Deborah E. Lipstadt, described by Mount Royal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather as the foremost expert on antisemitism in the world, made a private visit to Côte Saint-Luc City Hall on December 7. On March 30, 2022, she was confirmed by the United States Senate as the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, with the rank of Ambassador.
Lipstadt lights the Chanukah menorah with Mayor Brownstein, Mayor Levi and Councillor Sidney Benizri.
It was Housefather who arranged this extraordinary opportunity. He joined the meeting via Zoom, with many Parliamentary votes pending in Ottawa. Also in attendance were Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, some members of city council, Hampstead Mayor Jeremy Levi, Beth Zion Congregation President Charles Benedek, Montreal West Councillor Lauren Small-Pennefather, EMSB Commissioner Jamie Fabian, representatives for Housefather and D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA Elisabeth Prass, Montreal filmmaker Beverly Shaffer (who confided she was Lipstadt's former college roommate) and several officials from the United States Embassy and Consulate. Bravo to our Director of Public Affairs and Communications Darryl Levine for the role he played in coordinating the gathering.
Housefather said he is calling upon the Canadian Heritage Committee to create a Task Force on Antisemitism at university campuses. He wants to see university presidents called to Parliament Hill and grilled.
Mayor Brownstein gave a preview of our city’s impending action plan against antisemitism. “It takes a lot of people at all levels of government to make this happen,” he says. “And it can’t just be the Jewish community.”
Lipstadt told the group that she had lunch at what she called a “Jewish deli in Montreal” that for years has placed a Chanukah menorah in its window. They did not do so this year, she confided, afraid of what the response might be.
“You are aware,” she said, “that we are seeing a tsunami of antisemitism. University leaders are at a loss. They don’t know what to do. For too many years university campuses did not take antisemitism seriously.”
Since the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack in Israel and the ensuing war, Lipstadt said she has travelled the globe. “In every cases governments are taking this seriously,” she said. “It does not mean they are doing the right thing."
Lipstadt is a decorated scholar of antisemitism through history. She famously prevailed against Holocaust denier David Irving in a years-long trial in British courts. But even she said she is taken aback by the vitriol that has spiked after the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, which the Israeli government has called the biggest single-day killing of Jews since the Holocaust. “I find myself gobsmacked, flabbergasted,” she told the Washington Post recently. “ And I don’t flabbergast easily. You can’t be a scholar of the Holocaust and be surprised by things. And yet even I have a hard time. I don’t want to say uncomprehending, because I can comprehend, but I have a hard time absorbing all that’s going on.”
Lipstadt says she wishes to use the power of her office to draw attention to the issue and to push other governments to stay vigilant about protecting their Jewish populations. “We take this seriously,” she remarked. “Jews may not seem to present as other victims of religious ethnic, racial bigotry present, but it is to be taken seriously. So I think that that’s one of the messages that I transmit, that the United States government, this administration and previous administrations, both sides of the aisle of Congress, rarely do we get to use the word bipartisan concern, you know, but certainly on this issue, there is bipartisan concern.”
Many years ago, on a Jewish National Fund (JNF) mission to Israel, our leader Yaacov Perez agreed to make a stop in Ashkelon. Since some of us were from Côte Saint-Luc, we wanted to see for ourselves our twin city in Israel. It was a very special experience.
When war broke out in Israel on October 7, following the horrific Hamas terrorist attack, rockets were fired into the Jewish State and many hit structures in Ashkelon. It is only 13 km north of the Gaza Strip. A story in the Christian Science Monitor notes that since October 7, some 1,300 Hamas rockets have been fired at Ashkelon, with 200 of them falling in the city area. It has been an “absolute miracle” that only two people died under rocket fire, considering that 25,000 of its 158,000 residents have no access to bomb shelters.
A scene of destruction in Ashkelon.
On Sunday, December 10 (2 pm) a Hope and Harmony fundraising concert will take place in tour Greenspon Auditorium to help support the children of Ashkelon during these difficult times so that they can continue with school in this time of war. Performing will be Musica Camerata, headed by my constituents Luis Grinhauz and Berta Rosenohl.
The 2023 Côte Saint-Luc Maisons Fleuries Contest Awards presentation took place at City Hall on November 13, showcasing some of the beautiful work being done by our homeowners , be it in single family dwellings, town houses, duplexes or highrises.
This annual garden beautification initiative not only makes our city more beautiful, it also benefits the environment. By planting and maintaining trees, flowers and other plants, you help reduce air pollution, increase oxygen production, and contribute to saving the bees.
Councillor Sidney Benizri and I co-chaired the program.
I would like to single out the winners in my own District 2
With Frank Palucci.
For single family homes, Frank Palucci on Ilan Ramon Crescent. There are not too many people who show the care for their property as much as Frank. The two of us spend a lot of time talking when I do my walkabouts from spring to fall and he is always attending to work outside of the home. He, his wife Sandra and their children are model citizens.
With Patrick Lacombe.
In the Highrise category, Le Rothchild I condominium was selected. I dropped by to present the certificate to concierge Patrick Lacombe. Like Frank, their representative was unable to make it to the ceremony. Le Rothchild I is a beautifully maintained building.
With Stepanie Zack, Marc Cowan and Mayor Mitchell Brownstein.
Finally, in the Town House category, Stephanie Zack and Marc Cowan from Cambridge Courts were chosen. They too are wonderful constituents and I have always admired the care they put into their garden.
