Meeting held with senior CP Railway officials to deal with train noise

In a show of force, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Mount Royal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, Riding Office Senior Advisor Sonny Moroz, Councillor Dida Berku and our City Manager Jonathan Shecter  met with four senior officials from Canadian Pacific Railway by video conference today. Thanks to the Mayor for

CPmeet
Our meeting with CP.

CP was represented by their Stacy Patenaude, Manager, Government Affairs and Communications and Nathan Cato, Director, Government Affairs and two key Operation Managers, Ben Serena and Guy Seguin.

During my 16 years on council, and well before that, meetings between the city and CP over train news have been quite common. But this meeting was a bit different. Residents of Merrimac, Baily Road and parts of Hampstead have been repeatedly woken up at the ungodly hours near 3 am in recent weeks. This has impacted  constituents of myself, Councillor Berku and MP Housefather – our former mayor. Rather than approach CP on a piecemeal basis, we  included the mayor and the city’s senior director to make the case.

We reminded them that the last time the noise was this bad in 2017 CP put a stop to it.  Resident Charles Guerin has been collecting written complaints from people and we presented these to them.

“Shunting and banging at 3 am is unacceptable,” stated Housefather.

We believe the message was delivered loud and clear. They agreed to review the list of complaints and demands which were presented and  to investigate the sources of noise and disruption and get back to the city within the next few weeks. So a full investigation has now begun.

Citizens upset by the noise who have yet to write to Guerin can do so at cguerin@icloud.com

Please provide the following:

1) Name
2) Home address
3) What you are hearing (Train idling, banging, bells, horns, etc...)
4) What time of night you are hearing it.

We also ask you to go online at CP's Community Connect. The link is here.


Tenders adopted and it is now a go for Rembrandt Park basketball court facelift

It is hard to believe that just more than a decade ago when I would take my regular walks through Rembrandt Park, I’d often hear comments to the effect that the basketball courts should be removed. This came mainly from seniors and even some residents of Merrimac.

Well, in recent years the number of young families living in the immediate vicinity has grown substantially and these basketball courts have gained popularity. The problem is they are in dire need for a facelift and that is what I advocated at the Council table. Parks and Recreation, Engineering and Public Works heard my cry and a renovation job was placed into our Capital Expenditures budget four years ago. There are a lot of requests and we must wait our turn.

Users of all ages kept asking me, “when will these courts be fixed?”  I promised it would be done by 2021 and last November we got the green light to go to tender. Engineer Dalia Mohamed, Parks and Recreation Director  Cornelia Ziga and our Legal Counsel for Procurement Andrea Charon worked exceedingly hard on this project. The original budget was $70,000 and after receiving several informal equipment quotes, Dalia asked Cornelia to present a business case to  our  Finance Department, which was approved  for an extra $15,000.

I have been fortunate to be able to count on some solid advice from constituents Alex Fyon and Kevin Fuks. Their  JHoops organization runs leagues, after school programs, summer camps and more. Kevin has been playing basketball at Rembrandt for more than 20 years. They are very invested in these courts. They will join other regulars like 18 year old Shai Troy, whom I first met when he was two,  to form the first ever Rembrandt Park Basketball Advisory Committee. 

ShaiDanielOhayonbball
Shai Troy and Daniel Ohayon are among those excited to see this court get a much needed facelift.

 

Next week, along with Mayor Mitchell Brownstein,  we will meet with Dalia and Cornelia to get an overview of the project. While elaborate changes are not likely given the fact the budget has already been stretched to the limit we will explore the possibility of building a mini-companion court for younger kids. JHoops is open to a possible sponsorship.

Plain and simply, the existing  court is in very poor condition and is at the end of its

lifespan.  Among the selected new equipment will be the basketball poles, backboards, front mounted  rims basketball nets and players benches.

  • Removing the existing cracked asphalt and install six inches of MG-20 crushed stone to

maintain a slop of one percent for better drainage;

  • Install  new asphalt;
  • Install two coats of epoxy paint acrylic surface;
  • Install new basketball sets, including the two new poles and two steel fan-shaped basketball boards with double rim basketball goals;
  • Install a new 30-foot light projector with two LED fixtures;
  • Install two players' benches with backs;
  • Install new grass (SOD) around the perimeter of the basketball court.

The work is scheduled to start in June 2021 and to be completed  by the end of July. We had nine conforming bids

I will have more to report when Mayor Brownstein and members of the Advisory Committee meet with our staff next week.

 .


New black bins coming soon to single-family homes and duplexes

 From June to August 2021, more than 4,000 wheeled black bins will be distributed throughout Côte Saint-Luc to residents of single-family homes, duplexes, and some townhouses. These black bins will replace the existing mix of household waste bins.

 

“The collection is therefore faster and safer because the new black bin can be emptied into the garbage truck using a lift,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “The waste materials are in a closed container and out of sight. Also, the wheels will make it easier to place the black bin at the curb.”

 

NewBlackBin_CSLBranded

 

The black bins will be delivered to the front of each home, along with a bag containing an information package. Please note the materials may arrive during the week or weekend between 7am and 8pm.

 

The City will provide homes with a 240L black bin, which is the same size as most of the blue bins currently in use in the city. If a resident prefers a smaller 120L black bin, they can complete a form online at cotesaintluc.org/blackbins. A 240L black bin can hold approximately five regular outdoor garbage bags. A 120L bin can hold approximately three regular outdoor garbage bags.

 

“The City intends to maintain the once-a-week schedule for waste collection for now,” said Councillor Sidney Benizri, who the council member responsible for Public Works. “If you’re not sure which size bin to get, choose the standard 240L black bin. This is also easier as you don’t need to inform us because the 240L is the default size.”

 

Once the new black bins go into service, residents will no longer be able to place garbage bags on the side of bins, as the City will not collect them. Estimates show that about 80 percent of household waste is either recyclable (blue bin) or compostable (brown bin). Only 20 percent is residual waste (black bin). Remember, if you need a larger blue bin or brown bin, the City will exchange it for free.

 

The City will be mailing information flyers to the single-family homes and duplexes affected by the change. Some—but not all—townhouses will also be affected.

 

For more information, visit cotesaintluc.org/blackbins.

 

 

Nouveaux bacs roulants noirs seront bientôt distribués

 

De juin à août 2021, plus de 4 000 bacs roulants noirs seront distribués sur tout le territoire de Côte Saint-Luc aux résidents des maisons unifamiliales et des duplex, en plus de certaines maisons en rangée. Ces bacs noirs remplaceront tous les bacs à ordures existants.

 

« La collecte va être plus rapide et sécuritaire parce que le nouveau bac noir peut être vidé dans le camion à ordures à l’aide d’un mécanisme de levage. Les déchets sont dans un contenant fermé et à l’abri des regards. Enfin, les roues facilitent le placement des bacs noirs en bordure de la rue, » explique le Maire Mitchell Brownstein.

 

Les bacs noirs seront livrés devant chaque maison, avec un sac contenant une trousse d’information. La livraison se fera pendant la semaine ou le week-end, entre 7 h et 20 h.

 

La ville fournira aux foyers un bac noir de 240L, qui est de la même taille que la plupart des bacs bleues actuellement utilisées dans la ville. Si vous trouvez le bac de 240L trop grand, vous pouvez demander un bac noir de 120L à la place. Faites la demande à cotesaintluc.org/fr/bacsnoirs. Un bac noir de 240 litres peut contenir environ cinq sacs à ordures ordinaires. Une poubelle de 120 litres peut contenir environ trois sacs à ordures ordinaires.

 

« La ville a l'intention de maintenir l’horaire d’une fois par semaine.  Si vous n'êtes pas sûr quel bac à choisir, optez pour le bac noir de 240 litres. C'est également plus facile car c’est la taille par défaut » a déclaré le conseiller Sidney Benizri, membre du conseil responsable des travaux publics.

 

Une fois que les nouveaux bacs noirs seront en service, vous ne devez pas déposer de sacs à ordures à côté car la Ville ne les ramassera pas. On estime qu’environ 80 % des déchets ménagers sont soit recyclables (bac bleu), soit compostables (bac brun). Seuls 20 % sont des déchets résiduels (bac noir). N’oubliez pas que si vous avez besoin d’un bac bleu ou d’un bac brun plus grand, la Ville vous l’échangera gratuitement.

 

La Ville enverra des dépliants d'information aux maisons unifamiliales et aux duplex touchés par ce changement. Certaines maisons de ville—mais pas toutes—seront également concernées.

 

Pour en savoir plus, consultez cotesaintluc.org/fr/bacsnoirs.

 

Le bac noir doit être utilisé uniquement pour les déchets qui ne peuvent pas être réutilisés, recyclés, ou compostés. En général, il s’agit de déchets solides et non dangereux qui ne peuvent pas être recyclés ou compostés et qui ne sont pas acceptés par les organismes dont la mission est de donner une seconde vie à certains objets.

 

 

 


Caldwell Provisions to become Supermarché PA  Côte Saint-Luc next fall

Caldwell Provisions, the popular neighbourhood grocery store located on Caldwell and Kildare Road, will take over the entire strip mall by fall 2021  and be rebranded as Supermarché PA Côte Saint-Luc.

Owner George Sparagis said  the existing tenants, CSL Bagel, a drycleaner, a hairdresser and a chocolate shop, will all be integrated into the new design, which will expand to three storeys. The former Pharmaprix , bakery  and synagogue storefronts are already empty.

 

CaldwellGeorgeandRachel
George and Rachel celebrate the exciting news.

 

Sparagis made the deal with Supermarché PA when they unsuccessfully tried to lure away his head chef Sophie and head cashier Rachel.  

By engaging in this partnership, Sophie will in fact become the executive chef for all of the Supermarché PA stores. They will also carry CSL Bagel and Le Petit Jardin  products.

“This is a dream come true,” CSL Bagel owner Seth Eliahoo told me through his glass window. Seth has employed rigid safety measures since the start of the pandemic. He does not even let his financée inside.

 

Seth
Seth contemplates great things ahead for his bagel empire.

 

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein was privately involved in the negotiations and promised to bring to Council a proposal to place a very large billboard on the roof of the building to increase visibility.

Supernarché PA will also purchase naming rights to the Samuel Moskovitch Arena. The ice surface itself will be known as the Supermarché PA Rink and that will be emblazoned on the scoreboard.

While small in size compared to the major grocery stores, Caldwell Provisions has cornered the market  on fresh ready to eat meals via Chef Sophie and some of the best cut fruit in town thanks to assistant manager Spiro and his team. Many clients do their regular grocery order here by phone and as a result Sparagis has multiple delivery trucks out at a time.

The staff are extremely friendly and they greet all regular customers by name.

Sparagis started working at the store when he attended nearby Wagar High School and eventually bought the place. He is a hands on owner who can be seen on site seven days a week.

Now this would be an absolutely excellent idea for the strip mall, but at this point I must simply say “April Fool’s Day.” However, on that note I would certainly welcome Caldwell Provisions taking over the  storefront formerly occupied by Pharmaprix so they can double in size. As for CSL Bagel, Eliahoo created a superb brand and expansion is indeed merited.


Great news for democracy: vote by mail approved for those 70 and over in municipal elections

Score a victory for democracy-- well partial democracy.

Côte Saint-Luc assumed a leadership role in calling for the Quebec government to allow voting by mail in our November municipal elections for everyone who wishes, given the uncertainty of where we will be with the COVID-19 pandemic next fall. Thanks to the opposition Quebec Liberals, a compromise was reached. It is far from perfect, but it will help many of our electorate.

Here is a story in The Montreal Gazette that summarizes the decision.

Should the COVID-19 pandemic drag on even longer, Quebec wants cities and towns to be ready to hold their Nov. 7 elections anyway. This week the National Assembly passed a bill making the campaign rules more flexible.

 

 

QUEBEC — With the COVID-19 pandemic lingering, the Legault government has given cities more flexibility in the organization of the November municipal elections, including the authority to allow citizens over the age of 70 to vote by mail.

MNAs this week adopted Bill 85 which, among things, gives municipalities the option of offering the mail-in ballot option to older citizens. Municipalities have to pass a council resolution opting for mail-in balloting by July 1 to make it happen.

The expanded mail-in option was added at the last minute in the form of an amendment, which passed Wednesday in a vote. The score was 118 MNAs for, zero against.

The bill’s passage was overshadowed this week by the presentation of the Quebec budget.

“It is difficult to know what the public health situation will be for the next general municipal election,” Municipal Affairs Minister Andrée Laforest said in a statement to the Montreal Gazette.

 

“As minister, I had to put in place the conditions to ensure this major event happens. Regardless of what happens, thanks to our Bill 85, Quebecers will be able to participate in the municipal democratic process in safety and knowing the integrity of the vote is assured.”

The amendment to the bill was proposed by the Liberal MNA for Vaudreuil, Marie-Claude Nichols, the critic for municipal affairs. The government accepted the amendment.

It expands the scope of the mail-in ballot option. The initial bill, tabled in February, had the option but only for seniors living in CHSLDs or private nursing homes and people with reduced mobility who can’t travel.

In the debate over the bill, Nichols said her own 76-year-old mother would be afraid to go to a polling station if the pandemic was still happening. Nichols wanted the amendment to including to anyone over 65.

Elections Quebec indicated it would not have time to organize such a system for this election. The compromise was age 70. Elections Quebec had the same view on the issue of electronic or internet voting, which the minister Laforest also favours. There would not be enough time to put the system in place.

Elections Quebec polling shows about 50 per cent of Quebecers support the idea of electronic voting. In the 18-to-34 year-old category, the number is 76 per cent. The tool is seen as a way to boost low participation rates.

Bill 85, however, includes other clauses to ease voting in a pandemic.

To take into consideration voting by mail, the election period is expanded from 44 days in total to 51. Additional voting days will be added to avoid crowding at polling stations.

To avoid contact, fewer election workers will be on site and it will require fewer signatures to become a candidate to avoid door-to-door contact.

Finally, voters will be allowed to use their own pencils to vote.

“The last year has taught us the importance of being able to rapidly adapt to any scenario, even those which seemed impossible,” Quebec’s chief electoral officer, Pierre Reid, said in a statement.

Voters in 1,100 municipalities including Montreal go to the polls Nov. 7 to fill 8,000 elected posts.

pauthier@postmedia.com


Why I voted for a first reading of proposed new synagogue and community centre on Mackle Road and where we go from here

Over the last few weeks many people have asked me why I voted in favor of the first reading of the rezoning of land on Mackle Road to house a new synagogue and community centre under the auspices of the Fondation Sepharade Kollel Avrechim.

 

Kollel

What the proposed building would look like.

First off, please pay attention to the words “first reading.”  For many years the Fondation Sepharade Kollel Avrechim has been operating out of a duplex on Parkhaven Avenue. I equate their beginnings to Beth Chabad CSL, which operated from the old Eaton’s at the Cavendish Mall and in the CSL Shopping Centre until they constructed a beautiful facility on Kildare Road and Marc Chagall. The Fondation Sepharade Kollel Avrechim deserves something better than a duplex.

Initially they bought land on Mackle Road right next to the CLSC René Cassin for what was to be a very modest-sized building. Neighbours opposed the project, signed a register and council stopped any potential development. We did identify land across from Maimonides Hospital, which was not near any homes and honestly we expected them to come back to us with the same sized structure. Instead, what materialized was something more than triple the size.

When I spoke to their leaders just a few years ago I asked them if they would give up their Parkhaven duplex once the new building opened and the response was affirmative. Now we learn that they intend to keep it. Parkhaven is not my district so that really is for the local councillor to work on.

Why did I vote in favor of the first reading? I felt it was important for this project to go to public consultation and due to the pandemic and the coverage of this dossier in The Suburban I knew we would have a strong presence online. Some 200 people ended up tuning in and voicing their comments. The response continued on local Facebook pages.

Had we voted this project down, then there would have been no opportunity to hear what the public had to say. I truly hope that the commentary we heard at the public consultation resonated with the congregation. Please make note. I support them. They do excellent work in the community and we are lucky to have them in our midst. To their credit they have approached some local synagogues whom many believe have room in their buildings to cohabitate, but they had no luck. Can the city play a role in mediating? That would certainly be a lot simpler than constructing a building from scratch.

City Council will convene for our next vote on April 12. In my opinion the Fondation Sepharade Kollel Avrechim should adhere to many of the valid concerns raised at the consultation regarding parking and drop off.  Their proposal needs to be revised to take these points into consideration.

I must add that I am troubled by the combative nature of some of our residents who have tried to make this an anti-synagogue issue. Côte Saint-Luc has one of the largest Jewish communities per capita in the world next to Israel and New York. We must all learn to live together as friends and partners.

