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York Regional Council Highlights January 31, 2019



Live streaming of the public session of Council and Committee of 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/councilandcommittee



Proposed 2019 to 2022 York Region Budget

The proposed 2019-2022 Budget was tabled at Regional Council and included an overview of the $3.2 billion 2019 budget, comprised of $2.3 billion for operating costs and $867 million for capital investments — which is part of a 10-year, $6.6 billion capital plan. The proposed budget includes a tax levy increase of 3.37 per cent or approximately $81 per household, for 2019.

Proposed tax levy increase is 2.96 per cent for 2020, 2021 and 2022. Council was also presented for its consideration, a one per cent Infrastructure Acceleration Option to expedite roads projects already identified in the 10-year capital plan. The additional one per cent would bring the tax levy total to 4.37 per cent, or approximately $105 per household, for 2019. The option could help advance road widenings in congested areas.

Members of Council will review the proposed budget at two Committee of the Whole meetings in February. The budget is expected to be presented for approval at the February 28 meeting of Regional Council.


New Strategic Plan sets a vision for the next four years

York Regional Council received the draft that outlines York Region’s mission to work together to serve our thriving communities.

The 2019 to 2023 Strategic Plan is the road map for this term of Council to ensure meaningful progress towards Vision 2051, the long-range vision for the Region.

Council’s vision of strong, caring, safe communities is guided by the eight goal areas in Vision 2051. Performance measures and key activities will be tracked and reported to Council annually.

The 2019 to 2023 Strategic Plan will be considered by Regional Council in February 2019 to coincide with the 2019 to 2022 budget. The Strategic Plan extends, purposefully, six months into the next term of Council.


York Region Transit driving to a greener future

York Regional Council has given the green light to continue to move forward with the initiative to research and test electric buses and purchase six 40-foot battery electric buses.

The purchase will provide an opportunity for York Region to gain practical hands-on experience with electric buses and allow the Region to continue participating in the Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial lead by the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium.

Additional partners include utility agencies, the Town of Newmarket and Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution Ltd., bus manufacturers New Flyer Industries and Nova Bus, and Siemens providing support for electrical charging equipment. The Federal Government is funding a portion of the charging infrastructure that will need to be installed.

Of the six buses, four will be from New Flyer and two from Nova Bus at a cost of $1.2 million per bus.

York Region continues to deliver on priority water and wastewater projects totalling $2.5 billion

York Regional Council received an update on the key infrastructure projects outlined in the 10-year Water and Wastewater Capital Plan. The Region continues to deliver on 140 water and wastewater infrastructure projects needed to serve our growing communities and will invest $2.5 billion through the Capital Plan.

Priority projects include:

  • Continued investments in the Duffin Creek Plant which has one of the highest quality effluent of all the large wastewater plants discharging to the open waters of Lake Ontario. The plant treats wastewater from 80 per cent of the residents and businesses in York Region and from residents and businesses in the Town of Ajax and City of Pickering in Durham Region. Unlike most other comparable plants, the Duffin Creek Plant provides full treatment of all wastewater flows even during extreme high-flow rainfall events.
  • Once approved, the Upper York Sewage Solutions project will provide additional service allowance of over 80,000 people to support growth in the Towns of Aurora, Newmarket and East Gwillimbury. The proposed sewage solution includes a new Water Reclamation Centre in the Town of East Gwillimbury, modifications to the existing York Durham Sewage System in the Town of Newmarket and a project-specific total phosphorus offsetting program.

In March 2018, the province issued a Declaration Order to exempt modifications to the York Durham Sewage System component of the Upper York Sewage Solutions project from the requirements of the Environment Assessment Act. With this Order, the Region will proceed with the modifications to the York Durham Sewage System in the Town of Newmarket, which includes twinning of the forcemains and alterations to the Newmarket and Bogart Creek Sewage Pumping stations. The project is critical to serve the Towns of Newmarket, Aurora and East Gwillimbury and accommodate their future growth.

Other key infrastructure projects include:

  • West Vaughan Sewage Servicing
  • Northeast Vaughan servicing
  • Richmond Hill/Langstaff Gateway Regional Centre
  • Sutton Water Resource Recovery Facility

The Region continues to optimize water and wastewater networks through water conservation, inflow and infiltration reduction and other programs to maximize the potential of existing Regional systems while continuing to look for other funding sources.


York Region receives Government Finance Officers Association budget award

The Regional Municipality of York received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its 2018 budget document. This marks the 14th consecutive year York Region has received this award.

The GFOA is a professional association serving 19,000 government finance professionals throughout North America. The Distinguished Budget Presentation Award is the highest recognition in governmental budgeting.

To receive this award, a government agency must publish a budget document that meets program criteria as a policy document, a financial plan and an operations guide.

York Region is committed to equity, fairness and transparency across every line of business, including how the annual budget is communicated to our residents. Late last year, York Region received an “A” in the C.D. Howe Institute report, Show Us the Numbers: Grading the Financial Reports of Canada’s Municipalities, measuring the clarity and completeness of financial information presented to the public. This grade was the highest achieved by any municipality in Ontario.


