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March 2017

Construction on new buildings on Marc Chagall to begin: here are the facts

Phase One of  construction will begin this week on the first of two 12 storey rental apartment buildings at the corner of Marc Chagall and Mackle. The project will be called Le Carlyle.

It is very important to clarify that zoning for this site has been in place for nearly 30 years. Contrary to some opinions, the present-day city council can do nothing to stop this project from happening.

Let me please make it clear that I am not pleased to see more construction occur on this street. But the zoning for this land was established in 1988 by a former city council.

I would like residents of Marc Chagall to please come back with me to 2000. A sales office was sitting on this land and down payments were being accepted by many people for two – yes two 16 storey condominiums. Eventually, the owners of the land cancelled the project. While city council could not rezone the land, we were able to adjust our master plan. By-law amendment no. 2217-36 brought the density down from 16  to 12 storeys in 2010. Now, seven years later, this new company has purchased the land and as long as they remain in the exact same footprint as the bylaw dictates we cannot stand in their way.

Residents of Le Rothchilds I and II might be interested  to learn that in 1988 it was Mr. H. Glassman and Mr. N. Arnovitz who requested the zoning to allow for two 16 storey multi-family dwellings and a 12 storey plus penthouse facility. Their plans were to  call them “Le Rothchild Condos III and IV.”   Le Rothchild III   became La Marquise and was built in 2005. The owners eventually sold the other piece land, where the new apartments will be constructed.

At no time did I or any member of council advocate for someone to purchase this land or build on it.  I was very pleased to see it remain vacant. But there are very few pieces of land available in our city, so someone was bound to secure it.

Some people have raised concerns about parking. Council has also applied our parking bylaw to the limit. Parking ratios are calculated as follows: one bedroom, one parking stall; two bedroom, 1.5 parking stalls; three and more bedrooms, two   parking stalls,

This project is proposing the following breakdown of units: 140 one bedrooms (140 parking stalls); 147 two bedrooms (221 stalls); and 19 three or more bedroom units (38 stalls).

According to our bylaw then, for the total of 306 dwellings, they are required to provide 399 indoor spots and 40 outdoors. They will actually do better than that, with 402 interior spaces and 44 exterior spaces for a grand total of 446, so five more than required.


We will work closely with the builders to insure they follow the proper noise bylaws and keep the area as clean as possible. I will be meeting with representatives of the different buildings to discuss this development in more detail.

CHAGALL-2

Un message du conseiller Mike Cohen, District 2

 

La phase 1 de la construction débutera cette semaine sur le premier des deux immeubles d’appartements de 12 étages au coin de Marc Chagall et de Mackle.

Il est très important de souligner que le zonage de ce site est en place depuis près de 30 ans. Contrairement à certaines opinions qui circulent, le conseil municipal actuel ne peut rien faire pour bloquer ce projet.

Je tiens à préciser clairement que je ne suis pas heureux de voir plus de construction sur cette rue. Mais le zonage de ce terrain a été établi en 1988 par un conseil municipal précédent.

J’aimerais que les résidants de Marc Chagall remontent avec moi à l’année 2000. Un bureau de vente était installé sur ce terrain et des mises de fonds ont été acceptées par plusieurs personnes pour la construction de deux — oui, deux — immeubles à condos de 16 étages. Plus tard, les propriétaires du terrain ont annulé le projet. Le conseil municipal ne pouvait pas changer le zonage du terrain, mais nous avons été en mesure d’ajuster notre plan directeur. La modification no 2217-36 aux règlements a baissé la densité de 16 à 12 étages. Aujourd’hui, sept ans plus tard, une nouvelle entreprise a acheté le terrain. Tant qu’elle reste exactement sur la même empreinte que celle dictée par le règlement, nous ne pouvons pas lui faire obstacle.

Les résidants de Le Rothschild I et II seront peut-être intéressés de savoir qu’en 1988, c’étaient MM. H. Glassman et N. Arnovitz qui avaient fait la demande de zonage pour permettre la construction de deux immeubles multifamiliaux de 16 étages et d’un immeuble d’appartements-terrasses de 12 étages. Leur plan était de les appeler « Condos Le Rothschild III et IV ». Le Rothschild III est devenu La Marquise et a été construit en 2005. Au bout du compte, les propriétaires ont vendu l’autre morceau de terrain, là où les nouveaux appartements seront construits.