I am glad we got such a strong response. The consultation, I believe, can create a “win win” situation for everyone involved. Indeed it is clear that the proposal presently before us by Fondation Sepharade Kollel Avrechim is not feasible nor safe. The ball is in their court to come back to us, either before April 12 or if the vote does not pass. But to all citizen of Côte Saint-Luc, if all of the factors due line up in a revised plan then we all need to keep an open mind.

On the eve of Passover, let us all be one strong community. Melodie Cohn, who was my opponent in the last election and has since become a friend and an important voice in District 2, has created a hashtag of #CSLStrong and she adds how we should all celebrate the fact we have so many rich cultures in our community,


IGA Lipari at Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre going the extra mile to assist clients for Passover orders

It is hard to believe, but we are headed towards our second COVID-19 Passover and that brings with it many challenges.

Right about now, grocery stores in the Jewish communities have aisles of Passover products. Most of the non-perishables are in while we might have to wait just a little bit longer for the frozen goods.

There are still many people in our community, particularly seniors, who do not wish to physically go into a store. To avoid that they have relied upon curbside pickup or delivery the past year.  In order to do so you must register an account with IGA, Provigo or Metro and input your order several days in advance.

For Passover, though, you are not really going to see a list of items you need on the data base.

Now I have always done my Passover shopping at the IGA Lipari at the Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre. Owner Pete Lipari is a prince of an individual. Last summer he worked with the Nellie Philanthropy Foundation.  David Lisbona, Councillor Mitch Kujavsky, his sister Pam Kujavsky, and Melissa Margles spearheaded a group of about 200 volunteers who packed and delivered orders to seniors. Lipari let them stay after hours  and before opening in the morning to complete the task.

PeterLipari
Peter Lipari is ready to assist.

 

Well, once again, Lipari is stepping up.  Beginning  Friday, March 12 people can reserve their Passover orders by sending an email to igalipari@gmail.com.  It is important to merely list the name of the product you want, such as egg matzvah or chocolate cake mix. Someone will call you within two days to go over the items and take your credit card. You can then arrange for it to be delivered or picked up. The last day of operation for this option will be Monday, March 22 at Noon.

This is something those of us who have elderly parents can take care of it they do not have email. Many seniors have received their first vaccines, but they do not kick in for three weeks. So it remains highly advisable for them to stay home and safe.

Here is a basic list of Passover items you can order:

  • Borch
  • Gelfilte fish
  • Matzah
  • Egg Matzah
  • Whole wheat Matzah
  • Matzah Farfel
  • Matzah meal
  • Cake meal
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sugar brown sugar
  • Passover coke/diet coke
  • White rock seltzer
  • Chicken consume
  • Matzah ball min
  • Matzah ball and soup mix
  • Jam, assorted flavors
  • Instant coffee/tea
  • Cereal
  • Passover cake mix
  • Kedem grape juice
  • Candles
  • Spices
  • Matzah crumbs
  • Passover cookies, cakes
  • And many more items including meat, cold cuts, salads, dairy, etc

If you have another item, just list it.  The phone number is 514-486-3254.


Former CSL standout athlete launches Go Fund Me campaign to assist some of his NY basketball players

While growing up in Côte Saint-Luc next to Kirwan Park,  my brother Chuck and I would spend of our summers playing pickup baseball. The guy everyone wanted on their team was Mark Rosenoff, who lived one street over. We called him “Rosie” and he was the prototypical  power hitter. In the local CSL system, from hardball to Slo Pitch, this guy was always good for the long ball.

Rosie2
Mark Rosenoff and one of his previous teams.

Well, I lost touch with Rosie until he contacted me the other day. Twenty years ago, while living here, he met his wife Michelle. She is a New Yorker and they  ended up moving to Long Island.    They were blessed with two beautiful children.  Sydney,  17., is a high school senior   at LuHi and Matthew, 15,  is a freshman at Commack High School. Sydney is a chip off the old block  received a full basketball scholarship at Adelphi University. Not to be outdone, Matthew made the varsity basketball team and he also plays football.  

Rosenofffamily
Mark Rosenoff and his family.

 

 

 

Now Rosie himself was also quite a basketball player growing up.   “I loved the game as a player and continue to love the game as a coach,” he says. “Coaching has to be one of the most rewarding things to do in life. To make a difference in these young kids lives means everything.”

Rosie currently coaches a Boys 15U AAU travel basketball team. They are not a sponsored, so everyone has to pay their own way to play.   Turns out he has players who can’t afford to pay anything to play.   “They are great kids that deserve the opportunity to compete,” Rosie says. “With New York closed,  we have to travel to other states to play,  which is very costly.”

By day Rosie has a sales position in the pest control industry.   

So Rosiehas embarked upon a Go Fund Me account  to help these kids out and he is hoping that Montrealers and CSLers who knew him will consider making donations.

The link  to donate is:   https://gofund.me/85219532 


New measure to improve safety on Marc Chagall Ave. to reduce speed to 30 km/h

The Côte Saint-Luc Traffic Committee met recently, at which time I made the case for something to be done to increase safety on Marc Chagall Avenue

With the addition of two Equinoxe high rises,  and if you take into account Le Rothchild I, which borders on the street, there are  close to 1,000 residents spread across six buildings and one town house complex. Add to that JPPS Elementary/Bialik High School,  Beth Chabad at Kildare Road and the snow dump, then we are talking about a lot of traffic.

ChagallsatFinal
A look at Marc Chagall Avenue.

Following two recent accidents at the curve on Marc Chagall, the committee discussed what can be done. Engineering presented  traffic counts taken from the previous week.

MarcCHagallSPeedtest

They showed low volume and low speeds at the curve. Simply looking at the data would not suggest a problem in the area. The  local Police Station 9 commander  agreed that there is likely no speeding on the curve and that they would not be able to issue tickets based on the speeds of the tests. The committee did agree  that these values would be amplified if it were trucks and not cars.

Personally I do not feel that these speed tests tell the true story. There have been many spring, summer and fall nights where have seen cars whizzing by well above the speed limit.

So our plans now call for a significant reduction in speed allowed:   30km/hr along the entire Marc Chagall stretch. For residents who have been asking for such a measure  you need to understand that once signs are installed the police will be monitoring it and tickets issued.

Keep in mind that the main entrance for Isadore Goldberg Park is now on Marc Chagall, qualifying  certain portion of the street as a park area for the purposes of speed. Then, of  course, as we approach JPPS/Bialik we enter a school zone.

I walk or drive down Marc Chagall almost every day. When I am in my vehicle I do so very slowly, cognizant of the traffic and - notably during COVID-  the fact that there has been more pedestrian activity.

The addition of more speed bumps was not accepted as the noise caused by trucks  would be very disruptive to the surrounding buildings.  

Before the signs are installed and we complete the necessary steps to make this a reality, I welcome comments from constituents at mcohen@cotesaintluc.org.


Côte Saint-Luc Gala Honours our Volunteers and Maisons Fleuries winners

A few months ago I initiated a call with our Director of Parks and Recreation Cornelia Ziga about our traditional Volunteer Recognition and Maisons Fleuries Awards Night. Given the fact we are in the middle of a pandemic, where Zoom has enabled us to stay in touch why not use that platform for this purpose and do so on a cold winter night.


Cornelia is a true leader who always thinks outside of the box. We had a follow up call with Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillor Mitch Kujavsky, who has the Parks and Recreation portfolio. They liked the idea. Cornelia added the Valentine’s Day Dance, also to take place virtually.

On Saturday night February 27, the newly dubbed CSL Gala took place. Laura Trihas, our devoted special events coordinator, stepped into the control room. She turned to Anisa Cameron from the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society to produce what turned out to be a show. Anisa recruited member Brandon Schwartz to put it all together technically and folks it was a masterpiece. Ryan Nemeroff from P &R, our communications guru Darryl Levine and other staff of course were there to make it all happen.

I will post the link to the video when it is ready in the coming weeks.

Almost 300 connections were recorded, translating into about 500 people. I believe we need to look at this format post-pandemic.

Ryan Kligman and Jeanne Motulsky were spot on as emcees. The awards were spread out over a two hour program, which featured well-received performances by Dramatic Society members. They were accompanied on piano by the brilliant Nick Burgess. The chat section of Zoom was open all night and the comments were very complimentary.

Hosts
Our emcees Jeanne and Ryan.




Here are the award winners.

Aquatics Volunteer of the year Award
2020 Joel Wener – CSLA Swim Team


Joel was instrumental in the success of the CSLA swim team during the 2019-20 season. Joel successfully helped manage and organize multiple home swim meets while also representing the City in multiple Regional meetings. Joel also had his hand in guiding families, new and returning, in furthering their official’s certifications by running various trainings, coaching other parent volunteers into becoming serviceable officials during our home events. A big thank you goes out to Joel for his continued support, loyalty, and commitment to CSLA swim team family.

 

Melissa
Melissa Margles

 

Community Special Events Award
Presented to a volunteer for exceptional contribution to the community special events.
2020 Pam Kujavsky – CSL Grocery Project
2020 Melissa Margles – CSL Grocery Project


Both Pam and Melissa were instrumental in operating the CSL grocery project over the Spring and Summer of the pandemic. They both contributed literally hundreds of hours of volunteer time Melissa in organizing the volunteers for our morning and evening shopping excursions to IGA in the Cote Saint-Luc ACC, and Pam in organizing over 100 caller volunteers who were calling Cote Saint-Luc seniors to help them with their essential needs. Our endeavor would not have been able to continue throughout the summer without their efforts and for that I had no hesitation in nominating them for volunteer Awards.

E.M.S. Award
Excellence in operations
2020 Steve Merling


Steve is EMS’ Captain of Operations and the organization’s highest-ranking volunteer. His implication is critical to EMS’ operations as he works hand-in-hand with each division to ensure optimal efficiency at every level. He has proven to be an exceptional leader, an effective delegator, and brings an important “out-of-the-box” business perspective to our management team. Bright, dedicated and passionate, Steve is an outstanding individual and EMS is lucky to have him.

Excellence in training
2020 Kassandra Pinsonneault


Kassandra has taken over the management of our education department, ensuring that our newest members are well-trained and that our entire membership is up-to-date, overseeing the continuing education of our entire membership. Combining state-of-the-art teaching methods with state-of-the-heart care, her skillset as a registered emergency room nurse brings an entirely new perspective to our organization, and allows our members a more comprehensive understanding of the care they provide.

Rookie of the year
2020 Jessica Gallant


In her short time with EMS, Jessica has brought kindness and compassion to our organization, to our residents, and to our members. As one of a handful of Canadian Red Cross certified psychological first aid instructors in Quebec, Jessica has brought forward her skillset to help form our peer psychological support committee, offering our members the opportunity to debrief after difficult or traumatic calls. We feel lucky to have her on our team!

Gerry Weinstein Ambassador of the Year
In recognition as the citizen best portraying charitable qualities and serving the community at large.
2020 David Lisbona – Nellie’s Philanthropy


During the pandemic David stepped up as the managing director and driving force behind the Nellie Philanthropy Foundation, the first responders of philanthropy and the ones behind the CSL Groceries project. He has supported the Jewish, Filipino, Black communities in Montreal. as well as food banks in Montreal and the Laurentians.
David was a founding member of the Canadian Friends of the Israeli Ice Hockey Foundation. Their collection bins have been in the Samuel Moskovitch Arena for almost 30 years now. A key organizer of the gold medal winning Maccabi Canada 1997 Maccabiah Games ice hockey team, he was also a member of the organizing committee and responsible for equipment at Hockey sans Frontiers/Hockey without Borders-sent equipment to India, Serbia, Greece and Canada’s indigenous communities.

A former president of the Generations Foundation, feeding 8,000 kids per day in both English and French School Boards, he is also the former chairman of Le Mercaz Food Roundup and Le Mercaz (now MADA)- at a time ran one of the largest door-to-door food drives in Canada. As well he is a former vice-chair and now life member of Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa and a former board member of the Y Country Camp, strong advocate of the camp experience for kids everywhere. Last June he was a winner of both the Caring Canadian and D’Arcy McGee citizenship medals.


Hazel Lipes Award
Recognizes a volunteer for their exceptional contribution to the Community Services Programs.2020 Joanne Cutler – B’nai Brith Canada and Singing to Seniors


An avid philanthropist, Joanne has worked with charitable organizations and has helped fundraise
for theatre troupes in the Montreal area. Today, she works with B’nai Brith of Canada as the chairman for Community Volunteer Services in Quebec. Just to name a few, Joanne organizes programs for seniors, donations for women in difficult life situations and supplies for people on the autism spectrum. Over the summer 2020, during the COVID pandemic, Joanne and her husband Merv Middling performed at over 20 senior’s residences entertaining people who had been stuck indoors for months. They performed outdoors while the residents watched from their balconies or safely on patios.


With a background as a music educator and pre-school music specialist for thirteen years, Joanne
Has written dozens of songs, mostly for children. She has also written articles for various newspapers and magazines. Branching into literature, Joanne has authored her first children’s book, One Cabbage Lane and is currently writing her second children’s book entitled Two Cabbage Lane.


Professionally, Joanne and her two partners, Merv Middling and Nick Burgess perform as Que Sera; a musical group for private parties, large events and charitable functions. www.queseraduo.com What began as a hobby became an important part of Joanne’s life when she started painting in her fifties. Once all of her walls were covered with her own artwork, she began painting for her favourite people. Painting almost exclusively in acrylic, her work covers a huge spectrum from abstract to contemporary. Joanne’s paintings are available for purchase and she hopes to have a gallery showing in the near future.

2020 Ronalee Zilman – President Women’s Club


Ronalee was elected President on Aug 14, 2019. She organized two successful events with over 100 participants in attendance. Ronalee worked tirelessly to improve communication and help grow their membership by nearly 50 percent in a very short period of time. She's a devoted volunteer with a true passion for improving the lives of seniors.


Lifetime Achievement
2020 Harvey Levine – Director of B’nai Brith Quebec


B'nai Brith Canada has been active in Canada since 1875 as the Jewish community's foremost independent human rights agency. "People Helping People" is their motto with community projects, affordable senior housing, and other charitable endeavors. Harvey Levine has been the Quebec Regional Director since 2014. Prior to that he was involved with the organization for decades. Under his leadership, Mr. Levine has maintained the B’nai Brith office in Côte Saint-Luc. He played an important role in the construction and realization of Chateau B’nai Brith, a subsidized residence for seniors. Over the years Mr. Levine has been an ardent defender of the community, speaking out against acts of antisemitism and intolerance. He has built bridges with other intercultural communities.


Mr. Levine, whose brother Allan was a Côte Saint-Luc city councillor for over 30 years, oversees the Quebec Region, Montreal office and staff. He Responds to antisemitic incidents, media requests and outreach to various groups, participates actively in annual audit of antisemitic incidents, oversees Quebec community and governmental affairs and special projects as well community volunteer service projects, fundraising and the coordination of volunteers.


Previously, Mr. Levine was an award-winning volunteer and member of B’nai Brith for over 45 years. He is a past president of the Maple Leaf Lodge of B’nai Brith Canada and currently an advisor and trustee. In addition he continues to chairman the annual Chanukah candle lighting project at the Jewish General Hospital.


As a professional, Mr. Levine was a senior executive in the pharmaceutical, medical publishing and communications industries, a past president and honorary life member for the Pharmaceutical Marketing Club of Quebec, a past president of The Canadian Association of Medical Publishers and a past vice-chair of the Marketing Section of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Canada. Born and educated in Montreal, he is married and the father of two daughters.

Royal Canadian Legion Brigadier Frederick Kisch, Branch #97 Award
Awarded to the Youth Volunteer of the Year, in recognition of outstanding achievement in the improvement of leisure opportunities within the community.
2020 Roni Juran – Library


Roni has volunteered with the library since she was 12 years old, approaching Bronwen at the used book sale, and asking if she could help. Now 17, we have watched Roni grow into an intelligent, funny, confident, and kind young woman. She has participated in every volunteer program available to her, from Early Volunteering where she tidied the shelves, to Reading Buddies, Homework Help, and finally, Youth Advisory Group. When the pandemic hit, Roni was just getting ready to graduate from high school and move on to CEGEP, and despite the bustle and confusion during this time, she remained a steadfast volunteer, helping to found Virtual Reading and Homework Buddies, and joining the Virtual Youth Advisory Group program. Roni is an exceptionally gifted young person, who has a gentle and humorous approach to tutoring children which has been noticed by the library's teacher-volunteers. She is also very creative, contributing many ideas to help bolster and share positivity in her community during COVID. She has set a great example for everyone who works with her, remaining motivated and involved among an exceptional group of virtual volunteers, never shying away from a challenge, and showing great resilience and perseverance. We are proud of Roni and look forward to continuing to watch her blossom.

