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February 2021

Côte Saint-Luc Gala Honours our Volunteers and Maisons Fleuries winners

A few months ago I initiated a call with our Director of Parks and Recreation Cornelia Ziga about our traditional Volunteer Recognition and Maisons Fleuries Awards Night. Given the fact we are in the middle of a pandemic, where Zoom has enabled us to stay in touch why not use that platform for this purpose and do so on a cold winter night.


Cornelia is a true leader who always thinks outside of the box. We had a follow up call with Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillor Mitch Kujavsky, who has the Parks and Recreation portfolio. They liked the idea. Cornelia added the Valentine’s Day Dance, also to take place virtually.

On Saturday night February 27, the newly dubbed CSL Gala took place. Laura Trihas, our devoted special events coordinator, stepped into the control room. She turned to Anisa Cameron from the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society to produce what turned out to be a show. Anisa recruited member Brandon Schwartz to put it all together technically and folks it was a masterpiece. Ryan Nemeroff from P &R, our communications guru Darryl Levine and other staff of course were there to make it all happen.

I will post the link to the video when it is ready in the coming weeks.

Almost 300 connections were recorded, translating into about 500 people. I believe we need to look at this format post-pandemic.

Ryan Kligman and Jeanne Motulsky were spot on as emcees. The awards were spread out over a two hour program, which featured well-received performances by Dramatic Society members. They were accompanied on piano by the brilliant Nick Burgess. The chat section of Zoom was open all night and the comments were very complimentary.

Hosts
Our emcees Jeanne and Ryan.




Here are the award winners.

Aquatics Volunteer of the year Award
2020 Joel Wener – CSLA Swim Team


Joel was instrumental in the success of the CSLA swim team during the 2019-20 season. Joel successfully helped manage and organize multiple home swim meets while also representing the City in multiple Regional meetings. Joel also had his hand in guiding families, new and returning, in furthering their official’s certifications by running various trainings, coaching other parent volunteers into becoming serviceable officials during our home events. A big thank you goes out to Joel for his continued support, loyalty, and commitment to CSLA swim team family.

 

Melissa
Melissa Margles

 

Community Special Events Award
Presented to a volunteer for exceptional contribution to the community special events.
2020 Pam Kujavsky – CSL Grocery Project
2020 Melissa Margles – CSL Grocery Project


Both Pam and Melissa were instrumental in operating the CSL grocery project over the Spring and Summer of the pandemic. They both contributed literally hundreds of hours of volunteer time Melissa in organizing the volunteers for our morning and evening shopping excursions to IGA in the Cote Saint-Luc ACC, and Pam in organizing over 100 caller volunteers who were calling Cote Saint-Luc seniors to help them with their essential needs. Our endeavor would not have been able to continue throughout the summer without their efforts and for that I had no hesitation in nominating them for volunteer Awards.

E.M.S. Award
Excellence in operations
2020 Steve Merling


Steve is EMS’ Captain of Operations and the organization’s highest-ranking volunteer. His implication is critical to EMS’ operations as he works hand-in-hand with each division to ensure optimal efficiency at every level. He has proven to be an exceptional leader, an effective delegator, and brings an important “out-of-the-box” business perspective to our management team. Bright, dedicated and passionate, Steve is an outstanding individual and EMS is lucky to have him.

Excellence in training
2020 Kassandra Pinsonneault


Kassandra has taken over the management of our education department, ensuring that our newest members are well-trained and that our entire membership is up-to-date, overseeing the continuing education of our entire membership. Combining state-of-the-art teaching methods with state-of-the-heart care, her skillset as a registered emergency room nurse brings an entirely new perspective to our organization, and allows our members a more comprehensive understanding of the care they provide.

Rookie of the year
2020 Jessica Gallant


In her short time with EMS, Jessica has brought kindness and compassion to our organization, to our residents, and to our members. As one of a handful of Canadian Red Cross certified psychological first aid instructors in Quebec, Jessica has brought forward her skillset to help form our peer psychological support committee, offering our members the opportunity to debrief after difficult or traumatic calls. We feel lucky to have her on our team!

