Saturday, December 21, 2013

Saturday December 21, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

Christmas is upon us. Time to gather family and friends together and get those last minute gifts wrapped. For those who have to travel this Christmas season, have a safe trip.

The Town offices close from noon on the 24th and reopen Thursday Jan 2nd.   It doesn’t mean though that the Town is shut down.  The ladies and gentlemen who plow our streets will remain on duty to clear the snow.  Water, waste water as well as Police and Fire will remain at your service.

Many other service agencies will also be working this Christmas. The GuestHouse will continue to serve the homeless, Georgian Bay General Hospital will look after the sick, Wendat  and the Salvation Army will continue to care for those in need. So many deserve a thank you for helping us this Christmas.

Just one program note – Bruce Stanton invites you to his annual New Year’s skating party on December 31st from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at the NSSRC.

Merry Christmas - And to all a good night.

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Getting Involved - 2013.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday December 15, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

A fall of snow and the Christmas landscape is upon us.  All those who live in Midland know the special caring that we have for our neighbours at this time of year, as we gather family and friends to celebrate the season.  I want to recognize the good work of our Midland Police department that has been out these past two week-ends, tempting frost-bite, collecting food to help those in need. Please find it in your heart to help them out.  The last day for the Midland Police Cram-a-Cruiser program is the 21st at Valu-Mart, Foodland, Superstore and Canadian Tire.  Also your neighborhood Kelsey’s restaurant will be accepting food donations until the 22nd.


Monday December 16th starts with the Town’s annual emergency planning exercise. Every year Midland goes through an emergency exercise, on paper, to make sure that we remain ready for any disasters that may affect our Town.  While you will not see much evidence of the exercise, it’s good to know it’s there.

At 6:00 pm that evening Council will hold a closed meeting to discuss a number of personal matters.  Then at 7:00 pm is the December Council meeting.  Should be a short meeting including:
-       Presentation of the Town Award of Merit
-       Presentation of Long Service Awards for employees
-       A deputation by the Huronia Land Conservancy
-       Vote on the tender for fixing the museum roof
-       Vote on the new traffic safety signals for Bayview School
-       Extension of the Interim Control By-law for the Waterfront lands

The CAO, Director of Planning and I will be on the road to Toronto on Tuesday December 17th. We will have an initial visit with a developer who may be interested in helping with our waterfront project. In the afternoon we will meet with four provincial Ministries to discuss building a business incubator to our area. If the roads are willing we will be back in Midland for a 7:00 pm closed meeting to discuss the potential sale of the MPUC. 

Wednesday December 18th will see the annual Police Retirees luncheon at Ste. Marie. At 4:00 pm the Police Service Board will have its final meeting of the year at the Town Hall. You are welcome to attend.

On Thursday December 19th the Town will hold an internal meeting to discuss its arrangement with the Severn Sound Environmental Association. Then at 2:00 pm, the Huronia Economic Alliance will meet at the Fire Hall in Penetanguishene.  The meeting will discuss its $400,000 request of the County and measures to bring more employment to our area.

Friday December 20th I will be talking with Infrastructure Canada about the Georgian Bay Leaders request for funding to help communities affected by declining water levels. While 2013 has seen a recovery in the levels of the middle Great Lakes, we want to make sure that Georgian Bay municipalities have the resources to weather possible future declines in lake levels.

You are invited to attend the Waterfront Steering Committee meeting at Town Hall at 11:00 am.


Saturday December 21, the shortest day of the year. Just three months until spring.


You may have noticed that there is no free parking in the downtown this Christmas season. This decision was made in discussion with the BIA to alleviate the situation from past years where people would park all day at the free meters. The downtown merchants are still as friendly as ever and want you to have an enjoyable visit - and take advantage of the three hour free parking behind many of the stores.

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Getting Involved - 2013.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Saturday December 7, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

Christmas is barreling down on us and now we have snow to contend with along with all the Christmas errands. A recommended stress reliever is to take a few moments out of your schedule to help someone in need at this time of year. The Out of the Cold program can always use a small donation for those with no place to live.  Please drop by Knox church any day after 5:00 pm. The Midland Police Cram a Cruiser program will be at Valu-mart, Foodland, Superstore and Canadian Tire on December 14th and 21st from 8:00 am till 2:00 pm. All donations will be given to the Salvation Army. Take time to participate in the spirit of the season.

