Spotlight on  Côte Saint-Luc Merchants:  David Banon and Sarah Ettedgui from Pharmaprix Cavendish

The City of Côte Saint-Luc, via our newly established Local Commerce Committee, is pleased to announce the first Spotlight on Local Merchants selection,  Pharmacy D.Banon and S.R. Ettedgui affiliated with Pharmaprix, owned by pharmacists David Banon and Sarah Ettedgui. I am proud to gave been asked to chair this new initiative.

 From the time David and Sarah purchased the pharmacy at Cavendish in 2010, and at the time the one at the Caldwell Shopping Centre, they have been model owners and implicated in our community. They have stepped forward to sponsor many of our programs and always make themselves available to counsel clients when needed.

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I was pleased to present Sarah and David with their certificate this week.

 

“David and Sarah are model business owners in our city and very worthy of this recognition” added Mayor Mitchell Brownstein.

David and Sarah are partners in life and business. They met at pharmacy school and have been married for 13 years. The couple have three young children.

 “Being implicated in the community has always been important for both of us, even before becoming pharmacists, be it at our synagogue or volunteering with various local organizations,” said David.  “Of course, becoming owners of such a community-based pharmacy has certainly allowed us to further help out and create bonds with other members in the community who run amazing initiatives.”

Sarah notes how proud they are to be part of  initiatives related to the likes of  the Nellie Philanthropy Foundation, the Mada Community Centre, Canada Day, the CSL Men's Club and the CSL Public Library, just to name a few. “Community for us also means that our clients know our names and feel comfortable reaching out with questions or concerns and vice versa that we really know them and their needs as well,” she said.

David and Sarah are particularly proud of the work their dedicated staff of 80 people do every day. notably throughout the pandemic.  “This has been challenging for I’d say every profession,” says David. “As pharmacists during the pandemic we became the ‘go to’ for a lot of people. We were given more responsibilities by our order in terms of extending prescriptions, prescribing in certain circumstances medications and modifying doses along with vaccinating for flu and eventually against COVID-19 - all of this on top of our regular day to day job of verifying regular prescriptions and answering patient questions. “

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Sarah and David unmasked.

Added Sarah: “It is nice to have our capabilities as a health professional recognized. This came   at a very busy time trying to offer everything demanded of us while also having to, in the flip of a switch, learn and implement safety protocols at work, learn to work with masks and sometimes double masks, communicate through plexiglass and balance work home life. However, we did it and continue to do so daily thanks to an incredible pharmacy team and front store staff and I think any pharmacy owner can truly say that we are surviving this pandemic thanks to our teams that work tirelessly behind us.” 

 Sarah grew up in Côte-Saint-Luc and attended Hebrew Academy for elementary and high school. She went into health sciences at Dawson College, completed a Bachelor in Microbiology and Immunology from McGill University prior to entering Pharmacy School at Université de Montreal.  As a pharmacy student she worked at the Lackman and Masella pharmacy on Westminster Avenue. 

David   grew up  Saint-Laurent, went  to École Maimonide for elementary and high school.  He enrolled into Health Sciences at College Bois-de-Boulogne and also attended pharmacy school at Université de Montreal. At that time, he worked as a student at the Pharmaprix Cavendish, then owned by Valerie Rouimi.  He also completed a Masters in Hospital Pharmacy and worked for three years as a hospital pharmacist at the Jewish General Hospital from 2006 to 2009. 

How did David and Sarah decide to become pharmacists?

“A chemistry teacher in CEGEP approached me and suggested I should visit a pharmacy,” David recalls. “At that time, I had no clue what a pharmacist was really doing. After a short visit at a local pharmacy, I took the decision to apply into pharmacy school.”

Sarah started working at the pharmacy at Mount Sinai Hospital during her undergrad at McGill. “I learned a lot about the profession from the pharmacists, “she said. “It was working alongside   the stagiaire students I met who inspired me to pursue a career in pharmacy.”

About the Local Commerce Committee

The Local Commerce Committee will advise or make recommendations, where necessary, to the Council on all aspects related to Local Commerce and economic development, and will fulfill the following mandates:

  • Develop relationships with local merchants to understand their needs.
  • Create up-to-date database of local business operators, kept current by operating licenses.
  • Promote local merchants and local shopping activity.
  • Help connect local merchants to resources, funding, tools and training.
  • Create internal policies that encourage ordering from local businesses.
  • Plan for mixed use developments where people can live, work, and shop.
  • Zone strategically for certain uses.
  • Encourage businesses to set up shop on our territory.
  • Help create an environment where businesses can flourish.
  • Help establish a Merchants’ Association.
  • Provide incentives, breaks and/or grants

We will certainly be looking for public input on this committee. Our Associate City Manager Tanya Abramovitch, Treasurer Angelo Marino,  Deputy Mayor Dida Berku, General Counsel  and Director of Purchasing Andrea Charon, Director of Public Affairs and Communications Darryl Levine and  Executive Assistant to the Mayor and City Manager Tammy McEwen are on the committee.


Hydro Québec work scheduled for January 13 will impact 450 users

Hydro-Québec is planning a scheduled service interruption on Thursday,  January 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Merrimac, Kildare and Marc Chagall sectors. If you did not receive a robocall, you are not affected.

"This work, which we regrettably cancelled in December, is critical and complex'" Hydro officials shared with me. "While many options were considered to minimize the impact of the interruption while the pandemic is ongoing, the only solution was really to carry out the work during the day maximizing the effectiveness of the manpower available. We are very sorry for the inconvenience this will cause."

 

Hydro

I spent the better part of the week, backed by city officials, trying to get this job moved to overnight. Our local Hydro contact did her best on the file, but it was just not possible. Coming at a time when we are in a pandemic, with people working from home and students attending class online, this is beyond a major inconvenience. I recommend everyone charge their devices and chargers and download what you can to your devices.

Below are the addresses affected:

Tableau d'adresses_IP_2022-01-13 (002) (1)

Hydro officials emphasize that this work needs to be done as soon as possible to ensure the quality and stability of the power supply:

· It will require more than 20 people from Hydro-Québec, as well as workers from external firms.

· Three electric transformers need to be changed with interrupters, pumps, etc., requiring the usage of a crane and bucket trucks.

· More importantly, it will prevent outages in the future that could last 24 hours like the one in November and affect many more customers without notice.

Hydro is working in collaboration with the city to mitigate the impact of this service interruption and accelerate the work as much as possible. Also note that should an unforeseen event prevent the work to be done on January 13, the job will be postponed to January 18. Hydro will notify users as soon as possible if a postponement needs to occur.

For information  log on to: https://poweroutages.hydroquebec.com/poweroutages

Customer service: 514 385-7252


Here is my 2021 CSL District 2 Year In Review

For the past 16 years I have measured my life in elections. Wow, how quickly a four-year mandate comes and goes!

I was first elected in 2005 as the city councillor for District 2. Twice I faced opponents and three times I was acclaimed, most recently on October 1. A huge thanks to my father-in-law Reuben Spector, who has served as my campaign manager for all five elections. Without the support of my wife, daughter, mother-in-law, my mom and my late father, none of this would have been possible.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020 and simply did not go away, I wondered how we would even manage to hold an election.  But life has gone on with new precautions. I personally started my re-election efforts in the summer of 2020 when I decided to walk the entire district at least five days a week with business cards and a pen and paper in hand. This included regular stops at the well-utilized Rembrandt Park and engaging in dialogue with every person I met, be it someone walking by or sitting on their balcony. I took note of potholes, damaged sidewalks, lights that did not work and speeding vehicles.

MikeandMayor
With Mayor Brownstein.

 

I also turned to Zoom, creating my own District Advisory Council with reps from all buildings and streets. It proved to be an excellent exchange of information. I write this blog, host a podcast and have multiple Facebook pages.

Council meetings and committees moved to Zoom and while we will go back in public soon, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and our council led the way in COVID-19 safeguards. Our online meetings resulted in more citizens following our activities. With the new Omicron variant and COVID cases skyrocketing, I do not see in-person meetings resuming anytime soon.

I formally launched my 2021 re-election campaign last June, with a committee in place. While I stepped up my walkabouts, door to door began after Labour Day with visits to homes and some meet and greets at apartment and condo buildings.  The message was loud and clear: please do not come walking down our hallways during a pandemic.

It has been my adage that a city councillor should always be in election mode, responding to every inquiry regardless of when the next vote may be. When I got calls at midnight on a freezing winter night that a new high rise had its generator making so much noise people could not sleep, I got dressed, drove over and recorded a YouTube video. That was sent to the building owners and our inspectors at City Hall. Action was taken.

I am honoured to have been acclaimed again this year. It is my sincere hope that the efforts I make during my our next 48 months in office contribute to that. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein has assigned me the following portfolios for this mandate: Communications, Toponomy (naming of streets, parks, districts etc.), Local Commerce, Library  and Culture and Animal Protection.

Here is look back on 2021.

