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Council Highlights - March 19, 2007 Meeting

Continuing Partnership for Seniors’ Programs
Council approved the continuation of the successful partnership between the Town, Carefirst Seniors and Community Services Association (Carefirst) and the Centre for Information and Community Services of Ontario (CICS) for the delivery of seniors’ programs at Bayview Hill Community Centre. The Town has been in partnership with Carefirst and CICS since January 2005 to develop and implement programs and services specifically for newcomer seniors within the community. Because of its success, the Bayview Hill Community Centre has added a new wing to house these programs, providing much-needed recreational space for seniors. The 4,000 square foot addition includes a large program room with a divider wall and an expanded lobby, both of which are wheelchair accessible. The Human Resources and Social Development Canada New Horizons Seniors’ Program is also showing its support by providing a $25,000 grant to offset operating expenses associated with the implementation of these activities. This is in addition to a two-year $137,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation announced earlier this year. The Bayview Hill Community Centre was built in 1991 and already includes a gymnasium, pool, tot pool, fitness studio and several activity rooms. CICS is a charitable agency that strengthens communities by providing a wide range of cost-effective, culturally-sensitive and professional services empowering newcomers to settle and integrate into Canadian society. Carefirst is a charitable non-profit organization that has provided community support services for Chinese seniors across the Greater Toronto Area, including York Region, for 30 years. For more information, please contact Darlene Joslin, Director of Recreation & Culture, at (905) 771-2423 (From Committee of the Whole Meeting held on Monday, March 5, 2007; Staff Reports SPRPC.07.12 and SPRPRC.07.13, Agenda Item Nos. 3 and 4).
Town Requests Healthcare Funding for Growing Population
Council agreed to submit a request to the Province of Ontario for increased healthcare funding to meet the needs of Richmond Hill’s growing population. Richmond Hill is among the fastest growing municipalities in Ontario and is a key community in the Provincial Growth Plan for Ontario. However, provincial funding for Ontario’s hospitals does not take into account the increasing need for local hospital services in high growth regions such as Richmond Hill. Yet, York Region residents including Richmond Hill residents, contribute more than $170 million to the Province of Ontario in healthcare taxes. The Town will also request that the Province of Ontario commit to funding new Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) for hospital and other healthcare services based on population size and growth. In addition, the Town will request that the Province of Ontario develop a hospital and health services plan for Ontario’s high-growth regions to help build “complete communities” envisioned in the Places to Grow Act. This motion will be sent to the Premier of Ontario, the Minster of Health & Long-Term Care, the Minster of Finance and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. For more information, please contact Mayor Dave Barrow at (905) 771-2493 (From Committee of the Whole Meeting held on Monday, March 5, 2007; Agenda Item No. 19).

June Is Recreation & Parks Month
Council proclaimed June as Recreation and Parks Month in Richmond Hill. Recreation and Parks Month was initiated by Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO), Ontario Parks Association and Ontario Recreation Facilities Association in June 2005. Through its 14 recreation facilities and more than 130 parks and natural areas, the Town of Richmond Hill offers residents many recreational opportunities in its community centres, pools, fitness facilities, athletic fields, nature trails, walkways, playgrounds, picnic areas, tennis courts and open spaces. The Town believes that recreation enhances residents’ quality of life, balanced living and lifelong learning, and that it not only helps people live happier and longer lives, it also helps them build healthy bodies and positive lifestyles. During this month, the Town will offer residents of all ages and abilities various activities for them to enjoy in Town parks and recreational facilities, including swimming, badminton, a youth dance, art show and sale, hiking for seniors, Heritage Village Day, a barbecue at Mill Pond for seniors and the Oak Ridges Family Fair to name a few. By supporting this initiative, the Town is assisting PRO and the Ministry of Health in their efforts to call attention to the benefits that recreation and parks services provide to all citizens. This is also in keeping with the Town’s Strategic Plan objectives to enhance its healthy and safe community and promote citizen responsibility through involvement in the community. For information on the schedule of events, visit the Town’s Website. For more information, contact Darlene Joslin, Director of Recreation & Culture, at (905) 771-2423 (From Committee of the Whole Meeting held on Monday, March 5, 2007; Staff Report SRPRC.07.15, Agenda Item No. 5).

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