Jamais les membres du conseil, dont moi-même, n’avons recommandé que quelqu’un achète ce terrain ou construise dessus. J’étais très heureux de le voir rester vacant. Mais notre ville ne contient plus que quelques terrains disponibles, et il était inévitable que quelqu’un se le procure.

Certaines personnes ont soulevé des inquiétudes concernant le stationnement. Mais le conseil a aussi appliqué notre règlement sur le stationnement jusqu’à sa limite. Les ratios de stationnement sont calculés ainsi : une chambre, une place de stationnement; deux chambres, 1,5 place de stationnement; trois chambres et plus, deux espaces de stationnement.

Ce projet propose la répartition suivante des logements : 140 logements à une chambre (140 places de stationnement); 147 logements à deux chambres (221 places); et 19 logements à trois chambres ou plus (38 places).

Selon notre règlement, donc, pour l’ensemble des 306 logements, l’entreprise doit fournir 399 places intérieures et 40 places extérieures. Elle fera en fait mieux que cela, en offrant 402 places intérieures et 44 places extérieures, pour un total de 446 places, soit cinq de plus que ce qui est exigé.


Nous collaborerons étroitement avec les constructeurs pour nous assurer qu’ils respectent les règlements appropriés concernant le bruit et qu’ils gardent la zone aussi propre que possible.

Je rencontrerai les représentants des divers édifices afin de discuter de ce projet plus en détail. 

 

 


Local Polar Plunge raises funds for Camp Moshava

Camp Moshava is the only co-ed modern Orthodox Jewish camp in Canada. It was established in 1959 and is situated in Ontario.

The camp draws 45 percent of its population from Toronto, 35 percent from Montreal and the balance from Israel and the US. Moshava has played an integral part in forming Jewish identity in Canada with it’s over 10,000 alumni.

In recent years, Camp Moshava has partnered with both YACHAD and One Family Fund to provide individuals with disabilities and children who are victims of terror in Israel an enjoyable summer of full integration in our camp. “We also provide over 50 children financial aid so that their parents can make sure they aren’t denied this amazing summer environment,” says Director Vicky Shizgal, a resident of District 2.

The total amount of financial assistance for these programs is $170,000 annually. In order to continuing providing the same services, Camp Moshava needs to find creative fundraising ideas.

Montreal plunge1
The plungers towel off.


This year marked the first ever Polar Plunge in Montreal and in Toronto (and in Israel). On March 19, volunteers jumped into freezing water after raising money on our online site  . Locally, this took place in an above ground pool at the Beth Israel Beth Aaron Congregation on Mackle Road.

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A brave man gets ready to chill.


A total of $65,000 was raised as folks like Vicky’s husband Jimmy braved the frigid conditions.

Bravo to all!

For more information log on to www.campmoshava.org, email vicky@campmoshava.org or call 514.488.4741.

Montreal plunge3
It's Super Plunger!

 


Municipal leaders band together to fight Quebec Electoral Representation Commission's senseless decision

As a city councillor in Côte Saint-Luc, I always appreciate opportunities to work together with other elected officials in neighbouring municipalities. Such was the case on March 21 when the borough of Côte des Neiges-NDG spearheaded an energizing public meeting at their Community Centre to protest the senseless decision arrived by the Quebec Electoral Representation Commission. This unelected body, which answers to absolutely nobody, inexplicably reversed its February 7, 2017 second report on the electoral map that proposed to maintain the Mont Royal, Outremont and D'Arcy McGee ridings without any change. When the next provincial election takes place in October 2018, Mont Royal and Outremont will be merged and D’Arcy McGee unnecessarily larger in size.

ElectoralQuebec
Dida Berku and Ruth Kovac join other political leaders at the event.



