Shirley Shoub and Sharon Asher unveil their new children's book "What Makes A Perfect Princess"

A new children’s book called What Makes a Perfect Princess is in fact something that can appeal and apply to people of all ages.

So says author Sharon Asher and illustrator Shirley Shoub, noting that the book  has very positive messages about self-acceptance.

WhatMakesAPerfectPrincess - back-front

The story revolves around a princess who lives in a beautiful castle and is sad because she thinks she is not perfect and has no confidence in herself.  The princess believes that she must follow the suggestions of others in order to be perfect. Her three friends tell her everything they think she should do. Even after following all their advice, she still feels badly about herself. Only then does she decide to read the book she’s always had, and there, she discovers her answer – a universal truth - and is finally happy.

The two ladies met about a decade ago. Asher had pretty much written her book and upon discovering that Shoub was an artist, she asked her to handle the illustration.  “Sharon actually read  the book to me and  I immediately felt that I was supposed to do this,” Shoub says. “I was taking art classes in Côte Saint-Luc at the time and I approached my teacher George and asked him to help me illustrate. It took me two years, but I am very pleased with the end results.”

Here is my video chat with the two ladies.

 

More years passed until Asher and Shoub actually self-published. It can be purchased  here on Amazon. In addition, it will be available for loan at local libraries. The CSL Public Library already has a copy and Asher would like to donate to others.

 “Children age three and older, as well as the adults reading the story to the children, can look at the illustrations and enjoy them along with the words,” says Shoub. “There are many subtle messages within my illustrations which add further in depth meaning and expansion to complement Sharon’s words. For the artist, whatever we have experienced in life comes through in our art. Likewise, the same applies for the reader’s understanding of the art.

“Years ago, I worked as a social counsellor representing foster children with special needs. Why were they foster children? Sometimes, life hands parents more than they can handle or more than they believe they can handle. Many of these foster children had been left in their infancy in the hospitals for others to handle. It would have required a life commitment for the parents. This is not a judgment call. It requires tremendous love, strength and commitment to nurture these children.To honour these children, I have integrated them into my illustrations.”

WhatMakesAPerfectPrincess - 2

Shoub recalls in days when she was a child living near the Main, children played jacks on the sidewalk or rolled marbles into cement holes that they could find.  “Hence,” she says, “in the Princess story, I drew two boys playing checkers on the sidewalk in the inner city. Of course, there is a message there. Sharon’s story is about self confidence. It is hoped that those who read it, if they do not already have it, will gain an appreciation of who they are.”

Asher is a lifelong educator. Having received her training at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia), McGill University, MacDonald College and the University of Sherbrooke, she began her teaching career at the elementary and high school levels. Soon thereafter, she joined the English Department at John Abbott College in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, where she taught for 30 years. Her courses focused on the areas of children’s literature, drama as literature, paranormal psychology and literature, and writing.

Bravo for a job well done!


New Quartier Cavendish movie theatres could open as early as July 8

The long wait for the return of movie theatres at Quartier Cavendish is almost over.

 

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Bruce Gurberg can't wait to open his new theatres.

 

History will note that Cineplex  closed the cinema more than a  year ago. At the time I speculated that Bruce Gurberg, who owns the CinéStarz chain, might fill the void. Sure enough Gurberg did step forward. He signed  a multi-year lease. Since Cineplex removed virtually everything from the interior, Gurberg  used the opportunity to do a total relaunch.

Here is a video of my chat with Gurberg:

This complex will be  called CineStarz Deluxe and could open as early as July 8. Construction work presently continues around the clock. Every theatre will be spanking new, from the most comfortable (and expensive) electronic reclining seats  I have ever experienced; new screens, speakers; new washrooms; new  carpeting and flooring and even LED strips in each room that will change colours. Not only will there be concessions stands, with the CineStarz to die for popcorn, but yes a full bar with 15 stools. “We have a liquor license and people can come for a drink before or after their movie,” Bruce told me  during a private tour of the place.

“This is the biggest investment I have ever made in my life,” Gurberg says. “I am very excited to be opening a theatre where I live.”

Gurberg hopes to see many community organizations to take advantage of this prime location and use the theatres for events and gatherings.

CinéStarz presently has locations in Côte des Neiges,  St. Leonard, Grenville in Quebec and  Orleans, Ottawa and  Burlington in Ontario.

You can go to www.cinestarz.ca

Here I am trying out the new comfy seats.


The mountain at the snow dump has been cut down

Thanks to our Public Works Department for their annual destruction of the large and ugly hill of muddy snow at the snow dump.

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This is no easy feat. Our team We usually starts to break up the snow dump towards the end of June / beginning of July. The mountain is generally too hard and frozen to start operations, as the equipment (mechanical shovel) will likely break. This had happened in the past when the contractor started too early in the season. With several years of experience now, we work together with the contractor preparing the proper schedule for breaking down the hill.

Dump2022C

It takes approximately 100 hours of work  to complete the project.  This year it was all finished earlier than scheduled.


Leaf blowers will be prohibited in CSL during summer months as of 2023

I have terrific news for so many people who have expressed their dismay over the years about the noise pollution emanated by leaf blowers. A new bylaw will take effect  on April 28, 2023 prohibiting leaf blowers between June 1 and August 30. During the other months they will only be permitted between 8 am and 5 pm.

Thanks to our Public Works Department, which researched the situation and came to Council with this new proposal. We passed a notice of motion on June 13 for a draft bylaw.

I think this a good start for us. Many people work from home and keep their windows open during the summer. The noise from the leaf blowers is hardly welcoming.

Leafs

The effects of noise on hearing vary among people. But any sound that is loud enough and lasts long enough can damage hearing and lead to hearing loss. A sound's loudness is measured in decibels (dB). Normal conversation is about 60 dB, a lawnmower is about 90 dB, and a loud rock concert is about 120 dB.

This new bylaw can also be a means for our community to bring down our carbon footprint, improve air quality by reducing harmful exposure to toxic emissions and reduce noise pollution.

You can see the discussion at the  1:24;45 mark  of our meeting video which you can access here.

 

 


D'Arcy McGee medals to be bestowed upon Margles, Zalcman-Howard, Rosenberg and Alexander n

An iconic former broadcaster and Côte Saint-Luc pillar, a Jewish community and human rights activist, a pioneering health-care innovator, and a universally loved and admired Black community icon (deceased) are the four worthy winners of the D’Arcy-McGee—National Assembly Citizenship medals for 2022.

Sid
Sidney Margles

 

Sidney Margles, Dorothy Zalcman-Howard, Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg and Noel Alexander (posthumously) will each be honoured for their exemplary community contributions at a live ceremony to be held in the Ashkelon Gardens behind Côte Saint-Luc City Hall on Monday, June 13 at 7 p.m (In the event of rain, Côte Saint-Luc Aquatic and Community Centre). This is the eighth annual edition of the awards program. Members of the public are, of course, invited to attend.

Margles was a noted broadcaster for CJAD and Standard Radio before moving to the company's  corporate office. He has been one of my esteemed constituents the last 16 years in District 2.  Zalcman-Howard has served as the president of the Canadian Jewish Congress in Quebec and The Montreal Holocaust Museum. Rosenberg is the director general of the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal. Alexander was a noted civil rights activist and president of the Jamaican Association of Montreal who passed away last September.

The awards, the highest prize that elected Assembly leaders can bestow on residents, are designed to recognize individuals or organizations that have enriched the lives of local residents and others. It can be awarded to non-residents of the riding as well. The recognition can be for volunteer and/or professional activities. Former winners have included the late Dr. Mark Wainberg, Suzan Wener, Glenn Nashen, the late Jean Lapierre, Dan Philip and Lilia Esguerra.

“There is a rich and entrenched tradition of volunteer and community leadership in our riding of D’Arcy-McGee,” noted MNA David Birnbaum, who will be hosting the ceremony for the last time before he retires in October. “Our four winners for 2022 have made their dramatic mark, within our community and beyond. I am proud to have instituted this National Assembly medals program back in 2015. It allows us to recognize those in the D’Arcy-McGee riding who have given so much back in service of their fellow residents. I’m doubly pleased to have my Leader Dominique Anglade join us this year.”

