Council Acts on Encampments

At the regular Council meeting on Monday 21 August, a last minute addition to the Agenda was debated.  Brent Larmer worked through his vacation to write a By-Law that modified the Parks By-Law (022-2016) to essentially do two things: 1) enhance the clauses about enforcement and 2) delegate primary responsibility for looking after the homeless to the County – specifically, the county will decide if a permit should be issued for camping on Parks (or Town land). (The West Beach encampment is on Town property). Such a permit (just one) will only be issued in an emergency – that is, because there is no suitable place for campers to go.  So the Town will now enforce their Bylaws and the people affected will be cared for by the County.

What we learned

  • In the debate, it was said that up until now, the Town had not made any decisions.
  • Miriam Mutton was not happy with the short notice – the By-law was first available at 3:29 pm on Monday – the meeting started at 4:18 pm.
  • Brian Darling was concerned about numbers – how many would be accommodated?  Mayor Lucas said that this decision would be up to the County.
  • This change effectively means that the County would be the permit holder and responsible for all costs.
  • The County is looking into bringing forward hiring two additional staff for this.
  • The Town would be consulted on which park (or land) would be used (if required because of an emergency) but specifics on the process have not yet been worked out.
  • Although the County knows this is happening, County Council have not yet approved their end of it.
  • Town by-Law officers will now be empowered to enforce Town By-Laws and the Province’s Trespass to Property Act
  • Penalties for failing to comply are a minimum of $200 per day and up to $10,000 per day.

So in summary, as urged by MPP David Piccini, the Town will now be enforcing all By-Laws and the County will be looking after the people affected and will cover all costs. (It’s not clear when this action will start but all necessary By-Laws have been passed).

See below to download the relevant documents.

Resources

Update – Town of Cobourg Notice 24 August

West Headland Closed

A notice on the Town’s News page:

The Town of Cobourg would like to advise residents that the Waterfront Nature Park is closed for maintenance. Signage will be posted this morning and residents are advised to please refrain from visiting this area while crews clean the park. The park will remain closed until further notice.

This is the area where there has been a homeless encampment. The “Waterfront Nature Park” is the West Headland and the area on the west Beach close to it.

Page on Town web site.

Update 1 September – #1

The West Beach area has now been cleaned up and re-opened to the Public.  The campers have moved to County property behind 600 William Street.

Update 1 September – #2

A report by Pete Fisher is worth a read.  Citizens were threatened including a councillor.  Go to Pete’s report here.

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Newbie
5 months ago

🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞ACTION tonight by our bylaw

Newbie
Reply to  Newbie
5 months ago

YES’!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kevin
5 months ago

I just read a short story by Pete Fisher at Today’s Northumberland. It starts:
“A unfortunate incident just prior to the raising of the International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) flag …”

In some ways this is a very fortunate incident. Nobody was physically hurt. The bank employee and councillor were emotionally effected which shows how serious the drug issue is. The police could have been called but were not showing we have to deal with these things ourselves. Missy Mclean came and invited the drug users to her event and later was unaware of the incident. You can’t be at the incident and also not aware of it. Is she lying or is Pete Fisher wrong?

This type of incident seems to be more common. How long will it be before something like this turns to violence and physical harm? Isn’t it time Council does something? If it is not their jurisdiction then send a very clear message to our MP, MPP, prime minister that drug use is dangerous and action must be taken.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Kevin
5 months ago

Fisher doesn’t mention which Councillor was involved in the “unfortunate incident”. Any information on who received the death threat? Why is that not a police matter? Which Councillors associated with Missy in front of Victoria Hall?

Rob
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 months ago

I agree Ken – McLean operates in this town with complete disregard with the laws and by-laws that most of use abide by, yet two Councilors attend an event she hosts and promotes illegal drug use and illegal consumption sites. Which Councilors attended and how can they effectively represent the taxpayers who vehemently oppose these illegal activities.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 months ago

Ken and Rob

The law cannot address all aspects of human behaviour. That’s why we have judges who render judgements.

And Ken, when you find out which Councillors “associated with Missy”, just how are you proposing to treat them? Threaten their business like you did the pet store owner?

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Kevin
5 months ago

Kevin

Like so many others you complain, add to the hysteria and have no solution to offer other than “Isn’t it time Council does something?”

As far as I know, during this whole sorry mess, those who have experience in dealing with insecure housing, mental illness, food insecurity, family stress, changes in the job market and seasonal unemployment, have never been consulted as a group to offer those in power recommendations and a pathway to the best possible solution.

The work of Missy McLean and those she represents should have been supported not vilified. The tent, open for a few hours once a week, is a way of bringing together those in need. It should have been open full time in a better location, and supported by all of us.

As predicted a number of times, without meaningful order in achieving an effective solution, the hysteria grows, the problem only gets worse.

Shame on us! All of us!

Kevin
Reply to  Keith Oliver
5 months ago

Yes, I would like Council to show some leadership. Isn’t that what they are supposed to do? I attended the IOAD event last Thursday. It was informative. One person providing information mentioned tents on the beach were washed out and the homeless people were moved to motels for a couple of nights. Were the tents really washed out or is this just adding to the hysteria with no solution? I try to choose my words carefully so I do not add to the hysteria. I do not want to spread fake news.

Why, as far as you know Keith, did those in power not reach out to those with the experiences you listed? I think you make a good point. Those in power should get expert advice if they do not already have appropriate solutions.

The work of Missy McLean can been seen as adding to the hysteria. She held her Friday evening ‘demonstration’ in a downtown public space seeking attention. What did she think would happen? I could speculate, and I am making it clear it is a speculation not a fact, that she is being funded by drug companies who want to supply hard ‘safe’ drugs. At the IOAD event I was informed test kits are available to test street drugs. However, a sample of the drug is used up and addicts are reluctant to give up even a small amount of their drugs. Wouldn’t it be so much better to have a legal supply of ‘safe drugs’ for the addicts? Addicts would have a safe supply, not overdose and drug companies would make huge profits. Again, this is purely speculation.

I grew up in a small farming community. People helped their neighbours. A year ago an alcoholic called me at 1:30am asking if he could call me later to get a ride to the hospital, if he needed it. I got up went to his place, evaluated the situation and called an ambulance. He had a job but was being evicted for made up reasons. Not being able to work with a broken ankle he was in a very bad situation. He moved from Cobourg to a room at a friend’s house. Several months later I was able to find him some work and a place to stay in Cobourg. As I got to know him better he moved in with me and found a full-time job. Now he has moved on. I made a good friend who is very appreciative for what I did. In a couple of weeks I will be helping somebody else. I have no idea how long she will stay with me or what will happen. My ‘solution’ is to do what you can to actually help people.

MAL
Reply to  Kevin
5 months ago

I just learned Missy Tweaky Easy McLean is employed at the Northumberland Help and Legal Centre. Yes, that Help and Legal Centre that is generously supported by The United Way. And many local donors. I was one of them – until today. SHAME

Rational
5 months ago

The CPS say it is not its responsibility to stop the encampments/drug problem in Cobourg.

Yet on the CPS Facebook page (open to public) there are three postings over the last two days featuring International Drug Awareness Day, Naloxone Kits, and the event advertising modified to International “Drug Poising” Awareness Day from “International Drug Awareness”hosted by Missy McLeans’ – Moms Stop the Harm Group, Greenwood Coalition plus others. Full agenda running all day August 31 set up on the street in front of Victoria Hall – tents, tables brochures.

There is something wrong with this picture.

