The Regional Municipality Of York


York Regional Council Highlights January 25, 2018

Mayor Virgina Hackson continues as Chair for York Regional Police Services Board

The Regional Municipality of York Police Services Board re-elected Town of East Gwillimbury Mayor Virginia Hackson as Chair of the Board for 2018. Mayor Hackson has served on the Board since 2012 and has also served as its Vice Chair.

Retirement of York Region Chief Planner Valerie Shuttleworth

York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson recognized the retirement of Valerie Shuttleworth, the Region's Chief Planner. Ms. Shuttleworth joined York Region in 2013 and brought with her more than 25 years of planning experience.

Ms. Shuttleworth is responsible for overseeing the Region’s planning and economic development priorities on behalf of York Regional Council and senior management. During her time with York Region, she has had many notable accomplishments including:

  • providing fundamental input into new provincial direction through the OMB reform and Provincial Plan updates
  • launching York Link, an award-winning business attraction campaign
  • leveraging York Region’s post-secondary investment attraction strategy to support the York University Campus in the City of Markham
  • helping advance the York Telecom Network as a separate entity to advance the delivery of broadband
  • leading the Municipal Comprehensive Review

Recruitment to fill Ms. Shuttleworth’s vacancy is underway.

Update on Mental Health Matters initiative in partnership with York Regional Police

York Regional Council received an update on the York Region Mental Health Matters initiative which includes a variety of actions intended to improve the way York Region services are provided. These enhancements focus on early intervention, prevention and more effective responses to crises.

Between 2012 and 2016, York Regional Police and York Region Paramedic Services experienced a 40-per cent increase in calls related to mental health. Mental Health Matters focuses on four main priority areas:

  • Promoting culture change through capacity building, training and resiliency
  • Coordinating services for early intervention and identification
  • Developing effective crisis intervention strategies to reduce preventable occurrences
  • Promoting psychological health and safety among staff by fostering a positive and productive work environment

One in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness in any given year. Launched in 2015 in partnership with York Regional Police, Mental Health Matters supports the Region’s 2015 to 2019 Strategic Plan priority area of Support Community Health and Well-being by integrating and enhancing supports to assist clients with complex mental health needs.

Municipal Comprehensive Review Consultation Plan

The Regional Municipality of York is seeking in-depth consultation through a Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR). The work is essential to meet targets introduced by the province as part of the 2017 Growth Plan. The plan details opportunities to consult with York Regional Council, local councils, Indigenous peoples, staff and the public.

There are five phases outlined in the consultation report:

  • Laying the foundation - Winter 2017
  • Technical Background Work - Spring 2018
  • Setting the Direction - Spring 2019
  • Draft Regional Official Plan and Vision 2051 -  Fall 2019
  • Adoption of Regional Official Plan and Final Vision 2051 – 2020

Once the MCR is complete in 2020 the findings will be used to update Vision 2051 and the Regional Official Plan; both outline York Regional Council’s long-range planning mandate.

York Region meets 2017 Emergency Management Program Requirements

The Regional Municipality of York has completed the requirements of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and Ontario Regulation 380/04 for compliance of its Emergency Management Program.

The Act requires Ontario municipalities and provincial ministries to maintain an Emergency Management Program. The program includes an emergency plan, training and exercises, public education, Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) and identifying critical infrastructure.

In 2017, York Region, York Regional Police and local cities and towns reviewed its HIRA to identify the top hazards. The following are risks in York Region:

  • Energy emergency (supply) impacting critical infrastructure
  • Human health emergency
  • Cyber attacks
  • Severe summer/winter storms impacting critical infrastructure
  • Tornado/windstorms causing property damage, impacting critical infrastructure
  • Hazardous materials incidents (rail or road) requiring evacuations

York Region has been compliant with the Act since it came into effect in 2004. Meeting the Act’s requirements keeps York Region on track with the 2015 to 2019 Strategic Plan to provide responsive and efficient public service.
To learn more about emergency management and how you can be prepared, read York Region’s Emergency Preparedness Guide

Alternate members of Regional Council to be appointed by municipalities

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.

Prior to taking a seat at Regional Council, alternate members will be required to take their declaration of office and upon doing so, will have the same duties, authority and responsibilities of any other member of York Regional Council.

Alternate members attending a Council meeting will be reimbursed for mileage calculated on the distance between the alternate member’s home municipal office and York Region’s Administrative Centre.

Traffic signal installation in Mount Albert

York Regional Council approved the installation of a traffic control signal at Mount Albert Road and Centre Street in the Town of East Gwillimbury.

The decision is based on feedback from approximately 120 residents at an open house hosted by York Region Transportation Services on November 27, 2017 in the Town of East Gwillimbury. It was determined the traffic signal is the preferred solution to address sight concerns, improve accessibility for people with disabilities, countdown pedestrian signals and increase street lighting. Additional applicable suggestions from residents will be incorporated into the traffic control signal design, set to begin in spring 2018.

York Region 2017 Source Water Protection Implementation Annual Report

York Regional Council received an update on the 2017 Source Water Protection Implementation Annual Report which provides a snapshot of progress made in protecting municipal drinking water before it reaches your tap.

The 2017 report highlights work to identify and manage potential threats to drinking water and ensure proposed developments in vulnerable areas undertake careful planning to ensure the safety of our drinking water supply.

