Community affairs

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Cobourg police board seeks public input on use of body cameras

Charges of racism and police violence have renewed calls in Canada for frontline officers to wear body cameras. The debate is taking place across the country. From the RCMP to Toronto’s police, Indigenous groups and Black Lives Matters are calling for officers to wear video recording devices on their chests. The longtime debate over the need to wear body cameras is coming to Cobourg. As part of its technology and innovation strategy, the Police Services Board wants your opinion. Continue Reading →

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International conspiracy ideas finding their way into Northumberland, says expert

Near Colborne on three huge pieces of old weathered plywood are spray-painted messages. They read: no mandatory vaccines, not my new normal and a third has a large letter Q.

The Q on the roadside sign can stand for QAnon, a conspiracy theory once held by far-right extremists. But it is gaining mainstream acceptance in the United States and Canada, as well as around the world. Similar messages are being delivered across social media groups in Northumberland. They are also found in the chants of protesters and people’s conversations across the county. Continue Reading →

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As Art Gallery of Northumberland prepares to reopen, director reflects on arts during pandemic

For anyone who has had a birthday or marked an anniversary or special occasion over the last five months will tell you, it has been rough. The Art Gallery of Northumberland, 2020 marked the 60th anniversary. It was going to have a year of events to celebrate. As you can imagine, things have not turned out as expected. Art Gallery of Northumberland Executive Director Olinda Casimiro is obviously disappointed. Continue Reading →

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Musician Cale Crowe glad to be back, but also thankful for the break during pandemic

It is hard to believe it was only a year ago, Cobourg council received the final report for the Cultural Master Plan. It marked a significant milestone for the local arts community as the town sought to create a vision for the creative community. In its final report, the consultants noted 95 percent of those surveyed identified arts and culture are important. The pandemic has seriously hit the arts and culture community hard, as it has in so many aspects of our lives. A survey by the Ontario Arts Council said arts organizations and artists lost a combined total of $128 million in revenue between March and June.  A whopping 94 percent of arts groups said they cancelled events or postponed activities. Continue Reading →

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Massive initiative to coordinate county community services needs public input

As the provincial government lunges forward into Phase 3 of the reopening of the economy, it can be hard to track all that is going on in Northumberland. County bureaucrats are moving quickly on multiple fronts seeking input on everything from budget to a strategy to support tourism. But it is not alone. Premier Doug Ford is out and about doing some political campaign-style stops across the province, attempting to ride the momentum of the relaxing of regulations, requirements, and numerous guidelines everyone has faced over the past five months. Mix this with people’s deep desire to return to the way it was before the pandemic can leave us all a bit heady. Continue Reading →

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Transition House prepares to move back to Chapel Street into new home with a new plan

For those who face barriers finding a home, Transition House is an emergency shelter in Cobourg where they can find a place to sleep, a decent meal, and, hopefully, begin a journey back from the many difficulties they face. When the pandemic hit, the shelter was not well suited to provide the necessary protections for its clients. Through a collaboration of many people, a closed high school in Cobourg, CCI, was opened as a temporary location. But with fall quickly approaching and public schools reopening, clients and staff will return to the old Chapel Street building. Anne Newman, executive director of Transition House, spoke with me about the move back and the results of the organization’s recent annual general meeting. Continue Reading →

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Small town retailers face unique challenges as Brighton-Cramahe Chamber responds

One defining characteristic of the new reality under COVID-19 is everything is changing constantly. Press conference from leaders and health officials are daily touchstones. Announcements from local officials flag the tweaks being made to battle the pandemic and keep people safe and healthy. Peeling back those changes presents an unfolding story of how our community is being reshaped. Today’s stories are snapshots of those moving sands. Continue Reading →

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Rethinking the future of statue in front of Port Hope town hall

The death of George Floyd, the 46-year old man who died while in the custody in the Minneapolis police, became a lightning rod for intense debate. Even in Northumberland County, there were protests held to draw attention to the issues of unfair treatment of Indigenous and Black people, as well as other minorities. Out of these concerns, other discussions have emerged, reflected both globally and locally. One of those debates is over the statue of Lt. Colonel Arthur Williams in front of Port Hope town hall. It raises concerns about aggrandizing historic figures who represent people who participated in racist activities. Continue Reading →

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