County decides to negotiate re 310 Division

In a letter to Cobourg’s Mayor, Northumberland County has requested their staff to “negotiate an Emergency Shelter Agreement” and to delay the March 28 implementation of the ECE bylaw.  At the County meeting on March 6, County Councillors expressed concern that if the bylaw were enforced as it stands, then the future of both Cornerstone and Transition house could be in jeopardy.  Mayor Cleveland said that an exemption would cover the concern re Cornerstone but the requirement for board members to be responsible for the behaviour of residents within a 500 metre radius – plus other requirements of the bylaw – could cause Transition house to not be viable.  The decision to negotiate appears to be what the Mayor was wanting and an agreement should be possible.

The letter was issued today (March 8) – see a full copy in Resources but here is the “meat” of it:

At the March 6, 2024, Special Meeting of Northumberland County Council, Council directed staff to negotiate an Emergency Shelter Agreement with the Town of Cobourg and/or Transition House. On behalf of Northumberland County Council, this letter serves as a formal request to the Town of Cobourg Council to delay the March 28, 2024, force and effect date of Bylaw Number 000-2024, being a By-law ‘to License, Regulate and Govern Emergency Care Establishments in the Town of Cobourg’, in order to allow County and Town staff time to continue productive negotiation of an agreement.

To fully understand the County concerns, I recommend watching the video of the special County Council meeting at this link. The presentation is from 6:12 to 27:14 with the concerns re the bylaw starting at 23:03. It’s followed by the debate/discussion by County Council.  There was also a presentation by Transition House Executive Director Ike Nwibe.  Not included is the closed session that followed.  Mayor Cleveland voted against going into closed session since he believed that all discussion on this subject should be open to the public.

It seems to be now clear to the County what the concerns of the Town are so an agreement similar to the one Whitby negotiated in a similar situation should be possible.

Unless a special meeting is called, the first opportunity for Cobourg Council to delay or modify the bylaw will be March 27 – but that was understood when the effective date was set at March 28.

It will be interesting to see what agreement is reached and if it can be done by March 27.

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Dave
21 days ago

In Today’s Northumberland there is a report of a 49 years woman, Jill Egar, who assaulted and threatened a 13 year old boy at 6 p.m. in downtown Cobourg on King Street. When arrested later she produced a knife from her sock threatening police and head butting them. Previously I had mentioned a man of middle years verbally abusing and threatening women who appeared to be around 70 years old. There are some among the homeless who are a real danger or potential real danger. A strong message needs to be sent to these type of people that their actions will not be tolerated and face jail time or lock up in a mental hospital.
I don’t think it is too much to ask that strong action be taken and there is follow up from their eventual court appearance to the public as to what action is taken and they be held in custody until they are dealt with hopefully with a strong prohibitive restriction be placed against them as I mentioned above.

curious in cobourg
Reply to  Dave
20 days ago

If my memory serves me correctly, I believe this is the second incident of a troublesome nature, by this person Jill Edgar, that has been reported in the past few weeks. There must be some way to resolve these issues. Where are the “leaders” in this community (not the politicians please) who have the insight, knowledge and resolve to guide this community to a better state. I believe there are many Cobourg residents who would welcome and support their initiatives. Happy Easter, eh.

Kevin
1 month ago

The Whitby shelter will be opening soon. With over 580 people on a list needing shelter, 45 beds will not make a big difference. Some people will benefit of course. Unless the turnover is short, with people getting help and moving on to more permanent housing, will it reduce the number of homeless people significantly?
Durham Region homeless shelter to open in Whitby, Ont. amid concerns from local residents | CBC News
Will 310 Division have enough capacity to make a big difference in the homeless situation in Cobourg? One source stated 85 people, who consent to be on the list, are homeless in Northumberland. There are over 1000 households on the community housing list. Maybe if we had a larger surplus building and some provincial money to renovate, we could really help. We would also need political leaders with the ability to understand and take action.

Downtowner
Reply to  Kevin
1 month ago

Hmmm…suggesting the vacant 310 Division or soon to be vacant Golden Plough….either fit “Maybe if we had a larger surplus building and some Provincial money to renovate,we could really help.”

James Bisson
1 month ago

Just wanted to thank all that commented on my suggestion on a path forward. As anyone who follows developments on this file knows there are many moving parts with things changing almost daily. You can easily go down a rabbit hole and lose focus.
I intend to actively seek accountability from the County on this and other issues related to that level of government. There is a serious lack of accountability that needs to be addressed. At least there are mechanisms in place to do that.
As for the encampment, it’s hard to go there without coming away unaffected. I have a great deal of compassion for those less fortunate so to see it with your own eyes is difficult. However, there are 2 sides to this story that must be taken into consideration. Appreciate you sharing your positions.
I was interested in seeing if there was enough goodwill to get to some form of compromise from either side. I think it maybe too late for that and there are other issues at hand.

Downtowner
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

Refreshing to view varied opinions and suggestions.We may be far from any resolution and toes will always be stepped on…but hopefully before more harm comes to our community. I would hope the same for the individuals involved at the camp but the unfortunate truth is that they are by in large on a self destructive path that will continue without intervention.

Sonya
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

I thank you James for your commitment in getting to the bottom of things. My empathy for the encampment dwellers has long gone. I need to focus on the safety of myself and friends and neighbours. I have friends that live in the vicinity of the encampment and they have all been effected by these people who have chosen to continue this lifestyle of drugs and crime. There is lots of help out there if you really want it. They have all refused shelter and refused rehab. Now it’s time to protect ourselves. Just to mention that someone from the encampment left their baseball bat in my senior friends backyard the other night. Think about that for a minute. I don’t think people realize the emotional toll this is taking on people. Especially our seniors and children. Just another day in paradise.

Dave
Reply to  Sonya
1 month ago

I certainly agree with you Sonya. With the present Federal laws I wonder what action is available to protect ourselves. Reading with regard to established encampments particularly in Toronto and Vancouver, the threats in those neighbourhoods I wonder exactly what kind of protection will be offered against the continuing assaults and break ins that are occuring in those centres and have occurred here. Will any be offered? It hasn’t been offered there and those encampments have been there for eons.
As to the sale of the former Brookside property so far no takers yet it is at all things considered a low sale price for such a luxurious property even if it requires corrective landscaping and drainage. Tired of being held hostage by people who refuse all help. As for the Freedom of Rights – what right have they to break the laws with impunity? Time for a revamp on that Act.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Dave
20 days ago

“what kind of protection will be offered…
It’s called “legal self protection”

Tucker
Reply to  Sonya
1 month ago

Hang onto that baseball bat, you may need to use it.

Informed
1 month ago

I think that once 310 is open then the encampment is dismantled. When the Town solicitor advises that the Town could be held liable then the Town should tell them to tie things up for a few years. By that time many campers will have moved on. The ones that want and deserve housing and help will have got it by then.

small town Ontario
1 month ago
Bryan
Reply to  small town Ontario
1 month ago

small town Ontario,

NC received a letter from the Province dated March 4 announcing an additional $2.4M in funding (total $4.7M). The “acceptance” deadline is Friday Mar 15. NC Council is meeting on Thursday (Mar 14) 9:30am to confirm acceptance of the deal. The prov wants a warming centre in addition to TH.

Meeting

No consultation with Cobourg. No public engagement.

Beware the Ides of March

Downtowner
Reply to  Bryan
1 month ago

Absolutely!! Hopeful with the Town now prepared with a bylaw, consideration of acceptance with a different location is being considered. This County council is very much a one trick pony and doesn’t seem to plan for alternatives.

Downtowner
Reply to  Downtowner
1 month ago

Province asking for warming center means 24/7 drop in cooling/center ….wherever it gets located, there WILL be increased problems as we know

small town Ontario
Reply to  Bryan
1 month ago

At the meeting this morning, Ms. Carmen said the year end funding came from the provincial government and it was specified money for renovations, upgrades, and conversion for the Cobourg Shelter Modernization Project, $2,469,500.00.
Councilor Martin, said look at it this way, the County did not request the money it was provincial surplus year end money that was offered by the province, like Santa Claus. I was disgusted. It implied taxpayers are their Santa Claus.
Bryan, it also appears that County Staff did not have consultation with their own County Councilors
Exactly Beware..

Downtowner
Reply to  small town Ontario
1 month ago

How unprofessional on Ms , Martin’s behalf….not an elected position to be sure.where’s the connective tissue between these two bodies hugely affecting our County governance? Somebody needs to start earning their salary

NAI
1 month ago

……As I look at other news sources, I have a new-found respect for the President of El Salvador (not afraid to incarcerate those who break the law and not afraid to give them only the basic necessities as they ponder their decisions in jail) and for how San Francisco is tackling their homeless and drug problems by having the people commit to turning their lives around in exchange for access to the supports provided by the city – if they don’t – off to jail.

Yeah, I know, jail isn’t the answer for most here. It worked pretty well to keep me on the straight and narrow growing up…so yes I’m biased.

Time to start looking at moving away to another municipality, where the rights and concerns of the taxpayers are given more priority over those demanding to being looked after without contributing positively to society. This county is becoming nothing more than Ontario’s welfare dumping ground. Bummer. It was so nice here. Not any more. Dunno about Canada, but southern Ontario is broken.

Downtowner
Reply to  NAI
1 month ago

The measures you outlined being implemented elsewhere ,to me,,
Reflect a tough love approach. I believe it remains the viable option. Many of these individuals existing here and elsewhere have pushed the boundaries to exhaustion. Adults whose parents moved them on because they stalled in their growth and needed incentive to flourish,tenants who couldn’t respect living standards, criminals impacting their neighborhoods, people with unaddressed illness all failing to be able to care for themselves independently. Intervention is required and it may seem hard but somewhere reason has to step in.

small town Ontario
Reply to  Downtowner
1 month ago

Downtown, you mentioned ” pushed the boundaries to exhaustion.” I also believe that the landlords of those drug houses and the owners of Brookside, (our provincial government) hold some responsibility for allowing this to continue.

Downtowner
Reply to  small town Ontario
1 month ago

Absolutely, there’s lots of dismissed responsibility. Begins with the Government not following the results of programs funded from the taxpayers roll of cash and being a watchdog as to the successes or failures, landlords allowing the ruination of neighbourhoods, enablers pushing acceptance of horrible behaviours ..down to Transition House opening the doors in the morning and claiming no responsibility for folks outside their door…..l envision a counting clicker as each visitor comes to the door of T H for a sandwich, a coffee, a shower, a meal card so a claim of an individual’s assistance contributes to the funding when these folks don’t reside there but the numbers are maintained all the same….and the chaos continues.

