Another Friday night and likely another event will be taking place at the north end of Victoria Park.
The unsanctioned overdose prevention site (UOPS) run by a group called Tweak Easy was formerly held at the rear of Henley Arcade in downtown Cobourg has been taking place since March 2022.
With local by-law and police coming down on the site in September 2023 based on a number of complaints from the community that it was causing a disturbance, it has since moved to the top end of Victoria Park across from St. Peter’s Church on King Street.
In a recent in-depth story by Rebel News senior reporter Tamara Ugolini covers the homeless crisis and the problems associated with it in Cobourg.
Among the topics covered are the UOPS that runs every Friday evening from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the north end near Church and King Street in Victoria Park.
The UOPS is run by Tweak Easy and by Melissa (Missy) McLean from a group called Moms Stop The Harm (MSTH).
Ugolini said MSTH is a primarily government-funded harm reduction and safe supply advocacy group. McLean also works as the research project lead at the Northumberland Community Legal Centre.
“MTSH talks about stopping the stigma, but nothing quite says stigma like using and promoting illicit drugs behind bushes in a park after dark,” said Ugolini in the story.
Ugolini obtained what some might consider as shocking video from the UOPS in Victoria Park.
In the video it was stated that minors are welcome to attend.
A person asks if people are younger can they attend.
A reply comes back from another person, “we’ve got muffins.”
“Like they are minors, is that ok?,” the same individual asks specifically.
“Doesn’t hurt – we’re just having a picnic,” comes the answer.
The person also states the UOPS has harm reduction items.
“Anything you need we can try to find. We can help you to sort things out.”
Director of Legislative Services with the Town of Cobourg Brent Larmer previously stated the Henley Arcade site was closed because by-law enforcement “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 went on to state further the Henley Arcade area for Tweak Easy that,“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.”