Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday October 30, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

Well it’s getting to be that scary time of year – and I am not referring to the US election. Halloween weather looks excellent so get out and enjoy what is always a fun evening in Midland.

The Week Ahead

Monday 31st - Halloween. Rumor has it that some staff will be in costume. Is there anything more frightening than coming in and paying your taxes?

Tuesday moves us into the month of November, a month that gives us all pause to recall our fallen soldiers and veterans.  Please buy a poppy and wear it proudly to show your support. At 9:30 am I am back into training for Emergency Services as we continually prepare for any potential disaster that may befall our municipality.

Wednesday November 2nd starts with an internal meeting to discuss the issue of students smoking on Town property near St Ts. We will be looking for solutions that help reduce student smoking while ensuring local residents concerns are addressed.

At 5:15 pm at the Midland Library is the formative meeting of the Midland Youth Committee.  This Committee will play a key part in our town’s development by having young people participate in shaping their future community.  Thank you to Councillor Oschefski who is largely responsible for pulling this together.

At 6:00 pm there may be a special meeting of Council to discuss a number of recent requests of Council such as the Guesthouse and the Villa redevelopment. The special meeting has not yet been posted so check the Town website before you show up.  Regardless at 7:00 pm is the regular PDC. A short agenda including:

-       Draft Plan of Subdivision for 283 Barnett (the old St Ts property)

-       Draft Plan of Subdivision for storm water management on the Pratt lands (near Galloway).

On Thursday the 3rd is a special workshop on STORYTELLING IN THE DIGITAL AGE FOR NON PROFITS.  The event runs from 1:00 pm to 3:30 p.m. at the Midland Library. The workshop will show you how to create and deploy an engaging digital and social media storytelling campaign to enhance your targeted recruitment efforts. The cost is $25.00. Register on line at or contact Louise Sparrow 705-528-6999.

Friday November 4th sees the start of a new chapter for our Mountainview Mall. At 9:30 you are invited to join me at the re-opening of Maurices in their new mall location. Mall construction is just about completed with a target for full operation by Christmas. At 11:00 am at the Town is the Midland Bay Landing Steering Committee.  The Committee will consider the latest information from our development partners.

“Tim Finnegan, long-time resident of Midland, passed away recently. Well-known to many of the community, particularly the female members, Tim's wish was to invite all to his wake which will be celebrated at the Midland Cultural Centre, aka Murphy's Funeral Home, Public House, Post Office and Grocery Store.”   The MCC invites you to this fun evening of Irish entertainment. Please dress appropriately for a 1950's style wake, and plan to take part in the rituals as we give Tim a rip-roaring send-off.  Festivities begin at 7:30 pm at the MCC.

Week - End

Saturday November 5

·         North America's most authentic sounding CCR tribute band entertains you with GREEN RIVER REVIVAL at 7:30 pm at the MCC

Sunday November 6

·         Time to turn your clocks forward as we go to Standard Time.  


A reminder to get those nominations in for our Cultural awards. Your opportunity to recognize cultural leaders in four categories:

-       Emerging Talent

-       Excellence in Culture

-       Founders, Builders and Historical Contributors

-       Education in Culture

Submissions are required by November 1st. For more information visit or call Nicole at 526-4275 ext. 3206

The Town is undertaking a major reconstruction of the retaining wall at 615 Yonge Street, near the Javelin Co-op.  Construction starts November 7th and continues for about 3 months. Traffic on Yonge Street will be maintained but may be restricted from time to time.

Gord McKay

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


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday October 23, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

The cool winds of autumn are upon us. Seems like it was summer just last week. Canadian eh!

The Week Ahead

On Monday the 24th I head to Welland with Jarlette Health Services to take a look at their long-term care facility. This visit is a backgrounder for the redevelopment of the Villa Retirement Lodge which will see it move to a new location on King Street. Further information on this redevelopment will be provided at the Council meeting later in the day.

