Almost two years ago, before the 2017 Côte Saint-Luc municipal elections got into full gear, a new Facebook page called Let’s Chat was created by local activist and businesswoman Marissa Sidel. It attracted a lot of attention, with residents airing their gripes and candidates chiming in. Some others pages like Côte Saint-Luc Families and CSL Unsensored also materialized.
Upon the election of the new council, Our Public Affairs and Communications Director Darryl Levine launched CSL Ideas. We already had a general city Facebook page with general updates and information.
After the election Let’s Chat CSL expanded to become Let’s Chat CSL, Hampstead Montreal West 2.0. Then last week the page was taken down by Facebook. Initially Marissa tried to revive it as Let’s Chat 3.0. It seems the page got caught up in a spam folder algorithm and the name needed to be changed.
Marissa has now introduced West End Politics, aiming for a broader audience and mandate. “This group is meant for discussion surrounding local issues in the West End,” she notes. “The West End constitutes CSL, NDG, Hampstead, Montreal West and TMR. All issues are welcome to be discussed. The purpose of this group is to be a citizen led conversation about anything that affects the West End. The group is for the people and by the people."
Working alongside Marissa is her brother and business partner Noah, a former journalist, communications professional, political candidate and most recently an active voice for the Edinburgh Elementary School community in Montreal West. What’s refreshing about this page is the fact it will not just focus on municipal issues in CSL, Hampstead and Montreal West, but we will hear about the provincial and federal level and yes the school boards.
"There’s a lot we can do as a group of people. I’m a little tired of the 'we have no lights on Cavendish and Kildare' posts."
I have been active on Facebook for years, with personal and political pages. In addition, I am an administrator or moderator for the English Montreal School Board, the CSL Trap Neuter Return program, CSL Central Bark, Montreal Food Scene and Carré Union.
Besides members of our city council, Liberal Member of Parliament for Mount Royal Anthony Housefather and D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum are frequent posters to these local pages.
Housefather is thriving in his role as our representative in Ottawa and this week he posted a video of his impressive back and forth with the Bloc , who have proposed a bill that would give English-speaking Quebecers in the federal civil service fewer rights to work in their language than any other civil servant in Canada. “In this video my vision of Canada comes out loudly and clearly in both official languages,” Anthony stated on his Facebook page. You can see it here is you have access to Facebook.
With a federal election set for October, West End politics will no doubt be occupied with that topic.