Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday June 30, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

It’s Canada Day and with it arrives the lazy hazy days of summer.  The Canada Day celebration is a must attend for the family, down at Little Lake Park. (Please see attached schedule). The parade starts at 11:00 am with the fireworks in Penetanguishene at dusk.

For the week ahead, Tuesday July 2nd will feature a Police Service Board meeting at Town Hall at 3:00 pm to discuss the police service business plan.  This is followed by a closed PSB meeting to discuss a personal matter.

On Wednesday July 3rd it’s Planning and Development Committee at 7:00 pm at Town Hall.  Items include:
-       Public meeting on a rezoning of the downtown Bourgeois Motors property
-       Update on economic development.
Then the rest of the week is pretty quiet.


I will be taking break for the next two months so News from the Town will only be issued to update you on significant events. Not to mislead you into thinking that the Town is also taking the summer off, I can assure  you that staff have more than enough to keep busy.  In addition to the regular road projects and installing new LED street lights, staff will be working on:
-       Unimin lands – firming up the process for locating a developer(s).  Expect more public involvement in the months ahead including coming up with a name for this area/project
-       Cost budgets – all departments will be developing 2014 budgets showing growth of 0 and 2%. Council will start reviewing these in September
-       Affordable housing strategy – the four municipalities will be developing a response to the County proposing an affordable housing strategy that serves our communities

Now it’s time to get out and enjoy the summer.  You may want to include some of the following public events in your summer plans.
-       Every Sunday – Rotary Music in the Park – Little Lake Park 7:00-9:00 pm
-       12-14          Georgian Bay Thunder Run – Little Lake Park, all weekend
-       13              Midland Library Garden Tour – tickets at Midland library
-       22               Council – 7:00 pm at Town Hall

-       Every Sunday – Rotary Music in the Park – Little Lake Park 7:00-9:00 pm
-       16-18          Artwalk and Tugfest – Midland harbor and King Street, all weekend
-       23-25          Tall Ships – Midland Town Dock, all weekend
-       26               Council – 7:00 pm at Town Hall
-       30- Sept 1   Midland Bikefest – Little Lake Park, all weekend

Midland is building a new name for itself as a great place to come and enjoy summer life. We are getting new visitors to our downtown (shopping) and especially the Midland Cultural Center. We are putting on events that people want to attend – 2,500 at Party on the Dock and check out the comments about our recent Buttertart contest

Midland is the place where summer is happening. Have fun.  Stay safe.

Gord McKay

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


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday June 22, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

Summer!  Party on the Dock kicked off the season. And this morning we awoke to the thunder of a harbor full of “cigarette boats’ and chase helicopters. Throw in some warm weather and Midland couldn’t look better.

Midland will be busy on Monday June 24th.  At 12:00 noon the Seniors Council is hosting a free lunch for seniors at the NSSRC.  Please call ahead for tickets. Then at 6:00 pm is a closed meeting at the Town Hall. The topic will be a personal matter and labour negotiations. At 7:00 pm is the June Council meeting.  A fairly busy agenda including;
-       A presentation recognizing the past work of Mr. Rolf Staude
-       Three deputations including one on the Unimin Waterfront Master Plan
-       A petition regarding a derelict building at Bayport
-       Discussion of the “vote by mail” voting option
-       Direction to staff on the 2014 budget targets
-       Review of our planning and building development charges
-       Motion to seek an OPP service costing

On Tuesday June 25th it’s County.  County will receive a report indicating that the affordable housing monies it has received from the province will be spent in five communities that do not include any in North Simcoe. The County apparently has changed the evaluation criteria for assessing need and North Simcoe has gone from the top of the list to not being on the list. We will seek deferral to assess the report and then make representation back to County. The County meeting starts at 9:00 am in Midlhurst.  Later that day, at 2:00 pm, County Councilors will tour the nearly completed Georgian Village in Penetanguishene.

Wednesday June 26th starts early with a breakfast meeting at Georgian College in Barrie - good relations with our College is a key element of Midland’s development strategy. Then at noon, Rotary will receive a presentation about the importance of “business incubation”. Increasingly communities are realizing that they have to start “growing” their own jobs. At 2:00pm that day I am at Peter Pettersen Park for the dedication of the Herb Beauchamp ball diamond.

On Thursday June 27th the County will hold a day-long session for Council to review the County waste strategy.  Two items of particular interest to Midland are:
-       Increasing our residential diversion rate targets
-       Seeing what can be done to help homeowners with fall leaf pick-up

At 2:30 pm that day the four municipalities of the Huronia Economic Alliance will meet in Penetanguishene. We should be able to establish direction on the shared use of the County’s financial support. Also our long discussed healthcare strategy is about to kick-off.  At 7:00 pm that evening our two high schools will host their respective annual graduations.  Congratulations to both the students and teachers.

On Friday many members of your Council will be on the road to Gravenhurst to see the Muskoka Wharf project.  This will help Council appreciate the steps we may be following as we develop the Unimin lands.


-       Minor Lacrosse Tournament all weekend at NSSRC

-       11:00 am Metis Nation Celebration at Pete Pettersen Park – All are welcome


In closing:
-       A welcome to Theresa Alphonse-Grattan, who is the new MCC Events Manager. Theresa joins the MCC from Brooklea
-       Please help out Town by supporting the Benjamin Moore “Paint What Matters” contest. All you need to do is click on and cast a vote (daily). Contest ends on June 30th.  Every vote will help.

Gord McKay

P.S. Canada Day is coming.

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

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday June 16, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

The First Annual Midland Buttertart Festival is now a delicious memory.  A fabulous day of street fun, our “Buttertart Princess”, buskers, sidewalk sales and of course the Buttertart contest.  Being a judge was a dream assignment but by the time I had sampled my 30th buttertart, I was waiting a bit longer between bites. First place went to Nancy Dillon of Barrie. Elaine from our own Lady Bug CafĂ© came in second – the best buttertarts in Midland.


Tuesday June 18th I will be joining our Ontario Environmental Commissioner, Gord Miller, for a tour of the Bay on the MS Georgian Queen.  We will look at environmental initiatives in our area and talk about water level challenges.

Wednesday June 19th is a busier day beginning with the Town’s Waterworks Master Plan update.  You are invited to participate in a drop-in public information session at Town Hall from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. At 4:00 pm that day at Town Hall the Police Service Board will be meeting. Most of the meeting is open – it will include an in-camera portion. And lastly at 5:30 pm the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre will host its AGM at its premises on Yonge Street.

Friday June 21st is a special day for Midland as we will formally welcome a new manufacturer to our community.  Forte EPS Solutions uses high-tech equipment to create customized rigid foam products for building and industry. This is a growing company with a great future – and they chose to locate in Midland. Please take a look at:


Summer is here - it’s time to highlight the many great things that you can enjoy on the weekend.

-       Party on the Dock returns to our waterfront starting at 6:30 pm. This year’s event features the Carpet Frogs and Kitty and the Boyz.
-       Or you may want to try the Much Music Dance at the NSSRC. Check with the Midland NSSRC for time and tickets - 705-526-4770.

-       Midland Lions Variety show at the NSSRC. Check with the Midland NSSRC for time and tickets
-       Saturday and Sunday it’s the Disc Golf Tournament in Little Lake Park. Come on out but watch your back.


An early reminder about the “seniors lunch” organized by our Seniors Council. The lunch takes place on Monday June 24th at noon at the NSSRC. Angela Roy from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is going to speak about affordable alternative housing solutions for seniors.  Tickets are free – please contact the NSSRC.

Gord McKay

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


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

2013 Budget Special

Ladies and Gentlemen

Council met last evening to finally pass our 2013 budget.  As you recall most of the budget had been passed earlier but we had to await budget input from the Police Service Board before we could put 2013 to bed. The bottom-line for Midland taxpayers is a tax increase of 1.7% (to be confirmed by our CFO)

Council supported the budget 6-1, including myself. This budget included positive outcomes tempered with some frustrations.  The process began last year with Council directing all departments to set their budget expense growth at 0%.  Positively, all departments except Police and Fire were able to achieve this target. This accomplishment required departments to rethink some of the services provided, staff assignments and look diligently for cost savings.  

Police, as mentioned earlier, needed more time to make the requested adjustment to 0%. The Police Service Board seriously looked at the cost structure for our policing, especially in light of the already contracted wage increase of 4% for this year. The position that they came back to Council with was a 5.6% increase this year and 1.9% in 2014. That included an agreement for a 1% compensation increase in 2014. Not what was requested by Council but it showed that the Police had listened to Council and proposed measures to move us to a more sustainable cost structure.

At this point in the meeting the tax rate increase was still .8%. Then we asked for an update on how Council’s cost saving request to Fire (also 0%) was going.  The Chief had started to implement the cost saving measures discussed with Council but they were now stopped. We were told that there was no likelihood that the measures would be put in place this year due to our Fire labour situation – the Town is bound by its labour agreements. So with no hope of any real savings from Fire, Council decided to put the $160,000 of lost savings back into the 2013 Fire budget bringing us to a tax rate of 1.7%.

The 2013 budget had a number of very positive steps in moving Midland to a sustainable cost structure – with growth roughly tracking the rate of inflation. That said, there are certain areas that will need increased attention, which is where will now focus for 2014.

Gord McKay

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


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Saturday June 8, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

It may be cool but there is so much going on in Midland that you don’t really notice.

Monday June 10th is a day of meetings. At 5:30 pm is a closed meeting to discuss labour matters and issues of litigation.  A 6:30 pm is an open special meeting of Council to set the tax rates for 2013. (The Police budget may also be discussed.)  Then at 7:00 pm is the regular General Committee meeting including:
-       Recommendation to cooperate with Tay to provide water and sewer services to Martyrs’ Shrine and Ste. Marie
-       Deferral of the Parks Master Plan
-       Update on the graffiti program
-       Discussion of the voting options for the 2014 election

Wednesday June 12th is the dedication of the David Onley Park at 2:00 pm at our harbor entrance.  The Honorable David Onley will be in attendance.  I also understand there will be a surprise (it’s his birthday)

On Thursday June 13th at 3:00 pm the SSEA will host an open house at Wye Marsh. Later that day I head to Owen Sound to address a group of residents on the low water situation in Georgian Bay.
Also on Thursday you will want to take in the next Day in the Life series featuring Midland’s own Martels.  The Martels were THE rock 'n roll band in the late 50 s and the 60s and have continued to entertain for more than half a century.  Guests will be the original five members of the band: Gary French, Larry French, Bert DesRochers, Tom Ambeau and Milt Budarick.  These extraordinary gentlemen played with Gordon Lightfoot, Del Shannon (Runaway), Bryan Hyland (Yellow Polka Dot Bikini), Lou Christie (Lightning Strikes Me Again); The Newbeats (I Like Bread & Butter); Shirley Mathews (Big Town Boy) and others. Tickets are available at the MCC Box Office or online at
Friday June 14th, the Physician Recruitment team will host a BBQ at Waypoint at noon to celebrate Rural Medicine Week.  Then at 7:00 pm, if you want a real artistic treat, the School of Dance will be presenting the musical Hansel and Gretel at the MCC.  Tickets are available from Patricia Stenton at the School of Dance.

And then the weekend  – Saturday
-       Penetanguishene is hosting a public meeting on low water levels at Brian Orser Centre starting at 10:00 am
-       Midland’s first Butter-tart contest starts at 11:00 am outside of the MCC. With over 80 entrants it’s going to be a day of sticky fun.
-       Saturday is also the fifth anniversary of the Brick Furniture store at Mountainview mall. They would certainly welcome you dropping in and enjoying a piece of cake.
-       And don’t forget the Ball Hockey tournament at the NSSRC

To close out the weekend, Midland Sea Cadets will be holding their annual review at the NSSRC starting at 1:00 pm on Sunday June 16th.

Gord McKay

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

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Saturday June 1, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen

We took a major step into Midland’s future this past week. On Thursday some sixty residents gathered to help create the future vision for the Unimin lands.  On Friday Midland announced it had purchased this unique 40 acre parcel of land on our waterfront.  A first step – we will need your help realizing the vision in the days ahead.


Monday June 3rd will start with an in-camera meeting of the Police Services Board at 10:00 am. The topic - personal matters related to the police budget. 

On Tuesday June 4th, those intersected in the LHIN governance structure will meet at the French Centre in Penetanguishene to discuss how our regional healthcare system should be managed.

Wednesday the 5th will be a busy day starting with Camp Day.  This is an annual event hosted by Tim Hortons to collect funds for their charitable camp program for kids. I will be at the downtown Tim Hortons at 8:00 am.  At 1:00 pm that day the Senior of the Year award will be presented to our recipient (no hints) at the NSSRC.  Then at 7:00 pm that evening is the June Planning and Development Committee.  The agenda will include:
-       A `Public Meeting` concerning the planning application process, specifically with regards to notice and signage
-       Rezoning of the old Bourgeois Motors property on Midland Ave.
-       Direction on a new LED display sign for the Midland Cultural Centre

On Thursday June 6th, Waypoint will be holding is Annual General Meeting at the Oak Ridges Gym in Penetanguishene at 1:30 pm.  At 5:30 pm that evening you are invited to the library to attend a County of Simcoe open house to discuss their developing Master Transportation strategy. This strategy will address the future road developments in our County and the types of transportation that will be encouraged in our communities. Later that evening, at 7:00 pm, you are welcomed to our Museum for a wine and cheese to celebrate the start of the Ontario Heritage Conference.

The Ontario Heritage Conference will take place in our area from Friday June 7th to Sunday June 9th.  Activities will be centered at the Midland Cultural Centre. Delegates from all over Ontario will attend lectures and be able to visit many of the local heritage locations. For more information please see

At 7:00 pm on Friday, another `first` for Midland takes place. Parkbridge Marinas (owner of Bayport Marina plus a few more) will host the first annual Commodore`s Dinner.  This dinner will bring the ceremony of the boating fraternity together with a roaring good time as we celebrate local boating. The event will take place at Ste. Marie starting at 6:30 pm

It’s June so you have to expect the week-ends to be busy:

-       At 10:00 am Martyrs` Shrine will conduct its first ever `Blessing of the Boats`. The ceremony will take place at our Unimin Park
-       2:00 pm will see the 50th annual review of the Midland Lions Royal Canadian Air Cadets at the NSSRC
-       Then at 6:00 pm is the Huronia Community Foundation annual awards dinner at the MCC
-       The Tiffin homeowners will meet for their AGM at 12:30 pm
-       At 2:00 pm you are invited to join our Legion Pipes and Drums for a ceremony of remembrance at the St. Margaret’s - St. Mark’s cemetery on Yonge St.

Midland has been given a golden opportunity to spruce up its downtown. Benjamin Moore Paints is offering to provide free paint to 20 small downtowns across North America.  Only 100 towns have been registered and Midland is one of them. Please vote each day until June 30th for Midland. You simply go on-line to , click on the province of Ontario on the North American map, and then click on Midland to cast your vote. We can do this.

Gord McKay

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