Review of 2018 News

It’s getting to the time of year to have high hopes for the New Year but 2018 was eventful for the world and for Cobourg.  It’s easy to forget what happened during the year – we had two elections so we now have a new Provincial Government and a new council; we had the major cultural event “Armistice 18”; the east pier was shut down; rezoning for a new school in New Amherst was approved despite protests;  people made clear that they were not happy with the closure of the daily local newspaper; and there were many more events that made news. I have listed 23 highlights with a link to a post about it. Some events had several posts but in most cases only the most recent article is linked.

Andrea Howarth at Tim Hortons action
Andrea Howarth at Tim Hortons action

News Highlights
Click dates to see news item

  • 4 January – the new minimum wage of $14 was met by many businesses finding ways to minimize the impact on their bottom line by reducing benefits.  A protest at the Tim Hortons on Division street got a lot of attention and a visit by NDP leader Andrea Horwath (see photo at right – more at link).
  • 18 February – Because of damage done to the pier by high water levels in 2017 – and because of ongoing concerns – the East Pier was closed to vehicles and events.  The biggest impact was on the Midway for the Waterfront Festival which had to move to Victoria Park.  An engineering study has now been  completed but results have not been made public.  They are expected to be available for budget considerations in early 2019.
  • 27 February The major celebrations in Cobourg for the First World War Armistice were announced. Called Armistice 18, they featured speakers, Art and Plays.
  • 20 March Plans for a new School for French Speaking Catholics in New Amherst were criticized but re-zoning ultimately got approved on 24 April
  • 20 March A concern about the lack of a daily local Newspaper led to a public meeting in Victoria Hall.  Subsequently a “Local News Northumberland” group launched Northumberland Hub to help educate everyone on where to find local news.
  • 30 March  A public meeting was held to ask for input on possible plans for the Tannery District with the scope significantly larger than just the land vacated by the old Tanning factory.  More discussion on this is expected in 2019.
  • 31 March  The long awaited Cultural Plan was initiated with a decision to hire a consultant.   The report is expected in the Spring of 2019.
  • 10 April Council decided to approve a Waterpark in Lake Ontario off the main beach in time for summer.  But it didn’t happen because enough lifeguards could not be hired in time.
  • 18 April  Doug Ford came to Cobourg to assist in the Provincial Election Campaign
  • 18 May  Venture 13 had its Grand Opening. Multiple announcements since point to a success.
  • 5 June The Waterfront Study Consultant released its report and a large number of people had something to say.  The biggest concern was a recommended expansion of the Marina into the West Harbour.
  • 6 June The Hospice Campaign announced that it has exceeded its fund-raising goal.
  • 7 June  David Piccini wins big for Conservatives
  • 19 June Town to sell the Parking lot on Queen Street opposite the Post office for a Condo development on the condition that equivalent Parking is provided to the public.
  • 11 August Criterium bicycle racing shut down King Street and most of Downtown
  • 17 August The Town reported on the results of its Tourism survey from June 11 to August 5
  • 28 August  Northumberland Mall changed owners and announced that there would be major renovations – hopefully to start in January 2019
  • 21 September Students at CCI staged a walkout to protest Doug Ford’s reversion of the Sex Ed curriculum to the 1998 version
  • 19 October Trudeau visits Cobourg – The occasion was the Liberal Party’s nomination meeting to select Kim Rudd as their Candidate for the Riding in the 2019 election.
  • 22 October  The results of the Municipal Election were announced.
  • 24 October The Capitol theatre in Port Hope announced that Antonio Sarmiento would be leaving effective December 31, 2018. The change is part of the plan to be more community oriented.
  • 17 November A report on the extent of Homelessness in the County was released.
  • 18 December A public meeting on allowing retail Cannabis stores in Cobourg had fewer people attending than expected.

If you want to see a full list of posts on this site for 2018, go here.

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Deborah OConnor

That’s a comprehensive list of news for this year. A bit heavy on Town Council news but that seems to be of great interest for readers of this blog.

It’s good to see our local homeless/housing crisis gets a mention, even if briefly. It’s a major, real issue for many people, perhaps just not for these readers. Over at Northumberland News, they reported this: “The homelessness and “housing crisis” were in the spotlight throughout much of 2018 in Northumberland County, and became Cobourg’s Newsmaker of the Year”. Full link here for anyone who wants to know more:

https://www.northumberlandnews.com/news-story/9097461-community-s-response-to-homelessness-was-cobourg-s-newsmaker-of-the-year/

A heartful thank you to John Draper, without whose work we would all be woefully uninformed. Let’s hope he can put up with our cantankerous natures well into the future.