Side By Side with Heroes:  Stories of an Ambulance Medic in Israel

Dr. Sara R. Ahronheim is an Emergency Physician at the Jewish General Hospital,  trained at McGill University. Aside from patient care, she teaches medical students and residents how to become compassionate, knowledgeable physicians. She also runs the Physician Well-being program at her site, and is passionate about maintaining work-life balance and promoting joy at work. An alumnus of Queen’s University, she studied Wildlife Biology there while dipping her toes in medicine as a volunteer with the First Response Team.

After graduating from Queen’s and before being accepted to McGill Medical School, Dr. Ahronheim  spent a memorable period of time as part of the Overseas Volunteer Program for Magen David Adom, the Israeli national ambulance service. This may have occurred   20 years ago, but Dr. Ahronheim wrote diary entries and emails  that she sent out to friends and family.

“Some are emotional, and some may feel very disconnected,” she shares. ‘Being an ambulance medic in a tumultuous time, as a young person with no actual experience of death and suffering, my words, at times, might feel callous. I saw a dead person for the first time, held my hand to a gunshot victim’s bloody chest, and didn’t write about how I felt. I just described the scene, the excitement of it, the rush. I didn’t delve into my soul, and how these moments changed me. “

Dr. Ahronheim’s new book, Side By Side with Heroes:  Stories of an Ambulance Medic in Israel , will be formally launched at Côte Saint-Luc City Hall via our Public Library on Monday evening, February 13 (6:30 pm). She will be recognized at the start if our public council meeting at 8 pm.

Please watch my video interview with her  and Samuel Moyal of Canadian Magen David Adom for Israel right here.

 

 The book chronicles her daring journey as she follows her cultural roots into the chaos and tragedy of war. Set in Israel in a country fighting for its identity, she searches for her own identity as she bravely explores the human condition through her ambulance work. Torn between her peaceful life in Canada and the adventures that await her, she  learns who she is through the mirror of tragedy, chaos and connection half way around the world. Navigating her own personal journey into womanhood and independence, while risking her life for others, this is where she found her life’s passion in emergency medicine. That and the fact both of her parents were pediatricians.

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“I have presented and treated people at three births, one CPR, two bombings  countless other interesting and not so interesting other calls,” Dr Ahronheim wrote upon the completion of that trip in 2002-2003. “I have treated police, terrorists, soldiers, politicians, homeless people, Jews, Arabs, tourists, you name it. To my patients: you taught me about human nature, strength, resilience, triumph, fear and sorrow. You formed me like playdough, into the physician I have grown to be. You trusted me with your stories, as much as you did with your bodies. I can only hope I have described you faithfully.

“Israel in 2002 formed me into the woman, physician and mother that I am today. The people, places and experiences in that time molded me, trained me, grew me into someone who doesn’t give up, someone with grit and the fortitude to do what I have to do every day. The devastation and the passion I experienced back then, I carry forward into my work, my children, and our future.”

The primary objectives of MDA are defined in the Magen David Adom Law, passed by the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) in 1950. These objectives are to provide pre-hospital emergency medical services, to provide the country’s blood services, and to assist the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during times of war. Dr. Moses Erlanger, a Jewish ophthalmologist in Lucerne, Switzerland, conceived the idea of MDA in 1915. He created MDA in order to help Jewish wounded soldiers and prisoners of war during World War I (WWI). In 1918, MDA was established in the USA and expanded to Canada, England and Tel Aviv. After WWI ended, MDA was dismantled as the need for a Jewish rescue organization faded.

A dozen years later,  MDA was founded again in Tel Aviv. It was formed out of necessity, due to the Arab riots against Jewish settlements. World War II (WWII) brought misery to Tel Aviv, when the Italian Air Force bombed the city. Thankfully, MDA had trained 50 physicians and 600 nurses and volunteers. 

After WWII ended, MDA sent support units to European countries to help treat the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.

MDA  remains a unique organization because it relies heavily on the use of volunteers to staff its medical crews. High school students, from the age of 15, make up the foundation of MDA. Students are trained as first aid responders, and often use their experience at MDA as their high school ”Personal Commitment” assignment.  

In 1991, shortly after the end of the first Gulf War, the leaders at MDA Jerusalem were approached by a shaliach in Montreal  about an idea he had to send volunteers from Canada to Israel to volunteer at MDA. The group at MDA Jerusalem was excited about this opportunity and agreed to help set up this program. The pilot program was launched in the summer of 1991, and ten McGill University science students participated. They each had basic knowledge of Hebrew, passed the training in Montreal, and flew to Israel to complete a final round of training.  

As demand increased, the program began to gain traction, and it was opened to participants from other countries.   

“I first learned about MDA when I was a kid at sleepaway camp in 1992,” Dr. Ahronheim recalls. “I sat cross-legged on the sweet-smelling grass in the warm sunshine and listened, enthralled, to the stories some counsellors shared. They were among the first batch of Canadian students who had flown to Israel to give their time as first responders. The memories they shared with us that summer lit a fire in me, and created vivid hopes and dreams that I carried with me until my turn came, 10 years later.”

In the book, Dr. Ahronheim writes about what it was like to be part of the organization. “Wearing my Magen David Adom jacket around Jerusalem is an intense experience,” she noted. “ It singles me out as an individual who is actively involved in helping her people. I become as visible as a soldier, or a police officer; each of our professions is equally respected and appreciated by the people of Israel. In Canada, ambulance workers are respected, but nowhere near the way they are here. Israelis know that those of us wearing the MDA uniform are there on the front lines. Israelis know that each MDA worker or volunteer is prepared to jump in to help in any crisis. We are treated so well here, and I feel truly loved in this country.”


Dr. Ahronheim’s tour of duty coincided with the United States attack on Iraq. “Well, why did I come to Israel in the first place?” she asked. “To work on the ambulances and save lives, and to contribute in any way possible to the security and moral support of my people. I am here because I love this place, this country, this nation. I am staying because I love all the above. I cannot leave. Could you abandon a loved one in time of need? Obviously not — and as such, I cannot abandon a country full of loved ones in this terrible time of uncertainty.”

What were her most memorable experiences?

Saving a life?

Transporting a terrorist?

Being pelted with rocks by Arab students at an East Jerusalem school?

In medical school interviews she was asked  what she would you do if she was face with treating a wounded terrorist. “I answered the safe way,” she said. “I answered that I would treat her as if I would treat any human being.”  

And that situation did in fact arise for her.

The book is available at Kidlink on Monkland in NDG, Bonders on Westminister  in Montreal West and on Amazon.

Dr. Ahronheim blogs at myblackscrubs.com, where she oxen posts short essays about experiences in the Emergency Department. She has had stories published in the Canadian (Journal of Emergency Medicine )C(EM: as well as in many other journals, newsletters and websites.

Dr. Ahronheim is a mother to two wonderful, rambunctious children and a lovable tiny goldendoodle. Married to the love of her life, Elie, for the last fourteen years, she enjoys spending winter date nights in the backyard hot tub and summers out on a nearby lake

Log on to  https://saraahronheim.com/books


Côte Saint-Luc ends assocation with SPCA; turns to Contrôle animalier Vaudreuil Soulanges

I wish to extend a huge thank you to the City of Côte Saint-Luc Public Safety Department for doing such an excellent job overseeing Animal Protection in our community. 

We have some news to share on this dossier, which represents one of my portfolios as a city councillor.  Let’s start off with  the Montreal SPCA and the city’s decision to terminate our longstanding contract with the organization.    After performing  due diligence, and surveying many of his public security colleagues, the city recommended that we switch to another supplier Contrôle animalier Vaudreuil Soulanges.

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Director of Public Safety Philip Chateauvert reports that many of our neighbouring municipalities using this service are very content.  “We met with the managers of this company and chose to move forward with them for 2023,” he said. “It is a beautiful family business with fully bilingual staff, who have at heart the well-being of animals and are strongly focused on customer service.” 

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How will this affect our public?   If anyone calls the Montreal SPCA, they will dispatched to  Contrôle animalier Vaudreuil. The latter does have regular patrols in the West End already.

The number to call  is    514-485-6960 (our dispatch center) to request this service.

As you probably know our Public Safety Department is responsible for animal control and offers some services directly with its staff while some other services are provided through contracts with suppliers. 

In terms of Animal Protection, our Public Safety Department oversees by-law enforcement, dog and cat licensing, the management of dog attack or dangerous dog files, the capture of lost or runaway dogs, the temporary housing of stray pets, management of abandoned or unclaimed animals and the  collection of non-hazardous injured wildlife (i.e.groundhogs, squirrels, raccoons). They do not handle birds of prey, coyotes, etc.. 

The other two branches of Animal Protection are the TNRM (trap-neuter-release-maintain)   overseen by our Volunteer Cats Committee  and dangerous animal management, for which we contract professional trappers to relocate animals that have found their way to CSL. 


Parkside 21 suffers brutal power outages

Hydro-Québec outages are not fun. My town house condo complex has incurred many of these over the years, not to mention forced shutdowns for maintenance work. At times like these you truly realize how much we appreciate having power in our homes.

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One of two generators currently powering Parkside 21.

 

For the past two weeks  the residents of  Parkside 21 town house condos, located in District 2 on both Kildare Road and  Rembrandt, have experienced some very difficult times.

Power went out in their complex on January 11 and it did not return for two days. Hydro installed two generators, but even with those machines running there additional outages. I communicated with my regular Hydro contacts, who are responsible for our area, and  as always I thank them for their accessibility. Crews did repeatedly come on site, but appears as if this problem was not an easy one to solve.

Finally, last weekend a temporary solution was found.    This week Hydro  will run a cable from an operational underground transformer, which is located behind #6586 Kildare Road, to the faulty transformer located on the #6590 lot. This cable will be run on the surface. For safety reasons, Hydro will have to install some barriers running on each side of it. Due to the pedestrian access between the two lots (across from Sir-Walter-Scott), a small portion of the cable will have to be buried underground.  

One this is done, the generators will be removed. I am being told that a final fix to this problem might not occur until the end of the year until then the residents of Parkside 21 will be able to resume a normal life.

The grid in this area is old and I worry about other outages like this occurring. Hydro has been in talks with some condos to upgrade the system. This would involve some exchanges of servitudes. I hope that any preventive measures that can be taken will be on the agenda in 2023.

You can always report an outage by calling  1 800 790-2424 or go to   : https://pannes.hydroquebec.com/poweroutages/


Hill use by toboggans at Rembrandt Park given added safety features

It is toboggan season again and our Public Works Department has indeed responded to concerns raised by parents who take their kids sliding down the hill at Rembrandt Park.

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The fence at the bottom of the hill.

As we did last year, a snow fence has been installed to prevent tobogganers from running into the trees. Also we have asked that snow be blown in the area between the snow fence and the city sidewalk to prevent the tobogganers from reaching the road. The trees closer to the that were a problem last year have been relocated.This was something I promised residents I'd push for.

 

While our Public Works Department has deemed the site  safe, but we are not promoting it as a formal  "toboggan hill." Rather, it is hill children decide to use toboggans on. The sliding distance is very short and getting to the top could be slippery because there are no steps. That is contrary to a formal toboggan hill at Trudeau Park, steps and all.

 


What We Choose to Remember: Free Screening of excellent documentary on January 18

What We Choose to Remember is  a fabulous documentary which will resonate with every member of the anglophone community. Courtesy of our CSL Public Library, there will be a free screening in the Harold Greenspon Auditorium on Wed. January 18 (2 pm).

 

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At a time when Quebec’s anglophone community is under constant threat by the CAQ government, Guy Rex Rodgers has come out with this extraordinary documentary which really puts our place in this province in perspective. Rodgers will be at the screening for a talk back with the audience afterwards.

In What We Choose To Remember, Rodgers makes it clear from the start how Quebec is a province of immigrants. Our ancestors’ country of origin, mother tongue and religion influenced Quebec’s history, politics and laws and when we arrive determines how welcome or marginalized, we feel in our chosen home.

Rodgers was born in Vancouver and raised in Australia. He is the founder of the English Language Arts Network (ELAN) and executive director there for 20 years. In 1980, the year of Quebec’s first referendum, he moved to Montreal to attend the National Theatre School of Canada. Not long after arriving he met his wife to be, a francophone Quebecoise, and the couple joined the ranks of many bilingual (and in several cases multi-lingual) households in Quebec.

The documentary is a truly objective view of the plight of anglos. Ironically it came to be when the Secrétariat aux relations avec les Québécois d’expression anglaise put out a call to anglophone organizations for projects that explored Quebec’s anglophone communities – the relationship with their home province and its official language – who better to take up the challenge.

I had a wonderful  interview with Rodgers last spring when the film first came out  to talk about the process of making the film, its evolution from a six-part video series to feature documentary, how he found the 60 immigrants or descendants of immigrants that he interviewed and the interesting, sometimes surprising, facts, reactions and insights he discovered along the way.

“Our first question was who to interview as anglo Quebecers,” Rodgers said. “Finally, we decided to do so via the different waves of immigration."

