Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday April 26, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen

It’s been a slow laborious process getting this Spring of ours on the road. Fingers crossed, it starts coming together next week.

A welcome sign of Spring is the growing number of visitors to our Town. This year we will be able to better welcome them through the efforts of our newly created Destination Marketing Organization” (DMO). The DMO is tasked with promoting our area and ensuring the North Simcoe visitor experience will keep them coming back for more.  Your DMO Board of Directors is:
1.       Will Baird
2.       Kevin Cowie
3.       Brig Kennair
4.       Angela Kruger
5.       Alex Laurin
6.       Ken MacDonald
7.       Laura Thomas


Monday April 27th features our April Council meeting. At 5:30 pm we go into closed session to discuss hiring a Fire Chief and a personal matter. At 7:00 pm it’s the regular Council meeting. It promises to be a long meeting with:
-       Two presentations:
o    Bob Jeffery receives an Award of Merit
o    Recognition of our OMHA Novice BB Champions
-       Three deputations:
o    Healthy community design proposals by the District Health Unit
o    Update on Huronia Airport operations
o    An update on Waypoint
-       A public meeting with three topics: (Your chance to speak)
o    Changes to Council’s procedural by-law
o    Business licensing for farmers markets
o    Back flow preventer by-law changes
-       The rest of the meeting includes items such as the Police Service budget and the Terry Fox run.

A variety of items for you on Tuesday April 28th.  At 1:00 pm it’s the Askennonia Springtime in Paris Fashion Show at the NSSRC. Then at 2:00 pm the North Simcoe Housing Working Group meets in Tay at 145 Albert St. The meeting will discuss the upcoming request by County for a made in Midland plan for affordable housing plus look at starting our own local housing projects.

From 3:30 to 5:30 pm the Town will hold a Sunnyside Park Open House.  This is the first step in creating the long requested public park in the Sunnyside area. You are encouraged to attend.

On Wednesday the 29th a very special Day in the Life presentation. In 1952, Larry Fox, a 17-year old RCAF engine mechanic from Midland, was recruited by M16, the British Secret Intelligence Service. He was trained in weapons, explosives, hand to hand combat, cat burglary and Gurkha military techniques. He became an espionage courier, and a deadly killer, like the fictional James Bond. But this was real! You will want to be at the MCC for 7:00 pm to hear the fascinating story of one of Midland’s own.

Thursday April the 30th sees two significant retirements at the Town.  At 11:00 am Joanne Gagnon, a long time employee with our Treasury department will be feted at the Town Hall.  From 1:30 to 3:30 pm you are also invited to attend a reception for Mr. Bryan Peter who will be retiring from his position as Head of Parks and Recreation. Over his many years Bryan has provided quality leadership in making Midland a great place to play hockey, listen to music, attend festivals or simply walk in one of our many well-tended parks. Please come out and show Bryan your appreciation.

At 6:00 pm I will attend a Georgian College Board reception being held at our Midland campus.  The College will play and increasing role in the future success of our community.

Friday May 1st.  I am pleased to announce that another healthcare business is opening in the downtown.  The Midland Hearing Clinic, at 357 King St., will hold its opening celebrations at 12:30 pm.  You are welcome to attend.

That evening there are two events for you at the MCC:
-       At 6:30 pm is the “Short Film Festival” featuring a variety of cutting edge films including one by our own local cinematographer Nate Lacroix.
-       From 7:00 to 9:00 pm  aering Quest Art School + Gallery opens two new exhibitions. “Landmarks: Past to Present”, a celebration of Simcoe County before and after the arrival of Samuel de Champlain will be on display in the Atrium Gallery and in the Upper Gallery will be “High Art ’15”, a collection of art work by local high school students.


-       7:00 pm is the Huronia Community  Foundation gala at the Brooklea
-       7:30 pm the Serenata Choir hosts a concert St Pauls featuring flautist  Allan Pulker

-       9:00 am the Mandarin MS walk starts at the NSSRC
-       1:30 pm is the Hospice Huronia walk on the Penentanguishene waterfront

From the “great news” file, Central Taxi is now providing an accessible taxi service in Midland. The service is available on a booking basis seven days a week. The formal launch should take place in a few weeks’ time. I want to commend Tony DeGuglielmo at Central for providing this needed service, largely at his own cost.

And in closing, a more serious note. Each year we learn of the heavy price we all pay because of men’s violence towards women.  It comes in the form of insults, physical and psychological abuse, and on occasion even death. Stopping the violence begins with the men – with each of us showing leadership that this type of behavior is not tolerated.

All men and women are invited to a public meeting where we will learn more about the problem and where the men will take a pledge to end violence towards women. The event takes place at noon on Friday May 8th at the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre, 175 Yonge Street, Midland.

