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March 2020

The police will act for those who do not follow the law on COVID-19

The subject of self-isolation keeps coming up in Côte Saint-Luc. Sadly we have become the focal point of COVID-19 cases in the province, primarily because too many people did not respect the calls from the government for social distancing, avoiding large gatherings and not self-isolating when coming into contact with someone who was diagnosed or  when they returned from Florida. If people want to know why our IGA at Quartier Cavendish and Caldwell Provisions have closed their doors to clients and will only do delivery for now, this is why.

A punishing blog targeting the Jewish community is going viral on the internet. The author is identified as a Philip Berlach.

Once again today I got a flurry of calls from people, mostly in high rises, hysterical that too many people are not following the law. When I took a walk on Parkhaven a woman flagged me down to complain that her neighbours were having different visitors every night.. We heard from an elderly couple in a rental who are petrified by their neighbours who are a large family, also with endless traffic in the unit. The building is not properly staffed and she is frightened.=

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I hope everyone wakes up for the police are prepared to take action. If someone with a known case of COVID-19 is roaming around, then call 911. The same goes for a massive gathering, You can call Police Station 9 directly at 514-280-2222. Police will respond to every call.   This is serious. They must halt any potential super spreader.

Police cars are patrolling the area. Ditto for our Public Security.

Our Liberal Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather shared with us today that public health rules related to those who have been outside the country for the last 14 days have  They were revised over the weekend by public health authorities. “Those who are in self-isolation, meaning you travelled outside the country over the last 14 days or were in close contact with someone who tested positive are now not allowed to go for walks or bike rides and must get fresh air only on their own balcony or lawn, if they have one,” he says.

So please, carefully go throw out your trash. But do not use the elevator or go to the mailroom.

 Federation CJA unveiled some excellent guidelines for the Jewish community today. I implore everyone to follow them. See below.

On multiple occasions, we have urged strict and complete adherence to guidelines issued by the Quebec government and health authorities to stem the spread of COVID-19.

AS PASSOVER IS APPROACHING WE WANT TO REITERATE THE FOLLOWING:

 

NO SOCIAL GATHERINGS WHATSOEVER

 

NO PRAYER GATHERINGS

 

NO ONE SHOULD JOIN YOU AT YOUR SEDER UNLESS THEY ARE LIVING WITH YOU

 

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD ANYONE BE CROSSING THE US BORDER IN EITHER DIRECTION

 

NO VISITORS SHOULD BE WELCOMED IN OUR HOMES, INCLUDING RETURNING CANADIANS WHO ARE SELF ISOLATING.

 

RETURNING CANADIANS, SNOWBIRDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS NEED TO STRICTLY ADHERE TO SELF ISOLATION REQUIREMENTS; MUST CONFINE THEMSELVES TO THEIR HOME AND COMPLY WITH SELF ISOLATION AND HEALTH DIRECTIVES.

 

ANYONE WHO HAS TRAVELED OR BEEN IN CONTACT WITH SOMEONE DIAGNOSED MUST UNDERTAKE THE PRESCRIBED QUARANTINE PROTOCOLS.

Anyone who sees someone violating these restrictions should politely remind the offender/s that they are in violation of the law. If the warning is disregarded, then the appropriate authorities should be notified.

We close with wishes for a Happy Passover and with a fervent prayer, may it be the will of Our Father in Heaven to have mercy on us and to protect and prevent the pandemic from all of us, from our city and the whole world. May he send a speedy recovery to all those who are sick, wherever they may be, and may we merit in the month of Nisan to be redeemed, speedily in our days.

If you or anyone you know needs assistance please call their Help Line at 514-734-1411.


CIUSSS West-Central Montreal opens a drive-thru screening clinic for COVID-19 in CSL

The new COVID-19 screening clinic is located in the parking lot of the Quartier Cavendish at 5800 Cavendish Boulevard. The clinic will be open every day from 8:00 a.m. to
8:00 p.m. A person must have an appointment before arriving at the test centre.

"By opening the Cavendish screening clinic, we are respecting our engagement to act quickly and decisively so we can respond to the rapid evolution of the situation by providing essential services the public needs", declared Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, President and CEO of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal and a CSL resident.

To be eligible for testing, a person must have travelled during the last 14 days, come into contact with a person who travelled during the last 14 days, and who is sick or has symptoms such as fever, cough, or a sore throat. (The criteria is subject to change) If you respond to one of these criteria, call 1-877-644-4545 (as of Sunday at 9:00 a.m.). You must complete an online questionnaire that will determine if you need to be tested or not. Once on site, the test will be carried out in the car. No one is allowed to exit their vehicle. For now, the new centre can carry out up to 400 tests per day.