Socio-Cultural Award
Presented to the outstanding Volunteer for exceptional contribution to the social cultural programs.
2020 Janet Garmaise – Dramatic Society


Janet has been performing with the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society since 2016, when she joined the cast of The Producers and Florida. She has become a joyful performer in most CSLDS productions ever since. This year she was instrumental in helping to bring the innovative and reimagined senior Summerworks on line.


Special Recognition Award or Presentation
2020 Ariel Davidson – Assisting new immigrants


Ariel Davidson, a mother of three, has lived in Côte Saint-Luc for the past 16 years. A few years back on the 161 bus route she noticed a young lady with a two-year-old tied to her back in a bedsheet. She was wearing flip flops and the child had socks in February. She started a conversation and learned that this woman was a refugee claimant who had arrived just a few weeks earlier from Nigeria. She lived in Côte Saint-Luc and did not have a stroller or boots or anything warm. Ariel subsequently started a stroller project, posting on Facebook a call for used strollers. She managed to find and give over 100 strollers to refugees in need

.
“During that time period people would ask ‘do you want clothes?’ So I said sure and from strollers came clothes, and diapers, and everything else associated with children. Last winter, I worked with the city to collect winter coats for needy children in the area. With the help of our community I managed to give over 65 winter coats to children in need. When COVID-19 hit, I managed to find donors and help to feed six Côte Saint-Luc families who lost their income during that time period. People also started to ask me for fans as they used to go to the splash pads or the mall or the library when it was very hot outside and now there was no refuge. With the help of Councillors Mike Cohen and David Tordjman and community activist Ben Graur we managed to supply many new and used AC units to refugee and new immigrant families.”


In early September the city also donated many packages of brand-new markers, and Ariel managed to collect a bunch of backpacks. Most of these supplies went to families who attend École Mosaique and other local schools. Now winter is arriving, and she have started the winter coats again. “The reason I chose to help newly arrived families is that they do not have a support base,” Ariel said. “The families that I chose to work with live right here in Côte Saint-Luc. It hurts me to stand by and see them struggle. Although I do not know personally, I know from my own Jewish upbringing that we were once strangers in a strange land and people helped us.”


Sports Award
Recognizes a volunteer for exceptional contribution to the community sports program
2020 Matthew Cutler – Minor Hockey


Matthew Cutler was front and center in the city's communication flow with Minor Hockey this fall. He was in regular contact with me and with staff in his always respectful lobby to try and salvage as much as possible of the youth hockey season. He was a true collaborator and was always looking out for the best interests of the kids.


Stewart Mankofsky Memorial Trophy
Presented to the athlete / volunteer who best exemplifies the qualities of dedication, sportsmanship, and love of competition.
2020 Cailin McMurray – Aquatics


Cailin is a national level athlete who has represented CSL at the Quebec Games and Canada Games in the past and has been a valued member of our swim team since it's inception.
She is a multiple provincial champion and has medalled at the national level as well.
Moreover, she provides a great example or perseverance, dedication, and effort. All done with a permanent smile

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vCOP Award
2020 Elaine Meunier


In the words of one of our other vCOP supervisors, Elaine is a 24/7 vCOP. She approaches her responsibilities like a full-time job! In a difficult year where the City has had to deal with a global pandemic, Elaine has been a constant presence in the service, even after the vCOP operation was suspended due to COVID-19 back in March. She has been the go-to person for both Management and Volunteers alike!


Elaine has been a member of vCOPs since December 2009, and during those 11+ years, has proven to be part of a select few that have donated their time and effort way beyond what was asked of them. Part of the Organizing committee of all special events, out on regular patrols, scheduling, reporting, helping mentor other members, and being an active supervisor, she has also been instrumental in making sure that the operations run smoothly. She is as much a pleasure to deal with as a person as she is as a supervisor. Although not proven, I strongly believe Edward J. Kirwan Award


Awarded annually to outstanding volunteers in the Côte Saint-Luc programs for exceptional contribution.
2020 Adam Daniel Koren – Dramatic Society

 

MeandSid
Sidney and I present the awards.


Maisons Fleuries

As for Maisons Fleuries, my co-chair Councillor Sidney Benizri and I were proud to transition our event online. Categories judged were: single family and semi-detached dwellings; duplexes; townhouses; apartment; condominiums; seniors residence; and institutions (church, hospital, synagogue and businesses).

Daniella


In my District 2 , the top winner for condominiums was Le Rothchild II on Mackle Road, followed by Le Rothchild I on Marc Chagall and the Briar Cliffe on Rembrandt. For Single Family Homes, Frank Palucci and Sandra Cambone from Ilan Ramon Crescent were repeat winners followed by Frederika Shulman and Robert Kovari who live on the same street. For Town Houses, bravo to rookie winner Daniella Aschinazi Goldfarb, Aileen London Shapiro on Merrimac Road who came in first and second followed by Jerry Wiseberg and Shandyl Libling-Wiseberg.
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Why microchipping your dog or cat is mandatory - and important!

Microchipping dogs and cats became mandatory in Montreal and Laval last January. The law also applies to Côte Saint-Luc and we decided to give pet owners more than a year's grace, but that time is almost over.

Starting April 6, 2021, all Côte Saint-Luc cats and dogs over six months of age must be microchipped. A proof of microchipping will be asked when you renew your annual dog or cat tag.

What is a microchip?

A microchip is computer chip, the size of a grain of rice, with a serial number associated with the owner’s contact details. It is inserted, by a veterinarian, under the skin of the animal.

Why microchip?

A microchip makes it possible to identify a lost animal and quickly find its owner. The device cannot be lost and accompanies your pet throughout its life. Dog and cat ownership information is accessible to veterinarians. This avoids overloading shelters and most importantly carrying out avoidable euthanasia.

 

Cleo2018
My Cleopatra was microchipped the moment we adopted her as a kitten.

 

Where can I get my pet microchipped?

You can get your pet microchipped at your local veterinarian or at the SPCA.

What is my view?

All of my cats have been microchipped. My 11 year old  Cleopatra never goes outside. But we worry heaven forbid if she ever escaped (when I open the sliding door for the barbeque she heads in the opposite direction) what would happen? I hope to never find out, but a microchip is a vital purchase if you love your pet. We have all heard stories about dogs breaking lose from a backyard or off a leash.

You have to be a pet owner to understand this. Our dogs and cats are family. We care about them, well at least I do, like they are your own flesh and blood.

So please, adhere to this new regulation!

 

 

 

 


Update on the vaccination program of the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal

 

Covid

 

The following is an update on the vaccination program of the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal.

Vaccinations to date

All long-term care residents who consented to and qualified for COVID-19 vaccination have received their vaccine (in CHSLDs, Intermediate Resources and Family-Type Resources). The vaccination campaign for those who live in private seniors’ residences (RPAs), and religious orders is ongoing and expected to be completed by February 26th. The CIUSSS is also currently vaccinating seniors who are living in municipal low-income housing and non-profit housing.

Indigenous residents of our territory and clients of the following homeless shelters in our area have been vaccinated: Chez Doris, Resilience Montreal, the Open Door, and the Côte-des-Neiges warming centre.


Recruiting vaccinators

To combat COVID-19 quickly and effectively, the Human Resources team of our CIUSSS is looking for anyone who is available and interested in assisting in the vaccination campaign.

We are looking for physicians, midwives, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, nurses and licensed practical nurses, as well as:


Acupuncturists

Dental hygienists

Podiatrists

Audiologists

Veterinary doctors

Ambulance technicians

Audioprosthesists

Prescription opticians

Medical technicians

Chiropractors

Optometrists

Medical electrophysiology technologists

Denturists

Speech therapists

Physiotherapy technicians

Dietitians or nutritionists

Physiotherapists

Medical imaging technologists

Occupational therapists


Students in nursing, medicine, pharmacy and dentistry are also invited to apply.
Details of hiring conditions and schedules will be specified when the candidates are contacted by our Human Resources teams.

To apply: recrutement.ccomtl@ssss.gouv.qc.ca or 514-293-0526.

Public Vaccination Program

a) Eligibility for Vaccination

We expect the public vaccination program to start soon. During this first phase of the public vaccination program, priority will be given to residents of the territory who are 70 or over.

b) Making an Appointment
It will be necessary to make an appointment to be vaccinated. Appointments will have to be made online or by telephone.

c) Preparing for the Appointment
Residents should plan on a visit lasting 30 to 45 minutes, which covers time for registration, the vaccination itself and post-vaccination observation.
Residents should bring their health card with them.

Mise à jour sur le programme de vaccination du
CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal


Vous trouverez ci-dessous une mise à jour sur le programme de vaccination du CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal.

Personnes vaccinées jusqu’à maintenant

Tous les résidents des centres de soins de longue durée admissible et qui ont consenti à la vaccination contre la COVID-19 ont été vaccinés (dans les CHSLD, les Ressources intermédiaires et les Ressources de type familial). La campagne de vaccination pour les personnes vivant dans les résidences privées pour personnes âgées (RPA) et les communautés religieuses est en cours et devrait être terminée d’ici le 26 février. Le CIUSSS vaccine actuellement les personnes âgées qui habitent dans des logements municipaux à coût modique et des logements sans but lucratif.

Les résidents autochtones et les clients des refuges pour sans-abri suivants de notre territoire ont été vaccinés : Chez Doris, Résilience Montréal, La Porte ouverte (the Open Door), et la halte-chaleur Côte-des-Neiges.
La semaine prochaine, nous prévoyons de vacciner les patients âgés de 70 ans et plus hospitalisés à l’Hôpital général juif.

Recrutement de vaccinateurs

Pour lutter rapidement et efficacement contre la COVID-19, l’Équipe des ressources humaines de notre CIUSSS est à la recherche de toute personne disponible et intéressée à participer à la campagne de vaccination.

Nous cherchons des médecins, sages-femmes, inhalothérapeutes, pharmaciennes et pharmaciens, infirmières et infirmiers et infirmière et infirmiers auxiliaires autorisé(e)s ainsi que des :

Acuponcteurs

Hygiénistes dentaires

Podiatres

Audiologistes

Médecins vétérinaires

Techniciens ambulanciers

Audioprothésistes

Opticiens

Techniciens médicaux

Chiropraticiens

Optométristes

Technologues en électrophysiologie médicale

Denturologiste

Orthophonistes

Techniciens en physiothérapie

Diététistes ou nutritionnistes

Physiothérapeutes

Technologues en imagerie médicale

Ergothérapeutes

Les étudiants en soins infirmiers, médecine, pharmacie et médecine dentaire sont également invités à présenter leur candidature.
Les détails des conditions et des horaires de travail seront précisés lorsque les candidats seront contactés par les membres de l’Équipe des ressources humaines.

Pour présenter votre candidature :

recrutement.ccomtl@ssss.gouv.qc.ca ou 514-293-0526.

Programme de vaccination public

a) Admissibilité à la vaccination

Nous nous attendons à ce que le programme de vaccination public soit lancé prochainement. Au cours de la première phase du programme de vaccination public, la priorité sera donnée aux résidents du territoire âgés de 70 ans et plus.

b) Prise de rendez-vous
Il sera nécessaire de prendre un rendez-vous pour être vacciné. Les rendez-vous devront être pris en ligne ou par téléphone.

c) Préparation au rendez-vous
Les résidents doivent prévoir une visite d’une durée de 30 à 45 minutes pour l’inscription, la vaccination et le temps d’observation après la vaccination.

Les résidents doivent apporter leur carte d’assurance maladie.

 

 

 

 


Improvements have been made to reduce noise emanating from the snow dump

There has been no shortage of snow in recent weeks and that means a lot of activity in our snow dump on Marc Chagall Avenue.

I want to thank our Public Works team, notably Director Beatrice Newman and  Manager of Operations John Monteiro for taking numerous actions to try and curtail noise from the snow dump.

Feb2021
The snow dump.

 

Over the last two years we have implemented several changes to reduce the noise emanating from the snow dump:

  • There are large signs posted at the entrance/exit to the snow dump advising truckers that banging the rear truck gate is strictly prohibited. These signs did not exist in the past.
  • The snow wall along Marc Chagall has been increased in height to reduce the sound traveling towards the town houses to the west. In the past the wall was constructed only using the bulldozers. This year a large shovel was used to build the wall that is 50 percent higher.
  • The bulldozer operators have been advised to no longer drop the blade onto the ground creating a thumping noise.
  • Previously the bulldozer operators would drop the plow in one swift action. Now they drop the blade halfway before allowing the blade to drop onto the ground reducing the loud thump.
  • Finally the monitors have always been instructed to advise the drivers who bang there truck gates that this will not be tolerated. Now they also make a note of the truck and if this is a recurring problem, we advise the contractor that the driver is banned from entering the snow dump.

While the complaints are minimal, I have always been of the opinion that if even one person is disturbed then I would take action. I gathered a few of the concerned individuals with Ms. Newman, Mr. Monteiro and Mayor Mitchell Brownstein.

“This is a snow dump,” Ms. Newman began.  “Although we try to reduce the noise, it doesn’t always happen: big trucks, 10 tons of snow in each truck and pushing tons of snow uphill with a bulldozer.” 

Two dozen no entry/ employees only signs, are going to be installed along the fences and gate. A trailer will be installed at the entrance so that the attendant will see a trespasser immediately and then call dispatch. Automated gates will be installed and the attendant will operate the gates during the working hours of the day. These gates will remain closed unless there is high traffic. We will be installing  a new  electric pole to provide electricity to the trailer and gates. A generator will be placed there until the electricity is connected;

The tailgate noise may occur, but it’s important to remember that this level of noise has dramatically dropped


Quebec's vote by mail plan does not go far enough as Newfoundland situation shows us

Only days after I moved a resolution for Côte Saint-Luc City Council to support mail-in ballots for the November 7, 2021 municipal elections, the Quebec government did introduce legislation that definitely goes in the right direction,

Municipal Affairs Minister Andrée Laforest tabled Bill 85, which expands the list of people eligible to vote by mail and gives Quebec’s chief electoral officer more leeway to adapt the process to the new reality. As reported in The Gazette by Phil Authier,  Bill 85 proposes to add to the list of people eligible to vote by correspondence. Under the current law, the only people who can vote by mail are those who have temporarily left their home base to work or study elsewhere, or who live in CHSLDs, physical rehabilitation centres or hospitals. Under the new bill, the list would include people living in private seniors’ residences, those unable to move because of health reasons and their caregivers, and people who have to self-isolate because of COVID-19 under public health regulations. The bill also allows the chief electoral officer the option of adding polling days and days for advance polls, and allows them to pick larger voting locations to allow for social distancing and to adjust polling stations’ hours in order to avoid crowds.

 

Ballot

Let's be honest here.  Who would have thought nearly one year ago when the pandemic changed our lives forever that we would still be dealing with this virus. Sure, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promises us that everyone will be vaccinated by the end of  September. That could very well change to the end of December and impact election turnout significantly.

Bill 85 needs to be expanded in order to allow anyone who requests the right to vote by mail to do so.

Look no further than what is happening now in Newfoundland and Labrador where election officials have cancelled in-person voting a day before many polling stations were set to open, in response to an alarming rise of COVID-19 cases in the province. Elections Newfoundland and Labrador said Friday evening that the provincial election will now shift entirely to mail-in voting, with ballots being accepted until March 1. Voters have until Monday at 8 p.m. to apply for voting packages, according to a statement from chief electoral officer Bruce Chaulk, extending a deadline originally set for Saturday night.

With all of the new variants surfacing, who is to say that the vaccines will even be completely effective. There has already been talk that we might require an annual COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.

The Quebec government has a chance now to avoid having to enact last minute changes to voting like Newfoundland and ensure that everyone has access to vote by mail next November. It is the prudent measure to take!

I have shared these comments with our D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum and I hope he can make the point as Bill 85 will only be adopted in the spring.

See this article in La Presse, where Councillors Marvin Rotrand and Lionel Perez agree it does not go far enough. The president of the Union of Quebec Municipalities, Suzanne Roy, needs to speak out louder and not give the government any excuses.

 

Rotrand
Marvin Rotrand

 

Councillor Rotrand has written this letter to  the Premier. Bravo Marvin!

 

15 fevrier 2021

 

François Legault

Député de L’Assomption

Premier ministre du Québéc

Conseil exécutif

Édifice Honoré-Mercier

835, boulevard René-Lévesque Est

3e étage

Québec (Quebec)  G1A 1B4

 

Monsieur le Premier ministre,

 

I am writing to you on behalf of many colleagues to ask for your personal intervention to assure the health and safety of Quebecers for this autumn’s municipal elections.

 

You are undoubtedly aware of the dire situation in Newfoundland and Labrador that caused the Chief Electoral Officer to abruptly cancel the provincial election 12 hours before polls were to open. 