Snowdon Councillor Marvin Rotrand and Suburban Newspaper editor Beryl Wajsman led the charge, first with a press conference and then with this impressive public meeting. Rotrand was joined at the head table by Borough Mayor Russell Copeman, Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg, TMR Councillor Erin Kennedy (representing Mayor Philippe Roy), CSL Councillor Ruth Kovac (representing Mayor Mitchell Brownstein) and Outremont Councillor Mindy Pollak (representing Mayor Marie Cinq Mars) English Montreal School Board Chairman Angela Mancini spoke, with Vice Chair Sylvia Lo Bianco, Commissioner Julien Feldman and Parent Commissioner Joanne Charron in attendance. Allan J. Levine, Dida Berku and I were the other CSL councillors on hand. I saw several of my constituents. If the Electoral Map had been adopted by Members of the National Assembly, I am certain that the passion and clear facts set out at this meeting would have resulted in an about face. Regrettably, there is nothing elected officials seem to be able to do. In fact, Mont Royal and Outremont are represented by cabinet ministers Pierre Arcand and Helene David. One of them will have to find a new place to run or retire.


I spoke to lawyer Peter Villani after the meeting and we both agreed that the Electoral Representation Commission still has an opportunity to correct this terrible wrong, admit it made a mistake and allow the status quo to prevail.

CrowdCDN
It was standing room only at the event.


The room was packed, something which elated fireball Rotrand. “The large attendance we witnessed speaks to the public interest in opposing the loss of representation that our communities will suffer if the map decreed by the Electoral Representation Commission stands,” he said. “The meeting essentially came together in a very short time so I believe the turnout reflects a broad consensus in our part of the island.”


Now unless the Commission shows some class, this decision will have to be fought in court and initiated by citizens. Ideally, an injunction can be sought. Wajsman has taken the lead by collecting funds for an eventual contestation and former NDG-Lachine Liberal Member of Parliament Marlene Jennings stepped forward to set up a blue ribbon panel. Jennings was chosen by the Quebec English School Boards Association to do the same when the provincial government tried to push through Bill 86 – aimed at abolishing elected school commissioners. The government backed off and they did so because they answer to the public; the Electoral Representation Commission simply marches to the beat of its own drum.


Each of the boroughs and municipal councils in the area has or will soon adopt a motion in opposition to the electoral map. All feel that the Commission's map will mean a serious loss of representation for their citizens, lacks respect for natural communities and does not provide the effective representation that the electoral law indicates must be the basis of any final decision.


The mayors have shared a legal decision written last September by Jean-François Gaudreault-DesBiens, Dean of the University of Montreal Law School, which indicated that the Commission's proposal of 2015 to merge Mont Royal and Outremont and change D'Arcy McGee was highly questionable. As the Commission's final decision has reverted to the 2015 plan, the mayors feel the Commission’s proposal will not stand up to a legal challenge.


“We are strongly concerned about the diminished political weight of the island of Montreal,” said Copeman, a former Liberal MNA for NDG. “Our political weight has been reduced in every riding redistribution since 1992 which merged Westmount and Saint-Louis. We have lost four ridings over the decades.
"The merger of Mont-Royal and Outremont creates a very large riding which is expected to see robust demographic growth over the next five years which we anticipate will take it over the legal maximum number of voters allowed by the electoral law."


The Commission proposes to maintain 125 electoral ridings in the National Assembly with the average number of voters being 48,952 per riding. The electoral law allows ridings to be as much as 25 percent more or less than the average, a maximum of 61,190 or a minimum of 36,714 voters. This legal disparity of up to 24,476 voters or up to a 69 percent legal difference of voters per riding gives some voters in Quebec far more power than others.


While the mayors believe such a disparity in number of voters per riding should only be allowed in the rarest cases, there are many examples in the map of small ridings in the 37,000 to 40,000 range while many others approach the upper limits. Ridings like Duplessis, Dubuc, Rousseau, Megantic and Nicolet-Betancour all have far fewer voters than Montreal ridings such as Nelligan, Saint Laurent, Robert Baldwin or the new D’Arcy McGee or merged Mont Royal - Outremont which have between 55,000 and 59,000 voters each.