Newbie
Reply to  Rational
5 months ago

Rational. I looked up the event you note above, “Drug Poisoning Awareness day” on towns facebook site, interesting perspective on there from an addict, or recovering addict. Isn’t this how society or how most of society thinks? I know I do. You don’t have to be on Facebook to see what is on there.

https://www.facebook.com/TownofCobourg/

IMG_0343.jpeg
Pete M
Reply to  Rational
5 months ago

Yes there. CPS treat the symptoms but not the disease

Kevin
5 months ago

Depending on how our government deals with the drug issue there could be many more problems for council to act on. Portugal is often used as an example of the good that decriminalizing drugs will do. Think again, Portugal is.

From the Washington Post:
“These days in Portugal, it is forbidden to smoke tobacco outside a school or a hospital. It is forbidden to advertise ice cream and sugar candies. And yet, it is allowed for [people] to be there, injecting drugs,” said Rui Moreira, Porto’s mayor. “We’ve normalized it.”

In Oregon where drugs are decriminalized:
…extremely few people are seeking voluntary rehabilitation. Meanwhile, overdoses this year in Portland, the state’s largest city, have surged 46 percent

Portugal’s drug decriminalization faces opposition as addiction multiplies – The Washington Post

The NGO’s are getting funding to help drug users but it is not working. “lifetime drug use should be seen as a human right.” Lifetime drug use does create lifetime jobs for the organizers and causes much harm to the drug user, families and communities. If the people organizing the demonstration/information session outside town hall today really want to reduce harm they should be working to get users off drugs.

Newbie
Reply to  Kevin
5 months ago

Just watch this to see where we are heading, if this is not nipped in the bud Now!
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PT8OU8Yhs_s

Gerinator
5 months ago

Bravo Ursula Foster for your letter (Draper – Letters to the Editor Aug 26th) to MPPPiccini. Well said. This escapade by the Conservatives will be remembered in any future election.

Scottie
6 months ago

So I have some questions — who owns the land that the encampment has been moved to up on William Street? If it’s “County-owned land”, then whomever made the decision to move there was very wise – as it’s the “County” that has the all the resources (i.e. financial, social services, etc.) to help – NOT the Town of Cobourg whose land they were on previously. And in this case, it would not be Cobourg municipal bylaw officers who would be responsible for moving them on to somewhere else, would it? This would be the “County’s” responsibility, even though they have not apparently accepted this transfer from “Cobourg”. Would it be the OPP’s responsibility in this case?

Conversely, if the land is “privately” owned (i.e. by whomever owns the former “Kraft” site) — then wouldn’t it be up to those landowners to insist the encampment be moved (if only from a liability standpoint?) Perhaps that’s why they have a Security Service from Belleville overseeing the “new” encampment?

Is there something I’m missing here?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Scottie
6 months ago

You are missing that judges have used our Charter to create a class of special people who are exempt from our usual laws and bylaws. Our town and county governments are hoping that the problem will be “resolved voluntarily” with bribes of free food and freehousing and free drugs and…

Scottie
Reply to  Ken Strauss
6 months ago

I am truly, curious, though, who actually is the owner of the land the encampment now sits on – because I think that makes quite a difference in how it will be dealt with. Does anyone know the answer?

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Scottie
6 months ago

Scottie

“… moving them on to somewhere else.”

Your words, your basic recommendation to be carried out by whatever means or authority. Where else do you have in mind that simply won’t perpetuate the problem?

Scottie
Reply to  Keith Oliver
6 months ago

Well I guess I’m suffering from a case of NIMBYism which admittedly isn’t fair to these poor tent dwellers — but how fair have they been to so many people in their lives who have quite possibly tried to help them – how many of them have loved ones at home whose hearts have been so broken by their behaviour that they have just given up — which is why they have nowhere to go now.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Scottie
6 months ago

Scottie

So one wrongdoing justifies another?

In addition, and if I understand you correctly, your recommendation is that the enampment be moved from its’ present site to “nowhere”. Interesting!

Scottie
Reply to  Keith Oliver
6 months ago

Well Keith, you have a big side yard – it would probably accommodate all the tents – what about they move there and you could provide them with on-site bathroom/shower/kitchen facilities from your own home and keep watch over these poor souls – what a wonderfully kind thing for you to offer…

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Scottie
5 months ago

Scottie, some of Keith’s uncaring NIMBY neighbours might not be pleased!

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Scottie
5 months ago

Scottie

Your comments about the use of my property to house the encampment can be directed to Ken Strauss and many others who comment on this issue. That use and moving the encampment to ‘nowhere” will have no meaningful impact on solving the problem. That’s what we should be debating with the help of those who have experience. Until that happens the homeless, etc, will continue to suffer.

I am not a religious person but I do believe in what Christ is reported to have said which is that we should love and care for one another.

Keith Oliver
6 months ago

There are two great lessons to be learned from the history of humans living together in communities.

1) if a social problem is not recognized and corrected early, it will persist, multiply in its’ consequences and become much more difficult and costly to correct.

2) Politicians should stay out of the prcess of finding a solution until those with real hands-on experience have met, and produced a clear explanation of the problem, its’ complexities and a recommendation as to how to proceed to its’ solution.

Homelessness, antisocial behaviour, addiction and unemployment are a growing problem in the Cobourg community. One or all of these handicaps can be present in one individual or partnership at any one time.

Because we have ignored lessons 1) and 2) there is, at present, no hope of finding a solution. With winter approaching, we are in exactly the same position as we were 12 months ago, except the debate has become more political, more ignorant and more destructive.

The relationship between the County and Cobourg is at an impasse; a confusing and ineffective Cobourg bylaw has been adopted; those in need are being demonized and chased further away from the services they need.

We are behaving like some third world state and I for one fear the consequences.

Kevin
Reply to  Keith Oliver
6 months ago

Keith, I do not know enough about the history of humans living together in communities to know if what you write is true. I do believe you. There are lots of patterns in this world we live in. I have enough experience with some things to know the importance of early detection and correction. Lesson 1) is certainly true of many things. Detection is not enough without correction. Look what happened to Notre Dame Cathedral. I think there was an alarm but it was ignored. A stitch in time saves nine.
We all know how relatively simple things can become very complicated when politics is involved. Will the east pier ever be repaired? I often get people to stop the planning process until they really understand what problem really is. Often the simplest solution is something they would never think of. Your lesson 2) holds for some things.
Drugs are destroying the lives of some of the people living in tents. They need to stop using drugs. Simple. Stopping drug use is not simple but it must be one of the main goals of a solution or the problems will get worse.

Dave
Reply to  Keith Oliver
6 months ago

Supply created demand? I have read Canada laws have been a real delight and haven to Organized Crime for many years. Not just importing drugs but money laundering the profits. At the top we have had many such individuals. The Mafia we are told are in a weakened state now but the drug importation and distribution heavily continues. Family structure teaching values has greatly deteriorated often headed by one enabled by social services, serious commitment to marriage gone by the wayside. I see those slogans Every Child Matters something our society has forgotten and our laws reflect this. This is the result.

Kevin
6 months ago

The tents on the beach did not last very long. Not likely much of a surprise to most. Maybe the location was picked in part due to exposure to the weather. I think I read this Robert Hogan guy is not from Cobourg, please correct me if I am wrong. He sure likes to comment on the town Facebook page. His last comment is he wants 40 paper copies of a town survey about municipal services. The 40 copies are for people living in tents. Where did these people come from? To the best of my knowledge 1 residence was condemned (the one on Major St. was not closed) with about 5 people living in it. There were reports of up to 20 people sleeping in tents at the beach. Now 40? We know 1 guy came from Peterborough after being given an apartment there, a likely temporary motel room and then a place in Cobourg. He is now homeless due to a fire at the place in Cobourg. Are there really 40? How many are actually from Cobourg or Northumberland? How many are actual customers of the town for this survey? Anybody paying property taxes such as homeowners and renters are customers. One such customer asked me why does Cobourg spend so much time sweeping the streets. She would rather the money go to garbage collection without the tags (a county service).

