Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday January 29, 2017


Ladies and Gentlemen



Not to start on a gloomy note but the lack of sunshine this past week is starting to wear thin. It has also been a rough couple of weeks for waste pick-up across the County. Discussions are underway with the contractor to minimize any future disruptions.



The delayed closing of the Midland Pillsbury plant will take place this month. Our thoughts are with the nearly 100 employees who will be losing their jobs. While the closing announcement was made almost two years ago, it still hurts. A bit of good news is that there is another manufacturer looking to acquire the facility.  All our efforts are going into make that happen. 





The Week Ahead



Monday 23rd will start with a closed meeting of Council at 6:00 pm.  The meeting will address appointments to boards and committees and a potential land sale.  At 7:00 pm is the January Council meeting. The agenda includes:

-       Four deputations;

o    County update on how Midland is doing with its affordable housing target

o    A presentation on the 2017 Silver Goose cycling event

o    Update on the Active Transportation Committee

o    Mr. A. Arlett will speak to Second Units in Midland

-       Council will make its decision on “First-Past-the-Post” voting for future elections

-       Declaration of 526 Bay Street (behind the Chamber of Commerce) as surplus land. This is being done as part of a new downtown development

-       By-Law to recognize Ms. Laura Lee as our new Deputy Clerk.  You may recall that Ms. Lee was recently with the Town, filling in for a temporary absence.



On Tuesday at 9:00 am County Council meets in Midhurst at 9:00 am. Council will be reviewing the recent waste collection outages and the corrective actions to be taken. At 7:30 pm at the MCC you are invited to A Day in the Life featuring Rob Reader.  Rob is a well-known restauranteur and avid adventurer.  Sure to be spellbinding.



On Wednesday the 25th at 8:30 am (yes in the morning) you are invited to a special meeting of Council to decide on changes to the MCC by-laws. The meeting is at the Library. Then at 9:00 am at the Library Council starts into a two day workshop on our strategic plan – Midland Forward. Council will be defining its Mission, Vision and Values as a corporation and identifying the major objectives for the next two years. You are welcome to attend.



At 7:00 pm Gateway Centre for Learning and Georgian College invite you to learn about their new Plumber Pre-Apprenticeship Program. The Program is 35 weeks in length and is free to qualified applicants.  The information event takes place at Georgian College, 649 Prospect Blvd, Midland.  For information call Jennifer Ellis 705-527-1522 or http://www.gatewaycentreforlearning.ca/



Thursday the 26th sees the second day of Council’s Midland Forward deliberations at the Library. Starting at 9:00 am, Council will set expectations and actions for:

-       Fiscal responsibility and cost containment

-       Organizational excellence

-       Economic development

-       A healthy and sustainable community

-       Working with partners and collaboration

This meeting is open to the public.



Also at 9:00 am the NSCFDC Speakers Series starts its 2017 season with the presentation “Find Your Inner Leader”.  This inspiring talk by Tracey Evans will answer all your questions about what effective leadership means for an organization and how to go about achieving it.  The talk is at the NSSRC. Please book in advance at www.nscfdc.on.ca.   At 4:30 pm the 2nd annual Mayors Mac & Cheese dinner committee meets to plan this year’s event. Please make a note in your calendar for April 3rd to come out and support We Are the Villagers while enjoying a great Mac & Cheese dinner.



Friday is Family Literacy Day and the place to be is our Library. Starting at 10:00 am and running all day are literacy-related activities for the whole family. Join the fun with educational games, activities, and movies.  



In the afternoon Kee Bee Play, a local manufacturer of commercial play products, will host a special meeting to look for new business opportunities. Kee Bee Play is best known for creating commercial play structures for children - think of the play structures you see in malls or at McDonalds. They have identified a new business area of play structures that can help adults with dementia. The meeting will assess how we can leverage this insight into brand new businesses.



Week - End



Saturday January 28



·         8:00 pm enjoy Billy Joel and the Piano Men at the MCC



Sunday January 29



·         Brookside presents music by Americas (violin and piano) at the MCC at 2:00 pm





Council Issues Update





Budget



Due to a large amount or preparatory work, our public budget process will start in February.





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Two items in closing.



1)     The Our Health presentation on PTSD to be hosted by Dr. Keith Rose is now sold out. A tremendous interest in this topic from our first responders

2)     Midland will be receiving a federal grant of $131,000 for a new accessible transit bus



Gord McKay





The Year for Getting It Done - 2017

                                                                                              


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday January 15, 2017


Ladies and Gentlemen



Cold days ahead but lots happening in Midland to keep you warm.



