D'Arcy McGee will have excellent representation in Elisabeth Prass

As expected, the Coalition Avenir Québec swept back to power with a huge majority in the October 3 provincial election. That was a foregone conclusion.

In my riding of D’Arcy McGee, it looked like  we might have had a race on our hands when the campaign began. There was so much anger over how the Quebec Liberal Party handled Bill 96. How many people did I run into who told me they would be voting for either the Canadian Party of Quebec, the Conservative Party or Bloc Montréal?

Prass
Elisabeth Prass, with her son, at the voting station.

 

In the end, the Liberals’ Elisabeth Prass won with more than 52 percent of the vote. Unquestionably, the constituents of D’Arcy McGee  are in good hands. I worked closely with Prass during the time she ran the riding constituency office. She left that post a year ago for the corporate sector so she was not on the job when her predecessor David Birnbaum committed a career ending move by proposing inexplicable amendments to Bill 96 which infuriated the anglophone community.  David is a wonderful human being; someone I consider a friend. He loved his role as an MNA and had no intention of retiring. Unfortunately he had to walk the plank for his misdeed.

The Liberals did not get shellacked as badly as I anticipated in this election. Frankly, I did not  expect them to get more than 20 seats. Instead of focusing on how the party handled Bill 96 in the past year, what will be their position in the next mandate?  The CAQ may have a massive majority, but they could be looking at losses at the court level for Bill 40 (abolishing school boards), Bill 21 (secularism) and yes even Bill 96. Should that occur, the Liberals will benefit as the CAQ licks its wounds.

In this election, the Liberals kept all of their anglo strongholds. If Dominique Anglade keeps her job as leader, she will need to find a way to  bring the francophone population back to the fold. It is safe to say that no matter what position she takes, anglos will not walk away from the brand.

What will become of the Canadian Party of Quebec, Bloc Montréal and the Conservatives? If ever there was an opportunity for anglo rights parties to win a riding, this was their moment. Yet the CAPQ and Bloc Montréal did not get any support at all. Four years from now, with the CAQ completing a second mandate, anglos will not want to roll a dice on any party other than the Liberals. 

The Conservatives opposed Bill 96, but they did not oppose Bill 21 - a big mistake.

As a member of Côte Saint-Luc City Council, I was happy to sit on an ad hoc committee with Councillors Dida Berku, Andee Shuster and Steven Erdelyi. We met with four candidates - Prass, Bonnie Feigenbaum of the Conservatives and Marc Perez of the CAPQ, Joel DeBellefeuille of Bloc Montréal. I did podcast interviews with each of them as well, in addition to the Québec Solidaire candidate. We were engaged. There was one Zoom debate with the candidates, but it did not have a large audience nor an impact on the vote.

D’Arcy McGee has excellent representation in Elisabeth Prass and I look forward to working with her.

You can see the election results here and follow the instructions to get to D'Arcy McGee.

 

 


It is time to find a name for the beautifully revamped Marc Chagall greenspace

Let me take this opportunity to thank our City of Côte Saint-Luc Public Works and Engineering teams for the remarkable work they did with the highly anticipated makeover of the greenspace on Marc Chagall Avenue.

History will note that the land across from the Marquise and next to the town houses had been rented to the developers of the Equinoxe for three years as a parking lot in order to ensure residents and guests had places to park. Alternatively,  all available spots would  have been taken by the workers. When it came time for the developers to return the land to the way they found it, they failed to do so. This became a legal matter after several ill-fated attempts to get it right. The city took over the job and got it right and then some.

Sept2022grass1
A look at the greenspace and some of the new trees after being planted.

 

Some dead trees had to be cut down. Public Works installed a new pathway, repositioned  the picnic tables, added new benches and trees. The grass has been watered on almost a daily basis. People are happy. I did have one constituent who shared some concern over the fact people are letting their dogs run unleashed .  That is against the law and dog owners doing this will be ticketed.

 

Sept2022megrass
What shall we name this place?

 

I met by Zoom with some Marc Chagall residents lately as I wish to formally name this location. The protocol is being reviewed by our Toponomy Committee, which I chair.  It is not a park, but rather a “Place” or a “Square.” I have already received some suggestions and we will embark on a formal process soon, with the goal of agreeing upon a name by spring.

Oh yes, still to come next to the greenspace are new lights along the path leading to Isadore Goldberg Park.


It is time for our citizens to engage on our Master Plan and shopping center proposals

In June, the  City of Côte Saint-Luc began the process of gathering feedback from the public on our proposed revision to the municipal Master Plan and Zoning By-law revision documents.  We want  to capture your values and the essence of what makes our city home to you. This is your opportunity to speak up.

Last week we held a virtual information session about the future  of our three shopping mall sites. If you missed it, log on to this video.  For residents of District 2, go to the 48 minute mark to learn more about the Quartier Cavendish. The owners seek to create a modern, accessible and sustainable mixed-use project that offers commercial spaces, retail and residential units. They envision bike paths that would allow people to take advantage of a network of pocket parks  and have ready access to surrounding community facilities. In addition, the project would integrate a new food court with an outdoor terrace. A public transportation hub is envisioned as well. It would integrate with current and future transit connections such as the Cavendish extension.

MockupQuartier
A look at what the owners of Quartier Cavendish have in mind.

 

A few days after the virtual information meeting, we hosted an Open House  for the Master Plan at the Aquatic and Community Centre.  

We have launched a survey that every resident should complete:

English

https://survey.alchemer-ca.com/s3/50154665/185368cccd1e-Ville-de-C-te-Saint-Luc-EN

French

https://survey.alchemer-ca.com/s3/50154665/05992b6986e8-Ville-de-C-te-Saint-Luc-FR

On October 26 and 27, there will be public hearings at City Hall where citizens can present briefs.

Our city now has some 35,000 residents. Despite the efforts we made to publicize our activities thus far, citizen engagement has been low.  I just want to applaud the efforts of our senior staff for making every effort to ensure the population is informed. Nobody should be coming to us and say they did not know about this.

No decisions have been made yet. In fact, what we see at the present time are merely wish lists on the part of the shopping center owners. There are many steps city council will need to follow such as  adopting an actual master plan and new zoning by-laws,  engaging in formal public consultations  and of course allowing our citizens to have the final word.

Like my constituents, I am learning more about this process  each day.  The owners of Quartier Cavendish maintain they need a major refurbishment of their property to stay in business.

When would any construction work begin? It could be as early as 2024, but might take longer. This work would be done in stages over many years. In 2023 I will be holding meetings with residents, including the owners of the Quartier Cavendish.

Please stay connected to www.cotesaintluc.org/engage for regular updates on this process.


