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April 2015

March 2015

Our former Police Commander shows his "historian" side

It was most interesting to watch the recent French-language documentary called Le Berceau des Anges le documentaire) about the Montreal Black Market baby ring of the 1940's and '50's. Montreal West resident and former Montreal Police Department photographer Harold Rosenberg brought it to my attention.

"I was sold to my parents by the same people who operated the ring," Harold explains.

I was delighted to see former Police Station 9 Commander Sylvain Bissonnette interviewed and identified as a "historian."  This is something I did not know about Sylvain, a true gentleman who ran police operations out of the Kildare and Cavendish headquarters for seven years until August 2013.  He is now the commander at Station 8 in Lachine.

Here I am with Commander Bissonnette shortly before his departure.
"Sylvain and I volunteer together at the Montreal Police Museum.," Rosenberg explained. "Neither of us realized at the time that we were both participating in the same documentary project. He's a very smart guy. He's the historian for the Police Museum, while I'm a researcher."
Rosenberg spoke French while most of the others did so in English with sub-titles. "It was very well done, and really shows the way things were with the Jewish and Catholic communities in those years in Montreal," Rosenberg notes.
The 45-minute  film aired last week on the Historia specialty channel. It's now available for free viewing.  Here is the link: 
The documentary was produced as accompaniment to a five-part drama series (Le Berceau des Anges) that aired on SeriePlus.
As for Commander Bissonnette, he shared this information with me.

"When I was doing my BA, I met a chief inspector who was an history buff," he explained. " I decided then to do a Master's Degree in history on the subject of the amalgation of police forces on the Island of Montreal.During my second year, he proposed that I join the force, which I did. I completed my Master`s  part-time and established  with him the Police Museum. He became my first boss. We are still very good friends and speak on a weekly basis, and we are both members of the museum with Harold. His name is Robert Côté. We also did a project with The Montreal History Center. Another boss told me that management studies would also be important for the future and that's what I did after. I'm also a lecturer at the dept of Criminology at the Université de Montréal  in crime prevention and  I participated in a number  of documentairies about the police."


Segal Centre charges CSL Dramatic Society to present The Producers in Yiddish

While our Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society prepares for its upcoming production of the hit musical hairspray, today came some exceptional news for the mere three year old entity.  The Segal Centre for the Arts announced its 2015-2016 series of productions and when the Mel Brooks smash hit The Producers hits the stage on June 19,2016 the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre has chosen the CSL Dramatic Society to partner up in this all Yiddish presentation, with Anisa Cameron in the director's chair.

You can read all of the details here in my complete preview of next year's Segal Centre schedule.

Lisa Rubin, Anisa Cameron, Aron Gonshor, Anthony Housefather, Mitchell Brownstein and myself at the announcement.










Support the SPCA's petition to halt rental units from not allowing pets

Did you know that every year, thousands of Quebecers are forced to part with their pet in order to move into a rental unit where animals are not allowed? 

Did you know that according to a 2012 statistic by the Régie du logement, only  three percent of landlords accept tenants with dogs? 


Quebec is considered to be the worst province for animal protection. It’s unthinkable to allow outdated, abusive clauses to force so many avoidable pet abandonments that cause undue stress and hardship for the families they tear apart. 

It needs to change! Like me, you can act at

As the city councillor responsible for animal protection, it disturbs me greatly that these measures exist. There are such buildings in Côte Saint-Luc. We have a similar problem with high rise condos, but in those cases we cannot intervene. I would like to reach out to those condo boards and sensitize them to the issue. So often I get calls from animal lovers eager to adopt, but held off because their board says no. I must ask the question- what harm does  a cat that stays indoors all the time really do? Attitudes like this need to change.

Mackle Road residents to have some traffic adjustments next month

Here is a heads to some residents of Districts 2 and  8.