The Week Ahead



Monday the 16th you are invited to Boston Pizza for a fundraiser for the 2017 Frank Graham Cycle Liberation Tour.  This Tour is all about the special bond between the people of Holland and the Canadians who liberated their country in WWII. This is the third iteration of the Tour. Young people from Midland and Chatham, Ontario will ride from England to Markelo, Holland visiting war memorial sites along the way. Their participation ensures the torch of remembrance will be passed on to the next generation. To help fund their ride Boston Pizza will donate 10% of your bill for food purchased between 5:00 and 8:00 pm.  See you there.



At 7:00 pm Quest Art School + Gallery launches its special project to honour Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation. They are creating four murals, one for each North Simcoe municipality.  Midland’s opportunity to come up with ideas for our mural is tonight at

7 pm at the MCC. If you can’t attend but have some great ideas, send them to murals@questart.ca before January 27.



On Tuesday our Legion helps fundraise for the 2017 Frank Graham Cycle Liberation Tour. The Legion’s Ladies Auxiliary is hosting one of their renowned spaghetti dinners starting at 6:00 pm.



Wednesday January18th our Library launches a brand new program called “1-on-1 Tech Help”. For those of us at wits end trying to cope with modern technology, this program is for you. Join a ‘tech tutor’ for 30 minutes of hands-on learning. They’ll walk you through the steps you need and answer questions along the way. The program is every Wednesday afternoon and it’s free.  Please register in-person or by phone 526-4216.



At 6:00 pm you are invited to an important public meeting to help design your downtown. Last year a committee was formed to start visioning our future downtown. They now have their initial report and again need your feedback on how they are doing. The meeting is from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the MCC.



Thursday the 19th sees a second innovative program from our Library - Genealogy 101 Workshops. The workshop will tell you everything you need to know about researching your own genealogy and introduce you to the many Library resources to get you started.  Workshops will take place every Thursday from 2:00 to 3:00 pm during January and February. It’s free. Please register in-person or by phone 526-4216.



On Friday the 20th I am at County for the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee. Then at 8:00 pm that evening you will want to catch the renowned Canadian group 54-40 Unplugged at the MCC.  



Week - End



Saturday January 21



-       5:00 pm the annual Robbie Burns supper at the Midland Legion



Sunday January 22



-       Southern Georgian Bay Farmers Market – from  9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Museum all winter



Council Issues Update



OPP



The Town has been advised by the OPP that they will present their costing information to us on February 8th.  



GBGH



This past week the mayors met with GBGH and Waypoint about their upcoming budget discussions with the provincial government.  Their overriding concern is receiving sufficient funding to cover the ever growing costs of delivering hospital services. Key points from our discussion:

·         GBGH and Waypoint are key parts of a sustainable health care system in North Simcoe. Health care dollars must be apportioned appropriately.

·         A properly funded community hospital is needed to serve the North Simcoe community - ensure access, reduce wait times and provide high quality patient care.

·         Hospitals have already absorbed zero increases in hospital funding from 2011 to 2015.  No financial capacity remains to face the ever rising costs of hydro and utilities, new provincial regulations and pressures from wage and benefit increases

·         Healthy community hospitals are a must for a strong health care system and are a foundation for the local economy



                                                              *****

And finally, two upcoming items.



1)     CLH has its major fundraising event featuring the legendary Kim Mitchell on Saturday February 25th at 6:00 pm at the Quality Inn (former Best Western)



2)     A group of local representatives will meet on Monday, January 23rd to discuss the historical and cultural importance of Ste. Marie and Discovery Harbour. If you would like to provide your views on these important historical sites, please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/stemarie_discoveryharbour.





Gord McKay





The Year for Getting it Done - 2017

                                                                                              


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday January 8, 2017


Ladies and Gentlemen



Staff reports are just starting to come out about how Midland fared in 2016 and our building permits tell an interesting tale. The 2016 summary shows that the Town issued $71.5M in building permits, which I believe is an all-time high. This compares to $22.3M in 2015. While much of this is as a result of large one-time projects such as our new high school and Operations Centre, there is more than enough left over to indicate that we are definitely growing.



The report also shows that Midland built 143 new housing units in 2016. Midland has an average household density of 2.1 individuals per dwelling, so a first approximation shows a one year population lift of 300 people or 1.8%. This is well ahead of our recent population growth of close to 1%. Note, this is a rough approximation but it supports the reality that Midland is starting to get noticed.