With the  introduction of Bill 96 once again putting the language issue front and center, the documentary’s  release was timely. “We believe that this film will resonate strongly with Quebec’s English- speaking community as well as the francophone majority,” said Rodgers. “It sheds a light on stories that have rarely been heard in public and is a celebration of people whose contribution to Quebec has been downplayed or ignored. It’s an open invitation to all Quebecers to reconsider ‘what we choose to remember’; a call to learn about and value each other’s heritage in the hopes of creating a more unified and inclusive Quebec for all.”

Rodgers emphasizes how Quebec is unique, being a linguistic island of French-speakers surrounded by an ocean of English-speakers. Its citizens are divided by different histories, sources of pride and grievances. Young people experience Quebec differently than seniors, who lived through decades of religious and linguistic conflict. Québécois living in the regions often see Montreal as a foreign metropolis. Quebec is increasingly the story of immigrants, the distinctly labelled Allophones, who think it is time for old-stock Francos and anglos to get over their long-lost wars of conquest to deal with the urgent problems of the 21st century. What We Choose to Remember explores the things that make Quebec so fascinating, frustrating and endearingly different.

Masks are encouraged at the screening.

Here is a link to the trailer.

 

 

 


A disturbing number of dangerous dog reports coincides with plans for CSL to toughen our by-law

When I was in my early teens I had an after school job delivering the old Montreal Star Newspaper. One of my homes had a dog named Blackie. He was a small thing, but vicious and no matter how many times I begged the owner she continually let him outside without a leash. When Blackie saw me with two bags over my shoulders to carry the papers (like a postman), he went right for my leg, trying to bite me. It got so bad I was prepared to drop the route. Finally, the owner made an extended leash and kept him on their front lawn.

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Blackie was a dangerous dog. I had approached our city councillor at the time. But she did nothing.

Fast forward to 2023. I am in my 18th year as a city councillor. For the past three mandates I have been responsible for Animal Protection. We have a Dog Owners Committee and a Public Safety staff, notably Manager of Operations Jean-Marc Dubois (a dog owner himself), in our corner.

Over the last few months Manager Dubois has been working with me and the Dog Owners Committee, chaired by Jonathan Goldman and Anna Katz, on strengthening sections of our by-law dealing with dangerous dogs.

You can read our complete by-law here.

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Beautiful Pika in a photo taken last summer.

 

Well, this cannot come soon enough. Just in the last week alone I have been alerted to some very disturbing incidents.

The owners of Pika were at the Dog Run on Mackle Road. Pika was attacked by another dog who rushed in and grabbed him by the neck and more. Pika needed surgery. The  woman and her teenage daughter who owned this dog, driving a white BMW, reportedly took off.  Thanks to some good old fashioned detective work, Anna Katz found out where the owner lives. The owners of Pika spoke to her. A police report has been filed. 

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Pika shown here with multiple stitches.

 

“What kind of dog does this?” asked the owner of Pika. “What kind of woman runs from the scene? Pika is in excruciating pain. He can't lie down at all.  Our dog though stopped breathing in surgery and needed to be intubated and revived. He has been in hospital since. “

Article 5 of our present Dog Bylaw is already pretty severe.

For the purpose of the application of the present By-law, a dog can be declared dangerous or potentially dangerous if the dog:


a) has a propensity, potential or disposition to attack, bite, threaten, chase, or injure, with or without provocation, any Persons, property or other animals; or
b) with or without provocation or physical injury, attacks, bites, threatens, chases, or injures a Person, property, or other animal; or
c) has been trained for dog fighting or to attack upon a command

If you or your dog are the victims of a dangerous canine, please go to the police station on Westminster Avenue and file a report. Our Public Safety Department needs this to act. The by-law can even result in a dangerous dog being euthanized, which is not only very sad but almost always the fault of the owner who does not act when he or she sees the aggressive behavior being exhibited.

A constituent of mine just contacted me with another disturbing story. She says that her dog, a mini dachshund, was attacked by a French  bulldog mix in front of the  apartment building elevators. The dog, she said,   needed to be rushed to the vet and treated. “My dog is ok, “ the owner said, “but his ear will never fully heal back together and he is on 14 days of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and other topical treatments. The other dog is known to be violent and aggressive and should not be living in a condo building with children and other dogs. At the very least he needs to be muzzled when in public and living in a single home with a fence."

Friends of the owner of the dog that allegedly carried out this attack have a different viewpoint, which they said they wish to share with me.

There is a police report, so when our Public Safety Department carries out its investigation that person and any other witnesses will be able to give their side of the story.

Today, another  resident shared a story. She and her partner were confronted by a large black and tan dog of mixed breed. “ I was walking with my partner on that street when the dog, off leash, charged at us very fast from their front door onto the sidewalk while barking aggressively,” the resident shared with me. “The dog pushed us into the street and to the other sidewalk, as we tried to back away from the dog while it kept charging at us. We couldn't approach the house or speak to the owner because the dog was growling and guarding the property. The owner didn't come out and bring the dog back in for at least five minutes after the encounter, despite the loud barking.  It was very irresponsible of the owner to leave their dog out at night, off leash, especially one who is as aggressive to strangers as this one.”

Sadly, there are many more of these disturbing stories and to the credit of our Public Safety Department appropriate action has taken place in every case where we had the necessary information.


My District 2 Year in Review for 2022/Mon bilan de l'année 2022 pour le district 2

As I complete my 17th year as the Côte Saint-Luc City Councillor for District 2, it is a pleasure to present my annual Year in Review. While restrictions may have been removed, we are still living in the midst of a global pandemic. Nonetheless, there is more of a sense of normalcy in the air. Our facilities reopened to the public.

In person public city council meetings returned, as did events. I am pleased that our council has maintained a mask wearing policy at our meetings for now. Between COVID, the flu and RSV one cannot be too careful. One good thing that did come out of the pandemic was our ability to meet virtually. As a result, our public meetings are broadcast live on YouTube. Residents can watch the proceedings via Zoom and even ask questions from home. It is a good system.

Alors que je termine ma 17e année en tant que conseiller municipal de Côte Saint-Luc pour le district 2, j'ai le plaisir de vous présenter mon bilan annuel de l'année. Même si les restrictions ont été levées, nous vivons toujours au milieu d'une pandémie mondiale. Néanmoins, il y a un sentiment de normalité dans l'air. Nos installations ont rouvert leurs portes au public.

Les réunions publiques en personne du conseil municipal ont repris, tout comme les événements. Je suis heureux que notre conseil ait maintenu une politique de port du masque lors de nos réunions pour le moment. Entre le COVID, la grippe et le VRS, on n'est jamais trop prudent. Une bonne chose qui est sortie de la pandémie est notre capacité à nous réunir virtuellement. Ainsi, nos réunions publiques sont diffusées en direct sur YouTube. Les résidents peuvent suivre les débats via Zoom et même poser des questions depuis chez eux. C'est un bon système.

Here are some of my highlights.

Voici quelques-uns de mes points forts

ADOPTING OUR BUDGET/ L'ADOPTION DE NOTRE BUDGET

When Suburban municipalities voted to demerge from the Montreal mega-city in 2003, there was only one downside. The City of Montreal, disguised as  thecontrolling power of what is known as the Agglomeration Council,  would determine 50 percent of our tax rate and we’d have little say over how that was calculated. It is a shameful practice. Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante and her party have shown complete disrespect for the suburbs. During a tough financial year, they are making us pay for their inflated spending.

The administration at Montreal City Hall establishes the agglomeration budget without input from us. In fact, Montreal’s finance department presented the 2023 agglomeration budget to the suburban mayors several hours after they had presented it to journalists and after its content had already been reported in the news. Our Deputy Mayor Dida Berku notes that the Plante administration “took advantage of the situation and pushed the limit of what extra costs it could dump on the agglomeration” because the suburbs are footing 38 per cent of the spending increase resulting from the new valuation roll. The suburbs are home to 12 per cent of the island’s population."

We are also victims of the property valuation roll. Residential properties  jumped in value by an average of 35.6 per cent from three years ago. Single-family homes are up 38.6 per cent, while condominiums went up 30.7 per cent, according to the 2023-2025 valuation roll for Montreal.

With all of this bad news, our council still managed to keep the average property tax increase to 5.9 percent. It was an extremely difficult exercise. And please keep in mind the Mayor and Council are taxpayers as well. We  must work with the other suburbs and find a way to take legal action against Montreal to deal with their dishonesty!

Lorsque les municipalités de banlieue ont voté pour se séparer de la  "megacity'" de Montréal en 2003, il n'y avait qu'un seul inconvénient. La Ville de Montréal, déguisée en pouvoir de contrôle de ce qu'on appelle le Conseil d'agglomération, déterminerait 50 % de notre taux d'imposition et nous n'aurions pas grand-chose à dire sur la façon dont il est calculé. C'est une pratique honteuse. La maire de Montréal, Valérie Plante, et son parti ont fait preuve d'un manque total de respect pour les banlieues. Pendant une année financière difficile, ils nous font payer pour leurs dépenses exagérées.

L'administration de l'hôtel de ville de Montréal établit le budget de l'agglomération sans nous consulter. En effet, la direction des finances de Montréal a présenté le budget d'agglomération 2023 aux maires de banlieue plusieurs heures après qu'ils l'aient présenté aux journalistes et alors que son contenu avait déjà fait l'objet de reportages. Notre maire adjointe Dida Berku note que l'administration Plante "a profité de la situation et a repoussé les limites des coûts supplémentaires qu'elle pouvait imposer à l'agglomération" parce que les banlieues assument 38 % de l'augmentation des dépenses résultant du nouveau rôle d'évaluation. Les banlieues abritent 12 % de la population de l'île".

Nous sommes également victimes du rôle d'évaluation des propriétés. La valeur des propriétés résidentielles a augmenté en moyenne de 35,6 % par rapport à il y a trois ans. Les maisons unifamiliales ont augmenté de 38,6 %, tandis que les condominiums ont augmenté de 30,7 %, selon le rôle d'évaluation 2023-2025 de Montréal.

Avec toutes ces mauvaises nouvelles, notre conseil a tout de même réussi à maintenir l'augmentation moyenne des taxes foncières à 5,9 pour cent. Ce fut un exercice extrêmement difficile. Et n'oubliez pas que le maire et le conseil sont aussi des contribuables. Nous devons travailler avec les autres banlieues et trouver un moyen d'intenter une action en justice contre Montréal pour faire face à leur malhonnêteté !

LIBRARY NAMING/UN CÉRÉMONIE HISTORIQUE

How honoured I was on September 18 to preside over a historic ceremony  In 2007, two years after I was first elected to city council, I brought forward a naming rights proposal which was approved. Over the years we named events, programs and benches after individuals and companies in return for financial gifts. But the confirmation of the Bibliothèque des jeunes Max Margles Children’s Library, thanks to a $500,000 gift from Roslyn Margles in honour of her late husband, far and  away entered into our record books. The unveiling and ribbon cutting ceremony took place many months after myself, Library Director Janine West,  Treasurer Angelo Marino and Legal Counsel Andrea Charon began discussions with Ms. Margles.  At the library, we will now seek a naming rights donor for our beautiful art gallery. There is also our Aquatic and Community Centre and Arena, as well as possibly Wiffle Ball Field.

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Mayor Brownstein, Roslyn Margles, Janine West and myself.

Quel honneur j'ai eu le 18 septembre de présider une cérémonie historique En 2007, deux ans après ma première élection au conseil municipal, j'ai présenté une proposition de droits de dénomination qui a été approuvée. Au fil des ans, nous avons donné à des événements, des programmes et des bancs le nom de personnes et d'entreprises en échange de dons financiers. Mais la confirmation de la Bibliothèque des jeunes Max Margles, grâce à un don de 500 000 $ de Roslyn Margles en l'honneur de son défunt mari, est entrée de loin dans notre livre des records. La cérémonie de dévoilement et de coupe du ruban a eu lieu plusieurs mois après que moi-même, la directrice de la bibliothèque Janine West, le trésorier Angelo Marino et la conseillère juridique Andrea Charon ayons entamé des discussions avec Mme Margles.  À la bibliothèque, nous allons maintenant chercher un donateur de droits d'appellation pour notre magnifique galerie d'art. Il y a aussi notre centre aquatique et communautaire et notre arène, ainsi qu'éventuellement le terrain de Wiffle Ball.

