Parks

Côte Saint-Luc to name a park space after Alexandre Look and victims of the October 7 massacre

The City of Côte Saint-Luc will name park space in the memory of Alexandre Look, who was tragically killed in the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.

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The late Alexandre Look.

Alexandre Look Place  will be dedicated in my District 2 in early summer, fittingly between Bialik High School and Beth Chabad CSL.

Alexandre attended Bialik and grew up in our community. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein knows the family well. His son was childhood friends with Alexandre.

Pathwaypic
A photo taken in 2018 of part of the land that will be named after Alexandre Look.

Raquel Ohnona Look, Alexandre’s mom, told the CBC that she was on a video call with her son while he was attempting to evade Hamas gunmen on October 7. She could hear young women screaming and crying in the background. She told her son to listen to Israeli authorities. She told him to hide. "And then I heard him tell his friends, 'They're coming back. There's a lot of them. And then all I heard was a lot of gunshots, lots of rounds and then we heard nothing," she said.

Raquel strained to listen with her husband. The couple then heard sound of people chanting: "Allahu Akbar," an Arabic expression that roughly translates as "Allah is greatest," and which can be heard in video recordings linked to the carnage that has since been posted online.

"I knew," Raquel Look recalled to CBC. "I said, 'They're killing my son as we speak.'"

Alexandre, 33, was among thousands in attendance at an outdoor techno music festival near the Gaza-Israel border when it was attacked by the militant group, his family told CBC News in their Montreal home. About 260 bodies were removed from the festival following the ambush.

We have been seeking to name the greenspace for a few years now. It is city-owned land, but used regularly by Beth Chabad CSL for wedding ceremonies.

While I have consulted with both Beth Chabad CSL and Bialik a few times for a name, Sadly this opportunity was a natural choice when the mayor called and asked how we could properly memorialize Alexandre.

I should note that this space will honour the memory of Alexandre and all of the victims of the October 7 massacre.

Sarah Raskin from Beth Chabad CSL told me:" Alexandre grew up in Côte Saint-Luc. He spent countless of Friday nights in our home. We are extremely touched and humbled that Beth Chabad CSL will have the honor of having the park adjacent to our building."

Stay tuned for more information in the weeks ahead.

La Place Alexandre Look

La Ville de Côte Saint-Luc nommera un parc à la mémoire d'Alexandre Look, tragiquement tué lors de l'attaque du Hamas contre Israël le 7 octobre dernier.


La Place Alexandre Look sera inaugurée dans mon district 2 au début de l'été, à juste titre entre l'école secondaire Bialik et Beth Chabad CSL.


Alexandre a fréquenté le lycée Bialik et a grandi dans notre communauté. Le maire Mitchell Brownstein connaît bien la famille. Son fils était un ami d'enfance d'Alexandre.


Raquel Ohnona Look, la mère d'Alexandre, a déclaré à la CBC qu'elle était en communication vidéo avec son fils alors qu'il tentait d'échapper à des tireurs du Hamas le 7 octobre. Elle entendait des jeunes femmes crier et pleurer en arrière-plan. Elle a dit à son fils d'écouter les autorités israéliennes. Elle lui a dit de se cacher. Puis je l'ai entendu dire à ses amis : "Ils reviennent. Ils sont nombreux. Ensuite, tout ce que j'ai entendu, c'est un grand nombre de coups de feu, beaucoup de balles, puis nous n'avons plus rien entendu", a-t-elle déclaré.


Raquel s'est efforcée d'écouter avec son mari. Le couple a alors entendu le bruit de personnes qui scandaient : "Allahu Akbar", une expression arabe qui se traduit approximativement par "Allah est le plus grand" et que l'on peut entendre dans des enregistrements vidéo liés au carnage de samedi qui ont depuis été mis en ligne.


"Je le savais", se souvient Raquel Look à CBC. J'ai dit : "Ils sont en train de tuer mon fils en ce moment même".