"Credible COVID-19 information is crucial. This is what we are providing by increasing the possibility of being tested, and by determining the people for whom a positive result will make their self-isolation mandatory," added Dr. Rosenberg.

Bravo to Dr. Rosenberg and his team and the Quebec government  for making this happen. I know our mayor, Mitchell Brownstein and D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum were among those who had been asking for this occur. I spoke to  CIUSSS West Central Montreal Chairman Alan Maislin and I must say when the call ended I felt more confident than ever that we will get through this ordeal. Alan always knows the right things to say.

Test centre
The Drive-Thru Test Centre at Quartier Cavendish

 Le nouveau centre de dépistage de la COVID-19 se trouve dans le stationnement du Quartier Cavendish au 5800, boulevard Cavendish. Le centre sera ouvert tous les jours de 8 h à 20 h. Il est obligatoire d’avoir un rendez-vous avant d’arriver sur place.

« En ouvrant le Centre de dépistage Cavendish, nous respectons notre engagement d’agir rapidement et de manière décisive pour répondre à l’évolution rapide de la situation en fournissant les services essentiels dont le public a besoin », a déclaré le Dr Lawrence Rosenberg, président-directeur général du CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal.

Pour être admissible à un dépistage, une personne doit avoir voyagé au cours des 14 derniers jours, doit avoir été en contact avec une personne qui a voyagé au cours des 14 derniers jours et qui est malade ou qui ressent des symptômes comme la fièvre, la toux ou un mal de gorge. (Ces critères sont sujets à changement.) Si vous répondez à un de ces critères, appeler le 1-877-644-4545 (à partir de 9 h 00 dimanche). Vous devrez compléter un questionnaire en ligne qui déterminera si vous avez besoin ou non d’un test de dépistage. Une fois sur place, le test de dépistage se fera dans la voiture. Il ne sera pas permis de sortir de son véhicule. Le nouveau centre pourra réaliser jusqu’à 400 tests par jour.

« L’information fiable au sujet de la COVID-19 est d’une importance cruciale. Et, c’est ce que nous fournissons en augmentant les possibilités de dépistage, et en déterminant quelles sont les personnes dont le résultat positif rend leur isolement absolument obligatoire. », a ajouté le Dr Rosenberg.

 


Self-isolation for snowbirds means stay in your home or apartment for 14 days

As the COVID-19 pandemic  crisis intensifies, especially in Côte Saint-Luc, I am receiving more  and more phone calls and emails from constituents who are justifiably frightened.

Probably as early as this Sunday, a test center will open near the entrance of the CLSC Réne-Cassin at Quartier Cavendish. It will be by appointment only and for people in vehicles. Nobody will need to step inside. For those who do not have cars, we understand that a taxi service might be available.  There is more information to come. Bravo to our Liberal MNA David Birnbaum, Mayor Brownstein and the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal for making this happen, Today Quebec Public Health Director Horacio Arruda warned people who do not live in Côte Saint-Luc not to come here. The disease is spreading here and hopefully the Test Center will ensure more people are diagnosed and treated.

Stayathomecorona

There are many Côte Saint-Luc snowbirds who returned from Florida as of March 26. Yesterday the federal government invoked the Quarantine Act. The number of cases of COVID-19 is increasing daily – both at home and globally,” explains Mount Royal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather. “Earlier this month, we asked travellers entering Canada to self-isolate for 14 days to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Canada. Effective immediately, we are strengthening our measures at the border.”

Travellers returning to Canada will be subject to a mandatory 14-day self-isolation under the Quarantine Act.Failure to comply with this order can result in fines of up to $750,000 and/or six months in prison . “All individuals, with the exception of essential workers, are subject to these measures, regardless of whether you display symptoms,” Housefather says.

ResteMaison

Your city council is meeting daily via video conference. Our mayor, city manager and head of public safety are in touch with the commander of Police Station 9 regularly and they are prepared to act on this law and arrest someone if necessary. Is that the example we need to see before people really get how serious this is?

I already received some calls today about snowbirds spotted in their lobbies. Someone from a building not in my district indicated that their doorman told them it was okay to come down to get their mail. These actions contravene the Quarantine Act. Folks, we do not want this to get ugly, but I am hearing from more people who say they have taken to shaming their neighbours who do this. Others say they will not hesitate to call the police. All snowbirds must remain in their home or unit for 14 days.