Rembrandt Park Basketball Courts

In the company of Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, members of city council and staff, I was proud to preside over the formal launch of the refurbished Rembrandt Park basketball courts in October. Besides the main court, we also built a half court for younger children. This is a beautiful and popular facility, which, also features two tennis courts, a soccer field, a playground, a permanent ping pong table, a water spray area, a chalet for art classes, an area for Israeli dancing in the summer, various hills and numerous picnic tables and benches.

 

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The existing court was in poor condition and in dire need of repairs. Among the selected new equipment are the basketball poles, backboards, front mounted rims basketball nets and players benches. Crews removed the existing cracked asphalt and installed six inches of MG-20 crushed stone to maintain a slop of one percent for better drainage. There was new asphalt installed, as well as two coats of colourful epoxy paint acrylic surface, a new 30-foot light projector with two LED fixtures and new grass (SOD) around the perimeter of the basketball court. Both the refurbished courts and the half court have been hugely popular since work was completed in August. A big thanks to Dalia Mohamed, our lead engineer on the project.

Another effort to make Rembrandt Park more handicapped accessible

Last summer I was contacted by a constituent on Rembrandt Avenue. Her husband is an amputee in a wheelchair. She told me that there was a problem leading into the park as the unipave bricks were not even and they had a difficulty getting from the sidewalk into the park and leaving. Compounding issues, the wife just had hip surgery, so she was using a walker and managing the bumpy bricks was beyond problematic.  She asked if our Public Works team could smooth out the bricks. "Because of the wheelchair we can't use our balcony, so going to the park is our outing for fresh air," she said. I want to thank our Public Works team for immediately assessing the situation. It was determined that the problematic path be adjusted with new asphalt as there would be too many bricks to replace. Soon after they completed the work.

Electric scooters   banned in our parks following incidents at Rembrandt last summer

 In 2020 some parents presented a petition to me out of concern over the dangers of reckless scooter drivers at Rembrandt Park. I took the matter to City Hall, where our senior legal official and City Manager Jonathan Shecter and Director of Public Safety Philip Chateauvert examined the request and began the process of banning such scooters at any parks. In fact, the by-law adopted at our Monday, February 9, 2021 Council meeting went much further. It is now law in Côte Saint-Luc that scooter-style electric bicycles are included in the list of vehicles prohibited by Section 5.7 of the Nuisance By-law (2470), primarily   because of the danger related to the considerable speed they can reach (+30km/h).  The speed and weight of this type of bike significantly increases the risk of serious injury. Our second piece of legislation is to include a section prohibiting driving and/or reckless or dangerous use or use that puts the safety of others at risk, regardless of the type of vehicle. This section now covers all means of transportation whether electric or not. We believe that no one should be allowed to use a skateboard, bicycle or any other means of transportation in ways that put the safety of other users of the park at risk. The motion was adopted unanimously, and I am pleased to say that over the summer I saw Public Security enforce this by-law multiple times. In fact, I even did so myself.

An Outdoor Rink

In 2021 we also debuted the first ever skating rink at Rembrandt Park. It was in one of the tennis courts. Families and young children really enjoyed this new edition.

 

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Repaved Pathway

When I started my re-election campaign last summer, a few people who regularly use the pathway from the end of Rembrandt Avenue to Cavendish Boulevard asked if it could be repaved. I met with Gordon Aizer and Chris Wilds from the Villas Merrimac Condominium Association in August and we took a proper walk through. There were several potholes. Rembrandt Avenue resident Meyer Freed also called, concerned about the water buildup in those sections when it rained. I consulted with our Public Works Department. Given the fact this was late in the season, they promised to look at some patch up work. I stressed the importance of making this as walkable as possible and they found a way to repave virtually the entire strip. Thanks to Operations Head John Monteiro and his entire team!

 

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Restoring the Marc Chagall Greenspace

The owners of the Equinoxe apartment buildings failed to live up to the terms of the lease they signed to use a large greenspace on Marc Chagall Avenue as a parking lot for construction workers for a period of three years. The understanding was that the company would return that land in the precise form that they found it. Regrettably this did not occur. In the fall of 2020, the company cleared the sand and gravel, but when spring came the grass was not growing. Our legal team had them come do the work a second time and once again it did not take.  They made two more tries, including having an employee spend a few days literally picking up every rock he could find and placing them in buckets.  Our legal team intervened and in October we took over the project. The contractor we hired removed the entire existing top layer of space, added a new layer of proper soil and then hydro seeding and new sod and watered it for a few weeks.  The grass was still growing as late as November so we will follow this closely in the spring and make any adjustments necessary. We also created a new pathway with benches and picnic tables with backs. As well, new trees will be planted on the grounds.


Isadore Goldberg Park

A new paved walkway now exists on Marc Chagall Avenue leading to Isadore Goldberg Park. This was never accessible to anyone other than for the Kildare Road and Sir Walter Scott Avenue residents. We   planted new trees and flowerbeds, removed heavy bushes, installed new lighting and added new park equipment.

Traffic on Marc Chagall

Last winter I worked regularly with the Traffic Committee to try and come up with solutions to deal with actions of speeding on Marc Chagall. Last summer we introduced a new 30 km/h speed zone and at the curb, between the Marquise and the Bellagio, two bump-out sidewalks. By reducing the width of the street and the length people have to walk, it will be a safer area. We also have a crosswalk and illuminated signage.  I wish to add that for quite some time residents have been asking us to come up with new measures to deal with speeding vehicles.   I   personally   monitored this, and vehicles did indeed reduce their speed.   We also added a sign that measures the speed vehicles are going.

 

JanineMyra
Janine West and Myra Shuster.

 

Monarch Butterfly Program

The Monarch Butterfly is a pollinator and vital contributor to our ecosystem’s health and survival. However, the population has plummeted in recent years by more than 80 percent and they depend upon milkweed in order to lay their eggs and feed the larvae. With their breeding habitat on the decline, the David Suzuki Foundation is spearheading an initiative to help restore the Monarch Butterfly’s habitat by educating the public to its importance and by encouraging the planting of milkweed. They are doing this by encouraging mayors of North American cities to adopt the Mayor’s pledge and to become a “Butterfly-Friendly City.”  To date over 340 mayors across North America have done so. Last September, Côte Saint-Luc became the 75th city in Quebec to be certified as a Butterfly-Friendly City. The request to be part of the David Suzuki Foundation initiative to save the Monarch Butterfly and its habitat came from District 2 resident Myra Shuster, who had brought the matter  to my attention. I submitted the application, committing to the city to follow through with at least 15 action items out of 24 possibilities, earning us a silver designation. A huge thanks to Director of Library Services Janine West, who called me the moment she heard about this initiative. She and Myra had previously worked together, so it was a perfect match. Janine and Myra have already formed a committee and set up shop in Ashkelon Gardens behind the library. Janine has also added a pedagogical component to the program, with events like Monarch Butterfly Storytime for kids three and up.

6700 Avenue apartment   expands commercial use on ground floor

When the 6700 Avenue residential apartment building was constructed as part of the redevelopment of the Quartier Cavendish area, the original zoning allowed for commercial space to be rented on the ground floor. The Mayor and City Council have dreamed from the start for The Avenue to become Côte Saint-Luc’s version of Monkland Avenue in NDG. Regrettably, on the Quartier Cavendish side, both Yeh Yogurt and a café were unable to make a go of it. Ownership of 6700 Avenue changed hands in the last two years. The new company in charge did an extraordinary job beautifying the entire property and they made it clear to me that their preference is to convert the ground floor to strictly residential. I for one supported them with this request, but with a major redevelopment of Quartier Cavendish on the horizon the Mayor and Council want to keep the dream of a Monkland Avenue alive. In order to assist the new owners, Council   allowed them to widen their search for commercial tenants. On Wed. June 24 we launched a 15-day write-in consultation period. Subsequently, I held a virtual information meeting about the proposal. Our Urban Planning Coordinator Melanie Rothpan and Sylvain Gariepy, a consultant on the project, were available to explain the changes and respond to questions.

 

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The following uses are prohibited: childcare services in a nursery, day-care facility or a kindergarten as well as   pet shops and veterinary clinics. What would be allowed? Offices of professionals, medical clinics, fabric stores, coffee shops, convenience stores and pharmacies. The latter is not necessary when we already have one of the best pharmacies in the city thanks to David Banon and Sarah Ettedgui at Pharmaprix.  Harvey and Michael Wolfe, co-owners of Quartier Cavendish, as well as André Doudak representing 6700 Avenue, were part of the virtual meeting. We approved the move and 6700 The Avenue will welcome a storefont business likely by the spring.

Changes to Come

In early 2022 Quartier Cavendish will formally propose a large-scale mixed-use redevelopment with residential and commercial space. That process will also involve Decarie Square and the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre. 

The Ashkelon Woodlands

The management of the Ashkelon woodlands, behind City Hall and near Cambridge Courts, has been underway since 2018, with the felling of hazardous trees, followed by understory vegetation treatment (primarily buckthorn) and revegetation of indigenous species. All hazardous trees have been dealt with, and the primary focus going forward is the understory management comprised of buckthorn treatment and plantations. There was a clear need in 2019 to cut down many dead and diseased trees. A total of 20,000 stems of buckthorn were removed.   We had the area inspected and undertook prunings.  

