Saturday, April 5, 2014

Saturday April 5, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen

I enjoyed my first springtime stroll down King Street this week. The shops were busy and coffee tables were out on the sidewalk – time for basking in the spring sunshine. I also heard the sound of hammers and drills as a number of shops are taking advantage of the BIA fa├žade improvement program to spruce up their buildings. And new stores are coming, including a menswear shop. Spring has arrived on King Street.

This past week the Town held a public meeting about a proposed move by the Guesthouse shelter from the Knox Church premises to Elizabeth Street. It was a well-attended meeting with three individuals speaking against the shelter and three in support.  All speakers recognized the special needs of those who use the shelter and genuinely wanted to do what was best for them.  More street outreach was suggested as a solution to helping balance the needs of the homeless with maintaining the attractiveness of our downtown for all citizens and visitors. The matter will likely come back to the April Council meeting for a final decision on the Elizabeth Street location.


On Monday April 7th the YMCA will hold a meeting a Town Hall at 11:00 am to develop a plan for youth engagement in our area.

Tuesday it’s down to County at 9:00 am for the regular Council meeting. One item on the agenda is the report on the first year of operation for the County’s combined waste management service. A few statistics;
-       128,000 tons of waste were managed
-       71,5000 tons were diverted
-       The program saved $2.6 million over the 2012 collection costs
County will also launch its new Affordable Housing Strategy Committee. North Simcoe will be at the table.

Wednesday April the 9th starts early at 7:30 am at Base Borden. We will be honoring the Canadian role in the historic battle of Vimy Ridge. I hope to be back in time for the noon presentation on the economy by BNS Chief Economist Warren Justin.  The event is at Lot 102.  Call Kathy Watson at BNS if you are interested.

At 5:00 pm I will be at Guesthouse helping to prepare the evening meal and serving the volunteers who support our homeless throughout the year. At 7:00 pm you are invited to a special meeting of Council at the Town to learn about brownfields development, especially a new technique call “risk assessment”.

Friday April 11th at 11:00 am is the regular Waterfront Project steering committee meeting. The Committee has recommended a name for the Waterfront district that will be considered by Council in April.  And at 7:00 pm it’s time to consider your new spring wardrobe at the CLH Fashion Show and fundraiser at the NSSRC. All are welcome.


Closing on a serious note, our Simcoe-Muskoka LHIN held a meeting this past Friday where they described a process for reorganizing the ophthalmology services (eg. corneal transplants) we receive. The process once completed is likely to change the number of locations where these services are provided (currently four) to a smaller number. Some communities will lose local access to these services.

Our own ophthalmologist, Dr. Scanlan, was at the meeting and is concerned about the implications. If Dr. Scanlon is forced to relocate it will affect our growing seniors community, our hospital’s service delivery and our area’s growing healthcare economy. I will be involved in a coordinated community response over the coming weeks. I will keep you updated on this significant issue.

Gord McKay

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