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York Regional Council Highlights - Thursday, April 19, 2018 



Tribute to Humboldt Broncos

York Region Chairman Wayne Emmerson and members of York Regional Council paid tribute to the victims, the survivors and families of the recent Humboldt Broncos bus collision. Prior to Committee of the Whole on April 12, Regional Council joined Regional staff and participated in #jerseyday to observe a moment of silence. As a small measure of solidarity for the grieving families, friends and loved ones affected by this tragedy, York Region’s flags were lowered to half-mast.


Laura Mirabella named Commissioner of Finance and York Regional Treasurer

York Regional Council appointed Laura Mirabella as York Region’s new Commissioner of Finance and Regional Treasurer, effective June 20, 2018. Ms. Mirabella has more than 25 years of municipal, provincial and private-sector experience. She joins York Region from the City of Vaughan where she most recently held the position of Chief Financial Officer and City Treasurer. She holds a Chartered Professional Accounting designation from Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario.


Paul Freeman hired as York Region’s new Chief Planner

Paul Freeman has been hired as York Region’s new Chief Planner, effective April 12, 2018. Prior to joining York Region in 2016 as Director of Long Range Planning, Mr. Freeman held various planning and development roles at the Town of Richmond Hill. He has a Graduate Diploma in Public Administration with distinction from the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree from Ryerson University in urban and regional planning.


Keeping seniors healthier, longer; York Region’s Seniors Strategy completes first year of implementation

The Regional Municipality of York continues to support the health and well-being of the Region’s aging population while providing an affordable, accessible place to live for all residents through the completion of the first year of the York Region Seniors Strategy. Approved in 2016, numerous actions that fall within the four result areas of the strategy were completed or initiated in 2017.

Highlights include:

  1. Balancing the needs of seniors with all residents through new housing eligibility models that help low income residents access affordable housing options, as well as introducing a low income transit pass with eligibility based on income. By applying an ability to pay principle to these programs the Region can respond to the increase in demand for services, programs and infrastructure in a fiscally sustainable way.
  2. Keeping seniors healthier, longer by investing in programs and services to help them stay in place as they age, such as participating in the Central Local Health Integration Network (CLHIN) collaborative tables that help align regional priorities for seniors with the CLHIN service priorities. As well, the Region’s Community Paramedicine Team partnered with Markham Stouffville Hospital’s Hospital to Home program that works to keep seniors out of the hospital by bringing services directly into their homes.
  3. Supporting age-friendly, complete communities through appropriate and accessible options for housing, transportation and support services. Regional and municipal staff held a workshop to explore collaborative efforts to support a senior-friendly community and planning is underway with the Region and the City of Markham to support the development of the Unionville Seniors Hub.
  4. Connecting seniors and caregivers to the right programs and services at the right times by ensuring they know what supports and services are available to them and who to ask for help when needed.

Successful continued implementation of the strategy requires alignment, collaboration and partnership with local municipal initiatives to effectively serve and support seniors. Moving forward, the Region’s actions, advocacy and work with partners will help to ensure seniors are able to age in place for longer in the future.


Updates received for $2.2 billion in capital roads projects planned over the next decade

With $328 million budgeted for 2018 growth and maintenance projects, York Region will continue to build and maintain a faster and more efficient transportation network that works to enhance the traveller experience. This funding is in addition to $365 million already being invested in the rapid transit network.

York Regional Council received updates on 2017 road and transit accomplishments, as well as projects planned in 2018. The 10-Year Roads and Transit Capital Program plans will balance the $2.2-billion investment between Growth and State of Good Repair.


2017 Greening Achievements report highlights benefits of green infrastructure

York Regional Council received an update on the 2017 Greening Strategy report which demonstrates the value of green infrastructure such as tree planting and managing our forests. Green spaces, including trees and shrubs, play an important role in our community’s health. In 2017, York Region surpassed its targets to preserve and enhance green spaces. These achievements include:

  • Planting more than 85,000 trees, exceeding our target of planting 70,000 trees and shrubs
  • Achieving Petal Certification with six of seven Living Building Challenge petals for the Bill Fisch Forest and Stewardship Education Centre
  • Collaborating with Evergreen Foundation and York Region school boards on greening pilot projects and designing outdoor learning spaces
  • Engaging residents at more than 250 environmental outreach events
  • Continued pledge as a monarch butterfly-friendly Region

York Region has a canopy cover of 31 per cent. Every tree planted in York Region moves us closer to the goal of 35 per cent canopy cover by 2031. The Region will continue to work with partners and local cities and towns to protect and preserve environmental lands and increase canopy cover.


