Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday March 26, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

Just back from my annual pancake flipping adventure at the Wye Marsh Sweetwater Festival. Despite the cool day there were many happy families discovering the joys of maple syrup.  The maple syrup industry is achieving new prominence in our area. In fact we have a major conference in Midland this July attracting maple syrup producers from across the province to discuss growing the industry. Another sign of how we are changing.

The Week Ahead

Monday March 27th at 1:00 pm is a Housing First conference at the Kempemfelt Conference Center in Innisfil. The conference will discuss how the County can establish affordable housing programs that:

-       House the homeless unconditionally, as a first step

-       Provide the supports to help them stay housed

The Housing First model has proven to be successful in reducing homelessness in many jurisdictions across North America.

At 5:30 pm is a closed meeting of Council to discuss a number of matters: a potential land sale; potential litigation; appointment to committees.  Then at 7:00 pm is the March Council meeting including:

-       One deputation from the District Health Unit on “Breastfeeding Friendly Places”

-       An application by Jarlette Health Services for a development charge exemption for their new Villa Long Term Care facility. This new facility will replace the long term care beds in the current Villa building, bringing them up to modern standards

-       A request to consider a common taxi service for the area including Midland and Penetanguishene

-       A request to review a regional fire service for North Simcoe

-       Council membership for our new HR committee

Tuesday starts in Midhurst at 9:00 am with County Council.  A number of interesting items before Council including a proposal for an incentive program to encourage more of us to use of our green bin. Regular use of the green bin may net you a gold sticker for your bin and/or a Recycling Star ball cap. 

On Wednesday you are invited to attend the Askennonia  AGM at 11:30 am at the NSSRC.  That afternoon Mary Lynn West-Moynes, President of Georgian College, comes to visit our library to discuss potential cooperation around entrepreneurial programs.  At 3:00 pm our economic development group EDCNS hosts it’s Manufacturers Roundtable at Techform.  This working meeting brings area manufacturers together to discuss how to improve their businesses. The meeting should receive an update on the recent jobs advertising program.

Thursday March 30th at 9:30 am, Simcoe County Circles (Bridges Out of Poverty) Program holds an information session at the old PSS location in Penetanguishene.  The Circles Program is based on forming supportive relationships among Circle Leaders (individual/family working to get out of poverty) and community Allies (individuals who have completed a Bridges Out of Poverty workshop) who are willing to provide support.

At 7:00 pm at Town Hall is the next step in our 2017 budget process.   This is your turn to provide input about the 2017 budget. For background information please see   Also at 7:00 pm Brookside Music brings Tafelmusik  to St Pauls. The Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra will provide a selection of pieces exploring 100 years of Canadian history.

Friday the 31st sees the Battle of the Bands at 7:30 pm at the MCC. Rock out with five local bands as they battle it out in support of The Next Door Teen Transitional Lodge. Bands include returning champs Souled Out, Crossfire, The Penny Love Band, Blues Connection and Coconut Navy.

Week - End

Saturday April 1

-       10:00 am - YMCA Fire Truck Pull and Fun Run at the Midland YMCA

-       12 noon – Trans Day of Visibility at Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre

Sunday April 2

-       Books2Eat at the Midland Public Library at 2pm. One of our Town’s signature events

Council Issues Update


The GBGH Board has started a strategic review of the hospital’s vision and mission. This is an important step for our community in making sure our hospital continues to serve the needs of the people in our area. If you have any thoughts on our hospital’s future please forward then to Mr. John Kurvinck, acting CEO of GBGH.

Georgian Bay General Hospital is looking to fill four (4) positions on its Board. The GBGH Board is skills-based and is interested in applications from individuals who reflect our many communities, including people from the Francophone, First Nation, Metis and Inuit communities. If you are interested please contact:

Community Based Nominations Committee – Attention: Chair

C/O Jacki Dumont

Georgian Bay General Hospital

1112 St. Andrew's Drive,

P.O. Box 760

Midland, ON L4R 4P4

Applications, including resumes, must be received before 4:00pm on Friday, April 7th,


Council has completed its first review of both the 2017 operational and capital budgets. We are currently looking at a municipal tax rate increase of just over 3%. Council is still looking for a few more reductions.  You may wish to speak at the public meeting on the budget scheduled for Thursday March 30.


