Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday May 25, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen

At last summer seems to have arrived. And with it the temptation to get out the lawn chair and push the world away.  As you will see below, there are a number of important meetings coming up in the Town this week. You may want to get involved before the truly lazy hazy days of summer set in.

This past week, the Town held a special meeting of Council to pass the required Development Charge By-law. These by-laws are set every five years and define the onetime charges assessed on new houses and buildings to pay for increased use of Town services. Your Council voted to freeze our current rates for one year so we could decide on what rates would best allow for managed growth in Midland. By taking time to assess the planning and economic implications of development charges, we will be in an informed position by this fall to set our rates for another five years.


Monday May 26th at 4:00 pm is a Waypoint Sponsors event at Waypoint – a celebration of the many people who continue to make Waypoint such a success.  Then at 6:00 pm at the Town is a closed meeting to discuss a matter of litigation.

At 7:00 p is the May Council meeting. A long agenda featuring:  
-       Two presentations:
o    Our champion Midland Atom BB Hockey team and
o    A special award to four of our firefighters
-       Three deputations:
o    Huronia Museum’s three year strategy
o    Presentation on our septic tank inspection program
o    Request for a compassionate exemption for two additional dogs – our by-law limits households to two dogs
-       Finalization of the 2014 budget – we are coming in with a Town tax rate of about 0.5%
-       Review of two new summer 2014 events for our Town – Ribfest and a Watercross event for Little Lake Park
-       By-law regarding the zoning variance for the proposed Guesthouse shelter relocation
-       Direction on the long outstanding RSI waste re-cycling facility.

Tuesday May 27th starts with County Council at 9:00 am.  Then at 3:00 pm are two important items:
-       Our Georgian Bay General Hospital will make a media announcement regarding the situation they face
-       The first meeting of the North Simcoe Housing Working Group will meet at NSSRC.  This group will establish our North Simcoe requirements for affordable housing and homelessness prevention.  This position will guide the County’s 10 year housing strategy.

At 7:00 pm that evening a “CafĂ© Conversation” on healthcare in our area will take place at the NSSRC.  The panel discussion is hosted by Fred Hacker and sponsored by Chigamik and the Association of Ontario Health Centres.  There is no charge to attend.

Wednesday is a quieter day. Our Healthcare Innovators group will be presenting one of their innovative business ideas to the Midland Penetanguishene Builders Association.  If successful we will be able to better help area seniors who modify their homes to make them more livable.

Thursday May 29th, you may want to be at Home Depot at 9:00 am as they launch their “Buy a Hammer, Build a Community Campaign” in support of Shelter Now.

At 12 noon is a very important meeting at the NSSRC. The North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN recently issued an RFP (since rescinded) that could have resulted in ophthalmological services moving out of the North Simcoe area. Many citizens were concerned with the increased difficulty in accessing services such as cataract surgery and the potential for other services (eg. Endoscopy, laboratory services) leaving the area.  After a number of discussions with local groups, the North Simcoe mayors agreed that we needed to sponsor a public discussion on what healthcare services were needed in North Simcoe. This first meeting, focusing on seniors healthcare, starts the discussion that should lead to a “Healthcare Charter” – a citizens statement of what healthcare services our area must have to meet our citizens’ needs. You are welcome to attend.  A light lunch will be served.

Following that meeting, at 2:30 pm at the NSSRC, is the regular Huronia Economic Alliance meeting.  The meeting will review the potential Board members for the new Economic Development Corporation of North Simcoe (EDCNS). A well-structured EDCNS is a major step forward on our economic development journey.

Friday and the weekend looms. At 5:00 pm join Bruce Stanton at Brian Orser Arena in Penetanguishene for a Fish Fry in support of Gateway.  Then at 6:45 the Relay for Life event in remembrance of cancer survivors takes place at Rotary Park in Penetanguishene.



So much to do – so little time!
o    “Welcome to the Water” – the new In-Water Boat Show at Bayport Marina – all day – all welcome
o    At 11:00 am the Midland Bay Sailing Club hosts ”Blessing of the Fleet” at its location
o    At 12:00 noon the HMS Badger arrives at the Bayport gas dock carrying Mayor Marshall. Cannon fire will be de rigeur
o    1:00 pm the Commodores Sail Past takes place in Midland harbor,  just off the sailing club
o    Ontario Seniors Games featuring tennis at Little Lake Park, starting at noon

o    “Welcome to the Water” – In-Water Boat Show at Bayport Marina continues
o    At 8:45 am I board the HMS Badger at Bayport for the return trip to Penetanguishene. Ceremonies will occur there about noon
o    The farmers market opens downtown at the Harbourside Park location at 10:00 am. Note this is a different location from last year.