A historic moment in our community with significant $500,000 library donation

How honoured I was on September 18 to preside over a historic ceremony in the history of Côte Saint-Luc.

In 2007, two years after I was first elected to city council, I brought forward a naming rights proposal which was approved. Over the years we named events, programs and benches after individuals and companies in return for financial gifts. But the confirmation of the Bibliothèque des jeunes Max Margles Children’s Library, thanks to a $500,000 gift from Roslyn Margles in honour of her late husband, far and  away entered into our record books.

20220918090443_EOSR7515
Mayor Brownstein, Roslyn Margles, Janine West and myself stand before the new signage.

The unveiling and ribbon cutting ceremony took place many months after myself, Library Director Janine West,  Treasurer Angelo Marino and Legal Counsel Andrea Charon began discussions with Ms. Margles. I was pleased to see Simon Bensimon from Ben-Gurion University Canada on hand for it was he who called me last winter and set up my initial meeting with Roslyn. Former Mayor Anthony Housefather, now our Federal Liberal Member of Parliament, was with us as well. Thank you Anthony for allowing me to bring this concept to our city when you were mayor. We hope that there are more individuals out there who like to attach the name of a loved one or a corporate entity to enable us to  use this money for items not in our annual budget.

Libman
Robert Libman congratulates Roslyn in the company of the mayor and Ms. West.

At the library, we will now seek a naming rights donor for our beautiful art gallery. There is also our Aquatic and Community Centre and Arena, as well as possibly Wiffle Ball Field.

20220918094544_EOSR7608 (1)
The formal ribbon cutting.

The ceremony was attended by Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, members of council, former Mayor Robert Libman, library and city staff  as well as friends and family of Ms. Margles.  It is wonderful to see the name of Max Margles adorning the outside wall of the building as well as the interior entrance to the children’s library. There is also a new book stamp with Max Margles’ name, a suggestion that came from Councillor Lior Azerad.

We heard from Rabbi Asher Jacobson of Chevra Kadisha Congregation and Melissa Margles, Max and Roslyn’s niece. She had a very close relationship with her uncle. After the ceremony, there was a nice reception catered by Pizza Pita, face painting and magic for the kids and lots of reading.

20220918100323_EOSR7671 (1)
Roslyn and some of the happy kids.

Here is a report from Global TV.

“Every year, like many others, I am faced with the decision about which causes to support,”   Roslyn Margles said in her address. “There are a multitude of worthy projects and organizations, but several factors were instrumental in choosing a Children’s Library  is foremost, an everlasting memorial to honour my late husband Max, an avid, dedicated reader, who loved reading and the value it brings to our lives. In this digital age, the time spent by children exploring micro-electronic media may develop computer literacy, but it does not imbue children with the values that books can.  Tik-Tok, Snapchat, texts and videogames are not substitutes for books.

“Reading and sharing books create personal face to face interactions where children learn to read emotional cues, develop social skills and connect.  Stories are essential for children’s formative years. During challenging social times, it is not uncommon for philanthropic efforts to shift to medicine, poverty and war relief, leaving the cultural arts at the bottom of the list.  I, however, prioritize the gift of literature, of storytelling......of the power of the written word. I believe the saying that ‘Children who read books today are our future leaders.’ I believe that books shape who we are and what we become. Books can transport the reader to a land of wonder and surprizes, like a Magic Carpet.  Stories give children a deeper understanding of the world around them and of cultures that are different from their own.”

In reading a well written book, Ms. Margles noted,  you become part of the story and suffer the pain or enjoy the happiness of the characters.  “Ideally, you become more aware of how events affect other people and improve your ability to empathize  - a very important and useful quality,” she said.  “It will serve us, and our children well!”

Ms. Margles hopes that her donation will enable the Max Margles Children’s Library to provide additional programs and experiences to encourage children and teens to cultivate creativity, curiosity and imagination and to broaden their horizons. 

 The donation includes $200,000 to be used by the public library as needed, and $300,000 portion to be used to create an endowment fund, which will be used exclusively to further literacy for children and young adults including a children’s writing contest to be named the Roslyn and Max Margles Literacy Contest. The endowment fund will be administered by the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal.

Concluded Ms. West: “Children and teens make up approximately 26 percent of our library membership and check out 41 percent of the library’s total circulation. This generous endowment from Mrs. Margles will ensure that our literacy programming for children and teens will flourish, enabling us to offer more impactful and engaging activities that will foster a love of reading that lasts a lifetime.”


Be informed about our master plan for three CSL malls; Révision du plan d’urbanisme et du règlement de zonage

I wish to advise my constituents in District 2 (particularly those living closer to Quartier Cavendish) and citizens at large to  invite you to a virtual information session on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at 7pm that will focus on the redevelopment of the three shopping malls in Côte Saint-Luc. This is part of our months-long public consultations on the master plan and zoning by-law revision.

And

Sunday September 18th you are invited to the in-person open house at the Aquatic and Community Centre 5794 Parkhaven from 10 am to 4 pm

 

The information session takes place over Zoom. You must register in advance:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_EDj87RysQqaAn8OtVvqz0w

Please note : You will receive a zoom invitation from Lauren Vantellingen no-reply@zoom.us

Your participation and questions at the information session and open house are always appreciated.

Looking forward to meeting with you

MasterE

Révision du plan d’urbanisme et du règlement de zonage

Chers résidants du District 2 et CSL

 

Je vous écris pour vous inviter à une séance d'information virtuelle le mardi 13 septembre 2022 à 19 h qui portera sur le réaménagement des trois centres commerciaux de Côte Saint-Luc. Cela fait partie de nos consultations publiques sur le plan d’urbanisme et la révision du règlement de zonage.

De plus le dimanche le 18 Septembre vous êtes invités à participer à une journée portes ouvertes de 10 h a 16 h au Centre communautaire et aquatique 5794 Parkhaven

La séance d'information se déroule sur Zoom. Vous devez vous inscrire au préalable :

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_EDj87RysQqaAn8OtVvqz0w

Veuillez noter : Vous recevrez votre invitation zoom de la part de Lauren Vantellingen no-reply@zoom.us

Votre participation et vos questions sont toujours appréciées.

Au plaisir de vous voir bientôt

Masterfr

 


Spots still open for A Virtual Knitting Sweater Club with the Côte Saint-Luc Public Library

The COVID-19 pandemic changed all of our lives in so many ways, notably during lockdowns.

For many people across the world, knitting turned out to be a way to  ease anxiety, keep busy and feel a sense of achievement.