Train Noise

 During my 16 years on council, and well before that, meetings between the city and Canadian Pacific over train noise have been quite common.   Residents of Merrimac, Baily Road and parts of Hampstead have been repeatedly woken up at the ungodly hours near 3 am during certain periods each year. This has impacted constituents of myself and Councillor Dida Berku. In meetings we reminded CP officials that the last time the noise was this bad in 2017, CP put a stop to it.  Resident Charles Guerin   collected written complaints from people, and we presented these to them. This remains a continuous file. Sadly, our noise bylaw does not impact CP so we must continue to apply pressure.

 

SnowdumpIcebreaking

 Improvements made to reduce noise emanating from the snow dump

There was shortage of snow last winter and that meant a lot of activity in our snow dump on Marc Chagall Avenue. I want to thank our Public Works team, notably Director Beatrice Newman and Manager of Operations John Monteiro for taking numerous actions to try and curtail noise from the snow dump. Over the last two years we have implemented several changes to reduce the noise emanating from the snow dump.   There are large signs posted at the entrance/exit to the snow dump advising truckers that banging the rear truck gate is strictly prohibited. These signs did not exist in the past. The snow wall along Marc Chagall has been increased in height to reduce the sound traveling towards the town houses to the west. In the past the wall was constructed only using the bulldozers. Last year a large shovel was used to build the wall that is 50 percent higher. The bulldozer operators were advised to no longer drop the blade onto the ground creating a thumping noise. Previously the bulldozer operators would drop the plow in one swift action. Now they drop the blade halfway before allowing the blade to drop onto the ground reducing the loud thump.  Finally, the monitors have always been instructed to advise the drivers who bang their truck gates that this will not be tolerated. Now they also make a note of the truck and if this is a recurring problem, we advise the contractor that the driver is banned from entering the snow dump.

While the complaints are minimal, I have always believed if even one person is disturbed then I would act. I gathered a few of the concerned individuals with Ms. Newman, Mr. Monteiro and Mayor Mitchell Brownstein. “This is a snow dump,” Ms. Newman began.  “Although we try to reduce the noise, it doesn’t always happen big trucks, 10 tons of snow in each truck and pushing tons of snow uphill with a bulldozer.” The tailgate noise may occur, but it’s important to remember that this level of noise has dramatically dropped

 Hydro-Québec’s planned major electrical system upgrade

 District 2   will be part a major electrical system upgrade of the Hydro-Québec network. Work will occur between 2023 and 2026 and impact homes on Merrimac Road, Marc Chagall Avenue as well as Bialik High School. Hydro will be converting three 120-kV substations to 315 kV. This includes the Hampstead substation (in Côte Saint-Luc) and rebuilding the 120-kV Aqueduc-Saraguay overhead transmission line at 315 kV over a span of 18 km between LaSalle and Saint-Laurent. Known as the Aqueduc-Saraguay project, the cost is estimated at over $500 million. The project involves replacing aging equipment, maintaining the system’s reliability, meeting future electricity needs and supporting economic development. Both Hydro and Côte Saint-Luc did a study related to what the level of Electromagnetic fields (EMF) will be, that being a combination of invisible electric and magnetic fields of force. They occur both naturally and due to human activity.  Hydro’s study showed that the EMF’s will be within the norms. Our investigation confirmed that.  There are valid reasons for this work. Despite the fact people are becoming more energy efficient, power consumption is up, and more people are purchasing electric cars. In District 2 alone we just added two large Equinoxe towers. Not far off, the former Blue Bonnets Raceway will become the base to some 5,000 housing units.

A joint working committee of representatives from Hydro-Québec, the City of Côte Saint-Luc and a few members of the public started work January 27, 2020 to address public concerns about the Aqueduc-Saraguay project.   The committee’s mandate was to review how Hydro-Québec can implement the project in Côte Saint-Luc while minimizing its impact. For example, the committee is to assess how greenspaces can be enhanced. There will be as many as  12 towers constructed in Côte Saint-Luc and this entire project will take over a decade to complete. We also have questions about noise and public safety we need answered. The feedback from our committee resulted in Hydro going back to re-evaluate certain problematic aspects of the project. We expect some news from them soon.

Another Hydro project which directly impacts the upgrading of wiring at the Meadows has been delayed for several years because it involves the exchange of certain servitudes. The Meadows did have some say in that matter, but keep in mind that the condo property is supported by very old equipment and we may pay the price for this.

Cat_MicrochipWhy microchipping your dog or cat is mandatory  and important!

Microchipping dogs and cats became mandatory in Montreal and Laval last January. The law also applies to Côte Saint-Luc and we decided to give pet owners more than a year's grace, but that time is now over. Starting April 6, 2021, all Côte Saint-Luc cats and dogs over six months of age had to be microchipped. A proof of microchipping will be asked when you renew your annual dog or cat tag. A microchip is computer chip, the size of a grain of rice, with a serial number associated with the owner’s contact details. It is inserted, by a veterinarian, under the skin of the animal. A microchip makes it possible to identify a lost animal and quickly find its owner. The device cannot be lost and accompanies your pet throughout its life. Dog and cat ownership information is accessible to veterinarians. This avoids overloading shelters and most importantly carrying out avoidable euthanasia. You can get your pet microchipped at your local veterinarian or at the SPCA. All of my cats have been microchipped. My 12 year old  Cleopatra never goes outside. But we worry heaven forbid if she ever escaped (when I open the sliding door for the barbeque she heads in the opposite direction) what would happen? I hope to never find out, but a microchip is a vital purchase if you love your pet. We have all heard stories about dogs breaking lose from a backyard or off a leash. You have to be a pet owner to understand this. Our dogs and cats are family. We care about them, well at least I do, like they are your own flesh and blood. So please, adhere to this new regulation!

DOgPark

Dog Owners

Just over four years ago I was completing my door to door campaign for the 2017 elections, with a pledge to create a Côte Saint-Luc Dog Owners Committee and allow dogs in parks. It was mission accomplished on both counts. Jonathan Goldman, Anna Marie Katz and Tamar Hertz (representing non-dog owners) were among those who stepped up. Jonathan and Anna paid special attention to our two dog runs, notably the one on Mackle Road. One idea I had was to create a system of special reps in each district. These individuals would serve as our eyes and ears, taking note of any developments and spreading the word on our mandate to other dog owners. We just needed someone to steer that ship. In recent months a leader surfaced in Sivan Rehan, who just happens to be the wife of Jonathan Goldman. We recently declared November as Scoop the Poop Month.

Illegal Animal Traps

 Last summer a skunk was spotted caught and suffering in an illegal trap on Castlewood Avenue in Côte Saint-Luc. It seems the animal had walked quite the distance, attached to this trap. Someone came by, released it and saved the animal’s life. Now we may not be particularly fond of skunks, notably for the noxious smell of their spray. But they are living, breathing creatures.   An outdoor cat or a dog off leash could have easily been injured or killed from such a trap. We never did find the perpetrator, but as the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection I am working with our Public Safety Department on the issue. Director Philip Chateauvert and Division Chief Jean-Marc Dubois have been very helpful. If our agents happen to cross one of these illegal traps, they can apply By-Law 2470 (Nuisance), Article 8.2: Trapping, capturing, disturbing, injuring or killing wild animals, unless certified to do so by the Ministère des forêts, de la faune et des parcs du Québec. It carries a $100 fine for physical person and $200 for a moral entity. Had someone known the identity of the person who put out the trap, we could not only fine them, but have the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec assign an agent to investigate. The fines they issue are far higher. I ask all citizens to be on the lookout for these traps and advise Public Safety at 514-485-6960.

Cats Committee

Our CSL Cats Committee continued its mandate of Trap, Neuter, Release and Adopt. Our all-volunteer committee, headed by Diane Liebling, continued to rescue felines. We have people fostering cats until homes are found for them as well as feeders for outdoor homeless cats.  Our annual fundraising concert has been cancelled two years in a row due to the pandemic but replaced by a very successful raffle.

 

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Harvey Levine

 

In Memoriam

 I was deeply saddened to share the news that Harvey Levine, longtime CSL resident and the director of B'nai Brith Canada in Quebec, lost his battle with cancer in May. Harvey was the brother of former CSL City Councillor Allan J. Levine and an extraordinary individual whom I am proud to say I had a very close relationship with, notably via his role with B'nai Brith.

The community mourned the passing of Miriam Lang, the longtime first lady of Côte Saint-Luc. Her late husband, Bernard Lang, served Côte Saint-Luc as mayor and a member of city council for 35 years. He passed away in 2014. The couple were married for 65 years. In her own right, Miriam Lang was an active figure in our community. 