York Regional Council receives departmental introductions

During the January meetings of , members of Regional Council received introductory presentations from senior management in Transportation Services, Environmental Services, Community and Health Services, Planning and Economic Development, Finance, Corporate Services and Legal and Court Services, in addition to YorkNet, York Region Rapid Transit Corporation and Housing York Inc. Each presentation outlined the role of the department, the work they do and key accomplishments. In addition, presentations outlined key priority areas that align with York Region’s vision of strong, caring and safe communities.

Priorities for the 2018 to 2022 term of Regional Council include:

  • Increasing economic prosperity by advocating for the extension of the Yonge North Subway Line into the Town of Richmond Hill, approving the York Region Economic Development Action Plan and updating the Municipal Comprehensive Review and subsequent updates to the Regional Official Plan
  • Supporting community health, safety and well-being through the modernization of the housing waitlist, improved access to health and social support services and removing barriers to affordable housing in York Region
  • Building sustainable communities and protecting the environment by implementing a Climate Change Action Plan, developing the Upper York Sewage System and to encourage growth in the Region’s centres, corridors and built-up urban areas
  • Delivering trusted and efficient services through continued implementation of the Regional Fiscal Strategy, approval of the 2019 to 2022 multi-year budget and determining property tax rates and tax ratio that are fair to businesses and residents

Recent accomplishments include:

  • Ensuring the safe and efficient travel of approximately 600,000 commuters on more than 4,200 lane-kilometres of Regional roads daily
  • Achieving some of the highest scores in Ontario for drinking water quality 
  • No. 1 ranked municipality in Ontario for waste diversion and the first municipality in Canada to be awarded Living Building Certification and the Golden Tap Award for being a world leading utility
  • Opening Belinda’s Place, York Region’s first emergency shelter for women, and the Richmond Hill Hub to help at-risk youth access supports and find and keep housing
  • Strengthening the Region’s economy by attracting industry and talent, opening the first subway in York Region and developing the Centres and Corridors initiative to guide planning and development
  • Maintaining high credit ratings, updating development charges bylaw to support the Region’s growth related infrastructure needs to 2031 plus modernizing business process and technology
  • Continuing to be recognized as an employer of choice, receiving both the Best Diversity Employer and Top Employer for Young People awards in 2017 and 2018
  • Recovering over $200,000 in civil claims collections, prosecuted 103,000 matters and administered 160,515 Provincial Offences Act charges
  • Building three new paramedic response stations, two road operations yards and the north transit operations centre

Update on Planning Act Changes proposed through Bill 66

Regional Council received an update on the province’s decision regarding Bill 66 which indicates the Government of Ontario does not intend to move forward with changes to the Planning Act proposed through the Bill.

Schedule 10 of Bill 66 proposed amendments to the Planning Act to allow local municipalities to pass an open-for-business planning bylaw, allowing them to respond to an emerging employment opportunity.

York Region will continue to monitor and review information related to Bill 66, including formal confirmation from the province that proposed changes to the Planning Act are no longer being considered.


York Region advises Toronto Region Board of Trade on priority projects

Toronto Region Board of Trade is seeking input on the prioritization of 10 proposed infrastructure options to improve travel in the Toronto-Waterloo corridor.

York Regional Council is advising the Toronto Region Board of Trade it supports the Highway 400-404 connecting Link and GTA West Corridor projects. However, Council strongly opposes any proposed diversion of CP freight trains which would significantly increase the volume of freight rail traffic, including hazardous goods shipments, through York Region communities.


York Region confirms with Metrolinx its transit priorities

York Regional Council is confirming with Metrolinx the following rapid transit projects are priorities:

  • Yonge Subway Extension to Richmond Hill/Langstaff Gateway Urban Growth Centre at Highway 7
  • York Region’s Viva Bus Rapid Transit Network as shown in the Regional Transportation Plan 2041

Regional Council also requests the province continue to commit to the following GO rail improvements:

  • Two-way all day service on the Barrie GO and Stouffville GO rail corridors
  • Improved service on the Richmond Hill GO rail corridor

York Region meets 2018 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.

York Region has consistently met the legislative requirements mandated by the Act while also providing training and tools to improve resiliency to all nine local cities and towns.

The Emergency Management Program includes an emergency plan, training and emergency exercises, public education and emergency program reviews.

In 2018, over 8,000 copies of the Emergency Preparedness Guide were distributed throughout the Region by local municipal partners.

For more information on what to do before, during and after an emergency, visit York.ca/emergencypreparedness


York Region supports Crime Stoppers awareness month

York Region recognized Crime Stoppers Awareness Month. Crime Stoppers of York Region is a not for profit organization that provides York Regional Police with information (TIPS) to help solve crimes. As a leader among North American programs, Crime Stoppers of York Region is committed to fostering public trust while facilitating the gathering of anonymous information to help police solve crimes.


Next regular meeting of York Regional Council

York Regional Council will meet on Thursday, February 28 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 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: 
Masrine Guthrie-Peart, Communications Specialist, The Regional Municipality of York 
Phone: 1-877-464-9675, ext. 77272, Cell: 905-251-6416 
Email: masrine.guthrie-peart@york.ca


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