Thanks to Recreation Department Director Cornelia Ziga, staffer Irene Lahaie and the rest of their team for the hard work. We had a lovely reception in the library, followed by the presentation of the awards and the showing our video at the start of our public council meeting.
La remise des prix du concours 2023 des Maisons Fleuries de Côte Saint-Luc
La remise des prix du concours 2023 des Maisons Fleuries de Côte Saint-Luc a eu lieu à l'hôtel de ville le 13 novembre dernier. Elle a permis de présenter quelques-uns des magnifiques travaux réalisés par nos propriétaires, qu'il s'agisse de maisons individuelles, de maisons de ville, de duplex ou d'immeubles.
Cette initiative annuelle d'embellissement des jardins ne fait pas qu'embellir notre ville, elle est aussi bénéfique pour l'environnement. En plantant et en entretenant des arbres, des fleurs et d'autres plantes, vous contribuez à réduire la pollution de l'air, à augmenter la production d'oxygène et à sauver les abeilles.
Le conseiller Sidney Benizri et moi-même avons coprésidé le programme.
J'aimerais souligner les gagnants de mon propre district 2
Pour les maisons individuelles, Frank Palucci sur Ilan Ramon Crescent. Il n'y a pas beaucoup de gens qui prennent autant soin de leur propriété que Frank. Nous passons beaucoup de temps à discuter lorsque je fais mes visites du printemps à l'automne et il s'occupe toujours du travail à l'extérieur de la maison. Lui, sa femme Sandra et leurs enfants sont des citoyens modèles.
Dans la catégorie des immeubles de grande hauteur, c'est le condominium Le Rothchild I qui a été sélectionné. Je suis passé remettre le certificat au concierge Patrick Lacombe. Comme Frank, leur représentant n'a pas pu se rendre à la cérémonie. Le Rothchild I est un immeuble très bien entretenu.
Enfin, dans la catégorie des maisons de ville, Stephanie Zack et Marc Cowan de Cambridge Courts ont été choisis. Ils sont eux aussi de merveilleux électeurs et j'ai toujours admiré le soin qu'ils apportent à leur jardin.
Téléchargez la liste de tous les gagnants de 2023 Maisons Fleuries ici
Merci à Cornelia Ziga, directrice du service des loisirs, à Irene Lahaie et au reste de leur équipe pour leur travail acharné. Nous avons eu une belle réception à la bibliothèque, suivie de la remise des prix et de la projection de notre vidéo au début de la réunion du conseil municipal.
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 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.
Soon after the last election two years ago, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein handed me the Local Commerce portfolio. Since that time I have been interacting with a lot of our local business leaders and launched our Spotlight on Local Merchants feature.
Noah and Avery attended the most recent public council meeting.
Recently I reached out to Avi Satov, Co-Head of School at JPPS-Bialik to ask if any of his students were interested in doing some community service with me. Two Grade 9 students, Noah Galambos and Avery Hannon, stepped forward. Noah is one of my constituents. They have jumped into this new role with great enthusiasm.
Noah, Avery and perhaps some others who might join the team have an initial mandate to visit our three main shopping centres – Quartier Cavendish, Decarie Square and the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre. They will initially do surveys with shoppers, finding out what they like and dislike about the venues. Once this task is completed, they will return to the same locations and talk to the business owners. All of this will be written about in a report I will share with council and the public. The goal will be for Noah and Avery to continue visiting other merchants.
I wish to thank these young men for getting involved. And they both told me they intend to well exceed their required community hours.
Deux étudiants de Bialik se joignent à mon initiative sur le commerce local
Peu après les dernières élections, il y a deux ans, le maire Mitchell Brownstein m'a confié le portefeuille du commerce local. Depuis lors, je me suis entretenu avec de nombreux chefs d'entreprise locaux et j'ai lancé notre rubrique "Spotlight on Local Merchants" (Pleins feux sur les commerçants locaux).
Récemment, j'ai contacté Avi Satov, codirecteur de l'école JPPS-Bialik, pour lui demander si l'un de ses élèves était intéressé par un travail d'intérêt général avec moi. Deux élèves de 9e année, Noah Galambos et Avery Hannon, se sont manifestés. Noah est l'un de mes électeurs. Ils se sont lancés dans ce nouveau rôle avec beaucoup d'enthousiasme.
Noah, Avery et peut-être d'autres qui pourraient se joindre à l'équipe ont pour mandat initial de visiter nos trois principaux centres commerciaux - le Quartier Cavendish, le Decarie Square et le Centre commercial Côte Saint-Luc. Dans un premier temps, ils mèneront des enquêtes auprès des clients pour savoir ce qu'ils aiment et ce qu'ils n'aiment pas dans ces lieux. Une fois cette tâche accomplie, ils retourneront aux mêmes endroits et s'entretiendront avec les propriétaires des commerces. Tout cela fera l'objet d'un rapport que je communiquerai au conseil et au public. L'objectif est que Noah et Avery continuent à rendre visite à d'autres commerçants.
Je tiens à remercier ces jeunes gens de s'être impliqués. Ils m'ont tous deux dit qu'ils avaient l'intention de dépasser largement le nombre d'heures de travail d'intérêt général qu'ils doivent effectuer.