Sweater1

Knitting courses and clubs became very popular via Zoom and while much of society is returning to in-person activities, the online option remains very popular. The Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library  is embracing this activity. A Virtual Knitting Sweater Club with Arlene Lund will take place every second Thursday, online via Zoom, from 3 pm to 4:30 pm, beginning September 15. There are six sessions planned (Sept. 29, Oct 13, 27 and Nov. 10 and 24). It is free for library members, but advance registration is required. You must bring your own materials to the Zoom experience.

Participants will knit their own sweater (see the examples pictured in this article) over the course of this series,  with tips and tricks from established knitter Lund about all things related to successful sweater knitting.

Sweater3

“Everyone will be working on a sweater of their own choosing,” Lund explains. “If making an adult sweater seems too daunting, they can choose a child's sweater or a vest.”

Each session will start with Lund presenting a sweater related topic and then she will go around the group and see everyone's progress on their sweater and hear about any difficulties, challenges or successes they have had since the previous session. Since this will all be done via Zoom, members will need to be able to turn their camera on for when they are showing their work. They do not have to do so the entire time if they don't wish to.”

Sweater2

Lund notes that this club is intended for people who are already knitters.  She has given  several knitting lectures/presentations in Westmount and in Côte Saint-Luc virtually. “These were lots of fun and well attended,” she says, 

Minisweater

There are lots of positives related to the Côte Saint-Luc Knitting Sweater Club proceeding online this fall.  “It is accessible for everyone and in all weather,” Lund emphasizes. “The visuals are actually better because when holding something up for others to view everyone can see it, instead of passing it around the room. Some of the members may have hearing difficulties and the online format is better for them. As well,  there is no background noise with the ability to mute everyone while each person is taking their turn to speak. All in all it really works well!”

A 2013 study published by the British Journal of Occupational Therapy found that knitting confers the well-being of those who engage in the hobby. The responses from 3,545 knitters worldwide showed a significant relationship between knitting frequency and feelings of calm and happiness. Lund concurs. She has certainly met many people who are new to knitting over the last three years and others who have resumed the hobby. Indeed she looks forward an interesting fall session of the the Côte Saint-Luc Knitting Sweater Club

To register go to  https://csllibrary.libcal.com/event/3690864. You can also e-mail reference@cotesaintluc.org  or call 514-485-6900 ext 3.

.


Traffic issues around JPPS-Bialik being dealt with by Public Safety

In recent days I have been receiving some complaints about JPPS-Bialik School creating what appears to be a private one lane road to their facility for vehicles and placed an  orange cone on the street, closing off the second lane. As my constituent Jason Ullman states, "Anyone not going to Bialik has to wait in single file to be able to turn on  to Marc Chagall. Why am I waiting from Rembrandt in bumper to bumper traffic in single file when there should be a  two lanes?"

 

Parking, Jason points out, is not allowed going west on Kildare during morning rush hour but he complains this is being ignored. And on Kildare driving east, between Rembrandt and Marc Chagall he wants to know  why cars are allowed to park there? 

 

JPPSBialikTraffic
Jason Ullman took this photo of the traffic issue.

 

I went to our Director of Public Safety Philip Chateauvert. "Normally parents dropping off their kids at this location do line up in the Eastbound Lane in single file and the left lane turning onto Marc Chagall is free and clear," he explains. "Unfortunately, the city had to issue a tolerance for parking restrictions along Kildare Between Rembrandt and Marc Chagall   due to the large number of vehicles that are parking in the street as a result of  garage repairs at 5790 Rembrandt. While I understand the issues this causes, I feel that the problems caused by this are far less than those that would be experienced by the residents of the area if parking was not allowed in this location for the duration of the work. The work should be finished by the end of September."

 

That being said, our Public Safety Department sees no reason why the school crossing guard is reducing eastbound Kildare between, Merrimac and Marc-Chagall.  Director Chateauvert has dispatched his lieutenant to meet with school  officials and request that they stop doing this immediately since it is unnecessary and prohibited by our bylaws. Another meeting is planned with the school administration next week to explore other solutions.

 


What a true gift we have in Wiffle Ball Field

It has been a few years now since the City of Côte Saint-Luc unveiled Wiffle Ball Field, a beautiful complex at Singerman Park behind Merton Elementary School. It is a mini version of Camden Yards and Fenway Park and exceptionally maintained.

There is a league, with games taking place Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings, Wiffle Ball is a simplified version of the game of baseball that is designed to be a miniature version of the game that is suitable to be played both indoor and outdoors, often in confined spaces.

Robert Shuster and Danny Kucharsky are in charge of reservations and lineups for Sunday and Tuesday games respectively  For Sundays, the fee is $8 per game or $90 for the year.

Wiffle Ball Game 2022
The Wiffle Ball gang.

 

Thanks to Mr. Shuster (yes that is what we still call the former Wagar High School teacher) and Moe  Giobbi who enabled me to play my first Wiffle Ball game. Joining us were Jorge Vasconcelos, Alexandre Parkeiv, Lachug Lotame and Brian Blumer.  Jorge and Alexandre are true stars and wow Brian Blumer, whose Facebook commentaries have quite the following, had the best on base  percentage of the morning.

Let me tell you it may look easy, but hitting that ball even past the infield is not easy. The following day my brother Chuck came by. Like me , he has not swung a bat of any kind in decades. He so badly wanted to hit one out of the park and he came pretty close. Chuck  enjoyed the brief experience so much, he might want to start his own league.

One of my goals now is to have  Perry Gee of Exposfest  visit Wiffle Ball Field and consider bringing some former Expos back the stadium for one of his fundraisers.

You can see my video report here

Here are the Côte Saint-Luc Wiffle Ball League rules

Teams

Teams will have equal size and talent as close as possible. A team which has one fewer player will have a player from the opposing team fielding for them at all times. In the event of obvious imbalance, a trade(s) must be made and the game re-started.

Defensive Players

Players on the defending team will rotate position according to the wishes and the talents of the team members. All defenders must play in “fair territory” while the pitcher is pitching.  Players will pitch one inning each until all have pitched and the order re-starts then. If a player is unable to pitch, he can be passed over.

Offensive Players

There will be a set batting order which must be adhered to. At the end of a half inning, the on deck hitter must announce that he/she will lead off the next inning.

General Rules

Balls and Strikes

Three outs to a half inning. Two strikes equals a strike out. A strike is ruled if a pitched ball hits the pitching target, if a player swings and misses or if a ball is hit and is ruled a foul ball. If a ball is fouled off it can count as strike one but not strike two. Five balls are needed for a walk. With fewer than seven defenders, an infield foul ball is one that does not cross the diagonal line from first to third bases or crosses outside the base line as it passes the base. A ball which hits the ground as it passes the base in fair territory or hits the base is deemed fair. First and Third bases must be placed in fair territory at all times. An outfield ball is deemed fair if its first bounce is in fair territory or is first touched by a defender and the part of the defender it touches is deemed to be in fair territory.