Rational
Reply to  Downtowner
1 month ago

Agree 100%. This article is an example of the chaos continuing.

This past Monday morning 7:35AM an a guest to the Warming Centre assaults a staff member.

https://todaysnorthumberland.ca/2024/03/12/cobourg-police-warming-hub-resident-charged-with-assault-mischief-no-name-given/

310 Division is proposed to be the new warming centre and TH. So yes the chaos will continue on a larger scale.

Question – Why can’t those making decisions (310 Division/Encampments) see this? Yet, they continue to spin a Fantasy Island world.

small town Ontario
Reply to  Rational
1 month ago

Those decision makers are only accountable to the pay cheques they receive. Don’t rock the boat they say.

Cathy
Reply to  Downtowner
1 month ago

The burden(s) of the taxpayers are/have become untenable. I like Danielle Smith’s plan, either treatment or jail. The status quo isn’t working. Ontario must get a handle on this or we will drown.

Downtowner
Reply to  Cathy
1 month ago

Agree, now is the time to act…we still have a chance, before all is lost. Enough suffering by the many attempting to placate the few…where the wants keep changing to reflect the mood. In comparison,we cannot keep giving in to the screaming toddlers in the aisle by giving and buying toys to make the situation easier. It is not going to be easy but must be done for the good of everyone

small town Ontario
Reply to  Downtowner
1 month ago

I find it hard to believe that the person who talked to the organizers?? of the encampment the other day, actually believes what they have to say.

Downtowner
Reply to  small town Ontario
1 month ago

Maybe just taking information with a grain of salt….l’m sure the opinions the campers have on anything changes daily and according to the line they are encouraged to support

Downtowner
Reply to  Downtowner
1 month ago

Add to above l don’t imagine they have an original thought on many things..if they did surely they could be present at some of the meetings affecting their future to at least express themselves.

Informed
Reply to  Downtowner
1 month ago

Maybe they were at the Lions Centre at the job fair?🥴

Downtowner
Reply to  Informed
1 month ago

That would indicate positive progression,..doubtful

James Bisson
1 month ago

Better here than in our parks and streets. Bring the resources there. Only one road in and 2.5km away from nearest neighborhood. Patrol the road into town and cameras.
All I’m saying is that they are going to go somewhere. Are we going to leave it up to them to decide?

Google-Earth
Tucker
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

Have you read about the “self proclaimed” Queen of Canada, Romana Didulo and her followers. If you GIVE them/the encampment people, a place to call their “home”, just like the people did in the small town in Manitoba, you are just asking for another compound governed by drug addicts and people who don’t understand reality. We will never be rid of them.

James Bisson
Reply to  Tucker
1 month ago

I did read about that and your point is a good one. All I’m saying is we haven’t come up with a way of dealing with it yet so we better come up with something before too long or else they’ll decide for us…and we haven’t had much luck with that so far.

Sonya
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

I think they should go to Peterborough where there’s more resources for them.

Downtowner
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

The situation is not an easy one to address when there is a hidden agenda within the camp of emboldened individuals. If indeed the end game , as Virgina spoke last summer, is land where they may continue their community ….as is…l question what these folks contribute to that ideal. There cannot continue a money train to satisfy wants without the consideration of the cost to community and contribution by the proposed residents. These folks are adults why are we making the plans for them going forward.? Where is their delegation at any of the ,meetings expressing clear platforms. It is because they are dependent on our funding and our decisions. We have the largest say and l say enough is enough and let’s see money toward committed treatment facility….,.and there they may continue their community. I appreciate your suggestion, James, agree on the assets of this property but l think we have to see the reality. These people are ill and as if toddlers reaching for us to make the tough decisions for them…..one move forward …..rehabilitation.

Informed
Reply to  Tucker
1 month ago

If you build it they will come. It’s just a group text away and we will have more.

rod
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

Give them a inch they will want a mile.

Sonya
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

This is too close to residential in the west end. I appreciate your input James. Don’t stop.
The cabins in Peterborough just put in in November are in disrepair I heard. Also 6 people have already been evicted for violence. Where will these six people go? People like this will always end up back in the streets again and will never find permanent housing. These people need to be far away from all other residents.

small town Ontario
1 month ago

County of Northumberland Support System Review- External Report – Final May – 15, 2023
by Vink Consulting – on County website – P. 13 of the report – Practices to Promote Dignity and Respect

this paragraph concerns me.

Shelters should have an orientation towards working with people that may be engaged in higher-risk, exploitive, and/or harmful activities. Shelters should specifically indicate that clients do not need to alter their substance use, etc. to access shelter. They should also be provided with direct access to harm reduction supplies (e.g., needle exchange, distribution and disposal) as well as education regarding how to avoid risky behaviours and engage in safer practices (e.g., overdose prevention). Some shelter models go even further with harm reduction services, to include controlled quantities of alcohol to replace non-beverage/non-palatable alcohol.

June 7, 2023 Report 2023-077 – Vink Shelter System Review -a report prepared by Alanna Wierenga Community Services Manager – Strategic Plan Priorities – Sustainable Growth and it was presented at the June 21, 2023 NC Council meeting – on NC website

Fast forward to March 6, 2024 Special Council Meeting -Ms Carr’s presentation information, in my opinion, comes from the Vink Report.
The Community engagement agreement report will be presented at the March 20th, NC meeting, IMO it will pretty much mirror the 310 Community feedback highlights you can view at abt 19:00 March 6th meeting.

So why the request to the TofC to delay the March 28th, 2024, force and effect date of By-Law number 000-2024, well the letter says “in order to allow County and Town staff time to continue productive negotiation of AN agreement.
Are they talking about the County/Transition House Agreement or the Agreement that is similar to the Durham agreement?
Ms Carr said in her presentation, Mar. 6th, NCSS is working toward a County/Transition House Agreement and will be presented to County County March/April.
IMO, NC does not like or want the TofC by-law, and this by-law has thrown them a curve ball.
They need time to re-group in order for them to do it their way.

James Bisson
Reply to  small town Ontario
1 month ago

So I was thinking about what I would do if I had $2.47 million to address the Encampment. As some of you know, the Driven In between Port Hope and Cobourg has closed as of October. I spoke to a gentleman who new the operators. He informed me of the actual owner of the property.

I dropped by the Encampment today and had a conversation with an organizer. After some back and forth it became very clear that they are very well prepared to use all means to fight any removal without a plan. Trust me, they are very well supported on the legal side.
I asked if the old Drive In would be an area they would consider going to and they said it would work for them. They are going to have to go somewhere (hopefully stable and permanent) and no matter how you slice it there will be a price.

I then contacted the land owner and asked what was happening to that property. It went up for sale 10 days ago for $1.3 million. So if we took a little more than half of that amount and bought that property, moved the fencing from Brookside and made it one entry with security and let the 26 organizations that are engaged in addressing homelessness in the County raise the funds/resources to help them, they would be in the Town of Hamilton which can work out it’s own agreement with County and out of Cobourg.

https://www.realtor.ca/real-estate/26572257/2141-theatre-rd-s-hamilton-township

Now how do you stop other areas (Peterborough/Oshawa/Belleville) from sending theirs? The County of Northumberland would use the By-Name List to identify eligible homeless individuals that originated from Northumberland. So if you were homeless in any other area PRIOR to coming to Northumberland you don’t get in.

Now I can hear the howls already! You are going to leave them in a field to rot?!!!! Not at all!!

  • They want a community AND WOULD GO which I was told today has significant advantages:
  • It’s safer than a low barrier shelter according the them
  • Drug use in the Encampment is down as they have some stability and a home
  • Overdoses are down because they take care of each other
  • They are as close to County Head Office from there as they are from Brookside
  • They would have electricity, sewage and running water
  • They can build their own tiny homes

Not ideal, but better than what we got now right?

Bill
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

That is an absurd proposal! That Drive-in is very close to a major residential area in the West end, not to mention the Northumberland Mall and businesses on Strathy Road. Another area for the druggies to hang out! One homeless shelter anywhere in or near Cobourg is enough. Use the money to defray the operating costs of 310 Division Street, assuming that proposal goes forward subject to terms and conditions of the new By-Law. James, give your head a shake! I hope that you don’t have any political aspirations.

Freddy
Reply to  Bill
1 month ago

Gee Bill, I guess you westenders never come into town and spend your free time at the mall. Why don’t you join us for a day in the east end and pick up the needles, vomit, nightly screaming sessions and discarded garage that we and the downtown residents have to endure? It’s a long trek from the drive-in to anything residential. Come join our fun!

Rational
Reply to  Freddy
1 month ago

Freddy and James:

The trek is no longer than going from the existing encampment to buy their drugs at the Division and King block. As you are probably quite aware these characters roam at night and don’t tuck in after the news is over.

The solution isn’t to relocate them, but to get rid of them if they do not want to follow rules and clean up.

James – the encampment residents have been auditioning since last July and law abiding Cobourg residents have seen enough, are fed up, and no longer have patience to continually having their rights taken away by these bad actors. Yes, they are bad actors and it’s time they change careers.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rational
James Bisson
Reply to  Rational
1 month ago

Well, they had an eviction that never took place, haven’t tried to move them after 6 months, and are now arguing over legal matters as the day they’ll have to move comes near. I just don’t trust the County to be honest. I’m open to anything that will get this under control. Don’t forget, there are more trap houses to deal with so we need to make sure we’re able to take that on too. Very messy stuff folks!!!

Tucker
Reply to  Freddy
1 month ago

What mall? And “no”, it’s not a long trek from the drive-in, takes about 6 minutes on a bike which most of them have because they stole them!!!

James Bisson
Reply to  Bill
1 month ago

I can assure you there is no need to hope. I have no interest in running for office. None.
You outline the problem well. However, your concerns would not be addressed by me, but those who are responsible for getting to a solution we can all live with, including yourself. Having lived near a trap house I would not wish that on anyone!
By no means do I suggest we just push the problem away, but solve it. If they want to run Camp 413 and we need to provide them a campground to get them atleast 1km from residential and commercial areas fine but it comes with conditions. We need to think outside the box and putting more money into things that aren’t working isn’t the best approach.
All I know is if they have something to lose, it changes the dynamics. Keep in mind they are the only encampment in Ontario on IO land. That didn’t happen by accident so let’s not underestimate them again.