Please take note that our road resurfacing contractor will be painting the crosswalks at Kildare/Cavendish starting Monday, November 6, weather permitting. The work will be done lane by lane to ensure no direction is blocked at any time. The work may take longer than a single day given that they are doing it slowly, so it may last until Wednesday next week.
Veuillez noter que l'entrepreneur chargé du resurfaçage des routes peindra les passages pour piétons à Kildare/Cavendish à partir du lundi 6 novembre, si les conditions météorologiques le permettent. Les travaux seront effectués voie par voie afin de s'assurer qu'aucune direction n'est bloquée en tout temps. Les travaux pourraient durer plus longtemps qu'une seule journée, étant donné qu'ils sont effectués lentement, et pourraient donc durer jusqu'à mercredi prochain.
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.
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.
Congratulations to a constituent of mine in District 2, Nina Cohen, who saved someone’s life last week.
Nina, who lives on Rembrandt Avenue and works as a nurse’s assistant/PAB ( préposés aux bénéficiares) at the Jewish General and Royal Victoria Hospitals. She got her training at the Shadd Health and Business Centre, part of the English Montreal School Board.
Last Monday night Nina and Rozanne Abramson were on the balcony overlooking Heywood when there was a car crash. They both headed towards the accident, with Nina swinging into action. The driver had no pulse. Two people removed him from the vehicle and she gave him CPR. When he regained consciousness it was clear he had been driving under the influence. Public Security, Urgences Santé, Emergency Medical Services and the police all arrived. The car was totalled .
A view of the accident. (JP Amiel Photo)
I called Nina to thank her for what she did.
“I am just so glad that I had the training which allowed me to step in and save someone’s life,” Nina said.
Said building mainstay JP Amiel: I don't know if the victim survived and has learned a lesson, but his chances were greatly improved by the presence of Nina and Roxanne."
We all salute her!
Félicitations à l'une de mes électrices
Félicitations à l'une de mes électrices du district 2, Nina Cohen, qui a sauvé la vie d'une personne la semaine dernière.
Nina, qui habite sur l'avenue Rembrandt, travaille comme infirmière auxiliaire/PAB (préposés aux bénéficiaires) à l'Hôpital général juif et à l'Hôpital Royal Victoria. Elle a suivi sa formation au Centre de santé et d'affaires Shadd, qui fait partie de la Commission scolaire English-Montréal.
Lundi soir dernier, Nina et Rozanne Abramson se trouvaient sur le balcon surplombant Heywood lorsqu'un accident de voiture s'est produit. Elles se sont toutes deux dirigées vers l'accident, et Nina s'est empressée d'intervenir. Le conducteur n'avait plus de pouls. Deux personnes l'ont sorti du véhicule et Nina lui a fait un massage cardiaque. Lorsqu'il a repris conscience, il était évident qu'il conduisait sous influence. La sécurité publique, Urgences Santé, les services médicaux d'urgence et la police sont arrivés sur les lieux. La voiture a été détruite.
J'ai appelé Nina pour la remercier de ce qu'elle avait fait.
"Je suis tellement heureuse d'avoir reçu la formation qui m'a permis d'intervenir et de sauver la vie de quelqu'un", a déclaré Nina.
JP Amiel, pilier du bâtiment, a déclaré : "Je ne sais pas si la victime a survécu et en a tiré une leçon, mais ses chances ont été grandement améliorées par la présence de Nina et de Roxanne".
Côte Saint-Luc City Council has unanimously adopted a resolution calling on the Quebec government to make Holocaust education mandatory in public schools.
Here is the resolution
Whereas in its 2022 audit of antisemitic incidents, B’nai Brith, Canada’s oldest Jewish advocacy organization, nationally active since 1875, noted there were 2769 such incidents across Canada during the year of which 242 were in British Columbia;
Whereas Statistics Canada in its 2022 document released July 27, 2023 on police reported crime in Canada, indicated in Table 6 that there were 750 police-reported hate crimes targeting religious minorities during 2022, of which 502 or 66.9% were aimed at Jews;
Whereas Ontario recently became the first province to introduce mandatory Holocaust education into the elementary school curriculum;
Whereas in tasking the Ontario College of Teachers to create an age appropriate curriculum to teach the Holocaust starting in Grade 6, Education Minister Stephen Lecce indicated that according to the first study of antisemitism and Holocaust knowledge conducted by Western University and Liberation75 in 2021, 42 per cent of students surveyed said they have unequivocally witnessed an antisemitic event;
Whereas this same study also found that one in three students in Ontario thought the Holocaust was fabricated, exaggerated or are unsure if it actually happened;
Whereas studies in the United States suggest that jurisdictions which make Holocaust education compulsory not only witness a reduction in antisemitic incidents but also see a decline in hate aimed at Blacks and Asians;
Whereas a study issued in September 2023 by Reality Check indicates that where Holocaust studies begin earlier in school and are mandatory that Americans with greater Holocaust knowledge displayed heightened warmth toward religious and racial minorities compared to others;
Whereas as survivors age and pass away, it is more important than ever that our schools play a key role in preserving Holocaust remembrance thereby protecting children from widespread Holocaust denial and distortion often disseminated online;
Whereas Jewish organizations are urging all the provinces and territories to emulate Ontario’s example and introduce mandatory Holocaust education in elementary school;
It was by myself, seconded by Councillor Andee Shuster AND RESOLVED:
“THAT the Côte Saint-Luc City Council recognize the dangers of Holocaust denial and distortion which so often targets our young people;
THAT the Côte Saint-Luc City Council urges the Ministry of Education to introduce mandatory Holocaust education to Quebec’s elementary schools as of the 2024-2025 academic year;
THAT the Côte Saint-Luc City Council invites the Ministry of Education to consult Ontario’s curriculum and mandate the Conseil supérieur de l’éducation and other stakeholders as to how to best introduce this new curriculum and how to provide training for teachers.”
