Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunday December 31, 2017


Ladies and Gentlemen



Standing upon the threshold of 2018, a pause to reflect upon the lessons of the year past and anticipate the bright promise of the year to come.



Many of you have commented that things have been changing in Midland over the last few years. More housing is being built, more jobs are being created, bigger summer festivals and many new residents who are now calling Midland home.  These changes did not “just happen”. This progress has been as a result of the planning and hard work of many citizens, businesses and yes your Town Council and Staff. Setting Midland’s new course has been challenging, requiring difficult decisions to be made, but it was absolutely necessary for the future success of our community.



2018 is upon us and with it a test of our commitment to continue building our future. That commitment will be shown in many ways – by downtown merchants investing in their shop fronts; by our openness to newcomers and new ideas; by helping our neighbors who need a hand; by community leaders making the hard decisions that benefit all Midland residents. 



2018 is an election year both provincially and municipally. On the provincial level you will have a real choice to make in North Simcoe. The first challenge will be to set aside the easy decision, the “I have always voted for  ...…” decision, and take the harder path by asking “Which candidate is best able to serve me, my family and my Midland”.  Midland needs a provincial representative who will support and provide the resources for our drive to become a thriving urban community.



In October it’s the municipal election – your vote will set the Town’s course for the next four years. If you like how Midland has been developing recently, vote for those candidates who have been actively trying to help the Town and community implement its current vision.  Ask tough questions and expect direct meaningful answers. Find out how they will deal with the key issues facing our Town – building our local economy, providing access to healthcare, improving Town services and our protecting our Georgian Bay environment. And if you feel the calling, be the candidate.  Public office has its challenges but where else can you take a lead role in shaping the future for the 17,000 people who live in our Town.



The coming year will challenge each and every one of us. You get to decide on the direction you will take and how much you want to be involved. Whatever you decide, you will make 2018 the Year for Forging Our Future.





The Week Ahead



A very quiet first week of 2018.  The Town office is closed on Monday January 1st.  Canadian Blood Services is holding a blood donation clinic at the NSSRC from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.



On Tuesday we raise the Crime Stoppers flag at noon. And on Thursday at 9:00 am the Governance Review Committee meets at Town Hall.



That’s it.





Council Issues – Looking Forward to 2018



Service Delivery Review



The Service Delivery Review Report’s 68 recommendations from the staff and public will be turned into a three year implementation plan.  The first phase will focus on “back office” improvements primarily in Treasury and Information Technology.  Look for regular status reports throughout the year. Also look for new services to be announced from time to time – eg. Buying your Fire Permit online as opposed to coming into the Town hall.





OPP



The Town will hear from the Ontario Civilian Policing Commission shortly, likely approving of our transfer to the OPP. Those MPS officers who want to transition to the OPP will start their training in February and then be back on Midland streets wearing an OPP patch later in the month



Midland Bay Landing



The Town will likely finalize its new Municipal Services Corporation by April. It will then start looking in earnest for a new development partner. Hopefully that partner will be in place by fall 2018. Please follow the Town website for developments.



MPUC



The Ontario Energy Board is still reviewing the sale agreement. No issues have been raised to date. Expect the transaction to close in the spring. We will keep our MPUC name for the foreseeable future, even as our hydro is delivered through Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution.



Downtown Health Clinic



Construction will continue through the winter. Optimistically the clinic will be open by December 2018.



GBGH



The new ER expansion should be completed by summer of 2018. The new 16,000 square foot mental health wing will start construction, hopefully in 2018.



Budget



The 2018 budget process starts publically on Feb 22nd. The budget should wrap up by the end of March.



OPR



The Official Plan Review process is on pause as staff continues to review new directives from the province. Two major developments that will require further work are the prescriptive Natural Heritage System designation and the consolidation of more of our municipal planning authority at the County level.



Other Items for 2018



·         New Georgian Bay District High School should open for the fall term in 2018

·         The owners of the Keewatin are likely to make a proposal to the Town to move the vessel to our shore

·         Lots of housing starts are in the works. Look for work to start on the “Seasons on Little Lake” development on Hwy 12

·         Lots more commercial development including the new Honda location and Montanas at the Mountainview Mall.

