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January 2021

 A detailed examination of Hydro-Québec’s planned major  electrical system upgrade

District 2 in Côte Saint-Luc will be part a major electrical system upgrade of the Hydro-Québec network. Work will occur between 2023 and 2026 and impact homes on Merrimac Road, Marc Chagall Avenue as well as Bialik High School

Hydro will be converting three 120-kV substations to 315 kV. This includes the Hampstead substation (in Côte Saint-Luc) and rebuilding the 120-kV Aqueduc-Saraguay  overhead transmission line at 315 kV over a span of 18 km between LaSalle and Saint-Laurent. Known as the Aqueduc-Saraguay project, the cost is estimated at over $500 million. The project involves replacing aging equipment, maintaining the system’s reliability, meeting future electricity needs and supporting economic development.



Both  Hydro and Côte Saint-Luc did a study related to what the level of Electromagnetic fields (EMF) will be, that being  a combination of invisible electric and magnetic fields of force. They occur both naturally and due to human activity.  Hydro’s study showed that the EMF’s will be within the norms. Our investigation confirmed that. Councillor Steven Erdelyi, who co-chairs this committee with Councillor David Tordjman, told me: “On the positive side when you increase the voltage, you decrease the current. That means less magnetic field so it is actually safer for people.”  

There are valid reasons for this work. Despite the fact people are becoming more energy efficient, power consumption is up and more people are purchasing electric cars. In District 2 alone we just added two large Equinoxe towers. Not far off, the former Blue Bonnets Raceway will become the base to some 5,000 housing units.

A joint working committee of representatives from Hydro-Québec, the City of Côte Saint-Luc and a few members of the public started work January 27, 2020 to address public concerns about the Aqueduc-Saraguay project.   The committee’s mandate has been to review how Hydro-Québec can implement the project in Côte Saint-Luc while minimizing its impacts. For example, the committee is to assess how greenspaces can be enhanced.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact in terms of slowing down the process. We had two meetings in February and then had to wait until October before we convened again. Right now we must finalize with Hydro the precise trajectory of the new towers. There will be at least 12 towers constructed in Côte Saint-Luc and this entire project will take over a decade to complete. We also have questions about noise and public safety we need answered.

I asked two residents, Charles Guerin from the Meadows and Glenn J Nashen (on behalf of JPPS-Bialik) to be part of the committee. Hydro has been asked a lot of very detailed questions from the city and committee members. It is hoped these deliberations can be concluded in February or March because we as a city have not yet shared a comprehensive look at the project for the community at large.

In fact only last June Hydro stated: “By the end of the year, an information and consultation meeting will be held to present the project. The public will be invited to provide feedback and comments on the committee’s work and present other ideas of how the project could be improved.”

Again, none of us thought that we would still be dealing with the pandemic in 2021 at this emergency level.

Complicating matters further has been the launch on January 25 of a series of focus groups organized by Hydro. I was part of the first session. To me, this is an example of placing the cart before the horse. As the committee proceeds, residents who have no information on the actual project are suddenly being asked for their opinions to obtain a portrait of the usage of the transmission line right-of-way.    The objective is to collect the residents' ideas and concerns regarding the future right-of-way and its potential use.

I felt badly for the Hydro personnel and consultants who were asked to organize these sessions. They were there to talk about how to beautify greenspace near the new towers. Naturally, Meadows residents who were on the call wanted to know details. ”How big will the towers be? Has an environmental assessment been made?”  These are the type of questions residents had on their minds. But this was not the right table to ask them. This Hydro team wanted to know what residents would like the greenspace to look like.  These type of focus groups should have started first with experts detailing the main project, with this coming after.


What is a right-of-way? It is a legal agreement that allows Hydro access to the property directly beneath and to either side of an electric power line. Also called an easement, the right-of-way allows them to enter the property at any time, to perform maintenance or repairs to their equipment.

