Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday September 25, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

You have probably heard enough bragging from me about our manufacturers but this part of our local economy seems to be taking flight. This past week I attended our area’s Manufacturers Round Table at Weber Manufacturing. Of the seven major manufacturers at the table everyone but one (and they didn’t say) are hiring. Six years ago the message would have been exactly the opposite. This is about as positive a hiring situation as I have seen. All they need are good qualified workers.  So if you know of someone who might make the move to the Heart of Georgian Bay and has some solid skills to offer our manufacturers, invite them up.

The Week Ahead

Monday September 26th sees the start of the NSCFDC Speakers Series. The first session is at 9:00 am at Brian Orser Hall in Penetanguishene. The guest speaker, Jane Barnett, will inform you about the “Customer Connection”. There are two other presentations in the series:

1)     Thursday October 27th 9:00 am at NSSRC – Keeping Things Fresh, with Jamie Tripp

2)     Thursday November 24th 9:00 am at NSSRC – Mental Health in the Workplace, with Sarah Durant

Please register online at

At noon our faithful GBGH Volunteer Association celebrates 110 years of service with a gathering at Café Ste. Marie.

6:00 pm starts the Town business. It begins with a closed meeting to learn about the status of our OPSEU negotiations. We will also consider nominations for the Youth Committee. The September Council meeting starts at 7:00 pm and includes:

            Four deputations:

-       Sharon Vegh provides on update on economic development/ EDCNS

-       Huronia airport reports on their many new developments

-       A report on our 2016  Butter Tart Festival – not to be a spoiler but we are going to hear some great numbers

-       Sustainable Severn Sound updates their many activities

Discussion about allowing ATVs on Town roads

Three by-law reports:

-       The property at 168 William Street

-       The property at 228 Chaingate

-       The smoking/loitering issue affecting residents on Christine and Maxwell

Further discussion on retaining Mark Rogers for the sale of MPUC

On Tuesday I am down to County Council at 9:00 am for a couple of key topics. We will vote on accepting the transit plan that will see improved bus service from Midland to Barrie/Orillia. Then the Committee of the Whole will consider a number of changes to how we collect waste with the view to increasing our diversion rate to 70%.

Wednesday the 28th at 2:00 pm at Town Hall features a Midland Bay Landing steering committee meeting to further discuss how to deal with our development partners

On Friday September 30th you are invited to an Age-Friendly Community Consultation sponsored by the County. These focus groups will include caregivers, service providers, social club members, Francophones, newcomers, business owners, aboriginals and senior-living communities to discuss how we need to change our communities to accommodate the increasing demands of elderly citizens. The consultations are at Georgian Village in Penetanguishene at 2 – 4 pm and then again from 6 – 8 pm.

Week - End

Saturday October 1

·         Treasure Day weekend in Midland. Have your treasures out by 8:00 am

·         9:30 am to 4:30 pm Big Brothers/Sisters Thanksgiving Home Tour

·         Pumpkinferno starts at Discovery Harbor HHP.  A spooky great time. Open from October 1st to 30th but only on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

·         7:00 pm Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony and dinner at NSSRC

Sunday October 2

·         Treasure Day weekend. Have your treasures back in by 5:00 pm

Gord McKay

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


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday September 18, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

Midland is changing. I was going through my News from the Town editions from 6 years ago and what jumps out is our new approach to “culture”. Six years ago our large community gatherings were typically membership groups or fundraising galas. Not a lot else was going on. In fact I used to be able to write my early News from the Town editions in half a page!

Now take a look at what this past month alone has brought us:

·         Midland Reads, jointly sponsored by the Library and MCC, put authors in a many downtown stores

·         The Seniors 55+ Games concluded with over 1,300 athletes coming to Midland

·         The first ZucchiniMania was held by Askennonia

·         MCC has just announced that Brian Mulroney is coming to speak at the MCC

·         Artslam takes pace this Friday –  a brand new arts event by Quest Gallery

·         The BIA/Town movie night is a new regular feature in our downtown

·         The Tale of a Town oral history project just wrapped up at the Huronia Museum

And this is just a partial list.

Your Council continues to work on Midland’s Cultural Plan but more importantly many, many groups within our community have taken up a new interest in culture and are making good progress in transforming Midland into the place where we are all proud to live.

The Week Ahead

Monday September 19th will see a meeting of the Citizen Healthcare Steering Committee at GBGH (Rm 1) at 5:00 pm.  This is their monthly meeting and will feature planning for the next quarterly public healthcare Town Hall scheduled for October 17th at 7:00 pm.

