Productive First Council Meeting

The Council meeting on Monday night was the first real meeting of the new Mayor and Council.  It started with a technical glitch with the sound that delayed the start for 30 minutes and then went on to discuss the items on the Agenda.  First was a motion to suspend appointments to advisory committees and coordinator roles pending a review of Governance – as described in a previous post, see Resources below. In response to questions from Councillor Miriam Mutton, Brent Larmer explained that there would be staff research and public engagement and the whole process would take until the end of the first quarter (but no external consultants).  Brent noted that a change to standing committees would require a… Read complete articleProductive First Council Meeting

Cobourg Objects to Ontario Bill 23

On November 28, there will be a special Council meeting to decide several key items.  One of them is that Cobourg strongly objects to many parts of the Ontario Government’s Bill 23.  CAO Tracy Vaughan and Director of Planning and Development Anne Taylor Scott are asking Council to object to parts of Bill 23.  There have been multiple demonstrations against the legislation (e.g. outside MPP Piccini’s Port Hope Office), particularly protesting changes to environmental protections, but Cobourg Staff are also concerned that the changes favour developers and will do little to help make housing more affordable while increasing the burden on the taxpayer.  The report by Anne provides a detailed analysis of the problems (see Resources below) but I will… Read complete articleCobourg Objects to Ontario Bill 23

David Piccini wins big

With a vote of around 51% compared with the second place Liberal at around 25%, David Piccini did exceptionally well and won the riding for the Conservatives and helped Doug Ford win a fresh majority.  Below are detailed statistics as of late June 2nd – final numbers will be delayed since some ridings had problems so closed late.  But there were some highlights: Liberal Leader, Steven Del Luca lost to a Conservative with around a 20% margin. The NDP will be the official Opposition. Andrea Horwath was re-elected with a good margin (and then resigned leadership – “passing the baton”). Conservative Dave Smith won Peterborough-Kawartha with about a 10% margin. The Green Party almost got Parry Sound Muskoka – they… Read complete articleDavid Piccini wins big

Summary of Election Questions

With the election less than a week away, it’s time to review the Cobourg News Blog series of posts featuring four key election issues.  As expected, many candidates simply pointed to the policies published by their party but some in particular took the trouble to spell out their personal positions.  Most electors in Canada decide their vote based on the policies and personalities of the party leaders and see the candidates as representatives and not individuals.  But in gathering responses to my questions, I have come to see them as distinct from their party leaders.  I can also safely say that from my perspective, they are all good people.  But let me try to analyse what Cobourg News Blog readers… Read complete articleSummary of Election Questions

Candidates Plans for Long Term Care

Given that this Riding and Cobourg in particular has a higher than average demographic of seniors, the last question in this series should be of particular local interest: How will you ensure Seniors get good Long Term Care?  This issue got a good deal of interest during the pandemic since Long Term Care homes seemed to have a high proportion of Covid-19 cases and deaths. This is the fourth and last question in the series of questions I have asked of Election Candidates.  If you missed the earlier questions or need a refresher, see the Resources below. I would like to thank all candidates for their cooperation in providing responses – they make my job easier. I have tried to… Read complete articleCandidates Plans for Long Term Care

Candidates on Environment and Sustainability

This issue gets the attention of all levels of Government – no doubt because voters are concerned.  I asked all candidates in the upcoming Provincial election: What are your policies on the Environment and Sustainability? and they all responded. They all agreed that action is needed and most have specific ideas although general policies get some attention too. This is the third question in the series of four – the next question is: How will you ensure Seniors get good Long Term Care? This is scheduled for publication on May 23. Meanwhile advanced voting has started – you can get details from the voting information card you should already have received from Elections Ontario or from the Cobourg Internet Information… Read complete articleCandidates on Environment and Sustainability

Affordable Housing Question

All six candidates were asked: “How will you make Housing more affordable?”  The term “affordable housing” is open to interpretation – does it mean that 100% of the population should be able to afford to buy a house or that no-one should have to pay more than (say) 30% of the income for housing or does it mean something else?  Whatever the interpretation, there’s no doubt that the resale price of housing in Cobourg is beyond the reach of many and rental rates are steadily increasing.  Is the problem “supply” or something else?  And what, if anything, should governments do about it?  It’s certainly a contentious issue and all candidates and their parties have solutions. Note that the sequence for… Read complete articleAffordable Housing Question

Election Candidate Responses on Health

The deadline at Elections Ontario has now passed to apply to be a Candidate in the upcoming Provincial Election and there are six candidates. I asked all six four questions with the first question being “What are your Policies to improve the Province’s Health System?” All six responded. There is a limit of 250 words per response – some used all 250 while others were more succinct. It’s clearly a question of interest since each candidate (or party) has something to say. Note that for official information on eligibility to vote and voting locations (when known), see the official site of Elections Ontario – advanced voting starts May 19. (See Resources below). The sequence of responses below will vary with… Read complete articleElection Candidate Responses on Health

Questions for Provincial Election Candidates

To help subscribers to Cobourg News Blog decide on who to vote for, I have asked all candidates four key questions.  Starting on May 14 and continuing for about 10 days, I will publish their answers and you will be able to assess their policies.  To keep it fair, the length of each answer will be limited to 250 words and each post will cover just one topic.  In the event a candidate does not respond by the deadline, I will instead publish my best effort on determining their party’s policy on the subject.  In addition to looking for these posts in the next two weeks, there are at least two all Candidate meetings where you can put your own questions… Read complete articleQuestions for Provincial Election Candidates

Police get Provincial Funding

Cobourg Police recently released their updated Strategic Plan – and it includes a fresh summary of major public concerns:  1. Drugs (prevention, support, enforcement) 2. Mental Health 3. Community Involvement 4. Homelessness 5. Traffic Enforcement.  It’s significant that Mental Health is now near the top of the list for concerns and Homelessness is on the list.  Many calls to Police are really calls for help for people with these issues and not crimes so Police are changing what they do.  Yesterday, MPP David Piccini announced that the Province is providing $860K in funding over 3 years to help Cobourg Police with programs aimed at Mental Health and Homelessness.  Now supported are the Homelessness Addictions Response Project (HARP – $410K), a… Read complete articlePolice get Provincial Funding

Provincial Election Campaign Has Started

Last night the Liberal Candidate, Jeff Kawzenuk, had a grand opening of his campaign office at the top end of Division Street (901) and on Saturday the Conservative Candidate and incumbent, David Piccini, will be opening his campaign office at the other end of Division Street (239). In addition, late Wednesday, the Green Party announced their Candidate, Lisa Francis.  The NDP have not yet announced a candidate but say they are working on it.  But in this election there are at least three other parties vying for our vote – one of these, the New Blue Party has also announced a Candidate, Joshua Chalhoub.  I’ll leave speculation on who’ll win etc to readers of this blog although I have collected… Read complete articleProvincial Election Campaign Has Started