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

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

Leslie Perez's daughter Miriam holds up her cards.


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

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

Adam Dahan


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

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

Best  of luck to both candidates.

Jeffrey Kovac to run in his mother Ruth’s District 8

When Pierre Elliott Trudeau passed away in 2000, his  son Justin gave a stirring eulogy at the funeral. Eight years later he ran for office and captured the Papineau riding to become a  Liberal Member of Parliament, followed by party leader and then Prime Minister.

In Côte Saint-Luc, we are mourning the passing of longtime city councillor Ruth Kovac. At her funeral, her son Jeffrey gave an emotional and heartfelt eulogy. He spent a lot of time with his mom when she was ill, specifically in those last few days. “One of the reasons why my mother continued fulfilling her council duties, virtually until her final days on this earth, was because there were so many ongoing issues, city-wide and in her district,” Jeffrey said. “Two nights before she passed, I was fortunate to spend some one on one time with her. She had a lot to say, but one of them was that she hoped someone would carry on the work she was so passionate about.”

Ruth and Jeffrey.

A by-election to replace Ruth will likely take place sometime in March or April. At the October 23 council meeting, Jeffrey came to the microphone to announce  that he will run for her seat in District 8. “This,” he said, “will be the ultimate tribute to my mom. She devoted  the last three decades to this city and I firmly believe that she’d want someone with the same passion to continue her work.”

Jeffrey said that even though he is not even an official candidate yet, he has a list from his mom of some of the hot button issues in the district and he intends to follow them up. “Having grown up in Côte Saint-Luc and being given so much from the city in so many ways, it’s now time to continue the agenda, passion and representation that my mother set forth for nearly three decades,” he said. “My entire family has always been very passionate about civic duty  and it’s something I hope to pass on to my own children as well.  The city of Côte Saint-Luc and District 8  lost a champion of representation on Oct 1, 2019, and it’s my hope to follow in those footsteps and fight for the constituents to help enhance life in our community every day!  There is still work to be done that was unfortunately never completed by my mother, but I promise to continue that work with the passion, integrity and diligence that’s been passed on to me.”

Earlier in the evening, the council chamber was the site of an emotional memorial for Ruth. The room was filled to capacity, with everyone seated in the very chairs that Ruth herself chose only a few years ago.

Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth.

When and if other candidates come  forward, I will share that in this space. One person who will not throw his hat in the ring is former councillor Glenn J. Nashen. He shares precisely why here on his blog.



Thank you electors for delivering to me a fourth mandate on city council

Elections in the City of Côte Saint-Luc are now officially over and I am proud to announce that I have won a fourth four year mandate to serve the residents of District 2. With all ballots counted,  I obtained 1,008 votes compared to  226 for my opponent Mélodie Cohn.  

Allow me to congratulate Mélodie for running a proper campaign. We saw each other often over the last few months and the interaction was always positive.  In other races, incumbents Ruth Kovac, Steven Erdelyi and  Sidney Benizri were returned to office. Dida Berku had been acclaimed. Welcome to new city councillors David Tordjman, Mitch Kujavsky and Oren Sebag. With victory comes defeat and I am of course saddened to see three devoted colleagues defeated: Glenn J. Nashen, Sam Goldbloom and Allan J. Levine. I expect each of them to remain involved in our community.

For the official final results click here.

Bravo to Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, a close friend of mine for more than 30 years. He worked very very hard to retain his post. Mitchell is a full-time mayor and we are lucky to have him!

For starters, I must  thank my wife Ilana and daughter Alex. Not only did they support me during this long campaign, but they provided valuable insight and advice. They were there every step of the way on election day, not to mention the past 12 years where I have been away from the house more often than  not with council business. It was in fact Ilana who convinced me to run in the first place.

To my father-in-law Reuben Spector, how can I express my gratitude for your critical role as the official agent and campaign manager for a fourth race in a row?  My mother-in-law Shirley was a big booster and stood side by side with Reuben. And then there is my mom Elaine, who at 78 years young accompanied me on many door to door visits.

Dida Berku, Ruth Kovac, Oren Sebag, myself, Mayor Brownstein, David Tordjman, Mitch Kujavsky and Steven Erdelyi.