LOCAL AUTHORS/D’AUTEURS LOCAUX

I  was very pleased when Mayor Mitchell Brownstein gave me the portfolio of Library and Culture. Working with Director Library Services Janine West and her staff, one of my first objectives was to introduce  a local authors series. On January 26, to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day (commemorated on January 27), we started off in a big way with the fascinating Pinchas Eliayahu Blitt. At 90 years young this proud Côte Saint-Luc resident became an author for the first time.  A Promise of Sweet Tea depicts a Jewish community coming alive in this vividly told story of a childhood interrupted by the Holocaust, Pinchas Blitt conjures Kortelisy — a humble, vibrant village in the backwoods of western Ukraine where he lived in fear of Cossacks and wolves and the local antisemitic children. Remarkably, he and his family spent two and a half years living in the woods. How he survived beyond his 10th birthday is nothing short than a miracle. It was published by the Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs: Published Titles.   I have followed that up with a series of other interviews. You can find them all on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtGEI-5c6q3pt4LimYnMYnQ/featured

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J'ai été très heureux lorsque le maire Mitchell Brownstein m'a confié le portefeuille de la bibliothèque et de la culture. En collaboration avec la directrice des services de bibliothèque, Janine West, et son équipe, l'un de mes premiers objectifs a été de lancer une série d'auteurs locaux. Le 26 janvier, pour marquer la Journée internationale de commémoration de l'Holocauste (commémorée le 27 janvier), nous avons commencé en beauté avec le fascinant Pinchas Eliayahu Blitt. À 90 ans, ce fier habitant de Côte Saint-Luc est devenu auteur pour la première fois.  A Promise of Sweet Tea dépeint une communauté juive qui prend vie. Dans ce récit très vivant d'une enfance interrompue par l'Holocauste, Pinchas Blitt évoque Kortelisy, un village humble et dynamique situé au fin fond de l'Ukraine occidentale, où il vivait dans la crainte des cosaques, des loups et des enfants antisémites du coin. Fait remarquable, lui et sa famille ont vécu deux ans et demi dans les bois. La façon dont il a survécu au-delà de son 10e anniversaire est tout simplement un miracle. Ce livre a été publié par la série Azrieli des mémoires de survivants de l'Holocauste : Titres publiés.   J'ai enchaîné avec une série d'autres entretiens. Vous pouvez les trouver toutes sur notre chaîne YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtGEI-5c6q3pt4LimYnMYnQ/featured.

YIDLIFE CRISIS  

I had the great honour of being part of the opening sequence for the sensational YidLife Crisis special show poking fun at the City of Côte Saint-Luc. You can see it here. If you'd like to see the entire show, for any donation go to: https://www.yidlifecrisis.com/whatsnu...

Here is the opening with yours truly

J'ai eu le grand honneur de faire partie de la séquence d'ouverture de la sensationnelle émission spéciale YidLife Crisis qui se moque de la ville de Côte Saint-Luc. Vous pouvez la voir ici. Si vous souhaitez voir l'intégralité de l'émission, pour tout don, allez à : https://www.yidlifecrisis.com/whatsnu...

Voici l'ouverture avec votre serviteur https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgbqncULzBA

MAISON FLEURIES

The first in-person annual Maisons Fleuries Contest Awards presentation in three years took place at City Hall on November 14, showcasing some of the beautiful work being done by our homeowners, be it in single family dwellings, town houses, duplexes or highrises. This annual garden beautification initiative not only makes our city more beautiful, it also benefits the environment. By planting and maintaining trees, flowers and other plants, you help reduce air pollution, increase oxygen production, and contribute to saving the bee Councillor Sidney Benizri and I co-chaired the program. Some of the District 2 winners included: Under Single Family Homes, Gabriel Malca at 5777 Ilan Ramon Crescent, first place and Gerald Abitbol and Esther Attias at 6573 Mackle Road (Cambridge Courts), second;  Under Highrises,  5840 Marc Chagall (Le Bellagio), represented by Viviane Silver,  Edie Ojalvo and Sonja Langburt and 5845 Marc Chagall (La Marquise).

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With Vivian Silver and Sonja Langburt.

La première présentation en personne des prix du concours Maisons Fleuries depuis trois ans a eu lieu à l'hôtel de ville le 14 novembre. Elle a permis de mettre en valeur certains des magnifiques travaux réalisés par nos propriétaires, qu'il s'agisse de maisons individuelles, de maisons de ville, de duplex ou de tours d'habitation. Cette initiative annuelle d'embellissement des jardins ne rend pas seulement notre ville plus belle, elle est également bénéfique pour l'environnement. En plantant et en entretenant des arbres, des fleurs et d'autres plantes, vous contribuez à réduire la pollution atmosphérique, à augmenter la production d'oxygène et à sauver l'abeille. Le conseiller Sidney Benizri et moi-même avons co-présidé le programme. Voici quelques-uns des gagnants du District 2 : Dans la catégorie des maisons individuelles, Gabriel Malca au 5777 Ilan Ramon Crescent, premier prix, et Gerald Abitbol et Esther Attias au 6573 Mackle Road (Cambridge Courts), deuxième prix ; dans la catégorie des immeubles, 5840 Marc Chagall (Le Bellagio), représenté par Viviane Silver, Edie Ojalvo et Sonja Langburt et 5845 Marc Chagall (La Marquise).

MASTER PLAN/LE PLAN D’URBANISME

Hard work continues on the part of our city to inform the public and enable citizens to participate in the full consultation process for the revision of our municipal Master Plan and Zoning By-law revision documents.  Spearheaded by Associate City Manager Tanya Abramovitch, we recently organized a series of in-person workshops at City Hall. As the councillor responsible for Local Commerce,  I took part in the one on November 2. The focus was on  Home-Based Businesses and Local Commerce  Commercial activity is a fundamental part of any thriving city. With the three large commercial centres undergoing major transformation over the next few years and changes in the world of retail, we need to consider what kinds of commercial activity are relevant, desirable, and accessible for our residents in commercial zones and in homes.  Home-Based Businesses have fallen into somewhat of a grey zone over the years. Officially, if you are operating a business out of your residence you are supposed to register the company with the city. Subsequent workshops were held on housing, the Westminster Corridor and Mobility and Connectivity.

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A session on local commerce at City Hall.

Le Plan d’urbanisme est un document de planification qui définit les principes directeurs et les priorités pour le développement de la Ville au cours des prochaines décennies. Il aborde la manière dont les terrains seront utilisés et oriente les décisions concernant les installations communautaires, les espaces verts et les transports.

Vos commentaires sont importants, ils nous aident à nous assurer que nous planifions la ville que vous voulez. Complétez une sondage en ligne pour partager votre vision et vos commentaires

Les résultats de ce sondage, ainsi que les commentaires reçus lors diverses autres consultations, seront résumés dans un rapport qui sera publié en 2023. Le contenu de ce rapport guidera la Ville dans la conception du nouveau Plan d’urbanisme.

PARC REMBRANDT PARK

As the city councillor for District 2 these past 17 years, I am very proud of the work that has been done to enhance Rembrandt Park. When I was first elected, the park had a sunken field that was used by delinquents to hide out late at night and even dump benches. We were able to level that field, much to the benefit of users. A skateboard bowl, deemed dangerous by many parents and confirmed by senior staff, was removed. The splashpad project was installed well over a decade ago and is a popular attraction. Park equipment has been consistently upgraded and  last year we finally installed a brand new basketball court, as well as a half court for youngsters. In addition, we purchased large nets so youngsters could play soccer. I have received nothing but warm thanks for the youngsters who use these  facilities.

As for the tennis courts, they have been refurbished over the years and benefited from new lighting. A permanent ping pong table, installed in 2021, has been a big hit from the start. In the winter, for two years in a row now, we have but in an ice skating rink at one of the tennis courts. There is also a popular toboggan hill. This is an extremely well utilized park, a hub of activity and a wonderful mix of young families and seniors who live in the immediate area. I am not pleased to see people having picnics and not cleaning up after themselves. It lends the impression that the park is dirty.  That is not the case. We have ample trash cans. On weekends in particular we have a small crew of staff circulating throughout the city so they cannot possibly visit each park for cleanup.

I walk through this park regularly from the spring to the fall, constantly interacting with users and the park attendants who oversee activities. When people have concerns, they direct them my way.  That is the best process to follow.  Last summer, for instance, a woman called to advise me that she was pushing her husband in his wheelchair to the park, but the pathway was not smooth enough to  get there. In a matter of days I had a crew from Public Works present to pour more cement and create an easier entry. Understandably, residents who use a particular park a lot tend to have large wish lists. We do everything we can to comply, however it is very important to emphasize that the city has dozens of parks to take care of. There is only so much funding available. That being said, Rembrandt Park is indeed on a list prepared by our Public Works Department for changes to the playground areas.  This will not occur overnight, as it is a costly endeavor. As well,  because the playgrounds are divided into sections for young and older children, a complete redesign will be required.

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

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

Last  winter  parents with young children enjoyed the Rembrandt Park Toboggan Hill. However, I did receive some complaints about safety concerns with some trees located in dangerous spot. We took corrective measures on this matter  securing the area (from kids ending up on the street ) with a snow fence along the sidewalk on Rembrandt. Also, we wrapped the two trees closest to the hill with an orange snow fence too. This way the trees now stick out and there’s still plenty of room for many toboggans to run.

At the park
At the park.

En tant que conseiller municipal du district 2 depuis 17 ans, je suis très fier du travail accompli pour améliorer le parc Rembrandt. Lorsque j'ai été élue pour la première fois, le parc avait un terrain en contrebas qui était utilisé par les délinquants pour se cacher tard le soir et même pour jeter des bancs. Nous avons pu niveler ce terrain, au grand bénéfice des utilisateurs. Une cuvette de skateboard, jugée dangereuse par de nombreux parents et confirmée par les responsables, a été supprimée. Le projet de splashpad a été installé il y a bien plus de dix ans et constitue une attraction populaire. Les équipements du parc ont été constamment améliorés et l'année dernière, nous avons enfin installé un tout nouveau terrain de basket, ainsi qu'un demi-terrain pour les plus jeunes. En outre, nous avons acheté de grands filets pour que les jeunes puissent jouer au football. Je n'ai reçu que des remerciements chaleureux de la part des jeunes qui utilisent ces installations.

Quant aux courts de tennis, ils ont été remis à neuf au fil des ans et ont bénéficié d'un nouvel éclairage. Une table de ping-pong permanente, installée en 2021, a connu un grand succès dès le début. En hiver, depuis deux années consécutives, nous avons installé une patinoire sur l'un des courts de tennis. Il y a également une piste de luge très appréciée. C'est un parc extrêmement bien utilisé, un centre d'activités et un merveilleux mélange de jeunes familles et de personnes âgées qui vivent dans le voisinage immédiat. Je ne suis pas heureux de voir des gens qui font des pique-niques et ne nettoient pas après leur passage. Cela donne l'impression que le parc est sale.  Ce n'est pas le cas. Nous avons de nombreuses poubelles. Les week-ends, en particulier, nous avons une petite équipe qui circule dans toute la ville et qui ne peut pas se rendre dans chaque parc pour le nettoyer.

Je me promène régulièrement dans ce parc du printemps à l'automne, interagissant constamment avec les utilisateurs et les préposés qui supervisent les activités. Lorsque les gens ont des préoccupations, ils les dirigent vers moi.  C'est le meilleur processus à suivre.  L'été dernier, par exemple, une femme m'a appelé pour me dire qu'elle poussait son mari dans son fauteuil roulant jusqu'au parc, mais que le sentier n'était pas assez lisse pour y arriver. En quelques jours, j'ai fait venir une équipe des travaux publics pour couler plus de ciment et créer une entrée plus facile. Il est compréhensible que les résidents qui utilisent beaucoup un parc particulier aient tendance à avoir de grandes listes de souhaits. Nous faisons tout ce que nous pouvons pour nous y conformer, mais il est très important de souligner que la ville a des dizaines de parcs à entretenir. Les fonds disponibles sont limités. Ceci étant dit, le parc Rembrandt figure effectivement sur une liste préparée par notre département des travaux publics pour des changements dans les aires de jeux.  Cela ne se fera pas du jour au lendemain, car il s'agit d'une entreprise coûteuse. De plus, comme les aires de jeux sont divisées en sections pour les jeunes enfants et les enfants plus âgés, un réaménagement complet sera nécessaire.

En attendant, nous continuons à mettre en place de nouvelles initiatives :

- Le toit du chalet a été refait en aluminium, un matériau durable qui peut durer jusqu'à 50 ans, et nous avons ajouté des toilettes accessibles aux handicapés et aux poussettes.

- Trois nouveaux lampadaires ont été ajoutés du côté Merrimac du parc.

- Onze nouveaux bancs ont été installés sur des socles en béton le long du sentier près de l'aire de jeux et du chalet.

- Nous avons remplacé et ajouté quatre poubelles de très grande taille.

- Deux nouvelles fontaines à boire ont été installées (accessibles aux bouteilles d'eau).

- Nous avons enlevé les arbres morts et malades et en avons planté de nouveaux.  

- Nous avons remplacé les portes simples des courts de tennis par des portes doubles.

- La salle d'art du chalet a été rénovée, y compris un évier double en acier inoxydable fabriqué sur mesure (par nos employés).

L'hiver dernier, les parents avec de jeunes enfants ont apprécié le Toboggan Hill du parc Rembrandt. Cependant, j'ai reçu quelques plaintes concernant des problèmes de sécurité avec certains arbres situés à des endroits dangereux. Nous avons pris des mesures correctives à ce sujet en sécurisant la zone (pour éviter que les enfants ne se retrouvent dans la rue) avec une barrière à neige le long du trottoir de Rembrandt. Nous avons également entouré les deux arbres les plus proches de la colline d'une clôture à neige orange. De cette façon, les arbres dépassent maintenant et il y a encore beaucoup de place pour que de nombreux toboggans puissent courir.

MARC CHAGALL  PARK NAMING /MAGNIFIQUE ESPACE VERT

I am pleased to share that via our Public Affairs and Communications Department, the process to name the now beautiful greenspace on Marc Chagall Avenue is underway. History will note that after having rented the greenspace to the developers of the Equinoxe buildings for three years, the property was left in poor condition.  Some litigation was necessary in order to not only restore the area, but vastly improve  it. That was indeed done by our Public Works Department. Besides installing sod (instant grass), we have a pathway, new benches and lighting, picnic tables and trees. So it is time to find a name for the "Place" or "Square." According to our new naming policy, we  consulted with residents in the immediate area.   Our Toponomy Committee, which I chair,  has reviewed  and we willl make a recommendation to city council in early 2023.