Hydro officials say they want to develop the hydroelectric right-of-way that meets the needs of the community: community gardens, playgrounds, swings, landscaping, etc. Their goal is  to improve the environment and the quality of life of the people who own this right of way. In recent weeks I have been hearing from very confused constituents on Merrimac and Marc Chagall who want more information.  I communicated again with the committee chairs in the last few days and asked them to please do everything they can to move this process along.

Please understand. This is an island-wide project and it will go ahead, regardless of any protests. Hydro does not need our permission.

Another Hydro project which directly impacts the upgrading of wiring at the Meadows has been delayed for several years because it involves the exchange of certain servitudes. The Meadows did have some say in that matter, but keep in mind that the condo property is supported by very old equipment and we may pay the price for this.


So When does Hydro opt for underground lines? Hydro responds as follows: “Whenever it’s impossible to build an overhead line because of insufficient space or an impassable obstacle such as a building.”

The cost for overhead lines, with a service life of 85 years, is $150 million. Hydro maintains it will have greater transmission capacity and a faster recovery from outages. An underground line, it points out, has a service life of 40 years, a lower transmission capacity and it is more complicated to maintain and repair. Oh yes, the cost is $440 million

Hydro-Québec’s transmission system, like all other transmission systems in the world, is mainly an overhead one. Out of 34,000 km of lines, they say only 200 km (0,7 percent) are underground, and those are mainly in downtown areas.

They give examples of the percentage of underground power lines with a voltage of 315 kV and higher in some other places: 0.1 percent in Canada; 0.4 percent in the United States; 0.4 percent in Germany; and 0.8 percent in Japan

Since underground lines are more expensive, Hydro says they’re used only in places where an overhead line can’t be built, either for lack of space, as in downtown Montreal, or because of an impassable obstacle like a building.

The costs of an underground line are determined by a set of variables that have to be analyzed for each project. For this project, a 315-kV underground line would cost about $290 million more, nearly three times more than an overhead line.  

Since Hydro-Québec’s investment choices have a direct impact on electricity rates for all of its customers, the company says it has an obligation to choose the lowest-cost option.

Last but not least,  Hydro states, an overhead line can carry more electricity than an underground line.

Here is how Hydro sums up choosing the optimal course of action: they have a duty to submit the best possible project, one that is technically, economically, environmentally and socially sound and that benefits its customers; performs well from a technical perspective; can be carried out at the best possible cost; respects the environment; and  safeguards the public interest and that of its customers

Hydro maintains building a 315-kV overhead line is the best option. They also emphasize that an overhead line follows a single route.  An underground line could be completely different from that of the existing line. An overhead-underground junction substation might also have to be built for an underground line: for a 315-kV line, that would be quite sizable. Building an underground line would have some major impacts: laying two separate ducts (under the streets alongside the existing right-of-way). Undergrounding a transmission line is more complex and takes longer.

The consensus does seem to be that we might be better off health-wise with the overhead wires.

The latter is true. But these towers will not impact our entire city of 34,000 residents so we do not have strength in numbers. Nonetheless, via these focus groups it is hardly futile to go on record with our concerns.

Furthermore, we can continue to make the argument for underground wiring. But unless we as a city pay for the work, Hydro does not have to agree. Their strategy has been shared with you in detail up above. Our annual budget for the entire city is $75 million. Underground work would cost $440 million, so we can all do the arithmetic.


The towers presently contain an overhead transmission line operating at 120 kV. They will be dismantled and rebuilt at 315 kV. The exact route of the line is currently under study and the subject of consultations with the special committee.  I met via Zoom with Meadows residents for nearly an hour and a half and clearly everyone would to see the present-day large tower moved somewhere else, like behind the JPPS-Bialik field. Is that possible? It certainly will be raised at our special committee level.


The Hampstead substation located behind Mount Sinai Hospital was built in 1955.   The electricity supplies residences, businesses and industrial customers in Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead, Montreal West Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Lachine via the distribution system. As part of the project, new 315-kV equipment will be installed at Hampstead substation.