On Monday Dec 9th Council will be holding three public meetings at the Town Hall. At 6:00 pm we will have a special meeting where an investigator will provide a report on a “Bill 168” investigation. These investigations deal with complaints of harassment and safety in the workplace.

At 7:00 pm is the December General Committee.  A short agenda including;
-          A presentation of the Huronia Museum business plan. Council will use this information to decide what level of long term public support is appropriate for the museum
-          A new policy on holding large public events on town property
-          Report on improved signage to deal with the traffic and safety of children around Bayview Public school
Following the General Committee meeting Council will move into a special meeting of Council to decide on applying for funding for our Source Water Protection Plan.

Tuesday Dec 10th at 6:00 pm will see the regular BIA meeting (open to the public). Topics such as the recent Santa Claus parade and the upcoming Butter Tart festival will be discussed. The meeting will be held at the ShopMidland location at Hugel and King. I encourage you to drop by and see this new hub of activity in in our town centre.

That same evening an important meeting for our Town is being held in Penetanguishene. The Simcoe District School Board is hosting an Accommodation Review Committee (ARC) series of meetings. The ARC process is occurring because of declining enrollment in our high schools. The question currently before the meeting is to determine whether PSS or MSS should be closed.  The unfortunate aspect of the meeting is that it pits our two communities against one another. A better course of action needs to be identified that works for Midland, Penetanguishene and our entire area. The meeting is at 7:00 pm at the Penetanguishene High School.

Early on Wednesday Dec 11 you want to get over to Foodland to meet the 104 the DOCK morning crew. The DOCK bus will be there until 9:00 am to collect food donations for our local food bank.

Then at 7:00 pm that evening the MCC will present the compelling story of the famous WWII escape from Stalag Luft III (and a surprising truth avoided in Hollywood’s telling) A young man from Penetanguishene named Alfred Burke Thompson was one of these who escaped. Mr. Thompsons grandson will recount the adventure. Tickets are $19 at Box Office or online at

On Thursday you are invited to a special musical performance at St Paul's United Church. The Juno award winning Ensemble Caprice will delight you with selections from Europe, Mexico and South America performed on period instruments. For 20 years Ensemble Caprice has received national and international acclaim and is regularly invited to participate in prestigious festivals around the world.

To close the week, on Friday at 7:00 pm Huronia Players will host their season special “Christmas on Broadway”. Please check with HP at the Midland Cultural Centre to see if room is still available.


-          Vox Huronia Community Choir’s A Big Band Christmas at St. Paul’s United Church at 7:30 pm.   Tickets are $15 for adults, kids 16 and under are free
-          Midland Heritage Committee brings you the Victorian Christmas Tour.  From 5-9 pm tour six beautiful Christmas homes. Tickets are available by contacting the Town

-          We Are the Villagers is hosting a fundraiser.  Please join them for an enjoyable turkey dinner buffet from 5-7 pm at Library restaurant.  Ticket price is $30

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Getting Involved - 2013.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday December 1, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

The Civitan Christmas parade has kicked off our Christmas shopping season in grand style. Crowds of people were downtown to give Santa a warm sunny welcome.  In the spirit of the season, a few other important Christmas events for your consideration.  

Fresh from helping Santa out at the parade, the Midland Police are pitching in with their 3rd annual “Cram a Cruiser” Food and Toy drive. Midland’s Finest will be at Foodland, Superstore and Canadian Tire on December 7th, 14th and 21st from 8:00 am till 2:00 pm. All donations will be given to the Salvation Army to assist needy families at this time of year. I know all our good citizens will be supporting the Midland Police “Cram a Cruiser’.   

The annual YMCA Gifts to Give is upon us. Those who otherwise will have no presents to exchange this Christmas are invited to select from donated items on Monday December 2nd, 2013 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre. Donations of nonperishable food items will be collected for the Salvation Army Food Bank. If you wish to donate last minute gifts to the event (no furniture or clothing please) they can be dropped at the NSSRC on December 2nd from. 9:00 am to 11:00 am


Monday December the 2nd will be devoted to improving our area`s tourism. A two day workshop will be held in Tiny to plan a coordinated tourism strategy for the North Simcoe area. The cooperative efforts of the four municipalities are starting to pay off. Expect to see a very exciting tourism season in 2014, including the second annual Butter Tart festival.

