Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday December 14, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen

The many faces of Christmas.

Yesterday my wife and I were over at the Guesthouse shelter dropping off some food. Easily thirty people in the crowded basement room, including children – talking, playing cards, politely waiting on supper. In the kitchen increasing concern as the meal had not yet arrived. 

Later that evening the Victorian Christmas Home Tour. A warm welcome greeted wayfarers at four century homes in downtown Midland. Christmas decorations that looked right out of a storybook. Topped off with a gingersnap and mulled wine.

This morning the Native Friendship Centre hosted its children’s Christmas party including a visit from the big guy. All of the chaos, the noise, the running around as one hundred plus excited children met Santa and hugged that special present. Brings back memories.


Monday December 15th starts out early in the morning as the four mayors meet with the hospital and the LHIN.  We are working towards a common commitment to a sustainable community hospital in North Simcoe.  

At 2:00 pm that afternoon the Citizens Healthcare Steering Committee meets at Midland Town Hall to organize our work in educating the public on our healthcare needs and ensuring that the public has a voice at the table. Ms. Jill Tettmann of the NSMLHIN will be attending the meeting. Then at 3:30 pm the County Striking Committee meets to decide on Council and public appointments to the many County Committees.

No sooner am I finished at County, when it’s back to Midland for our own Striking Committee (a closed meeting at 6:00 pm) – followed by a special meeting of Council at 7:00 pm to ratify the new committee appointments and decide on our 2015 Sewer and Water rates. Please note that this Council meeting will include a public meeting (you may speak) about the proposed increase in water/sewer rates. See:

Tuesday starts back at County where the new County Council will be introduced to the 2015 budget. That evening at 7:00 pm is the regular meeting of Healthcare Innovators - a group of healthcare entrepreneurs investigating and acting upon opportunities for new healthcare jobs in our community.

Wednesday January 17th – another early morning meeting to review doctor recruitment in North Simcoe. Then at 11:00 am is a meeting with the Ministry of Health and Long term Care about – what else – our area’s healthcare services. (I anticipate that there will be a general public meeting in early 2015 to review where we are headed and to gain further direction from the public.)  At 4:00 pm that afternoon the Police Service Board meets to invest its new members and say good-bye to four retiring members.

Thursday January 14th at 4:30 pm is a Sistema concert at Huron Park School.  Sistema is a unique charity that helps children find their way by learning how to play music.

Friday December 19th wraps up the work week with the 11:00 am Waterfront Project Steering Committee at Town Hall.



-       1:20 to 2:30 pm Free holiday skate at NSSRC sponsored by Tim Hortons 


-       1:20 to 2:30 pm Free holiday skate at NSSRC sponsored by Tim Hortons 


This past week I completed a five day project sponsored by Karma Market, where I had to live entirely off of the food provided from the food bank. There were 17 different items in my box but it was quickly apparent that unless I ate most of the peanut butter and spaghetti I would not make it through. I was never hungry – there were enough proteins and calories. But after a week the prospect of another highly processed meal with no fruit or vegetables was most unappealing.

Observations and actions:
-       Food banks need more fresh produce (greens). While it may look better to hand over a bag stuffed with Kraft Dinner and tinned soup, I will be donating more cash in future
-       Cooking skills are important. Opening a tin of corn is hardly motivating. But with some culinary education and maybe some community cooking, you can turn the ordinary bland into some pretty interesting dishes. (ask about my Cheerio Tuna sauce)

Gord McKay

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