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York Regional Council Highlights - February 15, 2018



York Regional Council Highlights - February 15, 2018

York Regional Council extends best wishes to athletes participating at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games

The 2018 Olympic Winter Games are taking place in PyeongChang, South Korea between February 9 and 26 as the world’s top athletes compete for a medal on the podium.

Five Olympics athletes who call York Region home are representing Canada at this year’s games:

Best wishes to all athletes competing and congratulations to all medal winners. The Region is standing behind you.


New two-year contract agreement reached with Ontario Nurses’ Association

York Regional Council today approved a two-year collective agreement between The Regional Municipality of York and the Ontario Nurses’ Association. The collective agreement, representing 234 public health nurses, expired March 31, 2017.

Negotiation teams began bargaining in September 2017, reaching a tentative agreement on February 1 and ratified the following day by the union membership.   The contract is retroactive to April 1, 2017 and effective to March 31, 2019.


Township of King alternative representative appointed to Regional Council for remainder of Council term

York Regional Council appointed Bill Cober as the Township of King’s alternate representative to Regional Council for the remainder of the 2014-2018 Council Term. A motion to appoint Councillor Cober was passed by the Township of King Council on January 29, 2018.

Amendments to the Municipal Act now allow for local city and town councils to appoint an alternate to their primary member of Regional Council, should the primary member be unable to attend a meeting of Regional Council. The appointment of an alternate is at the discretion of local council.


Waste-Free Ontario Act proposes blue box transition

York Regional Council reaffirmed its commitment to pursuing transition of the Blue Box Program to full producer responsibility as legislated by the Waste-Free Ontario Act, 2016. The Act includes plans to transition responsibility of the blue box recycling program from municipalities to producers by 2023. Producers are brand holders or others with a commercial connection to designated products and packaging in Ontario.

Municipalities have extensive experience in successfully operating the Blue Box Program in Ontario and will work with all parties including the producers to help shape the new waste management system in Ontario. The current funding model for the blue box continues to cost municipalities across Ontario an estimated $130 million a year to operate.

As leaders in the province in waste diversion, York Region and our local municipalities are committed to delivery of the Blue Box Program in the best interest of our communities.


2018 draft Development Charge Background Study and proposed draft bylaw amendment

York Regional Council received the draft 2018 Development Charge Background Study and proposed draft bylaw amendment which highlights proposed changes to the current development charge rates and bylaw, including the treatment of structured parking.

If approved, the new development charge rates will be used to help fund 56 roads projects identified in the 2016 Transportation Master Plan. A public meeting is scheduled for March 22, 2018 to discuss the proposed amendment and will be presented to Council for consideration of approval on May 17, 2018.


York Region 2017 Employment and Industry Report

York Regional Council received the 2017 Employment and Industry Report showing employment is up 3.3 per cent in York Region, outpacing national, provincial and Greater Toronto Area averages.

The report also details year-over-year trends which inform the development of York Region policies, program and infrastructure investments. Additional report highlights include:

  • As of mid-year 2017 there were an estimated 620,530 jobs in York Region
  • Between 2016 and 2017, York Region employment grew by 19,780 jobs
  • Key knowledge-based services sectors in York Region continue to experience strong job growth, specifically technology and financial services
  • The professional, scientific, and technical services sector added over 1,800 jobs in 2017, representing the second-highest share of services-producing industry employment in York Region
  • York Region was shortlisted as a potential location for Amazon’s second headquarters as the result of bid by Toronto Global  – the Greater Toronto Area is the only Canadian location being considered

Employment growth in York Region continues to promote economic vitality – a key pillar of the York Region 2015- 2019 Strategic Plan.


Making important investments in social housing improvements

York Regional Council authorized an agreement with the Ministry of Housing to receive $17,398,453 in funding to complete upgrades and retrofit projects to eligible social housing buildings in the Region.

The funding is made available through the Social Housing Apartment Improvement Program. It will support the Region in moving towards a target of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2051, as identified in Vision 2051 and the Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan Update.

In August 2017, the Province of Ontario announced investments of $556 million for repairs and retrofits to social housing across the province to improve living conditions and fight climate change. Upgrades and retrofits must be completed by March 31, 2023. The Social Housing Apartment Improvement Program is funded from the Green Investment Fund, which is based on proceeds from the Ontario Cap and Trade carbon market auctions.


York Region continues to protect greenspace and protect environmental lands

Through a partnership with the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust, York Regional Council approved a contribution of up to $741,615 to advance the work to secure 32.3 hectares of land to protect greenspace through the Regional Greening Strategy.