Gerry Weinstein Ambassador of the Year
In recognition as the citizen best portraying charitable qualities and serving the community at large.
2020 David Lisbona – Nellie’s Philanthropy


During the pandemic David stepped up as the managing director and driving force behind the Nellie Philanthropy Foundation, the first responders of philanthropy and the ones behind the CSL Groceries project. He has supported the Jewish, Filipino, Black communities in Montreal. as well as food banks in Montreal and the Laurentians.
David was a founding member of the Canadian Friends of the Israeli Ice Hockey Foundation. Their collection bins have been in the Samuel Moskovitch Arena for almost 30 years now. A key organizer of the gold medal winning Maccabi Canada 1997 Maccabiah Games ice hockey team, he was also a member of the organizing committee and responsible for equipment at Hockey sans Frontiers/Hockey without Borders-sent equipment to India, Serbia, Greece and Canada’s indigenous communities.

A former president of the Generations Foundation, feeding 8,000 kids per day in both English and French School Boards, he is also the former chairman of Le Mercaz Food Roundup and Le Mercaz (now MADA)- at a time ran one of the largest door-to-door food drives in Canada. As well he is a former vice-chair and now life member of Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa and a former board member of the Y Country Camp, strong advocate of the camp experience for kids everywhere. Last June he was a winner of both the Caring Canadian and D’Arcy McGee citizenship medals.


Hazel Lipes Award
Recognizes a volunteer for their exceptional contribution to the Community Services Programs.2020 Joanne Cutler – B’nai Brith Canada and Singing to Seniors


An avid philanthropist, Joanne has worked with charitable organizations and has helped fundraise
for theatre troupes in the Montreal area. Today, she works with B’nai Brith of Canada as the chairman for Community Volunteer Services in Quebec. Just to name a few, Joanne organizes programs for seniors, donations for women in difficult life situations and supplies for people on the autism spectrum. Over the summer 2020, during the COVID pandemic, Joanne and her husband Merv Middling performed at over 20 senior’s residences entertaining people who had been stuck indoors for months. They performed outdoors while the residents watched from their balconies or safely on patios.


With a background as a music educator and pre-school music specialist for thirteen years, Joanne
Has written dozens of songs, mostly for children. She has also written articles for various newspapers and magazines. Branching into literature, Joanne has authored her first children’s book, One Cabbage Lane and is currently writing her second children’s book entitled Two Cabbage Lane.


Professionally, Joanne and her two partners, Merv Middling and Nick Burgess perform as Que Sera; a musical group for private parties, large events and charitable functions. www.queseraduo.com What began as a hobby became an important part of Joanne’s life when she started painting in her fifties. Once all of her walls were covered with her own artwork, she began painting for her favourite people. Painting almost exclusively in acrylic, her work covers a huge spectrum from abstract to contemporary. Joanne’s paintings are available for purchase and she hopes to have a gallery showing in the near future.

2020 Ronalee Zilman – President Women’s Club


Ronalee was elected President on Aug 14, 2019. She organized two successful events with over 100 participants in attendance. Ronalee worked tirelessly to improve communication and help grow their membership by nearly 50 percent in a very short period of time. She's a devoted volunteer with a true passion for improving the lives of seniors.


Lifetime Achievement
2020 Harvey Levine – Director of B’nai Brith Quebec


B'nai Brith Canada has been active in Canada since 1875 as the Jewish community's foremost independent human rights agency. "People Helping People" is their motto with community projects, affordable senior housing, and other charitable endeavors. Harvey Levine has been the Quebec Regional Director since 2014. Prior to that he was involved with the organization for decades. Under his leadership, Mr. Levine has maintained the B’nai Brith office in Côte Saint-Luc. He played an important role in the construction and realization of Chateau B’nai Brith, a subsidized residence for seniors. Over the years Mr. Levine has been an ardent defender of the community, speaking out against acts of antisemitism and intolerance. He has built bridges with other intercultural communities.


Mr. Levine, whose brother Allan was a Côte Saint-Luc city councillor for over 30 years, oversees the Quebec Region, Montreal office and staff. He Responds to antisemitic incidents, media requests and outreach to various groups, participates actively in annual audit of antisemitic incidents, oversees Quebec community and governmental affairs and special projects as well community volunteer service projects, fundraising and the coordination of volunteers.