 

Elections Newfoundland and Labrador feared that the risk of a spread of a variant of COVID was so high that it cancelled all in person voting, and decreed that the election would operate via voting by mail only with ballots to be returned by March 1.

 

However, that province does not have a legislative framework to cover an election only by mail and already there are serious concerns from the candidates as to how the process will work. The lack of preparedness may comprmise the results.



Recently your Government introduced Bill 85. Rather than allowing voting by mail for all voters, the bill proposes to allow it as an option for those residing in CHLSDs, other private seniors' residents, some health care workers and those who must quarantine because they have COVID - in other words a truly tiny percentage of the entire population.

 

It is truly optimistic to think COVID will be totally banished by November. The possibility that vaccinations proceed more slowly than anticipated and of new variants that complicate the public health response are real. 

 

Moreover, a lack of public confidence in voting in person even after a successful effort to vaccinate could depress turnout in the municipal elections.

 

While voting by mail is proven to increase voter participation, I believe your intervention should be on the basis of prudence - that Quebec be ready for any eventuality and that a voting by mail be available to Quebecers that would provide a safe way to cast votes. Preparing now for voting by mail would be an insurance policy against an unanticipated future wave of COVID.

 

Voting by mail has increased everywhere in the past years as it has proven not only safe but secure as well- except Quebec. In the United States we saw a record turnout in the November 2020 elections largely due to voting by mail. We saw the same in the British Columbia election last October and now Newfoundland will reschedule its vote and have it only by mail.

 

Five Canadian provinces allow municipalities to decide on their own whether to allow voting by mail. Five United States jurisdictions allow only voting by mail and have done so since 2020. 

 

Montreal Council has twice expressed its openness to voting by mail and in the circumstances of a pandemic that lingers and has caused never before seen hardships for the population, it is time to have a second look at Bill 85.

 

I urge you to consult the Directeur General des Elections du Quebec and the leaders of the opposition parties. I believe Quebecers will agree that the prudent measure is to enlarge voting by mail for the November 7 municipal elections.

 

Veuillez agreer, Monsieur le Premier ministre, mes sentiments les plus distinguees.

 

 

 

Marvin Rotrand

Conseil municipal - Snowdon

Ville de Montreal

 

DeCotisPhotogoodidea

Laval Resolution

In Laval City Councillor David De Cotis has a resolution  set to go before the next meeting.

The link is below.

Download PROPOSITION DE DEMANDER À ÉLECTIONS QUÉBEC DE PERMETTRE LE VOTE PAR LA POSTE

 

 

 

 

 


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

Last June some parents presented a petition to me out of concern over the dangers of reckless scooter driver at Rembrandt Park.

I took the matter to City Hall, where our senior legal official Jonathan Shecter and Director of Public Safety Philip Chateauvert examined the request and began the process of banning such scooters at any parks. In fact, the by-law adopted at our Monday, February 9 Council meeting goes much further.

How-to-Ride-Electric-Scooter-1024x802

It is now law in Côte Saint-Luc that scooter-style electric bicycles are included in the list of vehicles prohibited by Section 5.7 of the Nuisance By-law (2470), primarily   because of the danger related to the considerable speed they can reach (+30km/h).  The speed and weight of this type of bike significantly increases the risk of serious injury.

Our second piece of legislation  is to include a section prohibiting driving and/or reckless or dangerous use or use that puts the safety of others at risk, regardless of the type of vehicle. This section now covers all means of transportation whether electric or not. We believe that no one should be allowed to use a skateboard, bicycle or any other means of transportation in ways that put the safety of other users of the park at risk.

The motion was adopted unanimously.


Côte Saint-Luc supports vote by mail system for next municipal elections

The City of Côte Saint-Luc was the first municipality in the country to implement mandatory mask wearing.

As Mayor Mitchell Brownstein stated, “we are leaders when it comes to measures regarding COVID-19.”

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Municipal Elections are scheduled to be held in Quebec municipalities on November 7, 2021. On Monday night we  adopted a resolution calling upon the Quebec government to permit voting by mail upon request.

Yes, the elections are  10 months away,  but does anyone really believe that we will be pandemic-free by then?  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promises us that every Canadian wlllbe vaccinated by the end of September. I do not believe him. The Quebec government has decided not to give people who had their first shot  the booster that Pfizer and Moderna recommended. Then there are the new variants.

“We have no guarantee we won’t be in a red zone next November,” St Laurent Borough Mayor  Alan DeSousa said recently.. “But you need to do the planning ahead.” 

Trudeau might call a snap election. Federally voting by mail is permitted. We saw it done successfully in British Columbia and the United States.  So why can’t Quebec allow this too?

The Union des municipalités du Québec is pushing very hard on the issue. Montreal, Laval, Longueil, St. Laurent and others support this. So what is the problem? If Quebec cannot get its act together on this dossier then perhaps they should consider delaying the vote until the fall of 2022.

Côte Saint Luc has a senior population of over 10,000  who are at greater risk to the effects of COVID-19.  Even if they are all vaccinated, what happens if the new variant still makes them vulnerable to catch the virus? How will we conduct door to door campaigns? Will people be willing to work at polling stations and serve as scrutineers?

Our city council  wishes to ensure a safe electoral process and  promote democracy with the maximum possible participation.  In  order to allow for mail in ballots, the Quebec government must modify the applicable law pertaining to elections for all municipalities. 

We can only hope that the Quebec government consults with the UMQ and concerned municipalities without delay!


 A detailed examination of Hydro-Québec’s planned major  electrical system upgrade

District 2 in Côte Saint-Luc will be part a major electrical system upgrade of the Hydro-Québec network. Work will occur between 2023 and 2026 and impact homes on Merrimac Road, Marc Chagall Avenue as well as Bialik High School

Hydro will be converting three 120-kV substations to 315 kV. This includes the Hampstead substation (in Côte Saint-Luc) and rebuilding the 120-kV Aqueduc-Saraguay  overhead transmission line at 315 kV over a span of 18 km between LaSalle and Saint-Laurent. Known as the Aqueduc-Saraguay project, the cost is estimated at over $500 million. The project involves replacing aging equipment, maintaining the system’s reliability, meeting future electricity needs and supporting economic development.

HyrdoTowerPic

 

Both  Hydro and Côte Saint-Luc did a study related to what the level of Electromagnetic fields (EMF) will be, that being  a combination of invisible electric and magnetic fields of force. They occur both naturally and due to human activity.  Hydro’s study showed that the EMF’s will be within the norms. Our investigation confirmed that. Councillor Steven Erdelyi, who co-chairs this committee with Councillor David Tordjman, told me: “On the positive side when you increase the voltage, you decrease the current. That means less magnetic field so it is actually safer for people.”  

There are valid reasons for this work. Despite the fact people are becoming more energy efficient, power consumption is up and more people are purchasing electric cars. In District 2 alone we just added two large Equinoxe towers. Not far off, the former Blue Bonnets Raceway will become the base to some 5,000 housing units.

A joint working committee of representatives from Hydro-Québec, the City of Côte Saint-Luc and a few members of the public started work January 27, 2020 to address public concerns about the Aqueduc-Saraguay project.   The committee’s mandate has been to review how Hydro-Québec can implement the project in Côte Saint-Luc while minimizing its impacts. For example, the committee is to assess how greenspaces can be enhanced.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact in terms of slowing down the process. We had two meetings in February and then had to wait until October before we convened again. Right now we must finalize with Hydro the precise trajectory of the new towers. There will be at least 12 towers constructed in Côte Saint-Luc and this entire project will take over a decade to complete. We also have questions about noise and public safety we need answered.

I asked two residents, Charles Guerin from the Meadows and Glenn J Nashen (on behalf of JPPS-Bialik) to be part of the committee. Hydro has been asked a lot of very detailed questions from the city and committee members. It is hoped these deliberations can be concluded in February or March because we as a city have not yet shared a comprehensive look at the project for the community at large.

In fact only last June Hydro stated: “By the end of the year, an information and consultation meeting will be held to present the project. The public will be invited to provide feedback and comments on the committee’s work and present other ideas of how the project could be improved.”

Again, none of us thought that we would still be dealing with the pandemic in 2021 at this emergency level.

Complicating matters further has been the launch on January 25 of a series of focus groups organized by Hydro. I was part of the first session. To me, this is an example of placing the cart before the horse. As the committee proceeds, residents who have no information on the actual project are suddenly being asked for their opinions to obtain a portrait of the usage of the transmission line right-of-way.    The objective is to collect the residents' ideas and concerns regarding the future right-of-way and its potential use.

I felt badly for the Hydro personnel and consultants who were asked to organize these sessions. They were there to talk about how to beautify greenspace near the new towers. Naturally, Meadows residents who were on the call wanted to know details. ”How big will the towers be? Has an environmental assessment been made?”  These are the type of questions residents had on their minds. But this was not the right table to ask them. This Hydro team wanted to know what residents would like the greenspace to look like.  These type of focus groups should have started first with experts detailing the main project, with this coming after.

THE RIGHT OF WAY

What is a right-of-way? It is a legal agreement that allows Hydro access to the property directly beneath and to either side of an electric power line. Also called an easement, the right-of-way allows them to enter the property at any time, to perform maintenance or repairs to their equipment.

Hydro officials say they want to develop the hydroelectric right-of-way that meets the needs of the community: community gardens, playgrounds, swings, landscaping, etc. Their goal is  to improve the environment and the quality of life of the people who own this right of way. In recent weeks I have been hearing from very confused constituents on Merrimac and Marc Chagall who want more information.  I communicated again with the committee chairs in the last few days and asked them to please do everything they can to move this process along.

Please understand. This is an island-wide project and it will go ahead, regardless of any protests. Hydro does not need our permission.

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

UNDERGROUND VS. OVERHEAD

So When does Hydro opt for underground lines? Hydro responds as follows: “Whenever it’s impossible to build an overhead line because of insufficient space or an impassable obstacle such as a building.”

The cost for overhead lines, with a service life of 85 years, is $150 million. Hydro maintains it will have greater transmission capacity and a faster recovery from outages. An underground line, it points out, has a service life of 40 years, a lower transmission capacity and it is more complicated to maintain and repair. Oh yes, the cost is $440 million

Hydro-Québec’s transmission system, like all other transmission systems in the world, is mainly an overhead one. Out of 34,000 km of lines, they say only 200 km (0,7 percent) are underground, and those are mainly in downtown areas.

They give examples of the percentage of underground power lines with a voltage of 315 kV and higher in some other places: 0.1 percent in Canada; 0.4 percent in the United States; 0.4 percent in Germany; and 0.8 percent in Japan

Since underground lines are more expensive, Hydro says they’re used only in places where an overhead line can’t be built, either for lack of space, as in downtown Montreal, or because of an impassable obstacle like a building.

The costs of an underground line are determined by a set of variables that have to be analyzed for each project. For this project, a 315-kV underground line would cost about $290 million more, nearly three times more than an overhead line.  

Since Hydro-Québec’s investment choices have a direct impact on electricity rates for all of its customers, the company says it has an obligation to choose the lowest-cost option.

Last but not least,  Hydro states, an overhead line can carry more electricity than an underground line.

Here is how Hydro sums up choosing the optimal course of action: they have a duty to submit the best possible project, one that is technically, economically, environmentally and socially sound and that benefits its customers; performs well from a technical perspective; can be carried out at the best possible cost; respects the environment; and  safeguards the public interest and that of its customers

Hydro maintains building a 315-kV overhead line is the best option. They also emphasize that an overhead line follows a single route.  An underground line could be completely different from that of the existing line. An overhead-underground junction substation might also have to be built for an underground line: for a 315-kV line, that would be quite sizable. Building an underground line would have some major impacts: laying two separate ducts (under the streets alongside the existing right-of-way). Undergrounding a transmission line is more complex and takes longer.

The consensus does seem to be that we might be better off health-wise with the overhead wires.

The latter is true. But these towers will not impact our entire city of 34,000 residents so we do not have strength in numbers. Nonetheless, via these focus groups it is hardly futile to go on record with our concerns.

Furthermore, we can continue to make the argument for underground wiring. But unless we as a city pay for the work, Hydro does not have to agree. Their strategy has been shared with you in detail up above. Our annual budget for the entire city is $75 million. Underground work would cost $440 million, so we can all do the arithmetic.

THE TOWERS

The towers presently contain an overhead transmission line operating at 120 kV. They will be dismantled and rebuilt at 315 kV. The exact route of the line is currently under study and the subject of consultations with the special committee.  I met via Zoom with Meadows residents for nearly an hour and a half and clearly everyone would to see the present-day large tower moved somewhere else, like behind the JPPS-Bialik field. Is that possible? It certainly will be raised at our special committee level.

HAMPSTEAD SUBSTATION

The Hampstead substation located behind Mount Sinai Hospital was built in 1955.   The electricity supplies residences, businesses and industrial customers in Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead, Montreal West Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Lachine via the distribution system. As part of the project, new 315-kV equipment will be installed at Hampstead substation.

 

HYDRO-QUÉBEC:  PROJET AQUEDUC-SARAGUAY (Source, Hydro-Québec)

Afin de répondre aux besoins croissants en électricité du secteur, Hydro-Québec investira plus de 500 M$ pour moderniser son réseau de transport dans l’axe nord-sud de l’île de Montréal, entre les arrondissements de Saint-Laurent et de LaSalle. Les équipements du réseau sont vieillissants, et doivent être remplacés.De plus, ce projet vise à améliorer la fiabilité de l’alimentation en électricité et la continuité du service à long terme pour tous les résidents de la région.

Hydro-Québec ajoutera environ 500 MW de puissance afin d’appuyer le développement économique et social dans les secteurs d’activité suivants :

  • Projets immobiliers, résidentiels et commerciaux ;
  • Projets de transport en commun (p. ex. station du Réseau express métropolitain (REM) et garages de la Société de transport de Montréal (STM) pour la recharge de bus électriques) ;
  • Projets de développement manufacturier ;
  • Centres de données et serres.

  500 M$ investis

  500 MW de puissance prévue

18 km de ligne de transport à convertir

3 postes à convertir

Modernisation du réseau électrique entre les postes de l’Aqueduc et de Saraguay

Le projet prévoit :

  • la reconstruction à 315 kV de la ligne de transport aérienne existante à 120 kV à sur 18 km entre Saint-Laurent et LaSalle. La ligne sera reconstruite dans l’emprise actuelle, mais dans le cadre des étapes suivantes, le tracé pourrait être optimisé pour en atténuer les impacts selon des critères techniques, économiques, environnementaux et sociaux.
  • la conversion de trois postes de transformation de 120 kV à 315 kV, soit les postes Rockfield (à Lachine), de Hampstead (à Côte Saint-Luc) et Laurent (à Saint-Laurent).

Hydro-Québec procède aussi à une étude préliminaire en vue de construire un nouveau poste dans le secteur de Dorval et la ligne d’alimentation associée.

Le projet se réalise dans une emprise de ligne en milieu urbain densément occupée à plusieurs endroits. Dans un souci d’harmoniser son projet avec la vision du développement de ses partenaires municipaux, Hydro-Québec mène une démarche afin de travailler en collaboration avec les villes et arrondissements, les organismes et les résidents concernés.

La ligne projetée sera construite dans une emprise de ligne existante où se trouve déjà une ligne aérienne de transport d'électricité à 120 kV.

Quand opte-t-on pour une ligne souterraine ?

Où il s'avère impossible de construire une ligne aérienne parce que l'espace est insuffisant ou parce que s'y trouve un obstacle infranchissable (p. ex. bâtiments, commerces)

LIGNE AÉRIENNE

  • Durée de vie : 85 ans
  • Capacité de transit supérieure
  • Rétablissement plus rapide en cas de panne

Coût

~150 M$*

LIGNE SOUTERRAINE

  • Durée de vie: 40 ans
  • Capacité de transit inférieure
  • Entretien et réparation plus complexes

Coût~ 440 M$*

 

Une ligne souterraine coûterait environ 290 M$ de plus qu'une ligne aérienne, ce qui aurait un impact sur les tarifs d’électricité pour tous les Québécois.

Ligne souterraine : mesure d’exception

  • Comme c’est le cas partout dans le monde, le réseau d’Hydro‑Québec est essentiellement aérien. Sur 34 000 km de lignes de transport, l’entreprise ne compte que 200 km, soit environ 0,7 %, de lignes souterraines, essentiellement dans les centres-villes.
  • Voici des exemples de pourcentage de lignes de transport à 315 kV et plus qui sont enfouies ailleurs :
    • 0,1 % au Canada
    • 0,4 % aux États-Unis
    • 0,4 % en Allemagne
    • 0,8 % au Japon
  • Étant donné son coût plus élevé, une ligne souterraine est envisagée seulement là où il est impossible de construire une ligne aérienne, soit parce que l’espace est insuffisant (par exemple au centre-ville de Montréal) ou parce qu’il y a un obstacle infranchissable (par exemple des bâtiments imposants).