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The beautifully refurbished greenspace.

J'ai le plaisir de vous annoncer que, par l'intermédiaire de notre département des affaires publiques et de la communication, le processus visant à donner un nom au désormais magnifique espace vert de l'avenue Marc Chagall est en cours. L'histoire retiendra qu'après avoir loué l'espace vert aux promoteurs des immeubles Equinoxe pendant trois ans, la propriété a été laissée en mauvais état.  Il a fallu engager des poursuites pour non seulement restaurer l'espace, mais aussi l'améliorer considérablement. C'est ce qu'a fait notre service des travaux publics. Outre l'installation de gazon instantané, nous avons un sentier, de nouveaux bancs et éclairages, des tables de pique-nique et des arbres. Il est donc temps de trouver un nom pour la "Place" ou le "Square". Conformément à notre nouvelle politique de dénomination, nous avons consulté les résidents des environs immédiats.   Notre comité de toponymie, que je préside, a examiné la question et nous ferons une recommandation au conseil municipal au début de 2023.

PROPOSED BUILDING/COMPLEXE D’APPARTEMENTS

Last summer I  received many calls from people asking about a small notice that was placed at the corner of Marc Chagall Avenue and Kildare Road. It was from our Urban Planning Department and explained that the city had received an application from a developer to build a seven floor, 28 unit apartment complex on the site at that spot near Beth Chabad CSL and Bialik High School. This land is presently zoned for a two storey commercial building.  A zoning amendment approved by Council and then taken to local residents for consultation would  have been  required. Our Planning Advisory Committee reviewed the proposal and recommended against the project.  I had invited the developer to have an information meeting with residents first, but he favored going  directly to Urban Planning.

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The vacant land.

L'été dernier, j'ai reçu de nombreux appels de personnes s'interrogeant sur un petit avis placé à l'angle de l'avenue Marc Chagall et de Kildare Road. Il émanait de notre service d'urbanisme et expliquait que la ville avait reçu une demande d'un promoteur pour construire un complexe d'appartements de sept étages et 28 unités sur le site à cet endroit, près du Beth Chabad CSL et du lycée Bialik. Ce terrain est actuellement zoné pour un bâtiment commercial de deux étages.  Une modification du zonage approuvée par le Conseil et soumise ensuite à la consultation des résidents locaux aurait été nécessaire. Notre comité consultatif d'urbanisme a examiné la proposition et s'est prononcé contre le projet.  J'avais invité le promoteur à tenir d'abord une réunion d'information avec les résidents, mais il a préféré s'adresser directement au service de l'urbanisme.

SNOW DUMP/LA DÉMANTÈLMENT DE LA COLLINE

Thanks to our Public Works Department for their annual destruction of the large and ugly hill of muddy snow at the snow dump. This is no easy feat. Our team We usually starts to break up the snow dump towards the end of June / beginning of July. The mountain is generally too hard and frozen to start operations, as the equipment (mechanical shovel) will likely break. This had happened in the past when the contractor started too early in the season. With several years of experience now, we work together with the contractor preparing the proper schedule for breaking down the hill.It takes approximately 100 hours of work  to complete the project.  This year it was all finished earlier than scheduled.

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The hill before it was broken apart.

Merci à notre service des travaux publics pour sa destruction annuelle de la grande et laide colline de neige boueuse à la décharge à neige. Ce n'est pas une mince affaire. Notre équipe commence généralement à détruire la décharge à neige vers la fin du mois de juin ou le début du mois de juillet. La montagne est généralement trop dure et gelée pour commencer les opérations, car l'équipement (pelle mécanique) risque de se briser. Cela s'est produit dans le passé lorsque l'entrepreneur a commencé trop tôt dans la saison. Avec plusieurs années d'expérience maintenant, nous travaillons ensemble avec l'entrepreneur pour préparer le calendrier adéquat pour le démantèlement de la colline. Il faut environ 100 heures de travail pour terminer le projet.  Cette année, tout a été terminé plus tôt que prévu.

LEAF BLOWERS/SOUFFLEURS DE FEUILLES

Great news for the many people who have expressed their dismay over the years about the noise pollution emanated by leaf blowers. A new bylaw will take effect  on April 28, 2023 prohibiting leaf blowers between June 1 and August 30. During the other months they will only be permitted between 8 am and 5 pm. Thanks to our Public Works Department, which researched the situation and came to Council with this new proposal.   I think this a good start for us. Many people work from home and keep their windows open during the summer. The noise from the leaf blowers is hardly welcoming.

 

Excellente nouvelle pour les nombreuses personnes qui ont exprimé au fil des ans leur désarroi face à la pollution sonore émanant des souffleurs de feuilles. Un nouveau règlement entrera en vigueur le 28 avril 2023, interdisant les souffleurs de feuilles entre le 1er juin et le 30 août. Pendant les autres mois, ils ne seront autorisés qu'entre 8 h et 17 h. Merci à notre service des travaux publics, qui a fait des recherches sur la situation et a présenté cette nouvelle proposition au Conseil.   Je pense que c'est un bon début pour nous. De nombreuses personnes travaillent à domicile et gardent leurs fenêtres ouvertes pendant l'été. Le bruit des souffleurs de feuilles n'est guère accueillant.

PARC ELIE WIESEL PARK

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

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At the plaque ceremony.

Saviez-vous que la sœur d'Elie Wiesel a vécu à Côte Saint-Luc avant de décéder en 1974 ? J'ignorais ce fait jusqu'à ce que la Fondation pour l'éducation sur le génocide accueille Elisha Wiesel, le fils d'Elie Wiesel, pour venir parler lors d'un événement de collecte de fonds à la Congrégation Beth Israël. Elie Wiesel était un écrivain, professeur, activiste politique, lauréat du prix Nobel et survivant de l'Holocauste américain d'origine roumaine. Il est l'auteur de 57 livres, écrits pour la plupart en français et en anglais, dont Night, une œuvre basée sur son expérience de prisonnier juif dans les camps de concentration d'Auschwitz et de Buchenwald. L'après-midi de la conférence, nous avons invité Elisha dans le parc que nous avons nommé en l'honneur de son défunt père, à l'angle de Cavendish et Kildare, dans mon district 2. Le rabbin Reuben J. Poupko, le maire Mitchell Brownstein et quelques autres personnes se sont joints à nous pour dévoiler une plaque de banc au parc Elie Wiesel en l'honneur de Beatrice Wiesel Jackson - la sœur d'Elie.

LOCAL COMMERCE/ COMITÉ DU COMMERCE LOCAL

During this mandate I am also chairing the Local Commerce Committee. One of the first initiatives I implemented was to recognize a different merchant every month.  In District 2 this has included David Banon and Sarah Ettedgui of Pharmaprix Cavendish,  orthodontist Jordan Nemes on the Avenue and Bruce Gurberg of the new CinéStarz Deluxe Cavendish.

See this video with Dr. Jordan Nemes.

You can read more about this at:
https://cotesaintluc.org/services/businesses/spotlight-on-local-merchants/

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Presiding over the ribbon cutting.

Pendant ce mandat, je préside également le comité du commerce local. L'une des premières initiatives que j'ai mises en œuvre a été de reconnaître un commerçant différent chaque mois.  Dans le District 2, il s'agit de David Banon et Sarah Ettedgui de Pharmaprix Cavendish, de l'orthodontiste Jordan Nemes sur l'Avenue et de Bruce Gurberg du nouveau CinéStarz Deluxe Cavendish.

NEW MOVIE THEATRES/CINÉSTARZ DELUXE AU QUARTIER CAVENDISH

Speaking about Gurberg, the long wait for the return of movie theatres at Quartier Cavendish is over. History will note that Cineplex  closed the cinema more than a  year ago. At the time I speculated that Gurberg, who owns the CinéStarz chain, might fill the void. Sure enough he  did step forward. He signed  a multi-year lease. Since Cineplex removed virtually everything from the interior, Gurberg  used the opportunity to do a total relaunch. The complex  opened in the summer. Each room is  spanking new, from the most comfortable (and expensive) electronic reclining seats  I have ever experienced; new screens, speakers; new washrooms; new  carpeting and flooring and even LED strips in each room that will change colours. Not only  is there a  concession stand, with the CineStarz to die for popcorn, but yes a full bar with 15 stools.  

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The ribbon cutting ceremony for the new theatres.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EVEXKZ17RI

Félicitations au propriétaire Bruce Gurberg du nouveau CinéStarz Deluxe, maintenant ouvert au Quartier Cavendish (5800, boul. Cavendish) à Côte Saint-Luc. Ce cinéma possède huit écrans offre des commodités que l’on ne voit nulle part ailleurs au Québec et au Canada.  Cette salle de cinéma fait partie de la chaîne CinéStarz de M. Gurberg. Au Québec M. Gurberg opère des salles à Côte des Neiges, Saint-Léonard et Grenville au Québec, ainsi que des salles en Ontario à Orléans, Ottawa et Burlington. Cineplex a fermé son emplacement au Quartier Cavendish, il y a plus d’un an. Pour M. Gurberg, qui vit et a grandi dans la communauté, il s’agit de la réalisation d’un rêve et, par conséquent, il a fait un investissement financier important dans l’installation. C’est pour cette raison qu’il a baptisé cette salle CinéStarz Deluxe. 

Les locaux précédemment occupés ont été entièrement rénovés afin que M. Gurberg puisse offrir un intérieur tout à fait nouveau. CinéStarz Deluxe est le premier cinéma au Québec à offrir de grands sièges en cuir avec dossiers inclinables électroniques et repose-pieds extensibles. Il y a de nouveaux écrans plus grands, de nouvelles toilettes, de nouveaux tapis et revêtements de sol, des haut-parleurs de haute qualité et même des bandelettes D.E.L. qui changent de couleur. En plus des comptoirs de concessions, où l’on vend du maïs soufflé CinéStarz, il y aura un bar de 15 sièges.   

TRAFFIC ISSUES/CIRCULATION

Côte Saint-Luc has a wonderful Traffic Engineer in Spyro Yotis. He makes sure that our Traffic Committee, Chaired by Councillor Mitchell Kujavsky, is on top of all the issues. Not surprisingly, this is usually the topic that comes up most when constituents speak to me.

Speeding remains a problem city-wide. Of course I wish there were more speed traps set up by our Police Station 9. We keep a close eye on problem areas and report them to police. If only Public Security officers were able to enforce moving violations!

I continue to work with the administration of JPPS-Bialik School  on traffic issues. To their credit, the school has an army of staff on site for drop off and pickup times. There are a lot of vehicles  circulating in this area, the main reason being an increase in enrolment at the primary and secondary levels.

As part of the District 2 Advisory Council I established a few years ago,    my representative for Ilan Ramon Crescent and Sir Walter Scott Avenue Frank Palucci advocated for  a speed bump on Sir Walter Scott. This street is home to half a dozen apartment buildings and of course two entrances to  Ilan Ramon. Via Frank’s persistent reminders, I was able to get the attention of  the Traffic Committee and a  seasonal speed hump at the mid-way point of Sir Walter Scott was installed and it made a huge difference. We also brought back another one at the rear entrance/exit of City Hall which serves as deterrent to speeders. So thank you Frank, as well as   Spyro Yotis.

Meantime, there continues to be complaints about speeding on Marc Chagall Avenue. We do have a speed hump near the snow dump, so cars seem to pressing the accelerator when they turn the corner and drive towards Mackle. We reached out to Police Station 9 Commander Martin Montour. “We believe it is the same youngsters who are speeding along Cavendish,” he said, confirming that the complaints are continually followed up.

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

Frankspeedhump
Frank Palucci and the new speed bump.

Côte Saint-Luc a un merveilleux ingénieur de la circulation en la personne de Spyro Yotis. Il s'assure que notre comité de la circulation, présidé par le conseiller Mitchell Kujavsky, est au fait de tous les problèmes. Il n'est pas surprenant que ce soit le sujet qui revienne le plus souvent lorsque les électeurs me parlent.

Les excès de vitesse restent un problème dans toute la ville. Bien sûr, j'aimerais qu'il y ait plus de pièges à vitesse installés par notre poste de police 9. Nous surveillons de près les zones problématiques et les signalons à la police. Si seulement les agents de la sécurité publique étaient en mesure de faire respecter les infractions au code de la route !

Je continue à travailler avec l'administration de l'école JPPS-Bialik sur les questions de circulation. L'école a le mérite d'avoir une armée de personnel sur place pour les heures de dépose et de reprise des enfants. Il y a beaucoup de véhicules qui circulent dans cette zone, la raison principale étant l'augmentation des inscriptions aux niveaux primaire et secondaire.

