The Regional Municipality Of York

ALERT: In response to the COVID-19 situation, York Region has declared a State of Emergency  |  Get the latest on our response to COVID-19  |  Information on re-opening and resuming business during COVID-19

    >>

York Regional Council Highlights - April 2, 2020



Live streaming of the public session of Council and Committee of the Whole meetings is available on the day of the meeting from 9 a.m. until the close of the meeting. Past sessions are also available at york.ca/yrcouncil


York Region responds to COVID-19

York Regional Council received an update on York Region’s current response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, March 23, York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson declared a state of emergency in The Regional Municipality of York. This marks the first time in the Region’s almost 50-year history that this measure has been used.
 
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, York Region opened the Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC) and activated the REOC action plan. The continued response also includes:

  • Providing regular COVID-19 updates through York Region’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Karim Kurji  
  • Developing an integrated approach for mitigating the negative economic impact on local businesses and residents
  • Making a request to suspend/amend sections of Municipal Act to provide more targeted, application-based financial relief to local businesses
  • Closing all offices to the public and providing services to residents through modified means, including online and telephone
  • Continued collaboration with municipalities, partner agencies and health care organizations

While the health and well-being of residents and the community remains Regional Council’s top priority, services essential to residents continue to operate. These include Public Health, Access York, Long-Term Care, Paramedic Services, Social Services, Transit, Regional Roads and Water and Wastewater.

A full list of temporary service disruptions and program closures can be found at york.ca/closures

The Region continues to ensure residents have access to the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding COVID-19, with daily updates available on york.ca/covid19


Financial relief for residents, businesses and cities and towns

In response to COVID-19 each of York Region’s nine cities and towns have announced or are considering financial relief and other programs to support residents and local businesses. In most municipalities, these programs include the extending of property tax payment deadlines and waiving late payment penalties.

Regional Council has agreed to defer the 2020 water and wastewater user rate increase to 2021. Maintaining the current 2019 rates will ensure residents and businesses are provided with fiscal relief as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council will review additional financial relief at the next Committee of the Whole meeting on Thursday, April 16.


York Region amends bylaw to prohibit parking on Rutherford Road in the City of Vaughan

Regional Council has amended bylaw NO. 2017-37 to prohibit parking on both sides of Rutherford Road between Islington Avenue and Pine Valley Drive in the City of Vaughan.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic Toronto and Region Conservation Authority has closed a number of parks and trails to the public, including Boyd Conservation Park. Despite this closure a number of residents and visitors to York Region continue to park along Rutherford Road to access the trail, resulting in dangerous road conditions for both drivers and pedestrians.

In amending the parking bylaw, Regional Council continues to make the health and well-being of residents a top priority.


Regional Council amends bylaw to permit electronic meetings

In a special meeting of York Regional Council held on Thursday, April 2, 2020, Regional Council amended Procedure Bylaw 2018-59 to permit electronic participation in meetings during a declared emergency.

On March 19, 2020, the Ontario government passed legislation to give municipal councils the flexibility to continue operations while maintaining physical and social distancing. The Municipal Emergency Act, 2020 gives Regional Council the ability to conduct Council and Committee meetings electronically to respond more quickly when in-person meetings cannot be held.


York Region drinking water gets top marks

York Region continues to receive excellent drinking water scores with the 2019 Drinking Water Systems Report, which also highlights the Region’s actions to protect to protect water quality and compliance under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002.

In the 2018-2019 Chief Drinking Water Inspector’s Annual Report Card, York Region scored 100% for water samples meeting Ontario’s drinking water quality standards and an overall average inspection and sample score of 99.54%.

Along with strong actions to support safe communities with access to clean, safe, reliable drinking water, York Region continues to take an integrated and innovated approach to managing water and wastewater services. Through the 2021 Water and Wastewater Master Plan, Regional Council is addressing the long-term water and wastewater needs of our communities through sustainable measures.

More information about York Region’s water system is available at york.ca/drinkingwater


York Region advocates for increased rental supply

Regional Council received an update on the implementation of the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit Program which includes a $4.3 million funding allocation to provide portable financial support to help low-income York Region households afford rental housing.

While the benefit is anticipated to support approximately 340 households by 2022, a low vacancy rate and limited supply of rental units limits the effectiveness of the program in York Region.

Recognizing housing supply and affordability as critical priorities, Regional Council continues to collaborate with partners at all levels of government to enhance capital housing investments to increase the supply of affordable rental across all nine local cities and towns.


York Region extends contract to provide dental care to seniors

Regional Council has extended its agreement with Golden Care Mobile Dental Services to September 30, 2020 to further provide general dental care services to low income seniors.

As part of the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program, individual seniors with annual incomes of $19,300 or less, or senior couples with combines annual incomes of less than $32,300, are able to access dental services at no cost. The program, funded through the Ministry of Health, aims to prevent diseases and infections associated with poor dental hygiene and improve quality of life.

The Seniors Dental Program is currently not scheduling appointments due to COVID-19. Residents can speak to a Registered Dental Hygienist or Certified Dental Assistant about the Seniors Dental Program at 1-877-464-9675 Ext. 75809.


ventureLAB 2019 Annual Result Update

ventureLAB is York Region’s provincially recognized Regional Innovation Centre and helps drive Regional economic growth and job creation by supporting the development and delivery of programs and services, targeting technology-based entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a business. In 2019, ventureLAB supported $8.95 million in economic impact.

Many of these businesses and start-ups continue to support the economy and the community through the donation and manufacturing of items crucial to the COVID-19 response.

Other local businesses and manufactures can visit Ontario Together to explore ways to support first responders and front-line health workers by redeploying efforts towards the production of essential equipment like ventilators, masks and swabs. Organizations with unused, unopened and unexpired supplies of personal protective equipment can donate these items to York Region and our community health partners.


Draft Climate Change Action Plan

Approved by Regional Council, the draft Climate Change Action Plan outlines the actions needed to help manage climate change both as an organization and community.

The plan outlines key action York Region will take to reduce carbon emissions and manage additional climate change impact. These include promoting low carbon living, empowering resilient communities and implementing and equitable approach to mitigating the risks of climate change.

York Region continues to play an active role and coordinate strategies with its partners to increase community resilience and emergency preparedness.


Council shares condolences on the passing of former Town of Georgina Mayor Jeff Holec

At the March 12 meeting of Committee of the Whole, Regional Council acknowledged the passing of former Town of Georgina Mayor, Jeff Holec.

Serving as Mayor and member of York Regional Council from 2000 to 2003, Mr. Holec was deeply committed to his community and dedicated to the health and well-being of residents. He contributed to the betterment of our community through his involvement on the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority and worked closely with our partners at Southlake Regional Health Centre.

Regional Council honoured Mr. Holec by lowering flags at York Region facilities.


Next regular meeting of York Regional Council

York Regional Council will meet on Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 9 a.m. In order to maintain physical distancing and protect the health and well-being of residents, this is currently planned to be a virtual meeting and streamed on york.ca/live


The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 54,000 businesses with over 650,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at york.ca/regionalservices

Media Contact

Kylie-Anne Doerner
Corporate Communications
The Regional Municipality of York
Phone: 1-877-464-9675, ext. 71232 Cell: 289-716-6035
kylie-anne.doerner@york.ca

April 2,2020,Council The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release