And lastly, the Mayors Mac & Cheese dinner at Lot 102 is set for Monday April 3rd.  Three seatings - 4:30,  5:45 and 7:00 pm.  Please help us by getting your tickets early. All proceeds to We are the Villagers children’s’ charity.

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday March 19, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

March Break is over – Winter wraps up this week – The BIA and Town event planners tell me we are going to have events in our downtown almost every weekend this summer.  Gotta love this Town.

Lots of discussion and action with residential real estate. Barrie just reported year over year house price increases of 39%. Comments from local realtors indicate the market demand is starting to turn to Midland. Good news for some but it will create challenges for our area’s affordable housing.

The Week Ahead

Monday March 20th features a regular meeting of the Community Healthcare Steering Committee at 5:00 pm at GBGH.  They are considering aligning with the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN to coordinate public input on the impact of the province’s Patients First initiative. This program will affect future healthcare services in North Simcoe. For more information 

On Tuesday the Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their annual awards dinner at the Quality Inn at 6:00 pm.  Also at 6:00 pm the Town will by holding its regular Official Plan Review meeting.  The meeting will receive the first draft of our new Official Plan, which should lead to some lively discussion. You are welcome to attend.

Wednesday the 22nd at 3:30 pm the Town will conduct its second budget meeting to review capital budgets for all departments. The meeting should last until 8:30 pm.  A better alternative for the young may be “Snuggle Up & Read” at 6:30 pm at our library.  You are invited to come in your most comfortable PJs for an evening of stories read by some of our most beloved Midland folks! Bring your teddy bear or special blanket and enjoy some fresh snacks. And it’s free.

Thursday March 23rd is a busy one. From 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm the YMCA is holding its annual Job Fair at the MCC. I know our employers are looking for willing workers so bring your resume and see the many job opportunities that are out there. At 2:00 pm our creative library is holding a free event, “E-Mail 101”. This is your chance to develop your confidence and computer skills to use email independently.  It will cover the basics of email: sending emails; replying; attaching files; plus a discussion on how to detect fraudulent emails. Please register at 705-526-4216.

It’s spring registration day at the NSSRC for all sorts of youth programs.  This is a joint registration and includes programs run by the Town, Chigamik and We are the Villagers.  Registration is open from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. 

Friday the 24th and it’s your second chance to sign up for spring recreation programs at the NSSRC (See Thursday’s details) Registration is from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Waypoint holds its annual gala at its location at 7:00 pm. And if you are looking for a fun way to be entertained by local talent check out Good Morning Apocalypse, our newest theatre and comedy group that you have never heard of. They will be providing stand-up and skit comedy at Lot 102 starting at 8:00 pm. More info at

Week - End

Saturday March 25

-       10:00 am to 1:00 pm – Last day for spring program registration at NSSRC

-       10:00 am to 4:00 pm - The annual Sweetwater Festival at Wye Marsh

-       11:00 am onwards it’s the second annual March Mudness at Rotary park in Penetanguishene. Teams from across North Simcoe take to an outdoor obstacle course to raise funds for GBGH

Sunday March 26

-       10:00 am to 4:00 pm - The annual Sweetwater Festival at Wye Marsh

Council Issues Update


The Request for Proposals process has closed. The next step is to review the proposals and choose those that best meet the Town’s and ratepayers objectives.  Please see the attached media release.


A major step forward in our Official Plan Review process this week. The initial comments by the consultants and the public have been analysed and the first draft report will be tabled at the OPR meeting on Tuesday. I expect the report to be available to the public shortly for your review and input.

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday March 12, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

Our first 2017 budget meeting is behind us and the first draft municipal tax rate shows an increase of 3.1%. If Council accepted this draft, then the all in tax rate increase, combining County and school amounts, would likely be in the range of 2.5%. More budget work ahead.

It’s March break week.  A quieter week for the Town even though I expect to see more young folks in the downtown. Enjoy.

The Week Ahead

Monday March 13th features the Daffodil flag raising for the Canadian Cancer Society at Town Hall at 1:00 pm.

On Tuesday the 14th it’s likely to be a long County Council meeting in Midhurst starting at 9:00 am. The meeting will review Midland’s OPA Number 9 concerning Second Units in our Town.

On Wednesday I meet with Bruce Stanton MP to discuss federal government support for our King Street Redevelopment project.

