October 23, 2002

York Region Character Council announces Character Champion and Attributes

NEWMARKET Former Toronto Maple Leafs Captain and King Township resident Wendel Clark was announced as the York Region Character Champion at a ceremony held at the York Region Administrative Centre in Newmarket today. Eleven Character Attributes, which arrived courtesy of York Regional Police's new helicopter with Markham Mayor and Character Council Chair Don Cousens, were also unveiled.

"York Region's Character Community initiative represents a key component in Vision 2026, our strategic blueprint for the Region's next quarter century," said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch. "York Region is about creating strong, caring and safe communities. What better way to do that than by demonstrating, as leaders, exactly what it means to have and to promote strong character."

In late January, York Regional Council passed a resolution declaring York Region a Character Community. A Character Community is one in which elected officials, community leaders and citizens at large promote and recognize the importance of good character. In February, a Character Community initiative was launched with the formation of a Character Council chaired by Markham Mayor Don Cousens and unveiling of a mission, logo and Web site.

"I'm pleased to announce that since the Character Community initiative was launched in February, it has been embraced across the Region," said Markham Mayor Don Cousens, Chair of the York Region Character Council. "In fact, each of the nine area municipal councils that make up York Region have adopted resolutions declaring their municipalities Character Communities."

"The Character Attributes we are announcing today have been selected thanks to input and suggestions from residents across York Region," said Aurora Mayor Tim Jones, Vice Chair of the York Region Character Council. "They are attributes that the Character Council feels we as individuals, and we as a Character Community, should strive to live by each and every day."

The York Region Newspaper Group ran a survey through its community newspapers and Web site asking York Region residents to help define the Region's character. They were asked to choose their top ten attributes they feel best defines a person of good character. Public forums were also held in May throughout York Region to establish the list of attributes residents believe are important to foster and adopt as part of this initiative.

Wendel Clark will be making his first public appearance as the York Region Character Community Champion at a Character Family Forum, to be held on the morning of Saturday, October 26, 2002 in Markham. For more information about this event or to register, call (905) 305-5983.

Attached is a Backgrounder. For a list of the eleven Character Attributes, please visit www.region.york.on.ca/cc/attributes.htm

For more information on the York Region Character Community initiative, visit www.region.york.on.ca/cc For information about The Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at www.region.york.on.ca


Contact: Wendy Lewis, Corporate Communications Services, York Region

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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