Tuesday its economic development. Our area manufacturers will meet with municipal leaders to continue the initiative to create and/or bring more jobs to North Simcoe. Special thanks to Chris Edwards, President of Weber for hosting the round table. Top issue for our manufacturers – finding employees with the right skills and who are willing to work.

Wednesday the 21st starts with a Share the Road workshop at the MCC sponsored by the County of Simcoe. This full day program starts at 9:00 am and will focus on the facts about cycling in our area and what is being done to resolve the challenges caused by sharing the roads. Please register at

At 5:00 pm your mayors and deputy mayors meet as “Heads of Council” at the Penetanguishene Fire Hall. This meeting features a general discussion among the four North Simcoe communities about issues that affect our area.

On Thursday September the 22nd we need your help. At 4:30 pm, in the NSSRC boardroom, the Town’s Official Plan Review (OPR) Steering Committee meets.  They are charged with setting the process to engage the public in our 5-year review of the Town’s Official Plan and ensure all aspects are properly carried out. Then at 6:30 pm it’s your turn. There will be a Public Forum in the NSSRC Community Hall to discuss all aspects of the OPR process and its results. The OPR will produce our main planning document, guiding planning decisions in Midland for at least the next 5 years. For more information please visit

Friday the fun starts. Quest Gallery and Art School is launching a brand new event – Artslam. This event sees 24 artists given a topic and 30 minutes to create a work of art. Doors open at 7:00 pm; the painting starts at 7:30 pm.  (You can appreciate this could get messy)  The Canadian Cancer Society hosts Neon Night Walk in Little Lake Park. This is another new event for Midland and is generating a lot of social media interest. The 5 km run/walk starts at 8:00 pm and wraps up by 10:00 pm. You are most welcome to join the fun.

Week - End

Saturday September 24

·         Mental Health in Motion – A walk/run fundraiser for mental health. The course starts at the Atruim building at Waypoint. Registration is 8:00 am with the walk/run at 9:00 am.  Register at

·         Martyrs Shrine hosts a gathering of the Shrine community for its third annual Tiawenk fundraiser. The event is at the Brooklea starting at 5:30 pm.

Sunday September 25

·         OSPCA walk at the Wye Marsh to help their many causes. Be there for a 9:00 am start.

Council Issues Update


The Town should be getting a price quotation from the OPP over the next two weeks. It will then go to Council for an open discussion on what form of policing we want in Midland.


The GBGH Board should be making their decision on the 22nd with regard to the clinical recommendations from the Geyer report. The big one for our area is the decision on keeping obstetrics.


La Clé de la Baie célèbre ses 20 ans cette année!! Nous vous invitons à célébrer cet évènement unique le 30 septembre prochain au Best Western Highland Inn & Conference Centre à Midland (Ontario) dès 17 h. À l'horaire :
- un cocktail dînatoire (un léger buffet sera servi)
- la reconnaissance des bénévoles
- l'assemblée générale annuelle
- un spectacle communautaire mettant en vedette divers artistes locaux

R.S.V.P. requis avant le 23 septembre - 705 725-9755, poste 7201 ou

(Translated - La Cle de la Baie celebrates 20 years at Best Western on September 30th starting at 5:00 pm with cocktails, followed by an AGM and entertainment.  Please RSVP at 725-9755 by September 21.)

Gord McKay

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


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday September 11, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

You can feel fall coming. Mother Nature is beginning to show her fall colors, the kids are back at school; fewer tourists on the streets – so not surprisingly things are getting busier in Town.

The Week Ahead

This Monday September the 12th sees the General Committee meeting at 7:00 pm at the Town Hall.  A short agenda including:

1)     Review of the dog control by-law (changing terminology to “service dog”)

2)     Issues raised by citizens – property standards at 228 Chaingate; derelict house at 174 William

At 7:30 pm you are invited to the first program in the 5th season of A Day in The Life at the MCC.  This month’s guest is Alan Rock, past federal Liberal Justice Minister and Health Minister, Ambassador to the UN and currently President of the University of Ottawa. It will be a fascinating evening.