Afin de répondre aux besoins croissants en électricité du secteur, Hydro-Québec investira plus de 500 M$ pour moderniser son réseau de transport dans l’axe nord-sud de l’île de Montréal, entre les arrondissements de Saint-Laurent et de LaSalle. Les équipements du réseau sont vieillissants, et doivent être remplacés.De plus, ce projet vise à améliorer la fiabilité de l’alimentation en électricité et la continuité du service à long terme pour tous les résidents de la région.

Hydro-Québec ajoutera environ 500 MW de puissance afin d’appuyer le développement économique et social dans les secteurs d’activité suivants :

  • Projets immobiliers, résidentiels et commerciaux ;
  • Projets de transport en commun (p. ex. station du Réseau express métropolitain (REM) et garages de la Société de transport de Montréal (STM) pour la recharge de bus électriques) ;
  • Projets de développement manufacturier ;
  • Centres de données et serres.

  500 M$ investis

  500 MW de puissance prévue

18 km de ligne de transport à convertir

3 postes à convertir

Modernisation du réseau électrique entre les postes de l’Aqueduc et de Saraguay

Le projet prévoit :

  • la reconstruction à 315 kV de la ligne de transport aérienne existante à 120 kV à sur 18 km entre Saint-Laurent et LaSalle. La ligne sera reconstruite dans l’emprise actuelle, mais dans le cadre des étapes suivantes, le tracé pourrait être optimisé pour en atténuer les impacts selon des critères techniques, économiques, environnementaux et sociaux.
  • la conversion de trois postes de transformation de 120 kV à 315 kV, soit les postes Rockfield (à Lachine), de Hampstead (à Côte Saint-Luc) et Laurent (à Saint-Laurent).

Hydro-Québec procède aussi à une étude préliminaire en vue de construire un nouveau poste dans le secteur de Dorval et la ligne d’alimentation associée.

Le projet se réalise dans une emprise de ligne en milieu urbain densément occupée à plusieurs endroits. Dans un souci d’harmoniser son projet avec la vision du développement de ses partenaires municipaux, Hydro-Québec mène une démarche afin de travailler en collaboration avec les villes et arrondissements, les organismes et les résidents concernés.

La ligne projetée sera construite dans une emprise de ligne existante où se trouve déjà une ligne aérienne de transport d'électricité à 120 kV.

Quand opte-t-on pour une ligne souterraine ?

Où il s'avère impossible de construire une ligne aérienne parce que l'espace est insuffisant ou parce que s'y trouve un obstacle infranchissable (p. ex. bâtiments, commerces)


  • Durée de vie : 85 ans
  • Capacité de transit supérieure
  • Rétablissement plus rapide en cas de panne


~150 M$*


  • Durée de vie: 40 ans
  • Capacité de transit inférieure
  • Entretien et réparation plus complexes

Coût~ 440 M$*


Une ligne souterraine coûterait environ 290 M$ de plus qu'une ligne aérienne, ce qui aurait un impact sur les tarifs d’électricité pour tous les Québécois.

Ligne souterraine : mesure d’exception

  • Comme c’est le cas partout dans le monde, le réseau d’Hydro‑Québec est essentiellement aérien. Sur 34 000 km de lignes de transport, l’entreprise ne compte que 200 km, soit environ 0,7 %, de lignes souterraines, essentiellement dans les centres-villes.
  • Voici des exemples de pourcentage de lignes de transport à 315 kV et plus qui sont enfouies ailleurs :
    • 0,1 % au Canada
    • 0,4 % aux États-Unis
    • 0,4 % en Allemagne
    • 0,8 % au Japon
  • Étant donné son coût plus élevé, une ligne souterraine est envisagée seulement là où il est impossible de construire une ligne aérienne, soit parce que l’espace est insuffisant (par exemple au centre-ville de Montréal) ou parce qu’il y a un obstacle infranchissable (par exemple des bâtiments imposants).

