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October 2019

Annual CSL Cats Committee Benefit Concert Another Success

A capacity crowd of well over 300 people attended the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee’s (CSLCC) annual benefit concert on   October 24 at the Syd Wise Auditorium of the Wagar Adult Education Centre. Featured performers  for Broadway’s Greatest Hits were the Musicians of the World Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Joseph Milo. There were also solo performances by soprano Olivia Charette-Hancinsky, baritone Burney Lieberman and saxophonist Gideon Vigderhaus.

 

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For a detailed recap  please click here.


Jeffrey Kovac to run in his mother Ruth’s District 8

When Pierre Elliott Trudeau passed away in 2000, his  son Justin gave a stirring eulogy at the funeral. Eight years later he ran for office and captured the Papineau riding to become a  Liberal Member of Parliament, followed by party leader and then Prime Minister.

In Côte Saint-Luc, we are mourning the passing of longtime city councillor Ruth Kovac. At her funeral, her son Jeffrey gave an emotional and heartfelt eulogy. He spent a lot of time with his mom when she was ill, specifically in those last few days. “One of the reasons why my mother continued fulfilling her council duties, virtually until her final days on this earth, was because there were so many ongoing issues, city-wide and in her district,” Jeffrey said. “Two nights before she passed, I was fortunate to spend some one on one time with her. She had a lot to say, but one of them was that she hoped someone would carry on the work she was so passionate about.”

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Ruth and Jeffrey.

A by-election to replace Ruth will likely take place sometime in March or April. At the October 23 council meeting, Jeffrey came to the microphone to announce  that he will run for her seat in District 8. “This,” he said, “will be the ultimate tribute to my mom. She devoted  the last three decades to this city and I firmly believe that she’d want someone with the same passion to continue her work.”

Jeffrey said that even though he is not even an official candidate yet, he has a list from his mom of some of the hot button issues in the district and he intends to follow them up. “Having grown up in Côte Saint-Luc and being given so much from the city in so many ways, it’s now time to continue the agenda, passion and representation that my mother set forth for nearly three decades,” he said. “My entire family has always been very passionate about civic duty  and it’s something I hope to pass on to my own children as well.  The city of Côte Saint-Luc and District 8  lost a champion of representation on Oct 1, 2019, and it’s my hope to follow in those footsteps and fight for the constituents to help enhance life in our community every day!  There is still work to be done that was unfortunately never completed by my mother, but I promise to continue that work with the passion, integrity and diligence that’s been passed on to me.”

Earlier in the evening, the council chamber was the site of an emotional memorial for Ruth. The room was filled to capacity, with everyone seated in the very chairs that Ruth herself chose only a few years ago.

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Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth.

When and if other candidates come  forward, I will share that in this space. One person who will not throw his hat in the ring is former councillor Glenn J. Nashen. He shares precisely why here on his blog.

 

 


Housefather returns for a second mandate as Mount Royal Liberal MP

The much too long federal election campaign is over and with a minority government delivered to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, it is safe to say that we will be headed to the polls again sooner than four years from now.

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Anthony Housefather and company celebrate victory.

Locally, Anthony Housefather was returned to office as the Member of Parliament for Mount Royal. He defeated David Tordjman of the Conservatives, also a city councillor in Côte Saint-Luc and prior to that our Director of Public Works and Engineering.

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Anthony in campaign mode.

Anthony was our mayor in CSL for a decade and I think everyone agrees he did an outstanding job as our MP. He worked tirelessly for his constituents, as did his devoted office staff, and never missed a community event. Only days after an exhaustive campaign he already confirmed that he will attend and speak at my CSL Cats Committee benefit Thursday night, an initiative I might add he helped make a reality as mayor. It was this worth ethic that translated into a machine of campaign workers that resulted in more than 24,000 votes. Anthony’s door to door campaign never stopped over the 2015 election. He also created initiatives that none of his predecessors had never even considered, such as rotating community assemblies and the evolution of a committee consisting of municipal, provincial and school board reps from the riding. In addition he went the extra mile to secure grants for community institutions and programs.


