Council adopts resolution supporting Quebec English universities and institutions of higher learning

Here is a resolution from CSL City Council supporting supporting Quebec English universities and institutions of higher learning. It was moved by Councillor Andee Shuster, who works in communications for McGill University.


Councillor Shuster reads the resolution.


Whereas the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal states as of 2023, McGill University and Concordia University’s out of province students contribute $520 million annually to the greater Montreal economy;

Whereas these two major English language universities have contributed to Quebec society through higher learning, research innovation, publications, and through their output of highly educated and skilled students, graduates, and alumni throughout their
history which dates back to 1821 in the case of McGill and 1974 in the case of Concordia;

Whereas these universities have achieved top rankings for education excellence bestowed by established Canadian and global organizations and media outlets, and that these reputations attract students from more than 150 countries;

Whereas 24% of Concordia’s enrollment and 30% of McGill’s enrollment is international students;

Whereas 9% of Concordia’s enrollment and 22% of McGill’s enrollment is Canadian students from outside of Quebec;

Whereas in December 2023, the Minister of Higher Education (the “Minister”) Quebec Government imposed a plan exclusively for these two English-language universities that (a) significantly increases the tuition rate applicable to Canadian residents from outside Quebec, as of the 2024-2025 academic year; (b) regulates tuition fees for certain international students that results in a net loss of revenue as of the 2024-2025 academic year ; and (c) requires the francization of 80% of non-resident students (newly enrolled as of 2025-2026) in undergraduate programs taught in English by the time they graduate
(the “Decision”);

Whereas this Decision was followed by the adoption in January 2024 of a series of modifications to the budgetary rules to be applied to the Universities entitled Règles budgétaires et calcul des subventions de fonctionnement aux universités du Québec (les« Règles budgétaires ») which put this Decision into effect;

Whereas despite protests and attempts for negotiations from the universities and other organizations, the Quebec Government has refused to reconsider the Decision;

Whereas since the new reforms were announced, Concordia has seen a 27 percent decline in applicants from the rest of Canada and a 12 percent decline in the number of students coming from abroad, McGill announced a 20 percent drop in out-of-province applicants;

Whereas the Quebec Government rejected reasonable francization proposals from the universities and instead imposed requirements which are viewed by the universities as unreasonable, unachievable, and punitive;

Whereas the measures taken by the Quebec Government represent a clear and present danger to the missions of Concordia and McGill universities and will weaken their vital role within the province and their reputations as international draws;

Whereas the reduction in students applying and attending Concordia and McGill universities will lead to budget cuts that will negatively impact the education of local students from Quebec as well as students from out of province in addition to impacting
employment for academic and non-academic staff from the Greater Montreal area;

Whereas reductions in the number of out-of-province students attending Quebec universities will lead to reduction in tax revenue for all three levels of government and a decrease in the number of well-educated professionals, hurting the economic and social
development of the Island of Montreal and Province of Quebec;

Whereas the Decision was made in clear violation and in total disregard of the recommendations issued in January 2024, by the Advisory Committee on Financial Accessibility of Education (Comité consultatif sur l’accessibilité financière aux études, hereafter “CCAFE”), an advisory committee appointed by the government, composed of representatives of government and French-language universities and Cégeps, who have stated that the new regulations risk compromising access to quality education and depriving Quebec society of potential talent;

Whereas on or about February 23rd, 2024, McGill and Concordia Universities both filed separate legal proceedings in judicial review contesting and challenging the Decision of
the Minister of Higher Education and the modifications to the Budgetary rules;

Whereas, as per the court filings, the Universities submit that these measures from the Quebec Government:
• Constitute discrimination under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as
well as the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms,
• Were an unreasonable exercise of the powers of the Minister of Higher Education,
since they were incompatible with the mission assigned to her by the Ministry of
Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Act,
• Were adopted following inadequate and an unfair process,
• Constitute a disguised and illegal tax, which is being imposed without the authorization of the National Assembly,
• Create unconstitutional barriers to interprovincial trade thereby limiting student mobility, choice of university, and access to education,
• Limit the diversity of the student body at these universities by creating barriers for international students,
• Were designed to inflict harm on the institutions by reducing the number of students attending the universities, changing the demographic profiles, shrinking the revenues and weakening their financial positions.

Whereas these actions by the Quebec Government could lead to retaliatory actions by other provinces in Canada limiting the options available for Quebec students to study at universities throughout Canada;

Whereas the residents of Cote Saint-Luc value higher education and have a high level of level of scholarity with nearly 60% residents having some university education and 55% of residents achieving at least one university degree (according to the 2021 census);

Whereas Cote Saint-Luc's population is comprised of alumni, academics, scholars, and current students who take pride in the high standards and reputation of these universities;

Whereas the inevitable decline in the universities’ standing will prompt an exodus of our youth to pursue their degrees elsewhere, which will have a deep negative impact on our community;

It was moved “THAT the Côte Saint-Luc City Council calls on the Minister of Higher Education and the Government of Quebec to reconsider the Decision and reverse the tuition increases and new tuition regulations and revise the compulsory francization
requirements to a more realistic attainable level;

THAT the Côte Saint-Luc City Council calls on the Minister of Higher Education and the Government of Quebec to follow the recommendations of its own Comité consultatif sur l'accessibilité financière aux études, which Committee “strongly urges the
government to reconsider this decision;

THAT the Côte Saint-Luc City Council calls on the Minister of Higher Education and the Premier of Quebec to meet with representatives of the English universities and English-speaking community to renegotiate these changes which have been unfairly imposed and are not respectful of the English-speaking community of Quebec;

THAT the Côte Saint-Luc City Council directs its City Clerk to send copies of this resolution to all of members of the National Assembly of Quebec including the Member of the National Assembly for D’Arcy McGee, to all other municipalities in the Montreal Metropolitan Community, to the Member of Parliament for Mount Royal, to the Prime Minister of Canada, to the federal Minister of Official Languages, to the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada, to the Union des Municipalités du Québec (UMQ), to the Fédération Québécoise des Municipalités (FQM), to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), to the Presidents of Concordia and McGill’s Universities and to the members of the Quebec Advisory Board on English Education.”