In my 16 years as a city councillor, I have met few constituents like Steve Acre. He was that special kind of human being who would call and e-mail me so often with concerns and suggestions, that when that communication stopped most recently, I started to worry. Last April   Steve passed away. He was an unequivocal supporter of mine, providing unsolicited donations to my election campaigns. Almost four years ago, right after sitting shiva for his dear wife, he withstood a long lineup at advanced polls to vote for me. Steve loved surfing the internet and he would regularly sound out mass e-mails to all his friends on a wide variety of topics. He served on my District Advisory Council and attended meetings with great enthusiasm, always voicing his opinion. I credit Steve for pushing me on traffic measures we took with the lights at Cavendish and Kildare and the new stop sign we installed at Rembrandt and Kildare just less than three years ago

District 2 encompasses Merrimac, Rembrandt., Kildare  (between Marc Chagall and Honoré Balzac), Sir Walter Scott,  Ilan Ramon, Marc Chagall, Mackle  (between Cavendish and Brandeis),  Quartier Cavendish Mall, Cavendish (Le Montefiore, Manoir Camelia, L’Excelsior), The Avenue,  Jubilee, Park Place, Honoré-de-Balzac..

Bilan de l'année 2021


Au cours des 16 dernières années, j'ai mesuré ma vie en termes d'élections. C'est fou ce qu'un mandat de quatre ans passe vite.
J'ai été élu pour la première fois en 2005 en tant que conseiller municipal du district 2. Par deux fois, j'ai affronté des adversaires et par trois fois, j'ai été élu par acclamation, la dernière fois le 1er octobre. Un grand merci à mon beau-père Reuben Spector, qui a été mon directeur de campagne lors des cinq élections. Sans le soutien de ma femme, de ma fille, de ma belle-mère, de ma mère et de mon défunt père, rien de tout cela n'aurait été possible.


Lorsque la pandémie de COVID-19 a frappé en mars 2020 et n'a tout simplement pas disparu, je me suis demandé comment nous pourrions même réussir à organiser une élection. Mais la vie a continué avec de nouvelles précautions. J'ai personnellement commencé mes efforts de réélection à l'été 2020 lorsque j'ai décidé de marcher dans tout le district au moins cinq jours par semaine avec des cartes de visite et un stylo et du papier à la main. Cela incluait des arrêts réguliers au parc Rembrandt, très utilisé, et l'engagement d'un dialogue avec chaque personne que je rencontrais, qu'il s'agisse d'un passant ou d'une personne assise sur son balcon. J'ai pris note des nids de poule, des trottoirs endommagés, des feux qui ne fonctionnent pas et des véhicules qui roulent vite.


Je me suis également tournée vers Zoom, en créant mon propre conseil consultatif de quartier avec des représentants de tous les bâtiments et de toutes les rues. Cela s'est avéré être un excellent échange d'informations. J'écris ce blog, j'anime un podcast et j'ai plusieurs pages Facebook.
Les réunions du conseil et des comités sont passées à Zoom et, même si nous reviendrons bientôt en public, le maire Mitchell Brownstein et notre conseil ont montré la voie en matière de garanties COVID-19. Nos réunions en ligne ont permis à davantage de citoyens de suivre nos activités. Avec la nouvelle variante d'Omicron et la montée en flèche des cas de COVID, je ne vois pas les réunions en personne reprendre de sitôt.
J'ai officiellement lancé ma campagne de réélection pour 2021 en juin dernier, avec un comité en place. Alors que j'ai intensifié mes marches, le porte-à-porte a commencé après la fête du travail avec des visites à domicile et quelques rencontres dans des immeubles d'appartements et de copropriétés. Le message était fort et clair : s'il vous plaît, ne venez pas marcher dans nos couloirs pendant une pandémie.


Selon mon adage, un conseiller municipal devrait toujours être en mode électoral, répondant à toutes les demandes, peu importe le moment du prochain vote. Lorsque j'ai reçu des appels à minuit, par une nuit d'hiver glaciale, au sujet d'une nouvelle tour d'habitation dont le générateur faisait tellement de bruit que les gens ne pouvaient pas dormir, je me suis habillé, je me suis rendu sur place et j'ai enregistré une vidéo sur YouTube. Celle-ci a été envoyée aux propriétaires de l'immeuble et à nos inspecteurs à l'hôtel de ville. Des mesures ont été prises.


Je suis honoré d'avoir été élu par acclamation cette année encore. J'espère sincèrement que les efforts que je déploierai au cours de mes 48 prochains mois de mandat y contribueront. Le maire Mitchell Brownstein m'a confié les portefeuilles suivants pour ce mandat : Communications, Toponomie (dénomination des rues, des parcs, des quartiers, etc.), Commerce local, Bibliothèque et culture et Protection des animaux.

 Loi 96

La Ville de Côte Saint-Luc a demandé au gouvernement du Québec de retirer le projet de loi 96 du feuilleton et de consulter de façon significative la communauté d’expression anglaise du Québec et les associations comme le QCGN qui représentent cette communauté avant de présenter toute législation qui permettrait de modifier la Charte de la langue française.

La résolution adoptée à l’unanimité par le conseil municipal de Côte Saint-Luc le 4 octobre 2021 stipule également que « plusieurs des modifications contenues dans le projet de loi 96 contreviennent manifestement à l’esprit d’équité et d’ouverture d’esprit et ne respectent pas la communauté d’expression anglaise du Québec, conformément au préambule et à l’esprit de l’actuelle Charte de la langue française. »

Le projet de loi 96— Loi sur la langue officielle et commune du Québec, le français—est actuellement à l’étude à la Commission de la culture et de l’éducation de l’Assemblée nationale du Québec. Il s’agit d’une mise à jour de la loi 101, la Charte de la langue française.

Pour lire la résolution adoptée par le conseil municipal de Côte Saint-Luc, pour voir la séance du conseil, ou pour lire le mémoire présenté par l’Association des municipalités de banlieue, dont Côte Saint-Luc est membre, visitez www.cotesaintluc.org/fr/projetdeloi96.  

Côte Saint-Luc s’opposera à tout effort de la CAQ pour retirer le statut de ville bilingue

La Ville de Côte Saint-Luc est préoccupée par de récentes déclarations du ministre provincial responsable de la Langue française laissant entendre qu’il envisageait des changements à la Charte de la langue française qui pourraient entraîner certaines villes à perdre leur droit d’offrir des services en anglais aux résidents.

« Nous nous mobiliserons avec toutes les municipalités et tous les arrondissements ayant un statut bilingue afin d’empêcher toute tentative du gouvernement du Québec de s’ingérer dans la façon dont nous communiquons avec nos résidents, a déclaré le maire de Côte Saint-Luc, Mitchell Brownstein. Nous sommes les mieux placés pour connaître nos résidents et comprenons leurs besoins. » Environ 7,5 % des municipalités québécoises possèdent le statut bilingue. Les changements qu’envisage le ministre Simon Jolin-Barrette pourraient, potentiellement, retirer le statut bilingue à la moitié d’entre elles. 

Depuis 1977, il est illégal pour les municipalités du Québec de communiquer avec ses résidents, de façon générale, en anglais, à moins d’obtenir une exemption, appelée statut bilingue. Ce statut se voulait être permanent. Le statut bilingue donne à la municipalité la permission d’ériger des panneaux de signalisation et d’émettre des communications en anglais. La communication en français reste obligatoire, quel que soit le statut bilingue.

Le fait que les municipalités aient besoin d’une autorisation pour communiquer avec ses résidents de langue minoritaire est inhabituel dans les démocraties libérales. Soit l’État laisse aux villes le soin de décider elles-mêmes des langues à utiliser, soit il oblige les villes à servir la population dans la langue minoritaire lorsqu’un certain seuil est atteint, c’est ainsi en Finlande pour la minorité suédophone. Au Québec, les villes doivent obtenir une autorisation spéciale pour servir leurs résidents en anglais.

« Nous ne demandons pas au gouvernement d’augmenter le nombre de municipalités qui peuvent offrir des services en anglais, a déclaré le maire Brownstein. Nous lui demandons simplement de maintenir le statu quo et de permettre aux municipalités ayant un statut bilingue de décider elles-mêmes si elles offrent des services en anglais. »

 En 2013, le gouvernement du Parti québécois déposait un projet de loi visant à retirer le statut bilingue de la même façon que ce que suggère le ministre Simon Jolin-Barrette. À l’époque, la CAQ s’était opposée aux dispositions du projet de loi 14. Selon un document synthèse préparé par le gouvernement péquiste de l’époque, la position de la CAQ était que les villes elles-mêmes devraient avoir un droit de veto sur les changements à leur statut bilingue. Nous demandons au ministre Jolin-Barrette de revoir la position précédente de la CAQ.

« La CAQ exige que le comité consultatif soit composé de 3 membres issus de la municipalité en instance de perdre son statut de ville bilingue. Le comité devrait faire rapport à la municipalité elle-même plutôt qu’au gouvernement, ce qui consacrerait un droit de veto à la municipalité. » 

Source : http://www.mifi.gouv.qc.ca/publications/fr/divers/Annexe_Synthese_discussions.pdf

Lorsque la Charte de la langue française a été tout d’abord adoptée en 1977, il y avait une forte opposition de la part de plusieurs secteurs de la société, venant particulièrement des communautés non-francophones du Québec. C’est ainsi que, de façon à diminuer les craintes des communautés non francophones, certaines municipalités, certains hôpitaux, certaines institutions d’enseignement, et d’autres qui fournissaient leurs services à des personnes en majorité d’une langue autre que le français, furent reconnus par ce qui fut appelé à l’époque l’article 113(f) de la Charte de la langue française. Ceci leur permettait d’être exemptés de certaines règles qui s’appliquaient aux autres institutions suite à l’adoption de la Charte.