Coûts, durée de vie et capacité de transit

  • Les coûts d’une ligne souterraine sont fonction d’un ensemble de variables qu’il faut analyser pour chacun des projets.
  • Dans ce cas-ci, les coûts paramétriques de la ligne souterraine à 315 kV seraient d’environ 290 M$ plus élevés, ce qui représente trois fois les coûts d’une ligne aérienne de la même capacité. La ligne aérienne devrait coûter quelque 150 M$ alors que la ligne souterraine coûterait approximativement 440 M$ en dollars courants de 2018.
  • Hydro‑Québec se doit de présenter l’option la moins coûteuse possible, puisque ses choix influent directement sur les tarifs d’électricité pour l’ensemble de la population québécoise.
  • La durée de vie d'une ligne aérienne est d’environ 85 ans tandis que celle d’une ligne souterraine est d’environ 40 ans. Puisqu’il faut que le réseau reste sous tension pendant la reconstruction, il faut prévoir repartir de zéro après 40 ans dans le cas d’une ligne souterraine. Les coûts paramétriques de la construction d’une ligne souterraine ne comprennent pas les coûts de reconstruction après 40 ans.
  • Enfin, une ligne aérienne peut faire transiter plus d’électricité qu’une ligne souterraine.

Hydro‑Québec a le devoir de présenter la meilleure option qui soit, sur les plans technique, économique, environnemental et social, et ce, pour le bénéfice de sa clientèle. Hydro‑Québec doit donc présenter un projet :

  • performant du point de vue technique ;
  • au meilleur coût possible ;
  • respectant l’environnement ;
  • en préservant l’intérêt du public et celui de la clientèle.
  • Le projet retenu constitue le point d’équilibre entre ces grands critères. Dans le cas présent, les études montrent que la construction d’une ligne aérienne à 315 kV constitue la meilleure option respectant ces critères.

Impacts et réparation

  • Si elle est aérienne, la ligne n’emprunte qu’un seul tracé. Si elle est souterraine, pour des raisons de fiabilité du réseau, il faut que les deux circuits qui la composent soient séparés donc, idéalement, qu’ils suivent des rues différentes. Ces tracés divergeraient complétement du tracé de la ligne existante.
  • Une ligne souterraine pourrait aussi nécessiter la construction de postes de liaison aérosouterraine : pour une ligne à 315 kV, il s’agit d’équipements imposants.
  • La construction d’une ligne souterraine comporterait des impacts importants : mise en place de deux canalisations distinctes (dans les rues qui longent l’emprise existante), en plus de baies de jonction à intervalles d’environ 500 à 800 m.
  • Les réparations d’une ligne souterraine sont plus complexes et les délais sont en conséquence plus longs.

 

 


Everyone is happy to see our first ever outdoor ice rink at Rembrandt Park

For the first time ever, Rembrandt Park got an outdoor skating rink this winter. It was built inside one of our tennis courts.

Alvin Fishman, the city's newly appointed Arena Foreman, has exclaimed that he is very proud of our "Boys in Blue" who work the overnight shift on ice rinks bringing this gift to our residents and community, as we all are. 

 

Rink

Bravo to Director of Public Works Beatrice Newman and her team. In recent days the weather has proven to be a challenge to keep the rink operational. Heavy snow and mild temperatures proved to be a problem. We do hope families enjoy this new option over the next few months.


We should all be concerned about Quebec's lack of a response regarding votes by mail for next election

Note: This article in The Gazette by Linda Gyulai should have us all concerned about why the province is dropping the ball to ensure that municipal elections allow for mail-in ballots. Failing that, perhaps they should be postponed to the spring of 2022. Will door to door campaigning be possible next fall? Will people even want to work at the polls? The way the vaccine rollout has started, I am not completely confident that everyone will be given the jab by next November.

HERE IS THE GAZETTE STORY

Elections in Quebec’s 1,100 municipalities are still 10 months away, but time is running out if the province plans to offer mail-in voting as an option for anyone who doesn’t feel safe voting in person.

The United States and British Columbia, which held elections in the fall, saw record numbers of voters cast their ballots by mail because of the pandemic. But those jurisdictions already had a system of mail-in balloting in place. Quebec legislation doesn’t currently allow residents to vote by mail in a local election in their municipality.

Voting by mail is crucial in a pandemic. Why is Quebec not ready?
 

“The deadline is starting to be tight,” Suzanne Roy, president of the Union des municipalités du Québec, told the Montreal Gazette after her association’s board decided in December to support mail-in voting among a host of measures to encourage turnout in the Nov. 7, 2021 municipal elections.

The UMQ, which represents 85 per cent of the population of Quebec through its member municipalities, passed a resolution that month formally calling on the provincial government to enact legislation that would permit voting by correspondence.


The UMQ resolution also calls for government support on six other measures to facilitate voting. They include studying the possibility of electronic voting from home, opening polling centres in seniors’ homes, adding more advance polling days and extending voting hours at polling centres. The resolution also appeals for any other safety measures that would eliminate lineups and make people feel more at ease, such as by offering more places to vote. And it calls on the government to allow municipalities to use a portion of the $100 million set aside for pandemic response in 2021 to help finance the voting measures proposed by the UMQ.

Roy, who is mayor of Ste-Julie, said public safety is one reason the association’s board, which includes the mayors of Montreal, Laval, Quebec City and Longueuil, supports mail-in voting and the other measures. But another consideration is pragmatic, she said: less than one out of every two eligible voters in Quebec, on average, casts a ballot in a municipal election, and the pandemic will likely only dampen enthusiasm.


“We don’t know what state we’ll be in with the pandemic, so we have to avoid people gathering when they vote,” Roy said.

At the same time, she said, “we have to make sure the vote is as accessible as possible. That’s why we’re suggesting that we promote voting by correspondence. Even if it’s expensive to set up, we think it could offer a solution for people who are afraid.”

The Quebec municipal elections law offers people who own property in a municipality but don’t reside there the chance to vote by mail. But the option is only available if the municipality opts in to allow out-of-towners a vote by post.

The city of Montreal tried mail-in voting for non-residents in the 2009 election, and abandoned it after only 1,215 voters out of 33,021 eligible non-resident voters sent in ballots.

In B.C., 662,000 votes were cast by mail in the provincial election in October — 100 times the 6,500 mail-in ballots that were cast in the province’s 2017 election. PHOTO BY DARRYL DYCK /THE CANADIAN PRESS
The UMQ’s suggestions require provincial approval. And Roy said her organization plans to follow up with the government.

For example, municipalities can’t unilaterally decide to extend advance polling by, say, a week or a month. A Quebec decree passed in October and applicable only to municipal elections during the pandemic allows for up to five days of advancing polling between Oct. 29 and Nov. 2. The decree also allows a municipality to add one additional election day, on Nov. 6. So a municipality must offer a minimum of two days to vote in 2021 — the Nov. 7 election and an advance polling day — and a maximum of seven voting days that include two election days and five advance polling days.

The government’s October decree opens the window slightly to voting by mail during the pandemic, but only for people in hospitals and nursing homes and those ordered into self-isolation, and only applying to byelections so far.

Mail-in balloting temporarily replaces bedside voting normally available in seniors’ residences and hospitals, according to a 41-page guide the municipal affairs department issued in the fall with recommended safe distancing measures for elections during the pandemic.

On Thursday, Quebec’s director general of elections announced byelections in two municipalities, in Saint-Calixte and Beauharnois, to be held on Feb. 21. Anyone qualified to vote by mail in those byelections must make the request to their local chief returning officer no later than Feb. 11.

However, even if the government allows the stopgap measure to be applied in the November general elections, Montreal city councillor Alan DeSousa said the impact of offering mail-in voting only to people in nursing homes and hospitals or in mandatory isolation “would be extremely limited.”

“It doesn’t help senior citizens at large,” he said. “Clearly, it doesn’t deal with the concerns of seniors living in the broader community and people with pre-existing medical conditions.”

Moreover, the decree doesn’t amend the municipal elections law, DeSousa noted. So once the emergency health crisis ends and the decree is no longer in effect, Quebec municipalities will go back to holding elections on a single voting day plus one or two advance polling days. Mail-in voting will once again only be available to non-residents, and only in municipalities that opt in, he added.

DeSousa said the popularity of mail-in ballots in the U.S. and B.C. elections ought to convince the authorities in Quebec to make it available to all municipal voters this November and beyond.

An unprecedented number of Americans voted by mail in the U.S. elections and contributed to one of the country’s highest election turnouts since 1900.

 

Bc-mail-in-20201018

In B.C., 662,000 votes were cast by mail in the provincial election in October — 100 times the 6,500 mail-in ballots that were cast in the province’s 2017 election.

By DeSousa’s reckoning, time is running out. Municipal chief returning officers need time to organize, recruit staff and inform voters about the process, he said. Canada Post also needs time to prepare to deliver masses of ballots, he said. The city of Montreal alone has 1.1 million eligible voters.

“We have no guarantee we won’t be in a red zone next November,” says Montreal city councillor Alan DeSousa. “But you need to do the planning ahead.” 


The COVID-19 vaccine rollout may well move smoothly between now and September, DeSousa said. But Quebec can’t afford to wait and see before it decides whether to allow mail-in voting, he said. As well, it might be a long time before people feel safe to line up in a polling station again, he said.


“We have no guarantee we won’t be in a red zone next November,” DeSousa said. “But you need to do the planning ahead.”

The province might want to consider moving the deadlines for candidates to file their nomination papers and for voter list revisions to be made, he suggested. Currently, nominations close a month before the election, but the city then needs time to print ballots with the candidates’ names, mail them to voters and allow voters some time to mark their choices and mail back the ballots, he said.

DeSousa began phoning and writing to Montreal officials and the UMQ early last autumn to urge them to support mail-in voting and an extended voting period for the 2021 elections. He also got a resolution passed by city council in October that calls for the city to ask Quebec to introduce whatever legislative changes are needed for alternative methods to vote in the next election. The resolution also calls on the city’s election office to prepare for voting by correspondence, even if it’s not currently authorized.


DeSousa’s resolution followed after another opposition councillor, Marvin Rotrand, got city council to agree to examine mail-in voting for the 2021 election this summer.

However, the council speaker’s committee, which includes representatives of Montreal’s different political parties, dismissed the proposal in August, calling mail-in ballots “interesting” but complicated to implement. The panel concluded that mail-in ballots likely wouldn’t get the people who are the most vulnerable in the pandemic to vote. The committee recommended instead that Montreal “continue the reflection” as part of a provincial committee that includes representatives of the government, Quebec’s director general of elections and the UMQ, and that is working to identify alternatives to traditional voting.

Coincidentally, the director general of elections says it’s studying the possibility of expanding the use of mail-in ballots at the provincial level – permanently – starting in the 2022 general election. Spokesperson Julie St-Arnaud Drolet said the measure would require a legislative amendment. Currently, mail-in voting in provincial elections is available to Quebecers who reside temporarily or permanently in certain remote regions of the province, people who have lived outside of Quebec for less than two years but intend to return, and people in provincial and federal detention centres and youth centres.

Setting up a mail-in ballot system is no small task, the office of Montreal city clerk Yves Saindon, who is also the city’s chief returning officer, says. Saindon’s office gave an exhaustive presentation to the council speaker’s committee in August to show what a pandemic election and a vote by mail would entail.

The city clerk’s office, which said it’s open to mail-in voting if council supports it, worries the pandemic will keep seniors from voting in 2021 but also about its ability to staff the election, the presentation said. Seniors make up a large proportion of the personnel who work on any city election, it said. About one out of seven people who filled 13,000 temporary positions in the 2017 Montreal election was over 70 years old. And if mail-in ballots are added in 2021, Montreal will need to recruit at least another 500 temporary election workers, the presentation said.

The Montreal election would also cost more than the usual $14 million to hold a pandemic election, it said, notably to acquire personal protective equipment for all election personnel. The city’s 2021 operating budget, tabled in November, only specified an additional $450,000 to set up a “student voting office.”

If anything, the city clerk’s presentation shows that Montreal is ill-prepared to hold a pandemic election, DeSousa said.

“Clearly, in these circumstances, more needs to be done,” he said. “It’s important for democracy that these elections be held.”

lgyulai@postmedia.com

 


Broken wires create problem for our hill at Rembrandt Park

I have received complaints about three street lamps not functioning  at Rembrandt Park on top of the hill where the children like to sled and toboggan.  The area is dark at this time

Public Works responded to these concerns and dispatched a team of electricians who confirmed there is a broken wire in the ground that feeds the street lamps in question . Unfortunately, nothing can be done about this at this time. We  will have to take a look at this in the spring.

HIllNoLights

Après vérification , les électriciens m’ont mentionnés qu’il y a un fils brisé dans le sol qui alimentent les lampadaires en question. Malheureusement , rien ne peut être fait pour l’instant a ce sujet

 


This Sunday: The former head of Israel’s Mossad featured in CSL Library live video presentation

The Côte Saint-Luc Public Library presented a very special talk by video  on January 17   via www.csllibrary.org/liveonzoom featuring Shabtai Shavit, the former director of Israel’s principal secret intelligence service known as the Mossad

It was also be accessible by phone. 

LIB_ShabtaiShavit-AuthorTalk_web-carousel_600px (1)

You can watch the entire lecture right here,

Mr. Shavit is the author of an extraordinary book now available at our library called Head of the Mossad: In Pursuit of a Safe and Secure Israel . It is being touted as a brilliant and much-needed book on intelligence, Israeli history, and global security.  Mr. Shavit headed the Mossad from  1989 to 1996. The book was originally published in Hebrew in 2018. The University of Notre Dame Press released the first English translation of the book recently.

I  co-chaired the event with Councillor  David Tordjman.  Israel Consul General David Levy   provided opening remarks and CJAD’s Aaron Rand conducted a live interview. Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Director of Library Services Janine West  concluded the program.

Candid and powerfully argued, Mr. Shavit tells his life story in the book, including his role in alerting American intelligence agents to the presence of al-Qaeda operatives in the US before 9/11, the secret negotiations that led to Israel signing a peace treaty with Jordan, and frequent long-running battles with Iran.  Mr. Shavit also provides fresh insights on present tensions and possible solutions to terrorism and security issues around the world, including in Iraq, Iran, Libya, and Syria.

Mr. Shavit, who has been a private citizen for more than two decades, was recently interviewed by the Jewish Insider about the book and discussed the historic peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Mr. Shavit says: “During my tenure as director and even before, I was personally involved in all kinds of relationships between the State of Israel and most of the Emirates.  Since those relationships were secret or clandestine, the Israeli party which was responsible was the Mossad.”

Head of the Mossad has received strong interest. Kirkus Reviews says, the book is “a well-documented . . . logistical delineation of decades of sensitive Israeli security and intelligence concerns. Among other significant historical events, Shavit’s tenure coincided with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the First Intifada, the Oslo Accords, and the election and assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.” Interviews, features, and excerpts from the book have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, Ami Magazine, Counter Terrorism Today podcast, SpyTalk, and Jewish Insider.

Mr. Shavit has over 50 years of experience in international security and counterterrorism and is an internationally recognized authority in the field. He served in the Mossad, Israel's prestigious intelligence agency, for thirty-two years, eventually rising to the position of director. Previously, he served in the IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces, retiring after a distinguished service in "Sayeret Matkal," Israel's elite special forces and SWAT unit.

You can see Mr. Shavit’s interview with me on The Suburban Newspaper’s video platform: https://www.thesuburban.com/on_air/cohen_in_the_city/cohen-in-the-city---episode-34-an-interview-with-the-former-head-of/article_26a3df1a-2818-11eb-a4f9-ab9be8fa8034.html.

To get in touch with our library related to the book, you can call 514-485-6900 ext. 3 or email  reference@cotesaintluc.org.

And from the US publisher of the book,  those attending the talk were offered a 30 percent discount to purchase "Head of the Mossad." The discount code is: 14FF30 and it expires on March 28, 2021. The book link is: 

https://undpress.nd.edu/9780268108335/head-of-the-mossad/

 

 

 


My 2020 Year in Review/ Mon bilan de l'année 2020

PANDEMIC/ PANDEMIQUE

It has been 15 years now since I was elected as the city councillor for District 2. I have always made it a point of remaining in direct contact with my constituents and 2020 was no different. This has been no ordinary year. The COVID-19 pandemic hit us in March and our staff and council immediately swung into action. I am very proud of how we performed.

Maskandshield
In my protective gear.

Thanks to the internet we all shifted to video platforms. Not only has all city council activity taken place on Zoom, but our recreation and library programming switched to that mode as well.