Coûts, durée de vie et capacité de transit

  • Les coûts d’une ligne souterraine sont fonction d’un ensemble de variables qu’il faut analyser pour chacun des projets.
  • Dans ce cas-ci, les coûts paramétriques de la ligne souterraine à 315 kV seraient d’environ 290 M$ plus élevés, ce qui représente trois fois les coûts d’une ligne aérienne de la même capacité. La ligne aérienne devrait coûter quelque 150 M$ alors que la ligne souterraine coûterait approximativement 440 M$ en dollars courants de 2018.
  • Hydro‑Québec se doit de présenter l’option la moins coûteuse possible, puisque ses choix influent directement sur les tarifs d’électricité pour l’ensemble de la population québécoise.
  • La durée de vie d'une ligne aérienne est d’environ 85 ans tandis que celle d’une ligne souterraine est d’environ 40 ans. Puisqu’il faut que le réseau reste sous tension pendant la reconstruction, il faut prévoir repartir de zéro après 40 ans dans le cas d’une ligne souterraine. Les coûts paramétriques de la construction d’une ligne souterraine ne comprennent pas les coûts de reconstruction après 40 ans.
  • Enfin, une ligne aérienne peut faire transiter plus d’électricité qu’une ligne souterraine.

Hydro‑Québec a le devoir de présenter la meilleure option qui soit, sur les plans technique, économique, environnemental et social, et ce, pour le bénéfice de sa clientèle. Hydro‑Québec doit donc présenter un projet :

  • performant du point de vue technique ;
  • au meilleur coût possible ;
  • respectant l’environnement ;
  • en préservant l’intérêt du public et celui de la clientèle.
  • Le projet retenu constitue le point d’équilibre entre ces grands critères. Dans le cas présent, les études montrent que la construction d’une ligne aérienne à 315 kV constitue la meilleure option respectant ces critères.

Impacts et réparation

  • Si elle est aérienne, la ligne n’emprunte qu’un seul tracé. Si elle est souterraine, pour des raisons de fiabilité du réseau, il faut que les deux circuits qui la composent soient séparés donc, idéalement, qu’ils suivent des rues différentes. Ces tracés divergeraient complétement du tracé de la ligne existante.
  • Une ligne souterraine pourrait aussi nécessiter la construction de postes de liaison aérosouterraine : pour une ligne à 315 kV, il s’agit d’équipements imposants.
  • La construction d’une ligne souterraine comporterait des impacts importants : mise en place de deux canalisations distinctes (dans les rues qui longent l’emprise existante), en plus de baies de jonction à intervalles d’environ 500 à 800 m.
  • Les réparations d’une ligne souterraine sont plus complexes et les délais sont en conséquence plus longs.



Everyone is happy to see our first ever outdoor ice rink at Rembrandt Park

For the first time ever, Rembrandt Park got an outdoor skating rink this winter. It was built inside one of our tennis courts.

Alvin Fishman, the city's newly appointed Arena Foreman, has exclaimed that he is very proud of our "Boys in Blue" who work the overnight shift on ice rinks bringing this gift to our residents and community, as we all are. 



Bravo to Director of Public Works Beatrice Newman and her team. In recent days the weather has proven to be a challenge to keep the rink operational. Heavy snow and mild temperatures proved to be a problem. We do hope families enjoy this new option over the next few months.

We should all be concerned about Quebec's lack of a response regarding votes by mail for next election

Note: This article in The Gazette by Linda Gyulai should have us all concerned about why the province is dropping the ball to ensure that municipal elections allow for mail-in ballots. Failing that, perhaps they should be postponed to the spring of 2022. Will door to door campaigning be possible next fall? Will people even want to work at the polls? The way the vaccine rollout has started, I am not completely confident that everyone will be given the jab by next November.


Elections in Quebec’s 1,100 municipalities are still 10 months away, but time is running out if the province plans to offer mail-in voting as an option for anyone who doesn’t feel safe voting in person.