Tuesday will be a quieter day with the conclusion of the tourism workshop and the regular BIA meeting at 6:30 pm at the library.

Wednesday will be quieter yet as the normal Planning Committee meeting has been cancelled with all items being moved to January.

On Thursday we return to economic development work with the business incubator meeting.  (A business incubator is a special facility that will rapidly grow start-up businesses) I will be headed down to Queens Park in mid-December to meet with a number of ministries to determine how they can help fund our job creating initiative. Thursday evening the Penetanguishene Curling Club is having a special member’s event to start moving Glenn Howard towards a well-deserved Olympic berth.

Friday December 6th will be quite busy. At 11:00 am you are invited to attend the Waterfront Project Steering Committee at the Town Hall.  At 1:30 pm Waypoint will be hosting a project completion event; another step in the massive expansion project in our neighboring municipality. Waypoint will open in May for normal use.

Two special events for the evening.  From 4:00 to 7:00 pm we will gather to honour Jamie Hunter who will be retiring from his position as Curator at Huronia Museum. All are invited to the museum to meet with Jamie and enjoy some light refreshments.  At 5:00 pm Rosewood is our host for the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. All are invited to attend this very moving ceremony and reflect upon one of the great social injuries of our time.


Saturday: You are welcome to attend a special day-long celebration - the Battle for Becky.  Becky Cloutier is a beautiful 8 year old young lady in Tay who is facing a terrible fight with cancer.  Her community is rallying around her to raise funds for the long days head.  The fundraising event will start with a bazaar put on by her classmates from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm followed by a dance at 8:00 pm. All activities will be at the Oakwood Community Center in Tay.  Tickets are available in advance at the Tay municipal office or Minds Alive in Midland.

Sunday: Knox Church will host a special appreciation event for the many volunteers and supporters who make the Gift of Grace Soup Kitchen a reality. To the surprise of many, Midland has to rely upon the good work of this soup kitchen to feed many of our needy citizens.

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Getting Involved - 2013.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday November 24, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

Suddenly winter.  The Town Christmas tree was barely alight when the wind strengthened, the snow came in and Midland is now all frosty white.  It was a fun ceremony with hot chocolate and a visit from Santa.  Thank you to the Southern Georgian Bay Relators, Midland Pipes and Drums, Huronia Harmonizers, the Boathouse Restaurant, Midland Police, Town staff and our secret Santa.  

Christmas festivities were tempered by the announcement of CCL closing in Penetanguishene with the loss of 170 jobs.  The shutdown will begin next year and complete in 2015.  I am constantly perplexed that we live in province that is facing significant economic challenges and we have no plan to deal with the structural changes impacting our manufacturers. Picking up the pieces seems to be left to the smaller communities, most recently Leamington and Penetanguishene.


Monday November 25th will start at Barrie City Hall at 4:00 pm with the launch of the 2013 Mothers Against Drunk Driving campaign.  Then at 5:30 pm back to Midland for a closed meeting of Council dealing with matters of litigation and labour. At 7:00 pm is the November Council meeting. The agenda includes:
-          Three deputations:
o    Update on the SSEA budget arrangement
o    Presentation on the new Tiffin House retirement home
o    Information about Marina Park (the four story residential development next to Bayport)
-          Direction on the sale of four surplus Town properties – 349 Lakewood Dr; 1037 Ingram Cres; 1041 Ingram Cres; and 347 Estate Court.
-          Shawn Berriault, our Director of Public Works, will be recognized for his outstanding sustainability work with the SSEA
-          Discussion of appointing a temporary municipal representative to the Police Service Board
Right after Council another closed meeting dealing with personal, litigation and land acquisition. 

Tuesday’s highlight is the short County Council meeting in Midhurst at 9:00 am.

Two items for Wednesday November 27th.   At 7:00 am the North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corp. is hosting an Employers Breakfast at Brooklea.  Please call NSCFDC if you wish to attend.

From 9:00 am to 11 am the OPP will be holding a car seat clinic at the Southern Georgian Bay OPP, Hwy 12. If you wish to have your infant seat professionally assessed you will need to make an appointment by calling 705-526-3761. 

On Thursday November 28th the four municipalities will meet at Midland Town Hall at 2:00 pm for their monthly Economic Alliance meeting.  This meeting will discuss the management structure for the Alliance and progress on the $400,000 funding request from the County. You are welcome to attend these meetings.