Then there is the category of others who must go into a 14 day self isolation because  they may have come into contact with someone infected with the disease. Can they go for groceries? “

"No, you cannot,” Housefather emphasized.  “You cannot go to stores, you cannot go visit people and other people cannot come visit you. “

If you have no symptoms you can still go outside for fresh air, a run, a bike ride or to walk the dog. But please  stay six feet away from anyone else.

One constituent reached me today to say he has already seen people breaking the rules. “Please advise the community at large to say something to the authorities when this occurs,” he advised.

Another constituent said:  “I have a neighbour two doors down from me who  is supposed to be self-isolating.  I see him go to his car every day and he runs the engine on  I am trying not to be a ‘rat,’ but he never goes by the rules for anything and in this case even more so. Anyway someone can speak to him and his wife? They have three kids who are also playing outside now - they leave their toys around, which I will not touch, but it is crazy that they are not following the rules.”

The number for the police is 514-280-0109. Please do not abuse this.


Work on the Equinoxe and Le Montefiore grinds to a halt due to COVID-19 measures

When Premier Francois Legault pressed the pause button on non-essential businesses  on Monday for a at least a three-week period because of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, the construction industry  was among the casualties.

For  District 2 in Côte Saint-Luc this  means that all work stops  on the second tower  of the Equinoxe on Marc Chagall Avenue as well as Le  Montefiore on Mackle Road.

Work on the Equinoxe was already well behind schedule. Originally they had planned for a July 1 completion. When I last  spoke to officials there, they  pushed the date back to October 1 to deliver the final product. If crews are allowed to return to work on April 13 perhaps  they can finish up by November or December. Partial occupancy is still the goal for July. They have just started to market this  tower  and sign leases.

Equinoxefeb2020
Phase 2 of the Equinoxe is coming along.

 

The fact that July 1 was not going to happen regrettably means that the former greenspace on Marc  Chagall must remain as a parking lot/storage space for another summer. The developers must return that to greenspace when the work is done. We were caught between a rock and a hard place here, with insufficient parking spaces on the street for all of the workers and many of their building materials.

Pub_montefiore_8x10.5_

Le Montefiore, like the Equinoxe, will be an upscale residential rental building. The transformation of the  former seniors residence was supposed to be ready last fall, but unforeseen issues  with the brickwork necessitated some major work  on the structure. They have also  converted the former first floor dining hall to an additional indoor lot. They are just embarking upon a marketing campaign for leases   and a late spring opening is still likely.

I wish all of my constituents well as we try to cope with this nightmare situation. Your council is meeting six days a week by video conference and keeping an extremely close  eye on the goings on in our city. Today I even took a walkabout in the district and carefully keeping six feet away from constituents who approached me to talk.


Local food and pharmacy services remain open, but be respectful of others

Rumours that Caldwell Provisions is closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic are not correct. I spoke to owner George Sparagis  today and he said that a new protocol will be put into place immediately, with fewer people allowed inside at a time. People can drop off or phone in their regular Passover orders. Curbside pickup will be available and the normal delivery service still remains in place. Give your credit card over the phone (514-481-0365)  and your order will be left at the front door. They will be closed this Sunday to give the staff a well-deserved break.

IMG_0002
George Sparagis

 Qualitifruits and Norsherz on Westminster Avenue will also remain open, again limiting the number of people inside.

“We are allowing two customers at a time in the store and they have to use the sanitizer at the door,” says Emma Salvati of Qualifruits. “For those people who just returned from Florida, we ask that they not come in. We will deliver. Customers need to be patient.”

Robert J. Vineberg of Nosherz says he is adopting a similar policy. He will also offer delivery for a nominal  charge.  He also wished to tell me that his puzzle store in LaSalle. Jigsaw Jungle,   remains open and they ship daily right to your front door." Puzzles are a great way to pass time and keep the mind sharp," he said. "We boast one of the largest selections  in the world." You can call Nosherz at 514-484-0445 or email  orders@nosherz.com.

J &R Kosher Meats at Quartier Cavendish are offering curbside pickups from their back door. You can get the order form on their website and e-mail in your request. "Specify on your order whether it’s a back door pick up or delivery," explains Susie Nemes. "List exactly the items you want,  whether they are raw or cooked. Please include your credit card information, including the security code. We will try our best to complete your order for the date that you ask."