Previously, Mr. Levine was an award-winning volunteer and member of B’nai Brith for over 45 years. He is a past president of the Maple Leaf Lodge of B’nai Brith Canada and currently an advisor and trustee. In addition he continues to chairman the annual Chanukah candle lighting project at the Jewish General Hospital.


As a professional, Mr. Levine was a senior executive in the pharmaceutical, medical publishing and communications industries, a past president and honorary life member for the Pharmaceutical Marketing Club of Quebec, a past president of The Canadian Association of Medical Publishers and a past vice-chair of the Marketing Section of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Canada. Born and educated in Montreal, he is married and the father of two daughters.

Royal Canadian Legion Brigadier Frederick Kisch, Branch #97 Award
Awarded to the Youth Volunteer of the Year, in recognition of outstanding achievement in the improvement of leisure opportunities within the community.
2020 Roni Juran – Library


Roni has volunteered with the library since she was 12 years old, approaching Bronwen at the used book sale, and asking if she could help. Now 17, we have watched Roni grow into an intelligent, funny, confident, and kind young woman. She has participated in every volunteer program available to her, from Early Volunteering where she tidied the shelves, to Reading Buddies, Homework Help, and finally, Youth Advisory Group. When the pandemic hit, Roni was just getting ready to graduate from high school and move on to CEGEP, and despite the bustle and confusion during this time, she remained a steadfast volunteer, helping to found Virtual Reading and Homework Buddies, and joining the Virtual Youth Advisory Group program. Roni is an exceptionally gifted young person, who has a gentle and humorous approach to tutoring children which has been noticed by the library's teacher-volunteers. She is also very creative, contributing many ideas to help bolster and share positivity in her community during COVID. She has set a great example for everyone who works with her, remaining motivated and involved among an exceptional group of virtual volunteers, never shying away from a challenge, and showing great resilience and perseverance. We are proud of Roni and look forward to continuing to watch her blossom.

Socio-Cultural Award
Presented to the outstanding Volunteer for exceptional contribution to the social cultural programs.
2020 Janet Garmaise – Dramatic Society


Janet has been performing with the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society since 2016, when she joined the cast of The Producers and Florida. She has become a joyful performer in most CSLDS productions ever since. This year she was instrumental in helping to bring the innovative and reimagined senior Summerworks on line.


Special Recognition Award or Presentation
2020 Ariel Davidson – Assisting new immigrants


Ariel Davidson, a mother of three, has lived in Côte Saint-Luc for the past 16 years. A few years back on the 161 bus route she noticed a young lady with a two-year-old tied to her back in a bedsheet. She was wearing flip flops and the child had socks in February. She started a conversation and learned that this woman was a refugee claimant who had arrived just a few weeks earlier from Nigeria. She lived in Côte Saint-Luc and did not have a stroller or boots or anything warm. Ariel subsequently started a stroller project, posting on Facebook a call for used strollers. She managed to find and give over 100 strollers to refugees in need

.
“During that time period people would ask ‘do you want clothes?’ So I said sure and from strollers came clothes, and diapers, and everything else associated with children. Last winter, I worked with the city to collect winter coats for needy children in the area. With the help of our community I managed to give over 65 winter coats to children in need. When COVID-19 hit, I managed to find donors and help to feed six Côte Saint-Luc families who lost their income during that time period. People also started to ask me for fans as they used to go to the splash pads or the mall or the library when it was very hot outside and now there was no refuge. With the help of Councillors Mike Cohen and David Tordjman and community activist Ben Graur we managed to supply many new and used AC units to refugee and new immigrant families.”


In early September the city also donated many packages of brand-new markers, and Ariel managed to collect a bunch of backpacks. Most of these supplies went to families who attend École Mosaique and other local schools. Now winter is arriving, and she have started the winter coats again. “The reason I chose to help newly arrived families is that they do not have a support base,” Ariel said. “The families that I chose to work with live right here in Côte Saint-Luc. It hurts me to stand by and see them struggle. Although I do not know personally, I know from my own Jewish upbringing that we were once strangers in a strange land and people helped us.”