The Week Ahead



Monday January 9th will feature two Town meetings. At 6:00 pm Council meets in closed session to discuss two matters - a personal issue and a potential land sale. At 7:00 pm is the General Committee meeting. The agenda is short and will feature one major topic – the voting process for our 2018 municipal election.  The discussion will begin with a presentation by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and then Council will provide direction about whether the voting system should be changed from the “first past the post” to some other format.



On Tuesday the 2017 work begins in Midhurst with the County Council meeting at 9:00 am.



Wednesday the 11th features a number of interesting events. There will be a community consultation on “Basic Income” at the Orillia public library, 36 Mississauga St., at 6:00 pm.  (Basic Income is a social program currently being explored by the provincial government that would provide an unqualified financial support to every citizen of the province.)   If you plan on attending, please book in advance at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/community-consultation-on-basic-income-tickets-29901223364

You can also participate by sending your comments to the province at BasicIncome@ontario.ca or by taking the online survey at www.ontario.ca/basicincome



Also at 6:00 pm, MPP Marie-France Lalonde, the Minster of Government and Consumer Services and the Minister of Francophone Affairs will be visiting our area.  She will be available to meet you at La Cle de la Baie, 63 Main Street, in Penentanguishene.  Please RSVP to fredlarsen@xplornet.com by Monday if you plan to attend this event.



Then at 7:00 pm it’s the Planning and Development Committee at Town Hall.  An interesting agenda including:

-       A draft plan of subdivision for 283 Barnett St., the old St T’s property

-       A zoning by-law amendment to allow the owners of Mountainview Mall to use the inside area in the back of the mall for warehousing/storage

-       Planning staff’s report on their work plan for 2017. The plan includes such items as:

o    Update on the discussions with the Smart Centre (Hwy 12 and Jones Rd.) to improve traffic flow

o    Application by Castel of Paul Inc. (the old Castle Village) to add a camp ground to their site

o    Ongoing work with the County on our Official Plan Amendment concerning Second Suites

o    Building permit follow-up for large construction projects including Georgian Bay District High School, the GBGH ER and the Town’s new Operations Centre.

For a copy of the staff report visit http://www.midland.ca/Shared%20Documents/plan/PDCCAgendaJan11.pdf and scroll to the bottom.



On Thursday at 7:00 pm the Library Board holds its regular meeting at the Library.



Friday the 13th starts us into the week-end with Ruth Hurdle’s exhibition “Beyond the Trees”. It features a number of her new paintings.  The exhibition opens at 7:00 pm in the upper gallery at the MCC.  Also at 7:00 pm at the MCC is the start of a new “Swing Series” sponsored by our local Caisse Populaire – Desjardins. Come out and enjoy the hot sounds of the Dixie Demons.



Week - End

Sunday January 15



-       7:00 pm Jack de Keyser entertains at MCC with his Voodoo Boogie Revue



                                                         *****



Another new attraction is about to open in our area. Huronia Historical Parks is announcing its brand new Discovery Harbour Skate Trail. Come skate through the historic British military and navel establishment, and experience two kilometres of outdoor skating and entertainment for all ages. The trail is open starting mid-January through to March.  Hours of operation are: Friday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 pm and 6:00 to 9:00 pm.  



Fun in the snow.



Gord McKay





The Year for Getting it Done - 2017

                                                                                              






Sunday, January 1, 2017

Janaury 1, 2017


Ladies and Gentlemen



Happy New Year - 2017



The New Year starts with celebration but 2017 will also be a critical year for Midland. The Town’s agenda contains a number of major items and the time to accomplish them is short.  I expect that by 2018, an election year, Council’s energy will be increasingly focused on politics and less on the important work before us.



In this first News from the Town of 2017 I will take you through those major agenda items. But before doing that it is important to step back and ask the question “Why?” – Why are these items important to Midland and for our future?  Why can’t we just stop and do things the way we did them 10 years ago?



The answer to that question is that you the citizens told us that you want to move Midland forward.  That direction has come in a number of ways: by electing your progressive Council in 2014; by participating in the many planning/information sessions organized by the Town; but most importantly by being engaged in the many supportive and civic activities that make Midland such an exceptional community.



In my many conversations with residents I hear about how they want Midland to be a livable community for the elderly, for children, for families, for all.  They want to have access to a healthy lifestyle that includes good healthcare and recreational opportunities. They want good schools for their children and educational resources for adults. They want quality jobs that will attract and retain young workers. And they want a tolerant community where they can socialize with their friends and confidently welcome new citizens, such as our Syrian refugee family. A community for all to take pride in.



