of York Regional Council, extending appreciation for her years of service and dedication to York Region. The Chairman also extended a welcome to Katherine Chislett who officially assumed the position of Commissioner of Community and Health Services March 20


Update to Regional Council May meeting date

York Regional Council approved a change in date for the May Regional Council meeting from Thursday, May 18 to Thursday, May 25, 2017. Agendas and live streaming will be available on york.ca


York Region Matters coming to a mailbox near you

The spring edition of York Region Matters provides information on programs and services provided by York Region and will soon be delivered to over 365,000 homes and businesses across the Region.

Articles in this edition include:

  • Information about York Region’s 2017 $3 billion budget
  • Features of York Region’s new mobile app
  • Details on how to explore York Region by bicycle

Residents can also provide feedback by completing the survey at york.ca/yorkregionmatters


York Region to participate in Earth Hour

The Regional Municipality of York will join cities and towns from around the world in turning off lights to support Earth Hour on Saturday, March 25 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
 
All non-essential lights will be turned off at the following locations:

  • York Region Administrative Centre, 17250 Yonge Street, Town of Newmarket
  • York Region South Services Centre, 50 High Tech Road, Town of Richmond Hill
  • York Region Transportation Operations Centre, 90 Bales Drive, Town of East Gwillimbury
  • York Region Community and Health Services, 9060 Jane Street, City of Vaughan 

Residents can also celebrate their commitment to the planet by turning off lights and unnecessary devices that use electricity. Small actions at home or work can make a big difference.
 
Earth Hour is a global movement organized by the World Wildlife Foundation to encourage individuals, communities and corporations to turn off lights for one hour to raise awareness about climate change.


York Region celebrates Canada Water Week

York Regional Council acknowledged Canada Water Week and York Region’s role in delivering high quality drinking water to residents across York Region.

York Region staff are examples of behind-the-scenes water heroes who understand the complex responsibility of providing clean, safe drinking water for residents and the significance of safeguarding it for future generations.

Canada Water Week is a celebration of water from coast-to-coast, held annually in the third week of March to coincide with World Water Day on March 22.


Revised Draft 2017 Development Charge Background Study and Bylaw presented to Council

York Regional Council received a revised Draft 2017 Development Charge Background Study and Bylaw which addresses issues raised by Council at its February meeting. 

Further consultation with local cities and towns has resulted in additional roads infrastructure projects being included in the revised study. In addition, staff made changes to the background study to reflect more up-to- date information. As a result, both proposed residential and non-residential development charges have increased slightly. 

Funds raised through Development Charges are used to recover the cost of growth-related infrastructure, such as water and wastewater treatment, roads, transit and social housing in our communities. The next public meeting regarding the bylaw will take place Thursday, April 20 at 9 a.m., followed by Regional Council. The Draft 2017 Development Charge Bylaw will be tabled for approval at Regional Council in May.


York Region economy bustling with business and employment growth

 The Regional Municipality of York Economic Development 2016 Year in Review report shows an active economy of business and job growth, maintaining York Region’s position as a community of choice to live, work and locate business.
 
The report provides local business community highlights and an annual update on activities under York Region’s Economic Development Action Plan 2016 to 2019. Highlights include:

  • A 3.1 per cent annual employment growth rate to an estimated 595,200 jobs in York Region as of mid-year 2016
  • Facilitating the establishment of General Motor’s new automotive software development centre in York Region in partnership with the City of Markham
  • Official opening of KPMG’s new office tower in the City of Vaughan, with direct access to the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension and Viva Rapid Transit, which is collaboratively funded by York Region
  • Facilitating the creation of over 2,300 new and expansion jobs across the Region since 2010
  • Launching the York Link marketing and business attraction campaign, Where Talent and Opportunity Intersect, to bring new business to York Region
  • Delivering the first FinTech Summit showcasing the capabilities of York Region’s financial technology companies, attracting over 200 participants including MaRs, PayPal and OMERS

York Region creates York Telecom Network as a separate entity

York Regional Council approved the transition of York Telecom Network to a separate corporation to open funding avenues to help expand broadband service throughout York Region.

Created originally in 2002, York Telecom Network efficiently connected two Regional facilities. Since then, it has expanded to improving connection between Regional buildings, traffic cameras, traffic control systems and water and wastewater monitoring systems. The network is also used by municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals.


Speeding along the information highway

York Regional Council approved the submission of a funding application to the federal government Connect to Innovate program to support expanding high-speed Internet access in the Region’s rural communities.