At 6:30 pm Council meets in closed session to discuss an appointment to the Youth Committee. 7:00 pm is the Council meeting including:

-       Three deputations

o    Guesthouse Shelter update – Robert Sykes

o    Request from the Villa Care Centre regarding their redevelopment project

o    BIA request for transit assistance with the First Light event

-       A Public Meeting (you may speak) about the sale of public land on Ingram Cres.

-       Council chooses members for its MPUC Sale Transaction Committee

-       The proposed “Harbour By-Law” returns to the Council table for further discussion

Tuesday the 25th starts with County Council at 9:00 am in Midhurst.  At 2:00 pm at the Town you are invited to the regular meeting of the North Simcoe Housing Working Group. The Group has recently completed a set of draft by-laws that are being shared with Simcoe County municipalities.  The by-laws simplify the implementation of Second Units. The Group has also just proposed a feasibility study to the County for a new housing form called “Tiny Homes”. Take a look at some the examples of Tiny Home communities across North America.

On Wednesday I will be in conference in Orillia all day. A group of municipalities and the County are hosting an educational day for municipal leaders and hospital executives to learn from each other about the funding problems affecting medium-sized hospitals. This discussion includes our own GBGH. The Symposium should provide greater clarity on the potential hospital service impacts facing Midland and allow us to work with the Ministry to improve healthcare outcomes for all.  

At 5:30 pm you are invited to the meeting of King Street Rejuvenation Project Committee at Town Hall.

Thursday the 27th will be a busy day at County as they start the review of their 2017 budget. Also at 9:00 am is the second of the NSCFDC Speakers Series at the NSSRC. The topic is “Keeping Things Fresh” presented by the memorable Jamie Tripp. Please register online at

On Friday the 28th you are invited to the launch of our areas first “Situation Table” from 10:00 am to 11:30 am at 522 Elizabeth St. I suspect the term “Situation Table” is new for many of you. Since 2009, many communities across Canada have been looking for a better model for intervention in situations of social crisis, other than just having the police respond. The Situation Table is based upon the premise that by rapidly bringing together key social agencies, including the police, social crisis situations can be better handled and in fact avoided in future. The model has shown its worth across Canada – it is now coming to Midland. So please drop by the launch event and have your questions answered.

Then the fun begins. The biggest Halloween Bash of the year! CLH Foundation puts the "fun" in fundraiser with the Day of the Dead Halloween Bash!  Meet Premier Tattoo Artist Mark Zammit of Stained of the Art Tattoo! who has donated his services for a tattoo.  That’s at NSSRC from 8:30 pm to 1:00 am.

Week - End

Saturday October 29

·         Midland Movie Night is back for a special Halloween event brought to you by the Downtown Midland BIA and the Town of Midland! We'll be showing ''The Nightmare Before Christmas''. The movie will start at dusk in the parking lot at 509 Bay. Bring your own lawn chair and dress warmly.

·         The Wye Marsh Monster returns for a spooky good evening.  Wye Marsh from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.

Sunday October 30

·         The Community ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) Educational Event takes place at NSSRC from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. ADHD if left untreated results in significant socioeconomic costs to our community. This full day educational event is geared towards adults with ADHD and their families, parents, educators and medical professionals.  Please visit: Community ADHD Educational Event

Council Issues Update


Our new CAO and Treasurer are still working on the numbers to give Council and the public the comprehensive budget statement we need for decision making. The first draft may not be ready until December or January. Late but manageable.

Midland Bay Landing

The current development agreement with our partners faces a major milestone in four months where they must inject significant capital into the project. Discussions will continue over the coming few months to ensure our original agreement is respected.


The Culture Midland Committee is seeking nominations from the public for our cultural leaders. These are individuals or businesses who you feel communicate the importance of culture, inspire the cultural community or have taken a significant role in the recognition and development of cultural talent in our area. The four award categories are:

·         Emerging Talent

·         Excellence in Culture

·         Founders, Builders and Historical Contributors

·         Education in Culture

The deadline for submissions is November 1st with awards to be presented at the Cultural Gala on November 22nd. For more information visit or call Nicole at 526-4275 ext. 3206

Gord McKay

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


Sunday, October 16, 2016

October 16, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

One of my long standing policies with News from the Town is “no solicitations”. I regard them as unfair to you the reader. I am going to make an exception to that policy because we are facing a crisis here in North Simcoe.

