Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday January 27, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

You know it’s cold when your garage door is frozen shut and you can’t even get to your snow blower. Hibernation is looking better all the time.

An interesting week just past. Your Council endorsed an interim control by-law to pause development on the Unimin property, followed by a well-attend public meeting to hear ideas about the future of the land. This 40 acre parcel of waterfront is a vital part of our future. While we now have some breathing space to get our ideas together, challenging decisions will need to be made in the days ahead. Please stay engaged.


Your Council has two meetings on Monday January 28th at Town Hall. At 6:30 pm is a closed meeting to discuss personal and land acquisition matters.  At 7:00 pm is the public Council meeting.  A lengthy agenda including;
-       Three deputations:
o    The 2013 Heritage Conference, to take place in Midland
o    A presentation on public health
o    Developments on the land use at 1707 Hwy 12
-       Then a public meeting where you are asked to speak. Four items:
o    Exchange and sale of lands around the Boathouse Eatery
o    Licensing for events involving multiple “Peddlers”
o    An increase in fire department related fees
o    Allowing stores to open on three additional public holidays – Good Friday, Thanksgiving Monday and Family Day
-       Motion to approve our new CAO, Ms. Carolyn Tripp
-       Adoption of the 2013 budget, except for the Police Services budget

On Tuesday January 29th you are invited to the opening of the Waypoint outpatient clinic at Georgian Bay General Hospital. The festivities start at 3:30 pm.

Wednesday January 30th our physician recruitment team is holding a special public presentation on the Economic Impact of Physician Recruitment in the Southern Georgian Bay area.  Dr. Allan C. Lauzon, Professor, University of Guelph will present at the Midland Public Library at 7:00 pm.

Thursday January 31st is a special day in the Town of Midland as Ted Walker steps into retirement.  Please come and extend your good wishes to Ted at the Town between 1:00 and 3:00 pm. Then at 7:00 pm Mayor Marshall is hosting a public meeting on the impact of the declining water levels in Georgian Bay. This area meeting is at Brian Orser Hall. The information from this meeting will feed into our Georgian Bay Mayor’s initiative to seek help from the provincial and federal governments.

Friday February 1st begins with the Heart and Stroke flag raising at11:00 am at Town Hall. Then get ready to party – it’s the weekend of Midland’s Winterfest. This year is bigger and better than ever with a new “lumberjack show”, the popular Polar Plunge, the Gateway Spelling Bee, and the brand new Winterfest Ice Bowl (touch football) played at the new soccer fields. An action packed weekend – check it out at:

And if you want to round out the weekend with fabulous entertainment, Steven Page (of the Bare Naked Ladies) is featured at the Saturday Community Living Huronia Red Carpet evening. Fun begins at 5:00 pm at the Best Western.

Gord McKay

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


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday January 20, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

The snow has arrived; the skiers are happy; and there’s lots going on in Town. 

This past Friday, your Council held a special meeting to deal with one matter – how to protect the interests of the people of Midland in developing the Unimin lands that dominate our waterfront. The Town had learned this past Wednesday that the Unimin U.S. parent had received an offer to purchase the Unimin lands and was set to make a decision this past Friday. The Town asked them for a bit more time to prepare our offer but that was denied.

Town staff realizing that we could quickly lose control of our waterfront development vision recommended that we use a standard planning tool called an Interim Control By-law. The by-law would “pause” the situation for up to one year. The pause would give us time to complete the $70,000 Unimin lands study that the Town has embarked upon (see Thursday below) and to prepare a considered offer for Unimin.

The by-law was defeated by a vote of four to four.

At this time the Unimin lands are zoned for industrial and vacant-land purposes. Another aggregate operator could now set up on the site without any re-zoning. If that occurs the ability of Midland to direct the development of its waterfront will be hobbled for the next 20 years.

This will be the “hot topic” for the coming week.  If you have something to say, now is the time.


Tuesday January 22nd, your Council will hold two meetings dealing with the recommendations from the recent KPMG reports. At 6:00pm is a closed meeting dealing with personal matters. Then at 7:00 pm at Town Hall is the public meeting to discuss most of the recommendations, item by item. This discussion will help guide our services and budget for the next three years.

On Thursday January 24th at the NSSRC, the Town will hold a series of meeting on the future of the Unimin lands. In the morning, the Steering Committee will meet, followed by an afternoon meeting with local businesses. At 6:30 pm it’s the public meeting – your turn to tell the Town about your vision for the Unimin lands. The public meeting will begin with a short presentation and then break into working groups to consider how the land should be used, what access we want to the water and development features such as public areas. All are welcome.

I unfortunately will not be able to attend the evening meeting as I have to be Toronto, meeting with AMO, to discuss tax relief for our municipality.