Tucker
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

You’ve got to be kidding!!! Where was your mind when you came up with that idea??? You must live in the east end, keep them, we don’t want them in the west.

Bryan
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

James Bisson,
You wrote “to fight any removal without a plan”. Do you have a sense of what an acceptable (to the encampers) “plan” could constitute?

James Bisson
Reply to  Bryan
1 month ago

The were promised “tiny homes”. That is their goal. They want their own community. They would accept a 310 but as no barrier shelter which is not an option.
i figure they would take a campground in the middle of nowhere if it was close enough to services or services came to them. I would expect the dealers would go to them which might reduce movement.
I’m telling you they are organized, emboldened, and know what they’re doing. They know we are reactive to them. We need to get ahead of them.

Sonya
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

I believe your right about this James. They are organized and emboldened. I think people need to realize that the addicts living at the encampment are not the ones running the show. They have a fierce bully of a leader. I Think there’s a poster on her office wall with a picture of big fist that says “fuck police.”

Aleta
Reply to  Sonya
1 month ago

Who? are you able to name names?

Kevin
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

James, another interesting idea. It would be good for the east end of Cobourg to have the encampment leave. But isn’t this just moving the problem? It is good to know that overdoses are down within the encampment. Is that because of the sense of community or is it because they are that much closer to rock bottom? If it is the latter, then maybe we should keep pushing them to the bottom. The way out is to accept rehab. Before the encampment(s) they had a place to live. They destroyed it. Will that kind of behaviour return? Is the encampment safer than a low barrier shelter because the people in control of the encampment turn people away they don’t like away, with force in necessary? There are many hierarchies in society, including within the homeless community. Having access to sewage and water are good, most of us pay for and probably do not appreciate enough. Building their own homes will give them more of a sense of ownership which could be good. Maybe this idea is worth trying. I would like to see some contracts in place, rules, with condition on respecting each other, existing facilities and their built ones. What is the purpose of moving the fence? Keep the homeless in, visitors out or just to stop garbage from blowing around?

Rational
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

James – two points:

1st – You mention the Encampment is very well supported on the Legal side. The encampment residents disregard laws, by laws, others rights, and yet law abiding, decent individuals are being asked to accept this behaviour.

IMO the citizens of Cobourg can also obtain Legal representation – and I am certain present a strong case why the Encampment should be disbanded. Rather then running around trying to find a nice place suitable for the Encampment, expend out energy in getting them disbanded.

We are in this mess now due to complacency over he past 10 months by Cobourg Leadership and Enforcement. While Federal Laws are stated as the reason by them, there are Laws and bBy-laws on the books that can be enforced.

2nd – The drive in location is close to the Burnham Market (30 years) – you must be aware of it. It won’t take long for Encampment residents to figure out they have a fresh food supply as Burnham’s grow in their vast fields a lot of what they sell – strawberries, corn, peas, pumpkins, apples, etc.

The store is full of food products. A lot of fruits and vegetables are displayed outside the store – easy picking for the Encampment residents. There are several family functions held for kids and families. Would the Encampment residents impact the business when travelling daily on their bikes past creating an uncomfortable environment?

Not only are there residential concerns there are business concerns as well.

The Drive In location is a bad idea. We need to stop placating the Encampment residents and its Enablers.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rational
Cathy
Reply to  Rational
1 month ago

It would be totally appropriate for the residents of Cobourg to obtain legal council.

Last edited 1 month ago by Cathy
Aleta
Reply to  Cathy
1 month ago

I agree, and somewhat surprised that residents in the vicinity (of encampment and 310) have not yet organized. I spoke to a person who lives behind the encampment yesterday, and was horrified by the stories he told me.

Rob
Reply to  Rational
1 month ago

Has there been public disclosure related to the future plans for the old GPL – why are we not pressing for this to become a solution to several problems? Why wasn’t the 2.4m paid for 310 Division allocated towards refurbishing the old GPL? Why place the low/no barrier shelter 500m from the nicest beach and park in the County, which is a significant tourist attraction, within a historical downtown with a lively restaurant and bar scene? Why place a low/no barrier shelter so far geographically from most services, including the hospital, social services, social housing, common retail, fast food outlets, court, pharmacy, clinics and dental offices.

Kevin
Reply to  Rob
1 month ago

Rob, the existing GPL will be demolished once the new one is complete and the residents moved. The decision was made several years ago. Our mayor told us it could not be changed because other decisions were made based on demolition. Since then we have declared a ‘climate emergency’, we have a housing crisis and a homeless encampment. But we cannot change that years old decision. Properties get re-zoned, lots have pieces added or removed, buildings get repurposed but we cannot change a decision the current mayor had nothing to do with. The original budget decision and completion date of the new GPL were changed as it is way over budget and behind schedule. But decisions, or at least some decision, cannot be changed. Some buildings cannot be demolished because of historical reasons. If they accidentally burn they can then be torn down. Cannabis is an illegal drug. Anybody caught with it will be charged. But not anymore because that decision was changed. Women are not persons and cannot vote in elections. But that decision was changed. The decision has been made to demolish the GPL. Can it be changed? Is there a need for the building?

Old Sailor
1 month ago

Another Tuesday morning in downtown residential Cobourg. Cyclists stopping by to pick through our recyclable containers. We never put out beer cans or wine bottles. God forbid. Not in downtown Cobourg. I shouted at the woman picking through our papers to get lost (in much stronger language). What are they going to do with envelopes addressed to us???? Who knows???? Thanks for thinking of us, Northumberland County.

Are_n
Reply to  Old Sailor
1 month ago

They could be using the data on your envelopes, papers etc to try to commit identity theft/fraud. Personally, I shred everything with my name/address/personal information on it and put into a bag set aside for just that purpose.

Ken Strauss
1 month ago

A 15-minute report on the problems in Belleville aired on tonight’s CBC National news. Although the video was recorded two weeks ago, I don’t believe that it was previously broadcast.

From the report Belleville’s problems are mostly confined to a few downtown blocks and are similar to Cobourg’s but worse: thefts from restaurant patrons while they are dining, addicts sleeping and dying in dumpsters and armed drug dealers summarily released on bail.

https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2312142915552

Downtowner
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 month ago

Shows again what many of us have been saying We are failing these people as there is no treatment centers that adults,demonstrating an inability to live independently and needing a medically supervised , publicly funded program to recovery have no care facility available. A big stumbling block is many feel human rights would be trampled if controlled admittance, with strongly supported and monitored release were introduced.Having worked in just that field, many years ago, l have seen what may result. Caregivers ( medical team) receive the allowances intended for one’s existence and use it to mend the broken souls and bodies. This is far more humane than leaving them on the street where a proliferation of continued unsafe,unhealthy, unlawful, unrespectful behaviours exists . Continuing to open drop in centers and group accommodation is not the answer..,.said it before and stand by it , this is a clinical crisis and needs publicly funded medical intervention.

Andre
Reply to  Downtowner
1 month ago

Not addressing the crime and disruption aspect leads us to supervised consumption and “safe supply” of hydromorphone. Addicts trading the safe supply away has created a whole new illicit market. The Globe&Mail has a long article today on the problem with no mention of where the drugs or money for drugs comes from.

$2.47M new money without a business plan: another pinnacle moment in Provincial funding. Law exists to arbitrate rights: the choice of jail or rehab is a gateway to intervention.

Downtowner
Reply to  Andre
1 month ago

Agree the implementation of a stronger response to the progressing cime and disruption needs inclusion in the plan to address this social mess we find ourselves in as well as addressing the mental health and drug addiction The soft approach in the court system is not demonstrating positive results……time to be re-examined along with the housing first model which is also not achieving the result it was hoped for.We are not dealing with clear headed individuals disrupting our peace.

Sonya
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 month ago

I witnessed the guy that jumps on cars downtown yesterday just before cops took him away. The young women in the store I went into were visibly shaken. I saw women peaking out store windows looking frightened. This seems to be everyday with this guy. How long will this go on for before our downtown is totally destroyed?

Downtowner
Reply to  Sonya
1 month ago

Or this fellow is introduced to the help he so obviously needs

Andre
Reply to  Downtowner
1 month ago

It does sound strangely like a cry for help.
He’ll have to up his game, unfortunately.

Tucker
Reply to  Sonya
1 month ago

Never mind the downtown, Cobourg is already in a state of no return. This “car jumper” obviously doesn’t want help or he would not be continually damaging property. If he “domiciles” outside of Cobourg, then send him packing because he is a trespasser.

ben
1 month ago

Finally the Province does what is right – an article reproduced under ‘fair use policy”. This is what some of us have been calling for – immediate money to provide services to the unhoused, some of whom may have other problems.

Ontario providing additional resources to help service manager close encampment
The Ontario Government is investing an additional $2.47 million to Northumberland County, the local social service system manager, to support closing the homeless encampment in the Town of Cobourg. This important funding will assist Northumberland County in providing housing options for the unhoused and the most vulnerable.
“Our government recognizes the housing crisis Ontario is in and is doing the work to support municipalities with the crucial resources they need to provide our most vulnerable with wrap around supports” said MPP David Piccini. “This additional funding to Northumberland County will provide the necessary services they need to assist the un-housed and give them a leg up”.
The Ontario Government recognizes that some people across Canada, and in Ontario have fallen on hard times and are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing homelessness. By increasing the Government’s investment in Northumberland County, County Council and the local service system manager will have the ability to pursue innovative solutions.
The additional funding provided to Northumberland County will be used to support priority projects that will assist those experiencing, or at-risk of homelessness. This funding complements the existing $2.2 million investment through the Homelessness Prevention Program announced by MPP Piccini in May, 2023.

Last edited 1 month ago by ben
Bill
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

The announcement of more funding by the province is welcome news as long as it is not allocated to provide low barrier shelter such as at Transition House. Meanwhile, enforce the new By-Law! Perhaps the new money can be used to provide housing (shelter) in some other municipality, besides Cobourg, in Northumberland County. Brighton?

Rational
Reply to  Bill
1 month ago

Agree. Also, the headline in Todays Northumberland, IMO, is misleading as it points to closing the encampment with these funds. These funds are for social services which encampment members have straight out rejected.

So, bottom line is we drastically need these two new by laws implemented. Mr Cleveland do not let yourself be distracted.

ben
Reply to  Rational
1 month ago

Perhaps they have rejected the services or that the services for the unhoused are not there:
 This important funding will assist Northumberland County in providing housing options for the unhoused and the most vulnerable.

