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May 2021

Please attend District 2 Virtual Town Hall Meeting set for Monday, June 7/Assemblée publique virtuelle du district 2

I will host a Côte Saint-Luc District 2 Virtual Town Hall meeting  on Monday, June 7 (7:30 p.m.).

To register for this Zoom meeting  just go to www.cotesaintluc.org/virtualdistrictmeeting.

I created this initiative when I was first elected in the fall of 2005 as a way to maintain closer relations with constituents and talk mainly about issues related to the surrounding neighbourhood. Since then  most other members of council have adopted this approach. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the last two such meetings have been held virtually.

Director of Public Works Beatrice Newman and Mayor Mitchell Brownstein will be special guests. Updates will be provided on the replanting of trees at the Ashkelon woodlands behind the library, the planned greenspace across from the Marquise condo on Marc Chagall, Isadore Goldberg Park, Rembrandt Park, The Avenue and traffic safety. Questions will be taken at the end.

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District 2 encompasses Merrimac, Rembrandt., Kildare  (between Marc Chagall and Honoré Balzac), Sir Walter Scott,  Ilan Ramon, Marc Chagall, Mackle  (between Cavendish and Brandeis),  Quartier Cavendish Mall, Cavendish (Manoir Montefiore, Manoir Camelia, L’Excelsior, Town House), The Avenue,  Jubilee, Park Place and  Honoré-de-Balzac.

For more information, call (514) 485-6945 or email mcohen@cotesaintluc.org

Je serai l'hôte d'une assemblée publique virtuelle du district 2 de Côte Saint-Luc le lundi 7 juin (19 h 30).

Inscrivez-vous à CoteSaintLuc.org/fr/reuniondedistrictvirtuelle.

Les points à discuter seront les suivants

  • Message du maire
  • Espace boisé Ashkelon derrière l’hôtel de ville
  • L’espace vert au parc Isadore Goldberg sur Marc Chagall
  • Parc Rembrandt
  • Questions de circulation
  • L’avenue
  • et autres nouveautés

COM_VirtualDistrictMeeting_2_FR2021-06-07

Le district 2 comprend Merrimac, Rembrandt, Kildare (entre Rembrandt et Marc Chagall), Sir Walter Scott, Ilan Ramon, Marc Chagall, Mackle (entre Cavendish et Brandeis), le Quartier Cavendish, Cavendish (Manoir Montefiore, Manoir Camelia, L’Excelsior, les nouvelles maisons en rangée), ch. du Jubilé, Place Park Place et Honoré-de-Balzac.


Mourning Harvey Levine: B'nai Brith's Quebec Director was a gem

I am deeply saddened to share the news that Harvey Levine, longtime CSL resident and the director of B'nai Brith Canada in Quebec, has lost his battle with cancer.

Harvey was the brother of former CSL City Councillor Allan J. Levine and an extraordinary individual whom I am proud to say I had a very close relationship with,  notably via his role with B'nai Brith.

MikeHarvey
Harvey and myself in a summer 2019 photo.

 

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 was the Quebec Regional Director since 2014. Prior to that he was involved with the organization for decades. Under his leadership,he 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 he was an ardent defender of the community, speaking out against acts of antisemitism and intolerance. He built bridges with other intercultural communities.

On a daily basis Harvey responded to antisemitic incidents, media requests and outreach to various groups, participating actively in annual audit of antisemitic incidents, overseeing Quebec community and governmental affairs and special projects as well community volunteer service projects, fundraising and the coordination of volunteers.

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

As a professional, Harvey 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.

Last winter Harvey was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the City of Côte Saint-Luc and he participated in the virtual ceremony.

Born and educated in Montreal, he was married to Doreen and the father of two daughters.

Harvey kept his illness very private, not looking for  sympathy and he kept on working. "I have to Mike," he told last fall. "I need to focus my mind on something positive."

D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum worked closely with Harvey over the years. ""I offer my deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Harvey Levine," he said. "Harvey was a stalwart in the fight against anti-Semitism and for equal access to justice and freedom for all. He was also a friend and colleague."

CSL Mayor Mitchell Browntein added this: "Harvey was a best friend to our city, speaking up against antisemitism and intolerance as well as ensuring affordable housing for our seniors in our city. He was respected by all as a kind caring person always ready to serve his community with passion."

Mount Royal Liberal Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather also worked a lot with Harvey. "As Quebec Regional Director of B’nai Brith Canada Harvey was a leader in the fight against antisemitism," he said. "We worked together on many files and he was a kind and erudite and determined man who cared deeply about his community. My deepest sympathies to Doreen and his whole family."

Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada, state: " Harvey was passionate in his love for the Jewish community and for Israel,” said . “For decades, during the Chanukah holiday, Harvey was always so proud to lead a group of volunteers, including the teenagers who represent the next generation, to the hospital – going room to room and bringing a little sunshine to those who were going through serious health challenges.