Sports Award
Recognizes a volunteer for exceptional contribution to the community sports program
2020 Matthew Cutler – Minor Hockey


Matthew Cutler was front and center in the city's communication flow with Minor Hockey this fall. He was in regular contact with me and with staff in his always respectful lobby to try and salvage as much as possible of the youth hockey season. He was a true collaborator and was always looking out for the best interests of the kids.


Stewart Mankofsky Memorial Trophy
Presented to the athlete / volunteer who best exemplifies the qualities of dedication, sportsmanship, and love of competition.
2020 Cailin McMurray – Aquatics


Cailin is a national level athlete who has represented CSL at the Quebec Games and Canada Games in the past and has been a valued member of our swim team since it's inception.
She is a multiple provincial champion and has medalled at the national level as well.
Moreover, she provides a great example or perseverance, dedication, and effort. All done with a permanent smile

.
vCOP Award
2020 Elaine Meunier


In the words of one of our other vCOP supervisors, Elaine is a 24/7 vCOP. She approaches her responsibilities like a full-time job! In a difficult year where the City has had to deal with a global pandemic, Elaine has been a constant presence in the service, even after the vCOP operation was suspended due to COVID-19 back in March. She has been the go-to person for both Management and Volunteers alike!


Elaine has been a member of vCOPs since December 2009, and during those 11+ years, has proven to be part of a select few that have donated their time and effort way beyond what was asked of them. Part of the Organizing committee of all special events, out on regular patrols, scheduling, reporting, helping mentor other members, and being an active supervisor, she has also been instrumental in making sure that the operations run smoothly. She is as much a pleasure to deal with as a person as she is as a supervisor. Although not proven, I strongly believe Edward J. Kirwan Award


Awarded annually to outstanding volunteers in the Côte Saint-Luc programs for exceptional contribution.
2020 Adam Daniel Koren – Dramatic Society

 

MeandSid
Sidney and I present the awards.


Maisons Fleuries

As for Maisons Fleuries, my co-chair Councillor Sidney Benizri and I were proud to transition our event online. Categories judged were: single family and semi-detached dwellings; duplexes; townhouses; apartment; condominiums; seniors residence; and institutions (church, hospital, synagogue and businesses).

Daniella


In my District 2 , the top winner for condominiums was Le Rothchild II on Mackle Road, followed by Le Rothchild I on Marc Chagall and the Briar Cliffe on Rembrandt. For Single Family Homes, Frank Palucci and Sandra Cambone from Ilan Ramon Crescent were repeat winners followed by Frederika Shulman and Robert Kovari who live on the same street. For Town Houses, bravo to rookie winner Daniella Aschinazi Goldfarb, Aileen London Shapiro on Merrimac Road who came in first and second followed by Jerry Wiseberg and Shandyl Libling-Wiseberg.
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Why microchipping your dog or cat is mandatory - and important!

Microchipping dogs and cats became mandatory in Montreal and Laval last January. The law also applies to Côte Saint-Luc and we decided to give pet owners more than a year's grace, but that time is almost over.

Starting April 6, 2021, all Côte Saint-Luc cats and dogs over six months of age must be microchipped. A proof of microchipping will be asked when you renew your annual dog or cat tag.

What is a microchip?

A microchip is computer chip, the size of a grain of rice, with a serial number associated with the owner’s contact details. It is inserted, by a veterinarian, under the skin of the animal.

Why microchip?

A microchip makes it possible to identify a lost animal and quickly find its owner. The device cannot be lost and accompanies your pet throughout its life. Dog and cat ownership information is accessible to veterinarians. This avoids overloading shelters and most importantly carrying out avoidable euthanasia.

 

Cleo2018
My Cleopatra was microchipped the moment we adopted her as a kitten.

 

Where can I get my pet microchipped?

You can get your pet microchipped at your local veterinarian or at the SPCA.

What is my view?