Since last spring I have been taking regular walks through my entire district. This gave me an opportunity to communicate with constituents on their balconies or from a proper social distance. I took notes and photos of issues that need to be resolved, be it an imperfection at a park, a pothole in the road, construction disruptions or a faulty traffic light. Even as the cold weather arrived I continued these promenades. Now I have reverted to District drives in my car. In addition I initiated zoom calls with constituents and the formation of my first District Advisory Council, composed of representatives from the different buildings and streets.

Even when this pandemic ends, Zoom and similar platforms are here to stay and it is a wonderful way to communicate.

We broadcast our public meetings live now on YouTube, via Zoom, and as Larry David would say, attendance is “pretty..;pretty..pretty good.” People can ask questions in the comments section or send them in advance.

I shudder to think of how we would be functioning if this pandemic had occurred in say 1987?

Elfmancrop
Constituent Laura Elfman receives her air conditioner.

 

During this pandemic, community supporter Ariel Davidson and I put out a call for people to donate used air conditioners and fans to low income families and individuals in Côte Saint-Luc. First of all thanks to our invaluable jack of all  trades Morris “Moe” Giobbi from Parks and Recreation who took care of  the first set of pickup and deliveries   Hats off to our initial donors: Steven Adler from Almar Appliances provided two 10,000 BTU units and Daniel Gal had a 12,000 BTU portable unit. Moe picked up the machines, placed them in his truck and delivered them to three very happy individuals. One was District 2 resident Laura Elfman. Previously I donated one of my own old ACs to a family on Sir Walter Scott Avenue. They immediately told me how much they appreciated this.

I want to thank Kelly Epstein, Toby Shulman and Megan Grossman who helped make phone calls to seniors in District 2 and check on how they were coping during the pandemic. Let me give a shout out to our library staff. They have been making over 400 care calls a day to people whom they know are isolated and lonely.

Overall, District 2 resident Kelly says this experience was very positive. “Each person expressed how much they appreciated my call, and how wonderful and unique our city is for checking on their elderly,” she said. “I am thankful for this opportunity and I encourage the youth in our community to continue with this initiative as I return to work at the hospital, as a few minutes of your day can make a world of a difference to those quarantining alone.”

Cela fait maintenant 15 ans que j'ai été élu conseiller municipal pour le district 2. Je me suis toujours efforcé de rester en contact direct avec mes électeurs et l'année 2020 n'a pas fait exception à la règle. Cette année n'a pas été ordinaire. La pandémie COVID-19 nous a frappés en mars et notre personnel et notre conseil municipal sont immédiatement passés à l'action. Je suis très fier de la façon dont nous avons

ASHKELON WOODLANDS/ PAYS-BAS ASHKELON

In 2019 the city felled about 700 diseased trees in the Ashkelon Woodlands behind City Hall Hundreds   there were infested with the Ash Borer and the Dutch Elm disease. These trees were dangerous for people who were walking in the area (from the possibility of falling branches or trees) and even constituted a fire hazard. The city requested our expert contractor, Nadeau Foresterie Urbaine, to prepare an inventory of the affected trees. In total, some 300 trees were cut; we cleared approximately 21,000 buckthorn plants and bushes, a species that interferes with healthy tree growth. We intend to plant up to 600 new trees.

 

Ashkelon

We are looking forward to providing our future generations with the woodlands they deserve and hope that they will appreciate the diversity that was planted. Some future potential projects in the woodlands might include a pathway or boardwalk

As for the snow dump, a major cleanup has been completed. Public Works scraped the terrain of the dump, moved the materials toward two small hills; one located at the north-east of the yard and the other at the south-east of the deposit. They cleaned the ditches and estimated the volume that will need to be removed. They will continue to transport materials to reduce and eliminate the hills at the south-east ends at the beginning of season 2021. Then it is recommended we undertake the verification of levelling and slope of the ditches. The readjustment of the slopes and levelling of the land will provide better stability of the yard and better management of water flow during the snowmelt.

En 2019, la ville a abattu environ 700 arbres malades dans la forêt d'Ashkelon, derrière l'hôtel de ville. Des centaines d'arbres y ont été infestés par l'agrile du frêne et la maladie hollandaise de l'orme. Ces arbres étaient dangereux pour les personnes qui se promenaient dans la région (possibilité de chute de branches ou d'arbres) et constituaient même un risque d'incendie. La ville a demandé à notre expert contractuel, Nadeau Foresterie Urbaine, de dresser un inventaire des arbres touchés. Au total, quelque 300 arbres ont été abattus ; nous avons éliminé environ 21 000 nerpruns et buissons, une espèce qui empêche la croissance saine des arbres. Nous avons l'intention de planter jusqu'à 600 nouveaux arbres.

LIGHTING ON MARC CHAGALL/ ÉCLAIRAGE SUR MARC CHAGALL

To the question of what will happen to Marc Chagall Avenue in the winter, we have worked towards    brightening the street at night.  All bulbs were changed to LED and will stay like this until the Engineering Department takes on the project to change street lights throughout the city.

À la question de savoir ce qui arrivera à l'avenue Marc Chagall en hiver, nous avons travaillé à éclairer la rue la nuit.  Toutes les ampoules ont été remplacées par des LED et le resteront jusqu'à ce que le service d'ingénierie prenne en charge le projet de changement des lampadaires dans toute la ville.

HYDRO PROJECT/ PROJET HYDRO

District 2 will be part a major electrical system upgrade of the Hydro-Québec network. Work will occur between 2023 and 2026 and impact homes on Merrimac Road, Marc Chagall Avenue as well as Bialik High School. More information will be forthcoming. A committee, which includes residents, has been meeting with Hydro officials.

Hydro‑Québec compte investir plus de 500 M$ pour moderniser son réseau de transport dans l’axe nord-sud de l’île de Montréal, entre les arrondissements de Saint-Laurent et de LaSalle.

Hydro

Dans un souci d’harmoniser son projet avec la vision du développement de ses partenaires, Hydro‑Québec souhaite travailler en collaboration avec les villes et arrondissements, les organismes et les citoyens concernés afin de faciliter des initiatives de mobilité durable et de verdissement dans l’emprise de la ligne de transport d’électricité.

Le projet de modernisation du réseau électrique entre les postes de l’Aqueduc et de Saraguay prévoit :

  • la reconstruction à 315 kilovolts (kV) de la ligne de transport aérienne à 120 kV entre les postes de l’Aqueduc, à LaSalle, et de Saraguay, à Saint-Laurent, sur 18 km. La ligne sera reconstruite dans l’emprise actuelle, mais dans le cadre des étapes suivantes, le tracé pourrait être optimisé pour en atténuer les impacts selon des critères techniques, économiques, environnementaux et sociaux.
  • la conversion de trois postes de transformation de 120 kV à 315 kV, soit les postes Rockfield (à Lachine), de Hampstead (à Côte Saint-Luc) et Laurent (à Saint-Laurent).

 

CONSTRUCTION

After three and a half years of disruptions, work on the two towers of the Equinoxe project apartments is finally complete. Just a reminder to all: the zoning for this land was established more than 30 years ago by a former city council. It took many years for a developer to come forward. When Jadco and Trantor did so, city council had lowered the maximum amount of storeys permitted from 17 to 14.

From the moment this project was announced I established a committee of representatives from each condo to meet with ownership a number of times per year and to communicate by email to deal with ongoing issues and get updates.

Equinoxe
Finally we were able to say good-bye to the Equinoxe construction.

From the start of construction we imposed regulations restricting outdoor construction on weekends, made the greenspace across from the Marquise available as a parking lot when residents and their guests complained about a lack of spots on the street, dealt with noise levels from generators and ventilation systems, enforced street cleaning protocols, insisted upon the hiring of flagmen for safety purposes and numerous other initiatives.

The temporary parking lot has been returned to its original setting. In the spring new grass will be planted and  I will begin holding some focus groups with residents to hear their ideas on how we can beautify the spot. Yes we have already been approached by many developers anxious to build there, but I can assure you this will never occur on my watch.

Le stationnement temporaire a été remis dans son état initial. Au printemps, de nouvelles pelouses seront plantées et je commencerai à organiser des groupes de discussion avec les résidents pour connaître leurs idées sur la façon d'embellir l'endroit. Oui, nous avons déjà été contactés par de nombreux promoteurs désireux d'y construire, mais je peux vous assurer que cela ne se produira jamais sous ma surveillance.

At one point we considered relocating Isadore Goldberg Park there. But in the past year we removed bushes and trees, refurbished and cleaned up the park and created a nicely paved walkway to make it fully accessible via Marc Chagall. We even moved the park sign from Kildare Road, a location that never made any sense.

An exterior piece of land near the Beth Chabad parking lot is zoned for a two storey commercial building.  At this point we have no formal proposal for a project on that land.

LE MONTEFIORE

Five years after the Manoir Montefiore senior’s residence on Mackle Road near Cavendish shut its doors, the facility reopened as a rental called Le Montefiore. Jadco Real Estate, the company behind the Equinoxe towers on Marc Chagall Avenue, purchased the property and completely gutted the interior to introduce a luxury rental apartment building. There have been some growing pains, but hopefully the kinks will be worked out soon.  

With the arrival of the second Equinoxe in November and Le Montefiore, I now welcome new District 2 constituents in three buildings since the last election.

Oren
Manager Oren Elbaz in the lobbty of Le Montefiore.

 

Rising nine stories and consisting of 94 residences, unit sizes at   Le Montefiore range from 440 square foot studios to 1600 square foot penthouses.  Oren Elbaz, the manager of the Equinoxe handles similar duties here. In order to accommodate the additional cars, a second indoor parking lot was constructed where the Manoir Montefiore dining hall used to sit.

Residents began moving in towards the end of June.  

Cinq ans après la fermeture de la résidence pour personnes âgées Manoir Montefiore sur Mackle Road près de Cavendish, l'établissement a rouvert ses portes sous la forme d'une location appelée Le Montefiore. Jadco Real Estate, la société derrière les tours Equinoxe sur l'avenue Marc Chagall, a acheté la propriété et a complètement vidé l'intérieur pour introduire un immeuble d'appartements de location de luxe. Il y a eu quelques difficultés de croissance, mais on espère que les problèmes seront bientôt résolus. 

THE AVENUE/L’AVENUE

The new owners of 6700 The Avenue have lived up to all of their promises to bring their building up to proper standards. A contractor completed all of the requested items on a list of deficiencies. The contractor installed the new asphalt for the driveway and walkway that leads to and from Park Place. A fence was installed a day later on the walkway.  

Last spring the rear parking lot was paved and the fencing against the Park Place residential backyards was repaired. There was also important work done at the front entrance and   the large patch of land which had been used to house construction material was turned back into beautiful greenspace.

IMG_8926
The new refreshed look.

Part of the main floor of the building is zoned commercial. At the present time the owners have no potential new tenants. However, work will begin soon on at least two new residential units.

The five floor building has an indoor pool and workout room, ceramic floors and custom kitchens with Quartz countertops and stainless kitchen appliances (with dishwashers). Security cameras are on every floor and exterior. Central A/C, heating and hot water are included.

Thank you Melissa Latifi, Emile Badea and your town for all the excellent work on this project. A shout out as well to the original developer Ron Basel. From the city, Charles Senekal, Jeff Davey, Beatrice Newman and Dalia Mohamed and company steered this ship wonderfully!

Les nouveaux propriétaires du 6700 The Avenue ont tenu toutes leurs promesses de mettre leur immeuble aux normes. Un entrepreneur a réalisé tous les éléments demandés sur une liste de lacunes. L'entrepreneur a installé le nouvel asphalte pour l'allée et la promenade qui mènent à Park Place et en reviennent. Une clôture a été installée un jour plus tard sur l'allée.

SNOW DUMP/ LE BOUCHON DE NEIGE

Over the years the noise emanating from the banging of tailgates of trucks going in and out of our snow dump on Marc Chagall Avenue has disturbed some residents. Our Public Works Department has tried to manage this the best way possible. At the beginning of the winter season we even build a snow wall to try and shield the sounds. During heavy snowfalls,   the noise is more difficult to control. There is also the fact that we are dealing with subcontractors, so the drivers change.  Public Works launched a new approach by installing signage to try and further deter the banging noises. I would like to thank Director Beatrice Newman and her team for this.

 

IMG_3817

The snow dump was nicely cleared again.

As noted, when we are in the midst of an incredible snowstorm, the city attempts to remove the snow as quickly and efficiently as possible and that during snow removal operations there is much more back and forth traffic in the area.  One of the problems we run into at the dump is the fact these truck drivers come from sub-contractors. We make our point very clear about the tailgate clanging, they comply and then new drivers arrive at the scene. It is frustrating for all of us and I hope that these actions initiated by Ms. Newman and her team are successful.

Each spring I lobby for funds to break down the accumulated snow and ice at the   dump. This requires a lot of heavy equipment, including two mechanical shovels and one bulldozer.

 Au fil des ans, le bruit émanant des hayons des camions qui entrent et sortent de notre décharge de neige sur l'avenue Marc Chagall a perturbé certains habitants. Notre service des travaux publics a essayé de gérer cela de la meilleure façon possible. Au début de la saison hivernale, nous avons même construit un mur de neige pour essayer de faire écran aux bruits. Lors de fortes chutes de neige, le bruit est plus difficile à contrôler. Il y a aussi le fait que nous avons affaire à des sous-traitants, donc les conducteurs changent.  Le ministère des travaux publics a adopté une nouvelle approche en installant des panneaux de signalisation pour tenter de dissuader davantage les bruits de choc. Je tiens à remercier la directrice Beatrice Newman et son équipe pour cela.

 

TRAFFIC/ TRAFIC

It has been more than two years now since a new stop sign was placed at Kildare Road and Rembrandt. Police authorities okayed it from the start and monitored it often.   Check on it regularly. Some people expressed concern that the stop sign was too small. So a larger one was installed recently. Overall, this sign has made a huge difference for motorists exiting from Rembrandt Avenue. It was an issue that came up over and over again in my last door to door campaign. By going through the proper channels I am glad it has worked out.

During the year some residents of the town houses on Kildare Road, between Cavendish Boulevard and Kellert Avenue, were upset that new restricted parking signs (Tuesday and Thursday) went up in front of their homes. These same signs were removed when construction commenced in 2009 on their homes. Interestingly, there were no restricted parking signs present when work was complete in 2013. For six years that section of Kildare continued to have no such signs. According to Public Works this was a serious oversight on their part. It turns out that it was a complaint from across the street, asking why they had no parking two days a week and their side did not. Engineering did some research and realized that the signs were removed during construction in 2009, but never put back. Since I was never consulted, I asked for a review and that did take  place.   Public Works insisted that they had complaints for years that the sweeper during spring, summer and fall could not clean the street properly. Their personnel were not aware of the sign situation. At the meeting their operations director said they still need some restrictions in place.

 

LargeStopSign1
At the newly installed larger stop sign.

 

For residents this poses a major inconvenience, notably when guests come over during the day or they themselves want to leave a car on the street instead of going back into the garage. A compromise was reached. They now only maintain restrictions between April 1 to December for the sweeper. Instead of two days, it is part of one day (Tuesdays from 10 am to 2:30 pm.

One foot note: Montreal Transit Commission mandated bus lines will be introduced island-wide in the next year or so. That could impact on parking for everyone, including this stretch. We have no power on such decisions. We will keep everyone posted.

On the subject of Kildare Road, allow me to quote the late Mayor Bernard Lang who used this comment to refer to the extension of Cavendish Boulevard:  “We don’t need it, we don’t want it and we cannot afford it!”

Well that was several decades ago. The Cavendish extension will occur in my lifetime. But as long as I serve as the councillor for District 2, I will vehemently oppose any discussions around extending Kildare Road to Jean Talon and Decarie. Why? We don’t need it, we don’t want it and we cannot afford it!”

I take my hat off to our city officials who put together an outstanding brief called Transit First: Connecting The Sector in Namur-De La Savane. We do not need a highway running past an elementary and high school (JPPS-Bialik) nor Beth Chabad, which also benefits from a beautiful piece of greenspace they use for weddings in the summer. Buses turn around in that section and children are dropped off at school. The area is already has enough traffic.

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein wanted to share this clarification. "Our brief requests many improved options for movement in and out of our city," he told me. "The recommendation regarding extending Kildare could be through a tramway, and/or pedestrian and bicycle paths. Our priority for cars remains the Cavendish extension, with two lanes in each direction for cars and a tramway in the median down the center linking Saint Jacques to Namur. Imagine if that tramway could go through Kildare to Jean Talon directly as well, either using the perimeter of the rail yards or some other configuration. We also need train stations to make use of the existing Saint Jerome line that passes through our city There is a lot we can do and the four mayors in the region, Mayor De Sousa of Saint Laurent, Mayor Roy of Town of Mont Royal and Mayor Montgomery of Cöte des Neiges/ NDG are working together with us to move these ideas forward."