What concerns me are the people who are not self-isolating for 14 days,   be it those who have come back from Florida or been in the company of someone who was diagnosed positive for COVID-19 and sadly we know that those numbers are rising here. Today we learned that someone who did their prayers at Beth Zion on  Hudson Avenue was diagnosed. An elderly resident of the King David Seniors Residence did too after she attended a family wedding, opening the floodgates for others to become infected.  Some who went to Beth Chabad CSL were diagnosed and we  are now asking anyone who was there self-isolate.

So please, if you fall into any of these categories please please please do not go out to shop for groceries or the pharmacy! Mayor Mitchell Brownstein will be issuing another robocall to all homes and running an advertisement on CJAD to again highlight these points.

The Quartier Cavendish has basically shut down its entire operation, save for the staples.

Danish supermarkets.
This is how social distancing is being handled at stores in Denmark

Pharmaprix  at Quartier Cavendish now has tight controls. IGA at that venue and the CSL Shopping Centre has shortened its hours. If it looks crowded either do not go inside or maintain the proper space apart. Passover shopping will be lighter for residents this year. Our state of emergency prohibits gatherings of 10 or more.   Passover seders should only be held with people who live under the same roof as you. At this moment we are all taking risks every time  we leave our homes.

Solly the Caterer prepares food for restaurants and bakeries all over the island of Montreal. They also   make over 1,100 meals daily for daycares and supply meals to veterans and seniors. During this crisis owner Mitchell Kadanoff and his team are delivering fresh meals  to your door, individually packaged or in bulk. It will be made in a safe and sanitized kitchen. “Our prices will remain the same,” says Mitch. “ We will waive all delivery fees and credit card charges. We want the community to know that Solly’s will make sure no one goes hungry at this time. It is best to email them 24 hours in advance to Info@sollythcaterer.com as the phone lines are pretty busy (514-485-8818).

Mount Royal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather states: "Everyone must respect federal, provincial and municipal rules. Everyone who has returned to Canada must self quarantine for 14 days. This is not optional. They cannot do anything other than what is permitted by public health. Those over 70 should stay home,  except for emergencies or walking alone or with someone who lives with them. No churches or synagogues or any other religious institution should be operating no matter where they are located. People should pray at home. Nobody should be visiting other people’s homes."

I will continue to update this article with other food news people provide me with.


The campaign for snowbirds to self-isolate ramps up; council requests state of emergency extension

In recent days I have been in touch with the condominium representatives and managers of buildings in District 2 to ensure that they are warning snowbirds arriving via Florida and other destinations to go into self-isolation for 14 days.

The good news is that they are all taking this very seriously. Snowbirds are  returning home by automobile and air from Florida and they are at great risk of being infected with the Covid-19 virus. Any one of them could unknowingly be a super spreader and place others in danger. Most of the building reps have reported back to me to share their action plans.

Some buildings have gone about compiling lists of those who (have) or  are returning.  Mayor Mitchell Brownstein made a mass telephone call to every residence today on this subject. He was also interviewed on CJAD and in The Gazette. A full page message was published in The Suburban.

The city has now produced flyers and these are being posted in every building. I have included them on this blog. Citizens of Côte Saint-Luc understand how important this is. Council is meeting on a daily basis and communicating multiple times per day. Let’s all work on this together for a large outbreak in our community, with such a large percentage of senior citizens, would be devastating.

 

CSL_2020-03_COVID_precautions_residential_buildings_poster_8.5x11

 

Council held a special meeting on March 20, streamed live on YouTube, at which time we adopted the following resolution. Here is the link to the file. Fast forward to the 6:15 mark.

RESOLUTION TO REQUEST THE AUTHORIZATION FROM THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SECURITY TO EXTEND THE STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED BY THE CITY OF CÔTE SAINT-LUC ON MARCH 17, 2020 DUE TO COVID-19

WHEREAS the World Health Organization declared a pandemic related to COVID-19 on March 11, 2020;

WHEREAS in conformity with sections 42, 44, 45 and 47 of the Civil Protection Act (C.Q.L.R., chapter S-2.3) (“Act”), a state of emergency was declared by the City of Côte Saint-Luc in its whole territory on March 17, 2020 by way of resolution number 200343;

WHEREAS by virtue of section 47 of the Act, the city or any person empowered to act on its behalf, upon the declaration of the state of emergency, may without delay and without formality, to protect human life, the health and physical integrity of its population by enforcing specific measures;

WHEREAS by virtue of section 43 of the Act, a state of emergency declared by a municipal council is effective for a period of five (5) days at the expiry of which it may be extended on the authorization of the Minister of Public Security, as many time as necessary, for a maximum period of five (5) days;