Pitching

The pitcher must pitch with one foot on one of the pitching rubbers. His foot can leave the rubber as he/she takes the one step allowed as the ball is released. From the front rubber, the ball must have an arc. From the back rubber (6 feet behind the front rubber) the pitcher can throw without an arc. A pitch from the front rubber that does not have an arc will be deemed a ball. Those who throw particularly hard must start on the border between grass and dirt at the back of the pitching circle.

A pitcher who walks any four batters will be replaced (by a pitcher of choice) for the rest of that inning but may be allowed to pitch in later innings.

Batting

The batter must not be standing in a position where he/she is blocking the pitching target. If a ball might be a strike then the batter must make every effort to not let the ball touch his/her body. Both of the batter’s hands must be on the bat when the ball is struck or a foul ball is called. If a ball strikes the batter’s bat while the batter is not attempting to swing at it, it is deemed a ball and not a foul ball. The batter must not take the bat with him/her on the way to first base.

Outs

An out is made when a ball (fair or foul) is caught by a defender before it hits the ground. An out is made when a fair ball hits a runner who is not touching a base either hit or thrown (below the neck). An out is made when a ball is in the possession of any fielder in the pitching circle before the batter reaches first base. An out is made when a fielder in possession of the ball touches the base which the runner is approaching unless the batter is not “forced” to take that base. If an “earlier” base is open then the runner must be tagged or touched with the ball below the neck. An out is made at home if the ball hits any part of the pitching target while the runner is approaching home base unless the runner has not crossed the “commit” line.

Avoiding Collisions

Fielders are to avoid positioning themselves in the runners’ base lines unless fielding a ball. Runners must make every effort to avoid fielders who are in the process of fielding a batted or thrown ball. When approaching home, the runner must run on a line behind the pitching target to score. Breach of these two rules can be resolved by an out or a free base or a “do over (see below)” pending discussion.

Base Running

A runner cannot leave his/her base until the ball is struck by the batter or the ball crosses the plate. The pitcher must give the runner time to get back to the base. A runner cannot advance on a fly ball that is caught.  Infield Fly Rule: With no umpire, we do not use the rule. Base runners should not stray far from their base.

A fielder may not let the ball drop intentionally. Otherwise both runners are safe.

A runner may not slide into any base. If a team does not have enough players to accommodate the batter, (counting the possible supply fielder) and the base runners, the defending team will determine which runner will be a phantom.  The phantom runner will be considered to be running “station to station”.

Disputed Calls

 

 In the case where there needs to be a “Do Over” the batter re-starts with a zero – zero count

Summary

The balls and bats are plastic, so are some of the players (i.e. fragile). They e play on a small field under safe conditions only.

They  play two Strikes for a strike out, five balls for a walk. Ground balls which do not cross the first base-third base diagonal are deemed foul unless there are six or more defenders. Some new players get three strikes and outstanding pitchers work with three strikes if they choose to.

Ground ball outs – they throw to the pitcher’s circle (or to first base) to get an out.

Hitting a runner with the ball is an out and the ball is dead, no further advancement of runners (who are not committed) is permitted.

Missed throws at a runner (or the pitching target at home) gives other runners a maximum of one extra base.

No leading off base, no sliding, no tagging up. Base runners must avoid colliding with fielders.

Pitchers can choose the front pitching rubber – softer pitches which must arc or the back rubber. Some pitchers may have to pitch from the grass-dirt border behind the rubber.


UPDATE: An analysis of the race for the D'Arcy McGee riding in the upcoming Quebec election

With the nnouncement by Quebec Liberal Party leader Dominique Anglade in Côte Saint-Luc that Elisabeth Prass will be her candidate in D’Arcy McGee, the stage is now set for one of the most interesting riding races in the province.

I was among Anglade’s biggest critics for the exceedingly long delay in selecting a candidate. Incumbent Member of the National Assembly David Birnbaum announced in April that he will not seek another mandate. Anglade’s team either turned good candidates down or had others of quality simply decline the invitation. But good things often come to people who wait and Prass is beyond an excellent choice. In fact she checks off all of the boxes for the party in this constitituency, which covers Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead and part of Snowdon.

Prass
Elisabeth Prass is introduced as the Liberal candidate at a press conference at Trudeau Park.

Prass is Jewish (a large proportion of the voters are), knows the riding intimately (she ran the D’Arcy McGee office  but stepped away months before Birnbaum’s ill-fated amendment to Bill 96 as it relates to CEGEP French courses), is a mom (one of her boys is special needs, which will translate into empathy and understanding for parents in the same boat) and is impeccably bilingual. She also grew up in Côte Saint-Luc. Over the years she’s worked for provincial ministers in Quebec city and knows the game. Full disclosure: she was always a big help to me wearing my hats as city councillor and via my school board post, so I can vouch for her worthiness of this opportunity.

For the first time since Robert Libman won D’Arcy McGee for the then Equality Party in 1989, this riding is by no means an easy mark for the Liberals.

The Canadian Party of Quebec, The Conservative Party of Quebec and Bloc Montréal will all gain the attention of voters looking to switch allegiances over the Liberals’ handling of Bill 96.

Marc Perez
Marc Perez

Marc Perez is the flag bearer for The Canadian Party of Quebec, with political veteran Bonnie Feigenbaum representing the Conservatives and Joel DeBellefeuille for Bloc Montréal. There are reasons too to vote for each of them.

Bonnie
Bonnie Feigenbaum

The Canadian Party of Quebec, headed by Colin Standish, has been front and center as a defender of anglo rights for more than a year now and would be a real thorn in the side of  Premier Francois Legault and the CAQ. There are many people who have told me they will park their vote there.

Under the leadership of Eric Duhaime, the Conservatives will win some seats in this election and Legault fears them. That is a good thing. Duhaime has come out strongly against Bill 96, but not so on Bill 21- the obscene religious symbols  law. The good news is that he will let his candidates take whatever position they want. So Feigenbaum plans to campaign against Bill 21 and get other candidates from the party to follow her. But that policy of Duhaime is also the bad news, for some of his candidates have some pretty wacky views.

Joel BlocMTl
Joel DeBellefeuille

As for the Bloc Montréal, represented by Joel DeBellefeuille, of course we must admire the perseverance of leader Balarama Holness. He ran on an anglo rights plank for mayor of Montreal and is doing the same here. However, by not signing a non-agression pact (something Balarama told me he would pursue) it is likely the Canadian Party of Quebec and the Bloc will cancel each other out. And that is the best news Prass could ask for. By vying for the same vote to oust the Liberals, these two parties stand to do the exact opposite.

