Ladies and Gentlemen
The snow has arrived and our downtown merchants are starting to breathe easier. Lots of positive news in our community as we get close to year end.
· The Guesthouse has the funds needed to complete its renovation and expects to be in full operation in their new building by mid-January. Thank you to everyone who helped make this Christmas wish a reality
· Expect more than 25 cruise ship visits to Midland in 2017 from 3 different cruise lines. We are fast becoming a tourism “place to go”.
· Rosewood, our women’s shelter, announced their new “social enterprise”. The business involves indoor agriculture, making locally grown garden-fresh produce available to you 12 months a year. Rosewood has purchased the old LCBO premises on Queen Street. This new downtown business will provide Rosewood with needed funds and be a place for shelter clients and staff to safely learn life skills.
And if you want to see where all this is happening check out the new mapping tool developed by the Town and the County. If you are interested in finding out what zone you are in and what is permitted in that zone, take a look at https://maps.simcoe.ca/zoning/?muni=midland.
The Week Ahead
On Monday December 12th my day begins with a trip to Queens Park to meet with Housing Minister Ballard on the topic of affordable housing. The County’s Affordable Housing Advisory committee has set a new course by redefining how we build affordable housing and what resources are needed to significantly improve our ability to house those in need. As an example, the plan requires each of Simcoe’s 16 municipalities to develop their own affordable housing target – Midland has a current target of 90 new units. My meeting with the Minister will be all about maintaining provincial funding for social housing plus allowing us greater flexibility to use those funds for local housing needs.
At 6:30 pm, back in Midland, Council will have a closed session to discuss a personal matter related to the Butter Tart festival. At 7:00 pm there will be a combined General Committee and Council meeting. The agenda includes:
- Award of Merit presentations to 4 deserving individuals. (I am sworn not to divulge the names)
- 25 Years of Service recognition for:
o Chief Osborne, Midland Police Service
o Terry Paquette, Chief Building Official
o Pat LeClair, Manager Water-Wastewater Operations
- Update on our “Second Unit” by-law as it progresses through County. New provincial laws, especially Bill 7, will likely require our by-law to be amended
- A draft Traffic Calming discussion document. This will start our public discussion about what changes we want to see in Midland to slow traffic down
- Request by the Boathouse Restaurant to lease a small section of municipal land
Tuesday the 13th at 10:00 am sees a special meeting at our Library. They are hosting an information session on an innovative software product designed to help organizations manage their volunteers. Then at 1:00 pm County Council holds a special meeting to elect the Warden and Deputy Warden for the next two year term. Section Chairs and Vice-Chairs will also be decided.
On Wednesday I visit Tay Township at 10:00 am as part of the County’s program of meeting with municipalities on their individual affordable housing plans. Midland’s turn comes in January.
Thursday the 15th features the Seniors Council Christmas lunch at noon at the MCC. Later that day the “Good Lovelies” return to the MCC – unfortunately all tickets are sold.
At 2:00 pm on Friday the 16th at the MCC, Quest formally announces that they are receiving a grant for their Canada 150 mural project. The project will create major murals in each of the four North Simcoe municipalities. The murals will be unveiled on July 1, 2017 as part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations. Quest is looking for historical themes to be included in the murals. If you have any ideas, please forward them to Quest at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At 6:00 pm the Penetanguishene Rotary Club’s Festival of Trees comes to a conclusion with the drawing for the trees at the MCC. Please come and enjoy the festivities.
Week - End
Saturday December 17
- 10:00 am to 3:00 pm please help our Police and Fire Departments with a food donation for Cram a Cruiser. They can be found at Canadian Tire, Superstore, Foodland, Valu-Mart, Wal-Mart and No Frills
- Second City comes to Town with its Christmas comedy review at the MCC 8:00 pm
Council Issues Update
Lots of good news for our hospital this week. This past Friday saw the ground breaking for the Emergency Department building phases 2 and 3. The province has contributed $8.6M to this project. Completion is expected in early 2018.
The North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN (aka the province) announced an increase to GBGH’s annual base budget funding of $961,000. This will go a long way to resolving our hospital’s annual budget shortfall. Additionally the North Simcoe Muskoka CCAC received over $3.7M from the province for its annual base budget. These funds will be used for improved home services to clients and their caregivers. This new funding underscores the province’s intention to improve health services to residents in their own homes.
Your Year for Getting Aboard – Midland is on the Move - 2016