The Regional Municipality Of York

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York Regional Council Highlights - April 20, 2017



#YRMatters wins prestigious awards

#YRMatters, York Region’s biweekly online newsletter, received the Best Government Online Newsletter Campaign award and Best of Show Online Newsletter Campaign award in the Web Marketing Association’s 2017 Internet Advertising Competition.

#YR Matters was launched in 2015 and is produced and distributed to deliver timely and engaging Regional content directly to inboxes. To subscribe, visit york.ca/enews


National Public Works Week: May 21 to 27, 2017

York Region Public Works employees promote health, safety and quality of life for our residents. To recognize their contributions and increase awareness of public works, York Regional Council recognizes May 21 to 27, 2017, as National Public Works Week. This year’s theme is “Public Works Connects Us.”

During Public Works Week, York Region will host its 13th Family Fun Day and charity barbecue on Saturday, May 27, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at York Region’s Transit Operations, Maintenance and Storage Facility at 55 Orlando Drive in the Town of Richmond Hill. Proceeds from the charity barbecue will go to 360° Kids.


$4.7 billion York Region capital projects being planned over the next decade

York Regional Council received updates on roads, transit, water and wastewater infrastructure investments needed to provide accessible travel options, safe and reliable water and wastewater services, and support our growing communities.

The 10-year Roads and Transit Capital Plan will invest $2.3 billion for projects, including:

  • Highway 404 crossing, new road and bridge over Highway 404 north of Highway 7 and northbound off-ramp extension in the City of Markham and Town of Richmond Hill
  • Major Mackenzie Drive widening from Highway 50 to Highway 400 in the City of Vaughan
  • Leslie Street and St. John’s Sideroad widening in the Towns of Aurora and Newmarket

The 10-year Water and Wastewater Capital Plan will invest $2.4 billion with more than 140 projects currently in progress, including:

  • Upper York Sewage Solution project including adding a second pipeline that moves wastewater, which is critical to serve the Towns of Newmarket, Aurora and East Gwillimbury and accommodate their future growth
  • Continued investments in Duffin Creek Plant to treat wastewater and accommodate York Region’s long-term growth
  • New sanitary sewers and water connections to service the Richmond Hill/Langstaff Gateway Regional Centre

Work continues on York Region Seniors Strategy

York Regional Council received an update on the progress of York Region’s Seniors Strategy, a document outlining initiatives to support the Region’s aging population.

The update highlights activities to establish partnerships between York Region and others providing support to seniors, working with local municipalities to collaboratively explore age-friendly actions, and working with the Central Local Health Integration Network to request support in establishing a seniors multi-service centre.

Over the next several months, activities to advance the strategy include hosting a Steering Committee Visioning Workshop, an Age-Friendly Design Workshop and a Connecting Caregivers Workshop.


York Region Opioid Education and Response Workgroup addressing emerging issue

Opioid misuse and overdose is an important health issue across Canada. Although York Region experiences lower negative outcomes related to opioid use compared to other areas in Ontario, work is underway to increase education and response in the community.

York Region is collaborating with internal and external partners through the Opioid Education and Response Workgroup to monitor opioid use and develop a response plan for the Region. The group includes York Region Public Health, York Regional Police, fire services, Addiction Services York Region, York Region Paramedic Services, a community pharmacist and an addiction treatment physician.

The Opioid Education and Response Workgroup is collaborating on activities such as:

  • Gathering information about opioid use, overdose deaths, treatment, emergency visits and hospitalizations
  • Supporting and advocating for treatment resources
  • Monitoring and supporting access to Naloxone use
  • Developing a coordinated communication plan
  • Providing education including reducing stigma

York Region Paramedic Services is equipped with Naloxone to treat suspected overdoses. More than 45 pharmacies in York Region have applied for and received training to distribute Naloxone, a medication to reverse the effects of opioid overdose. This medication is available at no cost to clients who use opioids, are at risk of relapsing, or to friends or family members of opioid users with a valid OHIP card.

For more information, visit york.ca/opioids


York Region seeks Prudent Investor Status from the province

York Regional Council supports the recommendation that the Region be granted Prudent Investor Status by the province to allow for a more diversified investment portfolio. As most of the earnings from investments are allocated to the Region’s reserves and reserve funds, by increasing investment returns, operating and capital costs will be defrayed and the need for additional debt reduced.

As part of Prudent Investor Status, York Region is also seeking flexibility in the governance structure relating to municipal investment programs. The Region’s Investment and Cash Management Policy demonstrates a strong level of financial responsibility and is a blueprint for future investment decisions.


New housing linked to key infrastructure

York Regional Council approved a motion for staff to meet with provincial and federal government officials to discuss the housing affordability crisis facing the Greater Toronto Area, including York Region.

New housing within the Region can be substantially accelerated with government funding approval of key watermain, sewer, road and transit infrastructure required to service these areas.