·         A report on the road diet trial will be considered along with a recommendation that the Yonge Street pilot be extended to Hwy 93

·         Lots more summer festivals in 2018 including Butter Tart; Feast Fest; RibFest; TugFest

·         And don’t forget the municipal election in October





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In closing two items that show Midland continues to punch above its weight.



John Hauser, a local resident and biking enthusiast, has been singularly successful in building the annual Cyclo-cross event at Little lake Park. He recently made representation to the international cycling authorities and Midland has been selected as the venue for the “Masters Pan-Am Cyclo-cross Championship”. Midland takes to the world stage thanks to John’s passion and hard work. http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/pan-american-cyclo-cross-championships-awarded-to-canada-in-2018-and-2019/



More cruise ships are coming in 2018 and its time to get serious about making cruising a key part of the port of Midland. The province has just granted the Town $250,000 to conduct a study on its behalf on the developing cruise industry in the Great Lakes. The Town will lead a group of 7 other Great Lakes ports in establishing an industry business case, in particular determining what infrastructure changes are needed to Midland and the other ports. Please see attached Media Release.





Gord McKay





The Year for Forging Our Future - 2018

                                                                                              




Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sunday December 17, 2017


Ladies and Gentlemen



Despite the many supportive comments I received in response to last year’s Christmas doggerel,

(see http://newsfromthetown.blogspot.ca/2016/ ),  I have decided to spare you that seasonal flourish this year. I will turn instead to another Christmas tradition - a review of the year past.  And to avoid looking like an “everything is rosy” list I will try to keep it in balance.



In January last year, News from the Town proclaimed 2017 to be The Year for Getting it Done.  So, what have we done?



1)     Right at the start of the year, Council made the decision to sell our power utility, MPUC. The sale will significantly reduce the business risk the Town was facing in owning a small utility, plus it allows the Town to establish a trust fund of $22M to be used on a revolving basis to promote infrastructure projects and keep taxes low.



2)     The year also started with a commitment to review and improve our Town services, engaging both staff and the public in the change process.  The “Midland Forward” report identified general challenges and opportunities. The Town then undertook a thorough Service Delivery Review which has resulted in 68 recommendations for improvement. For me the most significant of these was to invest in our future in Information Technology. Specifically, establish two senior positions to guide our technology development and implementation



While this was going on, a number of key staff positions were filled:  Director Human Resources; Director Corporate Services; Director Engineering; Manager of Water/Waste-Water; Manager of Communications.  Look for the impact of these changes to become evident in 2018.



3)     Many of you commented that Midland has never had so much summer fun as we did in 2017. We were treated to the Butter Tart Festival, the Big Yellow Duck, RibFest, Feast Fest, ZuchiniMani and Tugfest. Staff is already planning for more fun next year.



4)     2017 saw 15 cruise ship visits. While 2018 does not look like it will be as busy, we are taking a lead role with the province to develop a long term strategy that will keep the cruise ships coming to Midland for years to come.



5)     Downtown revitalization was a major focus of Council and staff. Much of the energy was spent in finalizing concept plans and making sure we have the capital resources to proceed with major works in 2019.  Early signs are starting to appear with new stop signs at King and Elizabeth, new parking spots along Bayshore and the “road diet” initiative along Yonge Street.



6)     We nearly had a microbrewery in Midland with Barnstormers expressing strong interest in moving into our downtown. Unfortunately the site proved to be contaminated and they were unable to complete the deal. The Town is now taking steps to ensure the environmental concerns are addressed. I expect to see Barnstormers back in Town in the near future.



7)     The decision was made to change our policing to the OPP, with the actual transfer date set for February 2018. While we have been well served by the MPS, this change provides Midland with an equivalent level of policing and an operational cost savings of about $1M per year. I expect most of the officers who have served us well to be continuing their service under the OPP.



8)     Healthcare in our community got a big boost this year. The long awaited Downtown Health Centre started construction on Bayshore. The Centre will provide much improved access to health services for our downtown residents when it opens in December 2018.



Also Georgian Bay General Hospital received much needed funding to expand the ER and add 20 new mental health care beds. These projects should complete next year. And I would be remiss without noting that Gail Hunt joined the hospital team as the new CEO.



9)     Keeping with the healthcare theme, Jarlette Health Services has started work on their new long term care site on Yonge Street.  They are building a geriatric campus next to Little Lake, providing our community with a state of the art facility to care for our elderly.