DEBATE: Calvin Finkelstein, Grand Chancellor of the Knights of Pythias, Québec Domain, and Marvin Rotrand, National Director of the League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith Canada, have announced the two organizations will host a joint candidate debate for D’Arcy-McGee riding, It will be held on Thursday, September 22 at 7 P.M, by ZOOM. The agreed upon format will see candidates briefly speak about themselves and their party platform and then take questions from the audience.

Confirmed participants are: De Bellefeuille, Feigenbaum, Perez, Prass and  Hilal Pilavic (Québec Solidaire). 

During the campaign I have been filing podcast interviews with these candidates so stay tuned.

Here is my first one with Bonnie Feigenbaum 

Here is my podcast with Elisabeth Prass

Here is my podcast with Marc Perez

Here is my podcast with Joel DeBellefeuille

 

 


The lot on Marc Chagall Avenue begins to take shape

Work is progressing nicely on the  large greenspace on Marc Chagall Avenue, across from both the Marquise and the snow dump.

LotAug22
The new grass looks very nice.

History will note that this land was leased to the owners of the Equinoxe as a parking lot for three years in order to avoid having their   workers parking on the street. The developers had signed a written contract to return the land the way they found it. Regrettably that did not occur and litigation ensued. Attempts to properly beautify the area were unsuccessful, so in June council adopted a resolution allocating fund  to finally get this job done right.

Work was supposed to begin in June, but like everyone else across the globe we were victims of supply and demand. The delivery of the sod did arrive last week and it was a delight to watch it take shape on most of the land. It looks beautiful.

Sod
Laying sod.

Some people asked me why they did not lay sod on all of the space. Please note that in the next few weeks new trees will be planted and lights installed, after which more grass will be placed. We have a new walking path and new benches in place. Our staff are watering the grass daily.

I want to thank our Public Works and Engineering teams for getting the job done. We will watch closely for the final chapter in September, following which I will begin a discussion on what to name the greenspace.

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This is where some new lights will go.

 

Staff have been digging a trench  for lights to be installed along the cement pathway to Isadore Goldberg Park.


YidLife Crisis to present "A Closer Luc" Wednesday night at library and online

Proud Bialik High School graduates Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion of YidLife Crisis are indeed coming home on Wednesday, August 17 (7pm) when they present a live variety show featuring comedy, video, music and thought-provoking shtick inspired by the history and roots of Côte Saint-Luc. Seats for the live show, cleverly entitled A Closer Luc, are sold out, but it will be broadcast live on our You Tube channel.

Here is the link.

In June 2021, our library presented a collaborative project with the Conseil des arts de Montreal which would award a $25,000 prize to a selected local artist group or collective who would then produce an artistic project that would be showcased in Côte Saint-Luc. In the fall, the call went out for submissions and three artist groups applied. YidLife Crisis was selected.

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Eli and Jamie on the scene.

 

If you have not seen Jamie and Eli in action, YidLife Crisis started off as a web series and has virtually turned into an empire. The boys have travelled across the globe, with their alter egos speaking Yiddish with English sub-titles. Go to www.yidlifecrisis.com to see for yourself.

The purpose of this project was for YidLife Crisis to research, write, produce, and present a
special 60-minute multi-media presentation by and for our community.

Using a similar lens to their award-winning documentary "CHEWDAISM: A Taste of Jewish Montreal" (CBC, PBS), where food and culture are used to explore the history of YidLife Crisis’ home town, this presentation will hone in on Côte Saint-Luc to explore the origins of how this unique enclave on the island of Montreal came to be, how its unique character as a specific kind of Canadian and Québecois experience shaped the world lens of the creators themselves, and demonstrate how it has evolved to take on its unique character in the modern day, putting current community cultural contributors in the spotlight. The project will meld the multidisciplinary creative powers of YidLife Crisis as award-winning filmmakers and global touring performers by combining elements such as short film, visuals (e.g. slides and archival footage), musical creation and classical theatrical
elements.”

I was honoured to be interviewed for this project and I can’t wait to see how they integrate my video footage into the final product.

You can also see this story from the Canadian Jewish News.


Our 41st annual CSL Golf Classic raises more than $9,000 for Bursary Fund

Following a three year absence due to COVID-19, the Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic returned on August 9  to Meadowbrook Golf Course and it was a huge success.

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Myself with Pierre Brunet, Peter Lipari and Glenn J. Nashen.

I was pleased to  co-chair this 41st annual event with Councillor Dida Berku and  Mannie Young. Dida has been a champion on keeping Meadowbrook green for  decades. Mannie, the former chair of the Men’s Club and a retired pharmacist, added an entire new dimension to this program with his wealth of contacts and fundraising abilities - no to mention his sense of humour.

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Glenn and Sam made acceptance speeches.

A few years ago, we introduced the Parks and Recreation Bursary Fund to help disadvantaged families and for children who have special needs in Côte Saint-Luc who cannot afford to register their children in seasonal programs and activities operated by our city. It was created by myself and Harold Cammy, with the support of McDonald’s franchisee Pierre Brunet.

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The outdoor luncheon setup was excellent.

This year, thanks principally to Mannie and event coordinator Anisa Cameron, we exceeded expectations. New corporate sponsors were brought in  and we raised over $9,000 for our charity.

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A large collection of cupcakes for Glenn and Sam.

Former City Councillors Glenn J. Nashen and Sam Goldbloom were 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. Glenn's parents, George, 99, and Phyllis, 95, were on hand. Irving Leiner also paid tribute to the late Joe Presser, who was our honouree in 2018. His wife Isabel and daughter Janet joined us.  I miss Joe terribly!

See this video produced by Mayor Brownstein.

First off, the golf day was a lot of fun. There was a slight drizzle as we hit the links yet very comfortable temperatures. I had the pleasure of being part of a foursome with Nashen, D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum and IGA Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre operator Peter Lipari, who has quite the swing.

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My foursome, Nashen, Birnbaum and Lipari.

Our committee, which also included Anthony Sulpizio and Moe Giobbi, began meeting by Zoom  last winter and we agreed at that point to hold our luncheon outdoors in Ashkelon Gardens behind City Hall. We did not know where we’d be with COVID-19 and I do not think any of us expected  a seventh wave.  Box lunches were prepared by Pizza Pita and this turned out to be an ideal venue, made even better with the husband and wife singing duo -Qué Sera- of Merv “Harvey Keitel-look-alike” Middling  and Joanne Cutler. They now  perform to benefit  the Harvey Levine Cancer Fund, associated with the Cedar Cancer Centre of the MUHC. There is no charge for their performances, however, any donations received will be given entirely towards cancer research in hopes that one day we will find a cure.  Harvey was the director of B’nai Brith Canada in Quebec, who left us more than a year ago. It was nice to see his widow, Doreen, on hand as the Que Sera roadie. She even showed off some of her dancing moves. Their performance was very well received.

