The Regional Municipality Of York

    >>

York Regional Council Highlights - November 17, 2016



2017 budget tabled at Regional Council

York Region Finance Commissioner and Regional Treasurer Bill Hughes has tabled the Region’s 2017 budget, which includes an outlook for 2018, the final year of the term of the current Council. 2017 is the third year of a four-year plan approved by York Regional Council in early 2015.

The proposed budget totals $3.04 billion, comprising operating spending of $2.1 billion and $942 million in capital spending. The budget proposes a tax levy increase of 2.87 per cent for 2017. This is equivalent to $66 on the average residential property tax bill.
The budget reflects sound public policy and delivery of high quality public services to the Region’s residents, including infrastructure, policing and social services.

The proposed 2017 to 2018 budget will be reviewed at the Committee of the Whole meetings on December 1 and December 8. It is scheduled to be forwarded to Council for approval on December 15.

Promoting more housing choices for all residents

York Regional Council received two new reports highlighting an ongoing commitment to quality and affordable housing choices that allow families to find and keep housing in the Region through all ages and stages of their lives.

The Housing Initiatives and Incentives report to Council provides an update on issues including housing supply and affordability. It notes the low supply of rental accommodation is a particular issue in York Region and looks at ways to improve the availability of affordable housing for low and medium-income individuals and families.

The second report, Achieving New Heights Through Innovation and Stability, is the new 2017- 2020 plan for Housing York Inc., the Region’s affordable housing provider. This four-year plan supports residents’ needs, the growth of Housing York’s property portfolio, financial sustainability and emerging business practices.

Council has also approved the Social Housing Investment Framework, which encourages appropriately and suitably located affordable housing options for residents throughout York Region.

Thinking Ahead – York Region Seniors Strategy addresses needs of all residents

York Regional Council approved York Region Seniors Strategy - Thinking Ahead, which establishes the Region’s role in responding to the needs of the growing senior population expected to grow to 310,000 over the next 20 years.

Through research, presentations from external subject matter experts and consultations with staff, seniors and organizations serving seniors, the strategy has identified the Region’s four key roles in serving an aging population:

  • Balance the needs of seniors with all residents
  • Keep seniors healthier, longer
  • Support age-friendly, complete communities
  • Connect seniors and caregivers to the right programs and services at the right times

The strategy, which will be implemented next year, is a critical tool in determining how York Region will deliver services that meet resident needs at all ages.

Resolution to close the infrastructure funding gap

York Regional Council adopted a resolution recognizing an estimated $3.6 million annual funding gap to maintain infrastructure in Ontario. The resolution supports the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s position to close this gap by securing long-term funding commitments from provincial and federal governments.

YRT/Viva fares and policies updated starting 2017

York Regional Council approved fare adjustments and updates to the YRT/Viva fare policy which will result in additional incentives to increase ridership, and an annual fare adjustment over the next three years. The fare adjustment will be an increase of a weighted average of 2.5 per cent across all fare categories starting in 2017. There will be no changes to cash fare in 2017 or 2018.
Additional initiatives to increase ridership include:

  • Promote smart fare technology like PRESTO and mobile payment app and eliminate paper tickets, by December 31, 2017
  • Eliminate current two-zone fare upgrades
  • Expand Dial a Ride services in low population density areas
  • Generate more non-fare revenue by looking into innovative options and advertising
  • Implement special pass programs including a post-secondary pass, employer transit pass program and low income pass program

Mental Health Matters

York Regional Council received an update on the work underway to enhance the supports available to residents experiencing mental health issues. Mental Health Matters, a collaboration between Community and Health Services and York Regional Police, takes a holistic approach when it comes to mental health and addiction by:

  • Building resilience and preventing mental health issues from occurring
  • Delivering ongoing, wrap-around  supports to those living with mental illness
  • Providing effective crisis intervention

Community paramedicine improves health of patients in York Region

York Regional Council received an update on the Expanding Paramedicine in the Community (EPIC) program and the steps taken to improve the health of patients with chronic conditions.

First approved by Council in 2013, the EPIC program provides in-home visits to patients with chronic diseases, including diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure in an effort to reduce 911 responses, emergency department visits and hospitalizations.

Analysis of interim data has shown promising results among patients receiving community paramedicine care, including 35 per cent fewer 911 calls, fewer emergency department visits, shortened hospital stays and a high level of patient satisfaction.

Celebrating innovation and excellence

The Regional Municipality of York has again been recognized for excellence and innovation.

Housing York Inc., the Region’s non-profit housing corporation, has received an Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) Innovation Award  for the Richmond Hill Hub. With affordable housing units, commercial offices and space for social enterprise and youth services, the Richmond Hill Hub sets the standard for community housing facilities.

York Region Environmental Health Specialist Kevin Haley has been awarded the Ontario Public Health Award of Excellence for his work in developing Public Health and Planning 101, an online course designed to help public health and planning professionals create healthier build environments.

