Unfortunate Incident Prior to Flag Raising at International Overdose Awareness Day in Cobourg

In Local

(warning – story contains strong language)

A unfortunate incident just prior to the raising of the International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) flag put a bit of a damper on the event for some people.

A full day of activities were planned to place in front of Victoria Hall on King Street with the flag raising ceremony at approximately 11 a.m. followed by a memorial and awareness day event in front of Victoria Hall then ending with a candlelight vigil.

A number of people gathered in front of Victoria Hall including two councillors.

But prior to the ceremony as they were speaking along Second Street, one councillor noticed two men who had their bicycles in a parking spot that was designated for bank employees.  The two men were openly consuming drugs.

The councillor said both men started yelling and swearing at the woman saying it was a public spot.

The councillor stepped in to tell the men it was a private parking spot for bank employees and asked the men to leave.

“They started swearing and yelling at me.”

The men told the councillor to leave them alone, “it’s a public parking lot.”

But the councillor pointed to where the public parking was available.

One of the men told the councillor “fuck you – I fucking want to kill you.”

“They again started attacking verbally the woman who wanted to get to work, so I stood there and told them if they didn’t leave I was going to call the cops.”

Even as they were packing up, the councillor said, “the verbal threats started escalating.”

Co-organizer of the IOAD Missy McLean came over and asked the two men to join them at the IOAD celebration in front of Victoria Hall.

After the incident the councillor decided to skip the ceremony.

“Not because I don’t believe in the IOAD – but that was a traumatic experience for myself and the woman from the bank and I just needed to take a break.”

“I’m looking in any way possible that we can help these people, but it still should be safe for everyone.”

The councillor said the bank employee seemed distraught during the incident. All the councillor wanted to do was make sure got to work safely.

Speaking to organizer Missy Mclean after the flag raising, Mclean said she was unaware of the incident that occurred.

(updated Friday, September 1, 2023 4 p.m.)

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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