These awards were indeed a clever idea by Birnbaum which I hope his successor will maintain. Who will that person be? Only Anglade knows for sure.

CJAD morning man Andrew Carter will serve as master of ceremonies for the event, and a musical interlude will be offered by l’Agence Musicale Étudiante.


“Proper” beautification of Marc Chagall lot to occur in June

 

I am pleased to report that City Council has approved special funds to properly beautify the empty lot on Marc Chagall Avenue across from the snow dump.

History will note that this land was leased to the developers of the Equinoxe apartment buildings for three summers as a parking lot for their workers. The goal here was to ensure that residents and their guests had  sufficient spots available on the street.

The developers were supposed to return the land back to the condition that they found it in. That did not occur.  Finally, last October the city took over the project and hired a sub-contractor. We promised to evaluate the work in May. We did so and clearly a redo was  necessary.

 

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What the land looks like now.

 

Our Public Works Department will now work with the sub-contractor. In June work will begin on installing new lighting next to the pathway leading to Isadore Goldberg Park.

.We will create a new curved pea-stone pathway (going  midway from the existing paved pathway back towards the street where there is presently a temporary little sitting area. The latter will be removed while the picnic tables and benches repurposed in the space.  Twelve Benches, tables and cement pads will be installed all along the pathways. Finally, 20 to 30 trees will be planted along the pathways, along the side of the townhouses and throughout the lot.

The most important news is that we will lay down sod – also commonly referred to as turf grass. These are sections of grass that have already grown, which is bound together by a root system or a thin layer of other bio-degradable material. I had asked for this to be the original approach. 

 

Picnictable
These picnic tables will be repurposed in the park.

Young families living in the town houses and grandparents in the condos like bringing the kids to play here. And everyone loves the benches. The greenspace does not have an official name, so perhaps we can consider one?

L'embellissement  du terrain Marc Chagall aura lieu en juin

J'ai le plaisir d'annoncer que le conseil municipal a approuvé des fonds spéciaux pour embellir comme il se doit le terrain vide de l'avenue Marc Chagall, en face de la décharge à neige.

L'histoire retiendra que ce terrain a été loué aux promoteurs des immeubles d'habitation Equinoxe pendant trois étés comme aire de stationnement pour leurs ouvriers. L'objectif ici était de s'assurer que les résidents et leurs invités disposaient de suffisamment de places dans la rue.

Les promoteurs étaient censés remettre le terrain dans l'état dans lequel ils l'avaient trouvé. Cela ne s'est pas produit.  Finalement, en octobre dernier, la ville a repris le projet et a engagé un sous-traitant. Nous avons promis d'évaluer le travail en mai. Nous l'avons fait et il est clair qu'une reprise était nécessaire.

Notre département des travaux publics va maintenant travailler avec le sous-traitant. En juin, nous commencerons à installer un nouvel éclairage près du sentier menant au parc Isadore Goldberg.

 Nous allons créer un nouveau sentier incurvé en pierre de taille (allant à mi-chemin du sentier pavé existant vers la rue où se trouve actuellement un petit coin salon temporaire. Ce dernier sera enlevé tandis que les tables de pique-nique et les bancs seront réutilisés dans l'espace.  Douze bancs, tables et socles en ciment seront installés tout au long des sentiers. Enfin, 20 à 30 arbres seront plantés le long des allées, sur le côté des maisons de ville et sur l'ensemble du terrain.

La nouvelle la plus importante est que nous allons poser du gazon en plaques - aussi appelé communément gazon artificiel. Il s'agit de sections d'herbe qui ont déjà poussé et qui sont liées entre elles par un système de racines ou une fine couche d'un autre matériau biodégradable. J'avais demandé que ce soit l'approche initiale. 

Les jeunes familles qui vivent dans les maisons de ville et les grands-parents qui vivent dans les condos aiment amener leurs enfants jouer ici. Et tout le monde aime les bancs. L'espace vert n'a pas de nom officiel, alors peut-être pourrions-nous en envisager un ?


The CSL Golf Classic is back August 9 at Meadowbrook

It’s been a while, but the Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic is back! What better way to spend a summer day than enjoying the company of friends old and new as we tee off at Meadowbrook Golf Club in Cote Saint-Luc for our 41st Annual Golf Classic on Tuesday, August 9 2022?

After a two-year hiatus, this year’s Classic is bound to attract many new and returning players eager to participate in our fun and friendly competition. The Golf Classic will be a Scramble (Best Ball Forward). We expect this event to sell-out once again, so register early!

Group
With Glenn J. Nashen, Sam Goldbloom, Dida Berku and Mannie Young.

Côte Saint-Luc City Council and the Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club will collaborate on the event, with myself  and Dida Berku joined by Mannie Young as co-chairs.  Former City Councillors Glenn J. Nashen and Sam Goldbloom will be this year’s honorees.

Glenn served on city council for more than 25 years. He was a key player in the area of public safety, having launched the Volunteer Citizens on Patrol (VCOPs) and participating as an active member of the Emergency Medical Services. Sam was a councillor for 12 years and co-chaired the Golf Classic with me on many occasions.

The Golf Classic will continue with a tradition I started a few years ago and  accept donations to the Parks and Recreation Bursary Fund. The donations raised help disadvantaged families and families with children who have special needs in Côte Saint-Luc who cannot afford to register their children in seasonal programs and activities operated by the City of Côte Saint-Luc’s Parks and Recreation Department.

If you own a business or have business contacts who may be interested in supporting  the Fund, please have them contact Anisa Cameron at Côte Saint-Luc Parks and Recreation at acameron@cotesaintluc.org no later than July 9.

Registration Fees

The cost to participate in this year’s Golf Classic is $35/player (senior rates are not applicable).

The Men’s club will receive an exclusive registration window from  June 10 to  16 at the Aquatic and Community Center (ACC) Front Desk, 5794 Parkhaven Avenue, Monday through Sunday from 8 am  to 9 pm. Registration will open to the general public on June 17.

When registering a foursome, please have the names of all players in your foursome including their address, postal code and telephone number. Please register as soon as possible as there is limited space.

Payment for a foursome or a single player must be paid in full at the time of registration.

The registration fees cover the cost of nine holes of golf, a catered box luncheon, award-winning trophies for contest holes such as Longest Drive and Closest to the Pin and the opportunity to win a door prize. The Guest fee for non-players who wish to attend the luncheon is $20/person.

Tee Times

Tee times will run from 7 am  to 10:30am (please try to respect your assigned tee-off time). A pull cart is included in your registration. If you require an electric cart, there are limited numbers and the rental must be paid directly to the Golf Club in advance (minimum of two days) before the event takes place. Please note that the cost of the golf cart rentals are discussed with the Meadowbrook Golf Club Club House Attendant. The cost for electric cart rentals are not included in your overall registration fee to play in this event.

Box Luncheon in the Ashkelon Gardens

The luncheon will be held in the Ashkelon Gardens behind the Eleanor London Public Library from 1 pm to 3 pm.  Everyone will be entertained by the musical stylings of Qué Sera and be served a boxed luncheon from Pizza Pita.

Kindly note, in the event of inclement weather, The Golf Classic rain date is scheduled for Tuesday, August 16.


Spotlight on Local Merchants for May: Dr Jordan Nemes and Nemes Ortho in District 2

Dr. Jordan Nemes, a board-certified orthodontist, and his team have opened a new state-of-the- art orthodontic clinic in the heart of Côte Saint Luc, right next to the Quartier Cavendish on the ground floor of the apartment building on The Avenue.

I was pleased to present Dr. Nemes with the Spotlight on Local Merchant honours for May when I visited his new locale.  On hand were his parents  Sid and Susie (of J&R Kosher Meats), building ownership representative Emile Badea and Samonda Johnpillai and Marc Talbot from project managers Derrig Talbot.

Please click here  on this link to see our feature, photos and video on the CSL Website

The expansive and bright ground floor unit  for Nemes Ortho also has its own 16 car parking lot to make your visit as convenient and comfortable as possible.

2022-05-17 - Nemes Ortho ribbon cutting and tour 01
Officiating at the ribbon cutting.

 

While Dr. Nemes completed the bulk of his graduate studies outside Quebec (Dentistry at NYU and his orthodontic residency at the University of Manitoba), he always knew he would open a clinic in Cote St. Luc one day, the city he grew up in and loved.