Bryan
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben,

And how has that worked out in the past?.
What evidence is there that the previous funds/grants were used for the stated purposes or uses effectively?

Last edited 1 month ago by Bryan
ben
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Now that is a surprise thumbs down to a positive statement please explain the vote

Sonya
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

The people in the encampment are all drug addicts and they have publicly rejected housing and rehab. This is all documented.

LivesinCobourg
Reply to  Rational
1 month ago

Exactly! This is misleading political wordplay at it’s best.

Rational
Reply to  Bill
1 month ago

It is curious that the amount funded by the province ($2.47M) is identical to the amount of the purchase price of 310 Division ($2.4M). Another coincidence as the series of events are systematically released?

Is this how the Province is cleaning up the encampment and why it is so important to NC to have 310 Division low barrier so they can house low barrier Brookside there? And was this part of the deal to get the funding from the Province? Then after the sale of Brookside the Province takes $2.4M of the sale to offset the transaction.

It might just be me but I don’t think all parties are laying all the cards on the table.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rational
Bryan
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben,

There has been no accounting of the funds/grants previously received for housing/homelessness by NC (social services).
Perhaps, in a new era of openness and cooperation, NC will provide a prioritized list of the projects to be funded and engage in discussion/negotiation with County stakeholders as to the appropriateness of NC’s choices.

ben
Reply to  Bryan
1 month ago

Perhaps they will, look out for next year’s Annual Report!

Bryan
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben,

What good is that?
If NC is open and engages in cooperative goal setting, we will already know and not need to wait for an annual report to tell us so.

Mervin
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Nearly everyone wants to see people housed! Most just don’t want to see the entitled abusing resources meant for people who respect the opportunity that is being afforded to them.

Sonya
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

I can just see advocates brains working. They’re thinking ” how many cabins can we get for that much money?”
I believe advocates will keep the campers right where they are as long as they can. I blame them more than the campers for this mess. They’re using these vulnerable people for their own agenda imo.

ben
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

How interesting 27 thumbs down on a post that was cut and pasted. From your fave news site TodaysNorthumberland.

Sorry folks you might think you blackballed me but you just voted down your favourite guy and the your idols – Doug Ford and Mr Piccinni

Gerry
1 month ago

Our Mayor comes across as a no-nonsense person when talking to us taxpayers. Is the mayor speaking the same way to the county? Personally, I believe it is all mute, and the County will do as they please like they always have. Call me defeatest if you must. You only need to look at the attitude of our County Seat of Government, which isn’t saying a lot, to see they don’t care as long as it is someone else problem.

Bryan
Reply to  Gerry
1 month ago

Gerry,

Exactly. This is negotiating on a tilted playing field.
That is why leverage is needed, to restore some balance. The bylaw does this.

Kevin
1 month ago

If you want things done fast it can be best to have a chain of command to give orders. That can work well if the people are competent and their orders are carried out. It can work in times of emergencies such as natural disasters, fires and war. There is risk that the best solutions are missed with the requirement to make quick decisions. For longer term solutions to complicated problems it can be better to have a healthy debate with people bringing forth new ideas. James Bisson’s idea involving Cornerstone shelter is such an idea. These ideas can then be debated or negotiated to hopefully come up with the best long-term solution.

In general people want to help each other. We disagree on how to help and what is help. People supplying food and tents to homeless people fill a need to keep the people alive in the short-term. I don’t remember anybody thinking this is a viable long-term solution. Some of the people supplying food want sleeping cabins. That idea is a little longer term but not really practical in some ways. The idea of the 310 Division shelter may be a long-term solution if the people staying there are using it as a temporary place to live while working on improving their situation.

What is the long-term outcome we want? Without an answer to this there will be lots of wasted effort. I think many of us want the problems related to drug addicts living in Cobourg to be reduced. To do that we need to get addicts out of Cobourg or get them off drugs. Moving them out of Cobourg is moving the problem somewhere else, not much of a solution. If 310 Division is to really help drug addicts it needs to find ways to help them break drug addictions. Hopefully the negotiations between the County and the Town keep this in mind. What is the best way to help the people in need without causing harm to local residents?

Andre
1 month ago

Provincial government long term plan: embrace and normalize.

The CCP sends fentanyl precursors to Mexico for manufacture and export. Mexico is owned and run by the cartels, so the US allows the trade in return for protection of US tourism and industry there. Those who die are deemed expendable. This is drug normalizing at the high level.

Opioids arrive in the feel good town. Susceptible people effectively forfeit their rights as adults, yet their rights are championed by those who get something out of it, even if it is no more than a cathartic feeling of victim by proxy. Others signal virtuous zero-cost empathy, delight in the chaos, or see valued clients, same as a psychiatrist racking up endless billable hours. Normalizing at the low level is for personal reasons people cannot admit to themselves.

Until the elite in power in Ontario let go of their luxury beliefs, let go of irrelevant judgment and favour diagnosis, everyone suffers.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Andre
1 month ago

….and the Elite in power in Ottawa…. ?
Any ownership in the Federal government’s legalization of marijuana in Canada as an introduction to drugs to the young??

Andre
Reply to  Bill Thompson
1 month ago

Bill, Alcohol is more addictive than weed and I state clearly I’m talking about opioids. Why do you deflect to marijuana? What is your motive to normalize?

Elite is my pejorative term for those in power who make ideological decisions that affect others with no personal cost to themselves.

Downstream of the elite, should you and those around you, or local government, be held hostage to my opioid addiction?

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Andre
1 month ago

Deflect ? My motive to normalize?
It was introduced legally ….so no deflection just a fact about the introduction of a formerly illegal substance.as a major attraction.
The individual is the “hostage” to opioid addiction.
Personal responsibility for addiction has to be restored & easy purchase prevented.
Legal marijuana can be bought on the street corner regardless of age ,and used openly without control..
Alcohol availability with quite a difference in cost so marijuana /opioids is the most accessible poison to an individual.
The dangers of usage of both are well known and “not forced upon anyone” so personal choice is a major factor..

Andre
Reply to  Bill Thompson
1 month ago

“Personal responsibility for addiction has to be restored & easy purchase prevented. ”

You are not one of the opioid normalizers, who all have in common some form of self-interest.

Personal responsibility for addiction means not stealing from others to pay for it, or causing public disruption. The restoration you speak of is not likely to come exclusively from the individuals in the grip of addiction, except for the rare few who have that strength to decide.

You may be the only one to raise preventing easy purchase, and I agree with you in principle – in practice one can imagine jails would fill and expand at $100k/yr/inmate. Once governments get addicted to jailing, as they have to sin taxes, the pendulum swings far. Safe Supply was supposed to void the need for street drugs but hardcore users don’t want the weak Government hydromorphone and sell it or trade it.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Andre
1 month ago

If there isn’t 100% serious attention given by the government to this ever spreading epidemic of drug usage and crime ,society as we know it will disappear ,as it is in decline as we speak..

Dealing in drugs etc should be dealt by the same guidelines as Singapore if this disaster is to be avoided.
Safe supply for alcohol is the same danger as the same outcome was also in place for drugs.
The law of the country has got to start concentrating on dealing with this ever increasing disaster within its own borders.
It doesn’t only take warfare to destroy a country.as we’re witnessing it today.
The Canadian government should be concentrating on saving its way of life & freedom for its citizenry primarily, rather than trying to save the world which seems to be the case.
Veterans must be turning in their graves at what has transpired since their sacrifices for our freedom and way of life.
Shameful !

Cathy
Reply to  Bill Thompson
1 month ago

Bill, come on. Pot heads don’t assault or commit crimes, they just hug trees. The hard drug policy is a totally different animal. We’ve gone off the rails. The feds and provinces need to take responsibility on this epic failure.

small town Ontario
Reply to  Cathy
1 month ago

pot heads drive cars. It isn’t a surprise, when they start smoking pot some advance to the hard core drugs and drug dealers are very aware, and in order to supply the addiction they commit crimes.

Dave
Reply to  Andre
1 month ago

I don’t quite get the connection between the elite in power in Ontario Andre as this is a country wide problem perpetuated by the laws and policies of the Federal Government. Have you not followed long term here on Cobourg Blog which outlined the enabling Bills passed by the Federal Liberals?

Rational
Reply to  Dave
1 month ago

Perhaps start with connecting the dots between IO, MMP Picinni who represents Cobourg, Brookside, illegal trespassing with an Encampment, evidence of laws being broken (internal tent fires, shopping carts, BBQs, Bikes found there that were stolen, littering, etc.) and no action by those who have power to put a stop to it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rational
Dave
Reply to  Rational
1 month ago

Perhaps Rational but when you think Toronto is in much worse shape with all the same things and due to Federal laws they are not able to clear their encampments and hold people responsible I think the Province has its hands tied as well as the rest of the nation also experiencing exactly the same things. The people of Canada can also take some of the blame for constantly voting in a party which has brought us to this state. Watch who you vote for and think before cast your vote.

Andre
Reply to  Dave
1 month ago

Dave, I agree. That’s the full picture.

The experiment failed but once anything is entrenched, vested interests resist change.

Rational
Reply to  Dave
1 month ago

Just a comment back then I will leave it there.

While the Liberal policies are for go soft on drug users the Liberal policies did not give an exemption to encampment residents who commit crimes, threaten people, swing shovels on Main Street, steal bikes – shopping carts – BBQs etc, or drug addicts that run down the streets jumping on hoods of cars and screaming at law abiding citizens for looking at them. I can go on but will stop with the examples.

These example of breaking laws and by laws all fall under Provincial and Municipality enforcement. So there is a lot that can be done though existing on the books laws to curtail the mess Cobourg is in, as well as anywhere else. Always pointing to the Feds is just an easy way out.

Dave
Reply to  Rational
1 month ago

Federal Bill C-22 – Liberals introduce new bill to relax penalties for drug offences
Federal Bill previously discussed earlier Blog that outlines how drug addicts are to be dealt with under the law
The Charter of Rights introduced by Pierre Trudeau
Think about it Rational – they all have strong influence on how our laws are administered and the penalties that can be placed against offenders. I write again Rational because no thinking politician would allow or promote what is occuring all over the country unless forced to or unless they are Liberal politicians going along with the Mantra of their party.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave
Mervin
Reply to  Andre
1 month ago

More people need to understand the concept of luxury beliefs.