Alexandre, 33 ans, faisait partie des milliers de personnes qui assistaient à un festival de musique techno en plein air près de la frontière entre Gaza et Israël, samedi, lorsqu'il a été attaqué par le groupe militant, a déclaré sa famille à CBC News dans leur maison de Montréal. Environ 260 corps ont été retirés du festival à la suite de l'embuscade.


Cela fait quelques années que nous cherchons à donner un nom à cet espace vert. Il s'agit d'un terrain appartenant à la ville, mais utilisé régulièrement par Beth Chabad CSL pour des cérémonies de mariage.


Bien que j'aie consulté Beth Chabad CSL et Bialik à plusieurs reprises pour trouver un nom, cette occasion s'est malheureusement présentée comme un choix naturel lorsque le maire nous a appelés pour nous demander comment nous pourrions commémorer Alexandre comme il se doit.
Je tiens à préciser que cet espace honorera la mémoire d'Alexandre et de toutes les victimes du massacre du 7 octobre.


Restez à l'écoute pour plus d'informations dans les semaines à venir.

 


Celebrating Winter Carnival in Côte Saint-Luc/J'assiste au Carnaval d'hiver de Côte Saint-Luc depuis que j'ai grandi sur l'avenue Wentworth, juste à côté du parc Kirwan (qui s'appelait alors Wentworth). À l'époque, c'était la plaque tournante de t

HarveyMarleeRomy4onMarch31
With my constituent Harvey Finkelstein and his granddaughters, twins Marlee and Romy.

 

I have attended Winter Carnival events in Côte Saint-Luc since I was growing up on Wentworth Avenue, right next to Kirwan Park (then called Wentworth). At the time that was the hub for all major recreation activities in the community.

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Mayor Brownstein and council at the firepit roasting marshmallows.

 

On Sunday, February 4  the 2024 edition took place at Trudeau Park and I do not think I can recall a more perfect winter day. It was sunny and about zero degrees, but no winds or chills. A nice crowd was on hand, mostly young families. They got to enjoy  horse-drawn carriage rides, tobogganing on the hill, ice sculptures, campfire and snow games. We also offered taffy on the snow and refreshments for a nominal fee, with all proceeds going towards our Parks and Recreation Bursary Fund.

OfficersAndrewIacovelllaandGeorgeLinardakis
With Councillor Steven Erdelyi, VCOP Suzie Schwartz and Officers Iacovella and Linardakis.

 

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein gathered members of council together to roast some marshmallows  over a hot fire. We hung out with the mascots and it was nice to talk with our two Police Station 9 socio-community officers George Linardakis and Andrew Iacovella.

ICe Sculpting
Ice sculpting is always fun.

 

It has not snowed in a while so the toboggan hill was a bit rough and for precautionary reasons we closed it during the festivities.

At the Samuel Moskovitch Arena it was "Hockey Day in Côte Saint-Luc" with a wide array of on ice competition over the weekend.

Bravo to all of our staff and volunteers who showed once again why Côte Saint-Luc is such a desirable place to live.

J'assiste au Carnaval d'hiver de Côte Saint-Luc depuis que j'ai grandi sur l'avenue Wentworth, juste à côté du parc Kirwan (qui s'appelait alors Wentworth). À l'époque, c'était la plaque tournante de toutes les activités récréatives importantes de la communauté.

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Nous avons passé du temps avec les mascottes.


Le dimanche 4 février, l'édition 2024 a eu lieu au parc Trudeau et je ne pense pas me souvenir d'une journée d'hiver plus parfaite. Le soleil était au rendez-vous et la température avoisinait zéro degré, mais il n'y avait ni vent ni froid. Une belle foule était présente, principalement de jeunes familles. Ils ont pu profiter des promenades en calèche, de la luge sur la colline, des sculptures sur glace, du feu de camp et des jeux de neige. Nous avons également proposé de la tire sur la neige et des rafraîchissements pour un prix modique, tous les bénéfices étant reversés à notre Fonds de bourses pour les parcs et les loisirs.

Funinsnow
Des jeux de neige.


Le maire Mitchell Brownstein a réuni les membres du conseil municipal pour faire griller des guimauves sur un feu chaud. Nous avons passé du temps avec les mascottes et nous avons eu le plaisir de discuter avec nos deux agents sociocommunautaires du poste de police 9, George Linardakis et Andrew Iacovella.

Broomhockey
Jeux de ballon sur glace.



Comme il n'avait pas neigé depuis longtemps, la piste de tobaggan était un peu dure et, par mesure de précaution, nous l'avons fermée pendant les festivités.


À l'aréna Samuel Moskovitch, c'était la "Journée du hockey à Côte Saint-Luc", avec un large éventail de compétitions sur glace tout au long du week-end.


Bravo à tous nos employés et bénévoles qui ont montré une fois de plus pourquoi Côte Saint-Luc est un endroit où il fait bon vivre.

 


The Rembrandt Park Report: urgent issues given priority by Public Works

In August I did a walkabout at Rembrandt Park with some residents. I would like to repeat that since I have been the city councillor for District 2 these past 18 years, an enormous amount of improvements have been made here. Some critics, while meaning well, do not understand that this is one of many parks in the city; each councillor is pushing for parks in their district. I am proud to say we have gotten more than our fair share of financial allocations

The use of Rembrandt Park has exploded in recent years. More activity results in further wear and tear.

Please keep in mind that  soon after being first elected we added the water  spray area and filled what was a giant pit, transforming it into what is now a well-utlilized   field.    During the pandemic we added soccer nets, something that was really appreciated. There have been issues of water not draining properly from this area and we will keep our eyes on that.

The tennis courts were upgraded, including new lighting. We completely rebuilt the basketball court and even added a new half court for younger children. The Rembrandt chalet had its roof replaced and handicapped washrooms were installed. A permanent ping pong table was added, as were many new benches and picnic tables. Last spring one of the walkways was repaved. Play equipment has been upgraded. In the winter, we have a hill used for tobogganing and one of the tennis courts has been converted to a skating rink the past two years.

As residents will find out soon, all municipalities -including Côte Saint-Luc-  will face a terribly difficult time in building a budget for 2024. We have been very badly affected by the reduction in welcome taxes as a result of the hike in interest rates by the Bank of Canada. In addition,  the price  of every major contract has gone through the roof.  Our biggest job now is to try and hold the line the best we can on tax increases.

 

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Joane Warren and Patrick Touchette join me in the park.

I would love there to be a bottomless pit of money to blanket Rembrandt Park with improvements. You can read the conclusion of this article for a fundraising initiative I have in mind. But for now, I am very pleased that senior members of our Public Works team, Patrick Touchette and Joane Warren, toured the park with me last week and they made a commitment to ensure that urgent action items are taken care of – notably those that relate to health and safety.

Here is a list of what has and will be done:

  • The two holes in the ground near the first pathway on Rembrandt have been  filled with soil and seeds. Any holes in the concrete elsewhere in the park will be filled as well.
  • Temporary barriers will be installed to prevent access to the steps/seats behind the chalet. These are not safe to walk or sit on. We’d need a significant budget to redo this. They are seldom used as it is.
  • A work order has been made for electricians to put any loose wires into.
  • Some faulty lights will be changed by our Engineering team.  
  • Following a summer in which picnic tables were moved around by some park goers, they will be  attached  to the ground to prevent this from reoccurring.
  • Picnic tables will be installed to the left of the chalet at the request of some residents for more shade.
  • More benches will be installed next spring or summer.  New concrete bases will need to be ordered to put the benches on.
  • The pedestrian pathway behind the Meadows Condominium which keeps flooding after rainfalls will be replaced with grass. As Public Works explained to me, efforts to fix the area for many years have been costly and unsuccessful and there is another pathway a few feet away.
  • Sand in playgrounds has been deep cleaned by a contractor. Our employees will continue to clean it on a daily basis during the season.
  • The play equipment have been deemed to be in good working order. Yes, we’d love to order new  equipment but we will have to wait for better economic times.
  • Nets for basketball hoops are installed all over the city at the beginning of the season. Regrettably, they end up getting   torn or even stolen and the protocol is not keep replacing them during the season. We’d certainly like to catch the perpetrators.
  • There are currently 11 garbage cans in the park. Public Works will relocate one or two of them because they may too close to each other. Otherwise, the number  of garbage cans in this park has been deemed sufficient.
  • Parks and Recreation will have its attendants be a better set of eyes and ears regarding issues at the park. I will try and meet with each of them more often.
  • The pétanque courts are never used. While there are no funds to build something in its place, I have asked that the wooded boundaries be removed so this could possibly be transformed into some kind of play area – perhaps with some grass planted there.
  • In the winter we will remind Public Works to try and make the walkways wider and better salted . 
  • Public Security will do more check-ins at  park late at night.   
  • The two water fountains are indeed often dirty. But Public Works reports that this is mainly caused by users, some of whom actually pour sand inside and block the drainage.
  • Public Works has committed to dealing with the heights off the trees near the Meadows condo pool side,  adjacent to the basketball court as well as  cut down the height of trees south side of pool and Trim the  limbs of the tree adjacent to basketball court and tennis court. The latter obscures the night lights on the south side of basketball court.

I want to thank the residents who approached and for the significant time Public Works took to go over all of the details with me.

If anyone reading this would be interested in purchasing naming rights for the Rembrandt Park Chalet – a high visibility venue - these funds could be redirected for improvements that are not in our budget. This was precisely the case for the Max Margles Côte Saint-Luc Children’s Library.


Meand Isadore
Chatting with Isadore at the last Remembrance Day ceremony he attended.

Isadore Goldberg was a city councillor for District 1 in Côte Saint-Luc from 1982 to 2001. He was unbeatable in any election for one reason: he gave constituents what they wanted, that being full customer service. This was before the internet era.  What you got from Isadore was a return phone call or a personal visit.

In February of 2020 Isadore passed away.  In a strange geographic makeup, District 1 in Isadore’s day included the area of MacDonald Avenue, North of Hampstead, some buildings along Côte Saint-Luc Road and yes – Marc Chagall and Sir Walter Scott. The latter two became part of my District 2 in time for the 2005 election. It is for this reason that a park, located behind the apartments on Sir Walter Scott, was named after Isadore. At that time a sign was placed on Kildare Road, meaning for those who wanted to actually go  to the park they had to navigate their way through a parking lot and a narrow strip of land.

GroupbyMike
Friends and family join us at the rededication ceremony.

 

When I was elected I promised Isadore that I would do something about this.   We spent considerable time looking into the feasibility of moving the park to a large green space on Marc Chagall Avenue. When that land was needed for parking lot to accommodate workers for a large construction  project, discussions were placed on hold for three years.

Public Works Director Beatrice Newman, Foreman for  Parks, Horticulture and Green Spaces Joanne Warren and their team were absolutely marvelous to deal with.  In late 2019 I called Isadore with good news. His park would be refurbished and the sign moved to a more appropriate spot. Sadly, he passed away soon after and then the pandemic hit. Again. Projects were delayed.

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Our group visits the park.

 

Last year, Public Works completed work on Isadore Goldberg Park. For starters, the sign was moved to Marc Chagall next to a new, nicely paved pathway. Finally, there was a easy way to get there.  Bollard lights and trees were installed in that space as well.

At the park itself, Public Works removed all invasive species of weeds and trees. New sand and some new play equipment was added as well as urban furniture. A drinking fountain will be added in the next few months. Because we have named the large greenspace on Marc Chagall as Sheila Finestone Park,  an  arrow will be added to the Goldberg sign pointing people in the right direction.