There were a number of  devoted volunteers, too numerous to mention. I must highlight the work of Steven Stein, who provided a significant amount of time from the get go.The election campaign formally began last June when Robert Libman announced his intention to take another run at the mayor’s seat. His candidacy was preceded by the creation of the Let’s Chat CSL Facebook page. Moderator Marissa Sidel made no secret of the fact that she wanted  to see incumbent elected officials challenged. And that did occur in every district but one.   

I have always felt that an election campaign is four years long. In my case I go out of my way to get to know and interact with as many constituents as possible. You cannot just start knocking on peoples doors a few months before an election and automatically expect their support. In each building or street where I campaigned, I had multiple supporters to join and endorse me. Incumbency is indeed a bonus if the candidate has done his or her job well.

Twelve years ago I became the first councillor to introduce annual Town Hall District meetings. I take regular walkabouts in the district, write an interactive blog, return every phone call and e-mail, meet in person with anyone who has an issue or concern, attend an endless array of community events, chair a variety of committees and constantly look for ways to introduce new concepts to our city landscape.

Most of the people I interacted with during this campaign, were a pleasure to deal with.  On this night I will raise a glass to them and spare any words for those individuals who truly disappointed me. They know who they are.

The campaign has provided me with a significant set of new objectives, fuelled by the hundreds of people I encountered in my door to door visits. There is much work ahead and I am ready for the challenge!

A final word of thanks goes out to Andrea Charon and Mark Gross who oversaw our election process like real pros.

Mike Cohen 2017 Re-election Page/Réélire Mike Cohen - District 2


Please click on the links below to read more from my campaign blog:

    Thank you for re-election

  Download 2017 Mike Cohen Election Flyer

Successful Meet and Greet: See the recap, photos and Facebook video link

Meet and Greet Set for Sunday, October 1

Mike Cohen Announces his intention to seek a fourth mandate

Réélir Mike Cohen

Please like my campaign Facebook page




I officially declare my candidacy for re-election to City Council on November 5, 2017

I am pleased to formally announce that I will seek a fourth term as the city councillor for District 2 in Côte Saint-Luc. Municipal elections are on Sunday, November 5, 2017. The Director General of Elections has authorized my candidature and I am honoured to have Reuben Spector back as my official agent and campaign manager. I wish to thank my family for their continued support.

With Alvin Fishman at the new fitness room of the ACC.

Born and raised in Côte Saint-Luc, I have a long record of involvement in the community as a participant in municipal programming, a volunteer, a journalist and a consultant for city and borough hall. I attended elementary and high school in Côte Saint-Luc. In addition to my role on city council, I serve as the communications and marketing specialist for the English Montreal School Board and write for several publications including The Suburban, The Jewish Standard, Montreal Jewish Magazine and The Montrealer.

With constituents Jason Ullmann and Brad Levine.

I was first elected to serve as the city councillor for District 2 in 2005 and won that election with 92 percent of the vote. Constituents subsequently delivered votes of confidence for me and as a result I was acclaimed to office once again in 2009 and 2013.

I work hard for my constituents, having been the first councillor to introduce annual District Town Hall meetings. I respond to numerous phone calls and emails each week and meet regularly with constituents, notably via my walkabouts within the district. I do not wait for an election every four years to knock on doors. This is done consistently throughout my four years in office.  I am fortunate to have a strong presence in the media, via my weekly columns in the newspaper (which includes my photo) and consistent media appearances via my role as spokesman for the EMSB. When I first knocked on doors 12 years ago, I did not have to introduce myself.

Dr Steinberg
With constituent Dr. Marvin Steinberg

L’amélioration du processus de communication

Quand j’ai été élu il y a près de douze ans, avec une majorité de 92 pour cent, un de mes premiers engagements visait l’amélioration du processus de communication entre la ville et les résidants. Nous avons commencé par mettre en place un service des Affaires publiques et communications dirigé de façon professionnelle. Un nouveau site Web a été lancé ainsi qu’un bulletin d’information en ligne. Le Courrier de Côte Saint-Luc, le journal qui était une tradition dans cette ville avant les quatre années de la fusion avec Montréal, a été ramené à la vie. J’ai cru nécessaire d’avoir aussi un bulletin propre à chaque district qui serait distribué porte à porte une fois l’an.