The United States and British Columbia, which held elections in the fall, saw record numbers of voters cast their ballots by mail because of the pandemic. But those jurisdictions already had a system of mail-in balloting in place. Quebec legislation doesn’t currently allow residents to vote by mail in a local election in their municipality.

Voting by mail is crucial in a pandemic. Why is Quebec not ready?

“The deadline is starting to be tight,” Suzanne Roy, president of the Union des municipalités du Québec, told the Montreal Gazette after her association’s board decided in December to support mail-in voting among a host of measures to encourage turnout in the Nov. 7, 2021 municipal elections.

The UMQ, which represents 85 per cent of the population of Quebec through its member municipalities, passed a resolution that month formally calling on the provincial government to enact legislation that would permit voting by correspondence.

The UMQ resolution also calls for government support on six other measures to facilitate voting. They include studying the possibility of electronic voting from home, opening polling centres in seniors’ homes, adding more advance polling days and extending voting hours at polling centres. The resolution also appeals for any other safety measures that would eliminate lineups and make people feel more at ease, such as by offering more places to vote. And it calls on the government to allow municipalities to use a portion of the $100 million set aside for pandemic response in 2021 to help finance the voting measures proposed by the UMQ.

Roy, who is mayor of Ste-Julie, said public safety is one reason the association’s board, which includes the mayors of Montreal, Laval, Quebec City and Longueuil, supports mail-in voting and the other measures. But another consideration is pragmatic, she said: less than one out of every two eligible voters in Quebec, on average, casts a ballot in a municipal election, and the pandemic will likely only dampen enthusiasm.

“We don’t know what state we’ll be in with the pandemic, so we have to avoid people gathering when they vote,” Roy said.

At the same time, she said, “we have to make sure the vote is as accessible as possible. That’s why we’re suggesting that we promote voting by correspondence. Even if it’s expensive to set up, we think it could offer a solution for people who are afraid.”

The Quebec municipal elections law offers people who own property in a municipality but don’t reside there the chance to vote by mail. But the option is only available if the municipality opts in to allow out-of-towners a vote by post.

The city of Montreal tried mail-in voting for non-residents in the 2009 election, and abandoned it after only 1,215 voters out of 33,021 eligible non-resident voters sent in ballots.

In B.C., 662,000 votes were cast by mail in the provincial election in October — 100 times the 6,500 mail-in ballots that were cast in the province’s 2017 election. PHOTO BY DARRYL DYCK /THE CANADIAN PRESS
The UMQ’s suggestions require provincial approval. And Roy said her organization plans to follow up with the government.

For example, municipalities can’t unilaterally decide to extend advance polling by, say, a week or a month. A Quebec decree passed in October and applicable only to municipal elections during the pandemic allows for up to five days of advancing polling between Oct. 29 and Nov. 2. The decree also allows a municipality to add one additional election day, on Nov. 6. So a municipality must offer a minimum of two days to vote in 2021 — the Nov. 7 election and an advance polling day — and a maximum of seven voting days that include two election days and five advance polling days.

The government’s October decree opens the window slightly to voting by mail during the pandemic, but only for people in hospitals and nursing homes and those ordered into self-isolation, and only applying to byelections so far.

Mail-in balloting temporarily replaces bedside voting normally available in seniors’ residences and hospitals, according to a 41-page guide the municipal affairs department issued in the fall with recommended safe distancing measures for elections during the pandemic.

On Thursday, Quebec’s director general of elections announced byelections in two municipalities, in Saint-Calixte and Beauharnois, to be held on Feb. 21. Anyone qualified to vote by mail in those byelections must make the request to their local chief returning officer no later than Feb. 11.

However, even if the government allows the stopgap measure to be applied in the November general elections, Montreal city councillor Alan DeSousa said the impact of offering mail-in voting only to people in nursing homes and hospitals or in mandatory isolation “would be extremely limited.”

“It doesn’t help senior citizens at large,” he said. “Clearly, it doesn’t deal with the concerns of seniors living in the broader community and people with pre-existing medical conditions.”

