“We met with a lot of people in the industry who were very excited to hear that a city is looking to tackle the issue of how to help isolated seniors stay at home longer through the use of smart technology,” said Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, who spoke along with Councillor Dida Berku and Chriqui. “Côte Saint-Luc has a lot of programs for seniors to help keep them engaged, but the focus of our Smart Cities Challenge proposal is to help those who perhaps we don’t see at our events and who are more isolated.”
Côte Saint-Luc was selected as one of 10 finalists in its category (and one of 20 overall) by the selection committee of the Smart Cities Challenge, a contest created by the Government of Canada. Each finalist community will receive a $250,000 grant to help develop its final proposal that outline all design, planning, privacy, data protection and project management components of their plans. The grant can be used for activities such as staffing, professional services, feasibility assessments, capacity building, pilot projects, community engagement and communications, data, and relevant training.
“The Smart Cities Challenge has given us the opportunity to brainstorm and to exchange in our city new ideas and new ways of doing things,” Councillor Berku said. “As cities, we don’t often get the chance to talk to researchers and people who are involved in seniors issues and really understand what we are trying to accomplish.”
In addition to the Smart City and IoT Expo on October 10, Côte Saint-Luc has also attended the Conference on Caregiving in Montreal on October 13, and held numerous meetings with researchers, people in industry and academia.
The next step is to launch a pilot project with seniors. The city will outfit their homes with sensors and smart devices in order to test and refine the ideas it believes can help isolated seniors live independent lives and stay at home longer. Participants must be age 65 or older, live autonomously, and have little or no caregiver support. To learn more or to participate in the pilot project, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 514-485-6800 ext. 5539.
It is perhaps an understatement to say that the Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club is one well-oiled machine. Under the guidance of one man named Sid and another named Syd over the past decade, this organization has exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Sid Margles started the ball rolling as president for four years, removing the word “Seniors” from the moniker and making this the place to be for a primarily retired crowd of gentlemen. Activities increased significantly and the list of guest speakers climbed to a very high calibre level. The annual gala dinner also became the social event of the season. Syd Kronish picked up where Margles left off. His four year term concluded on May 31 and I was at the Aquatic and Community Centre (ACC) for the installation of his successor, legendary pharmacist Mannie Young.
Mayor Brownstein, myself and Councillor Sidney Benizri congratulate the new slate of officers. (Sid Berns Photo)
Here is a list of the new slate of officers:
1st VICE PRESIDENT
2nd VICE PRESIDENT
The nominating committee recommended that Beryl Peletz, who is retiring as a director, be appointed by the incoming executive to a two-year term as honourary vice-president. Beryl, who is one of my constituents (as are Haltrecht, Hayman, Moscovitch and Kronish), has been married to his Miriam for 67 years.
Mayor Brownstein, Syd Kronish and Mannie Young. (Charles Eklove Photo)
In his farewell address, the ever so charismatic Syd Kronish told a packed room that since assuming the presidency in 2014 he served 1,460 days in office. “I am proud,” he announced, “that we have brought down the average age of this group from 84 to 80.”
Under Syd, the Men’s Club membership doubled from 350 to 700. “More programming was added to keep people busy five days a week,” he said. “We have made this the place to be the day you retire.”
One of Syd’s goals was to have the Premier of Quebec come speak to the Men’s Club. That did occur a year ago at this time when Philippe Couillard accepted the invitation. The original ask had actually been made by Sid Margles. Couillard had acccepted, but had to cancel due to some government business. It was Syd who followed up on the initiative of Sid.
Syd did not leave the stage without thanking his wife of 60 years Elaine for her undying support.
While Syd will remain very active with the Men’s Club, the two of us have met and he will soon undertake a leadership role in District 2.
Good luck to Mannie Young and the new first lady, Charna. I saw Mannie walking down the aisles of IGA today and asked where his Secret Service detail was. He will do a great job!
The 30th anniversary Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club Dinner October 29 at the Gelber Centre was an extraordinary affair, with almost 500 people on hand for an evening of dinner, dancing and awards.