The 32-hectare property is located north of the Oak Ridges Moraine, within the Holland River watershed and is designated Protected Countryside in the Greenbelt Plan.

Council continues to demonstrate environmental leadership through implementation of the Greening Strategy and investment in healthy sustainable communities. These lands will contribute to the 1,335 hectares that have been protected through the Greening Strategy since 2001.

Since 2002, the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust has contributed to the protection of more than 400 hectares across York Region.


Housing Initiatives and Incentives Update

Purpose-built rental development is needed in York Region and today York Regional Council received a Housing Initiatives and Incentives Update report outlining principles to develop a mid-range affordable housing. Further to this report, staff will present a draft Mid-Range Affordable Housing Incentives Framework in the second quarter 2018.

The report supported by members of the York Region/Local Municipal Housing Working Group outlines a need to focus on high rise and mid-rise purpose built rental developments in centres and corridors, as well as a need to engage with key partners including local municipalities, development proponents and senior levels of government.   The Housing Initiatives and Incentives Update report supports Vision 2051, the Regional Official Plan and the York Region 2015- 2019 Strategic Plan.


Ravenshoe Road and Victoria Road/Concession 7 to receive all-way stop

York Region will install an all-way stop at the intersection of Ravenshoe Road and Victoria Road/Concession 7 in the Town of Georgina. Traffic volume at this intersection has increased by approximately 85 per cent since the Highway 404 extension opened in 2014 and this new all-way stop will help enhance traveller safety.


Region provides recommendations on provincial Food and Organic Waste in Ontario

York Region has proposed key recommendations to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change on a draft provincial Framework to Reduce Food and Organic Waste in Ontario.

The Region’s recommendations focus on reducing waste, recovering resources, supporting innovative technology and promoting the benefits of recovered food-waste resources. These recommendations follow comments submitted to the Ministry in July 2017 providing input on key priorities for improving how food and organic waste is managed in Ontario.

York Region has provided recommendations that re-emphasize short and long-term actions be taken by the province to address the following four objectives:

  • Engaging stakeholders already working on food waste education
  • Addressing barriers to recovery programs in the growing multi-residential sector
  • Focusing support on innovative technologies that align with provincial climate change and resource recovery targets
  • Including compostable packaging and branded organics under the full producer responsibility program

York Region supports the Ministry’s efforts to address food waste and will continue collaborating with our local cities and towns to advance this work.


Corporate Asset Management Policy strengthens Region’s approach to managing its assets

York Region has updated its Corporate Asset Management Policy providing a coordinated and affordable approach to managing over $11 billion in Regional assets.

More than 90 per cent of the Region’s assets are included in departmental asset management plans. Some of these plans account for core infrastructure such as roads, bridges, treatment and conveyance of water and wastewater systems and storm management systems. Plans which incorporate the balance of the Region’s assets are well underway.

Over the last five years, the Region has continued to grow its asset base and put programs in place to manage these important resources through all life-cycle phases.   Some of the policy updates include:

  • Making decisions based on life-cycle data of the asset to maximize its value
  • Aligning asset management planning with climate change mitigation approaches and the development of the Region’s Climate Change Action Plan
  • Integrating industry standards and best practices while balancing asset cost, performance and risk

The Corporate Asset Management Policy is well aligned with the Region’s asset management practices and ensures responsible stewardship while continuing to provide services in a sustainable way.


York Regional Council and The Association of Municipalities on Ontario call on government to make amendments to Bill 160

York Regional Council adopted a resolution put forth by The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) that calls for the Government of Ontario to ensure protection for any municipalities unwilling to participate in the fire medic pilot program, which passed as part of Bill 160 Strengthening Quality and Accountability for Patients Action.

The Act allows the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to conduct two pilot projects which allow firefighters, certified as paramedics, to treat patients while on duty with the fire department. Without legislative protection, unwilling municipalities might be forced to participate in the pilot program or adopt a fire-medic model.

This resolution calls for the legislative amendments to be placed within the upcoming Budget Bill before the Ontario Legislature rises for the provincial election.


York Regional Council declares March 22 as RTO/ERO Day

In celebration and recognition of the 50th anniversary ofThe Retired Teachers of Ontario, York Regional Council declared March 22 as RTO/ERO Day in York Region. This day acknowledges the many contributions teachers and educational workers have and continue to make in the Region.

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 51,000 businesses with 620,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at york.ca/regionalservices


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Compiled by:

Andrea Griepsma, Communications Specialist, The Regional Municipality of York
Phone: 1-877-464-9675, ext. 71233,
Cell: 905-251-6413
Email: andrea.griepsma@york.ca


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

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