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak to a former homeless person in Peterborough. This guy is an addict and collects some kind of government assistance. He knows how difficult it is to find a place to live but now has an apartment provided by the CMHA. Along with housing help he is getting help with his addiction. Maybe he will never be a fully independent, tax paying, member of society but at least he is aware of his situation. Apparently he has already punched holes in walls of his apartment because he was hearing voices. Maybe a result of mental illness or drug hallucinations. It does serve as an example of how difficult it can be to help some people even when they want help.

What help is being provided to the tent encampment residents beyond basic survival? For example, is anybody really trying to convince them their choice to do drugs is a major part of their problem? People need to take responsibility for themselves. How can society possibly cope with the growing number of people wanting to be given housing, food and allowed to do illegal drugs. These drugs are illegal for good reason. Some drugs are highly addictive and they destroy peoples lives. There needs to be programs in place, like the CMHA has, to get people off drugs. What is Robert Horgan doing in that regard? He is enabling, not the same as helping.

Dave
Reply to  Kevin
6 months ago

Apparently daily visits have been occuring to try and connect these people with wrap around services.

Dave
Reply to  Dave
6 months ago

A friend of mine’s brother lived in various motels and hotels in Toronto for a 2 year period. During this time he was hospitalized after overdosing. He is now 65. During his lifetime he worked briefly at the TTC then went off on a WSIB claim which apparently didn’t last long. He then availed himself of welfare which he stayed on moving into 500 Dawes Road until his son decided he would rather be on his own hence he became homeless continuing on using various substances. He has now been placed in a bachelor apartment in the Beach. As far as they know he is still using drugs. The family won’t have him as when offered a room with one he stole off them. The woman here in Cobourg has been using drugs for over 20 years. It would seem many of these people need further inspiration such has incarceration to desire to find help and change.

Informed
6 months ago

Let this be a lesson in the tiny home proposal. Even if the proposal was made with good intentions to help the homeless, this same group would have been the ones in the tiny homes and it would have expanded with the addition of tents etc.

Dave
6 months ago

The overall cause – Toronto’s parks are once again filling with drug addicted encampments after being cleared and just as here government under Federal laws. There are numerous reports of juveniles – governed under the federal Young Offenders Act – committing serious crimes, car jackings – latest Victoria Park and Steeles, armed robbery and murder. Arrest, release and bail – laws – catch and release – federal policy. Wholesale immigration plus illegal immigration under Federal policy. The latest is the Liberal government has been supplying a morphine based drug to street users who in turn sell it – as reported in Parliament to others in order to buy Fentenyal.
In response to the Federal Liberals dropping in the polls Trudeau has now reversed his position on housing in which he declared recently it was a Provincial responsibility to now announcing he will add to the housing stock.
Clearly voting him out along with his back up Mr. Singh in getting these laws changed and returning society to a lawful country should be a priority.
In the meantime our current political leaders need to stand up and use every means possible to protect the citizens here and everywhere else in Canada.

Bill
6 months ago

We are not solving the problem (and never will) with our current actions. We need Federal/Provincial legislation to enable the institutionalization (incarceration) of hardened drug addicts whose release back into society will depend upon whether or not they become clean after undergoing treatment. In regards to the homeless who don’t use drugs, by all means, lets do whatever is in our power to help them find a place to live and gainful employment.

Newbie
Reply to  Bill
6 months ago

Warterfront Nature Park (west beach) is closed for clean up until further notice.

https://www.facebook.com/TownofCobourg/

Rational
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

It’s surreal how this whole situation has been/is being handled. With the Nature Park closed for clean up it says wrong doing took place there.

Why wasn’t BY-Law and Police Services pro-active in the first place by enforcing the law and not let the encampment ruin it?

Also, why aren’t the encampment people rounded up and brought back to clean up their own mess rather than taxpayer dollars being used now for the clean up? Or why was the Nature Park left open while the encampment was at the West Beach? (I am assuming they have moved from the West Beach – but not certain.)

Carole S.
Reply to  Rational
6 months ago

This wasn’t authorized , it was done by Horgan and tweakeasy to subvert the Council

Newbie
Reply to  Carole S.
6 months ago

You got it. Smooth move beside the Food For All. Our taxes pay to clean up their garbage and drug paraphernalia, to make our beach safe again. If you were a responsible neighbour , you would clean up your dangerous items, do not look to me for Any help or handout.

Newbie
Reply to  Carole S.
6 months ago

“Humanitarian Aid/ Emergency” is now replacing “They just want to survive”.

Illusory Truth Effect.

Catherine
Reply to  Bill
6 months ago

Exactly this. And I think unfortunately some homeless that otherwise just need a place to live badly get mixed up in this group. We need to tackle the issue of homelessness differently than drug addiction.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Bill
6 months ago

Lets just Go back to OLD SCHOOL techniques They worked
Public Intoxication is just that I don’t care what your substance or flavour of Choice is
Whisky Rum Cooke , Crack, Weed Heroin, Oxys ,Morphine etc its your choice
Then its up to the Police to be just a little less Compasonite around here
and find away of dealing with it Where is the Drunk Tank in this Town No more Catch and release.

And for those that truly come from Northumberland the County is going to have to build some
Good Old Barracks type housing like we have always had at the Depo — in a hurry not like this expensive very few prissy units that’s taken a year or more going up at Darcy and Elgin .

Dave
6 months ago

Quote from Mayor Cleveland – “Cleveland, who also sits on county council, noted later in the meeting he’d continue advocating for more longer-term supports at that level.” Source Northumberland News. Build it and the will come. I haven’t heard him saying anything about the ones that have migrated here from other jurisdictions.
He doesn’t seem to realize this current group has refused any help available and just wishes to continue using drugs. Daily representatives had visited with connections to such services at the present encampment. Transition House has always been there staffed with people that would have been also directing any interested to these services.

Newbie
6 months ago

“Cobourg Encampment Moved”

https://youtu.be/EErKogCxhdc?feature=shared

Mervin
6 months ago

There are leaders of this who are taking immense pride in what’s going on, playing with the residents of this small town instead of advocating for people in the towns that they are from. The general population are completely unaware of the choices being made for them, only seeming to hear from paid to organize- GWC, Missy or even Tweek Easy. No one speaks publicly in opposition to these these funded groups and it is plainly obvious that nearly no one in town agrees with them when given all the facts.

Do our elected officials represent the general population of Cobourg? If not who does now that it’s a County issue?

Newbie
Reply to  Mervin
6 months ago

Most of the “advocates “ are not even from Cobourg!

Rational
Reply to  Mervin
6 months ago

It is not a County Issue yet. See Pete Fisher’s article today where he conferred with the County.

https://todaysnorthumberland.ca/2023/08/23/breaking-news-most-beach-encampment-residents-move-to-northumberland-county-offices/

The County says the encampment at 600 William Street is unauthorized and as they only received Cleveland’s proposal this past Monday they are reviewing it for legal implications. So it’s far from done.

It seems nothing has changed and Coubourg remains responsible.

Even if the County agreed, it is my understanding Cobourg’s police services and By-Law Officers would remain responsible for enforcing Cobourg’s laws no matter whose public land they are set up on – so no free pass Messrs Cleveland and VanDeGraaf.

What’s going on in my view is Mr. Cleveland’s, fast pace Shell Game – i. e. which shell is who is responsible under – not me!

It leaves the feeling Cobourg residents don’t matter until the next election. We need changes now.

