Update to Council on Encampment

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

So what information did the Mayor provide?

  • People cannot be forced to accept help or accommodation. The current system is that there is a shelter system – and there is capacity. Lucas said that 7 people had accepted shelter this week [this sentence edited to correct a misquote!].
  • The end goal is to have everyone in shelters.
  • The campers’ hierarchy creates barriers to helping. People need to enter the system to get help.
  • Adam Bureau asked about what happens when the people move from Brookside. Lucas said that the Town’s by-law people will continue to enforce the by-laws (the implication is that they won’t stay in one place very long).
  • In response to a question from Nicole Beatty, Lucas said that although existing shelters may be expanded, there is no budget nor a plan to add a new shelter. The county is already spending a lot and it’s not possible to focus on just 40 to 50 individuals. Lucas said the County is doing a great job but that he realizes that for some, there will never be enough done or spent. He pointed out that 80% of the money spent on this comes from Northumberland taxpayers with 65 to 70% of it spent in Cobourg. He cannot see the County increasing its budget by the millions asked for.

Lucas emphasized that he will respond to all emails but from examples I’ve seen, it may be weeks or months. Meanwhile we need to rely on communication via announcements on the Town’s web site, Facebook page, news sources and Council meetings.

The Town continues to spend a lot of time and resources on this issue and this is distracting from other issues – It’s hard to see how the campers benefit from the negative attention they are getting. So why are they not all accepting help?

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Cobourg Taxpayer
8 months ago

There is an informative opinion piece on Northumberlandnews.com by Jeff Schlemmer regarding encampments. He says that unless truly accessible housing can be provided for encampment residents as in no conditions attached then the residents can not be evicted from encampments. Residents can demand double rooms, the ability to be able to consume illegal drugs, alcohol, smoking, the need for mental and physical disabilities support etc. Schlemmer feels this is supported under section 7 of the charter of rights. Can they demand a 15th floor luxury penthouse as well? Time will tell.

marya
Reply to  Cobourg Taxpayer
8 months ago

There are other lawyers who would write an opinion piece stating the complete opposite; there are always applicable conditions.

Cobourg Taxpayer
Reply to  marya
8 months ago

Read what the courts ruled in Waterloo vs persons unknown 2023 ON 670. This is what is preventing eviction of the trespassers at Brookside. Do we want County of Northumberland to challenge this is court? Jennifer Moore with the county has quoted from this ruling and says this is the reason there is no eviction.

Rational
Reply to  Cobourg Taxpayer
8 months ago

The Province, County and Town need to challenge prior judge on this matter. Supreme and Superior court judges disagree on issues and rulings all the time. Situations have different factors to consider and the eviction of the encampment should not be decided solely on the above.

This is a good time and reason for a Legal Consultant from a national law firm ( not a local lawyer) to be engaged by the County and Cobourg to review and provide advice and council on dealing with this matter. It would be money well spent as Leadership are out of their depth and grabbing at anything so they don’t have to deal with the issue.

This is a different situation than the hiring of consultants as was done in the last. In other words we have a serious matter now and consulting advice is necessary.

marya
Reply to  Cobourg Taxpayer
8 months ago

It was thought that this issue was being challenged by the Town and the County. Now, two months later, it is not?! Completely irresponsible on on levels of government.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Cobourg Taxpayer
8 months ago

Cobourg Taxpayer, unless the trespassers are evicted how will their complete disregard for Cobourg’s bylaws be resolved? Which do you prefer: spending (and perhaps wasting) money on court cases or surrendering our lovely town to vagrants and petty criminals to do whatever they please?

marya
Reply to  Cobourg Taxpayer
8 months ago

It was read, and understood that there is no comparison, none whatsoever, between the Waterloo Region and now the York Region from where the lawyer Jeffrey Schlemmer works and with Northumberland County, Cobourg. He is another person who cites the Charter of Rights (and Freedoms and Responsibilities) in his opinion article. There is nothing in the Charter that guarantees everyone an affordable, defined as free, home for the campers. We know the types of homes that these individuals who are addicts and repetitive thieves need. The media attention has amplified their faces along with their names for many of them and the complication is that these are the same faces that are stored on private property surveillance cameras for either trespassing or for actually being reprehended for crimes…

Pete M
Reply to  marya
8 months ago

marya,
A biased lawyer?? Never!

Pete M
Reply to  Cobourg Taxpayer
8 months ago

So, in other words, I can mess up my life, party all I want, decide not to work because it conflicts with my values of laziness, consume what ever drugs I want and now this lawyer says it is the State’s responsibility to provide me housing on my terms.
Come on!
Time for municipalities to band together and find the best case to challenge thru the courts,

Cobourg Taxpayer
Reply to  Pete M
8 months ago

To be very clear I am totally against the illegal encampment and all the other illegal behaviour going on all over Cobourg but thanks to LAWS passed by the government in particular Trudeau and his Liberals and the Liberal judges also appointed by Trudeau this is what we’ve ended up with. We also have a very left wing police chief, some on the police board and some municipal councillors. As we live in a democracy these “leaders” are running the show those that voted voted for these clowns. I would dearly love some government official to stand up to this lunacy. Any suggestions?

Dave
Reply to  Cobourg Taxpayer
8 months ago

cobourg taxpayer – yet when I asked earlier in the Blog about the Trudeau government 52% responded against blame to the Trudeau government and would therefore vote him in again! Some people have round smooth brains.

Kevin
8 months ago

Yesterday was ‘moving day’, the tents are still there. I walked by and noticed only a couple of people and bicycles.
Today is moving day for those encamped at Brookside in Cobourg | Brighton Today.ca
Jason was at Transition House but had to share a room but has his own tent. Doug, his father, brings supplies. Why does Jason not live with Doug? There are no answers in the article. It does make me wonder how many people, like Jason, have options they simply do not like. Living in a tent in late September is not the same as living in a tent in January. Maybe some will change their mind.

marya
8 months ago

An article in northumberlandnews.com states that there is a Notice to Vacate (within 48 hours) at The Brookside Youth Detention Centre which is dated September 19, 2023.