10)  On the economic development front, the investment by the four North Simcoe municipalities in EDCNS and our economy continues to pay off. Though the leadership of EDCNS our manufactures are now actively collaborating on common challenges, in particular hiring skilled staff. This past year saw over 100 individuals placed with our local companies. They are now out looking for 200 more!  And of course Streit Manufacturing moved into the vacant Pillsbury site.



Our improving economy is reflected in our retail stores. Our downtown and Mountainview Mall are looking a lot more prosperous these days.



11)  Affordable housing saw both good news and bad. Midland has a County-set target of 90 new affordable housing units to be built by 2024. The good news is that we are well ahead of target and looking to surpass it. The housing type known as “second units” proved contentious with some residents but was resolved by allowing second units with a minor restriction on floor space. The bad news is that the recent increase in housing prices is reducing the number of affordable units in our community.



12)  The challenge of housing was addressed in part with the Guesthouse opening at their new downtown location. After some growing pains they seem to be settling into their new premises. As mentioned above, the lack of affordable housing is making the Guesthouse more needed than ever.



13)  Right at the end of the year Council voted to implement a “Municipal Services Corporation” – an arm’s length corporation to manage the development of our Midland Bay Landing project. The MSC will give this multi-year $100M plus project a stable management framework to develop our key waterfront neighbourhood.



14)  I would be remiss not to acknowledge the unheralded everyday work of our staff in building roads, plowing sidewalks, cleaning your water, marrying our young couples and the myriad other tasks they perform throughout the year. It is our talented staff who makes this Town work.



It has been a busy year. The above accomplishments would not have been possible without the positive cooperation among staff, Council and our many good citizens.  I am proud to be mayor of such a caring community that is working so actively to build its future.



And something to look forward to in early 2018.  The lands in Port McNicol where the ship Keewatin has been tied up have been sold. The Keewatin has to move and one possibility is to have it come to Midland harbor. Should be an interesting discussion in 2018.









The Week Ahead



A very quiet week in the run up to Christmas. On Tuesday December 19th at 7:00 pm I will be at the Guesthouse for a Celebration of Life for one of their long-time residents. He was one of the family to those who have spent time there.



On Wednesday the 20th, you are invited by the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre to enjoy their Community Christmas Dinner.  This annual expression of community spirit will take place at their Yonge Street location from noon to 5:00 pm. It’s free.  Please come and meet some of your fellow Midlanders.





Christmas Week



A few items to note.



Town offices will be closed from Monday, December 25, 2017 to Monday, January 1, 2018. 



Bruce Stanton MP has organized a free public skate for December 31st from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre, 527 Len Self Blvd.



Our Library is hosting a creative teen event - the Teen Boss Roundtable RALLY.  The event brings together youth who want to make a difference in their community for a fun event featuring music, bingo, winning prizes and starting to shape youth activities in and around the Library. The event takes place Tuesday January 2nd from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. For more info contact Jennifer Paquette the new Teen Services coordinator -jpaquetet@midlandlibrary.com or 526-4218 ext. 3307.  



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A very Merry Christmas to you, your family and loved ones.  Be back in 2018.





Gord McKay





The Year for Getting It Done - 2017

                                                                                              








Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday December 10, 2017


Ladies and Gentlemen



Not sure if it is the snow but a pre-Christmas quiet seems to be descending upon the Town. Nonetheless lots of happy shoppers visiting the many new shop fronts along downtown King Street.



The Week Ahead



A quieter week opens on Monday the 11th with a 6:30 pm closed meeting at the Town to deal with a number of personal matters – mainly appointments to Committees. At 7:00 pm you are invited to attend the last Council meeting of the year. Due to the Christmas break we are combining the December General Committee and Council meetings into this evening. The agenda includes:

-       Awards of 10 and 25 year service pins to 6 staff members

-       Deputation by Rotary for the 2018 Party on the Dock – summer is never far away

-       A number of procedural matters to ensure that the Town can continue to operate into the new year

-       Direction to staff in response to provincial changes to the Municipal Act. These include developing a Code of Conduct and appointing an Integrity Commissioner



On Tuesday I really get into the Christmas spirit as I take over the Salvation Army bells and kettle at our local Canadian Tire. Please drop by, starting at 6:00 pm.