Pete M
Reply to  Mervin
6 months ago

What u have is a radical group— who is anti police, anti establishment- that wont stop until the Town surrenders and gives them what they want- free housing, free food, unrestrained drug access., While having no responsibilities to any one or anything

marya
Reply to  Pete M
6 months ago

Why do I think that some of their “advocates” receive their salaries from the public purse? That’s what is now being researched…

Kevin
Reply to  Pete M
6 months ago

Like many people, they want their freedom. One problem is their rights to freedom impose an obligation or responsibility on others. In extreme cases of people fighting for freedom many lives are lost. We honour and remember those who lost their lives in part by wearing poppies. WWI & II were terrible wars fought for the freedom of others. In the case these encampments it seems the cause is the freedom to do drugs and ignore laws. Not even close to the same thing. And remember the words of Janice, “Freedom is just another word for nothin’ left to lose.”

marya
Reply to  Kevin
6 months ago

Very well stated, Kevin.
Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms come with Exceptions and Responsibilities – regulated by the rule of laws and not by random, resistant or tyrannical actions. I hope that these two issues of the unauthorized encampments and the unsanctioned injection sites that are affecting our Town can soon be resolved so I can stop commenting.

Rob
Reply to  marya
6 months ago

It is rather confusing that the same Municipal Government that prohibits me from having a glass of wine on the beach, enforces parking by-laws when my meter runs out, prohibits me from having a small BBQ in Victoria Park and can order me to cut my lawn and turn my music down, found it impossible to remove illegal tents and their inhabitants and can not enforce by-laws to prevented public, illegal drug consumption to protect the well-being and safety of those who pay their wages.

Who’s interests is the Town representing?

And still to my knowledge, no official statement from the Town or the Mayor on the situation, the actions or the results.

Carole S.
Reply to  Pete M
6 months ago

Exactly, who is running this town, the radicals Horgan and Tweakessy. Time to say no, writ to everyone,

Newbie
6 months ago

I think the police have told them they cannot stay at the beach. So all moving to William street.

Old Sailor
6 months ago

I drove up William St. late this afternoon and saw roughly 15 tents set up on a grassy area of 600 William Street by their parking lot – where the paramedics dispatch centre is located. Now the druggies in self induced crisis mode can just be pulled by their hair out of their tents and into a waiting ambulance without the Cobourg taxpayers having to listen to the all day sirens’ noise. Very convenient for all. Perhaps we should have special mentors at NHH for the wacked out druggies to counsel them on the benefits of rehabilitation, jail time or MAID. Their choice after the first two trips to the hospital. Then a taxpayers’ jury could make the third call.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Old Sailor
6 months ago

Were these 15 or so tents moved from the beach to Willaims Street or are these in addition to those previously on the beach?

Catherine
Reply to  Ken Strauss
6 months ago

Just went to the boardwalk looks like everybody is still there. Lots of people hauling supplies down there to them. Looks like William St. Is in addition to the beach. County better act fast before the rest of Peterborough comes and we have an even bigger problem.

Newbie
Reply to  Ken Strauss
6 months ago

Apparently they have been told by police that they cannot stay there. So moving to William st. I am certain Ms. McLean (previously from Toronto, now resides in Peterborough) and Robert Horgan (1 year ago from Bowmanville) in conjunction with GWC are involved in the coordinating of this strategic move.

Newbie
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

Ok thumbs down. Watch. No one will be at beach tomorrow.

Catherine
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

Of course those 2 are behind it. And GWC. GWC used to have an amazing reputation in this town for doing great things. They’d be smart to distance themselves from this small group of radical activists/anarchists. Probably some of the local leaders, Business owners, Realtors and politicians might want to consider distancing themselves as well.

Silverhairedsenior
Reply to  Catherine
6 months ago

What is GWC?

Rob
6 months ago

It was both interesting and frustrating to watch the discussion related to the encampment. Clr. Mutton was flabbergasted and completely blindsided – she was barely able to maintain her composure long enough to express her disbelief (even suggesting the discussion should have been held in-camera). It was clear that Cleveland was briefed on the document in advance of the rest of Council and I suspect may have had input into the final version presented to Council. Cleveland was more arrogant than normal, dismissive and overjoyed to transfer the accountability for the effective oversight of the encampment issue to the County. Bureau was equally happy to transfer responsibility for the situation to the County, which he pointed out includes not having to listen to delegates – he wanted NO part of this issue. This was a brilliant display of inaction, politics and abduction of responsibility.

Council should be required to report back to the public regularly on the actions and results and to be held accountable for any inaction or lack of results. Do not let them off the hook.

Wouldn’t it have been easier to move the encampment to the trailer park? Tents, fires, garbage removal, bathrooms, showers are there and available.

*Sidebar: the term “your worship” when referring to the Mayor is an outdated practice in Municipal business (like the Lords Prayer was) and should be removed.

Mark Mills
Reply to  Rob
6 months ago

Will be interested to see the next Northumberland County council meeting.

I hear the County has issue with this and hasn’t decide what to do or accept it…….despite it being their responsibility. In the mean status quo I assume??? No enforcement, encampment still exists??

Concerned
Reply to  Rob
6 months ago

I think Cobourg’s response is about establishing who provides social services as a way of making sure they are nor caught by the judicial ruling in Waterloo. Cobourg is making the point they are not a social service provider like Waterloo is so that they ( Cobourg) can enforce their by laws without fear of legal reprisals. The people at the encampment are clearly being supported by those that are giving them strategic advice. They didn’t get up and move to the County property by chance.

Newbie
Reply to  Rob
6 months ago

Your Worship refers to a Justice of the Peace
Your Honour refers to a Judge
(In Canada-still practiced today in addressing Judiciary)

Newbie
6 months ago

I want our peaceful, small town back. I do not want to have to worry about our seniors or children…that is the job of the police and council. To keep us safe, peaceful and not worry. My worries are too much, because of inaction. Overwhelmed. I am soo disheartened by the lack of leadership and inaction by our elected leaders.

Nestor
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

I was by the Marina building today and saw two police vehicles and an ambulance beside what appeared to be a mini- encampment that was less than 25 steps from a summer water camp filled with dozens of young children . What will have to happen before some level of government takes action ?

Concerned
6 months ago

The Encampment has now sprung up on County lands at 600 William St. Someone is giving them ( addicts) very strategic advice I would suggest.

Rational
Reply to  Concerned
6 months ago

There appears to be about 12 tents set up no at 600 William Street – set up on was well maintained lawn and area. This can’t be legal. Why can’t the Mayor and Council just deal with unacceptable matter

IMG_5225.jpeg
Rob
Reply to  Rational
6 months ago

I saw a person sleeping on south side of Elgin Street this morning on the grass between the sidewalk and the bike path…sleeping NOT taking a rest.

Rational
Reply to  Rational
6 months ago

I am adding this picture as it shows two gas cans with the belongings being dropped off. Shows better then the above.

If Mayor Cleveland spins this as being ok or it is not his responsibility then he needs to resign.

IMG_5226.jpeg
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Rational
6 months ago

Even a cheap tent is over $100 and I noticed a rather nice BBQ in one of the lakeside resort pictures. How can unemployed campers afford such? Are these from our tax dollars in addition to the PortaPotties and dumpster?

Local
Reply to  Ken Strauss
6 months ago

Many of the tents were donated.

Pete M
Reply to  Rational
6 months ago

This was strategic by the encampment group. They re now on County Property. Town wont act unless called by County. Then will point out to County the Town by law saying its a County issue- so deal with it.
Town residents keep getting frustrated, County and Town battle whos responsibility it is.
Residents of tent city are used as pawns
While the Leaders of the group triumphantly celebrate the disruptive force they have unleashed on and unsuspecting Town and community

Sandy
Reply to  Pete M
6 months ago

Right, and these leaders are the same group thumbing their noses at us while running their little druggie tent

Sandpiper
6 months ago

I wonder what the cost to the Tax paying property owners of Cobourg is to have a Police vehicle and officer on site at the encampment at the foot of Hibernia st 24 X 7 and — Why ?
And does anyone actually know what percentage of our Cobourg Police force is off for Medical leave based on PTSD I can’t believe the number I was told

Cobourg taxpayer
Reply to  Sandpiper
6 months ago

20% as per an interview with the police chief recently aired, which is supposedly the provincial average. He also alluded to a high employee turnover rate.