Dans le cadre du conseil consultatif du district 2 que j'ai créé il y a quelques années, mon représentant pour Ilan Ramon Crescent et Sir Walter Scott Avenue, Frank Palucci, a plaidé en faveur de l'installation d'un ralentisseur sur Sir Walter Scott. Cette rue abrite une demi-douzaine d'immeubles d'habitation et, bien sûr, deux entrées d'Ilan Ramon. Grâce aux rappels incessants de Frank, j'ai pu attirer l'attention du comité de circulation et un ralentisseur saisonnier a été installé à mi-chemin de Sir Walter Scott, ce qui a fait une énorme différence. Nous en avons également remis un autre à l'entrée/sortie arrière de l'hôtel de ville, qui a un effet dissuasif sur les automobilistes. Merci donc à Frank, ainsi qu'à Spyro Yotis.

Entre-temps, des plaintes continuent d'être déposées au sujet des excès de vitesse sur l'avenue Marc Chagall. Nous avons un ralentisseur près du dépôt de neige, donc les voitures semblent appuyer sur l'accélérateur quand elles tournent le coin et roulent vers Mackle. Nous avons contacté le commandant du poste de police 9, Martin Montour. "Nous pensons que ce sont les mêmes jeunes qui font des excès de vitesse le long de Cavendish", a-t-il déclaré, confirmant que les plaintes font l'objet d'un suivi permanent.

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

GOLF CLASSIC/CLASSIQUE DE GOLF

Following a three year absence due to COVID-19, the Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic returned on August 9  to Meadowbrook Golf Course and it was a huge success. I was pleased to  co-chair this 41st annual event with Councillor Dida Berku and  Mannie Young. Dida has been a champion on keeping Meadowbrook green for  decades. Mannie, the former chair of the Men’s Club and a retired pharmacist, added an entire new dimension to this program with his wealth of contacts and fundraising abilities - no to mention his sense of humour. A few years ago, we introduced the Parks and Recreation Bursary Fund to help disadvantaged families and for children who have special needs in Côte Saint-Luc who cannot afford to register their children in seasonal programs and activities operated by our city. It was created by myself and Harold Cammy, with the support of McDonald’s franchisee Pierre Brunet. This year, thanks principally to Mannie and event coordinator Anisa Cameron, we exceeded expectations. New corporate sponsors were brought in  and we raised over $9,000 for our charity. Former City Councillors Glenn J. Nashen and Sam Goldbloom were this year’s honorees.

Honorees
Congratulating our winners at the Golf Classic.

Après une absence de trois ans en raison du COVID-19, la Classique de golf de Côte Saint-Luc est revenue le 9 août au terrain de golf Meadowbrook et ce fut un énorme succès. J'ai eu le plaisir de coprésider ce 41e événement annuel avec la conseillère Dida Berku et Mannie Young. Dida est une championne du maintien du vert à Meadowbrook depuis des décennies. Mannie, ancien président du Men's Club et pharmacien à la retraite, a ajouté une toute nouvelle dimension à ce programme grâce à ses nombreux contacts et à ses capacités de collecte de fonds - sans oublier son sens de l'humour.

 Il y a quelques années, nous avons créé le Fonds de bourses des parcs et loisirs pour aider les familles défavorisées et les enfants ayant des besoins spéciaux de Côte Saint-Luc qui n'ont pas les moyens d'inscrire leurs enfants aux programmes et activités saisonniers de notre ville. Il a été créé par moi-même et Harold Cammy, avec l'appui du franchisé de McDonald's, Pierre Brunet. Cette année, grâce principalement à Mannie et à la coordinatrice de l'événement, Anisa Cameron, nous avons dépassé les attentes. De nouvelles entreprises commanditaires ont été recrutées et nous avons recueilli plus de 9 000 $ pour notre organisme de bienfaisance. Les anciens conseillers municipaux Glenn J. Nashen et Sam Goldbloom étaient les lauréats de cette année.

CATS AND DOGS/CHATS ET CHIENS

As the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection in Côte Saint-Luc,  I feel fortunate to have devoted dog and cat owners who take care of our companion animals – and in the case of felines those who are homeless.

Last summer CSL Dog Owners Committee Co-Chairs Jonathan Goldman and Anna Marie Katz and I met me at the Mackle Road Dog Run. We were very fortunate to have CSL Public Safety Manager of Operations Jean-Marc Dubois with us. A dog owner himself,  Jean Marc takes this dossier to heart. First let me thank the team at Public Works who have undertaken some attractive modifications to the Dog Run. Six new benches were installed in the park on concrete pads to prevent dogs from digging along with 30 tons of additional river stone  while the vines growing along the CP fence were removed.   Manager Dubois was joined by a public security officer at our meeting.  We will now make sure that an officer visits the site at least once per shift. From time to time we do have issues with aggressive dogs. There is no place for them at this location.   Our officers do have the authority to label a dog as potentially dangerous. The owner will be asked to leave with his or her canine and if they return a fine can be issued. We are working on some important changes to our dog by-laws so stay tuned in early 2023.

All dogs are supposed to have licenses. Ditto for outdoor cats. Dog and cat micro-chipping is also mandatory in CSL. If your animal gets loose, this is  the safest thing to getting them back.

MIkeMoose
Visiting the Dog Run.

En tant que conseillère municipale responsable de la protection des animaux à Côte Saint-Luc, je me sens privilégiée d'avoir des propriétaires de chiens et de chats dévoués qui prennent soin de nos animaux de compagnie - et dans le cas des félins, de ceux qui sont sans abri.

L'été dernier, les coprésidents du Comité des propriétaires de chiens de CSL, Jonathan Goldman et Anna Marie Katz, et moi-même nous sommes retrouvés au Dog Run de Mackle Road. Nous avons eu la chance d'avoir avec nous le directeur des opérations de sécurité publique de CSL, Jean-Marc Dubois. Propriétaire de chiens lui-même, Jean Marc prend ce dossier à cœur. Tout d'abord, permettez-moi de remercier l'équipe des Travaux publics qui a entrepris des modifications attrayantes au Dog Run. Six nouveaux bancs ont été installés dans le parc sur des socles en béton pour empêcher les chiens de creuser, ainsi que 30 tonnes supplémentaires de pierre de rivière, tandis que les vignes qui poussaient le long de la clôture du CP ont été enlevées.   Le directeur Dubois a été rejoint par un agent de sécurité publique lors de notre réunion.  Nous nous assurerons désormais qu'un agent visite le site au moins une fois par quart de travail. De temps en temps, nous avons des problèmes avec des chiens agressifs. Il n'y a pas de place pour eux à cet endroit.   Nos agents ont le pouvoir de qualifier un chien de potentiellement dangereux. Le propriétaire sera prié de partir avec son chien et s'il revient, une amende pourra lui être infligée. Nous travaillons sur d'importants changements à nos règlements sur les chiens, alors restez à l'écoute au début de 2023.

HYDRO QUÉBEC

Due to a variety of issues at Hydo-Québec, a planned major electrical system upgrade of the   network has been put on hold. Work was supposed to occur between 2023 and 2026 and impact homes on Merrimac Road, Marc Chagall Avenue as well as Bialik High School. Hydro planned to  convert three 120-kV substations to 315 kV. This included 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. We did form a committee, which included residents, and a number of our requests are being looked at for when the project does get the go ahead. This includes:  the height of the substation being lowered by one storey; the movement of the line from Kildare to behind JPPS-Bialik (for which they will require the city’s assistance for a servitude) and exchanging the one from the Meadows;  and the result of the sound study demonstrating that a sound wall along Baily is not necessary. We have been told that many Hydro projects are under stress from exploding costs, far in excess of budgeted amounts compared to the projected capex budgets, and that HQ CEO Sophie Brochu is restructuring the company. Every single project is being reviewed. The Aqueduc-Saraguay Project is also changing configuration somewhat, though not on CSL territory. It is for these reasons that they are not at all ready to have a city-wide consultation on the project anytime soon, and project  2023 as the earliest that it can occur.

The rewiring of the Hydro grid on Merrimac Road is also long overdue. Work was supposed to occur a decade ago, however Hydro and the Meadows Condominium could not come to an agreement on the exchange of servitudes.

Towers

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.

GARBAGE COLLECTION/COLLECTE DES ORDURES

Thanks to our Public Works Department, a problem with garbage collection at 6700 The Avenue was  resolved. Buildings constructed in recent years only receive garbage collection once a week. The idea is for composting to take place  as well once a week. But since that is still not a reality I was able to arrange with Public Works to add a second day each week the pickup schedule in the interim. 6700 The Avenue has 90 units. Once a week pickup is not sufficient at the present time for a building this size. For starters they do not have enough bins for this to be done properly, emitting a foul smell outdoors and in the garage where the garbage had to be returned. 

Grâce à notre service des travaux publics, un problème de collecte des ordures au 6700 The Avenue a été résolu. Les bâtiments construits ces dernières années ne reçoivent la collecte des ordures qu'une fois par semaine. L'idée est que le compostage ait lieu également une fois par semaine. Mais comme ce n'est pas encore une réalité, j'ai pu m'arranger avec les Travaux publics pour ajouter un deuxième jour par semaine au calendrier de ramassage dans l'intervalle. Le 6700 The Avenue compte 90 unités. Le ramassage une fois par semaine n'est pas suffisant à l'heure actuelle pour un immeuble de cette taille. Pour commencer, ils n'ont pas assez de poubelles pour que cela soit fait correctement, ce qui dégage une odeur nauséabonde à l'extérieur et dans le garage où les ordures doivent être retournées. 

MY PODCAST

Please listen to my podcast, which focuses on people and issues pertinent to Côte Saint-Luc.

You can hear past editions here

Veuillez écouter mon balado, qui se concentre sur les personnes et les questions pertinentes pour Côte Saint-Luc.

IN MEMORIAM/ EN MEMORIAM

Sadly, we had to say good-bye to some wonderful people in 2022. This included a number of District 2 stalwarts.

Donald Goldberg  passed away on November 12 at the age of 92. Donald was the younger brother of former City Councillor Isadore Goldberg. He passed away almost three years ago and I remember sharing memories with the family at the shiva at Donald and Jeannie's condo.

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Saul Ettinger, an iconic figure on the Montreal restaurant scene. Saul was a well-known respected restaurateur and real estate magnate, having brought us the Briskets smoked meat chain and the Il Etait Une Fois burger spot. More than 40 years ago, Saul opened his first Briskets deli on Bishop Street. Twelve franchises in Montreal and Ottawa soon followed.   As Saul told me just a few years ago, people who remember dining at Briskets described the smoked meat sandwiches as "addictive."  

While I knew Beryl Peletz was in his 90s, he was one of those individuals whom I thought would simply live forever.  Supported by his wife Miriam, he was a  model constituent, always providing  timely advice. When there was an issue they would call me together, with one of them doing the talking and the other sharing comments from the background. When it came to election time and campaigns, Beryl would give me the ultimate compliment when I knocked on his door by saying, “you don’t need to ask our vote…it is guaranteed.” Beryl was a true leader  with the Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club.

Presser
Joe Presser and I at an event a few years back.

I knew Joe Presser for most of my life, so when I learned that he had passed away suddenly on January 30 I took the news quite badly. I first met Joe when I was a young child.  In the summer of 2018.  we honoured Joe at the Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic. Extreme heat postponed our day at the links, but the luncheon banquet to pay tribute to him carried on. Despite the fact I was dealing with an intolerably painful case of kidney stones, I made sure to be there for Joe’s sake. I am so glad the city did something to recognize his remarkable community work. I considered Joe a good friend and a true supporter of mine in District 2 from day one of my time on council.   Joe had been active at programming in Côte Saint-Luc for most of his life, notably at Beth Zion Congregation, the Parks and Recreation Department, the Cummings Centre Sports Celebrity Breakfast and the Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club. But he was often the man behind the scenes, not getting his deserving day in the sun.

Malheureusement, nous avons dû dire au revoir à certaines personnes merveilleuses en 2022. Parmi elles, un certain nombre de fidèles du District 2.

Donald Goldberg est décédé le 12 novembre à l'âge de 92 ans. Donald était le frère cadet de l'ancien conseiller municipal Isadore Goldberg. Il est décédé il y a presque trois ans et je me souviens d'avoir partagé des souvenirs avec la famille lors de la shiva organisée au domicile de Donald et Jeannie.

J'ai été profondément attristé d'apprendre le décès de Saul Ettinger, une figure emblématique de la restauration montréalaise. Saul était un restaurateur et un magnat de l'immobilier très respecté, qui nous a apporté la chaîne de viande fumée Briskets et le restaurant de burgers Il Etait Une Fois. Il y a plus de 40 ans, Saul a ouvert sa première charcuterie Briskets sur la rue Bishop. Douze franchises à Montréal et à Ottawa ont rapidement suivi.   Comme Saul me l'a dit il y a quelques années, les gens qui se souviennent avoir mangé aux Briskets décrivent les sandwichs à la viande fumée comme "addictifs". 

Même si je savais que Beryl Peletz était nonagénaire, il était l'une de ces personnes dont je pensais qu'elles vivraient tout simplement pour toujours.  Soutenu par sa femme Miriam, il était un électeur modèle, donnant toujours des conseils opportuns. Lorsqu'il y avait un problème, ils m'appelaient ensemble, l'un d'eux parlant et l'autre faisant des commentaires en arrière-plan. Quand venait le temps des élections et des campagnes, Beryl me faisait le compliment ultime quand je frappais à sa porte en disant : "Vous n'avez pas besoin de demander notre vote... il est garanti." Beryl était un véritable leader au sein du Men's Club de Côte Saint-Luc.