All of my cats have been microchipped. My 11 year old  Cleopatra never goes outside. But we worry heaven forbid if she ever escaped (when I open the sliding door for the barbeque she heads in the opposite direction) what would happen? I hope to never find out, but a microchip is a vital purchase if you love your pet. We have all heard stories about dogs breaking lose from a backyard or off a leash.

You have to be a pet owner to understand this. Our dogs and cats are family. We care about them, well at least I do, like they are your own flesh and blood.

So please, adhere to this new regulation!

 

 

 

 


Update on the vaccination program of the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal

 

Covid

 

The following is an update on the vaccination program of the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal.

Vaccinations to date

All long-term care residents who consented to and qualified for COVID-19 vaccination have received their vaccine (in CHSLDs, Intermediate Resources and Family-Type Resources). The vaccination campaign for those who live in private seniors’ residences (RPAs), and religious orders is ongoing and expected to be completed by February 26th. The CIUSSS is also currently vaccinating seniors who are living in municipal low-income housing and non-profit housing.

Indigenous residents of our territory and clients of the following homeless shelters in our area have been vaccinated: Chez Doris, Resilience Montreal, the Open Door, and the Côte-des-Neiges warming centre.


Recruiting vaccinators

To combat COVID-19 quickly and effectively, the Human Resources team of our CIUSSS is looking for anyone who is available and interested in assisting in the vaccination campaign.

We are looking for physicians, midwives, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, nurses and licensed practical nurses, as well as:


Acupuncturists

Dental hygienists

Podiatrists

Audiologists

Veterinary doctors

Ambulance technicians

Audioprosthesists

Prescription opticians

Medical technicians

Chiropractors

Optometrists

Medical electrophysiology technologists

Denturists

Speech therapists

Physiotherapy technicians

Dietitians or nutritionists

Physiotherapists

Medical imaging technologists

Occupational therapists


Students in nursing, medicine, pharmacy and dentistry are also invited to apply.
Details of hiring conditions and schedules will be specified when the candidates are contacted by our Human Resources teams.

To apply: recrutement.ccomtl@ssss.gouv.qc.ca or 514-293-0526.

Public Vaccination Program

a) Eligibility for Vaccination

We expect the public vaccination program to start soon. During this first phase of the public vaccination program, priority will be given to residents of the territory who are 70 or over.

b) Making an Appointment
It will be necessary to make an appointment to be vaccinated. Appointments will have to be made online or by telephone.

c) Preparing for the Appointment
Residents should plan on a visit lasting 30 to 45 minutes, which covers time for registration, the vaccination itself and post-vaccination observation.
Residents should bring their health card with them.

Mise à jour sur le programme de vaccination du
CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal


Vous trouverez ci-dessous une mise à jour sur le programme de vaccination du CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal.

Personnes vaccinées jusqu’à maintenant

Tous les résidents des centres de soins de longue durée admissible et qui ont consenti à la vaccination contre la COVID-19 ont été vaccinés (dans les CHSLD, les Ressources intermédiaires et les Ressources de type familial). La campagne de vaccination pour les personnes vivant dans les résidences privées pour personnes âgées (RPA) et les communautés religieuses est en cours et devrait être terminée d’ici le 26 février. Le CIUSSS vaccine actuellement les personnes âgées qui habitent dans des logements municipaux à coût modique et des logements sans but lucratif.

Les résidents autochtones et les clients des refuges pour sans-abri suivants de notre territoire ont été vaccinés : Chez Doris, Résilience Montréal, La Porte ouverte (the Open Door), et la halte-chaleur Côte-des-Neiges.
La semaine prochaine, nous prévoyons de vacciner les patients âgés de 70 ans et plus hospitalisés à l’Hôpital général juif.

Recrutement de vaccinateurs

Pour lutter rapidement et efficacement contre la COVID-19, l’Équipe des ressources humaines de notre CIUSSS est à la recherche de toute personne disponible et intéressée à participer à la campagne de vaccination.

