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July 2010

End of Tolerance Parking on Merrimac, Sir Walter Scott and Kildare

Mayor Anthony Housefather and I will be sending the following letter out to the owners of vehicles who have been parking on the street without permits for the past several weeks:

Dear residents,

The overnight parking tolerance that is currently in effect in this area of Ilan Ramon Cres., Sir Walter Scott Ave., Kildare Rd., Rembrandt Ave., and Merrimac Ave. is ending on Monday, July 26 at 8am. Because of road and aqueduct network renovations and two indoor parking garage repairs currently underway in the area, we can no longer allow all vehicles to park on the street overnight.

Any vehicle that does not have a valid overnight parking permit starting July 26 may be ticketed and/or towed, at the owner’s expense.

As an alternative to the overnight parking tolerance, (1) we are offering residents free parking at the city snow dump, and (2) temporary overnight parking permits are also available for guests.

1. Parking at the snow dump for residents

Residents can now park their vehicles for free at the city’s snow dump on Marc Chagall Ave., provided that they complete and return the application form. The snow dump has been inspected by the Quebec Ministry of the Environment, who has deemed it safe for parking. Parking in this lot is nonetheless at the owner’s risk. Only vehicles authorized by the city may park in this lot and unauthorized vehicles may be ticketed and/or towed.

To apply, complete the enclosed form and return to City Hall by mail or in person. Requests will be processed by the Public Security office and we will notify you by telephone if your application is approved.

2. Temporary overnight parking permits for overnight guests

Overnight guests may still obtain a temporary overnight parking permit by calling the Public Security office at 514-485-6960, 24-hours-a-day. Requests may need to be validated by a Public Security agent and proof of address may be required. Temporary permits for granted for a maximum of three days.


Hydro problems on Merrimac Road

Yesterday, Thursday, July 15, 2010, the contractor hired by the City of Côte Saint-Luc was conducting excavation work to replace the underground aqueduct in the area on Kildare Road, close to Merrimac. Before conducting such work, it is common practice to request confirmation from the utility companies indicating if there is any underground equipment located at the targeted area of the work site. 

Hydro-Quebec advised the contractor in writing that they had no underground equipment in the area in question. Unfortunately, it turns out the information was incorrect and there was indeed underground equipment at this work site. As a result the contractor cut a supply line which led to yesterday’s power failure.   

In the event you have a claim to make with respect to the power failure it must be received by Hydro-Quebec by July 29, 2010 and should be directed to Hydro Quebec as follows:   

By mail to:        HYDRO QUEBEC DEPARTMENT OF CLAIMS 
CP. 11003 - Succursale Centre-Ville 
Montréal, Québec 
H3C 4T3 

By Fax:                    HYDRO QUEBEC DEPARTMENT OF CLAIMS 
1-888-558-7879 

While the City of Côte Saint-Luc was not responsible for the power failure itself we had a responsibility to communicate with you in a more effective manner yesterday.     

The City of Côte Saint-Luc prides itself on its excellent customer service. The level of communication in this instance was not up to our standards or the standards we expect from contractors. In order to ensure that this lack of communication does not occur again (specifically in your area during the remainder of the construction schedule), the City will be taking appropriate action to ensure that we and our contractors communicate with you effectively. 

The City of Côte Saint-Luc is committed to the health and safety of its residents. Under normal circumstances in the event of a power failure lasting as long as the one of yesterday, the City would have provided you with various amenities (i.e. bottled water, opening a suitable shelter, having personnel on site to answer your questions). We regret that this did not occur. 
To ensure your safety and wellbeing during the balance of the work being done in your area, the City has taken the following measures: 

·        In the event a situation arises and residents contact our 24 hour dispatch service at 514-485-6960, appropriate city personnel will be notified and assigned to the situation as appropriate. 
·        Our Manager of Customer Service for the Public Works and Engineering Department, Beatrice Newman, is available to take your comments by phone at 514-485-6800, ext. 3002 or by email at bnewman@cotesaintluc.org 
·        We will be in close communication with the contractor and the utility companies, in the unlikely event that another incident arises, to take immediate action. 

