The Regional Municipality Of York

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York Regional Council Highlights - October 17, 2019




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


York Region to pilot photo radar in school zones

York Regional Council approved an Automated Speed Enforcement pilot starting in 2020 to have photo radar technology installed in community safety zones.

During the two-year pilot, York Region will operate one mobile automated speed enforcement unit. The unit will move to different community safety zones across all nine cities and towns. The pilot aims to create awareness and deter people from speeding near schools.

School zones with the highest travel speeds will be the first locations to host the new portable speed cameras. Staff will review data from York Region’s pilot, including change in driver behaviour, review of technology and the impact on provincial courts and report to Council and shared with local and area municipalities.


York Region travel expected to change amid advancing technology

York Regional Council received an update on York Region’s readiness to support advancements in transportation technology and how technology tools can be used to improve traveller experience.

Emerging technologies such as the self-driving car will require significant infrastructure in place in order to work properly, including infrastructure like traffic signals which will soon need to communicate directly with vehicles.

York Region is already leveraging innovations in transportation technology to improve operations, including:

  • Installing Bluetooth sensors to monitor real-time travel times to better coordinate traffic signals and provide travel time information to Regional travellers
  • Installing technology on York Region Transit buses to warn bus drivers of potential collisions with pedestrians and cyclists
  • Exploring ways to improve emergency response times by outfitting emergency vehicles with tools to better communicate with traffic signals
  • Piloting six fully-electric transit buses in the Town of Newmarket, beginning 2020

Fewer Collisions on York Region roads in 2018

York Regional Council received the 2019 Annual Collision Statistics Report which provides a breakdown of collision data occurring on Regional roads.

The Annual Collision Statistics Report compiles data from a variety of sources and uses the information to determine programs or technology that could increase safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, such as red light cameras, separated bike lanes and automated speed radar in school zones.

York Region will continue to explore opportunities, such as left turn only signals and no right turns on red light in an effort to reduce collisions and increase safety in highly travelled intersections.


York Region subsidized housing wait list

York Region’s population continues to grow and diversify; however, the housing supply has not kept pace with residents’ needs. As a result, it has become more difficult for many residents to find affordable housing. York Region’s subsidized housing wait list continues to grow, and at the end of 2018, 16,237 households were waiting for subsidized housing.

York Regional Council received the Comprehensive Review of the Subsidized Housing Wait List, which identifies a better understanding of applicants’ needs, outlines ways to continue enhancing administration of the wait list and outlines potential supports for applicants while they wait for subsidized housing or alternatives to help them stay in place.

The review also recommends implementing a more thorough assessment of applicant needs at the time of application, enhance processes and increase communication with applicants, and support applicants while they wait for subsidized housing and help them make informed housing choices.


Attracting business and housing to city centres

York Regional Council is working to attract new business and affordable rental housing across the Region through two targeted development charge deferral programs.

These new incentive programs support York Region’s city-building initiatives aimed at promoting complete communities close to transit. This includes developing long-term employment opportunities and different types of affordable housing options that support residents to work and live within the boundaries of the community.

The new longer-term development charge deferrals include:


Looking to the community to plan our future

York Regional Council received an update on York Region’s Have Your Say consultations which are gathering valuable insight from residents about the kind of place they want York Region to be.

In a report summarizing public consultation to date, residents, businesses and workers have said they want compact, walkable communities with affordable housing options close to community services and cultural events. They also desire the protection of green spaces and support continued investment in public transit infrastructure.

Feedback gained through these consultations will help inform the Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR) and update to the Regional Official Plan policies to reflect community needs and guide planning for future growth and development in York Region.

York Region will continue to engage with the public and provide opportunities for resident input to inform the development of a draft Regional Official Plan update. More information on how to get involved or to receive information on upcoming activities can be found at york.ca/mcrgetinvolved


Housing Solutions 2019 to 2023

York Regional Council approved the second phase of York Region’s 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan, Housing Solutions 2019 to 2023. The plan builds on accomplishments of the first phase and includes updated goals and objectives for providing a coordinated approach to address housing affordability and reduce homelessness.