J’ai mis en oeuvre une autre promesse importante en instaurant les rencontres d’information du district 2. Ainsi, une ou deux fois par année, j’invite tous mes électeurs à l’hôtel de ville ou à un autre emplacement au sein du district pour échanger et en savoir plus sur les questions urgentes qui affectent notre voisinage immédiat. Ces rencontres ont connu beaucoup de succès; elles sont bien appréciées et beaucoup de gens y assistent. En fait, quelques-uns de mes collègues au conseil municipal ont commencé à s’inspirer de cette idée. Pour moi, frapper aux portes une fois tous les quatre ans n’est pas suffisant.


At a Maison Fleuries Awards ceremony.

Campaign team already in place

District 2 is composed of  highrise condominiums,  town house condominiums,  residential apartment buildings and three streets with single family homes. My re-election team is already in place and consists of multiple campaign representatives from every one of these locations; people whom I have worked regularly with for over a decade. District 2, which is where I have lived for 22 years, encompasses Merrimac, Rembrandt., Kildare (between Rembrandt and Marc Chagall), Sir Walter Scott, Ilan Ramon, Marc Chagall, Mackle (between Cavendish and Brandeis), Quartier Cavendish Mall, Jubilee, Park Place, Cavendish (Manoir Montefiore, Manoir Camelia, L’Excelsior) and Honoré-de-Balzac.

I am proud of my record, which I will  elaborate upon in future communications.

MNA David Birnbaum presents me with a cheque for the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee.

Please log on and subscribe to my blog at http://www.mikecohen.ca. If you would like to join my campaign team, please email info@mikecohen.ca.

Going door to door with Mayor Brownstein - well in advance of an election

Going door to door and meeting with my constituents of Côte Saint-Luc District 2 is not something I reserve for election campaigns. Via this blog, my annual District meetings and regular walkabouts in this area I remain in very close contact with the electorate. 

Being a city councillor makes you accountable to the public. Each day I respond to phone calls and countless e-mails. When I attend public events or  go to the shopping center, someone always has a request to make. Last week I took a family member to the hospital. A gentleman who just walked out of day surgery recognized me and asked if he could raise a municipal issue with me. Of course! I welcome these interventions.

This brings me to Mitchell Brownstein, our new mayor.  The next municipal election is in November 2017. Mitchell was acclaimed office last March. He is a full-time mayor, having virtually given up his law practice. Everyone agrees what a fabulous job he's doing.

Well Mitchell really wants to get out there and meet the people. That is why he has been going door to door for several months already. For each outing he is accompanied by members of his team, his devoted wife Elaine and the district councillor for the street he is visiting.

Mitchell, Elaine and myself with Jack and Marilyn Miller.

Last week part I joined Mitchell and his delegation as we knocked on a few doors in District 2. Besides Mitchell's wife, Myra Dodick and Anouk Benzacar were with us. We were not handing out any election brochures. Everyone got a polite "hello," some business cards and an opportunity to ask us any questions on their mind. Some folks even wanted our opinion on Donald Trump. The reception we got was overwhelmingly positive. In some cases, we were asked to come inside. Resident Michael Litvack showed us his beautiful collection of artwork while Jack Miller shared some pretty funny jokes, somehow linking one of them to the extension of Cavendish Boulevard.

Mitchell, myself, Elaine, Myra, Anouk and constituent Fred Zweig.

In the next few weeks Mitchell will have criss-crossed the city with each member of council. Bravo to our devoted mayor, a true man of the people!

Sidney Benizri elected new city councillor in District 7

Congratulations to Sidney Benizri, who was elected  as the new Côte Saint-Luc District 7 city councillor on Sunday, April 10.

I was at Mount Sinai Hospital, where the final ballots were tabulated, alongside Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Councillors Ruth Kovac  and Allan J. Levine as well as former mayor and current Liberal MP for Mount Royal Anthony Housefather.

Allan J. Levine and I congratulate Councillor-elect Sidney Benizri.