At 5:00 pm the downtown merchants are organizing a grass roots gathering to critique and revitalize the downtown. This spontaneous discussion is being done in parallel with the BIA.  The event will take place at the Shopmidland location at Hugel and King. Then at 5:30 you may wish to go to Ste. Marie for the first evening of “First Light”. This memorable event with take place for three nights starting on the 28th and is open from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm.

And be sure to wish your American friends a Happy Thanksgiving. 

Friday is a quiet day with Town staff attending their Christmas party in the evening.


Ending on a Christmas theme, the annual Civitan Christmas parade will take place on Saturday at 11:00 am.  It will start at Little Lake Park and move down King Street to the waterfront. Please come out for our wonderful annual event.

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Getting Involved - 2013.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday November 17, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

It was the wettest coldest Remembrance Day anyone can recall and now it’s 15 degrees outside. Quite the rollercoaster we are on   - but nothing like our friends in Toronto.

On Thursday past County Council discussed its 10 year Affordable Housing Strategy.   (You may recall that the housing providers in our area had some serious concerns about the proposed strategy.)  Working together, we four mayors were able to make amendments for allowing North Simcoe to regionally manage its own housing solutions and set targets that would improve the affordable housing shortfall, as opposed to just maintaining it. Better results when we work together.

We were all taken aback to learn of the closing of the Heinz plant in Leamington with the loss of 730 well-paying jobs.  It shows that the manufacturers across Ontario are still under considerable pressure. I make a point of visiting with most of the large manufactures in Midland on a regular basis. While they are facing headwinds the good news is that they are hanging in and in many cases hiring. It’s going to be a long haul but there is a lot of good news for Midland out there.

On Monday November 18th the Big Brothers Big Sisters invite you to their AGM at NSSRC at 5:30 pm.

Then on Tuesday you are invited to another AGM, this one for the Huronia Foundation for the Arts at 7:00 pm at the library.

Wednesday puts me on Rogers Politically Speaking at 7:00 pm. You are invited to phone in questions to the live show – mayor Ford questions will be handled delicately.

Thursday November 21st at 9:00 am, you are invited to the official opening of Georgian Village in Penetanguishene.  This state of the art facility demonstrates the County’s commitment to helping our elderly live quality fulfilling lives.  At 4:00 pm at the Town Hall, you may wish to attend the November Police Service Board meeting.

On Friday at 11:00 am at Town Hall, the Town holds its public bi-weekly meeting on our Waterfront project.  One of our challenges is to come up with a memorable name for the to-be-created district. You are invited to participate in the Town’s “Name Our Waterfront Contest”. Creative people should check out contest details at:

And later that day we step into Christmas with the Town and the Southern Georgian Bay Real Estate Board lighting the Town Christmas tree.  The ceremony starts at 6:30 pm with a parade from Yonge at King down to our waterfront. We will celebrate our tree with Christmas carols, hot chocolate and I am told a visit from the big man himself.  Come and enjoy the festivities.


            Shopping .

A reminder about the YMCA’s Gifts to Give event. If you have unused and nearly new gift items to donate (no furniture or clothing please) take them to the YMCA Employment Services – Midland, 334 King Street:
·         November 18th to 22nd, November 25th to 29th, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
·         Saturday November 23rd   and 30th, 10:00 am to 1:30 pm

And finally, if you want to hear what the Orillia theatre scene thinks about our MCC, take a look at :

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Getting Involved - 2013.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday November 10, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

A special day tomorrow for all of Midland. Please join us at the Cenotaph at 10:30 am to mark Remembrance Day and pay tribute to our living veterans and those who did not return.

Tuesday November 12th begins at 9:00 am in Midhurst for the regular County Council meeting. Then at 6:00 pm your Council goes into a closed meeting to discuss three matters involving personal issues and labour negotiations. At 7:00 pm at Town Hall is the General Committee. A short agenda including;
-       A proposal for a special “luge” event in Little lake Park. A local entrepreneur has created an on-street luge system that is being marketed to the world. Midland is home base, so let’s see what we can do to help
-       Four surplus municipal lots will be considered for disposition
-       Two new draft by-laws covering procurement and communication
Then to make sure we do not go home early, a second closed meeting will be held to discuss the MPUC.

