Update to Council on Encampment

At the end of regular Council meetings, there is a section where Councillors report on what has been happening. At Monday’s meeting (September 11), instead of giving a report, Mayor Lucas Cleveland invited Councillors to ask any questions they wanted re the encampments happening in Cobourg. He was doing that in his role as Cobourg’s representative on County Council and this would be his report back to Council. He acknowledged that he, and other councillors, were getting deluged with emails – this last week alone he received 780. Brian Darling wanted to confirm that if an email had on the address line the Mayor and all Councillors and possibly others, that it should be the Mayor who was responsible for… Read complete articleUpdate to Council on Encampment

County Acts to Evict Campers at 600 William

At a special meeting on September 5, County Council heard detailed reports from Staff on the illegal encampment on the County property at 600 William street. The location is not a public park and houses several County departments, notably the paramedics and their ambulances.  Council heard reports from Staff that emphasized the negative impact on their staff and the work that was being done to offer services to the campers. One key point was made that the campers have a hierarchy – that is, one unnamed individual wants all communication to go through him and therefore makes it difficult to have direct communication with individuals needing help. In some cases, individuals have agreed to accept help but have then been persuaded to… Read complete articleCounty Acts to Evict Campers at 600 William

Council Acts on Encampments

At the regular Council meeting on Monday 21 August, a last minute addition to the Agenda was debated.  Brent Larmer worked through his vacation to write a By-Law that modified the Parks By-Law (022-2016) to essentially do two things: 1) enhance the clauses about enforcement and 2) delegate primary responsibility for looking after the homeless to the County – specifically, the county will decide if a permit should be issued for camping on Parks (or Town land). (The West Beach encampment is on Town property). Such a permit (just one) will only be issued in an emergency – that is, because there is no suitable place for campers to go.  So the Town will now enforce their Bylaws and the… Read complete articleCouncil Acts on Encampments

Town Announces Situation on Homeless Camps

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… Read complete articleTown Announces Situation on Homeless Camps

Poppy Crosswalk for Cobourg?

In October 2021, Cobourg created a “seven feathers crosswalk” to remember indigenous “truth and reconciliation”; in June 2019, Cobourg celebrated Gay pride with a Rainbow crosswalk; and at the next Committee of the Whole Council meeting, Adam Bureau will move to create a third one – a poppy crosswalk – to honour veterans.  Adam does not specify exactly what it would look like but other municipalities have already created one so we can look at them for an indication. Adam does not say whether he has talked to the Legion about the idea – it’s possible they may not like the idea of people walking on poppies – not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.  See links below on the… Read complete articlePoppy Crosswalk for Cobourg?

Community Grants Policy

The Policy for Community Grants was set some time ago – see Resources below – but at the budget meetings in February 2023, Council passed a motion to review the Policy to at least make the process more efficient and possibly do away with community grants altogether. Specifically, a motion was passed directing staff to explore options and report back by June 2023. If you look at the video of the Feb 9 meeting, this motion is passed at around the 1:17 mark but it’s not recorded in the minutes. I reported this motion and the list of approved grants in a Post on February 10 titled “Last Year for Community Grants?”. Applications for the 2024 grants are now being… Read complete articleCommunity Grants Policy

Province to Provide Additional Funding for Housing

On Friday, MPP David Piccini announced that the Province would provide Northumberland County with an additional $2M towards their Homelessness Prevention Program.  Mayor Lucas Cleveland and all Cobourg Councillors were at the announcement as were representatives from County staff and other County Townships.  Police Chief VandeGraaf was also in attendance.  David Piccini and Warden Mandy Martin were the only speakers. David said that the increased funding would help end the housing supply crisis and help end homelessness and that the Province remains a committed Partner. Mandy expressed her gratitude to the Province – she said that the investment comes at a critical time and she looks forward to continuing cooperation from all levels of Government.  Mandy spoke about the County’s… Read complete articleProvince to Provide Additional Funding for Housing

Public Input Wanted on CDCI West Playing Field

The other contentious item considered at Monday’s CoW Council Meeting was what to do with the now dormant land that used to be the CDCI West playing field. As reported in an earlier post, staff offered two options: A) keep as a park or B) mixed park and affordable housing. Discussion started when Councillor Burchat suggested a partnership with the County on the affordable housing aspect but Councillors seemed unsure about what the public wanted. Mayor Cleveland added a third option when he said that Williams Academy offered to buy the property for use as a football park for their school now occupying the old CDCI West building. It was also not agreed that the Town of Cobourg’s definition of… Read complete articlePublic Input Wanted on CDCI West Playing Field

Council Rejects Sleeping Cabins Idea

There was a full gallery Monday night to hear Council debate what to do about the proposed Sleeping Cabins idea.  First came three delegations: 1) Alastair McKeating of Northumberland Sleeping Cabin Collective (NSCC) reported on engagement and governance as previously reported here; 2) Keith Oliver spoke about how the discussion was becoming chaotic; and 3) Anita Turek spoke on behalf of neighbours to the proposed location.  The debate was long but in the end, Council was decisive and came up with a plan although not what was wanted by Green Wood, Missy McLean or NSCC.  Mayor Lucas Cleveland was clear on his position with a statement that is reported below – although this was interrupted from the gallery.  In general,… Read complete articleCouncil Rejects Sleeping Cabins Idea

Sleeping Cabin Engagement and Governance Report

At Council’s 28 February Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting, Council were asked to approve that Sleeping Cabins could be put in the parking lot of the Memorial Arena on Furnace Street. Concerned about public approval and how these would be managed, Council asked the organizers to report back at the April 3rd CoW meeting on their public engagement and their governance. To comply with this, the Northumberland Sleeping Cabin Collective (NSCC) will be presenting their 33 page report at that CoW meeting. No surprise, it is strongly supportive of the proposal and reads as a professional report selling the idea. The report lists community and stakeholder engagements and the results of a survey indicating support and includes a description… Read complete articleSleeping Cabin Engagement and Governance Report