Previous month:
April 2015
Next month:
June 2015

May 2015

Mega Garage Sale proceeds despite frigid weather

Mother Nature delivered some unpleasant weather for the annual Côte Saint-Luc Mega Garage Sale on Sunday, May 31 at the "covered" Confederation Annex of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park, 6985 Mackle Rd. While it rained only briefly, the temperature was  below 10 celcius - a far cry from the plus 30 the day before. I felt badly for all of the vendors wearing layers of clothing, including gloves. 

There were 60 tables set up under the roof of the Confederation Annex. Prepared food was available on site.

Inside
Crowds check out the booths.

Again this year, the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library had a table and was selling used books. The funds collected by the sale of used books will go towards the purchase of a piano for the library.

Library
Books up for grabs at the library table.

The Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee was present to promote our trap, neuter and release or adopt program. Proceeds from our sales went to that program.

CatsGroup
Rebecca Katz, Renee Karp Katz, Fern Pereira, Lydia Ghazal and myself.

Some of the tables had pretty impressive merchandise. Despite the cool weather, people came out and did the tour. Hats off to our Parks and Recreation Department for once again steering the ship.

The annual Mega Garage Sale was  launched in 2007. 


CSL 36th annual Golf Classic: Routtenberg honourary chair; Yarin being honoured

As co-chair of the annual  Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic with fellow Councillor Sam Goldbloom, my goal has always been to make the event bigger each year. I believe we have done that, with many thanks going to our two invaluable staff liaisons Harold Cammy and Alvin Fishman. Thanks as well to legendary sportsman Roy Salomon, who has been a trusted advisor to us this year.

We will next tee off on Tuesday, July 14, at Meadowbrook Golf Club for our 36th Annual Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic.

This year’s event is bound to attract many new and returning players as we are presenting a new format of play, as well as two new specific age classifications whereby players can compete (on a friendly basis) amongst their own age groups: MASTERS (age 65 and older) and EAGLE (age 64 and younger).

We are excited to announce that our title sponsor this year will be Freemark Apparel Brands Inc and its Bench brand.

GolfGroup1
Left to right: Harold Cammy, Youppi Routtenberg, Alvin Fishman, Mark Routtenberg, Mike Cohen and Sam Goldbloom.

Mark Routtenberg, president of Freemark Apparel Brands and former minority owner of the Montreal Expos, has been named honourary chairperson for this year's classic. Mark, who raised his family in Côte Saint-Luc, will be our guest speaker at the luncheon and talk about the Expos and the possibilities surrounding the return of baseball to Montreal.  Sam, Harold, Alvin and I went to visit with Mark and his son Michael, better known during his CSL playing days as “Youppi.” He is very enthusiastic about coming back to a community he has so many fond memories of. We hope sons Youppi and Lawrence will also be with us on the links as well as mom Frema who once upon a time worked at our library. How about Felipe Alou? The former Expos manager is a good friend of Mark. In fact, Mark just attended Felipe's 80th birthday party in Florida.

Yarinsolo
Ron Yarin

In addition, we have named long-time volunteer Ron Yarin as our special honouree for this year’s event. The committee will honour Ron for more than 35 years of dedicated service to the community and to our residents. We know his friends will want to be on hand  to help celebrate the occasion. Among this group is the Routtenberg family, whom Ron worked with for many years.  Ron has fallen upon some hard times health-wise in recent years, but he is truly excited to be part of the Classic

We are also pleased to announce and thank  Sam Eltes, president of Silver Star Mercedes-Benz, for sponsoring our Hole-in-one contest. Wow, how about driving away in a brand new Mercedes-Benz?

The new format of play is called “Scramble” and is quite popular in today’s golf outings. This format helps speed up the game for all players and is being introduced as a result of many requests from previous participants.

The players decide which golfer hits the best shot off the tee and then all players from that foursome play their next shot from that point. Play continues from hole to hole in the same fashion for the rest of the outing.

Starting times

Starting times will be between  7 am and 10 am (first come,  first served). Golfers are reminded that all starting times must be strictly adhered to in order to avoid unnecessary delays at tee-off time. You must arrive 15 minutes early before you scheduled tee-time. Arrangements for electric golf carts must be made at the Pro Shop in advance of your starting time and will be “at your own expense”.

Last year’s event attracted 80 golfers and we are confident that with the new playing format and the two new age classifications we can increase the number of participant golfers in this year’s gala affair

Sponsorship

We are also soliciting sponsorships for the nine-hole golf outing. Companies can sponsor a hole for $100 and will have their company name and logo prominently displayed at the tee chosen. Please note that we are doing this in an effort to create a growing bond between our business organizations and the community. For this very small contribution, the sponsor connects to the community and we help build a sense of civic pride.

If you own a business or have business contacts who may be interested in sponsoring this outing in support of this wonderful community event, please ask them to contact Harold Cammy or Alvin Fishman at hcammy@cotesaintluc.org or afishman@cotesaintluc.org.

Cost

The registration fee will remain at $27 (tax included) which includes nine holes of golf, a catered sit down buffet luncheon, award-winning trophies for contests such as Longest Drive, Closest to the Pin, and the opportunity to win one of many door prizes.

Luncheon

The luncheon will be held at the Cote Saint-Luc Aquatic and Community Center, 5794 Parkhaven Avenue, 2nd Floor Salon B starting at 1:00pm. Please note we have reserved Salon A which will be open to everyone immediately upon arriving at the Aquatic and Community Centre. No more waiting in the halls until lunch. Wine and light crudités will be served in this Hospitality Room.

How to register

Registration will open on June 1  at the Cote Saint-Luc Parks and Recreation Department, 7500 Mackle Road (corner Parkhaven Avenue) Monday through Friday from 8:30am – 4:30pm. For your convenience, you may also register at the Aquatic and Community Center daily from 8 am  to 9 pm. It is interesting to note that many of Ron's friends have learned about the event and called us already about how to register, so do not delay!

Rain date

In case of thunderstorms on Tuesday, July 14, the luncheon  will proceed with festivities at the Aquatic and Community Center at 1 pm. Golf will be postponed until the following Tuesday, July 21. The same starting times will be honored at Meadowbrook Golf Club, 8370 Côte Saint-Luc Road. History will note that this event has never been rained out before.

For further information, please contact Alvin Fishman, Section Manager, Health, Physical Education and Recreation services at 514-485-6806 X 2012 or by email at afishman@cotesaintluc.org.


Coffee with a Cop comes to Quartier Cavendish on May 28

Let's all extend some thanks and appreciation to the officers from Neighbourhood Police Station 9, located in the heart of Côte Saint-Luc`s District 2 at the corner of  Cavendish and Kildare,

Coffee with a Cop

Their Coffee with a Cop Program has become a monthly occurrence, first at the McDonald`s Restaurant on Côte Saint-Luc Road and now at the Quartier Cavendish. It is next scheduled to occur at the Quartier (still referred to as  "the Mall" by many)on Thursday, May 28 (9 a.m. to 11 a.m.) in the food court.