"Worse of all is that the Commission proposes six ridings that are exceptions to the law beyond the Iles de la Madeleine, the only exception the law actually permits,” says Mayor Brownstein. “These ridings including Abitibi-Est, Abitibi Ouest, Bonaventure, Gaspe, René Levesque and Ungava have between 26.8 and 44 percent fewer voters than the electoral map average and are below the legal minimum of voters. How do we explain to voters that D'Arcy McGee will now have boundaries that will no longer resemble its historic territory and have 56,245 voters while Gaspe, a riding that will have fewer voters in 2018 than at the 2014 elections, will have a Member of the National Assembly with only 30,048 electors?"


The mayors note that the new map cuts the large Filipino community that had real clout in Mont Royal in half with a large part of the community residing west of Côte des Neiges Road shifted to D'Arcy McGee. The large Orthodox Jewish community in the former Outremont riding is also diluted with those living east of Hutchinson moved into Mercier.
Councillor Kovac presented a strong statement from Mayor Brownstein at the public meeting. Natural communities should be kept together in order to give minority groups a stronger voice,” she said. And yet helping natural communities is not what has happened in the commission’s report. We have the worst of both worlds – they are removing representation from the island of Montreal, making ridings bigger, and breaking apart natural communities. Maybe we don’t need the exact same strict equality rules as they have in the United States. But can we at least apply the same fairness as they have Macedonia, or Yemen, or Belarus?


“When you increase the size of a riding like D’Arcy McGee, you weaken the voice of its natural communities. Allophones, Anglophones, Italian, Filipino, Jewish communities and others will no longer have as strong representation as they did when the riding of D’Arcy McGee was of a reasonable size. Further Mount Royal brought one more vote to the National Assembly for these communities and other minority communities. As the largest city in Quebec continues to grow its voice should not be weakened. It’s up to Quebecers to raises our voices, open their wallets, and help challenge in court decisions that hurt our community. I sincerely hope the Commission reverses its decision without the need for a legal challenge.

 


Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather touches all of the bases at Town Hall meeting

In the 17 months since Anthony Housefather was elected as the Liberal Member of Parliament for the Mount Royal riding, I believe he has exceeded expectations in terms of his performance both within his constituency and in Ottawa.


As an MP he could not be closer to the people who elected him, always present at community events and going the extra mile by having Town Hall meetings throughout the year in different parts of his constituency. Such was the case on March 16 at the Irving Adessky Community Centre in Hampstead.

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Anthony Housefather addresses his Town Hall meeting.

I served as a city councillor under Anthony for 10 years when he was mayor of Côte Saint-Luc before he moved on to federal politics. He is a born leader and a walking encyclopedia on nearly every dossier he must deal with. Speaking notes are never needed and when asked a question, he is able to respond accurately and immediately.

Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg introduced Anthony, noting that the two first met in 1994. “He came to my door and was campaigning to become the youngest councillor in the Town of Hampstead’s history,” he recalled. “He stayed for about a half hour; he was young, enthusiastic and energetic. He has not changed a bit.”


Steinberg went on to explain how their paths crossed again in 2000 when his wife Doris dragged him into politics to fight against the forced municipal mergers and how they worked together to both battle the forced mergers and then fight for demerger. In 2005 Steinberg was elected mayor of Hampstead and Anthony was elected as mayor of Côte Saint-Luc so they continued to work together. “Anthony is a valuable Member of Parliament because as a former councillor and mayor he stays close to his constituents,” he said.


Steinberg hailed Anthony not only for these Town Halls, but his summits with elected officials in the territories he serves (Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead, Snowdon, Côte des Neiges and Town of Mount Royal). “Sometimes I vote Liberal, sometimes Conservative,” volunteered Steinberg. “I do not vote NDP. One thing I give the Liberals credit for is that they allow free votes for their MPs. I give Anthony credit for he is not afraid to vote against his party.”


That provided the perfect opening for Anthony to explain his leading role in having a bill passed aimed at preventing genetic discrimination. He did so by working with Toronto MP Rob Oliphant to lobby enough members of his own governing party to ensure that more than 100 Liberal backbenchers joined Conservatives and New Democrats to give final approval to the bill, this despite warnings from Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that it is unconstitutional. Housefather noted that in his opinion the bill was constitutional and that the majority of experts who testified before Parliament agreed that it was indeed constitutional.


