Accessible Washroom in Victoria Hall

At Monday’s Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting, the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee recommended that the Accessible Washroom in Victoria Hall be left open.  Currently, it is locked but a key is available upon request.  It seems the EDI committee felt that it was asking a lot of potential users to go ask for the key.  Brent Larmer explained that it was locked to minimize an abuse of it – there have been cases where someone would lock themselves in and stay for an excessive amount of time thereby denying access to others.  Since it has been locked, usage has actually increased. However, despite this, Councillor Beatty moved that the EDI Committee’s recommendation be followed and that the… Read complete articleAccessible Washroom in Victoria Hall

Restoring St Peter’s Church

One of Cobourg’s significant Historic Buildings is St. Peter’s Anglican Church.  Like Cobourg’s Victoria Hall it was designed by architect Kivas Tully and like Victoria Hall (in the 1950’s) it now needs major restoration.  It’s not quite the same situation since it’s a Church and not owned by the Town but the Church is hoping citizens who are not Anglicans or even Church-goers will be supportive of restoring this property.  The oldest parts of the building are already temporarily closed and its bells stopped ringing last year. The total cost is estimated at $2.7M and of this, $1.35M still needs to be raised (more below).  The Church has recruited a committee led by Peter Delanty and have launched a fund-raising… Read complete articleRestoring St Peter’s Church

Council Meeting on Homelessness – Part 2

The special Council meeting on homelessness on Monday July 4 had two overlapping motions to approve or modify, essentially: 1) should there be a moratorium on enforcing by-laws prohibiting camping in Cobourg’s Parks? and 2) what should be done longer term to help Cobourg’s homeless?  The final approved motions are provided below. But before Council debated, there were 10 delegations who mostly spoke about the bad experiences of being homeless.  Not all wanted a moratorium on enforcing  By-Laws – most just wanted affordable housing.  After the delegations council debated the two motions with most time spent on the first one on banning encampments. Neither of the two Options by staff were fully endorsed although the motion by Suzanne did include… Read complete articleCouncil Meeting on Homelessness – Part 2

Special Council Meeting on Homelessness

At the last Regular Council meeting, a delegation by 7 people, who said they were homeless residents of Cobourg, asked Council to immediately suspend enforcement of by-Laws prohibiting camping and otherwise living in Cobourg’s Parks by people who are otherwise homeless.  Councillors were reluctant to take any action until responsible authorities such as the County, Police, the District Health Unit and By-Law officers were consulted.  The delegation asked that they also be consulted.  The time frame for suspension would be until all the homeless people were provided with homes.  In the end, Staff were asked to provide a comprehensive report in time to be presented at a Council meeting specially called to consider this plus a motion by Councillor Beatty… Read complete articleSpecial Council Meeting on Homelessness

Predictions for 2022 – opinion

Last year at around this time, I gave my opinion on what might happen in 2021 – I got more than half right – see report in Resources below.  With both a Provincial and Council election scheduled, one major issue for 2022 will be politics.  The other big issue will be the economy: with inflation getting significant, interest rates will go up and therefore the housing market will cool or possibly tank.  Covid-19 will not go away but will become just one of the things we cope with – it’s unlikely that there will be any lockdown or major restrictions although people will remain cautious.  All this means that local issues will get most of our attention.  Here are my… Read complete articlePredictions for 2022 – opinion

Merry Christmas from Cobourg News Blog

Well it’s been a tumultuous year with many peaks and valleys but here we are again at another “Holiday” season. Note that I prefer “Christmas” to “Holiday” since that’s what started the celebrating although I don’t follow any religion.  But it’s a time when we put any animosities behind us, any differences are not important – what’s important is that we are all special and deserve happiness despite any problems we might have.   Everyone is unique yet everyone, underneath, is the same – we are all deserving of tolerance and understanding and it’s good that there is at least one time of the year when most of us feel goodwill to everyone else.  As you can see, Christmas time is… Read complete articleMerry Christmas from Cobourg News Blog

Liquor and Cannabis in Cobourg

It seems that many people do not understand the rules about alcoholic beverages and Cannabis and how they affect Cobourg.  The two are grouped because the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario manages both (as well as gambling).  Their web site has a lot of information but it requires work to sort it all out so in this festive season, let me summarize what people might like to know.  If you are a vendor, or want a special occasion permit, then you should visit the site.  I’ll cover bringing your own wine, buying wine at a Grocery store, what Cannabis stores are allowed to open or planned, the rules for commenting, where you can make your own wine and more…. Read complete articleLiquor and Cannabis in Cobourg

Donating Trees and Benches

You might have seen plaques on Trees and benches in Cobourg’s parks – these generally commemorate someone and are there because a citizen donated them. But to do that, the donor has contacted the Parks Department and discussed it with them although to date there has not been any policy or presumably, consistency on costs or what is done. But now, the Town’s Parks department is working on establishing a policy and procedure for such donations with the first step being to discuss draft documents with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee at their meeting on December 7. The cost will be standardized at $3,000 for most benches (including plaque) and $450 for a tree plus $275 for a plaque…. Read complete articleDonating Trees and Benches

Report on Municipal Land for Affordable Housing

When the Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for Affordable Housing was approved by Council in November 2020, Council added a requirement for “staff to put together an inventory of potential municipal owned surplus lands, buildings and/or facilities by March 22, 2021”.  This was done but then Staff recommended that an Ad Hoc committee be formed “to undertake a shortlist exercise and formalize an implementation plan moving forward.”  This committee’s report will be provided at the Committee of the Whole Council meeting on 15 November; they will provide a list of five priority sites and three secondary priority locations.  Few could be called surplus – in fact the three secondary sites are public parks.  The committee recommends further public consultation and staff… Read complete articleReport on Municipal Land for Affordable Housing

Update on Adult Fitness Park

At the next Committee of the Whole Council meeting (on Monday October 4), the Agenda shows that Council will be asked to approve the award of a contract to supply and install Adult Fitness equipment – but the location would not be per the original request.  In Keith Oliver’s original requests in 2016 and then 2019, he suggested it be in Victoria Park and close to the boardwalk at its East end.  But the report from Staff states that at the Parks and Recreation Committee,  “the general consensus was that the Adult Fitness Park not be placed in Victoria Park”.  So they are suggesting that it “be placed at the Cobourg Community Centre, or at Peter Delanty Park”.  The cost… Read complete articleUpdate on Adult Fitness Park

Truth and Reconciliation event

An estimated 300 people watched the ceremonial inauguration of the Seven Feathers crosswalk on Albert Street on Thursday – the first Truth and Reconciliation Day.  The road was closed for the event from Division to Third and starting at noon, several people spoke about the atrocities of the residential school system and the promises to First Nations that have been broken.  Tracey Vaughan, the Town’s CAO, did a superb job as MC and introduced Jessica Outram, Poet Laureate, Chief Dave Mowat, Mayor John Henderson, MPP David Piccini and Elder Stephen Pashagumskum.  Each spoke about the failed promises and the need for learning and reconciliation.  The seven feathers crosswalk was finished only a short time before the event and represents the… Read complete articleTruth and Reconciliation event