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Bold Action - 2015

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday April 19, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen

Spring, warmer weather and we are all starting to get busy. Your Town is no exception. This past week featured the Downtown Master Plan report from our consultant, Urban Strategies, bringing together your ideas about the remaking of our downtown. About 80 people attended the meeting and provided a lot of positive feedback.

The draft plan included a wide range of actions that will take years if not decades to implement. Key recommendations included:
-       Significant greening of the entire downtown
-       A traffic circle at King and Yonge, providing a remarkable entrance feature to the downtown
-       A dramatic change for the layout of the streets and buildings where our downtown meets the harbor
A copy of the draft presentation is at this link. under Presentations. The Town is still looking for your feedback by May 8th. Your comments will go to the Downtown Master Plan Steering Committee for final direction to the consultants. Then the work begins.

Last week also saw the quarterly public discussion on our healthcare future. GBGH services and constraints on healthcare funding were key discussion items. The meeting also learned that the Citizens Healthcare Steering Committee has completed its formation phase and is now looking for permanent members. I am reproducing their ad that will appear in the newspaper shortly. You may consider stepping up to this important position to help our community.

“Quality healthcare is essential to everyone in North Simcoe. Recent changes to healthcare services in our area have required citizens to take a more active role.   A group of citizens, working in consultation with the mayors, the aboriginal community and healthcare providers has established the Citizens Healthcare Steering Committee. We are now looking for ten individuals from our communities to take a leadership role in building our area’s healthcare.

The successful candidate for this volunteer position will support the Committee’s mission by:
-          Advocating for improved healthcare
-          Informing and educating all stakeholders
-          Working collaboratively
You are interested in healthcare challenges and in finding solutions to problems.  You are already involved in other community groups and regarded by your peers as approachable and fair minded. You listen to others and work with them in finding a common understanding of complex situations.  Others seek out your views in resolving problems.

As a Committee member you are expected to commit for a three year period and participate in 1 three-hour meeting each month. You must be able to use e-mail. While the Committee’s work is supported by the municipalities there is no compensation for the position.

If you are interested in applying, please forward your resume to Mr. Claude Marchildon at before May 15, 2015.  The Terms of Reference for the Committee are posted on


Monday April 20th will start at County with two information meetings. Those that follow municipal planning will know that the County’s planning process has been stalled for years due to an OMB appeal. This meeting updates what has happened with the County Official Plan through the last few years. The public sessions are at the County Museum from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Back in Midland we have a special Council meeting starting at 5:00 pm. The agenda includes:
-       A presentation on owning electrical distribution companies in Ontario. Part of this may be closed if we talk specifics about the MPUC.
-       A new Huronia Museum Lease and separate Partnership Agreement
-       A discussion on financial reserves policy. There will be an opportunity for public input allowing you to speak to the matter
-       Town surplus/deficit statement.  We had a small operating deficit on the tax side and a slightly larger surplus on the rate (water/wastewater) side
-       Our new Building Official arrangement with Penetanguishene
-       Acceptance of Jones Road by the Town

On Tuesday April 21st at 6:30 pm at the MCC is the 8th Annual Meridian Business Women of the Year Awards, sponsored by Meridian Credit Union. Business women have been nominated in the following categories: Business Woman of the Year, Female Entrepreneur of the Year and Heart & Soul of the Community. Tickets are available at the MCC.

Wednesday April 22nd will feature our monthly Downtown Safety meeting at 10:00 am at Town Hall. This meeting will get into the organizational issues of how to respond quickly to incidents in our downtown as well as creating a better social safety net to prevent them from occurring.

On Friday you are invited to attend the regular Waterfront Steering Committee. With the first tranche of funding in place from the developer, the committee will look to advance the next stage of design and the development of an “iconic feature” for our new neighbourhood.


-       50th Annual Elmvale Syrup festival takes place from 8 am to 5 pm – a sticky good time

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Bold Action - 2015

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday April 12, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen

Patience has paid off. The weather for the next week is welcome reward for enduring one of the coldest winters on record. Time to get outside and enjoy your Town.

Monday April 13th will feature two meetings. At 2:00 pm at the Town Hall is the Audit Committee meeting. They will be reviewing some of the financial controls that guide our municipality. At 7:00 pm is the April General Committee meeting featuring:
-       A discussion of Council’s new strategic plan for 2015-2018
-       A number of financial reports including our Development Charge reserve status and first quarter budget results
-       Request for replacement of our planner Andrea Betty, who will be taking up a new position in Penetanguishene
-       Discussion of the pedestrian trail that runs along the back of Ingram Cres.
-       Announcement that ReMax will allow the Town to open up more parking spaces on its property to help the overcrowding situation with our new soccer fields

On Tuesday the 14th the Town will hold a Downtown Master Plan steering committee meeting at 1:00 pm at the Library. Then it is your opportunity to get more involved in designing our downtown. From 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the MCC, the Downtown Master Plan committee will host an open house.  They will provide a full update on how the planning process is going and the key ideas taking shape for our downtown. Your input is essential to making this a successful meeting.