Pete M
6 months ago

Hoodwinked: to deceive by false appearance : dupe. people who allow themselves to be hoodwinked by such promises
Town Council hoodwinked by the encampment organizers and their organizations
Town council attempting to hoodwink the residents that things have changed by the passing of a hastily drafted by-law.

Newbie
Reply to  Pete M
6 months ago

Deflated: having suddenly lost confidence or optimism.

Deflated by hoodwinking.

Newbie
6 months ago

Does anyone know if “staff” (as the mayor states in Fisher’s video) enforced any bylaws today? Any notices of eviction given? I just watched the video again. Bylaw has been given the go ahead to enforce, enforce, enforce—publicly by Mayor and Piccini. I was optimistic last nite, hopeful. Am I naive? Has anyone been down to the encampment?

Sandpiper
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

I don’t think ByLaw will actually do anything meaningful or physically move anybody
The Can now Issue Tickets for $200. — + + to people with no Viable means of paying or enforcing the fine upon ., They have No credit ratings to worry about either .
So why bother

marya
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

I am going there in a few minutes, yet I am doubtful of any immediate action. It will likely take several days for those involved in the necessary tasks to organize their strategic moves, just as it took time for staff to enhance the language of the by-laws…

Ken Strauss
Reply to  marya
6 months ago

The updated bylaw details the procedure and our bylaw officers deal with infractions every day. Why are “strategic moves” required? Just enforce the bylaws!

marya
Reply to  Ken Strauss
6 months ago

Like the evictions that took place awhile ago at 413 Division Street and at 372 Major Street, there will be other agencies included other than just by-law officers.

marya
Reply to  marya
6 months ago

I saw no changes at the encampment. A vehicle arrived and delivered two boxes. Another walker, in sympathy, told me that that is typical with people often dropping off supplies. I circled around and up Durham Street to King Street West and observed a new transient in his forties, perhaps, being dropped off. He rambled and searched along the north side of King Street west to east…

Joan
6 months ago

Wow lots of opinions and criticism to go round. Not too many concrete or useful suggestions.
I do think the ideas re Brookside could be useful if those in positions of power would take responsibility, do what they have been elected to do and do what is necessary for ALL citizens.

Catherine
Reply to  Joan
6 months ago

Brookside is likely worse than the beach. So close to schools it would be very dangerous. Brookside would work, as others have suggested for low income/mixed use housing for families and others in our community who are struggling to find housing. Not suitable for addicts/criminals who attract dealers. There will likely be gun shots, needles, feces, etc. at least at the beach people can avoid the area. Not so much for kids walking to school.

Dave Glover
Reply to  Catherine
6 months ago

Except Brookside would have options to provide an actual roof over head.
The goal is long term solutions not more band aids.
As per my recent conversation with staff at Infrastructure Ontario; Brookside could be used immediately. A simple matter of Turning on the lights & firing up the Furnace. Literally a flip of a switch. The problem is like with the OPG land in Port Hope the province wants to maximize it’s sales profit.
IMHO surplus Crown lands need to be transferred to lower teirs to be utilized as necessary.
The numerous “Ranges” at Brookside could be utilized in several ways.
No more “Dangerous” than the Depot.

Catherine
Reply to  Dave Glover
6 months ago

The depot is geared to income housing. Lots of families and people from different walks of life. This is not the same as group of adults injecting drugs. Do I think we need housing? Yes. But housing people addicted to drugs isn’t going to help. They need rehab. Actual help with professionals, and then housing and help having meaningful lives. They did have a house on division, they destroyed it so it got condemned.

Deborah OConnor
Reply to  Catherine
6 months ago

The ‘depot” is not geared to income housing. It is bound by rent control that covers all rental units in Ontario. Not the same thing at all.

Kevin
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
6 months ago

The ‘depot’ may not be RGI (rent geared to income) but the units on Elgin St. just to the north and the ones on Alexandria Dr. are, at least they are shown to be on the County website. I think people include these RGI units when they mention the ‘depot’ even though the actual army barracks, the depot, are not RGI.

Bryan
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
6 months ago

Deborah OC,
rent control that covers all rental units in Ontario”

Not so.

Ontario rent control covers only some of the rental stock
Previously, rent control only applied to units that were first built or occupied before November 1, 1991.

In 2018, legislation was enacted such that rent control only applies to rental units created and occupied prior to November 15, 2018.

Sonya
Reply to  Dave Glover
6 months ago

Lots of good upstanding people live at the depot! I don’t know how you could compare the depot to a drug house.
Why would you put drug addicts in the middle of a residential area with two schools? Brookside could be used for low income working people which is what we need right now.

JimT
Reply to  Sonya
6 months ago

Yes!

And the existing Golden Plough Lodge could eventually be used to house low income working people and perhaps retirees needing to scale down and reduce their rental costs as well.

I have no doubt it would cost far less to adapt GPL to this new purpose a year from now than it will to demolish it and cart all the rubble away somewhere.

Newbie
Reply to  Catherine
6 months ago

100% agree Catherine. NO. 3 schools surround Brookside; CR Gummow, CCI and Merwin Greer. Not safe for our school children.

Old Sailor
Reply to  Catherine
6 months ago

Catherine

What do anti Brookside folks suggest? Just let the beaches and downtown fill up with addicts versus locking them into rehab at Brookside????

Brookside could be a controlled location. As it was before.

Catherine
Reply to  Old Sailor
6 months ago

If it was controlled, sure. You know that’s never going to happen with these ‘advocates.’ Also – bad location for something like that which is partially why it was closed in the first place. When it was first built there was nothing there.

Mervin
Reply to  Joan
6 months ago

So you would be happy to see our kids walk that gauntlet every day on their way to school?

We don’t need spaces that could accommodate people who are not from this area. Brookside is too large and would allow the County to send people here from everywhere. I do not trust these organizations with vacancy, they will fill it placing the burden on Cobourg residents. We need to make sure we are not the catch all for Ontario.

We cannot place drug users across the street from schools by choice!

Mervin
Reply to  Joan
6 months ago

Useful suggestion – each town cares for their own homeless. Can Cobourg not just worry about people from Cobourg?

Scottie
6 months ago

The second part of my suggestion (below) follows … I didn’t want to freak people out too much in one post.

As part of the deal with the Province, have them re-do the white “mansion” on the Brookside grounds and move the Cobourg Police Service there. The Town of Coburg would then lease the building back from the Province (at a nominal and locked-in lease price for, say, 25 years) – with all the leaseholds being borne by the Province.

With the “centre for the unhoused” and the police station on the same site, the “policing” would be much more effective and would act as a deterrent to criminal activities in the shelter portion of the site. That way, both would be moved from the downtown and the beach and the townspeople could once again be proud of our lovely town.

Give me a break
Reply to  Scottie
6 months ago

You must be joking …… for a moment do you think those in the encampment can co-habit with the CPD …… use the site for affordable housing as Mr. Ford has mentioned ….. wonder if our MPP reads these comments.

Old Sailor
Reply to  Scottie
6 months ago

Scottie The problem with your suggestion is that it makes complete sense. We have no alternative treatment site other than the formerly 60 plus bed site. And cap Cobourg rehab homeless to just Brookside!!!!!

The province and the county typically would fund the operating costs which would not just be Cobourg’s exclusive problem. Is our MPP listening???????

Why just pick a few downtown areas of Cobourg to have downtown taxpayers hate living there. Brookside is enclosed and just what the doctor ordered.

Frenchy
Reply to  Old Sailor
6 months ago

“Enclosed”
Do you mean lock the front gate at night or maybe all day?
You’re within 300 meters of 2 schools and 800 meters of another. What of all the garbage and drug paraphernalia strewn about?

Old Sailor
Reply to  Frenchy
6 months ago

Lock the gate tight

Mervin
Reply to  Old Sailor
6 months ago

Enclosed? would you make sure these individuals are not loitering outside of schools? You are forgetting that kids walk past Brookside all day long. Would you be able to guarantee the safety of children?

Sandy
Reply to  Scottie
6 months ago

That white mansion would cost millions to bring up to code, why do you think no one wants it.

Scottie
6 months ago

Well here’s an idea for you and I’m sure it won’t be popular at first glance, but think about it …

In two months time, close down Transition House as well as all the warming/cooling centres in town.
In two months time, Take down the “encampment tents” and either give them to the owners or dispose of them if they’re not interested/able to take them.

Now – at that point, where would everyone go? Well, Brookside is available – provincially -owned (and therefore up to the province to fix it up for habitation). It would take some time (hopefully not more than two months) to make it livable again so in the meantime, the “tent-dwellers” could stay right where they are until the cold weather hits

And now – the most important part — hire an overall administrator and experienced staff for the Brookside facility ( people with a correctional facility background who have proven experience with people with all kinds of addictions and mental/physical problems).

Run Brookside like a “half-way” house — a place where people suffering from addiction/homelessness can get treatment; start their rehabilitation and have a chance at regaining their self-respect with close supervision from an experienced and caring staff.

The cost of the Brookside cleanup and the hiring/salaries of staff would be on the province’s tab (make it part of Doug Ford’s “Affordable housing” project)

See I told you you wouldn’t like it but I think it’s worth thinking about…

Give me a break
Reply to  Scottie
6 months ago

Why not use Brookside for low wage folks that need affordable housing in Cobourg … why so much attention to the encampments…….

Catherine
Reply to  Give me a break
6 months ago

Exactly- use it for geared to income housing. NOT for drug users/criminals that need rehab or jail. It’s possible some in the encampment just need a leg up, move them into geared to income and get them away from these bad influences.

Newbie
Reply to  Catherine
6 months ago

Geared to income housing yes. Not addicts. To date, everyone down at that encampment is a hardcore addict. We are talking hard drugs. Crystal meth, coke, crack, fentanyl, heroin, etc. I have concerns about those down on their luck, (depressed/ lonely) and homeless—“trying” out one of these drugs, to escape and the problem multiplies. Or even someone, like a troubled teen who has a home. Boom problem multiplies again. More addictions and more homelessness.

Catherine
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

Yes exactly. And it wouldn’t be fair to others in geared to income housing if they put drug addicts in there. Like you said, it was cause a bigger problem. Part of the problem is the ‘advocates’ causing more problems than they’re solving. These people need professional help in a facility. Not to be told drugs are ‘normal’ and ‘great’

marya
Reply to  Catherine
6 months ago

Exactly so Catherine. It keeps several “advocates” employed by claiming that “these people” are “products.”

Tucker
Reply to  Give me a break
6 months ago

I agree. Why so much attention to the encampments, they had homes at one point. Go back to them. We don’t need you here.

Informed
6 months ago

Let’s see where all this ends up. Maybe the Town could issue a press release to all municipalities in the catchment area, advising them that no services exist for additional people arriving so that Toronto, Durham and Peterborough aren’t sending people here to camp on the beach?

Newbie
Reply to  Informed
6 months ago

Informed- Great idea. Robert Horgan , in below video link says our numbers are growing. I do not believe everything some people say!

Sandy
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

They are growing because they are shipping them here from Peterborough

Newbie
Reply to  Sandy
6 months ago

Yes, that as well. We have some nutters out there that are also encouraging people to come—to prove a point.

Newbie
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

I sincerely worry.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Informed
6 months ago

What makes you think that “additional peoples arriving … [from] Toronto, Durham and Peterborough” care about a Cobourg press release?

Informed
Reply to  Wally Keeler
6 months ago

They don’t. Read again

Frenchy
Reply to  Informed
6 months ago

If indeed those municipalities are sending people here, it’s not for any services Cobourg might provide, it’s to get them out of their own town(s). What makes anyone think that they would pay attention to a press release? It’s like expecting people to pay attention to the 100k/hr signs on the 401.
I’m almost at the point where I don’t care if the druggies get any services or help at all, just get them, and keep them, out of my town. After COVID and all this crap, I just want my life and my town back.

Informed
Reply to  Frenchy
6 months ago

Anythings worth a shot to help stem the flow to Cobourg. Wishing they don’t come here will be a losing battle. For every tent taken down there will be two more put up.

Rational
Reply to  Frenchy
6 months ago

You are right. Town Leadership say we need to help these people who are breaking the law – drugs in public settings, needles, loaded syringes in the gardens, stealing, discussing behaviour, Friday night Henley Park drug parties sanction by the Town Clerk and Mayor Cleveland because they have protest rights. Seriously?

The drug addicts don’t respect the honest taxpayers and citizens who live in Cobourg so why should we respect them and show compassion?

Show them the way out of Cobourg.

Enough is Enough!

Newbie
6 months ago

Anyone, other than another poster who brought this to my attention, here of this? I don’t remember seeing the tents gone ever. I think some games being played here, by some “organizers”. No heavy rain or winds this past weekend?

https://globalnews.ca/news/9910150/storm-struck-cobourg-encampment-peterborough-relocations/

Catherine
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

Hmm…it talks about the ‘cabin community’ in the article. So maybe a ploy by all these organizations to get what they want (I think that’s what this whole charade was – they didn’t need to camp on the beach but they wanted to make Cobourg residents as angry as possible). The cabins are entirely not a bad idea. We do need housing badly (though I don’t think it’s a permanent solution). GWC and Tweakeasy are just not the organizations to be running it. The woman running Tweakeasy has self admitted to trying to make Cobourg residents as upset as possible. So we should trust her to run this? We need some collaboration. Not organizations hell bent on making taxpayers as unhappy as possible. Unfortunately GWC has aligned themselves with her and Missy. We also need to be able to offer real solutions for people utilizing the cabins. This means a plan to get off the drugs and live a meaningful life.

Newbie
Reply to  Catherine
6 months ago

Exactly. I agree, I believe a lot of antics involving the media, etc. Including the Massive GRAND OPENING banner at the encampment. You need professionals in this line of work dealing with addiction and serious mental health issues. Cabins, for sober people struggling and in need. If you had a village of tiny cabins and majority had addiction issues, it would end up like division st. Families with children and our elderly in need could not live in a community like that.

Newbie
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

Grand opening, come one, come all!

IMG_0328.png
Sonya
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

Definitely a deliberate way to get Cobourg residents angry.

Newbie
Reply to  Sonya
6 months ago

You got that rite. Nasty and calculated. Bold and entitled. Bull shi*

Newbie
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

RIGHT. Darned edit button again

Sonya
Reply to  Catherine
6 months ago

You hit the nail on the head. A change of organizers is needed.

Catherine
Reply to  Sonya
6 months ago

Unfortunately that’s a large part of why we’re in this mess in Cobourg. Most of us want to help our neighbours and ensure there’s enough housing for all. But these organizers are radicals that think drugs are fine, and encourage people to not only stay on drugs, but encourage them in this lifestyle. Many more then come to Cobourg because they like this kind of “help.” Missy walks around talking about how wonderful drugs are, and invited Tweakeasy into the town (they are from Peterborough but now operate and Cobourg) and as you can see things have gotten much worse since.