Nous cherchons des médecins, sages-femmes, inhalothérapeutes, pharmaciennes et pharmaciens, infirmières et infirmiers et infirmière et infirmiers auxiliaires autorisé(e)s ainsi que des :

Acuponcteurs

Hygiénistes dentaires

Podiatres

Audiologistes

Médecins vétérinaires

Techniciens ambulanciers

Audioprothésistes

Opticiens

Techniciens médicaux

Chiropraticiens

Optométristes

Technologues en électrophysiologie médicale

Denturologiste

Orthophonistes

Techniciens en physiothérapie

Diététistes ou nutritionnistes

Physiothérapeutes

Technologues en imagerie médicale

Ergothérapeutes

Les étudiants en soins infirmiers, médecine, pharmacie et médecine dentaire sont également invités à présenter leur candidature.
Les détails des conditions et des horaires de travail seront précisés lorsque les candidats seront contactés par les membres de l’Équipe des ressources humaines.

Pour présenter votre candidature :

recrutement.ccomtl@ssss.gouv.qc.ca ou 514-293-0526.

Programme de vaccination public

a) Admissibilité à la vaccination

Nous nous attendons à ce que le programme de vaccination public soit lancé prochainement. Au cours de la première phase du programme de vaccination public, la priorité sera donnée aux résidents du territoire âgés de 70 ans et plus.

b) Prise de rendez-vous
Il sera nécessaire de prendre un rendez-vous pour être vacciné. Les rendez-vous devront être pris en ligne ou par téléphone.

c) Préparation au rendez-vous
Les résidents doivent prévoir une visite d’une durée de 30 à 45 minutes pour l’inscription, la vaccination et le temps d’observation après la vaccination.

Les résidents doivent apporter leur carte d’assurance maladie.

 

 

 

 


Improvements have been made to reduce noise emanating from the snow dump

There has been no shortage of snow in recent weeks and that means a lot of activity in our snow dump on Marc Chagall Avenue.

I want to thank our Public Works team, notably Director Beatrice Newman and  Manager of Operations John Monteiro for taking numerous actions to try and curtail noise from the snow dump.

Feb2021
The snow dump.

 

Over the last two years we have implemented several changes to reduce the noise emanating from the snow dump:

  • There are large signs posted at the entrance/exit to the snow dump advising truckers that banging the rear truck gate is strictly prohibited. These signs did not exist in the past.
  • The snow wall along Marc Chagall has been increased in height to reduce the sound traveling towards the town houses to the west. In the past the wall was constructed only using the bulldozers. This year a large shovel was used to build the wall that is 50 percent higher.
  • The bulldozer operators have been advised to no longer drop the blade onto the ground creating a thumping noise.
  • Previously the bulldozer operators would drop the plow in one swift action. Now they drop the blade halfway before allowing the blade to drop onto the ground reducing the loud thump.
  • Finally the monitors have always been instructed to advise the drivers who bang there truck gates that this will not be tolerated. Now they also make a note of the truck and if this is a recurring problem, we advise the contractor that the driver is banned from entering the snow dump.

While the complaints are minimal, I have always been of the opinion that if even one person is disturbed then I would take action. I gathered a few of the concerned individuals with Ms. Newman, Mr. Monteiro and Mayor Mitchell Brownstein.

“This is a snow dump,” Ms. Newman began.  “Although we try to reduce the noise, it doesn’t always happen: big trucks, 10 tons of snow in each truck and pushing tons of snow uphill with a bulldozer.” 

Two dozen no entry/ employees only signs, are going to be installed along the fences and gate. A trailer will be installed at the entrance so that the attendant will see a trespasser immediately and then call dispatch. Automated gates will be installed and the attendant will operate the gates during the working hours of the day. These gates will remain closed unless there is high traffic. We will be installing  a new  electric pole to provide electricity to the trailer and gates. A generator will be placed there until the electricity is connected;

The tailgate noise may occur, but it’s important to remember that this level of noise has dramatically dropped


Quebec's vote by mail plan does not go far enough as Newfoundland situation shows us

Only days after I moved a resolution for Côte Saint-Luc City Council to support mail-in ballots for the November 7, 2021 municipal elections, the Quebec government did introduce legislation that definitely goes in the right direction,