As chair of the Federal Justice Committee, Anthony also had a high profile nationally. An impeccably bilingual lawyer, he would be a nice fit in the federal cabinet.

“I am profoundly grateful to the hundreds of people who helped out over the course of the last few months,”Anthony said. “We achieved amazing results in Mount Royal! In my first election in 2015 we improved the Liberal margin from five points in 2011 to 12.5 points and in this election we improved it to over 30 points, winning polls across the entire riding by great margins. I am honoured to have the opportunity to continue to serve the residents of City of Côte Saint-Luc, Town of Mount Royal, Snowdon, Ville de Hampstead / Town of Hampstead and Côte-des-Neiges and will keep doing my best to represent everyone effectively.”

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David Tordjman and his son.

Running for the Tories is never an easy task anywhere in Quebec and David deserves credit for the efforts he made. He could not even be active on the actual election night due to the Jewish holiday.

See Glenn J. Nashen's blog.




Housefather returns for a second mandate as Mount Royal Liberal MP

The much too long federal election campaign is over and with a minority government delivered to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, it is safe to say that we will be headed to the polls again sooner than four years from now.

AHcampaign1
Anthony Housefather and company celebrate victory.

Locally, Anthony Housefather was returned to office as the Member of Parliament for Mount Royal. He defeated David Tordjman of the Conservatives, also a city councillor in Côte Saint-Luc and prior to that our Director of Public Works and Engineering.

AHwaves
On the campaign trail.


Anthony was our mayor in CSL for a decade and I think everyone agrees he did an outstanding job as our MP. He worked tirelessly for his constituents, as did his devoted office space, and never missed a community event. Only days after an exhaustive campaign he already confirmed that he will attend and speak at my CSL Cats Committee benefit Thursday night, an initiative I might add he helped make a reality as mayor. It was this worth ethic that translated into a machine of campaign workers that resulted in more than 24,000 votes. Anthony’s door to door campaign never stopped over the 2015 election. He also created initiatives that none of his predecessors had never even considered, such as rotating community assemblies and the evolution of a committee consisting of municipal, provincial and school board reps from the riding. In addition he went the extra mile to secure grants for community institutions and programs.


As chair of the Federal Justice Committee, Anthony also had a high profile nationally. An impeccably bilingual lawyer, he would be a nice fit in the federal cabinet.

“I am profoundly grateful to the hundreds of people who helped out over the course of the last few months,”Anthony said. “We achieved amazing results in Mount Royal! In my first election in 2015 we improved the Liberal margin from five points in 2011 to 12.5 points and in this election we improved it to over 30 points, winning polls across the entire riding by great margins. I am honoured to have the opportunity to continue to serve the residents of City of Côte Saint-Luc, Town of Mount Royal, Snowdon, Ville de Hampstead / Town of Hampstead and Côte-des-Neiges and will keep doing my best to represent everyone effectively.”

Tordjmanson
David Tordjman and his son.

Running for the Tories is never an easy task anywhere in Quebec and David deserves credit for the efforts he made. He could not even be active on the actual election night due to the Jewish holiday.

See Glenn J. Nashen's blog.




Qualitifruits is back in Côte Saint-Luc and thriving

Qualitifruits is back and people from all over the island of Montreal are heading to 5818 Westminster Avenue in Côte Saint-Luc (corner of Mackle Road) to shop at this one of a kind store. Pasquale, Albina, Babu, Emma, Marvin, Frank and the rest of the team are there to greet you.

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Marvin, Emma, Babu, Albina and Pasquale.

 There are so many things I love about Qualitfruits. Not only do they have an exceptional selection of fruits and vegetables, including many items you cannot find anywhere else, but the layout is a wide and easy to navigate. The fruits are cut up and placed in either plastic containers or wrapped packages making it so easy to serve at home. Not all fruit stores offer this type of service. They do it at grocery stores, but the “quality” is usual sub-par at best. If you want a large fruit platter, they will make them to order for you.

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There is good space at Qualitifruits,

Qualitifruits is best known for its array of fresh meals and side dishes, mastered by chef Frank. Let them do the cooking for you. Be it fish, chicken or meat, dinner is served. I especially appreciate the sides: potatoes, cauliflower rice, mushrooms, green beans, zucchini and much more. The refrigerated windows have a wide selection to choose from. They can also cater your private event, notably barbeques in season.

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Prepared meals and side dishes are excellent.

This is the store’s third incarnation. When they closed last time Pasquale promised they would be back. His team took the necessary time to reorganize and so far they have knocked it out of the park.

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A great selection of fresh fruit.

Qualitifruits can be reached at 514-309-0169.


Mount Sinai Hospital Literacy Breakfast Club moves to Beth Israel Beth Aaron

The Beth Israel Beth Aaron Congregation in Côte Saint Luc is the new home of The Mount Sinai Hospital Literary Breakfast Club, an Auxiliary fundraiser, ongoing for the past 16 years!

The Club boasts a membership of over 250-plus avid readers, who recently engaged in the first of five reviews for the 2019-2020 season.

Prior to the last review, members chatted over a delicious mini breakfast, then proceeded to the synagogue sanctuary for a stimulating discussion of the novel “Where The Crawdads Sing” given by Ann Lagace Dowson of  CJAD Radio.

The next review, Song of a Captive Bird, a sumptuous debut novel, will be reviewed on October 30 by Linda Shohet, a winner of the Queen’s Jubilee medal!

Son of a captive

The Club takes a hiatus for the winter months, and continues with three  more reviews in April, May and June 2020.

The Auxiliary is grateful to all literary club and committee members for supporting this ongoing hospital endeavour.

Both members and volunteers have found a way to learn, enjoy and give on behalf of the patients of Mount Sinai Hospital.

For more information call the Auxiliary office at 514-369-2222 ext. 1337


Bus stop finally moved back on Kildare near Rembrandt

I am pleased to report that  the 162 bus stop has finally been move back from the corner of Rembrandt Avenue and  Kildare Road. It previously stood right at the driveway entrance to the highrise condo at 5790 Rembrandt.

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The new stop sign location.

 When I met with condo reps on Rembrandt last May it was agreed that in combination with the new stop sign across the street, the bus stop was creating a blindspot for motorists attempting to turn left. Police Station 9 Traffic Officer Simon Poitras and CSL Traffic Committee Councillor David Tordjman concurred. Our Traffic Engineer Spyro Yotis was then charged with the  task of trying to persuade the Montreal Transit Commission (MTC) to make this change, something they had refused in the past. We were fortunately successful in the endeavor this time around.

We recently installed a larger stop sign at Kildare and Rembrandt. I did receive some requests for a crosswalk, but our Traffic Committee stated that we do not wish to encourage pedestrians to cross at the corner. Instead they should either do so at Kildare and Cavendish or Kildare and Sir Walter Scott.


Major improvements about to get underway for Isadore Goldberg Park

From the day I was first elected as the city councillor for District 2, one of my objectives has been to clean up Isadore Goldberg Park. Strangely sandwiched between a number of buildings on Kildare Road and Sir Walter Scott, it has never been properly accessible to all.

While we have maintained the park and always kept it clean, our plan all along was to try and relocate it closer to Marc Chagall Avenue. One such consideration was the greenspace near the row of town houses. That was put on hold when we needed the land for a temporary lease in order to find an appropriate space for the  workers on the new Equinoxe apartment buildings to park their cars and store equipment. That lease  concludes next summer, at which time the developers must return the land to its previous form.

