No Leadership After Shooting in Cobourg, Ontario

MPP David Piccini says that the recent gunshots in the encampment go beyond concern and by-laws need to be enforced, while town leadership remains mum on the matter.

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It’s been two days since gunshots rang through at a homeless encampment on a local beach in Cobourg, Ontario and the town leadership is leaving much to be desired.

“The Cobourg Police Service continues to investigate this incident. At this time it is believed that there is no risk to public safety,” stated a media release by the local police.

The release came nearly 24 hours after independent media broke the story.

Yet the local town council remained silent on the issue just days after hosting a secret, closed-door meeting where it was determined that a plan to evict those taking up living quarters on prime shorefront real estate was not to be executed.

Cobourg councillor Randy Barber feigned ignorance about the horrific event, hours after the police released the above media statement, when questioned by Rebel News’ Tamara Ugolini.

“Oh, was there? Oh my – haven’t heard yet,” Barber said.

Deputy Mayor Nicole Beatty confirmed that she was aware of the shooting but was unable to comment.

“I’m sure you can appreciate that it’s an open investigation,” Beatty excused the inaction and lack of (re)assurances being given to the community grappling with safety concerns.

“Concern isn't an inappropriate word,” MPP David Piccini told Rebel News. “It’s wrong that we have gunshots… It’s important that you enforce bylaws. I maintain my position that you have to enforce bylaws.”

The encampment has been supplied with amenities that include two port-a-potties, a washing station and a dumpster by the Town of Cobourg.

Local advocacy group Greenwood Coalition has further supplied the encampment with tents and other necessities. The group has taken a much needed vacation this week, according to a post on their Facebook page.

The same week that at least one gunshot was fired at the encampment, a mere 45-minutes after children attending a summer sailing camp at the Cobourg Yacht club went home for the night.

Parents cite other violent occurrences that their children have witnessed in the area resulting in some pulling their children from the camp entirely.

With a seniors' residence in the distance and a high traffic walking path, the community is increasingly concerned about safety as the downtown core becomes proliferated with open air drug use and an unsanctioned overdose prevention site that identifies as “Tweak Easy” on Friday nights.

Two people overdosed in the downtown core in the evening of Friday August 4. 


Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the town council voted not to evict the encampment. 

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