Municipal Affairs Minister Andrée Laforest tabled Bill 85, which expands the list of people eligible to vote by mail and gives Quebec’s chief electoral officer more leeway to adapt the process to the new reality. As reported in The Gazette by Phil Authier,  Bill 85 proposes to add to the list of people eligible to vote by correspondence. Under the current law, the only people who can vote by mail are those who have temporarily left their home base to work or study elsewhere, or who live in CHSLDs, physical rehabilitation centres or hospitals. Under the new bill, the list would include people living in private seniors’ residences, those unable to move because of health reasons and their caregivers, and people who have to self-isolate because of COVID-19 under public health regulations. The bill also allows the chief electoral officer the option of adding polling days and days for advance polls, and allows them to pick larger voting locations to allow for social distancing and to adjust polling stations’ hours in order to avoid crowds.

 

Ballot

Let's be honest here.  Who would have thought nearly one year ago when the pandemic changed our lives forever that we would still be dealing with this virus. Sure, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promises us that everyone will be vaccinated by the end of  September. That could very well change to the end of December and impact election turnout significantly.

Bill 85 needs to be expanded in order to allow anyone who requests the right to vote by mail to do so.

Look no further than what is happening now in Newfoundland and Labrador where election officials have cancelled in-person voting a day before many polling stations were set to open, in response to an alarming rise of COVID-19 cases in the province. Elections Newfoundland and Labrador said Friday evening that the provincial election will now shift entirely to mail-in voting, with ballots being accepted until March 1. Voters have until Monday at 8 p.m. to apply for voting packages, according to a statement from chief electoral officer Bruce Chaulk, extending a deadline originally set for Saturday night.

With all of the new variants surfacing, who is to say that the vaccines will even be completely effective. There has already been talk that we might require an annual COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.

The Quebec government has a chance now to avoid having to enact last minute changes to voting like Newfoundland and ensure that everyone has access to vote by mail next November. It is the prudent measure to take!

I have shared these comments with our D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum and I hope he can make the point as Bill 85 will only be adopted in the spring.

See this article in La Presse, where Councillors Marvin Rotrand and Lionel Perez agree it does not go far enough. The president of the Union of Quebec Municipalities, Suzanne Roy, needs to speak out louder and not give the government any excuses.

 

Rotrand
Marvin Rotrand

 

Councillor Rotrand has written this letter to  the Premier. Bravo Marvin!

 

15 fevrier 2021

 

François Legault

Député de L’Assomption

Premier ministre du Québéc

Conseil exécutif

Édifice Honoré-Mercier

835, boulevard René-Lévesque Est

3e étage

Québec (Quebec)  G1A 1B4

 

Monsieur le Premier ministre,

 

I am writing to you on behalf of many colleagues to ask for your personal intervention to assure the health and safety of Quebecers for this autumn’s municipal elections.

 

You are undoubtedly aware of the dire situation in Newfoundland and Labrador that caused the Chief Electoral Officer to abruptly cancel the provincial election 12 hours before polls were to open. 

 

Elections Newfoundland and Labrador feared that the risk of a spread of a variant of COVID was so high that it cancelled all in person voting, and decreed that the election would operate via voting by mail only with ballots to be returned by March 1.

 

However, that province does not have a legislative framework to cover an election only by mail and already there are serious concerns from the candidates as to how the process will work. The lack of preparedness may comprmise the results.



Recently your Government introduced Bill 85. Rather than allowing voting by mail for all voters, the bill proposes to allow it as an option for those residing in CHLSDs, other private seniors' residents, some health care workers and those who must quarantine because they have COVID - in other words a truly tiny percentage of the entire population.

 

It is truly optimistic to think COVID will be totally banished by November. The possibility that vaccinations proceed more slowly than anticipated and of new variants that complicate the public health response are real. 

 

Moreover, a lack of public confidence in voting in person even after a successful effort to vaccinate could depress turnout in the municipal elections.

 

While voting by mail is proven to increase voter participation, I believe your intervention should be on the basis of prudence - that Quebec be ready for any eventuality and that a voting by mail be available to Quebecers that would provide a safe way to cast votes. Preparing now for voting by mail would be an insurance policy against an unanticipated future wave of COVID.