Coffee with a Cop is an informal event which allows police officers and citizens to meet in a neutral environment to facilitate the dialogue. The aim of this activity is to let anyone discuss freely and exchange on various public security topics and concerns that affect the Côte Saint-Luc community and others within the Station 9 territory, which also includes Hampstead and Montreal West.

In addition, this is an opportunity to strengthen police relations with its citizens, who normally meet in emergency circumstances that are very emotional.  Coffee with a Cop does indeed enable citizens get to know PDQ 9 police officers in a friendly atmosphere


Drop-in program at CSSS Cavendish saved from dramatic changes

There is good news on the local healthcare front and it comes from a prominent Côte Saint-Luc resident: Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, President and Director-General of the CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest.

Rosenberg-exterieur06-choix
Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg

According to a press release issued today, before Bill 10 came into force, each of the partner establishments in what would be the CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal conducted its affairs as usual, including planning changes to programs, services, etc. However, given the enactment of Bill 10 and the rapidly changing landscape that resulted from this reform, Dr. Rosenberg has now requested all of the partner establishments to suspend the implementation of any planned changes.  This includes changes to the drop-in program of the Caregiver Support Centre at the CSSS Cavendish. 

This request was issued to enable the PDG and the newly installed senior management team to conduct a thorough review of changes that were planned before Bill 10 was passed and after it took effect.  These measures are being put in place in conformity with Dr. Rosenberg’s guiding principle of patient-centric care. 

Bravo to Dr. Rosenberg and his team and our own leadership, including Mayor Anthony Housefather who spoke out on behalf of the individuals in our community who would have been adversely affected by this decision.


JPPS shines in math and Bialik in robotics

It has been quite a busy couple of months at JPPS and Bialik.  
 
The Van Horne-based JPPS  Grade 6 competitors were very successful during the Canadian National Math League Competition.  As a school, they ranked second in Quebec.
 
JPPSElementary
Three students placed in the top 10 (they are located in the bottom row of the photo wearing white shirts): Jonathan Gotteiner, ranked first place overall in Quebec (center of the photo); Harley Eiley, ranked fifth in all of Quebec (left); and District 2 resident  Nathalie Nashen, ranked eighth (right). Maria Dimitropoulos is their teacher (right)
 
JPPS has always done very well in the competition, placing in the top three for almost 20 years.
The Grade 6 math classes focused on advanced materials to prepare for the competition, including many modules from the Secondary I text book. 
Bialikobocup2015
Meanwhile,  for the second time the District 2 located Bialik High School Secondary I Junior Robotics Team competed in the city-wide East Robotics Competition. The competition was held at John Rennie High School  in Pointe Claire and required building and programming a robot to achieve a "Search and Rescue" challenge.  Pictured are: Rona Katz, volunteer manager of the Bialik Advanced Technology Program along with  Liam Murad, Max Laxer, Zachary Groszman, Harry Marshall, science teacher Andrea Mendell and  Josh Schacter. Missing is Jonathan Zlotnik,  a volunteer instructor 
 
With these two great achievements, JPPS-Bialik will be organizing an Advanced Technology Course for students come fall 2016.

  

 

Save this date: New round-table format for Monday, June 8 District 2 meeting

A Côte Saint-Luc District 2 information meeting will take place on Monday, June 8 (7:30 p.m.) at City Hall (5801 Cavendish Boulevard). Councillor Mike Cohen created this initiative when he was first elected in the fall of 2005 as a way to maintain closer relations with constituents and talk mainly about issues related to the surrounding neighbourhood. Since then a number of other councillors have followed suit.

The format for this year’s meeting will change and be done as a round-table, enabling all of those on hand – constituents and special guests – to be in closer quarters and truly be able to take part in an exchange of information.

Special guests for this meeting will be  Mayor Anthony Housefather, newly appointed Director of Public Works Beatrice Newman, Director of Urban Development Charles Senekal, JPPS-Bialik Head of School Maureen Baron, Bialik High School Principal Avi Satov, JPPS Principal Marnie Stein and Police Station 9 Lieutenant Bryan Cunningham.  

Mayor Anthony Housefather will be on hand for an update on important city issues.   Charles Senekal will be there to hear comments about the Cavendish/Kildare intersection, talk about a new park planned for that corner  as well to deal with any other traffic issues and provide  an update on the Quartier Cavendish development. Beatrice Newman will address concerns regarding repairs done on local streets, recycling, garbage collection and much more.  There will also be some news about a new park planned for   located at the Cavendish/Kildare intersection.

For more information, call (514) 485-6945 or email mcohen@cotesaintluc.org

District 2 encompasses Merrimac, Rembrandt., Kildare  (between Marc Chagall and Honoré Balzac), Sir Walter Scott,  Ilan Ramon, Marc Chagall, Mackle  (between Cavendish and Brandeis),  Quartier Cavendish Mall, Cavendish (Manoir Montefiore, Manoir Camelia, L’Excelsior, new Town Houses),  Jubilee, Park Place, Honoré-de-Balzac.

2015-06 District meeting Agenda Mike A_Page_1

 

2015-06 District meeting Agenda Mike A_Page_2

 

 


Lawrence Bergman gets fitting honour a year after his retirement

More than a year after his retirement from political life, Quebec’s de facto Minister of Jewish Affairs got the true honour he deserved. Former Liberal MNA for D’Arcy McGee Lawrence Bergman was feted on May 11 at the Adath Israel Congregation in Hampstead, the synagogue which he served as president of for four years prior to entering politics. This was also the site for most of his nomination meetings.

It was a packed house, with political movers and shakers and community leadership. There was valet parking and a strong police and public security presence.  There were trays of food to choose from and servers circulating with delicious hor d’oeuvres. As I told event co-chairman Samuel Gewurz when I entered, it looked like he was hosting another bar mitzvah for Lawrence.

AHCharestMitch
Anthony Housefather, Jean Charest and Mitchell Brownstein

The guest of honour, with the love of his life Vivian by his side, posed for countless pictures and welcomed his many former colleagues. And they were there in impressive numbers: former Premier Jean Charest, former Finance Minister Raymond Bachand, former Family Minister Yolande James, former MNAs Yvan Marcoux, Henri Francois Gautrin, Russell Copeman and present-day ministers and MNAs Jacques Chagnon, Nicole Menard, Christine St. Pierre, Pierre Arcand, Kathleen Weil, David Birnbaum.