WHEREAS this pandemic constitutes an actual and imminent major disaster situation and immediate and continued action is required to protect human life, the health and physical integrity of the population of the City of Côte Saint-Luc given its particular demographic and population density;

WHEREAS as of the date hereof, four (4) cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the territory of Côte Saint-Luc related to events which risk dramatically spreading the disease to other members of its population and the number of cases of COVID-19 will only increase due to the City’s demographic situation and population density;

WHEREAS since the Côte Saint-Luc City Council declared a local state of emergency on March 17, 2020, its residents have complied with the measures contained therein which are consistent with the directives provided by Premier François Legault in decree 117-2020;

WHEREAS the City of Côte Saint-Luc has been in contact with all commercial establishments in its territory in order to urge them to follow the current measures provided by the state of emergency and the directives of Premier François Legault and they agreed in principle to comply with orders issued in relation to the declaration of state of emergency;

WHEREAS for the reasons cited above herein, it is essential that the state of emergency in Côte Saint-Luc be renewed and that more stringent, additional measures be imposed;

            It was

                        MOVED BY COUNCILLOR OREN SEBAG

                        SECONDED BY COUNCILLOR DAVID TORDJMAN

AND RESOLVED:

            “THAT in conformity with section 43 of the Act, the Côte Saint-Luc City Council (“Council”) requests the authorization of the Minister of Public Security to extend the state of emergency for an additional period of five (5) days;

            THAT in conformity with section 47 of the Act, Council further imposes the following measures:

  • The closure of all non-essential commercial establishments, places of worship and-or religious institutions;
  • Request that all essential commercial establishments to avoid the propagation of the virus by enforcing social distancing for its employees in addition to imposing strict hygiene measures;

            THAT Council request the help of the Direction de la Santé Publique to establish appropriate security measures in order to minimize the health risks for the entire population of Côte Saint-Luc, namely: 

  • To take all necessary precautions to track, identify and test all citizens that have potentially been exposed to the virus in the last week;
  • To prioritize Côte Saint-Luc citizens in testing centers due to an elevated risk of transmission and possible community transmission; and
  • To provide the City of Côte Saint-Luc with drive-thru testing in strategic locations on its territory;

THAT, should the spread of the COVID-19 virus continue to propagate, the Côte Saint-Luc City Council requests the Provincial Government to consider drastic measures such as limiting access within the perimeter of the City of Côte Saint-Luc and ensure adherence by enforcing coercive measures;  

THAT the City Manager or the Director of Public Safety be hereby authorized to sign any document giving effect to the foregoing.”

ADOPTED UNANIMOUSLY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


News of South Florida rabbi with COVID-19 should set off alarm bells for Snowbirds

Important Update: It appears that another Bal Harbour rabbi has tested  presumptive positive: Rabbi Moshe Gruenstein from The  Young Israel Congregation  Further to this, I am told that here too many of our residents are members. See this Miami Herald story.

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As hundreds of snowbirds return home to Côte Saint-Luc and Hampstead, extremely alarming news comes our way that the rabbi of one of the largest Orthodox synagogues in Miami-Dade County, Shul of Bal Harbour, has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19.

Reports say that Rabbi Sholom D. Lipskar, the founder and spiritual leader of the synagogue on Collins Ave. in Surfside,  was “exhibiting mild symptoms and was self-isolating.”

The town's mayor said Lipskar “is not only the rabbi of our synagogue, but he is a Bal Harbour resident, a pillar of our community, a spiritual leader to many, the chaplain of our police department, a neighbor and a close friend.”

The shul has about 700 family memberships, representing about 3,000 people, and many are Côte Saint-Luc and Hampstead snowbirds. I have already fielded many worrisome calls from members of local synagogues.

Lipskar
Rabbi Lipskar

“If you have been in ‘close contact’ with Rabbi Lipskar in the past 14 days, please self-isolate in your homes with your nuclear family only, for a period of 14 days,”  Bal Harbour Mayor Gabriel Groisman said. He added that Bal Harbour residents might soon be contacted by state and federal health officials “to direct those who may have been in close contact with the Rabbi to seek medical attention and testing.”

This is another example of why ALL of our snowbirds must self-isolate the moment they return. Do not go to the grocery store or a common laundry room. Have family or friends bring you groceries. Any one of you can become a super spreader.  Said one synagogue congregant: "I  know a snowbird who came back and agreed to self-isolate and then someone saw him at the grocery  store," he told me. "He was asked why he did not stay at home. The man responded that he only wanted to pick up one item and he did not see the harm. Some people just do not get this!"