Pete M
8 months ago

Ptbo Police Chief expresses frustration with catch and release and toll it takes on his officers and the community.
I wousld like to hear something similar from CPS chief

https://globalnews.ca/news/9963941/attempted-murder-charge-laid-for-labour-day-shooting-in-peterborough/

Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

Many cars at Brookside 3pm today, it’s either a strategizing meeting or moving day.

Kevin
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

Here is a strategy some will not like but it might be the quickest, cheapest option for a few of the ‘campers’. I am willing to donate some paint and my skills to help restore the Division St. house. Not sure what needs to be done to meet safety codes but if the structure itself is OK then it should be possible to repair plumbing, install smoke detectors, etc. There would need to be rules as to how many people are allowed to live in the house, not allowing people to come and go at all hours, etc. It seems that some of the campers have skills and time available so maybe they could do part of the work. Kind of like the well known Habitat For Humanity model. Is anybody willing to provide the supervision necessary to make sure the house remains safe to live in after the work is done?

Cobourg taxpayer
Reply to  Kevin
8 months ago

The owner of the house?

Kevin
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
8 months ago

No, the owner is part of the problem. Tenants can be selected from the campers based on need. We don’t know how many people are living in the encampment but some seem willing to cooperate. If some of the ‘campers’ really are responsible adults then they should be able to live in this house and maybe even get jobs. The location is close enough to stores and factories. Is anybody who supports the rights of the campers to housing willing to supervise this house if it is repaired?

Rob
Reply to  Kevin
8 months ago

Interesting idea but when does the own of the property lose the right to determine what happens with the property they own?

Kevin
Reply to  Rob
8 months ago

Rob, all property owners have to follow rules. In this case either the landlord did not maintain the property, the tenants damaged it or both. If the landlord is willing to allow somebody else to be responsible then it might be possible to quickly get housing for some of the campers. The CMHA rents apartments, sublets them to people in need and provides a level of supervision. I am willing to help my ‘neighbours’ with some of the work. Is there a group like the CMHA willing to supervise?

Kevin
Reply to  Kevin
8 months ago

I did not expect many people would like my idea. Neither the former tenants nor the landlord of the Division St. house are reasonable people, they are very difficult to work with. The supporters of the encampment, with some of the campers, seem to be demanding ‘affordable housing’. Who is to provide it? Government agencies with tax dollars is the likely answer. The same tax dollars used for the programs currently in place? The campers/supporters are not cooperating with these programs. Does that mean the programs are not good enough? Could some of the supporters please outline a reasonable alternative? If we build more housing and let drug addicts move in to destroy it, like the Division house, then what? Would the government programs be any better than what the owner of the Division house has been doing? We used to be able to force people, for their own safety, into asylums. It may not have been ideal but is what we have now better? People do not even call the police anymore because nothing is done. A grade 12 girl was chased home and the chaser standing in the driveway yelling and swearing after she got inside.

If you do not have a better idea than our current programs, stay out of the way and let and let them work. If you have a better idea tell us about it, we can then have a serious debate and then maybe something better can happen. I had a legitimate reason to drive through the Transition House area last night. The police were near, many people were huddled beside the church. Last week work was being done to bicycles on the sidewalk. The kind of thing that used to happen behind the Division St. house for years has moved to sidewalks. Maybe the police should charge people every time there is a problem and overwhelm the court system. Maybe that is a bad idea. If we do not do something reasonable things will keep getting worse.

Sonya
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

I heard more are moving in. More tents now than ever. New guy moved in last night. Are advocates directing people to brookside?

Sandy
Reply to  Sonya
8 months ago

Wouldn’t be surprised

Old Sailor
Reply to  Sonya
8 months ago

Sonya

I drove through Brookside the other night around 9:00 PM. Most of the tents had no lights on. Several tents were teeny tiny. I doubt all of the tents are occupied. Perhaps just there for “show”.

Pete M
9 months ago

This just out of Kingston:

Collins Bay Penitentiary to facilitate safe consumption of drugs smuggled into the Pen
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/overdose-prevention-service-collins-bay-prison-1.6960429

So now your able to continue your addiction even when taken off the street and incarcerated.

There use to be that hope when serving a sentence of 2 yrs plus a day (Fed Pen) it would be an opportunity to get one’s self clean.

But now that hope is vanishing

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Pete M
9 months ago

Have the authorities considered arresting those who are part of smuggling drugs into the prison instead of “facilitating” the process and aiding them ?
I’m sure the drug dealers & their accomplices are more than grateful for the openly “over dose prevention” team support !!
How thoughtful & compassionate!
I wonder if that “strategy” will catch on elsewhere….
The inmates are in charge of the asylum not only from outside but now with inside open assistance !
Incredible !

Dave
Reply to  Bill Thompson
9 months ago

Also to mention the Parole Board whose members are appointed as a reward through assisting political parties without experience or knowledge of any kind of the criminal justice system. Know so far of 2 ladies appointed to such positions. Standard practice.

cornbread
Reply to  Pete M
9 months ago

Government decisions like this help to incubate new radical politicians like what happened in Germany about 100 years ago.

Sonya
Reply to  Pete M
9 months ago

Absolutely insane! This homeless problem will never end.

Leweez
9 months ago

It has become an after dinner routine to grab a coffee and go for a drive on the “cracker” route.
King Street, Division Street, John Street, Chapel Street.
When you think you have seen it all, the next drive proves you wrong🤷‍♂️
”Cracker drives now replace watching baseball at Victoria Park in the 1980’s”

Michael
Reply to  Leweez
8 months ago

So this is your personal “freak show” tour? Why the tendency to rubber neck those who are clearly struggling. SMH

Leweez
Reply to  Michael
8 months ago

Sorry St. Michael.
was it you they named the school after?

