Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday May 29, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

It’s not quite summer but there are already lots to get you outside. For example, today sees the wrap up of the CN Future Links Ontario Junior Golf Championship, showcasing the up and coming golfers in our province. Midland Golf and Country Club is the proud host for this major event.

Monday May 30th starts in Barrie at an Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) workshop to consider a better fiscal framework for municipalities. Municipalities are funded primarily through property taxes, which are both regressive and insufficient to fund many municipal programs. While change is some way off, this is an opportunity to get us started towards a better financial arrangement. Later on Monday I meet with a business interested in moving to Midland. Things are starting to happen.

Staying with the business theme, Tuesday the 31st is all about entrepreneurism. At 1:00 pm the Midland YMCA at 845 King Street is holding a “Boss Session” giving you all the information needed to start and operate your own small company. At 6:30 pm at the Library, the NSCFDC and Simcoe County present their third seminar on “Managing a Mature Business”.  Both events are free.

At 5:30 pm Council will attend the MPUC Annual General Meeting.  This meeting is not open to the public. It is expected to cover the receipt of financial information by MPUC’s sole shareholder (the Town) and a report about the results of MPUC’s discussions with other utilities about a sale or merger.

Wednesday June 1st is Tim Hortons’ Camp Day where they raise funds all across Canada to send needy children to summer camp.  Please drop by and show your support.  At 2:00 pm you are invited to Balm Beach in Tiny to see the installation of a “Mobile Mat”, allowing those in wheel chairs to navigate a sandy beach.

At 7:00 pm is PDC at Town Hall. The agenda includes:

-       Further consideration of the draft home occupation by-law

-       Site Plan for the Mountainview Mall redevelopment

-       Review of the Downtown Community Improvement Plan

And if you are looking for something a bit more exciting, at 8:30 pm the BIA screens the first downtown outdoor movie of the summer - Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  This free event takes place at the Town parking lot at King and Bay.  Come down and meet your neighbors.

Thursday the 2nd will see me in a philosophical frame of mind as I join the students at St. T’s for their Philosophers CafĂ©.  A challenging discussion as our young folk consider ways to change the world. At 6:30 pm you are invited to the Official Plan Steering Committee in the Council chamber.

At 7:00 pm Margaret Trudeau will be in Midland to tell us about her life challenges and experiences. The event is at the Highland Inn. Tickets are $150 with the proceeds going to Midland’s Guesthouse shelter.

And then it’s Friday. It starts with the four mayors meeting Patrick Brown to review area concerns. At 5:00 pm, summer kicks into high gear with the launch of the Georgian Bay In-Water Boat Show at Bayport marina. Your chance to see the best in boats and set yourself up for a summer on the water.



-       PSS will be holding its closing ceremonies at PSS this weekend.  MSS will hold its closing ceremony on June 10th, as all students prepare to move to the new regional high school to be located in Midland.

-       9:00 am to 5:00 pm the Georgian Bay In-Water Boat Show at Bayport Marina


-       9:00 to 5:00 pm the Georgian Bay In-Water Boat Show at Bayport Marina

-       2:00 pm Legion Drum Head ceremony at St. Margaret’s/St. Mark’s Cemetery

-       7:00 pm the Bombadils bring the best of Celtic music to the MCC

Council Issues Update


This week Council will receive the results of the survey conducted by the MPUC Board about possible partners for a sale or merger. This action has been taken as both the Board and Council recognize the increasing risk facing our small utility due to significant regulatory and technological change.

Council will meet about mid-June (in public) to decide its course of action. After that we will prepare the plan and resources to move our LDC asset to a better place. While change is stressful, Council is insistent on maintaining the key features that our citizens most value:

-       Stability of electrical rates

-       Quality of service

-       Being part of our community

Gord McKay

Your Year for Getting Aboard – Midland is on the Move - 2016


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday May 22, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

One beautiful long week-end, tailor made for enjoying with family and friends. I will keep this short as my granddaughter wants me to go look for frogs.

