Cobourg Objects to Ontario Bill 23

On November 28, there will be a special Council meeting to decide several key items.  One of them is that Cobourg strongly objects to many parts of the Ontario Government’s Bill 23.  CAO Tracy Vaughan and Director of Planning and Development Anne Taylor Scott are asking Council to object to parts of Bill 23.  There have been multiple demonstrations against the legislation (e.g. outside MPP Piccini’s Port Hope Office), particularly protesting changes to environmental protections, but Cobourg Staff are also concerned that the changes favour developers and will do little to help make housing more affordable while increasing the burden on the taxpayer.  The report by Anne provides a detailed analysis of the problems (see Resources below) but I will… Read complete articleCobourg Objects to Ontario Bill 23

Christmas is coming to Cobourg

The radio stations are already playing Christmas music and stores are starting to push Christmas merchandise.  To most people, Christmas is no longer a religious event but is instead, at best, a time for family get togethers and gift giving and at worst a commercial event.  One of the ways people now celebrate Christmas is by going to a concert or a public Christmas event or two – and Cobourg does a good job of these.  I know of ten concerts and two special Cobourg events:  The Santa Parade and the lighting up ceremony for the thousands of lights in Victoria Park and the Waterfront.  But unless you are on top of what’s happening, you might not know about them… Read complete articleChristmas is coming to Cobourg

Covid and Flu Update for Cobourg

Covid is mostly a problem for seniors – in Cobourg, 65% of Covid Deaths have been for people aged 80 or more and there have been no Covid Deaths for anyone younger than 39.  Since Covid statistics were first collected, in Cobourg, there have been 1303 confirmed Covid cases; 53 of these were hospitalized and there have been 12 Covid deaths in Cobourg.  Covid cases are now at a steady rate: according to sewage measurements which started in 2022, Covid peaked in April and August in Cobourg.  But now there is another problem and it’s primarily with flu like and respiratory diseases amongst young children.  In the HKPR Health region, from 28 August to 15 November, 15% of Visits to… Read complete articleCovid and Flu Update for Cobourg

Council Inauguration 2022

Tonight, there were more than 100 people in Victoria Hall to witness the swearing in of the new Council and the new Mayor’s inaugural speech.  Lucas was impressive and his speech was not too long.  The meeting included not only the necessary ceremonial aspects, it also included the first order of Council business which was to appoint the Mayor (Lucas Cleveland) to represent Cobourg on the County Council and the Deputy Mayor (Nicole Beatty) as the alternate.  Before the meeting started, the Concert Band of Cobourg entertained and then the event started with a piper leading the new Council elect into the Hall.  The band then played the National anthem followed by our Town Cryer Mandy Robinson doing her thing. … Read complete articleCouncil Inauguration 2022

What’s Happening at the Mall

The short answer is “Not much”. I called the Mall Leasing VP and all I got was “No we’re not planning any residential”.  If you look at what they say online, you’ll see that Michael’s is coming soon, that another “pad” is planned next to the LCBO and that there are a lot of vacancies.  Before the pandemic, Rainbow cinema was planning an expansion but right now they are working on reduced hours with two shows on 4 days, one matinee on Sundays and closed Mondays and Wednesdays.  Although many spaces are empty (but not all), some others are getting renovated (see photos below).  It’s not clear where Michael’s is going: Trinity’s map shows them on the East side of… Read complete articleWhat’s Happening at the Mall

Unusual Request for Citizen support

Usually, when people are asked to support a project it means they are being asked for money – but not this time.  Five Counties Children’s Centre (FCCC) has a property in Cobourg at 800 Division Street that has a large “backyard” which would be great if kids in their program could use it but they cannot.  They say that: “There are safety and accessibility issues from a nearby drainage ditch [South boundary] and traffic from an adjacent driveway and parking lot. The vision is to put up fencing and install an accessible playground, sensory play equipment, accessible garden area, gazebo, storage space and eventually a track.”  But all that will cost $255K.  They have so far raised 40% of that… Read complete articleUnusual Request for Citizen support

Are Master Plans followed?

By my count, dating back to 2011, Cobourg has 8 “Master Plans” detailing how staff and Council should manage key Town attributes and features plus there is also a 2019 – 2022 Strategic plan. Some seem to be consigned to a shelf and others are used to rationalize something that needs to be done. But there is no apparent integration of them – e.g. references to Master Plans in the Strategic Plan. In April 2021, Councillor Emily Chorley said: “there are staffing gaps” and “some plans just don’t get done.” A review of the Strategic plan in April 2021 actually wanted two more plans (IT Strategic Plan and Climate Action Plan).  The Town’s web site helps a bit – there… Read complete articleAre Master Plans followed?

All Committee and Board Members need to re-apply

With the end of the Council Term, it’s not just Councillors who are subject to change but also Advisory Committee and Board members.  There are 2 boards and 9 committees with nominally 64 new members required.  If you read the fine print (actually the by-Law) you will see that re-appointments are possible since Council is empowered to decide and it’s hard to imagine that 64 citizens who have never been on a committee will emerge.  On Thursday, the Town issued a call for applications to all the boards and committees and said all positions were vacant.  But Council ultimately chooses so if incumbents apply, they may well be re-appointed.  But as we have seen in the last 4 years, there… Read complete articleAll Committee and Board Members need to re-apply

Police Update – October 2022

Cobourg Police are continually improving their reporting but you have to look for it.  Apart from their annual report, they have also recently published their budget before it’s approved and now they have added reports that give detailed Statistics of their activities more regularly. (See Resources below for links to articles about what they did previously).  Currently, Communications Coordinator Lisa Munday issues a limited bi-weekly report (that’s every second week, not twice a week) but if you look at Police Board meeting Agendas on escribe, you can find detailed reports that cover recent months.  My review below of the “August 2022- CPS Monthly Operational Report” as available in the Agenda for October 18 will give you some idea of the… Read complete articlePolice Update – October 2022

Unfinished Business – October 2022

One good initiative that Brent Larmer brought to Council a while back was a detailed follow-up on unfinished business with a tracking report included in both CoW and regular Council meetings.  That’s the positive.  However, these are rarely discussed at meetings – presumably councillors must read them at some other time.  A review of the 16 items reported in October shows that most are late with some originating early 2019. It’s likely that Staff would blame Covid and under-staffing for the delays but maybe Council could spend time prioritising these items.  Or maybe the fact that items are late indicate that staff are giving them low priority?  In any case, action items should either be actioned promptly or a decision… Read complete articleUnfinished Business – October 2022

Cobourg News Blog Report – 5 years

About 10 years ago, Cobourg Internet started to include Cobourg News on its web site and allowed comments. But the technology was limiting so a new separate site (this site) was launched in September 2017 and continues to this day. For some reason that I can only speculate at, the site has become a community forum with the audience continually growing. Not all comments are positive but unless they break the rules of the blog, they are encouraged in the interest of free speech. A statistic from the last few days is interesting: 48 different people contributed the last 100 comments! Some posts attract a limited number of contributors but others get a widely diverse audience. But let’s look at… Read complete articleCobourg News Blog Report – 5 years