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Joanne and Merv perform.

Thanks to Pierre Brunet and his McDonald’s team for welcoming all of the golfers with coffee, danish, muffins and yogurt tubes and to our other sponsors: Sol and Anna Zuckerman; RBC Wealth Management (Ted Kalil and John Kalaydjian); ReBox – Brian Young; Classique Furniture (Jordan Biberkraut); Elm Ridge, Islesmere/Club Link, Le Diamant; IGA (Peter Lipari); Pierre Brunet and McDonald’s (with honourable mention to Roberto Del Papa who set it up); TCBY (Lenny Rosenberg); Delmar (Harrison Cutler); Jean Coutu Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre (Alex Darian); Pharmaprix Quartier Cavendish (David Banon, with special mention to Ian Macdonald, who set the whole thing up), 5 Minute Coffee Break (Steve Stein) and  Dollarama. We also had plenty of door prizes and a silent auction, offering foursomes to the  four top private golf clubs mentioned.

LongestDrive
Joan Zafran, Mannie Young, Dida Berku, Mitch Kujavsky, Peter Lipari and myself.

As for the trophy presentations,   here were the winners.

Longest Drive:

Men’s – Peter Lipari

Women’s – Joan Zafran

Closest to the Pin:

Men’s – Councillor Mitch Kujavsky

Women’s – Joan Zafran

Most Honest (highest score)” – Arnie Leder

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Harrison Cutler, Mannie Young, Lior Azerad and Mitch Kujavsky.

Lowest Score – Harrison Cutler

Best Dressed (Male) – Fred Schacter

Best Dressed  (Female)– Janine West

Thanks to everyone who made this event so special.  Bravo Mannie for introducing the new awards. I can’t wait for next year!


At $500,000, Roslyn Margles’ gift to our library is the largest individual donation in CSL history

When I was first elected to city council nearly 17 years ago,  I established a committee to explore sponsorship, naming rights and donation guidelines for our community. Two years later, working principally with Director Public Affairs and Communications Darryl Levine, Lisa Milner from our Public Library and Harold Cammy in Parks and Recreation, Council approved our recommendations.

Overall, the city has done very well in terms of event and program sponsorship over the years. For the most part, naming rights were relegated to park benches and lectures. Soon after last November’s election, someone in the community connected me with philanthropist Roslyn Margles. Over the course of many months, working with Director of Library Services Janine West, Treasurer Angelo Marino and Legal Counsel Andrea Charon, we reached an agreement which has resulted into the largest individual donation in city history: $500,000 to name the Bibliotheque des jeunes Max Margles Children’s Library. City Council approved the contract at our Monday, August 8, 2022 meeting.

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An artistic rendering of what the signage will look like.

 

Max Margles loved to read. He was an in-depth reader, seeking out well-written and engrossing books, relevant and meaningful. He kept two Rolodex files – one arranged by author, the other arranged by title. On these small cards, in his meticulous printing (he was a structural engineer), he summarized the nature of the book, the plot, and provided his eloquent assessment of the work.  When Max died suddenly in 2004, his widow Roslyn looked for projects to endow in Max’s memory. Since the couple has no children, Roslyn carries on this mandate with vigour and pride. She established a Max Margles Endowment Fund at the Jewish Public Library in Montreal, sponsoring an annual lecture by outstanding literary authors.  And the Quebec Writers Federation now has the Max Margles  Writing Residency.
 
A resident of Côte Saint-Luc, Roslyn Margles has agreed to bestow this gift upon us in two parts: a $200,000 donation, and a $300,000 endowment fund to be created by the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal.

We are absolutely thrilled to receive this donation. I have spoken to  Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillor Lior Azerad, who has the sponsorship portfolio and indeed we hope that other members of the community will step forward as we have many other naming rights opportunities at the library and in other departments.

Donations such as this are intended to be used for items not in our regular budget.

So in this case, guidelines will include programming that encourages literacy, including but not limited to: Own Voices Literary Festival, Children’s Book Week activities and events, Public Libraries Week activities and event. As well, activity that promotes an annual writing or storytelling contest branded the Roslyn and Max Literacy Contest, with the co-operation of schools situated on the Côte Saint-Luc territory, and perhaps, involvement of local authors, a jury, prizes, etc. We have also discussed programming that encourages performing arts programs.

Pending Ms. Margles’ signature on our contract, we intend to unveil indoor and outdoor signage at a ceremony on Sunday morning. A celebration will take place on Sunday, September 18 in  the newly named Children's Department from 10 am to Noon.

We are very excited.


Rembrandt Park is a magnificent facility we can all be very proud of

As the city councillor for District 2 these past 17 years, I am very proud of the work that has been done to enhance Rembrandt Park.

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The new basketball courts.

When I was first elected, the park had a sunken field that was used by delinquents to hide out late at night and even dump benches. We were able to level that field, much to the benefit of users. A skateboard bowl, deemed dangerous by many parents and confirmed by senior staff, was removed. The splashpad project was installed well over a decade ago and is a popular attraction. Park equipment has been consistently upgraded and  last year we finally installed a brand new basketball court, as well as a half court for youngsters. In addition, we purchased large nets so youngsters could play soccer. I have received nothing but warm thanks for the youngsters who use these  facilities.

As for the tennis courts, they have been refurbished over the years and benefited from new lighting. A permanent ping pong table, installed in 2021, has been a big hit from the start. In the winter, for two years in a row now, we have but in an ice skating rink at one of the tennis courts. There is also a popular toboggan hill.

This is an extremely well utilized park, a hub of activity and a wonderful mix of young families and seniors who live in the immediate area. I am not pleased to see people having picnics and not cleaning up after themselves. It lends the impression that the park is dirty.  That is not the case. We have ample trash cans. On weekends in particular we have a small crew of staff circulating throughout the city so they cannot possibly visit each park for cleanup.

I walk through this park regularly from the spring to the fall, constantly interacting with users and the park attendants who oversee activities. When people have concerns, they direct them my way.  That is the best process to follow.  Last summer, for instance, a woman called to advise me that she was pushing her husband in his wheelchair to the park, but the pathway was not smooth enough to  get there. In a matter of days I had a crew from Public Works present to pour more cement and create an easier entry.

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The water splashpad area.