We hope that this letter gives some comfort to you that the City is taking this matter very seriously and will do everything we can to improve our customer service during the duration of the construction work. Please accept the enclosed gift certificate as we know yesterday was a difficult day for you. 

Sincerely, 
 
Anthony Housefather                                Mike Cohen 
Mayor                                                Councillor, District  2

Seniors Golf Open

It was my privilege once again to co-chair (with Sam Goldbloom) the annual Côte Saint-Luc Seniors Golf Open (formerly Golf Outing) at Meadowbrook Golf Course on July 13. I go back more than 20 years with this event, originally as the emcee for the banquet. And it has never been rained out. Well on this morning there was reason to be pessimistic. The sky was dark and as I arrived to join my foursome of Jack Kadaner, Mike Rabinovitch and Sam Rappaport, the rain began to fall.

It certainly did a number on my friend Sam, who called to say he was not prepared to risk his game of golf fgiven the forecast of thundershowers. As I got my gear together the rain stopped and our game began. The sun came out and as we moved through the nine holes it was baking hot,

I am not a golfer. In fact I only play the game once a year - at this event. Thankfully my golfmates Jack and Mike did not tally my score.Nonetheless,  I had a lot of fun getting to know these two gentlemen. Jack is 84 years young and in sensational shape. He is the dad of the lovely Reesa Kadaner, who makes kippas and other items for simchas.  Mike is a retired software manufacturer,  whose wife Carol is an acclaimed artist. We are pictured below, in a nice shot taken by ace photographer Rami Negev.

Golf Threesome

After the game everyone returned to the Seniors Centre at the CSL Shopping Centre for the banquet, which is always a blast. There were sandwiches and danish from the Snowdon Deli and lots of doorprizes, Bell Canada served as our official sponsor. They were represented by Pascal Harvey, a sharp looking 41 year old afather of four who was actually celebrating his birthday.  In order to be eligible for a prize I played Let's Make Deal to get a few candidates up front. Sam and Mayor Anthony Housefather then asked some tough questions to deterimine the winner.

As for the trophies, Carol Foster was closest to the pin for the women, with Patricia McWilliams as runnerup.  Israel Gossak and Jack Nutkevitch finished one, two in the men's category. For longest drive, Judith Weber took the ladies category, with Helen Zafran second.  Morris Seidman was top's in men, followed by Laurence Gossak. Councillor Goldbloom and I are pictured below with Pascal Harvey, Foster and McWilliams.

Golf Trophies

 

Councillor Allan J. Levine, who is responsible for seniors, golfed. Mayor Housefather and Councillors Mitchell  erownstein, Glenn J. Nashen, Dida Berku, Ruth Kovac and Steven Erdelyi were at the banquet. Steven brought his absolutely adorable six month old baby girl Bailey, who was very well behaved.  Police Station 9 Commander Sylvain Bissonnette was there with one of his lieutenants, So was our public security chief Michel Martel, City Manager Ken Lerner, Director of Parks and Recreation David Taveroff and of course longtime organizer Loretta Anisef. Senior Men's Club President Sidney Margles golfed and said a few words.




Public viewing for Cavendish Mall demolition?

From almost the day I was first elected to Côte Saint-Luc City Council in November 2005, the disposition of the Cavendish Mall became a major issue for our elected team. For more than four years we went back and forth with different plans. The Mall has been losing money and tenants for years. Ownership could simply not go on with half of the facility empty. We reviewed 44 separate plans and recently signed off on what we consider to be a beautiful housing development.

Council did a lot of public consulation on this plan, which will bring much less homes and traffic into the area than originally proposed. At our last meeting on July 12 final approval was given. Roy Salomon, the long serving managing partner of the Mall, sat in the back row and smiled. Afterwards he came and shook all of our hands. Roy is a fabulous human being, a real community spirit and someone who has had to overcome much tragedy in his personal life. He has kept the Mall moving all of these years against incredible odds, watching as the likes of Eaton, Canadian Tire, the Gap and a series of restaurants closed. He showed innovation by bringing in the movie theatres and a Dollar store.

I asked Roy when the wrecking ball will smash at least 40 percent of the present structure down. "Soon," he said.