I also added that the Canadian Party of Quebec should receive the resolution as well for they are indeed speaking out loudly for our community.

It was carried unanimously.

District 2 resident Myra Shuster spearheads Monarch Butterfly program

The Monarch Butterfly is a pollinator and vital contributor to our ecosystem’s health and survival. However, the  population has plummeted in recent years by more than 80 percent and  they depend  upon milkweed in order to lay their eggs and feed the larvae.

With their breeding habitat on the decline, the David Suzuki Foundation is spearheading an initiative to help restore the Monarch Butterfly’s habitat by educating the public to its importance and by encouraging the planting of milkweed. They are doing this by encouraging mayors of North American cities to adopt the Mayor’s pledge and to become a “Butterfly-Friendly City.”.  To date over 340 mayors across North America have done so.

Myra Shuster

Last September, the City of Côte Saint-Luc became the 75th city in Quebec to be certified as a Butterfly-Friendly City. The request to be part of the David Suzuki Foundation initiative to save the Monarch Butterfly and its habitat came from District  2 resident Myra Shuster,  who had brought the matter   to my attention. I submited the application,  committing to the city to follow through with at least 15 action items out of 24 possiblities earning us a silver designation.

A huge thanks to Director of Library Services Janine West, who called me the moment she heard about this initiative. She and Myra had previously worked together, so it was a perfect match. Janine and Myra have already formed a committee and set up shop in Ashkelon Gardens behind the library. Janine has also added a pedagogical component to the program, with events like Monarch Butterfly Storytime for kids three and up.

Bravo to Janine, Myra and their team for all the hard work. As a city councillor it is so nice to have constituents like Myra who want to go that extra mile!

EMSB Swearing in Ceremony and Special Board Meeting on Monday, November 17, 2014



Members of the newly constituted Council of Commissioners of the  English Montreal School Board (EMSB) will be sworn in on Monday, November 17, 2014 at 6000 Fielding Avenue.

The Chairman and members of Council will take their oaths beginning at 7 p.m. 

A special Board meeting will follow.  See below.

Download Special Board Meeting Agenda Nov 17, 2014


Public meeting Wed. Oct. 6 on new high school in Côte Saint-Luc

Wednesday, October 6 will be a unique day for me because my roles as the head of communications and marketing for the English Montreal School Board and city councillor for  Côte Saint-Luc will converge. There is a much anticipated public  information meeting  set to take place at  7:30 p.m.  about the possibility of establishing a unique public high school in Côte Saint-Luc.   It will take place at Côte Saint-Luc City Hall (5801 Cavendish Boulevard).

Momentum is building for this meeting and a large turnout is expected.

EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini notes while attention is being placed on the West End for October 6, she hopes that options and ideas for other parts of the Board’s territory will be explored at future meetings. Ms. Mancini appointed Commissioner Syd Wise as the chair of a special committee to look at possible focus schools.

“This  meeting in Côte Saint-Luc will provide an opportunity for parents of future high school students in the West End to provide their input into what kind of secondary institution they would like to see,” Ms. Mancini remarked.

“Initial feedback has indicated there is interest in a school with a heritage–academic program, as well as interest in a school with a sports concentration program,” added Dr. Wise, himself a one-time principal of   the former Wagar High School.

I am 1980 graduate of Wagar. At that time it was indeed considered populasr "local" school, with more than 1,000 students.

Wagar closed after the 2004-2005 academic year.  Enrolment had dropped below 300. That building on Parkhaven Avenue, renamed the Giovanni Palatucci Facility, in memory of the Italian diplomat whose efforts saved the lives of more than 5,000 Jews, presently houses the Marymount Adult Education Centre, the John Grant special needs high school and the EMSB Book Processing Centre. 

Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather, who will speak at the October 6 meeting, has openly called for a public high school to be re-established in his city. He has appointed one member of his council, retired school teacher Allan J. Levine, to work as a liaison with the EMSB to see this through. The Town of Hampstead is also supporting this project and Councillor Bonnie Feigenbaum, who holds the community services and recreation portfolio, will be present on October 6.  She is even interested in the proposed news school for one of her daughters.

“We believe that the West End community, notably residents of Côte Saint-Luc and Hampstead, will embrace this option,” said Dr. Wise.

Dr. Wise  points out that the former Wagar facility is modern and spacious, featuring a double gymnasium, an auditorium, library, science labs, two large fields and tennis courts. Across the street is the Côte Saint-Luc outdoor pool and an indoor gymnasium. Construction will start soon on an $18 million multi-purpose centre attached to the gym which will contain two indoor pools, one for competitive swimming. Two blocks away is the Samuel Moskovitch hockey arena and Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park, which has three baseball fields and a walking path,

The EMSB is calling upon parents of children presently in elementary schools – both public and private -- to attend this meeting and provide their thoughts of the type of high school they would like to see for their youngsters. The EMSB Long Range Planning Committee is expected to make recommendations next March for major school change.