Last Friday, the Town of Cobourg announced that Parks and Beaches would be opened up for normal activities except for organized sports. Social distancing requirements and limits on groups larger than five would still be required. It was not a council decision but was authorized by the Mayor. Since then, we have had one weekend with only a few people on the beach with citizens and (presumably) visitors following the rules. In fact in a Press Release, Police Chief Paul VandeGraaf thanked citizens for their good behaviour and provided photos as backup (see below). But many do not agree with the decision and the Cobourg Tax Payers Association (CTA) have started an online petition asking for the beach to be closed for the remainder of 2020.
Police Comments – summary
- The Cobourg Police Service would like to thank residents for their continued effort in following the new rules and guidelines.
- “Cobourg residents have been doing their part to fight the spread of COVID-19, and we thank them for that,” says Chief Paul VandeGraaf, Cobourg Police Service. “Unlike other towns and cities this weekend, Cobourg community members continued to follow the new guidelines released by the town on Friday. We would like to thank residents for their continued effort and cooperation. Your actions are making a difference.”
- Victoria Park and Cobourg Beach saw daytime users in small groups, adhering to rules and health guidelines. The fight against COVID-19 is not over and it is important that we continue to do our part to stop the spread.
- To date, Cobourg Police has issued four violations under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
Full comments in their Press Release below or here.
At their next Committee of the Whole Meeting on June first, Council is scheduled to decide whether to close the beach with a fence or not. Part of the “evidence” for this decision will be a report by By-Law officers as to whether there has been any significant violation of the rules in Parks and on the Beach. It looks like Police anecdotal evidence is saying the current approach is working – at least so far. Other inputs will be direction from the Province.
CTA Statement – Summary
- In response to justifiable anger by residents, the Cobourg Taxpayers Association (CTA) today launched an online petition demanding that Council hold a recorded vote to permanently fence off and prohibit all access to Victoria Beach for the remainder of 2020.
- Cobourg residents have endured the sacrifice of two months of quasi-isolation to protect our personal health and safety and that of our community to stop the spread of the virus. “It is a travesty and irresponsible, when many Cobourg residents are of an age that makes them most vulnerable to COVID 19, that the residents are being put at unnecessary risk by having re-opened the beach on May 23rd.
- The CTA said that Town Council was elected to primarily protect Cobourg’s residents.
- “Re-opening Cobourg’s Beach to all comers will likely manifest itself in the coming months and responsibility for each and every infection, and each and every death, inflicted upon Cobourg’s residents by this plague will be laid squarely at the feet of those Town leaders,” said Nabieszko.
- The CTA also encourages residents to take the time to call and email members of Council asking that they put the interests of the community’s health first and foremost. [Contact Information here]
You can sign the petition in the link below – it will be delivered to Town Council on Friday.
Their full comments in their Press Release below or here.
Another concern raised separately by at least one citizen is that although the beach is open, the public washrooms at the beach are not – this seems to be a disconnect.