Ladies and Gentlemen
It’s a tough way to start a new year with the announcement that the Pillsbury plant is closing. The plant has been with us since 1952. I have been told that the plant will continue to run until summer 2016 when it will close with the loss of about 100 jobs.
There is no way to sugar coat it. The loss of 100 jobs will affect our community. Families will be hurt – less money in the local economy – some people may have to leave our area. And this closing has nothing to do with the high quality of the work being done at the plant. General Mills has told us that they are realigning their global supply chain and that the work being done in Midland is moving somewhere else.
The only saving grace is that Midland is a strong resilient community. I have already had contact with the province to help staff retrain and find new employment. I will meet with Minister Goodyear this week to discuss what can be done about the General Mills closing and other local situations, such as CCL in Penetanguishene. Your Council will be working closely with our newly formed Economic Development Corporation to make sure that the General Mills property quickly becomes the home of new jobs for our community. Giving up is not in our vocabulary.
On Monday January 12th your Council gets down to business. At 5:30 pm we gather in the Council chamber for our official Council picture. At 6:00 pm it’s a closed meeting to discuss a personal matter and land acquisition. At 7:00 pm we are back in public with the January General Committee meeting. The agenda is not too challenging with:
- An application for a second farmers market this summer
- Announcement of our annual downtown road hockey game set for January 30th from 4:00 to 6:00 pm
- Proposed agreement with GB Snowriders for in-town trails
Tuesday the 13th starts with the County Committee of the Whole in Midhurst at 9:00 am. The main item on the agenda is recommendation of the 2015 County budget. Following that I am scheduled for a meeting with Minister Gary Goodyear, the Minister of State for Economic Development for Southern Ontario.
Wednesday January 14th gives you a choice for your evening. At 7:00 pm at the Town Hall is the Planning and Development Committee. The agenda includes;
- The 2015 Development overview. This is an excellent summary presentation of all the development activity underway in Midland as well as what is on the horizon. Look for updates on Bayport, Marina Park and the Hanson development.
- Devonsleigh Homes has filed a request for a lot control extension
- The announcement of the start of our Official Plan process, including a request for a public meeting.
- Proposed arrangement with Penetanguishene for a shared Chief Building Officer service
- The closing report on the OMB decision regarding the Guesthouse shelter
If you are not into planning you may wish to attend A Day in the Life featuring Kevin James LaBrie, the lead singer of the internationally acclaimed progressive metal rock band, Dream Theater. For more than two decades, he and his bands have produced more than two dozen albums and participated in 30 tours worldwide. Dream Theater has performed concerts throughout Europe, Asia, South America, Australia and North America. The band has been nominated for three Grammy awards and band members have won numerous awards individually and collectively. That’s at 7:00 pm at the MCC. Tickets are $19 ($10 for students) and are available at the MCC Box Office or online at www.midlandculturalcentre.com
On Thursday January 15th at 6:00 pm Midland’s new Council discusses the 2015 budget. A proposed 2015 budget was prepared by the previous Council. The new Council will now have a chance to decide on any changes that they wish to make. Midland should wrap up its budget process with Council approval in February.
Friday January 16th will see the regular Waterfront Project Steering committee meeting at 11:00 am at Town Hall. That evening at 7:00 pm Quest Art School + Gallery will open two exhibitions at the MCC. Paintings by Wasaga Beach artist Sue Miller with sculptures created by Halyna Mordonec-Regenbogen, a resident of Tiny Township, will be upstairs. Concurrently, the Atrium Gallery will present From Shore to Sky, a community exhibition featuring artwork depicting elements of shore- and skylines.
Last week I told you about our area’s new tourism branding – The Heart of Georgian Bay. This week our tourism group has launched a new Tourism trade association. This “destination marketing organization” (DMO) will be industry-led and municipally-supported, The DMO is named “North Simcoe Tourism” and is under the care of our new economic development group, the Economic Development Corporation of North Simcoe. North Simcoe Tourism will work with all the tourism partners in the area to build our brand, attract visitors and ensure that we grow a healthy balanced tourist industry.
And lastly, your County Christmas tree pick-up will take place the weeks of January 12th and 26th.
Be part of Midland’s Year of Bold Action - 2015