Tuesday May 24th is a day of Council meetings. At 9:00 am it’s County Council in Midhurst. One of the reports that we will be receiving covers the waiting lists for County “rent-geared-to income” housing. The statistics are not good:

-       Families face a three year wait

-       Seniors face a 5.7 year wait and

-       Individual adults face a 5.8 year wait.

This reinforces the critical need to bring additional housing on stream so we can get our residents reasonably housed. At 11:00 am the County will hold a hearing on the allocation of 20,000 housing units made available to requesting municipalities in Simcoe County.

At 6:00 pm its Midland’s turn. We start with a closed meeting addressing three topics – labour negotiations, committee nominations and a personal matter.  At 7:00 pm it’s the Council meeting including:

-       Three deputations

o    Update on EDCNS, our economic development arm

o    Introduction to the new CEO of our Library

o    Status report on Little Lake brought to us by Keith Sherman, SSEA

-       Presentation of long service medals for our Fire Service

-       Decision on the second suite by-law

-       Discussion of the home occupation by-law

-       Review of a question of whether additional DC charges should be assessed against a developer on Aberdeen Blvd.

-       Finalization of our 2016 tax rate. The good news is that the Town portion is up by 1 percent and the overall tax rate that you will see on you bill is up by just 0.3%.  Given that inflation is in the 1.5% range, you will have a relative tax reduction.

Wednesday is Midland’s Rotary Club "Random Acts of Kindness Day" taking place all over Midland. Drop by the Town dock at 12:30 pm for a free hot dog lunch – and remember to pay it forward.

On Thursday the 26th at 5:30 pm you are invited to a Downtown Project Steering Committee meeting in the Council chambers.  Your chance to see what we have planned for the downtown.

Friday the 27th will have us welcoming the United Church Conference to Midland. This multi-day gathering will see hundreds of visitors in Midland, discussing matters spiritual and enjoying our beautiful Town.  Please give them a warm welcome.

That evening you are invited to a unique photography exhibition at 7:00 pm at the Museum.  Gunter Hille has been photographing Midland for 50 years and has some remarkable images of our community. Please come and enjoy an Evening of Photography. And at 8:00 pm Huronia Players stages their new production of Goodbye Piccadilly.  If you have never seen a Huronia Players production, now is the time.



-       10:30 am look to the harbor for a lot of sail boats as the Midland Sailing Club hosts its annual sail past

-       8:00 pm Jerry Lee Lewis tribute at the MCC

Council Issues Update


This past week Council hosted another public discussion on what should be done with the MPUC. There is a lot of information pointing to the increasingly risky environment our utility is facing. Council voted that the status quo was not an option. We have to make a structural change to our MPUC.

At the end of this month, Council will receive a report from the MPUC as to the sale and/or merger options they have discovered in their discussions with other utilities. Then about mid-June Council will reconvene to make its decision on where our MPUC is headed.


The date for Margaret Trudeau’s visit to Midland draws near. She will speak about her lifetime of experiences in support of The Guesthouse Shelter.  Here is a link to a recent interview with Mrs. Trudeau

The event will take place at the Highland Inn on Thursday, June 2nd at 7:00 pm. It promises to be a fascinating evening supporting an important local cause.

Gord McKay

Your Year for Getting Aboard – Midland is on the Move - 2016


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday May 15, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry when you see snow coming down on May 15th. In the spirit of “I Am Canadian” – Gotta love this kind of weather.

Monday May 16th will start with an experiment as the four-way traffic stop at King and Elizabeth will be unveiled. This has been the hottest topic on social media for the last month. Time to see what will really happen. At 5:00 pm you are invited to GBGH for the monthly Citizens Healthcare Steering Committee meeting. The meeting will be planning for the June public meeting - a way to keep us engaged in all things healthcare in our community.

Tuesday the 17th will start at 8:30 am for the four mayors, as we take further action on proper funding for GBGH and other mid-sized hospitals in Ontario. This past Thursday, Mayors Cornell, Marshall and I met with the Ministry of Health officials and laid out our issues with:

-       The need for the Penetanguishene health hub

-       Proper funding for GBGH

While there were no breakthroughs, Ministry staff agreed that we should be more directly involved with the LHIN and the Ministry in coming up with needed solutions.