Understandably, residents who use a particular park a lot tend to have large wish lists. We do everything we can to comply, however it is very important to emphasize that the city has dozens of parks to take care of. There is only so much funding available. That being said, Rembrandt Park is indeed on a list prepared by our Public Works Department for changes to the playground areas.  This will not occur overnight, as it is a costly endeavor. As well,  because the playgrounds are divided into sections for young and older children, a complete redesign will be required.

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Park attendant Ruby Goodman showcases the new water fountains.

 

In the meantime, we continue to roll out new initiatives:

  •  The chalet roof has been redone in aluminum, a sustainable material that can last up to 50 years and added      handicapped/stroller accessible washrooms.
  •  Three new lamp posts were added at the Merrimac side of the park.
  •  Eleven new benches were installed in  concrete bases along the pathway near the playground and chalet.
  •  We replaced and added four extra large garbage bins.
  •  Two new drinking fountains have now been installed ( water bottle accessible).
  •  We removed dead and sick trees and planted new ones.   
  •  We replaced the single doors at the tennis courts with double doors.
  •  The chalet art room is being renovated, including a custom made (by our employees) stainless steel double sink.
PingPong
This ping pong table is very popular.

 

Some residents have called,  concerned that picnic tables have disappeared.  That is not the case. Tables tend to be moved manually by users to different parts of the park for their own little gatherings.  While we have ordered metal picnic tables, they are on back order so unfortunately we have no other choice but to wait.

I can always be reached at mcohen@cotesaintluc.org.


An update on the Marc Chagall Avenue lot

I wish to provide an update about the large greenspace on Marc Chagall Avenue, across from both the Marquise and the snow dump.

History will note that this land was leased to the owners of the Equinoxe as a parking lot for three years in order to avoid having their   workers parking on the street. The developers had signed a written contract to return the land the way they found it. Regrettably that did not occur and litigation ensued. Attempts to properly beautify the area were unsuccessful, so in June council adopted a resolution allocating fund  to finally get this job done right.

Work was supposed to begin in June, but like everyone else across the globe we are victims of supply and demand. The delivery of the sod is on back order and will not arrive until August 8.

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Work begins on the rehabilitation of the Marc Chagall lot.

Nonetheless, work has indeed started. Public Works  commenced some digging to install bollards along the west side of the paved walkway for new lighting.  A number of large diseased trees unfortunately had to be removed. We have also installed the beginning of  a pathway.

Our contractor  will remove all growing grass, seeds, and pebbles for the entire vacant lot. New benches and tables will be installed.  Fingers are crossed for the sod.  In September new trees will be planted. I am as frustrated as anyone with these delays, but we will have a beautiful greenspace when all is said and done at which time I will begin a consultation process to find a name for this parkette.


Proposed seven floor building on Marc Chagall only in the proposal stage

In recent days I have received several calls from people asking about a small notice that was placed at the corner of Marc Chagall Avenue and Kildare Road. It is from our Urban Planning Department and explains that the city has received an application from a developer to build a seven floor, 28 unit apartment complex on the site at that spot near Beth Chabad CSL and Bialik High School.

This land is presently zoned for a two storey commercial building.  A zoning amendment approved by Council and then taken to local residents for consultation would be required.

ChabadLot
The zoning for a two storey commercial building is for behind the fence.

 

Our Planning Advisory Committee has reviewed the proposal and will make a recommendation to city council, likely by August. I will keep everyone up to date. We are merely following process by sharing the developer's wishes.

I had invited the developer to have an information meeting with residents first, but he favored going  directly to Urban Planning.

AzimovNotice

Ces derniers jours, j'ai reçu plusieurs appels de personnes s'interrogeant sur un petit avis placé à l'angle de l'avenue Marc Chagall et de Kildare Road. Il provient de notre service d'urbanisme et explique que la ville a reçu une demande d'un promoteur pour construire un complexe d'appartements de sept étages et de 28 unités sur le site à cet endroit, près du Beth Chabad CSL et  Bialik.


Ce terrain est actuellement zoné pour un bâtiment commercial de deux étages.  Une modification du zonage approuvée par le Conseil et soumise ensuite à la consultation des résidents locaux serait nécessaire.


Notre comité consultatif d'urbanisme a examiné la proposition et fera une recommandation au conseil municipal, probablement d'ici le mois d'août. Je tiendrai tout le monde au courant. Nous ne faisons que suivre le processus en partageant les souhaits du promoteur.

 


Speed humps and bumps installed; report speeding to police

Frank Palucci is one of my most remarkable constituents. As part of the District 2 Advisory Council I established a few years ago,  Frank is my representative for Ilan Ramon Crescent and Sir Walter Scott Avenue. To say he serves as “my eyes and ears” is an understatement.

 

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Frank Palucci showcases the new speed hump.

As part of my very regular District 2 walkabouts, I usually make a stop at Frank’s house to chat. For some time now we have watched together as motorists race down Sir Walter Scott,  which  is home to half a dozen apartment buildings and of course two entrances to  Ilan Ramon.

Via Frank’s persistent reminders, I was able to get the attention of our Traffic Committee and a speed hump at the mid-way point of Sir Walter Scott has been installed and it is already making a huge difference. We also brought back another one at the rear entrance/exit of City Hall which also serves as deterrent to speeders. So thank you Frank, as well as Traffic Engineer Spyro Yotis.

Meantime, there continues to be complaints about speeding on Marc Chagall Avenue. We do have a speed hump near the snow dump, so cars seem to pressing the accelerator when they turn the corner and drive towards Mackle.

We reached out to Police Station 9 Commander Martin Montour. “We believe it is the same youngsters who are speeding along Cavendish,” he said, confirming that the complaints will be followed up.

Citizens who witness speeding infractions are asked to send an e-mail directly to pdq9@spvm.qc.ca  and it will be acted upon. You can call 911 in the case of an emergency,

Installation de ralentisseurs et de dos d'âne ; signalement des excès de vitesse à la police

Frank Palucci est l'un de mes électeurs les plus remarquables. Membre du conseil consultatif du district 2 que j'ai créé il y a quelques années, Frank est mon représentant pour Ilan Ramon Crescent et Sir Walter Scott Avenue. Dire qu'il est "mes yeux et mes oreilles" est un euphémisme.

Dans le cadre de mes promenades très régulières dans le district 2, je m'arrête généralement chez Frank pour discuter. Depuis quelque temps, nous observons ensemble les automobilistes qui descendent à toute allure la rue Sir Walter Scott, où se trouvent une demi-douzaine d'immeubles d'habitation et, bien sûr, deux entrées d'Ilan Ramon.