The result is a beautiful new destination for individuals of all ages who are looking to improve their smile aesthetics and functionality.

As Dr. Nemes explains, “We have patients ranging from 7 to 70 years old. It is recommended to see an orthodontist around the age of 7-8 to provide for timely detection of potential problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Early detection and treatment can prevent serious problems from happening later in life. As for my older patients, sometimes orthodontic treatment was desired, but life got in the way, and they are only now able to prioritize treatment for themselves.”

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Dr. Nemes, myself and the team.

 

Dr. Nemes offers conventional metal and clear braces as well as the virtually invisible Invisalign aligners. As one of the top Invisalign providers according to Invisalign, Dr. Nemes can treat a variety of cases and complex treatments using that technology, including extraction, surgical and early preventative cases.

Also significant to Dr. Nemes was investing in the best air filtration equipment:

“The pandemic taught us the importance of top-notch hygiene standards. It was imperative to install the highest quality central air purification system to protect my patients. We even constructed each treatment room as a separate room to offer patients maximum privacy and protection.”

New patients are welcome, and no doctor referral is necessary. To book your consult with Dr. Nemes, you can call the clinic at 514.739.1280 or email at info@nemesortho.com

Dr. Nemes and the entire Nemes Ortho team look forward to creating healthy beautiful smiles in the community for years to come.


Reserve the date of Wednesday June 8: Virtual Meeting on CSL Master Plan

There will be a very important city-wide virtual meeting planned for Wed June 8 at 7 pm, to discuss the city's Master Plan. Please note that Councillor Andee Shuster and I had originally planned a Virtual Town Hall this week for Districts 2 and 8, but postponed it in order to focus on this important event so please forgive the original hyperlink on this e-mail.
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Quartier Cavendish
 
The one topic all residents will be particularly interested in is the planned redevelopment of our three large malls : Quartier Cavendish, Decarie Square and the CSL Shopping Centre.
 

Between June and December 2022, the City of Côte Saint-Luc will be gathering feedback from the public on our revision to the municipal Master Plan and Zoning By-law revision documents. 

Decariesquare
An image of what a new Decarie Square could look like.

 

The City of Côte Saint-Luc wants to capture your values and the essence of what makes Côte Saint-Luc home to you. We want to know how you imagine the future of your city.  

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The CSL Shopping Centre.

 

From June to December 2022, we have organized different activities to help inform those who live and work in Côte Saint-Luc and to give them a chance to share their ideas. We are hosting public information sessions, an open house, and a public hearing. There will be a web page to share resources and keep you updated on the process, as well as an online survey to collect your feedback. 

Please register to participate via this link: https://cotesaintluc.org/engage/2022/05/20/master-plan-and-zoning-by-law-revision/

Take a look at the FAQ section will explain a lot.

Révision du plan directeur d’urbanisme et du règlement de zonage

Côte Saint-Luc annonce le lancement des consultations sur la révision du nouveau plan directeur d’urbanisme et du règlement de zonage   

Entre juin et décembre 2022, la ville de Côte Saint-Luc recueillera les commentaires du public sur sa révision du plan directeur municipal et du règlement de zonage.   

La Ville de Côte Saint-Luc veut connaître vos valeurs et l’essence de pourquoi Côte Saint-Luc est votre chez-vous. Nous voulons savoir comment vous imaginez l’avenir de votre ville.   

De juin à décembre 2022, des activités différentes sont prévues afin d’informer les personnes qui vivent et travaillent à Côte Saint-Luc et leur donner la possibilité de partager leurs idées. Nous organiserons des séances d’information publiques, une journée portes ouvertes et une audience publique. Il y aura une page Web pour partager les ressources et vous tenir au courant du processus, ainsi qu’un sondage en ligne pour recueillir vos commentaires.  

Le processus de consultation débutera par une séance d’information publique en ligne le 8 juin, à 19 heures.  Le processus de consultation vous sera expliqué et vous apprendrez comment y participer.

Inscrivez-vous ici

Nous enregistrerons la séance et la mettrons en ligne pour que vous puissiez la regarder à votre convenance. Nous comptons sur votre participation. Votre point de vue est important pour nous, et nous avons hâte d’entendre ce que vous avez à dire.  

 

 
 

 
 

 

Remarkable art exhibit by Shushana Caplan at CSL Public Library from a child Holocaust survivor

On the occasion of Jewish Heritage Month, our Côte Saint-Luc Public Library is presenting a most interesting exhibit by artist Shushana Caplan, who re-creates her childhood memories of being a refugee in Siberia. She uses reproductions of photos that her parents brought with them during the war from Brest, Belarus to Siberia to create her unique artworks.

Shushana’s father had been in the Polish army in 1939, but with the German occupation of Poland, he I knew that his family’s only chance of survival was to leave his hometown of Mezrycz. He and most of his siblings and his wife’s siblings took refuge at his brother’s home in Brest-Litovsk, a Polish city that fell under Russian rule as a result of the German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact of 1939. I met with Shushana last week for a personal tour of her paintings. The story is fascinating and given the scenes we see on television every day related to the war in Ukraine, very timely.

 

Shushana
Shushana Caplan at her exhibit.

 

“I am a survivor,” Shushana says. “For some reason that fact seems of utmost importance to me at this time of my life. Perhaps it’s because I never expected to survive in the first place and certainly my parents never held out much hope for my continued existence. When my mother was pregnant with me, they chose to leave their home, their parents and everything they loved and treasured to escape the Nazi onslaught that was consuming their country, Poland. We spent a month on cattle cars. Many did not survive.


“It was fear that drove them to leave their home, their parents and their comfortable life. Their greatest fear was that the Nazis would destroy everything in their way and as Jews, they feared for their lives. They had heard the stories of how Jews were being treated in Germany, their rights removed, indignities heaped on them and removal to concentration camps. Finally, the news of the violence and destruction of Kristallnacht struck terror in their hearts and convinced them that they had to leave, now.”

Here is my video chat with Shushana.


Shushana says her parents tried everything to convince their own family members into joining them in fleeing to Russia. All their siblings agreed to pack up their families and go. “My mother’s youngest brother, Velvel, his wife and three children, Pearl, Esther and Arelle came with them,” she explains. “My father’s two brothers also agreed to leave. Uncle David and Aunt Pearl had two young boys, Tevia and Gershon that they brought along as well.


“My grandparents refused to let my father’s youngest brother, Nute, join them. As a teenager he was still under the protection of his parents. ‘He’s too young to leave home, ‘they claimed, and that was that. Miraculously he did survive the war, but they didn’t.”

The story of her survival is a miracle.


“I was only one month old when we were deported to the Gulag, the slave labour camps of Siberia,” says Shushana. “Extreme conditions awaited us; freezing temperatures, backbreaking labour and the constant threat of starvation. With a tiny infant to care for, my parents struggled to feed themselves while keeping me alive. There was no medicine and very few doctors. Before the age of three, I had contracted diphtheria, whooping cough, pneumonia twice and even malaria. It’s no wonder they constantly feared that I would die. Many other children had.”


Shushana says that this pervasive sense of doom followed her for many years, even as an adult in the safety of her home in Canada. But survive she did. “As the survivor, I am here to tell the story of our enslavement and the terrible years we spent in Siberia during the war,” she declared. “We survived and made our way to safety. It is my legacy to describe the journey of my younger self, Raizelle, to the next generation, my children, and their children.”


From Siberia, the family ended up in the Ukraine, then Germany. Her father found a way to get into Canada while falsely claiming he was a tailor, a trade that was in need. Ironically, he did find work in that area here at a factory.


Shushana was nearly eight when they arrived in Montreal, settling in the Plateau area of town. And an artist she would become. She received her education in art at the Saidyie Bronfman Centre and Concordia University, where she earned degrees in Fine Arts as well as in Fine Arts Education. Mixed-Media painting is her preferred approach at present, using a base of abstract acrylics with collage. Her work is autobiographical in the sense that it is an ongoing narration of her inner thoughts. Personal memories and fantasies are explored aesthetically, but the actual process of painting is discovery. For her painting is more than simply creating pictures, it is an act of finding meaning.