On Tuesday at 7:30 pm the MCC hosts a new information series based upon local healthcare. The Good the Bad and the Ugly – the story of the GBGH Emergency Department is moderated by Dr. Keith Rose. Your chance for an inside look at the workings of your local Emergency Department.  No charge but please register in advance at:

On Thursday the 15th at noon you are invited to attend a flag raising at Town Hall in honor of Terry Fox. (The walk is on Sunday). Then from 3:30 to 6:30 pm there is a special event for artists and those interested in the arts called “Artrepeneurship in North Simcoe” the event takes place at the MCC and includes sessions on business planning and funding opportunities. Reserve tickets at

Friday the 16th is busy. Patrick Brown hosts A Day for Seniors at NSSRC from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. This annual event features a trade show and all sorts of information about programs and activities for the senior lifestyle. At 3:00 pm, at the Huronia Museum, we hear our Tale of a Town.  Over the last few weeks the Ontario government has sponsored a group of young people to walk our streets and hear our collective stories. They will be presenting what they have been hearing and how they are creating an oral record of small town Canada.   Come and see if your story is amongst them.

That evening it’s the annual Wye Marsh Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction. Running from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm at the Marsh it will feature many of the local mayors and councilors, great food, entertainment and some interesting Silent Auction items including a “live butler” auction involving a certain Tay Township Mayor.

Week - End

Sunday September 18

The Terry Fox run starts at 9 am from the Perkinsfield Park and Arena to Midland and back. Come and be part of this amazing movement.

Council Issues Update


Council has proceeded with the hiring of Mark Rogers to assist with the MPUC sale process.  Council is also interested in keeping as much of the sale discussion public as possible. As you can appreciate certain matters such as specific offers from companies must be kept confidential. Look for Council to set up the public portion of the process and the “negotiating team” in October.

Gord McKay

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


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday June 26, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

Its official – it is summer. And as you can see below it is going to be a great one in the Town of Midland.

On Monday June 27th we start with the regular Council meeting.  The closed portion starts at 5:30 pm covering matters of litigation and personal issues. Then at 7:00 pm it’s a fairly short Council meeting including:

-       Three deputations

o    Terry Fox run

o    County services with Mark Aitken, Simcoe County CAO

o    An MPAC presentation

-       Public meeting (you may speak) respecting signs for home-based businesses

-       OMB appeal of our recent Second Suites by-law

-       A proposed exemption to the Midland 2-dog per household by-law

We will have Council meetings throughout the summer but General Committee meetings will only occur at the call of the Chair.  Check with the Town website before attending.

On to Wednesday the 28th. There will be celebrations across Town as the graduates from our two high schools receive their diplomas and no doubt indulge in a bit of partying. It’s also Midland Movie Night. Head downtown at dusk with the kids and the popcorn to enjoy Who Framed Roger Rabbit. At 8:00 pm the North Pandemic Groove plays at the MCC. Some fabulous jazz stylings from the winners of the Sapporo Jazz Festival.

Thursday June 30th will feature an SSEA Open House at our Library from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. David Philipps, everyone’s favorite meteorologist, will be the guest speaker. Also in Town is Leo Rautins, the renowned Toronto Raptor announcer.  He will be Fred’s guest for a Day in the Life at the MCC starting at 7:30 pm.

Friday July 1 – Canada Day – Time to celebrate.   The Town will be alive with all sorts of activities starting with a parade through Town at 10:30 am and then onto Little Lake Park for games, food, shows, culminating in fireworks in the Park at dusk. Please see the agenda (attached) to help guide you through the day.

Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is hosting the Bagattaway Lacrosse Festival that will run on Friday and Saturday from 11am to 4pm. Admission fees $12.00 per adult, $10.50 per student and $9.25 for youth between 6 to 12 years.  For more information, please contact Sainte-Marie among the Hurons at (705) 526-7838.



A major residential development launches in Midland. The Official Grand Opening of The Seasons on Little Lake takes place from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm at their location off of Hwy 12. This is significant milestone for the developer and for Midland, so please drop in and help them celebrate – maybe meet some new neighbours.

Council Issues Update


After many years of debate, Council made the decision to move forward with the sale of our MPUC asset. This significant decision was driven by sector consolidation being orchestrated by the province plus our need to prepare for rapidly changing electrical technology, such as smart grid; co-generation and distributed battery storage. Council’s decision was founded upon the commitment that any sale arrangement would have to result in all MPUC customers being left better off.


Council has chosen a consulting company to assist in evaluating the OPP costing proposal. The work will take place over the summer with a decision likely this fall.


Great news about the provincial funding to expand our ER at GBGH. Now we just need a bit more provincial action to change the funding model for the 19 midsized hospitals in the province. Your mayors have been working to develop a solid understanding of the issue and what an acceptable solution may look like. Mayor Clarke (Orillia) will be hosting a fall conference at Lakehead University to finalize our position.


A book of condolences is available for you to sign at Town Hall for two weeks. The book will be sent to Orlando to show the solidarity of the people of Midland in the face of this horrific shooting.