 

Voting by mail has increased everywhere in the past years as it has proven not only safe but secure as well- except Quebec. In the United States we saw a record turnout in the November 2020 elections largely due to voting by mail. We saw the same in the British Columbia election last October and now Newfoundland will reschedule its vote and have it only by mail.

 

Five Canadian provinces allow municipalities to decide on their own whether to allow voting by mail. Five United States jurisdictions allow only voting by mail and have done so since 2020. 

 

Montreal Council has twice expressed its openness to voting by mail and in the circumstances of a pandemic that lingers and has caused never before seen hardships for the population, it is time to have a second look at Bill 85.

 

I urge you to consult the Directeur General des Elections du Quebec and the leaders of the opposition parties. I believe Quebecers will agree that the prudent measure is to enlarge voting by mail for the November 7 municipal elections.

 

Veuillez agreer, Monsieur le Premier ministre, mes sentiments les plus distinguees.

 

 

 

Marvin Rotrand

Conseil municipal - Snowdon

Ville de Montreal

 

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Laval Resolution

In Laval City Councillor David De Cotis has a resolution  set to go before the next meeting.

The link is below.

Download PROPOSITION DE DEMANDER À ÉLECTIONS QUÉBEC DE PERMETTRE LE VOTE PAR LA POSTE

 

 

 

 

 


Electric scooters are now banned in our parks following incidents at Rembrandt last summer

Last June some parents presented a petition to me out of concern over the dangers of reckless scooter driver at Rembrandt Park.

I took the matter to City Hall, where our senior legal official Jonathan Shecter and Director of Public Safety Philip Chateauvert examined the request and began the process of banning such scooters at any parks. In fact, the by-law adopted at our Monday, February 9 Council meeting goes much further.

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It is now law in Côte Saint-Luc that scooter-style electric bicycles are included in the list of vehicles prohibited by Section 5.7 of the Nuisance By-law (2470), primarily   because of the danger related to the considerable speed they can reach (+30km/h).  The speed and weight of this type of bike significantly increases the risk of serious injury.

Our second piece of legislation  is to include a section prohibiting driving and/or reckless or dangerous use or use that puts the safety of others at risk, regardless of the type of vehicle. This section now covers all means of transportation whether electric or not. We believe that no one should be allowed to use a skateboard, bicycle or any other means of transportation in ways that put the safety of other users of the park at risk.

The motion was adopted unanimously.


Côte Saint-Luc supports vote by mail system for next municipal elections

The City of Côte Saint-Luc was the first municipality in the country to implement mandatory mask wearing.

As Mayor Mitchell Brownstein stated, “we are leaders when it comes to measures regarding COVID-19.”

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Municipal Elections are scheduled to be held in Quebec municipalities on November 7, 2021. On Monday night we  adopted a resolution calling upon the Quebec government to permit voting by mail upon request.

Yes, the elections are  10 months away,  but does anyone really believe that we will be pandemic-free by then?  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promises us that every Canadian wlllbe vaccinated by the end of September. I do not believe him. The Quebec government has decided not to give people who had their first shot  the booster that Pfizer and Moderna recommended. Then there are the new variants.

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

Trudeau might call a snap election. Federally voting by mail is permitted. We saw it done successfully in British Columbia and the United States.  So why can’t Quebec allow this too?

The Union des municipalités du Québec is pushing very hard on the issue. Montreal, Laval, Longueil, St. Laurent and others support this. So what is the problem? If Quebec cannot get its act together on this dossier then perhaps they should consider delaying the vote until the fall of 2022.

Côte Saint Luc has a senior population of over 10,000  who are at greater risk to the effects of COVID-19.  Even if they are all vaccinated, what happens if the new variant still makes them vulnerable to catch the virus? How will we conduct door to door campaigns? Will people be willing to work at polling stations and serve as scrutineers?

Our city council  wishes to ensure a safe electoral process and  promote democracy with the maximum possible participation.  In  order to allow for mail in ballots, the Quebec government must modify the applicable law pertaining to elections for all municipalities. 

We can only hope that the Quebec government consults with the UMQ and concerned municipalities without delay!