Shushana resides in CSL and teaches abstract acrylic with collage at our Aquatic and Community Centre

The exhibition represents different stages of Shushana’s life. Her parents carried with them through their travels across war-torn Poland and Russia a package of family photos, some over a 100 years old. Shushana creates “dreamscapes” using many reproductions of these photos; the paintings evoke stories, which she hopes will become a legacy for her family. It is a specialization in art I have not really been exposed to. You must go to the CSL Public Library and see it for yourself. I received a VIP guided tour and a detailed explanation of each picture.

Une artiste et professeur d'art


Shushana Caplan est une artiste et professeur d'art qui a grandi à Montréal, au Canada. Elle est née à Brest, en Biélorussie, en 1940, juste au début de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. La famille a été envoyée en Sibérie pendant la majeure partie de la guerre. Shushana a émigré au Canada en 1948 avec ses parents et son frère Harry.


Elle a reçu sa formation en art au Centre Saydie Bronfman et à l'Université Concordia, où elle a obtenu des diplômes en beaux-arts ainsi qu'en éducation aux beaux-arts. La peinture en techniques mixtes est présentement son style préféré, utilisant une base d'acryliques abstraits avec collage.
Le travail de Shushana est autobiographique. Il s'agit d'une narration continue de ses pensées intérieures. Les souvenirs personnels et les fantasmes sont explorés esthétiquement, mais le processus réel de la peinture est la découverte. Pour elle, la peinture est plus qu'une simple création d'images, c'est un acte de recherche de sens.


Actuellement, Shushana explore ses premières expériences en tant qu'enfant réfugiée en Sibérie et l'héritage de ses parents et grands-parents en Pologne. Ses parents ont emporté avec eux tout au long de leurs voyages à travers la Pologne et la Russie déchirées par la guerre un paquet de photos de famille, certaines datant de plus de cent ans. Shushana crée des « paysages de rêve » en utilisant de nombreuses reproductions de ces photos ; les peintures évoquent des histoires dont elle espère deviendront un héritage pour sa famille


Bill 96 rally won't cost the CAQ votes, but their international representation is at risk

Did the May 14 Bill 96 rally and march accomplish anything?

For one thing, given the fact so many activities have been held virtually these past two years, it was indeed a morale booster. A few thousand people gathered outside Dawson College. The 10 am start was delayed and difficult to hear speeches went on for close to an hour. Then those who remained marched in unison to Premier Francois Legault’s office.

Bill 96 rally
Protesters Rally against Bill 96. (Glenn J. Nashen Photo)

 

Bill 96, the obscene new language legislation drafted by Legault’s CAQ, is expected to be adopted this week. There is no question that during the four years of the CAQ’s mandate they have spoken loud and clear that anglos and minorities are now second-class citizens in this province.

The CAQ has only one goal in mind and that is to get re-elected in October with a massive majority. Without an effective opposition and a clued-out electorate in the regions, they will coast to such a victory. The CAQ makes the Parti Québecois of old look like an English choir group. They have handed down laws that would even make the late René Lévesque spin in his grave. I am certain that former PQ Premier Lucien Bouchard would not endorse their inflammatory legislation ever.

The rally, in my opinion, was a necessary activity. It will not cost Legault any votes. In fact, he will likely secure some more PQ and Liberal ridings as a result of it. However, but what former businessman Legault has not realized is how media coverage of a rally likes this affects Quebec’s image nationally or internationally. Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon’s mandate is to attract to attract corporate business to the province. What non-francophone would want to move their family to Quebec where a religious symbol precludes you from becoming a schoolteacher and any connection to “English” translates into a dirty word? Lévesque and Bouchard were always particularly mindful of this.

People I spoke to felt good they were there. However, had I been the organizer, I would have scheduled it for a weekday at noon. Saturday prevented busloads of Shabbat observing Jews from attending; Sunday would have impacted church services. I would have started on time, presented far few speeches and like lawyer Michael Polak told me, “not play festive music at the start. We were not here to celebrate!”

As the manager of marketing and communications at the English Montreal School Board, a city councillor in Côte Saint-Luc and a columnist/blogger/podcaster for Quebec’s largest English weekly newspaper (The Suburban), Bill 96 will have an enormous impact on my life and my livelihood. Sadly, there is nobody out there to help us – not our Prime Minister or the other federal parties nor the once effective Provincial Liberal Party. (Mount Royal Liberal MP has spoken out loudly; too bad he is not in cabinet). The future for all of us looks very bleak.


Elie Wiesel's son joins us for bench dedication in the memory of his late aunt

Did you know that the sister of  Elie Wiesel lived in Côte Saint-Luc before she passed away in 1974?
 
I was unaware of this fact until the Foundation for Genocide Education welcomed Elisha Wiesel, the son of Elie Wiesel, to come speak at a fundraising event at Beth Israel Congregation.
 
Elie Wiesel was a Romanian-born American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel laureate, and Holocaust survivor. He authored 57 books, written mostly in French and English, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a Jewish prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps.
 
Wiesel1
 
On the afternoon of the lecture we invited Elisha to the park we named in honour of his late father at the corner of Cavendish and Kildare and in my District 2. Rabbi Reuben J. Poupko, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and some others joined us as we unveiled  bench plaque at Elie Wiesel Park  honouring Beatrice Wiesel Jackson - Elie's sister.
 
Wieselplaque

As part of Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation, and Prevention Month, the Foundation for Genocide Education recently announced the official publication of the pedagogical guide Studying Genocides. Available in French (in English in fall 2022) to all high school teachers in Quebec at education-genocide.ca, this guide will enable over 343,000 students in 800 schools to study the history of nine significant genocides of the 20th century.

Wiesel2

 

 


Young Côte Saint-Luc resident excels on the cello thanks to generosity of others

The Montreal Cello Ensemble, based in NDG,  gives talented local children a full scholarship opportunity to learn from and perform with cellists Genevieve Guimond and Gary Russell of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, educator Josh Fink, and pianist Sandra Hunt. The  goal is to ensure that the highest level of music education is made available at no financial cost to children who show talent, dedication, and a love for music.  This is  a registered charity that has received support from private donors, the Dr. Julien Foundation, the Unitarian Church of Montreal, Luthiers, Wilder & Davis, Carrefour jeunesse emploi - NDG, and  the law firm BLG.

Amaka6
District 2 resident Amaka and her cello.

 

Fink tells me they are planning on adding many students for this summer and families should apply by May 15 if they are interested via https://www.cellomontreal.ca/demande-application . They just released their debut album, Petits mondes endormis, which contains 10 original songs. Each one is written and performed by one of their young cellists:

Students  come from across the island, meeting in person Saturday mornings at either The Unitarian Church of Montreal or the  Carrefour jeunesse emploi - NDG. “During the pandemic we did a lot  online, as well as outdoor classes when the weather permitted. We developed an extensive online curriculum of around 3,000 at-home practice videos," says Fink. 

One such success story is nearly seven year old Amaka, who started with the cello at age four years. An incredible talent, she just composed and recorded a  track on their album: https://cellomontreal.bandcamp.com/track/i-love-my-barbie-doll

The Côte Saint-Luc District 2 resident attends  École Des Amies-du-Monde.

Amaka  was born in May 2015 and hails from Issele Azagba in the  Delta State of Nigeria. A series of events caused the family to leave Nigeria and they arrived here in January 2018. As with most new endeavours, settling into a new environment definitely came with its challenges and one of the most difficult was finding an affordable daycare for her as she was so young and her parents couldn’t afford the private daycares at that time. She had to stay home while the family searched for ways to keep her engaged. As luck would have it,  a neighbour turned friend named Rachel, who is also a musician,  happened to introduce her to Fink. “He told me about this amazing free cello music program for kids that was in the works and suggested I have one of my kids try out for the auditions to get in,” said mom Joan. “We had never ever heard of  or seen a cello so this was a totally new experience for us.” 

Amaka was the very first to audition and she fared very well  and this began her journey into the wonderful world of the cello.  Added her mom: "Amaka has always loved listening to music and also singing as we would occasionally find her tapping away on the keyboard at home as she was fascinated by the sounds it made but her keen ear and appreciation for music was brought to my attention by her amazing instructors at Cello Montreal."