Bachand
Raymond Bachand

Bachand credited Bergman for educating him on the many facets of the Jewish community. “We travelled together and led a most important delegation to Israel,” he said. “We went to Yad Vashem – god bless their souls, god bless Israel.”

One of Bergman’s two sons, Stuart, spoke of what a devoted father Lawrence was to he and his brother Mark.

Community leader Steven Cummings, also a co-chair of the event, introduced Charest and reminded everyone in the room what a crucial role he played in the 1995 Quebec referendum. “We suffered from a lack of leadership,” he said. “Then Jean Charest made that electrifying speech. That gave us the resolve to fight until the last moment.”

BergmanVivian
Bergman, his parther Vivian and a well wisher.

Charest was eventually recruited to lead the Quebec Liberal Party in 1998. While the party won a majority of votes in that year’s election, the PQ gained more seats. Charest went about rebuilding the Liberals in the province in 2003 won the first of three consecutive elections.

ArcandSid
Pierre Arcand, Sidney and Merle Margles.

Have we seen the last of Jean Charest in politics? He may be comfortable in the private sector these days, but he sounded very much like someone who still has the itch to campaign. If Prime Minister Stephen Harper does not win another mandate to govern next October, do not be surprised to see Charest consider a bid to lead the Conservative Party he left 17 years ago to take over the Quebec Liberals.

Charest credited Bergman for standing up to separatist Yves Michaud, who condemned the voters of D’Arcy McGee for voting so strongly against sovereignty. Charest presented a motion to the National Assembly condemning references to "an ethnic vote against the sovereignty of the people of Quebec" and speaking of B'nai Brith Canada as "an extremist group against Quebecers and against sovereignty", as expressed by Yves Michaud at the Quebec Estates-General. The Premier   Lucien Bouchard condemned the remarks in the name of his party and the government. The motion was adopted unanimously by the National Assembly. When Bouchard left politics, he alluded to Michaud’s intolerance as one of the aspects which soured his opinion of politics.

Bergmanspeaks
Bergman speaks.

Charest named Bergman Minister of Revenue in 2003. “Lawrence kept meeting people and telling them he was their partner,” he recalled. “He said ‘I have 50 percent of your business and   want your money now.’ Lawrence Bergman had the respect of all of his colleagues. No project was important to him than the Jewish General Hospital. All of us who have experience with the Jewish General know this is the best hospital in Quebec.”

Bergman was the last to speak and he was eloquent as usual. “This evening is overwhelming me with emotion,” he said. “I am watered over with so many great memories.  I have been blessed in my life to have many families. My first great family was my constituents. We laughed together, we cried together, but we believed in each other.”

Bergman spoke of his close friendship with Charest. That he had a personal problem and needed to speak to a friend. “That friend was Jean Charest,” he said, noting how the premier was in France for the wedding of his daughter yet called him immediately and did so again a few days later to check up on him.”

Bergman ran in six election campaigns and worked on one referendum. He was a fabulous MNA.  Côte Saint-Luc honoured him last summer when we named one of the chalets at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park. It was the least we could do to show our gratitude to the man who played a key role in saving our Emergency Medical Services after we demerged from the City of Montreal.


Wishing Jean-Claude Raby a happy retirement

I was 14 years old when I first met Jean-Claude Raby, who at the time worked at the Samuel Moskovitch Arena. This was an exciting time for kids like me. Growing up there was no arena in the city, so we had to play our games at the Montreal West Rink. When Moskovitch opened, under the leadership of the late Wally Freestone, it was Jean-Claude and a fellow by the name of Dave Sevigny who drove the zamboni and attended to other important matters. I played in the system, but only two years later I crushed two vertebrae on the spine and my active career was over. I turned to writing about minor sports for the local papers and certainly became a "rink rat" by getting jobs as a scorekeeper, equipment manager and ultimately a referee.

JCRabyMike
I bid Jean-Claude a good retirement.

Jean-Claude stayed at the arena for 10 years and then moved next door to Public Works where he remained for 28 more years. On Friday, May 8 friends and colleagues gathered in front of the Public Works headquarters on Mackle Road to give him a nice sendoff. For the last many years he fulfilled the important role of foreman for parks and roads.

JCBebe
Beatrice "Bebe" Newman will miss J-C.

"Jean-Claude started working for the City in 1977, the same year that he married his wife, Celine," recounted Beatrice Newman, our newly appointed Director of Public Works. "He started as an arena attendant and continued on to become the Zamboni operator. He moved on to a position at Public Works, as a light vehicle operator. During the merger and until the de-merger, J-C became the Team Leader for the Roads division. In 2006 he became a Public Works foreman, handling all things operations at different times for roads, signs, parks, waste and snow removal. Jean-Claude has been an invaluable employee, always willing to do his best for the residents and the city. He leaves with many memories from growing together with the city over the past few decades and we wish him the best for a wonderful retirement that he`ll share with Celine. After 38 years of service to a city that he respected and cared for, we wish him  many years ahead filled with great joy and relaxation."

JCDaniel
My former hockey teammate Daniel Laliberté worked under J-C.

You could see the warmth in which Jean-Claude was treated at his farewell. I am proud to know him and privileged to have spent the past decade as a city councillor where I have been able to see up close and personally what a value he added to our community.

"I am looking forward to my retirement," he said. "We have two kids and seven grandchildren so that will keep me busy."

 

 


My report from the 2015 National Animal Welfare Conference

As the Côte Saint-Luc city councillor responsible for animal protection, I was pleased to represent our community at the 2015 Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) National Animal Welfare Conference. It was held at the River Rock Casino May 2 to 4 in Richmond, BC and attracted 350 people from across the country. This conference is considered the pre-eminent venue for thought-leadership, sharing of ideas, networking and learning about animal welfare.  

DevineTasseGenevieve
Genevieve Pépin, Alanna Devine and Johanne Tassé

Besides myself, other Quebecers on hand included Johanne Tassé from the Companion Animal Adoption Centres of Québec (CAACQ), SPCA Montreal executive director Nicolas Gillman and Director of Animal Advocacy Alanna Devine and Director of Operations Genevieve Pépin,  veterinarian Dr. Vincent Paradis and Mark  Hagen from R.C. Hagen Pet Supplies.

DR. MARK BEKOFF:   Dr.  Mark Bekoff was the opening night keynote speaker. His subject was Rewilding our hearts: Animal emotions, compassionate conservation, and the importance of individual animals. In his talk Dr. Bekoff discussed the notion of personal rewilding,  how animal emotions and compassionate conservation, for which the guideline is “first do no harm,” figure into what we all need to do in the immediate future. In wildlife conservation, rewilding refers to restoring habitats and creating corridors between preserved lands to allow declining populations to rebound. Dr. Bekoff, one of the world's leading animal experts and activists, applies rewilding to human attitudes. In his book called Rewilding Our Hearts he invites readers to do the essential work of becoming re-enchanted with the world, acting from the inside out, and dissolving false boundaries to truly connect with both nature and themselves.