Michael
Reply to  Leweez
8 months ago

Not a saint at all. I just have better things to do than routinely “grab a coffee after dinner and go for a drive” on “cracker route”. Just pointing out that the lives of the addicts aren’t the only ones that are wretched. You really do this every night?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Michael
8 months ago

I use a mobility scooter to get around. I use it to go to Shoppers and other stores. Because of where I live, I have to go past Chapel/John and/or John/Chapel. I’ve seen several fights over the past couple years on church property, on the front lawns of peaceful residents. You might suggest that I avoid these areas and take a different longer route. Why should I? Why don’t you come down to hood and talk to the residents and witness what they experience daily. I grew up at 23 Chapel Street, adjacent to Transition House. It was great neighbourhood where children played freely without concern. “Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs about the lilting house and happy as the grass was green…” Chapel Street was Fern Hill. I know all the boomers on Chapel Street that ran out into the street for shinny, and the call of the wild: “CAR!” Nothing to worry about ub those days. Now we worry about violence. We worry about discarded needles. We worry about thievery. We worry about the general health of the neighbourhood. Addicts need to be forced into rehab. While they are drug-addled they are unable to make a rational decision about their future, so we (society) need to make the decision for them and enforce rehab with coercion.

And why shouldn’t parents drive their children through that neighbourhood so that the parents can point out to their children, “You don’t want to end up like that.” Show them an unsavoury life lesson from the safety of their vehicle. Message: this is what drugs can do to a human being.

Also we need to vigorously support and promote recovered addicts, pay them to go into the community to spread their message of hope. Send recovered addicts to schools to educate about the perils of drug use. Let recovered addicts speak to various community groups. Counter the negativity with positivity. But get these addicts off the street, off our front lawns, out of backyards and into rehab. https://youtu.be/PdxH9DkUIjM?si=GpWfzPZxr9QtqA4D She dinna wanna go to rehab so now she’s DEAD! Our neighbourhoods will become dead unless we enforce rehab.

downtowner
Reply to  Michael
8 months ago

Many of the “freak show” as you call it are now housed at Transition House where they are offered services to take up their day. Oh I don’t know , how about fill out some resumes, attend a counseling session, fill out forms for housing, comb your hair and get cleaned up and make an effort for yourselves…baby steps to a new beginning.
The “show” for us is a collection of open drug users much like a picnic gathering, in a circle on the steps of the Bell Telephone building, abusing their bodies to the extreme until there is an overdose….excuse me poisoning, and emergency services attend. The illegal drugs have to be bartered or bought so along comes a parade of suppliers and a woman decides to pay with her body and only a call to police services prevents this happening on the boulevard of Chapel stree in daylight in full view of our homes, or perhaps an object is stolen from us for trade.
Transition house as a low barrier facility is punishing us daily, once l had compassion, no longer, these folks need more than options and choices. They need structure and responsibility. The housing first model that has been exercised isn’t working.This societal problem has been treated from the last step to the first,working backwards, the first step should have been treatment…sometimes with no option and working towards housing, employment and stability.
Look at the time that has been wasted and lives lost by this skewed approach and the expectation that these people can be responsible in any fashion.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  downtowner
8 months ago

My partner in life and myself scootered past Trinity United Church on Division and Chapel. Just as we were heading home, police arrived. Several women were being vicious to each other, fighting on church property. That was last evening.

Other times I have scootered by John/Chapel to see a young guy smoking his crack pipe on the lawn before going into Transition House.

downtowner
Reply to  Wally Keeler
8 months ago

That is correct, Wally, violence whether physical, sexual. or verbal is constant and something our neighbourhood is expected to accept as our normal, according to supporters of consumption of illegal drugs and addicts.
Many attempts have been made for the larger community and political leaders to lend support to our concerns as our property value,sense of kindness toward one another, compassion and overall health and well being crumbles to dust.

Pete M
Reply to  downtowner
8 months ago

The way you describe it, the area is quickly becoming like Parkdale in Toronto in the 70’s. Maybe even more like East Hastings ,Vancouver.
Butt whatever area, it is descending into, the negative on the residents can t be overstated and is continually ignored by Council and those under their direction.

downtowner
Reply to  Pete M
8 months ago

Pete, Thank-you for at least reading and responding with understanding of what is occuring to we residents in this area

Pete M
Reply to  downtowner
8 months ago

Downtowner
Another unfortunate victim of the verbal and physical violence you report of. A family physically and emotionally scarred.

https://todaysnorthumberland.ca/2023/09/26/cobourg-man-suffers-injuries-in-unprovoked-attack/

I understand why the compassion and kindness of the neighbourhood has vanished.
It has been replaced by a need for safety and self preservation.

Michael
Reply to  downtowner
8 months ago

So this directly effects you in your neighborhood, and it’s outside your front doorstep. I totally get that you are angry and I fully empathize. I 100% agree with you in full.

Having looky loos drive around your neighbourhood every evening on a voyeuristic thrill ride accomplishes what? Doesn’t it just make the situation in the neighbourhood worse?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Michael
8 months ago

Oh I get your message. It’s the lookie loos that are destroying the neighbourhood, not the drug addled. Talk about misplaced priorities.

Michael
Reply to  Wally Keeler
8 months ago

To drive every evening routinely after a cup of coffee just to gawk……. Gas is $1:69 – crazy! Each to their own. I am sorry you are going through these issues, but I don’t understand how going out of your way to gawk every night on a routine basis is helpful.

Please don’t infer anything more.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Michael
8 months ago

Excuse me Michael. Despite “please” I will infer whatever I chose whenever I chose.