“That’s just who Harvey was. He was a mensch through and through, and he always had a love for B’nai Brith in his heart. He will be missed by us all, and we extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Doreen, his two daughters and his entire family.”

Eric Bissell, Honorary President for Life of B’nai Brith Canada, played a major role in hiring Harvey for the Quebec post in 2013. “He loved his work and dedicated himself to fighting antisemitism for B’nai Brith,” Bissell said. “He was a great spokesman. He was enthusiastic about Israel advocacy. . All the things that were important to B’nai Brith were important to him. He had great enthusiasm, great zeal and wonderful dedication. He could lighten up a room with his smile and his exuberance.”

Ted Greenfield, Past President of B’nai Brith Canada, said Harvey was “a very devoted, very caring kind of person. Very respectful. He enjoyed life, cared a great deal about the issues that affected the Jewish community and, in fact, the issues that affected everyone.”

Last summer Matthew Ross joined the local team as associate director and Harvey, recognizing his own fate,  worked closely to help show Matthew the ropes. Harvey's right arm was Janna  Minikovich. The two were almost inseparable at community events and made a fantastic team. I am sure Matthew and Janna will make Harvey proud.

Good-bye friend. You will be terribly missed!

 

 

 


Birnbaum’s team gets it right with 2021 D’Arcy McGee National Assembly Citizenship medals

D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum is an out of the box thinker and as someone with a communication background, he has a knack for shining the spotlight on his constituents.

Birnbaum
David Birnbaum

Seven years ago he introduced the D’Arcy-McGee-National Assembly Citizenship Medals. The ceremonies each June have been moving and memorable.

I am very excited to be the first person to unveil this year’s three recipients: a much-loved and respected city councillor, a mental-health and wellness pioneer and a determined patients’-rights advocate and life-long teacher.

It is  still hard for me to believe that Ruth Kovac is no longer with us. She lost a hard-fought battle with cancer a year and a half ago. Ruth was a friend and colleague, someone I miss dearly! So kudos to the Birnbaum team and the selection committee for  deciding to honour her posthumously.

Ruth
The late Ruth Kovac

 

Ruth was a Côte St-Luc City Councillor from 1990 until 2019 and her untimely passing. Exceptionally dedicated to her city, her community and a host of worthy causes, she was known and loved for her determination, compassion and hard work. During her years of public service, she initiated an annual blood-donor clinic, served as long-time president of the Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary, national secretary for Maccabi Canada and co-chair of the CSL Demerger Committee. She was a long-time activist and leader in the defence of English-speaking community concerns. A devoted daughter, mother, wife and grandmother, Ruth had an infectious smile and warmth that is deeply missed by all whom she touched. 

The other two recipients are Beverly Spanier and  Ella Amir.

Beverly has been a determined and tireless advocate for residents of the Maimonides Geriatric Centre, where she has resided since 2015. Her lifetime commitment to and aptitude for supporting her fellow citizens has been focused on the welfare and protection of her fellow residents during the deeply stressful circumstances that marked the pandemic at the centre. Whether the issue was access to caregivers, to

Spanier
Beverly Spanier

second-vaccine doses or religious services, Beverly was tenacious and unyielding in her quest for answers that could comfort and reassure her fellow residents and their families. Those same qualities have guided Beverly throughout her life as a dedicated and caring teacher, volunteer and union activist. She is a past recipient of the Eshet Chayil Award from Congregation Shaar Hashomayim.  Beverly, or  “Miss Spanier” as we called her, was my economics teacher at Wagar High School dare I say more than 40 years ago.

Ella, a native of Israel, has been the executive director of AMI-Québec Action on Mental Illness since 1990. Under her guidance and leadership, AMI-Québec serves hundreds of families in French and English, through counselling programs for caregivers, school outreach programs and

EllaAmir
Ellla Amir

education sessions for those struggling with mental illness. An often-published expert on mental-health issues, Ella is a Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient and a Member of the Order of Canada. Significantly, she coordinated AMI-Québec’s transition to virtual services, ensuring that her vast and vulnerable clientele remained fully connected during this difficult pandemic. She has served on numerous boards and advisory councils in helping to spread knowledge and availability of mental-health services.  

You can watch the virtual ceremony on  Tuesday, June 15th at 6:30 p.m.  Here is the one-stop link to attend:   https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88362095407?pwd=eUJvUjk0S3h1cXBiWGhJblRCenJqUT09)

The final selections were made by a jury comprised of last year’s winners: David Lisbona, Jean-Sébastien Patrice (on behalf of MultiCaf) and Sima Paris. This is the seventh annual edition of the awards program.

