By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Between last week and this week, Cobourg council has done a quiet about-face on last week’s commitment to partner with the Downtown Business Improvement Area to take Harm Reduction Training.
The motion got unanimous support last week. This week, when it was brought up for confirmation, the request for a seconder was met with stony silence and resolutely unraised hands. Without a seconder, it was automatically defeated.
Last week’s motion was the result of an impassioned presentation by former councillor Theresa Rickerby, taking the town to task for its treatment of its most vulnerable citizens, especially in light of its membership in the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities.
One request she made was for councillors to commit to taking the Harm Reduction Training being offered by the Peterborough AIDS Resource Network. The DBIA is taking such training, Rickerby said, and perhaps council could partner in this effort.
Though this motion did not pass this week, council did receive a notice of motion that could address the homelessness problem to some degree – a motion to apply to the Federal Housing Accelerator Fund to support affordable housing on Tannery Lands. The vote passed, meaning it will be on the agenda for discussion at the May 15 committee-of-the-whole meeting.
The motion notes that Phase 1 of the Tannery District Lands – and potentially a portion of developable lands on Durham and Furnace streets – “present a unique opportunity for the creation of mixed-use housing.”
The municipality owns these subject lands, it said, and the Federal program offers investments in affordable housing and housing-related infrastructure, including revitalization of brownfields for this purpose.
Any such funds received, the motion continued, will be committed to achieving the goals set out in the town’s affordable-housing strategy.