At the Regular Council meeting on Monday night – March 20 – Mayor Cleveland introduced a “Notice of Motion” to say that Council does not endorse the unsanctioned Overdose Prevention site proposed for Cobourg. (See Resources below for link to report by Pete Fisher). This usually means that it would be introduced at a subsequent Council meeting but Council passed a suspension of rules of Order that meant it could be dealt with and passed immediately. Mayor Cleveland, with support from Council and CAO Tracey Vaughan made it clear they had not been consulted and only heard about it from the media plus citizen communication – at the same time as everyone else. See the full wording of the motion below. Mayor Cleveland plans to present it to the Police board at Tuesday’s meeting at 9:00 am.
Motion by Mayor Cleveland
Subject: Unsanctioned Consumption Sites in the Town of Cobourg
Which Notice of Motion reads as follows:
WHEREAS the Council of the Town of Cobourg and Municipal Staff were unaware of the erection of the Unsanctioned Overdose Prevention Site where individuals are utilizing the use of illicit drug use within the Town of Cobourg; and
WHEREAS the Town of Cobourg does not endorse the operation;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council urges that the Organizers wanting to create this space to follow the legal process to operate a supervised consumption site (SCS) as approved and licensed by Health Canada who may grant exemptions for an SCS after satisfactory completion of an application which includes consultation with a broad range of people in the community.
The motion passed.
The intent is to have Police, the Fire Department and By-Law enforcement make sure there are no laws or regulations broken but it’s made difficult because the “sites” (two tents) will be on Private property and their location will not be public.
The news was originally published on local radio station 89.7 with an interview of organizer Missy McLean by Rob Washburn. Rob has published the interview on his blog “Consider This” – Link below.
The interview was broadcast Friday 17th and on Monday March 20, local journalist Pete Fisher reported what was said in detail (see link below).
There was no notification to the Town – but the Town has acted quickly.
Here are some more details extracted from Pete’s report:
- It’s called an “overdose prevention site” (but it’s clearly a “Safe injection site” – my words based on Missy’s description and the Mayor’s description as “Unsanctioned Consumption site”).
- The site will be mobile and switch undisclosed locations in the downtown area every Friday from 7 pm to 10 pm. Missy said that Property owners have agreed.
- It will consist of 2 tents, one for inhaling and one for injecting illegal drugs.
- “People bring their own substances.”
- Missy said: “I’ve been told that police are already following the directive of the Crown Attorney in Ontario which is to not charge folks who are simple possession of illegal substances”
- McLean said the volunteers that will be operating it have had first-aid training. “Aside from the credentials of training and regulation, we have folks who have lived experience of saving their friends lives already. And have been doing so for years. So they come with their own expertise – their lived expertise.”
Do we want this happening in Cobourg?
- Unsanctioned Overdose Prevention Site Coming to Cobourg – Like It or Not – by Pete Fisher on Today’s Northumberland
- Interview of Missy McLean by Rob Washburn
Added 21 March 2023
Added 22 March 2023