Mirrium-Webster says infer means: “to derive as a conclusion from facts or premises.” So you are instructing me to not make any more conclusions based on facts? And you make moral posturing based on gas @ $1.69? Btw, I will gawk when I want, where I want, And I love to admonish the ludicrously righteous.

Michael
Reply to  Wally Keeler
8 months ago

No doubt you will do and say what you will Wally. I didn’t claim the looky loos are ruining your neighborhood – I am just puzzled at the extent of their “nightly after coffee” voyeurism.

Dang – savaged by a mobility scooter riding keyboard warrior! A Cobourg legend no less.

What is “Mirrium-Webster”? Not familiar with that one. Lol.

Pete M
Reply to  Michael
8 months ago

Heres a novel idea- no drug addicted wandering aimlessly about, no dealers selling poison in plain view, and no desperate people turning tricks to get that last little piece of opioid- means no people driving about witnessing and reporting on the demise of a Cobourg neighbourhood.

Michael
Reply to  Pete M
8 months ago

It’s got the makings of a John Lennon Ballard…..

I hear you – I guess I grew up in an urban environment and I am more familiar with these situations. Cobourg has lost some of its innocence. It’s not the idyllic small town some think it used to be.

Leweez
Reply to  Michael
8 months ago

Who is John Lennon Ballard?
Not familiar with that person. Lol.
Touche?

Michael
Reply to  Leweez
8 months ago

Stay home tonight Leweez…. Save your gas, mellow out to a few John Lennon tunes. Get the tambourine out and sing along to “Imagine” and “give peace a chance”……. You will thank me for it! Gawking and Leering every night isn’t helping.

Dave
Reply to  Michael
8 months ago

Ha, ha, ha Michael. You got a sense of humour! My former neighbourhood you wouldn’t walk in you would stay home by night or by day. Better than being shot in the head or mugged by an armed addict. Didn’t used to be like that, it became that – guess the politicians stayed home got out their tambourine and let it happen.

Michael
Reply to  Dave
8 months ago

Dave

I genuinely empathize – there is a reason we raise our kids here and NOT where I grew up.

Prevention is so important. There’s currently a lack of education in our school system.

There was a terrible lack of education in our medical community. Gullible overworked physicians were no match for polished cute flirtatious Purdue sales reps. Big Pharma knew exactly what they were doing.

A tragic example is a recent high profile case – a horrific demise. If I told you the decedent many years ago was a talented athlete and an honours student in high school with multiple scholarship offers. A sports injury as a teenager resulted in an OxyContin prescription. The decedent’s siblings are high functioning professionals who are leaders in their respective fields…… the kid didn’t stand a chance.

The prescriptions run out – fentanyl which is a lot cheaper, fills the void.

It’s a similar story rinsed and repeated – whether the trauma is a sports injury, child abuse, or parental neglect and access to Mom’s medicine cabinet.

The voyeuristic “Jerry Springer” approach – kidding yourself that you and your family are somehow immune is extremely naive.

The human brain is no match for the synthetic opioids. It’s a terrible situation for the residents of that neighborhood. If I had the answers I would run for office. I don’t!

All the best

Michael.

.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Michael
8 months ago

Michael, I am glad that you are an advocate of giving peace a chance? I have been advocating peace in regards to Ukraine since the US started this proxy war. There are virtually no anti-war activists amongst us. War is not stopped by sending more weapons; it’s stopped with diplomacy. Glad to see you expressing your anti-war message. So thank you for your suggestion to sing along to Give Peace A Chance.

Frenchy
Reply to  Wally Keeler
8 months ago

Not too far off the topic Wally.😯
Now that you’ve squeezed in the war in Ukraine why not top it off with a few dozen Chinese coal plants?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
8 months ago

Peace Out!

Ben
Reply to  Pete M
8 months ago

And how do you expect to create this fantasy – in your dreams!!

downtowner
Reply to  Michael
8 months ago

I think you are taking an “off the cuff” remark a little to close to heart. I only infer from Leweez’s remark that the neighbour hood has become an agility course to maneuver, stranger to observe than anything we knew in this area, a curiosity, and not one we in our wildest dreams asked for. The barriers of admission and stay to Transition House were lowered without any information, education, preparation and announcement to the surrounding neighbourhood. This includes residences, businesses, churches, schools, seniors apts. and a nursing home, all within a short walk.
We have become a sideshow at the expense of one operation intended to help a few , 22 is the limit of clients l believe, and all of those that come with them to avail themselves of any services they may access without committing to becoming a client and loiter about often openly using drugs.
The previous use ot Transition house was as a shelter for individuals and families without a home. There were higher barriers and for over 20 years, a wonderful neighbour. The change has made us a circus for over 5 years, make no wonder people are astounded and gob smacked at the activities being allowed by our political leaders and the disregard for our rights to a peaceful existance to enjoy our homes we have worked for to enjoy

Michael
Reply to  downtowner
8 months ago

Sorry you are going through this….. but going out of your way routinely / nightly to engage in a voyeuristic thrill ride is bizarre… It’s a free country -leweez is free to do what he/she likes.

I grew up seeing this kind of stuff – so I don’t get off on firing up the Buick and going out of my way to be astonished or shocked.

Interesting fact – I typed “Leweez” and it auto corrected to “leered” – oh the irony…..

downtowner
Reply to  Michael
8 months ago

You may have grown up with this in your community, but it is fairly new here in Cobourg and a foreign experience, thus the curiosity.
It really hurts no one to drive by, in fact a bit of a walk {drive}on the wild side as these folks step onto the road without care and sidle down the hardtop oblivious to any traffic,behaving like children without care….that is until they let go a barrage of expletives because you’ve entered their “house” l have heard more than thrice

marya
Reply to  downtowner
8 months ago

Sympathies, Downtowner, in that there is the double whammy of the adjacent warming centre for four months of the year! Idiotic how this all came to be and in this specific unrealistic location!

downtowner
Reply to  marya
8 months ago

Thank-you, also add in the proximity of the house closed on Division and the known drug suppliers on John/James……it has been a rough 5 yrs

Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

Let’s email the Cobourg Police and the board and the 2 councillors on the board Nicole Beatty and Adam Bureau to arrest and charge the enablers. Next CBSB meeting September 19 at 9am at Venture 13. Agenda should be on escribe Friday I believe. Delegations have to be submitted by 5pm today if you want to speak. [email protected] is the email. Chair is [email protected]. [email protected] and [email protected]

Sandy
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

They are at Brookside so it’s provincial.

Carole S.
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

Hmm, you should be talking to Piccini. Heard but can’t confirm that they have been ordered to leave but are still there. Showdown folks, lawyers, unnamed gatekeepers , all planned and coordinated. What’s in your wallet.

Kathleen
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

Unlikely Adam and Nicole will do anything. Just like they aren’t doing now. They haven’t said a peep. Cause they are on the same side as the enablers.

cornbread
9 months ago

Don’t build any shelters in this county for these lazy, do nothings. Perhaps they will leave the county when the climate turns cold. It burns my tail when I hear they expect others to take care of them and pay their bills.

Cathy
Reply to  cornbread
9 months ago

As I recall from an interview with Pete, one gentleman has brain cancer, not all that are there are addicts.

Michael
Reply to  Cathy
8 months ago

Some are brothers, sisters, sons and daughters….. the tendency to dehumanize is staggering.

Pete M
Reply to  Michael
8 months ago

Yes they are. The question is where are their brothers and sisters, and parents and aunts and uncles. How come they haven’t come along side to assist. Is it because they have tried numerous times and had enough of having their “hand that tried to feed them bit”.
The County in its reports has said that outreach workers have tried to move people into programs and shelters. Yet there are people-leaders of these groups- who are telling theses brothers not to accept, but “to hold the line” like its some battle.
What is dehumanizing are people who use these brothers and sisters and sons and daughters to advance a political cause- because the “leaders” of these groups were denied small cabins

Wally Keeler
Reply to  cornbread
9 months ago

The very least they could do is to shine your shoes for a buck or so. And the Good Samaritan Award goes to …

cornbread
Reply to  Wally Keeler
9 months ago

And some people in the world make their living doing shoe-shine. They are not “Free Loaders”.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  cornbread
9 months ago

You are referring to the boot lickers and party hacks — they make a living. Shoe-shiners can earn enough to buy a quarter cheese meal then spend the night in their donated tent on public ground and get told by pseudonyms to go get a real job.

Kevin
Reply to  Wally Keeler
9 months ago

Two things, second, we should remember sarcasm doesn’t work very well in these comments at times

People sometimes end up it very bad situations. I have mentioned how I helped a guy who was being evicted, got drunk, broke his ankle and was not able to work. He could have tried Transition House and/or Ontario Works but he is too proud to accept that kind of help. A reasonable person who is not working and receives a donated tent would be thankful and do what they can to show appreciation. My shoes are not the kind in need of shining but there is garbage on our streets that could be picked up and shopping carts to return to stores. Some of the addicts create more garbage then they clean up. Just maybe the addicts or mentally ill are not acting in a reasonable way. If that it the case then shouldn’t we do what we can to get people off drugs and those with mental illness the help they need? There is a system in place. My first point is, there is no shame in accepting help when needed. Why is the help offered not being accepted?

Informed
9 months ago

Ran into someone I knew from Highschool here many years ago. He said addicts enter the building he is in downtown bringing drugs.violence, loud music and bedbugs. It’s not just the campers. Many are housed Downtown adding to the problem we have in this Town. It’s certainly not the Town I grew up in and unfortunately we are starting to avoid the downtown now.

Old Sailor
9 months ago

For those who live in the downtown area and are worried about home security, CPS offers a free home security audit with a printed report on their recommendations. It is called the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design audit – available to Cobourg residents and businesses. We asked for that service and they did a detailed exterior security check on our home and property. We received a long list of recommendations which we would not have thought of implementing prior to that audit. Check this link out and give them a call. https://cobourgpoliceservice.com/2021/11/30/home-safety-tips/

downtowner
Reply to  Old Sailor
9 months ago

It is a great service to any residents who are just coming to know of what can happen to unprotected property.
I can attest that many of the security measures will act as deterrents but in our personal experience our motions lights captured a fellow trying our car doors as it sat locked on our driveway. The captured video of two different young women prowling on our property and submitted to police rendered no results. We ourselves stopped a woman on our back property after she had entered our gated access. Properties adjacent to ours,clearly posted with no trespass signs are entered at will and deliberate drug buys are conducted there as well
Seems to us where there is a will, there is a way. We even had one guy knock on our door [after jiggling and turning the door knob and finding a locked entry] and ask to use our bathroom [as he scanned our entry space] when my husband faced him after opening the door.
Keep everything locked up…there are no lengths that they will not go to

Pete M
Reply to  downtowner
9 months ago

Remember the days when you could leave your door unlocked and not have to worry.
Now our police help us target harden our property. Tell us to put up video, and yet the attacks on our property continue. We provide the video to police and they say we cant clearly identify the perpetrators- so no arrest.
Yet the attacks continue.
Them to add insult to injury, the ones attacking our property are called “victims” because of their circumstance- drug addiction, mental health, homelessness, , poor parenting, or the stars didnt align right at birth.
There always an excuse for them, but for those who worked hard, followed the rules, over came bad parenting or any other negative in life; we are told we have to accept these attacks.
We just have to suck it up folks

downtowner
Reply to  Pete M
9 months ago

So true..our experience with police incident reports reflect just what you have stated….not even a follow up report.
Probably wouldn’t have mattered much even if charges had resulted…catch and release alive and well in our community.

JimT
Reply to  downtowner
9 months ago

Sounds to me like an opportune time to open a Rent-a-Big-Dog franchise here in our little town.

Rob
9 months ago

Let’s be real – he isn’t going to answer 780+ email messages. Besides, how is that an effective or efficient use of time? I’m certain 90% of the messages aren’t requesting an email response, they are demanding action from what has been a lame term of Council thus far. They are 1-year into their term – how is the Strat Plan coming along? What is the status of the ride sharing policy? Any update of the Airbnb policy? What does the Downtown revitalization plan look like? Any update on the Tannery District? What is the plan for the water front property? How are those KPI’s coming along?

They certainly managed to increase taxes (largest increase in decades), increase parking fees, tax visitors for coming to the beach through parking, dramatically increase parking fines, travel to India, vote themselves a raise and get into the pension plan.

At this rate, Cleveland is likely to be a one-term Mayor and I’m curious to know what his legacy will be – its not too late!?

I would like to know, after nearly 12 months, which accomplishments individual Council members are most proud of? Which of their campaign platform issue(s), do they feel they have tackled in the first ~335 days.

Cathy
9 months ago

I understand that the federal government is granting $1.8million in funds to Hamilton for harm reduction, etc. Has Cobourg accessed these funds? The bigger centers have more problems, but a portion of those funds would be helpful for Cobourg to go towards building a new shelter, as well as starting a fund raising campaign from businesses and local companies

Jesse
9 months ago

Why would you respond to 780+ emails individually? Just make a FAQ infographic and send it to all them in a mass email or on social media.

Rational
Reply to  Jesse
9 months ago

Generally when a Cobourg resident emails the Mayor and Councillors at the same time you would think it is to get comments from them all .

The Mayor’s tactic of silencing the councillors and saying he will respond on their behalf is no different than the encampment leaders not letting the encampment members speak for them selves. Rather it appears Mayor wants to control the dialog – and at the same time taking months to respond.

John Draper
Reply to  Rational
9 months ago

In fact, you can see for yourself by watching the video, it was the other way around. Darling was asking the Mayor to answer. Brian seemed concerned that multiple responses could be confusing.

Rational
Reply to  John Draper
9 months ago

I was advised previously by a councillor that the process Mr. Darling enquired about was already in place.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Rational
9 months ago

It is apparently the same with other town groups. I recently emailed DM Beatty with specific questions regarding a Police Services Board issue (she is one of our two elected representative on the PSB). She had the unelected Chairman of the PSB respond rather than herself.

New to cobourg
Reply to  Rational
9 months ago

I believe from John Drapers post that it was Brian a darling who suggested the Mayor should answer the emails. Mayor Cleveland simply agreed.

Dave
Reply to  Jesse
9 months ago

There is also mail merge wihin Microsoft Word which enables mass e-mails directly which could provide updates to all, although the same message for those that are not on social media. It took 5 months for me to receive a reply to an e-mail I sent. It appeared generic, one answer fits all.

Informed
Reply to  Jesse
9 months ago

Delete

Informed
Reply to  Informed
9 months ago

Delete all 780 and start over.

Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

I feel many campers have been advised by certain individuals and groups in town one being Greenwood Coalition. GWC was behind the tiny homes project, when that was turned down the encampment became their cause. Apparently housing for all, paid for by the taxpayer, no conditions attached is their demand. I feel they are coaching the campers to not accept help.

Cobourg taxpayer
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

Then there is TweakEasy supposedly providing harm reduction at illegal drug consumption sites around town and finally at Henley Arcade. When this was shut down they also became involved in the illegal encampments with the same agenda as GWC. the police say due to laws passed by Trudeau and the Liberals the illegal drug users are now called substance users and can’t be arrested or they’ll feel stigmatized and not seek help.

Cobourg taxpayer
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

As far as I am concerned GWC and TweakEasy are anarchists and breaking the law. CPS should arrest them and give hefty fines for aiding and abetting or fraudulent behaviour whatever sticks. In particular one member of TweakEasy who ran the illegal drug consumption site, attended the encampments and publicly posted videos of her support could be charged with $10000 fine for assisting in the illegal encampment in trespassing. Try to recover some of the money spent on police services, HARP, bylaw, garbage containers, portapotties and finally cleanup.

Silverhairedsenior
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

Well past time for CPS to consult with legal staff for advice on what charges can be enforced for those leading/controlling the homeless group. How have other towns succeeded in dealing with similar problems?

Informed
Reply to  Silverhairedsenior
9 months ago

Other municipalities have dealt with it by caving in and constructing tiny homes and tent cities. We must learn by their mistakes. If there was truly a way to separate people needing assistance with housing and a safe place to get back on their feet,that would be one thing but the drug addicted, thieves and bleeding hearts make it impossible.

Sandy
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

Right on, arrest these enablers

marya
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

We asked at The Help Centre-The Legal Centre and we were told that Missy McLean does not work there.

marya
Reply to  marya
9 months ago

Apologies, Cobourg taxpayer. Reply was hit too soon. There is total agreement with aiding and abetting charges for these individuals.

Newbie
Reply to  marya
9 months ago

Interesting, maybe for her “protection”, which is not needed. Maybe she is making too much money now from Director of Moms Stop the Harm. She seems to attach herself to any “advocacy” group to further her agenda of a Tiny Home Flop Community, akin to Division St. house. Many need affordable housing…single moms with kids, elderly. You cannot have people with tweaked out behaviours living in same community. These “advocates” are not well, in my opinion.

Newbie
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

Ms. McLean is director of Moms Stop the Harm, you also have Tattoos for Trauma, all aligned with TweakEasy and GWC. Anarchy, you are right.

marya
Reply to  Newbie
9 months ago

Must be nice. We did a price check for tattoos in Ontario. They are expensive. Don’t comprehend how some people can afford to be covered in them?

Sandy
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

And a rogue social worker who runs the Henley Arcade circus along with a known agitator who can be seen in one of Pete Fisher videos, harassing him.

Give me a break
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
9 months ago

What is really interesting is that GWC is based in PH and yet no effort to move some of the folks there ….. the excuse that we hear from the leaders is that Cobourg has more immediate access to NHH and shopping ….. not a good answer if you live in Port Hope …. Given the total destruction of the home on Division and other homes in the area who in their right mind would rent out a room …… the small huts would most likely be destroyed too ….. we unfortunately have no control over local slum landlords who profit from these folks …. Not much that the Mayor or Council can do here …. The MPP and County need to do more …. Apparently the County had placements for these folks but were refused …. The folks helping them move are just exacerbating the issues at hand.

marya
Reply to  Give me a break
9 months ago

I am going to ask MPP what Port Hope does with their given financial aid for the same topic when it is said that people are diverted to Cobourg.

Dave
9 months ago

First I had hoped to get more information on the 7 that accepted help – was it the full package?, just housing of some kind?, funds from Social Services? What combination?

Of the people in these encampments a few stats on whether they are Cobourg residents and if so how long have they resided here or have they migrated or been brought in by the advocates?

I can’t help but notice when posts on the Federal Liberal government the passers of these Bills, the fact illegal immigration is basically encouraged – first Roxton Road and now they are flying in by the plane load, not providing funding for the cities and municipalites to deal with these issues – shelters, rehabs and expansion of the hospital system there are often few up votes for any of the posters on the Federal government and the need for change. They have had their chance and look at the mess! Personal possession increase. How about shooting up in public? Is that also legal now?

Under the current Federal laws it is very difficult to prosecute or charge we are told. One thing everyone can write to their Federal representative – in this case Philip Lawrence but they should also write letters of protest directly to the Prime Minister who is slipping in the polls considerably. I have no understanding of people that tell me they are terrified of Poilievre – terrified of what? Trudeau is the one that terrifies me.

Dave
Reply to  Dave
9 months ago

Interesting vote count so far on the Federal Liberal government making these laws. The poll stated that younger voters and voters in their 30s were turning away from Trudeau. Leaving the older voters keeping him in power. In reading many from this Blog it appears most are older, so perhaps the majority leaning toward the Federal Liberals. Comparatively Trudeau dropped to 17% compared to Poilievre’s 32% in the polled people’s choice. Don’t expect anything to change on catch and release, encampments, drug laws etc. should the Liberals remain in power. These are their policies.

Mark Mills
9 months ago

Firstly, I commend the staff of both Cobourg and Northumberland County, whose job it is to deal with this difficult and complex homelessness issue. I also recognize the efforts of Mayor Cleveland who is now communicating with constituents via media as well as council meetings and is providing updates. Did the others members of council run and hide ? You also have a voice!

It is now clear that this issue is not going away any time soon, it is also abundantly clear that along with the people who are truly displaced there is a strong presence of protesters and advocates with a political agenda using the vulnerable as pawns in what can be described as a game of “whac a mole” as these encampments move around town. The people who need help should get the help; if they refuse help then they must act within the law. Refusing help does not entitle you to live in our public space and disrupt our lives with illegal behaviors and if you do choose that way of life then be prepared to face the consequences.

Our Police Service and Council must stop allowing the open use of illegal drug and stop the crime that follows that behavior. Our residents, businesses and visitors deserve a safe place to live conduct business and visit without being in fear. I have been in our downtown core late at night early morning and at times looks like a scene from the movie Zombieland!

Municipal, Provincial and Federal government need to do more …..hold our government representatives accountable!

Kathleen
Reply to  Mark Mills
9 months ago

“Did the others members of council run and hide ? You also have a voice!”…..
My thoughts exactly!!!!! But of course, we all know that the extreme Left Council Members don’t want to upset their friends who are “helping” (and I use that word loosly) the members of the encampment.
A few Council members don’t understand that they represent ALL of Cobourg – not just their extreme Leftist friends.

Sonya
Reply to  Mark Mills
9 months ago

When I drive down chapel street sometimes it reminds me of the series the walking dead.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Sonya
9 months ago

Try King st its getting that way as well
and wait until Tuesday morning Garbage day
they are all over the Down Town Core
I never knew we had so many Paid Garbage Inspectors

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Sandpiper
9 months ago

Queen St E to D’Arcy included.

marya
Reply to  Bill Thompson
9 months ago

First it was George Street and then James Street, John Street and Division Street that have been eliminated from our walking list. I would also like to return to going to the Cobourg Library and in the Winter it would be fantastic to have the shelter open for skaters.

I allege that a few, now hooded campers, have taken up space in an older and well videotaped location on the east side of Division Street north of the rail lines in a wooded and sheltered area for tents.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  marya
9 months ago

That would appear to be along the new stretch of Kerr Street. The wooded area is along the south side of Kerr Street.

Rational
Reply to  marya
8 months ago

This article posted by Pete Fisher today would confirm this.

I don’t understand why CPS/Mr. VanDerGraff and Mayor Cleveland’s By Law enforcement found no grounds to lay charges or hold/investigate these people for starting fires or weapons etc.

Why is Leadership continuing to supporting this group and the enablers ahead of supporting law abiding Cobourg residents.

https://todaysnorthumberland.ca/2023/09/15/concerning-calls-for-emergency-services-in-cobourg/

Pete M
Reply to  Rational
8 months ago

Now with cooler weather, the issue of fires in the homeless encampments will become a greater issue, hopefully no one is hurt or dies.
Also some of the heating devices that will be used in the tents, have the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning too.
Maybe CFD has more enforcement powe thru the Fire Protection and Prevention Act (FPPA) than CPS has with Criminal Code, Trespass to Property Act, Liquor Licence Act, Safe Streets Act, Mental Health Act, and Town By-laws, to ensure safety and compliance of the “campers”

marya
Reply to  Rational
8 months ago

Thanks, Rational. So, there are encampments on both sides of Division Street just north of the rail lines. I watched the video in horror of the potential consequences and the excessive stuff, the 🔪and the unconscious person. It is difficult to understand why everyone is condoning the shenanigans.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Mark Mills
9 months ago

And what Consequences might you suggest
Catch and release Fines that are not collectable
OR ?????????