The bill is aimed at ensuring that Canadians can get genetic tests to help identify health risks and take preventive measures, without fear that they'll be penalized when it comes to getting a job or life and health insurance. It would make it illegal to require a person to undergo genetic testing, or disclose the results of previous tests, as a condition of signing or continuing an insurance policy or any other contract or agreement. In addition, it would also prohibit anyone from sharing genetic test results without written consent, although there are exceptions for physicians and researchers. This bill has enormous significance for the Jewish community which has a considerable number of genetic mutations such as the BRAC 1 and BRAC2 genes for breast cancer in much higher density than the general population. Having the law adopted was a big priority for Jewish community organizations.


Anthony went on to explain that he has no issues with the federal government referring the question of constitutionality to the Supreme Court.


"Either way, we already knew with statements having been made by the insurance industry that somebody was going to challenge the constitutionality of the law," said Anthony, the Liberal chair of the Justice and Human Rights Committee that refused to amend the bill to suit the government.

“Having the federal government refer the matter directly to the top court "means that we will have an answer from the Supreme Court far faster than if a challenge is started in a lower court by industry or by someone," he said.


Anthony credits his years in municipal politics for providing the experience necessary to work with colleagues to have obtained the necessary votes from his fellow Liberal backbenchers and members of the opposition. “It goes to show that even if you are not in cabinet, you can have power,” he remarked.


Anthony was also proud to talk about how his Justice Committee issued a report recommending the Liberal government revive and expand the Court Challenges Program. The Government recently announced it was doing so and accepted most recommendations of the report, expanding the program to allow funding based on challenges to the Official Languages Act as well as additional charter rights.. The new program to fund court challenges will include cases based on freedom of religion, freedom of democratic rights, and right to liberty and security as well as equality and language rights.
Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould said the renewed program will ensure that the government "promotes access to justice for Canadians who need it the most," adding that Canada's justice system will need to continue to evolve. The promise to restore the program, which was scrapped by the Stephen Harper Conservatives in 2006, was included in the 2015 Liberal campaign platform and the mandate letters for Heritage Minister Melanie Joly and Wilson-Raybould.

Anthony’s staff both in Montreal and Ottawa receive a lot of e-mail correspondence. He expressed fear about the rising escalation of bigotry. “I have never seen in my adult life more of a prevalence since the United States elections,” he said. “It has now become socially normal and tolerated.”

Anthony alluded to the Quebec mosque terrorist attack, Montreal and Toronto imams who preached anti-Semitic theories, the “Punch a Zionist” comment by a McGill student leader and the ongoing BDS movement on university campuses – the new form of anti-Semitism.

Anthony also discussed the US-Canada relationship, the Syrian refugee issue, Motion 103, the government’s plan to introduce legislation to legalize cannabis this spring and Trudeau in general. “I think he is doing a very good job,” he said. “A lot of people have the wrong perception of him. He is actually one of the smartest people I’ve ever met.”

Besides Mayor Steinberg, Hampstead Councillors Michael Goldwax, Warren Budning and Leon Elfassy were on hand. I was joined by fellow Côte Saint-Luc Councillor Allan J. Levine.

To reach Anthony`s office call 514-283-0171 or e-mail anthony.housefather@parl.gc.ca. His constituency office is located at 4770 Kent, Suite 316.

 


Tiffanie Constantine a winner at Les Jeux de Québec

 

Congratulations to District 2 resident  Tiffanie Constantine,  a young gymnast and member of A.S. Dynamo Club  who recently won a silver medal competing in Les Jeux de Quebéc Gymmastisc competition
 
Tiffanie, 11, is a Grade 5 student at Merton School and the daughter of Natalie Constantine, welll known in the community as an American Sign Language intepreter living. The family resides on Rembrandt Avenue. 
 
