On August 9, the Town removed a tent that had been erected in Victoria Park but did not immediately act on several tents on the West Beach. Councillors received multiple complaints about these and in Today’s Northumberland, Pete Fisher reported the details on one couple living there (see Resources). However, the Town has now reported that “Officers found that the encampment is in violation of the current Parks By-law, Nuisance By-law and Trespass to Property Act.” But before acting, Council met on Friday in a special closed Session emergency meeting to consider legal advice – in particular to consider a recent ruling of the Ontario Superior Court in the Waterloo decision which dictates that “unless and until encampment residents are provided with truly accessible accommodation, eviction should not take place”.
So the tents are still there.
On Saturday 12 August at about 2:15 pm, the Town announced this information and further:
As per the Town of Cobourg’s revised Encampment Response Plan [Download from Town’s web site – see link in Resources], approved by Council in July 2022, Municipal Law Enforcement staff will continue to work closely with the residents of the encampment, connecting them with community-based supports provided by the County of Northumberland. Further, staff are seeking legal council on how current municipal by-laws can be enforced and will bring an open report to Council on the current situation and advice received at a later date.
Should residents have any concerns regarding the violation of municipal by-laws, they are advised to contact the Municipal Law Enforcement department at 905-372-8380.
Since the County is responsible for this issue, my guess is that the County will now have to provide “truly accessible accommodation” to the people in the Tents. The Town has not specified exactly what this means and the County has not commented (yet). Stay tuned.
- Report by Today’s Northumberland on removal of Tent from Victoria Park – 9 August 2023
- Report by Pete Fisher in Today’s Northumberland about Virginia and Chris living in a tent on the West Beach – 11 August 2023
- Cobourg’s Encampment Response Plan – (from Town’s Web site) – July 2022
- Full News Announcement by Town – 12 August 2023