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It’s billed as the New Year Levee but one of the highlights is the speech by Mayor Gil Brocanier which I like to call his “State of the Union” speech.  The event is held every year in Victoria Hall in the afternoon of New Year’s day and features the Town Crier (Mandy Robinson), Poet Laureate (Ted Amsden), the Concert Band of Cobourg, Gil Brocanier’s speech, a reception line of all the Councillors, refreshments courtesy of the Dutch Oven and Christmas cake courtesy of Weston bakery. Below is a summary of Gil’s speech plus some photos.

Mandy opened the event – she highlighted how pleased she was to be doing the job since she started exactly one year ago.  Ted not only gave his poem but also read out his own light-hearted predictions of what would happen in 2016.  The Concert Band were in good form and managed to inspire some tots to dance to their music (see photo below).

Gil started with a recap of 2015:

  • A 5 point Strategic plan was developed and there has been progress in 2015 on each objective (More on Strategic plan and progress)
  • The controversial addition of Parking meters downtown has proved to be a success.  Gil judges this based on repeated comments  by most business owners that their customers are happy with the situation.  Further, revenue from the meters at 60% occupancy is $260,000.
  • The Art Gallery of Northumberland has come through a “rough spot” with some help from the Town.
  • The Civic Awards in April recognized many great volunteers and now nominations are open for the 2016 awards.
  • The issue of Expansion of the Marina was resolved but Gil said that there will still be changes on the waterfront – perhaps this was a reference to the planned public consultation on what to do with the Trailer Park – if anything.
  • Gil pointed to the highly successful Junior A Hockey Tournament and to the fact that three more similar major events will be coming to Cobourg in 2016/17.
  • Governance in Cobourg will be changed starting with the Council meeting on January 4; after a detailed year-long review of two models, a hybrid approach was selected.
  • Christmas Magic is successful and “just happens to be in a different place”.  Citizens have told Gil that they like the change.  (The audience applauded at this point!)
  • Downtown Vitalization is doing well with fewer vacant stores and the makeover for Henley Arcade.
  • Gil and other Mayors are working on convincing Go Train to extend service to West Northumberland.
  • Based on negotiations under way, Gil is confident that 2016 will see more economic development in Cobourg.


  • There will be a decision in January on a waiving of over $300K in fees for the Medical Arts Building at the Hospital. This was initially approved November 30 but a final decision was deferred pending “getting answers to some questions”.
  • The Downtown Master Plan will be completed – currently public comments are being solicited. (More here)
  • When the frost is out of the ground, work will begin on the long awaited reconfiguration of the Munroe/ Division Street intersection.
  • Once again in 2016, Cobourg will participate in the Communities in Bloom contest.
  • The Town’s web site will get a major overhaul – it will include a means of getting feedback from the public.

Although Gil did mention the Strategic plan, he did not mention the Action to implement broadcasting of all Council meetings.  It does not need to wait for the new web site since recording Council sessions is a separate activity and they can then be posted on You-Tube or Vimeo and this can be independent of any web site integration.

Reception Line Town Crier

Ted Amsden Mayor Gil Brocanier

Refreshments and Christmas CakeConcert Band



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