Economic Development

The recent Manufacturing Conference brought together local industrial leaders and those who want to locate in Midland to discuss how to create new manufacturing opportunities in our area. The attendees enjoyed a new video of our area – take a look

Our newly minted North Simcoe Tourism group is starting to show their stripes. If you have seen the recent “Heart of Georgian Bay” adverts on CTV, you will know who is responsible. They have also launched their new website

And lastly, it’s nice to get some recognition of our progress. Look no further than the recent edition of Moneysense magazine that publishes the Best Places to Live in Canada. In

2014 – we were 197

2015 – we were 173

This year we moved up again to 167.

                                          ***** Now On With Summer *****

Some of the things you may want to include in your summer calendar.

Weekend of July 8th

Town of Midland's "Permit-Free Garage Sale Weekend" is happening again this summer on the weekend of Friday July 8th to Sunday July 10th, 2016

Saturday, July 16th 

Join us in Downtown Midland on from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm for our 1st Annual Downtown Midland Road Basketball Game!

Friday July 29th

Wendat opens its new residence in Penetanguishene at 1:30 pm, providing long needed low cost seniors accommodation.

August 9-11

The 2016 Ontario Seniors games come to Town. Hundreds of athletes and visitors will visit us, to see the action with 20 different sports. For more information

September 2-4

Our first annual RibFest comes to the Town dock. A great was to celebrate what is shaping up to be a fabulous summer

All summer

Music in the Park at Little Lake Park. In July it’s on Sunday from 7:00 to 9:00 pm; in August its Sunday from 6:00 to 8:00 pm 

-       July 3rd Georgian Bay Brass

-       July 10 Barrie Concert Band. This is a 50 piece band! Should be awesome

-       July 17 TBA 

-       July 24 A workshop concert of young artists from our area.

-       July 31 Huronia Hot Strings 

-       August 7  Sandra Goode Band

-       August 14. Blind Mary 

-       August 21 Penny Love 

-       August 28 TBA 

-       Sept 4 Passport at 2:00 pm 

-       Sept 4 Sensations 4:00 pm 

-       Sept 4 Souled Out 6:00 pm,  winners of the first Midland's Battle of the Bands

Midland Movie Night at the downtown parking at 509 Bay Street.

-       June 29th - Who Framed Roger Rabbit

-       July 13th - Men In Black

-       July 27th - Finding Nemo

-       August 10th - Frozen (Sing-A-Long Version) 

-       August 24th - Jurassic World

Dockside Tuesdays take place every Tuesday from 6:00 to 8:00 pm through July and August.  Listen to some great music at the Midland Town dock.


I am going to step back from News from the Town over the summer period to give you a chance to focus on enjoying this lovely place we call Midland. This year I will need a bit of a break as I deal with my cancer diagnosis. I want to thank all of the people who have stopped by to wish me well. It means more than you know. Prognosis is positive. Looking forward to getting back to work in the fall.

Gord McKay

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


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday June 19, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

Ahhhhh summer. School graduation around the corner and the Bay is abuzz with boats. Time to start thinking about kicking-back and relaxing.

Monday June 20th – summer solstice. At 7:00 pm you are invited to the quarterly public meeting of the Community Healthcare Steering Committee at the Oakwood Community Centre in Tay. The gathering will feature Jill Tettmann who will update you on the recent developments with the CCAC and the Penetanguishene Health Hub. Karen McGrath will be there to let you know what is happening with the operational review of GBGH. Then at 8:00 pm you are invited by Chigamik for a Summer Solstice Full Moon Ceremony with Elder Pauline Shirt in Edgehill Park.  Bring a lawn chair – soup and baked bread will be provided. Please register by calling Brian George at 527-4154 ext. 204.

Tuesday the 21st is National Aboriginal Day.  You are invited to celebrate the day at Ste. Marie Among the Hurons from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is an entrance fee.  At 7:00 pm is a special meeting of Council.  It begins with a closed session to update Council on IBEW labour negations – should be relatively short.  Then it is open to the public for three items:

-       Selection of our consultant for the OPP costing process

-       Discussion of how we proceed with the sale or merger of the MPUC

-       Receipt of the Ombudsman’s report on two recent closed meetings

Also at 7:00 pm is the Lakehead Challenge at the MCC.  A captivating expert panel discusses the major issues affecting our society.  This evening’s topic is Migration, Identity and Belonging. Admission is $10.