Wednesday will be a relatively quiet day with an evening meeting at the Best Western in Orillia to discuss our region’s Health Unit’s active transportation initiative.

If hockey is your passion you will want to attend the latest A Day in the Life series at the MCC. Pierre Pilote, NHL Hall of Famer; will be featured.  He was a perennial All Star and the Captain of the 1961 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Black Hawks. That’s at 7:30 at the MCC. Tickets at or the MCC box office.

Thursday November 14th at 9:00 am will see a very important discussion at the County Council chamber in Midlhurst.  The County’s 10 year affordable housing strategy was released some four months ago and raised many concerns amongst the housing service providers in our area. Underlying these concerns is the reality that there are few public housing dollars available and they are increasingly being allocated to the faster growing communities in our County. Our objective is to ensure that North Simcoe has a sustainable housing plan that will address our unmet need for affordable housing. You are invited to attend the debate.

Back home at the MCC the Hope Lives Here Book Launch will take place at 7:00 pm. Funds are being raised for the Cancer Support Centre.  Tickets are $50. Please contact Anna at

On Friday November 15th you are invited to the Waterfront Steering Committee meeting at 11:00 am at Town Hall. Then at noon it’s over to Walmart for the launch of the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle campaign. Friday also sees the start of the Huronia Players 2013/2014 season featuring the play “In-laws, Outlaws and Other People Who Should be Shot”.  Tickets are available through the MCC.


Saturday – Gateway Centre for Learning will hold their Book Cellar event at 10 am at the library.


The Town would like your views on two important subjects.

1)     The Huronia Economic Alliance is seeking comments on what makes our area such a good place to live (or not). Please comment at

2)     Our Cultural Plan needs your input on our cultural assets and future investments. Please visit . The survey will close on November 15, 2013.

Many of you know Lu Robitaille a local artist who is renowned for her renditions of the Georgian Bay landscape.  She and her husband have literally sold the farm and are moving to Coldwater. With the downsizing Lu has to part with all her stock to lighten the moving load. She will be having a sale of her artwork until December 2nd.  If you want some unique artwork or just want to catch up with Lu please call her at 705-534-3971.

Lastly, Midland has become one of the few towns in Canada with publicly accessible WIFI – we are now officially a “hot spot”. My thanks to for providing this service.  Access will cover all of King Street from the waterfront to the MCC by Christmas.  So come downtown and get connected.

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Getting Involved - 2013.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday November 3, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

The clocks have been turned back and Mother Nature is settling in for a short winter’s break. No break on the Town agenda though, as you will see below. Also by the time spring returns we will be well into the municipal election race. So if you are thinking of running, there is no time like the present.  

On Monday November 4th at 10:00 am invitees from the tourism sector will meet at the Oakwood Community Centre in Tiny. The objective is to develop a plan of action to better coordinate and market tourism in our area. We all appreciate how important tourism is for our economy but to date we have not effectively promoted our region’s many superior tourism assets. This plan will head us in that direction. The new plan will be publically available next February at the Tourism Summit to be held in Tay.

The positive economic news continues for Midland on Tuesday November 5th at 3:00 pm with the opening of the Des Jardins Caisse Populaire on Hwy 93 in Midland.

Wednesday November 6th will see the Grade 6 students from Bayview Public school at Town Hall for a tour - an infrequent opportunity to tell younger folks what municipal politics and operations are really like.

That evening, get ready for a series of meetings at Town Hall:
1)     At 6:30 pm is a special meeting of Council to decide on the signage for the new Bourgeois motors location on Hwy 12.
2)     At 7:00 pm is a Public Planning meeting for residents to comment on the rezoning and prospective sale of two surplus town properties - 340 Lakewood Dr. and 808 Birchwood Dr.
3)     Following is the regular Planning and Development Committee meeting including:
-       A revised proposal for the development of the Moranis property at 422 King St.  (Note that while the public cannot speak at this meeting I anticipate Council will recommend another public input meeting to gain comments on the revised proposal.)
-       Zoning change for the old Holy Cross church property at 845 Yonge Street.
-       A lot severance on Sumac Lane (fronting Little Lake)

If Town business is not your cup of tea you may wish to visit the MCC to take part in their new “Destinations” travel club. This monthly club will be hosted by Meg Whitton (the DOCK FM) and help you explore the world of travel. This inaugural meeting starts at 7:00 pm with the topic of “Cruising” (ocean cruising and river cruising).  Tickets are $19 at the MCC Box Office or online at

On Thursday November 7th Council will hold a closed meeting to obtain information about the prospective MPUC sale. While the meeting has been closed for a variety of reasons, I am trying to get at least portions of it opened so that you are aware of the issues confronting Council as it decides on the best course of action for our MPUC asset. I will put out a special e-mail if the meeting will be held, at least in part, in public.