Many years ago the City of Montreal was supposed to extend Kildare. Then Mayor Jean Doré reneged on deal with Mayor Lang who took the matter to the Quebec Municipal Commission. Côte Saint-Luc won a multi-million dollar cash settlement as well as ownership of the area of homes in what was then called North Hampstead Estates (renamed North of Hampstead) near Decarie Square.

Anytime the extension of Kildare came up again thus far in my 14 years on council, it came with a massive price tag attached to it. This simply is never going to happen. Residents of Marc Chagall, Merrimac, Rembrandt, Ilan Ramon and Sir Walter Scott in particular do not want it. Ditto for the congregants at Beth Chabad and the parents, students and staff at JPPS-Bialik.

Finally, the traffic lights at Cavendish and The Avenue were not working consistently for the last few months. I tested it out myself during regular walks. In mid-December the problem was resolved.

Cela fait maintenant plus de deux ans qu'un nouveau panneau d'arrêt a été placé à Kildare et Rembrandt. Les autorités policières l'ont approuvé dès le début et l'ont souvent surveillé.   Vérifiez-le régulièrement. Certaines personnes ont exprimé leur inquiétude quant à la taille du panneau d'arrêt. Un panneau plus grand a donc été installé récemment. Dans l'ensemble, ce panneau a fait une énorme différence pour les automobilistes qui sortent de l'avenue Rembrandt. C'est un problème qui est revenu sans cesse dans ma dernière campagne de porte-à-porte. En passant par les canaux appropriés, je suis heureux que cela ait fonctionné.

PARKS/ PARCS

Isadore Goldberg Park

When I was first elected 15 years ago, I pledged to one day make Isadore Goldberg Park more accessible. For reasons I never understood, the park was built between a number of apartment buildings on Sir Walter Scott and Kildare Road. The actual sign was at the corner of Kildare and Merrimac, but with no clear direction of how to even get there. It was essentially a park for the residents of these buildings and while it was well utilized, this could have been the case for such a wider audience.

Our original plan was to relocate the park to the large patch of green space on Marc Chagall Avenue across from the Marquise and next to Les Cours Chagall. However, that was derailed when we desperately needed that spot for construction workers at the Equinoxe to park in order to ensure residents could find places on the street.

 

Goldbergsign
The new entrance to Goldberg Park.

 

Well, over the years Director of Public Works Beatrice Newman and I maintained a regular dialogue on this topic. Last year she came up with the brilliant idea to revitalize the existing park and at the same time make it widely accessible.

Eh bien, au fil des ans, la directrice des travaux publics, Beatrice Newman, et moi-même avons entretenu un dialogue régulier sur ce sujet. L'année dernière, elle a eu la brillante idée de revitaliser le parc existant tout en le rendant largement accessible.

All of the old benches were removed and replaced with new ones. Ditto for the garbage cans. Five new benches were installed on concrete bases plus five temporary wood picnic tables were put in the park.   Five new lights were purchased. Four new games were installed. About 40 tons of sand was poured and we also sifted the sandbox, removed dead trees and bushes and trimmed some others.  

A gravel pathway was made and in November paved. What a beautiful site! And yes, the sign has been relocated to the entrance to the pathway. Isadore Goldberg Park is truly now accessible to all.

Less than a year ago former Councillor Goldberg passed away. I know that his brother, sister in law and niece, each of whom reside in my district, will be pleased to represent him when we do a re-dedication in 2021. Next year we will be installing a gate as we have in Trudeau Park. Only pedestrians will be able to enter through there. Vehicles will not do so unless the employee has the key.  Until the final installation, we will place cement bells at the entrance so the Equinoxe team can no longer drive over our property to get to their dump. Last year all the dead trees and shrubs were removed.

REMBRANDT

 On one of my regular District 2 walks during the fall, one of my constituents, and some youngsters asked me when the Rembrandt Park basketball courts would be fixed up. As part of our Capital Works Program, I was promised that this was in the plans for 2021. However, given the financial impact of the pandemic I could not be sure.

After speaking with project manager Dalia Mohamed I can now confirm the work will be done. The city will call for tenders in March and the renovations will occur towards the end of May. First and foremost, there will be new asphalt installed. That is very important given the surface is in pretty poor condition. They will also paint new lines, install new benches and new lighting to allow for evening activity. The city will replace the existing headboards and nets with new backboards of rectangular shape with the double rim. For the basketball poles they will be sanded and painted with two coats. I spoke to Alex Fyon of J-Hoops, which runs basketball programs year-round and there could be a possible partnership in the works. Meanwhile, the tennis season at Rembrandt was extended due to the unseasonably warm weather. For tennis court # 1, the city awarded a contract to install a 15-feet barrier to allow the Public Works trucks to enter the court.

Kidsatcourt
KIds at the basketball court.

 

During the summer we installed a brand new ping pong table, a high-end model that is bolted to the ground and will stand the test of time. You must bring your own racquets and ping pong balls

At Rembrandt Park three drinking fountains were opened this year; and were adjusted for filling water bottles as per COVID-19 protocols. Three temporary lights were installed on the pathway going towards Merrimac The frame for the swings for the bigger kids and some benches were painted. Six new benches and two waste receptacles were installed on the pathway going towards Merrimac at the same time we   recuperated the pavé and repair the holes where the pavé is missing (in front of the chalet and near the fountain). Plans also call for the chalet bathrooms to be gutted and replaced this winter and for a small skating rink to be installed in one of the tennis courts - a first.

Early in the summer I discovered that rat and mouse poisoning pellets had been found at and near Rembrandt Park.  Dogs often consume things on the ground that look like food when you take them for a walk. Owners must watch them carefully.  Then there are outdoor cats. They have nobody looking out for them. One of my neighbours saw a torn package of green pellets on the ground and threw them in the garbage.  He also found a wrapper on the ground clearly labelled as Wilsarin: Rat and Mouse Bait. Public Security officers from Côte Saint-Luc carried on an investigation and reported this to police. Sadly, we have had previous cases of people who clearly hate animals of doing such a horrible thing.   A family member was walking her dog near Mackle Road and Marc Chagall earlier this year. The pooch ingested something, fell very ill the next day and had to be rushed to the vet. He almost died. It cost her $5,000 to regain his health. There is clearly someone out there who wants to harm animals. I repeat the importance of reporting to us any suspicious behavior. It is almost as if this person wants us to know what he or she is doing. Why else are they leaving their wrappers on the ground?

Après avoir parlé avec la responsable du projet, Dalia Mohamed, je peux maintenant confirmer que le travail sera fait. La ville lancera un appel d'offres en mars et les rénovations auront lieu vers la fin du mois de mai. Avant tout, un nouvel asphalte sera installé. C'est très important étant donné que la surface est en assez mauvais état. Ils vont également peindre de nouvelles lignes, installer de nouveaux bancs et un nouvel éclairage pour permettre l'activité en soirée. La ville remplacera les têtes de lit et les filets existants par de nouveaux panneaux arrière de forme rectangulaire à double rebord. Pour les poteaux de basket, ils seront poncés et peints avec deux couches. J'ai parlé à Alex Fyon de J-Hoops, qui gère des programmes de basket-ball toute l'année et un éventuel partenariat est en cours. En attendant, la saison de tennis à Rembrandt a été prolongée en raison du temps anormalement chaud. Pour le court de tennis n°1, la ville a attribué un contrat pour l'installation d'une barrière de 15 pieds pour permettre aux camions de Travaux publics d'entrer sur le terrain.

ELIE WIESEL

Elie Wiesel Park at the corner of Kildare and Cavendish is a difficult one to maintain due to its makeup. Public Works weeded the park a few times. They even decided to pull out many shrubs and perennials this year due to the extensive amount of deep weeds (Phragmite). In an ideal world, we would need to pull everything out and start from scratch. Since we can't do that we pulled everything that was impossible to work with for now. It takes a minimum of 12 people to clean that park during a few days, which is frustrating.

Le parc Elie Wiesel, à l'angle de Kildare et Cavendish, est difficile à entretenir en raison de sa composition. Les Travaux publics ont désherbé le parc à plusieurs reprises. Ils ont même décidé d'arracher de nombreux arbustes et plantes vivaces cette année en raison de la grande quantité de mauvaises herbes profondes (Phragmite). Dans un monde idéal, il faudrait tout arracher et repartir de zéro. Comme nous ne pouvons pas le faire, nous avons arraché tout ce qui était impossible à travailler pour l'instant. Il faut un minimum de 12 personnes pour nettoyer ce parc pendant quelques jours, ce qui est frustrant.

MOPEDS  

During the summer I began receiving complaints about people recklessly driving mopeds in some of our parks, notably Rembrandt.  I want to thank Co-City Manager Jonathan Shecter and Public Safety Director Philip Chateauvert for the excellent work they did on the dossier. At a December Council meeting we passed a notice of motion that will prohibit the use of electric mopeds in parks and to prohibit circulation in a manner that compromises the safety of other park users.

Pendant l'été, j'ai commencé à recevoir des plaintes concernant des personnes conduisant imprudemment des cyclomoteurs dans certains de nos parcs, notamment celui de Rembrandt.  Je tiens à remercier Jonathan Shecter, co-directeur de la ville, et Philip Chateauvert, directeur de la sécurité publique, pour l'excellent travail qu'ils ont accompli sur ce dossier. Lors d'une réunion du Conseil en décembre, nous avons adopté un avis de motion visant à interdire l'utilisation de cyclomoteurs électriques dans les parcs et à interdire la circulation d'une manière qui compromet la sécurité des autres usagers des parcs.

TRAIN NOISE/ BRUIT DES TRAINS

At my most recent District 2 Advisory Committee meeting, held via Zoom, train noise was on the agenda.

Councillor Dida Berku is teaming up with me for a District 2 and 3 Coalition to try and deal with excessive train noise from the CP Railway. Frank Palucci said he even hears the trains all the way on Ilan Ramon Crescent.  There was an incident recently in which a piece of equipment broke down, causing a few sleepless nights for residents of Merrimac and Baily Road residents.

Merrimac resident Charles Guerin is leading an effort to gather complaints. What we need from people are for them first to email a complaint to CP Rail “Community Connect “ (Community_Connect@cpr.ca),  it’s sort of a help desk for CP Rail. The email should CC: jshecter@cotesaintluc.org on all correspondence, Cote St Luc’s legal counsel.

Community Connect will send everyone back a form letter the next day that explains why CP is good and their complaint is a waste of time…everyone should ignore that.   

La conseillère Dida Berku fait équipe avec moi pour une coalition des districts 2 et 3 afin d'essayer de régler le problème du bruit excessif des trains du CP. Frank Palucci dit qu'il entend même les trains sur Ilan Ramon Crescent.  Il y a eu récemment un incident au cours duquel une pièce d'équipement est tombée en panne, provoquant quelques nuits blanches pour les habitants des rues Merrimac et de Baily.

HONOURS/ HONNEURS

Seven years ago Côte Saint-Luc got lucky when a most distinguished citizen, Elliot Lifson, moved to our community from Hampstead. In fact he became my constituent in District 2. In December it was announced that Elliot has been appointed to the Order of Canada by the Governor General for his leadership and mentorship in the apparel industry, his commitment to Canada’s economic growth, and for his community involvement. Next to his name on the press release, it says Côte Saint-Luc instead of Montreal. “That was done on purpose,” said Elliot. “I am so proud and happy to be living in Côte Saint-Luc that I wanted that included.”

BUSINESS/ AFFAIRES

Twelve year old Matthew Liebman is one of three sons to Howard Liebman, a long-time political strategist to the likes of Irwin Cotler and Denis Coderre and current government relations director for Air Transat and Willingdon Elementary School  Grade 4 English teacher Heather Leckner. I have known his grandparents, Rick and Gloria Leckner, for most of my life. Rick, of course, was the legendary traffic reporter on CJAD and for many years an investor relations and PR guru to corporate giants.

Given his lineage, it was not surprising to hear that young Matthew has decided to put his baking skills to good use during these times of confinement. The Côte Saint-Luc resident and District 2 constituent of mine is impressive. After his full day of remote learning is done as a Grade 6 graduating student at JPPS, Matthew dons his apron to bake dozens of fresh cookies for his growing client list.

Helping to keep track of orders and behind the beautiful packaging is mom Heather. Swift local drop off deliveries (free in CSL, Hampstead, NDG and Montreal West) have been entrusted to dad, Howard, to allow the baker to focus on his creations in the kitchen you may place orders for these delicious cookies at matthewsbakery13@gmail.com.

Meanwhile,  COVID-19 claimed another victim as the Cineplex Odeon Theatres at the Quartier Cavendish have closed for good I was surprised to see the theatres last this long. They never did a booming business, but it is nonetheless a loss for our community. Seniors in particular appreciated having a multiplex so close by. It was also great for young families. In recent years our city has held our Volunteer Appreciation Evening there.

When they first opened here about two decades ago it was a celebration. Prior to that the closest theatres were at Decarie Square (now a Dollar Cinema) and Plaza Côte des Neiges (now Cinéstarz). The movie theatre business has taken a massive beating since COVID-19 hit last March. They did reopen for a few months, but crowds were weak.  Would Cinéstarz owner Bruce Gurberg consider stepping in and saving the Cavendish theatres or has the curtain closed for good? A sign at the Quartier Cavendish does inform everyone that the theatres are closed permanently and to head to the Forum downtown. Cineplex Odeon also operates a cinema in LaSalle. The last movie I saw was at Cavendish - Academy Award winner Parasite.

Owners David Banon and Sarah Ettedgui have closed their Caldwell Pharmaprix location and merged operations at the larger Cavendish spot.  They have actually established a "pharmacy within a pharmacy" and when you call, they still answer "Caldwell."

CSLSC TESTING/ TEST DE CLSC

As of August 10, anyone who wants to make an appointment at one of  the CLSC test centres to have blood drawn or other samples tested must go to CLICSANTE.CA. Then they should choose “Blood test and specimens” and enter their postal code. Clic Santé will propose an appointment, which may not be for the same day. Since some people may find it difficult to gain access to this website, and in order to ensure a smooth transition, the CLSCs can also be phoned to book an appointment.

CATS/CHATS

It has been a decade now since I helped establish the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee, a small group of volunteers who oversee a trap, neuter, release and adopt program. Retired nurse Diane Liebling leads the efforts and I cannot say enough about the work she puts in. Despite the pandemic, she continued to rescue homeless cats and find new homes for them. When our annual fundraising concert had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, Diane, Malka Labow and Randi Kader embarked upon a fundraising raffle which was a huge success. We also held a Virtual Variety Show, which is still available to watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB4u01mxZTY&feature=emb_logo

Picture 411
My Cleopatra 

 

Cela fait maintenant dix ans que j'ai participé à la création du Comité des chats de Côte Saint-Luc, un petit groupe de bénévoles qui supervise un programme de piégeage, de stérilisation, de remise en liberté et d'adoption. Diane Liebling, infirmière à la retraite, dirige les efforts et je ne saurais trop insister sur le travail qu'elle accomplit. Malgré la pandémie, elle a continué à secourir les chats sans abri et à leur trouver de nouveaux foyers. Lorsque notre concert annuel de collecte de fonds a dû être annulé en raison de COVID-19, Diane, Malka Labow et Randi Kader ont organisé une tombola qui a remporté un énorme succès.

DOGS/CHIENS

During the year I moved a motion to modify our by-law  for the regulation of dogs. This was deemed necessary to be in line with new provincial government legislation. One minor change was done to the draft by-law that was tabled at the April 6, 2020 meeting, namely, that the coming into force of the obligation to microchip all dogs on the territory of CSL will be on April 6, 2021. The remainder of by-law 2555 came into force as of July 11, 2020 (in order for Public Security to inform the City of Montreal of the modifications), with the exception of the microchipping articles.

This new regulation aims to provide a basis for reducing the risk of attacks and tragic incidents related to dangerous dogs. For instance, dogs 20 kg and over must wear a halter or harness at all times. Wearing a leash with a maximum length of 1.85 meters is also now compulsory, except in a dog park, hunting, in a training course or a dog competition (the latter three will unlikely occur in CSL).     Doctors are obligated to report serious dog bites. Veterinarians must report dogs they believe to pose a risk, and municipalities will enforce the rules and order any dog responsible for an attack to be euthanized.

We have had issues in the past with dangerous dogs. But usually, it is the owner who is fault. In CSL we have an active Dog Owners Committee I launched after the last election.  

