Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday March 30, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen

A definite sense of “real spring” in the air. I will keep this short so you will have a chance to get outside – you don’t want to miss it.

Monday March 31st (yes March is over) starts at 11:00 am with raising the flag at Town Hall for the Canadian Cancer Society. April is “Daffodil Month” in support of cancer research and support

At 7:00 pm at Town Hall there will be a continuation of last week’s March Council meeting.  Hopefully not too long a meeting, as it will largely deal with many items pulled from the Consent Agenda and the Planning and Development Committee report.  (The Consent Agenda includes the many items of an informational nature that the Town receives on a regular basis. These may include notice of tag days, letters from other levels of government and minutes of past meetings.)

Following that meeting, there will be a closed Council meeting to discuss matters concerning the potential sale of the MPUC.

Tuesday April 1st – no comment (no joking!)

Wednesday April 2nd sees another flag raising at 11:00 am, this one in recognition of Autism spectrum disorder. At 6:00 pm there will be a closed meeting to discuss a personal issue. Then at 7:00 pm at Town Hall is the Planning and Development Committee meeting, including:
-       A Public Meeting (you may speak) concerning two matters:
o    Proposed Official Plan Amendment for the Unimin lands
o    Zoning change for the Guesthouse project on Elizabeth St.
-       Preparation for the Downtown Master Plan project
-       Review of the County Master Transportation Plan


·         At 1:30 the Ontario Volunteer Network launches its Change the World campaign at Wye Marsh. This initiative gets area youth involved in volunteerism.
·         We are the Villagers hosts a charity spring fashion show at 2:00 pm at the Library Restaurant. Tickets are $35.

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Making Decisions - 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saturday March 22, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is Spring. It is a beautiful day. Nuff said.

On Monday March 24th at 5:30 pm there will be a special meeting of Council to receive information on the new development charges.  Development charges are levied against new developments or expansions to pay for the Town services needed by the new development. You are welcome to attend.

At 7:00 pm it’s the March Council meeting at Town Hall.  A long agenda including:
-       Three deputations:
o    The new Huronia Tourism Plan
o    The new Midland Cultural Plan
o    Mr. Watters speaking to his lot severance
-       A Public Meeting (you may speak) about the proposed by-law to regularly inspect septic systems in Midland
-       Request for a snowmobile route off of MacDonald Road
-       Request for a review of taxes on vacant premises in the downtown
-       Notification of the 2013 “Sunshine List” showing 33 municipal employees, up from 19 in 2012
-       Civic reception plans for Adam Dixon, our own bronze medal para-Olympian
-       Decision on surplus lands on Ingram Cr., Lakewood Dr. and Estate Ct.

Tuesday will see me attending the County Council meeting in Midhurst at 9:00 am.

Wednesday March 26th will feature a special Police Service Board meeting at Town Hall at 2:00 pm to discuss the 2014 Board workload and the potential review of Board procedures. At 7:30 that evening, you are invited to the MCC for an evening with Canadian curling legend Glenn Howard.  Born in Midland, Glenn has risen to the summit of international curling.  He has won 4 Briers, 4 World Championships, and 15 Ontario Provincial Championships.  He has appeared in more games in the Brier than any other curler in history.  Glenn lives in Tiny Township. Tickets available at the door or at

Thursday will be busy. At 1:00 pm the Salvation Army will host a discussion at their 2nd Street location concerning bedbugs in our community. They hope to come up with an action plan to reduce the harm these pests cause many residents.  At 2:00 pm Midland hosts the Huronia Economic Alliance at Town Hall.  This is an open meeting where we discuss matters that shape our economic future. This meeting will review the structure and membership of our new Huronia Economic Development Corporation. You are welcome to attend.  And at 7:00 pm that day, there is a closed meeting to discuss the potential sale of the MPUC.

Friday March 28th you are invited to the regular Waterfront Project Steering Committee – 11:00 am at Town Hall.


-       March 29th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm is the Sweetwater festival at Wye March. (I flip pancakes starting about 10:30 am)
-       A special recognition of Allan Jones who celebrates 107 years this day

-       March 30th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm the Sweetwater festival at Wye March


On a concerning note, I pass along an extract of the information received recently from Enbridge Gas Distribution.

Following one of our three coldest winters in 25 years, on March 12, 2014 Enbridge Gas Distribution applied for a significant rate increase with the Ontario Energy Board for our 2014 second-quarter bills. Natural gas is still expected to cost less than it did a number of years ago (even at the increased price we’ve applied for, the cost of natural gas would still cost residential customers less than half the cost of electricity and oil). With the increased price we’ve applied for, natural gas prices will be similar to those seen in early 2009.

The overall impact on individual bills will depend on how much natural gas a customer uses. If the new rates are approved, overall a customer who uses about 3000 m3/year would be paying about $400 more per year (or $33/mos) due to the cold winter and NG market pricing ($1,382 compared to $984 based on the annual bill estimate for January’s rates). For a customer using 2,600m3 a year the overall bill would be would be about $1,211.

Always wanting to close on a happy note, Midland will see the opening of the Bo Authentic Thai Cuisine restaurant on Bay Street. Looking forward to the opening this spring.

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Making Decisions - 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday March 16, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen

A week away from Spring and from the depth of snow outside you would think that we had just wrapped up Christmas. Preliminary results are in for our snow budget this year. Snow ploughing is at about 50% of budget for the year but snow removal is already in the red for 2014. We need a little help Mother Nature.


Monday March 17th will have one Town meeting.  This will be a closed session at 6:00 pm to discuss the absence of our CAO.

On Tuesday March 18th you are invited to Georgian Village in Penetanguishene from 4:00pm to 7:00 pm for an update on the County Master Transportation Plan. You will also have a chance to comment on the developing transportation strategy and how it affects Midland and our area.

At 7:00 pm that evening the Healthcare Innovators group meets. This sub-group of the Huronia Economic Alliance is developing new healthcare businesses and jobs for North Simcoe while improving the availability of healthcare services. Despite the group’s short existence, it is already working on two concrete ideas to spur our healthcare sector.

Over the past year, the YMCA has been spending time in North Simcoe to better understand the challenges of youth engagement. They have recently conducted a survey of youth in our area and are now looking to put some of the identified initiatives into place. If you are working with youth, or have an interest in helping youth, the meeting is on Wednesday at 10:00 am at MSS.

Also on Wednesday I will be joining Mr. Wes Crown, our Town Planner for a noon presentation to Rotary at MCC. We will be discussing the developing Waterfront project and providing the overall vision and the benefits this development will bring to our community.  At 4:00 pm that day, the regular Police Service Board meeting takes place at Town Hall

Thursday March 20th - more consultation. Simcoe Muskoka LHIN has created a Task Group to explore how to improve services to seniors in our area. You are invited to participate at 9:00 am at Georgian Village in Penetanguishene.  Then at 7:00 pm your choice of two items:
-       At Town Hall will be an education session on a planning process known as “Risk Assessment”. This discipline is used for developing brownfield sites that otherwise may sit dormant because of the cost of clean-up. This meeting will be followed by a closed meeting on the MPUC.
-       At the Library Restaurant, will be a fundraising event, Wine and Whiskey for Wetlands. Tickets are $ 25.00 for 4 wine or whiskey tastings, appetizers and live music. Proceeds go to the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre.  Call them for tickets at 705-526-7809 or at
(A hard choice for Thursday evening!)

Friday things start to get crazy. Community Living Huronia is sponsoring “Funky Sock Day”. Your chance to sport your wildest socks and/or leggings and show support for those with Downs Syndrome. At 10:00 am that morning, Stop the Drop will host a meeting at Midland Town Hall to discuss a possible water level research project in our area.

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Making Decisions - 2014

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday March 8, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen

The piles of snow are deflating like an old air mattress. The streets sparkle with the runnels of snowmelt. But as much as we crave spring, it’s going to take some time yet to clear the snow.  Your help would be appreciated to keep the storm drains clear.

It’s going to be a quiet week with many folks away on spring break. No General Committee on Monday. If you are looking for something to do, there is public skating every day this week at 1:00 pm at the NSSRC.

Tuesday I will be at County at 9:00 am for the regular Council meeting.

A more interesting meeting takes place on Wednesday March 12th at the NSSRC. The Midland Police Service will be holding two sessions, one at 2:00 pm and one at 7:00 pm, to hear from the public on what their policing priorities should be for the next few years. Our police service has been increasingly in the public eye, most recently with the release of a survey on attitudes towards the level of police service that Midland is receiving. Please see:
This is your chance to speak up and help direct our police service.

While it’s a bit early, Friday March 14th starts the celebrations for St. Patricks Day. Askennonia invites you out for their St. Paddy’s luncheon at noon at the NSSRC.  Please note that the Waterfront Steering committee for that day has been cancelled.


Sunday March 16
-       Girls Night Out at 5:00 pm at the Library restaurant.  Proceeds will assist We are the Villagers
-       The Sunday Afternoon Jam continues at the Boathouse restaurant from 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm


Editor’s Note: Gord McKay announced he is running for re-election.

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Making Decisions - 2014

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday March 2, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen

As a public service there will be no whining about the cold winter in this week’s blog – right to business.

Monday March 3rd will see a 6:00 pm closed meeting to discuss a number of personal issues and one affecting the acquisition/sale of land. At 7:00 pm at the Town Hall is the March General Committee – a bit early to accommodate the March Break.  Agenda items include:
-       Consideration of two applications for our 2014 farmers market
-       Decision to include (or not) the title “County Councillor” on the 2014 election ballot
-       The report of Councillor expenses for 2013
-       Annual reports on water, wastewater, septage and transit

On Tuesday March 4th expect a political announcement at Town Hall.  That same day the final scheduled public ARC meeting will take place at PSS at 7:00 pm. Over the past three months the ARC committee has heard from many members of the public and has been zeroing-in on the high-school option that they will recommend to the School Board. You are invited to attend and participate in shaping our future public high school system for North Simcoe.

Wednesday March 5th you are invited to attend an Open House for the proposed official plan changes to the Unimin lands. The Open House takes place in the Council Chambers from 3:00 to 6:00 pm.  This is your opportunity to see how our Town’s Official Plan will be changed to meet the public expectations developed in last year’s planning consultation. These changes are essential to building out the Unimin lands. (Note the Town still does not own the lands as we are going through the environmental review)

At 7:00 pm at the Town is the Planning and Development Committee. An interesting agenda including;
-       A proposed zoning change to accommodate the Guesthouse (formally Out of the Cold) at 522 Elizabeth St.
-       A staff recommendation on official plan changes for 990 Sumac Rd.
-       Discussion on financing the sewer connection for 151 Marina Park (the partially completed building by Bayport)
-       Recommendation for zoning changes for four properties recently declared surplus – 1037 Ingram Cr., 1041 Ingram Cr., 349 Lakewood Dr., 347 Estate Ct.

Thursday; it’s time for A Day in the Life with Senator Hugh Segal – one of the most interesting, well informed and humourous commentators on the Canadian political scene. He’s been a Professor in Public Policy, has written 8 books on Canadian politics and political history and is soon to become the head of Massey College at the University of Toronto. That’s this Thursday at 7:30 pm at MCC. Tickets are $19 at the MCC Box Office or at

On Friday you are invited to gather at Wye Marsh for the annual Garfield Dunlop Lasagna Dinner in aid of the Wye Marsh Wildlife Center.  There are three sittings: 4:30, 5:30 & 6:30 pm.  Always a good time for a warm meal with your friends and neighbours.

                        Stay warm.

Stay warm.

You have likely noted the absence of our CAO, Carolyn Tripp, over the past few weeks. She is away for health reasons. The CAO duties have been temporarily assumed by Mr. Wes Crown. Some additional changes have been made within our Clerk’s office and Planning to accommodate the shifting workload. We all look forward to having Carolyn back with us soon.

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Making Decisions - 2014