“She is also very excited about her very first song which she composed under the guidance and expertise of her instructors titled I love my Barbie doll and is looking forward to making more music,”  Joan continued. “Playing the cello has become one of her very favourite things to do and she never misses a chance to play at any occasion whenever it is requested. It’s amazing to see how far she has come and how talented she is and we appreciate her instructors who are helping  to nurture her talent and open her up to possibilities which we would never have imagined.” 


Tribute: Beryl Peletz was a stalwart with the CSL Men's Club and a true mensch

While I knew Beryl Peletz was in his 90s, he was one of those individuals whom I thought would simply live forever.

I had the pleasure of being his city councillor in Côte Saint-Luc District 2 these past 16 years. He and his wife Miriam were model constituents, always providing  timely advice. When there was an issue they would call me together, with one of them doing the talking and the other sharing comments from the background.

When it came to election time and campaigns, Beryl would give me the ultimate compliment when I knocked on his door by saying, “you don’t need to ask our vote…it is guaranteed.”

DavidHBeryl
David Haltrecht and I with Beryl (right) at the 2018 Men's Club Dinner.



Beryl was a true leader  with the Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club.

“There are no simple words that I can use to pay tribute to Beryl,” said Sidney Margles. “There can only be superlatives. Beryl only had friends. He was always there. A pillar of the Cote Saint-Luc Men’s Club, he will be sorely missed.”

Irving Leiner called Beryl “a treasure whose absence will be deeply felt by many. I had the privilege of meeting and knowing Beryl when I first joined the Men's Club. His friendship and support for me was always evident and his willingness to help and take charge of anything that was required for our live evening events contributed to making these events enormously successful.”  

Syd Kronish noted that Beryl was  his key man during his eight years years as a member of the executive, including four as president. “He assumed with pleasure the job of heading the breakfast meetings which fed 200 to 275 members every month.” He said.  “He also was the leader of our monthly trips to Morrisburg to see some wonderful live shows what a man, always ready to help wherever he could. “

Phil Matlin resided in the same condo as Beryl on Rembrandt Avenue . “He was one of a kind,” he said. “When I moved into the Briar Cliffe I was elected to the board the same year as Miriam was. Beryl introduced himself to me as Miriam's husband. It didn't take very long to become friends. Beryl was always there for me and many others. We lost a man who was the definition of mensch. There will never be a man quite like Beryl.”

Mannie Young, another former Men’s Club president, wrote , “As I sit here writing this obituary , I am shivering not yet realizing that my mentor has left me.”

Debbie Adelstein-Posner called Beryl “ aremarkable man with an outstanding personality. He made everyone who met him feel important and loved and valued. Beryl was a pillar of his community, admired and respected by the many people he had come to know over his years particularly those in the Men’s Club.”

 Adelstein-Posner said that when  her  father stopped working and could not longer golf (his joy in life), Beryl reached out and invited him to community outings, to lectures and bridge games. “He let my father know that he was there for him at any time for any social need,” she said. “Beryl is leaving his legacy in the heart of my friend, who would, and does, go to the end of the earth for me, her friends, acquaintances and yes, without question, strangers.”  

Donations in his memory may be made to the “Abe Beryl Peletz Memorial fund” for Pancreatic cancer c/o the Jewish General Hospital Foundation (514) 340-8251 or the Sam Klinger chapter of Montreal Hadassah WIZO Organization of Canada (514) 933-8461.

Our sympathies go out to his family.

 

 


 Tordjman becomes the first candidate to confirm interest in D’Arcy McGee Liberal nomination

In my previous blog, I had a recommendation for how the Quebec Liberal Party can turn their fortunes around in the October provincial election. That would be to oppose  Bill 21 (prohibits Quebec citizens who work in public service from wearing religious symbols while fulfilling their duties), Bill 40 (abolition of English public school boards) and Bill 96 (the draconian new language law) and transform this opportunity into an attractive array of candidates.

The Liberals have an opening in the D’Arcy McGee  riding, with David Birnbaum stepping down. Imagine party leader Dominique Anglade campaigning in a core CAQ region with her new D’Arcy McGee hopeful wearing his kippa. She can explain to those voters what a kippa is and how  this individual can run for public office, yet is not eligible to become a teacher, vice-principal or principal unless they remove their religious symbol.  The same route could be followed for  her candidates with a hijab, turban or a cross around their neck. Wow, would the CAQ be on the defensive!

Tordjmanfamily
David Tordjman says he has the support of his wife and five children to pursue the Liberal nomination in D'Arcy McGee.

 

Since I live in D’Arcy McGee, I decided to reach out to some potential candidates who do wear kippas to see if they would be interested in the nomination for the Liberals – and whether Bill 21 serves as motivating factor.  David Tordjman,  who sat with me on Côte Saint-Luc City Council for four years, responded immediately: “As you’ve pointed out, the Legault government has a track record of violating fundamental rights: banning Quebecers who wear religious symbols from working as teachers, lawyers, and police officers with Bill 21; stripping the rights of parents to democratically elect and manage school boards with Bill 40; and restricting access to the judicial process in English while freezing enrolment in English-language CEGEPs with Bill 96, which was flawed from its inception and does nothing to nurture the English-speaking community. Rather it creates limitations and divisiveness.”

I asked David if he would pursue the Liberal nomination. The answer was “yes.”

“Bill 21 in particular hits home,” said David, a fully bilingual Sephardic Jew who attended English public school. “As a practicing Jew who wears a kippah, I recognize that this legislation impacts me along with countless Quebecers. Most importantly, it affects those presently working in the civil service, and dissuades our youth who aspire to serve the public. As a father of five children, this is not the society of diversity, inclusiveness, and acceptance I wanted to raise them in.

“Many of your readers know me as an active political figure in Côte Saint-Luc. They should also know that I’m not afraid to spark a discussion on why I and others wearing religious symbols can contribute positively to Quebec society at all levels.”

Just imagine David in Shawinigan with Anglade, speaking flawless French and explaining to the audience what Bill 21 really means. The CAQ hierarchy believes that all Quebecers support this law. But they don’t; there are merely too many of our citizens who need to be educated on what the real implications are.

“This election, Dominique Anglade and the Quebec Liberals are best positioned to take on the CAQ. While some may wish to divide our community’s voice at the ballot box, I believe we must stay united in fighting against a government that enacts legislation harming women, religious minorities, racialized people, and immigrant communities.”

As for the two anglo rights parties now forming, unless they find a way to merge neither will have any impact at all on the Liberals. By feuding in the media, leaders Balarama Holness and Colin Standish are losing credibility by the minute.

The Conservative Party of Quebec will get some  votes and I would not be surprised to see their kippa-wearing candidate from 2018, Yaniv Loran, back in the race.


The Quebec Liberal Party's best chance at a comeback is this recipe to "educate" the regions about Bills 21, 40 & 96

Can the Quebec Liberal Party make a comeback in the next provincial election?

Heading into the October vote, polls indicate the Quebec Liberals may get shellacked. Thus far leader Dominique Anglade and the party seem unable to connect with voters. However, I see  a real  opportunity for Anglade..

Bill21
The Liberals need a winning formula.

The party  must come up with many new candidates due to retirements. Since Anglade has made it clear in recent interviews that her party is against Bill 21 (prohibits Quebec citizens who work in public service from wearing religious symbols while fulfilling their duties), Bill 40 (abolition of English public school boards) and Bill 96 (the draconian new language law), why not look at this as an ideal opportunity for a rebranding?

“Unlike the governing CAQ, we are a party that accepts all Quebecers as equals,” Anglade can say by introducing a diversified group of candidates. Imagine how something like that would resonate!

In D’Arcy McGee, name a candidate who wears a  kippa; for Laval find someone with a hijab or turban; in L’Acadie,   identify a high profile English public school official; in Marguerite Bourgeoys (LaSalle) engage someone from an English CEGEP;  for  Vimont Laval convince a representative from the Catholic Church; for Mount Royal (if Pierre Arcand retires), bring in a representative from the Indigenous community. Could you just imagine all of these people sworn in as MNAs and sitting in  Quebec as Bill 21 continues to roll its way through the courts? An orthodox Jew wearing the same kippa that  would  ban him from doing so as a school teacher – ditto for a woman with a hijab. That would be ironic!