York Region wins award for high-quality budgeting

For the 12th consecutive year, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has recognized York Region’s Finance Department with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.

The award recognizes the Region’s 2016 to 2018 multi-year budget, approved in December 2015.

Regional Treasurer Bill Hughes recognized for financial excellence

York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson offer congratulations to Regional Treasurer Bill Hughes for being awarded the 2016 Municipal Finance Officers’ Association of Ontario (MFOA) Leadership Award.

The MFOA Leadership Award is presented annually to recognize the unwavering commitment of members in finance leadership and volunteer engagement.

Planning Act amendments make processes easier and more accessible

York Regional Council has received an overview of recent amendments to the Planning Act introduced by Bill 73, the Smart Growth for Our Communities Act, 2015. Describing implications for York Region’s planning process, the overview explains how the amendments will:

  • Streamline the planning process and make it more predictable
  • Make it easier to resolve disputes
  • Provide new opportunities for public engagement

Approved growth supported by infrastructure projects

York Regional Council received the Water and Wastewater Capital Infrastructure Update, providing a comprehensive overview of infrastructure required to support growth in our cities and towns.

Over the next 10 years, $2.3 billion has been budgeted to ensure the needs of current and future residents and businesses are met. There are more than 140 projects planned or underway, focusing primarily on building the main sewer system and ensuring reliable service while proactively maintaining the current system.

Measuring progress, leaf by leaf

York Regional Council received the first York Region Forest Management Plan which will implement short, medium and long-term goals and strategies to achieve 25 per cent woodland cover by 2031 and a forest canopy cover of 40 per cent by 2051.

Trees are proven to benefit physical and mental health, as well as the health of the environment. Among their benefits:

  • Improved air quality
  • Natural shade and UV ray protection
  • Local biological diversity

Creating seamless boulevards on Yonge Street and Davis Drive in the Town of Newmarket

York Region, in partnership with the Town of Newmarket, coordinated a Yonge Street and Davis Drive Streetscape Master Plan Study to design a seamless connection with the VivaNext rapidways and local and Regional boulevards. The plan aims to provide direction on the boulevard design on Yonge Street and Davis Drive for vibrant, green and active boulevards that supports transit, pedestrians and cyclists.

Open data downloads on the rise

York Region has seen a steady increase in the downloading of open data since the program began in 2012. To date, data has been downloaded nearly 18,000 times and more than 156 datasets have been released to the public.

The most commonly downloaded datasets include:

  • Land parcels
  • Roads
  • Address points
  • Building footprint mapping data
  • York Region business directory
  • Population statistics

The Open Data program makes York Region’s data easily available to the public, other government agencies and the private sector 24 hours a day, seven days a week at york.ca/opendata

Toronto Pearson International Airport - Greater Toronto Airports Authority update

York Regional Council received an update from Greater Toronto Airports Authority highlighting the achievements of Toronto Pearson International Airport as York Region’s global airport hub.

Toronto Pearson International Airport has welcomed 42 million passengers so far in 2016, and is the second busiest North American airport for international travel. It provides employment for 49,000 people, 4,000 of whom live in York Region.

New Regional Fire Coordinator and alternate appointed in York Region

Chief Ian Laing from Central York Fire Services has been appointed Regional Fire Coordinator. As well, Chief David Decker from the City of Markham Fire and Emergency Services has been appointed alternate Regional Fire Coordinator. The positions are appointed by the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management under the Provincial Fire Protection and Prevention Act.

The Regional Fire Coordinator and alternate support the Region and local municipalities in the event of emergency through planning, response and coordination of fire services.

Recovering cost of hydro and gas utilities permits

Starting January 1, 2017 hydro and gas utility companies will be required to pay York Region fees for work in the Regional right-of-way. Regional right-of-way is all areas owned by the Regional Municipality of York that are designated as a public road. The fees will recover costs for the administrative work required by Regional staff when processing hydro and gas utility requests.

The Municipal Act, 2001 enables municipalities to charge hydro and gas companies reasonable costs for issuing permits for work in Regional rights-of-way.

Salvation Army Central York Region 2016 Christmas Kettle Campaign

York Regional Council celebrates the kick-off to the Salvation Army Central York Region’s Christmas Kettle Campaign.
The Salvation Army helps people in need with food, clothing, toys, counselling and those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Next regular meeting of York Regional Council

York Regional Council will meet on Thursday, December 15, 2016 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 cities and towns and provides a variety of programs and services to almost 1.2 million residents, 50,000 businesses and 580,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at york.ca/regionalservices

 

- 30 -

Compiled by:

Tamara Ostrowski, Corporate Communications Advisor
The Regional Municipality of York
Phone: 1-877-464-9675, ext. 71226, Cell: 905-251-6415 
Email:  tamara.ostrowski@york.ca


Council Highlights; York Region Council Highlights; Council Highlights November 17,November 17 Council HIghlights The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release