On Thursday December 14th at 3:30 pm the Governance Review Committee meets at Town Hall. Then at 7:30 pm at the MCC, A Day in the Life interviews Fr. Michael Knox SJ.   Fr. Knox is a Roman Catholic priest in the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and has been the Director of Martyrs’ Shrine and Superior of the Jesuit Community in Midland since February 2016.  A truly accomplished gentleman with a Honours B.A. in history, a diploma in philosophical studies, an MA in history, a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology, a Master of Divinity, a License in Sacred Theology, an MA in Theology, and a DPhil in history at Oxford University. Also at 7:30 pm our Physician Recruitment Committee and our new young docs host their Christmas gathering at Tiffin House.



Friday the 15th and Patrick Brown MPP invites you to his Christmas social at his Midland office, 354 Midland Ave. At 8:00 pm you will want to take in the Blues Brothers Christmas at the MCC. Backed by a smokin' hot 7 piece band, these boys are sure to get your toes tapping.





Week - End



Sunday December 17



-       7:30 pm - Songs from around the Bay by Nonie Thompson at MCC. This concert will be performed 'festival workshop' style, with guests Adrien Robitaille, Brian Cusson, Karen Warner, and  Sarah Watt all on-stage together swapping songs about Georgian Bay



Council Issues Update



Downtown Health Clinic



As you may have noticed construction has started at the Bayshore site. It will carry on throughout the winter, weather permitting, with occupancy still slated for December 2018.



GBGH



Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) has begun Phase 3 of renovations for its Emergency Department (ED). This final renovation phase will include a new main waiting room, a new See & Treat area for sub-acute patients and a new ED administration area. Phase 3 is expected to last approximately six months.



Given the limited space and an expectation the ED will be busy this winter due to flu season, GBGH is asking patients to be accompanied by only one person when visiting the ED. And to really help out - get you flu shot.







Gord McKay





The Year for Getting It Done - 2017

                                                                                              






Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday December 3, 2017


Ladies and Gentlemen



The cold winds of winter have held off for another week. If we keep this up it will be spring before we know it.



The Week Ahead



On Monday the 4th at 3:00 pm you are invited to a meeting of the Official Plan Review Steering Committee at Town Hall. Some major changes occurring on the planning front with the province but I anticipate that Midland will be able to properly direct its own future.



Tuesday December 5th will see the Town engaged in an emergency y planning exercise for most of the day.  This exercise keeps all of your Town services ready to respond to a real emergency. At 10:00 am that morning the third annual Tay Township Toy Caravan takes place in Port McNicoll. Organized by Eric Conroy of Keewatin fame, thousands of toys will be distributed to children’s charities in our area to help all of us enjoy a happy Christmas. 



The Our Health information series returns to MCC at 7:30 pm to tell you all about heart health.

Dr. Keith Rose and his panelists will tell you that one third of all deaths, in people over 35, are due to blockage of blood supply to the heart (coronary heart disease). To reduce this mortality, experts are emphasizing prevention and using new protocols to speed intervention. Tickets are free. Register at https://midlandculturalcentre.ticketfly.com/event/1577474-Our-Health-Heart-Ache-Midland/





Wednesday the 6th and Askennonia hosts its annual Christmas party and lunch at the NSSRC at noon. Next door to the NSSRC at the Curling Club it’s the first day of the Colt/Trophy Provincial Curling Championships.  Running until the 10th, be prepared for a lot of inveterate curlers running around shouting “hureee hard”.  At 6:00 pm you are invited to participate with our Rosewood Women’s Shelter in solidarity with the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The event takes place at their new Operation Grow location, 436 Bay Street.  



At 7:00 pm it’s the December Planning and Development Committee meeting. It includes a public meeting (you may speak) on three planning topics:

-       Zoning Bylaw Amendment for the Hanson Development on Hwy 12. This involves a number of changes including storm water management and  internal road width

-       Zoning Bylaw Amendment for 344 Fuller to sever a building lot

-       Zoning Bylaw Amendment for the property at Midland and Hugel, respecting a new four story apartment building

The regular meeting will review the results of the public meeting plus a Zoning Bylaw Amendment proposal from Oz developments (the old Mitsubishi building on Wye Valley Rd.) to permit a business office use in their building





Thursday the 7th is just busy.



