June 24, 2010
Media Release

York Region provides progress report on Vision 2026 and the York Region Sustainability Strategy

Achievements meet residents’ vision of a sustainable York Region
NEWMARKET – York Regional Council today released Vision 2026: Sustainability Progress Report 2009, a report of the progress made by The Regional Municipality of York in implementing both the Region’s Vision 2026 and Sustainability Strategy.
“York Region continues to make innovative and leading-edge gains in strategic areas that meet our residents’ expectations regarding how our communities will evolve and grow,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “Over the past year, significant, critical progress has been made in waste diversion, housing diversity, green development, accessibility, transit and trip reduction initiatives.”
Vision 2026 and the Sustainability Strategy describe York Region’s long-term vision for our communities.  Vision 2026 outlines what York Region residents want to see happen over the next 25 years and the Sustainability Strategy provides the decision-making framework to implement this vision.
“Vision 2026 and the Sustainability Strategy, together with the Regional Official Plan, inform all our efforts,” said Town of East Gwillimbury Mayor James Young, Chair of the Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee.  “At an operational level, these strategic documents provide direction to the Region’s departmental plans, budgets and even individual performance plans, where the strategic ideas are put into action.”
The progress report is organized under six thematic areas from the Sustainability Strategy: Corporate Culture of Sustainability; Healthy Communities; Economic Vitality; Sustainable Natural Environment; Education and Partnerships; Sustainability Implementation and Monitoring.
For each theme, the 2009 report provides comprehensive lists of accomplishments, such as:
• The Region’s waste diversion rate increased to 57 per cent from 40 per cent in 2006
• The newly-adopted Regional Official Plan includes policies for higher energy and water efficiency standards for new buildings, criteria for building new communities, Regional Centres and Corridors, transit, infrastructure and significant woodlands
• Completed combined transit/HOV and on-street bicycle lanes on Dufferin Street between Steeles Avenue and Highway 407
• 265,000 trees and shrubs were planted between 2007 and 2009
• Approval to set up Human Services Planning Board and Community Partnership Council that will develop an immigrant settlement strategy
The 2009 progress report represents a turning point as this year the reporting mechanism for the two programs is merged into one.
Vision 2026: Creating Strong, Caring, Safe Communities was officially launched in 2002.  Created through extensive consultation and input from residents, the eight goals of Vision 2026 describe what residents envision for the Region over the 25 years to 2026.
The York Region Sustainability Strategy, adopted in 2007, provides a long-term framework for making decisions that better integrate the economy, community and environment.  The “triple bottom line” approach emphasizes the values of engagement, continuous monitoring and improvement.
Vision 2026: Sustainability Progress Report 2009 will be distributed to the public, stakeholders and local municipalities and will be available online at www.york.ca  To obtain a copy, please contact Dawn Seetaram at 905 830-4444, Ext. 1570.
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
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Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications Specialist, York Region
 Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 1238, 416 297-9696 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
 Cell:  905 251-6413  Email: tim.paleczny@york.ca

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