The Regional Municipality Of York

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York Regional Council Highlights - May 28, 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/councilandcommittee


Ontario and York Region sign agreements to advance key transit project

York Regional Council has authorized execution of an agreement with the Province of Ontario to fund and build the estimated $5.6 billion Yonge North Subway Extension.

Approval of a preliminary agreement and associated transit-oriented memorandum of understanding directs the Chief Administrative Officer to continue negotiating additional agreements with the Province, City of Toronto and the TTC to ensure delivery of the subway.

In 2019, the Province of Ontario announced the $28.5 billion expansion of four priority projects in Ontario’s transit network, including the expansion of the Yonge North Subway. Entering into a preliminary agreement with the Province provides a structured framework for the overall delivery of this project, including roles and responsibilities for funding, planning, delivering, operating and maintaining the Yonge North Subway Extension.

The Yonge North Subway Extension is a cross-jurisdictional project spanning the City of Toronto, City of Markham, City of Vaughan and the City of Richmond Hill. It extends 7.4 kilometres north on Yonge Street from Finch Station to the Richmond Hill / Langstaff Gateway Urban Growth Centre at Highway 7.

For more information, please visit vivanext.com/YongeSubwayExt


York Regional Council welcomes new Chief of Police

Regional Council extended their congratulations to York Regional Police Chief James MacSween.

Sworn in on May 1, 2020, Chief MacSween leads the professional and highly dedicated women and men of York Regional Police as they continue to protect the safety of the community and health and well-being of York Region residents.

With over 30 years of experience with York Regional Police, Chief MacSween has proven his leadership abilities across all areas of the organization. He has extensive experience in administration, operations and strategic initiatives, and most recently served as Deputy Chief of Police.

Chief MacSween succeeds Chief Eric Joliffe who retired on April 30, 2020 after more than 40 years in policing.


Supporting residents and businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic

Regional Council received a number of updates on York Region’s current response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and the on-going impacts on The Regional Municipality of York.

Included in the updates is an analysis of financial information suggesting unexpected costs and reduced revenues associated with COVID-19 have had a cumulative impact of $25.77 million to date, or approximately $3.9 million per week.

Further updates on the impact of COVID-19 on public transit were provided to Council, outlining an 80% decline in transit ridership across the country and a $14.6 million loss in fare revenue in York Region (reflected in overall analysis of financial information).

York Region continues to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 on the operating budget and will continue to update Council as more information becomes available. Other financial considerations may include additional service adjustments, potential program savings due to closures and redeployment of resources and further relief measures by federal and provincial governments.

While the financial impacts of COVID-19 are far reaching, Regional Council continues to take steps to support employers, workers and residents.

Additional COVID-19 support activities include: 

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, York Region has maintained york.ca/covid19 as a trusted source of information related to public health and safety. On May 25, 2020, the website was restructured and redesigned to enhance COVID-19 data reporting and continue serving as a source of key information for the Region’s 1.2 million residents, 54,000 businesses and over 650,000 workers.


2021 Budget timeline approved by Regional Council

The timeline for preparation and approval of the 2021 budget was endorsed by Regional Council, with 2021 being the third year of the 2019-2022 multi-year budget, coinciding with the term of Council.

A multi-year budget:

  • Enables better coordination of budgeting and strategic priorities
  • Provides greater certainty for departments in managing expenditures
  • Improves fiscal discipline

As a result of COVID-19, the 2021 budget will need to find a balance between competing objectives including:

  • Supporting vulnerable populations
  • Supporting economic recovery
  • Focusing on highest priority programs and services
  • Mitigating affordability concerns
  • Focusing on long-term financial stability
  • Funding key infrastructure projects
  • Ensuring short-term liquidity and cash flow

The 2020 budget was approved with a tax levy increase after assessment growth of 2.96% and an outlook for 2021 and 2022 of 2.96%. Due to current levels of uncertainty and associated financial pressures, the 2021-2022 Budget will now be tabled with Council in February 2021 with tentative Council approval in March 2021.


77% of York Region’s Strategic Plan’s performance measures are trending in the desired direction

The Regional Municipality of York released its Year 1 (2019) Progress Report on the 2019 to 2023 Strategic Plan which shows the Region has made progress on its four-year strategic plan. In 2019, 24 of 31 (77%) of the performance measures were trending in the desired direction. The strategic plan provides a detailed course of action over a term of Council within the following four community result areas: Economic Vitality, Healthy Communities, Sustainable Environment and Good Government.

