Busy Council Meeting

The Monday Committee of the Whole Council meeting was busy and productive. Reported earlier were the VanDyk homes project, the Q3 Budget Variance report and the Second Street parking lot but several other topics were discussed and approved.  As usual, they will have to be ratified at the regular Council meeting on December 14. Additional items included Indigenous Land Acknowledgement, a new Advisory Committee, approval of a development on Nickerson Drive, an increase in Planning fees and looking into different kinds of buses.  The meeting started with a presentation by Jack Gibbons on the climate crisis and a request to Council for support of his idea.  There were also a number of other motions passed – more below.  It was a long and busy meeting.

In the order of the Agenda, here are the more significant additional topics:

Indigenous Land Acknowledgement: Starting Jan 1, 2021, all Council related meetings and ceremonies will incorporate the Town of Cobourg’s traditional Indigenous land acknowledgement statement.  This includes all Board and Advisory Committee meetings. Also all municipal staff, Councillors, volunteers will be required to attend Training on Indigenous Awareness and Understanding.

An Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee will be established to promote and foster inclusion and to address issues of discrimination based on: Race, National or ethnic origin, Colour, Religion or faith or other forms of conscientiously held beliefs,  Sex,  Sexuality (including sexual orientation), Language and linguistic origin,  Gender identity and gender expression,  Age (children, youth, adult, seniors),  Mental or physical disability, Family status (including marital status), and  for those persons who identify as First Nations with or without status, Métis, and/or Inuit.

This is part of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy. Committee members are not yet selected but it’s clear that in representing all groups, the committee will be large!

LeBlanc Enterprises Subdivision approval.  The development north of Nickerson Drive was approved.  Details provided in an earlier post here.

Planning Fees Increase.  Based on a recommendation in the KPMG Service Levels review, Council approved increasing all Planning fees by 10% effective Jan 1, 2021.

Micro Transit in Okotoks
Micro Transit in Okotoks

Transit bus funding.  The Province funds Transit replacement vehicles and Council agreed to apply for this funding.  It was previously approved to replace the Town’s larger buses but Works Department Director Laurie Wills is looking into the possibility of using hybrid busses or even going to Micro-transit and the Province is willing to pay for those instead if needed. There have recently been a couple of presentations to Council on this subject – notably about what’s being done in Okotoks, Alberta – see photo and links below.

Accessible Parking spots  The  Accessibility Advisory Committee advised Council that they recommend that “accessible parking spots in the Town of Cobourg remain as paid parking spots to ensure equity for Persons with Disabilities.”

Request to Province to Phase-out all Gas Fired Electricity Generating plants by 2030. At the beginning of the meeting, Jack Gibbons, Chair of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance made a presentation pointing to the growing amounts of Carbon Dioxide emitted by Gas-Fired Electricity Generating plans in Ontario.  (Download his presentation here).  He asked Council to support his call to the Province to shut them down by 2030.  He said that the current contract would be expired by then.  His request was supported by the Sustainability and Climate Change Advisory Committee.  With no debate, Council passed a motion that agreed.


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Liz Taylor
14 December 2020 7:15 pm

No further comments. I don’t see that creating particularized hiring is a good idea. Dividing the population – can’t hire unless from a certain group. The area lacks in jobs but abounds in applicants. Better an approach which is inclusive allowing groups to come together in their job searches. Should a particular area be identified as particular skills designation – I recall the T.D. Centre being built in Toronto, somewhat, my father worked right beside it. He said the majority of high steel workers were of Indian heritage – they had ability to work at astounding heights. Don’t know what tribe but it was a particular skill they had. Better people realize in their frustrated job searches that others are experiencing exactly the same problems and join together as what I am told we are all Canadians. With my extensive work experience there was a good representation of people of minority status.

Hiring off the resume encourages excellent preparation and job performance and is totally blind. Why create resentment and problems by particularlzed hiring it only compounds problems. I could give many examples of particularized hiring but I shall refrain. What I did know I had excellent past work history, updating through job centres in presentation and reminders from my father – “do a job that seems boring to the best of your ability – you will be surprised at how interesting it will become. I didn’t go out with attitude – I went out for a job presenting past performance, references and skills applicable to the position in Cobourg – I was very successful in a large competitive centre.

Liz Taylor
13 December 2020 1:28 pm

In opening this discussion hopefully it will remind employers to hire based on experience, ability to do a job and references not particularized hiring nor exclusion.