The final vote count for this by-election, to fill the seat previously occupied by Mayor Brownstein, was 325 for Benizri,  221 for David Tordjman,  205 for Mitch  Kujavsky and 20 for Lloyd Pedvis. Download Poll Results

Benizri becomes the first member of the Sephardic Jewish community to be elected to Côte Saint-Luc city council. He will be sworn in this week and attend his first public council meeting on Tuesday, April 19.

Benizri is presently the national  executive director of Canadian Magen David Adom. He previously held various leadership positions in the community. We welcome him aboard and look forward to working with him. Hats off to each of the candidates for all of the hard work they put into the race.

Within the week you will be able to reach our new city councillor at sbenizri@cotesaintluc.org.






An impressive candidates debate brings us closer to April 10 by-election

With advance polls  set for Sunday, April 3 and the by-election date for Côte Saint-Luc District 7 a week later - Sunday April 10 - we are in the midst of a spirited race to see who will  succeed our new Mayor Mitchell Brownstein as the  city councillor for that area,

District 7 encompasses the homes and buildings near Mount Sinai Hospital,  Hebrew Academy, Congrégation Or Hahayim and St. Richard's Church. Here is the complete map.

2016-03-29 District 7 Meet the Candidates
Mayor Brownstein and council with the candidates.

There are four candidates vying for the seat: Sidney Benizri, Mitchell Kujavsky, Lloyd Pedvis and David Tordjman. Following a suggestion at our March public council meeting by charismatic citizen Bryan "Waffles" Wolofsky that we help arrange a meet the candidates night, Councillor Allan J. Levine and I raised the subject in caucus. Everyone was in agreement that this would be a good idea. I picked up the phone and called "Humble" Harvey Levine, the executive director of B'nai Brith Canada, Quebec Region. They ran a fine debate last summer for the federal election in Mount Royal. Harvey immediately rose to the occasion and recruited B'nai Brith Canada legal counsel Steven Slimovitch as the moderator. "Slim" grew up in Côte Saint-Luc and his parents still live here. In fact, the night of the debate he dropped into the place he was raised in and enjoyed a nice home cooked meal with his parents.

Since Côte Saint-Luc was reconstituted, we have never had such a candidates meeting. For the residents who turned out, it was a difference maker. They had this unique opportunity to hear each candidate respond to some well thought out questions by Levine and Slimovitch.

Each one of these gentlemen handled themselves very well, with opening remarks, closing statements and pretty good answers to questions they could not prepare for. Slimovitch asked them about traffic calming near the two schools in the district, quick access out of the city despite traffic on Heywood, new ideas they had for the district, the Cavendish extension, library services, prohibiting parking in some high traffic areas, upgrading parks and snow removal. 

As the candidates continue to go door to door, I would like to take my hat off to each of them for running clean campaigns and showing each other the respect they deserve.

For full details on the by-election click here.

We have delayed our next public council meeting until Tuesday, April 19 in order for the new councillor to join us. Best of luck to all!


Here is a video of the evening.










Meet the candidates night for District 7 Council race set for March 29

At the March 14 Côte Saint-Luc council meeting, our  first under new Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, resident Bryan "Waffles" stepped to the microphone and suggested that we hold a meet the candidates meeting. While Mayor Brownstein was acclaimed to office, there are four people vying for his seat in District 7 - which borders my District 4.

B'nai Brith Canada (Quebec Region), which organized probably the best debate in the federal Mount Royal riding last summer, stepped up to the plate. In  a matter of days Executive Director Harvey Levine communicated with the mayor and members of council and scheduled the meetingt for Tuesday, March 29, 2016 from 7:30 pm to 9 pm in the  City Hall Harold Greenspon Auditorium (5801 Cavendish Blvd.).  I have run in three elections and we never had such a meeting. Hats off to Levine for taking such an initiative. This is a wonderful opportunity for voters in that district to get a better idea of whom to cast their vote in favor of.

District 7 candidates with Mayor Brownstein
Left to right: Kujavsky, Tordjman, Brownstein, Benizri and Pedvis.

The four candidates in contention for a council seat are, in alphabetical order: Sidney Benizri, Mitch Kujavsky, Lloyd Pedvis, and David Tordjman. The candidates will make opening and closing remarks and each will answer questions from the moderator on relevant issues of concern to the district residents.