Week - End

Saturday March 18

-       8:00 pm Leahy-The Next Generation will entertain you with Celtic fiddle music by six incredibly talented youngsters at the MCC

Sunday March 19

-       Southern Georgian Bay Farmers Market is at the Huronia Museum starting at 9:00 am, every Sunday during the winter months

-       Brookside brings you Scaramella, a celebration of Baroque music at the MCC at 2:00 pm


Council Issues Update


The first budge meeting heard from all municipal Boards and commissions, including the Midland police and our library. It also reviewed the operating budget for all Town departments.

The marathon 8 hour meeting was especially challenging this year as our Treasurer introduced a new budget format and methodology.  A fair bit of time was spent considering how the new representation of the budget figures related to the expenditures from previous years. The purpose of changing the format was to improve transparency – to let Council and the public have a better understanding of service delivery costs. For example, we were shown for the first time that the cost of staff time to support our 39 Town committees was in excess of $400,000.

So the bottom line for the first draft shows a municipal year over year tax increase at 3.1 %. Our next budget meeting takes place on March 22nd at 3:30 pm.


A calendar reminder that the second annual Mac & Cheese dinner in support of the We Are the Villagers children’s charity takes place on April 3rd at Lot 102 - three dinner sittings of 4:30, 5:45 and 7:00 pm.


Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday March 5, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

A quick look outside serves as a chilly reminder that winter is still here. But as you will see in the Monday Committee agenda, we are looking forward to a great summer.

The Week Ahead

Monday March 6th and it’s our General Committee meeting at 7:00 pm. A relatively short agenda including:

-       A proposal for a new Human Resources Committee to guide the Town’s management of matters such as labour negotiations, compensation and staff benefits

-       Lots of items linked to having fun in Midland this summer

o    June 1st and 2nd, a special arts event in Little Lake Park sponsored  by Quest/Askennonia

o    July 1st, Canada Day Parade organized by the Civitan Club

o    July 7th and 8th, performance boat display at the dock

o    July 7th to 9th, our long awaited Rib Fest

o    July 21st to 23rd, the Ontario 150 Tour and Feast comes to Midland

And these are in addition to the annual Best Butter Tart Festival, Party on the Dock and Tugfest. It’s gonna be a great summer.

On Tuesday its time to brush up on your social media skills. The YMCA is hosting a Social Media Marketing for Business workshop at its 334 King Street location. The event runs from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. More info -

Thursday the 9th is a bit of a sad day as we say good-bye to Tracey Leonard. Tracey is leaving the Town’s finance department for a position with a financial software company. Please drop by the Town Hall at 3:00 pm to wish Tracey well.  At 7:00 pm at the Quality Inn it’s the Midland Lions Civic and Community Appreciation Night.  If you are planning on attending, please contact the Lions at or 705-528-0140.

On Friday the 10th the Town starts the public portion of its 2017 budget process at Town Hall. Starting at 1:30 pm and running until 8:30 pm, Council will hear budget proposals from our various Boards and agencies as well as the operating budgets from Town departments. Additional budget meetings, including a meeting for public input, will take place later in the month.  Ideally the budget will be finalized next month.

At 7:00 pm the Huronia Museum is hosting a public auction of the works of Midland artist Dennis Milton. Dennis was known to many in the Town and celebrated for both the vibrancy and range of his artistic works. We are fortunate to have one of his collages hanging in Town Hall. This is your chance to own one of his unique art works.  Then at 8:00 pm, Huronia Players hosts Mono-Locos at the Boathouse. This series of monologues has proven to be popular so check with Holly Archer first  ( )   to see if space is still available.

Council Issues Update


The first meeting of the OPP Review Committee was held this past week. The consultants are still collecting the data needed to be able to properly compare the cost of our own Midland Police Service to that of the OPP. I know that a number of people seem to have already made their decision on the issue. Council remains determined to have a fair and impartial examination of the numbers. That review is a least a month away.

Midland Bay Landing

The contract that we have with our development partners expired on March 1st.  The Town will be talking with them over the next few weeks to see how/if the partnership will continue.


This past week Midland Council unanimously approved the sale of a parking lot as part of the transaction to bring Barnstormer microbrewery to our downtown.  This decision is just right in so many ways. It will bring more people to our downtown.  It will provide more jobs - I understand residents are already applying the Barnstormer. And it will be a major boost to our tourism.

As with many decisions, not everyone was pleased. The concern about sufficient downtown parking was raised by area merchants.  Council listened. The Town committed to a major review of its parking options over the coming months to make sure that we have sufficient space in our downtown for those who drive.

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017