With Joe Presser and Kenny Bessner.
Bravo to co-chairs Joe Presser (District 2 resident) and Kenny Bessner. Men’s Club President Syd Kronish (District 2 resident) will step down from his role next June after four years at the helm, to be succeeded by Mannie Young. It was no coincidence that Young was honoured as the “Man (nie) of the Year.”Membership for the Men’s Club has surpassed 600. The activities they sponsor are never-ending. Liberal Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather handed out Mount Royal 150 Awards, fittingly to Syd Kronish and his predecessor, Sid Margles (District 2 resident).
Anthony Housefather presents medals to Sid Margles and Syd Kronish.
David Haltrecht (District 2 resident) will serve as the acting president of the club this winter while Kronish is in Florida, overseeing activities in the Sunshine State where several gatherings are planned.
David Haltrecht receives his award.
Haltrecht was recognized as well for forming a Drone Club, Computer Club, coordinating current event activities and preparing the weekly newsletter.
Syd Kronish presents a plaque to Mannie Young and as proud Charna looks on.
But this evening belonged to the extraordinary Mannie Young, who spent 50 years as a pharmacist. He retired five years ago from Jean Coutu at the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre. “The secret to life is not to do what you like, but like what you do,” said Young. “I love the Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club. This is the best social club in North America.”
Young got choked up when he brought his wife of 52 years, Charna, to the stage and declared how much he loved her.
With Charna and Mannie Young.
D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum and CSL Mayor Mitchell Brownstein also brought greetings. As per usual, the club recognized members who are over 90 years of age with a giant cake.
Greg Inniss on the keyboard.
Bravo to musician Greg Inniss, who kept the dance floor busy with his catchy tunes on the keyboard.
All members of council were on hand for what was a top-notch evening from start to finish! We may have been tired from our work during advance polling day, but we can always muster up enough energy to take part in such a festive occasion.
Bessner and Presser gave well-deserved thanks to gala committee members Charles Eklove, Syd Birns, Jack Frank, David Gandell, Marvin Hayman, Beryl Peletz, Peter Sternberg, Young and Kronish.
The Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club continues to outdo itself year after year. Now 620 members strong, it welcomes residents age 55 and older. Founded in 1987, the club welcomes local, provincial and national speakers every Thursday morning at 9:30 am. The club also organizes activities like fitness, bowling, bridge, golf, choral and discussion groups.
Syd Kronish sits on the scooter his family donated.
Under the leadership of District 2 resident Syd Kronish for the past three years, the Men’s Club held a gala evening June 27 to benefit Canadian Magen David Adom for Israel (CMDA). Since 1976 CMDA has been the sole authorized fund-raising organization in Canada dedicated to supplying ambulances, medical equipment, supplies and blood testing kits to support the lifesaving efforts of MDA in Israel. All of CMDA's assistance to MDA has been made possible solely through generous donations.
I took the time to congratulate Syd and Elaine Kronish, two of my distinguished constituents.
With its Head of Operations in Montreal and supporting Chapters across the country, CMDA's commitment to this cause runs deep with over 100 dedicated volunteers and a permanent staff of full-time professionals. Our newest city councillor, Sidney Benizri, is the executive director. In addition to providing ongoing support for the people of Israel, CMDA has contributed 20 percent of the funds required to build the national headquarters of MDA's Blood Bank located in the Tel-Ha'shomer complex just outside Tel Aviv, supplied 100 of the 800 ambulances in service today and 25 of the 200 emergency First-Responder Medical Scooters with plans to purchase another eight this year. Two of the Mobile Blood Units and $1.2 million in annual contributions to purchase specialized blood testing kits have all been possible due to your generous donations.
MDA is not a government agency, and therefore,depends heavily on donations, primarily from the Diaspora. In order to continue safeguarding lives in routine times and in times of emergency, MDA requires constant support.