Winter is fast approaching and our Guesthouse Shelter has been over-whelmed with the number of homeless and poorly housed who need a bed for the night. Our Shelter is still stuck in the Knox church basement which barely has room for ten. This past Wednesday they slept 19. 

The Guesthouse has purchased a new location on Elizabeth Street that if they could just get into would resolve these problems. They need $150,000 to complete the renovations. If they get the money they can be in by Christmas.

The Guesthouse is a private charity, operated by volunteers. It is not “government”. They rely upon their community – us – to help them keep the desperately unfortunate safe through the cold months. They are doing their best to locate funding, the latest being the AVIVA campaign where you are invited to register at and click your support.  While I encourage you to do this, it’s a long shot.

Which brings me to the solicitation.  I am asking each of you to join with me in making a cash donation to the Guesthouse building fund. I have seen our community in action before and I know that we can do great things when we set our minds to it. We need to have our homeless into the new shelter by Christmas. With your real support we can do that.

The Week Ahead

Monday the 17th starts “Government Week” at our local schools – a chance to have students understand a bit more about how local government works. At 10:00 am I am pleased to host Huron Park students at Town Hall. A thank you to our Police and Fire who are without doubt the most popular parts of the tour.

At 6:00 pm the Midland & Penetanguishene branch of the Canadian Diabetes Association hosts its information night at the NSSRC. There are many information booths to visit – presentations start at 7:00 pm. Refreshments will be served.

At 6:30 pm is a special closed meeting of Council to consider OPSEU negotiations. Then at 7:00 pm is the Community Healthcare Steering Committee’s quarterly public meeting.  The meeting will feature a backgrounder on Waypoint, an update on the Penentang Health Hub, a discussion of GBGH’s recent decision on obstetrical services and an update on the NSMLHIN. This is your chance to really understand what is happening with healthcare in North Simcoe. That’s at the Wyebridge Community Centre at 7:00 pm.

On Wednesday October19th the County is hosting a full day investment readiness summit in Wasaga Beach. Events of this nature show the benefit of our own economic group, EDCNS, cooperating with other jurisdictions to strengthen our collective economy.

The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney will be live and in person for “A Day in the Life” at the MCC at 2:00 pm. Mr. Mulroney is undeniably one of the most fascinating figures in Canadian political history. While tickets for Rotary Hall have been sold out, the event will be simulcast in the Huronia Players Theatre at the MCC, so tickets are available for the theatre seating. Get your tickets now online at or at the MCC Box Office. 

At 6:00 pm a group of Guy Who Care will assemble at Lot 102 to pool some money and then choose a local charity where a significant contribution will make a real difference.

Thursday the 20th features the NSCFDC event recognizing Small Business Week.  Event registration/networking takes place at 7:00 am; breakfast at 7:30 am; at 8:00 am is the feature presentation by Chef Dean Petit of Matty’s Seafood Brands and Rock Lobster restaurants. If you are going you should have pre-registered by now at  The event is at the Brooklea

At 10:00 am I get to engage in some Fire training at the Penetanguishene Fire Hall.  Hopefully they won’t even think of giving me a hose. Then at 4:30 pm is the OPR Steering Committee at Town Hall. 

On Friday I host another group of students, this time from Mundy’s Bay for a tour of Town Hall. At 3:00 pm is the Midland Bay Landing Steering Committee. The agenda will focus on recent developments with our partner. And closing on a tasty note, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm the Ladies Auxiliary of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 80 will be holding a delicious spaghetti dinner at the Legion Hall. You are most welcome.

Week - End

Saturday October 22

·         Wye Marsh hosts its final moonlight paddle

·         Picnic of the Living Dead - 12 noon to 3:00 pm the Huronia Museum wants you to dress up as a zombie, pack a picnic lunch and come out and get involved in the undead games.