Suddenly, the Liberals would have an identity. These MNAs could then travel the province with Anglade  and “educate”   CAQ loyalists in the regions what a religious symbol means. Most of these electors are not exposed to these things. It is support by ignorance.

With all of the opposition parties, including the newly popular Conservatives, the best case scenario for the Liberals would be a minority CAQ government. In order to not get wiped off the map, Anglade needs to think outside of the box and this idea could put them back in the game.

As for the two new anglophone rights parties headed by Balarama Holness and Colin Standish, unless they merge the Liberals have absolutely nothing to fear as they will merely split the vote.


We have made the case that hybrid city council meetings work; is the Quebec government listening?

Last Monday (April 11) Côte Saint-Luc City Council  convened for our first in-person meeting in over two years,

Despite the fact we have over 60,000 cases of COVID-19 daily in Quebec, the CAQ government is in election mode so no matter how backed up our emergency rooms get and regardless of how many crucial surgeries are cancelled due to the explosion of the pandemic it is business as usual according to our National Director of Health.

So, among the many senseless things our provincial government has done is force councils back in public. It was ironic that on the day  we did return, former Councillor Sam Goldbloom was admitted to the Jewish General Hospital with a serious case of COVID. I spoke to Sam today. His condition is improving and he should be released in the coming days. The list of people I know who have come down with COVID in the past two weeks is endless. Yet here we were in the Council Chamber, albeit everyone masked and distanced,asked to meet in the presence of the public. Vaccine passports are now part of our past.

MeinMaskatFirstInPersonMeeting
Seated at our first in-person meeting since the start of the pandemic.

The council meeting proceeded similarly to those of the past two years. While we were indeed all seated in the Council Chamber, we wore headphones and via Zoom the session was broadcast live on YouTube. One member of the public showed up, but she left before we got started. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and I are immunosuppressed. So after the agenda was approved, we each went to separate rooms and continued to participate in the meeting. Oh yes, we did have plenty of questions and all of them came online.

What we proved on April 11 is that hybrid meetings do work. We adopted a resolution, calling upon the Quebec government to allow us to conduct such meetings. Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante, St. Laurent Borough Mayor Alan DeSousa and The Association of Suburban Mayors back this format. Will the Quebec government budge? It would be nice for this occur, but I am not betting on the CAQ doing the right thing where COVID protocols are concerned until after the October election.

Here I am on CTV Montreal

Here I am on CJAD

Here is the video of our first in person meeting

 

RESOLUTION TO REQUEST LEGISLATIVE AMENDMENTS TO ALLOW REMOTE PARTICIPATION OF THE COUNCIL MEMBERS:

            

WHEREAS Ministerial Order 2020-029 authorized the remote participation of elected officials in municipal council meetings as well as in public consultation assemblies due to the state of the declared public health emergency throughout Quebec;

WHEREAS Ministerial Order 2022-024, taken on March 25, revoked Ministerial Order 2020-029, thus requiring physical presence at municipal council meetings and public consultation assemblies;

WHEREAS the sixth wave of the COVID-19 infections is causing a sharp rise in cases across Quebec;

WHEREAS an elected municipal official is at the heart of municipal democracy and that its presence is essential in order to fulfill his duties and obligations;

WHEREAS the remote work mode promotes the participation of elected officials on the move, work-family balance as well as the possibility of voting at a municipal council meeting even in the event of illness;

WHEREAS experience shows that remote communication is done effectively within the framework of the various council meetings;

 

             It was

                       MOVED BY COUNCILLOR Andee Shuster

                       SECONDED BY COUNCILLOR Sidney Benizri

             AND RESOLVED:

            THAT the Council of the City of Côte Saint-Luc ask the government and the National Assembly of Quebec, by means of a letter addressed to the provincial deputy, to adopt the necessary legislative amendments in order to confer on municipalities the power to determine, by by-law or resolution, the procedures for the remote participation of elected officials in meetings of the municipal council as well as in public consultation assemblies.

             THAT a certified copy of this resolution be sent to the MNA of D'Arcy-McGee, Mr. David Birnbaum, to the ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation, to the Union des Municipalités du Québec as well as to the Association of Suburban Municipalities ;

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

RÉSOLUTION POUR DEMANDER UNE MODIFICATION LÉGISLATIVE RELATIVEMENT AUX MODALITÉS DE PARTICIPATION À DISTANCE DES ÉLUS MUNICIPAUX

            

ATTENDU QUE l’Arrêté ministériel 2020-029 autorisait la participation à distance des élus aux séances du conseil municipal ainsi qu’aux assemblées publiques de consultation en raison de l’état d’urgence sanitaire déclaré sur tout le territoire québécois ;

ATTENDU QUE l’arrêté ministériel 2022-024, pris le 25 mars dernier, a abrogé l’arrêté numéro 2020-009, obligeant ainsi les élus municipaux à siéger en présentiel aux séances du conseil municipal et assemblées publiques de consultation ;

ATTENDU QUE la sixième vague d’infections à la COVID-19 provoque une forte hausse des cas à travers le Québec ;

ATTENDU QU’un élu municipal est au cœur de la démocratie municipale et que sa présence est ainsi primordiale afin de remplir ses devoirs et obligations ;

ATTENDU QUE le mode de travail à distance favorise la participation des élus en déplacement, la conciliation travail-famille ainsi que la possibilité de voter à une séance du conseil municipal même en cas de maladie ;

ATTENDU QUE l’expérience permet de constater que la communication à distance s’effectue efficacement dans le cadre des différentes assemblées du conseil ;

             Il fut

                       PROPOSÉ PAR LE CONSEILLER Andee Shuster

                       APPUYÉ PAR LE CONSEILLER Sidney Benizri    

             ET RÉSOLU :

 

            QUE le conseil de la Ville de Côte Saint-Luc demande au gouvernement et à l’Assemblée nationale du Québec, par le biais d’une lettre adressée au député provincial, d’adopter les modifications législatives nécessaires afin de conférer aux municipalités le pouvoir de déterminer, par règlement ou résolution, les modalités de participation à distance des élus aux séances du conseil municipal ainsi qu’aux assemblées publiques de consultation.

             QU’une copie certifiée conforme de la présente résolution soit transmis au député provincial de la circonscription de D’Arcy-McGee, monsieur David Birnbaum, au ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation, à l’Union des Municipalités du Québec ainsi qu’à l’Association des municipalités de banlieue ;

ADOPTÉE À L’UNANIMITÉ

 


New Orthodontist Clinic coming to The Avenue

City Council has approved the signage for the first tenant on the ground floor of the District 2 apartment building on The Avenue. It will nice to see the brown paper come down from the windows, although there is still another section the owners can rent out.

It has been five years since residents began occupying the building right across the street from the side entrance of Quartier Cavendish. He ground floor has always been zoned commercial and in a few weeks Nemes Ortho will set up shop there. Operated by Dr. Jordan Nemes (whose parents own J & R Kosher), this will be a nice addition to the community. Of course, at Quartier Cavendish, the legendary Dr. Marvin Steinberg continuest to make kids' teeth straight at Smile Creations.

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A look at what the outside will look like.

 

Nemes Ortho  currently operates on the West Island and at Decarie Square. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree from McGill University, Dr. Nemes received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from NYU’s College of Dentistry. Dr. Nemes then completed a multidisciplinary general practice residency program at the Jewish General Hospital (McGill University) where he received advanced dental training in various dental specialties and emergency care.

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Dr. Nemes with a patient.

 

Following his residency, Dr. Nemes practiced dentistry in Montreal and the West Island. Dr. Nemes obtained his Master’s degree and specialty training in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics from the University of Manitoba and is a fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada in Orthodontics. During the course of his studies, Dr. Nemes earned several academic awards and honor.

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Dr. Steinberg

Dr. Steinberg, who is also one of my constituents, received his dental training at McGill University in Montreal and his Orthodontic training at Boston University School of Graduate Dentistry in Boston. He holds a Certificate in Orthodontics as well as a Masters of Science in Dentistry degree. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, a Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada, a Fellow of the American College of Dentists, and as well, a Fellow of the International College of  Dentists. Dr. Steinberg is a Past-President of the Federation of Dental Societies of Greater Montreal, a Past-President of Alpha Omega-Mount Royal Dental Society and Past President of the Quebec Association of Orthodontists.