There is no question that following the terrorist attack by Hamas in Israel last week, Jews around the world have been feeling frightened and vulnerable. Côte Saint-Luc has the largest Jewish population per capita in the province and we have many community institutions.
On Friday, October 13, Jewish communities were reacting to a threat by Hamas for a Global Jihad. No such incidents took place, but nonetheless our city was very much on alert.
Our Public Safety team meets with the leadership from Beth Chabad CSL..
A big thanks to the team at Police Station 9, our Public Safety Department and the Volunteer Citizens on Patrol (VCOPs). They have been extremely present and visible, meeting with religious leaders and businesses. Côte Saint-Luc resident Yair Szlak is the president and CEO of Federation CJA. He has shown tremendous leadership in that position through so many crisis situations over the years and these past few days have been no difference. Listen to his latest podcast
"An impressive number of resources have been deployed in the hope of restoring some sense of security," notes CSL Public Safety Director Philip Chateauvert. "The objective remains the same: to provide sufficient security for community members and organizations to feel comfortable in maintaining their usual activities.
I would also like to share some words from Rabbi Zolly Claman, the spiritual leader for Congregation Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem.
"There are no words that can properly describe our pain and anguish for the current national crisis and disaster," stated Rabbi Claman. "Anyone who has close family and friends in Israel right now has heard firsthand accounts that are far more tragic than our minds can imagine. On Har Herzl, my niece comforted her close friend and classmate as she witnessed her older brother being laid to rest. On her yishuv, my sister watched as every strong-abled man was ushered out to join the front lines in battle. We mourn the loss of each of the hundreds of precious and our souls whose lives were brutally cut short."
Il ne fait aucun doute qu'à la suite de l'attaque terroriste perpétrée par le Hamas en Israël la semaine dernière, les Juifs du monde entier se sont sentis effrayés et vulnérables. Côte Saint-Luc a la plus grande population juive par habitant de la province et nous avons de nombreuses institutions communautaires.
Le vendredi 13 octobre, les communautés juives ont réagi à la menace d'un Jihad mondial proférée par le Hamas. Aucun incident de ce genre n'a eu lieu, mais notre ville était néanmoins en état d'alerte.
Notre équipe de sécurité publique rencontre les dirigeants de Beth Chabad CSL.
Un grand merci à l'équipe du poste de police 9, à notre service de sécurité publique et aux citoyens volontaires en patrouille (VCOP). Ils ont été extrêmement présents et visibles, rencontrant les chefs religieux et les entreprises. Yair Szlak, résident de Côte Saint-Luc, est le président-directeur général de la Fédération CJA. Il a fait preuve d'un leadership remarquable à ce poste dans de nombreuses situations de crise au fil des ans, et ces derniers jours n'ont pas fait exception à la règle. Écoutez son dernier podcast
"Un nombre impressionnant de ressources ont été déployées dans l'espoir de rétablir un certain sentiment de sécurité", note le directeur de la sécurité publique de la CSL, Philip Chateauvert. "L'objectif demeure le même : assurer une sécurité suffisante pour que les membres de la communauté et les organisations se sentent à l'aise de poursuivre leurs activités habituelles.
For many years now residents of Merrimac Avenue have been asking for a speed hump. I want to recognize specifically residents Arthur Cytrynbaum and Gregory Libman as it was installed at the beginning of October across the street from the entrance to Rembrandt Park.
A look at the speed hump.
Speed humps or bumps are not approved easily by our Traffic Committee. A lot of research goes into these decisions. This includes site visits and an analysis of the traffic.
Speed humps are installed to reduce the speed of traffic, spaced evenly along a block, 50 to 90 metres apart, and are usually located 10 to 30 metres from an intersection. There is no question we have had vehicles moving too fast, notably when they make the turn at the curve from Rembrandt,
In the case of Merrimac, it was decided to make this an elevated crosswalk. This ensures that cars are slowing down at the instant pedestrians may be crossing, hence it is the safest. “If we install a speed hump next to a crosswalk, it is not ideal as cars tend to accelerate after passing the hump towards the crosswalk,” emphasizes our Traffic Engineer Spyro Yotis.
The hump will be in place 12 months a year.
Our Traffic Engineer will analyze the success of this measure next spring.
Les ralentisseurs sont installés pour réduire la vitesse
Depuis de nombreuses années, les habitants de l'avenue Merrimac réclament un ralentisseur. Je tiens à saluer tout particulièrement les résidents Arthur Cytrynbaum et Gregory Libman, car un ralentisseur a été installé au début du mois d'octobre en face de l'entrée du parc Rembrandt.
Les ralentisseurs ne sont pas approuvés facilement par notre commission de la circulation. Ces décisions sont le fruit de nombreuses recherches. Elles comprennent des visites sur le terrain et une analyse du trafic.
Les ralentisseurs sont installés pour réduire la vitesse de la circulation. Ils sont espacés régulièrement le long d'un pâté de maisons, de 50 à 90 mètres, et sont généralement situés à une distance de 10 à 30 mètres d'une intersection.
