The Regional Municipality of Niagara
Niagara Region Celebrates 40 Years
The provincial government passed the Regional Municipality of Niagara Act in 1969. This act forms the foundation for our present form of Regional government, which marks its 40th anniversary in 2010. There have been many significant achievements, with most notable ones identified here.
January 1, 1970
The Regional Municipality of Niagara Officially Formed
In 1969, the province enacted The Regional Municipality of Niagara Act. This act allowed for the creation of the two-tier government that we have today. On Jan. 1, 1970, 12 area municipal governments and one regional government replaced the 2 counties and 26 municipal structures.
The Niagara Regional Council is comprised of a Chair, and 30 Councillors representing five cities, five towns and two townships.
Niagara Regional Police Service Formed
The Niagara Regional Police Service was established on Jan. 1, 1971, making it the oldest regional police service in Ontario.
The Niagara Regional Police Service provides all general policing duties in the region, including patrol of municipal/regional roads and waterways within the region, including the Welland Canal, the Niagara River and Lakes Ontario and Erie.
Urban Area Boundaries Adopted
The urban area boundaries make up an important mapping component of the Regional Policy Plan, which ensures a balance between urban development and the conservation of natural resources.
By adopting the urban area boundaries, the Region now has the ability to ensure that urban development is happening in appropriate areas, services (such as water and sewage) are being delivered to residents and that the natural beauty of the Niagara region is being protected.
Rosehill Water Treatment Plant and Baker Road Pollution Control Plant constructed
With the construction of the Rosehill Water Treatment plant, the flow of water across Fort Erie was consolidated. This meant savings for the tax payer by decommissioning four treatment plants. Other benefits included higher water quality, increased pressure and increased storage on a system-wide bases.
The Baker Road Waste Water Treatment Plant serves the municipalities of Grimsby, West Lincoln and Lincoln. In 2009, the plant treated an average of 22.7 million litres of sewage a day; that is roughly the equivalent to 45 million 500 ml bottles of water every day.
The plant is currently undergoing a major upgrade which will increase its capacity by over 35 per cent.
Port Colborne Water Treatment Plant opened
In 1980 the Port Colborne Water Treatment Plant was open, providing high-quality drinking water for residents of that municipality. In 2009, this plant supplied Port Colborne with 2.3 billion liters of water, or the equivalent of roughly 1000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
This is equal to 6.5 billion cans of pop: enough for one can for each person on the planet.
New Regional Headquarters building in Thorold Opened
The decision to build a new, centralized headquarters building in Thorold signaled a significant savings for Niagara residents as the Region ceased to have to rent numerous buildings across the region.
By having a centralized administration building, the Region has been able to improve efficiencies between departments and divisions, while better serving the public.
Regional Council becomes the Board of Health
In 1984, boards of health across the province were implemented to govern local public health units. Regional Council became Niagara Region Public Health's Board of Health establishing a local voice and decision making for programs and services in Niagara.
Blue Box Program piloted
The Niagara Region's Blue Box recycling program was originally piloted in the municipality of Pelham, soon spreading across the region. Today, residents have weekly recycling pickup, alternating between their blue and grey boxes.
Upper Canada Lodge and Gilmore Lodge seniors homes opened;
In 1988, The Region opened two new Long-Term Care homes, Upper Canada Lodge in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Gilmore Lodge in Fort Erie, each providing accommodation and a wide range of services for 80 residents.
Grimsby Water Treatment Plant completed
When the Grimsby water plant opened in 1993 it was able to produce high-quality drinking water for Grimsby's residents while allowing for the decommissioning of two older treatment plants. In 2009 this plant produced 2.5 billion liters of drinking water, which is the equivalent to the amount of water that travels over the horseshoe falls in 19 minutes.
Coat of Arms unveiled
As part of the 25th anniversary celebrations, the Niagara Region had a coat of arms developed through the offices of the Chief Herald of Canada and authorized by Queen Elizabeth II.
The coat of the arms serves as the official symbol of the Region and can be seen on many official documents produced by the corporation. You can learn more about the Regional coat of arms.
Measles vaccination program delivered to 65,423 students
In response to the increase of measles cases in 1996 and to fully protect individuals with two doses of vaccine, a mass immunization campaign was launched. The campaign took place in Niagara schools to protect local students and families from measles.
Region assumes responsibility for additional social services
In 1999, the Region began delivering the Ontario Works program, a transitional program of last resort to those truly in need, with a stepping stone back to work and independence.
Green Bin organics program launched
The Niagara Region's Green Bin organics recycling program was launched in 2003, providing residents with a service to dispose of many different organic materials.
This program is helping Niagara reach its goal to divert at least 65 per cent of waste from landfill by 2012. The critical component of reaching that goal is to divert food and yard waste into the compost process.
Management of Ambulance Services Transferred to the Region
In 2004, the provincial government transferred the responsibility of ambulance services to the Niagara Region.
Today, there are 17 ambulances bases throughout the region with 30 emergency service vehicles that are staffed by over 230 paramedics. Every year Niagara EMS responds to tens of thousands of emergencies.
Ambulance Communications Service (Dispatch Centre) Pilot Program Launched
As part of a five-year pilot, the Niagara Region has been successfully administering a modern dispatch facility that receives a total of 70,000 calls a year. Those calls result in the transportation of about 38,000 patients.
Emergency dispatch personnel play a vital role in the success of emergency services in Niagara region.
Niagara Specialized Transit
Starting in 2006, the Region launched the Niagara Specialized Transit (NST), a service that provides transportation between Niagara's municipalities for eligible riders.
The NST serves residents by ensuring transportation for education, medical and employment purposes are secured.
Region Launches NiagaraInfoDine
NiagaraInfoDine, an online service that reports inspection results for food establishments operating in the Niagara Region, is launched in 2007.
NiagaraInfoDine aims to improve food safety standards, reduce the risk of foodborne illness, and raise consumer awareness of food safety.
H1N1 vaccination campaign launched
In response to the international H1N1 pandemic, the Niagara Region Influenza Pandemic Plan was implemented to protect residents and minimize illness in the community. This included conducting a total of 48 clinics held at Niagara Region Headquarters with 38 other clinics held in communities across Niagara, with 156,950 doses of vaccine provided, representing 36 per cent of Niagara residents.
Public Health collaborated with corporate and community partners to educate the healthcare sector and the public, monitor disease activity, and support the delivery of acute care services.
Niagara Culture Plan launched
The Niagara Culture Plan was passed by Regional Council in March of 2010.
The plan works to build upon and coordinate the many existing cultural assets and activities to create a shared vision and action-plan for culture in Niagara. It will guide the Region's actions by working closely with community, business and culture partners.
Social Media Comes to the Niagara Region
In January 2010, Regional council officially endorsed the social media strategy, effectively making the Niagara Region one of the early leaders in the use of new media at a municipal level.
The use of social media at the Region opens the channels of conversation between you and your Regional government. You can join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.