Friday November 8th get ready for a pre-Remembrance Day treat “When Johnny Came Marching Home”.  This stirring performance features the Purple Heart Band, plus the three-part wartime harmony group The Maisies.  The fun starts at 7:30 pm.  Tickets are $25 plus tax at MCC. $30 at door. Veterans are free.


Two special items for your Saturday:
The museum has a special craft event on Saturday and Sunday. Ethel Chynoweth Pawis will lead you in making your own moccasins at Huronia Museum.  The cost is $100 plus HST. Please call the Huronia Museum.
At 2:00 pm is a reception at the library in honour of past Board member Shirley Whittington
Monday November 11th is Remembrance Day.  Please join us at the Cenotaph at 10:45 am.

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Getting Involved - 2013.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday October 27, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

Time for trick or treat – and no that is not a reference to the Senate. I have to admit it is becoming more challenging to be a “politician” of any stripe in these mistrustful times.  That said….

Monday October 28th the Town of Midland will receive an official visit from Mr. Julang Pujianto Indonesian Consul General.  Mr. Pujianto is conducting a familiarization tour of the province and wanted to become better acquainted with Midland. Seems we are gradually getting onto the map.

At 6:00 pm is a closed meeting of Council to cover two personnel and two litigation items. Then at 7:00 pm is the Council meeting. Could be a lengthy agenda with:
-       Presentation of a long service medal to our by-law officer Jim Reicheld
-       Three deputations:
o    Water levels in Georgian Bay – Stop the Drop
o    The 2014 Butter Tart festival
o    Affordable housing strategy from our Seniors Council
-       Ratification by Council of the policy direction given Parks and Recreation to “regularize” our user fees. The most contentious element is non-residents fees and striking the proper balance between encouraging use of Midland facilities by our neighbors while recognizing the ongoing tax support of the people of Midland. Your thoughts on this are appreciated.
-       Search for a community member to represent Midland at the public School Board Accommodation Review. The Review is looking to consolidate shrinking local high-schools (MSS and PSS) but unfortunately pits us against one another. Population growth would solve a lot of problems. Hopefully a solution that works for both communities can be identified.

On Tuesday October 29th I am back at the County for budget discussions. That evening at 7:00 pm at the MCC is the International Festival of Authors event. It features four authors, all nominees to the Rogers Writers Trust awards. Tickets are available at the MCC or the Midland Library. A must attend for all “bookies”.

Wednesday October 30th starts at 10:00 am in Barrie with an announcement of a cooperative business innovation arrangement between Lakehead University and Georgian College. The relevance for Midland is that we are currently active with both of these institutions about innovative job creation in Midland, including the development of an area business incubator. Simply put our jobs of tomorrow start with initiatives like this today.

Then at 2:00 pm Scotiabank (King Street) invites you to attend their 50th anniversary celebration - 50 years of helping area residents with their banking needs.

On Thursday the 31st at 12:30 pm the Library will host an appreciation reception for their volunteers. Please come and thank those who give of their time to make our Library work. At 6:00 pm the Georgian College Board of Governors will meet at the Midland campus - an opportunity to strengthen the Town’s relationship with this important institution. Then home for Halloween.

Friday Nov 1st at 11:00 am you are welcome to attend the regular Waterfront Steering Committee meeting at Town Hall.


A weekend of downtown shopping as the BIA hosts the Girls Holiday Weekend. A three day extravaganza of food, shows and yes shopping. Apparently men need not apply – go figure. Further information at


Three items in closing:

This week is the second of five County bagged leaf and garden waste pick-ups. Please make use of this new service.