Dans le cas de Merrimac, il a été décidé d'en faire un passage piéton surélevé. Cela permet de s'assurer que les voitures ralentissent au moment où les piétons traversent, et c'est donc la solution la plus sûre. "Si nous installons un ralentisseur à côté d'un passage pour piétons, ce n'est pas l'idéal car les voitures ont tendance à accélérer après avoir passé le ralentisseur en direction du passage pour piétons", souligne Spyro Yotis, ingénieur en charge de la circulation.
People have often asked me over the past 18 years what I like most about being a city councillor. The answer is always the same: having the ability to transform some of my ideas into action.
Councillor Erdelyi, Elisabeth Prass, Na'kusetm Elder Delisle, Mayor Brownstein and myself.
As the chair of our annual Human Rights Walkway induction ceremony, which had been shelved for several years due to the pandemic, I had been thinking of approaching Na'kuset. Her role as executive director of the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal and advocate of Indigenous rights had long impressed me.
Last spring I proposed her candidacy to members of council. Soon after, our Director of Public Affairs and Communications Darryl Levine began the process of making this happen. We approached Na'kuset and decided to bring the ceremony back to its roots and do it on a weekday so that students could attend and gain a true authentic learning experience. I could not have been more proud of how the proceedings went.
Na'kuset engages with students.
Inaugurated in September 2000 and located at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park, the Côte Saint-Luc HumanRightsWalkway is dedicated to those men and women who, by their steadfast commitment to humankind, have held high the torch of humanrights and let it light the world. For more information on previous inductees, visit cotesaintluc.org/services/sports-recreation/human-rights-walkway.
On September 27, fittingly on the eve of The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (also known as Orange Shirt Day), more than 100 people joined us on a beautiful fall day. This included students from Solomon Schechter Academy, Bialik High School and the Wagar Adult Education Centre. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Deputy Mayor Dida Berku, Councillor Steven Erdelyi and D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA Elisabeth Prass were on hand as were former councillors Glenn J. Nashen and David Tordjman. Elder Sakakohe Debbie Delisle offered opening words.
SSA Principal Maya Doughan, Na'kuset, Mayor Brownstein Councillor Erdelyi, myself and students
Na’kuset is Cree from Lac la Ronge, Saskatchewan. Born in 1970, she was one of the estimated 20,000 or more First Nations, Métis and Inuit infants and children taken from their families by child welfare authorities and placed for adoption in mostly non-Indigenous households from approximately 1951 to 1984. As a small child, she was taken from her home and adopted into a Jewish family in Montreal. The story of how she reclaimed her Indigenous identity, with help from her Bubby is something she shared with the audience at our ceremony while showing great emotion,
Over the years Na’kuset has launched many programs, including the Miyoskamin second stage housing project, Saralikitaaq (a social pediatric centre open to Indigenous children and their families across Montreal), the Iskweu Project (immediate assistance to missing Indigenous women or girls), the Cabot Square Project (counselling, referrals, and liaison with other social services), and Resilience Montreal (food and shelter, mental health and medical support services).
A salute to the 2000 city council and then Mayor Robert Libman for initiating this project. I can't wait to start working on our 2024 inductee.
Côte Saint-Luc intronise Na’kuset sur sa Promenade des droits de la personn
Na’kuset est une Crie du Lac la Ronge, en Saskatchewan. Née en 1970, elle a fait partie du groupe de quelque 20 000 nourrissons et enfants des Premières Nations, Métis et Inuits enlevés à leur famille par les autorités de protection de l’enfance et placés pour adoption dans des familles principalement non autochtones entre 1951 et 1984 environ.
Aujourd’hui, Na’kuset est directrice générale du Foyer pour femmes autochtones de Montréal. Elle a lancé de nombreux programmes, notamment le projet Maison d’hébergement de seconde étape Miyoskamin, Saralikitaaq (un centre de pédiatrie sociale accueillant les enfants autochtones et leurs familles de partout à Montréal), le projet Iskweu (offrant une assistance immédiate aux familles et aux proches de femmes et de filles autochtones disparues), le projet Cabot Square (conseils, références et liaison avec d’autres services sociaux), et Résilience Montréal (nourriture et hébergement, et services de soutien en santé mentale et soutien médical).
Inaugurée en septembre 2000 au parc Pierre Elliott Trudeau, la Promenade des droits de la personne est dédiée aux femmes et aux hommes qui, par leur engagement inébranlable au service d’humanité, ont tenu bien haut la flamme des droits de la personne, afin que sa lumière se répande sur le monde. Pour en savoir plus sur ceux intronisés sur la Promenade des droits de la personne : https://cotesaintluc.org/fr/services/sports-et-loisirs/promenade-des-droits-de-la-personne.
« Les droits de la personne sont de la plus haute importance capitale pour notre conseil municipal et nos résidents, a déclaré le maire Mitchell Brownstein. "À Côte Saint-Luc, c’est sur la Promenade des droits de la personne que nous rendons hommage à ceux qui défendent les droits de la personne, ici et partout à travers le monde entier. Nous sommes fiers d’y ajouter le nom de Na’kuset et espérons qu’elle servira d’inspiration à tous ceux qui visiteront le parc. »
J'ai souligne que la date et l’heure de l’intronisation ont été planifiées pour encourager la participation des écoles locales et de faire participer les classes de la 5e année du primaire en montant. J'ai ajoute que la date choisie coïncide avec la veille de la Journée nationale de la vérité et de la réconciliation, encore connue sous le nom de Jour du chandail orange, qui reconnaît l’héritage du système canadien des pensionnats Autochtones.