A few weeks ago we held a ceremony to dedicate Finestone Park. I decided it would not do justice for Isadore to merely mention his park as a sidenote. So, on September 3, members of the Goldberg family and some friends joined myself and Councillors Steven Erdelyi and Sidney Beniziri for a lovely rededication ceremony.   We were also lucky to have local teenage recording artist Rachel Dara on hand to sing a beautiful tribute song to Isadore.  Rachel is 16, the same age Isadore was when he went to fight for Canada in World War  II.

I shared some kind words about Isadore, as did his sister-in-law.  Mayor Mitchell Brownstein was not able to attend, but he wanted me to express how much he appreciated the 11 years he served on council with Isadore. Everyone loved Rachel’s song, Comme Toi by Jean-Jacques Goldman, about Sarah, a Jewish child victim of the Holocaust. Rachel felt it was appropriate given that Isadore was veteran of  WWII.

Please watch the video

Most appropriately, we all  took a walk over to  the park, which is used regularly by families living in the area and those in the condos who bring their grandchildren there.

It took some time, but Isadore Goldberg Park and its signage have been properly delivered. I am very proud to have helped see this through.


The move of 2023 Canada Day celebrations to August was a success

CouncilAHEprass
On stage to sing O Canada.

When rain washed out the July 1 Côte Saint-Luc Canada Day celebrations and our backup date two days later, our marvelous Recreation Department staff thought outside the box. How about celebrating this towards the end of the summer, just before Labour Day Weekend?

Inflatables
The inflatables are always a hit.

On August 31 the show did indeed go on and wow, Mother Nature actually cooperated. This was a 4 pm to 9 pm format on the large back baseball diamond at Trudeau Park. 

It was wonderful to see so many young families arrive in the early going to enjoy the likes of inflatables, a petting zoo, firetruck exhibition,  carnival games, a magic game. face painting/arts and crafts,  reptiles, pizza and cotton candy stands and live music from The Fundamentals,  saxophonist Michael Abramovich, Shawny and DJ Pulse.

Mayor
With Mayor Brownstein.

The evening culminated with speeches from Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Mount Royal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather and D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA Elisabeth Prass, the singing of O Canada by the aforementioned individuals and city council and a remarkable drone show. Fireworks are a thing of the past for us now, but this feature really surprised me with its entertainment value. The drones formed the shapes of the Canadian flag, the Côte Saint-Luc logo, a hockey stick and puck and more. Watch one here.

Dan Laxer and Laurie Betito were back as our emcees.

Here is Michael Abramovich

 

 

The venue was indeed a real hit and I hope this will become Canada Day’s permanent home.

Here is the official video done by our own Darryl Levine

 

 


Walkabout at Rembrandt Park results in some helpful recommendations

I want to thank my constituents who answered my call and joined me for a walkabout at Rembrandt Park on August 20.

Since I have been the city councillor for District 2 these past 18 years, an enormous amount of improvements have been made here. Some critics, while meaning well, do not understand that this is one of many parks in the city; each councillor is pushing for parks in their district. I am proud to say we have gotten more than our fair share of financial allocations.

Walkaboutpic
Some of the residents (and canines) who joined me.

The water spray area continues to be a huge success among young families. The tennis courts were upgraded, including new lighting. We completely rebuilt the basketball court and even added a new half court for younger children. Early on in my mandate, there was a field that was mysteriously located virtually underground.  We filled the pit and left it as green space. During the pandemic we added soccer nets, something that was really appreciated. The Rembrandt Chalet had its roof replaced and handicapped washrooms installed. A permanent ping pong table was added, as were many new benches and picnic tables. This past spring one of the walkways was repaved. Play equipment has also been upgraded. In the winter, we have a hill used for tobogganing and one of the tennis courts has been converted to a skating rink the past two years.

I walk through the park regularly and consult with users. Nonetheless, the consultation I just undertook was very revealing.

The recommendations will be forwarded to our Public Works, Engineering and Parks and Recreation departments. A number of people who could not attend sent me their comments via e-mail.

Yes, the pathways need significant improvement.

It is very disappointing to walk through this park and see the litter people toss about, ever so close to trash cans. Why are older kids using the mini-court and vandalizing the basketball net? Can we add more benches and trash cans? Can the walkways be salted and made wider in the winter? The drainage system is no efficient at the soccer field, which also has large patches with no grass and holes.  Some of the equipment in the play area is outdated. Do we really still need the pétanque courts? The steps/seats near the chalet have seen better days. These are just some of the comments.

I wish to remind residents that for a fee we can add beautiful tribute benches, dedicated in the memory of a loved one. Can we arrange some sponsorship opportunities at the park? 

I am always available to get feedback.

 

  

 

 

 

 

IDEAS

-If we want additional benches, can we start a campaign for people to “dedicate” new ones in the memory of loved ones?

-Can we seek naming rights for the Chalet at Rembrandt Park and use the proceeds for more improvements?

 


 Sheila Finestone Park formally dedicated in Côte Saint-Luc

 

MikeStephenDaniel
With Stephen and Daniel Finestone.

 

I was honored to preside over   a formal dedication ceremony for a park named  after former Mount Royal Liberal MP and Senator Sheila Finestone on Marc Chagall Avenue. located in my District 2, on August 14. A big thank you to Barry Herman from the CSL Men's Club for the photos you see here.

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Some members of the family and political representatives.

 

Sheila Finestone was the Liberal MP for  Mount Royal from 1984 to 1999, which had previously been held since 1965 by former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Finestone admired Trudeau and said he inspired her to go into politics. She concluded her political career a member of the Senate, retiring in 2002. She passed away from cancer at the age of 82 in 2009.

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Members of the Finestone family.

 

I always felt that our city should name something after her. She served our community with great distinction and this tribute was a longtime in coming.

SidMitch
Mayor Brownstein with Sidney Margles.

Finestone was a devoted community activist before entering politics. Notable among these, at a young age she ascended to the presidency of the Women's Federation of Allied Jewish Community Services of Montreal (now Federation CJA), followed by many executive and leadership roles in this community. She then brought her insight and drive to the broader community where she earned the position of president of Les Federation des Femmes de Quebec. Her passion for the rights and dreams of all people ultimately took her into the political sphere, first as an advisor to the leaders of the Quebec Liberal Party, then as a Liberal MP, Cabinet Minister in Jean Chretien's government and ultimately to the Red Chamber as a Senator. She worked tirelessly and with passion for the causes of a united Canada, human rights, the cause of Soviet Jews, equality and justice for all peoples regardless of origin or geography. Amongst her proudest accomplishments were her leadership of Canada's delegation to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, her membership on the Executive Committee of the No Campaign in the 1980 referendum on national unity and as a principal mover of the "Yvettes," her engagement with other notables to rid the world of landmines and most of all the fight for human dignity, privacy and the inherent rights that are intrinsic to all peoples.

AH
Anthony Housefather, Elisabeth Prass and Robert Libman.

Extending her influence beyond Canada's boarders, Finestone was a force in upholding the values of Canadian democratic tradition in such organizations as the Inter Parliamentary Union as well as other groups pursuing important global causes. In a life filled with tributes and awards her final accolade came from her parliamentary peers when in 2008 she was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award on behalf of the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians. She well understood and exemplified the notion that with power and influence comes great responsibility and she never shrank from the challenges it presented.

The new park is a lovely piece of green space, outfitted with benches, picnic tables, trees and pathways.  It is a nice spot for visitors to gather. There is also space for people to toss the football or frisbee or kick the soccer ball.

One of  Finestone’s sons, Stephen and nephew Daniel, drove in from Ottawa for the ceremony while a nice entourage of family and friends, as well as those who reside in the neighbourhood were in attendance. Later on a Zoom link at our public council meeting, his siblings joined us.

Cotler
Irwin Cotler

Also on hand were Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, members of council, present-day Liberal MP for Mount Royal Anthony Housefather, Finestone’s immediate successor, Irwin Cotler, former CSL Mayor and D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA Robert Libman and present day MNA Elisabeth Prass.   Resident Sidney Margles, whose late wife Merle served as Finestone’s executive assistant, was there along with his daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. He played a leading role in consultation we took last winter to choose a name for the park. We were also privileged to have Deborah Wasserman Schultz with us. The US Congresswoman from Florida works closely with Housefather on combatting worldwide antisemitism and she was in town to speak to our Men's Club.

Stephen Finestone said that as a politician his mother always focused on the Triple A: "Accessible, Accountable and  Active."

Libman told me he remembered sitting with Finestone at countless community dinners. He was a very young politician at the time and  Finestone always shared motherly advice

Both Housefather and Cotler said this honor was well deserved while Prass, while acknowledging she never met Finestone, saluted the late MP’s leading role as a female politician.

Margles pointed to the sign and said and read the name as “Finest  One,” something a youngster came up at campaign event years ago,

Brownstein called Finestone a role model, stating how he first became active in politics as part of the Young Liberals of Canada in the Mount Royal riding when she  was the MP.

MikeMitchStephenAbramovitch
With Mayor Brownstein, Stephen Finestone and Michael Abramovitch.

Michael Abramovich, a  saxophonist who lives in Côte Saint-Luc,  performed some extraordinary music prior to the ceremony.   I thank him very much for doing so.  He is available for private events. See a bit of his performance here.

 This greenspace is immediately next to a pathway leading to  Isadore Goldberg Park. Goldberg was the Councillor for District 1 from 1983 to 2000. We will be having a re-dedication ceremony there on Sunday, September3 (10 am).

 Here is a brief from CTV Montreal News

 

Thank you to Public Works and Engineering for developing this park and all of the other supporters.


Newly arrived Ukrainian residents provided important alert on wasp hive

Hive
Our new residents from the Ukraine and the little girls who spotted the hive.

 

Not too long ago Steve Naymark and his wife met a family who were displaced from their homeland due to a terriblly unnecessary war in Ukraine.

"With my mom being of Ukrainian descent I've formed  a special bond with these people," said Steve, a  longtime resident of Kildare Road in my District 2.

Just the other day Steve contacted me about a wasp hive at Isadore Goldberg Park. It was the two little Ukrainian sisters who, Maria and Sophia, who alerted Steve.  I was then advised and our Public Works Department removed it.

Welcome to our community!

 

 


Much needed repairs to Rembrandt Park pathway via Merrimac approved

For a number of years now, users of Rembrandt Park have expressed concern to me about the walkway leading to the area from Merrimac Road.

Rem
The walkway will be repaired.

The Merrimac paver stones  at this walkway are in poor condition.  These sunken pavers are not only an eyesore, but they also typically represent a warning sign of a larger problem. An uneven paver can produce safety/trip hazards while sunken/missing pavers lead to  water“pooling” that will always collect puddles.

I wish to thank both our Public Works and Urban Planning Departments for moving forward with repairs At the March 13 council meeting we approved a bid for just over $50,000 to conduct the necessary work in May. The existing stone pavers will be removed and we will install asphalt, keeping the same walkway width and profile. There are four sumps along the walkway which will be checked and leveled with new asphalt.

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Les pavés de Merrimac de cette allée sont en mauvais état. Ces pavés enfoncés ne sont pas seulement une nuisance visuelle, mais ils représentent également un signe avant-coureur d'un problème plus important. Un pavé inégal peut présenter des risques pour la sécurité ou les déplacements, tandis qu'un pavé enfoncé ou manquant entraîne une accumulation d'eau qui ne cessera jamais de former des flaques d'eau.

Lors de la réunion du conseil municipal du 13 mars, nous avons approuvé un appel d'offres d'un peu plus de 50 000 dollars pour effectuer les travaux nécessaires en mai. Les pavés de pierre existants seront enlevés et nous installerons de l'asphalte, en conservant la même largeur et le même profil d'allée. Il y a quatre puisards le long de l'allée qui seront vérifiés et nivelés avec le nouvel asphalte.

Les pavés de Merrimac de cette allée sont en mauvais état. Ces pavés enfoncés ne sont pas seulement une nuisance visuelle, mais ils représentent également un signe avant-coureur d'un problème plus important. Un pavé inégal peut présenter des risques pour la sécurité ou les déplacements, tandis qu'un pavé enfoncé ou manquant entraîne une accumulation d'eau qui ne cessera jamais de former des flaques d'eau.

 


It is official: Marc Chagall greenspace to be named Sheila Finestone Park

Following a thorough consultation with neighbourhood residents, Côte Saint-Luc  City Council has accepted a recommendation from the Toponomy Committee that I chair to name the greenspace on Marc Chagall Avenue as Sheila Finestone Park.

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The late Sheila Finestone

Sheila Finestone was the Liberal Member of Parliament for our riding of Mount Royal from1984 to 1999, which had previously been held since 1965 by former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Finestone admired Trudeau and said he inspired her to go into politics. She concluded her political career a member of the Senate, retiring in 2002. I always felt that our city should name something after her.

History will note that the land for this park had been rented to the developers of the Equinoxe apartments for three years as a parking lot for construction workers in order to ensure residents and guests had places to park. Alternatively,  all available spots would  have been taken by the workers. When it came time for the developers to return the land to the way they found it, they failed to do so. This became a legal matter after several ill-fated attempts to get it right. The city took over the job and got it right and then some. Some dead trees had to be cut down. Public Works installed a new pathway, repositioned the picnic tables, added new benches and trees.

I have been in touch with the children of the late Sheila and Alan Finestone and they have accepted this honour. We will have a dedication ceremony in late spring or early summer.

Sheila Finestone, whom I was proud to know, was a devoted community activist before entering politics. Notable among these, at a young age she ascended to the presidency of the Women's Federation of Allied Jewish Community Services of Montreal (now Federation CJA), followed by many executive and leadership roles in this community. She then brought her insight and drive to the broader community where she earned the position of president of Les Federation des Femmes de Quebec. Her passion for the rights and dreams of all people ultimately took her into the political sphere, first as an advisor to the leaders of the Quebec Liberal Party, then as a Liberal MP, Cabinet Minister in Jean Chretien's government and ultimately to the Red Chamber as a Senator. She worked tirelessly and with passion for the causes of a united Canada, human rights, the cause of Soviet Jews, equality and justice for all peoples regardless of origin or geography. Amongst her proudest accomplishments were her leadership of Canada's delegation to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, her membership on the Executive Committee of the No Campaign in the 1980 referendum on national unity and as a principal mover of the "Yvettes," her engagement with other notables to rid the world of landmines and most of all the fight for human dignity, privacy and the inherent rights that are intrinsic to all peoples.

Extending her influence beyond Canada's boarders, Finestone was a force in upholding the values of Canadian democratic tradition in such organizations as the Interparlimentary Union as well as other groups pursuing important global causes. In a life filled with tributes and awards her final accolade came from her parliamentary peers when in 2008 she was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award on behalf of the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians. She well understood and exemplified the notion that with power and influence comes great responsibility and she never shrank from the challenges it presented. She passed away from cancer at the age of 82 in 2009.

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Mayor Brownstein with Sheila Finestone in a photo from her early years as MP.

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein was very close with Finestone and served as president of the Young Liberals  of Mount Royal when she was first elected.

I wish to thank Darryl Levine and his team from the Public Affairs and Communications Department for properly consulting residents.