The goals and actions in the updated plan include:

  • Increase the supply of affordable and rental housing
  • Help people find and keep housing
  • Strengthen the housing and homelessness system

Invasive species prevention becomes limited without adequate funding

York Regional Council received an update on efforts to manage and slow down the spread of emerald ash borer and other invasive species such as wild parsnip and giant hogweed across York Region.

Invasive plants and animals are those not native to an ecosystem and can cause harm to our natural environments and wildlife, local economies and people. Ontario has more invasive species than any other province or territory in Canada. A recent study conducted by the Invasive Species Centre reported Ontario municipalities and conservation authorities spend an average of $50.8 million per year to address invasive species.

In recent years, provincial funding to key partner organizations which focus on invasive species has been reduced, which has negatively impacted support and resources available to municipalities, conservation authorities and residents.

York Region is requesting the province reinstate funding to invasive species partner organizations integral in providing resources to municipalities and community groups working to manage the threat and impact of invasive species on Ontario.


Smart Commute Program

York Regional Council approved working with the Transportation Managements Associations on a revised Smart Commute Program to make travellers more aware of alternative and sustainable travel choices during rush hour (walking, cycling, carpooling).

As the population and the number of travellers on Regional roads continues to grow, York Region remains committed to increasing awareness of alternative travel choices to reduce single occupancy vehicles.

York Region contributes $200,000 annually to the Smart Commute Program. Additional partners funding the program include the Town of Newmarket and the Cities of Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan.


York Region saddened by passing of Paul Duggan, Director, Audit Services

On behalf of The Regional Municipality of York, Regional Council was saddened to announce the sudden passing of Paul Duggan, Director, Audit Services, on Monday, October 14, 2019.

Paul dedicated 19 years to the Region, providing exceptional advice to Regional Council, Audit Committee and senior management. Along with his staff, Paul provided expertise to many of our municipalities.

Flags at Regional facilities are lowered to half-mast as the Region pays respects to Paul and his family.


Eight York Region paramedics receive Exemplary Service Medal

York Regional Council extends its congratulations and appreciation to eight York Region paramedics recently awarded with the Governor General’s Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal.

As one of the highest honours a paramedic can receive, the award is granted to paramedics who have completed 20 years of exemplary service. This year’s recipients include: 

  • Captain Shelly Burley
  • Captain Kyle Grant
  • Captain Dean Mills
  • Captain Richard Renta
  • Advance Care Paramedic Joanne Caldwell
  • Advance Care Paramedic Julie Grainger
  • Advance Care Paramedic Steven Luca
  • Advance Care Paramedic Brock Usborne

York Region’s team of over 500 paramedics provide emergency response and community care to residents and visitors 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. In 2018, York Region Paramedics responded to over 83,000 calls. Visit york.ca/paramedics for more information or follow York Region Paramedics on Twitter @yorkparamedics


Esri Canada Award of Excellence

The Regional Municipality of York has been recognized with the Esri Canada Award of Excellence for outstanding use of geographic information systems (GIS) technology and an innovative approach to data sharing.

York Region staff use ESRI technology in their day-to-day operations, and as one of the first municipalities to embrace GIS technology, York Region continues to be recognized as one of the top GIS programs in Canada.

In a leadership role, York Region continues to help the industry enhance and embrace the use of data and analytics.


International Day of Older Persons

On October 1, 2019 York Region celebrated and recognized seniors as part of International Day of Older Persons.

Seniors continue to be the fastest growing segment of our population and help contribute to the high quality of life in our communities. Regional Council continues to support the health and well-being of our aging population through a number of programs, services and initiatives, including the York Region Seniors Strategy.


Supporting local food during Ontario Agriculture Week

From October 7 to 13, York Regional Council and The Regional Municipality of York celebrated Ontario Agriculture Week by recognizing the important role agriculture and agri-food plays in our communities.

With more than 700 farm-based businesses and 270 food and beverage manufactures operating in York Region, our thriving and vibrant agriculture and food sector contributes $2.7 billion to the local economy each year. In addition to encouraging residents to eat and shop local, Regional Council supports this important sector through the York Region Agriculture and Agri-Food Sector Strategy.


Next regular meeting of York Regional Council

York Regional Council will meet on Thursday, November 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 52,000 businesses with over 636,600 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; Regional Council; York Region Council; Council; Council Highlights The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release