At 6:00 pm there will be a special meeting of Council concerning our MPUC. This meeting is a continuation of Council’s discussion on where we want to go with our electricity distribution resource. Regulatory and environmental changes have led Council to agree that the status quo for our MPUC is not an option. Council will use this meeting to decide on whether a sale or a merger scenario is preferred and what the ultimate objectives of that arrangement should be. The open meeting will be followed by a closed meeting where Council will consider a matter concerning solicitor-client privilege.

At 6:30 pm at the Library is the second in a series of presentations on how to start, grow and expand your business.  The series is brought to you by NSCFDC, the County and the Library.

Wednesday May 18th features a half-day seminar at the County Museum starting at 9:00 am about the 20,000 homes project – an initiative supported by the County to have 20,000 affordable homes constructed in Canada.  At 1:00 pm, the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre is launching a fascinating project to map the history of indigenous people through story telling. So if you have a relevant story, you may wish to attend.

Thursday will be one of those days as County Councilors meet at the Simcoe County Museum for a full day of strategic planning.

On Friday May 20th at 9:00 am I am at County once more for the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.  The Committee is about to release a guideline to all municipalities about the measures that they can take to significantly engage public and private sector partners in building affordable housing within their community.

The Town of Midland, in conjunction with the County of Simcoe, is providing a Free Compost and Mulch Giveaway from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in the NSSRC parking lot.  Bring your own bag and be ready to load your own compost/mulch. In addition, the Town is offering a free Rain Barrel to the first 150 residents (proof of residency is required).



-       9:00 to 4:00 pm - Free mulch giveaway continues – see Friday details.


-       8:00 pm – Midland’s Jessica Lalonde with the Huronia Hot Strings at the MCC

Enjoy your May long weekend – Town offices will be closed on Monday May 23.

Council Issues Update


Lots going on this week. The mayors had a series of meetings with ministry officials – mayor Marshall was even able to meet briefly with Minister Hoskins. GBGH has provided further information on the impact that insufficient funding is having on their operations. Our active citizens group in conjunction with the Ontario Health Coalition is organizing a “voting plebiscite” to have the province stop the cuts to hospitals services. It’s well organized with the many voting locations in Midland open until May 27th. If you wish to take part you can vote at:

·         8 Ball Express - 847 Vinden St.

·         Arcade & Jory Guardian Pharmacy - 286 King St.

·         Chigamik - 845 King St.

·         Clinic IDA Pharmacy - 952 Jones Rd.

·         Dollar Tree - Mountainview Mall - 9226 Highway 93

·         Georgian Bakery - 253 King St.

·         Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre - 175 Yonge St.

·         Giant Tiger - Huronia Mall - 9225 Highway 93

·         Huronia Medical Centre - hallway in front of the Clinic Pharmacy - 240 Penetang Rd.

·         Meatland - 229 Midland Ave.

·         Midland Golf and Country Club - 9536 Highway 93

·         North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre - 527 Len Self Blvd.

·         Shopper's Drug Mart - 9186 Highway 93

·         Wye Heritage Marina - Ogden's Beach Rd.


Midland’s first Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event is scheduled for Saturday June 25th at 10 am starting at the pavilion in Little Lake Park. The event is organized by the Ys Men Club with all proceeds going to our Rosewood Shelter. While this event involves fundraising it is more about having men take a public stand for ending violence against women. You can sign up or join a walking team at

I will be walking as part of Team Midland. If you wish to sponsor your mayor, please go to the site and make your statement.

Gord McKay

Your Year for Getting Aboard – Midland is on the Move - 2016


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sunday May 8, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

Happy Mothers Day. A time to honour the importance of mother’s wherever they may be.

On Monday May 9th a local group, together with the Ontario Health Coalition, is rallying citizens to support a “ballot petition” asking the Ontario government to stop cuts to hospitals. The rally takes place at 1:00 pm in the Wal-Mart parking lot. At 2:30 pm you may wish to attend a meeting of our OPP Costing Committee at Town Hall. The committee is considering retaining expert assistance to help it with the costing process, comparing our own service costs to the OPP.