Rabbi Lipskar, who is in his 70s, said he was diagnosed at the University of Miami and that his only symptom was fever. After the 14 day period he may be cleared.

If you know any returning snowbird who may have set foot in that shul before returning home, please warn them and others!

Beth Chabad Concerns

Meanwhile, we have been informed that someone who has frequented Beth Chabad on Kildare is suspected of having COVID-19. He was tested yesterday and the shul is now closed. Services are taking place outdoors. As a result of our declaration of a state of emergency, gatherings of more than 10 people in our community are now prohibited. Everyone needs to rethink how their Passover seders will take place.

 


Your city is showing leadership during this COVID-19 crisis

I was not a member of city council when Quebec experienced the 1998 Ice Storm. But I vividly remember our mayor, councillors and front line staff stepping up as leaders.

As the COVID-19 pandemic hits us all very hard, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, our council and our senior management team have stepped up. We have a high proportion of seniors in our community and two large healthcare institutions – Maimonides and Mount Sinai – which are of great concern. There is also the CLSC René Cassin, which sees patients and of course has a blood test center.

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Hundreds of snowbirds will be coming home by car (passing by and stopping at some American towns where the disease can be active) and air. Social distancing on a plane or in line at the airport is simply not possible.  These individuals must follow the protocol set forth by Premier  François Legault and self-isolate for 14 days immediately upon their return. Any one of them can be a super spreader.  We also need to encourage individuals aged 70 or over to stay home, as stated by the Premier.

Gradually our religious institutions are cancelling any large gatherings. This is essential. Sadly celebrations must be included in this category – weddings, bar mitzvahs and upcoming Passover seders. We are all congregating at grocery stores and pharmacies out of necessity. Try and limit these visits and practice social distancing. Make sure to have a hand sanitizer with you at all times and a container of wipes. Consider frequenting some of our smaller-sized merchants such as Qualitifruits on Westminster, Nosherz next door, Caldwell Provisions, Pharmaprix Caldwell, Maxis Bakery at Quartier Cavendish.

We have closed all of our main municipal buildings.  City Hall is closed to the public, but our staff continue to run the city. Our city council wants to lead by example. We have therefore moved to online meetings via video to avoid all being in the same room. The provincial government has given municipalities powers to proceed with meetings and consultations via technology. I want to take my hat off to Darryl Levine, our invaluable public affairs and communications chief. In short order he set up a system whereby the mayor, council and senior staff met from 5:45 pm to 11:30 pm on Monday entirely via video. The monthly “public” council meeting was streamed live on YouTube. We took questions that were submitted earlier in the day and the mayor responded to questions posted on YouTube in real time. Nearly 40 people watched it live and it is now available here for everyone to see.

This format was a huge success. We will continue to meet this way until further notice. The mayor and council are in regular communication daily. We are all practicing social distancing. On Monday I was appointed Deputy Mayor for the next three months. This means that if for whatever reason the mayor cannot fulfill his duties, I will assume those responsibilities.

State of Emergency Declared in CSL

We held a special meeting at 3:30 pm on Tuesday, March 17 when the Mayor declared a state of emergency in our city. The focus was to limit gatherings now to no more than 10 people. Included as well was a message to Snowbirds and other travellers arriving from abroad.

Here  is the complete text:

WHEREAS the World Health Organization declared a pandemic related to COVID-19 on March 11, 2020;

WHEREAS several measures have been taken by the City of Côte Saint-Luc in order to prevent and slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus as per the directives provided by the appropriate health authorities;

WHEREAS the City of Côte Saint-Luc has a high concentration of seniors, representing over 30% of its population, including many snow-birds living in apartment and condo buildings who have been or will be returning home after extended travel;

WHEREAS the City of Côte Saint-Luc also has one of the highest population density per square kilometer in Québec;

WHEREAS senior citizens are most susceptible to be affected by the COVID-19 virus;

WHEREAS the City of Côte Saint-Luc is home to eight (8) large religious institutions and many smaller ones, most of which continue to maintain services and hold celebrations;

WHEREAS the City of Côte Saint-Luc has seven (7) senior residences and, two (2) hospitals and one (1) CLSC on its territory;

WHEREAS this pandemic constitutes an actual and imminent major disaster situation and immediate action is required to protect human life, the health and physical integrity of the population of the City of Côte Saint-Luc given its particular demographic and population density;