York Region Fights the Bite against Vector-borne diseases

The Regional Municipality of York will begin its 2018 vector-borne disease program this May to limit the impact of West Nile virus, Lyme disease and Zika virus activity throughout the Region. Vector-Borne diseases are transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito or tick. Ontario Public Health units deliver disease management strategies in accordance with the Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Ontario Public Health Standards.

In 2016-2017, there were more cases of Lyme disease reported in York Region compared to previous years. This is attributed to higher temperatures, precipitation, climate change and expanded risk areas throughout the Region. Prevention is the best defense against West Nile virus, Lyme disease and Zika virus. If you plan on heading outdoors this summer, follow these tips to fight the bite: Cover up with light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and long pants

  • Clean up standing water around your home where mosquitoes like to breed (flower pots, old tires, tin cans, pool covers)
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET or icaridin
  • Check yourself and your children for ticks
  • Remove attached ticks as quickly as possible

For more information on vector-borne diseases, contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or TTY 1-866-252-9933. More information is available at york.ca/westnile and york.ca/lymedisease


York Region Paramedic Services continue to deliver excellence in health care and service

York Regional Council received the 2017 Paramedic Response Time Performance Results. York Region Paramedics Services continues to deliver a high level of service to residents in the Region by meeting and exceeding approved response time targets.

York Region established a response time performance plan in September 2012 in accordance with requirements under the Ambulance Act, Regulation 257/00. Paramedic response time reliability is used to gauge high levels of service delivery.

York Regional Council amended the response time targets based on the patient’s condition using the Canadian Triage Acuity Scale (CTAS). CTAS is a five-level assessment tool used in hospital Emergency Departments to determine the severity of a patient’s condition. The CTAS scale is from one (resuscitation needed) to five (non-urgent).

Despite higher than predicted call volumes, Paramedic Services has outperformed in all response time targets, thanks to operational efficiencies and revised operational procedures with hospitals, resulting in lessened off-load delays. Further improvements in response time performance may be realized with modernization of key provincial dispatch systems.


York Region hospitals benefit from multi-year funding commitment

York Region continues to help our hospitals grow and improve services to residents through its multi-year commitment to providing $342 million in funding until 2031. Annual funding amounts are adjusted for hospital performance and assessment growth, and divided among four local hospitals: Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital, Markham Stouffville Hospital, Southlake Regional Health Centre and Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital. 2018 funding amounts for the four hospitals include:

  • Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital: $6,603,922
  • Markham Stouffville Hospital: $3,977,029
  • Southlake Regional Health Centre: $2,098,581
  • Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital: $1,995,852

Development activity summary 2017

York Regional Council received a report outlining development review and approval activities for 2017. Development activity in York Region remained strong over the past five years with Official Plan Amendment approvals up 48 per cent and site plan approvals up 59 per cent.

Last year, 238 development applications were submitted with Development Charges (DC's) generating close to $380 million. This figure is up 11 per cent from the previous year. These fees are collected in accordance with Regional Bylaw No. 2010-15 are used to fund York Region’s growth-related capital construction programs. 2017 applications included:

  • 40 Official Plan Amendment (OPA) applications
  • 67 subdivision or condominium applications with conditions of approval
  • An additional 60 subdivision or condominium applications with clearance of residential units for  registration
  • 70 site plan application approvals
  • 46 engineering approvals

Overall development trends in York Region include a decrease in applications for single-detached homes (down from 50 per cent to 40 per cent) and an increase in condominium and apartment applications. Activity remains heavily concentrated in York Region’s Centres and Corridors. Development applications are forecasted to remain strong in York Region through 2018.


York Region Official Plan Monitoring Report

York Regional Council received the 2018 Official Plan monitoring report outlining progress made towards fulfilling the goals of the Regional Official Plan and demonstrating progress toward the creation of complete communities.

Highlights include:

  • Sustainable Natural Environment: Over 600 hectares of land have been protected since 2009
  • Healthy Communities: Since 2009 the number of Housing York units has reached 6,774 units
  • Economic Vitality: The live/work ratio increased from 55.4 per cent in 2001 to 57.6 per cent in 2016
  • An Urbanized Region: York Region is on track to meet 2031 population and employment forecasts
  • Agricultural and Rural Areas: Annual gross farm receipts increased 28 per cent from 2001 to 2016
  • Servicing our Population: In addition of the opening of TTC line 1 Spadina subway extension, overall transit use is up in York Region with less reliance on the car

The York Region Official Plan is part of the Region’s Vision for the future. In addition to guiding York Region’s Strategic Plan it outlines growth management policies on city building, complete communities, agriculture and rural areas as well as on infrastructure and service provisions.


Speed limits reduced on several York Region Roads

York Regional Council approved lowering speed limits on several Regional roads. Speed limits are monitored and reviewed regularly to balance traffic flow with safety. As the Region continues to grow, traffic flow is increasingly interrupted by various factors such as traffic volume and traffic signals that may require motorists to come to a complete stop. These factors highlight the importance of reducing travel speeds in relation to a motorist’s ability to safely stop.


York Region announces partnership with the University of Toronto to prepare for the impacts of technology on transportation

York Regional Council approved a multi-year partnership with the University of Toronto’s iCity Centre for Automated and Transformative Transportation Systems (iCity-CATTS) as part of a coordinated action plan to prepare The Regional Municipality of York for the impacts of technology on transportation.

This study also supports the work the Region already initiated to prepare for changes in transportation technology as well as initiatives in the approved 2016 Transportation Master Plan.

The University of Toronto is the first to study how ‘smart’ transportation technologies such as automated vehicles and e-sharing will affect people’s transportation choices, how businesses provide transportation as a service, and how cities should plan for those changes to achieve the best results for society.


Helping communities stay safe and healthy worldwide through the donation of decommissioned ambulances

York Regional Council approved the donation of one decommissioned ambulance to Caribbean North Charities Foundation, supporting the efforts of the Princess Margaret Hospital in the Commonwealth of Dominica, providing much-needed help to those suffering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

The donation of this decommissioned ambulance is in alignment with Council's approved donation guidelines. Donation guidelines allow for decommissioned ambulances to be given to not-for-profit, community and international humanitarian organizations that are aligned with the services supported by York Region. These organizations must adhere to general guidelines outlined within the Community Investment Strategy, not be affiliated with political or religious organizations and support the Human Rights Code.

Previously, donation guidelines were set to allow for a maximum of 25 per cent of decommissioned surplus vehicles to be donated in a calendar year as long as the value of the vehicles is not more than $25,000. Regional Council approved updating the donation guidelines to allow for up to two ambulance donations per year and to review the previous 12 months' requests to allow for a broader range of consideration. The updated donation guidelines allow York Region to assist more not-for-profit, community and international humanitarian organizations and ultimately more people.


York Region celebrates National Paramedic Services Week

York Region paramedics play an integral role in our community, keeping residents safe and acting as one of the first healthcare professional individuals encounter when receiving emergent care. In recognition of their contributions and to increase awareness of the invaluable role they play in the overall health and well-being of the community, York Regional Council and the Regional Municipality of York celebrates National Paramedic Services Week May 27 to June 2, 2018.

Paramedic Services Week celebrates passion, expertise and dedication of paramedics, emergency medical dispatchers and all of those people who support them. The annual event also raises awareness of safety issues, injury prevention and what to do in the event of an emergency.

This year’s theme, “Paramedics: Health. Community. You”, support’s York Region’s priority of creating safe, healthy communities for all residents and recognizes the role paramedics play within the community.

During National Paramedic Services Week, York Region will participate in various events to allow the public to interact with paramedics through demonstrations, tours and education sessions as well as celebrate the success of our brave front-line responders.


National Public Works Week: May 20 to 26, 2018

York Region’s Public Works employees help to educate the public on the importance of public works to their daily lives: planning, building, managing and operating at the heart of their local communities to improve everyday quality of life. To recognize their contributions and increase awareness of public works, The Regional Municipality of York celebrates May 20 to 26, as National Public Works Week. This year’s theme is “The Power of Public Works.”

During the Week, York Region will host its annual Family Fun Day and charity barbecue on Saturday, May 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at York Region’s Transit Operations, Maintenance and Storage Facility at 55 Orlando Drive in the Town of Richmond Hill. Proceeds from the charity barbecue will go to 360°kids.


Next regular meeting of York Regional Council

York Regional Council will meet on Thursday, May 17 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:

Barbara Schnier, Communications Specialist,
The Regional Municipality of York
Phone: 1-877-464-9675, ext. 71237,
Cell: 905-505-5775
Email: barbara.schnier@york.ca


York Region Council; York Regional Council; Council; York Region; Council Highlights; Council Highlight April 19 The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release

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