There will be a closed meeting of Council at 6:30 pm to consider a legal matter. Then at 7:00 pm is the regular General Committee meeting. A modest agenda including:

-       Decision who will be providing fireworks for our upcoming Canada Day

-       Direction on the budget for our Operations Centre

-       Discussion on having summer movies in our downtown.(more about this below)

-       A proposal from our BIA for a bike repair station on the waterfront

-       Consideration of establishing a committee on aboriginal relations

Tuesday May 10th starts with County Council at 9:00 am. At 11:00 am the County will hold a public meeting to consider the development charges it plans to level on all municipalities. You may recall Midland decided to freeze its development charges at the 2015 level. This decision was made to spur growth in our Town. Having the County now increase its share of the development charge does not sit well with your Council.

On Wednesday the 11th you are invited to the Boathouse restaurant at 1:00 pm for the launch party for the 2016 Butter Tart festival. A sticky good time. Then on to a busy evening:

-       Guys Who Care will hold their second event at Lot 102 starting at 5:00 pm. This spontaneous group expects to raise $20,000 in about an hour. The funds will then be turned over to a local charity also selected that by the group.

-       7:00 pm is the annual Candlelight tribute for our veterans at the Cenotaph. Please arrive early

-       At 7:30 pm some superlative talent as the Trio D’Argento comes to the MCC. Thank you to Brookside (John French) for making this possible

Thursday the 12th is also a busy day. It starts for me with an afternoon at Queens Park, as Warden Marshal, Mayor Cornell and I meet with the Ministry of Health to advocate for better funding for GBGH and other mid-sized hospitals. At 5:00 pm please join me for the opening of our newest business Simply Home Furnishings at 900 King St. Unit 2.

If you are looking for a good spot for dinner, you may want to take in the Wye Marsh fundraising lasagna dinner at the Oakwood Community Centre, 290 Park St. in Victoria Harbour.  Open seating between 5:00 and 7:00 pm. After dinner, you may wish to take in the Official Plan Review Steering Committee at the Library. Or at 7:30 pm join Fred for a Day in the Life at the MCC as he interviews Penetanguishene native Jacquie Gauthier and learns about her fascinating travels to Africa.

Friday is pretty quiet – enjoy it.



-       Its North Simcoe Treasure Days.  For more details please visit

-       8:00 am to 1:00 pm it’s the Huronia Pregnancy Resource Centre garage sale at the River of Life parking lot on Eighth Street.  Proceeds go to the Centre as it helps all women with the challenges of motherhood

-       8:00 am to 2:00 pm is the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre yard sale at their Yonge St location

-       10:00 am to 4:00 pm is the Midland District Railroad Club's 27th Annual Train Show and Sale at the NSSRC. Adults $6 / Seniors $5 / Children $2

-       7:00 pm at the MCC is the “Wonders of the Circus” – a circus of French song with Le Cirque et ses Merveilles brought to you by Le Cle

-       7:00 pm our own Children’s’ Community Choir joins with the Young Sudbury Singers children’s choir at St Paul’s. A musical extravaganza you will certainly enjoy.  



-       North Simcoe Treasure Days continues

-       12:30 pm Community Living Huronia tees off at Brooklea for its annual golf event

-       10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Midland District Railroad Club's Train Show continues at the NSSRC


On May 9th Council is likely to endorse something brand new for our community – a free public movie night. Throughout the summer, movies will be screened at dusk at the downtown parking lot at Bay and King. Mark your calendar for the following features:

June 1              Star Wars - The Force Awakens

June 15             Finding Nemo

June 29             Who Framed Roger Rabbit

July 13              Ghostbusters

July 27              Back to the Future

Aug 10              Frozen (the sing-along edition)

Aug 24              Jurassic World

So gather your kids, grab the popcorn and come down to meet your fellow Midlanders. Gotta love this Town.