Only one item for Wednesday the 22nd. At 6:15 pm cast off from the Town dock as the CLH volunteers enjoy a well-deserved boat cruise.

On Thursday June 23rd the County is holding an all-day conference at the Nottawasage Inn for municipal officials.  Its purpose is to explore new ways to increase cooperation amongst the many municipalities in the County. All in an effort to do things more efficiently.  At 10:30 am if you are down in Little Lake Park you may come across the Ontario Early Years Centre having a picnic with the young ones.  Takes you back.  And at 4;00 pm, GBGH is providing a Report to the Community in the hospital cafeteria. Reception to follow.

Friday the 24th sees the Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre hosting its 5th Year Anniversary Strawberry Tea celebrating 5 years of offering support to local families facing cancer.  The tea is from 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm at the Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre.  To purchase tickets please click:



-       Midland’s first Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event starts at 10:00 am at the pavilion in LLP. Organized by the Ys-Men, all proceeds go to the Rosewood Shelter.   All men should be making their statement for ending violence against women. Please register at:

-       Set Sail into Summer Gala at the NSSRC starting at 6:00 pm. Our Lions Club is organizing a great night including the Georgian Bay School of Dance and dancing to Passport. For tickets call Ethel at 527-4115.

Council Issues Update


The Tuesday meeting this week will set the general direction of whether we merge or sell our MPUC. Council and the MPUC Board have both agreed that change has to occur to position our very small LDC for the future. Given the significant control exercised over all LDCs by the Ontario Energy Board – everything from setting the customer’s hydro rate, to monitoring service standards, to prescribing profit – there are just a few key areas where Council’s choice can make a substantive difference.  These are:

-       Protection of our financial investment and dividend stream

-       Control over our investments in any future (non-regulated) line of business

Should be an interesting discussion.


Three firms have responded to our Request for Proposal for expert assistance in costing our OPP pricing. Council should make a decision on which one we go with this month.

Gord McKay

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


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Saturday June 11, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen

Just back from the Butter Tart festival.  Another tremendous success even with the dampness in the morning. My congratulations to Angela and her team. I participated as a judge again this year so will be in sugar withdrawal for the next few days.

Monday the 13th sees two Town meetings.  At 6:00 pm there will be a closed meeting to deal with labour and personal matters. At 7:00 pm is the June General Committee meeting. A relatively short agenda including:

-       Discussion of using the Town parking lot at 509 Bay for more picnic/community gathering purposes

-       Direction on the Town providing insurance for the MCC

-       Consideration of a loan to our library

-       Review of the SSEA lease

Tuesday June14th starts at 9:00 am with County Council.  Then at 6:30 pm at that day is the fourth session in a lecture series of how start, grow and expand your business. The session is at the Library and will address the topic of succession planning.

On Wednesday the 15th, two items you will enjoy:

-       At 7:30 pm, A Day on the Life takes place at the MCC.  Fred will do a great job interviewing our intrepid Keewatin captain, Eric Conroy

-       At 8:00 pm, grab the popcorn and head downtown for the second Midland movie night.  Look for “Back to the Future” on the big screen at 509 Bay

Thursday the 16th is an important day for our community as we host the 2016 Prosperity Summit at the MCC. This event is organized by our economic development group, EDCNS, and brings together business leaders from our area and across southern Ontario to discuss business in North Simcoe. Our EDCNS is helping make business growth a reality in Midland.

Friday and the week-end is upon us.  Look for the Pearl Mist to be back at dockside. At 11:00 am our Midland Bay Landing steering committee meets at the Town to further advance our waterfront project. And then at 6:00 pm get ready to party as Party on the Dock returns to Midland. Rotary’s annual bash will be bigger and better. Tickets are available at Tripps Paint on King Street.



-       Our sailing club takes out the “Little” Brother and Sisters for a sail on the Bay

-       2:00 pm the Wye Marsh new boardwalk dedication at the Wye Marsh. You are welcome to attend.

-       8:00 pm a tribute to John Denver/Glen Campbell at the MCC

Council Issues Update


The Town is starting to move into its 2017 budget cycle. Look for Council to provide direction to staff on 2017 budget targets later this month.

Midland Bay Landing

The development side of the project is moving slower that we had expected.  Our partner is still living up to the terms of the contract. Staff has continued to complete the zoning changes that are needed to develop the property.  While we have not had the property formally appraised, the MBL site is now worth much more than what we paid for it.


In closing an opening - the Sammouna Restaurant, specializing in Mediterranean cuisine is now open at the Huronia Mall (in the old Quizno location). I recommend the Shwarma.

Gord McKay

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