J'ai connu Joe Presser pendant la majeure partie de ma vie, alors quand j'ai appris qu'il était décédé subitement le 30 janvier, j'ai mal pris la nouvelle. J'ai rencontré Joe pour la première fois lorsque j'étais un jeune enfant.  Au cours de l'été 2018, nous avons rendu hommage à Joe lors de la Classique de golf de Côte Saint-Luc. Une chaleur extrême a reporté notre journée sur les links, mais le déjeuner-banquet pour lui rendre hommage s'est poursuivi. Malgré le fait que je devais faire face à un cas de calculs rénaux intolérablement douloureux, j'ai fait en sorte d'être là pour l'amour de Joe. Je suis si heureux que la ville ait fait quelque chose pour reconnaître son remarquable travail communautaire. Je considérais Joe comme un bon ami et un vrai partisan du District 2 depuis le premier jour de mon mandat au conseil.   Joe a été actif dans la programmation de Côte Saint-Luc pendant la majeure partie de sa vie, notamment à la Congrégation Beth Zion, au Service des parcs et loisirs, au Petit-déjeuner des célébrités sportives du Centre Cummings et au Club des hommes de Côte Saint-Luc. Mais il était souvent l'homme de l'ombre, n'obtenant pas son jour mérité au soleil.

Dr. Ernest Burman

More than a year prior to the 2005 municipal elections, I announced that I would be running for the city council post in District 2. I launched this blog and literally began campaigning.

One of the first persons to contact me was Dr. Ernest Burman, a retired dentist who lived in the Rothchild. “I saw in the newspaper you want to become my city councillor,” he said, upon tracking me down. “I want to meet you.”

Burmanpic
Dr. Ernest Burman

A few days later I sat down with Dr. Burman and formally introduced by myself. He shared with me issues of concern and I told him how I would try and resolve them. When we finished, he put out his hand and proclaimed: “You have my vote Mike!”

When the election came around I did have an opponent. We set up an office at the Quartier Cavendish and supporters came by and helped call people to go out and vote. Dr. Burman was among them.

Since that time Dr. Burman his wife Caroline (Kelsey) contacted whenever an issue needed my attention. I never forgot Dr. Burman’s support and I was very sad to learn that he passed away on December 20.

Plus d'un an avant les élections municipales de 2005, j'ai annoncé que je me présenterais au poste de conseiller municipal dans le district 2. J'ai lancé ce blog et j'ai littéralement commencé à faire campagne.

L'une des premières personnes à me contacter a été le Dr Ernest Burman, un dentiste à la retraite qui vivait dans le Rothchild. "J'ai vu dans le journal que vous vouliez devenir mon conseiller municipal", a-t-il dit en me retrouvant. "Je veux vous rencontrer."

Quelques jours plus tard, je me suis assis avec le Dr Burman et me suis présenté officiellement. Il a partagé avec moi des sujets de préoccupation et je lui ai dit comment j'allais essayer de les résoudre. Quand nous avons terminé, il a tendu la main et a proclamé : "Tu as mon vote Mike !"

Lorsque l'élection est arrivée, j'ai eu un adversaire. Nous avons installé un bureau dans le Quartier Cavendish et des partisans sont venus nous aider à appeler les gens à aller voter. Le Dr Burman était parmi eux.

Depuis lors, le Dr Burman et sa femme Caroline (Kelsey) m'ont contacté chaque fois qu'une question nécessitait mon attention. Je n'ai jamais oublié le soutien du Dr Burman et j'ai été très triste d'apprendre qu'il est décédé le 20 décembre.

 

 


In Memoriam: Dr. Ernest Burman was one of my earliest supporters

More than a year prior to the 2005 municipal elections, I announced that I would be running for the city council post in District 2. I launched this blog and literally began campaigning.

One of the first persons to contact me was Dr. Ernest Burman, a retired dentist who lived in the Rothchild. “I saw in the newspaper you want to become my city councillor,” he said, upon tracking me down. “I want to meet you.”

Burmanpic
Dr. Ernest Burman

A few days later I sat down with Dr. Burman and formally introduced   myself. He shared with me issues of concern and I told him how I would try and resolve them. When we finished, he put out his hand and proclaimed: “You have my vote Mike!”

When the election came around I did have an opponent. We set up an office at the Quartier Cavendish and supporters came by and helped call people to go out and vote. Dr. Burman was among them.

Since that time Dr. Burman his wife Caroline (Kelsey) contacted me whenever an issue needed my attention. I never forgot Dr. Burman’s support and I was very sad to learn that he passed away on December 20.

Dr. Burman is being remembered as  wonderful person and dentist. Noted Renee Gutterman Sandler: “He was not only our dentist, he was a family friend. He was the best dentist I have ever had, having lived in Chicago and Cincinnati. I'll never forget how he saved my wedding day. Our late mom woke up that morning with a filling missing on her front tooth. There was major panic in the house and Ernie came to the rescue. When most Mother of the Brides are getting their hair done, Ernie met her very early and fixed her up! He will be missed by many."

Added  Frank Chalk: “Ernie had such a gift for friendship, caring, dentistry, wood carving, stained glass, and sports. He was an instinctive builder, improving every association and project that earned his support. And what a joy it was to be his friend! We were so fortunate to have him among us. He will be missed and remembered. May his memory be a blessing.”

Lynn Gordon from the Cummings Centre remembered a dear friend. “Ernie was a dedicated volunteer for many years sharing his wisdom, and expertise to enhance the daily lives of seniors in our community. In his own kind and gentle manner, he helped bring about positive changes, all with compassion for the well-being of others.”

Carol Levine has fond memories of Dr. Burman’s connection to her late brother. “More than 55 years ago a young boy was inspired to become a dentist because of his great admiration for Dr. Burman,” she recalled. “My brother the late Dr. Jeffrey Levine, who had cystic fibrosis, achieved his goal defying all odds. “

Rest in peace Dr. Burman!


The extraordinary yet very sad story of our efforts in 2022 to save homeless cats in CSL and beyond

Wearing my hat as the city councillor responsible for Animal Welfare, let me give my annual salute to Diane Liebling. A retired nurse, she has devoted so much of her life over the past decade to chair our Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee, which oversees a TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return, Maintain) program and find homes and medical care for homeless cats and kittens.

Let me just remind readers how much I absolutely love cats. Our own Cleopatra is now 13 and a true member of our family. I am crazy about her!!

Catcage
One of our rescues.

 

As Diane notes,   “2022 has been, perhaps, the most challenging one I have ever witnessed. Due to COVID, the vet clinics cut back on their hours, thereby creating a backlog of cats that needed desperately to be seen. The SPCA halted their TNR program for a significant amount of time resulting in a huge increase in the cat population, which will take years to resolve. While it may seem that the issues related to the SPCA are of no concern to us, this is not true. While we are not part of the SPCA TNR program, it is not difficult to see how we are impacted. Cats do not respect boundaries and I am certain I have picked up stray, wandering cats from NDG, Montreal West, Hampstead, and other surrounding areas.”

Starting in March 2020, and moving well into 2022, Diane reports that the increase in cat abandonment has been rising and she has picked up several abandoned cats. Most of the veterinary clinics, including the Côte Saint Luc Hospital For Animals, have increased their prices.

CatsBilly
How could anyone not want to adopt this beauty?

In 2021, the cost for TNR cats was increased by 10 percent. “It may not seem like a lot but it definitely adds up,” Diane explains. There is a severe shortage of veterinarians in this province and salaries, I imagine, have gone up to compensate for this. Additionally, the cost of cat food has gone up by at least 15 to 20 percent. We supply many colony feeders in CSL and it is unrealistic to ask them to bear the brunt of the cost themselves. Our adoption fees have steadily climbed over the last number of years but this hardly every covers the true cost of care, especially for a cat with medical issues.”

Diane  highlights a few sad cases we had in CSL this year.

  • In May, a 97-year-old woman died on Kingsley Road, leaving behind her 13-year-old cat. “Lucky” (sadly not very Lucky) was brought to the CSL Vet Clinic where she was literally unapproachable for two weeks. She had extreme “cage rage,” which is an awful thing to witness in a previously owned and loved cat. Of course, our committee paid for boarding.   Fortunately, one of Diane’s rescue friends found her a foster   and she is doing much better in a home.   We actually used “Vet chez Vous,” a CSL based veterinary service which does home visits exclusively to go to the checkup.  
  • In early July this year Diane received a call from a CSL Public Security officer regarding a situation on Heywood. This was for a resident who was brought to hospital leaving behind his two owned cats as well as several outdoor feral cats he has been feeding (with our support) for many years.  “I was told the apartment was uninhabitable and had I not seen it first hand for myself, I am not sure I would believe it,” she said. “I spoke with  Building Inspector Pierre Lemay  I, along with the committee members, went into the apartment, but not without full  Hazmat  gear, including goggles, double masks, foot and head coverings and multiple gloves. It is impossible to accurately describe what we found, but was not good. Fortunately, we were able to retrieve his two, extremely traumatized, cats, which went to the vet for a full workup. They went into foster care. One required dental work, which is very expensive.” While there used to be around seven or eight cats outside this apartment, many disappeared, but four still remained. Diane trapped one, who was very sick, and had to be euthanized; two more were relocated to sanctuaries outside of Montreal (there is a cost to this as we have to support them). and one remains still to be trapped.

On the subject of foster care, there were several strays that Diane picked up in CSL this year, along with the two cats on Heywood. “These were cats that were 100 percent owned and abandoned,” she fumed. “While in foster care, we are obliged to pay the cost for food and litter.”

  • The final very sad story. In the summer Diane  was alerted to a beautiful Scottish Fold in someone’s backyard on Cavendish Boulevard. Fortunately the son of the homeowners brought him to one of her amazing fosters. Despite posting “Doc’” all over Facebook, the SPCA and Pawboost, no one came forward to claim him. He had two very expensive vet visits and it was quickly determined he had end-stage kidney failure. “My foster and I knew he was not doing well but we were not quite prepared for him to die suddenly,” she says.  “Fortunately he died inside with loving care…it would have been a very different story had he not been brought inside. It was extremely traumatizing for my foster.
  • Cat1
    A loveable feline.

Our committee, thanks to Diane,  has become quite well known on the island and are a shining example of what can be done when a municipality like Côte Saint-Luc takes it upon themselves to address and support an important program. “Many rescuers/TNR trappers I know would love to have the program we have but, without their city approval, it is impossible,” proclaims Diane. “They are completely dependent on the SPCA, if their area is covered, and the SPCA TNR program stops periodically due to staffing shortages.”

Since COVID hit, we have not held our annual fundraising concert. We hope it will return outdoors next summer.  One of our fosters, Karin, is selling calendars to benefit our program (as well as Hearing, Entendre Quebec).  The cost is $25 each. Every calendar is accompanied by a cute cat toy or pin, while supplies last.

Catshomeless
One of the many feral cats who lives outdoors and we help feed.

 “Honestly, I could not do what I am doing without Karin,” says Diane.   “She has fostered numerous cats and kittens for us and right now she has had one of our cats for 10 months.  Long story short, this was a cat trapped on Beethoven and the vet was certain this was a previously owned  social) cat because of her evident external spay scar.  Well, if she was an indoor cat at some point, she has completely reverted to feral and is/was a traumatized disaster.  She is getting better, but progress is slow. I don't know if she is ever going to be adoptable, but Karin never bothers me about her.  She has just made her one of her family; maybe one day she'll be adopted, but who knows?”

Thank goodness Diane and her diehards, like Ronnie, Ellen, Abby and others, continue to step up to the plate. “I will say that this has been the most challenging year in cat rescue, and that is putting it mildly,” she says. “Unless you are on Facebook and see the utter chaos and devastation going on in cat rescue, it is impossible to describe. I cannot emphasize enough how brutal it is for tens of thousands of cats in this province. The level of abandonment has never been higher.  Kittens are being born year round because of climate change.  An unspayed female who used to have two litters a year is now having four.   

We are grateful to the city for providing us with a budget ,as well as the continued support from our MNA for D'Arcy McGee, David Birnbaum previously and now Elisabeth Prass. Hats off as well to Fern Collier-Pereira and her team for continuing to organize garage sales.

If you are interested in joining our committee, e-mail me at mcohen@cotesaintluc.org


Library migrates to a new system

Periodically the CSL Public Library does a review of all of its service providers. In 2015, we looked at the current library system and at that time decided to renew our contract. However, in 2021, at a regular review the library decided to move in a different direction.

In early 2022, Council approved the library’s recommendation to change its computer system from Innovative Interfaces Inc. to Axiell, a system that has been used by other demerged cities including Westmount, Dorval, Kirkland and DDO. Most of the past year has been spent getting ready for this big change.

Books
We have lots of books in our library.

 

During the month of November, the library made its final preparations to migrate all of the library data including library members, libraries titles, checkouts, reservations, and more which was set for the last week of November. On December 1 the library began using its new system including its new website.

The next month or two will be spent working out all of the small glitches while the library continues to implement new features. There is still much work to be done.