Noted realtor Marc Ezerzer has been engaged by the owners of the land at the corner of Marc Chagall Avenue and Kildare Road to seek potential interested parties who might want to take advantage of the existing two storey commercial zoning.
Last year the owners proposed to our Urban Planning Department a seven floor, 28 unit apartment complex on the site at near Beth Chabad CSL and JPPSBialik right next to the snow dump. It was not approved for a number of reasons.
I am eager to hear what proposals Ezerzer receives..
Côte Saint-Luc City Council held a public consultation on September 11 to discuss a proposed amendment to add new provisions to the Construction By-Law no. 2953 regarding solid fuel burning, renovictions, and noise from mechanical equipment.
The purposes of this amendment are:
• To diminish our city’s impact on the air quality by reducing the number of people who burn solid fuels to heat their homes, and to transition towards more modern and efficient heating equipment by regulating their installation and replacement. • To ensure tenants are protected from renovictions, namely by requiring that landlords provide a written proof that tenants affected by construction or repair work have agreed to temporarily relocate or vacate their dwelling. • To reduce nuisances related to noise generated by mechanical equipment installed outside of a building, such as power generators, pool equipment, heating, ventilation, and cooling units, etc. • To clarify the wording of the original by-law and correct any inconsistencies that were identified since its adoption. Provisions
Regarding solid fuel burning:
• The by-law sets a limit of 2.5g/hr for all new and replaced residential solid fuel-burning equipment. • Under the new by-law, it will also be prohibited to use a non-certified system after 2025, except for an EPA or CSA certified pellet device that is installed before this by-law comes into effect. • The burning of any fuel other than those for which a device is certified will also be forbidden, as well as the burning of noxious fuels such as treated or painted wood, plastics, Styrofoam, etc. • The use of any solid-fuel-burning devices during a smog warning issued by Environment Canada affecting any part of the Montreal Region will be forbidden, except in the event of a power outage lasting over three hours.
• Under this by-law, landlords who are carrying out work that requires evacuation of a dwelling must provide written documentation demonstrating that affected tenants have agreed to either temporarily relocate or voluntarily vacate their dwellings during the renovation work. • Tenants who have agreed to temporarily relocate must have been presented with a clear expected timeline for their return. The contact information of each affected tenant must also be provided.
I have a number of apartment buildings in my district.
Regarding noise from mechanical equipment installed outside of a building:
• Generators must not produce noise levels that exceed the following: 65 dBA outside, measured within a 25 ft. radius of the noise source; 45 dBA inside a residential building or a healthcare facility; 48 dBA inside an office building
Other mechanical equipment installed outside or on the roof of a building, including heat pumps, pool pumps, air conditioning or ventilation units, must not produce noise levels that exceed the following: 60 dBA outside, measured within a 25 ft. radius of the noise source; 45 dBA inside a residential building or a healthcare facility; or 48 dBA inside an office building.
It should be noted that these noise limits are for the daytime (7 am to 11 pm) and that the by-law also includes noise limits for the nighttime.
I am certainly glad to see us doing something about noisy generators. Two in particular in my district have caused serious problems for people living next door to buildings where the noise pollution is emanating from.
For the present by-law to come into effect, its adoption and approval process must follow the different steps prescribed by provincial laws, which means it will be a few more months since this is regulated.
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.
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.
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.
At approximately 1:30am Saturday, the Montreal Fire Department responded to a call at 5885 Cavendish. These are the Montefiore apartments.
The damaged vehicles.
Once on scene, officials found two vehicles on fire. One was a truck belonging to a locksmith. I am not sure if the car next to it was merely collateral damage. The Montreal Police Department state that the probable cause was a targeted arson. I went to the scene and spoke to the officers on the scene. They were waiting for investigators to arrive
A preventive evacuation of the building took place. Fortunately the fire was quickly extinguished and there was minor damage to the facility, mainly broken windows from the heat. We have no reports of anybody needing medical care.
Firefighters on the scene.
These type of incidents have become a frequent occurrence on the island of Montreal. Until now, it appeared as if Côte Saint-Luc was being spared.
Our Public Safety Department was on the scene and Council is being updated.
Samedi, vers 1h30, le Service d'incendie de Montréal a répondu à un appel au 5885 Cavendish. Il s'agit des appartements Montefiore.
Une fois sur les lieux, les agents ont trouvé deux véhicules en feu. L'un d'eux était un camion appartenant à un serrurier. Je ne sais pas si la voiture qui se trouvait à côté n'était qu'un dommage collatéral. Le service de police de Montréal a déclaré que la cause probable était un incendie criminel ciblé. Je me suis rendu sur les lieux et j'ai parlé aux officiers sur place. Ils attendaient l'arrivée des enquêteurs
Une évacuation préventive du bâtiment a eu lieu. Heureusement, l'incendie a été rapidement éteint et l'établissement a subi des dégâts mineurs, principalement des vitres brisées à cause de la chaleur. Personne n'a eu besoin de soins médicaux.
Ce type d'incident est devenu fréquent sur l'île de Montréal. Jusqu'à présent, il semblait que Côte Saint-Luc était épargné.