TiffanieRembrandt
Tiffanie Constantine


In Côte Saint-Luc we are very proud about how we handled snow clearing

As we continue to dig out from the biggest snow storm the Montreal area has seen in years, I would like to applaud the work done by the City of Côte Saint-Luc`s Public Works Department.

CityTVsnowmarch2017

I have received a great deal of kind comments from residents in regards to how well  we  handled the snow clearing.  In fact, most of the Montreal media praised the work we did on the main roads. Please understand that this is a very difficult task and I was among the motorists on the Thursday morning stuck trying to get past the underpass on Cavendish. It was unavoidable and inconvenient, but later in the day all cleared up

“It was an emotional day for many residents,”  Public Works Director Beatrice Newman reported to city council. "Please help us help your residents understand why things appear to be a certain way while in the background, the city is working fervently to provide safe passage-ways in the city.”

The light on Guelph Road broke Thursday morning and stayed green. This meant that Westminster stayed on a red light. Traffic began to build up, employees rushed to help traffic. Public Security  directed traffic and electricians worked on determining and fixing the light. “Things like this happens when there are drastic changes in weather,” Ms. Newman said.

Cavendish Boulevard was congested, southbound. Our snow removal operations provided clear roads for our residents, but unfortunately once they hit CSL Road and Cavendish, they were faced with congestion. NDG kept their side of Cavendish at one lane. Therefore, our three lanes had to squeeze into their one lane. “Et voilà, major traffic accumulation on Cavendish and  CSL,”  Ms. Newman explained.

Fleet was at one lane from our city right through Hampstead. The objective at first is to clear the road with one lane for access. Then approximately 24 hours later, the blowing began. “We cannot start our operations earlier in the morning or traffic issues would be inevitable,” said Ms. Newman. “Only one lane would still be available in this case. We must consider the safety concerns first. This was not a regular snow storm. This was a blizzard with white out conditions, dangerous road conditions and more. We must have patience. Close to 40 centimeters fell and the process to remove it all will not be quick, we must work efficiently​and safely.”

We had five  teams working all day Thursday, five sidewalk cleaners, five loader/blowers, five 10 wheelers, five walkers and two salt trucks remained to follow the contractors as they salted the roads once the contractor blew the snow. Once snow falls on the asphalt  we secure it with abrasives.

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Our snow dump after the storm.

Two teams worked at the municipal buildings and one  worked on our special calls such as  snow blown accidentally on personal walkways, emptying public garbage, etc. One  employee was stationed at the snow dump on Marc Chagall in District 2, which now looks like an Olympic ski hill.

The balance of the areas around Yavne, Merton and Maimonides schools were done on Friday.   

We are working hard to do our best in operations and customer service.  

“In Public Security, our agents have seen their call volume go up by a factor of 2.5,” explained Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson. “Our agents have responded with professionalism and tact despite trying circumstances, horrible road conditions and lots and lots of snow. They have always kept the safety of our residents at the forefront and I have been impressed by their ingenuity and dedication.

“Our Dispatch Centre has been flooded with calls and complaints about everything from traffic to snow removal to cars blocking driveways. Despite being screamed and sworn at, they have maintained their composure and professionalism.”

Mr. Reichson noted that while  we did not activate our emergency plan, we kept it close at hand. We ensured that our evacuation routes remained as accessible as possible and were prepared to activate elements of the plan as required. “Despite what some residents have posted online, our response has been as strong and efficient as it can be,” he said. “ This was not just another storm, but rather an opportunity for our employees to shine and from what I have seen, all have risen to the occasion.


Public meeting set for April 3 on proposed new synagogue on Mackle Road

At the most recent Public Council Meeting the City of Côte Saint-Luc dealt with a request from the Fondation Sepharade Kollel Avrechim,  who wish to construct a synagogue on Mackle Road, backing onto the Cavendish Mall parking lot. In recent years, the new homes on Kellert, and the four lots on Mackle between Kellert and the Mall parking entrance were added to District 6, which Coucillor Glenn J. Nashen represents. This property is the eastern-most point in the district. The property border on my District 2.

There will be  provincially-mandated public information meeting on April 3, 2017 at 7:30 P.M. as required by law. Interested residents should attend this meeting at City Hall to learn about the project, ask questions and get answers in order to decide for themselves if they agree with the rezoning.