Nous avons eu des problèmes dans le passé avec des chiens dangereux. Mais généralement, c'est le propriétaire qui est fautif. Au CSL, nous avons un Comité des propriétaires de chiens actif que j'ai lancé après les dernières élections. 

PODCAST/ BALADO  

 For many years now I have thought about starting my own podcast.   Last spring I did just that. You can listen to it on SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/themikecohenpodcast. ) or ITunes (https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-mike-cohen-podcast/id1508770681)

PAS D’AUGMENTATION DE TAXES POUR UN LOGEMENT MOYEN/ 2021 BUDGET REPORT

La Ville de Côte Saint-Luc a adopté un budget de fonctionnement 2021 et le budget d’investissement lors d’une assemblée spéciale du Conseil le 21 décembre 2020. Notre objectif principal lors de l’élaboration du budget 2021 était de geler les taxes pour une maison résidentielle moyenne, c’est-à-dire une maison, condo, ou maison de ville. La résidence moyenne, dont la valeur a augmenté de 14,2 % avec le dépôt du dernier rôle, connaîtra une augmentation d’impôts de 0 % en 2021. Les propriétés dont la valeur a augmenté de moins de 14,2 % bénéficieront d’une réduction de taxes tandis que les propriétés dont la valeur a augmenté de plus de 14,2 % verront une augmentation de taxes en 2021. En 2021, nous continuons de vouloir rester connectés avec nos résidants, par le biais de divers programmes et services, sécuritaires et qui encouragent le bien-être, offerts par la bibliothèque, le service des loisirs et des parcs, le service des travaux publics et en partenariat avec des organismes externes. Ainsi, nos résidants pourront continuer à rester engagés et actifs. Ces initiatives comprennent notre programme de diffusion par téléphone, une augmentation de la programmation en ligne, une montagne de toboggan aménagée et entretenue par une équipe professionnelle, une patinoire réfrigérée extérieure située dans l’annexe et cinq patinoires extérieures additionnelles. » 

Les documents du budget sont disponibles à CoteSaintLuc.org/fr/municipalite/finances/ 

The City of Côte Saint-Luc adopted its operating budget and capital expenditures budget for 2021 at a special council meeting on December 21, 2020. Our primary objective when building the 2021 budget was to freeze taxes for the average residential home. The average house, condo and townhouse will see a 0% tax increase in 2021. In other words, if the value of the property in the last tax roll increased by less than 14.2%, your property tax bill will be lower this year. If your property value increased by more than 14.2%, you tax bill will be higher. And if your property rose exactly 14.2%, your property tax will be the same as last year. Our priority for 2021 will be to continue to stay connected with our residents by providing services that improve health and are safe through our library, parks and recreation and public works departments and by partnering with other organizations so every resident can remain engaged and active. Initiatives include our telephone broadcast system, increased online programming, professionally groomed dedicated tobogganing mountain, outdoor refrigerated ice at the annex and five more outdoor skating rinks.

Budget documents are available at CoteSaintLuc.org/finance

TRANSPORT COLLECTIF/TRANSIT PLAN

Les Villes de Montréal, Côte-Saint-Luc, Ville Mont-Royal ainsi que les arrondissements de Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce et de Saint-Laurent, situés aux abords du boulevard Décarie, se mobilisent pour créer un plan axé sur le transport collectif et actif pour le secteur Namur-De la Savane. Le secteur Namur-De la Savane est situé entre l’autoroute Métropolitaine, la rue Jean-Talon Ouest, le boulevard Cavendish, la gare de triage du CP et le corridor Décarie. Il chevauche deux villes (Côte Saint-Luc et Mont-Royal) et deux arrondissements de Montréal (Saint-Laurent et Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce). Une résolution conjointe a été adoptée au conseil d’agglomération afin que l’agglomération de Montréal demande d’une même voix à l’ARTM la mise en place d’une desserte appropriée en transport collectif électrique dans le secteur élargi de Namur-De la Savane, incluant l’axe du boulevard Cavendish.  

The cities of Montreal, Côte Saint-Luc, Town of Mount Royal and the boroughs of Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Saint-Laurent—all located along Décarie Boulevard—are mobilizing to create an active public transit plan for the Namur–De la Savane sector. The Namur–De la Savane sector is located between the Metropolitan Expressway, Jean-Talon Street West, Cavendish Boulevard, the CP rail yard and the Décarie Corridor. The sector straddles two cities (Côte Saint-Luc and Mount Royal) and two Montreal boroughs (Saint-Laurent and Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce). A joint resolution was tabled at the Agglomeration Council on Thursday so that the Agglomeration of Montreal can request to the ARTM with one voice the implementation of an appropriate electric public transit service in the expanded sector of Namur-De la Savane, including along Cavendish Boulevard. More specifically, the Agglomeration will ask the ARTM to propose an appropriate mode of transportation as well as an optimal route for this service in order to obtain a suitable and efficient service to the citizens of the sector and the Agglomeration.

PROLONGEMENT DU BOULEVARD CAVENDISH/THE CAVENDISH EXTENSION

La Ville de Côte Saint-Luc demande à la Ville de Montréal de soumettre le projet de prolongement du boulevard Cavendish au Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement du gouvernement du Québec, ou BAPE, le plus tôt possible et au plus tard le 1er mai 2021.  Les villes, cités et arrondissements ayant un intérêt à voir le boulevard Cavendish prolongé sont en accord avec le projet. La prochaine étape doit être que Montréal soumette le projet au BAPE afin qu’il soit passé en revue, tel que cela fut annoncé l’an dernier. Le projet du prolongement du boulevard Cavendish est appuyé par la Ville de Montréal, notamment par les maires des arrondissements de Saint-Laurent (Alan DeSousa) et de Côte-des-Neiges-NDG (Sue Montgomery), ainsi que par la Ville de Côte Saint-Luc (Mitchell Brownstein) et la Ville de Mont-Royal (Philippe Roy). Tous les maires ont convenu d’en faire un prolongement axé sur le transport actif et collectif incluant un éventuel projet de tramway relié à la station multimodale Namur Hippodrome.  Le projet de prolongement du boulevard Cavendish permettrait de relier le boulevard Cavendish à Côte Saint-Luc au boulevard Cavendish à Saint-Laurent, en passant par les gares de triage privées exploitées par le Canadien Pacifique et le Canadien National. La distance à parcourir à travers les gares de triage pour effectuer la connexion avec le réseau routier est d’environ 1,3 km.   Les premières discussions sur le prolongement de ses deux parties ont débuté au milieu des années 1960.  

The City of Côte Saint-Luc is urging the City of Montreal to submit the Cavendish road extension project to Quebec government’s environmental public hearings bureau, or BAPE, as soon as possible and no later than May 1, 2021. The cities, towns, and boroughs with an interest in the Cavendish extension have reached a consensus on this road project,The next step is for Montreal to send the project to the BAPE for review, as was announced a year ago.” The Cavendish road extension project is supported by the City of Montreal, including the mayors of the boroughs of Saint-Laurent (Alan DeSousa) and Côte-des-Neiges–NDG (Sue Montgomery), as well as the City of Côte Saint-Luc (Mitchell Brownstein), and the Town of Mount Royal (Philippe Roy). All Mayors have agreed to the extension including public and active transport as well as an eventual tramway connected to an intermodal hub at Namur-Hippodrome.   The Cavendish road extension project would connect Cavendish Blvd. in Côte Saint-Luc with Cavendish Blvd. in Saint-Laurent, through private rail yards operated by Canadian Pacific and Canadian National. The distance to cross through the rail yards to connect the road network is approximately 1.3km.  The first discussions of this issue began back in 1960.

 

 

 


A beautiful piece on the late John Elias

 
Paying tribute to Johnny Elias
 
By Danny Gallagher
Canadian Baseball Network
 
I first met Johnny Elias when I played in the Dorval Senior Baseball League in suburban Montreal in 1988.
I was his teammate that season. He was 50 years old at the time and still throwing competitively. He would regale me with stories about his Grand Slam Baseball School and often asked me to plug his school in my paper, the Montreal Daily News.
 
Eliascake
I am so happy that I initiated this 2017 CSL Golf Classic where we honoured Johnny (wearing the KC hat).
 
No doubt about it, Elias was a grand baseball man. He grew up on the sandlots of Montreal and was so talented with that left arm of his that he won a scholarship in 1960 to Michigan State University where he graduated with a bachelor of science degree.
 
Elias then obtained his master's degree in administration of physical education, kinesiology and physiology from Springfield College in Massachusetts.
 
Elias went on to pitch in the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Athletics and Washington Senators organizations. From 1962-65, he threw in the minors and it was in 1963 that he showed some promise for the majors while in the K.C. chain. It was his only full season out of the four he pitched in.
 
Statistics from Baseball Reference show that he was 9-13 in '63 with a 4.31 ERA, recording 164 strikeouts in 163 innings for Daytona Beach in the Florida State League.
 
In 1964, Elias pitched for Granby in the semi-pro Quebec Provincial league and would continue to play competitively in Quebec and on the international stage for years. He was a member of the pitching staff for Team Canada at the Pan-Am Games in Winnipeg in 1967. From 1968-70, he helped Trois-Rivieres to two league championships.
Elias died Dec. 10 at the age of 82 following a stroke and a tough battle with Alzheimer's. Elias' wife Marlene said in an interview that he suffered the stroke Nov. 8 and never woke up. For a good portion of the time he suffered from Alzheimer's, his wife looked after him at home.
 
"He kept falling and I couldn't get him up. His walking was very poor,'' said his wife of 58 years. "He was still 200 pounds and dead weight. I'd call 911 to get him up. It happened so many times. Then the last one (fall), I said, 'I'm taking him to the hospital.' That was two months ago.''
 
In 1970, Elias embarked on a venture that would last 27 years: his Grand Slam school that featured numerous instructors and many Expos players, whom he befriended over the years. He was an Expos batting-practice pitcher for many years at home games, beginning in 1969. Elias would schedule his three-week school each summer when the Expos were at home.
 
"I'm sorry to hear of the passing of Johnny, a good baseball man. I served as an instructor at his baseball camp. My heartfelt condolences to his family,'' Expos legend Tim Raines wrote on Twitter.
 
"Saddened to hear of John's passing,'' former Expo Tommy Hutton said in a Twitter tribute. "I played golf with him often in Montreal and appeared at his John Elias Baseball School many summers.''
 
Hundreds of young kids in the Montreal area are indebted to Elias for running the baseball school, not only for instructional skills but it allowed them to rub shoulders with their heroes. Many of those fans took to Twitter and Facebook to mourn Elias' loss.
 
"John was a huge part of Montreal baseball. Another part of it is gone.  What a great man and a great coach,'' Kosta Papoulias wrote in a Facebook post.
 
"As a 10-year-old, I went to his baseball camps. Johnny would personally pick me up and drive me home. Thanks to Johnny, I got to meet Gary Carter and sign his cast,'' Marc Lechter said on Facebook.
Elias was very fond of Carter. Kid was most definitely Elias' all-time favourite Expos player. Elias and Marlene would go to Florida for years and years to see Carter and his family. Of course, Carter and Elias would partake often in their mutual love of golfing.
 
Speaking of Florida, Elias participated for 12 years in various forms in the Major League Legends baseball fund-raiser in support of the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood.It's been said that Elias boasted the largest collection of Carter memorabilia and had acquired an enviable stash of Expos goodies. A few years ago, he donated about 90% of his collection to the Cote St. Luc Sports and Recreation Centre."John and Gary were very good friends,'' Mrs. Elias said. "He helped get Gary get a place in Montreal. Gary used to come for lunch and have a steak. It was so nice.''
 
Among his many accomplishments was volunteering to become McGill University's first baseball coach in 1994. In 2008, he assembled and managed a team representing Canada to victory at the Vintage Baseball World Series in Westlake, Mass. That championship was a feather in his cap.
 
A few years ago, baseball historian Bill Young of Hudson, Quebec and a few others successfully nominated Elias for induction into the RDS Quebec Baseball Hall of Fame. Elias was also proud of the Ambassador of the Year award he received years ago from the Town of Cote St. Luc for his help in developing baseball in the community.
Elias was such a wonderful, wonderful man with so many fingers in so many baseball pies.
 
When he wasn't promoting baseball, he spent a lot of time teaching physical education and coaching basketball. He was a force as a basketball official, something he did for 50 years. He officiated at many Canadian and international basketball events.
 
"I wanted him to write a book.,'' Mrs. Elias said. "I told him, 'Dictate to me and I will type it in.' He had a lot of stories and anecdotes. He knew all kinds of people.''
 
Besides his wife, Elias is survived by his daughter Caroline, son-in-law Kevin Smith, grand-children Ashley, Connor and Owen and sister-in-law Audrey Willis along with numerous friends, including many in the media.
 
Danny Gallagher's Expos book Always Remembered is discounted throughout the month of December at Indigo and Amazon.
 
ON A PERSONAL NOTE: I will be raising the possibility of naming one of the baseball diamonds at Kirwan Park after Johnny. That is where he held his Grand Slam Baseball School.
 
See this tribute video we did for Johnny in 2017:
 



CSL mom creating customized letter crayons, animals and numbers by hand

As we’re all looking for positive stories to end 2020 on a high note, bravo to Cote Saint Luc resident Lauren Kovac for doing her part. She is the niece of the late Councillor Ruth Kovac, who would no doubt be very proud of her.

Recently, Lauren started a small business: Cray by LK. Out of her kitchen in District 8, Lauren is hand-making customized letter crayons, animals and numbers. These crafts make perfect and unique gifts for the upcoming holidays, as well as year-round for birthdays, loot-bags, graduations and any other celebration you can think of, but for the next few weeks, every sale will also benefit some wonderful charities.

LaurenbatchUntil Christmas, Lauren has decided to donate 10 percent of all her sales to the CTV Montreal/English Montreal School Board’s Spirit of Giving campaign. In my role with the English Montreal School Board, this campaign is something that I’ve personally worked on for over a decade and funds collected support 10 very worthy local charities.

Lauren2

“I’m very fortunate to have a roof over my head and food on the table, but there are so many people, especially this year, who are not as lucky,” said Lauren, the mom of beautiful one year old Avery Ellle and the wife of my colleague Daniel Smajovits, “I know that every little bit helps and I wanted to do a little something to help support a very worthy campaign.”

You can see all of Cray by LK’s  incredible creations and place your order via Instagram: www.instagram.com/craybylk, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/craybylk or email Lauren directly at: craybylk@gmail.com.


Elliot Lifson appointed to the Order of Canada

Seven years ago Côte Saint-Luc got lucky when a most distinguished citizen, Elliot Lifson, moved to our community from Hampstead. In fact he became my constituent in District 2.

Today it was announced that Elliot has been appointed to the Order of Canada by the Governor General for his leadership and mentorship in the apparel industry,  his commitment to Canada’s economic growth, and for his community involvement.

Lifsonpin
Elliot Lifson sports his new Order of Canada pin.

 

Next to his name on the press release, it says Côte Saint-Luc instead of Montreal. “That was done on purpose,” said Elliot. “I am so proud and happy to be living in Côte Saint-Luc that I wanted that included.”

Elliot found out the good news a month ago. “It was difficult to keep this quiet,” he said. “I was so emotional when I got the call. They asked me if I accepted. I laughed that they had to be kidding. Who turns down an offer like this? I still do not know who nominated me.”

A ceremony at Rideau Hall is expected to be held next May or June. Elliot hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic is under better control by then so he can travel to Ottawa.

The vice-president of Peerless Clothing, Elliot recently became the  president of the Board of Directors  of the Segal Centre. In addition to these duties, he is a respected member of the Montreal community, a dedicated philanthropist, and is actively involved with many organizations and boards, including Member of the Board of Directors of Export Development Canada (EDC); Professor and Board Member at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University; Member of the Faculty Advisory Board, McGill-HEC EMBA Program; Member of the Board of MR- Montréal Relève pour la Persévérance scolaire; Past Chairman, currently sitting as advisor to the Board, Chambre de Commerce de Montreal; President of the Canadian Apparel Federation (CAF); and sits on the Board of many charitable institutions such as The Montreal Heart Institute Foundation, and The Jewish General Hospital Foundation, and past Co-Chair of Centraide. Mr. Lifson received his MBA from the Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario. He is also a Graduate in Law from the Université de Montreal and a Member of the Québec Bar. Elliot Lifson has been a member of the Segal Centre for Performing Arts’ board for the last 12 years.

Elliot is also the recipient of many awards including the ‘Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal’, the ‘Desautels Faculty of Management Distinguished Teaching Award’ (Graduate Level), Quebec’s Fashion Industry’s ‘Recognition Award’, McGill University Alumni Association ‘Honorary Life Membership Award’, and the Senate of Canada 150th  Commemorative Medal.

Bravo Elliot!