The implementation team consists of Janine West, Jennifer Eisman, Karen Morris and Mearaid Stevenson who have all have worked tirelessly to ensure this project’s success. Karen Morris and Mearaid Stevenson exceptionally have gone above and beyond having to learn the ins and outs of a completely new system and who have been responsible for setting up all of the back end including the website. The Library has been very lucky to work with a great new vendor whose team has been exceptionally responsive to every question, query and issue and who led the library’s team in this process every step in the way.

Finally, it is important to also note that this change will save the City thousands of dollars in annual licensing costs: Specifically, with our previous vendor, Innovative Interfaces Inc. our annual costs were in the ball park of $55,000 a year and increasing. They will now be approximately $15,000 per year (with annual increases).


Shirley Shoub launches new children's book Skipper's Stories

Skipper, a beagle puppy, loves his adopted family - his human mom and dad, his brother Ezra, and particularly his grandma - who all accept his beagle ways - and especially when his beagle  nature gets him into trouble. All he wants is to be accepted as part of his family.

Shoub

Written and illustrated by Côte Saint-Luc's Shirley Shoub, Skipper’s Stories is a heartwarming reflection of  Skipper’s quest for love and belonging. Despite Skipper’s penchant for adventure (and
misadventure), this true-to-life tale proves that love wins after all.

Shoub’s illustrations have all been drawn by hand, crafted with pastel pencils. She has devoted her life to her family, bringing up three children on her own, to her  studies, to her career, to her community work and to her continued exploration of the creative  arts. She attained her B.A. in English, her A.E.C. in Social Counselling, Certification in Remotivation  Therapy, Primary, Advanced and Psycho Geriatric. She has taken various courses in television  production and she continues to study drawing, painting and illustration to constantly improve her  skills. As Director of the MUHC Home Child Care Agency C.P.E.(Centre de la Petite Enfance), Shirley was  responsible for the care of 150 children. Before joining the Agency, she had worked as a Social  Counsellor at Ville Marie Social Services, representing foster children.
 
Over the years  Shoub’s visual art (painting and drawing) has been displayed at multiple exhibitions at the CSL Aquatic and Community Centre. The proud mother of three and grandmother of five. Skipper was their family dog many years  ago and he remains in their hearts forever.

Skipper’s Stories is the first in a series of children’s books, with book two Skipper’s Stories:  Almost Twins available in spring, summer of 2023. It is available on Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, and all the Amazon  international sites.

For inquiries, store purchases, fundraisers, book readings and book signings, email Shirley: shirlshoub@videotron.ca.


Spotlight on Local Merchants: New Decarie Square kosher spot Leyleys & King David Residence

As the city councillor for Local Commerce, I am pleased to provide a look at two most recent Spotlight on Local Merchants feature.

DavidLeyleys
David Malka

 

Let me first formally introduce you to sister and brother Lea and David Malka and their new kosher restaurant at Decarie Square called Leyleys Trendy Salad Bar.

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Lea Malka

Lea, 24, was educated as  teacher and David, 32, has a background in construction. Prior to the pandemic Lea operated a small restaurant in the same location on the second floor of Decarie Square. She and David reopened in October 2022, operating  weekdays from 9 am to 4:30 pm.

Oren
Oren Sebag

 

Councillor Oren Sebag, who represents District 2 which encompasses Decarie Square, has been frequenting Leyleys since it opened. Ditto for Councillor Sidney Benizri, who works in the building.

Sidney
Councillor Sidney Benizri is a regular at Leyleys.

Leyleys  has already gained a steady clientele, notably during the lunch hour. Their menu features breakfast items served until 11 am,  from eggs, pancakes,  fruit bowls  and avo toast. There is also an array of signature salads, focaccia, specialty pasta, poke bowls, sandwiches and paninis, tapas, pastries and muffins.

For more details please go here.

Bienvenue à l’équipe frère et sœur de David et Lea Malka, propriétaires et opérateurs de Leyleys Trendy Salad Bar, nouveau restaurant casher situé au Carré Décarie. Lea, 24 ans, est enseignante, et David, 32 ans, a une expérience dans la construction.

Avant la pandémie, Lea exploitait un petit restaurant au même endroit, au deuxième étage du square Décarie. Elle a rouvert en octobre 2002 avec David. Le restaurant est ouvert en semaine, de 9 h à 16 h 30.

Leyelysitem

Leyleys jouit déjà d’une clientèle stable, notamment à l’heure du dîner. Le menu comprend le petit-déjeuner servi jusqu’à 11 heures, avec des œufs, des crêpes, des bols de fruits et des toasts à l’avocat. Il y a également un choix de salades signature, de focaccia, de pâtes spéciales, de poke bowls, de sandwichs et de paninis, de tapas, de pâtisseries, de muffins et de cafés.

Info ici

King David Residence

We are also happy to recognize   the King David Residence. As the Spotlight on Local Merchants recipient for October 2022, Residence Le King David, located at the corner of Trent and Baily, has been providing excellent service and care to seniors for over 45 years through an all-inclusive assisted living program including 3 Kosher meals a day, housekeeping, laundry services and a walk-in infirmary.

Founded in 1975, the King David staff includes many members with 20-30 years experience working at the residence who have built strong roots. The King David offers different sizes and styles of apartments for singles or couples and in-house care packages as needed. They partner with the CLSC or private caregivers providing flexibility and choice if a resident needs extra services.

Merchant_KingDavidResidence
Councillor Erdelyi presents the certificate at King David.

 

Côte Saint-Luc District 4 Councillor Steven Erdelyi believes that Le King David is an excellent example for all merchants. “The team led by Executive Director Anna Mylonas and Operations Manager Rosemarie Williams become part of the extended family of those living at the residence,” he said. “Le King David offers an opportunity for its residents to live life to the fullest in a beautiful and friendly environment.”

“It is a pleasure to see and greet our residents each and every day. I am happy to see them get the support they need here to get better,” said Anna Mylonas, Executive Director of Le King David. “Our mission is to help our residents live a happy, vibrant and fulfilled lifestyle.”

You can read the full profile here.

Le Comité de commerce local de Côte Saint-Luc est heureux de reconnaître la Résidence Le King David.

En tant que récipiendaire du prix Marchand local pour le mois d’octobre 2022, la Résidence Le King David, située à l’angle des rues Trent et Baily, offre d’excellents services et soins aux aînés depuis plus de 45 ans grâce à un programme d’aide à la vie autonome, qui comprend trois repas casher par jour, l’entretien ménager, les services de buanderie et une infirmerie sans rendez-vous.

Le personnel de la résidence Le King David, fondée en 1975, comprend de nombreux membres ayant de 20 à 30 ans d’expérience à la résidence et ils y ont forgé de solides racines. Le King David offre des appartements de tailles et de styles différents pour les célibataires ou les couples et, au besoin, un forfait de soins maison. La résidence fonctionne en partenariat avec le CLSC ou avec des aides-soignants privés, ce qui lui permet d’offrir une certaine souplesse et diverses options si un résident a besoin de services supplémentaires.

Le conseiller du district 4 de Côte Saint-Luc, Steven Erdelyi, estime que Le King David est un excellent exemple pour tous les commerçants. « L’équipe dirigée par la directrice générale Anna Mylonas et la directrice des opérations Rosemarie Williams fait partie de la famille élargie des personnes qui vivent à la résidence, dit-il. Le King David offre à ses résidents la possibilité de vivre pleinement leur vie dans un bel environnement convivial. »

« Chaque jour, c’est un plaisir de voir et d’accueillir nos résidents. Je suis heureuse qu’ils obtiennent ici le soutien dont ils ont besoin ici pour aller mieux, a déclaré Anna Mylonas, directrice générale du King David. Notre mission est d’aider nos résidents à vivre une vie heureuse, dynamique et épanouie. »

« Nos résidents se sentent en sécurité ici, et avec un peu d’aide, ils vivent de manière indépendante et fonctionnent mieux que s’ils étaient seuls, a déclaré Rosemarie Williams, directrice des opérations. Nous aimons les voir sourire, cela nous donne un sentiment d’accomplissement et nous avons hâte de venir travailler chaque jour. »

Info: https://cotesaintluc.org/fr/services/entreprises/marchands-locaux-en-vedette/residence-le-king-david/

 


Côte Saint-Luc Lifeguard saves the life of avid swimmer Sharon Zigman

I want to send my best wishes to constituent  Sharon Zigman, who is recovering from a stroke which she suffered when doing what she loves best- taking a swim at our Aquatic and Community Centre.

Sharon1
Sharon Zigman

A few weeks ago Sharon was doing laps in our pool when lifeguard Sina  Salehi Kashani noticed something was not right. He jumped in the pool and saved her life. Our Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team were first on the scene. Sharon was rushed to the Montreal Neurological Institute.

In an emotional video from her hospital bed, Sharon thanked Sina for saving her life. She then joined our public council meeting live via Zoom, where we honoured Sina as our Employee of the Month. “I was so lucky he was there watching me,” she said. “I hope he will be there the next time I go and I will not be afraid. He is really 100 percent on the ball. I usually go to the pool for an hour and a half a few times a week,

Sharon said that Sina noticed  how she was not using her left arm like she usually does That is when he took action. “He jumped in the pool and pulled me to the side,” she explained.

You can see Sharon’s comments on this video, starting at the  5:29 mark

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yhehYtcpNw

Sharon, a psychologist by profession, can always be seen exercising be it swimming, biking, skiing,  walking or running. It just goes to show you that a stroke could  happen to any of us.

I do hope Sharon makes a full recovery and returns to her passion.


Maisons Fleuries reception returns to a live in-person format

The first in-person annual Maisons Fleuries Contest Awards presentation in three years took place at City Hall on November 14, showcasing some of the beautiful work being done by our homeowners , be it in single family dwellings, town houses, duplexes or highrises.

This annual garden beautification initiative not only makes our city more beautiful, it also benefits the environment. By planting and maintaining trees, flowers and other plants, you help reduce air pollution, increase oxygen production, and contribute to saving the bees

Councillor Sidney Benizri and I co-chaired the program. 

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Sonja, Edie and Viviane from Le Bellagio.

Some of the District 2 winners included: Under Single Family Homes, Gabriel Malca at 5777 Ilan Ramon Crescent, first place and Gerald Abitbol and Esther Attias at 6573 Mackle Road (Cambridge Courts), second;  Under Highrises,  5840 Marc Chagall (Le Bellagio), represented by Viviane Silver,  Edie Ojalvo and Sonja Langburt and 5845 Marc Chagall (La Marquise).

 

2022-11-14 Maisons Fleuries honourees at City Hall Council Chamber 2022
All of the winners with members of City Council.

 

Thanks to Cornelia Ziga, Irene Lehaie and Trish Mckenzie from Parks and Recreation for their assistance and John Kenney, formerly of the Montreal Gazette, for his excellent photography.

There was a nice reception organized for the winners in the multi-purpose room of the library, with refreshments and desserts. Gifts and certificates were presented. Everyone was then invited to the Council Chamber and at the beginning of our public meeting a video produced by our own Darryl Levine  showcased the winners and their properties. Everyone then joined us for a group photo.

See the video here.

 

 


In Memoriam: Donald Goldberg was a dedicated family man

Our sympathies go out to the family of Donald Goldberg, who passed away on November 12 at the age of 92,

Donald was the younger brother of former City Councillor Isadore Goldberg. He passed away almost three years ago and I remember sharing memories with the family at the shiva at Donald and Jeannie's condo.

JeannieDon
Donald and Jeannie.

 

I was proud to serve as Donald’s councillor the past 17 years.  His  loving daughter Joy is also my constituent.  A few months ago I bumped into Donald and his wife of 65 years  Jeannie at a restaurant

Donald was the first of his family to go to university. He graduated from Sir George Williams in 1952, where he was the captain of the basketball team. His university education was the foundation for his financial career. He started his own business and served his clients with integrity.

In his obituary, Donald was described as  “a multifaceted person who appreciated everything life had to offer. While he loved the outdoors, sports, time spent at the YMHA, being the MC, planning an event, and connecting with his large community of friends, his family was always the most important part of his life. His love, generosity, dedication to continuous learning, Jewish traditions, and love of nature have been passed down to the next generations.”

“He passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family with a beautiful send-off,” Jeannie shared with friends. “ We are all so grateful for the many meaningful years spent together, and from the joy he brought to all of our lives.  Most of you know his famous joke of living until 100, ‘as medical research shows that very few people die over the age of 100.’ Last night he stated  ‘well, I'm not going to live to be 100, but I was pretty darn close.’ He lived an amazing life, and his memories will be carried forward through our children and grand-children. “

Funeral service from Paperman & Sons, 3888 Jean Talon St. W., on Monday, November 14, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. Burial at the Hebrew Sick Benefit Association Cemetery, de la Savane. Shiva at his home from 2:00-4:00 p.m. and 7:00-9:00 p.m. ending Wednesday. Donations in his memory may be made to Mount Sinai Auxiliary/Foundation (514) 369-2222 ext. 1337/1299 where he received dedicated care. 


Celebrating constituent Bill Ornstein's 101st birthday

Congratulations to perhaps my eldest constituent in Côte Saint-Luc District 2, Bill Ornstein. He lives at the Excelsior apartments on Cavendish Boulevard with his girlfriend of nine years, the much younger Adeline Slapcoff – she is 91.

Bill turned 101 on November 10.

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Bill and Adeline.

