Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday March 31, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

An Easter break and finally the weather is showing us a little hope as well.  Spring flowers give us the promise of better days ahead.  And the reminder to get out and enjoy being in Midland.

The Town offices are closed on Monday April 1st – no kidding.

On Tuesday April 2nd the Town will be raising the flag for Autism at 11:00 am at Town Hall. Later that day in Midhurst, mayors from around the Bay will be meeting for an update on the low water levels. Substantive meetings are now being set with opposition parties at Queens Park and with senior Ministers in Ottawa. (My own unscientific observations over the weekend are that Midland water levels are just a bit above where they were last fall.)

Wednesday April 3rd at 7:00 pm at the Town Hall is Planning and Development Committee. It will begin with a public meeting where you are encouraged to provide your comments. Three items on the agenda:
1.     Official Plan Amendment for the recycling facility at 1081 MacDonald Rd.
2.     Draft Plan of Condominium for Marina Park (the “yellow-clad” building by Bayport)
3.     Zoning By-law Amendment for a property exchange at 289/293/297/305/309 Penetanguishene Rd.

Then we move into our regular meeting where we will decide upon the three items from the public meeting plus:
-       The Site Plan application for the new Bourgeois Motors on Cranston Cres.
-       Notice that Unimin has filed with the OMB with regard to the Town’s Interim Control By-law

Mark Sunday April 7th on your calendar for the return of Books to Eat at the Library at 2 pm. Last year was sold out and this year promises to be bigger and better. Tickets are $20 at the Library. 


In closing, an update from the County. Our request for Midland to provide an additional leaf vacuuming service has been sent by County Council to staff for a report. The expectation is that County Council will vote on the staff recommendation in April. And remember we are under the new County Waste plan. Midland’s waste pick up is now Tuesday. Garden material pick-up also starts – check your County calendar.

Gord McKay

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


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday March 24, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

The sunshine has returned mightily.  Spring flowers – hyacinths, crocii, daffodils - are all bursting with new found energy.  It’s just too bad they all happen to be indoors. Someday it’ll warm up.

The County has held its public meetings and the new County waste service is set to start April 1.  There will be changes as to when and how your waste is collected.  As with all changes we can anticipate some teething problems. If you have any questions/problems please contact the County at 705-726-9300 ext. 1192. Also take a look at the County’s waste web page at:


Monday March 25th will start at County with an interesting meeting on the impact of alcohol consumption in our region.  The meeting will bring together a few activist mayors who want to go beyond just worrying about the negative effects of alcohol and take measures to reduce the social harms.

At 4:00 pm will be a closed meeting of the Midland Police Services Board to deal with a personal matter.   Starting at 5:00 pm, friends of Frank Graham will gather at Boston Pizza for a final fundraiser for his Cycle Liberation Tour of Holland in April.  If you want to support our WWII veterans come out for dinner.  Boston Pizza will donate a percentage of every meal purchased to defray the cost of veterans and school children participating in the Tour.

Still with Monday, there will be a closed meeting of Council starting at 6:00 pm. A lengthy agenda including a number of personal matters related to Committee appointments. At 7:00 pm is the regular Council meeting at Town Hall. Not too challenging an agenda including:
-       Two presentations: Physician Recruitment; and our Hospital Care campaign
-       Four deputations: information on the 422 King St. development; Waypoint redevelopment; zoning for a property on Hwy 12; the range lights business plan
-       Announcement of Party on the Dock set for June 21st
-       Review of our planning procedures including “complete applications”

On Tuesday March 26th I am at County at 9:00 am for the County Council meeting. The matter of Midland’s request for an augmented fall leaf vacuuming service will be discussed. At 10:00 am, County Council will hold a public meeting to discuss the proposed change to make the Warden’s position a four year tenure (It is currently 2 years).  You are welcome to participate in this discussion.

Tuesday at 5:00 pm is the Southern Georgian Bay Chamber of Commerce AGM at the Best Western. Please call the Chamber for tickets if you plan to attend. 

