Update on Encampment

One of the agenda items on the regular Council meeting is “Correspondence” – that’s letters and emails received by the Town, often asking for support.  At Monday’s meeting, Council did decide to support some issues – more below – but a letter from Johnny Percolides got the most attention.  He was calling attention to health and safety concerns and the poor reputation Cobourg now has.  Mayor Cleveland said that although it seemed nothing was happening, there is in fact action and in due course the public will be advised.  Council also passed motions giving final approval to the Strategic Plan, an updated Municipal Grants Policy, developing an MOU with the YMCA and the new Governance structure – but Council spent most time on correspondence.

Correspondence at Council Meeting 23 October

Four of eleven items were received for Information but the others got more attention

11.1  Letter from Township of The Archipelago asking Province to establish regulations for  Short Term Rentals – Cobourg will support this.

11.3  Letter from the Town of Wasaga Beach asking the Province to assist with regulating unauthorized car rallies.  Councillor Brian Darling said that although Cobourg has car rallies and they have not been a problem – but this time, Cobourg should be proactive and should support this move.

11.4  Letter from Port Hope re establishment of an Ad Hoc committee for Northumberland Municipalities.  It was not spelled out what this committee would do but Cobourg is supportive and named Nicole Beatty and Adam Bureau as members.

11.6  Letter from Natasha unhappy with outdoor burning in residential areas.  It seems the smoke bothers her and “the fire department and town appear to not care”.  However, the Fire Chief said that the matter is resolved and the offending fire would not happen again.

11.7  Letter from Johnny Percolides – details below

11.8  Letter from the Township of McKellar asking the Province to change legislation that now requires notices to be published in local newspapers.  Since many have closed down [including in Cobourg], the requirement needs to be changed.  Cobourg supports this.

11.9  Letter from the Township of The Archipelago asking the Province to make cigarette manufacturers responsible for pollution by cigarette butts.  Cobourg supports this.

Letter from Johnny Percolides

Poster for Town Hall Meeting Nov 1
Poster for Town Hall Meeting Nov 1

Summary (download full letter – see resources)

  • The word on the street these days is not very kind or positive about the Town of Cobourg
  • The constant gathering of people downtown in parking lots, bus stop shelters and in the streets everywhere who seem to be doing dangerous illegal drugs in plain sight of kids, the elderly, the tourists and everyone has just become very alarming.
  • Having homeless people living in the streets without the use of washroom facilities is really not safe for anyone.
  • The people with the hazzmat safety suits who do the cleanup at the encampment site is not something anyone wants to see.
  • Are we going to be using the public washrooms at the bus shelter downtown by the skating rink this winter?
  • Please tell me that there’s a bigger plan in place for our safety than just waiting for the Province or the Federal government to get involved?
  • Can we maybe organize some community volunteer program (like street angels ?) to patrol the streets day and night?
  • Can we maybe get the by law officers to enforce the existing loitering by laws mostly in the downtown area, parking lots and the parks?
  • People are really afraid to go to the restaurants downtown, to go shopping downtown and to just walk around downtown IN COBOURG

Mayor Cleveland (and other Councillors) said that they have received hundreds of similar emails. And that it’s an ongoing concern. “No-one is burying their head in the sand”.  “Reports are coming but they take time – concerns will be addressed in due time”. “We are working towards a compromise”. In response to a question from Councillor Miriam Mutton, Lucas said that maybe it’s time for a message to the public.

Other News on Encampment

Separately (NOTE: this means it’s not related in any way to the Council meeting or Johnny’s letter), a citizens’ group has convened a community meeting (Town Hall) on this subject on November 1 (see poster).  They have a web site here https://wearecobourg.ca/.  They do not say who is behind it except that this “initiative is a grass roots movement started by a few concerned citizens with no affiliation to any political group, public or private organization, or organized institution”. They say their objective is: “To provide residents with the facts on local issues that affect us all and inform them of what we can do about it.” 

Resources

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KalaM
5 months ago

Wonderful turnout for the town hall meeting last evening. Unfortunately, the speaker James Bisson would not give the names of the citizens’group. He was adamant that nobody could make suggestions or comments and at times was very rude. He made it clear that we were his guests and had to abide by his rules. He went off topic multiple times and for no apparent reason.
As the meeting progressed it became crystal clear that this meeting was organized by the individuals who support the encampment.
We were ALL MISLEAD into believing this meeting was to discuss the issues regarding the encampment but turned out we were all gathered to be shamed and to gain sympathy or empathy for the tent people.
James was fixated on DRUGS and that was the only problem in Cobourg. He wasn’t concerned about peoples fear, the assaults, thefts,…..etc. He stated we shouldn’t blame or harass the mayor or council because they are unable to solve the problems.
The MAYOR and COUNCIL have a duty and an obligation to ensure the safety of all the taxpayers in Cobourg. The encampment is growing and becoming more demanding.
It is sad to realize the contempt with which some people have for the taxpayers of Cobourg.

Bill
5 months ago

I thought about attending last night’s meeting at the Best Western; however, based upon the comments I have read, I’m glad that I did not. Check out the name of James Bisson online on sites such as Linkedin. Based upon what I have read (assuming I have the correct individual) it appears that he may be seeking name recognition and possibly aspiring to run for office in future elections. Check out his resume! It evokes reminders of some of those (resumes) members we have on Council. Please correct me if I have the wrong individual!

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Bill
5 months ago

Has anyone read the delegation that Mr.Bisson made in June to the Cobourg Police ?
Maybe that should be publicized as well by the Police Department to help clarify the issue.

Lisa Morse
5 months ago

I watched the so called Town Hall on FB last night. The host was rude and did not let anyone ask questions or speak. He needs to learn what a Town Hall meeting is. He went off topic multiple times and talked about things that had nothing to do with the topics that were supposed to be discussed. He passed the buck more than once. He stated the pharmaceutical companies were to blame for the drug problem. Yes to a certain degree they are. However they are not responsible for the crack and cocaine problems. That solely lies on the drug dealers. Nothing was resolved and my feeling is that it is not going to get resolved.

Concerned Taxpayer
5 months ago

Is it time to bring back the Universal Basic income pilot program aimed at combating poverty on a provincial and national scale? A guaranteed “livable basic income” designed to complement not replace or diminish existing health or disability benefits. Then, these 2 groups can be supported and the police can focus on the drug dealers and charge them accordingly? This approach can effectively halve poverty rates. The compensation needs to be tied either to volunteer work or proof of entitlement checks and comparison to disability pensions etc as a type of checks and balances. Then these recipients could access low income housing first and rent payment would be guaranteed by this basic income. Needs tweaking but could help some people in the encampment? Just an idea?

Dave
Reply to  Concerned Taxpayer
5 months ago

What happpens in society is the cost of living just goes up as we have seen with the increase to minimum wage – more dollars to chase the goods, increase shipping costs which increases grocery costs and clothing. I personally know people on disability payments that are working under the table quite comfortable along with their disability payments and hold full time volunteer jobs plus earn in other aspects of employment that reap benefits of free health and dental care in addition. Yes you are right there needs to be review of whether that person should be on a disability as well. All should a person have ignored the need to seek help with alcoholic drinking and are not deemed “wet brained” they receive a disability despite never having sought help. Too loose of a system.
You also doom many seniors to the bottom of the pile having worked all their life they find the government pensions don’t keep up with inflation and they did not benefit from the upswing in selling their home as they were retired already. More work ethic, less hand outs!

Dave
Reply to  Dave
5 months ago

Correction – “not deemed “wet brained”, should read now deemed web brain – also know some in that category.

VeeTee
5 months ago

Old Sailor, you were totally correct in leaving. We sat it out for two and a half hours, not close enough to the door to make our exit! We learned nothing new (except for a long speech on Montreal and the Referendum in 1989). Perhaps there were people there who didn’t know the present circumstances in Cobourg,and they were interested.

We did learn the encampment were “freezing their asses off” in their tents, several times. Perhaps Mr Bisson didn’t know that they were all probably at St. Peter’s Church for the night!

The other point was the drug problem, and apparently the only way we the taxpayers can solve it is to stop the drug trafficking, that will stop the drug addicts, and everyone will live happily thereafter! Does anyone know the address of the drug traffickers, so we can write them a nice letter asking them to go away?

There were two members of council there (Bureau and Beatty) and we were told not to harass them, especially the Mayor because he’s only been Mayor for a year and he’s losing business!

One lady was told to leave because she tried to ask a question, but was shouted down by the host, and Consequently left.

At the end of the meeting there was no clapping or standing ovation, just a rush for the door.

Cobourg taxpayer
5 months ago

My take on last nights meeting was the issues we’re facing in Cobourg have culminated in a growing encampment at Brookside. James somewhat successfully tried to discuss these issues. It’s unfortunate there was not enough room for all and that this was not a true town hall but let’s move forward with this and get all responsible involved starting with the county who provide taxpayer subsidized housing. Let’s weed out those that are truly trying to help themselves ( by not turning to illegal drugs) who truly are disabled or have mental health issues ( also not caused by illegal drug use) and get these people the help they need ASAP. As I live very close to the encampment my take is almost all are illegal drug addicts and have been coached to expect all services be provided for them.
I do not have much faith in the county providing assistance any time soon. For example The current county projects at the Golden Plough and taxpayer subsided housing rebuilds at Elgin both move at a glacial pace and do not spend tax money in an economically feasible way. Why do the rebuilds on Elgin not blend in with what’s there? Why so expensive and so slowly built? What is the current cost of GPL started at $80 million then $127 million, what are we at now? In contrast look at the speed Tribute Homes is building on Elgin. The builder for the county should take lessons.

Dave
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
5 months ago

It would be good to have a head count on the people who need subsidized housing due to being disabled or mental health issues that do not obstruct their ability to care for private provided housing. Perhaps that the need is overstated for that category and more housing period is needed to bring down the king’s ransome rents being asked today on the private market by competitiion and further availability.
Otherwise I’m glad I was not able to get into the meeting, with a bad knee standing would have been excruciating for that period of time for what turned out to be a blast of hot wind.

Old Sailor
5 months ago

I attended the Town Hall meeting. After 90 minutes I was so disappointed with the content delivered by Mr. Bisson that I left. Based on those 90 minutes it appeared that his speech was sponsored/written by the Green Wood Coalition and the left leaning members of our Council. Mr. Bureau and Ms. Beatty were in attendance and acknowledged by the speaker. Hopefully John Draper will have another blog on this. Looking forward to the view of other attendees.

Leslie
Reply to  Old Sailor
5 months ago

I also left the meeting old sailor. There is no video…it was removed. James Bisson did a 360 on his initial intent, that garnered support. Bamboozled. Disappointed. He read Virginia Bailey’s sob story, but did not include her children’s letters in response…how Chris and Virginia were offered help multiple times by family and how they neglected the children. The letters can be seen in comment section on Fishers YouTube interview with the mayor of tent town. Zero empathy for the crime us citizens endure. Zero mention of beds available and County help offered. And then!…a slide of “solutions” including Tiny homes!

marya
Reply to  Leslie
5 months ago

I also have zero empathy or sympathy for these two ringleaders of their group with many of their names and faces all over Facebook in “their splendid times” along with other known faces and names from the tent sites showing off with their significant other(s) and with their young children. This is all uncharacteristic of me, yet let them freeze everything off in the tents. Leave them alone and use “Reverse Psychology” and perhaps some sort of change might enter their minds. I really must stop commenting on these people.

Aleta
5 months ago

Just came back from the Citizens Town Hall. It was overflowing and we were not allowed in due to the number of people who showed up–we were early. Obviously there are many many people concerned about this issue so I really wish that the planners had the forethought to book a larger venue. If anyone knows how to find the video of the meeting please post it here.

Kevin
Reply to  Aleta
5 months ago

Overheard there will be another Town Hall at the arena, not sure when. wearecobourg.ca is the website. The meeting was being stream live on Facebook. I will be checking median reports and try to find the video.

Aleta
Reply to  Kevin
5 months ago

Ok Thank you, I cannot find the video this morning.

Leslie
Reply to  Aleta
5 months ago

The video was removed. An individual “assisting” Mr. Bisson was furious that Mr. Bisson did a 360 on his original intent that garnered much support. VERY disappointing. Much ego involved and I question if he is aspiring a career in politics. At one point, he asked if anyone had any questions (after reading Virginia’s letter). An individual raised their hand and was shushed by Mr. Bisson.

Aleta
Reply to  Leslie
5 months ago

Oh, I wonder what spooked him? I did have the same thought about him entering politics in future. Will remember not to vote for him!

Sonya
Reply to  Leslie
5 months ago

Yes I remember that person asking mr. Bisson to read virginias kids letters now. She was very rudely shushed.

Ralph
Reply to  Kevin
5 months ago

Mr Bisson has a google level understanding of the issues, it is clear that this was an ego project. Unfortunate waste of time for those who attended.

Bryan
Reply to  Aleta
5 months ago

Aleta,

I arrived just before 6:30pm and the line-up was already down the hallway and overflowing into the stairway. I was able to get in.

The room was set up with tables which limited the capacity to about 250 rather than the 400 (??) allowed without tables. Mr. Bisson told me that the “tables” format was the only option available and that the BW was the largest site available.

Check wearecobourg.ca for the meeting video (hopefully) and other info.

Dave
Reply to  Aleta
5 months ago

Aieta – Ditto

MAL
5 months ago

Anyone attending the November 1st event at BW might want to raise the idea of reaching out to James H Bennett at the law firm Madorin, Snyder for summary advice and referral to a qualified law firm closer to NC. He acted for the City of Waterloo’s encampment trial.
[email protected]
1 519 744 4491

Rob
Reply to  MAL
5 months ago

Such a shame (and a sham) when the public is forced to organize because those who we elected and hired to lead within our community have failed to act and choose not to hold themselves accountable. Worse than this, is the silence that comes from Victoria Hall after publicly musing that maybe it was time for a message. The messages you don’t send and the statements that are not issued are equally important and even more telling. Still no updated newsletter.

We are given excuses, informed that it is the responsibility of someone else and told it is our perception that crime is increasing and feeling uncomfortable isn’t the same as being unsafe.

If we are forced to engage legal Counsel to resolve a problem that the Town was responsible to address, than can we consider taking action against the Town for willful dereliction of duties.

If they won’t hold themselves accountable, then we must.

Pete M
Reply to  Rob
5 months ago

Those like downtowner & others who have been greatly impacted by this crisis, I wonder if a class action law suit, might be something that would force Town police to act?

Jennifer Stanley
5 months ago

Regarding the encampment on Brookside. It was my understanding that it was never supposed to happen. After the west beach there was a place for them up around the ambulance building. There were also some actual placements available. The group decided that was not what or where they wanted to go and went to Brookside, which is private property owned by the Ontario Government. So against the law! They were given notices to vacate but refused . They then started reaching out to towns outside of Cobourg to let them all know they were welcomed here.
Hence the encampment grew. Our crime has been increasing daily and the drugs are no longer hidden. As I understand they are also being cooked meals that are delivered, as well as partying on Main Street in the middle of the night!

Brookside is surrounded by families with young children and multiple schools, parks and playgrounds, they should definitely not be exposed to this. We are a growing community let’s keep it a safe and happy place to live.

We are the laughing stock of Peterborough, Northumberland and Toronto. This needs to be dealt with by the authorities doing their job and removing them before Cobourg becomes another dangerous and disgraceful place to live.

Yes, some of them are mentally challenged which is the #1 reason they should not be in control!

There are plenty of locations they can be relocated too and it is not up to them to control this, and us. Our community is trying very hard to rebuild after COVID and now it is fighting an uphill battle that is completely unnecessary. Let’s put our big boy pants on and take charge of this abhorrent situation.

We are a retired couple who moved here from Toronto to live in a safe, quiet community that we visited often. It is now worse than the community we left and hence we have had to put in a security system which we never had in Toronto and make sure everything is locked up. Very sad, had we known this we would never have chosen it as our destination.

I wish I could make tomorrows meeting but my husband is having a major surgery in Toronto.

Bryan
Reply to  Jennifer Stanley
5 months ago

Jennifer S,
You wrote “There are plenty of locations they can be relocated too”. Where exactly?

Further “went to Brookside, which is private property owned by the Ontario Government. So against the law! They were given notices to vacate but refused”. The Ontario Gov’t has failed to enforce their eviction notice

Much of this delay and inaction is due to the “Waterloo” decision where the court determined that Waterloo region could not “evict” encampment people without providing a suitable alternative. The Region did not appeal, therefore the ruling stands and is regarded as law.

James Bisson explained it much better than I have at tonight’s (Nov 1) Town Hall meeting.

Kevin
Reply to  Jennifer Stanley
5 months ago

Jennifer S, further to what Brian wrote, there is a decision being made in Kingston similar to the Waterloo decision. Encampment residents awaiting court decision on whether Kingston can evict them | CBC News The difference at Brookside is that it is provincial property.

Drugs are a big part of the problem. BC has reversed course on its more lenient drug policies because things have gotten much worse there. Portugal, which never had as much drug use as some European countries, is often used as an example of allowing all drug use. But the reality is they have the same problems we do. Some areas are turning into gated communities.

I did not get into the meeting last night as I was not one of the first 220 or so people who did. I managed to see some of it on Facebook. Victoria and Chris from the encampment were there. Our mayor invited me to share my opinions with him at his office, he seemed quite sincere. What I did do was speak to a person trained in private security. If I understood correctly, his business was launched yesterday, there will be advertising. His opinion is we need to have private security as the police do not have time to deal with all the minor issues. Not sure how that is supposed to help the average homeowner who experiences thefts from their properties. Very few people can afford to hire private security.

Bryan
Reply to  Kevin
5 months ago

Kevin,
Were Victoria and Chris the ones ejected from the meeting?

Regarding Kingston: provincial ownership (Brookside) or otherwise is not at at issue. Kingston does not agree with the Waterloo ruling and has asked the court to overturn the ruling. The issue (as Bisson noted) is that there can’t be an eviction without providing suitable alternatives.

Kevin
Reply to  Bryan
5 months ago

Bryan, I am not sure who was ejected from the meeting. Victoria and Chris showed up in the lobby, went out for a smoke, came in and were sitting outside the entrance to Arthur’s. It was tempting to ask them a few questions about looking for jobs but I did not approach them.

Sandy
5 months ago

https://wearecobourg.ca/ more info here See you all there

marya
5 months ago

Did the advocates and enablers of the campers know that this third chosen location of the former Brookside Youth Detention Centre was really a perfect place for what is a “criminals’ enclave” around which a secondary fence should presently be erected for their detention? Nasty, yet true…

Rational
Reply to  marya
5 months ago

The former King Street Medical Centre across from CCI was fully fenced off yesterday. I am sure this is because of the encampment night time runners and the need to protect the building.

Frenchy
5 months ago

Interesting story about Grand Prairie. Maybe 3 times our size but lessons can be learned. Maybe Mayor Cleveland can contact Mayor Clayton and get some ideas. Clearly, whatever we’ve been doing isn’t working. No one here seems to have any cajones.
https://nationalpost.com/news/the-canadian-city-that-got-radical-with-its-crime-problem-and-it-worked

Pete M
Reply to  Frenchy
5 months ago

Yep. A trip to Grand Prairie to see what the Municipality is doing and what works would have served Cobourg better than a photo op trip to india.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Pete M
5 months ago

Try the Phone

Dave
Reply to  Pete M
5 months ago

Pete M – Trip to India – wondering about those opportunities for the grants. I note Peterborough as received I believe 42 million in grants to build lower cost housing of all kinds, they also received a prior grant for further housing. The India trip has not brought one dollar here despite Mayor Cleveland toting it as a great opportunity to network to find out first, make network connections etc. Just the expense of the trip is what this Council garnered.

VeeTee
5 months ago

I am horrified at the chaos in Cobourg. Johnny Percolides has hit the nail on the head! The Police do nothing, the Mayor and council do nothing, County Council do nothing, our MPP does nothing. BUT I am most appalled at the Health Unit doing nothing!

For the past two months 28/29 the freeloaders have been dropping human waste all over public lands and no doubt in Brook Creek. All kinds of creatures travel through this property- rats, mice, crows, squirrels, rabbits, foxes, people walking dogs. Bacteria is being spread by all of them. Where is the Health Unit? What are they doing??

The encampment was evicted from the West Beach Nature area, they were evicted from 600 William Street pretty darn fast for contaminating the place, among other things. WHY are they allowed to contaminate Brookside, which borders three schools? Does our health not matter? It doesn’t take much to cause an epidemic!!

Ken Strauss
Reply to  VeeTee
5 months ago

VeeTee, we pay the head of the HKPR (Natalie Bocking) about $310,000 per year yet she doesn’t even understand that pooping on parkland beside a creek is a bad idea.

It is hard to believe that their website says

“Our values of trust, engagement, accountability, and leadership guide what we do every day.”

Pete M
5 months ago

Earlier in this discussion I posted about hiring a Toronto Law firm and going after the encampment group in Superior Court. And in order to do the powers that be needed to document any and all interactions and the groups illegal and unsafe activities. Then seek an order from Superior Court
Well, Looks like Kingston officials had the same idea and are actually doing it.
Here’s and article from Kingston Whig Standard where they are doing exactly that.
I would encourage all to read and this become the centre of the upcoming community meeting at the Best Western on how the community can get our elected officials to take the same action.

https://thewhig.com/news/application-to-dismantle-kingston-encampment-to-be-argued-monday

Rational
Reply to  Pete M
5 months ago

I support obtaining legal council fully to remove the encampment.

My view is that the Mayor/Council/Police Chief will be against this as, based on their non action in this matter, they support the encampment vs what the Cobourg safety. Even if thy said they were onside I believe it would be for the photo op, followed by bogging the process down.

Perhaps it should be raised at the meeting that Cobourg residents/taxpayers go it alone, higher a Toronto legal firm (even the one being used in Kingston as thy are familiar with the process) and we cover the cost of legal representation through donations.

Dubious
Reply to  Rational
5 months ago

The $454,000 being wasted on the St. Peters warming room would be a good start to paying the legal bills for a court case.

downtowner
Reply to  Dubious
5 months ago

that is the truth! since opening this season there has been two crimes at my front door [likely more unreported] with police attendance………one per week …hoping it doesn’t escalate in frequency or severity …long winter coming

Sonya
Reply to  Rational
5 months ago

What about class action law suit against the advocates telling the encampment dwellers not to accept housing. Dont the encampment dwellers have free council from the legal center? Who’s telling them to stay put?

MAL
5 months ago

I suggest the encampment residents be moved to Port Hope. There is some lovely green space downtown next to the Ganaraska River.
They would be close to their supporters at Greenwood Coalition.
And if they lived in the same small town as our MPP David Piccini maybe he would be compelled to take some action.

marya
Reply to  MAL
5 months ago

This is a valid suggestion, MAL, in that with several of the encampers now having well-known and memorized faces and names, the harsh reality is that no one in Cobourg wants to offer the types of their requested affordable and accessible housing. They will need to disperse and relocate.

Eastender
5 months ago

Seems like the encampment spokesperson should be arrested for conspiracy to commit mischief. That is a prosecutable offence in Ontario. Seems like the Ganaraska River Conservation Authority ought to be involved since the human
effluent is contaminating the watershed. Since the Town and it’s Council wont act, and the CPS wont act, it is clear both the Town and CPS are happy with the encampment. So why not build facilities for the encampment residents
at Northam Industrial Park? There is plenty of land, the Town owns it, buildings could house males, females, and families separately. Transition House could relocate there, and a drug rehab centre could also be built.
Of course a more practical solution would be for our entire Council to resign, Police leadership could resign, Town employees not doing their jobs could be terminated and we could start anew with governance and policing that really and truly reflects the wants and desires of the community.

Rational
Reply to  Eastender
5 months ago

Every day examples are commented on regarding how the decision makers and leaders are ruining Cobourg. It is clear by now that the Mayor and Police Chief are in full support of the encampment. as well as letting the drug situation just play out on the streets of Cobourg. Laws/By-Laws are not being enforced. Given the examples being posted it causes one to wonder is there “Derelict of Duty” by leadership.

The downward spiral happening in Cobourg since the new Council/Mayor were sworn in 11 months ago is only going to get worse. Is the Mayor ultimately responsible as he is the number 1 leader? – I don’t know the answer to this. And the Police Chief?.

Port Hope residents initiated an Online Petition on Oct. 3, 2023 against fishing a certain section of the Ganaraska River due to anglers leaving fish waste/hooks etc. after cleaning fish caught. They obtained 11,000 signatures in two weeks and are using this to get the attention of Leadership. Is it time for Cobourg to initiate a partition concerning Cobourg’s Leadership on “lost confidence” by the taxpayers/residents?

downtowner
Reply to  Rational
5 months ago

l agree there is a downward spiral….just had to make ANOTHER police report as to a traveller helping herself to my garden display. the most disheartening part for me , this time, is that in the video l provided as evidence shows a police cruiser driving by this gal and her cart as she is standing in front of my home in the wee hrs. {crime already committed} and she was not even spoken to.
Until this point , l had more confidence and faith in our police that they held my safety above an invader….not so much now.
thanks Transition house for opening up Transition warming hub earlier this year….more time for us to be victimized here in the Triangle

KalaM
Reply to  Rational
5 months ago

Totally agree with the idea of an on line partition due to lack of confidence and lack of leadership with the mayor, council and CPS.
Maybe that could be a suggestion at the upcoming meeting on Wednesday?

Kyle
Reply to  KalaM
5 months ago

Start filing complaints about the Chief and Police Service. That will get attention

http://www.oiprd.on.ca/complaints/complaint-forms/

MAL
Reply to  Rational
5 months ago

Why not put forward an initial draft of the petition you propose ?

JimT
Reply to  Eastender
5 months ago

“desperate times call for desperate measures” — attributed to Hippocrates

Dave
5 months ago

Poilievre raised in parliament recently the need for Rehab Centres. He went on to say he had visited a new one in Winnipeg. He said it was a great facility offering rehab services, healing tents for the Indigenous population as well. Living quarters, programs, ongoing support after, placed employment opportunities after as well as accommodation and further support until the person was able to return to society and support themselves drug free. He would like to see more of them. The key is addiction treatment programs, not the providing a tiny homes for the addicted.
This country did not get this way overnight. However along with the road back for these people are changes needed in the very structure our society has adopted with the relaxing of so much of the fabric of society through overly lenient policy and lack of responsibility for the actions of the individual as well as bad crime oversight and the importance of the family unit.

Old Sailor
Reply to  Rob
5 months ago

Rob

Thanks for the link.

What one notices right away is that the encampment has one leader who is their spokesperson. He is confident that nothing will change at Brookside. In fact, he is confident the encampment will grow quickly in 2024. He has a Generac type gas fired power system to power the encampment – including their electric heaters in tents. He has a wood burning stove in a warming room. He keeps building an outhouse as soon as the last one is torn down. He has as many tents as he needs. Food, clothing and blankets delivered every day. A complete support system in place for his comrades in arms. And it is all free. No rent to pay. No permit required.

Ontario pays to send in men in white with shovels and bins to clean up “droppings” at the encampment. How thoughtful.

What do Cobourg taxpayers have? Paid elected representatives at the Town, County, Provincial and Federal level that are telling us nothing – playing We’ve Got a Secret with taxpayers. It is as if we have to tune into Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Let’s Make a Deal and To Tell the Truth every night to find out where we stand. We deserve better than this!

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Old Sailor
5 months ago

i’ve got a suggestion for “let’s make a deal”. Let’s Stop paying our taxes until this is sorted out.

downtowner
Reply to  Old Sailor
5 months ago

did anyone else notice in the video that Kneilands’ Generac was chained to the fence?
Guess he’s afraid of someone walking off with it ….in such a caring community….say it isn’t so

downtowner
Reply to  downtowner
5 months ago

Sorry, pictured in the still photos but you get the drift

Kevin
Reply to  Rob
5 months ago

Interesting report from Pete Fisher. He is providing information the public wants to know, unlike certain elected leaders. (28 – 5)/2 = 11.5 = average number of people living in the 2 closed houses. Adding they “took care of people that were homeless” and we can understand how over crowded the houses were. The reason “authorities are “targeting” one owners homes” is these rooming houses were not being operated in a safe manner. What is not revealed is the ‘fee’ homeless had to pay to be taken in. Obviously people are supplying the encampment with resources. If the same effort was used to help these people before the 2 rooming houses were closed then maybe there would only be 5 people to help. Kneilands, like everybody, needs to help himself before trying to help others. Maybe he, and the other 27 people, are being used “to make change here for affordable housing and accessible housing.” We know from the closed rooming houses that these people are not capable of maintaining a home if an affordable one were provided to them. Should we be compassionate? Sure. Do they need to show compassion to the community in return? Absolutely, by doing everything they can to stop using drugs, stop stealing and trying to find jobs.

downtowner
Reply to  Kevin
5 months ago

Kneilands is not above asking for a compensation as payment for entry into his heated tent, [which was provided for him “free”]just as he did for entry into his heated and then destroyed houses/apts. The family squabbles he describes start from here.
Guessing that’s how he helps himself at the same time preying on his “family”
This encampment is a toxic mix of people needing help and their neighbours manipulating them ..resulting in the increased crime and violence that we are seeing develop

marya
Reply to  downtowner
5 months ago

Absolutely! This is a chosen lifestyle for several at these encampment sites in order to maintain their addictions of drugging and thieving. (Will someone ever tell them that their admitted dumpster diving on Private Property, for bicycles and so forth, is illegal in Ontario; legal on Public Property)?

There would be silence regarding other people from the encampments who opted for suggested services due to privacy of information. Too bad that those success stories could not instead be told.

Sandy
Reply to  downtowner
5 months ago

I do believe that they are being used and manipulated by certain enablers who IMO want them to stand their ground. That is, hang in there until you get housing courtesy of the taxpayer. These toxic manipulators are not above threatening and harassing anyone who disagrees with them.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Kevin
5 months ago

Has anyone actually enquired how their efforts in finding employment is faring or are there actually any attempts required ?
Strange that matter is never mentioned in the media as I would think there are opportunities available.
Where do the finances come from for purchasing drugs,.etc.?
Drug dealers must be pinching themselves at how lenient the system is ,as their identities must be well known by know.

Kevin
Reply to  Bill Thompson
5 months ago

Good question Bill. I would think it very difficult to keep a job while living in a tent but possible. It is even more difficult while addicted to drugs. I walk by today, quite a contrast to see the tents and the lovely fall leaves on the ground. The eviction notices stapled to trees are there with a list of services to help. We know they have cell phones. Maybe the people dropping off supplies would be willing to provide rides to support services.

Money comes from you, me, all tax payers. I do not know for sure but suspect some are receiving Ontario Works, ODSP or EI payments. It is easy to provide an address. I know somebody who was getting EI while living at Transition House and maybe still is getting some kind of support in his own apartment.

Some money comes from crime, like cutting copper wire from utility poles and going through cars. Women can do favours for money or drugs. I have even heard dogs are stolen and sold. None of this is good of course.

Kneilands has the largest tent with a wood stove. Why is he getting special treatment? Is it because he makes a better spokesperson than other members of the encampment? I watched the video and was not impressed with his comments about making change for affordable housing. Does h e have a job related to affordable housing? Does he have a job and pay taxes? How is he going to make changes? Bill, maybe if you and I bring him some food we could ask him your questions.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Kevin
5 months ago

Slim chances on both.

downtowner
Reply to  Bill Thompson
5 months ago

Some of the finances came from you and me by way of tax dollars for sure. Those dollars tossed to the wind because they came to the recipients far too easily and our contributions will be impacted to cover the losses.
Many of the “down on their luck” received CERB [sp?] during the COVID crisis……what do you think of the chances of that being paid back?

Bill Thompson
Reply to  downtowner
5 months ago

Slim to none ….🤬

Sandy
Reply to  Bill Thompson
5 months ago

Good question, do they get welfare or disability payments? The leader in the video appears to be pretty able bodied, why is he not working?

downtowner
Reply to  Sandy
5 months ago

Whatever money they receive, welfare,disability pensions maybe unemployment insurance All of these payments are impacted if one goes into Gov’t Assisted housing…..even if they stay at Transition House a housing portion of the pensions is taken from their payments. That explains by in large why they won’t go there..but for the rest of the population, we expect to pay for our keep where ever we live.
This sense of privilege is what the enabling Puppet Masters are filling the heads of people who spend a lot of their time in an altered state with and it is easy to convince their puppets that they are thinking for themselves.
Even easier to have the campers sit in the cold to prove their point while they are at home, safe and warm
When will sanity prevail and these enablers help direct the campers toward a healthy solution and stop using them as pawns.
Also the “King” of the camp did support a family..but no more …preferring the freedom of a no responsibilities life style fueled by drugs and drug dealing.

Kevin
Reply to  downtowner
5 months ago

The drug dealing is very harmful to a certain group of people. Children, due to their dependence on adults, are the most vulnerable but some adults do not have the mental abilities to work full-time or even part-time and are also quite vulnerable. Some can live on their own with support. Yesterday a friend, who worked in a supporting role, has seen some of these adults on drugs. The dealers know these adults are not fully functional, not supervised at all times and have government income. Getting this vulnerable population addicted provides stable income to the dealers. What a wonderful society we have where our tax dollars go to help people in need who then end up being victims of drug dealers. Then we have people lobbying, who themselves may be receiving some kind of government grants, to build housing for the dealers.

KalaM
5 months ago

Looking forward to the Citizen’s Town Hall Meeting on Nov.1.
Regarding the encampment at Brookside. We have witnessed several issues that are concerning.

During our walk this week, we noticed two 5 gallon gas cans laying beside the sidewalk. What are they using the gasoline for? We witnessed people delivering several brown paper bags which resembled the bags you can purchase and donate at Metro. The shopping cart was full to the brim. As far as the Fire Department allowing the stove in the tent,this type of tent is very expensive, at least $1000-$2000. This leads us to believe the enablers of the encampment have deep pockets. Somebody has placed caution tape at the bridge on King Street and a shovel by the brook-will let your imagination decide what is happening there.
On a daily bases, at least 3-5 vehicles are on the Brookside property for prolonged periods of time. They are also ignoring the trespassing signs. Why is the CPS not giving them fines? We don’t think social workers would be delivering food, toilet paper and blankets.
The last couple of days we have seen a bylaw vehicle parked at the Sidbrook property for prolonged periods of time. From where the vehicle is parked the only thing visible would be the Brookside driveway. Surely there time could be spent somewhere else and actually enforcing some by-laws.
One last comment, why are taxpayers paying a clean-up crew from Kingston to clean up the encampment? It was difficult to swallow a photo of a security guard with a grin on his face carrying toilet paper and we are all paying for that kind of service.

Sandpiper
5 months ago

Well I think it is time that the Public get active Especially when our Mayor starts most of his conversations with ” Well you know there is a Lot of Misinformation out there ”
I think we can all agree and its Coming from the Town .
There are always more reports coming , More Time expended , Months of it and No
Solutions or Results on any thing . This Homeless issue has been Plaguing this Town and its Citizens and driving Business away for more than 3 yrs now . The Assaults and B & Es are going through the roof . Most not reported No News Paper or News Statin can get the facts
The Short Term Rental issues that are presently Not Permitted or Legal in this Town
B&B excepted
are Not being enforced or closed by any of the Towns over staffed departments Why ?
Just so they can frustrate the Residents and let them believe that Licencing , Taxing
and Rezoning to permit STRs all over town in Residential area s will fix the problem .
I doubt it— The so called enforcement departments will now say Nothing they can do its Permitted under the allowed zoning uses . Well we now have existing enforceable Laws
Why don’t they enforce them . Not just handing out Parking Tickets .
There have been dozens of B&E s & Thefts all across the Town especially south of Kings st
Even the New Legion just across the parking lot Behind the Police station Sure they take an after the fact report But do they ever report the Capture of the Criminals NO!

A LOT OF MISINFORMATION OUT THERE FOLKS Just Look to the Source .

Yes its probably time for the Public to become ORGANIZED with out being Condemned or Black balled for doing so . So stop looking for Names to discredit in some fashion.
I for one intend to become informed .

ben
Reply to  Sandpiper
5 months ago

A LOT OF MISINFORMATION OUT THERE FOLKS Just Look to the Source .”

An interesting quote from you – where are your sources for the misinformation in this post. Please quote sources for the allegations that B&Es are going through the roof.

I for one intend to become informed .” – well I hope you do before your next post!!!!!!

Informed
Reply to  ben
5 months ago

Leave you bike against a tree on king east for 10 minutes and come back to see if it’s still there. When it’s not then you have proof of daylight thieving. That’s a start

Sam Westcott
Reply to  Sandpiper
5 months ago

BTW it is not a homeless crisis. It is a drug epidemic.

downtowner
Reply to  Sam Westcott
5 months ago

You are so correct Sam, Homelessness is a whole other issue than the drug addictions and the resulting crime and violence. l will acknowledge that a person may become unhoused due to this lifestyle and illness but it’s a result.

Rob
Reply to  Sam Westcott
5 months ago

I think its more complex, individualistic and multifaceted to be named one or the other – I don’t think there is value to labeling it anyway. But regardless, it needs to be addressed now and we are seeing a gratuitous lack of willingness to take decisive and substantive action. Although some, including the Mayor and CPS, would have us believe that extraordinary measures are taking place, a united local group is working behind the scenes to effectively address issues, and crime is only incrementally increasing…none of this appears to be true.

Mike
5 months ago

Psychologists are not covered by OHIP. This needs to change so that future young men and women can find their way to becoming responsible citizens. The people we see wandering the streets of Cobourg did not happen overnight. Perhaps if assistance was there at age 14 or 16 they would be in a different place today.

downtowner
Reply to  Mike
5 months ago

Kinark family and child services has been around for decades. There are resources to which families may turn…beginning with a family doctor.
More importantly, parents must be in tune with their children, it’s minimum , a twenty year journey…not for the faint of heart

Bryan
Reply to  downtowner
5 months ago

Downtowner,

There are resources to which families may turn…beginning with a family doctor.”

The family doctor is a scarce resource and the very people (like the homeless, addicts and mentally challenged) are the ones without access to this scarce resource.

downtowner
Reply to  Bryan
5 months ago

Northumberland hills Hospital has emergency doctors for those without a dedicated family doctor and certainly they are dealing with overdoses and mental health issues at all times. My experience with an emergency situation led to open doors and advice from a doctor previously unknown to me. Help is out there for us all

Rob
Reply to  downtowner
5 months ago

You’re not wrong…although much of what we see is a result of trauma inflicted at the hands of parents (mental, physical, sexuality, emotional). A few years ago, I spoke about the tsunami of mental health and addiction related issues that were coming as a result of governmental Covid controls; unfortunately I believe we are seeing that now as well.

downtowner
Reply to  Rob
5 months ago

I didn’t say all of us as parents don’t and haven’t made mistakes but in this day and age children and adolescents have many more resources to reach out to ..guidance counselors peers, social services, pastors.
Even social media can direct one towards help and we as a society are more free than years ago for discussion to help each other……one need only reach out

Kevin
Reply to  downtowner
5 months ago

Northumberland Hills Hospital Walk-in Clinic at 1011 Elgin St. West is also an option for counselling. I think it is covered by OHIP.

Rob
5 months ago

I’m pleased that Johnny’s correspondence was received by Council and discussed. The email was consistent with the opinions of countless others. All on Council who spoke (3) to the subject said the same thing – they are inundated with citizen complaints/fears and they don’t know how to respond. This comment suggests to me that very little discussion, planning, strategy or information sharing has taken place. I think it was also telling that during the discussion several Councilors (3) said nothing and one simply asked what I.O. (Infrastructure Ontario) was. This is also an indication that they aren’t well informed, they aren’t asking good questions and they aren’t sharing information. This is the single most important issue facing the town today and Barber doesn’t know that I.O. oversees the Brookside facility?! If the Mayor is dealing with these 6-7 massive agencies on a daily and weekly basis shouldn’t they all know the players by now.

Cleveland’s suggestion that maybe its time for a message demonstrates an aberrant lack of awareness. He ran on a platform of being communicative but the need to communicate about this issue started many months ago and Council missed the obvious signs and pleas from those who elected them.

The Mayor spent several minutes thanking and congratulating the united local group for their ongoing effort in addressing the encamping issue, while referring to himself as an “outside observer.” The Mayor of Cobourg cannot be a bystander as a crisis takes place in our town; We need leadership.

He also managed to float the idea that he needs money for a larger communication budget – as a starting point try this – tell us what you’re going to do (plan), tell us what you’re doing (actions) and tell us what you did (results). Do this at every regular Council meeting or more frequently if necessary and update the newsletter with this important information (July was the last one). Taxpayers do not expect the Mayor to solve this problem alone, but we do expect leadership, transparency and unquestionable representation – you represent the taxpayers and citizens of Cobourg who are clearly asking for more of the above.

Cobourg taxpayer
5 months ago

Recent report today of possible shots fired towards the encampment from Cottesmore. I am asking this again on this blog is there a lawyer who could provide advice on a lawsuit? Homeowners in Cobourg should be very concerned about house values, safety, (3 schools in the area of the encampment), open illegal drug use, theft, absurd drug induced behaviour ( screaming, fighting) and the list goes on. Yet certain Cobourg residents are supporting the encampment, I see them there everyday. Time to start getting license plate number. This is what anarchy looked like and the government at all levels does nothing.

John Draper
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
5 months ago

An update from Police say it was fireworks – false alarm.

downtowner
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
5 months ago

The absurd behaviour extends also to one another also ..shovel fight downtown, late night assault at King and Walton, assault with a resulting visit to hospital for chest wounds…and those are the ones with police attendance. This doesn’t address the girls being used, or using, their bodies in trade or payment for drugs or being groomed to run drugs from one area in town {James/John, for example} to another.
This community has it’s own rules that are fueled by force. Why then is there a misconception that they are adults capable of conducting their own lives?
The truth is , they are not living independently of us, the taxpayers, as a portion of our tax return already supports the funding for programs and assistance designed to improve their daily lives.Many of the folks are afforded pensions which are depleted , slightly , for their accomodations either in Transition House or Government funded housing.
What we are seeing is a case of “Much wants More” being enabled by a group of people who are not disclosing to the uninformed that these people by in large are refusing the offered options for shelter as it cuts into their “Free” money.
Since they live with a heir archy already,controlling the standards, it’s really not much of a leap to push them towards true improvement and structure some rules ,not meant to harm but to help, and admit them into care and recovery.
Let’s hope our leaders soon come to this realization and put an end to enabling the destruction of so many lives by trying to normalize open use and acceptance of illegal drugs

Doug Weldon
5 months ago

It seems to me that no level of government wants anything to do with the homeless people. But I think if you look closely at the situation there is only one solution.
All levels of government are there to deal with all problems but each has its own level of issues to deal with. Homelessness of course presents as a local issue. However if a good compassionate program was developed locally and included a bunch of tiny houses then the local community doing that would certainly be inviting more homeless people to move into that community.
If a province did the same thing then likely people would come from other provinces. Perhaps not, but we know that no Conservative government i.e. Doug Ford will ever deal with this issue.
So the ball falls on Justin Trudeau. All provinces need to come together and get everyone involved. to deal with this issue will require a lot of money and a lot of hard working people. The Police need to do their job and arrest/pick up druggies and other homeless people who are breaking various laws. But then a social work program must be available to help and treat drug addicts. At some level drug addicts need to be forced into rehab. Perhaps held in a compound until they dry out. lots will fall off the wagon.
Suitable basic housing must be available. In BC they found that working this way actually cut social issue costs and greatly reduced police costs. The province saved money by helping homeless druggies !
So we need Justin to fly back from one of his vacations or International conferences and bring EVERYONE together to start a Help program with a few clear objectives.
During the Depression all governments sat back and watched our country fall apart and we are doing that now. WWII pulled us out of that. After WWII we had similar issues starting. Governments jumped in and created thousands of jobs for returning soldiers and we slid into some of our best years – The 60s and 70s. Its hard to like druggies but the more we help them the fewer people there will be to dislike.

Dave
Reply to  Doug Weldon
5 months ago

Mostly I heard about B.C. was the Federal Government, Justin Trudeau, provided a free morphine supply which the addicts in turn sold to others to buy their Fentanyl. I have head nothing about tiny home projects there. Apparently from this project that I have never heard of it. On Youtube I see vast numbers of homeless encampments filled with drug addicted people and attempts to clear the downtown where they just keep coming back. Can you show some links to these new tiny homes? What is the point of providing tiny homes to people still using? I did see a tiny home project in Wisconsin that forbids drugs or alcohol, even swearing, some employment opportunities and is inhabited by mostly people that fell through the cracks, not addicts. It is clean and inhabited by grateful people.

Doug Weldon
Reply to  Dave
5 months ago

I’m in total support with your comments – I think ! What I’m trying to say is that we can’t just sit back and look away from this problem. We need an army of Police, Social Workers, Job Training, Mental Health Councillors and some serious rules and regulations regarding the use of drugs.

I think by legalizing marijuana we have opened the door to many other drugs. It certainly looks like the police do little in regard to illegal drugs other than some efforts with the smugglers and dealers. Kids get started and gradually become a serious problem as they get older. We need an army of workers of all kinds to address all aspects and all levels of Drug Addiction. Are we just going to sit and watch our society deteriorate ? How about a serious program starting in Grade 7 or 8 to make kids aware of the hundreds of issues that boil out of ‘Just having fun with a few drugs.’ Get serious about all the problems that these innocent kids can just walk into. Bring Police, Social Workers etc in to talk to our kids !
I suspect if a Police raid occurred at any homeless encampment all sorts of illegal drugs and stolen goods would be found. But no matter how many people are arrested for these crimes, it achieves nothing if they are charged and sent back out on the street the same day.
Perhaps we could have some program to restrain or lock up a drug addict until some level of rehab occurs. The result of some progress could mean that charges are dropped but held over if future drug problems develop. Tie ‘drying out’ to offers of reasonably good jobs or training. We are very short of all kinds of employees in many fields. A dried out druggy could get free training to become a carpenter, pipe fitter, plumber, and hundreds of other career opportunities. That might create some incentive for homeless drugies to straighten out.
The end result of all this could be less drugs, less unemployment and a more positive, progressive society. Of course every case will not be a success story. But if we sit back and do nothing then we will only be looking at a continuing downward spiral.

I have worked as both a Social Worker and a Teacher. There are lots of people that need a hand up but I have still seen lots of success. And YES, a good number of failures. If we don’t try the failures will rise. Where is our society headed ?

Dave
Reply to  Doug Weldon
5 months ago

Hello Doug – Yes I have asked myself that question many times,. Where is our society headed? For many years I watched as the laws/rules were slackened in many areas enabling the mess we have today. As far as grade 7 or 8 or any age what effect will it have on a young person who goes home and their parent is doing drugs right in front of their face? In worse scenarios dealing it? I recall the death of a young man, shot or stabbed I think in his high school Apparently he was dealing drugs it later came out – in the meantime we heard all the comments – a fine young man, great sense of humour, family devasted. Later it also came out drug dealing was a “family” thing. I rather liked the good old days when a girl got in a family way as it was called and they gave the baby up for adoption to a family that had been vetted and so desired a child. Nurturing homes would go a long way, ones that instilled values for success in life. Change of government perhaps?

Dave
Reply to  Doug Weldon
5 months ago

Anyway Doug this subject is about the lack if updates about the Encampment. Myself I a VERY disappointed not to have the Mayor put forth more information about what is being done, how long these addicts will be roaming downtown and squatting with impunity on land that is not theirs to squat on. There are many things that have come about in society that goes against the grain of what my beliefs are mostly put forth by sob sisters. My advice is you are only given one life make it count. When i think of people who came to this country after internment in death camps, survived alone in bombed out houses with the bodies of their families. Perhaps prior generations were made of sterner stuff.

Pete M
Reply to  Dave
5 months ago

Dave,
Todays society has more material goods than at any point in man” s history. More Homes, Bigger homes, more vehicles. The ability to travel any where in the world via plane, ship, train at the drop of a hat. More entertainment, movies, streaming services, amusement parks, water parks and on and on that will stimulate the senses and imagination.
More sexual opportunities and more drugs. Families are more broken than ever- parents having kids but dont want the 20 yr responsibility that comes with having them.Others lacking parenting skills. Then others seeing their kids as an extension of their other material goods- house, car, trips- but no love for the kids.
Today’s individual is less fulfilled than probably any generation before They are more alone than ever while having access to all kinds of social media- but no personal connections.
The mental health and drug crisis is just a manifestation of the loneliness and helplessness that so many are experiencing
We are so broken that it will take generations to mend and maybe never.

Prior generations weren’t sterner, they were more content with what they had. They also had a large supportive family network that worked towards the good of the family by supporting each other, with a strong moral compass.

Do people not see the correlation. 45yrs ago and more churches were fuller and people were more content and satisfied. Today churches sit empty and people struggle with happiness and daily living.

Dave
Reply to  Pete M
5 months ago

For whatever the reason Pete M. they were not instilled with the self respect to support themselves, this lot the humility of accept help when offered, stand there with their hand out and sit on land that does not belong to them thinking it is their right and their right to use illegal drugs. The should be ashamed of themselves! Don’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain/cold.

downtowner
Reply to  Dave
5 months ago

Wisconsin is on the correct track.There appears , by your comment that there is a triage in place and addicts are not allowed, and probably would not attempt to join this community as it is thriving with HOMELESS people. There is a huge distinction between the truly homeless and those who are campaigning for society to accept and support a way of life including crime and illegal drug use…and by the way we should have guilt for the bad choices made earlier in your lives and now amplify as time goes on
These people encamped at the Brookside property are being played by special interest groups into making a political statement, designed to develop more funding and programs that they themselves will never access because it may be that their livelihood will be affected financially.
These same people are playing their camp mates by manipulating them into selling and using drugs to better their slot in the network.
The true crime here , is that monies being raised to help are really harming…good money following bad investment

ben
5 months ago

They do not say who is behind it except that this “initiative is a grass roots movement started by a few concerned citizens with no affiliation to any political group, public or private organization, or organized institution”. “

So how much credibility does a group led by ‘no-names’ and people unwilling – as yet, to give their names have?

At least the Cobourg Taxpayers Association has rules and names of the people behind it.

David Moore
Reply to  ben
5 months ago

Cant a group of citizens not get togather fir a chat?

Sandy
Reply to  ben
5 months ago

“We will have on 89.7 this coming Thursday shortly after 5 pm the person that is organizing the event where he will give more details for those that wish to listen”
Also, isn’t it likely they have security concerns?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
5 months ago

Ben, you should be concerned about the problems that are destroying our town rather than the identities of those who are organizing a discussion about solving them.

Rob
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 months ago

Ken – I think the point is not wanting to attend a townhall being hosted by encamper enablers. The agenda, discussion and solutions of a meeting hosted by those individuals may not align with your core values. Good to know which group is putting the event on before signing up.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Rob
5 months ago

Rob, I don’t know most of the organizers either but I plan to attend. Why not go to the meeting, listen a bit and then leave if they are enablers. Walking out of a meeting says far more about your values than staying home because you might disagree.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 months ago

The identify of the prime organizer was revealed on FM89.7 this evening: James Bisson. See https://www.themoneyclub.ca/about-9 for a little info about him. I look forward to attending and learning more.

Just a thought
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 months ago
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Just a thought
5 months ago

Everyone concerned about the destruction of Cobourg should read Mr. Bisson’s delegation to the Police Services Board. Note particularly the second page of the document at https://pub-cobourg.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=33931

Bill Thompson
Reply to  ben
5 months ago

So I guess you’ll be at the meeting on Nov 1st to see for yourself who the group members are ?

Sandy
Reply to  ben
5 months ago

We know who is doing this for the community, on his own dime. The other people helping are you, members of the community interested in helping to resolve the situation. It is gratifying to know that someone is concerned enough about the community to rent a room at the Best Western. Kudos to him and all the helpers.

Old Sailor
5 months ago

Hats off to Miriam Mutton for suggesting it is about time the public was updated on the homeless situation. Let taxpayers know what the goal of the County is regarding moving the situation out of just the downtown Cobourg area – the fab troika locations of Transition House, St. Peter’s Church and the Brookside Hotel. Let all the Towns in the County share in the “care and nurturing of this lot”. Let all of Northumberland’s taxpayers be upset about how this is being handled. If you don’t live or work near the downtown area of Cobourg, the homeless situation does not exist.

Can Cobourg deny any new non-resident homeless from using our property or services? If not, can we put newcomers in a cab back to where they came from? What are the rules of engagement? Do the Green Wood Coalition and their bedmates hold all the “rights”? Is anyone investigating if those groups can be defunded or sued by the County? Maybe we should invite the Federal Liberals to a Justin roast in Cobourg. Right in front of Victoria Hall. Bring your own propane tank, if it hasn’t already been stolen by the Brookside crowd. And offer the same roast for Doug and the Ontario PC’s if applicable.

Hats off to the “We Are Cobourg” group. No doubt no one on Council is in that group.I hope that group can give John a link to their announcements from John’s “Other News Sources” area. Lets all show up at Best Western on November 1.

downtowner
Reply to  Old Sailor
5 months ago

Fab Troika ..nice…which has been created with good intentions but no thought. Why place a warming hub into a neighbourhood already struggling? I have stated in previous posts that the initial transformation of Transition House into a shelter was done so without preparation, consultation or consideration of the homeowners, businesses, and institutions nearby.
Once again the warming space has been established at St. Peter’s and believe me, there were lots of letters written , opinions aired and statistics quoted. [All of which were ignored] because we must help these people who cannot help themselves….and there is money to be made.
Help is needed but the hub is now a taxi stand between supply and demand..a warm place to get a snack after filling pockets with product and heading to fulfil demand at the encampment.
Selfish of me, l know, but the encampment has now been dropped on an area of town unprepared, with no consultation, and with no consideration for the residents, l feel your pain, but l have felt and continue to feel the same pain,disquiet,and anxiety for five, nearly six years and see no end in site.
I have said, many times this whole disruption will take ten years to see improvement ..hopefully it will not be too late to save a few lives [unlikely] our town and our mental health

Kevin
5 months ago

The unknown can be stressful. It leads to speculation about what could happen. Often the speculation is wrong but causes much worry. This can lead to sleeping and eating disorders which just makes things worse. We cannot know exactly what is going to happen but if we are updated on regularly it can help us understand the situation better. Yes, Lucas, “it’s time for a message to the public.” What is the plan? Will the encampment be left in place for the winter? It takes time and effort but things can improve. 2 of 5 rooming houses owned by one person have been shut down. If residents in the immediate areas knew this was going to happen it may have reduced their stress. Will the 2 re-open or will the others be closed? What is the plan for the encampment?
Maybe this Citizen Town Hall meeting will have some answers. I am not optimistic Johnny P. and I will like everything that is discussed. Under the heading Approaches there are 3 items. Law and Order – drug addicts are not going to obey laws and be orderly. Compassion – it is easy for some to be compassionate for those less fortunate but when they do not accept the help that is being offered there is not much compassion to give. Authorities and Advocates – it would be great to know what the authorities are planning. Many citizens do not support the work of certain advocates. For all we know some of those same advocates may have organized this Town Hall. It will be interesting!

Cobourg taxpayer
Reply to  Kevin
5 months ago

I can tell you Kevin that there are no advocates or enablers organizing the town hall at the Best Western.

Kevin
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
5 months ago

Good to know. In Ben’s comment above he asks about the credibility of the organizers. I have no idea and am not going to speculate. Whoever the organizers are they are likely prepared for citizens who are very upset with the current situation. Likely this alert has nothing to do with the Citizen Town Hall Opioid overdose alert issued for Northumberland (northumberlandnews.com) It does add to the importance of stopping drug use which is one of the causes of homelessness. Many people I know came to Cobourg because of its small town feel and charm. That has changed.

Cobourg taxpayer
5 months ago

There have now been letters from a downtown dental hygienist, a downtown lawyer ( who moved) and now a real estate agent accurately describing the sad and sordid state of affairs in Cobourg yet all levels of government do nothing. The enablers, some of whom are local business owners, demand that housing and other services be provided for free for the illegal encampment residents and there the campers sit accepting these services and waiting for their housing as it is their human right. All levels of government say their hands are tied as it’s someone else’s responsibility therefore nothing gets done. What a perfect example of too much government accomplishing nothing.

downtowner
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
5 months ago

A basic human right to housing has been offered and continues to be offered but at a small price of contribution to that housing is being rejected …wouldn’t it be nice if all of our homes were free.
Housing does not necessarily be a house…it may be as simple as a warm place to lay your head everyday until YOU make strides forward in your path.

Cobourg taxpayer
Reply to  downtowner
5 months ago

Well downtowner if I the taxpayer provide housing then I the taxpayer expect you do make strides forward in your path asap otherwise you can pay for your own path forward at whatever speed you like.

Pete M
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
5 months ago

C.T.
These individuals suffer from the what I call the Canada Goose Complex.
You ask what is the Canada Complex??
Remember when for most part Canada Geese would migrate south for the winter.
But more and more were being fed or having feed provide by humans thru the fall and winter.
There was no need to migrate so long as they were being sustained by outside forces.
The same is occuring at Brookside- outside people and groups are providing for the encampments needs. So why do the “campers” need to do anything. Someone or some group will back stop them. So drink up and take a hit say the campers.

My great- grand father came to Canada from Glasgow Scotland as a 1 yr old in 1843.

Why did his parents leave Scotland?
In the Lowlands of Scotland, emigration was almost always the outcome of wanting to improve one’s living standards.

In Cobourg there us no need to move out or find a job because community groups will cloth and feed you and fight for you to live rent free in small cabins and all you have to do is hold out hand.

No thank you required because you are entitled to free stuff

Pete M
Reply to  Pete M
5 months ago

In addition to food and tents being provided. This group now gets paid waste removal, paid security, a no questions asked stolen property removal service. Visitor entry to the grounds by permission only- facilitated by the paid security.
Elected officials kowtowing to them.
These are the new kings and queens of Cobourg as the government officials bend over backwards to meet this group’s unending needs.
Be prepared for paid propane service to meet heating needs.

I bet as they talk amongst themselves, they chuckle in surprise how the Town has given into them.
Never in their wildest dreams did they imagine they would become a “kept” group without having to give up their drugs of choice. In fact they are supported by some and encouraged by others in the use of that drug.

High fives all around at the camp I bet.

downtowner
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
5 months ago

l agree…enough help is being offered and no positive return, in fact a downturn reflected in the increased crime and violence and invasion of the peaceful law abiding citizens, the many members of the population, by the lawless few. lf we view this situation as a business and the hard work is not generating profit , in this case improvement, it is time for re evaluation of our methods. The expectation of these folks to step up and do their part is not outlandish or cruel.
There must be more giving back demonstrating respect for the support and less taking and not working ahead on their own progress.
Time for some layoffs, restructure and rebuilding

Pete M
Reply to  downtowner
5 months ago

This is where the Town and County need to come together. The Waterloo court decision on eviction states that individuals cannot be evicted if there is no shelter space available for them. The Town and County need to document attempts made with and for each individual and their responses. If the individuals have declined repeated offers by the County-document!, document!, then seek out one the best Toronto law firms and get into Superior Court and seek a removal order.

downtowner
Reply to  Pete M
5 months ago

one would hope documentation has been part of this process from the beginning but in this mess who knows.So much of the objection that has been voiced is that the offered housing isn’t meeting what the folks WANT as opposed to what is needed.
Totally agree document.. document ..document a key for any negotiation or legal argument.
As to where people go if removed…time to get well…admittance to care. This is where time,thought and money needs to go not on making accomodations more suitable because as many times has been stated there is availability in the county …no one needs to be preparing for a winter in the elements unless they CHOOSE to do so

Dunkirk
5 months ago

The reasons that we elected the representatives of Council that we did, was to provide some incremental progress on many of the challenges that had been plaguing our community for decades: the Pier; the Campground; Park Theatre; Parking; Affordable Housing; endless financial losses at the CCC etc. While none of that has happened, a string of By-laws provides the illusion of progress we’ve come to see from previous Councils. We all know, that admitting to the lack of progress is something that is carefully ignored as part of the job description…

What we do need now, however, –as we fall into steep decline as a community on so many fronts–is some admission by our Municipal leaders that they are simply not equipped to handle or manage the challenges we now face.

The issues that Mr. Strauss has outlined below are real. The issues Mr. Percolides recited are dramatic. Another Council meeting, a By-law and a discussion are not solutions and I can’t see a world where this group will ever deliver one.

Kathleen
5 months ago

11.4 …”Ad Hoc committee for Northumberland Municipalities. It was not spelled out what this committee would do but Cobourg is supportive and named Nicole Beatty and Adam Bureau as members”.
Two left, like-minded people for a vague ad hoc committee. Sounds pretty ominous to me.

Kevin
Reply to  Kathleen
5 months ago

Ominous Kathleen? Lets try to be optimistic. Why not support this committee? Just because we do not know what its purpose is there is reason to believe it will not be all bad. Committees hold meetings, discuss things, come up with plans that are often vague and not really useful. This possible new committee could just be like many other committees in that nothing really happens, good nor bad. Any readers who agree with council supporting this committee might consider donating to a fund I may start. Not sure what the fund will be for but I am willing to take your money in advance.

Kevin
Reply to  Kevin
5 months ago

The thumbs up for Kathleen and the thumbs down for me seem to imply most readers are not in favour of this committee. Why support it without knowing the purpose? Like most of our government committees, it will likely just add more complication to decision making instead of actually getting something done. Don’t forget these things the next time you vote. Nobody has sent me any money, I better go to work to pay for our every increasing taxes and fees.

Mrs. Anonymous
5 months ago

Pete Fisher reported that the fire chief allows for the use of a woodstove in one of Brookside tents as it does not contravene the fire code.

I would be interested to learn what the insurance policies of both Town of Cobourg and Infrastructure Ontario (Brookside) have to say about this.

Any property where we have owned and used a woodstove, our insurer has been very particular about the installation of the unit.

With joint and several liability, is the province and Town leaving themselves open to a massive law suit in the likely event there is a catastrophic fire in this encampment?

Sonya
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
5 months ago

Who gets sued when one of our kids gets hurt when they get caught in the middle of a gun fight or some drug addict tweaking out on the main street in front of the encampment? Constant violent altercations between the encampment people. What insurance does the town or county have to protect the tax payers in cobourg. We don’t need anymore victims of crime in our town of cobourg.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Sonya
5 months ago

Sonya, getting an insurance payout is poor compensation for a dead child or spouse.

Sonya
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 months ago

I agree Ken. With some people money talks.

downtowner
Reply to  Sonya
5 months ago

l apologize for my previous flippant comment your view of impending peril facing our community is real .We do not need more crime or harm

downtowner
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
5 months ago

Oh my God! I can just imagine…with the support of the GWC lawyer the Town or the province will be vilified for allowing these people to live like this and for letting it grow.
I fear for any property owner who has the misfortune of a traveller tripping over their garden hose in pursuit of the propane tank

Ken Strauss
5 months ago

A great summary from Mr. Percolides of the very sad state of Cobourg. It is certainly no longer “The Feel Good Town”!

So “…maybe it’s time for a message to the public“?
No, it is many months past the time to have solved our problems! For people to be assaulted in their driveways, to be accosted in shopping centre parking lots, to have a PortaPotty in our downtown because criminals have destroyed the nearby public washroom, to have trespassers in tents on public property, to have numerous vagrants loitering in our downtown, etc, etc is completely unacceptable.

Why are assaults tolerated? Even if the alleged assailant is quickly out on bail only to offend again, a night in jail would take him temporarily off the streets.

We have a loitering bylaw (Bylaw 048-2016). Why is it not enforced?

Why has the destroyed downtown toilet not been repaired after nearly a year?

We have public anti-smoking bylaws (Bylaw 019-2015 and revisions) so why not public anti-drug taking bylaws that are actually enforced?

We arrest seniors (and publish their names in the media) for public drunkenness yet being high on illegal drugs in our downtown is accepted.

Dave
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 months ago

Hear! Hear! Absolutely, excellent points Ken. Let’s see some action and be advised in an ongoing timely manner.

Scottie
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 months ago

Ken – once again you’ve absolutely hit the nail on the head in describing the sad state of non-action evident in Cobourg by EVERYONE who is in a position to deal with this. BUT you’ve GOT to be concerned about the very dangerous, unsanctioned car rallies that may or may not be occurring in the Town of Cobourg and how Councillor Darling thinks we should all be so concerned about this — does he not realize what a laughingstock this makes him seem?!! Talk about being out of touch with reality — and the really scarey thing is that the rest of Council supported him!!

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Scottie
5 months ago

Many of our Councillors prefer to put their efforts into developing a useless strategic plan, adjusting the governance model to get new per diem payments and getting ahead of a non-problem. Little interest and no results fixing the problems that are destroying our town.

ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 months ago

We arrest seniors (and publish their names in the media) for public drunkenness yet being high on illegal drugs in our downtown is accepted.”

So when were the Seniors arrested for this Ken – time and place please or else we might think it is a result of your over-active imagination.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
5 months ago

Ben, openly consuming illegal drugs is fine but for one recent alcohol related arrest:

On Wednesday, August 30, 2023, at 2:45 p.m., police were called to a parking lot on Division Street for a report of an impaired driver. It was reported that an individual was sitting in a vehicle in possession of an open container of alcohol.

https://todaysnorthumberland.ca/2023/09/01/cobourg-police-cobourg-woman-charged-with-impaired-no-name-released-2/

ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 months ago

But Ken one guy sitting in his car having a ‘brewski’ isn’t a bunch of Seniors being arrested for public drunkenness!

So tell us more about the Seniors

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
5 months ago

Ben, the accused person wasn’t having a ‘brewski’ but was accused of having an open bottle rather than of actually drinking from it. Perhaps you should try enjoying a beer while sitting on the bench outside the Buttermilk Cafe on King Street if you need more evidence. But you’ll have to relocate the addict first!

ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 months ago

But Ken tell us about the Seniors arrested for public intoxication that you spoke about

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
5 months ago

Ben, you’ll learn much more while drinking your beverage on King Street.

ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 months ago

Another non-answer that makes no sense. I do have a beverage downtown almost every day at 7am. <sarcasm> I don’t see street people probably because they are either robbing your garden shed at that time or sleeping off a drug induced orgy in their tents.</sarcasm>

Rational
Reply to  ben
5 months ago

To Ken’s point the attached article says Bill Thompson was charged for feeding ducks at the Cobourg beach.

https://www.northumberlandnews.com/news/charges-dropped-against-cobourg-s-bylaw-defying-birdman-bill-thompson/article_b020afae-37d7-52c2-8dac-33f4628fea8a.html

Yet drug addicts can do drugs on the street in Cobourg, commit crime, harass residents at their houses and yards, leave their garbage everywhere, etc,, with no repercussions – because according to the Mayor they are valuable residents of Cobourg. And car rallies are now in the sights of the Mayor and Council this week because of what happens in Wasaga Beach – because they got to keep Cobourg residents safe.

Shows how inept town leadership is in carrying out their responsibilities. They haven’t a clue what their priorities are.

Bryan
Reply to  Rational
5 months ago

Rational:
The NN link you provided is really old (2015). However BT has been charged with this bylaw offence several times since… 5, I believe.
The score is BT 5, Town 0

A CBC report on the Wasaga Beach “car rally” notes numerous HTA violations, but none for “car rally”. Based on daily experience in Cobourg, the cops are not interested in enforcing these HTA violations. Speeding, unnecessary noise, improper muffler and much more occur frequently every day and little if anything is done.

I doubt Cobourg residents have much to fear from a “car rally”

“Of those issued Friday, police say they include charges for Highway Traffic Act violations, suspended license, unnecessary noise, improper muffler and drivers with no licenses. One motorist was charged with drug-impaired operation of a vehicle, police said.
On Saturday, charges included speeding, license plate violations, vehicle tire violations and driver’s license offences, the OPP said. Police say multiple vehicles have been impounded.