You can read Councillor Nashen`s blog  here for all of the details.

Sephardic-kollel-2017-03


This disturbing incident took place in CSL District 2

Police seek other victims after man arrested in connection with Côte Saint-Luc sexual assault

Adamo Bono, 35, charged with sexual assault, kidnapping after alleged victim dragged into woods

CBC News Posted: Mar 10, 2017 5:39 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 10, 2017 5:39 PM ET

The Montreal police service's major crimes unit is searching for other possible victims of Adamo Bono, 35.

The Montreal police service's major crimes unit is searching for other possible victims of Adamo Bono, 35. (Montreal police,

Montreal police are looking for other potential victims, after the arrest of a 35-year-old man on Tuesday in connection with an attack on a 24-year-old woman in Côte Saint-Luc on March 2.

Adamo Bono was charged Wednesday with kidnapping and sexual assault.

Police said the incident began on an STM bus travelling westbound on Van Horne Avenue. The alleged victim said a man sat next to her on the bus and stared at her for the entire ride, trying to engage her in conversation.

Police say the woman got off the bus near Cavendish Boulevard and Kildare Road in Côte Saint-Luc, and the man followed her.

He started speaking to her, and when she got close to her destination he grabbed her and dragged her into a wooded area, where she was sexually assaulted.

Police say the alleged victim managed to get away and ran to a friend's home nearby.

The man followed her but fled when her friend opened the door.

Investigators with the police service's major crimes unit believe other women may have been assaulted in similar scenarios.

"Police are presently asking that if anybody was a victim of that man to please communicate immediately with the 911 emergency centre or go to their neighbourhood police station," Montreal police Const. Daniel Lacoursière said Friday.

Police are encouraging residents of Montreal's west end, where the March 2 alleged attack occurred, to circulate this information widely.

Anyone who believes they may have been a victim is asked to go to their local police station or call 911.

See this CTV report.


Author Emma Richler delights audience at CSL Library sponsored talk

Author Emma Richler  was a big hit with her audience at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium at Côte Saint-Luc City Hall. She spoke about her book, Be My Wolff, which tells the story of a sister and her adopted brother who share a profound connection.

This free lecture, presented by the  Côte Saint-Luc Public Library, drew a nice crowd. Author as well of Feed My Dogs and Sister Crazy, Richler shared her experience of growing up as the daughter of Montreal's larger-than-life presence, Mordecai Richler, and how that influenced her career choices. Journalist and commentator Anne Lagacé Dowson conducted the interview on stage and questions from the audience were taken at the end.

Emma Richler
With Emma Richler.

Emma Richler grew up on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, spending time in London, where she was born, and Montreal. Originally an actress, she turned to the family industry, writing, in 2001. Many of us in the audience were surprised to hear her speak with a strong British accent. But London is where she spent the first 11 years of her life and resides today. When the Richlers moved back to Montreal, she said that her parents underlined the importance of learning French and she did. Looking out in the audience, she saw some former classmates  - people she had not seen in some 30 years.

Richler spoke lovingly about her late dad, mom Florence and siblings Daniel, Noah, Martha and Jacob. Lagacé Dowson asked her about the famous gazebo the City of Montreal refurbished to the tune of $700,000 in her dad`s memory. She responded politely to what has become a  controversial and very much delayed project. Richler clearly had a close relationship with her dad, her voice breaking when speaking about him.

Regarding her mom,  Richler said: "Florence is beautiful and radiant. She looks incredible. I read to my mom by phone. She is a brilliant editor."

Asked by Lagacé Dowson about her decision to quit acting for writing, Richler said that she felt compelled to write and jokingly added that if she ever did return to the screen she'd like it to be as a James Bond girl. 

Following the popular talks last year featuring Kathy Reichs and General Roméo Dallaire, our library is  excited to be working again with Paragraphe Bookstore and Lagacé Dowson. Events like these highlight the importance we place on culture in our city.


Paragraphe Bookstore was represented at the event  and sold  copies of Richler's books, which she signed.