At 7:00 pm that evening, your Council meets in closed session to discuss a land acquisition matter.  Also at 7:00 pm at the Library is a seminar about “Iindigenous and Canadian Approaches to the Environment and Natural Resources”. It will feature Bob Bowels a noted naturalist and Brian Charles an Anishinabe educational leader. I understand there will be some discussion on the declining water levels as well.

Wednesday March 27th, starting at 7:30 am and going until 5:00 pm is the 2013 edition of Curl with the Pros.  Curlers of all abilities will have an opportunity to share the ice with the elite of the World Curling Tour, as reigning world champions Glenn Howard and Wayne Middaugh will headline a field of professional curlers taking part in the event.  Funds raised will go to the Hospital Foundation.

Wednesday will also see a regular meeting of our areas Physician Recruitment team at the Penetanguishene campus of GBGH. Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm at the MCC, the TD Bank is sponsoring a public seminar on the effects to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Thursday March 28th is a bit quieter as Mayor Warnock and I meet with the new CEO of our hospital, Karen McGrath. At 2:00 pm that afternoon Scott and I travel to Penetanguisehene for the Huronia Economic Alliance meeting.  The four Huronia municipalities will discuss the launch of our Healthcare action plan and refinements to our economic strategy.

Good Friday and the Town will be closed. Do enjoy the Easter week-end.

Gord McKay

PS.  Moneysense magazine has rated Midland #161 in Canada as a great place to live.  We are on the map.

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


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saturday March 16, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

I think we need to have a talk with that groundhog.  If you can believe the weather forecast we may get more snow in the next week that we have had in all of February. Cold too.

This past Thursday some 150 people attended the meeting on Low Water Levels on Georgian Bay. Ten mayors were in attendance and described the problems they are seeing in their own communities – everything from marinas without water, ferry boats that cannot operate, to shoreline wells needing to be re-dug. Many residents came to the microphone and told how they were being similarly affected.

These meetings start to give you a perspective on the scale of the problem affecting all parts of the Bay.  The mayors and residents are asking for financial support and relief from a maze of regulations for 2013. The action will move shortly to Queens Park and Ottawa. If you want to lend your voice, please write a polite letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne and MP Tony Clement and tell them your story.


Monday will see two closed meetings of the Town.  The Police Service Board will discuss a personal matter in the afternoon and Council will receive a confidential report on pay equity in the evening.

On Wednesday, March 20th your Huronia mayors will gather in support of the Red Cross’ Mayors for Meals campaign. Far from being a free lunch, the mayors will join Red Cross volunteers in delivering meals to those who cannot make them for themselves. The event starts at 10:45 am at 850 Hartman Dr.

Later that day, the Georgian Bay Leaders Steering Committee will meet in Midhurst to further our action in dealing with low waters.

Thursday March 21st is a busy day.  If you like eating you will want to be at St. Theresa’s High School (Galloway Dr.) starting at 5:30 pm for a Taste of Midland. For a small fee you will be able to sample the fare of some of Midland’s best food establishments.

At 7:00 pm that evening are two events, both at the NSSRC. For those who like planning, please join the Town in discussing the developing Parks and Recreation Master Plan.  We need your input on how we should provide parks and rec services for the people of our area. And if you want action, you will want to attend the Midland Senior Floor Hockey Team vs the Midland Police – a real grudge match.  Not to be missed.

I am impressed to say that we will have opera in Midland on the weekend. The enjoyable Mozart opera “Cosi Fan Tutte” will be performed at St. Pauls on Sunday March 24th at 7:30 pm.  The cost is $40 for adults and $10 for students. The storyline is of two uncommon couples and a tale of jealousy, trickery, and mischief. A light and cheeky Mozartian delight, performed by the country’s finest emerging artists!

Gord McKay

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


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday March 9, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

The week of March Break looms before us and you would think all would be quiet in the Town. Well that’s not quite the case.