Newbie
Reply to  Catherine
6 months ago

Bang on Catherine.

Newbie
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

And they play dirty. Very dirty. I have seen horrendous emails from that group (people who work and live in town). Calling Cobourgers the “Kobourg Ku Klux K”. They have created a great divide amongst people in town, through manipulation and brow beating.

Catherine
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

That’s too bad. I believe it though. It’s a game to them. I mean the girl from Tweakeasy was recording laughing at how upset locals were about the tents. She doesn’t care, she lives in Peterborough. It’s not a game to us. This is our town. It’s where we live and choose to raise our family. That doesn’t mean we don’t care about others, but it’s definitely not a tit for tat game. GWC should not align itself with them. Nor should some prominent town leaders. GWC did used to be a good organization doing good things in the community.

Newbie
Reply to  Catherine
6 months ago

Sick and twisted and dangerous. Like you said this is our home, our community—and it is being effed with. Oh, our political leaders! 🤐 It is so obvious. Prominent town leaders have no business in social activism, that is not their duty. This is not a game.

Sandy
Reply to  Catherine
6 months ago

Exactly, tweakeasy is part of the problem. Entitled drug pushers who just thumb their nose at us. Shut them down.

Sonya
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

Yes, the organizers like to play games. I also wondered the same thing. I must of slept through the storm.

Sandy
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

Publicity stunt maybe from the same unhinged volunteer who was thrown out of council meeting.

Newbie
Reply to  Sandy
6 months ago

👍👍👍👍👍👍

Rational
6 months ago

My understanding of this proposal is:

1.) If there are fewer beds available in Cobourg than those people in an encampment, the County can identify an area for the encampment to be established. While they reach out to the Town for confirmation of this area, it is just a formality and the County can still pick the area.

2.) As they are fewer beds than those in the current encampment, 1 above will immediately apply.

3.) The Town will issue a permit for the encampment and therefore it goes forward – just like now.

4.) If a permit is issued, By Law enforcement will be suspended unless there are laws being broken – like illegal drug use – but how do you control this – its hit and miss.

5.) So the encampments continue just like now – Council says it not our responsibility, the County says they have a permit, By-Law says we drove by and looks good, and the Police Chief says not a police matter.

6.) And the people in the current encampment are so very happy.

My opinion of what took place last night at Council is window dressing. As a con artist says which shell is the marble under. Or more simply it’s all smoke and mirrors.

Sandpiper
6 months ago

Prolong & Deflect
its taken 2 wks for a reaction and they will now once again be able
to say it not our problem go talk to the County .
The Police say Not our Problem Talk to By Law
Now By Lay will say I gave the Poor People that can’t support them selves as it is a FINE
Good luck collecting that Tax Payers But they will all get a Pay cheque on Friday .

Now what and when will the Town be dealing with the VRBO shot term rentals that are popping up every where in town Other Towns dealt with this 5 yrs ago when it First became an issue
Licencing and Inspections take place to keep them Legal , Clean and Non disruptive to the area residents that call it Home . It only took a few days to come up with the New Usless Homeless ByLaw lets get on the next issue asap

Dunkirk
6 months ago

Homelessness is not a circumstance unique to our community. What is unique is our very limited options in dealing with it.
London, Ontario raised $25mm privately which attracted another $22mm from other levels of government. Another $5mm is being raised engaging the entire community in trying to address their similar issue. (see link below) Nobody is certain the plan will work, but, it’s a meaningful investment and a plan-in-action that everyone have an opportunity to get behind.

Our town doesn’t have the luxury of that level of engagement. We gave up on economic prosperity years ago. When 8 of our top 10 employers are government & gov’t agencies; when many corporate citizens have relocated; when half the population is retired and there is an out-migration of working age families—-the issue—rightly or wrongly– falls 100% on our elected leadership (who admittedly are not experts in dealing with this issue) to shuffle responsibility between their levels of jurisdiction…..A By-law is not an action plan and neither is enforcement of it an answer.

I give credit to our Council for acting. They are truly consistent as the solution to every problem in our community is always another By-law

https://www.movementforchange.ca/

Action
6 months ago

I am very pleased to see that Council is taking action to clean up this unfortunate situation in downtown Cobourg so that residents and tourists can start using our parks and green spaces once again without fear of being assaulted, dogs or children finding fully loaded syringes, etc. I do feel for these drug addicted people, but the answer is and never was in camping all over downtown Cobourg. Let the clean up begin ASAP !!

Jesse
Reply to  Action
6 months ago

They’re just people trying to survive. They’re not all drug addicted and they don’t need to be cleaned up like they’re garbage. Also, I would hardly call this action. They’re just passing more problems onto the bylaw officers and spending more money on staff who won’t be able to fix the problem.

Newbie
Reply to  Jesse
6 months ago

They are all users and addicts down there. These decisions give the green light for our bylaw dept to enforce bylaws we all have to adhere to in Cobourg (not passing more problems onto bylaw). More money on staff? Not municipal, but 2 County staff. If they want to survive get clean. Make an effort, utilize resources (I could mention many provided for by County). If I decide to play Russian Roulette, does society need to be responsible, or blamed? I think not.

Newbie
Reply to  Jesse
6 months ago

August, I would think you would believe this to be a positive for the people living in the encampment? As the 2 staff being hired by the County are new, surplus staff, with the specific duty to assist these 10-15 people in accessing appropriate resources. But, as you say; if they are just people wanting to survive— they need to take the help offered. Many do not want the “conditions” that go with the help, “conditions” meaning a plan/ road to recovery.

Matt
Reply to  Jesse
6 months ago

You’re probably right August, not all of Cobourg’s homeless people are drug-addicted criminals–however those that aren’t are doing very little to distinguish themselves from those that are, nor do they take any action to weed that element out of their own community. When they see criminal activity taking place, do they report it to police? No, they do not, as then they would be labeled, “a rat.” That’s criminal lowlife thinking.

If people don’t want to be thought of as, “garbage to be cleaned up,” then they need to take just a miniscule amount of responsibility for themselves, show some respect for the world outside the community tent and not act like garbage that needs to be cleaned up.

marya
Reply to  Action
6 months ago

Hopefully, Action, the procedure “enforcing all by-laws” means that they will be applied to both the West Beach encampment and the Henley Arcade unsanctioned injection site.

Newbie
Reply to  marya
6 months ago

Marya- The Mayor did mention Henley Arcade in his video with Pete Fisher. Guess we will see this Friday.

Dave
6 months ago

What about people that migrated here recently from other areas? Is Cobourg to assume responsibility or is there a plan to return them to their jurisdiction?

ben
Reply to  Dave
6 months ago

Cobourg obviously does not care, does not want or even see the displaced persons at the beach and has enacted a plan to move them – but where? “That’s a County problem” says the mayor and Council.

Having a plan to evict is irresponsible without a plan to accommodate. But pushing the problem up to the County will not eradicate the displaced persons from Cobourg – it will make the County look bad and Cobourg look good. But for how long they may not be at the beach but they will still be in Cobourg – maybe in our backyards.

It will be interesting just how the Mayor, when he puts his County hat on will handle this problem.

Keep watching!

Mervin
Reply to  ben
6 months ago

Ben,

When will this end and what does Cobourg look like when it does?

Our surrounding communities have not stepped up in their obligation to help their homeless. Cobourg has taken on more than its share. It has become clear that unless residents and council stop these organizations from creating a free for all, our small town will have no resources to care for those who are actually from here who are in need. This idea that Cobourgers who oppose this encampment are heartless is not true. We should not create large communities within our community. The few people from Cobourg who are struggling should be surrounded by upstanding members of this town not a gathered mass of negative, socially irresponsible individuals who encourage/enable poor lifestyle choices.