Thursday April the 16th at 7:00 pm sees a Day in the Life at MCC featuring Harvey Atkin.
Harvey’s face and voice are among the most recognizable in show business.  He is best known for two roles: in the “Cagney and Lacey” television series; and as the camp director in the movie “Meatballs”’ (for which he won a Genie nomination). He has appeared in over 75 feature films and hundreds of television shows. 

On Friday the 17th the County’s Affordable Housing Advisory committee will determine its first round of meetings with all 16 municipalities in the County.  This process will culminate with the preparation of customized housing strategies for all Simcoe communities. At 1:00 pm you are invited to the Wyebridge Community Centre on Hwy 93 for an update on our area’s healthcare. This quarterly event gives the public an opportunity to meet with the leaders of our area’s healthcare and provide input on our issues and what services we want to have.

Another sure sign of spring.  At 2:00 pm the 2015 edition of the Midland Home Show opens at the NSSRC. There will be a noticeable difference this year as you can see just by looking at the show’s Saturday program.

“Three-time award winning Renovator of the Year and host of CFRB Newstalk 1010’s Home Improvement show, Frank Cohn and Birnie CurrentSAFE’s own expert, John Romanetti will be holding an informative and entertaining seminar to help people make informed decisions on how to get the most value from your home-improvement dollars and avoid “Handyman Horrors - aluminum wiring and other hidden hazards that can put your family at risk.  The 2-hour seminar on Renovation Nightmares & Electrical Safety is at the stage area on Saturday, (April 18 at 1:30pm to 3:30pm)”



-       Midland Home Show continues all day at the NSSRC
-       Company of Good Cheer game dinner at the Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers at 6:00 pm. Supports our Champlain Event committee.  Tickets at NSSRC
-       6:00 pm is the Street Light fundraiser for the David Busby Centre in Barrie.  (David Busby is the men’s shelter in Barrie)
-       7:00 pm Sistema Huronia Music Academy will be holding a fundraiser variety show at the Alliance Church on Yonge St. A free will offering is encouraged.


-       We Are the Villagers Spring and Summer fashion show at the Library restaurant starting at 1:30 pm


Please mark your calendars for a special event coming up on May 21st.  Mr. Gord Hume, a well-known urban planner, will be at our Midland Library at noon to talk about “Places and Spaces”. Gord will inform you about how a Town’s design is critical to a healthy lifestyle and full enjoyment of the place you live. There will be a light lunch. Donations will be used to support our library.  Please confirm your attendance before April 22nd by e-mailing

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Bold Action - 2015

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Saturday April 4, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen

A beautiful week-end, meant to be shared with family and friends.  I will keep this week’s edition short.

On Monday the Town offices will be closed. You may wish to provide the gift of life at the Canadian Blood Services clinic at Mountainview Mall from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

You are invited to a very special event on Wednesday April 8th at 4:30 pm at Town Hall.  We will be receiving $250,000 in security from Mountain Ridge Estates (MRE) for the environmental clean-up of the Midland Bay Landing site. MRE is fully responsible for the clean-up, and we continue to own all the land until it is done to our satisfaction.

We will also be receiving the first of the monthly interest payments for the cost of the land. Over time MRE will pay us our full purchase price of the land, an amount of $3.4 million. These interest payments relieve Midland taxpayers of the cost of carrying the land. For all intents and purposes the MBL project will have almost no cost to the taxpayers of Midland.

On Thursday April 9th it gets busy again. At 7:00 am at the Camp Borden military base is a very special commendation of the battle of Vimy Ridge.  This second annual event will feature a speech by General Rick Hillier. The 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge occurs in 2017.

At 3:00 pm at Town Hall there is an organizational meeting of the groups hosting the first North Simcoe Men’s Violence Against Women event.  The event, set to take place at noon on May 8th, will see men throughout our community publically pledge to take a stand against men’s violence towards women.  That evening, at 7:00 pm, the Nature of Things on CBC will air a special program on the Franklin expedition.  It’s of particular interest to our area as it was filmed on Balm Beach and includes one of the ships from our own Ships Company in Penetanguishene.

Friday April 10th will see the regular meeting of the Waterfront Steering Committee at 11:00 am at the Town.  The meeting will focus in redefining its Terms of Reference now that the Town has a development partner. At 7:00 pm you may want to take in the Passion for Fashion Spring Fashion Show at the NSSRC.

Two items in closing.

John French and Brookside Music are commissioning a musical composition commemorating the arrival of Samuel de Champlain. It will be premiered in Midland on July 30th at the MCC. Mark your calendars for this once in a lifetime event – right here in Midland.

We have a new accessible bus in Midland. Take a look on the link for my blog.  This accessible bus will join our fleet immediately, making the service safer and more enjoyable for all. Looking forward to the joint transit service with Penetanguishene starting, I hope, this fall.

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Bold Action - 2015