May 1, 2006
Media Release

York Regional Council releases annual strategic plan update

Vision 2026 report summarizes progress made toward 25-year plan
NEWMARKET – York Regional Council has endorsed the release of Vision 2026: Towards a Sustainable Region, Fourth Annual Report on Indicators of Progress for the Year 2005.
This is the fourth in a series of annual reports that communicate the Regional Municipality of York’s progress towards implementing Vision 2026, the Region’s strategic plan for the next 20 years.  Under this plan, York Region strives to build strong, caring and safe communities that reflect the kind of community residents want York Region to be now and in the future.
This update, Towards a Sustainable Region, provides residents with the highlights of how York Region is working to achieve the priorities they identified to ensure York Region remains an ideal place to live, work and play.
Successes in 2005 include the launch of Viva Rapid Transit, an energy reduction program, an initiative to increase the Region’s forest cover under the Greening Strategy, a second State of the Environment Report, a second accessibility plan, an increased waste diversion rate, a Fresh Air Fair and initiatives to improve air quality, an economic strategy and a continued, high quality-of-life ranking by York Region residents. 
 The annual report captures survey results that show:
·         89 per cent of residents approved of the high quality of life in York Region
·         71 per cent of residents were satisfied overall with York Regional government – a rate that has been consistent over the past three years
Residents said there is a need to improve our performance in areas such as traffic congestion, growth management and the environment.  Residents support the Region’s efforts in areas such as rapid transit, compact urban growth and full accessibility to people with disabilities.
In addition, employers in York Region indicated that diversity, mix and affordability of housing are important for continued economic growth and employment.
In 2005, Regional Council commenced a Growth Management Review to address such concerns that are compounded by increased population forecasts.  As part of this review, York Region has renewed its focus on sustainability, and aims to fulfil priorities that maintain and improve our economic competitiveness, the natural environment and healthy communities for the long-term benefit of residents.
This update of Vision 2026 will be made widely available to the public, stakeholders and staff through mailings and the Region’s Web site,
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Media Contact:          Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications, York Region
                                    Phone:  (905) 830-4444 Ext. 1238, (416) 297-9696 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
                                    Corporate Communications after hours pager: (905) 830-3302

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