Drug trafficking suspect ran Oshawa’s CAMP meal provider, city councillor claims

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Published May 7, 2024 at 2:12 pm

An Oshawa City Councillor says a man charged in a nearly half-a-million dollar drug trafficking case last week is the same man who helped run the CAMP meal program at the Midtown Mall two years ago, and his involvement now linked to the project’s downfall.

On May 3, Durham Police alleged they seized $480,000 worth of cocaine, methamphetamine and opiates from a home near Glen Street and Porter Street. The intersection sits between Oshawa Creek and Park Road by the GM plant.

Raymond Bond, 48, of Oshawa, was charged with five drug trafficking offences and selling unmarked cigarettes.

Later that day, Councillor Derek Giberson took to Facebook to link Bond to Oshawa’s CAMP, the Community Assisted Meal Program, which once sat in the Midtown Mall parking lot.

CAMP distributed meals to the city’s homeless and working poor. It initially operated out of Memorial Park for six years but was permitted to operate at Midtown in 2021. The site served lunch for 90 minutes a day, every day, at no charge to the taxpayer.

In the spring of 2022, CAMP required a permit extension to remain at the site. However, repeated attempts to get a new permit were defeated despite nearly a dozen delegates coming out in support.

At the time, Bond, as a delegate, said, “We’re here fighting for the honour to serve our community. We ask that we be allowed to continue our work without any more interference.”

Giberson, usually a champion of initiative for those in need and former president of the Back Door Mission, shocked many when he voted against the CAMP permit extension. Ultimately, the extension was defeated 7-4.

Following Bond’s arrest, Giberson wrote that Bond’s reputation played a major part in his decision to vote against the CAMP extension.

“Today is a day of vindication to all of us who knew, who were close enough to the community to know the real happenings, but weren’t listened to when we warned others. Now you know,” he said on Facebook.

He also said Bond’s involvement was a major reason he voted against a permanent memorial for people who had been killed by addiction and poverty in the city. Previously, an unofficial memorial stood at the Pepper Patch, a community garden near Lakeridge Health Oshawa.

We Grow Food, which operates the Pepper Patch, allowed the structure. However, the land is leased from the city, which ordered the memorial destroyed as it contravened by-laws.

Following the destruction, there was a community push to build a permanent location. However, this was defeated, according to Giberson, due to Bond’s involvement.

“Remember in the last Council term, when I moved a motion at committee to remove this guy’s request for a memorial for people who have died of overdoses?’ No? Of course, you wouldn’t because I didn’t announce it on Facebook for lots of reasons, but there was no way, on my watch, that his name would be attached to such a thing. Now you know,” he wrote.

Additionally, Giberson alleged Bond campaigned “against the life-saving work at the Back Door Mission, openly stated that he told people struggling with addictions not to go there, openly advocated against harm reduction approaches and openly talked about how his methods were better.”

The Mission has operated out of the Simcoe Street United Church since 1998, providing food, clothing, rest areas, showers and clean needles since 1998. While it started small it has since grown to become a central piece of Oshawa’s poverty support system. 

The allegations against Bond have not been proven in court. He has not replied to a request for comment.

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