Gord McKay

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


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sunday October 9, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

Thanksgiving weekend is upon us. A time to reflect upon the many gifts we receive in life and a chance to spend some time with family and friends.

Two public service announcement to begin with.

1)     It’s Fire Prevention Week

You are invited to drop by your local fire department and learn more about smoke and carbon monoxide (CO2) alarm requirements and other valuable fire safety information. In addition area fire departments have organized a number of special events for the whole family:

·         Thursday October 13th from 4:00 to 8:00 pm at McDonald’s Restaurants Highway 93 and

Wal Mart locations. Meet with representatives from your local fire department about fire safety and see the various fire apparatus.

·         Friday October 14th at the Penetanguishene Memorial Arena. From  6:30 pm – 7:30 pm please join Sparky for a public skate, followed by a hockey game at 8:00 pm - Penetanguishene Kings vs. Orillia Terriers

·         Saturday October 15th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Midland Home Depot. Meet your local firefighters and see the various fire trucks on display. Join in Home Depot’s hands-on workshop and build something exciting that you get to bring home with you! Even get your own chance to try a fire hose!

A special reminder to replace any smoke and CO2 alarms that are not working or are over ten years old.

2)     This week starts our fall County leaf pick-up. Your chance to move all those bags of garden debris out of your garage. Check your County waste calendar for additional dates.  

The Week Ahead

Monday is Thanksgiving.  Town Hall will be pretty quiet.

Tuesday October 11th starts at County Council at 9:00 am. Council will receive a staff report on the disposition of Midland’s OPA #9 regarding Second Units. Midland Council asked for a three year hold for Second Units for new properties but the County staff is recommending that the restriction be dropped. Council is likely to hear some debate about the recent County decision to allow 3,000 housing units to be developed in Springwater. Also that morning your Midland Council will hold a special training session on communications and media training, starting at 9:00 am.

Midland Council meets again in closed at 5:00 pm to receive a report on our OPSEU negotiations and a potential land sale. At 7:00 pm at Town Hall it’s the General Committee meeting. A very short agenda including:

-       Draft by-law respecting use of Midland harbor and Town docks

-       Deputy Treasurer recruitment

On Wednesday the12th is the 25th Anniversary of the Christian Community Breakfast. This is an inspiring morning for the whole community featuring Rev. Carey Nieuwhof as guest speaker. You are invited to enjoy a hearty breakfast and good fellowship. Doors open at the NSSRC at 6:30 am. Tickets are available in advance at your local church and Johnstones Musicland.

Later that morning the North Simcoe Housing Working Group makes a presentation to Tay Council on Second Units in rural communities.

Week - End

Saturday October 15th 

·         Wye Marsh hosts another Marsh by Moonlight paddle from 7:00 to 9:00 pm

·         Pumpkinferno continues with Halloween excitement at Discovery Harbour – after dark.

·         The GBGH gala takes place at MCC starting at 7:30 pm

Council Issues Update


The budget process will start a little later than normal this year due to staff changes in Treasury.


The OPP has advised that we should be getting our pricing quotation in November.


Seasonal Parks & Recreation Closures Underway

All great summers must come to an end. It’s time for staff to begin closing some of our Parks & Recreational facilities in preparation for winter.  Here's a list of some of the services that will soon be closed for the season:

·         Park & Harbour washrooms will begin closing October 11th.  Little Lake Park washrooms will remain open until the week of October 17th

·         The Harbour Office will be open at limited times starting next week

·         All tennis and pickleball nets will be removed the last week of October

·         Playgrounds will be closed and equipment removed the last week of October

·         Garbage, recycling, and maintenance services for parks will cease at the end of October

Please do not hesitate to contact the Town’s Operations Department at 705-526-4275 ext. 2217 should you have any questions. 

Gord McKay

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


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sunday October 2, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

The best of autumn awaits with Thanksgiving next week and the lovely fall colours on standby. However there will be cold days ahead and those who do not have a place to stay will turn again to our shelters and soup kitchens. The Guesthouse is looking for volunteers.  If you can spare a few hours to help serve a meal, play some cards or simply be there to help, call Laura at 528-1096 ext.206.