 “The event will be co-moderated by myself” stated Levine, “and Steve Slimovitch, who is a criminal lawyer, President of the Lord Reading Law Society and board member of B'nai Brith Canada, League for Human Rights. Mr. Slimovitch is a former resident of Côte Saint-Luc and his parents still reside there.”

Mayor Brownstein will open the event. There will be closing remarks from Côte Saint-Luc resident Gerry Weinstein, who is Past President, B'nai Brith Canada and President of Residence B'nai Brith House and the soon to be built Chateau B'nai Brith -- both in Côte Saint-Luc.

Levine also stated “as an important part of the fabric of Côte Saint-Luc, B'nai Brith are happy to host this event. Our mission is to bring Canadian Jewry of all ages and backgrounds together by promoting human rights throughout the world, advocating for the security of the State of Israel and Jewish communities worldwide and providing local services through volunteer activities, cultivation of leadership and charitable work focusing on seniors and the less fortunate.”

Mitchell Brownstein is the new mayor of CSL

I was at Côte Saint-Luc City Hall on the afternoon of March 11 to formally congratulate my long-time friend Mitchell Brownstein on being acclaimed as our new mayor.
Mayor Brownstein, who has served as a Côte Saint Luc councillor since 1990, was the only candidate to have submitted nomination papers before the close of the nomination period.  
Celebrating Mayor Brownstein's acclamation.
"I am truly humbled by the outpouring of support from my colleagues and the residents of Côte Saint Luc over the last many months,” Mayor Brownstein said. “I am honoured to be returning to work on Monday as Mayor of Côte Saint Luc."
Brownstein will be sworn into office on Monday, March 14 at 8 pm as the first order of business at the Côte Saint-Luc council meeting at City Hall (5801 Cavendish Blvd.). 
I go way back with Mitchell. But I recall clearly the days leading up to his entry into the political world. He started to attend council meetings. At the time I was covering city politics for the local community press and  I asked then District 7 Councillor Eric Helfield if he was planning to run in the next election. He told me that his plan was to retire, to which I responded, "Would you consider endorsing Mitchell Brownstein as your successor?"
Helfield asked to meet with Mitchell, whom he had started to see at city council meetings, and in no time at all deemed him his logical successor. Mitchell was a great fit for council from day one. While I watched the work at City Hall as a journalist and then as a communications consultant, I finally caught the political bug myself and in 2005 ran for council. In fact I followed Mitchell's recipe, approaching  former Councillor Harold Greenspon to ask if he'd back me to succeed him in District 4. He did and I won my first election with over 92 percent of the vote. I was acclaimed the last two times. It is hard to believe that municipal elections will surface again in November 2017.
I wish Mitchell and his first lady, Elaine Yagod, all the very best. He is a most worthy successor to Anthony Housefather, now doing an outstanding job as our Liberal Member of Parliament for Mount Royal.
We still do have a by-election on our hands. Four people have declared their candidacy to become the next councillor for District 4:  Sidney Benizri, Mitchell Kujavksy, Lloyd Pedvis and David Tordjman. Voters head to the polls on Sunday, April 10. Good luck to each of them!
See this report from Breakfast Television the morning of the acclamation. And this one from Global TV after Mitchell was acclaimed.
Mitchell Brownstein élu par acclamation à la mairie de Côte Saint-Luc
Mitchell Brownstein devient maire de Côte Saint-Luc le vendredi 11 mars 2016.
M. Brownstein, conseiller municipal depuis 1990, fut l’unique candidat à déposer des documents de mise en candidature pour le poste de maire.
« Je suis très reconnaissant de l’appui que j’ai reçu, au cours des derniers mois, de la part de mes collègues et des résidants de Côte Saint-Luc, affirme M. Brownstein.  Je suis honoré de retourner travailler lundi en tant que maire. »
M. Brownstein prêtera serment le lundi 14 mars à 20 h et siégera immédiatement à la séance du conseil qui aura lieu à l’hôtel de ville (5801 boul. Cavendish); il fera sa première déclaration publique à ce moment-là. M. Brownstein sera disponible pour des entrevues avant la cérémonie d’investiture.