BC MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE: Norm Letnick is the Minister of Agriculture for British Columbia. Canada nor the provinces have Ministers with actual "Animal Welfare" portfolios. It falls under Agriculture.  In Quebec, Pierre Paradis fulfils this role. Letnick clearly has a soft place in his heart for companion animals and he proudly noted that his Ministry recently gave $5 million to support the BC SPCA’s Facilities Development and Services Plan. The latter is an eight-year strategy, totalling $50.4 million to replace or renovate aging BC SPCA infrastructure in 10 communities across British Columbia – the largest capital plan in the organization’s 120-year history. Projects will include new community animal centres, facilities to house seized farm animals, storefront adoption centres and facilities to promote increased community access to spay/neuter services.  Amy Morris, a graduate of Concordia University and a policy and outreach officer for BC SPCA, hopes the government will continue to contribute the campaign in the coming years,

Letnick spoke out against animal cruelty and listed the heavy penalties that exist for animal cruelty. “Animal welfare is a team effort – and requires governments, organizations like the BC SPCA, and all citizens to work together and be vigilant to ensure all animals in British Columbia are treated with the due care and respect they deserve,” the Minister stated,

 Letnick said that he previously had a shelter dog (a dog rescued from a shelter). The pet passed away and because of his busy schedule as a minister he has not adopted another dog at this time. “When I do,” he promised, “it will be from a shelter.”

PETLAND:  I met with Amy Pawson Blackwell. She is the director of operations for Petland, a chain of pet stores stretching from BC to Manitoba.  A one-time resident of Pointe Claire (and a member of the swim team there and at St. Thomas High School), she told me how Petland has partnerships with all animal welfare organizations and since 2010 has had 10,000 animals adopted “It is our desire at Petland to make a difference in the communities we serve,” she said. “For more than 38 years, Petland has been the retail pet industry leader in the area of animal care with ongoing staff training programs, in-store animal care  systems and community service programs aimed at placing homeless pets and curbing pet overpopulation in the community.”

Petland has taken a leadership role in the area of public education on spaying and neutering as a way to halt pet overpopulation, and implemented a pro-active adoption program for the placement of homeless litters of puppies and kittens, whether from a shelter, pet rescue group or just a member of the local community. Class tours are arranged for schools where youngsters learn to finger-tame a parakeet. Equally gratifying, she explains, is the look on a senior citizen's face while holding a Petland kitten. Petland therapy is a natural extension of their retail environment and the store’s pet counsellors love visiting schools and nursing homes. Store operators collect donations for charities, hold fundraisers for local animal care groups and give generously of themselves with cash donations to select community causes. A number of important community service programs exist at Petland. They include: Adopt-A-Pet; Pets for a Lifetime; Pet Therapy; Stop Pet Overpopulation; and Spay/Neuter Your Pet.  It is too bad they do not exist in Quebec!

CARS, CATS, CLIMATE CHANGE AND “PRACTICAL” ETHIC FOR ANIMALS: Professor David Fraser from the University of BC spoke on the subject.  From his childhood on a farm in southern Ontario, Prof. Fraser has maintained a fascination with animals throughout his 43-year research career. With a degree in psychology (Toronto) and a PhD in zoology (Glasgow), Prof. Fraser did research on the welfare of farm animals (Edinburgh School of Agriculture, 1971-1975) and on the behaviour and management of moose (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, 1975-1981) before developing a research team on farm animal welfare and behaviour at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa (1981-1997). He joined UBC in 1997 and is currently cross-appointed between the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics. He is an enthusiastic teacher who mentors many graduate students and takes the leading role in the award-winning course,” Animal Welfare and the Ethics of Animal Use.”  He logs 100,000 km per year in lecture trips.  

Prof. Fraser also works with many organizations to find practical ways to improve the lives of animals. He has served as an advisor on animal welfare to many organizations including the Burger King Corporation (Miami), the Food Marketing Institute and National Council of Chain Restaurants (Washington), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Rome), and within Canada on the Board of Trustees of the Animal Welfare Foundation of Canada. Currently he serves as a member of the Animal Welfare Working group of the World Organisation for Animal Health (Paris), and within Canada as a member of the National Council for Farm Animal Health and Welfare.

Prof. Fraser emphasized how the effects of people on animals can be considered under four broad categories:  the keeping of animals for food, companionship and other purposes; deliberate harm to animals in slaughter, hunting and biomedical research; direct but unintended effects on animals caused by crop production, forest cutting, transportation and other activities, and the indirect effects of human activities that disturb natural systems, for example by spreading pathogens, introducing non-native species, using toxic chemicals, and climate change. The first two categories have been the focus of animal welfare science and animal ethics philosophy, whereas the third and fourth categories have been more the focus of conservation and environmental ethics. In reality, the latter two categories cause such classic animal welfare problems as suffering, injury and death on a vast scale, and the harms can be expected to worsen as human population and prosperity increase. Moreover, whereas the harms caused by intentional actions can often be controlled and mitigated, harms caused unintentionally or indirectly are generally less amenable to control. A challenge for the 21st century is to being unintended and indirect harms to animals into the realm of animal welfare and animal ethics. Attention to these types of harm should also help to unify animal welfare and conservation.

MikeStamp
One of the beautiful animal companion stamps unveiled at the conference

CANADA POST: Greg Kabatoff, director of retail business (Western Canada) for Canada Post, officially unveiled a new set of stamps under the theme “Pets are family too!” This stamp issue celebrates the companionship, joy and loyalty between pets and pet owners. There are five stamps that serve as reminders of the need for good pet care: spay/neuter; exercise; vet care; hydration; and identification. Designed by Lara Minja and illustrated by Geneviève Simms, this stamp issue is a collaborative effort with the CFHS.  It is now our role to help spread the word to help raise public awareness of pet guardianship with these animated and colourful stamps. More than half of Canadian households are home to a furry, feathered or finned friend—including 10 million cats, 5.5 million dogs and many other types of pets. Our animal companions give us unconditional love and loyalty. In return, we take on important responsibilities for their care

The Love Your Pet stamp issue was developed with the CFHS to promote ways to keep pets happy and healthy. The warm, whimsical illustrations remind us of all the joy our pets give us. They bring to life five  basic ways pet owners look after their furry friends: provide them with exercise, make sure they can be identified if lost, keep them cool in hot weather and never leave them alone in a vehicle in warm weather, spay or neuter them and regularly take them to the vet

AMONG ANIMALS- ENGAGING YOUTH THROUGH A MULTIFACTED HUMANE EDUCATION PROGRAM: Craig Naherniak and Paula Neuman from the BC SPCA gave an excellent presentation on how they go about sensitizing and engaging youth to issues revolving around animal welfare.