CMDA President Michael Levine, Mayor Brownstein and Mannie Young thank the Spectors for their donation. (Charles Eklove photo)
The event held at the CSL Aquatic and Community Centre began with the announcement that two ambulances and four medical scooters had been donated. More than 400 people attended, raising an incredible $400,000 for CMDA. Some of the proceeds from the event will be used to provide essential medical equipment for MDA Israel paramedics and first responders.
Standard Ambulances were donated by Simon and Fagey Rossdeutscher and Judith and Harry Rossdeutscher in memory of their families who perished in the Holocaust and by Derek and Richard Stern and Families from Olymbec. The Medical Emergency Scooter were purchased by Sheila and Nat Agensky in memory of Brian Agensky, Marion and Lazarus Caplan, Elaine and Syd Kronish/Steven, Etty, Samantha and David Kronish and The Spector Family. Harriet and Harry Fried made a donation towards medical equipment.
Cantor Yossi Pomerantz sings.
Mayor Mitchell Brownstein served as the master of ceremonies for the evening, which featured performances by Cantor Yossi Pomerantz (accompanied by Joseph Milo) and humorist Al Kustanowitz.
“Just having returned from a visit to Israel, where a group of us visited MDA’s Medical Dispatch Center, I can tell all of you that it truly is an amazing organization which responds to all types of emergencies,” Kronish told the audience.
CMDA President Michael Levine also spoke. “The pride we all feel in being part of Magen David Adom exists on so many levels,” he said. “Saving lives, mitigating the suffering of human beings whoever they may be, supporting the 15,000 volunteers and 2,300 employees in Israel that, too often, knowingly put themselves at risk to care for others, and MDA involvement around the world, are just a few. There is so much more.”
The audience was moved by this video of a young boy whose life was saved by MDA
The entertainment was superb. Afterwards, a dessert reception was held in our gym. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to speak to so many of our constituents,
It is pretty rare that we see the Premier of Quebec come to speak in the City of Côte Saint-Luc. But this finally did occur on May 12 as Philippe Couillard addressed a standing room only crowd at our Aquatic and Community Centre on Parkhaven Avenue.
Credit is due to our incredible Men`s Club and of course the Member of the National Assembly, David Birnbaum, who made this happen. As event emcee and District 2 resident Sidney Margles pointed out that when Couillard was just the new Quebec Liberal Party leader he was slated to address this same group at the urging of Birnbaum`s predecessor, Lawrence Bergman. Something came up at the last minute and his appearance had to be cancelled. The Men’s Club has 560 members and counting.
The Premier shakes hands as he enters the room.
This time everything worked out just fine. The Men`s Club began distributing reserved tickets a few weeks ago. When I arrived, there was a strong police presence around the building. Couillard did get to the ACC a little late and like a born campaigner he entered the room by shaking as many hands as possible.
One thing I must say about our Premier, who by profession was a former professor and neurosurgeon. He speaks both languages so beautifully. While many of us are upset with the significant budget cuts we incurred early in the Liberal mandate and the gutting of the health system, Couillard has this audience eating out of his hands from the get go. He began with some humour, alluding to the massive flooding in different parts of Quebec and the fact he decided to visit an aquatic center. He drew applause immediately when he announced “I will do this speech in English so we can all follow.” He also introduced Greg Kelley, son of Native Affairs Minister Geoff Kelley, as his new point person for Quebec's English-speaking community. “Anglophone liaison officer,” is the exact title. I met Kelley after the talk. He’s 31 and presently bunking with his parents in Beaconsfield. He formerly worked in the office of government House Leader Jean-Marc Fournier.
Couillard drew cheers again when he previewed his upcoming trade mission to Israel. “This will be my third trip there. It is the first time a Quebec Premier has gone.” More than 100 Quebec business persons and leaders will accompany him. “Why are we doing this?” Couillard asked rhetorically. “Israel is a start-up nation and an example to follow.”
Couillard mentioned the fact that both Air Canada and Air Transat have direct flights from Montreal to Tel Aviv. He also laughed that when he is in Israel, so will controversial US President Donald Trump.
