Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday May 28, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

I don’t know if you have been watching the world news of late. It seems to be all about tornadoes, floods, and fires. Makes you appreciate living in Midland, where our biggest concern is a little rain.

Recap:  This past week Council dealt with two particularly important items.  Council voted to keep the taxi system as a flat fare system. There will be more discussion on this matter over the next month as final decisions are made about how to maintain competition and posting taxi rates for the public. The second decision relates to our Urban Growth Node initiative with Penetanguishene.  Your Council voted to take the next step and create a joint “Efficiency Task Force” to examine the many ways our two municipalities can cooperate in future.

Planning and Development Committee is set for 7:00 pm on Wednesday June 1st in the new Council Chambers  Should be our shortest meeting in history with only one item on the agenda, dealing with a recommendation to add additional lands within Midland’s designated “built boundary”.

It must be summer – everything is happening on the weekend:
-          Doors open takes place throughout our area on Saturday June 4th and Sunday June 5th.  Come out and get in touch with our local history. For more information:
-          On Saturday at is the very popular Kids Fishing Derby down at the Town Dock.
-          On Saturday at there will be a ceremony to dedicate the final connection between the Midland and Tay sections of the waterfront trail.  The ceremony will take place on the trail behind Baytech (off of Hwy 12)
-          On Saturday at is the Huronia Community Foundation gala at the NSSRC. For tickets call 527-5554.

Gord McKay

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday May 22, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

Our summer season started with a bang –literally.  The first annual Shakedown Regatta complete with cannon fire is now in the books. Our Town is open for summer.

Council starts the shortened week with a meeting at the newly renovated Town Hall - your chance to come out and see the new premises. The evening will also feature the color of the Penetanguishene Kings, as your Council makes good on its bet with Mayor Marshall. On the agenda:
            - a presentation to the OPP recognizing their assistance during last year’s tornado event
            - a Public Meeting addressing:
                        - naming of the new Reid Ct.(by Shoppers Drug Mart)
                        - re-naming a road in the Tiffin by the Bay subdivision
                        - removal of the holding symbol from a property on Sumac Lane
- a decision on whether our taxis will go with meters or stay with the zone system.
- a discussion and direction on how we will work with Penetanguishene to achieve greater efficiencies (Urban Growth Node )
- a decision by Council on the next steps with our Employment Area Policy Review.

That’s it until Friday May 27th when the spade work is set to begin for our first Community Garden.  This major step towards local foods will be located in Little Lake Park, just behind the volleyball courts. I hope to be down there digging about .  See you there.

The weekend:
- if you are a youngster and have always wanted to fly a plane, the COPA For Kids event is taking place on Saturday May 28th with a rain date of Sunday May 29th, at Huronia Municipal Airport.  The information brochure, waiver and registration forms and COPA For Kids certificates can be downloaded from the COPA For Kids website at or call John Smith, Huronia Municipal Airport 705 526 8086
- the Midland Model Railroad Show steams into town this Saturday () and Sunday () at the NSSRC. A small admission - well worth it.
- on Sunday May 29th Mr Rolf Staude will launch his new book about his sojourn to Canada.  The event takes place at our Huronia museum at .

Gord McKay

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday May 14, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

While Mother Nature has been busy painting Midland in bright new spring colors, the townspeople are busy too –everything from opening our first sushi restaurant to hosting our first boating season opening regatta.

The week begins at our own Georgian College campus.  On Tuesday May 17th and Wednesday May 18th the College will host some 500 students from all across the County. They will be given a hands-on introduction to the trades being taught at our campus – from marine engines, to electrical, to HVAC, to solar. This new annual “TRADES EXPOSITION” will promote the great work at Georgian College and showcase our Midland community.

Wednesday May 18th from to features the official opening of our District Health Unit. The Unit is located in the MSS building, 865 Hugel at Gervais. You are invited to come in and find out more about the many health services provided thorough the Unit and meet the good people making Midland a healthier place to live.

Thursday May 19th gives you two occasions to get out. At the Midland Area Reading Council will host its annual appreciation dinner at Ste. Marie. MARC is critical to improving literacy in our area.

Then at your Council meets for its second strategy session at the NSSRC. A Council strategy is an important step in directing the future of the Town. This strategy will inform staff about what your Council considers important and therefore where we should be spending our time and tax-dollars. You are invited to come and watch.  I hope that Council will host a public input session on the draft strategy in the near future.

