Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday April 13, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen

First it’s too much snow - now too much melt water.   And weather predictions indicate that the “El Nino” may be back this summer. Can’t say it’s ever dull. 

This past week there has been a lot of local media coverage about a Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by our North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN. The RFP was asking hospitals and private clinics to propose how they would provide ophthalmological services (eg. cataract surgery) , currently provided in 4 locations in the LHIN. The end result would likely have been a reorganization of cataract services, with Midland likely being serviced out of Barrie. The people of Midland were told what was happening on April 4th and the reaction was overwhelmingly negative.  Thanks to some direct civic action the RFP process was stopped by the LHIN.

Our province and our LHIN are under great pressure to provide our area’s healthcare services more efficiently. What we saw with ophthalmology is likely to be repeated with other healthcare services. Change is coming. North Simcoe, having a small population area will always face the uphill battle that services can be provided more efficiently if they are located in a larger population centre. What the efficiency argument fails to address is the quality of service to our residents and ultimately the attractiveness of our area to all who might want to live here.

Over the next few months the four mayors will be working with doctors, our hospital, our citizens and the LHIN to create a sustainable “healthcare charter” for North Simcoe. Essentially, “What healthcare services must be available in North Simcoe to properly serve our population?”  I expect a number of public meetings over the next few months as we work with the LHIN and the citizens of North Simcoe to ensure proper healthcare stays close to home.


A number of meetings on Monday April 14th starting at 7:00 pm.   It starts with a Public Meeting (you may speak) on recommendations for changes to our development charges.  Right after that is a special meeting of Council to accept government funding to help us with our 2014 downtown master planning exercise. Then the General Committee meeting including:
-       Two reports on special requests for parking permissions in the downtown
-       The Treasurer will make recommendations on what should become of the 2013 budgetary surplus of $891,000
-       Those recommendations may link to the report on snowplowing, where we have already used up 62% of the 2014 budget allotment
-       An announcement on our negotiations with Hydro One

Tuesday April 15th will feature the Meridian Business Women of the Year awards from 4:00 to 9:00 pm at the Midland Cultural Centre.  At 6:30 pm that evening is a very special event at the Boathouse Eatery entitled “Taste of the Titanic”.  The Keewatin will open a new model ship museum this year and will kick that off with the unveiling of a 10 foot scale model of the RMS Titanic. The “taste” comes into play as the evening will feature food items from the Titanic’s menu from that fateful voyage.   Call the Keewatin for tickets.

Wednesday April 16th will also be busy. Our local manufacturers will hold a meeting to share ideas about manufacturing excellence. While the manufacturing base across Ontario has been under considerable pressure to reinvent itself, there are a number of success stories in our own backyard. A fine example of our local industry pulling together.

At 4:00 pm you are invited to Town Hall for the regular Police Service Board meeting. Then at 7:00 pm at the MCC, David Phillips will be the guest of Fred Hacker on A Day in the Life. It will be a lively and intimate conversation concerning a topic we all love to discuss – our weather.

The weekend will be special for many with the celebration of Easter. Town offices will be closed on the Friday and the Monday.

Gord McKay

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

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