James Bisson
1 month ago

Just in case you were interested in seeing what happened that morning at Committee. It was a long day for a few County participants! Go to the 6 minute mark.
https://video.isilive.ca/play/northumberland/New%20Encoder_SS_2024-03-06-09-29.mp4

Downtowner
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

James,You made a clear , concise presentation.l think there were no questions asked of you because the council is not accustomed to criticism….more in tune to glad handing and self congratulations. I said before pin prick in the bubble of hubris.

Give me a break
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

Thank you James for your passionate presentation that didn’t seem to resonate with any of the County folks ….. why would they even offer to help out (NIMBY) ….. your point about Cobourg carrying the County as it relates to homelessness within 2 blocks was quite the eye opener as well as the number of EMS/CP/Fire calls within those two blocks was also alarming. Now it is up to our Mayor to fight back ….. enough is enough with this gutless County execs … not enough folks in Cobourg get to hear and see what is going on as we no longer have a local newspaper, our local radio station never really reports anything of value and Pete Fisher who has the guts to provide us with what is going on in the streets is being criticized by the enablers and organizers …

Aleta
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

Very good presentation James. I don’t think they were prepared to be confronted with the “facts”, and the truth in regards to the havoc they have created.

Andre
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

Damning, well organized presentation: council’s only option was to act as a wall, and they revealed themselves in doing so. Why did they originally seek office?

Gerry
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

First, your presentation grabbed and held my attention throughout, an accomplishment. Excellent work.
Don’t you love these elected officials sitting there motionless, expressionless, and thoughtless? Unfortunately, that was all that was expected from these so-called representatives. I expected no less, so I can’t complain; they didn’t disappoint. One wonders what these meetings serve.

Last edited 1 month ago by Gerry
Mervin
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

Well said

Bill
1 month ago

I hope the mayor and councilors have read the postings on this site. Enact the bylaw! Prohibit a low barrier shelter at 310 Division!

Ken Strauss
1 month ago

To get an idea of what we should expect if we allow 310 Division to proceed as planned by the county, read about the experiences with a similar facility in Kingston. Why should Cobourg consider allowing such?

See https://www.thewhig.com/news/kingston-resident-living-near-integrated-care-hub-describes-her-nightmare

Rational
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 month ago

In reading this article I agree how can Cobourg let 310 Division proceed as the outcome is clearly demonstrated. There are similarities to what is happening even now regarding terror and lack of police engagement.

The reasons people moved to Cobourg are becoming a distant memory in the car rear view mirror.

Now, how do you get the Mayor/Council’s attention to just simply say NO to 310 Division? Say NO and let the chips fall where they may, and if the County takes action then put up a reasoned defence and fight it citing examples like those in the article, residents well being, property values.

Downtowner
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 month ago

Doesn’t give those of us living in the downtown much hope if this shelter is allowed to go forward without the proposed bylaw

Andre
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 month ago

It only opened in 2020.
$4.6M new money for the ICH (&CTS) in 2022.
It starts, locks, and grows.

Downtowner
Reply to  Andre
1 month ago

Frightening…l wonder how often the operating plans and procedures are revisited,especially when complaints from community abound and need for change is obvious. Likely similar to the County and Transition House….we are working ahead because the Provincial Government has requested our long term plan of attack for homelessness on their table. Not to mention that is how everyone gets paid so as you say Andre, dropped and locked…..we’ve done out job and wipe our hands and wait for the payout….more clients…bigger Government support.

Andre
Reply to  Downtowner
1 month ago

Your observation that the province demands a long term plan from a town prompted a post from me. It is a dereliction of leadership but the long term plan from above is clear.

Gerry
Reply to  Andre
1 month ago

What are ICH and CTS? Please spell them out the first time and then use the initials; not all of us are so current with abbreviations. Thank you.

James Bisson
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 month ago

I keep hearing the argument that this is happening everywhere and it’s normal given the circumstances so we should accept it and live with the consequences. There are 2 fallacies in that argument when applied to Cobourg:
This is NOT everywhere, it’s Cobourg where we still have a sense of community and are willing to fight for who we are
Unless you can prove that this is a natural, contagious phenomenon, we have the ability to qualify this as NOT NORMAL and decide to find solutions rather than to accept the problem helplessly.
If that is true, then applying the same method that is being used everywhere expecting a different result based on wishful thinking is insane.
The authorities are imposing this onto us, but we finally are seeing a movement that is challenging this cycle. No matter where you stand on the solution, we can all agree that what we’ve done so far is not working for most stakeholders and a better way must be tried to get a better result. We must stand firm to stop this insanity before it’s too late to reverse the consequences.

ben
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

 it’s normal given the circumstances so we should accept it and live with the consequences. “

Anybody who says this also says that we should be working for solutions NOT acceptance so get your arguments in line when using what people say not what you think they say!

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Curious, Ben. You previously wrote on this thread:

…THE WORLD HAS CHANGED, and left you behind. The mentally ill and addicts are in every urban setting some just have more of them. The world and the one that others want to live in has gone.

What I said was that the behaviour of the miscreants, addicts, mentally ill and yes some are criminal, is because of a changed world – get used to it – Cobourg is not immune!

Your comments sound rather like accepting that criminals, addicts and other undesirables are now part of our lives and they cannot be eliminated. Incarceration, asylums, forced treatment and work houses coupled with social pressure solved the problems until recently. Why not today? What has changed?

ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 month ago

Yes I did Ken and you know what I stand by it. One can say ‘get used to it!’ and still work for solutions to do otherwise is just lazy criticism.

Somewhere in this thread is a suggestion from me to get out of this mess but you will not dig that one out because you don’t like/agree with it.

Keep digging and you will find something to fit your idea of the ‘proper way’ but all it does is prove that all you want to do is to belittle anybody with a view that doesn’t align with yours.

“Incarceration, asylums, forced treatment and work houses coupled with social pressure solved the problems until recently. Why not today? What has changed?”
Do you really want know what changed? Governments of a Conservative nature wanted to finance tax cuts and abdicate their commitment to the common good.
The instruments of treatment that you list have all been cut back and eliminated – enjoy your tax cuts lately Ken? You get what you pay for but now the problem is of another kind.

Last edited 1 month ago by ben
Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben, I don’t know about you but I paid significantly more taxes in 2023 than in any of my previous 76 years. So much for the tax cuts that you mentioned.

Each year we hire more highly paid “professionals”, bureaucrats and consultants who accomplish little. 

For some Northumberland examples consider:

Rebecca Carmen, Housing Services Manager for Northumberland, earned $105,732 + $632 in benefits in 2022. What has she accomplished regarding our unhoused problems?

Natalie Bocking,
Medical Officer Health
Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge Health Unit, earned $309,521 + $390 in benefits in 2022. What has she accomplished regarding our drug addiction problems?

We need to spend our already very high taxes on results rather than raising taxes to hire more useless bureaucrats!

Downtowner
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

Agreed, l have stated that it seems programs at Transition House do not see revue for improvement in any structured timeline. This could be because there is a problem keeping a board of directors and the whole process keeps going back to square one with each new panel. When a business is failing normally the administration works to correct the problems. Where is the accountability here.

Kathleen
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

If need be, take it to the street! Voices must be heard.

Old Sailor
1 month ago

Let’s remind Northumberland County that in November 2023, Port Hope rejected a small sleeping cabin pilot project in Welcome. Too many questions remained unanswered. And the complaints
from local residents were heard. Now Northumberland County can listen to Cobourg Council and Cobourg residents and forget about a low barrier Transition House at 310 Division St.

Andre
1 month ago

The authority higher than municipal, provincial or even federal jurisdiction is the cost of insurance. Ms. Rebecca Carman’s TH presentation balks at insurance cost for property damage and injury, preferring the taxpayer carry that cost.

On the one hand Ms. Carman insists the use and distribution of substances is prohibited on premises and 310 will never be a safe injection site. On the other she threatens the by-law will increase encampment occupancy.

Mayor Cleveland came prepared to cut off at the knees the disingenuous arguments of other council members and did so. They could not voice their tacit approval of the normalizing of drug addiction and were forced to dance around that. A pleasure to watch.

I informally adopted the country road where I once lived and picked up litter. It was not hard to do and like graffiti, litter begs more litter. If any TH resident wanted to be useful and give back, they could go for a 30 minute walk and collect some litter: that would reflect well on TH.

Downtowner
Reply to  Andre
1 month ago

Ms. Carmen threatening the impending by law and licensing as a cause furthering the encampment publicly admits that the shelter will remain with vacancies and now a big pricetag. I don’t agree with this being the cause, more the nature of the beast that has been created by the indulgence and rewarding of a lifestyle of unaccountable idleness and drug addiction.

Rational
1 month ago

Some extremely valid points are being made for the Mayor/Council Members to remain firm and implement these new by laws regardless. They are needed to protect Cobourg from the County’s
agenda.

IMO we have reached a “Tipping Point”. If the Mayor/Council stand firm, they may be able to recover from a dismal first 16 months for another election. If not, voters have long memories and will vote them out.

This is our Town of 20,000+ strong law abiding and decent residents/taxpayers. The Town does not belong to the enablers (drug or otherwise), the County or its 6 other county Councillors.

Just because we are told what’s happening here (drugs, crime, disgusting behaviour, safety concerns -) is everywhere – every day, does not mean that we have to follow along and accept it. If we stop/change the direction, perhaps others will take note and do so too. Be a leader Cobourg – not a follower!

Last edited 1 month ago by Rational
Sonya
Reply to  Rational
1 month ago

Well said.

Bryan
Reply to  Rational
1 month ago

Rational,
Good point regarding “we are told what’s happening here …. is everywhere” Yet the 6 other NC mayors haven’t stepped forward to have a 310 type facility in their town to help take care of “their” problem. Oh no. Let Cobourg do it. Leave our pristine little towns alone. NIMBY at its best.

Ben Burd and some others keep calling for the Town to negotiate with the County. You can’t get a fair deal when the playing field is tilted.

LC and Cobourg Council took the right course to level the field: create leverage.
That is exactly what the bylaw is about and it is clearly having the desired effect. The County has come to the table, all eager to negotiate…..to find a balanced equitable solution.

From the various delegations to the Town and County, it is clear that there are capable, competent people available to assist Mayor Cleveland and Council. Get their advice, especially from the ones with senior corporate executive experience. They know how to deal with “bully boy” negotiations.

Stay strong Mayor Cleveland & Council. Negotiate hard and be willing to walk away if needed.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bryan
Kathleen
Reply to  Bryan
1 month ago

BAM!

Are_n
1 month ago

I would urge the town council to pass the bylaw as is and start the process of taking our town back.