Advance notice of the 2013 YMCA Gifts to Give event. This charity provides gifts to those who want to celebrate Christmas by presenting a gift to loved ones but don’t have the means to do so. The exchange event itself takes place on Monday December 2nd, 2013 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre. Donations of nonperishable food items will be collected at that time for the Salvation Army Food Bank. If you wish to donate unused or nearly new gift items (no furniture or clothing please) please bring them to:

  1. YMCA Employment Services – Midland, 334 King Street
November 18th to 22nd, November 25th to 29th, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
Saturday November 23rd   and 30th, 10:00 am to 1:30 pm

  1. North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre, 527 Len Self Boulevard
December 2nd, 9:00 am to 11:00 am

Last week’s hospital fundraiser was treated to an innovative rap anthem by one of our local artists Damon Morin, It’s a song about our hospital and community that I know you will enjoy.

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Getting Involved - 2013.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday October 20, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

Mother Nature has followed Thanksgiving up with cooler weather - a reminder to start thinking about where you put the snow shovel last spring. 

The fall is also our budget period and Midland has just concluded its second round of typically a three round budget preparation process. At the end of our Thursday budget meeting the projected cost increase (not tax increase) was about 2%. Major negotiations are still underway with the Police and Fire groups that could significantly affect that number. A lot of work is still ahead as we try to keep your tax increase to about the rate of inflation (1.5%).

One other financial matter this past week was the direction given by Council to consider the sale of the Midland Power Utility Corporation. This discussion was kicked off three weeks ago when the Town received an unsolicited offer from Hydro One. While I cannot divulge the details of the offer, it was significant. The MPUC is a wholly owned asset of the Town. The MPUC is heavily regulated so the Town has limited say on hydro rates and level of service. The Town does receive a “dividend stream” of $400,000 per year that is used to reduce the tax rate. The evaluation and sale process will likely take until next summer to complete.

On Monday October 21st Hospice Huronia will be celebrating its 20th anniversary at 2:00 pm at the Penetanguishene Branch of the GBGH.  Then at 5:00 pm you may wish to drop by the MCC to participate in an innovative artistic endeavor called HUB. The HUB will bring our creative and artistic citizens together to build new cultural initiatives and just have some fun.   Later that day (5:30 pm) I have the honour of opening the Palmer Chiropractic Centre in Midland - another sign of the growing importance of healthcare in our local economy.

Tuesday will see two important meetings. The regular County Council takes place at 9:00 am in Midlhurst. At the meeting Midland will be called to account for providing a limited leaf vacuuming service for its residents. The County has responsibility for leaf pick-up and this year mandated that all 16 municipalities use its “leaf bag” service. In order to help a number of our citizens transition to the new service, Midland Council voted to provide a limited leaf vacuuming service at our own expense, in addition to the County service. The Deputy Mayor and I (Midland’s two County Council representatives) will continue to make the case for our Midland residents.

Then at 5:00 pm that evening, Chigamik will host its AGM at their offices at 845 King Street. Always an interesting update. You are welcome to attend.

Wednesday October 23rd starts early at 6:30 am with the annual Christian Breakfast at the NSSRC. A good time to meet your neighbors, enjoy breakfast and be inspired by messages of hope and good fellowship.

On Thursday October 24th its back to the County at 9:00 am for their budget discussion.  Then at 2:00 pm the Huronia Economic Alliance gets together at the Tay Town Hall at 2:00 pm.  The discussion should be interesting as the four municipalities have now all passed motions agreeing to pool their share of $400,000 in County funds to pursue economic development.  This is truly a milestone of cooperation in our area. My thanks to our good neighbours.

Right after the HEA meeting we move into our Heads of Council meeting (apparently we cannot get enough of each other).  The Heads of Council is a quarterly informal discussion of common issues such as water levels and relations with the County.

And at 7:30 pm at the MCC Brookside Music hosts a tribute to legendary singer and songwriter Hank Williams. Jason Petty brings his unique and insightful perspective on one of country music’s most influential icons, offering a glimpse into the legend’s glorious and often dark personal life and musical career. Don’t miss this New York Obie Award winning production.

Friday starts early in the morning (again) with the Small Business Week breakfast at the Best Western at 7:00 am.  Sponsored by NSCFDC this gathering honours our many small business entrepreneurs who provide us with products and services while creating most of the local jobs.

At 1:00 pm that afternoon Bayfield House Retirement Lodge, Beck Blvd. in Penetanguishene, will celebrate its 5th anniversary. Music will be provided by the Desotos – all are welcome.


Saturday at 9:00 am – the Horticultural Society holds its annual meeting at the NSSRC.

Gord McKay

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