More signs of summer in our downtown. The new Authentic Thai restaurant is now open on Bay Street.  The new men’s clothing store Taylor&Co. is now open on King Street. The expanded Bajic denture clinic is now open at 519 Hugel.
Gord McKay

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

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday May 18, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen

The May 2 4 week-end - the sun is shining mightily – the tourists are starting to spring to life. So why is everyone still hanging onto their winter coat?  Longing for summer.

Tuesday May 20th will feature a special presentation at the MCC, “Cancer Screening for Life”.
The event features our popular Phil Edmunds and Dr. Jennifer Jones.  It starts at 7:00 pm; tickets are $10.

Wednesday May 21st is the Midland Rotary Random Acts of Kindness Day - a reminder that kindness makes the world a better place for all.  Come to the Town dock at noon for a Rotary “chili-dog” or drop by Town Hall for a free coffee – and pass the kindness along.

From 9:00 am to 1:00 pm that day, the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness will host a conference at the Simcoe County Museum on Affordable Housing Strategies.  You should register in advance at At 4:00 pm is the delayed Zombie Walk (seems that zombies don’t like rain!)  This youth engagement activity will start at the NSSRC and proceed down King Street, telling all who they encounter about the upcoming blood donor clinics in the Midland area. Apparently they will not be soliciting donations on the sidewalk. ;-)

And to close off Wednesday I will assist with the opening of the Bajic Denture Clinic at 5:00 pm at 519 Hugel.  Getting busy in the downtown.

On Thursday May 22nd Discovery Harbor invites you to the opening of its new Tecumseth museum.  This museum displays the hull of the original Tecumseth, a fighting ship that figured in the war of 1812.  The launch event is at 11:00 am - admission to the museum and the Discovery Harbour grounds is free all day.

At 6:00 pm that evening the Town will host two meetings.  A closed meeting will start at 6:00 pm for Council to receive a final solicitor briefing on the terminated MPUC talks. The closed meeting will also review the current negotiations with OPSEU. At 7:00 pm is a special Council Meeting to pass the DC by-law, as required by law. The intention of Council is to freeze the existing rates for a year to allow Council the opportunity to better determine our DC charges to meet planning and economic development objectives.

Friday May 23rd at 8:00 pm sees Huronia Players start their latest play “I’ll be Back Before Midnight”. Your ticket awaits at the MCC.


Must be summer – so much going on.

-       At 9:00 am,  the Horticultural Society plant and bake sale at NSSRC
-       The Model Train Railroad Show at NSSRC from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  A delight for young and old
-       Midland Firefighters are hosting a fundraiser at Lot 102 for Muscular Dystrophy. The evening will feature the Barrel Works Band

-       The Model Train Railroad Show at NSSRC from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
-       Big Bothers and Sisters Car Rally. Starts at Pillsbury parking lot at 11:00 am
-       Midland Lions Walk for Guide Dog at 12:45 at Midland dock
-       Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Review at NSSRC at 13:30 sharp
-       We are the Villagers is hosting a fundraiser at the Library restaurant - The Love Bus Murder Mystery and dinner. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $45.  Well worth it for an evening of great fun.

Gord McKay

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

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday May 11, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen

Midland just wrapped up a very special weekend. Sunday was an important day for most of us being Mother’s Day. Saturday brought some 150 people from all over Ontario to King Street to celebrate the park dedication to Andrew Mixemong.  Andrew was a leader of the Beausoleil First Nation who was killed in our downtown two years ago. The sun was out, the wind blew lustily and Andrew’s warm spirit was felt by many - a day that brought our communities closer together.

Monday May 12th starts with a closed meeting at 6:15 pm to deal with two matters:  OPSEU negotiations and a matter of litigation. Then at 7:00 pm is the May General Committee meeting. Agenda items include:
-       Creation of the Midland Cultural Committee
-       Update on our 2014 geese management activities
-       Discussion on whether we should host a WaterCross sporting event on Little Lake
-       A follow-up report on the Town’s 2013 budget surplus
-       The Police Service Board response to Council’s’ questions on their 2014 budget
-       A staff report on the state of backflow preventers in Midland  (Backflow preventers are valves used to make sure that water in a building does not get siphoned back into the municipal water supply)

Tuesday the 13th and more meetings. County Council meets at Midhurst at 9:00 am.  At 7:00 pm there is a special Council meeting to discuss the Little Lake store lease and the expected DC charges for Midland for the next five years.  You are welcome to attend.

Also at 7:00 pm Mr. Fred Hacker’s A Day in the Life will feature the legendary Lloyd Robertson, the news anchor for CTV News for 35 years and now host of CTV’s “W5”.  I believe that all the tickets are sold for this one. A tip of the hat to Fred – attracting this caliber of person to Midland shows that we can compete with the best.

Wednesday May 14th I am back at County for the inaugural meeting of the Simcoe County Housing Advisory Committee. This Committee will inform County actions for the next decade on the housing solutions needed in Midland and area. To support my role in representing North Simcoe, we will be forming a North Simcoe Housing Committee.  They will start their work on May 27th.  Look for a lot of public engagement in the months ahead if we are to make a meaningful change to providing the housing needed by all of our residents.