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

La Ville de Côte Saint-Luc est une municipalité de banlieue de 35 000 résidents située au cœur de l’île de Montréal. Selon le recensement du Canada de 2016, environ 67 pour cent des résidents ont indiqué que l’anglais était leur première langue officielle parlée. Côte Saint-Luc est également une ville multilingue et multiethnique.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Qualitifruits Encore is only closed for renovations

Do not despair as I did last Sunday when I drove over to Qualitifruits Encore on Westminister Avenue in Côte Saint-Luc and found the doors shut and everything  dark inside.

QualityoutsideDec21

Qualitifruits has shut down at least twice that I know of under different ownerships, but I went by today and received assurances that they are only closed for renvovations. As the city councillor now responsible for our Local Commerce Committee, I am  keeping a closer eye on local business with the hope we can give those in need a boost when necessary.

QualityTruckDec21

Qualitifruits is a gem within our midst. Owner Babu and his team aim to please. They are the only store I know that will cut fresh fruit for you on demand when you show up at the store or if you call in advance. Their selection is excellent. They also have a variety of grocery items and Chef Frank, who on a daily basis creates homemade meals you need only pop in the microwave.

There was a busy crew inside the store as I watched them work from the parking lot.  According to one gentleman there will be some new bells and whistles added, including a new kosher section.

 

 

 


COVID-19 protocols result in cancellation of Hydro work

The 450 or so Hydro-Québec customers in District 2 (Merrimac, Sir Walter Scott and parts of Rembrandt and Marc Chagall)  who expected the lights to go out at 11 pm on December 21 played an endless waiting game.

Hydro1

While the trucks arrived, nothing happened. Constituents had their flashlights out, closed up their homes for the nigh and  turned off electronic devices. Some tossed food, fearing that nine hours without power would not be a good thing for the fridge. There were condos that left their garage doors opening, letting cold air in (and raising their Hydro rates), so that vehicles could come and go.

At 1230 am the trucks departed and the major work planned was cancelled.

Hydro officials apologized, noting the job had to be cancelled at the last minute due to an unforeseen shortage of workers related to COVID-19 restrictions. While the job will need to be rescheduled in order to prevent a future failure, rest assured that it will not be done before January 10.

 

So stay tuned for a new date.

 

This is a joint operation at multiple locations to change transformers and breakers . The work has to be done to prevent a risk of failure that can cause an outage similar to the one we had in November. 

 

 


Planned Hydro outage to affect 450 customers in District 2

On November 1, a significant section of District 2 experienced a power outage.

 

The power was restored within 24 hours. A few weeks later a planned outage was necessary to do what we thought were final repairs.

 

Regrettably, that was not the case and on Tuesday, December 21 (11 pm) the power will be shut for at least nine hours. Over 450 users on  Merrimac, Kildare, Rembrandt, Marc Chagall, Sir Walter  Scott and  Ilan-Ramon will be affected. This will likely throw out the lights at Cavendish/Kildare as well. If you did not get a Hydro robo-call then you will not be impacted.

Hydrodec

 

Hydro officials told me today that workers will do a joint operation at multiple locations to change transformers and breakers t. This work has to be done to prevent a risk of failure that can cause an outage similar to the one we had in November. "We don’t want that to happen in the winter months to come," a Hydro spokesman told me. "Although there is never a good time for a planned outage, the good news is that they are able to do the work at night, which is not always the case! Our crews will do their best to finish the job before 8 am."

 

The Hydro spokesman said he understand that residents will be without heat during the night.  He would suggest increasing the temperature a little during the day before, so it takes a longer for the residences to cool down.   For more information, please refer to the measures described in this link.

Overnight parking will be tolerated, so if you park indoors and need to get in or out at a certain time you might want to take advantage of this option. Also keep in mind that your freezer is fine for 24 hours, but the fridge being off for nine hours  might spoil some food.

 


Collection Équinoxe hosts successful Holiday Market event to support local businesses

One of  my new portfolios on city council is Local Commerce, so I was very pleased to see the Équinoxe Marc Chagall present a Holiday Market  on December 12.

This was a clever initiative by the administration of the two large rental apartment buildings.The purpose of the event was to support local businesses. There were  12 exhibitors, many of whom reside at the Équinoxe.

Nathalie Päriente
Nathalie Pariente

 


“It was a very big success,” said Nathalie Pariente of The Équinoxe. “People found some wonderful gifts for the holidays.”

SoniaCigars
Sonia Ohayon

There was  nice variety of exhibitors.  Sonia Ohayon is a caterer who had plenty of samples to share, including her famous Moroccan cigars.  She is noted for her incredible soups, main dishes like sweet and sour meatballs, desserts and plenty of sides. She caters and does deliveries. You can reach her at 514-481-6207 and soniasoups@gmail.com.

RobynGoodman
Robyn Goodman

Robyn Goodman, whose parents live in the building, was selling her beautiful paintings. You can reach her at robyngoodman73@gmail.com.

Orleans
Stephen  Orleans right and friends.

Stephen Orleans was helping a friend sell her impressive line of sunglasses.

Zagury
Myriam Zagury

Myriam Zagury  showed her line of  merchandise from Arbonne, for whom she is an independent consultant and executive district manager. She had  a variety of nutrition, skincare, makeup and healthy living products for sale. Go to  https://www.arbonne.com/ca/en/arb/myriamzagury/

Gift packages
Elizabeth and her daughter.

Elizabeth Sebbag had beautiful pre-wrapped gift packages via Ethan’s Creation. She can be reached at elizabethsebbag@hotmail.com if you need something ready to go for someone.

Educator
The Équinoxe has a lot of pet owners who use this service.

As an animal lover I was pleased to see that a representative from Between Hands Paws, a pet sitting and animal walking company powered by educhateur  was on hand. Go to www.entrepattesetmains.com  or call 514-647-2428.

Concierge
The two reps from Groupe  De Palma.

Groupe De Palma provides concierge services to the building and they could do the same for you. Check them out at www.groupedepalma.com.

These were just some of the vendors.

Bravo to all. I recommended to Nathalie that this type of sale be repeated in the spring or summer, perhaps even outdoors.


Here are the City Councillor Portfolios Announced by Mayor Mitchell Brownstein

City Councillor Portfolios

 

Within portfolio

Dida Berku, Deputy Mayor, Master Plan, Rezoning & Re- Development, Community Engagement & Living Lab

 

Master plan, central city, Cavendish Extension, Public Consultations for Masterplan, living lab

Steven Erdelyi, Finance, Climate Change & Resiliency, Hydro Quebec and Vcops

 

Water, green infrastructure, electrification, waste, heat island mitigation, air quality, Aqueduc-Saraguay Project

Mitch Kujavsky, Urban Development, Parks, Public Spaces & Engineering

 

Includes Traffic Committee, Urban Planning, PAC

2021-11-15 Council - Oath and Photos 010

Mike Cohen, Library Culture, Communications, Toponymy, Animal Welfare & Local Commerce & PME MTL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Website, publications Local Commerce Committee, PME Rep St Laurent, Hampstead, CSL, Montreal West, grants, young entrepreneurs.

Sidney Benizri, Public Works and Intercommunity relations

  Communicating with community organizations based in the city and managing the dossier of synagogues in residential zones.

Oren Sebag, Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness

 

Public Safety Dept, EPP Plan (being re-done this year), Emergency Preparedness Committee

Lior Azerad, NextGen CSL and sponsorships

 

Youth, young adults, Families and sponsorships for programs, events and facilities

Andee Shuster, Recreation & Wellbeing Cities

 

Recreation, Dramatic Society, Community Activities & Initiatives Committee and Seniors, Age-friendly city, Advisory Council, poverty, social isolation, accessibility, newcomers, sanitation


Maison Fleuries winners announced for 2021 and District 2 fares well

Not even a pandemic could stop our annual Maison  Fleuries contest, showcasing beautiful flower arrangements at homes, buildings and businesses.

MikeFrankSandra2
Worthy winners Frank Palucci and Sandra Cambone devote a lot of TLC to their garden. I am always pleased to visit with them.

Councillor Sidney Benizri and I once again co-chaired the awards ceremony, which was done virtually for the second year in a row.  A big thanks to our team at the Parks and Recreation Department for overseeing the entire program. This included the judging, photographs and coordinating the video production.

District 2 had several worthy award winners.  Please watch this short video to see who got the nod.

 

 


Community mourns the passing of dynamo Miriam Lang

The community is mourning the passing of Miriam Lang, the longtime first lady of Côte Saint-Luc. Her late husband, Bernard Lang, served Côte Saint-Luc as mayor and a member of city council for 35 years. He passed away in 2014. The couple were married for 65 years.

In her own right, Miriam Lang was an active figure in our community. I first met her when I was a toddler. My parents sent me to the Davis YM-YWHA Nursery School on Kellert Avenue, where Hebrew Academy is presently located. Miriam Lang was the director and de facto Principal. Growing up I was a frequent visitor to that locale. She also ran the Laval branch for many years. 