I don’t believe the county is acting in good faith. I think they’re stalling for time so they can open 310 Division as is and then tell Cobourg to “suck eggs” as they have done several times before with TH and other matters.

I also wonder if Cobourg needs to be a member of the county or if we can examine the possibility of going it alone? I don’t find the current county government acts in Cobourg best interests and I think county council has often taken great delight in bullying us.

This should serve as a reminder to Cobourg council that there are limits to what your citizens will stand for and you need to remember who you’re supposed to be representing. Voters in this town have long memories and we will not likely forget who acted against our best interests if they fail us in this matter.

Resident
Reply to  Are_n
1 month ago

I hear you but Cobourg (Lucas C) is a member of the county, we are just getting outvoted by the other mayor members from what I understand.

https://www.northumberland.ca/en/county-government/meet-your-council.aspx

Gerry
Reply to  Resident
1 month ago

Are you saying that if the people and Council of the Town of Cobourg do not want the shelter unless the County negotiates to the council’s satisfaction, the County can still put this blessed shelter here in Cobourg? If that is the case, it’s time to move!

Lesley
Reply to  Are_n
1 month ago

I’m in favour of examining how Cobourg can remove itself from Northumberland County. Cobourg is quite possibly the cash cow of all the municipalities within NC. We already pay for our own police force. Could the additional costs of EMS to service the County’s homeless shelter be charged back to them? If they don’t agree to take real responsibility for Cobourg residents then I can see groundswell of support bubbling up for this.

Gerry
Reply to  Lesley
1 month ago

Isn’t EMS a county responsibility?

Lesley
Reply to  Gerry
1 month ago

Sorry…yes, meant to say CPS.

Action
1 month ago

Please Mayor Cleavland and Cobourg Councilors remain STRONG on this as our downtown being completely destroyed by criminals and their supporters depends on it !!

Northumberland County and other country Mayors have provin that they can not be trusted when it comes to them caring or being concerned for what happens to our town. With them being more than happy to dump all of their homeless and drug users on our town regardless of the cost or safety of our residents.

Resident
Reply to  Action
1 month ago

I agree please hold strong, we need some semblance or structure to this. It may have been a different story if the Transition house had a different history, I live down the street and never once have I seen staff or security managing the chaos, often 5-7 people clearly distressed and actively overdosing passed out on the lawn. Often ambulance and police. I have gone over to ensure the people are still breathing and not dead numerous times.

James Bisson
Reply to  Action
1 month ago

In my delegation to County earlier that day, I pointed out in factual terms that the County has failed the residents of Cobourg on this file. When I read a few weeks ago the town staff recommendations on the powers the Town had to stop the County from imposing this approach and was encouraged by their use of business licensing powers to get their attention, I knew it would resonate. To my surprise, they went to the extreme in their position which is what you want when entering negotiations.
I have acted as facilitator for many clients to achieve a compromise. In such an exercise, you determine each parties non-negotiables and define the best end result that will achieve a win-win as your goal. In this case, this is what I would set as the win-win:
Cornerstone buys 310 from the County and gets more desperately needed space. They are already talking about expanding so include them as part of the negotiations.
Transition House buys the former Cornerstone building and has a much better facility with 20 beds plus offices for services. The can keep motel rooms for overflow on an as needed basis.
‘The Town issues the appropriate licenses contingent on County capping services at these levels for Cobourg with funding and mechanisms to address the fallout AND GURANTEES THAT THEY DEAL WITH THE ENCAMPMENT with strict conditions and expectations the are put OUTSIDE THE TOWN OF COBOURG!
The former Transition House is sold to help fund the deal and the County commits part of the $261k annual levy we pay towards the funding arrangement.
Cobourg gets a better service provider for service expansion, retains the same number of emergency LBS beds in a much better building, negotiates better terms with County to deal with the implications, and gets movement on the Encampment.
Those in need get net 27 extra beds
The residents get stability and assurances that we are turning this situation around for us all.
The County gets to save face
The other 6 mayors dodge a bullet for now and can spin it as collaboration
….and it sends a clear message to the Encampment…your days are numbered
It sounds complicated but it’s pretty simple when you think about it. It’s just REALLY hard to get the parties to agree. Win-wins normally are!
We’ll see….

ben
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

To my surprise, they (Cobourg Council) went to the extreme in their position which is what you want when entering negotiations.
I have acted as facilitator for many clients to achieve a compromise. In such an exercise, you determine each parties non-negotiables and define the best end result that will achieve a win-win as your goal. In this case, this is what I would set as the win-win:”

Will never happen – compromise has been ruled out by nearly all the posters on this board but I wish you luck.

Downtowner
Reply to  James Bisson
1 month ago

Agree, negotiations always begin wide apart , asking for the moon when happy with a star. The hope is that the County now negotiates in good faith, not always the case. I know playing checkers with the available pieces to satisfy the immediate needs for our homeless and desperate comes to a reasonable end in the scenario you outlined…..but to be completely honest l wouldn’t wish Transition House on the present Cornerstone neighbours…..it still needs to relocate farther afield. That location is still too damaging to the downtown, even with the now recommended licensing and bylaw protection. It does all come together in your suggestion but the clientele are the problem making the location a no go for me.

ben
Reply to  Downtowner
1 month ago

Whatever they, the County and the Town, do will be a compromise and totally unacceptable to the Posters here! What will you say to them?

Downtowner
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

I think you are not representing the posters here in a fair way.The biggest sentiment l get…and support… is that the downtown is not the place for the malfunctioning low barrier shelter that we have. Without a procedural change or two, it will continue to fail.310 a building that may serve a ,much better purpose .l believe now that the County has felt the heat , they will negotiate…just hopefully in good faith.

Downtowner
1 month ago

In watching the video and the exchange between County Warden Martin and Mayor Cleveland l notice Martins suggesting the problem be put forward and not this ramming by the Town of Cobourg . The Mayor returns with a suggestion that the Town wants input and transparent negotiation, not a closed session.Martin throws up her hands and says l rest my case.Who’s ramming their agenda?The Town is asking for licensing, thereby assuring the safety of workers and citizens at the least.Measures any business must expect which could assist in success going forward. The Emperor has no clothes and the citizens are asking questions as to how our taxes are being spent. I sit with my hands folded and wait for clear thinking and protection of our Town to move forward

Kathleen
Reply to  Downtowner
1 month ago

Agreed. The rudeness Ms. Martin exudes with our Mayor is limitless and shameful. If she were fined for each act, she’d have no money left.

Give me a break
Reply to  Kathleen
1 month ago

Am Not surprised with Ms. Martin behaviour … a year or so ago a delegation led by Deputy Mayor Beatty and Brent Larmer presented as it related to homeless in Cobourg and Ms. Martin asked how many were classified as homeless in Cobourg vs transients in Cobourg ….. her answer was to the effect … why worry about the transients as they will leave Cobourg anyway ….. not a stitch of empathy.

Downtowner
Reply to  Give me a break
1 month ago

Appalling

Downtowner
1 month ago

Interesting in the video that County Warden Martin makes a comment wondering if they couldn’t get to the bottom of the problem,what are the issues without ramming at one another.When Mayor Cleavland responds that ,that is the purpose of the intended by law to create a discussion so the intent is clear and there would not be misunderstanding of who is risking what and that the conversation would be transparent as to what Cobourg is trying to protect and how…..The response( from Martin) was l rest my case as her hands were thrown in the air. This seems a reaction to well , they are on to us and are no longer accepting this snow plow of sludge being spread across Cobourg and we are going to have to talk this over. Sorry the emperor has no clothes, people are paying attention.The purpose is not to railroad your work in the area of sheltering those in need , but it is ,unfortunately, necessary to make the County aware that citizens of Cobourg ÑEED consideration and input BEFORE 310 Division opens for operation.We have more at stake than these operations. Similarly, no one business controls our economy. but requires town licenses to operate, thereby providing safe,acceptable employment and prosperity to our Town. I rest my case and my hands are folded.

Downtowner
Reply to  Downtowner
1 month ago

Sorry to be repetitive….thought l lost this post

Cobourg taxpayer
1 month ago

No more productive negotiation of an agreement with County Council. Why has it taken a strong bylaw by town staff endorsed by at least the Mayor to attempt to make Cobourg back to a semblance of normality? Why were the rules at Transition House changed a few years back without consulting the neighbours? Please Mayor Cleveland and council and town staff stay strong to protect the majority of the residents of Cobourg not the drug addicts and their enablers dictating what is “normal “ in Cobourg.

Scottie
1 month ago

I have been a scrapper most of my adult life and as such, I was absolutely thrilled to see that Cobourg Council finally drew their “line in the sand” with the County about 310 Division and that FINALLY the County has decided it’s in their best interests to “negotiate” rather than just ramming things “down our collective throats” which has, in my opinion, been the case since Transition House was first thrust into Cobourg many long years ago. Kudos to whomever at the town, be it Mayor Cleveland, Councillors, Town Staff or a combination of all, who came up with the proposed bylaw. PLEASE don’t back down. Stay strong — I actually am in support of 310 Division as a shelter for those people who need a hand up, but it just CANNOT be a low barrier shelter. There must be strong rules in place and those rules MUST be followed with no drugs allowed on site. If a revamped bylaw WITH SOME TEETH IN IT!! is what’s required to make the County tow the line, then sobeit.

Mike
1 month ago

Where was this plea for negotiation when the County purchased 310 Division and dropped it on Cobourg? Where was the consultation? Where were the offers to help pay for policing and emergency services?
Hold fast Mayor Cleveland. Cobourg Council is well within its rights to enact a by-law to protect its citizens.
It’s time for Northumberland Council to realize that they can’t just dictate on high to the new kid and hope to get away with it.

Bryan
Reply to  Mike
1 month ago

Mike and Scottie,
I agree with your call for the Mayor and Council to stay strong and hold fast.
The bylaw is clearly influencing NC and needs to be enacted to maintain the leverage. .
Council should keep the bylaw in force and not “suspend” it as NC has requested.
To so so would give up the Town’s leverage and weaken its negotiating position.
The only reasons that NC has come to the table is because of the Town’s bylaw and the public’s displeasure.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bryan
ben
1 month ago

“I think that if the Mayor is willing to use such a phrase as “fear-mongering” in response to legitimate concerns brought by Professionals and Staff during the debate about the new and improved Transition House he should also be willing to listen to those concerns and try to make them workable instead of pushing a wild and unrealistic bylaw. A bylaw, which is bound to fail because of its overreach.
He readily admits that the intent of the bylaw was to bully the County into submission. He has failed. Now should prove himself to be a politician instead of a demagogue and work to improve both positions of the argument.”

Now is your chance Mr Mayor to show your much vaunted leadership skills in effecting compromise for the common good!

Get an agreement!!!!

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben, why is compromise desirable? Why is an implementation delay desirable? The “common good” means no low or even limited barrier facility in Cobourg. The requirements in the approved bylaw are the absolute minimum standards for Cobourg to permit a shelter at 310 Division that will not damage Cobourg. How would a “compromise” benefit Cobourg residents?

Last edited 1 month ago by Ken Strauss
ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 month ago

Compromise is essential to get an agreement, After all you wouldn’t want it because you are on record as wanting to overload the prisons with the ‘undesirables’ and a hard line will make you feel good.

An agreement is absolutely necessary so that everybody, can move on to something which will improve the situation. Obviously the improvement you want will not happen – the closure of the facility, because the County controls the funding and they, the County, are determined to see this through.

How would a “compromise” benefit Cobourg residents?”
Which residents are you looking out for – obviously not all of the residents. But then the sub-humans who live in tents (I paraphrase some local sentiment) aren’t worthy of your consideration are they?

Give me a break
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben ….. a number of these folks need to be placed in an institution that will take care of them and not prisons. These were around before the seventies till our provincial government shut them down and wanted the folks that need care to wander the streets of Toronto without care and having them take their meds …… we witnessed a family member being dumped on the streets to fend for himself and before you jump in to say that the family could have taken care of him ….. he had episodes of violence that his Mom and Dad could not handle ….. no not prisons but better facilities such as the one at the old Woodlawn Inn where folks needing help pay $$$$$ for treatment.

CiW
Reply to  Give me a break
1 month ago

Thank you Mike Harris!

Downtowner
Reply to  CiW
1 month ago

INDEED!!

Mervin
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben, do you live in Cobourg?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Thank you for your reply, Ben.

Do you feel that “compromise is essential to get an agreement” to criminalize murder? Why is an agreement to a bylaw prohibiting unacceptable behaviour required? Criminals shouldn’t get a vote. Mayors of other Northumberland towns shouldn’t decide what is best for Cobourg. Simply enforce the bylaw as written!

I am looking out for the huge majority — the peaceful, hardworking and law abiding residents of Cobourg. Do you seriously think that the “sub-humans who live in tents” (your words) are more important than the other 20,000 or so who live here and pay taxes?

Sonya
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Is Jamie Driscoe worthy of your sentiments Ben? Or does he not matter?

Gerry
Reply to  Sonya
1 month ago

Sonya, who is Jamie Driscoe and how does it relate to this question. I, for one, would appreciate some context. Thanks, on a second search of Google I found this article on his attack. https://todaysnorthumberland.ca/2023/09/26/cobourg-man-suffers-injuries-in-unprovoked-attack/

CAUTION: Graphic picture of injuries

Last edited 1 month ago by Gerry
Mervin
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben, your views on common good are not the same as mine. Most of Cobourg residents are in agreement that shelter’s need rules, and measures in place to prevent the abuse of resources and more importantly the abuse of those actually trying to get their lives in order. You seem to prioritize short term comfort over long-term flourishing. Over truth, reality, over everything. Why should our community have to live alongside people who create harmful environments for both themselves and those around them. I would be extremely surprised if you lived in Cobourg’s downtown core

Sonya
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben as you are very much aware the people of Cobourg have been expressing our concerns for years about the chaos surrounding the area of transition house. Granted we are not “professional” people. We are ordinary concerned citizens worried about our safety for our families and friends. I myself have written letters to county council about my concerns and I got the routine letter back that everyone else gets shaming me for expressing my concerns. Weren’t you one of the ones that called Cobourg citizens fear momgerers for expressing our fears? I’m sorry that you must never come to downtown Cobourg to have some drug addict jump up onto the hood of your car shouting obscenities at you. Last week a woman said that the guy that jumped on her car she was in with her mother had snot all over his face that was dripping off his chin yelling and swearing at her. She never even called the cops. That’s how bad it is in downtown Cobourg. People don’t even call the cops anymore.
Good for the mayor standing up to six people on county council that don’t even live in Cobourg but are happy to send all their criminal drug addicts to live here.
Shame on you for willfully wearing a blindfold.

Dave
Reply to  Sonya
1 month ago

Yes Sonya, the addicts and some of the homeless are sometimes called the most vulnerable – that I strongly disagree with. I also recall an incident of walking downtown with my wife through the passway Henley Gardens. A homeless man was sitting in there. I noticed him glaring at my wife but catching my eye gave me a friendly hello. Two older women a bit behind us were passing through. I next heard him yelling and swearing at them for no reason whatsoever in a very threatening manner which clearly shook the ladies. Being broad days light with others around I wondered if it had been evening and they was less traffic if he would have sprung to a physical attack. If not a drug addict he was mentally ill yet was free to roam the Town with his explosive feelings of hate toward the most vulnerable citizens of Cobourg.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Dave
1 month ago

Yes I agree the Physical confrontations have already taken place as previously reported upon but the Police Dept is doing a good Job on keeping a lid on these
for obvious reasons . Its going to take something drastic with some one becoming seriously injured before more decisive action is taken to Curb this problem .
Like another Hatchet attack .
The Bulk of the Homeless here have some form of Mental Condition / illness
and receive benefits ODSP based on that , and if they don’t have any mental illness yet they will have living under conditions we see at the Encampment

small town Ontario
Reply to  Dave
1 month ago

I was driving south on Division, stopped at the lights. I watched a grandmother and very young child waiting for the lights to change and she was using this teaching moment to point out the stop/go light system to the child. They crossed to the west side of Division and continued walking south.
I continued south and noticed on the east side a person going through garbage, throwing his arms up and the garbage flying everywhere. As I passed he crossed over to the west sidewalk on Division.
He was now walking towards the grandmother and the young child. I turned my car around fearing they may be in trouble and by the time I got back he was gone.
I don’t go downtown very much, but it seems when I do I always see something happening that gives me a lot of concern.
Do the elected representatives walk the streets of Cobourg? Are our police walking the downtown area anymore, I did not see any that day when I was downtown?

Sonya
Reply to  Dave
1 month ago

I also witnessed this same person always attacking older senior women in Henleys arcade many times. One of the women I knew for many years and shes 95 years old. I stood behind her between her and him and I would of risked my life to protect this wonderful lady.

Dave
Reply to  Sonya
1 month ago

Hi Sonya – the ladies were a bit behind me – I was progessing on King by the time time they emerged from Henley’s. One thought though a friend of mine witnessed a mentally challenged – retarded in the old parlance young man being harassed and pushed about by bullies. He went to their defense with confidence as he held a black belt. In the ensuing fight he crippled one leaving that one with a paralized arm for life – on going to court he was charged with this injury and the court awarded them cash for life which he continues to pay this award to this day and will do for the rest of his life.

ben
Reply to  Sonya
1 month ago

Shame on you for willfully wearing a blindfold.”

Sonya, you may think I am wearing a blindfold but I would say to you take off your rose-tinted glasses -THE WORLD HAS CHANGED, and left you behind. The mentally ill and addicts are in every urban setting some just have more of them. The world and the one that others want to live in has gone. One frequent poster even wants to time travel back to 1925 and big houses occupied by rich American tourists, long gone and I bet there were impoverished serfs and peons living in Cobourg then.

The problem now is how to deal with that situation. 310 Division is one way. But let me tell you the encampment will still be there and the occupants will still be on the streets of Cobourg even if 310 was twice the proposed size.

We, in Cobourg will still have to deal with that. Not allowing 310 will never change that situation.

Downtowner
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben, 310 could still be put to better use..the proposed venture will as you say result in vacancies.so let’s see the purchase be beneficial. I have said the encampment will exist somewhere if not Brookside. We are failing these people for sure. I believe because our expectations are too high….they don’t function well on their own even though adults. Given money without gainful results. Monitoring and restrictions will become necessary in my opinion the low barrier as such doesn’t allow drug use herein is the biggest obstacle

Kathleen
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben,
I applaude the Mayor who is, in my opinion, representing the Majority of the citizens of Cobourg. He is attempting to take control from the insane that are currently running this asylum.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben, I suspect that you are referring to me or at least someone with similar feelings.

Why must we give up our wonderful little town simply because “the world has changed”? The vast majority of Cobourg residents are hard working and law abiding. Why should we tolerate vagrants and drug crazed addicts anywhere in town?

Cobourg encourages tourism. Why should we not favour wealthy visitors who will benefit Cobourg rather than beachers who contribute nothing other than garbage left on our beach?

The status quo is unacceptable! If not allowing 310 won’t change the situation then what do you suggest that we do?

ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 month ago

The status quo is unacceptable! If not allowing 310 won’t change the situation then what do you suggest that we do?”

Of course the status quo is unacceptable Ken, What I would do is spend more of our money – yes, yours too, on more low cost housing and services for the mentally ill and addicted. But first of all I am sure you as an avid researcher have come across all the sides of the argument that states that some solutions to the all encompassing problem that we have here, is to get more low cost housing built. Read about “Housing First” programmes around the world and there are many good ones as well as failures. But they do work.

Just one “what would I do”

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben, with your research skills I’m certain that you are aware that services for the mentally ill and the addicted and providing low cost housing are not the responsibility of Cobourg.

The currently discussed bylaw is a long overdue first step in addressing our problems. Unwavering enforcement rather than considering compromise or delay is imperative as a next step.

What, in your opinion, should Cobourg do to rid our town of vagrants and addicts on our streets and to ensure that none are afraid to visit downtown?

ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 month ago

What, in your opinion, should Cobourg do to rid our town of vagrants and addicts on our streets and to ensure that none are afraid to visit downtown?”

As you say if it is not the Town’s responsibility to get rid of “vagrants and addicts” then you are stuck with them as everybody is constitutionally allowed freedom of movement. Vagrancy laws are unknown and compulsory treatment and removal programmes are also unconstitutional.

So as a realist I, and all the others in Town, are stuck with the problem. Obviously you did not read or comprehend my previous reply to you where I gave you one of my solutions. You must have been so keen to lambaste me with your rhetorical questions you missed it.

