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December 2013

November 2013

CSL to host rally for religious freedom on Monday night, December 2

I could not be more proud of being a city councillor in Côte Saint-Luc as we prepare to take a leadership role in taking the PQ government to task on its disturbing proposed Charter of Values.

We will be hosting a rally for religious freedom on Monday, December 2, 2013 at 6 pm outside City Hall (5801 Cavendish Blvd).

The rally event will be preceded by a Christmas tree lighting event with Father Peter Laviolette of Saint Richard’s Church of Côte Saint-Luc. Following the rally event will be a Chanukah menorah lighting event with Rabbi Mendel Raskin of Chabad of Côte Saint-Luc.

 “We call on all our residents and our neighbours to attend this rally to send the message that residents of Montreal island municipalities reject the Parti Québécois’ proposed Bill 60 that would restrict our rights as Canadians and Quebecers,” Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather said. “We hope that people from all faiths, backgrounds and communities will join us to send a message to the PQ government that we respect individual rights and freedoms and reject Bill 60 and the division it has caused.”

Speakers at the rally will be Mayor Housefather, D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergmanand Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz of Congregation Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem.

Below you can view Mayor Housefather's video messages about the event, in English and in French:

 

 


Most of the Rembrandt Park renovations are complete

I am pleased to report that construction for the redevelopment of the two tennis courts and  the addition of new lighting at Rembrandt Park  is complete. The courts have been resurfaced and underground electrical conduits installed, along with the bases for the new lighting. Fencing has been fixed, as well as lighting installed.  The contractor will return in  the spring to apply the acrylic court surface.

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This project has been several years in the making. I thank members of council for their support. A number of meetings took place with constituents. Many who play tennis there complained about the lighting and  the poor condition of the coirts. As winter approaches, it is nice to think about the return of warm weather next spring and folks like my neighbour Moishe heading over for a game of tennis after supper - knowing he will have good lighting. 


Remembrance Day in Côte Saint-Luc 2013

The City of Côte Saint-Luc commemorated  Remembrance Day with a small ceremony at our very own Veterans Park on November 11. Leading up to this date, members of the Canadian Legion Brigadier Kisch Branch #97 visited schools and community groups. They also could be scene at neighbourhood stores and locales selling poppies.  Of course, the Legion's significant event each year is held to mark VE Day, when favorable  weather conditions generally prevail.

Jessica Laventure,  the superb weather forecaster/reporter for the Global Television Morning News, broadcast live from Legion headquarters from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Jessica sat with Legion president Frank J. Levine (both pictured below) and over the course of several segments, he shared with her some fascinating stories of his experience during World War II. Here is one of the segments.

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Also in Côte Saint-Luc, the Marymount Adult Education Centre held its first Remembrance Day ceremony since relocating to our community a number of years ago. Congratulations to Principal Cynthia Koomas, Vice-Principal Joan MacMillan (the initiator of the event) and their team for a job well done. Marymount caters to adult students, mainly new immigrants, studying English as  a Second Language. They also have 20 classes of special needs students.

The program began with a piper from the Canadian Legion marching into the room with  senior staff and the two guest speakers. One student recited On Flander`s Field while another led the audience in the singing of O Canada.

Students and staff were treated to two firsthand accounts from war: one veteran from WWII, L. Hugh Martin,  and another from the Vietnam War, former English Montreal School Board commissioner Joseph Petraglia.

Mr. Martin joined the British Army in 1942.  He was called to enlist at that time. and was placed in an army division that worked with heavy weapons such as cannons and large guns.  Mr Martin went on from there to apply to a newly formed glider pilot regiment.  These glider planes, with no engines, were known as the “silent wings” and were used to bring supplies to their men.  But like all missions anything can be expected.   Mr. Martin shared some fascinating stories and even pulled out some maps and a model plain to better explain the situation.

PetragliatalksMr.  Petraglia (pictured left) is  a native of Long Island, N.Y. He served as a platoon sergeant in the Vietnam War.  Back in the 70’s a platoon sergeant’s job was very different than it would be today. Today troops would have previously prepared dug in bunkers in the ground and have helicopter support.  Back then troops would walk all day, carry everything they owned on their backs, and dig out their own trench.  