-       5:30 pm – A farewell to Dr. Brian Stevenson who has served as President and Vice Chancellor at Lakehead University for 7 years. The reception is at Heritage Place Learnings Commons at 1 Colborne Street W. in Orillia

-       5:30 pm - The Annual First Light event is into its last weekend at Sainte-Marie and the Martyrs’ Shrine. The event runs from 5:30 to 9:00 pm from December 7 to 9. Bus shuttles run from our downtown to the site

-       6:30 pm - The 724 Midland Lions Air Cadets host their Christmas dinner at the Legion

-       7:00 pm - Coal Patrol by our local Good Morning Apocalypse improv group takes to the MCC stage

-       7:00 pm – Huronia Players holds its AGM at the HP theatre



Friday the 8th is a bit quieter (time for shopping) with the internationally famous Liona Boyd performing at St Paul’s starting at 7:00 pm. Liona will sing a winter fantasy, with a little help from our own Children’s Community Choir.  Also at 7:00 pm Hospice Huronia lights its Tree of Remembrance at their Hospice Huronia location at 25 Jeffery St. in Penetanguishene.  Also see www.hospicehuronia.ca



Week - End



Saturday December 9



-       4:00 to 8:00 pm – The 7th annual Christmas Home Tour.  Visit 6 beautiful vintage homes all decked out for Christmas. Tickets available through the Midland Heritage Committee and at Town Hall





Sunday December 10



-       2:00 pm - The Next Generation Leahy - Celtic music at the MCC

-       4:30 and 7:00 pm – Two sittings for the We Are the Villagers Christmas Dinner at Phil’s, 519 Hugel in Midland. Reserve at 1-855-528-5252 or info@wearethevillagers.com  


Council Issues Update



Service Delivery Review



The draft findings from the consultant for the Service Delivery Review were presented to Council this week (Presentation at)   http://www.midland.ca/Shared%20Documents/Agenda%20Special%20Meeting%20-%20November%2027%202017.pdf



There are 68 recommendations from the consultant.  Some may be easy to implement, others will take a lot of work and resources, and some may not be appropriate for us to implement.  Our challenge now is to prioritize and implement key recommendations in 2018 that will demonstrate results and our commitment to continuous improvement. There will be a further report presented to Council on December 11th.   



Budget



Initial dates for the 2018 public budget meetings have been set. Please pencil in: February 22, March 1, March 22 and March 28 (the public comment meeting). After that the budget will go to General Committee and Council .  More information in the New Year.





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I am attaching a very special picture for you. Eric Conroy (Keewatin) was in Ottawa this past week to receive a Canada 150 medal from Senate of Canada. This Canada 150 medal commemorates community involvement, specifically Eric’s work with the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, his Toys for the North program and the Keewatin.  Well deserved.



Gord McKay





The Year for Getting It Done - 2017

                                                                                              




Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sunday November 26, 2017


Ladies and Gentlemen



The 2017 Civitan Christmas Parade is in the books – and what a great parade it was. The downtown carries on the celebration with three hours of free parking in the downtown for the month of December.



Last week I mentioned that Sharon’s Boutique Plus was opening but I provided the wrong address. Their new location is at 758 Yonge Street. So do drop by and see Shirley, who gives some of the best hugs in Town.



There seems to be a lot of new shops opening in Midland. I must be attending at least one opening a month. Good news for shoppers and our retail economy.





The Week Ahead



A busy Monday the 27th.  At 3:30 pm Council will hold a special meeting in the Council Chambers to receive the report of the Service Delivery Review consultant. This report will present all the key findings, showing where we can improve Town services and how we should be implementing change over the next few years.