Grâce aux rappels insistants de Frank, j'ai pu attirer l'attention de notre comité de circulation et un ralentisseur à mi-chemin de Sir Walter Scott a été installé et il fait déjà une énorme différence. Nous en avons également ramené un autre à l'entrée/sortie arrière de l'hôtel de ville, qui sert également à dissuader les automobilistes. Merci Frank !

Entre-temps, des plaintes continuent d'être déposées au sujet des excès de vitesse sur l'avenue Marc Chagall. Nous avons un ralentisseur près de la décharge à neige, donc les voitures semblent appuyer sur l'accélérateur quand elles tournent le coin et roulent vers Mackle.

Nous avons contacté le commandant du poste de police 9, Martin Montour. "Nous pensons que ce sont les mêmes jeunes qui font des excès de vitesse le long de Cavendish", a-t-il déclaré, confirmant que les plaintes seront suivies.

Les citoyens qui sont témoins d'un excès de vitesse sont priés d'envoyer un courriel directement à pdq9@spvm.qc.ca et il y sera donné suite. En cas d'urgence, vous pouvez appeler le 911,


Saul Ettinger: The man who brought us Briskets and Il Etait Un Fois has left us

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Saul Ettinger, a constituent of mine in District 2 for the past 17 years and an iconic figure on the Montreal restaurant scene.

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Saul and Farla in this 2012 photo.

Saul and his wife Farla have always been tireless supporters of mine

Saul was a well-known respected restaurateur and real estate magnate, having brought us the Briskets smoked meat chain and the Il Etait Une Fois burger spot. More than 40 years ago, Saul opened his first Briskets deli on Bishop Street. Twelve franchises in Montreal and Ottawa soon followed.  

As Saul told me just a few years ago, people who remember dining at Briskets described the smoked meat sandwiches as "addictive."  He went on to say: “Briskets smoked meat was not only homemade, but it was never pumped.  Most smoked meat in Montreal and elsewhere were and still are prepared with briskets that are pumped with phosphates and a preponderance of nitrates and sodium. This pumping technique is used in order to increase profit margins by making the briskets heavier. Strange, isn't it---the government bans the use of phosphates in your dishwasher and laundry detergent, but allows it in food? Briskets' smoked meat was made with unpumped briskets using a tightly-held secret recipe. They were dry-cured the truly old-fashioned way over a period of two to three weeks, producing superior smoked meat---smoked meat that was mouth-watering, and truly addictive.”

Briskets smoked meat sandwiches were just about everywhere, be it the Olympic Stadium concession stands or catered at private parties.   As for Il Etait Un Fois, the classic hamburger spot was located in a standalone building in heart of Old Montreal at a time when it was a relative ghost town, Saul recalled pioneering a new phenomenon. While McDonald's was selling burgers for as little as 60 cents, he decided it was time to introduce Montreal to a gourmet half-pound burger at $5. In those days, the thought of a burger for $5 was ludicrous. Yet, within a short few weeks, Il Etait Un Fois attracted huge line-ups and rave reviews. Saul's burgers were made through a rarely used secret process that turned out the juiciest and most scrumptious burgers in Montreal. And along with mouth-watering burgers and incredible fries, the menu included specialities such as homemade beer-battered onion rings and fish n' chips as well as fried mushrooms and foot-long dogs.

Another of Saul's visions was launched on the Trans Canada, Linguini, an Italian restaurant situated in a rustic log cabin built by Saul on the south side of the 40 just west of Morgan.  

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Here was Saul cutting the brisket he made for me in his condo.

Long retired from the restaurant business, Saul still hosted dinners and parties where he served his amazing smoked meat.  When I saw him at an event about three years ago  I jokingly asked if he planned to make any briskets. Two days later I got a call to come to his condo. My brisket was ready. When I arrived Farla presented me with a special fork which Saul used to demonstrate how to carve the huge piece of meat. It was absolutely delicious.  

In 2012 Saul made a comeback and opened a new restaurant in LaSalle called Ettingers Deli. It was to be a mix between Briskets and Il Etait Un Fois. I was at the opening and did this video interview.

 

I ate there a number of time and enjoyed it, but the location off the beat and path of Newman Blvd. did not resonate with customers and it closed.  He had partnered with his stepson Warren Kleiner, and Warren's best friend, Charles Benedek.

Saul was a good man. My deepest sympathies to his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.


A refurbished Dog Run and words of advice from our Public Safety Department

As the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection in Côte Saint-Luc,  having committee meetings via Zoom have been challenging. Sometime it is nice to be on site to discuss certain issues. That is indeed the case for our Dog Runs.

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This gentleman introduced me to his new rescue dog.

 

Earlier this week, CSL Dog Owners Committee Co-Chairs Jonathan Goldman and Anna Marie Katz met me at the Mackle Road Dog Run. We were very fortunate to have CSL Public Safety Manager of Operations Jean-Marc Dubois with us. A dog owner himself,  Jean Marc takes this dossier to heart.

First let me thank the team at Public Works who have undertaken some attractive modifications to the Dog Run. Six new benches were installed in the park on concrete pads to prevent dogs from digging along with 30 tons of additional river stone  while the vines growing along the CP fence were removed.  We  are now waiting for the delivery of some large concrete pipes for dogs to run through and jump on.

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Manager Dubois meets with members. You can see the new benches and stones.

 

I must say it is always an “upper” to visit the facility and watch the dogs run and play. We do have  a sign at the entrance which dog owners are asked to adhere to. It is a little difficult to see so I will ask that it be reinstalled facing sideways.

Manager Dubois was joined by a public security officer at our meeting.  We will now make sure that an officer visits the site at least once per shift. From time to time we do have issues with aggressive dogs. There is no place for them at this location.   Our officers do have the authority to label a dog as potentially dangerous. The owner will be asked to leave with his or her canine and if they return a fine can be issued.

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Meet this beautiful dog named Moose.

 

Manager Dubois shared with us a disturbing incident that occurred recently in our city. A man was walking on the street and attacked by two dogs and they perforated his skin. The owner had them off leash. Police were called and since neither dog had a license there was an automatic fine of $500 each.

After incidents like this, a dog behaviorist is called in. The owner must show up for an appointment or face a $1,000 fine.

We were also told that the number of dog licenses issued this year is significantly down.  If you are among the dog owners who have not updated or obtained a license, then prepare for a possible spot check.

Here is how to purchase a license. You can even do it online

Dog and cat micro-chipping is mandatory in CSL. If your animal gets loose, this is  the safest thing to getting them back.

All dog owners should follow these guidelines. notably cleaning up after your animal. Please always carry a plastic bag to pick up their waste.

 


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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

 

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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 ?