Mr. Petraglia suffered a permanent hearing loss as a result of his two combat tours of duty.  He said that the war and his military experience, "had a profound effect on his whole life, mostly for the better. The military teaches you duty, honour, country. The success in my life has come partly because of my military service."

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Mr. Petraglia brought his combat helmet and passed it around the room. Students had many questions, such as whether he was ever injured. Except for his hearing loss, caused by the constant sound of gunfire in one particular 24 hour period, Mr. Petraglia said that he was once shot near the knee by neither he nor any of his platoon members suffered anything serious. “I had two tours of duty in Vietnam and I am fortunate to have never lost any members of my troops,” said Mr. Petraglia, who received a bronze star for bravery. Pictured above I join the piper, Mr. Petraglia, Ms. Koomas, Ms.MacMillan and Mr. Martin.

See Councillor Glenn J. Nashen's blog.


Back to business for CSL Council following swearing in ceremony

 

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Mayor Anthony Housefather and our eight member Côte Saint-Luc city council (above) are ready to get back to work for our next mandate following a wonderful swearing in ceremony on November 4 at City Hall, presided over by our  superb city clerk Jonathan Shecter.

Cutline: With Mayor Housefather, Hampstead Mayor Bill Steinberg and newly elected Councillor Karen Zajdman.

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Since we demerged from Montreal and regained our independent status eight years ago, the same eight councillors have taken our oaths for a third successive mandate. Eight of us were acclaimed to office on October 4. Councillor Sam Goldbloom was challenged for his District 1 seat by two people, Marissa Sidel and Stewart Wiseman, but he prevailed as the winner.

I must say that these ceremonies illustrate to me how fast life moves on. As I stood there in City Hall, the 2005 ceremony seemed like yesterday. I was saddened to look around the room and not see my father Larry, he of blessed memory. Dad passed away just over a year ago and he loved these events. My wife, daughter, mom, mother in law and father in law (he who doubles as my campaign manager) were there and that gave me reason to smile. I am happy to call Mayor Housefather and my seven fellow councillors friends. We are together for meetings at least once every week, at community functions and in touch by phone and email. I think we make a wonderful team and judging by the acclamations, so does our public.

MeandMomCutline: me and my mom Elaine (right).

It was nice to see Liberal Member of Parliament for Mount Royal Irwin Cotler, his chief of staff Howard Liebman, Liberal Member of the National Assembly for D'Arcy McGee Lawrence Bergman, Police Station 9 Commander Marc Cournoyer, Suburban Newspaper Publisher Michael Sochaczevski, high ranking member of the Conservative Party of Canada Neil Drabkin, members of Hampstead Council and some stellar citzens like the amazing Steve Acre.

Hats off to the ageless Ernie the Caterer, who kept everyone well fed and a hearty congratulations to Mayor Housefather and my council colleagues Goldbloom, Steven Erdelyi, Dida Berku, Glenn J. Nashen, Mitchell Brownstein, Allan J. Levine and Ruth Kovac. Thanks to our amazing staff, many of whom were on hand for the ceremony:  Shecter, Nadia Di Furia, Pascale WithRubyScott, Cheri Bell, Andrea Charon, Darryl Levine, David Taveroff, Charles Senekal, Patrick Raggo, Bebe Newman, Jordy Reichson, Peter Kopitas, Tammy McEwen, Janine West and Ruth Kleinman. The man who has taken our Men's Club to new heights, Sidney Margles, was on hand as was the woman who has steered the CSL Dramatic Society in a strong direction - Anisa Cameron. So were council regulars Irving Itman and Bernard Tonchin, who are no doubt researching their questions for our next meeting.

Cutline: With my father-in-law/campaign chief Reuben Spector.

It was an energizing evening.

We now await Mayor Housefather's announcement of portfolios for councillors in the next mandate. It is time for us to build the budget for 2014.

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Neil Drabkin, Irving Itman and Bernard Tonchin

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Jordy Reichson, Glenn J. Nashen, myself and  the ageless Joy Rodgers (Jordy's better half and a CSL EMS volunteer of many years).

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With Mitchell Brownstein.

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With Sam Goldbloom.

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With Steven Erdelyi.

See Councillor Glenn J. Nashen's blog