A successful funding application could support up to 75 per cent, or up to $8 million of the cost of placing 175 kilometres of new fibre required to improve Internet service.

York Regional Council has identified broadband connectivity as a key priority for this term of Council under the Broadband Strategy. Improving connectivity allows all parts of the Region to remain competitive, positively impacting the economic and social well-being of the Region’s residents and businesses.
 


York Region Paramedic Services exceeding response time targets

Despite a growing population and higher than expected call volumes, York Region Paramedic Services has exceeded 2016 response time targets.
 
This success is due to ongoing operational efficiencies and working closely with community partners, particularly for sudden cardiac arrest response. York Region Paramedic Services strategies such as Community CPR, Get2UFaster and community AEDs will help broaden the number of people who can assist those in sudden cardiac arrest.
 
Paramedic Services call volume from 2011 to 2016 increased 34 per cent, 10 per cent higher than the 24 per cent predicted.


York Region launches new program to improve commuter experience

York Region’s new Travel Smart Program is a five-year plan to support a growing Region and improve consistency of travel time and safety for commuters and road users.
Initiatives in the Travel Smart Program include:

  • Providing access to real-time traffic information
  • Upgrading traffic signal controls
  • Reviewing parking and stopping restrictions on Regional roads
  • Developing Smart Work Zone programs where technology is used to provide travel time information to better inform users in areas impacted by construction

York Region set to begin two-year electric bus trial

York Regional Council has approved the purchase of six, forty-foot electric buses for a two-year electric bus trial, demonstrating the Region’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  

The two-year trial will measure benefits associated with electric bus technology, including reduction of operating and maintenance costs, greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution.


Off-board fare collection system to expand, upgrade on YRT/Viva

York Regional Council approved the expansion and upgrade of the York Region Transit (YRT/Viva) off-board fare collection system, including ticket vending machines and ticket validators.

The expansion will service new Viva stations, as well as the Toronto-York Spadina Subway extension. New machines will now accept debit cards and existing machines will be upgraded to ensure ongoing reliability.

Off-board fare collection systems at Viva stations and terminals allow non-PRESTO customers to purchase singe ride tickets using cash or credit card.


York Region receives top marks for its drinking water

The Regional Municipality of York released its 2016 Drinking Water Systems Report which summarizes how York Region’s drinking water systems are managed to keep drinking water safe.

In 2015 and 2016 York Region ranked first in the Greater Toronto Area in the Ontario Chief Water Inspector’s Annual Report.

In 2016, over 18,000 laboratory drinking water tests were performed and over 31 million online analyzer readings were recorded to confirm the quality of Regional tap water.
York Region uses a combined system of standards which includes operator training, water treatment, extensive monitoring and testing, as well as emergency preparedness to support the delivery of safe drinking water.

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act 2002, York Region reports annually on the quality and quantity of drinking water produced.


Water and Wastewater research programs bring innovative solutions to York Region

York Regional Council received an update on water and wastewater research over the past year.

The research program supports protection of public health and the environment by understanding emerging challenges, leveraging the latest technology and optimizing facility operations to improve treatment quality and align with changing regulations.

Some of the research projects include:

  • Early detection and removal of blue-green algae toxins
  • Mussel control at drinking water intakes
  • Investigation of alternative sources of disinfection by-products
  • Data analytics to drive energy optimization

York Region has engaged in research and innovation programs since 2008. Ongoing efforts demonstrate York Region’s commitment to continuous improvement, leadership and operational excellence in water and wastewater service delivery.


State of the Forest report reveals many benefits of forests in York Region

York Regional Council received an update on the state of forests in York Region, which shows the Region’s commitment to green infrastructure, specifically forests, trees and woodland cover, contribute to a healthier and more prosperous community.

Highlights of the report include an estimated 29 million trees provide significant economic, social, environmental and public health benefits. York Region trees provide $8 million in annual energy savings from reduced heating and cooling requirements, remove 3,200 tonnes of air pollution and 77,000 tonnes of carbon.


Next regular meeting of York Regional Council

York Regional Council will meet on Thursday, April 20 at 9 a.m. in the York Region Administrative Centre Council Chambers, located at 17250 Yonge Street in the Town of Newmarket.
 
The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns, and provides a variety of programs and services to almost 1.2 million residents, 50,000 businesses and 595,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at york.ca/regionalservices

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Compiled by:      
Kim MacGillivray, Corporate Communications, The Regional Municipality of York
Phone: 1-877-464-9675, ext. 77507 Cell: 905-251-6421        
Email:   kim.macgillivray@york.ca


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