First of all for those who are wondering what to do with the kids or grandkids this week, the MCC has a great family program:
-       Charlotte’s Web is on Tuesday the 12th at 2:00 pm – free
-       Rise of the Guardians (if you are young you know what this is) Thursday the 14th at 2:00 pm – free
-       Incredibent Magic Show – Saturday 16th at 1:00 pm - $5:00 fee or family for $15 plus tax


On Tuesday March 12th the County is providing public information sessions to inform you about changes to our waste pick-up services. Our local session will occur at the Brian Orser arena in Penetanguishene.  The County will be sponsoring free public skating during the 2:00 to 4:00 pm open house session. An evening session (same location) will occur from 6:00 to 9:00 pm that day.

Thursday March 14th at 7:00 pm at the NSSRC features a meeting hosted by the mayors of communities around Georgian Bay who are affected by the declining water levels. This meeting will begin by telling you some of the stories of low water from around Georgian Bay.  It will then lay out the mayors’ action plan as they approach both Queens Park and Ottawa for assistance. The meeting will then hear from the public and gain your support in this cause. A large turnout is anticipated – you are most welcome to attend.

Also that evening at 7:30 pm at the MCC is A Day in the Life with singer songwriter Douglas John Cameron.  Douglas John’s songwriting and performing career spans almost four decades and is rooted deeply in the folk/blues/country tradition.  In 1985 his tune “Mona with the Children” hit the top 20 in Canada and garnered a Juno nomination.  Please join Fred Hacker for what promises to be an enjoyable evening.

And in closing, another piece of good news on the cultural front. John French has just let us know that Midland has been chosen to host the Ontario Contact forum in 2014.  This is an annual three day event that brings together artists from across the province to network and exhibit their art forms.  Thanks to John and his team for showing Ontario (and the world) that Midland is fast becoming an arts destination.

Gord McKay

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


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday March 3, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

I have been talking to a lot of sledders over the last few days and don’t know when I have ever seen them this happy. I didn’t have the heart to tell them Spring is just three weeks away.

Monday March 4th will be a day of meetings. At 4:00 pm at the Town is the Police Service Board budget meeting. As you may recall we are still trying to put the 2013 police budget to bed.

Then at 7:00 pm is the March General Committee meeting. It’s early this month because of March break.  Items include:
-       Community Services is in planning mode with three major studies underway:
o    Parks and Rec Master Plan – Public Meeting on March 21 at 7:00 pm
o    Cultural Plan has started. Steering Committee set to meet by April
o    Area tourism study funded by the four municipalities will start shortly
-       A tracking document will be presented to help Council stay current with progress on the many KPMG recommendations
-       Discussion of the intended scope of our “surplus land assets” review
-       2012 Council remuneration and expense report
-       Report showing that our Building Department has a “book surplus” of $112,000 for 2012. Much of this attributed to departmental revenues being 133% over the previous three year average.

On Tuesday March 5th at 7:00 pm is a closed meeting of Council to discuss the Town’s interest in the Unimin property.

Wednesday March 6th at 9:30 am sees the next Unimin Steering Committee meeting at the Town offices. We will be directing our consultants to start organizing the good ideas presented to us by the public.

At 7:00 pm that evening is our Planning and Development Committee at the Town. Items include:
-       Proposal for improved public consultations on planning matters
-       A draft plan of condominium for Marina Park (the partially finished building on Harbourview at Vinden)

I will be at Lakehead University on Thursday March 7th to discuss the development of North Simcoe’s “healthcare” economy.  This Lakehead initiative fits into our own healthcare strategy, as developed by the Huronia Economic Alliance. You can expect more action on the healthcare strategy front in the next two months.

Friday March 8th is the annual Garfield Dunlop lasagna dinner in support of Wye Marsh.  There are three sittings starting at 4:30 pm.  Please contact Wye Marsh for tickets. Always fun.


This past week has been a busy one for collecting data from communities around Georgian Bay about the impact that they are seeing from low water levels. Our political leaders at Queens Park are still a long way from understanding the situation that we face. The Georgian Bay mayors will be hosting a public information meeting on Thursday March 14th at 7:00 pm at NSSRC.  It will update you on our status and ask for your support for the campaign ahead.

Gord McKay

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