Director of Legislative Services with the Town of Cobourg said it was “multiple community complaints of an event causing a disturbance,” that lead to the shut down of the Tweak Easy Overdose Prevention Site on Friday, September 1, 2023 in downtown Cobourg.
Brent Larmer was responding to a citizen’s e-mail on Sunday, September 3, 2023 and explained the shutdown of the event.
A number of Cobourg Police Services and a Municipal Law Enforcement officer attended the area that has been operating every Friday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. behind Henley Arcade just north of King Street.
Larmer stated in the e-mail that there were also a number of safety concerns.
“Upon arrival, Municipal Law Enforcement Officers met with Police and identified the event organizers were running an organized event gathering and confirmed they did not have a permit for the event.”
“The organizers were asked to close the event, and attendees were asked to disperse.”
Larmer said organizers complied and removed the set up area and ceased the handing out of information. They also packed up food and drinks along with objects that were on municipal property.
“They remained outside Henley Arcade with signs, claiming peaceful protest.”
Organizer Missy McLean posted a video on Facebook shortly after the event was shut down and stated, that Larmer said they were a peaceful protest and were allowed to hold the event.
During the nearly three-minute long video, McLean said they serve upwards of 40-people who come to the event for a meal and harm reduction supplies.
“No permission has been granted or given to this group for use of the area and Municipal Council passed a motion early this year to oppose any unsanctioned overdose prevention site,” stated Larmer in the e-mail.
Larmer stated the individuals have a right to protest under the charter, “but in doing so, not interfering or disturbing others right of enjoyment in the downtown.”
“In the last few months this location has been investigated and the Town is acting on bylaws, multiple community complaints of an event causing disturbance and safety concerns in the Town of Cobourg and protecting the use of the laneway for individuals and non interference with municipal right of ways.”