Halton Region is using new Census figures that confirm Halton's population is growing by leaps and bounds as a springboard to once again push its Fairness for Halton campaign with the Province. Statistics Canada released information gathered during its 2006 Census Tuesday that reveals Milton's population jumped by 71.4 per cent over the last five years, making it the fastest growing community in Canada. The Census also shows that Halton Hills grew by 14.7 per cent, or 48,184 in 2001 to 55,289 in 2006. Oakville's population grew by 14.4 per cent and Burlington by nine per cent, resulting in a Halton-wide population increase of 17.1 per cent. For Regional Chairman Gary Carr, the statistics and the fact Milton topped the country's growth list reinforce the importance of the campaign for fairness-- the Halton-wide effort that aims to tell the Province the region can't accommodate the thousands of residents called for in the Places to Grow plan without some hefty funding. "They (the Census numbers) justify our concerns that the Province must deliver the financial tools and funding commitments to accommodate this explosive growth," said Carr. "We already have infrastructure deficits in the areas of schools, highways and hospitals from the growth that has occurred over the last five years." As an example, he pointed to Milton's dire need to either expand its hospital or build a new one. "But this issue isn't even on the radar screen at the Ministry of Health, so Milton won't be receiving any money soon for a new hospital that residents need," he said. "Is this fair?"
Carr said the Census numbers didn't come as a surprise to the Region, noting that one only has to drive down the road to see the massive growth taking place in Halton. In addition, the Region's planning department prepared a forecast some years ago that estimated Halton would grow by 17 per cent between 2001 and 2006. Region staff had also projected Burlington would grow by nine per cent, Halton Hills by 14 per cent, Oakville by 12 per cent and Milton by 87 per cent, which is 16 per cent more than the town actually grew. GARY So why push CARR the Fairness for Halton campaign now? According to Carr, part of the reason is that a provincial election is on the horizon. "An election campaign is a good opportunity to talk about the issues," he said. He also said that during the recent municipal election, he and other members of regional council heard loud and clear concerns from the community about growth, in turn bringing about the Fairness for Halton message now being delivered
by the new council. He noted the Census figures "basically underline what we're saying" in the fairness campaign. Carr urged residents to visit Halton's Web site, www.halton.ca, to find out more about the Fairness for Halton campaign and to forward an on-line postcard to local MPs and MPPs in support of the fairness initiative.
A snapshot of Halton
The 2006 Census information released Tuesday presents the following information about Halton:
2006 population: 439,256 2001 population: 375,229 Population change: 17.1 per cent Total private dwellings: 162,346 Population density per square kilometre: 454.2 Land area: 967.17 sq. km
Town of Halton Hills
2006 population: 55,289 2001 population: 48,184 Population change: 14.7 per cent Total private dwellings: 19,265 Population density per square kilometre: 200.1 Land area: 276.26 sq. km
Town of Milton
2006 population: 53,939 2001 population: 31,471 Population change: 71.4 per cent Total private dwellings: 18,913 Population density per square kilometre: 147.1 Land area: 366.61 sq. km
Town of Oakville
2006 population: 165,613 2001 population: 144,738 Population change: 14.4 per cent Total private dwellings: 58,828 Population density per square kilometre: 1,195.2 Land area: 138.56 sq. km
Halton Hills' population rose by nearly 15 per cent between 2001 and 2006 according to Census stats released this week. Much of the growth can be attributed to new home construction in Georgetown South.