At 6:30 pm Council goes into a closed meeting to discuss appointments to the By-law Review Committee, the Midland Library Board and the Seniors Council. Then at 7:00 pm it’s the November Council meeting. A challenging agenda including:

-       Three deputations:

o    Update on the Midland Public Library

o    A private citizen’s view on the number of Councilors we require

o    Overview of the Hospice Huronia fundraising program

-       Two citizen petitions:

o    Request for a sidewalk on Dominion Ave.

o    Request for winter grooming on part of the Trans Canada Trail

-       Proposed changes to the taxi regulations in Midland

-       Recommendation to create the Municipal Services Corporation to manage the development of the Midland Bay Landing property

-       Update on the transition from the MPS to the OPP

-       Budget guidance for 2018.  Staff is proposing a 2.5% increase for Town costs


Tuesday November 28th starts at 9:00 am with County Council in Midhurst.  The major agenda item is a workshop, starting at 10:00 am, to discuss the new provincial planning regulations. The four North Simcoe municipalities met in public this past week to take an initial look at the changes. While we appreciated the need to contain development sprawl, concerns were expressed that the shift of planning authority to the County could limit the involvement of the local municipality in making key decisions about its future.  



At 4:00 pm Waypoint holds its volunteer and donor appreciation event. That’s at the Waypoint Atrium Building, Bay CafĂ© 500 Church Street, Penetanguishene.



On Thursday, the North Simcoe Housing Working Group meets at the Town at 2:00 pm to discuss its 2018 projects.  That evening sees the second weekend for the annual First Light event.  The event runs from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. (Thursday to Saturday) at Sainte-Marie and the Martyrs’ Shrine. For more information visit their website at www.hhp.on.ca. Please note we have a shuttle bus running from downtown Midland to the event.  And finally Trivia Night returns to the Legion. All members and non-members are welcome to attend this pub-quiz style challenge for both the trivia pro and the casual expert. Great prizes to be won. Trivia starts at 7:00 pm. Entry fee is just $15 per team (2-5 players).



Friday December 1st sees a signature event at the MCC in Midland.  Kee Bee Play, one of our local manufacturers, is involved in an innovative research program to understand how their “play products” can be used to improve the quality of life for those with dementia. Working with U of T and a number of long term care facilities, they will release their research finding this morning, signaling what I anticipate is a positive result for geriatric therapies and success for one of our up and coming manufacturers.  And at 2:00 pm you are invited to join K-Mobile to celebrate their business opening at 741 Yonge Street.



Week - End



Saturday December 2



-       9:30 to 10:30 am – Pancakes and Pajamas at the Library. This free event will see a visit from Santa. Please register at 705-526-7216

-       10:30 am – A Day in the Life with Santa at the MCC. This reveal-all conversation explores life at the North Pole, the roles of Santa, the reindeer, the elves and Mrs. Claus, and the big job of getting gifts to all the good boys and girls all around the world. Children will have a chance to speak with Santa and to tell him about their Christmas wishes. Arts and crafts for the kids provided by Quest Art and tasty treats by Chef Glen. And, best of all, it’s free! Register for your tickets at www.midlandculturalcentre.com

-       4:00 pm - Town of Penetanguishene Annual Santa Claus Parade - along Main Street from Jeffery Street to the Town Dock

-       8:00 pm - Micah Barnes at the MCC – a fabulous entertainer



Sunday December 3



-       7:30 pm - The Good Lovelies Christmas Concert at the MCC (Tickets almost gone)



Council Issues Update



Budget



This week Council has a first look at the staff proposed cost increase of 2.5% for 2018. Council’s commitment to keep our cost growth below the rate of inflation continues. The challenge in 2018 comes from a number of onetime costs associated with the Midland Police transition, the MPUC sale and changes from the Service Delivery Review. It is important that we commit the resources to successfully complete these strategic changes.  It will be an interesting budget process.



Cruise Ships



One on my quieter projects is working to develop the Ontario cruise ship industry and thereby ensure that Midland remains a cruise port for years to come.  Midland is one of 8 active cruise ports in the province. Most ports have seen increased cruise traffic and given current trends that traffic could grow considerably over the next decade. Is Midland ready for that business; how do we receive all these visitors; and are we as a municipality and tourism destination prepared?



The first step in answering these questions is to develop the business case for the industry. Your mayor has been working with the province to obtain funding for the study – it looks promising. Will keep you informed.



Midland Bay Landing



The Town was successful with its request for funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for the environmental study of our MBL property.  So all four of the foundational studies for the MBL property will have no direct cost to the Town. These studies provide the information we need to be fully prepared to take the property to market, likely in early 2018.







Gord McKay





The Year for Getting It Done - 2017

                                                                                              






Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday November 19, 2017


Ladies and Gentlemen



It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  Hope you’re ready. As you will see below, this week kicks off the festive season with parades, parties and tree lightings. Please come on out and be a part of our small town Midland Christmas.