“Since elected our government is doing exactly like we said we’d do; putting our financial house in order.”
The Premier gave a ringing endorsement for federalism. “Some people are telling me that I cannot be a Quebecer and Canadian. We will stand tall for a strong Quebec within Canada.”
Couillard expressed pride about his government’s job creation program. He also pointed to the investments made at the Jewish General Hospital. “This is a hospital that serves all communities,” he said. “My (late) father was treated there in oncology. So was Mr. Parizeau”
Couillard asked, “How do we build our economy in such an unstable world?” He referred to the three pillars: advance manufacturing, exports and entrepreneurship. “You need a strong educational system to build a proper economy,” he said.
Couillard spoke very excitingly about the planned 67-kilometre, $6 billion electric-train system which will connect downtown Montreal with the South Shore, Deux-Montagnes, the West Island and Trudeau airport. “This will be the equivalent of Expo ’67 in 2017,” he said.
Rather than a straight question and answer period, Margles said that members were asked to submit queries. From the 40 or so obtained, he chose to share a few with the Premier related to assisted living for seniors, the availability of family doctors, special needs children, the sale of marijuana and the Quebec Electoral Commission’s decision to merge the Outremont and Mont Royal ridings and change the boundaries of D’Arcy McGee.
Couillard said that he turns 60 in June so he is sensitive to issues related to seniors. “We are devoting significant dollars to seniors,” he acknowledged. “We have many more doctors than we did before – hundreds of new physicians and they are staying in Quebec.”
As for access to family physicians, Couillard said that right now there are 600,000 people more who have this option compared to 2014.
Turning to the sale of marijuana, which will become legal in Canada in July 2018. “An easy thing for me to say that at first glance I think there is merit to the idea,” said Couillard. “It is now controlled by the black market. There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done. My biggest concern is public health. Smoking pot is probably not good for your lungs. Young people now are smoking a product that is much worse than the hippy days.”
Couillard also wished to clear up a myth that the province is going to make a lot of money on this. “If to price it too high you will send people back to the black market,” he remarked. “If you price it too low, you will increase consumption.”
As reported in The Suburban, Couillard explained that it was decided years ago to enable the independent, non-partisan Quebec Electoral Commission to decide on riding changes "to remove petty politics and partisanship from the issue. The only way for us to act on [riding changes considered to be unjust] is to change the criteria on which the commission bases itself to make decisions, and for this we need to change electoral law. I'm not ruling this out. We're going to have significant discussions. I know legal recourse has been tabled by the community here on this, and people should exercise their rights. That's something that should be done."
Mayor Brownstein concluded proceedings by thanking the Premier for coming to Côte Saint-Luc and particularly the ACC, which the provincial government contributed one-third of the cost.
District 2 resident and noted dentist Dr. Harry Rajchgot will be the guest speaker at the CSL Men's Club on Thursday, January 12 (9:30 am) at the Aquatic and Community Centre on Parkhaven Avenue.
Dr. Rajchgot has practiced full-time in Montreal, both in private practice in NDG and as a staff member of the Montreal Children's Hospital (now part of the MUHC), for over 35 years. For 15 of those years, he was on staff and head of the Dentistry Department at the Mackay Centre for Deaf and Handicapped Children, and has taught in McGill's Dentistry Faculty and in the Dental Hygiene Program of John Abbott College.
It took more than two decades, but Dr. Rajcgot published his first novel, Gravitational Fields, most recently. This is the epic fictional story of a family of Holocaust survivors who, after the war, live first in Israel and later in Montreal. He will be speaking about his book, which he began to write over 20 years ago, after his father's death in 1995, and about his own family's real-life history, their journey from pre-war Poland to Montreal.
I have read the book and frankly could not put it down.
The Côte Saint-Luc Men`s Club sure knows how to throw a party! Their annual gala is always the highlight of the social season for some of our most outgoing senior citizens and the 2016 edition was no exception.