I would like to thank our Director of Public Works Beatrice Newman and her team for coming up with a solution to make Isadore Goldberg Park shine in its present surroundings. This week we sent letters to residents in the immediate area to inform of the improvements planned for the park, named after former Councillor Isadore Goldberg Park. Work will be done in  two phases. For starters we have removed invasive plants and tall weeds along the fence behind the townhouses and placed geo-textile and poured stone onto the newly cut pathway. This will provide a new entrance to the park from Marc Chagall Ave. In phase two, the city will add a fence along the path (and hopefully paving), benches, new lighting, and other features to the park. We will also give the lights a more decorative look. We hope to do a re-dedication and install a new visible sign.

There are two reasons why the city must remove invasive plants like buckthorn, phragmite, other tall weeds along with overgrown bushes and other bushes. First, this vegetation has attracted insects and rodents. Second, it is blocking our crews from accessing the park with equipment. We need proper access to the park to maintain and clean the park regularly as we do in all other parks in the city, remove old urban furniture in the park, and clean the sewer. Also, Côte Saint-Luc Public Security patrollers will be able to see more clearly into the park when doing their patrols.

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With horticulturalist Joane Warren and Beatrice Newman at the park.

As Ms. Newman notes, “we intend to make this park a beautiful space with an accommodating entrance for all.”

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The new gravel road.

 

I would also like to thank Sir Walter Scott resident Alexander Errore for his ongoing interest and encouragement for the state of this park

When the makeshift parking lot becomes greenspace again, I will meet with local residents to determine what we can do with that area as well.


Mourning the passing of Councillor Ruth Kovac

Two days ago I sent my friend and colleague Ruth Kovac an e-mail

"I want you to know how much you are in my thoughts and I pray for a New Year Miracle," I wrote. "You are the toughest lady I know.. Enjoy your family and I hope we can speak this week!"

Ruthpeter

"Thanks Mike," she wrote right back. "We can try tomorrow. Rather complicated, Shana tova."

On Monday Ruth was admitted into Palliative Care at the Mount Sinai Hospital, ironically an institution where she served as a volunteer for many years. Today she passed away, after valiantly (and very privately), battling cancer for several years.

Ruth was first elected to council 29 years ago. Like others she sat out the four years of the forced mergers with Montreal, but returned when Côte Saint-Luc was reconstituted in 2005. That was when I was first elected. I had first met many years earlier, even prior to her assuming council duties. She was a member of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and a volunteer in the figure skating program. I helped her in that first election and when she won (alongside the man she would call her council husband -Glenn Nashen) she and her husband Peter took us both out for a steak dinner.

Ruth was a devoted councillor and cared deeply for our community. It was interesting to see the fire in her belly at council meetings and this something she kept going until her final days. Just a few years ago, Ruth convened the mayor and council to share some dark news. "I have been diagnosed with cancer," she said. "Only my family knows.But you are my council family. Please do not share this news outside this room. I will fight this."

And "fight" she did. We were all in awe of Ruth. Despite her treatment and side effects I cannot recall her missing one meeting or private event. She was stoic indeed and for a time it looked as if she had defeated the dreaded disease. When it returned she still kept it to herself and her loved ones. Most of us were not even aware. But a few months ago her condition worsened. She shared with us that at this point there was no cure.

Most people in her position would have stepped down, gone into a dark room and get angry about their fate. But not Ruth. I will forever admire how she comported herself. Some nights she was not well enough to join us, so instead we got a detailed group e mail with her comments on every single agenda items. She was at our last public meeting on September 9. You can see the video here. I knew things were not good when she asked me to carry a small file folder into the council chamber for her. She was too weak to lift it. That night Ruth was as active as ever in our discussions.

What a brave lady! It was extraordinary to see how emotional she was on decisions we were taking on issues that would only come into play a year from now.

Last Friday she e-mailed me again, wishing to know how things were progressing on a certain dossier we were both interested in.

Ruth was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. My sympathies go out to her entire family.

Funeral services for Ruth will take place on Thursday, October 3 at 11 am at Paperman and Sons.I am still in shock over this sudden news. We all feared we would lose Ruth soon. But it came too quickly for us to accept it.