Gord McKay

Your Year for Getting Aboard – Midland is on the Move - 2016


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday May 1, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

Another sure sign of spring. The four municipalities are getting together to launch the North Simcoe inter-municipal baseball competition. Each municipality will field a team made up of members of town staff and council. The baseball schedule:

Wednesday June 1st   @ 6:30 pm     McGuire Park, Penetanguishene

Wednesday July 20th  @ 6:30 pm     Perkensfield Park, Tiny

Monday August 8th   @ 6:00   &  7:30 pm  Peterson Park, Midland

Thursday September 8th   @ 6:30 pm     Talbot Park, Port McNicoll

Team names and rosters are still settling in. I think I heard some discussion about a salary cap too. Let the SPRING TRAINING begin.


Monday May 2nd at 11:30 am, will see a cheque presentation from MPUC to the Town for the LED street light program. Three years ago the Town started a program to convert all of its street lights to energy efficient LEDs. With this cheque we are fully converted. 

I head to the County for 1:00 pm to meet with housing developers to discuss the best ways to engage them in working with municipalities to build affordable housing units.  Their comments will be used to build a set of recommendations for Simcoe municipalities to meaningfully encourage private sector involvement in affordable housing development. The recommendations are likely to show that all parties will have to contribute something to the solution.

Later on that day I meet with the area mayors to refine our position paper that we will be taking to Minister on ways to reform the funding formula for midsized hospitals such as GBGH.

Tuesday the 3rd will feature a very special event in our community. The Friends of Tiffin Pond will conduct a neighborhood tree planting at 3:15 pm at Tiffin Pond. With help from the SSEA they will be taking a major step in public stewardship of our municipal wetlands. Come down and join the fun – or start one in your own neighborhood

At 6:30 pm, all entrepreneurs are invited to the first in a series of presentations on starting a small business. This four seminar series will be held at the Library and is brought to you by NSCFDC, the County, our local Business Enterprise Center and the Library. All seminars are free.

1)     Start your business - May 3rd 6:30 pm

2)     Grow your business – May 17th at 6:30 pm 

3)     Dealing with a mature business – 31st at 6:30 pm

4)     Succession planning – June 14th 6:30 pm

Another option for you at 6:30 pm is the BIA AGM which takes place at 225 King Street, upstairs.

Wednesday April 4th is McHappy Day at McDonalds.  I have the 8:00 am shift at the McDonalds on Hwy. 93. Please drop by and support this worthy charity. At 2:00 pm our Economic Development Corporation of North Simcoe hosts a manufacturing summit - part of the ongoing effort to grow our local manufacturing base. And it’s working. My discussions over the last few months show that most of our manufacturers are hiring and/or looking for more growth in 2016.

At 7:00 pm it’s the Planning and Development Committee. It starts with a public meeting (you may speak) on Home Occupation. Council has asked staff to change our existing by-law to recognize the reality that many of our business start-ups begin in someone’s basement. The regular part of the meeting includes:

-       Report on second suites. This is likely the final discussion before it goes to Council

-       Report on the zoning changes for Midland Bay Landing


On Thursday I am again at County for a meeting, this time with landlords to learn how to better engage them in managing more affordable housing units. 

On Friday May 6th the four mayors and Beausoeil First Nation meet with Patrick Brown to discuss many local issues. At noon, please join me for the opening of Georgian Bay Books at their new book shop on King Street. (the old Riv Bistro location).



-       12 noon is the season opening for Martyrs’ Shrine.  The Shrine will also celebrate the  opening the Holy Door for the church`s Year of Mercy


-       Mother`s Day – Please take a moment to honour all of our mothers

-       10:00 am to 3:00 pm is Little Lake Park clean up.  Please come down and join your fellow citizens in helping our Park get ready for summer.


This upcoming Saturday June 25th at 10:00 am will see Midland`s first Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. Over the past few years Kathy Willis of Rosewood has challenged the men of our community to get serious about stopping the ongoing violence against women. Last year approximately 70 local men held a public ceremony to personally commit to ending such violence. This year, with the help of our local YsMen Club, we become more vocal. We challenge all area men to participate in the Walk. More details to follow.

Gord McKay

Your Year for Getting Aboard – Midland is on the Move - 2016