Mayor announces Town Hall Meeting

As Mayor Lucas Cleveland said at Monday’s Council meeting, people only want to hear about one issue: the encampment.  It’s all consuming. “No-one is paying attention to other good things being done by Council.”  However, Lucas responded to this and spoke about what is happening on the encampment.  He said that the community seems to think that Councillors are burying their head in the sand but “that is not at all what is happening”.  Further, “this council is working with every single member of the community involved: Police, County, Province, MPP and MP”.  “It’s not a simple problem.”  But “Council cannot come forward with information that’s being discussed in closed sessions.” “Council has to follow certain rules and regulations and… Read complete articleMayor announces Town Hall Meeting

Town proposes joint DBIA program for Homeless

In 2023 budget deliberations, Deputy Mayor Nicole Beatty moved that staff be directed to use funds allocated to address the Opioid crisis ($35k) to “explore options for outreach support service towards the Town’s Homeless response.” At the DBIA management meeting on 6 November, Brent Larmer presented a “Welcoming Streets and Neighborhoods Pilot program” to respond to this direction. Not everyone is happy with this plan. Basically, it would require hiring someone to patrol downtown and look after problems “that do not require police intervention, with a longer-term vision to achieve an increased sense of safety and inclusion in the downtown core.” The intent is to improve the relationship between Business Owners and “community members experiencing homelessness or facing mental health and/or addiction challenges”. Brent… Read complete articleTown proposes joint DBIA program for Homeless

Mayor Cleveland Updates on Encampment via Cogeco Interview

The encampment at Brookside continues to be the single biggest concern of Cobourg’s residents.  Many people look for leadership from Mayor Lucas Cleveland and also want more communication from him.  About a week ago, he said “time for a message” to the public but the Town’s communication “news” page did not provide anything.  However, Lucas did communicate via Cogeco’s “Municipal Matters” shown on channel HD700.  These are interviews of Port Hope and Cobourg’s Mayors and politicians with several repeat date/times for viewing.   A link to the Cogeco schedule is below.  There are a couple of problems with this:  1. Not everyone gets their TV via Cogeco and  2. Not everyone views these programs.  However, Cogeco does put extracts from their… Read complete articleMayor Cleveland Updates on Encampment via Cogeco Interview

Disappointing Town Hall on Encampment

It turned out that the “Town Hall” meeting on Wednesday at the Best Western did not have any audience participation – it was just an information session.  The event was organized by James Bisson and he spent two hours providing information on the encampment at Brookside with the hope that it would stir up action by citizens. James made it clear that it was a County and Provincial matter and not a Town responsibility although the only acknowledged political representation at the meeting was from Councillor Adam Bureau and Deputy Mayor Nicole Beatty.  Although James provided a good amount of factual information, he placed most of the blame for the encampment on drug addiction. He believes that all that’s needed… Read complete articleDisappointing Town Hall on Encampment

Update on Encampment

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

Update to Council on Encampment

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

County Acts to Evict Campers at 600 William

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

Police Make Arrest in West Beach Shooting

With help from Durham, Port Hope and Peterborough Police, Cobourg Police have arrested one “suspect” in connection with the shooting on August 16 at the West Beach encampment and have identified two other suspects.  The male arrested is 19-year-old Kersi Buakasa and he is charged with six offences including attempted murder and possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking.  Two other suspects have been identified: 21 year old Elijah Kerridge-Lall,  and 18 year-old Alearen Stewart, (details below). Both are known to Police, known to frequent the GTA and the Northumberland County area and they live in Durham region. Both should be considered armed. At 10:00 am today (Friday 25 August) police issued a Press release with details of this action. See… Read complete articlePolice Make Arrest in West Beach Shooting

Council Acts on Encampments

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