Married to Rhoda Kanofsky for 61 years, Bill has three daughters and three grandkids. After his wife passed away he moved to the Excelior and began hanging out at the food court across the street at Quartier Cavendish. That is where he met Adeline, who had been widowed for two years at that time after her husband of 56 years had passed away.

“Bill and I were at the same golf club for 20 years, yet we did not know each other,” Adeline says. “I did play golf with his wife though.”

In 2013  Bill moved in with Adeline, who was also living at the Excelsior. While Bill still has his driver’s license,  he sold his car. “Why do we need two cars?” he asked me rthetorically. “I use her car to drive to the Mall.”

Professionally, Bill worked in the food importing business. He spent three years in the Canadian military, from 1942 to 1945, and based in Montreal. “I worked with dental corps,” he said. “I knew nothing about dentistry, but I learned quickly.”

Bill and Adeline have already beat COVID-19. “We luckily had mild cases,” he says.

How does he explain his longevity? “I really do not know,” he says. “I had four brothers and none of them lived past the age of 75. My mom died at 85; my dad at 74.”

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Bill and his daughter Eileen.

 

Does Bill have a special diet or exercise routine? “No,” says Adeline. “He eats what he wants; he does what he wants.”

Bill is sharp as a nail and has a terrific memory. He shares Adeline’s  pessimism about the extension of Cavendish Boulevard.

“It won’t happen in my lifetime,” said Adeline.

“Same here,” piped in Bill.

I am 60 now. Will I ever live to see it?


Master Plan workshops offer citizens the opportunity to engage: Home-Based Businesses discussed in first session

Hard work continues on the party of our city to inform the public and enable citizens to participate in the full consultation process for the revision of our municipal Master Plan and Zoning By-law revision documents. 

See the recent story in The Montreal Gazette

At the present time we are organizing a series of in-person workshops at City Hall. As the councillor responsible for Local Commerce,  I took part in the one on November 2. The focus was on  Home-Based Businesses and Local Commerce 
  

Commercial activity is a fundamental part of any thriving city. With the three large commercial centres undergoing major transformation over the next few years and changes in the world of retail, we need to consider what kinds of commercial activity are relevant, desirable, and accessible for our residents in commercial zones and in homes. 

Home-Based Businesses have fallen into somewhat of a grey zone over the years. Officially, if you are operating a business out of your residence you are supposed to register the company with the city.

It was interesting being part of the dialogue at City Hall with senior staff and some citizens. We looked at the different categories of Home-Based Businesses: Professional (insurance, programming, medical and legal services); Personal (massage therapy, osteopathy, hairdresser, estheticians, personal trainer);  Repair (car mechanic, electronics); Animals (pet sitter, dog walker veterinarian, groomer); Artisans (sculpting, painting, tailor, photographer);  Retail (sales of items, online business); Childcare (daycare presently permitted only in detached or semi-detached dwellings); Catering; Short-term Rentals (Airbnb, Swimply -which stands for people who rent their personal pools out).

 

DidaTanya
Dida Berku and Tanya Abramovitch speak at workshop.

 

“We will have to legislate Home-Based Businesses,” stated Deputy Mayor Dida Berku, who is the councillor responsible for the Master Plan. “We want to know what kind of businesses our citizens believe should be in homes and residential buildings; what kind of business will they support?”

Associate City Manager Tanya Abramovitch, who is quarterbacking our master plan consultations process, noted that since the pandemic Home-Based Businesses have exploded. “And that is not people working from home,” she emphasized.

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It was interesting to observe the discussion that went on at the first workshop.

 

Tanya explained that there are pros and cons to this.  Home-Based Busineses are really local, they allow residents to make a living as well as save on rent. However, there are concerns about traffic, parking, our inability as a city to necessarily collect taxes (if we do not know they are operating); and there could be building code issues.

In the workshop we divided into three tables and engaged in dialogue with team leaders. What businesses do we need in Côte Saint-Luc? Where do you go to buy what you need day-to-day? What is Côte Saint-Luc’s mission?

Below is what’s coming up in the next few weeks. You can register here.

Workshop 2: Housing 
Date: Wednesday, November 9, 7pm 
Location: 5801 Cavendish, City Hall Council Chamber 

Housing is fundamental. It is also under tremendous strain throughout the world, including in Côte Saint-Luc. Housing costs are high and the existing housing stock does also not always suit people’s needs. With the Master Plan and Zoning By-Law Revision, we have an opportunity to diversify our housing and explore together what the needs are for today and tomorrow.

Workshop 3 – The Westminster Corridor 
Date: Wednesday, November 30, 7pm 
Location: 5555 Westminster, Suite 209 

The Westminster Corridor is one of the main arteries in Côte Saint-Luc and is the western spine of the city. It has a lot of potential, and we would like to work with local residents to establish a clear vision of what it could be in terms of land use and street design.

Workshop 4 – Mobility & Connectivity 
Date: Tuesday, December 6, 7pm 
Location: 5801 Cavendish, City Hall Council Chamber 

Mobility is a key factor in urban design. Everyone has places to go, and they need a means to get there. Each time they make a trip, they decide which mode to use. In Côte Saint-Luc people have had little choice, and so most often have had to resort to their cars, ending up stuck in traffic. With the Master Plan, the City would like to expand the options available to residents and give them a choice, connecting them to the wider Montreal area.  

Ateliers

Atelier 1 : Entreprises à domicile et commerce local 
Date : Mercredi 2 novembre, de 19 h à 21 h 
Lieu : 5801 Cavendish, salle du conseil de l`Hôtel de ville 

L’activité commerciale est un élément fondamental de toute ville prospère. Avec les trois grands centres commerciaux qui subiront une transformation majeure au cours des prochaines années et les changements dans le monde du commerce de détail, nous devons examiner quels types d’activité commerciale sont pertinents, souhaitables et accessibles pour nos résidents dans les zones commerciales et dans les résidences. 

Atelier 2 : Logement 
Date : Mercredi 9 novembre, 19 h 
Lieu : 5801 Cavendish, salle du conseil de l’Hôtel de ville 

 Le logement est fondamental. Il est également soumis à de fortes pressions dans le monde entier, y compris à Côte Saint-Luc. Le coût du logement est élevé et le parc immobilier existant ne répond pas toujours aux besoins des gens. Avec le plan d’urbanisme et la révision du règlement de zonage, nous avons l’occasion de diversifier nos logements et d’explorer ensemble les besoins d’aujourd’hui et de demain.  

Atelier 3 – Le corridor de Westminster 
Date : Mercredi 30 novembre, 19 h 
Lieu : 5555 Westminster, bureau 209 

Le corridor Westminster est l’une des principales artères de Côte Saint-Luc et constitue la colonne vertébrale dans l’ouest de la ville. Il a beaucoup de potentiel et nous aimerions travailler avec les résidents du quartier pour établir une vision claire de ce qu’il pourrait être en termes d’aménagement du territoire et de conception des rues.

Atelier 4 – Mobilité et connectivité 
Date : Mardi 6 décembre, 19h 
Lieu : 5801 Cavendish, salle du conseil de l’Hôtel de ville 

La mobilité est un facteur clé en matière de design urbain. Tout le monde doit se déplacer vers des endroits et a besoin d’un moyen pour y parvenir. Chaque fois que les gens effectuent un déplacement, ils décident du mode à utiliser. À Côte Saint-Luc, les gens n’ont guère le choix et doivent le plus souvent recourir à la voiture, se retrouvant ainsi coincés dans les embouteillages. Avec le plan d’urbanisme, la ville aimerait élargir les options offertes aux résidents et leur donner le choix, en les reliant à la grande région de Montréal.


Busy times for artist and jewellery maker Carol Rabinovitch

Carol Rabinovitch, a Côte Saint Luc artist and jewellery maker, is participating in three shows in November.

Carol

First is Saturday, November 5 (10 am to 3 pm) for  AniMatch Santa Paws at Plaza Pointe Claire with her beaded necklaces and bracelets. Then, on Monday, November 7 ( 1 pm to 5 pm), the Cote Saint Luc Jewellery Club in the CSL Library. Finally, on  November 13 (3:30 pm to 7:30 pm)  she will be part of The Shield of Athena benefit at Casa d’Italia (505 Jean Talon East) where her paintings will be auctioned to support this charity.

Follow her on at:  Instagram.com/carols.whimsy.art

 


Be part of the discussion on Home-Based Businesses and Local Commerce

I wish to share with constituents a series of workshops related to our Master Plan and Zoning By-law Revision. It’s about an opportunity to dig deep into important urban planning issues and share your opinion. We’re organizing four workshops including the following one next week.

 

Workshop 1: Home-Based Businesses and Local Commerce

Date: Wednesday, November 2, 7pm to 9pm

Location: 5801 Cavendish, City Hall Council Chamber

 

This related to one of my portfolios on council. Commercial activity is a fundamental part of any thriving city. With the three large commercial centres undergoing major transformation over the next few years and changes in the world of retail, we need to consider what kinds of commercial activity are relevant, desirable, and accessible for our residents in commercial zones and in homes. On the latter point, especially since the pandemic, more people are working full-time at home. As for people who run complete business operations from their residence, this has always been somewhat of a gray zone. Going forward we will make the rules more clear.

 

To register, complete the webform at:

https://cotesaintluc.org/engage/2022/05/20/master-plan-and-zoning-by-law-revision/

 

The form is in the Workshops tab. Hope to see you there!

 

forex

 

* * *

 

Je t'écris pour t'inviter à une série d'ateliers liés à la révision de notre plan d'urbanisme et de notre règlement de zonage. C'est l'occasion de creuser des questions d'urbanisme importantes et de partager ton opinion. Nous organisons quatre ateliers, dont le suivant la semaine prochaine.

 

Atelier 1 : Entreprises à domicile et commerce local

Date : Mercredi 2 novembre, de 19 h à 21 h

Lieu : 5801 Cavendish, salle du conseil de l`Hôtel de ville

 

L’activité commerciale est un élément fondamental de toute ville prospère. Avec les trois grands centres commerciaux qui subiront une transformation majeure au cours des prochaines années et les changements dans le monde du commerce de détail, nous devons examiner quels types d’activité commerciale sont pertinents, souhaitables et accessibles pour nos résidents dans les zones commerciales et dans les résidences.

 

Pour t'inscrire, remplis le formulaire web à l'adresse suivante :

https://cotesaintluc.org/contribuez/2022/05/20/revision-du-plan-directeur-durbanisme-et-du-reglement-de-zonage/

 

Le formulaire se trouve dans l'onglet Ateliers. J'espère que tu seras là !


The process is underway to name the Marc Chagall greenspace

I am pleased to share that via our Public Affairs and Communications Department, the process to name the now beautiful greenspace on Marc Chagall Avenue is underway.

History will note that after having rented the greenspace to the developers of the Equinoxe buildings for three years, the property was left in poor condition.  Some litigation was necessary in order to not only restore the area, but vastly improve  it. That was indeed done by our Public Works Department. Besides installing sod (instant grass), we have a pathway, new benches, picnic tables and trees. Lighting will be next.

So it is time to find a name for the "Place" or "Square." According to our new naming policy, we are consulting with residents in the immediate area. All they have to do is go to www.cotesaintluc.org/marcchagall and fill out the form. Our Toponomy Committee, which I chair, will initially review the suggestions and then make a recommendation to city council.

Sept2022megrass
A beautiful property.


La ville de Côte Saint-Luc souhaite nommer l’espace vert de l’avenue Marc Chagall, que nous avons récemment embelli avec des lumières, des arbres et un nouveau gazon. Nous aimerions
avoir vos suggestions pour un nom pour cet espace.

 

 

 


We are in good hands with Police Station 9

At our last public city council meeting on October 13, Police Station 9 Commander  Martin Montour and longtime Community Officer Marie-Christine Nobert were in attendance to share with us how their team has been taking a bite out of crime in our neighbourhood.

You can see their presentation here at starting at the 5:35 mark.

Commander Montour arrived on the job in the past year and he has been an absolute pleasure to work with. Given the fact his station also has to deal with the territory of NDG, we are pleased with the amount of attention he and his team give us. Officer Nobert has been on the job in our community for a remarkable 25 years.

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Commander Montour

It was comforting to hear how proactive the Station 9 team was to pursue and ultimately apprehend the perpetrators of a number of break-ins in the Wolseley/Smart Avenue. 

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Officer Nobert

 

Commander Montour and Officer Nobert wish to remind our residents to be proactive on their end to try and prevent break-ins. For those people going away on holiday or Florida for the winter, they should contact our Volunteer Citizens on Patrol (VCOPs) to do vacation spot checks. You can call 514-485-6800 ext. 5101. You can find more details here: https://cotesaintluc.org/services/public-safety/vcop/vcop-services/

Officer Nobert recognized that it is very frightening to be the victim of a burglarly. She offered those involved in such a situation to call Station 9 at (514) 280-0109 and  an officer will be sent to the home to do an analysis.


D'Arcy McGee will have excellent representation in Elisabeth Prass

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 


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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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What shall we name this place?

 

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

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


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

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

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

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

 

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

We have launched a survey that every resident should complete:

English

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

French

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The formal ribbon cutting.

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

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

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Roslyn and some of the happy kids.

Here is a report from Global TV.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please watch this  video of the full ceremony.