Regional Chair Gary Carr – Advocating for Halton

From time to time the Regional Chair Gary Carr outlines a report on what the Region of Halton is doing in our area to help assist all levels of government provide the services we need and enhancing the environment for creating much needed jobs and assisting in bringing businesses to our area.  Here are some highlights in is his most recent column as printed in the Milton Canadian Champion.

Advocating for Halton

Advocating for the residents of Halton is one of the priorities of the Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan.

Ensuring that growth pays for itself is of critical importance to Halton Regional council and we will continue to advocate for long-term predictable funding to ensure that taxpayers do not bear the burden of growth.

Regional council recognizes even though there are many of levels of government, there is only one taxpayer.

Halton Region has one of the best records in all of Canada for keeping taxes low — 2013 will make the seventh consecutive year in which we have had an average of a 0 per cent tax increase for regional programs and services.

The future that Halton Regional council envisions includes important partnerships with both the provincial and federal governments. The support of both levels of government in the form of long-term predicable funding is essential to ensuring Halton remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

On behalf of the residents of Halton, I will continue to meet with Halton’s MPs, MPPs and elected officials of all political stripes to bring Halton’s issues to the forefront.

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Regional council has also urged the Ontario government to make appropriate decisions to prevent the collapse of the horse racing industry. At council’s Oct. 3 meeting, councillors unanimously supported a motion to endorse an interim report that identifies the benefits of a strong equine sector and horse racing industry and the need to make immediate decisions to ensure its long-term viability.

Recently, Regional council also supported a motion in support of the Town of Milton’s efforts to build more schools to house its growing population. Investing in Halton’s future is important to ensure our region will continue to prosper for generations to come and remain a location of choice for new businesses.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to e-mail me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook.

Halton Provincial Candidates Have to Answer Region’s Questions

Halton Region to question local election candidates

Some of the first questions posed to Halton’s provincial candidates will come from the Region itself.

This week, Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr will send a questionnaire to MPP hopefuls in Milton, Oakville, Halton Hills and Burlington for their take on Halton’s most pressing election issues.

Asked what’s at the top of the list, Carr said the $8.6 billion in future infrastructure needs comes to mind. “We want to ensure water and waste water facilities, regional roads, provincial schools and hospitals will be there for our population.”

Halton’s population is expected to double to 780,000 by 2031.

In the last month, Milton’s, Burlington’s and Halton Hills’ hospital expansions have been given the go-ahead from the Province, but Carr said he’d like promises that all the hospital projects will come to fruition. “The government could change. It could be a minority (government). We’re asking all candidates about the hospitals. We don’t want the plans to change as a result of the election.”

Carr said expanding Hwy. 401 through Halton and ensuring schools keep up with the bourgeoning young population are also priorities.

The document, ‘A strong Halton for a strong Ontario,’ was released earlier this summer and serves as an advocacy platform that sets out the Region’s position on key issues impacting residents.

Some of the requests of Ontario’s next government in the report include a complete review of the Development Charges Act and fast-tracking Metrolinx projects with 100 per cent provincial funding for GO Transit.

The report also places a strong emphasis on preserving Halton’s natural landscape and outlines Halton’s opposition to the proposed GTA West and Niagara to GTA corridors, further quarry expansion on the escarpment and asks for a provincial commitment to the Randle Reef clean up.

Similar questionnaires were sent to candidates in the last provincial election and during May’s federal election.

Carr said during those campaigns, close to every candidate took the time to fill out the questionnaires. “It helps create a dialogue. They (candidates) know what’s important to us, they will know what our issues are and that’s important as people look for a good candidate.”

Carr added that the questionnaire serves as a mechanism to ensure candidates stick to their word if elected.

Completed questionnaires will be posted at www.halton.ca/ontarioelection2011 throughout September.