Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday April 20, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

It’s been unsettling this past week as we watched the tragedy at the Boston Marathon and the destruction in West Texas.  You have to admire the spirit and resilience of our American neighbors. And appreciate this safe place we call Midland.

The meetings start on Monday April 22nd at 6:30 pm with a closed meeting of Council. It will cover committee appointments and the acquisition/disposal of land. At 7:00 pm is the April Council meeting. The meeting will feature;
-       Two deputations: 1) A Metis Transportation proposal 2) Information about the road completion by LRG on the old Penetanguishene Road
-       Request to hold the first annual “Buttertart Festival” in downtown Midland on June 15 (hopefully not too much debate)
-       Preparation to release the RFP for the new Public Works depot

On Tuesday April 23rd Deputy Mayor Kramp and I will be at County at 9:00 am to request that the County allow us to provide a reduced leaf vacuuming service. The County will also decide on providing $50,000 annually to municipalities to assist with their economic development efforts.

That afternoon the Georgian Bay Leaders will meet in Midhurst on the low water issue, to finalize their approach to senior government.  I wish I could be more positive but there has been little response from either the provincial or federal governments on a matter that affects everyone in our area. We will continue our efforts to change that.

And as the day closes I will be headed over to Martyrs’ Shrine for a discussion about their upcoming season and how we can better work together.

Wednesday April 24th will see a free Car Seat Clinic at the Southern Georgian Bay OPP location on Hwy 12.  It runs from 9:00 am -11:00 am and is by appointment only – call 705-526-3761.  At 10:00 am the Town will host the next Unimin Lands Planning meeting.  A draft report has been prepared by the consultant.  It will be reviewed and the public process to release the document will be discussed.

That evening at the Midland Cultural Centre, Fred Hacker’s “A Day in the Life” will host the legendary Canadian soldier, Major-General Lewis MacKenzie. The event takes place at 7:30 pm. Tickets are at the Box Office (333 King St) or online at Please take advantage of this opportunity to hear from one of Canada’s senior leaders in our own community.

The week-end starts on Friday April 26th with the opening of the Midland Spring Home Show at the NSSRC.  A must see for area residents. The hours are Friday from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Saturday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

On Sunday April 28th, Shelter Now will be holding the wrap-up event for their Bowl for Beds campaign. They have had children (and politicians) throughout our area create colorful bowls while learning about homelessness. Come and see what the children have created and help the less fortunate. The event takes place at the Native Friendship Centre from 12 noon to 3:00 pm.  Please call Shelter Now (Tina) for tickets ($25) at 705-528-6941, ext. 24.


I have been telling you about the YMCA project to engage youth in our area. The first step was to create on online survey to ask youth about their issues and help direct where the initiative should go. The survey is now live on “survey monkey” -

Please get the word out to young people in our area to get involved.

At the end of this week, I will be heading over to Holland with a group of our veterans and young people to honour Frank Graham. It will be an inspiring and memorable trip as we follow the route and visit the locations that Frank and his fellow veterans liberated during WWII.

There will be no News from the Town next week. And so you don’t feel entirely abandoned, please visit the Town’s improved website - note the new “Tourism” section.

For information on Town meetings:

I will be back before you know it.

Gord McKay

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


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday April 14, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

This past Saturday morning the Georgian Bay Leaders held their fourth public meeting of the year on the low water level in Georgian Bay. Approximately 200 people attended to hear an update on the state of the Bay and the status of the Leader’s initiative. Attendees were informed that the water level continues to hover near the low water extreme. And while the initiative has made some progress through meetings with the provincial PC and NDP caucuses, the Premier has still not made time for us on her agenda. The meeting with federal Minister Baird has just been postponed due to his attendance at the funeral of past Prime Minister Thatcher.

With cottage season fast approaching many more people will soon see the evidence of the water’s decline. Progress in getting action from senior government has not been as fast as we had hoped. That said, your Leaders remain optimistic that we will receive assistance from senior government this year to help our affected businesses and residents.

Georgian Bay aside, it should be a fairly quiet week in the Town.

On Wednesday April 17th the Police Service Board will meet at 4:00 pm at the Town to advance their budget. Part of the meeting, including the budget discussion, will be closed to the public. As you may recall, the Town passed most of its 2013 budget in January except for the police budget because it was still under review by the Board. The Town would like to receive the budget by May so that it can be factored into the final tax statements being prepared in June.

Friday the 19th the Town gets a jump on celebrating National Volunteer Week (April 21-27) with a volunteer appreciation breakfast for our GBGH hospital volunteers. The Trillium Foundation will make a cheque presentation for heritage at 11:00 am at MCC. Then at 1:00 pm the Huronia Incubator group will gather at the Town to continue their efforts in bringing a business incubator to our area.  While many are unfamiliar with the concept of a business incubator, it is an essential part of guiding young entrepreneurs in growing new businesses - a major pillar in bringing jobs to our area.

And lastly, this Sunday April 21st at 11:30 am, the Ontario Youth Volunteer group is hosting a “Change the World” event at the County Museum.  You are invited to come and get involved in the many activities being planned to make our entire world a better place. (More like Midland)

Gord McKay

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


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saturday April 6, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

It’s now official. Forget the groundhog – the first spring robin has been reported on our street.  I am also expecting any day now my “sure sign of spring” phone call inquiring about when Town will be by to remove the gravel from the streets.

Monday April 8th my fellow mayors and I will be in Queens Park talking to provincial parties about our low water situation.  The Georgian Bay Leaders group has made progress in getting in front of our provincial and federal leaders. I am looking forward to their support in dealing with what looks like another low-water year for Georgian Bay.

Back in Midland, there will be a closed meeting at 6:00 pm dealing with a land acquisition/disposition matter. At 7:00 pm that evening is the April General Committee meeting at Town Hall. A long agenda including:
-       A discussion of graffiti prevention measures
-       Draft procedures for dealing with inappropriate correspondence and Councillor recourse to legal counsel
-       Discussion of the financial impact of the recent firefighter’s arbitration award.  The positive news is that the 2009-2012 award was almost entirely provisioned for. We now start the process for the 2013 agreement
-       Our 2012 year end statement shows a surplus of $922,000 primarily due to reduced winter snow, an increased dividend from MPUC and operational efficiencies delivered by staff
-       A recommendation that we place the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the new public works depot

Wednesday April 10th the County Corporate Services Committee will make an initial recommendation on our municipal request for funding local economic development. This funding will greatly assist Midland in attracting new jobs and residents to our community.

Friday April 12th at 10:00 am the Huronia Economic Alliance will be hosting a “manufacturing summit” at Georgian College. The summit will help direct the strengthening of our local manufacturing base.


A positive note in closing – our Community Healthcare Centre, Chigamik, received $3.3 million from the provincial government this past week to expend its operations in our community. Having these services is a tremendous asset for our area.

Gord McKay

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