Moreover, the decree doesn’t amend the municipal elections law, DeSousa noted. So once the emergency health crisis ends and the decree is no longer in effect, Quebec municipalities will go back to holding elections on a single voting day plus one or two advance polling days. Mail-in voting will once again only be available to non-residents, and only in municipalities that opt in, he added.

DeSousa said the popularity of mail-in ballots in the U.S. and B.C. elections ought to convince the authorities in Quebec to make it available to all municipal voters this November and beyond.

An unprecedented number of Americans voted by mail in the U.S. elections and contributed to one of the country’s highest election turnouts since 1900.



In B.C., 662,000 votes were cast by mail in the provincial election in October — 100 times the 6,500 mail-in ballots that were cast in the province’s 2017 election.

By DeSousa’s reckoning, time is running out. Municipal chief returning officers need time to organize, recruit staff and inform voters about the process, he said. Canada Post also needs time to prepare to deliver masses of ballots, he said. The city of Montreal alone has 1.1 million eligible voters.

“We have no guarantee we won’t be in a red zone next November,” says Montreal city councillor Alan DeSousa. “But you need to do the planning ahead.” 

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout may well move smoothly between now and September, DeSousa said. But Quebec can’t afford to wait and see before it decides whether to allow mail-in voting, he said. As well, it might be a long time before people feel safe to line up in a polling station again, he said.

“We have no guarantee we won’t be in a red zone next November,” DeSousa said. “But you need to do the planning ahead.”

The province might want to consider moving the deadlines for candidates to file their nomination papers and for voter list revisions to be made, he suggested. Currently, nominations close a month before the election, but the city then needs time to print ballots with the candidates’ names, mail them to voters and allow voters some time to mark their choices and mail back the ballots, he said.

DeSousa began phoning and writing to Montreal officials and the UMQ early last autumn to urge them to support mail-in voting and an extended voting period for the 2021 elections. He also got a resolution passed by city council in October that calls for the city to ask Quebec to introduce whatever legislative changes are needed for alternative methods to vote in the next election. The resolution also calls on the city’s election office to prepare for voting by correspondence, even if it’s not currently authorized.

DeSousa’s resolution followed after another opposition councillor, Marvin Rotrand, got city council to agree to examine mail-in voting for the 2021 election this summer.

However, the council speaker’s committee, which includes representatives of Montreal’s different political parties, dismissed the proposal in August, calling mail-in ballots “interesting” but complicated to implement. The panel concluded that mail-in ballots likely wouldn’t get the people who are the most vulnerable in the pandemic to vote. The committee recommended instead that Montreal “continue the reflection” as part of a provincial committee that includes representatives of the government, Quebec’s director general of elections and the UMQ, and that is working to identify alternatives to traditional voting.

Coincidentally, the director general of elections says it’s studying the possibility of expanding the use of mail-in ballots at the provincial level – permanently – starting in the 2022 general election. Spokesperson Julie St-Arnaud Drolet said the measure would require a legislative amendment. Currently, mail-in voting in provincial elections is available to Quebecers who reside temporarily or permanently in certain remote regions of the province, people who have lived outside of Quebec for less than two years but intend to return, and people in provincial and federal detention centres and youth centres.

Setting up a mail-in ballot system is no small task, the office of Montreal city clerk Yves Saindon, who is also the city’s chief returning officer, says. Saindon’s office gave an exhaustive presentation to the council speaker’s committee in August to show what a pandemic election and a vote by mail would entail.

The city clerk’s office, which said it’s open to mail-in voting if council supports it, worries the pandemic will keep seniors from voting in 2021 but also about its ability to staff the election, the presentation said. Seniors make up a large proportion of the personnel who work on any city election, it said. About one out of seven people who filled 13,000 temporary positions in the 2017 Montreal election was over 70 years old. And if mail-in ballots are added in 2021, Montreal will need to recruit at least another 500 temporary election workers, the presentation said.

