The Regional Municipality Of York

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York Regional Council - Thursday, May 16, 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 here.


York Regional Council supports two-tier municipal government

York Regional Council has passed a resolution supporting the Region’s two-tier government structure as the most effective means to deliver critical infrastructure and services to York Region communities and residents.

In response to the Provincial Regional Governance Review, the resolution recognizes Regional Council’s long commitment to providing responsible, high quality and cost effective programs and services.

Since 1971, York Regional Council has increased by just four members. During that same period, the Region’s population has grown by more than one million residents and the scope of services delivered by York Region has expanded to include housing, paramedics, court services, Regional transit and waste processing and disposal. Through collaborative partnerships with all levels of government, the Region continues to demonstrate it is well positioned to deliver critical infrastructure and consistent service levels across all York Region communities.


New proposed public health entity to be in place for April 2020

York Regional Council received an update on the proposed legislation to implement 10 new public health entities with autonomous boards as of April 1, 2020. The 10 entities will replace the existing 35 public health units across the Province of Ontario.

If legislation is passed, York Region Public Health will be combined with the southern part of Simcoe Muskoka Health unit (excluding Muskoka) as one public health entity, extending the boundary of the new health entity as far north as the Severn River. The exact geographical boundaries will be finalized at the time legislation is passed.

The board for the new entity is expected to be in place by April 2020.


York Regional Council expresses serious concerns with Bill 108

York Regional Council has passed a motion to expressing serious concerns with Ontario Bill 108, The More Homes, More Choice Act.

If passed, Bill 108 would make changes to 15 different provincial acts, including the Planning Act, and would give an unelected, unaccountable body the power to make decisions on how local communities evolve and grow.

 York Regional Council will share the motion with the provincial government, stating Bill 108 may have negative consequences on community building. York Regional Council is also calling upon the Government of Ontario to halt the advancement of Bill 108 to enable a fulsome consultation with municipalities.


Region voices need for strong action for reducing waste in our communities

The Regional Municipality of York provided comments to the province which outlines immediate priorities to unlock the greatest opportunity to achieving zero waste in Ontario. A detailed response to Reducing Litter and Waste in our Communities Discussion paper was provided to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. These priorities strongly align with York Region’s SM4RT Living plan and include,

  • Immediately transition the Blue Box to full producer responsibility to make producers both operationally and financially responsible for the end-of-life management of their waste, and establish high targets that obligate them to implement deposit return programs
  • Include the 4th R (Recovery) in diversion calculations to recognize the benefits of recovering the value of resources 
  • Develop Green Bin compostable standards that align with existing processing systems to provide clear rules
  • Take immediate and strong action to eliminate litter and plastic waste going to landfills and waterways, including single-use plastics and problematic materials, through a deadline-driven action plan that includes a used beverage container program

Regional Council continues to demonstrate leadership in waste management and to voice the need to take strong action for an Ontario-wide effort to reduce litter and waste in our communities.


York Region welcomes the 2019 CP Women’s Open

York Regional Council welcomed Laurence Applebaum, CEO of Golf Canada, to officially announce the 2019 LPGA Canadian Women’s Open will be held at the Magna Golf Club this on August 19 to 25 in the Town of Aurora.

As the only Canadian stop on the LPGA tour, the Canadian Women’s Open will put an international spotlight on York Region with over 500 million viewers from around the world.

Bringing together more than 90 of the top 100 LPGA tour players, including 15 Canadians, the event is set to gain widespread media attention and projected to have an economic impact of over $15 million.


York Region supports Pride

York Regional Council recognizes June 7 to 16, 2019 as Pride Week. Pride Week is celebrating its 19th year recognizing the contributions of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities living in York Region.


York Region hospitals benefit from multi-year funding commitment

York Region continues to help our hospitals grow through its multi-year commitment to providing approximately $341 million in funding until 2031. The annual contribution is indexed to the previous year’s assessment growth and is now an annual contribution of $15 million.

Annual funding amounts are adjusted for hospital performance and assessment growth, and divided among four local hospitals.

2019 funding amounts for the four hospitals include:

  • $6.7 million for Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital
  • $4.1 million for Markham Stouffville Hospital
  • $2.1 million for Southlake Regional Health Centre
  • $1.9 million for Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital

York Region’s contributions to hospital capital projects will provide residents with improved access to health care and support the Strategic Plan priority area of supporting community health, safety and well-being.


Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital set to open in 600 days

York Regional Council heard an update on the opening of Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital in the City of Vaughan. The addition of the new hospital in Vaughan will bring an additional 350 inpatient beds to York Region.

As part of Mackenzie Health's two-site hospital model, Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital and Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital will provide increased access to state-of-the-art health care closer to home for the residents of York Region. Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital is currently the seventh busiest emergency department in the Province of Ontario, seeing between 300 to 350 patients on any given day.

Regional Council has invested $120 million to support the building of the new hospital in York Region. Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital is set to be completed in 2020.


Police-hospital handover protocol recommended

Regional Council received a recommendation from The Regional Municipality of York Police Services Board requesting the Ontario government develop a province-wide Police-Hospital Handover Protocol.

Currently, officers bringing individuals apprehended under the Mental Health Act (MHA) to a hospital must retain custody of the individual until he or she is in the care of the hospital. In addition to taking officers away from front-line duties, this can stigmatize the individual who must wait with police officers.

There are always two officers on standby in emergency departments and York Regional Police has two Mental Health Support teams in place to help ensure better outcomes for those experiencing a mental health crisis. The Police Services Board recommends the province implement a protocol whereby officers can return more quickly to their front-line duties and ensure a safer, more dignified process for those apprehended under the MHA.


Greater Toronto Airports Authority update

York Regional Council received an update from the Greater Toronto Airport Authority highlighting the achievements of Toronto Pearson International Airport.

 Toronto Pearson International Airport is the fifth most connected airport in the world, facilitating $11 billion in exports and $17 billion in imports. Pearson brings tourism jobs and immigration to the GTHA. It provides employment to 50,000 people, 4,000 of whom live in York Region.


Rouge National Urban Park update

York Regional Council received an update on the Rouge National Urban Park established to protect the natural environment, support cultural heritage, promote agriculture and provide lands for Canadians to connect with nature.

Creation of Rouge National Urban Park is the culmination of more than 30 years of coordinated work by community leaders and organizations to protect 79.1 square-kilometres of land. During the early stages of development York Region made significant investments to the National Park through the Greening Strategy initiatives such as tree planting, prairie creation and wetland restoration.

York Region continues to work with the City of Markham, Parks Canada  and school boards to update the property inventory and compensation agreement as additional lands are added to the National Park. Parks Canada continues to engage with stakeholders to assemble core lands needed to complete the largest National Park in North America.


York Region outlines short, medium and long-term targets in its energy plans

York Region’s 2019 Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan includes short, medium and long-term targets for an energy-wise vision of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Region-owned and operated facilities and assets to 2051.

York Region owns and operates over $12.3 billion in assets in the form of buildings, transit vehicles, fleet vehicles, water and wastewater facilities and supporting infrastructure. The plan outlines ways the Region can further reduce energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through a mix of conservation, efficiency and renewable energy alternatives.

 Accomplishments to-date include:

  • Completion of 17 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design LEED certified buildings
  • Making retrofits to York Region Transit buses resulting in increased efficiency and 1,100 tonnes of GHG emission reduction per year
  • Approving pilot project for six battery electric transit buses
  • Installing anti-idling and hybrid technologies that reduced ambulance fuel consumption by 84,500 litres since 2017
  • Integrating 18 hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles into the corporate fleet to achieve better fuel economy when compared with standard combustion engine alternatives
  • Conducting energy audits to identify opportunities at existing buildings
  • Installing 21 solar panels that generate enough energy to power 45 average-sized homes for a year and approximately $150,000 in annual revenues for the Region
  • Conserving approximately 10.6 mega-litres per day of water and wastewater that require treating through water conservation and inflow and infiltration prevention programs

York Region completed its first energy plan in 2014 and it was updated in 2016. The initiatives were developed in collaboration with Regional departments, York Regional Police and Housing York Inc. and will be updated every five years.


On-the-ground actions of York Region’s Greening Strategy contribute to a sustainable natural environment

York Regional Council received an update on the Greening Achievement Strategy which is yielding benefits for both people and nature.

York Region continues to work with local and municipal partners to protect and preserve environmental lands and increase tree canopy and woodland cover, with a goal of increasing woodland cover to 25% by 2031. Woodland cover was last reported as 23.2% in 2017.

Greening Strategy actions include:

  • Stewardship and Education: Engaging residents through events, hikes and education programs
  • Enhancement and Rehabilitation: Planting more than 101,000 trees and shrubs and creating 44.4 hectares of new woodlands
  • Protection and Preservation: Protecting more than 1,360 hectares of environmental lands since 2001 and partnering with Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust to protect the 32.5-hectare Maple Cross Nature Reserve
  • Leadership and Innovation: Achieving Canada’s first Living Building Challenge certification for the Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre

Woodland cover and canopy cover, created by the leaves and tree crowns, can help fight the effects of climate change by slowing storm water run-off, help lower summer temperatures, reduce energy needed to cool and heat buildings, improve air quality and stabilize our water table.

For information on the benefits of trees and York Region’s tree planting programs, visit york.ca/treeplanting


Agriculture and agri-business contribute $2.7 billion to York Region economy

York Regional Council received an update on the first year of implementation of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Strategy, which sets the direction for long-term growth in the Region’s agri-business sector.

Implementation of the plan’s action items are progressing well. Planned activities include showcasing agricultural innovations and champions in the Region, launching a local food awareness campaign, supporting York Farm Fresh and facilitating relationships between producers, processors and retailers. 

York Region’s agri-food sector includes more than 700 farm-based businesses and 270 local food and beverage manufacturers. The sector provides approximately 57,000 jobs and generates more than $2.7 billion in gross domestic product each year.

Residents can connect to local grown food, beverages and products from farms, farmers markets and farm experiences in all nine local cities and towns. Visit yorkfarmfresh.com for a complete list


Planning for future employment

York Regional Council received the Planning for Employment Background report, which outlines current employment trends in York Region and helps Council proactively plan future growth across our communities.

Employment trends indicate York Region continues to be a top destination for businesses. With a number of amenity rich and transit accessible employment areas, the Region’s major Urban Centres are well positioned to attract highly skilled, knowledge-based jobs.

York Region is forecasted to grow to 900,000 jobs by 2041. By planning for future growth today, Regional Council is able to attract new businesses and grow existing business so York Region residents continue to have access to high quality, good paying jobs close to where they live. 

Findings from the Planning for Employment Background report will inform the York Region 2041 Employment Strategy, which will be presented to Council in 2020.


City building supports the growth of York Region

York Regional Council received updates on city building and growth and development for 2018, highlighting York Region as a destination of choice for new residents and employers.

In 2018, population growth in The Regional Municipality of York accounted for 14.9% of all growth in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. While each local city and town experienced year-over-year growth, the Region’s four Urban Growth Centres – Newmarket, Markham, Richmond Hill/Langstaff and Vaughan – accounted for 32% of new housing and 34% of new job growth.

Additional 2018 highlights include:

  • Population grew by 22,800 people
  • Employment grew by 15,120 jobs
  • Housing completions increased by 56.5% (10,230 completed housing units)
  • Building permits issued for 7,902 residential dwelling units, with 56% of all high density permits located in Urban Growth Centres
  • 19% of residents in the Region’s urban centres use public transit to commute to work

City building has been a part of York Region’s Official plan since 1994 and continues to result in the creation of vibrant destination that offer a range of housing options, places to work and ways to get there.


2015 to 2019 Strategic Plan headed in the right direction

York Regional Council received the fourth and final 2015 to 2019 Strategic Plan Final Year 4 (2018) Progress Report, showing 85% of the key performance measures trending in the desired direction.

Since 2014, significant progress has been made on a number of performance measures. Specifically, York Region has:

  • Maintained 99.9% of samples that meet Ontario drinking water standard
  • Increased the percentage of business engagements with targeted business sectors by 12%
  • Increased the percentage of solid waste diverted from landfill by 9%
  • Increased the number of services available online from 7 to 28

York Region’s new 2019 to 2023 Strategic Plan - From Vision to Results was approved by Regional Council in February 2019 and builds on the success of the 2015 to 2019 plan.

For more information please visit york.ca/stratplan


2020 budget timelines approved by Regional Council

The timeline for preparation and approval of the 2020 budget was endorsed by York Regional Council, with 2020 the second year of a 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

The 2019 budget was approved with a tax levy increase of 3.96% and an outlook for 2020, 2021 and 2022 of 2.96%. The 2020 budget and an outlook for the following two years will be tabled with Council on November 28 with tentative Council approval on December 19.


2018 Annual Investment Report shows strong Regional position

York Regional Council received the 2018 Annual Investment Report, providing an update on the General and Sinking Fund investment portfolios held by York Region. As of December 31, 2018 these portfolios had a combined maturity value of approximately $4.1 billion.

