Mayor's Message - November 26, 2017

Posted on Sunday November 26, 2017

Good morning, Bonjour


This past week was more than busy with lots of variety,


We had a first, at least to my knowledge, formal meeting of all four local councils (Tiny, Tay, Midland, Penetanguishene) on Thursday night at the Midland Public Library.  The meeting was an opportunity for our four local planning departments to update council members and the public on recent changes to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe recently implemented by the Provincial Government and impacts on our own Official Plan Reviews.   As a result of the new Growth Plan, the County of Simcoe is now tasked with a major role in growth management planning much of which was previously managed at the local level. The Growth Plan now requires a Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR) which encompasses eleven distinct studies all of which will be now managed at the County level thereby requiring far more interaction and coordination between local planning departments.  The MCR is anticipated to taken 2 to 3 years to complete leading to an amendment of the County’s Official Plan. For those interested, the County is hosting an education session on the Growth Plan and the MCR move forward process this coming Tuesday at ten a.m. at the County offices, you are all welcomed to sit in on this session.


We passed the Town 2018 budget.  Town portion of your tax bill for next year will go up by a total of 2.19%.  The 2.19% is a combination of the town operating and capital which is increasing by 1.96% plus a modest OPP increase of 0.23%.  I’ll provide a chart breakdown of the budget for your review in next week’s message.


We had a great session at the arena this past week to review the construction of our Main Street.  Our contractors were on hand to explain the project and how it would unfold.  They walked the audience through the project on a block by block basis.   There was a health question and answer period with many well thought out questions from merchants and residents all of which the contractor was able to readily answer.  There will be another public session held early next year.


As  we come into the Christmas season many of us look to support our local food banks. Our Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is spearheading a “No money for food is …. Cent$less” campaign and have just launched the next phase.  To put it in perspective about seventy thousand people in Simcoe Muskoka struggle to put food on the table every year. This is about the same number of people who live in Huntsville, Orillia and Collingwood combined. Well aware of this, our local food banks are gearing up for seasonal food drives to help address urgent food needs over the holiday season and into the long winter months that follow.


Food banks have been around for more than 30 years now but the need for emergency food just seems to keep on growing. Although food charity meets short-term emergency food needs, much more is needed to tackle the real root of the problem - poverty. It takes more than food to solve hunger. Household food insecurity is defined as “insecure or inadequate access to food due to financial constraints” – in short, no money for food. SMDHU encourages the choice of healthy food items if donating to local food banks but emphasizes that it is important to take an extra step and also speak up in support of long term, sustainable solutions for household food insecurity.  


We know that a range of policies are needed to get to the root of the problem and ensure that everyone has the money to feed themselves and their families today, next week and next year. This includes policies that support social assistance rates that cover real living costs, good jobs with regular hours and benefits and ensuring a basic income for everyone. With this in mind, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) launched a second phase of the “No money for food is ... Cent$less” campaign on Monday October 30th. Aside from continuing with awareness raising about food insecurity, how serious and pervasive a problem it is and the need for income-based policy solutions, SMDHU has created new tools and resources, including a downloadable package, available on their website to encourage people to take action and advocate - not just donate - during the holiday food drive season. This phase of the campaign was developed in partnership with and is supported by many food banks across our area as well as a small advisory group of people with lived experience.


You can help spread the word about “No money for food is … Cent$less” by linking to their Facebook page, to their four videos on YouTube , visiting SMDHU on twitter and retweeting what you find there.


Things to take note of

The Annual First Light event kicks off at Sainte-Marie and the Martyrs’ Shrine. The event runs from 5:30-9:00 p.m. November 23-25, November 30 to December 2 and December 7 to 9. For more information visit their website at

Join our Town of Penetanguishene at their Annual Santa Claus Parade, hosted in partnership with the Penetanguishene Lions Club. Saturday, December 2nd. Parade starts at 4:00pm on MAIN STREET from Jeffery Street to the Town Dock.  PARADE ENTRIES ~ VOLUNTEERS Please contact; Marlena Ladouceur, Recreation & Events Coordinator
705-549-7453 x 223  AND  Our FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS will follow immediately after the parade, with the Annual Tree Lighting at the Town Dock, followed by Christmas festivities at the Penetanguishene Centennial Museum. Face Painting, BBQ, Live Music, Crafts, Hot Beverages, Cookies, Horse & Wagon Ride and more!

A startling 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, more specific tests for diagnosis and advanced techniques to improve blood supply. The next “OUR HEALTH” event speaks to this issue and is titled  ”Heart Ache”.  They have three very knowledgeable panelists: a cardiologist, a pharmacist, and a heart patient, to bring us up-to-date on the latest and best care for North Simcoe residents with coronary heart disease.  Join in on December 5 at 7:30 PM at the MCC to hear about new directions in cardiac care. Please invite your friends and colleagues. Thanks to their generous sponsors, admission is once again free with registration. Obtain your tickets early to avoid disappointment.  PS this event is the 10th in the “Our Health” series and to date we have heard from over 30 speakers!


December 6th - La Maison Rosewood Shelter will commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women at 6:00 p.m. at Operation Grow located at 436 Bay Street in Midland


December 8th - Hospice Huronia is offering an opportunity to remember loved ones by making a donation in their memory for the 2017 “Tree of Remembrance”. The tree is located at the Georgian Bay General Hospital in Penetanguishene. Everyone is invited to join them for the official lighting ceremony at 7:00 p.m.


The Guesthouse Shelter is in need of plastic containers and lids to enable them to better store and save their perishable food.  If you have any extra food storage containers, Tupperware, etc. that you would like to donate please drop them off at Townhall.


My week to be,


Monday – sees our weekly update breakfast with Anita and Jeff. I attend an County of Simcoe agenda review, I meet with our media team for a briefing.  Our youth council meets at 5 p.m. in council chambers and the Library  Board meets at 6:30 at the Library.


Tuesday – finds Anita and I at the County offices for a county council meeting, we also attend the Municipal Comprehensive Review session at 10 a.m. I attend an Economic Development meeting.  I hustle back from the County Offices to attend the Waypoint Mental Health Reception.


Wednesday – no formal meetings


Thursday – The County of Simcoe hosts a manufacturing forum, I attend an accessibility session in Beeton,  I review the upcoming SWIFT board meeting and the evening finds me at the County Museum for a volunteer appreciation dinner.


Friday – no formal meetings


Saturday – 4 p.m. is our Santa Claus parade and tree lighting !

Well that is it for this week, speak soon !!

Mayor Gerry

Gerry Marshall

Warden County of Simcoe,

Mayor Town of Penetanguishene,

County (705) 726-9300 Ext. 1260

Town (705)-549-7453


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