Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday October 31, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen

Monday’s election set Midland upon a new course. While appreciative of the good work of Jim Downer, the people recognized that to resolve some of our key issues, such as taxes and jobs, we are going to have to change the way that we do things.

In keeping with that theme, I am changing the way that I will communicate with you. News from the Town has been useful in letting you know about upcoming events for the Town and Council, but it provides little on the background or policy implications. So which is better? - to suspend News from the Town and switch to a website; or leave news from the Town as it is and put more policy related comment out through other means. Let me know what should be done with News from the Town over the next four years.


The International Festival of Authors comes to Midland on November 1st and 2nd starting at 7:30 pm at the Midland Library. Tickets are a modest $10, available at the door.

Usually November 3rd would see the regular Planning Advisory Committee meeting. The meeting has been cancelled for November.

On Thursday November 4th your will have to get up at 7:00 am to enjoy the Employer Breakfast (no charge) at the Brooklea Golf and County Club. Your chance to hear about matters related to employment in our area. Please RSVP to the NSCFDC at 526-1371 ext.110.

Friday November 5th at the Village Square Mall in Penetanguishene sees the start of the MARC used book sale. Always a lot of fun. Friday hours are 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, while Saturday hours are 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

And Saturday November 6th is reserved for some good music. Six different groups will celebrate the brilliant legacy of Jack Beauchamp from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Midland Legion. Tickets are $10.00

Gord McKay

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday October 24, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen

Election eve and all Midland pauses to reflect on who can best lead our Town over the coming four years. Some big decisions ahead so please cast your ballot. It’s important for our future.

Voting takes place at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre, starting at 10:00 am and finishing at 8:00 pm. You will need a piece of ID with your picture and street address. If you need a ride to the polls, let me know.

Post election, a relatively quiet week. The “old” Council will meet on Thursday October 28th at 5:30 pm at the NSSRC to continue the budget discussion. Should be an interesting meeting.

And if you want something a bit lighter, Thursday also sees the launch of the Huronia Players 2010/11 season. The first play, Weekend Comedy, is sure to make you laugh. Tickets are available at the NSSRC – call 526-9395.
On Friday October 29th the Villa Retirement Lodge is celebrating its 25th year in business with a New Look! Please join the residents for their Grand Reveal from 2-4pm, Yonge Street at Sixth.

Gord McKay

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday October 17, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen

The days are cooler but the sunshine and flaming autumn leaves we enjoyed on Saturday would brighten any heart.

Monday October 18th at 7:00 pm sees the last Council meeting before the election. (Deputation Only). Agenda items include;
- a vote on a one year snowmobile trail agreement
- an update on staffing level changes for 2011
- a final vote on the heritage designation for the Drummond Wall
- decision on two debentures: $2.5 million mainly for the library and $2.1 million for pump station #4

On Wednesday October 20th you have to get up early for the Christian Community Breakfast, starting at 6:30 am at the NSSRC. Then from 1 - 4:30 pm the Karma Food market is hosting an eco-food event at 74 Main Street in Penetanguishene.

On Thursday October 21st we celebrate Small Business Week with a breakfast at the Best Western. The event is hosted by the North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation. The breakfast costs $20. Registration opens at 7:00 am. The speaker will address the topic “Will the Economic Recovery be Sustained?”

Saturday and its time for a taste of Carribean food and music. The GBGH is hosting its annual gala dinner at the Best Western starting at 7:30 pm. You will need a ticket, so call Shelly at 526-1300, ext. 3139.

The municipal election takes place Monday October 25th. Voting hours are between 10:00 am and 8:00 pm at the NSSRC. Please remember that you will need proper ID such as a drivers licence or a photo Ontario Health Card,

Gord McKay

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday October 9, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen

Thanksgiving weekend is upon us. The weather is glorious. I will keep this short.

Town staff is now working out of the new Town Hall. Construction work is still all around but we are open for business.