Sedin
The Henrik Sedin cover page.

The ages of eight to 13 represent the most critical point when empathy is developed among children. This process reduces bullying and encourages healing through the human animal bond. The goal is to prevent violence, cruelty and bullying before it occurs. Kids will become leaders and speak up for animals. A challenge is the fact they have way more girls than boys in their programs. The latest Bark Magazine has Henrik Sedin on  the cover with a kitten. We were told when brought into a school they said ‘oh cool, Henrik Sedin.’ Girls said, ‘cool a kitten,’”

All kids in BC learn the Five Freedoms of animal welfare: Freedom from Hunger and Thirst; Freedom from Pain and Injury; Freedom from distress; Freedom from discomfort; and Freedom to express behaviors that promote wellbeing,

Direct experiences with animals helps validate an animal as a subject, not an object and contributes to respect for the species.  

Students can become ambassadors of social change.   

The BC SPCA has 7,000 kids in its Kids Club every year.  They are immediately placed on a mailing list to receive a newsletter or magazine which will be sent out indefinitely. This continues to ensure that they receive the message.

As Paula Neuman pointed out, the program teaches kids about proper care, wildlife issues and farm animal issues. Kids teach their parents, friends and family. “If kids love us, parents usually do too,” she said.  “We can dispel myths about animal issues. We can change attitudes of kids. It is a place for boys to show nurturing behavior and helps socialize some of the animals.”

Setting up Kids zones at community events further helps raise awareness about animal welfare.

Summer camps represent an excellent opportunity to get this message out and I would love to see our city implement something in this area. Camp staff need to be educated first.  Guest speakers, such as individuals with guide dogs, are popular. You can initiate indoor games, such as board games, “Jeopardy,” and crafts.  It is good for kids to take on action projects, such as learning to make presentations.  In some cases, animals are brought in to the camp.

There are also, of course, school-based programs. This reaches kids who might not have experience with animals. Teachers can become leaders and ambassadors while kids can proceed to teach their parents, friends and family.

HarperWifeCat
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, wife Laureen and a kitten.

ANIMAL MATTERS - PUTTING ANIMAL WELFARE ON THE POLITICAL AGENDA: Kim Elmslie, Patricia Zaat and Andreas Krebs from the CFHS and International Fund for Animal Welfare (www.ifaw.org), made this presentation. With the next federal election scheduled for October 19, 2015, it was emphasized how this is the opportunity to make animals matter. An animal cannot go up to Parliament Hill so we need to be their voice. The Federal Criminal Code is not strong enough when it comes to animal cruelty. Lobbying is very important at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.  The Green Party has an animal welfare platform, but none of the others do. It was agreed that candidates from the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP should all be approached and asked for meetings on animal welfare. Why do their parties not have a platform on this? Would they agree to work towards one? Krebs noted that the goal is to elect more animal friendly MPs - there are about 12 now and they wish to double this.  There are a lot of animal lovers in Canada, but the major political parties don’t speak to us. A survey will soon go out to candidates nominated, with a list of five questions. Volunteers are being sought to get involved with this initiative. The IFAW will identify candidates in ridings who have the most to offer for animals. It is clear that Canadians love animals - two-thirds of Canadians have pets at home.

Elmslie said it is important for people to stand up and say how important animals are to us.

There was a story about a cat that wanted to be mayor. In Tux We Trust, Tuxedo Stan for Halifax Mayor.. After the election they secured $80,000 for the Nova Scotia SPCA. Stan died soon after. His brother Earl may now run for Prime Minister. There is a cat in Alaska who has been mayor for nine years

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s wife is passionate about cats and has secured funding for initiatives. The PM does generally love cats. At 24 Sussex they have a cat room. Laureen pushes for the adoption of feral cats.

Politicians are going out on the campaign trail and they might want to pose for photos with animals at shelters.

IDENTIFYING THE (IMPORTANT) FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE CAT POPULATION CRISIS: Tyler Flockhart and Jason Coe from the Department of Population Medicine from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph gave a presentation of paramount interest to the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee and our partners at Educhat - the cat population crisis.

The speakers alluded to a CFHS Shelter report released in 2013. They studied an overall intake of 103,433 cats brought into 90 shelters: 60 percent were stray, 28 percent surrender by their owners and seven percent transferred. The outcome saw 47 percent adopted, three percent returned to owners and 33 percent euthanized. The true figure of cats going into shelters in Canada is believed to be closer to 600,000 on an annual basis.

What is driving the cat overpopulation crisis? Cats are not valued as much as dogs. Many cat owners are simply irresponsible, much of which can be attributed to a lack of real education. If large scale targeted action is not taken, the cat overpopulation problem will worsen, and there is no one stakeholder or group seeking a solution

There needs to be more accessible spay/neuter surgeries, increased adoption strategies, humane education, appropriate funding, responsible pet ownership and a measureable objectives or goals.

Tyler described a study he did to determine the number of homeless cats in Guelph. A student was engaged for two months. The authors of the study identified 120 potential spots to find homeless cats. From there the student proceeded to spend time at each one of those locales, doing a manual count. Based on the formula established by the authors, it was determined that there were anywhere from 21,240 to 38,576 of what they called “free roaming” cats for a city with a population of 44,710 households. Given the fact Côte Saint-Luc’s population is 32,000, could our numbers be anywhere close to that? As the authors move forward, their goal is to refine their population data and further develop methods to count cats.

STAKEHOLDERS’ INPUT INTO RESEARCH ON COMPANION ANIMAL OVERPOPULATION AND RELINQUISHMENT:    Jason Coe headlined this session as well, during which the entire room was broken up into groups of five people each and asked to share our thoughts on five topics: relinquishment, overpopulation, shelter management, hot topics regarding companion animals and research resources. It was a very interesting exercise. I met Shelley Roche, who run Tiny Kittens in Fort Langley, BC. This started out as a foster home for cats and kittens rescued by a local no-kill shelter, the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS). LAPS has limited space, and relies on foster homes like Shelley's  to care for kittens and other high risk animals until they are able to be adopted. In March 2015, Tiny Kittens became a registered non-profit society in order to continue to develop new cat welfare programs. Their website, tinykittens.com, has a webcam operating 24/7.

CATS COUNT IN CANADA: A NATIONAL STAGE FOR A LOCAL ISSUE: CFHS CEO Barbara Cartwright led this session about cats.  She noted that the CFHS has a cat overpopulation task force. This is a very local issue that has been placed on the national stage. The first task was to obtain some data, this being the largest multi-stakeholder research projects on cats in Canadian communities. In 2013 the CFHS went across the country and had meetings in every single province.

Shelters across Canada have been facing a serious cat overpopulation problem for the last few decades. Far more cats are admitted into shelters than dogs. Some are found roaming as strays, and some are pets surrendered by their owners who can no longer care for them. Cats usually take much longer to adopt out than dogs, and some are never adopted. Many healthy, adoptable cats are euthanized in shelters if they aren’t adopted within a specific time or when shelters run out of space in which to keep them. Based on our national surveys of shelters, the CFHS estimates that about half of all cats admitted to shelters in Canada end up being euthanized. While some of these cats have to be put down due to untreatable illnesses, a significant proportion of them would have been spared that fate if they had been adopted.

Many people are not interested in adopting an older cat from a shelter, further contributing to the challenge of finding homes for shelter cats. Even though adult cats have a lot to offer prospective owners, many are passed over in favour of kittens.

The homeless cat problem in Canada is mainly due to irresponsible pet owners letting their cats roam free without identification and/or without being spayed or neutered. It is surprising to learn just how many cats in Canada are not properly identified either through tags or microchipping. In most municipalities, cats don’t need to be licensed either. The result? If an owner doesn’t proactively contact shelters and pounds in their area to look for their lost cat, reuniting the cat with its owner is next to impossible. Humane societies commonly report that only a tenth of the lost cats admitted to their shelters are ever reclaimed by owners.

Un-spayed and un-neutered cats that roam contribute to the overpopulation problem by giving birth to unwanted litters of kittens year after year. Owners of male cats allowed to roam outside may never know that their cat has fathered a litter — or two, or twenty! Many people think that spaying and neutering is unnecessary or too costly, but the unwanted litters cost money by taking up space in shelters; essentially, the cost is passed on to the wider community to bear.

Spaying/neutering is the responsibility of all pet owners, but for some owners, the cost of spaying or neutering can be a deterrent to getting it done. Several municipalities, humane societies and SPCAs are now offering low-cost spay/neuter programs or clinics to address this problem.

The CFHS annual shelter statistics were released last December, revealing that feline adoption rates have increased, euthanasia rates have decreased and fewer cats were taken in by shelters. The 2013 data was collected from 90 shelters across Canada, representing the best information about companion animals in Canadian shelters. Not only has the cat adoption rate increased, for the first time it has surpassed the dog rate. More Canadians are bringing shelter cats into their homes. When the CFHS began systematically collecting shelter statistics in 1993 only 28 percent of cats who entered shelters were adopted, and a staggering 60 percent of cats were euthanized. In 2013 the adoption rate jumped to 53 percent and the euthanasia rate dropped to 37 percent,  Surprisingly, lost cats are less likely to be reunited with their owners now than in the past – in fact the reclaimed by owner rate for cats has actually dropped over time. In 2013 only 3.5 percent of cats in shelters were reunited with their owners. Reclaim rates for cats have consistently been 5 percent or less, at their highest in the late 1990s

Shelters in neighborhoods are overwhelmed with the number of cats in crisis – just like every other SPCA and humane society across the country. The CFHS is working at the national level developing new and innovative programs to help them get more cats off the streets and into loving homes. After months of months of ground-breaking and intense industry research, the CFHS’s Cat Overpopulation task force is preparing a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder report that includes practical, hands-on tools for our members across the country to use as they struggle to address their local homeless cat issue.

The good news is that every Canadian can take action to save cats’ lives. To re-phrase an old anti-feline saying, there is more than one way to save a cat. Here are six:

  • ADOPT. Adopt a cat from an animal shelter or animal rescue group. Remember: kittens are cute, but adult cats are the ones whose lives are most at risk.
  • FOSTER:Give a temporary home to a cat in need by volunteering to foster cats or kittens for your local humane society, SPCA or cat rescue group. By fostering, you save two lives: one of the cat you foster (who might not have survived in the stressful shelter environment), and one of the animal who benefits from an extra space freed up in the shelter.
  • SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR CAT.Help cut off cat overpopulation at the source. If your cat isn’t spayed or neutered, ask yourself: can you guarantee that each and every kitten your cat might produce will end up in a secure, permanent home?
  • ID YOUR CAT. Even indoor cats can escape and end up lost. By giving your cat permanent identification like a microchip and a tag with your address and contact information, you dramatically decrease the risk that she could become lost and never found.
  • DONATE. The problem we face is deep and it’s complicated. By taking action TODAY and supporting the CFHS’s homeless cat crisis response you are helping us put solutions into the hands of shelters across the country. .
  • ADVOCATE FOR CATS by writing letters to your local government representatives. Ask them to pass by-laws that encourage or require residents to register, ID and spay or neuter their cats. Local governments can also prohibit residents from letting cats roam outdoors, keeping cats (and birds) much safer.

Recommendations included more accessible spay/neuter programs, public education (responsible pet ownership and increase the value of cats), the need for legislation and adequate enforcement of bylaws

Universal accessible spay neuter came up in all meetings. So did relationship building with vets and with municipalities

How can we increase the value of cats? Research determined that besides more education and media attention were festivals - one being the Just for Cats Festivals which now take place at 18 communities across the country.  In Toronto, a thousand people came out to watch free internet cat videos. Launched at the Toronto International Film Festival. The National Post did an entire week of cat-themed stories. There were 18 such festivals. June will be Cat Month.  Real Men Love Cats/ Cats and Bros.

SAVE MORE FELINES...LAUNCH A KITTEN BRIGADE:  Ashley Britton, Manager, Volunteers for the Ottawa Humane Society, spoke about a foster program initiative in 2013 called The Kitten Brigade. May to October represents the busiest time when it comes to dealing with homeless cats.

The Ottawa Humane Society launched the Kitten Brigade in 2013 to deal with the hundreds of felines needing foster homes each summer. The warm weather means cats are being marched into the OHS by the boxful. Intake jumps from an average of 12 animals per day to 50 on the busiest summer days. These tiny kittens, pregnant moms and sick cats need volunteers who can provide temporary homes away from the shelter, helping to reduce their stress and keep them healthy, until they are ready for adoption. Last year, brigade volunteers helped give 119 cats a fighting chance. The brigade fast-tracks new volunteers through training to deal with a cat population that will soon reach crisis levels. Most volunteers leave the orientation with their foster kitty in tow! People wishing to join must fill out a foster application form. Volunteers who meet program requirements will be contacted for a quick phone interview. Organizers then do a mandatory criminal records check. Those selected must attend a foster orientation session

  • Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Volunteers with pets must show proof of spay or neuter and current vaccinations.
  • Volunteers must have a separate room to isolate a foster animal.
  • Volunteer must have time to care for foster animals.
  • Volunteers must have access to a vehicle.
  • Volunteers must abide by the foster agreement signed upon joining the program.
  • All Foster Volunteers must attend a general and foster orientation.
  • Foster Volunteers cannot adopt their foster animals.

The OHS relies on the dedication of foster volunteers to aid in the recovery of animals who may not be ready for adoption due to medical or behavioural reasons. Foster volunteers temporarily care for animals in their home until the animals are ready to be adopted. The goal of the Foster Program is to provide the animals in our care with an opportunity for a happy and healthy future.

The Ottawa Humane Society provides food and litter to foster volunteers. In addition, the OHS also supplies medications, examinations, and prescription diets.The OHS currently has 300 volunteers. Last year they placed 1,633 animals.

Log on to www.ottawahumane.ca/kittenmbrigade.

A REVIEW OF THE FUR INDUSTRY IN CANADA: Alanna Devin was one of the speakers at this very interesting session about the plight of fur bearing animals. Over three million animals a year are killed in Canada each year for their fur, 85 percent on fur farms. Worldwide the number is 100 million, "Keep in mind," she noted, "that every animals is an individual with feelings and personalities."

In terms of federal legislation, Devine emphasized that there is none which governs the raising of animals on fur farms or the trapping of wild animals for fur. She also stated that in Canada it is actually legal to import and sell fur from dogs and cats. 

The labelling of real fur versus fake in Canada is not mandatory. “When I approached some people at the Montreal SPCA one day and advised that they were in fact wearing real animal fur they were surprised that there was no labelling to that effect," she explained.

Some of the animals killed for their fur include mink, beaver, racoons, muskrats, wolves, foxes, coyotes, squirrels, otters, lynx and chinchillas.

CAACQ: Johanne Tassé, the founder of the Kirkland-based Companion Animal Adoption Centres of Québec (caacQ), was in attendance. After spending 10 years as a volunteer in the marketing and adoption-promotion department for a dog adoption agency, Tassé realized that despite all the efforts made by similar organizations, the number of animals in shelters was consistently high. In 2008 she created the caacQ to resolve the problem of animal overpopulation, to implement cost-effective solutions for the well-being of companion animals in our communities. Her organization is working diligently so the killing of healthy animals will only be a sad memory in our collective minds.  “Adoption, sterilization and permanent identification is our message to the public and the authorities.” she says.

The goals of her organization are to encourage municipalities and the provincial government to establish and enforce stronger animal welfare laws; sterilization and micro chipping (educate the public on the importance of sterilization and permanent identification of companion pets); adoption option (promote and facilitate the adoption of homeless pets and responsible animal guardianship); and support members of the caacQ by improving current practices.

The CaacQ was created in order to have a direct impact on reducing the number of companion animals killed in the province of Quebec.

The next identification and adoption clinic organized by the CaacQ will take place on Saturday, June 6 at the Brossard Arena.  I have spoken to Johanne and in conjunction with Councillor Karen Zajdman in Hampstead, I hope to arrange such a day in Côte Saint-Luc in September.

Hagen1
Mark Hagen

HAGEN PET SUPPLIES:  I also met Mark Hagen, one of the owners and director of research for the West Island-based   Rolf C. Hagen Inc., Canada’s largest pet product manufacturer and distributor. Founded in 1955 and fueled by a love for animals big and small, Hagen is a Canadian-owned, independent, family-run business that has become a globally respected manufacturer and distributor of pet food and supplies. Committed to providing the highest quality nutritional pet foods, Hagen stands by its pledge of “No Bad Anything.” Hagen’s commitment to bettering the lives of all animals extends beyond food to include many long-standing relationships with organizations and charities that improves the lives of animals. These include donations of both food and money to underfunded animal shelters, animal hospitals and other organizations that care for animals. Its global head office is located in Baie-d’Urfe and was completed in June 2006.  The company has wholly owned subsidiaries in the United States, England, France, Germany and Malaysia (South East Asia). Joint ventures include Japan, Korea, Thailand and South Africa. There are also numerous strong partnership agreements in quite a few other countries such as Spain, Mexico, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and the Philippines to name just a few.  The company manufactures products related to pets such as aquariums, leashes, cages of all sorts, foods and has created a popular line of aquarium filtration.  

“Giving back to communities across Canada by supporting volunteer-based organizations is extremely important to us," says Mark. "We truly enjoy supporting the volunteer shelters, as they believe in the education and promotion of companion animal health and well-being, which is an important part of our company's very core."

Mark’s father Rolf C. Hagen founded the company.  He passed away in 2011. Mark is the company biologist and formulates and tests the pet food they manufacture.“Pets are not only the heart of our business,” he said, “they are the reason we are in business.”  They are continually investing in their research and development department inventing new and unique products for the pet industry.

In 1955, Rolf C. Hagen started by acquiring bird seeds from the Canadian prairies and exporting them back to Germany. His small export business eventually flourished and branched out into a solid, well-respected pet supplies business that today spans many continents. Soon after setting up his business in Montreal, his focus turned to the most significant import of his life: a beautiful young woman named Marianne Koch, whom he met in Hamburg and married in Montreal in 1959. His brothers Dieter and Horst subsequently joined the company, both of whom brought new energy and innovation to the company, taking it to new heights of success. The trio formed the first generation of an internationally successful family-based company that is now managed by Mark and his brothers Tom, and Rolf Jr.

Mark Hagen notes that cat overpopulation is not just a local problem, it’s rampant across Canada. “Cat ownership comes with many responsibilities,” he says.  “It must be viewed as a lifelong family commitment and every effort should be made to ensure proper and humane care for all felines.”

“Companies such as Hagen can only do so much to help support rescue centres across Canada. I think government agencies, as well as vets, breeders, pet shops, and shelters should come together in every region to address and find solutions for controlling the cat population, thus relieving the burden on cat shelters. Where none exists, a central animal care facility funded by cat licensing could be a practical solution,” said Mark Hagen. “Some cities, such as Calgary, are being proactive and achieving success. Their cat control program could serve as a good model to educate, promote, and support responsible cat ownership,”

Mark received a Master of Agriculture degree from the University of Guelph. He concentrated on nutrition and zoology for his Bachelor of Science degree, and attended a semester at the University of California, taking courses in cage bird medicine, nutrition and avian science. After five years of housing birds indoors in a converted warehouse, he designed the Hagen Avicultural Research Institute (HARI) facility in Rigaud, in 1989, which incorporated the latest techniques in environmental control.  Over the course of the past 26 years, HARI has gained a worldwide reputation for its ongoing studies into captive breeding, maintenance and nutrition of companion birds. Current areas of study include disease control, pair bonding, nutrition, early parrot education, and the influence of temperature, humidity and light cycles on breeding.

A firm believer in sharing his knowledge and experiences, he has published dozens of papers relating to the work at HARI, including egg incubation, oil and nutrition, formulated diets, husbandry and sanitation disease control, cage design, ventilation, and pediatric care. Many of his papers have been presented at most of the avicultural conferences held in the USA, Canada and Australia.

To mark its 25th anniversary, Mark and his team at HARI opened a new division dedicated to the long-term study of the health of reptiles and small animals with a strong focus on exploring new alternatives for dealing with common health concerns that the veterinarian community sees with species found in captivity.

Mark has also been deeply involved in supporting the avian community, providing personal as well as Hagen funding to a variety of organizations, including The World Parrot Trust, Loro Parque Foundation, and Parrots International. He also coordinates Tropican food donations to parrot shelters around the world.

With conservation being one of his main passions, Mark travels widely around the world to directly experience birds in their natural habitat to ascertain ways of improving preservation. He has personally seen over 50 parrot species where they occur on most continents.

CREATING SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS AND AVOIDING PITFALLS: Travis Grant is from the Edmonton Humane Society. He joined the organization’s communications team in 2012, with a specialization in social media.  Seventy-one percent of all internet users are on Facebook. EHS has 54,000 friends.  Twitter, he noted, accounts for 23 percent of all internet users and this is the audience you want for crowd funding (fundraising online).  Twitter has also been used to find lost pets in Edmonton. Instagram can also be a useful tool while Google + is a popular option. YouTube is the biggest investment of your time. In Edmonton it has been very successful and they even do  weekly podcast with Shaw Media. Pinterest, accounting for -28 percent of all internet users, can be useful. When it comes to social media, Grant said to make your goals specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.   Taking an actual inventory of your social media presence is a good idea and determine  the chain of command in terms of who will  handle facebook, twitter, instagram, Google +, YouTube etc.  These tasks need to be assigned. It is then time to decide what you want to use each social media presence for.

It is not a bad idea to actually create a  daily content calendar by social media engine and lisgt the time, topic, post and link.   Social media is a party, he said, so make it fun and engaging and give the online audience material they want.

CONFERENCE RECAP: I met with Alanna Devine and Johanne Tassé after the conference to get their take on things. "It is exciting to see so many people here from grassroots organizations," said Devine. "I have to say that the most exciting thing for me is that this is the first time there has been an entire focus on farm animal welfare. We talk a lot about dogs and cats, but we tend to forget about the animals that suffer the most by virtue of us eating them and what we use them for.”

Both Devine and Tassé expressed hope that this conference could be held in Montreal as early as next year, but that will not occur Cartwright told me. The CFHS looked into possible hotels to host the event and none were able to offer a suitable room rate nor guarantee the number of rooms needed for an event that attracts more than 300 delegates. So they will return to Toronto next year, site of the 2014 gathering, and keep Montreal on the radar for 2017.

BC's Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick did impress everyone on hand with his commitment to animal welfare and of course the donation of $5 million to the BC SPCA. So I asked Devine and Tassé for their assessment of Pierre Paradis, who has been Quebec's Minister of Agriculture for more than a year now.

"I do not really feel comfortable grading ministers," said Devine. "I can certainly tell you that Pierre Paradis has been the first Agriculture Minister since I have been at the SPCA who has made the commitment to improving animal welfare. He has stated that there will be revised provincial animal welfare legislation. He is also pushing for change to animals under the provincial code so this is certainly very encouraging.”

As for the BC government’s generous contribution to their local SPCA, Devine agreed it would be nice to see something similar transpire in Quebec. “Their relationship is not all that different from what we are trying to accomplish with the Minister of Agriculture in Quebec.  We are in close contact with the political attaché for Pierre Paradis and feel we have a vital role to play in animal welfare.

Tassé has this message for Paradis: “I’d like to say to him that he has to look at establishing standards for rescues, SPCAs and human societies. Right now there is no governing body that oversees these type of organizations.

Tassé was very enthusiastic about Canada Post`s new set of stamps for responsible pet guardianship. “I applaud their effort and that of the CFHS,” she said. “I think it is just a reminder that companion pets are part of our family and they deserve some visibility.”  

 

 


McHappy Day in CSL and other Pierre Brunet locales supports MAB-Mackay

Wednesday May 6 is McHappy Day at McDonald's Restaurants across Canada, bringing the community together to raise money for children in need.

Once again this year, local Montreal franchise owner Pierre Brunet has selected the MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre as the focus for his McEfforts. For anyone who goes to one of Pierre's 11 McDonald's locations, you will have the opportunity to support the pediatric programs at MAB-Mackay. What a fine organization Pierre has chosen to partner with. Wearing my hat for the English Montreal School Board, we operate the Mackay Centre School  and Philip E. Layton School for the Visually Impaired on Decarie.

I stopped by the beautiful Côte Saint-Luc Road facility where I chatted with supervisor Jeffrey Ferreira, manager John Raftopoulos and Jenny Jacob and Isabelle Hartnell from MAB-Mackay. One dollar  from sales of each Big Mac, Happy meals and McCafé goes to the charity. They are also selling mugs, balloons, caps and little boots that go up on the wall with your name on it. A raffle is taking place as well for a brand new adult bicycle.

JennyJohnMikeIsabelleJeffrey
Jenny Jacob, John Raftopoulos, myself, Isabelle Hartnell and Jeffrey Ferreira.

Pierre Brunet and his team always go the extra mile to lend a helping hand in the community, as witnessed by the incredible work done to support Manoir Ronald McDonald near the Ste. Justine Hospital. This serves as a temporary residence for families from outside the Montreal area who bring their children here for medical treatment.

Everyone I saw was being very generous.

Girls
Parks and Recreation District supervisor Shauna Lemieux on left with Valerie Gibson and Lauren Fairlie.

 

Here is a list of Pierre Brunet's locations:

- St-Jacques: 7270, rue St-Jacques O.
- Marché Central: 1021 F Rue du Marché Central
- Côte-des-Neiges : 6025, ch. de la Côte-des-Neiges
-Côte-des-Neiges II : 5252, ch. de la Côte-des-Neiges
- Cavendish Mall: 5800 Boulevard Cavendish
- Beaumont: 1300, av. Beaumont
- Gare Centrale: 895 rue de la Gauchetière O.
- Queen Mary: 5155, ch. Queen Mary
- Place Ville Marie: 1 Place Ville Marie
- Westmount: 5011, rue Sherbrooke O.
- Côte St-Luc: 7003, ch. de la Côte St-Luc

Alvin
Alvin Fishman from Parks and Recreation at the McDonald's Côte des Neiges locale.


.
We encourage everyone to help make a difference in the lives of the more than 2,000 children with vision, hearing, motor and communication impairments who depend on the MAB-Mackay each year.


For more information about the MAB-Mackay Foundation, call (514) 488-0043 or  log on to www.foundation.mabmackay.ca.