This 29th annual gala was held at the Gelber Conference Centre. It was a sold out affair, with more than 400 people in attendance. District 2 resident Joe Presser served as the gala chairman, working with committee members Nathan Brotman, Kenny Bessner, David Haltrecht, David Gandell, Peter Sternberg, Mannie Young and Syd Kronish. Syd is the Men`s Club president and also a District 2 constituent of mine.
Joe and Isabel Presser.
Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and members of city council were in attendance as was Mount Royal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather and D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum. His predecessor, Lawrence Bergman, was on hand as well. Lawrence maintains a very steady presence at community events. There was entertainment by Greg Innis on the keyboard an magic with Jody M.
I always enjoy this evening, which begins with hors d'oeuvres and continues with a full course dinner, open bar, desserts and some nice presentations. It was nice to see many couples I have known for years. Joe and Isabel Presser, Morris and Essie Liqournick , Bernie and Rhona Rapp, now retired pharmacist (after 60 years) Arnie Smith and wife Francis, Kenny and Rhoda Bessner, Aaron and Esther Spector, Manny and Charna Young, George and Phyllis Nashen, Allen and Shirley Rosen...the list goes on.
This year's Man of The Year was Bill Surkis, the Men's Club vice-president who sadly passed away very suddenly over a week ago. He was 77. Bill enjoyed a distinguished career as a pedagogue, head of the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre and B'nai Brith Canada. He suffered some adversity in recent years and the death of his devoted wife. The Men's Club provided him with an opportunity for a fresh start. Many of his family members were on hand to accept the honour posthumously. Kronish also paid tribute to the late Seymour Kleinberg, a sweetheart of a gentleman and a two-time Mann of the Year, who also passed away recently.
Arnold and Francis Smith
Housefather said that he is so proud of the Men's Club that he spoke about it in the House of Commons. "I sit on the Liberal Party Seniors Committee," he said. "I always use this club as an example of what we should be doing across the country."
Birnbaum made a declaration in the Quebec National Assembly last month. "Aging is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength," he said, quoting legendary feminist leader Betty Friedan. "Together, you have created and sustained a sanctuary for fellowship, debate, exercise - mental and physical - community charity and, ultimately, the meaning and connection that makes life so worth living."
Birnbaum also hinted that he may be bringing Quebec Premier Phillipe Couillard to speak to the Men's Club in the not too distant future.
Manny Young, Peter Sternberg, Jimmy Indig, Ellie Kurtz, Phil Goldberg and Mark Kotler.
The Men's Club honoured three individuals for their contributions: Jimmy Indig, Phil Goldberg and Pat Kutz. Yes Pat is a lady, but for the past decade she has used her talents in calligraphy to make the place cards for guests as successive galas. She was unable to attend, but her sister Ellie Kurtz represented her.
The 90 year old honourees.
There was also the traditional presentation of plaques to members who turned 90 this year: Sam Altman, Arnold Garber, Steven Hopman, Myer Hart, Ben Merson, Max Kalic, Jack Kadaner, Harry Rubenstein, Saul Horowitz, Ruby Frankel, Saul Katz and Norman Hayman.
To conclude the evening, the ever so talented Phil Kurtz presented a beautiful painting to the Men's Club.
Members of Council with Anthony Housefather and David Birnbaum.
Liberal Member of Parliament for Mount Royal Anthony Housefather first got involved in this issue last fall when he was still the mayor of Côte Saint-Luc. Upon being elected to federal office he began working the partners to make this program a reality.
“There are days in people’s lives when you appreciate why you went into public service,” stated Anthony Housefather. “This is one of them. It just like the building next door – the ACC. It shows how three levels of government, a non-profit organization and a health board can create something concrete for our community.”
David Birnbaum repeated the often used phrase, “it takes a village to raise a child.” He went on to say how “in the 21st century it will take an entire community to take care of our seniors.”
Mayor Mitchell Brownstein served as the host for the ceremony. Other speakers include Cummings Centre President Arlene Feigelman, Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg and West-Central Montreal Health Board President and CEO Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg.
