As Mayor Lucas Cleveland said at Monday’s Council meeting, people only want to hear about one issue: the encampment. It’s all consuming. “No-one is paying attention to other good things being done by Council.” However, Lucas responded to this and spoke about what is happening on the encampment. He said that the community seems to think that Councillors are burying their head in the sand but “that is not at all what is happening”. Further, “this council is working with every single member of the community involved: Police, County, Province, MPP and MP”. “It’s not a simple problem.” But “Council cannot come forward with information that’s being discussed in closed sessions.” “Council has to follow certain rules and regulations and legal procedures”.
Given the large crowd expected, Lucas announced that a Town Hall meeting would be held at the Cobourg Community Centre at 6:30 pm on December 5. More details will be announced soon. The meeting will start with a 30 minute presentation on what Cobourg Council and the County Council have accomplished in the last year – with successes and setbacks. The presentation will be followed by a Q & A session with the Mayor answering questions.
Lucas then commented on the encampment situation:
- The reality is that the encampment is on I.O. (Infrastructure Ontario) lands. The I.O. is not directly overseen by the Provincial Government so letters to MPP Piccini end up stopping there because he does not have any oversight of I.O. – and neither do any of us.
- Council needs to communicate with the Public. We understand that this (the encampment) is the number one concern of many of our residents. We (also) understand that this is the number one concern of many of the advocates in this community.
- Lucas says he fully stands behind the Police Service but Council is not in charge of deciding how Police do their job.
- And the Police Board is not in charge of deciding how Police do their job.
- The Police are maintaining safety in this community while balancing the difficult Political situation.
- We are all working to a resolution that is best for the community and for the individuals who find themselves at the encampment.
- This is not a solution that will happen tomorrow but is one that will require careful planning, very careful legal understanding and very careful procedures as we move forward.
- Any action will have repercussions.
Lucas said that announcements are coming and will be provided when possible.
Letter from Infrastructure Ontario
To marya – commenter on Cobourg news Blog – in response to her letter a month ago.
15 November 2023 – 10:29 am
Thank you for sharing your concerns regarding the property at 390 King Street East, Cobourg.
The province has been continuously engaged with the County of Northumberland and the Town of Cobourg, including police and fire authorities. For inquiries specific to by-laws, please contact the Town of Cobourg directly.
Outreach workers from Northumberland County Community & Social Services and partner agencies have been engaging with individuals tenting on the property to support transition from the encampment to community services. Individuals tenting on the property are encouraged to access safe shelter alternatives and other community resources.
In addition, Infrastructure Ontario has implemented additional security protocols to help improve safety and security at the site. This includes hiring security patrols, engaging with local police services, as well as installing new safety equipment in the area.
Please be aware there are legal implications that must be considered in our management of this matter.