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Niagara Region 2012-2015 Council Business Plan

Message from the Regional Chair, Gary Burroughs

Providing responsive, effective services to residents is a primary goal of Niagara Region.

Our accomplishments reflect a commitment to carry out a business plan focused on building and sustaining a strong, healthy and vibrant region. Listed in this document are the key objectives this Regional council has set for our term in office. It was developed with input from council members, residents, community partners, business leaders and area municipalities.

The level of public interest and wide dialogue that took place in finalizing our "road map for the future" reminded all of us in Regional government of the tremendous value and contribution we each share in 'Building Community. Building Lives.'

Themes and Actions

* = Council's key priorities.
Numbers in brackets denote the priority ranking, one through 16.

1. Responsive Region - Niagara Region will be known for its effective decision-making, strong partnerships, clear accountability and service excellence

1.1 To continue to identify relevant communities against whom we can benchmark and seek best practices

* 1.2 To identify a cycle of key program review in areas of high potential return on investment or service improvement to increase value to those we serve. Reviews should consider service levels, improved efficiency and effectiveness, enhanced metrics, staffing levels, the possible sale of assets and alternative service delivery (1)

* 1.3 To develop a fiscal plan that provides clear financial and policy investment levels to ensure we can maintain our services and infrastructure (8)

2. Healthy Community - Niagara Region will support a safe, healthy, diverse, culturally rich community where people of all ages and incomes enjoy a high quality of life

2.1 To ensure access to the new hospital. Includes transportation options as well as ensuring knowledge of, and access to, new services provided

2.2 To demonstrate leadership in the implementation of the Healthy Communities Agenda

2.3 To ensure communities have the physical, social, and cultural infrastructure to support a high quality of life (11)

2.4 To complete and implement the Human Services Plan

* 2.5 To develop and implement a comprehensive, sustainable and affordable Housing and Homelessness Plan that is consistent with provincial interests and reflects the needs of Niagara residents (7)

3. Open for Business - Niagara Region will become a prime destination for investment and encourage the growth of a diversified and sustainable economic base

* 3.1 To be champions in the implementation of an improved economic development system that focuses on critical investments and marketing (4)

3.2 Continue to implement the Niagara Economic Growth Strategy that aims to improve the economic prosperity in Niagara, especially where strong growth potential exists

* 3.3 To implement the Gateway Economic Zone and Centre Strategy (6)

3.4 To give leadership to a made-in-Niagara tourism strategy and the coalition that needs to be formed to be properly implemented (e.g. supporting the work of the Regional Tourism Organization)

3.5 To align decisions on community growth (population), physical services (roads, bridges, water systems) and how to finance these investments (16)

* 3.6 To develop a more concrete partnership and improved alignment with the area municipalities in order to generate improved economic development, savings and enhanced service delivery (2)

* 3.7 To develop and implement a government relations strategy for enhanced and on-going support from other levels of government (funding, policy enablers, advocacy, etc.) (10)

4. Environmentally Responsible - Niagara Region will increase the health and sustainability of its physical infrastructure and natural environment for current and future generations

4.1 To complete the Climate Change Action Plan

* 4.2 To develop a waterfront enhancement strategy (12)

4.3 To be leaders in the biomass industry

5. Integrated Transportation System - Niagara Region will work collaboratively with others to strengthen and coordinate the transportation system and services, and support alternative choices for people and goods to move within and beyond the region

* 5.1 To take the "learnings" from the Niagara Region Transit Pilot and then consider the development of a comprehensive implementation strategy (14)

5.2 To pursue transportation infrastructure to support our Gateway location

5.3 To update the Regional Transportation Strategy Plan

* 5.4 To develop a GO expansion strategy to better serve Niagara (13)

6. Governance Review - Niagara Region will undertake a Governance Review to enhance its organizational and decision-making capacity to more effectively and efficiently represent the residents of Niagara

* 6.1 To review the current structure of Regional government for areas of improvement such as direct elect chair, dual role councillors, etc. (3)

6.2 To review council committee structure and council process

* 6.3 To complete the water/wastewater review (5)

* 6.4 To foster a strong and effective partnership between members of council and Regional staff in order to ensure productive service delivery (15)

7. Public Engagement and Communications - Niagara Region will have a consistent and compelling message of our interests and needs for the community to be a great place in which to live, study, work and invest

* 7.1 To continue to ensure we have various methods and portals that generate vibrant two-way communications with Niagara residents (9)

7.2 Support the bicentennial of the War of 1812 celebrations

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