Last year York Region released its 2019 to 2023 Strategic Plan – From Vision to Results. The plan is tracked, measured and reported annually to ensure progress is made on Council’s priorities. A copy of the progress report and other documents relating to the Region’s strategic planning is available at york.ca/strategicplan


York Region Transit enforcement continues to provide safe travel

Regional Council received the York Region Transit (YRT) 2019 Enforcement and Security Report highlighting YRT’s commitment to providing safe and enjoyable experience for travellers and protecting fare revenue.

York Region continues to have a low evasion rate of approximately 2%. Evasion is controlled by officer presence, random inspection, education and enforcement.

YRT enforcement and security also continues to engage travellers to improve customer experience, including an event at Richmond Hill Terminal providing an opportunity for general discussion surrounding YRT Enforcement and Security services.


GTA West Highway planning well underway

Regional Council received an update on the GTA West Transportation Corridor and continues to request additional considerations in the Environmental Assessment from the Ministry of Transportation. These include adding interchange locations to improve connectivity and moving the proposed route to not divide the future growth to the Huntington Road Community.

The GTA West Highway environmental study proposes a new freeway, as well as an adjacent transitway, providing more east-west travel options and reducing traffic on roads such as Major Mackenzie Drive and King Road. The Province has also initiated the Northwest GTA Transmission Corridor Identification Study, generally aligned with the proposed highway to protect for future electricity infrastructure.


Municipal Comprehensive Review Update

The Regional Municipality of York’s Municipal Comprehensive Review continues during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though York Region declared a state of emergency in March 2020, York Region staff continue to advance the Municipal Comprehensive Review that will support the update to York Region’s Official Plan.

Recognizing large gatherings of people are not allowed under the current provincial order, public and stakeholder engagement activities will be done through virtual means as much as possible.

Staff are working to minimize impacts and delays in the release of key documents, however the following reports have been postponed due to the current pandemic and will be presented to York Regional Council in the third and fourth quarters of 2020:

  • Natural Heritage Planning Update
  • New Community and Designated Greenfield Area Density Update and Directions
  • Draft Updated Vision for York Region
  • Planning for Employment and Employment Land Conversion Requests Directions Report

A draft updated Regional Official Plan is anticipated to be share with York Regional Council by June 2021.


National Nurses Week

Regional Council recognized May 11 to May 17, 2020 as National Nurses Week, honouring the critical role nurses play in protecting and promoting health and safety with the community.

Dedicated the “Year of the Nurse and the Midwife” by the World Health Organization, 2020 has demonstrated the enormous sacrifices and contributions nurses make to the health and well-being of those they care for. Nurses continue to be on the front lines caring for patients and doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

On behalf of all York Region residents, Regional Council expressed its thanks to nurses for dedicating their lives to the care of others.


National Public Works Week

Regional Council recognized May 17 to May 23, 2020 as National Public Works Week and acknowledged the many public works professionals who contribute to the high quality of life experienced across York Region.

The 2020 theme for National Public Works Week, The Rhythm of Public Works, challenged residents and businesses to think about their communities as a symphony of essential services working in harmony to create a great place to live and conduct business.

On behalf of York Region and the 1.2 million residents who rely on public services, Regional Council thanked the countless public works professionals who build and maintain key infrastructure and facilities, improve and protect our natural environment and maintain a clean water supply.


Personal Support Worker Day

Regional Council recognized May 19, 2020 as Personal Support Worker Day, thanking York Region’s personal support workers for their dedication and commitment to delivering essential care and support to some of the most vulnerable in the community.

Personal Support Worker Day provides an opportunity to recognize the essential role personal support workers play in the broader health care system by providing high-quality community and home based care. It also provides an opportunity to thank people for being on the front lines of the COVID-19 response, putting themselves at risk in order to provide care and support to those most in need.


Paramedic Services Week

Regional Council celebrated Paramedic Services Week from May 24 to May 30, 2020, thanking the dedicated women and men who work around the clock to keep York Region residents healthy and safe.

During Paramedic Services Week and throughout the year, York Region recognizes the passion, expertise and dedication of paramedics, emergency medical dispatchers and the network of paramedic support staff who help keep residents safe.

Paramedics in York Region play an integral role in the community, delivering a wide-range of emergency medical services. They often serve as the vital initial contact residents have with the health care system in times of crisis or emergency.


World Sickle Cell Day

Regional Council proclaimed June 19, 2020 as World Sickle Cell Day in York Region.

First established in 2005, World Sickle Cell Day encourages global awareness and action to support those living with Sickle Cell disease, improve treatment, educate the community and reduce the number of children born with the disease.

World Sickle Cell Day is supported and organized by the Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario.


Next regular meeting of York Regional Council

York Regional Council will meet on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 9 a.m. In order to maintain physical distancing and protect the health and well-being of residents, this will 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

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Compiled by:
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

York Region; council highlights The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release