It turned out that the “Town Hall” meeting on Wednesday at the Best Western did not have any audience participation – it was just an information session. The event was organized by James Bisson and he spent two hours providing information on the encampment at Brookside with the hope that it would stir up action by citizens. James made it clear that it was a County and Provincial matter and not a Town responsibility although the only acknowledged political representation at the meeting was from Councillor Adam Bureau and Deputy Mayor Nicole Beatty. Although James provided a good amount of factual information, he placed most of the blame for the encampment on drug addiction. He believes that all that’s needed is to solve the drug problem. The event was live streamed on facebook but the resulting video is not available.
About 250 attended the meeting although the audience could have been much bigger – many were turned away when the room reached capacity. But although the meeting was informative, it included James’ opinions, talked about unrelated issues and questions from the audience were not allowed. This meant that many people felt that it was a waste of time. Some (but not all) felt it was slanted to sound like it came from the Green Wood coalition. James tried to show some videos but was unsuccessful (Pete Fisher’s Video was one – you can see it here). James has a web site (https://wearecobourg.ca/ ) – it was updated late Thursday. There is also a facebook page here although it’s “paused” so is essentially inactive.
James did make clear that there are really several issues: drug addiction, crime, mental health and homelessness. Most people already know that but James thought that the main problem is drug addiction so he focused on that.
Some in the audience felt that James was positioning himself to run for Politics although it seems few in the audience would vote for him. Overall, it’s safe to say it was not a successful meeting and a disappointment to many of those attending.
- Pete Fisher You Tube Interview of encampment leader
- We are Cobourg Web site – now updated
- Facebook page – “paused”
- Previous Cobourg Blog report – see comments on this post for more on what attendees thought of it.