WHEREAS by virtue of sections 42, 43, 44, 45 and 47 of the Civil Protection Act (C.Q.L.R., chapter S-2.3) (“Act”) a local municipality may declare a state of emergency in all or part of its territory where, in an actual or imminent major disaster situation, immediate action is required to protect human life, health or physical integrity, and specify the nature of the disaster, the territory concerned, its effective period and the measures to be taken without delay and without formality;

WHEREAS by virtue of the Act, a state of emergency is effective as soon as it is declared or renewed; It was

MOVED BY COUNCILLOR  DIDA BERKU
SECONDED BY COUNCILLOR OREN SEBAG

AND RESOLVED:

“THAT in conformity with section 42 of the Act, a state of emergency be declared in all of the City of Côte Saint-Luc’s territory due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic;

THAT in conformity with section 44 of the Act, the Mayor of Côte Saint-Luc be authorized to exercise the powers provided by section 47 of the Act;

THAT the state of emergency be declared for a period of five (5) days from the adoption of the present resolution;

THAT during the state of emergency and in conformity with section 47 of the Act, the Côte Saint-Luc City Council prohibits any indoor social and-or religious gatherings exceeding 10 individuals on its territory and calls upon the Direction de santé publique to use their powers of enforcement to shut down any of these said gatherings with the Collaboration of the SPVM;

THAT the Côte Saint-Luc City Council further beseeches upon its residents and strongly implores them to:

- Undertake mandatory isolation for a period of fourteen (14) days for all those who return from abroad on or after March 12, 2020; and

THAT in conformity with section 45 of the Act, the present resolution be sent immediately to the Minister of Public Security and the appropriate civil protection authorities in the territory of Côte Saint-Luc.”
ADOPTED UNANIMOUSLY

Handwash

Resolution on COVID-19

We began our  March 16 meeting by adopting the following resolution:

WHEREAS several measures have been taken by the City of Côte Saint-Luc in order to prevent and slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus;

WHEREAS the City of Côte Saint-Luc recognizes and appreciates the proactive measures taken by some organizations on its territory to prevent and slow down the virus;

WHEREAS the City of Côte Saint-Luc has a high concentration of seniors,  representing over 30 % of its population of 34000, including many snow-birds living in apartment and condo buildings who have been or will be returning home after extended travel;

WHEREAS the City of Côte Saint-Luc is home to seven large religious institutions and many smaller ones, three large shopping centres, several strip malls, and some office buildings;

WHEREAS the City of Côte Saint-Luc would like to do everything in its power to contain and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus;

WHEREAS community organizations and individuals can play a significant role in helping to prevent the spread of the virus;

WHEREAS a community’s resilience is only as strong as its weakest links;

Be it Resolved That

The City of Côte Saint Luc hereby asks the organizations and community groups on its territory to cease all of their activities that gather people physically together, and calls upon its residents to follow all provincial recommendations to help prevent the spread the COVID-19 virus.

Relatives and Caregivers

We have heard from many distraught relatives of patients at Maimonides and Mount Sinai. They and the hired caregivers are no longer allowed inside, according to government directives to limit transmission. Our mayor is in regular touch with our Members of the National Assembly and healthcare officials to see what kind of compromise can be made. Surely there can be a screening process created.  The existing staff cannot possibly handle such a caseload. One of the residents at Maimonides is Cecile Klein. She is 112 years old, the oldest living person in Canada. Feeder

Côte Saint-Luc has the largest proportion of seniors in the province per capita. They are the most vulnerable to contract COVID-19. We must all do everything in our power to keep them safe.  And they must do their part as well – Snowbirds in particular! 

Please stay tuned to the city’s special COVID-19 website. Our EMO (Emergency Measures Organization) consists of Mayor Brownstein, Councillor Oren Sebag (public safety portfolio and a registered nurse by profession), City Manager Tanya Abramovitch, Associate City Manager Nadia Di Furia,  Public Safety Director Philip Chateauvert, Parks and Recreation Director Cornelia Ziga and Darryl Levine. They are convening multiple times daily.

Look for our advertisement in The Suburban on Wednesday, Letters will be sent to each home and we will make sure to address our concerns of those people who must self-isolate. The orientation of Côte Saint-Luc is that we want to be a leader and prevent the virus from spreading as much as possible, acting with an abundance of caution.

 


Meet our two District 8 by-election candidates: Leslie Perez and Adam Dahan

There are two candidates for the April 5 by-election in Côte Saint-Luc, to  fill the  giant void left in District 8 by the passing of our dear and devoted city councillor Ruth Kovac. Both are residents of my District 2: Leslie Perez and Adam Dahan. The advance poll is on March 29.