The weekend sees Midland and Penetanguishene’s first ever “SHAKEDOWN REGATTA”.  The two mayors decided it was time to have some fun on our waterfronts and officially welcome the boating season. On Saturday May 21st (weather permitting) Mayor Marshall will step aboard the HMS Badger in Penetangusihene harbor and cruise to Midland. He will arrive about and be greeted by the Legion Pipes, a salute from the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and a ceremonial hat from your Mayor. Then on Sunday the course is reversed with a welcoming ceremony set for Penetanguishene harbour at 2:00 pm. Come on down and help us launch this new annual event that brings our two towns closer together.

Gord McKay

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday May 8, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

A beautiful Mother’s Day and a chance to honor the individual who is at the heart of our families.

We will be meeting at the NSSRC at on Monday May 9th for our General Committee.  (Soon we will be moving to our new Town Hall Council chamber – its looking great).  Likely a long agenda including:
-          direction on how we will be changing our taxi bylaw – meter or flat fare
-          direction on how we want to handle the transportation of heavy waste from your home to the transfer station
-          what we should do with our 2011, $776,000 budget surplus
-          a discussion on how many committees your Council should have (Council currently participates in 36 different committees) and
-          direction to staff on the 2012 budget objectives

Some of your favourite politicians will be at McDonalds on Hwy 93 though the day on Wednesday May 11th to raise funds for Community Living Huronia. Please drop by. That same evening is the Planning and Development Committee meeting at at the NSSRC.  Two major items on the agenda are;
-          proposal to re-start our suspended Official Plan Review process
-          submission of the amended Employment Area Policy Review with a recommendation that it go to a public meeting

The weekend features many events in our area:
-          at on Friday May 13th is the Huronia Museum Heritage Dinner – Tickets are still available from the museum
-          at pm on Friday members of Quota International District 18 will meet in conference at the Best Western – welcome to all
-          Port McNicoll is handing out its annual awards at on Saturday May 14th at the Community Centre in Port McNicoll
-          on Sunday May 15th at is the annual Field Naturalist dinner at the Wye Marsh. The noted Terrence Dickinson will be the featured speaker.

Gord McKay

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

A quiet week ahead for the Town but with spring in full swing, anyone with a garden knows there is not a minute to spare.

Recap: Last week’s Council meeting decided to continue with Midland’s Employment Area Policy Review. The topic will now come back to the Planning and Development Committee for further discussion. Getting this review “right” is very important for our future.  (See

Monday is voting day. Even if you have not yet decided, please vote. It’s time to show that we Canadians do care about who is leading our country.

On Tuesday May 3rd, Barrie is holding an invitational workshop for its waste management strategy. Zero Waste Simcoe, who helped with the County strategy, has been asked to attend.

Wednesday May 4th at is the annual candlelight tribute ceremony at the Midland Cenotaph to honour our veterans.  Please come and be part of this memorable evening.

Thursday May 5th at is a special meeting of the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness at the Simcoe County museum in Midhurst. The “Be Part of the Solution” event will discuss social housing in Simcoe County and what can and is being done about it.

Friday May 6th at is a celebration of the start of re-construction at the Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene.  Festivities take place at the Oak Ridge gymnasium at
500 Church St

In closing make sure that you come to the Midland waterfront on the May long weekend. The Town is planning a special event to launch the sailing season. More details to come.

Gord McKay

Change - Midland's Economic Reality

Midland’s economy is changing. And while there is much discussion about the reason – everything from competition with China to the cost of oil – there is no doubt that change is occurring.

Midland issues building permits for all new construction and renovation. While looking at any one year can be misleading, a five year review shows where we are investing in new jobs. The annual value of building permits for the period 2003 to 2007:

            Residential -                 $88.6 million
            Commercial -              $35.1 million
            Institutional –                $47.7 million
            Industrial  -                   $5.4 million
We are moving from an industrial to a service economy.

The Huronia Business Times annually tabulates the Top 100 Employers in Huronia. The listing shows the number of employees, so it’s an easy matter to see who is growing and who is shrinking. Looking at Midland and Penetaguishene, from 2007 to 2010, shows the manufacturing sector lost some 900 jobs while the commercial/institutional sectors gained some 150 jobs.

Last month the Town of Midland hosted a public meeting to discuss its “Employment Areas”. At that meeting, a business person listed over 20 manufacturing companies that had departed over the last twenty years – including Bruin, two TRW plants and Doral Boats. What’s been replacing them? Our new jobs are coming from institutional (eg Georgian College, CNCC); large retail  (eg Walmart. Home Depot) and small entrepreneurial businesses (eg Labx,

It goes without saying that our manufactures remain a vitally important part of Midland’s economy. But the economic landscape has changed. The Town of Midland must similarly adjust its focus to ensure our future employment. Our success will be directly linked to how well we adapt to our changing economic situation.