Eastender
9 months ago

I would like to know what local businesses are doing, for example downtown bank has no security at ATM and has homeless sleeping in smelly, stinking foyer. As well, local food takeout has addicts nodding out in premises with zero intervention from staff (wont be patronizing them any longer),
And what initiatives have the Rotary and Lions and other services been doing
as part of their good works in Cobourg to help with this issue. I haven’t heard a peep.

Sonya
Reply to  Eastender
9 months ago

Just wondering what the lions and rotary can do to help?

Eastender
Reply to  Sonya
9 months ago

Both are service organizations and please look at their respective websites.

Newbie
Reply to  Eastender
9 months ago

Why should Lions or Rotary be doing anything! We pay Social Services VIA taxes to help vulnerable people. Social Services went directly to those asking for help at 600 William. That is above and beyond help, people should be grateful! Enough is enough!

Our resources and emotional wellbeing are being drained, because of “Gatekeepers” impeding progress and truly helping those in need. Disgusting.

All because “Tiny Homes” was rejected in March. You cannot have a Tiny home Village of seniors/ elderly, single moms, young families with children living amongst drug induced and severely mentally ill behaviours! I am so frustrated with GWC and TweakEasy! They are not the professionals—Social Services is! They need to stop this BS, let people accept the help offered. Instead of trying to advance their Tiny Cabin Community agenda. No rules. Pure Anarchy. Division Street Flop House Community,

Catherine
Reply to  Newbie
9 months ago

Agreed. Would be 100% behind tiny homes if run by someone else (and reserved for people in need that aren’t participating in crime). GWC lost SO much credibility.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Catherine
9 months ago

Not at all in favour Every supposed homeless person in Ont. will be moving here
and with out Control s in place these tiny homes will be ruined in a very short time . And how do you hold these parties accountable
Fines are a waste of time and not Collectable .

Catherine
Reply to  Sandpiper
9 months ago

I guess that’s true. Was I guess giving people the benefit of the doubt. Hoping if run by a different organization there might be some rules.

Eastender
Reply to  Newbie
9 months ago

Both are service organizations and please look at their respective websites.

Newbie
Reply to  Eastender
9 months ago

I do not need to look at their websites, Fully aware of the services they offer. I think you miss the entire point. Social Services, AGAIN last nite offered help to every individual. They all denied. Our resources have continuously been offered VIA tax paid social service Professionals. Why call upon more help, if Professional help was offered and denied? Drain Rotary and Lion’s resources now?

Newbie
Reply to  Eastender
9 months ago

I am a member of one of those organizations, thanks.

Kevin
Reply to  Newbie
9 months ago

The Lions or Rotary can decide if they want to help and in what way. My understanding is the Lions did provide a warming room a few years ago. Possibly during the first full winter of Covid, 2020/21. I heard, but this could be wrong, that some of the volunteers were less than happy when the people in need did not follow rules. Sort of like how one of our councillors got some first hand experience with addicts on Aug. 31. It is difficult to really know the challenges of helping certain people without first hand experience. One of our councillors and some employees at 600 William have a little more experience. Residents near certain rooming houses have been experiencing these behaviours for years.

downtowner
Reply to  Kevin
9 months ago

That’s correct Kevin, we have for several years now in the John/Chapel/James/Division area had front row seats to the deterioration of our neighbourhoods due to the rooming houses densely filled with folks [against zoning and property use bylaws] living their lives as they wish which is in an altered and unpredictable state, roaming night and day entering our space and stealing from us. It can well be imagined the caution and fear we have, even walking your dog comes with challenge as the waste and garbage strewn about may well be contaminated.
I’m hoping if the warming room is opened in our neighbourhood again this year that it comes with a “doors closed to exit until morning” similar to Transition house, just to give us more peace at night….open for folks to come in and be safe…but stay over until morning

John St resident
Reply to  downtowner
9 months ago

I live off John and I can’t tell you how often I hear altercations, screaming and disturbing sounds at night. It’s essentially every night. I moved here from Toronto and it’s actually worse this area than DT Toronto.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  John St resident
9 months ago

I lived at Queen West/Bathurst area for 20+ years (DT Toronto). I saw stabbings, shootings, mass brawls, b&e’s, bloody attacks, arson attacks, etc. Personally experienced arson, mugging, 2 b&e’s. Cobourg is NOT actually worse than DT Toronto, but it is worse than it was when I left my hometown in 73.

Newbie
Reply to  Kevin
9 months ago

Kevin- I have first hand experience working with homeless persons. My point is why should rotary or lions now be called upon, when social services has offered help and it is being denied. Our resources and emotional wellbeing are being drained by gatekeepers, preventing and encouraging people to not accept help. Shame on them.

Jade
Reply to  Newbie
9 months ago

Blame Missy and Robert.. the mouth piece for every person not accepting help. Missy should be fired from the help center

Newbie
Reply to  Jade
9 months ago

Yes these groups should be issued Massive fines. In light of help being offered to everyone AGAIN last nite. I wonder if there is an applicable charge for Organizations hindering Social Welfare help?

Sandpiper
Reply to  Eastender
9 months ago

Its not the Clubs problem and with out the proper By Laws and Policing support in Place from the Town they would be crazy to take on this County’s issues .
We have heard what great people these homeless are and that we the residents should feel sorry for them and its OK to camp out side our front door where our children & Seniors live. Yet the very opposite was experienced by the County’s own Employees when they moved up to the County’s offices on William St They had the Authority, Backing and support sys. to get them out of there with in the Wk