 

Miriam
Miriam Lang

 

My late dad preceded me as a writer for The Suburban and he was regularly called upon to emcee city events so he interacted with the Lang’s regularly. In 1985 I was hired as a news reporter for The Suburban and my beat was Côte Saint-Luc City Hall. At that time I got to know the Langs very well.

Miriam was a true first lady, just as Elaine Brownstein is to Mayor Mitchell Brownstein today. Miriam attended all events and got involved in many dossiers and projects. She was instrumental in the establishment of our most lauded  CSL Public Library.

Sixteen years ago, at the age of 80, Mayor Lang attempted a comeback and challenged Anthony Housefather for the top job. He was defeated and while Miriam told me privately she was not thrilled with her husband’s decision she backed him nonetheless.

Miriam and Bernard became grandparents for the first and only time late in life when Dylan came into their lives, the son of Harvey. They forged an extraordinarily close relationship with this young man. Miriam was also the mother and mother-in-law of David Lang and Molly Hilsenrath and the late Barbara Asselin.

“Miriam was a great community activist and mentor for me when I was a very young city Councillor,” commented Mayor Brownstein. “ She had a great love for the City of Côte Saint Luc with a special place in her heart for the Library. She was a wonderful first lady, always there to support Mayor Lang in everything he did. She will be dearly missed.”

“Miriam was a powerful advocate for all aspects of community life in Cote Saint-Luc over many, many years,” added former Councillor Glenn J Nashen. “She was a stalwart supporter of Mayor Lang helping to move plans forward.”

Susan Puritz of Canadian Magen David Adom for Israel had this to say: “I first met her in 1984 when she was Director of the Laval branch of the YM-YWHA and I was secretary to the Executive Director. Miriam may have been short in stature, but she was a fierce advocate for all things relating to the Y. I re-connected with Miriam in 2010 when I accepted a position at CMDA. Although many years had intervened, Miriam was still a force to be reckoned with. As a past president and member of the board, Miriam had very strong ideas and did not hesitate to let her views be known. I had great respect for her and I will miss her and our many conversations. I am glad that I did get to speak with her this past Friday."

My City Council colleague Sidney Benizri is the national executive director of CMDA. Miriam first joined the organization in 1991 and became the first woman on their board of directors. She served two terms as president and was a co-editor of the 40th anniversary tribute book which just came out last year. “Researching the 40th Anniversary book, she had great appreciation of those who were instrumental in establishing CMDA – their visions, courage and dedication to make CMDA a reality and an important part of Magen David Adom Israel,” a passage in the book itself states. “She was very involved in all aspects of CMDA – fundraising events, chapters, presentations and more. Her primary goal was to make CMDA a truly national charity represented across Canada by promoting the creation of new chapters in every major city. Her efforts also included expanding the organization’s marketing, membership and fundraising.”


Should you wish to attend contact the family directly please do so at miriaml@sympatico.ca or (514) 484-3252. Contributions in Miriam’s memory may be made to the Canadian Magen David Adom for Israel, (514) 731-4400.


Reflecting on what life is like as city councillor on the eve of a fifth mandate

For the past 16 years I have measured my life in elections. Wow, how quickly a four-year mandate comes and goes.

I was first elected in 2005 as the city councillor for District 2. Twice I faced opponents and three times I was acclaimed, most recently on October 1. A huge thanks to my father-in-law Reuben Spector, who has served as my campaign manager for all five elections. Without the support of my wife, daughter and mother-in-law none of this would have been possible.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020 and simply did not go away, I wondered how we would even manage to hold an election.  But life has gone on with new precautions. I personally started my re-election efforts in the summer of 2020 when I decided to walk the entire district at least five days a week with business cards and a pen and paper in hand. This included regular stops at the well-utilized Rembrandt Park and engaging in dialogue with every person I met, be it someone walking by or sitting on their balcony. I took note of potholes, damaged sidewalks, lights that did not work and speeding vehicles.

Melodie
My opponent from 2017, Melodie Cohn, supported my re-election bid.

 

I also turned to Zoom, creating my own District Advisory Council with reps from all buildings and streets. It proved to be an excellent exchange of information. I write this blog, host a podcast and have multiple Facebook pages.

Council meetings and committees moved to Zoom and while we will go back in public soon, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and our council led the way in COVID-19 safeguards. Our online meetings resulted in more citizens following our activities.

 I formally launched my 2021 re-election campaign last June, with a committee in place. While I stepped up my walkabouts, door to door began after Labour Day with visits to homes and some meet and greets at apartment and condo buildings.  The message was loud and clear: please do not come walking down our hallways during a pandemic.

It has  been my adage that a city councillor should always be in election mode, responding to every inquiry regardless of when the next vote may be. When I got calls at midnight on a freezing winter night that a new high rise had its generator making so much noise people could not sleep I got dressed, drove over and recorded a YouTube video. That was sent to the building owners and our inspectors at City Hall. Action was taken.

I am honoured to have been acclaimed again this year. It is my sincere hope that the efforts I make during my 48 months in office contribute to that.

Dr1
Chatting with constituents like prominent oncologist Dr. Nathanial Bouganim, make my walkabouts that much more pleasant

 

This election campaign began in September 2020 when Councillor David Tordjman met a Global TV reporter at a park and announced he would run for Mayor. Incumbent Mayor Brownstein waited a full year, until September 17, 2021, to declare his re-election plans.

There were races for mayor and in seven out of eight districts. Tordjman had a team of five candidates. One dropped out two weeks before the vote. That meant Councillor Steven Erdelyi was acclaimed in District 4, he too having now served for 16 years.

You can see the results here 

When all was said and done, just less than 9,000 residents voted out of about the 24,000 eligible.

Returned to office was Mayor Brownstein and Councillors Oren Sebag, Dida Berku, Mitch Kujavsky, Sidney Benizri, as well as myself and Erdelyi.  Our two newcomers are Lior Azerad and Andee Shuster.

Congratulations to all of the candidates. Some people wonder why candidates get acclaimed. Ask anyone who runs for public office. This is no simple task. You must be able to finance your campaign to print posters and literature; open a  bank account; get the posters affixed to poles; go door to door at least five days a week, followed by hours at home reviewing your lists; volunteers need to be enlisted to accompany you; after the campaign detailed financial reports need to be filed; and on advance poll and election day, you are on the clock for a good 16 hours.

Smaj
You need a good team to get those posters up.

 

If you get elected, being a councillor is no easy task. The phone calls and emails roll in non-stop. There are multiple meetings and commitments to attend. You are a moving target for complaints wherever you go and in this day in age, there is consistent abuse via social media. Family time is constantly disrupted. It is all enough for some people to say, “this is not for me.”

I have been a community activist all  ofmy life and I am proud to serve in this position. Indeed, I take pride knowing how many initiatives I have been able to push through these past 16 years,.

The next mandate will be busy, starting with proposals to redevelop our three major malls – Quartier Cavendish, Decarie Square and the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre. There is major work coming from Hydro Québec and much more. Our online portals will this easier to communicate, especially in the cold winter and for Snowbirds who can remain in the loop.

The first meeting of our new council will take place next Monday night, November 15 at 8 pm. Stay tuned to www.cotesaintluc.org for the live YouTube link.


It is the first ever Scoop the Poop Month in CSL

Four years ago at this time I was completing my door to door campaign for the 2017 elections, with a pledge to create a Côte Saint-Luc Dog Owners Committee and allow dogs in parks.

It was mission accomplished on both counts. Jonathan Goldman, Anna Marie Katz and Tamar Hertz (representing non-dog owners) were among those who stepped up. Jonathan and Anna paid special attention to our two dog runs, notably the one on Mackle Road.

Dog

One idea I had was to create a system of special reps in each district. These individuals would serve as our eyes and ears, taking note of any developments and speading the word on our mandate to other dog owners. We just needed someone to steer that ship. In recent months a leader surfaced in Sivan Rehan, who just happens to be the wife of Jonathan Goldman.

Sivan has recruited a committee and a meeting will be held sometime after the election.

In the meantime, we have declared November  Scoop the Poop Month.

Sivan lists the following reason why you should pick up after your dog:

1) Common Courtesy 

2) Dog waste can carry diseases that are harmful to humans and other pets.  families walking around may step on it and carry it to their homes creating an unsafe environment.

3) Dog waste is not a fertilizer.

Since dogs' diets are high in protein, dog poop is exceptionally high in nitrogen and phosphorus. It can cause burns on lawns. 

4) Dog poop will not wash away on its own - dog waste can take as long as a year to naturally break down, especially in colder climates. 

Go to Section 4.2 here from our bylaws  to learn more about the rules of picking up after your dog. It is part of the law.

 


Be on the look out for anyone placing illegal animal traps

Just recently, a skunk was spotted  caught and suffering in an illegal trap on Castlewood Avenue in Côte Saint-Luc.

It seems the animal had walked quite the distance, attached to this trap. Someone came by,  released it and saved the animal’s life.