As I have said before; my second suggestion, if you don’t want to pay for the first suggestion is to live with it.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben, it is the town’s responsibility to control vagrants and addicts. Yes, they have a right to freedom of movement but not onto private property. But not to threaten residents. But not to steal propane tanks. But not to steal shopping carts. But not to sleep in bank lobbies. But not to jump onto car hoods. But not to dump garbage about. But not to destroy bus shelters. But not…

Lesley
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

It’s true, freedom of movement is constitutionally protected. Cobourg, for the time being, is still a nice spot. Easy access from Toronto, Peterborough, Belleville and Kingston. Areas with significant issues associated with addicts and where the red carpets are being rolled up. I live downtown and have seen some new faces who appear to be living rough with addiction issues. Do we really want to exacerbate Cobourg’s problems by rolling out the red carpet here? NO. This is where rock bottom should be found so decisions to get well (or face the dire consequences) can be made. Then, and only then, should resources to this end be offered.

Jade
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben and Ken.. why is it you always use this forum to argue and belittle each other. Here’s a suggestion.. make your own blog to argue back and forth the more each of you comment just gives you strength to come back at each other.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Jade
1 month ago

Jade, Ben does have a blog but no followers so discussing things there is a waste of effort.

Allowing the destructive and erroneous ideas of the enablers of addiction to go unchallenged is a major reason for Cobourg’s current situation. If you don’t agree with my ideas you are free to provide alternatives. Open discussion is the only way to combat unacceptable proposals and regain our feel good town.

My comments are always clearly identified so you can easily ignore them if you are offended.

ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 month ago

Ken
Jade, Ben does have a blog but no followers so discussing things there is a waste of effort.”

Yes Ken you are correct I have a blog but haven’t published in a while and see no need to when the points I make in a 300 word essay can be made in a fifty word post here.

Mervin
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben, this is not a housing issue! You could add all the housing in the world and it won’t make a difference. There needs to be personal responsibility. The thing everyone can agree on is that behaviour is poor. Whether housing is free, or you pay for it, you need to behave in a way that respects the freedoms of others. You will never see progress without accountability. I think you ignore most of my comments because you, like most of the advocates in favour of this free for all, are not living amongst this mess. I’ve asked many times if you live in the area and you never respond. I have yet to meet someone who lives near this who shares your views

ben
Reply to  Mervin
1 month ago

 I have yet to meet someone who lives near this who shares your views”

Don’t worry I have yet to meet many with my views, but if they do they certainly would not post with their real names as I do for fear of constant ridicule – I have a thick skin. I enter this echo chamber with relish.

Hate to say this but it’s people like me who make you folks think you are normal!!

BTW I live a KM from Downtown and go there daily.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben, if drug zonked addicts roaming our streets and supported by taxpayers ever has the slightest semblance to “normal” I pity our grandkids.

Mervin
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

I am far from normal. I grew up in social housing, I know who hurts when your misguided ideologies go wrong. I’ve worked hard to move my family as far as possible from the harmful people your indifference will protect. This is such a strange phenomena. Where privileged individuals, often disconnected from the lived experiences of impoverished people, hold political and social beliefs that signal their virtues, yet impose consequences on those who they pretend to be fighting for. I do believe you are at least not in echo chamber, I appreciate your presence on this topic. I just don’t understand how you can’t see that this ends with emboldened bad actors and no place to go for those actually trying to get their lives in order

Sonya
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Yes so your solution is to normalize drug use and crime and just get used to it. Yes, we have a bunch of addicts that won’t use transition house that are camped on private property. I’m sure they won’t go to transition house as James pointed out in his delegation. Why have transition house low barrier then?
The campers will have to leave eventually.
My suggestion is for you or one of your friends is to buy a couple acres outside of Cobourg. Gores landing or Harwood would be perfect. Teach the addicts how to live off the land. Teach them survival skills and how to withstand the harsh winters. All the advocates can still bring them what they need like propane tanks.i counted 15 new propane tanks going into the encampment the other day. Peace and love everywhere like in the 60’s. That’s what most of the citizens would like to see. Leave transition house for the homeless that really want to improve their lives. I think most of Cobourg would be behind that.

ben
Reply to  Sonya
1 month ago

Yes so your solution is to normalize drug use and crime and just get used to it”

So show me where I said this Sonya.

Do not put words into my mouth you will get the wrong ones. What I said was that the behaviour of the miscreants, addicts, mentally ill and yes some are criminal, is because of a changed world – get used to it – Cobourg is not immune!

I am not in favour of normalising drugs but in favour of treatment for those who want it – forced rehab will fail every time. In favour of more mental health facilities and definitely more low cost housing. All of these things we used to have but thanks to Politicians in the past who cut these services we are in the state we are in. I am not assigning blame to individual politicians or parties because they have all slashed the safety nets we used to have.

That is more a comment on some of us (defo not me) who advocated for lower taxes and not realising that cutting services was the unintended consequence.

My suggestion is for you or one of your friends is to buy a couple acres outside of Cobourg. Gores landing or Harwood would be perfect. Teach the addicts how to live off the land. Teach them survival skills and how to withstand the harsh winters. “

This comment is just a silly one written to insult, or perhaps make you feel better writing it.

Sonya
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

I am quite serious about having drug addicts far away from the rest of society. I did not write this to insult anyone.
Forced rehab does work. I would like to see addicts that commit a crime be given a choice of rehab or jail.
In another case with a friend of mine the judge said rehab or you lose your kids. Do you think the guy that jumped on top of the woman’s car can make a choice? I don’t. He’s one that needs forced rehab and mental health.
Back to the topic. We need our streets cleaned up of crime. Cobourg residents are fed up.. Especially the ones living close to transition house and the encampment.
Our friends and neighbours are the vulnerable ones now, not the drug addicts. Public safety is what we want and demand. You seem to think we shouldn’t ask for that.

Andre
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

I recall all the money invested into the Downtown BIA and tourism promotion, along with the waterfront revitalization. All to be helplessly written off because the world changed.

The Town should hire a full time graffiti artist to tag everything and bring it up to Code. Cobourg could open itself to graffiti tourism, because the world changed 🙂

Sonya
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

I don’t recall anyone saying get rid of 310.
I don’t need rose coloured glasses when I go to other towns in Northumberland. Take Port Hope for example. You can walk down any street in Port Hope without your stomach being in knots. People are much more friendly and pleasant. They’re not always looking over their shoulders. Cobourg is a cesspool full of drugs, crimes and assaults. That’s because Cobourg has the only homeless shelter in Northumberland County. Drug addicts from every town in Northumberland County come to Cobourg. That’s why Cobourg needs help financially to pay for police, bylaw and fire.

Give me a break
Reply to  Sonya
1 month ago

Sonya your points are right on ….. the most important point that you made is that the other 6 and most of the County staff don’t care as they do not live in Cobourg …… when was the last time that the Mayors of PH, Brighton and Campbellford even mention helping out ……. stay strong Mayor Cleveland …. If you go in compromising we will lose out. We have lived in Cobourg for over twenty years and the issues started when Transition House changed their operation ….. as an aside don’t let the County use Cornerstone as a hammer to force a compromise …..

Downtowner
Reply to  Give me a break
1 month ago

Agreed, seems they are pulling Cornerstone as a rabbit out of a hat, disregarding the stated room for exemption which was pointed out by Mayor Cleveland,as he suggested that the councilors read the bylaw in its entirety before commenting. No time to spend energy on what ifs and potential problems…get down to brass tacks and address the concerns that are being presented. Like many, l wonder where the other Mayor’s are to support Cobourg…..there is nothing saying further projects implemented by County will not land in their jurisdictions

ben
Reply to  Downtowner
1 month ago

disregarding the stated room for exemption which was pointed out by Mayor Cleveland”

Bet you dollars to donuts this discriminatory exemption isn’t worth the paper it’s written on!

Downtowner
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

I don’t think there is a problem with Cornerstone, other than it cannot accommodate the need and could use more space. The total opposite of Transition house..,an appreciated service so l believe it will continue to have support and an exemption will be granted. Cornerstone has taken the families that were once housed at the successful first effort of Transition House at 10 Chapel before it was revealed that staff was untrained and this low barrier shelter appeared by the County Fairy waving a wand and ” making it so”. Without consultation with the Town and neighbours

Rational
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben. I disagree with your statement that “ it isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on”. You appear to be just throwing comments out to see if they will stick to the wall.

This is why Legal Documents are executed/registered involving all parties, with this document then enforceable in a court of law. An “exemption” would be properly drawn in that it is legally binding on all parties.

That’s how society and contracts work Ben – it’s not the Wild West anymore.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rational
ben
Reply to  Rational
1 month ago

An exemption that treats similar operations differently will be challenged and probably be deemed discriminatory.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

The dictionary defines “discrimination” as: Recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another.
Usage example: “discrimination between right and wrong”

Discrimination between Transition House and Cornerstone is obviously appropriate!

ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 month ago

But Ken what will your ‘hated’ Charter of Rights say about this when the equality clause is used – talk to a lawyer not a dictionary!

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Ben, discrimination is the essence of deciding between a good choice and a bad choice. The recent trend towards considering discrimination to be unacceptable is likely more destructive to our society than even normalizing drugs. Thank Trudeau senior!

Downtowner
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

The proposed 310 is advertising treatment on sight and 24/7 availability …..unlike Cornerstone which is a shelter from violence. Specific in it’s offering…widely different…may be challenged but l still believe will be granted a requested exemption.

Pam
Reply to  ben
1 month ago

Cornerstone has been run professionally and consistently for years. No problems with their residents whatsoever. On the other hand, since Transition House has reopened, (low barrier) the organization has completely decided that they aren’t responsible for the demise of our town, while leaving their residents to terrorize the town between 8-5. I called there soon after they reopened after witnessing multiple residents sitting on their porch, shooting up. I was told that as soon as the residents leave the shelter, they are no longer their responsibility. Well….. guess what? As a community, we’re done with that BS. If you are running a half assed shelter that throws the residents out during the day, you better take responsibility for what they’re doing!
Why is Cornerstone a superior shelter? Because they don’t do a half assed job and only decide to be a shelter during “off business hours”. They step up 24/7!

Sonya
Reply to  Give me a break
1 month ago

I would like to know how much money each of these towns is funded for homelessness. That money could help Cobourg pay for housing the residents from their towns.

Give me a break
Reply to  Sonya
1 month ago

Great point Sonya but you will never get an answer from the County. Besides the other 6 don’t care about us ….. it would be great to get a “by name” list from the county for the other towns.

Sonya
Reply to  Give me a break
1 month ago

Yes, more transparency for sure. I was told that port hope gets approximately 200 thousand a year for homelessness.