Let the record show that thanks to my parents, I had braces as did my brother Chuck and sister Lisa. Our orthodontist was Dr. Eric  B. Reich, who had his office at the Kildare Medical Centre. He was such a sports fan that before each appointment he'd call me into his private office to discuss the latest news in the NHL. Everytime I smile with my straight teeth I am grateful to my parents and Dr. Reich.


Hillsdale Golf & Country Club to relocate to Meadowbrook

The Board of Directors of Hillsdale Golf and Country Club has sold its sprawling grounds in Mirabel for  $50 million, effective 2024, subsequently purchasing Meadowbrook Golf Course.

Work will begin immediately to build a state of the art clubhouse, restaurant and reception hall. Bravo to Côte Saint-Luc’s Deputy Mayor Dida Berku, who has worked tirelessly for well over three decades to keep Meadowbrook green.

While Hillsdale is a members only club, arrangements have been made for non-members to golf on Tuesdays from 7 am to 4 pm

Meadowbrook Groupe Pacific West bought the land in 2006 for $3 million and was in talks with the city to build what it called an environmentally friendly, 1,600-unit residential complex dubbed Petite Rivière.

Hillsdale Golf Club began in 1953 with a group of dedicated men who shared a dream and had the determination needed to make their vision a reality. Since then, Hillsdale has grown into a multi-cultural club with a rich history of traditions, memorable moments, and great golf.

“What an opportunity this is for us,” says Hillsdale board member Michael Wagen, the Chief Executive Officer of Delmar Cargo. “Such a large chunk of our membership lives in the West End of Montreal. The drive to Mirabel is long. Now we will build a state of the art facility and contribute to our local community at the same time.”

Berku will meet with Councillor Mitch Kujavsky, Chair of the Planning Advisory Committee, this week to begin the process of planning consultations. Approval will also be required from the  City of Montreal, since part of the golf course is in Lachine.

Meadowbrook
The beautiful grounds of Meadowbrook, soon to be renamed Hillsdale.

 

Berku says the new Hillsdale facility has the potential to become a gathering place for  community events,  receptions and celebrations like weddings.  Efforts will be made to lure a hotel.  Hillsdale will bring its popular restaurant the Grill Room  to the new facility. Chef Eric Hamel, will help you discover these new products whether it is with our daily specials or with our table d’hôte during dinner.  The  Lounge will serve as the perfect place for a game of cards with a group of friends, serving  a wide selection of wines, spirits, and other beverages.  Two snack bars will allow golfers grab a quick bite before they tee time or between the 7th and 8th holes. Here you will find daily items such as paninis, salads, and desserts, all of which are packaged to-go in the easiest and simplest way for you to enjoy your meal while continuing your activities.

Dave Gandell,  president of The CSL Men’s Club, says his membership is overwhelmed. “Many of us will sign up as  members,” he said, noting that Past President Mannie Young was secretly assigned to a private negotiating committee.

Well, I don’t know about you but this sounds like a dream come true! However, this is April Fool’s Day so I regret to inform you it is a merely a wish.    Deputy Mayor Berku, though, has always told me she would love to see something like this occur. So, perhaps I have  planted a seed?


"Forcing" municipalities to return to in-person public meetings represents another example of pretending COVID is over

The Quebec government continues to dig its head in the sand, doing away with COVID-19 measures as if this is a race.

Public Health Director Luc Boileau said today that he may delay the lifting of the mask mandate past mid-April. Well,  that makes sense. We are now officially in a sixth wave. Hospital workers are out in big numbers. A number of restaurants and pubs have had to shut down and while the hard to get PCR testing numbers show over 3,000 cases a day, Boileau  admitted that the real number of daily infections in Quebec is likely closer to 30,000.

Head in sand
Some people from our government do indeed have their heads in the sand.

 

I know it is an election year for the Quebec government, but if the governing CAQ continues to act like COVID does not exist they are removing the incentive for people to get vaccinated or boosted - and just watch as hospital emergency rooms go beyond capacity.

As a city councillor in Côte Saint-Luc,  I am at loss to understand why municipalities have just been advised that we are now being forced to return to in-person public meetings.  For the past two years we have been convening virtually. The process has worked exceptionally well and while we all want to do this again with the public in attendance and for them to be able to ask questions directly to us, it really is all about timing. Since we now have live webcasts of these meetings, more people than ever are tuning in.  And nobody can argue about the safety factor.

As this sixth wave begins,  no less than nine Members of the National Assembly - including the Premier and the Deputy Premier- sit home isolating because of COVID. Would it not make more sense for the government to leave this choice up to each municipality? Clearly they are spreading the new variant among each other in Quebec City.

Today, Health Minister Christian Dubé spoke about not entirely lifting the State of Emergency; that the government still requires the power to make some urgent decisions. He took a lot of heat for this. Well, here is a perfect opportunity for him to grant municipalities to return to public sessions at the very least when this sixth wave subsides.

Here is the memo municipalities received


À la suite des derniers développements concernant les mesures de la COVID-19, le ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Habitation confirme que l'arrêté 2020-029 du 26 avril 2020, qui permet la participation à distance des membres de toute réunion, séance ou assemblée d’un organe délibérant (dont le conseil d’un organisme municipal), a été abrogé le vendredi 25 mars dernier par l’arrêté ministériel 2022-024. Dans ce contexte, l’ensemble des séances du conseil doit de nouveau se tenir en présentiel, conformément aux règles prévues, entre autres, à la Loi sur les cités et villes et au Code municipal du Québec.

Le site Internet du MAMH sera mis à jour sous peu pour tenir compte de cette abrogation.

I was interviewed by CTV Montreal News. You can see the report here.

CBC also did a report. You can see it here.

 


Developing closer ties with our colleagues on Hampstead Town Council

A few weeks ago I suggested to Mayor Mitchell Brownstein that our council hold a virtual meeting with our colleagues in Hampstead, something we have not done since I first elected 16 years ago.

HampsteadZoom
CSL and Hampstead councils meet.

 

Having a virtual platform made this process so simple and the one hour we spent together was  very productive. Mayor Brownstein and his counterpart, newly elected Hampstead Mayor Jeremi Levi, spoke about some common goals. Councillors introduces ourselves. We are immediate neighbours and of course, for four years during the forced mergers we were part of a borough with Montreal West.

Some of the topics raised included traffic signs on Fleet Road, the extension of Cavendish Boulevard, dedicated bus lines that will start on the Montreal side of Queen Mary Road,  Bill 96, Dawson College and how we may be able to form even closer ties.

We all agreed that more such meetings will be scheduled.

 

 


Handicapped accessible washrooms being installed at Rembrandt Park Chalet

Renovations  are underway at the  Rembrandt Park Chalet’s washrooms.

Our Public Works team are gutting them completely and installing new  floors ceilings, toilets, and more. We are changing both the men's and women's bathrooms to become  wheelchair accessible. One stall in each will be dedicated to this. Also a ramp will be installed at the front entrance.1

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The Rembrandt Chalet.

 

I want to thank Public Works Director Beatrice Newman and her staff for being able to complete this work in-house, saving the city thousands of dollars.

While the work is being carried out,   we ordered a portable bathroom for a minimum of several weeks until everything is  completed. 

Rembrandt Park has become a true hub of activity over the years, with people of all ages spending time there.  Seniors with mobility issues will really appreciate this initiative.


Spotlight on Côte Saint-Luc Merchants for March: Coop Sportive Santé gym/Marchands locaux en vedette pour le mois de mars : Coop Sportive Santé

The Côte Saint-Luc  Local Commerce Committee is pleased to recognize Coop Sportive Santé gym.

As the Spotlight on Local Merchants recipient for March 2022, Coop Sportive Santé gym, located at the corner of Côte Saint-Luc and Westminster Avenues, has been providing to hundreds of members, of all ages and fitness levels, a place to exercise, partake in various physical activities and feel part of the community.