“There is such a rich tradition of volunteer and community leadership in this riding,” noted Birnbaum. “Our three winners for 2021 have distinguished themselves throughout their lives as proud examples of that tradition. “I am proud to have instituted this National Assembly medals program back in 2015. It allows us to recognize those in the D’Arcy-McGee riding who have given so much back in service of their fellow residents. I hope that, as every year, many members of the community will join us for the medals ceremony.”

CBC Daybreak host Sean Henry will serve as master of ceremonies for the event, and a musical interlude will be offered by Joanna Cutler and her Que Sera ensemble (www.joannecutler.me).


Electors 70 years of age and older will be able to vote by mail in November municipal elections

At last week's monthly public council meeting, we unanimously adopted a resolution which will permit electors aged 70 and over to vote by mail in the November 7, 2021 municipal election.

I worked diligently with Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and our Assistant City Clerk Jason Prevost to lobby the provincial government to allow this, in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We must thank  our Liberal MNA David Birnbaum, who worked with his party's Municipal Affairs Critic Marie-Claude Nichols, to push this through. It was a compromise. We felt that everyone should have this right.  Regrettably, the Union of Quebec Municipalities failed us miserably. Initially,  the CAQ government was only going to permit vote by mail for seniors living in CHSLDs or private nursing homes and people with reduced mobility who can’t travel.

Vote-By-Mail_with_Ranked_Choice_Voting_copy

During hearings for the bill, the UMQ merely accepted that option and ignored communications from people like me to take a more aggressive stance. Shame on them! You can read their pitiful response below. Essentially it says they accepted that compromise and that there were too many obstacles to go any further. Well lucky we had David Birnbaum to turn to. In Montreal, Mayor Valerie Plante is resisting requests for vote by mail for 70 plus from the opposition.

Here is the UMQ  response to the initial CAQ plan: "This piece of legislation allows the most vulnerable people to exercise their right to vote by absentee ballot while remaining in their homes. This is very good news. In an ideal world, it would have been desirable for this measure to be extended to the entire population. However, there are a number of logistical and organizational constraints that we believe may affect the integrity of the vote, especially with the limited timeframe we have before us. We do not want municipalities to be used as a pilot project for large-scale absentee voting. For the Union, it was essential that the expansion of absentee voting be allowed to occur while ensuring the integrity of the vote. It is this balance that Bill 85 has managed to achieve." 

Clearly, according to the UMQ, a global pandemic is not the time to enact a vote by mail system.

During the electoral period beginning in September, electors will have to request to get a ballot they can mail in. The number of advance polling days will also be expanded.

You can watch our commentaries on the resolution at the 1:15 mark of this video from our council meeting.

Below are the complete resolutions

RESOLUTION TO ALLOW VOTING BY MAIL FOR ELECTORS 70 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER FOR THE 2021 MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS

WHEREAS the National Assembly of Quebec passed Bill 85 on March 25, 2021 entitled An Act to facilitate the conduct of the 7 November 2021 municipal general election in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic;

WHEREAS the Act to facilitate the conduct of the 7 November 2021 municipal general election in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic authorizes the Chief Electoral Officer to modify, by regulation, a provision of the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities (C.Q.L.R., chapter E-2.2.) (“Act”) including voting by mail for electors 70 years of age and older;

WHEREAS on April 30, 2021, the Regulation amending certain municipal provisions to facilitate the conduct of the municipal general election of November 7, 2021, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (“Regulation”) was published on the Gazette officielle du Québec;

WHEREAS the Regulation modifies the Act to include the possibility to allow, by request, voting by mail for electors 70 years of age and older where a resolution of a municipality is passed by virtue of par. 2 of section 659.4 of the Act;

WHEREAS the adoption of this resolution by the Côte Saint-Luc City Council will satisfy the requirement of the Act to allow voting by mail, by request, for Côte Saint-Luc electors 70 years of age and over;

WHEREAS it is in the interest of Côte Saint-Luc's democracy that electors have more alternatives to exercise their right to vote given the City’s high population density and high population of senior citizens;

WHEREAS allowing voting by mail is a safe way for electors to exercise their right to vote in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and will increase voter turnout;

It was

MOVED BY MAYOR MITCHELL BROWNSTEIN
SECONDED BY COUNCILLOR MIKE COHEN AND THE REMAINDER OF COUNCIL

AND RESOLVED:

"THAT the Côte Saint-Luc City Council adopts the present resolution to allow any elector 70 years of age or older to vote by mail by request as it is permitted by the Regulation and the Act."

RÉSOLUTION POUR PERMETTRE LE VOTE PAR CORRESPONDANCE AUX ÉLECTEURS DE 70 ANS ET PLUS AUX ÉLECTIONS MUNICIPALES 2021

ATTENDU QUE l’Assemblée nationale du Québec a adopté le projet de loi 85 le 25 mars 2021 intitulé la Loi visant à faciliter le déroulement de l’élection générale municipale du 7 novembre 2021 dans le contexte de la pandémie de la COVID-19;

ATTENDU QUE la Loi visant à faciliter le déroulement de l’élection générale municipale du 7 novembre 2021 dans le contexte de la pandémie de la COVID-19 autorise le Directeur Général des Élections à modifier par règlement une disposition de la Loi sur les élections et les référendums dans les municipalités (R.L.R.Q., chapitre E-2.2) (« Loi ») dont notamment afin de permettre le vote par correspondance pour les électeurs âgés de 70 ans;

ATTENDU QUE le 30 avril 2021, le Règlement modifiant certaines dispositions en matière municipale afin de faciliter le déroulement de l’élection générale municipale du 7 novembre dans le contexte de la pandémie de la COVID-19 (« Règlement ») a été publié à la Gazette officielle du Québec;

ATTENDU QUE le Règlement modifie la Loi afin d’inclure la possibilité pour les électeurs âgés de 70 ans et plus de voter, sur demande, par correspondance lorsqu’une résolution est prise par la municipalité en vertu de l’alinéa 2 de l’article 659-.4 de la Loi;

ATTENDU QUE l’adoption de la présente résolution par le conseil municipal de Côte Saint-Luc permettra de satisfaire l’exigence prévue dans la Loi permettant le vote par correspondance sur demande aux électeurs de Côte Saint-Luc âgés de 70 ans et plus;

ATTENDU QU’il est dans l’intérêt de la démocratie de la Ville de Côte Saint-Luc que les électeurs disposent de plus d’alternatives pour exercer leur droit de vote compte tenu de la forte densité de population de la Ville et du nombre élevé de personnes âgées dans la Ville dans le contexte de la pandémie de la COVID-19;

ATTENDU QUE le fait de permettre le vote par correspondance est un moyen sécuritaire pour les électeurs d'exercer leur droit de vote dans le contexte de la pandémie de COVID-19 et qu'il augmentera le taux de participation des électeurs;

   Il fut

                          PROPOSÉ PAR LE MAIRE MITCHELL BROWNSTEIN

                           APPUYÉ PAR LE CONSEILLER MIKE COHEN

               ET RÉSOLU :

« QUE le conseil municipal de Côte Saint-Luc adopte la présente résolution afin que la Ville de Côte Saint-Luc permette à tout électeur de 70 ans et plus de voter, sur demande, par correspondance, tel que lui permet la Loi et le Règlement. »

 

 

 


From reduced speed zones to plans to beautify the empty lot we have many plans for Marc Chagall Avenue

There is a lot of activity to take note of on Marc Chagall Avenue.

For starters, I advocated strongly for more safety measures to be taken by our Traffic Committee. We have lowered the speed limit to 30 km/h. New signs will be installed soon.  A seasonal speed bump will be installed  closer  to the snow dump. At the turnaround,  work began this week on a bump out sidewalk aimed at slowing motorists down near the  cross walk. This was closely studied by traffic engineers before implementation.

 

Sidewalks
Work is underway with the sidewalks.

 

The broken sidewalk near the Equinoxe is finally being replaced. We also expect the Equinoxe owners to complete the landscaping in front of their buildings. And yes, still with the Equinoxe, it was their responsibility to return the lot across from the Marquise, which was used for parking the past three summers, to greenspace.  Equinoxe contractors  levelled and hydroseeded the land in the fall and it clearly failed to take. They have  now started   another cleanup and seeding. If all goes well, we should see grass by the end of May

Emptylot1
We hope to see new grass on this lot very soon.

 

Once the grass appears, Public Works will be installing some benches, tables, bushes and flowers. Last fall we installed a paved road to the entrance of Isadore Goldberg Park so that all residents on Marc Chagall have access. Goldberg Park is furnished with some new play equipment, benches, tables and beautiful tree. New sand was added in 2020. Lighting and fencing will be installed over the summer/fall.

“So the community at Marc Chagall will enjoy a place to stroll through, a park with toys for children and grandchildren and a small parkette towards City Hall and the library,” reports Public Works Director Beatrice Newman. “The people who live on this street will finally enjoy beautiful days in beautiful areas throughout the summer in their neighbourhood.”

Some people have asked me about the snow dump and when the filthy mountain of solid snow will be chopped up. We hire a contractor for the snow dump and we have basically one shot. We need several weeks of warm weather before  it can be broken up so that might not be until June.

I think we are all thrilled that this will mark the first time four years that we will not have to face  summer of construction at the Equinoxe as  the two towers are completed. Just a reminder to anyone who is not aware, but that land was zoned for two high rises more than 30 years ago.

Stonesvideotron

Finally, Videotron recently did some work on the street and they left   three sets of rock-filled holes in the ground. We are now after them to put those surfaces (see above) back to their original position.