It’s a high bar but it is doable. Your Council’s 2017 agenda takes major steps in realizing your vision.  But remember it is your vision too. Make 2017 your year for getting it done.



 Council Issues Update



Town Hall – Planning and Staffing



Before starting any major job you need to have the right people in place and a sound plan of action. In September 2016 Council brought in our new CAO John Skorobohacz and new CFO/Treasurer Susan Turnbull. They have spent the last three months coming to grips with the realities of our municipality and are now ready to turn to the major work items of 2017.



In late 2016 Mr. Skorobohacz presented Council with a “strategic critique” of our municipal operations entitled Midland Forward.  http://www.midland.ca/Shared%20Documents/CAO-2016-9%20Midland%20Forward.pdf#search=midland%20forward

The report identified many areas for improvement including communications, information technology and the need for a complete operational re-assessment.  Many of the work items in Midland Forward will be actioned throughout 2017-18.



Some further staff adjustments will also be required. Our Clerk, Andrea Fay has announced her move to Wasaga Beach.  Mr. Jamie Galloway, our Engineer, has decided to move back to the private sector. These positions will be filled over the next few months.



OPP Costing



A quality policing service is vital to our community’s safety. The Midland Police Service provides a great policing service but it comes at a cost - approximately 26% of our 2015 tax levy is devoted to police costs. While most residents are satisfied with the quality of the service, many have raised the question “Are we paying too much?”



In the previous term of Council, the decision was made to have a fair look at other policing options. The initial review showed that only the OPP was in a position to service Midland. At the start of this term of Council the OPP was asked to provide a costing for their service. I expect that costing estimate to be provided to us later this month. Council will then have approximately 6 months to assess their service offering and decide on how best to maintain Midland’s high standards of policing service.



Midland Bay Landing



Even though Midland is situated on the shores of Georgian Bay residents have told Council in numerous ways that they want better access to the Bay. In 2013 Unimin Inc. announced it would be closing its operation. Council took the bold step to purchase the Unimin property - some 40 prime downtown acres located right on our waterfront. At the same time many Midland citizens worked with the Town to develop a vision for the land. That vision came to be known as Midland Bay Landing.



Two year ago, Council entered into an agreement with a private sector developer to work with us in implementing that vision. While some preliminary work has been undertaken on the site, much remains to be done. Over the next four months Council will be addressing this gap and making plans to ensure that our vision for Midland Bay Landing becomes a reality.



MPUC



Both residents and the municipality agree that the Midland Power Utility Corporation (MPUC) is one of our major assets. Since MPUC was formed as a corporation in 2000 it has faithfully supplied electricity to the Town. But just distributing electricity is no longer enough. Changes in energy technology, new business models, increased provincial regulation and provincial emphasis on consolidation make operating a small power utility a risky proposition.  Is there a better way to ensure citizens will continue to receive quality electricity services while reducing the risk for everyone?



Council decided some two years ago to ask that question. After a lengthy public discussion Council decided to retain a legal firm to solicit bids for the sale of MPUC. The bids are expected in February/March. Council will then have to decide if any of these bids provide Midland with the electrical services it requires for its future. A final decision is expected before year’s end.



Downtown Health Clinic



Midland citizens clearly identify healthcare as one of their top priorities. One of the key needs in our community, even though it is not widely recognized, is having convenient access to mental health services. Mental health services should be as available as any other visit to the doctor’s office would be.



Two years ago Council was approached by Chigamik/Waypoint to help them provide these needed services to many residents in our downtown. Council agreed to lease a portion of land at Edgehill Park for a downtown healthcare facility.  The project has been approved by the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN and is waiting scheduling by the Ministry of Health. I expect that the site plans will be back before Council this spring with construction to start shortly thereafter.



GBGH



It has been a tumultuous year for our hospital. Citizens have been engaged in the debate about funding our hospital and more recently the consultant’s report recommending the closure of a number of clinical services. The good news is that the clinical services are staying and the hospital has received nearly a million dollar increase to its base funding plus additional funding to complete its Emergency Department.



While Council has no formal responsibility for the hospital, a sustainability community hospital is essential to Midland’s future. Council will continue to participate in the healthcare discussion in 2017, especially as the provincial strategy for homecare services is rolled out.



Budget



The key annual planning document for Council is the budget. Far from being “a lot of numbers” this budget identifies specifically what Council and staff intend to do and how we are backing that up with your taxpayers’ dollars.