This Sunday October 10th SHARE will plant two apple trees as part of the 10/10/10 Global Work Party Day. The ceremony takes place at 2:00pm at the Penetanguishene Community Garden on 144 Fox Street.

On Tuesday October 12th at 12 noon you are invited to share a free chili lunch with the people who provide Out of the Cold. The lunch will be provided in the shelter at Knox Presbyterian Church.

Then at 7:00 pm at the NSSRC the Town will host its General Committee meeting. (Written Input Only). A very short agenda including:
- a petition by the Little Lake Village Condominium Corp. to consider reducing their taxes
- Georgian Bay Snow Riders requesting trail access in Midland

Friday the 15th is the annual Wye Marsh dinner and fundraiser. For tickets please contact the Wye Marsh. Festivities start with a silent auction followed by dinner at 7:00 pm.

2010 is the 400th anniversary of Etien Brule’s arrival in Huronia. A special commemorative event will take place at the Huronia Museum in the Huron/Wendat Native village longhouse shortly after 1:00 pm on Sunday October 17th.

And finally Sue Bannon and the good people at the Midland Area Reading Council need your help. Sue is trying to get funding from the AVIVA Community Fund and needs you to show support by signing onto the contest website. Please help by registering at After your confirmation email arrives, follow the links to finalize your registration. Please do this soon – time is short.

Gord McKay

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday October 3, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen

I took in my last tomato from the garden yesterday. The trees are a blaze of colour. The heavy blankets are back on the bed. Fall is upon us.

The Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness is hosting an “all candidates” meeting with a difference - its all about affordable housing. The meeting takes place on Tuesday October 5th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. It will take place at St. Paul’s United Church on King Street.

On Wednesday October 6th at 7:00 pm at the NSSRC the Town’s regular business returns with a Public Hearing. The hearing will allow you to speak to the proposed conversion of Holy Cross church on Yonge St. into a funeral home. Then right after that meeting is the PAC meeting (Speak at Discretion of Chair). A short meeting including:
- review of the Baggio property re-zoning on Manly St
- the Town’s response to the Provincial Policy Statement

Thursday takes us right back to politics. The Chamber of Commerce “all candidates” meeting will take place at the NSSRC starting at 5:30 pm. Some questions from the floor will be permitted. This is your chance to hear about your future municipal leaders.

On Friday October the 8th, Garfield Dunlop is hosting a Senior’s Information Day. It is being held at the Highland Inn starting at 9:00 am. A good chance to hear about the services for seniors in our community,

And in closing, if you want to see my position on affordable housing, visit my blog at

Gord McKay

Friday, October 1, 2010

Midland Needs Affordable Housing

Everyone needs adequate housing – there is little debate about that. And Midland, like many other towns in Ontario, does not have sufficient affordable housing for its residents.

In 2007, the North Simcoe County Alliance To End Homlessness* did an extensive survey of housing supply in Midland. They also interviewed many of the social agencies in Town to determine what sort of demand existed for housing. Their conclusion? That Midland needed at least 200 more low-cost housing units just to meet the existing need.

Since the time of the study, three years ago, our economy has declined. As jobs have been lost, adequate housing has become even less affordable. One measure of this widening gap can be seen in our local reliance on Ontario Works, a government support for those with low or no income.

............................ Average Number of Ontario Works Cases (Jan to Aug)

2008...................................716 / mo
2009...................................903 / mo
2010..................................1043 / mo

Over the last two years the OW case load in Midland has grown by some 45%. The demand for low cost housing is not far behind.

The need for affordable housing does not just impact those with low incomes. Many of our seniors of modest means want a smaller, manageable home where they can maintain their independence. However, most of the new developments in Midland are well outside their price range.

As your mayor I will work with Council, the housing agencies and the citizens of Midland to:
- Plan a healthy balance of affordable housing for Midland
- Work with developers and the County to ensure Midland is building the homes needed by all its residents


* The Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness is a non-governmental agency comprised of 70 area Communities who are committed to eliminating homelessness. For more information go to: