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May 2016

First annual CSL Health Festival is Sunday

Sunday, May 29 will be a busy one in Côte Saint-Luc for in addition to our popular Garage Sale at Trudeau Park,  we will also host our first annual Health Festival. It takes place from 11 am to 5 pm at the  Côte Saint-Luc Aquatic and Community Centre. The event is free and open to the public.

This event will feature seminars on health and distribution of health information by organizations within the community.  Doctors and health care providers from the Jewish General Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital, Donald Berman Maimonidies Geriatric Center, CIUSSS Montréal Centre-Ouest and the Richardson Hospital will be on hand to discuss and answer questions regarding your health.

Jonathan Kerr  from SGS Fitness is the organizer. For more information log on to

You can read the entire program via this link:  Download Programme - Festival de la santé.

Dr Labos

Guest speakers will include Dr. Nathan Kuperstok, Dr. James Ashley Davidson and Dr. Christopher Labos.


Extended hours on Sundays at the Côte Saint-Luc Public Library

Here is a press release we issued following a decision related to the library.

The Côte Saint-Luc Public Library will be staying open until 10 pm on Sundays starting May 29.

“Council is very responsive and attentive to the community and this modification is a testament to our commitment to address resident concerns in a timely manner in order to provide the highest quality of service,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “We listened to residents who asked that we restore late hours at the library, particularly on Sunday evening, which was a popular study time for students.”

Starting May 29, the updated Côte Saint-Luc Library hours are from 10am to 10pm from Sunday to Thursday, and 10am to 6pm on Friday and Saturday.

“We worked hard to find a way to restore the Sunday hours,” said Councillor Mike Cohen, who is the council member responsible for the library. “Careful re-organization of our staffing plan by Director Janine West made this modification possible.”

The virtual library remains open 24/7 with online access to eBooks, audiobooks, magazines and reference material. Library membership is free for Côte Saint-Luc residents.

The Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library is located at 5851 Cavendish Blvd. For more information, call the library at 514-485-6900 or visit

Remembering Harold Heft: Memorial softball game a beautiful tribute

Côte Saint-Luc native Harold Heft, who died from a brain tumour last summer, was one great human being. His wife Suzanne, two sons and mom Ruby were at Kirwan Park on May 22 for a the first Harold Heft Memorial Softball Game. Unfortunately I had a family commitment and could not attend. My brother Chuck and mom Elaine were on hand though. I thank Suzanne for this wonderful summary below.
By Suzanne Heft
Thank you for making a donation to the Harold Heft Memorial Softball Game in Cote St Luc in support of paediatric cardiology research at the Montreal Children's Hospital. The game was yesterday. And thanks to Steve Abrams for so kindly (and superbly) organizing this event. 
Years ago, Harold and I established this fund in honour of Harold's parents, Ruby and Eddie, on their 50th wedding anniversary, and when Steve approached me about the idea of organizing this game so that some of Harold's Montreal friends could gather in his name, it seemed like a great idea to be able to direct some philanthropy to the Children's in Harold's memory. 
I am happy to tell you that together we raised over $3,000. MCH saved Harold's life when he was 10 and he was forever grateful. Thanks to everyone who made a donation.
If you didn't get a chance, here is the link to make a gift:
On behalf of our family and all the sick kids that are helped each year by the Montreal Children's Hospital, thank you for your generosity. 
Thanks also for sharing a special day with my sons and giving them something remarkable to remember. 
Harold`s friends and family - remembering Harold and his beloved Expos.
As you all know, Harold loved baseball, was loyal to his friends and also believed in the power of one person to make a difference in the world. In fact, he embodied that idea better than almost anyone I have ever met. 
For those who couldn't make it to the game, but donated anyway, thank you. You were missed, but with us 'in spirit'! I hope you enjoy the attached photos. There are more on Facebook. 
Finally, years ago, Harold published a piece in the National Post about the importance of August 12, 1994 - what he called 'the saddest day in baseball', the start of the strike that ended it all for the Expos. It was published on the 10-year anniversary of that day, and I think it holds up pretty well, even another decade later. Here it is: Download Harold Heft National Post Story
Have a great summer, everyone & be well. 
Warmest regards,
Suzanne Heft

New Shell, Boni Soir and car wash open on Cavendish Boulevard

Thursday May 19, 2016 marked a very exciting day in Côte Saint-Luc as the much anticipated Shell Gas Station, complete with a Boni Soir convenience store and a car wash, finally opened for business. 

I am proud to be the city councillor for the Quartier Cavendish (former Cavendish Mall) where this new facility sits. If there is one question that has followed me up and down the grocery aisle more than others in the past year it has been "So when is that Shell going to open?"  There were a variety of delays for good reasons, lastly some necessary Hydro-Québec connections. But it was certainly worth the wait.

Councillors Kovac and Nashen, Jacynthe Poulin, Mayor Brownstein, myself, Miriam and Alaedine Gouader.

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillors Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac joined me on opening day. The entire facility is under the umbrella of Sobeys, the company which owns IGA. Territory manager Jacynthe Poulin and franchise operator Alaedine Gouader, accompanied by his wife Miriam. We were very impressed with the operation, as were the endless array of excited clients.

Inside the Boni Soir.

First and foremost, it is great news to have a self-serve gas station open  5 am to 11 pm seven days a week in our community. Of course  Raffi Abikian at his Shell station on Westminster also sells gas, but the main focus there is mechanics. 

That`s Steve Naymark`s vehicle going through the car wash.

The Boni Soir has freshly baked muffins and danishes prepared on the premises each day and they are kosher. A 12 ounce cup of coffee will be available free for the first two weeks. I had some decaf and it was very good. There were is a full array of snacks and dairy products. We were told that the shelves will become more plentiful in the coming days. In addition they will get their alcohol permit soon. Parents and their little ones were already crowding around the slush and candy machines. This is a nice-sized building. There a few tables and chairs in the back for customers to sit down on. A large bathroom, complete with a changing table, is also available to the public. You  can buy lotto tickets and use the BMO ATM machine as well.

One of my constituents, Steve Naymark,  was the first person I saw come use the car wash. He gave it a big thumbs up. Poulin says it is touchless, meaning the machinery does not physically touch your car.

When was the last time Côte Saint-Luc had a car wash? Come back with me to the old BP on CSL Road, which turned into a Petro Canada and then closed about two decades ago. As a young child I used to love it when my dad brought me for a drive through the car wash.

A fellow by the name of Islem Amar Khodja set up a small kiosk in the Boni Soir to provide samples of his company`s delicious  gluten free nuts. The brand is call Royal Nuts  and he has a number of packages on the shelf to choose from.

Welcome to Côte Saint-Luc and District 2!


Encouraging news from Birnbaum on Cavendish extension

“An important step forward” is how David Birnbaum, MNA for D'Arcy-McGee, described a resolution adopted at last weekend’s Quebec Liberal Party’s General Council calling for the implementation of the long-awaited Cavendish extension. The final resolution, including an amendment brought forth by the D’Arcy-McGee Liberal Riding Association, was overwhelmingly adopted.

David Birnbaum

The original resolution, proposed by the Nelligan Riding Association proposed that: “The government recommend the opening of Cavendish Boulevard between Saint-Laurent and Côte Saint-Luc to provide a north-south alternative to motorists from the West’’. Significantly, Nelligan is the riding of Municipal Affairs and Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux, who has a key role to play in orchestrating Quebec’s participation in the project.

The D’Arcy-McGee delegation to the weekend congress, led by President Orna Hilberger, strengthened the resolution by proposing the following amendment: “The government recommend and participate, with the other levels of government, in the financing and execution of the opening of Cavendish Boulevard between Saint-Laurent and Côte Saint-Luc to provide a north-south alternative to motorists from the West.’’

Cavendish is much more than a plan to reduce West-end traffic congestion, Birnbaum insisted. With the future developments of Namur-De-la-Savanne, including the Triangle, the Blue Bonnets site and potentially, the Quinze-40 shopping-centre project, Cavendish represents perhaps the central economic hub of activity for all of Montreal over the next 20 years. “I know that the residents of D’Arcy-McGee have been waiting a long time on this file. My colleagues in our government, and at every level of government, are working to make sure we see action, and soon.”

Birnbaum will host a summer fundraising cocktail on Monday, June 6 ( 6 pm to 8 pm) at Ecole Mosaique at 5621 McMurray Avenue in CSL.  Attendees are asked to make a $100 donation to the Quebec Liberal Party. For more information call Fran Gutman at 514-462-8671 or e-mail A prominent Minister from the government will speak.


Clients who buy insurance deserve to have trust and confidence in the process

Today I welcome this guest editorial from District 2 resident Steve Acre

After being in the insurance industry as an insurance broker for more than 50 years, I have witnessed many claims and helped clients engage with adjustors and evaluators to a satisfactory conclusion. However, some companies have been using every method to find a way not to pay a claim. I find it very unethical to say the least. Insurance companies like any other businesses must be accountable and be a model to professionalism.

After all, a client who buys insurance coverage for a home or a business is not buying anything tangible, except trust, confidence between client, the broker and the insurance company. The client relies heavily on the broker to come to his or her assistance when a claim occurs. We all know that the insurance industry will not be around if there were no claims. An insurance company must understand that the most important thing in any policy is the settling of a claim, fairly and adequately and as soon as it is practical.

An insurance company should not deny a claim just because the claim was reported way beyond the normal time. Here is a case in point. A person whom I have known for many years and insured his commercial business, asked for my advice on a claim that he had in his home and is not able to get any satisfaction from his broker. The damage was from a broken pipe on the second floor of his duplex and damaged the bathroom, the ceiling and the bathroom on the first floor.

I told the person that I cannot intervene in such a case, but since his renewal was due soon, I will be glad to look into it if he gives me the authorization to become his broker for the home insurance. After the renewal was issued, I approached the insurer to reopen the file and check into the damage that occurred on the second floor in September of 2014.

To my total dismay, it appears that the broker never reported the claim to the insurer, as previously there was water damage from a city water main that was not covered under the policy.This person kept on calling his broker about the water damage that came from the bathroom on the second floor to no avail. This person has copies of e-mails with his broker urging him and begging him for assistance. So when I asked the company to look into the problem, they came back quite fast to say that due to the time elapsed, they cannot assess the damage and denied the claim.

In my humble opinion, this was the wrong attitude that a claims manager has taken. After all, the broker is the representative of the insurer and if he made a mistake by not reporting the claim, the insurer has the responsibility to work with the broker to compensate the client.

Insurers spend millions of dollars on TV advertising on how good they are in customer service and how fast they can settle a claim. In this case it would have cost the insurer and the broker a few thousand dollars and with that they could have bought themselves a lot of good will and  client satisfaction.

It really pains me to witness such a lack of responsibility from an insurer. All I can say to that insurer, shame on you that you took the easy way out to deny a claim. At the end of the day, the shame will be upon us all, since we are part of the insurance industry.

See this post I wrote in 2011 about Steve's incredible back story.

Below is an article Steve wrote about the insurance industry in 1979.

Download AcreArticle1979


Reserve the date: Annual District Round Table Meeting Set for Monday, June 6

A Côte Saint-Luc District 2 information meeting will take place on Monday, June6 (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  two other councillors have followed suit.

The format will 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. This worked well last year.

Information will be provided about a new task force established to focus on the busy corner of Cavendish and Kildare; news about construction set to begin soon for a beautiful greenspace at the same corner near the new townhouses; the presence of developer Ron Basal, who will discuss the new highrise apartment building now under construction at Quartier Cavendish on the Avenue; and a number of other updates. This is the opportunity for constituents to bring up any questions they might have about district matters.

For more information, call (514) 485-6945 or email

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.

2016-06 District meeting Agenda Mike Cohen EN

2016-06 District meeting Agenda Mike Cohen FR

Work will begin soon to break down hill in snow dump

With warm weather finally upon us, our Public Works Department will soon begin the job of breaking up the large mountain of dirty snow in the snow dump on Marc Chagall Avenue.
John Monteiro, our head of operations in Public Works, spent some time at the dump on May 11 with staffer Thierry Dhaisne. The inspected the ditches around the perimeter of the dump that capture the melting snow. These ditches are functioning properly and the water from the melting snow is making its way to the north west corner of the snow dump where it is draining into the city sewer. We will now be calling in a contractor with a large shovel who will breakup the remaining snow and accelerate the melting process. We will take advantage at the same time and clean any leaves at the bottom of the ditches.
Once  all  of the snow has melted we will then pickup all remaining debris in the snow dump from our snow removal operations. Attached are some pictures of the running water in the ditches.
East ditch(southbound)
East ditch(northbound)
North ditch with drainage pipe to city sewer
North west corner of dump that drains all water into city sewer from ditches. You can see the steady stream of water from the north ditch and the water is draining properly into the city sewer.
Thank you John, Thierry and Director of Public Works Beatrice Newman  

New crossing guard gets to work on Cavendish and Kildare

Since the passing of Archie Kwiatt last year, the position of a crossing guard at the corner of Cavendish Boulevard and Kildare Road had been vacant. This was not for a lack of trying on the part of our Public Safety Department. There simply were not people applying for the job.

Norman Klein

Archie was very special. He did the job for 17 years and like the "King of Kensington," when he walked down the street "everyone knew his name." Archie took great care and making sure that the elderly and young students crossed this very busy intersection carefully.

Well I wish to extend a big welcome to Norman Klein who was confirmed in his duties at our most recent council meeting.  We actually had a number of applicants this time around and Norman was our choice. He is on the job bright and early each weekday. I recently went to visit with him, observing from afar first. He seems passionate about the job, personable like Archie with the residents while keeping his eye out for safety. Norman is a resident of Côte Saint-Luc, where he also works as a security officer for a local highrise condominium and umpires weeknights in local softball leagues.

I made it very clear at the council table that this was one position which could not remain vacant. We have a school a block away, JPPS-Bialik, and many senior citizen pedestrians. History will note that this was also the site of some tragic accidents in the past.

Norman Klein in action.


Proud to have been part of McHappy Day

It was a pleasure for me once again to participate in the annual McHappy Day festivities at our local McDonald's at the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre.

Approximately 80 percent  of McDonald's restaurants in Canada are independently owned and operated by a local McDonald's franchisee. In the case of the  Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre locale, the Quartier Cavendish and at least another dozen spots, Pierre Brunet is the man at the helm. 

With Allan J. Levine, Jacques Châles and Officer Pierre Blais.

McHappy Day is a national fundraiser. It’s when McDonald's restaurants across Canada and their communities, employees, customers and special guests raise money together to help children in need across Canada. Members of city council, staff and local police officers pitched in, working behind the counter and assisting with fundraising items.

Suzanne Beaudry, Julie Bessette and Jean O'Malley.


I was pleased to chat with Jacques Châles, manager of customer relations. Officer Pierre Blais, whom only a few days earlier I saw trying to catch motorists running through stop signs, was soliciting donations. Commander Jean O'Malley, who is in fantastic physical condition, said he was having a "rare" Big Mac to support the cause along with Lieutenant Julie Bessette and ever so valuable secretary Suzanne Beaudry. Councillor Allan J. Levine was busy engaging in banter with a customer who had just turned 100 years old. Our Director of Public Safety Jordy Reichson had a hairnet on and was helping on the production line.

Jordy Reichson

We are only too happy to pitch in, especially if Pierre Brunet is involved. Stay tuned to an exciting announcement where Pierre is concerned. Profits from McHappy Day support Manoire Ronald McDonald and charities like the MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre.  We, of course, have been connected to to Le Manoire for many years. This is a place (located in Côte des Neiges) where families from out of town with ill children can stay while their little ones are hospitalized.

Several of our staff from Parks and Recreation spent part of the day at the McDonald's franchise on Côte des Neiges Road.