This will be a sad and historic moment in the history of Côte Saint-Luc. Initially, the view of a big pile of rubble will be hard to take. But from there an initial set of 38 townhouses will be built, followed by more housing. I have personally received many calls from people wishing to buy there. One lady called the day of our public information meeting. "Hi Mike," she said. "I cannot make it tonight, but my daughter wants to buy one of the houses. Can you reserve one for her?"

I think it would now be fitting for Roy and his partners to announce the official day the demolishment will take place and for us to arrange a public viewing. People will bring their cameras and video cameras.  Some folks will tweet and the Cavendish Mall Facebook page will come alive.

The Cavendish Mall is not going away. We can now look forward to a shopping centre with 100 percent occupancy, which will thrive and a housing development we can be proud of.

A small sidenote on this issue. Bravo to the city's wonderful urban planner Christian Chiasson for his leadership on this dossier. To our mayor, council, city managaer, city clerk and others who helped us reach this crucial poiny

 

 


Canada Day is special in CSL

Nobody does Canada Day better than Côte Saint-Luc. From the time I was young child, growing up in the community I have always called home, the July 1 celebrations were a major highlight for me. There was a time when all of the action in the city was centered around Kirwan Park, sandwiched between Wentworth and Blossom avenues.  I lived right next door. With the construction of the much larger Centennial Park, eventually renamed after Pierre Elliott Trudeau, all activities switched over there.

Canada Day2010 When Mother Nature cooperates, as she did this year, there is no better place to be. It gave me great pride as a city councillor to be at Trudeau Park for our action-packed evening. Proceedings began witha Canadian Citizenship Ceremony, presided over by Judge Marcel Tremblay. The former Montreal city councillor was just appointed to the position last week. He swore in 32 new Canadians from 11 different countries. Councillor Mitchell Brownstein, an immigration lawyer, brought this type of ceremony to our Canada Day festivities a few years ago. It is a perfect fit.

Next was the annual Human Rights Walkway ceremony. The Human Rights Walkway was inaugurated in 2000 and is dedicated to men and women who, through their actions, have promoted and defended human rights. This year we honoured those who spoke out and fought for Jews oppressed in the former Soviet Union, Syria, and Ethiopia. Fellow councillor Glenn J. Nashen (seen unveiling the plaque with me below) co-chaired this initiative with me. We were both very involved in these movements in the late 1980s via Canadian Jewish Congress. I worked at as national director of communications while Glenn was a volunteer and co-chaired the Jews in Arab Lands Committee.   It was nostalgic to have lawyer Stan Cytrynbaum with us at the ceremony. Stan chaired the Ethiopian Jewry Committee and put his heart and soul into the movement.

HR Walkway2010

Go to the Côte Saint-Luc website to see a terrific documentary prepared by our Director of Public  Affairs and Communications Darryl Levine. In addition, Darryl posted highlights from the actual ceremony, which you can see here.

This was the 10th plaque unveiled on the walkway.  Many of the past honourees have been people who put their lives on the line in many parts of the world. By selecting a movement of people—many of them local—we wanted to highlight the fact anyone, anywhere can help those in need, even from the safety and comfort of our suburban homes in Canada. Professor  Irwin Cotler, Stan Cytrynbaum, and Judy Feld Carr—an unassuming former music teacher and grandmother of 10 who was responsible for the rescue of 3,228 Jews from Syria over 28 years—are three examples of a movement that helped rescue hundreds of thousands of people.”

Here is a video of the ceremony, via CSL TV:

As for the overall Canada Day ceremony, there were thousands of people at the park to enjoy  fun and games, music and performances. There were a variety of food kiosks setup and of course, everything culminated with a spectacular fireworks display –perhaps one of the best we have seen in years.  I must say there is nothing quite like standing on the stage with the mayor and city council and looking out into the audience and a sea of people. Mayor Anthony Housefather was correct when he told those with us that night who do not live in Côte Saint-Luc to consider moving here. We are a vibrant community, one that will soon have a $17 million aquatic complex and a new housing development at the Cavendish Mall.

Thanks to Dan Laxer of CJAD Radio who was back as our master of ceremonies.  Congratulations to co-chairs Mitchell Brownstein and Ruth Kovac and our staff at the Parks and Recreation Department.