From Monday, April 13 to Monday, April 20, Mackle Rd. will be narrowed to one lane from Cavendish Blvd. to Marc Chagall Ave. It will become a one-way street during this period, with one-way traffic flowing from Cavendish Blvd. to Marc Chagall Ave.
Infrastructure work
Mackle Rd. will narrowed because the Agglomeration of Montreal will transform an existing valve chamber to monitor water pressure. The actual work will take place near the front of the Cours Cambridge Court, at the corner Armstrong Ave. 
Work hours
The work will be done by the Agglomeration of Montreal between 7 am and 5 pm from Monday to Friday. 
Driveway access and on-street parking
There will be no effect on driveway access. Residents will be able to continue to enter and exit their residence as usual. However, on-street parking will be restricted during the work.
The Agglomeration of Montreal says that with a project like this, there should be no loss of water at any point. However, you may notice a slight reduction in water pressure at various points. 
For more information
This is an important infrastructure project that will benefit our residents. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Charles de Jean at our Engineering Division at 514-485-6800 ext. 1503 if you have any questions or concerns.


How to avoid frozen pipes

The island of Montreal is in the middle of its coldest winter in the last 20 years. The ground has frozen much deeper than usual. This has caused many household pipes to freeze across the island, including in Côte Saint-Luc.

The city's Public Affairs and Communications Department has supplied us with some valuable information.

If you turn on one or more faucets and there’s no water, the cause is likely a frozen pipe in the water supply line that runs from the edge of your property, under your lawn, and into your home. You’ll need an experienced plumber to thaw the pipe. But it could take several days to book an appointment as they are very busy this winter.

In more than 90 percent of cases, the frozen blockage is on the pipe leading to the home. Very rarely it may be on the city’s side. This is much less likely because city pipes are wider and deeper than the ones leading to your home. However, if after thawing your water supply line you still have no water, then the city will attempt to thaw its side.

The best solution, however, is prevention. You can minimize the chance of frozen pipes by following these tips.

  1. If your water supply lines are in the garage, keep garage doors closed.
  2. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
  3. Leave a cold water tap running at a steady stream of about 6 mm or ¼ inch (approximate thickness of a drinking straw).
  4. Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night.
  5. Leave the heat on in the home, even while out of town. Set to a temperature no lower than 13 C or 55 F.

Housefather shines at YM-YWHA Indoor TrYathlon for special needs

Erin Godfrey Silverstone, the social media marketing manager for the Ben Weider Jewish Community Centre and a proud resident of District 2, reports to us on the recent YM-YWHA Indoor TrYathlon. The event  brought Montrealers together to raise money for Special Needs Programming at the Y. 

Participants arrived in teams and as individuals to complete the 15 minute swim, 30 minute bike, and 20 minute run. Volunteers cheered everyone on and a terrific spirit of camaraderie and healthy competition filled the air.

Mayor Housefather (left) with the Y's Director of Financial Resource Development, Neil Uditsky,

Anthony Housefather, Mayor of Cote Saint Luc,  Liberal Candidate for Mount Royal riding and he too a resident of District 2, showed everyone why he is the reigning Maccabiah Games Masters Swim champion, as he set the pace in the pool with an astounding 46 laps (1.15 km). Ann Walling was just 5 laps back, at 1.025 km. Laura Telio outdistanced a number of seasoned cyclists with 15.8 km in the bike and Elise Levinoff sprinted past the competition by running 4.46 km in 20 minutes.

When asked about the experience, Mayor Housefather (who was first in the men’s division but ended the TrYathlon in second place just 0.1 of a km behind Cheryl Polansky, the overall winner and women’s champion) told Erin: “I entered the event because I believe in giving back to the Jewish community. The TrYathlon raised money to help people in the Y’s Special Needs Program integrate into the community. I encourage others to find a way to get involved and help make a difference.”

The Y is a not-for-profit organization that plays a prominent role in the life of the Jewish community in Montreal, upholding a long, rich history of Jewish values and traditions for more than 100 years. The Y enhances the lives of people of all ages by offering exceptional children’s camps, world-class athletic and young leadership programs, special needs programming, and by reintegrating recent immigrants into its family.