The 2017 budget has been delayed due to getting new key staff in place. The public budget process will start in late January and is expected to wrap up by March. The delay should not affect Town operations. Look for some of the strategy ideas from Midland Forward to appear in the 2017 budget.



Official Plan Review



Another key document that guides Council and our Town’s future is the Official Plan. This provincially mandated document describes in some detail the physical shape of the Town – what the roads look like; where people will live; where the parks will be – and much more. The Town is currently updating its Official Plan, which will keep staff and Council busy for most of 2017.  http://www.midland.ca/official-plan-review



One of the challenges of planning is ensuring effective public engagement. While planning can be a dry topic, it none-the-less gives all citizens the opportunity to see what is proposed for the next 5 years and to make comments on those plans. Some of the ideas that staff have come up with to improve engagement include:

-       Informal meetings with staff to discuss specific Official Plan topics

-       An “Official Plan 101” meeting to improve interest in the process

-       Public Open House on the draft Official Plan

Look for these opportunities for your participation in the months ahead.



Economic Development



Without economic development (jobs and wealth creation) we will not be able to sustain our standard of living. The wealth created by good jobs puts money in the pockets of residents plus provides the tax base for delivering the public services that we all rely upon.



In 2014 your Council, together with the other North Simcoe municipalities,  created and funded the Economic Development Corporation of North Simcoe.  Its purpose is to attract and retain local businesses (especially manufacturer) plus promote our tourism economy.



While EDCNS is off to a good start, economic development requires a long-term commitment. This year Council will reaffirm its commitment to economic development in the budget and potentially start to focus on other areas for development such as healthcare services and entrepreneurism.



                                                                    *****



As you can see Council and Staff are in for a busy year.



The Week Ahead



Despite the busy agenda (above), the first week of January looks pretty quiet.  Enjoy it while it lasts.



On a reflective note, the past Deputy Mayor of Tay Township, Bill Rawson, has passed away. A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday January 7th at 1:00 pm at the Oakwood Community Center in Victoria Harbor.





Gord McKay





The Year for Getting it Done - 2017

                                                                                              





Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday December 18, 2016


Ladies and Gentlemen



T’was the week before Christmas

And all through the Town

Folks rushed to get ready

With n’ary a frown



The snow was fresh fallen

And our merchants rejoiced

Christmas lights were aplenty

Hear Serenata carols, sweet voiced



So many packages and toys

And presents for all

Needed Wye Marsh gift wrapping at MCC

And Huronia Mall



At this time of year

There’s no time for delay

Wrapping’s from 10 am to 4 pm

Takes place every day



The Week Ahead



On Tuesday our Trillium Sea Cadets proud

Deliver their salute to Christmas

(Perhaps a bit loud)



At their festive Christmas dinner

A sight to be seen

That’s 6:30 at the Legion

Penetanguishene



While at 5:00 pm

Knox Presbyterian will be your host

To “Messy Church - A Night in Bethlehem”

For which they can boast



That the whole family’s invited

From the kids through to dad

A wholesome family gathering

And a meal’s to be had



Wednesday the 21st

Features more Christmas feasting

Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre

Gives you warm season’s greetings



To join in their tradition of

Feeding their guests

Serving from noon until 6:00

A heartfelt Christmas repast



At 7:00 pm it’s time for more fun

As GMA Players

Present their Christmas plum



It’s a play, not a pudding

At Shop Midland they say

Know it’s an adult production

So keep the children away



On Friday the 23rd

Let’s break into song

You are invited by Connexus chuch

Bring the children along



MCC at 7:00 pm

And don’t forget mom

Tickets are free




Week - End



Saturday December 24



The 24th is tingling

With expectations galore

One more sleep and its over

Who knows what’s in store



Sunday December 25



And now it is Christmas

The day we await

When we all come together

In goodwill to celebrate



With family and friends

The yule tree we surround

To reflect on our gifts

And human love, quite profound



Council Issues Update



The cares of 2016

Are quick put away

Forget the OPP costing

The Midland Bay Landing delay



Finding funds for the hospital

Or budget shortfalls

Lose their importance

When we believe “Good will to all”



The Town Hall hunkers down

For a well-deserved rest

Municipal offices close the 24th

Opening Jan 3rd at best



So to each and every one of you

At this time of year

Rejoice in all the good things

That you hold dear



Your wife, your husband

Your children and friends

Living in Canada

Even the snow that never ends



Take time for yourself

And hear the spirit that guides us

I wish you good cheer

And the very best Christmas



Gord McKay





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

                                                                                              


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunday December 11 2016


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 murals@questart.ca.

.

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



GBGH



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.





Gord McKay





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