York Region to launch annual Vector-borne disease program

York Region will begin the 2017 vector-borne disease program this May to limit the impact of West Nile virus and Lyme disease activity in our community.

In 2016, there were three confirmed human cases of West Nile in the Region and six confirmed human cases of Lyme disease. Education and self-protection remain the best defense in protecting yourself and your family from mosquitoes and ticks.

Larviciding is the main method for reducing mosquitoes through treatment of catch basins, and will be completed during mosquito season. Reduction of mosquito breeding sites will be completed through the investigation of standing water complaints. Tick surveillance will continue in 2017 to identify areas of emerging blacklegged tick populations.

Vector-borne diseases are infections transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected blacklegged tick (Lyme disease) or mosquito (West Nile virus). Factors including temperature, precipitation and climate change have an effect on the level of vector-borne disease activity in the community.

For more information on vector-borne diseases, visit yorkca/westnile and york.ca/lymedisease


Belinda’s Place and Richmond Hill Youth Hub supporting more women and youth in need

York Regional Council received on update on the role of Belinda’s Place and the Richmond Hill Youth Hub in providing 314 York Region women and youth with emergency or transitional housing in 2016.

Belinda’s Place, York Region’s first facility for single homeless and at-risk women not fleeing violence, opened its doors in November 2015. Owned by Housing York Inc. and operated by The Salvation Army, this multi-service centre has 28 emergency beds and nine transitional units, providing housing for 228 women in 2016.

The Richmond Hill Youth Hub opened to serve youth in March 2016 and provides 14 emergency and 11 transitional beds. Owned by Housing York Inc. and operated by 360° kids, the facility provided housing for 86 youth in need in 2016.

Both facilities offer wraparound supports such as individual counselling, housing location and skill building. Drop-in services at Belinda’s Place and the Home Base drop-in program at the Youth Hub provided support to an additional 81 women and 1,142 youth in 2016.

The opening of Belinda’s Place and the Richmond Hill Youth Hub support York Region’s 10-Year Housing Plan Housing Solutions: A Place for Everyone and ensure more homeless and at-risk residents are able to find and keep housing and participate more fully in the community.


Three Transit/HOV Lanes coming to York Region

York Regional Council approved the designation of three new road sections for transit or high occupancy vehicles (Transit/HOV).

  • New HOV lanes include:
    • Highway 7 centre lane (Bowes Road to Jane Street, City of Vaughan)
    • Highway 7 curb lane (Sciberras Road to Town Centre Boulevard, City of Markham)
    • Major Mackenzie curb lane (Highway 400 to Pine Valley Drive, City of Vaughan)

During peak periods, these three road sections all carry more than 1,000 travellers per hour, using combined transit and private vehicles. Each designated section has already been or is currently being widened from four to six lanes to accommodate the new Transit/HOV lanes.


York Region Public Health helping students keep immunizations up-to-date

York Region Public Health is supporting the immunization of children in York Region schools through ongoing activities under the Immunization of School Pupils Act.

Under the Act, parents of school aged children are required to provide the local medical officer of health with proof of immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal disease, pertussis (whooping cough) and varicella (chickenpox). Parents/guardians are responsible for reporting and updating their immunization records through mail,online or fax.

To help parents/guardians and students meet immunization requirements, Public Health provides a number of supports including:

  • Sending letters to students at risk of suspension, providing them with information on where they can be vaccinated and vaccines required
  • Providing additional evening and school-based immunization clinics across the Region
  • Working closely with York Region school boards and physicians
  • Staffing dedicated phone lines to respond to questions and concerns from parents

Failure to meet requirements can lead to student suspension or exclusion from school if there is an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease.

Immunization has saved more lives in Canada than any other health initiative in the last 50 years. For more information, visit york.ca/immunization


York Region Transit seeing growing ridership

During 2016, York Region Transit (YRT/Viva) ridership reached 22.8 million, an increase of 300,000 riders or 1.4 per cent when compared to 2015.

The Region’s rapid transit service Viva saw a ridership increase of five per cent in 2016, partially due to increasing dedicated bus lanes. Ridership on the Davis Drive rapidway in the Town of Newmarket, which opened in December 2015, has increased by 68 per cent.


Speed limit reduced on several York Region Roads

York Regional Council lowered the speed limit on several Regional roads. Speed limits are monitored and reviewed regularly to ensure the designated speed is appropriate for road users. Some of the factors considered in the speed limit policy include visibility, traffic volume, pedestrian and cyclist exposure and the number of driveways.


Next regular meeting of York Regional Council

York Regional Council will meet on Thursday, May 25 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:

Barbara Schnier, Communications Advisor, The Regional Municipality of York
Phone: 1-877-464-9675, ext. 71237, Cell: 905-505-5775
Email: barbara.schnier@york.ca


York Regional Council; Council Highlights The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release