The Week Ahead



On Monday the 20th our Physician Recruitment group meets at 8:00 am at GBGH.  At 5:30 pm Big Brothers Big Sisters invites you to their AGM at the Penetanguishene museum.



Tuesday sees the start of the 2017 edition of the Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE) program .  Our Midland Police will be down at the launch event in Innisfil: showing us the importance of making our roads safe for all. At 7:30 pm a Day in the Life hosts Tim Danson at the MCC. Mr. Danson is a near legendary lawyer who has played a key role in Canadian history. He has represented the families of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy (victims of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka), equestrian Olympic gold medalist and world champion Eric Lamaze, hockey superstar Bobby Hull and track and field superstar and Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis. 



Wednesday the 22nd sees another special salute to our veterans. Askennonia is hosting their annual Veterans Lunch at their NSSRC location. Vets are free - all others pay a $15 cover charge. And then we swing into Christmas with the magical lighting of our Town Christmas Tree.  The fun starts at Neezhoday Park at 5:00 pm including the Midland Public Library and Cafe Roxy providing hot chocolate, crafts, music and more! Lighting of the tree will take place at approximately 7:00 pm. 


On Thursday November 23rd I will be in Toronto for a discussion with our government about Midland’s developing cruise ship industry. But lots going on in Town.  From 10:00 am to 1:00 pm the NSCFDC Speakers Series presents “Tame the Paper Monster” – a new technology to manage and access electronic records and services. The event takes place at Midland Public Library. Please register at www.nscfdc.on.ca 



At 5:30 pm the annual First Light event kicks off at Sainte-Marie and the Martyrs’ Shrine. The event runs from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. from November 23 to 25; from November 30 to December 2; and from December 7 to 9. For more information visit their website at www.hhp.on.ca. At 7:00 pm you are invited to a joint Council discussion (councils from Penetanguishene, Tiny, Tay and Midland) to hear how the province’s changes to the Provincial Growth Plan will affect us.  The meeting takes place in the Library’s assembly room.



Friday the 24th features the Town’s Christmas staff party at the NSSRC.  At 7:00 pm be sure to take in the “Coal Patrol” at the MCC.  It features our own improv troupe Good Morning Apocalypse taking a satirical look at the Christmas season.



Week - End



Saturday November 25



-       11:00 am - The 40th annual Civitan Christmas Parade starts at Little Lake Park and proceeds down King Street

-       9:00 am to 1:00 pm - The County of Simcoe is recruiting volunteers to enhance and enrich the lives of clients in our long-term care homes and seniors programs. The event takes place in the Georgian Manor front lobby, 101 Thompson Road, Penentanguishene

-       3:00 pm - Sharon Boutique Plus opens under new management at 317 King Street





Sunday November 26



-       All day - Big Brothers Big Sisters is hosting a charity bonspiel at the Midland Curling Club at 474 King St.

-       1:00 pm - The Annual Waubaushene Santa Claus Parade takes place, in Waubaushene

-       8:00 pm - Pavlo entertains with warm international/Mediterranean melodies at the MCC https://www.youtube.com/watch/?ref=0&v=B3NwPG9X_vw



Council Issues Update



Service Delivery Review



The first phase of the Service Delivery Review is reaching a critical point with the findings to be released in a special afternoon meeting of Council next Monday the 27th. Quite an emphasis on using modern information technology to significantly improve the efficiency of how we do our work at Town Hall. 



Budget



The County has just about completed its 2018 budget with a tax rate increase of just over 1 per cent. As I had mentioned earlier, the Town will not get into its budget debate until early 2018 – too much going on this fall. Will have to see if we can keep our own tax increase in line with the County’s.



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While Hallowe’en may be a distant memory, our neighbours over at Huronia Historical Parks report that their Pumpkinferno event was a “spooktacular” success.  They welcomed 18,336 visitors, an increase of 44% from 2016. The economic impact was $1.3 million to the local economy including an estimated 16% of our visitors spending the night in the area. Some 66% of the visitors came from outside of North Simcoe.



We are becoming known as a “go to” tourism place.





Gord McKay





The Year for Getting It Done - 2017