In 2018, the General Fund achieved a 2.28% return or $64.6 million. Approximately 97% of the General Fund’s portfolio was fixed-income or interest-producing investments. The remaining 3% represented equity investments managed by the ONE investment program, sponsored by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Municipal Finance Officers’ Association of Ontario.

The Sinking Fund generated investment returns totalling $18.4 million, $700,000 million higher than the actuarial requirement for the 2018.

York Region’s investment program is governed by a sound and effective Council-approved Investment Policy that consistently provides positive returns while maintaining conservative credit and term risk exposures.


York Region allocated $5.5 million to community agencies in 2018

York Regional Council received an update on activity of the 2018 Community Investment Fund which helped more than 78,000 residents with low to moderate income access a variety of community and social programs.

Allocations through the Community Investment Fund had a vital impact on the quality of life for York Region including:

  • Approximately 46,000 breakfasts and snacks were distributed to York Region students through the Food for Learning program
  • More than 300 individuals were provided with shelter, meals, medical care and clothing through Inn from the Cold Emergency Shelter and Supports
  • Over 4,000 residents received support to help with transportation needs through the Transit Ticket Program, which provides approximately $100,000 to non-profit community agencies to help buy transit fares for client use
  • Providing more than $100,000 to four community agencies to support activities they could not otherwise afford

Regional Council established the Community Investment Fund in 2002 to support agencies in nine local cities and towns to deliver programs and services to address community needs and service gaps.


Protecting York Region’s School Children though Immunization

York Regional Council endorsed the position of the Council of the Ontario Medical Officers of Health in support of a centralized immunization registry in the Province of Ontario. The registry allows for the seamless reporting of immunization information by all health care providers at the time of administration.

Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, all children under age 18 attending school must maintain an up-to-date immunization record with their local public health unit. Currently children receive most childhood vaccinations through their primary care provider. Parents are responsible for updating their child’s immunization record with York Region Public Health.

York Region has the third largest student population in Ontario, with more than 190,000 students in 400 schools. Approximately 86% of seven-year-old students in York Region have up-to-date immunizations, which is above the provincial average of 79%.

A provincial immunization registry will reduce the burden of self-reporting placed on parents and better support Public Health in quickly identifying those that are susceptible and vulnerable in the event of a vaccine-preventable outbreak.


Customer service, education and public outreach success highlighted in YRT Enforcement and Security Annual Report

York Regional Council received the York Region Transit (YRT) 2018 Enforcement and Security Annual Report highlighting YRT’s commitment to providing travellers with a safe and enjoyable experience.

In addition to providing safety, security and revenue protection in 2018, staff engaged over 420,000 travellers through fare inspections, security and customer service.


York Region continues to lead with YorkInfo Partnership

York Region, in partnership with our nine cities and towns, two conservation authorities and two school boards, builds and leverages collective investments in data, people and technology through the YorkInfo Partnership.

Since 1996, the partnership aligns 14 organizations around common goals across four projects and 12 knowledge-sharing workshops. Members of the YorkInfo Partnership have access to courses offered through York Region’s Digital Academy and share in cost-savings associated with group buying power.

This partnership is the first of its kind in Canada and has achieved many “firsts” for its unique work, including:

  • Implementing the All-Pipes program, enabling the mapping of water/wastewater infrastructure within the Region to be treated as a single network
  • Acquiring the first Greater Toronto Area-wide aerial imagery and terrain data
  • Launching a self-serve data depot for consultants and partners, providing 24/7 access to data

Resident Inclusion Plan for Housing York Inc. fosters inclusive communities

The Regional Municipality of York’s housing corporation, Housing York Inc. (HYI), approved the development of a Resident Inclusion Plan to support ongoing efforts to foster inclusive communities and advance objectives of the Inclusion Charter for York Region.

The Resident Inclusion Plan highlights four key action areas for Housing York:

  1. Enhance accessibility of buildings
  2. Provide inclusive communications
  3. Ensure business processes respect diversity
  4. Continue to provide valuable programs and services that support inclusion

The Resident Inclusion Plan will support Housing York Inc. in creating communities that value and respect differences and view these differences as a resource and strength.

Housing York Inc. was established in 2003 and operates 44 housing properties home to more than 4,000 tenants in 2,600 units in all nine cities and towns.


Next regular meeting of York Regional Council

York Regional Council will meet on Thursday, June 20, 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:

Tamara Ostrowski, Corporate Communications, The Regional Municipality of York
Phone: 1-877-464-9675, ext. 71226
Cell: 905-251-6412
Email: tamara.ostrowski@york.ca


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