At 4:00 pm is the regular meeting of the Police Service Board at Town Hall.  Then at 7:00 pm is the May Planning and Development Committee meeting. Topics include:
-       Staff recommendations on the Guesthouse homeless shelter
-       Establishment of the Downtown Master Plan Steering Committee
-       Review of the Town’s response to the County Transportation Master Plan

And now for something completely different.  On Thursday May 15th starting at 4:30 at the NSSRC, Youth Engagement is hosting a “Zombie Walk”. Yes, a Zombie Walk down King Street in Midland. All for a good cause to get youth involved and spread awareness of upcoming blood donor clinics in the Midland area. So come down and be part of what’s happening.


-       Port-O-Rama parade in Port McNicoll starting at 11:00 am.  Come for the parade and stay the week-end.


Two notes in closing. First, the four municipalities have now formed the Economic Development Corporation of North Simcoe (EDCNS) - a very important step forward for our area. This arm’s length corporation will organize and lead economic development and job growth for North Simcoe. We are now starting to look for six private sector members to be on the EDCNS Board.  If you have the skills and are interested in helping our community grow economically, this may be an opportunity for you.  Recruiting announcements should be out shortly.

And the private sector is not waiting around. One of our up and coming downtown businesses, “” is changing the way we shop while strengthening local community. Colin Pape, the President, has passed along the following information:

1.     Want to find who is selling what in Midland and area? The new SGB Chamber of Commerce app, developed in partnership with is now live for both iPhone and Android. Download at
2.     The new Midland BIA website is now up, also powered by You can see some great new shopping features and “what’s going on” at
Shopcity is making some great things happen, not only in Midland but in cities across North America. It is redefining the marketplace and stands to become one of our major employers.  Thanks to Colin and his team it is getting easier to tell the world that in Midland – Yes we can!

Gord McKay

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

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday May 4, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen

Day by day, degree by degree, we will get to summer.  I had never appreciated that part of the mayor’s job was encouraging the citizens of Midland to believe that yes, the sun will come out again. Tomorrow?

Monday May 5th at 6:00 pm sees an interesting example of democracy in action. MidlandCommunity has organized a public meeting (a ticket is required) at Lot 102.  The purpose of the meeting is to give some of the aspiring candidates for the municipal election a chance to meet the public. Anything we can do to encourage good candidates is a good step for our community. Having a choice at the polls is essential for voters to really get involved in steering the future of Midland. Have YOU ever thought of running?

On Tuesday May 6th there is a flurry of interesting meetings.  From 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm the SSEA Source Water Protection initiative hosts a public Open House at the Library.  At 6:30 pm the Midland BIA holds their regular meeting at the Shopmidland location (King at Hugel). The BIA has invited Rogers Communications in to answer questions about the quality and availability of high-speed services in Midland.

Then at 7:00 pm at the NSSRC is an informational meeting on the upcoming Bike Week event. The organizers expect that this July 11th to 20th event will attract thousands of bikers to our community for the first time. The meeting will answer your questions and concerns about “bikers” and provide guidance on how we can best welcome so many tourists to our community.

Wednesday May 7th at 8:00 am will see me at the McDonalds location on Hwy 93 in support of McHappy Day.  McDonalds Children’s Charities will donate part of the proceeds of the day to our own Community Living Huronia.  Please drop by and support this worthy cause. That evening the Town hosts a special Candlelight Ceremony at the Cenotaph. It is only a few times a year that many of us pause to reflect on the men and women in uniform who give so much for our peace and security. Please come about 6:45 as the ceremony starts at 7:00 pm. 

On Thursday May 8th the Karma Market is hosting an organizational meeting for its 2014 Midland Farmers Market. The meeting, at 6:00 pm the Town dock, will be geared towards potential vendors but the public is welcome to attend.

The Town will hold its regular meeting of the “Midland Bay Landing” Steering committee on Friday May 9th at 11:00 am at the Town.  All are welcome.  At 7:00 pm that evening you will want to be at the Museum for the opening of the art exhibit by M.J. Weber.  M.J. is a talented area artist who has a wide range of artistic styles.  Please do drop by. 


-       Treasure Day for the Town. Put your treasures out after 8:00 am and if any are left have them back inside by 5:00 pm.
-       At 2:00 pm the Town will host a very special dedication to the memory of Andrew Mixemong. Andrew, a First Nations community leader, was murdered in Midland two years ago. This ceremony, by the Town Library, recognizes the loss his passing represents to all of us. Please do attend.
-       Sistema Huronia Music Academy is hosting a fund raising dance at the MCC at 8:00 pm featuring Andre and the J-Tones, a rhythm and blues, funk, rock, and soul band. A very worthy cause – great music.

Gord McKay

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