The Week Ahead

A slower start to the week. On Wednesday October the 5th at 1:00 pm, the Javelin Co-op celebrates their 20th anniversary at their location on William St.  All are welcome. Later that day, Community Living Huronia hosts an open house and AGM at their Olive Street facility. The Social starts at 5:30 pm and the AGM at 6:30 pm. Please attend and show your support for these many delightful individuals who make our community such a special place for all. 

At 5:30 pm it’s Council’s turn with a special closed meeting of Council. The meeting will receive an update on OPSUEU negotiations (see announcement below) and on recent Midland Bay Landing discussions.  At 7:00 pm the Planning and Development Committee meets. The agenda includes:

-       Proposed changes from the Province affecting our Growth Plan. Staff is voicing a number of concerns including: increased technical review requirements and loss of local planning autonomy to higher levels of government: increased scrutiny of developers: likely delay in our current OPR process including more cost; a 60% intensification target eventually moving to 80 persons/jobs per hectare that would start to significantly change the look of Midland.

-       A verbal update by staff on Source Water Protection

On Thursday the 6th The Heart of Georgian Bay will be having an Online Reputation Management & Digital Marketing Master Workshop hosted by Jim Brody at the Midland Cultural Centre from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. This event will be completely FREE and there will also be a lunch provided. Spaces are limited, so please RSVP to our event through the following link:

Week - End

Saturday October 8

·         Wye Marsh starts its Marsh by Moonlight paddle series from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Paddling will also take place on October 15 and 22.

·         The colourful Thanksgiving Harvest Festival returns to Sainte-Marie among the Hurons. The celebratory Thanksgiving Harvest Festival takes place on Saturday October 8th and Sunday October 9th.  It’s an all-day event and features 40 artisans throughout the grounds.

·         Sharon and Bram at the MCC at 10:30 am. A perennial favorite with the younger set

Sunday October 9

·         The Bombadils at the MCC from 7:00 - 9:00 pm – for those who enjoy folk songs and good fiddle music.

·         Thanksgiving Harvest Festival at Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons – all-day.


Two items in closing:

1)     The NSCFDC is sponsoring Small Business Week. A key gathering is the Business Breakfast on Thursday October 20th at Brooklea – registration/networking starts at 7:00; 7:30 breakfast; 8:00 to 9:30 a presentation by Chef Dean Petit of Matty’s Seafood Brands and Rock Lobster restaurants. The fee is $20. Pre-registration required by Oct 13th  at

2)     The Town is negotiating with its OPSEU union and has just released the following media release. Hopefully we will be able to negotiate a settlement acceptable to all parties.


(Midland, ON)  The collective bargaining process between the Town of Midland and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) Local 328 which represents the Municipality’s Parks & Recreation, Operations (roads) and Water/Wastewater staff, has resulted in a request by OPSEU to the Ministry of Labour for a ‘no-board’ report.  The union’s request for a no-board report will allow OPSEU Local 328 to be in a legal strike position 17 days after the Ministry of Labour processes their request.  Similarly, the employer (Town of Midland) would be in a position to lock-out the employees. 

The Town and the Union have been at the bargaining table since June 16th, 2016.  The Town remains optimistic that a new collective agreement can be reached given their ability to reach a negotiated settlement with the Town’s other employee union IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers).  Council has been consistent with its unionized and non-union employees alike, and is committed to reaching an agreement that is fair and reasonable to both employees and ratepayers.  Council continues to be committed to delivering services that respond to the needs of Midland residents and businesses. 

"We are hopeful of reaching a new collective agreement, but at the same time it is critical for the Town’s administration to commence with the development of contingency plans in light of a potential labour disruption," said Midland CAO, John Skorobohacz.  "As always, our priority is to ensure the effective delivery of our municipal services.

The Town would like to assure our residents and businesses that many of the Town’s services will not be affected by any potential labour disruption.  Ongoing communications with the public will provide more details as the potential for the labour disruption approaches.  Updates respecting the potential labour disruption will be posted on as well as the Town’s social media outlets.

Gord McKay

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