York Region’s Source Water Protection Incentive Program continues to play an important role in encouraging businesses to make changes to protect municipal drinking water sources. Among its achievements in 2017, York Region provided more than $43,000 to businesses and farmers to implement required risk management measures as part of its incentive program.

In 2018, the program will continue reviewing development proposals in vulnerable areas, establish new risk management plans, complete inspections and continue to provide education for sites within vulnerable areas.

Under the Clean Water Act, 2006, municipalities are required to submit annual reports on their source water protection implementation efforts. The sixth annual report summarizes information requested by the Source Protection Authorities.

York and Durham Regions release findings of Duffin Creek Plant Study

York Regional Council received an update on The Regional Municipality of York and The Regional Municipality of Durham’s strategies to further improve the phosphorus discharge from the Duffin Creek Water Pollution Control Plant (Duffin Creek Plant) entering Lake Ontario. The Phosphorus Reduction Action Plan study was requested by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.

The 18-month study included a peer review by an independent expert in phosphorus removal strategies. The Regions have further confirmed the recommended outcome of the study with a series of tests conducted at the plant over the past 10 months.   

In 2016, York and Durham Regions jointly undertook a Phosphorus Reduction Action Plan study using an international team of leading wastewater treatment experts to research the following:

  • The level of phosphorus removal the Duffin Creek Plant can achieve with its current wastewater treatment processes (referred to as “secondary treatment”)
  • The level of phosphorus removal the Duffin Creek Plant can achieve with additional wastewater treatment stages (“tertiary treatment”)
  • Assess the feasibility of reducing effluent phosphorus during the seasonal algae growth window, April through August of each year

The top-performing Duffin Creek Plant is located on the waters of Lake Ontario in the City of Pickering. It treats wastewater from residents and businesses in most of York Region, plus Ajax and Pickering residents and businesses in Durham Region.

Results of this plan are available to the public. Residents are encouraged to view the report and have until February 23, 2018 to provide any comments or feedback to the Ministry.

Upper York Sewage Solutions Project

York Regional Council received an update on the status of design for the Upper York Sewage Solutions project, a significant infrastructure project set to support wastewater servicing to residents and businesses in the Towns of Aurora, Newmarket and East Gwillimbury. The project faces rippling effects as York Region continues to await provincial approval of the Upper York Sewage Solutions Individual Environmental Assessment project.

The report summarized the status of the project’s detailed design process, property acquisition process and the Region’s continued efforts to advance the project and mitigate risks due to extraordinary provincial delay as the Region waits for approval of the Individual Environmental Assessment.

Initiated in 2009, the Upper York Sewage Solutions project followed the planning process established under the Environmental Assessment Act, which includes a Terms of Reference, a roadmap of the proposed environmental assessment content and the Environmental Assessment itself. After more than five years of extensive scientific study including consultation with Indigenous peoples and stakeholders, the final Individual Environmental Assessment report was formally submitted to the Minister for approval on July 25, 2014.

Over three years have passed since York Region submitted the final Environmental Assessment Report to the Minister. The Minister’s decision was initially anticipated in February 2015 according to legislated timelines set out in regulations to the Environmental Assessment Act. Outstanding issues with the Province satisfying their provincial duty to consult obligations with Indigenous peoples has further delayed approval of the Individual Environmental Assessment.

One particular risk the Region is facing with further delay in approval of the Upper York Sewage Solutions Individual Environmental Assessment is connected to the proposed modifications to the existing York Durham Sewage System components located in the Town of Newmarket.

York Region continues to actively follow up with the Ministry by sharing information on various stages of this review process. The Region is extremely concerned with the potential for further delay.

York Regional Council passed a motion to jointly develop and implement an emergency plan with the Ministry to prevent risk to public health and the environment within these communities, in the event of a sanitary spill due to the failure of the York Durham Sewage System forcemain in the Town of Newmarket.

York Region Transit facility to receive solar power technology

York Region will add the Transit West Operations and Maintenance Facility in the City of Vaughan as its latest rooftop solar power project. The 500-kilowatt solar array is more than twice as large as all of the Region’s current solar power projects combined and triples the Region’s capacity to generate solar power.

The new installation has the potential to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 143 tonnes of carbon – equal to 13 hectares of forest-absorbing carbon.

Currently, the Region has five facilities within the energy saving programs administered by the Independent Electricity System Operator. These are:

In 2016, greenhouse gas emissions from Regional operations totalled 92,384 tonnes, equivalent to emissions of more than 18,000 cars and 2.5 per cent lower than forecasted. The Region’s solar power projects are keeping the Region on track with its 2021 renewable energy generation targets in the Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan.

Development Charges deferred for Hospice Vaughan

York Regional Council authorized an agreement to defer collection of Development Charges for Hospice Vaughan, a proposed two-storey, 10-bed hospice palliative care facility located at the main intersection of Rutherford Road and Islington Avenue in the City of Vaughan.

Structures used by non-profit organizations for community use are usually exempt from development charges, providing the home municipality also provides a deferral. As the hospice is funded by the provincial government and does not serve a municipal purpose as defined in the Region’s Development Charge Bylaw, the bylaw does not allow for a deferral of development charges.

The approved agreement stipulates Development Charges will not be payable as long as the structure remains a palliative care facility. Should this change in the future, the applicant is required to pay the development charges at the prevailing rate.

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 600,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at

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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

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