Notre service de sécurité publique était sur les lieux et le Conseil est tenu au courant.
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?
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.
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.
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Michael Abramovich, a Côte Saint-Luc resident and saxophonist who asked if I could help promote his sax music program in our community. When we met in person soon after I told him about the dedication of a park named after former Liberal Member of Parliament for Mount Royal Sheila Finestone I had planned.
Michael Abramovich and his saxophone.
Since I had never seen him perform, except for YouTube videos, I offered him a chance to kind of audition for me and perform at the ceremony. He did just that, showing up with own sound system and truly impressing everyone in attendance with his saxophone program performance.
My friend Ted Dranias of Petros Taverna restaurants saw a clip of him and already plans to engage his services.
While Michael works full-time in information technology services, he has a flexible schedule and is excited about performing at any occasion.
Michael was born in Moldova, then part of the former Soviet Union. His first instrument was the mandolin, then guitar, bass guitar, clarinet and finally the saxophone. Playing pop music, the love for jazz started with first vinyl record of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong at age 12.
During the five years Michael resided in Israel, he played in a wedding band and performed as a one-man band, creating a vast background/cocktail saxophone music program that proved successful. In 1995 he immigrated to Canada.
Music, and particularly jazz, remains a driving force for Michael. Over the past 28 years he has never missed a Jazz Festival, meeting jazz legends like Chick Corea, Benny Golson, Lee Konitz, Jimmy Cobb and many others during “This is very inspiring to me,” he said, noting how photos with jazz masters grace the “wall of fame” of his studio.
His first venue as a musician was the old Hippodrome de Montréal (Blue Bonnets), where he performed during events for several years. Here in Montreal he found work in IT to pay the bills.
As a jazz saxophonist, Michael provides enthralling background music with a full band sound for any special event. He brings a completely self-contained and portable sound system, adaptable to any location and setting. He is an impressive entertainer, and solo musician, who can deliver a memorable and enjoyable experience for all types of events.
Michael offers personalized wedding packages with the right pricing, matching the event demands and client preferences. He provides background scores for all wedding-related functions and boasts a repertoire of over six hours of memorized music.
Besides playing saxophone, Michael introduces to his performance EWI (an Electronic Wind instrument). This is a wind synthesizer that has 100 sounds on board and goes from emulating acoustic instruments like flute, clarinet, trumpet, guitar etc. to rich harmonics synth sounds.
Whether it is a bar or bat mitzah, wedding, trade show or corporate event, Michael will happily take your call.
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.
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.
-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?
Mother Nature tried to rain on our parade, but in the end the 42nd Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic was a big success.
Working with committee co-chairs Mannie Young, Councillors Dida Berku and Lior Azerad and staff support Anisa Cameron, Ryan Nemeroff and Moe Giobbi, we began planning the event last winter.
With Mario Argiropoulos, Lior Azerad, Philippe Mamane and Dan Bouhana.
The Golf Classic has two purposes: to provide a day of recreation on the beautiful Meadowbrook Golf Course and to raise money for our Parks and Recreation Bursary Fund, which assists families on low incomes and with children who have special needs gain access to some of our programs via discreet financial assistance.
Now let me say that this Golf Classic had only been postponed once before, in 2018, due to extreme heat, and of course for two years during the pandemic. It was not surprising given the consistent inclement weather we have experienced this summer that we were rained out on August 8. Fortunately, the weather was letter perfect for our backup date on August 15.
Joanne Cutler and Merv Middling are recognized at the luncheon.
We nonetheless went ahead with our luncheon on the original date, paying tribute to our honourees Joanne Cutler and Merv Middling. The dynamic couple have done countless benefit concerts for seniors over the last few years. During the pandemic in 2020 they helped out the city and kept hope alive by performing balcony concerts at our senior residences. This proved to be so successful that they have been performing as their duo, Qué Sera all over the town, raising money first for B’nai Brith House and now for the Cedars Cancer Foundation in memory of Harvey Levine (former Executive director of B’nai Brith Quebec.)They put on fabulous performances and donate their performance fees to the foundation. They call this their summer mitzvah project. Even more meaningful is that Harvey’s wife, Doreen Levine, helps keep his memory alive by accompanying Qué Sera as their technician and crowd animator at all their concerts.
We thank them for their continued work and for utilizing the arts to bring awareness and relief for those facing the challenges of cancer. Joanne’s dad Harrison “Hy” Cutler, the founder of Delmar, was with us. He graciously covered he cost of the golf balls provided to each player.
Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, members of council, D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA Elisabeth Prass and Mount Royal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather were in attendance.
Philippe Mamane and Lior Azerad under the Assante tent.
We paid tribute to our title sponsor, Philippe Mamane of Gestion Patrimoine Assante’s Mamane Group. Other sponsors included Paperman and Sons, Delmar International, McDonald’s Pierre Brunet, Brian Young from Rebox and The Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club. Mannie Young proudly announced that we raised over $6,000 for the Bursary Fund. That is quite an accomplishment. It was nice to see former Parks and Recreation senior manager Harold Cammy at the luncheon for it was the two of us who conceived this Fund, originally via Peter Brunet and McDonalds.
While of course we all wanted to golf, in the event our backup date was cancelled as well we know that all of efforts went towards a very special cause.