Saturday at the NSSRC - the Alzheimer Society holds its Walk/Skate for Memories event. Registration is at 9:00 am, walking/skating begins at 10:00 and speeches at 11:00 am.  Get some pledges and come on out. Contact Ericka at

Gord McKay

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


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday January 13, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

If you visit my blog you will see the smiling picture of my first snowman of the season.  With the warm weather, that photo is about all that is now left. Don’t put the shovel away – more winter to come.

The week starts with a fundraiser to help our local young people participate in events that retrace the path that Frank Graham, one of our beloved veterans, took in liberating of Holland in WWII. (See event details at Boston Pizza will donate 10% of their food sales on Monday Jan 14th between 5:00 and 8:00 pm. Please come out, have fun and support our local vets.

At 6:00 pm on January 14th is a closed meeting of Council to discuss a number or personnel, labour and land acquisition matters. Then at 7:00 pm is the General Committee at Town Hall.  A short agenda (finally), including:
-       Information on establishing of a Huronia arts awards ceremony
-       Congratulations to Nicole Hutton, who will lead Midland’s tourism portfolio
-       A report showing building permits of nearly $28 million in 2013, up almost $10 million over 2012
Following the General Committee will be a special Council Meeting to vote on the proposed labour agreement with the IBEW.

On Tuesday January 15th, starting at 12 noon, Bruce Stanton will host his 2013 Budget consultation at the Best Western.  All are welcome. Then at 5:30 pm the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN will hold a Community Planning Meeting on healthcare needs and services in our community. The meeting will take place at the Hillcrest Retirement Home at 225 Russell St.

If you have time on Wednesday, drop by the retirement party for Sgt. Doug Geffros, a 32 year veteran of Midland Police. That’s at Lot 102 starting at 6:00 pm.

Thursday January 17th at 7:00 pm at Town Hall is a special public meeting of Council to discuss the museum’s lease arrangement with the Museum Board. We will hopefully agree on a sustainable supportive arrangement with our local museum.

Later that evening at 7:30 pm at the MCC, the legendary country music star Tommy Hunter will be appearing. Tommy Hunter will be the guest of host Fred Hacker and will focus on his 60 year career in show business - from his appearances on “Country Hoedown” to concert tours in Canada and the USA. Tickets are available at the MCC reception desk or online at

Saturday January 19th at 5:00 pm it’s a Robbie Burns celebration at the Midland Legion.  A Scottish party of highland dancing, storytelling and of course, haggis. Please call the Midland Legion at 527-8080 to get your tickets

Many of you have contacted me about your concern with dropping water levels on Georgian Bay. Action is needed. The four Huronia mayors are organizing a meeting of all mayors from around Georgian Bay.  We will put together a request for assistance that we will take to Ottawa and Queens Park. If you have stories or information about the impact of declining water levels upon our community, please forward them to me at this address or at the Town at

Gord McKay

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


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Saturday January 5, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

Time to get on with 2013.  A very busy year ahead and by early signs one that will see Midland prosper. The News from the Town 2013 slogan is – “Midland’s Year of Getting Involved”.  With the good people of Midland engaged, we cannot fail.

Our Town CAO, Mr. Ted Walker, will be retiring at the end of January. He will be greatly missed. This coming week will see the first of the interviews for his replacement. Choosing the right CAO is an essential part of moving Midland forward.

On Monday January 7th from 4:00 to 8:00 pm at the Library, SHARE invites you to participate in their efforts to start a local green energy co-operative.  The provincial government’s “FIT program” for renewable energy requires that they have public support – at least 50 residents of the County who are interested and contributing a $5 sign-up fee. If you want to help bring more green energy to our area please attend.

The Planning and Development Committee meets on Wednesday January 9th at 7:00 pm at the Town Hall. On the agenda:
-       SSEA reports on their actions and tree conservation by-laws
-       Rezoning to consolidate parklands at 297 Pentanguishene Road
-       Release of the 2012 Downtown Parking Survey

Friday January 11th is a busy day.  At 9:00 am that morning at the Tiny Community Centre (91 Concession 8 East) the Huronia Economic Alliance hosts its first Agricultural Summit. Lasting until 1:00 pm the Summit will feature discussions on a food distribution hub in Simcoe County and agri-tourism. If you are interested in attending, please call Sue Walton at 705-526-4204, x229.

Then at 4:00 pm you want to be downtown for something you won’t often see in Midland.

On Sunday January 13th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm you are invited to Garfield Dunlop’s annual New Year’s Levee at the Penetanguishene Legion.


2013 will see a special event in Midland’s history. The Midland Legion, and Frank Graham in particular, are organizing a ”Cycle Liberation Tour” to follow the route our soldiers took from Juno Beach to Holland. A group of 60 Canadian and Dutch youth will cycle from the Normandy beachhead on April 20th and arrive at Markelo, Netherlands on April 29th. The Legion would like to bring a group of youth from our area and need your help.  Boston Pizza has graciously offered 10% of their food sales on Monday Jan 14th between 5:00 and 8:00 pm.  Come on out and help our young people better understand what made Canada a great nation.  Pizza’s good too.

Gord McKay

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