The Montreal election would also cost more than the usual $14 million to hold a pandemic election, it said, notably to acquire personal protective equipment for all election personnel. The city’s 2021 operating budget, tabled in November, only specified an additional $450,000 to set up a “student voting office.”

If anything, the city clerk’s presentation shows that Montreal is ill-prepared to hold a pandemic election, DeSousa said.

“Clearly, in these circumstances, more needs to be done,” he said. “It’s important for democracy that these elections be held.”


Broken wires create problem for our hill at Rembrandt Park

I have received complaints about three street lamps not functioning  at Rembrandt Park on top of the hill where the children like to sled and toboggan.  The area is dark at this time

Public Works responded to these concerns and dispatched a team of electricians who confirmed there is a broken wire in the ground that feeds the street lamps in question . Unfortunately, nothing can be done about this at this time. We  will have to take a look at this in the spring.


Après vérification , les électriciens m’ont mentionnés qu’il y a un fils brisé dans le sol qui alimentent les lampadaires en question. Malheureusement , rien ne peut être fait pour l’instant a ce sujet


This Sunday: The former head of Israel’s Mossad featured in CSL Library live video presentation

The Côte Saint-Luc Public Library presented a very special talk by video  on January 17   via featuring Shabtai Shavit, the former director of Israel’s principal secret intelligence service known as the Mossad

It was also be accessible by phone. 

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You can watch the entire lecture right here,

Mr. Shavit is the author of an extraordinary book now available at our library called Head of the Mossad: In Pursuit of a Safe and Secure Israel . It is being touted as a brilliant and much-needed book on intelligence, Israeli history, and global security.  Mr. Shavit headed the Mossad from  1989 to 1996. The book was originally published in Hebrew in 2018. The University of Notre Dame Press released the first English translation of the book recently.

I  co-chaired the event with Councillor  David Tordjman.  Israel Consul General David Levy   provided opening remarks and CJAD’s Aaron Rand conducted a live interview. Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Director of Library Services Janine West  concluded the program.

Candid and powerfully argued, Mr. Shavit tells his life story in the book, including his role in alerting American intelligence agents to the presence of al-Qaeda operatives in the US before 9/11, the secret negotiations that led to Israel signing a peace treaty with Jordan, and frequent long-running battles with Iran.  Mr. Shavit also provides fresh insights on present tensions and possible solutions to terrorism and security issues around the world, including in Iraq, Iran, Libya, and Syria.

Mr. Shavit, who has been a private citizen for more than two decades, was recently interviewed by the Jewish Insider about the book and discussed the historic peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Mr. Shavit says: “During my tenure as director and even before, I was personally involved in all kinds of relationships between the State of Israel and most of the Emirates.  Since those relationships were secret or clandestine, the Israeli party which was responsible was the Mossad.”

Head of the Mossad has received strong interest. Kirkus Reviews says, the book is “a well-documented . . . logistical delineation of decades of sensitive Israeli security and intelligence concerns. Among other significant historical events, Shavit’s tenure coincided with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the First Intifada, the Oslo Accords, and the election and assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.” Interviews, features, and excerpts from the book have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, Ami Magazine, Counter Terrorism Today podcast, SpyTalk, and Jewish Insider.

Mr. Shavit has over 50 years of experience in international security and counterterrorism and is an internationally recognized authority in the field. He served in the Mossad, Israel's prestigious intelligence agency, for thirty-two years, eventually rising to the position of director. Previously, he served in the IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces, retiring after a distinguished service in "Sayeret Matkal," Israel's elite special forces and SWAT unit.

You can see Mr. Shavit’s interview with me on The Suburban Newspaper’s video platform:

To get in touch with our library related to the book, you can call 514-485-6900 ext. 3 or email

And from the US publisher of the book,  those attending the talk were offered a 30 percent discount to purchase "Head of the Mossad." The discount code is: 14FF30 and it expires on March 28, 2021. The book link is: