Edna Janco donates scarves for young students

  Edna Janco has certainly been one of my most active constituents since she and her husband moved into my District 2 a few years ago.

Lucky Ednascarves

 Lucky Edna tries on one of the scarves for me.

The Jancos reside  in a condo on Rembrandt Avenue and from the day she moved in "Lucky Edna" has taken particular interest in Rembrandt Park. An avid walker, she is always providing myself and city officials with tips on how to make the park better

Over the last number of years Edna has also taken the time each fall to purchase cloth material and make scarves. She then gives me a call so that I can put these scarves around the necks of young students who can benefit from this generous gift during the winter.

Thank you Edna!

Edna Janco fait don d'écharpes pour de jeunes élèves

Edna Janco est certainement l'une de mes électrices les plus actives depuis qu'elle et son mari ont emménagé dans mon district 2 il y a quelques années.

Les Janco habitent un appartement sur Rembrandt Avenue et depuis le jour où elle a emménagé, Edna s'est particulièrement intéressée au parc Rembrandt. Promeneuse invétérée, elle n'a de cesse de nous donner, à moi et aux fonctionnaires de la ville, des conseils sur la manière d'améliorer le parc

Au cours des dernières années, Edna a également pris le temps, chaque automne, d'acheter du tissu et de confectionner des écharpes. Elle m'appelle ensuite pour que je mette ces écharpes autour du cou de jeunes étudiants qui pourront bénéficier de ce généreux don pendant l'hiver.

Merci Edna !

School auditorium to be named after the late Syd Wise

Noted educator Syd Wise lost his battle with cancer last fall and he is already greatly missed.  For 21 years, until his passing, Syd served as an elected commissioner with the former Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal and the English Montreal School Board, representing Côte Saint-Luc and for his last year in office, Hampstead as well.

Syd Wise, seen here with EMSB Chair Angela Mancini (left) and present-day Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather.

For many years Syd served as the Principal of the former Wagar High School. As the communications and marketing specialist for the EMSB,I developed a very close relationship with Syd. He wanted so badly to bring a mainstream public high school back to the former Wagar building, which now houses the Marymount Adult Education Centre and John Grant High School. It was not for a lack of trying on his part that it did not succeed.

Bernard Praw, who succeeded his good friend Syd as the commissioner via  a by-election in December, moved a motion at the last EMSB Council meeting to approve the Syd Wise Auditorium for the building which was so dear to him. A dedication ceremony with members of Syd`s family will be held at a date to be determined. 

Bernard Praw

"Syd spent a lot of time on that very auditorium stage as a principal and even as a commissioner," said Praw. "It is a fitting tribute to a man we miss very much."


School-wide exhibit celebrates intergenerational connections at Hebrew Academy


Thanks to Aviva Engel, the communications director for Hebrew Academy School on Kellert Avenue in Côte Saint-Luc, for this submission.

Months of collaboration, hard work and creative planning by Hebrew Academy faculty, staff and students came to fruitionon Wednesday night, at Hebrew Academy Elementary School’s first-ever school-wide exhibition From Generation to Generation.  Open to students’ extended families and friends, the trilingual, cross-curricular exhibit represented the culmination of hours of research, study and innovative work on the impact of generations past, present and future.


“We chose the theme ‘From Generation to Generation’ as it provided us with the opportunity to celebrate our students’ legacies as part of their own families as well as part of our Hebrew Academy family,” said Elementary Director of French Studies and Academics Miriam Schrager.  “This exhibit is a celebration of our students’ identities which have been developed and nurtured over many generations.”

The timing of the exhibit aptly coincided with Pesach, a holiday where the theme of generations is central. “We learn from our past to live in the present and to teach for the future,” said Elementary Director Judaic Studies Jordana Levy.  “Our generational exhibition displayed timeless and precious gems from our eternal Torah, our rich Mesorah (Traditions) and our cherished family lessons, values and artifacts.”


Highlights of the multimedia event included displays by all classes from Kindergarten to Grade 6 exploring family traditions, artefacts and recipes passed down from generations, a timeline of Jewish history, biographies about global influencers, inventions, students’ time capsules, family albums, superheroes of the future, inspirational family members, proverbs that have stood the test of time and the toponymy of streets in Côte-Saint-Luc, among others exhibits.

 "The school-wide exhibition was a wonderful opportunity for our staff to collaborate and share their individual expertise to assist one another," said Elementary English Studies and Technology Integration Coordinator Elyse Haber.

Elementary School Principal Shana Joyce agreed. “A collaborative project like the exhibit allows us to celebrate all that we do as a school community. It is an opportunity for students, faculty and parents to be proud of our school and all of the valuable learning that takes place throughout the year. This evening is a culmination of countless of hours of dedication, commitment and enthusiasm on the part of our faculty!”

Myriad visitors entering the exhibit literally gasped in awe at the beauty and vibrancy of the presentations. From life-size street signs to an elegant Seder Table, an enormous family tree and a giant hand-sewn quilt, the display reflected hours upon hours of hard work and dedication on the part of all presenters.

“Mazal tov to all the students and staff on their hard work and the wonderful results,” wrote Hebrew Academy grandparent Miriam Safran in an email to the school. “What a great accomplishment. You should all be very proud. The room was a masterpiece, a historical museum.”

Hebrew Academy parent Philippe Levy praised the people behind the exhibiion on Hebrew Academy’s Facebook page. “The effort and attention to detail made by the teachers for the presentation of this exhibition was outstanding,” he commented.  “Not to mention all of the wonderful creations the kids prepared. Congratulations to all involved!”