Sharing the joy of the seniors and their families.
It was a pleasure to join some of the families who will enjoy this new locale. There were lots of smiles to go around and a nice big chocolate cake shared by all. Congratulations to Cornelia Ziga and her staff at the Parks and Recreation Department for all of the work they did to make this happen. See this CTV report.
Later on the same day MNA Birnbaum welcomed the recent injection of $22.2 million to support the autonomy of seniors across Québec. The announcement by Health Minister Gaétan Barrette will support services aimed at helping seniors remain at home as long as possible.
‘’As the MNA for a riding with the largest proportion of seniors in Québec, I am particularly encouraged to know that our government is increasing its investments in seniors’ autonomy,” Birnbaum noted. “Since our government was elected in April 2014, we have invested close to $138 million in home-care support. ’’
This increased aid will be designated to domestic-help services delivered by social-economy enterprises and cooperatives. The beneficiaries will be seniors and the caregivers. The anticipated increase represents approximately 600 000 additional hours for services such as for house-cleaning, preparation of meals, errands and clothes-cleaning. One such domestic-help social economy to be touched by the measure is Clean Sweepers - Coup de balai, Inc., located in the D’Arcy-McGee riding. Clean Sweepers’ mission is to provide quality domestic aid services and create sustainable employment. “This is a good step forward, one that will make our services more accessible,” said Director Bruce Cameron. Clean Sweepers is located on Queen-Mary Road. Those seniors that are not currently receiving hours from their CLSC can directly contact Clean Sweepers at 514-484-4266 to arrange for services to be provided.
Less than a year after we were notified about the planned closure of Manoire Montefiore, an upscale private kosher seniors' residence on Mackle and Cavendish in Côte Saint-Luc, comes the stunning news that the Castel Royal Retirement residence will suffer the same fate.
Residents and their families were told today by officials fromChartwell Retirement Residences that the 250-suite retirement home located at 5740 Cavendish Boulevard will cease operation effective May 3, 2017. This affects approximately 157 residents and 75 employees. It is too early to speculate what the building will be used for in the future.
"We bought this site in 2006 and continued to invest in it over the last decade in the hopes of offering high quality and respectful Jewish retirement living to the seniors of Côte Saint-Luc," wrote Karen Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer, Chartwell Retirement Residences. "However, over time, and despite significant investments in capital initiatives, we have continued to be plagued by a number of major maintenance issues in this building, from ongoing plumbing and water pipe issues that frequently cause flooding and water damage, to aged ventilation, elevator and electrical systems that have frequent break-downs and that we struggle to find replacement parts for."
Ms. Sullivan said that Chartwell deeply regrets the impact of this decision to the residents, their loved ones and their staff. She said they will be working with all impacted individuals to support and assist them through this transition. Every effort will be undertaken to assist residents with their move to the retirement residence of their choice, including nearby Jewish retirement residences, and all moving details, from locating an alternate residence, to packing and unpacking as well as transportation of personal items, will be managed by a reputable seniors relocation company at no cost. Staff will also be supported with this transition with fair severance packages consistent with union agreements and years of service as well as the possibility of transfer to alternate Chartwell residences.
We appreciate the fact that Chartwell is providing this one year's notice. But it is very sad for the residents, staff and our community.
Jonathan and an enthusiastic resident. (Photos by Jeffrey May)
During his 60 minute show, Jonathan Levey demonstrated the power of the mind, reading the thoughts and images “locked” in the minds of his audience, determining with high accuracy if people were telling a lie or a truth, perceiving personal objects held between his hands while his eyes were shut tight by bandages and a steel blindfold. Volunteers also had opportunities to test their own sensitivity on stage during several “experiments.”
Wearing a stainless steel blindfold, Jonathan demonstrates his mind-boggling abilities. With the help of an enthused volunteer, he determines the type of objects being held out… in this case, a wooden cane
This was Jonathan’s second visit to this wonderful residence and he was delighted to find these residents just as warm and responsive as the first time.