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Leslie Perez's daughter Miriam holds up her cards.

 

Leslie was first out of the gate a few weeks ago.  A 41-year old single  mom,  who lives with her two teenage daughters,  she earned a BA ( Specialization in Communications Studies, with a concentration in Digital Media) from Concordia University in 2003. Admitted into Law School right after college, she chose to pursue a career in communications as a means to foster her vision and creative skills. For 18 years, she has dedicated her career developing and strategizing marketing and communication initiatives. She has worked in both the corporate world and for non-profits grasping both, marketing and public relations methodologies. Witnessing the evolution of web, social media, and corporate communications, she founded her own communications consulting business, combining her expertise with her passion to the things that matter most – health, happiness and innovation. She looks forward to contributing new vision, and new skills at Council.

Over  the past decade, Leslie  volunteered in over a dozen non-profit organizations, ranging from education, special needs, political parties to poverty alleviation. She believes giving-kindness feeds our  greater purpose in life. Her brother Lionel is  the leader of the  official opposition at Montreal City Hall. Her priorities  include attention to  senior citizens and intergenerational programs, family-focused recreation (including online programming),  responsible urban development on the district,  enhancing communications, a focus on public transit , community spirit, safety on our streets and  transitional green measures.  Leslie has been taking regular drives and walkabouts in the district.  She says she feels   energized and overwhelmed by all the support, private messages and calls she has been getting since her announcement to run.

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Adam Dahan

 

Adam, 24,  and  recently married  graduated from Bialik High School in 2013, attended CEGEP at Marianopolis, then completed his Civil Law Degree at the University of Ottawa and   Common Law Degree at the Université de Montréal. He is also the founder of a residential real estate management company in which he  has held a passive role since 2018 when he began working as a jurist for a philanthropic group focused on an array terrorism prevention and accountability objectives. More specifically, he  acts as a jurist and legal advisor and researcher for this philanthropic group in their civil pursuits on behalf of terrorist victims, as well as lobbying the federal government on the repatriation of ISIL fighters into Canada.  His campaign is rooted on four platforms: Security; Sustainability; Linguistic Rights; and Transportation. 

Adam believes  our city must act as a leader in deterring anti-Semitic attacks as prevention is the best solution.  On the subject of  climate change he says there are countless initiatives and projects that we can enact in order to make sure that CSL and its residents are part of the solution rather than the problem.   As a son of immigrants who created an environment in which he was able to learn to communicate in both English and French--but yet feel more comfortable communicating in English—he says he can relate to many CSL residents who simply want to communicate in the language in which they have more ease. He  pledges to work tirelessly to ensure we maintain our bilingual status. Finally, vis-à-vis  transportation issues he intends to communicate with the most affected residents of CSL in order to ensure that the implementation of the transportation solution(s) be aligned with their priorities.

Best  of luck to both candidates.


In Memoriam: Dr. Bernard Tonchin was the ultimate engaged citizen

I was most saddened to hear about the passing of Dr. Bernard Tonchin. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday at Paperman and Sons at 2 pm.

Dr. Tonchin was the ultimate community activist and with his friend Irving Itman earned the title of “council regular.”  For decades he attended city council meetings and eagerly awaited his turn at public question period where he would passionately urge the mayor and council to move on all kinds of issues. He was very concerned about the extension of Cavendish Boulevard.

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Dr. Tonchin and Mayor Mitchell Brownstein.

Dr. Tonchin, who retired a number of years ago from his dentistry practice, even tried to run for elected office once and challenged District 1 Councillor Isadore Goldberg. The latter turned out to be unbeatable anytime someone took him on, but Dr. Tonchin gave it a gallant try. Dr. Tonchin only missed council meetings when he travelled with his family. Otherwise he could always be counted on to keep us honest.  In recent years he had significant problems with his vision.  Whether it was his devoted wife Dorothy or Mr. Itman, he made sure to get a lift to City Hall. There were times when he would go to Montreal City Hall to champion a Côte Saint-Luc cause.

Soon after  I was first elected to city council more than 14 years ago I formed a communications committee. One of the focus items was to establish a naming policy for streets, parks and buildings. I called Dr. Tonchin and Mr. Itman and asked them each to be part of this process. They happily agreed. Who better than a couple of gentleman I lovingly referred to as “The Sunshine Boys”  to help us out?

I noticed lately that Dr. Tonchin was not attending council meetings. Now I know why. My deepest sympathies to his family,