Long time Solomon Schechter chief Hamerman to step down; Erdelyi given top job

One of the leading figures in the Montreal Jewish day school system over the past three decades has decided to retire. Dr. Shimshon Hamerman announced last week that he will be  stepping down as Head of School at the end of the present academic year at Solomon Schechter Academy. His successor will be Steven Erdelyi, only mid-way through his first year as principal but an experienced and highly regarded young educator who also serves alongside me as  a city councillor in Côte Saint-Luc.


Steven Erdelyi and Shimshon Hamerman.

Dr. Hamerman said that his  retirement plans have been in the works for close to three years. “I served the school for over three decades and now it is time to hand the reigns of leadership to a new generation to lead the Academy,” he said. “I want to thank the thousands of parents who entrusted their children, their most precious possession to my care and the care of my teams of professionals. My wife, my children and grandchildren were beneficiaries of my career in the service of the community.   They also paid a heavy price for it because when you work for the public you give up much of your private life.”

I wish to give a lot of credit to Erdelyi.  He began his teaching career in the public system specializing in math and Science at Marymount Academy, moving on to Westmount High School as a vice-principal and then as principal of Hampstead Elementary School. When Solomon Schechter came calling, Erdelyi had been given the extra duties of trying to get a new public high school in Côte Saint-Luc off the ground. For now, that project has been placed on hold.

So, we are witnessing a very rapid rise for Erdelyi. He is one of the brightest people I know, with every fact one would need on the history of Côte Saint-Luc safely tucked away on his IPad. 

I know I speak on behalf of the entire CSL council in wishing him well in this new challenge.


CSL Council adopts resolution on Bill 104

Côte Saint-Luc City Council has taken a leadership role in the pursuit of having the Quebec government respect the Supreme Court of Canada ruling which declared Bill 104 unconstitutional.  I sincerely hope that other municipalities follow our lead. Bill 104 was adopted in 2002 and has a negative effect on the English public and private school systems. The English Montreal School Board, for instance, has seen its youth sector enrolment drop from 27,000 to 22,000 students over the last eight years.

Here is our resolution, adopted on April 12, 2010:

WHEREAS in 1984, the Supreme Court of Canada (‘‘the Court’’) declared that certain portions of the Charter of the French Language (‘‘the Language Charter’’) were unconstitutional and that Canadians whose parents received the ‘major part’ of their education in English in Canada had a right to attend publicly-funded English language schools in Quebec pursuant to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (“Canadian Charter”);

WHEREAS the Language Charter was later amended to comply with the Court’s decision;

WHEREAS in 2002 Paragraph 2  of Section 73 of the Language Charter was then amended by the Quebec National Assembly (“Legislature”) to state that education received by students at unsubsidized private schools in Quebec should be disregarded when determining whether a child is eligible to receive instruction in the publicly funded English language school system;

WHEREAS in 2002 Paragraph 3 Section 73 of the Language Charter was then amended by the Quebec National Assembly (“Legislature”) to establish the same rule with respect to instruction received pursuant to a special authorization granted under sections 81, 85 or 85.1 of the Language Charter in a case involving a serious learning disability, temporary residence in Quebec, or a serious family or humanitarian situation.

WHEREAS Section 73 of the Language Charter is inconsistent with the principle of preserving family unity provided for in the Canadian Charter said section rendering it impossible for children from  the same family to receive instruction in the same school system.

WHEREAS the Canadian Charter protects the rights of parents to educate their children in English making no distinction concerning :
    the type of instruction received by the child,
    whether the educational institution is public or private, or
    the origin of the authorization pursuant to which instruction is provided in a given language,

WHEREAS in 2005, in the case of Solski (Tutor of) v. Quebec (Attorney General)the Court established that in determining the requirement of the “major part” of the instruction as stated in section 73 of the Language Charter calls for a global qualitative assessment of a child’s educational pathway which is based on factors that include:
    time spent in different programs of study,
    at what stage of the child’s education the choice of language of instruction was made,
    what programs are or were available, and
    whether learning disabilities or other difficulties exist.

WHEREAS the amendments to paragraphs 2 and 3 of Section 73 the Language Charter were inconsistent with the finding in Solski; and

WHEREAS on October 22, 2009, the Court declared those revised provisions of Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Section 73 of the Language Charter constitutionally invalid but suspended the effects of its decision for a one year period to give the Legislature time to redraft the amendment to the Language Charter so that it does not contravene the Canadian Charter; and

WHEREAS the decision to be made by the Legislature will affect children and families in the City of Cote Saint-Luc (“City”) and the City Council (“Council”) wishes to ask the Legislature to consider the needs of those of its residents impacted by the amendments to Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Section 73 of the Language Charter judged unconstitutional by the Court; ;



‘‘THAT the Council (‘‘Council’’) hereby requests that the Legislature carefully consider the historic rights and contributions of the English speaking communities of Quebec as it re-drafts its legislation.

That Council requests that the Legislature not amend the Language Charter to limit access to  unsubsidized private schools in Quebec;

THAT Council requests that the Legislature ensures that its revisions to the Language Charter in response to the Court’s judgment respect the Canadian Charter and requests that the Legislature not invoke the notwithstanding clause when amending the Language Charter;

THAT Council further requests that the Legislature restore the situation which existed before the amendments to paragraphs 2 and 3 of Section   73 of the Language Charter were amended in 2002.’’