If I made a valid argument, would you be able to change your mind? Sincerely asking

ben
Reply to  Mervin
6 months ago

When will this end and what does Cobourg look like when it does?”

A very good question. I should imagine that the bylaw people will play “whack-a-mole” with the tenters. Problem not solved.

Cobourg will look the same except the ‘homeless’ will not be at the beach or anywhere else for long. There will be a multitude of complaints about “those people” spoiling the Downtown or anywhere else they stay for the day and nothing will be resolved. There will still be ‘homeless’ and ‘undesirables’ and consequently more complaints from the people who want to live in the past.

Ultimately unless the Province spends its accumulated surplus – last count $7billion on ‘wraparound remedies Cobourg will look the same as it is looking now!

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
6 months ago

Ben, nobody wants “to live in the past“. People simply want laws/bylaws to be enforced for everyone. There should not be any special people who are allowed to camp on the beach, take drugs in public spaces, make threatening approaches to residents, etc.

Your comment regarding an “accumulated surplus” is absurd. According to the official numbers at https://www.ofina.on.ca/borrowing_debt/debt.htm Ontario’s accumulated debt is $420.5 billion. There is no surplus today and there has not been a surplus for decades!

Rob
Reply to  Ken Strauss
6 months ago

Ontario’s reserve funds ‘not transparent’: watchdog – The Globe and Mail

Ben is likely describing the Province’s contingency fund…which it could allocated some for NEW homelessness and addictions programs

Dave
Reply to  Rob
6 months ago

Rob I agree with you. The vast numbers of homeless in towns and cities across Canada. The Federal and Provincial governments need to build rehab centres where the addicts will receive professional care as Newbie agrees is more needed than cabins. The suggested prior Cabin settlement at the old Memorial Hall was according to the organizers to be governed by the cabin dwellers mainly. Hardly the road to recovery.
If these people do not wish to enter rehab and not just as a sham but as a true desire to seek help then they should face the consequences of their actions in Correctional Service facilities.
The closing of mental hospitals was a great mistake. Again it is imperative these institutions be re-built and opened. That strains the homeless population down to the simply unfortunate who would be more suitable to the cabins – hopefully temporary then to be moved into real housing. Again investment in building housing of all kinds should be a priority everywhere. Nothing like supply and demand and the Federal government is now slowing down on prospective immigration nor discontinuing illegal immigrants referred to as refugees. All these things qualify for use of the Contingency Fund.

Dave
Reply to  Dave
6 months ago

Correction – “The Federal Government is now slowing down” Should read “not slowing down” Wish the edit could be fixed!

Mervin
Reply to  ben
6 months ago

Are you comfortable with everyone coming to Cobourg?

I don’t feel it’s necessary to burden our town when the obvious solution is for every community to take responsibility of their own. I find your view of this inevitable outcome very cynical. This doesn’t have to be our future… and if it is I would be glad to have fought to preserve a healthy family community as long as possible. We as a community can help a small group, not every person in need in Ontario. It is completely unsustainable to believe we can just add more resources every time someone wants to come here.

Maybe I’m just stuck in past

Informed
Reply to  ben
6 months ago

I don’t actually think anything will be resolved. It’s a complex problem that isn’t going away soon. Hopefully services and accommodations can be offered to those that need and want help and we can hope for improvement for some. In the mean time 99% of the population should feel that they can walk safely downtown and along the boardwalk. If they don’t then our Downtown will be in big trouble as well as tourism.

Dam_213
Reply to  ben
6 months ago

Maybe not in our back yards. I wanted to move forward building a “granny pod” in my yard, using my utilities with a professional team who build these in other towns. So my aging Mother in Law would have a place to stay. Independent, with her own space but close enough that we can support her. It was turned down due to zoning. I could build a shed, same size, same utilities but no one can sleep in it

Give me a break
Reply to  ben
6 months ago

I disagree with your comment about the County …… they have responsibilities too but no accountability ….l they have management who should be looking after these issues ….. where is Port Hope, Brighton and Campbellford ….. are they not part of the County ….. where is Green Wood Coalition ( silent these days) ….. where is Community Care Northumberland …… where is our local health unit …. It takes a village and so far Cobourg is it …..

Tucker
Reply to  Dave
6 months ago

Upon driving on Hwy 2 last week, I saw two people “migrating” to Cobourg. One with a shopping cart full of bags of what looked like clothes and the other young man with two clear garbage bags slung over his shoulders, I presume containing his clothes. They must have some kind of identification on them to prove where they came from. If Cobourg, is not their address send them on their way back to where they came from. Cobourg, and now the County should not have to take responsibility for them. Good on Brent Larmer for trying to address this mess but sending the problem to the County likely will not work. Town Council is only passing the buck. We don’t want them, you take them.

Mervin
6 months ago

Councillors must be pleased… they’ve once again escaped unscathed not standing up for residents and instead propping up an industry that has incentive to grow in this area. These people are not humbly tucked away somewhere, they are purposefully front and centre for everyone to see. We, then make a big fuss and soon enough more funding for the organizations that are orchestrating and encouraging these people. People in these organizations have created their whole identity around this weird ideology of enabling drug abuse and have themselves believing that lives of addiction are better than getting people clean. This is creating a sense of entitlement that is completely unsustainable. These people are now participating in the most criminal, deadly activity of our lifetime and are propping up drug dealers who could be charged with attempted murder for the fentanyl that has taken so many lives.

Wake up councillors you’ve supported an unsustainable model that no good can come from.

Hopefully it’s not too late.

Newbie
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

A lot of legalize and yes grey area. My hopes are that Enforcing of bylaws starts immediately. Trespass, loitering, drugs, drugs, drugs. Everyone down there is a user of drugs—fact. Wish we knew how many constitutes an emergency. And I hope this decision is not used as a ‘passing of the buck’. Main takeaway for me is as Piccini said: enforce our bylaws and Waterloo decision not applicable to lower tier. Start the eviction process now!

Newbie
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

There are about 10-15 people there now. County said months ago, we were not in an Emergency situation. So evict.

Mervin
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

This would be a fair response by mayor Cleveland and council if the town wasn’t attracting people from all corners who are creating ties to Cobourg. They have given the County an opportunity to define this as an emergency situation, meaning this encampment could end up anywhere. So many people have moved to Cobourg to be homeless it’s frightening.

Newbie
Reply to  Mervin
6 months ago

Yes anywhere I believe, however Vaughan said the choice of what property to use would depend on the need at the time and what available space might best be utilized in terms of a number of criteria (vicinity to a playground, for example, or ecological considerations).

Newbie
Reply to  Newbie
6 months ago

That at least is a positive…Council and County taking the proximity to playgrounds and ecological considerations. Hopefully schools, seniors complexes and neighbourhoods are also considered.

Leweez
6 months ago

Oh boy, now we all nervously wait to see which park the County decides will be emergency location!!

Cobourg taxpayer
6 months ago

While certain parts of this bylaw are positive there is still a lot of grey area. The positive is that the town of Cobourg bylaw will enforce illegal encampment laws. However the ultimate power will lie with Northumberland County CAO Jennifer Moore who is a CPA. The county will decide, if there are not enough safe/appropriate shelter beds, if illegal encampments are allowed in Cobourg’s parks and open spaces. The CAO will also decide if a permit for said illegal camping is required or not. If the CAO decides there are enough safe/appropriate beds, then no permits will be granted and there are no requirements to allow illegal encampments THEN bylaw will begin enforcement. What is timeline for decisions by CAO in other words when will there be resolution of the illegal encampment on West beach, not in the near future I suspect? I still wish these bylaws were written in plain English