Now we may not be particularly fond of skunks, notably for the noxious smell of their spray. But they are living, breathing creatures.   An outdoor cat or a dog off leash could have easily been injured or killed from such a trap.

Trap

We never did find the perpetrator, but as the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection I am working with our Public Safety Department on the issue. Director Philip Chateauvert and Division Chief Jean-Marc Dubois have been very helpful.

If our agents happen to cross one of these illegal traps, they can apply By-Law 2470 (Nuisance), Article 8.2: Trapping, capturing, disturbing, injuring or killing wild animals, unless certified to do so by the Ministère des forêts, de la faune et des parcs du Québec. It carries a $100 fine for physical person and  $200 for a moral entity.

Had someone known the identity of the person who put out the trap, we could not only fine them, but have the  Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec assign an agent to investigate. The fines they issue are far higher.

I ask all citizens to be on the lookout for these traps and advise Public Safety at 514-485-6960.


Official ribbon cutting ceremony for new Rembrandt Park basketball courts is Sunday, October 10

In the company of Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, members of city council and staff, I  will be proud to preside overt the formal launch of the refurbished Rembrandt Park basketball courts on Sunday, October 10 at 10 am. Please join us for a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Families are invited to come try out the two surfaces – a competitive court and a half court for younger children- and explore Rembrandt Park. This is a beautiful and popular facility, which , also features two tennis courts, a soccer field, a playground, a permanent ping pong table,  a water spray area, a chalet for art classes, an area for Israeli dancing in the summer, various hills and numerous picnic tables and benches.

Some youngsters enjoy the new main court.

 

Visitors are encouraged to come try out the courts for themselves and witness the mayor, members of city council and staff try and dunk some baskets themselves.

 

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This is what the main court looked like before the facelift.

 

The existing court was in poor condition and in dire need of repairs. Among the selected new equipment are the basketball poles, backboards, front mounted rims basketball nets and players benches. Crews removed the existing cracked asphalt and installed six inches of MG-20 crushed stone to maintain a slop of one percent for better drainage. There was new asphalt installed, as well as two coats of colourful epoxy paint acrylic surface, a new 30-foot light projector with two LED fixtures and new grass (SOD) around the perimeter of the basketball court. Both the refurbished courts and the half court have been hugely popular since work was completed in August.

In the event of heavy rain, the formal launch will take place on Sunday, October 17 at 10 am.


Much used pathway has been repaved

When  I started my re-election campaign last summer, a number of people who regularly use the pathway from the end of Rembrandt Avenue to Cavendish Boulevard asked if it could be repaved.

I met with Gordon Aizer and Chris Wild from the Villas Merrimac Condominium Association in August and we took a proper walk through. There were a number of potholes. Rembrandt Avenue resident Meyer Freed also called, concerned about the water buildup in those sections when it rained.

 

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Chris Wild and I check out the repaved pathway.

 

I consulted with our Public Works Department. Given the fact this is late in the season,  they promised to look at some patch up work. I stressed the importance of making this as walkable as possible and they found a way to repave virtually the entire strip. Thanks to Operations Head John Monteiro and his entire team!

 

 


Contract awarded to restore greenspace properly on Marc Chagall lot

Here is an update on the greenspace on Marc Chagall.

Following two months of legal discussions between the city  and Jadco, the developers of the Equinoxe high rise towers, the vacant lot on Marc Chagall Avenue across from the Marquise and next to Les Cours Marc Chagall townhouses will finally be restored to its original condition.

History will note that the greenspace was originally leased to Jadco for three years in order to ensure that their workforce in the hundreds did not take up parking spots on street. Last November the company hired by Jadco to restore the land to greenspace got to work. When spring arrived it was clear the work was unsuccessful. Two more attempts were made, after which our legal counsel got involved. For one thing, they did not water the grass enough and they left too much debris and rocks. Grass did not grow satisfactorily.

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One of the new permanent picnic tables on the Marc Chagall greenspace.

We had retained a damage deposit from Jadco of $30,000. Our staff at City Hall, Public Works and Urban Planning got to work and it was agreed that we would take charge of the project. At the September 13 Council meeting we   requested quotes and negotiated with three suppliers who
provide this type of service. The contract was awarded to Construction Morival Ltd.   for a total amount of $34,320.00 plus applicable taxes.

Work will begin soon. This type of work is most successful at this time of the year and should any problems arise we will be able to take charge immediately rather than chasing Jadco’s subcontractors.

I would also like to thank Public Works for installing two brand new picnic tables at the edge of the greenspace. They are outfitted with chairs that have backs to them, something that many seniors had requested. Public Works is maintaining the land nicely. It does look a lot more presentable, but I am excited to see it back to a condition where kids can run around and kick a soccer ball.


Mike Cohen 2021 Re-election Page/Réélire Mike Cohen - District 2

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Please click on the links below to follow my re-election campaign

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District 2 resident Myra Shuster spearheads Monarch Butterfly program

The Monarch Butterfly is a pollinator and vital contributor to our ecosystem’s health and survival. However, the  population has plummeted in recent years by more than 80 percent and  they depend  upon milkweed in order to lay their eggs and feed the larvae.

With their breeding habitat on the decline, the David Suzuki Foundation is spearheading an initiative to help restore the Monarch Butterfly’s habitat by educating the public to its importance and by encouraging the planting of milkweed. They are doing this by encouraging mayors of North American cities to adopt the Mayor’s pledge and to become a “Butterfly-Friendly City.”.  To date over 340 mayors across North America have done so.

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Myra Shuster

Last September, the City of Côte Saint-Luc became the 75th city in Quebec to be certified as a Butterfly-Friendly City. The request to be part of the David Suzuki Foundation initiative to save the Monarch Butterfly and its habitat came from District  2 resident Myra Shuster,  who had brought the matter   to my attention. I submited the application,  committing to the city to follow through with at least 15 action items out of 24 possiblities earning us a silver designation.

A huge thanks to Director of Library Services Janine West, who called me the moment she heard about this initiative. She and Myra had previously worked together, so it was a perfect match. Janine and Myra have already formed a committee and set up shop in Ashkelon Gardens behind the library. Janine has also added a pedagogical component to the program, with events like Monarch Butterfly Storytime for kids three and up.

Bravo to Janine, Myra and their team for all the hard work. As a city councillor it is so nice to have constituents like Myra who want to go that extra mile!


Establishing a Dog Owners Committee was a proud achievement of mine

During the last election campaign, as the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection, I promised to create a dedicated Dog Owners Commmittee. Prior to that I had already established an advisory committee on our Dog Runs headed by Abe Haim.

The election was in November 2017 and at the beginning of the following January I held the first Dog Owners Committee. Jonathan Goldman and Anna Katz stepped forward as co-chairs and many others came on board as well. Community activist and Côte St. Luc Families Facebook page moderator Tamar Hertz even volunteered to serve as our non-dog owner advisor, which proved to be very helpful.

One of the first things we did was talk about having dogs on leashes allowed in parks. A bylaw was adopted and this has worked out well. Dog owners have been very responsible.

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Even the dogs were invited to this meeting.

 


While the committee was meeting regularly at City Hall and the Aquatic and Community Centre before the pandemic, we shifted a lot to Zoom the past 18 months. On August 18 we convened at the Mackle Road Dog Run. It was nice to chat as the dogs ran about. Councillor David Tordjman was also on hand.   This is a great space, with a specific fenced off section for smaller dogs. Many people come there each day. They have become friends; the same thing for most of the dogs. Regrettably, there have been some individuals who have shown up with vicious dogs. If these canines get aggressive, we ask them politely to leave. There have been some incidents where smaller dogs were attacked. Although rare, this does occur. The best recourse is to call Public Security or go to the Police Station on Westminster and file a report.

We also have a Dog Run on Côte St. Luc Road next to Richard Schwartz Park.

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Maurice Tietolman and his dog Henry are among the newest residents to my District 2.



Dog owners are very passionate and I heard a lot of very good ideas. Jonathan’s wife Sivan Rehan agreed to chair our District Information Network. Sivan will assemble reps from our eight electoral districts to serve as eyes and ears regarding canine activity as well as ambassadors to advise dog owners they meet about our Facebook page, the dog runs etc.


We hope to arrange our next meeting with Public Security to discuss some issues. Thanks to all of our dog owners for picking up after our pets and keeping our community clean!


Reportage de votre conseiller municipal

Je tiens d’abord à remercier le personnel de première ligne de notre ville pour le travail extraordinaire qu’il a accompli pendant la pandémie. Nous traversons une période difficile et nous devons travailler ensemble, en tant que communauté, pour relever les défis qui nous attendent.

Au cours du printemps, de l’été et de l’automne derniers, je me suis promené dans les rues et les parcs du district 2, engageant un dialogue à distance avec les électeurs. Il y a eu aussi des appels Zoom régulièrement, en plus des échanges habi-tuels par téléphone et par courrier électronique.

Je suis très fier des travaux d’amélioration qui ont été effectués au parc Isadore Goldberg, main-tenant accessible de l’avenue Marc Chagall par un sentier pavé. J’en profite pour souligner que le carré d’espace vert en face de La Marquise n’est plus utilisé comme stationnement pour les ouvriers du bâtiment; et nous avons commencé à embellir l’espace. L’éclairage et la clôture du parc Isadore Goldberg seront installés d’ici l’automne. En ce qui concerne les préoccupations relatives à la sécurité routière, la vitesse maximale sur l’avenue Marc Chagall a été réduite à 30 km/h. Un autre développement excitant est le projet de rajeunissement des terrains de basket du parc Rembrandt, promis depuis longtemps, qui sera réalisé cet été. J’ai d’ailleurs créé un comité consultatif des utilisateurs des terrains de basket, car nous envisageons d’autres améliorations.

Sur L’Avenue, nous avons travaillé avec les pro-priétaires des immeubles d’appartements et l’on peut maintenant admirer le magnifique espace vert qu’ils ont créé. Le sentier piétonnier vers Place Park a également été remis en bon état.

Cela fait presque trois ans que nous avons installé un nouveau panneau d’arrêt à l’intersection du chemin Kildare et de l’avenue Rembrandt. C’est quelque chose que les électeurs me demandaient depuis ma première élection en 2005. Grâce aux contrôles réguliers de la police, la mesure a été un succès et a permis à des centaines d’automobilistes de l’avenue Rembrandt de tourner à gauche vers le boul. Cavendish. Je vous invite à suivre mon blogue à MikeCohen.ca pour les mises à jour périodiques sur les nouvelles du District 2.

Notre Bulletin Ici.

CSL Au courant • Été 2021

ENGLISH

Allow me please to begin this message by thanking the frontline staff from our city for the extraordinary job they have done during this pandemic. These remain trying times and we must work together as one community to meet the challenges before us.

During the spring, summer and fall months I have been walking through the streets and parks of District 2, engaging in dialogue from a distance with constituents. In addition, there have been regular Zoom calls and the usual exchange by telephone and e-mail.

I am very proud of the renovation work that was done at Isadore Goldberg Park, which can now be entered via a paved pathway on Marc Chagall Ave. Speaking of which, the square greenspace across from La Marquise is no longer needed as a parking lot for construction workers and we have begun the process of beautifying the area. Lighting and fencing for Isadore Goldberg Park will be installed by the fall.

In terms of concerns over traffic safety, the maximum speed on Marc Chagall Ave. has been reduced to 30 km/h. Another exciting new development is the planned long-promised facelift of the Rembrandt Park basketball courts this summer. I have, in fact, created a basketball court advisory committee of users as we look down the line to more improvements.

On The Avenue, we worked with the owners of the apartment building and everyone can see the beautiful greenspace they have created. In addition, the walkway towards Park Place was repaired. It has now been almost three years since we installed a new stop sign at the corner of Kildare Rd. and Rembrandt Ave. This is something constituents had been asking me for since I was first elected in 2005. Via regular police checks, the measure has been a success and provided hundreds of Rembrandt Ave. motorists with the ability to turn left towards Cavendish Blvd.

Please follow my blog at MikeCohen.ca for regular updates on District 2 News.

You can read our entire Inside Out Newslettter here:. 

 

 


The new basketball courts at Rembrandt Park are now in operation

I am thrilled and proud to announce that the brand new refurbished basketball courts at Rembrandt Park are now open for business.

I was at the park today when the crew did all the final touches. The surface for the main court was completely redone. It was a safety hazard in the past. The blue, red  and white painted surface has been well received. So have  the benches. All we needed was the poles and the basketball nets. The first youngsters to shoot some hoops were  Raphael Shahraobani, Daniel Ohayon and Nathan Ohana.


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Raphael, Daniel and Nathan get set to give the new courts a whirl.

 

And now for something completely new. Over the past few months Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and I worked closely with local basketball experts - Alex Fyon and Kevin Fuks from JHoops, Matt Starr from JPPS-Bialik and one of my youth advisors, Shai Troy. Now 18, Shai has been playing on these courts for year. Alex and Kevin felt very strongly that a smaller half court was necessary for the younger children. We have delivered that too. Another one of my constituents, Yane Arama and his son, Nathaniel 6,  headed to the half court. Nathaniel sunk a basket on his third try. The hoop is lower and this half court will be reserved for kids 12 and under.

 

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Nathaniel initiates the kids half court.

I want to give a huge thanks to Dalia Mohamed, the engineer on this project. She worked tirelessly for the past year and when the half court proposal came to her at the eleventh hour she made it happen. Also to Parks and Recreation Director Cornelia Ziga and veteran manager Ryan Nemeroff, who played  an equally crucial role. Anthony Sulpizio, the newest member of the P & R staff, has been involved in recent weeks. As well, hats off to our always accommodating  Public Works Department provided great assistance as  well.


We had to wait a little longer than expected due to certain equipment being on back order. But it is still early August and plenty of months ahead to enjoy the courts. New lighting for the courts is also on the way,

I am hoping to organize something more formal to launch the refurbished courts, a project years in the making.

 

 


One more step to go for new basketball courts

We are hoping that this week the postsand baskets will be installed at Rembrandt Park for the main and new half court.

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The revamped main court, minus the posts.

 

The renovation of the  court and the construction of the half court began on June 11 and the final project was expected to be completed in seven weeks (July 26). The asphalt was laid on June 21 and needed to cure for 28 days before painting the surface. We have kept construction fences up to protect the asphalt from any damage caused by children to prevent the epoxy paint from sticking.

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The surface of the new half court.

 

The painting of the two courts was done last week and I think we can all agree it looks beautiful.  Due to manufacturing delays,   we have been on hold for the basketball posts. It has been frustrating but the final product will be worth the wait I hope. Last season the weather allowed basketball to be played right through mid-November.

New lighting will be installed as well.

Stay tuned!

 

 

 


Golf at Meadowbrook returns with Tee’d Off At COVID: The 19th Hole

The Côte Saint-Luc Department of Parks and Recreation is tee’d up to be offering a fun day on the back nine of Meadowbrook Golf Club and picnic lunch in the Ashkelon Gardens on August 11, 2021.  

While we all look forward to resuming the traditional Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic in the summer of 2022, we are excited to offer a fun, informal day on the links. As  chair of the event, I am pleased to announce that  golfers will be invited to participate in Tee’d Off At COVID: The 19th Hole. This will include nine holes of golf “Vegas Style” beginning at 7:30 a.m. The fun will continue with a boxed lunch gathering at the Ashkelon Gardens behind the Eleanor London Public Library (5851 Cavendish). In the case of rain, the event will be rescheduled for the following day, August 12. 

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While we are not quite ready to resume the format of our traditional Golf Classic, I am glad we have found a way to return to the links at Meadowbrook.  We hope that a year from now conditions will return to normal and we can carry on with our banquet and honour longtime Parks and Recreation Department stalwart Harold Cammy as per our original plan for 2020.  

“The Golf Classic has always been a wonderful opportunity for us to enjoy our amazing greenspace, the treasured Meadowbrook Golf course as we meet for a fun day of sport and camaraderie,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said.  

I would like to personally thank our newest employee at Parks and Recreation, the uber-talented Anisa Cameron, for spearheading this initiative under the guidance of Cornelia Ziga and Ryan Nemeroff.

Registration

Registration opened July 20 at the Aquatics and Community Centre, 5794 Ave. Parkhaven, at 9 a.m. Starting times for the nine-hole course are from 7:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. and space is limited. We encourage people to register as soon as possible. The cost to register is $40 (tax included). 

For more information, contact Anisa Cameron: 514-485-6806 ext. 2012, acameron@cotesaintluc.org


The city is now stepping in to resolve the Marc Chagall greenspace issue

Here is an update on the greenspace on Marc Chagall Avenue.

The owners of the Equinoxe apartment buildings have failed to live up to the terms of the lease they signed to use a large greenspace on Marc Chagall Avenue as a parking lot for construction workers for a period of three years.

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Mayor Brownstein and staff join me on site.

 

The understanding was that the company would return that land in the precise form that they found it. Regrettably this has not occurred.

 Last fall  the company cleared the sand and gravel, but when spring came the grass was not growing. Our legal team had them come do the work a second time and  once again it did not take.  They made two more tries, including having an employee spend a few days literally picking up every rock he could find and placing them in buckets.


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A larger look at the site.


Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and I met with our senior city management on the site on July 13 and we agreed that  we must complete the job ourselves. While there is definitely an improvement, it is far from acceptable.

It is too warm to proceed now with removing the  entire existing top layer of space, adding a new layer of proper soil and then hydro seeding, adding new sod  and watering for two weeks.   We will hire our own contractor towards the very end of August or start of September when the weather is most condusive to planting. Our legal team has done an excellent job taking the bull by the horn.

In the interim public Works will cut the existing grass. They have created a small pathway closer to the street with benches. The Mayor and I  have asked  them to pave the pathway and replace the benches with new ones, as well as add picnic tables like the model we have behind the library with backs on the seats. As well, new trees will be planted on the grounds.

New flowers have been planted on the other small pathway facing the snow dump.

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New flowers have been planted.

 

It is regrettable that the original contractors hired by the company did not complete this job properly last fall. We are now taking all legal means available to rectify the situation.