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From left to right: Nelson (boxing coach), Patrick Pierre, Ngala Tanyu Johnson, Haleh Hashemzadeh, Nandini Dendukuri, Steven Erdelyi.
De gauche à droite : Nelson (entraîneur de boxe), Patrick Pierre, Ngala Tanyu Johnson, Haleh Hashemzadeh, Nandini Dendukuri, Steven Erdelyi.

Originally started in 2016 as Power Gym, before switching to a Cooperative in 2018, the facility offers a wide selection of cardio machines, power lifting machines, punching bags and a matted area for martial arts training and group lessons in a clean open-concept space.

Côte Saint-Luc District 4 Councillor Steven Erdelyi believes that Coop Sportive Santé is an excellent example for all merchants. “The Board of the Coop headed by the President Nandini Dendukuri has been striving to create a space where residents can come to become physically and mentally fit and offer courses and programs to share with their fellow members,”  he said.

“The goal of the Coop Sportive Santé is to be a gym where the members share ownership and we can inculcate a sense of community,” said Ms. Dendukuri, on behalf of board members Ngala Tanyu Johnson, Haleh Hashemzadeh, Neil Bernstein and Patrick Pierre.  

There are a variety of group fitness activities going on at the Coop Sportive Santé including boxing, self-defense, Qigong and soccer. Space may be reserved for community events or fitness activities. Gym clients can access qualified personal trainers, physio and massage therapists or a nutritionist.

There are different membership options for those looking to join and a growing number of classes, including activities for seniors and women. Discounts are available for students, seniors, families and fitness professionals. As the pandemic slowly comes to an end, the Coop is happy to welcome returning and new members alike.

Info: https://cotesaintluc.org/services/businesses/spotlight-on-local-merchants.

Marchands locaux en vedette pour le mois de mars : Coop Sportive Santé

Le Comité de commerce local de Côte Saint-Luc est heureux de reconnaître le gymnase Coop Sportive Santé.
 
En tant que récipiendaire du prix Marchand local pour le mois de mars 2022, le gymnase Coop Sportive Santé, situé à l’angle des avenues Côte Saint-Luc et Westminster, offre à des centaines de membres, de tous âges et de tous niveaux de forme physique, un endroit pour faire de l’exercice, participer à diverses activités physiques, créant ainsi un sens d’appartenance à la communauté.
 
Initialement lancé en 2016 sous le nom de Power Gym, avant de passer à une coopérative en 2018, l’établissement offre une large sélection d’appareils cardio, d’appareils de musculation, de sacs de frappe et une zone matelassée pour les entraînements d’arts martiaux et les cours de groupe dans un espace ouvert et propre.
 
Le conseiller du district 4 de Côte Saint-Luc, Steven Erdelyi, estime que la Coop Sportive Santé est un excellent exemple pour tous les commerçants. “Le conseil d’administration de la Coop dirigé par la présidente Nandini Dendukuri s’est efforcé de créer un espace où les résidents peuvent venir pour se mettre en forme physiquement et mentalement et offre des cours et des programmes de groupe pour les membres”, a-t-il déclaré.
 
“L’objectif de la Coop Sportive Santé est d’être un gymnase où les membres sont tous propriétaires et où nous pouvons instaurer un sens de la communauté”, a déclaré Mme Dendukuri, au nom des membres du conseil d’administration Ngala Tanyu Johnson, Haleh Hashemzadeh, Neil Bernstein et Patrick Pierre.  
 
La Coop Sportive Santé propose une variété de cours en groupe de conditionnement physique, dont la boxe, la défense personnelle, le Qigong et le football. Des espaces peuvent être réservés pour des événements communautaires ou des activités de conditionnement physique. Les clients du gymnase peuvent avoir accès à des entraîneurs privés qualifiés, à des physiothérapeutes et des massothérapeutes et/ou à un.e nutritionniste.
 
Il existe différentes options d’adhésion pour ceux qui souhaitent s’inscrire et un nombre sans cesse croissant de cours, notamment des activités pour les aînés et les femmes. Des réductions sont proposées aux étudiants, aux aînés, aux familles et aux professionnels du sport. Alors que la pandémie touche lentement à sa fin, la Coop est heureuse d’accueillir les anciens et les nouveaux membres.

Info: https://cotesaintluc.org/fr/services/entreprises/marchands-locaux-en-vedette/

 

 

 


As Quebec hastily ditches COVID restrictions I will push for Côte Saint-Luc to maintain mask mandates in our buildings

It is quite a shame that the CAQ Quebec government and the supposedly independent Director of Public Health Dr. Luc Boileau are rushing to make us believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us.

According to Premier François Legault, Health Minister Christian Dubé and Dr. Boileau, the vaccine passport is no longer necessary. Entertainment venues and restaurants can return to full capacity. Daily COVID case counts basically no longer exist. You think you have COVID? Take a rapid test. Masks are also set to go by mid-April, to me the biggest mistake of them all.

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I feel more comfortable seeing others wearing masks in stores.

COVID-19 and the Omicron variant have not disappeared. COVID remains a pandemic, not endemic. What was the rush to remove masks of students on March 7, just days after many returned from holidays outside of the country? I know more people with COVID now than I have in the last two years.

Well, there is a Quebec election in October and Legault is worried. Sure, polls show that he should win a majority. But the fledgling Conservatives are making a dent in his base in Quebec City and do not count the Liberals out just yet. The Freedom Convoys made a lot of noise and provincial politicians gave in to their demands.

I feel sad and worried to see the mask mandate come to an end. For the past two years wearing a mask at a mall, grocery store or at work gave me true sense of comfort. There is a reason why nobody got the flu. Family members of mine, prone to bronchitis, bad colds and the like, have never been healthier. If someone coughs in the fruits and vegetable aisle, odds are when and if they sneeze on the zucchini, we are well protected.

Would I feel safer at the Bell Centre next to non-vaccinated maskless individuals? Absolutely not!  Only time will tell to see whether this roll of the dice by the government is a giant mistake.

In Côte Saint-Luc we were early leaders on mask mandates. Well, we will not be able to order people to wear masks at the Quartier Cavendish, synagogues, stores or in apartment buildings when Quebec lifts the mandate. But we sure can do so in our own buildings. I hope our council will decide to maintain mask mandates inside our City Hall, Library and Aquatic and Community Centre.

As for council meetings returning to a live in person format, there is no rush to do so. Since we pivoted to an online format, there are more eyes on our meetings, and I must say during my door to door last fall nobody complained. Sure, we want to return to the City Hall Council Chamber, but only when the time is right. Hopefully that will be soon. It would be prudent to wait and see how the Quebec COVID experiment works first. What happens if the case count doubles in the next month?  On public council meeting evenings, we convene several hours earlier in caucus. The space we use at City Hall is tight under normal circumstances, especially since we have working dinners. This presents a problem we must find a solution to.

And when we do return to public, I believe we should require members of the public to show a vaccine passport or alternatively ask their questions virtually if they have decided not to get the jab.

Folks I had COVID in January 2021. It was a miserable month in my life. I have friends who are Long Haulers. One still has not regained his sense of taste or smell in a year and half.

Now we wait and watch!

See this report on CityNews for which I was one of the people interviewed.

See this Gazette story

 


Meet Sadegh and Saloomeh: From Iran to Côte Saint-Luc they will feel at home

Ometz is a charitable organization that supports and strengthens individuals and families through a range of employment, immigration, school and social services. The Hebrew word for courage, Ometz has been active in Montreal's Jewish community for 156 years.

Via one of my District 2 constituents, Ruth Najman, who works at Ometz 7, I am pleased to be able to introduce to some of our newer residents who came to Canada from different countries and settled in our community.

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Sadegh Hadizadeh and Saloomeh Kargar Shiraz (pictured above)  arrived here in March 2017. Their son was born soon after,

“In the beginning, we temporarily rented an apartment in NDG for a few months, and I was looking for a calm and safe place for families with good access to all our basic needs; I found Côte Saint-Luc was the best neighbourhood for us,” said Sadegh.

Sadegh is an IT administrator at Groupe Jesta. His wife was a nurse in Iran for almost nine years. Last year she got her RN (Registered Nurse) permit and now works at  the OriginElle Fertility Clinic & Women's Health Centre on Decarie Boulevard. 

The couple are proud members of our CSL Public Library, where we have do have a selection of Persian books. They are trilingual – Persian, French and English.