Liz Taylor
11 December 2020 7:23 pm

Creating Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee

There are few minorities in Cobourg however I have seen many employed in Cobourg Businesses. However I have known people who moved to Cobourg with excellent resumes – no takers, I was one, my resume drew multiple employment offers in a much larger, competitive market, not so here in Cobourg despite attending Watton. Same people week after week, unemployed. Know other people who experienced the same lack of response and consideration.

Knew a woman who was hired because the neighbour across the street worked there and she knew her. She quit without notice, never took notes on the job and repeatedly asked customer service the same questions every day on how to perform a job action on cash. I was surprised when we were in the store one day the manager asked her if she was considering returning. She hated the job and was hired with no experience. The Job Fair – shook that manager’s hand, presented a resume with exact experience. “Come from Away” and you will experience discrimination and your opinion will seldom be heard on matters. Cobourg is far from cosmopolitan in it population make up.

Last edited 1 year ago by Liz Taylor
Liz Taylor
Reply to  Liz Taylor
12 December 2020 7:25 am

I provided for you just one example of a very discouraging job search that lasted three years until I gave up. I watched a person with terrible job records, I knew them, be hired for a job I had applied for an been turned down for. Although after a few months that person was shown the door due to bad attendance and refusal of job duties. Another a reception job – the person selected showed up in dirty running shoes and shorts driving a very expensive muscle truck – who would hire a person that doesn’t present well in dress for a front desk job? Miles of experience, references didn’t win me any cigars.

Deborah OConnor
Reply to  Liz Taylor
13 December 2020 6:43 pm

You need to swipe that giant chip off your shoulder if you hope to find work here. Your sour attitude will doom you to unemployment if you don’t try an open minded approach. There are rotten apples in every barrel and you seem to be one of them.

Just a little free job search advice from this former manager of the Help Centre.

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
14 December 2020 1:01 am

Why thank you Deborah. Previously I had worked in long term employment over 20 years. My first ambition was to be an investigative reporter which led me to enter contract employment as so many people said the work force had changed. Despite so many people I knew unable to find work after a certain age I found boundless work. I accepted sought contract and accepted positions with a well known university, hospital, municipal government, the humane society, transportation industry, many private industries, retail and worked directly in long haul trucking. I was offered permanent work in some contracts which I graciously declined, I was rewarded after a 6 month contract with 6 weeks severence for above and beyond when they had to go out of business.

Thought I was well prepared when I moved to Cobourg at the end of a contract to find work. I offered glowing references, willingness. . It was a very discouraging search here and I can verify others having the same experience – I attended Watton during these times and met with them in the meetings for searching workers. I am sorry you interpret the experiences I relay as sour attitude Deborah. May I suggest you walk a mile in the searching worker’s shoes today?

Last edited 1 year ago by Liz Taylor
Liz Taylor
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
14 December 2020 1:31 am

As my reply was long I have added this to the reply Deborah – Timeline – Mid 2013 to 2017. I was looking for a part time position in reception or retail. I did apply to the County once for Payroll Administration as I had done exactly the same job in my long term however I was realistic enough to realize more educational requirements would most likely be sought. In my last contract I wrote and passed the exam for such. I wasn’t the final candidate – seniority – the deciding factor or experience not coupled with the Payroll Administrator’s Certificate. I didn’t really expect to get that job.

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
14 December 2020 2:20 am

Lastly Deborah before I got a computer I prepared my resumes at Job Centres which offered resume preparation seminars etc. which I attended leatning. As I made my way along there were so many people with discs and discs of jobs they had applied to. People in an E.I. course – legal secretaries, administrative workers completing the course with great marks. I followed up with with my former classmates. Their stories were sometimes heartbreaking in further failed searches. Hiring by what is on the resume is not discriminatory and opens the field to everyone and excludes no one. That is why people build their skills, go to school and get a reward for a job well done with an excellent reference to see them on their way. Thank you for opening up this topic for further discussion which I hope will benefit people seeking work.

Last edited 1 year ago by Liz Taylor
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
14 December 2020 8:36 am

I agree. See above

Last edited 1 year ago by Informed
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
15 December 2020 7:21 am

Agreed. Good points Deb.

Last edited 1 year ago by Are_n
Ken Strauss
11 December 2020 3:03 pm

Request to Province to Phase-out all Gas Fired Electricity Generating plants…He asked Council to support his call to the Province to shut them down by 2030. 

He must be apoplectic about the proposal on a recent Council agenda to install gas fired electricity generation at the CCC.

11 December 2020 1:53 pm

 Yes, please. Let’s go with hybrid busses or Micro Transit. Good on Dir. Laurie Wills for looking into this.