There were plenty of door prizes, a terrific lunch from Falafel St. Jacques and Pizza Pita and a fun time was had by all. Oh yes, let’s not forget the decadent kosher cake baked by Ilana of Creative Cakes. TCBY and Lenny Goodman was back as a supporter as well, providing yogurt.
With Peter Lipari and Mario Argiropoulos.
Now let’s turn to the golf. Anisa, Ryan, Moe and I kept looking at the forecast for the backup date and it did not look promising. But in the end it was a gorgeous day. I had a tee off at 7:20 am and was joined by my colleague at the English Montreal School Board Mario Argiropoulos and the remarkable Peter Lipari, owner of the IGA at Cote St. Luc Shopping Centre. Peter is one in a million and we are so fortunate to have him serving our community. He and Mario are talented golfers ,unlike myself. My late grandfather tried to teach me at the age of 16 (that was 44 years ago), yet I never really caught on. So I come out once a year at Meadowbrook and just have fun. Mario and Peter did provide me with some valuable tutelage.
With Nick Katalifos, Jack Chadirdjian, Did Berku, Mario Cardin and Mitch Kujavsky.
This day also reminds all of us how precious this greenspace is to have in our community. The owners of the land have tried to convert it to housing for decades, but municipalities like ours have blocked such a move. As Councillor Berku and I always say, why wouldn’t these owners not want to make this into a state-of-the-art golf club with a reception hall and other amenities.
Showcasing our sponsors.
After I finished my nine holes, I drove around the course in my electric cart and checked with all of the golfers. Everyone was smiling and energized.
We will hand our the trophies for Longest Drive and Closest to the Pin at an upcoming CSL Men's Club meeting,
Thanks to everyone who took part and I really look forward to next year!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Over the last few months I have received a number of inquiries about a large yellow school bus parked on Rembrandt Avenue and Merrimac Road.
In particular, there is one resident of Rembrandt who uses the adapted transport program. When the bus was parked on her street it caused great inconvenience.
Yair Bensimhon on the bus.
I was able to track down the owner, Yair Bensimhon. He is a relatively new resident on Rembrandt. Yair understood the plight of this individual and was also aware that given the limited parking spots on general it would be well advised to find another place to park. Since that time he has left the bus on the long stretch of Merrimac Road, which does not inconvenience anyone. He also made arrangements with Aaron Bitton to keep the bus in the parking lot of his Cavendish and Kildare building overnight.
Thanks Yair. And it was nice to meet you and get a chance to board your bus.
The bus parked on Merrimac Road.
Au cours des derniers mois, j'ai reçu un certain nombre de demandes de renseignements au sujet d'un grand autobus scolaire jaune stationné sur l'avenue Rembrandt et le chemin Merrimac.
En particulier, une habitante de Rembrandt utilise le programme de transport adapté. Lorsque l'autobus était garé dans sa rue, il lui causait une grande gêne de la rue, cela lui causait un grand désagrément
J'ai pu retrouver le propriétaire, Yair Bensimhon. Il habite depuis peu dans la rue Rembrandt. Yair comprenait la situation de cette personne et était également conscient qu'étant donné le nombre limité de places de parking sur le quartier général, il serait bien avisé de trouver un autre endroit où se garer. Depuis lors, il a laissé le bus sur le long tronçon de Merrimac Road, ce qui ne gêne personne. Il s'est également arrangé avec Aaron Bitton pour garder le bus dans le parking de son immeuble situé entre Cavendish et Kildare pendant la nuit.
Merci Yair. J'ai été ravi de vous rencontrer et de pouvoir monter à bord de votre autobus.
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.
Aaron Bitton has big plans for the office building at the corner of Cavendish and Kildare. Via his family’s company, Holand Leasing, he has already submitted two zoning amendment requests to city council to add a pharmacy and a café. A public consultation meeting was held on July 11 and nobody showed up. Those changes will be formally adopted on August 14.
Aaron Bitton with me in front of the building.
Aaron, 31, grew up in Côte Saint-Luc and his father Gad raised the family here and remains in the same house. Gad is the ultimate success story. His group of car dealerships and real estate holdings continue to grow. Aaron had been living in Israel for a decade. When he returned home with his wife Dalia and their five children last fall he was tasked with a number of projects including this building in the heart of my District 2.
For years the building housed Police Station 9. The Royal Bank remains anchor tenant. Aaron has his sights set on attracting medical and dental clinics, massage therapists, music studios, professionals and a daycare. While there is no present-day zoning for the latter, a trial run has been in place for months. Hebrew Academy’s daycare has been parked here temporarily after a pipe burst in its headquarters. I accompanied Aaron to the building recently. Drop off was scattered between 7:30 am and 9 am. There is an entrance via the back parking lot, so if this comes to council a lot of the obvious questions will already have answers.
The café will have an outdoor entrance and a terrasse. Aaron hopes work can begin on this soon. I believe this will be a wonderful addition to the neighbourhood. As for the pharmacy, I did express some concern about this given the fact we have one of the best in the business across the street. Pharmaprix Cavendish is expertly run by the husband and wife team of David Banon and Sarah Ettedgui and serves the community well. Aaron has assured council he is looking to add a very small pharmacy that will there to handle prescriptions for the medical clinics he hopes to attract.
Aaron would also like to see if he can lure clinics for blood tests and radiology. Family Physician Dr. Norman Sabin, a regular council meeting attendee who practices out of the Queen Elizabeth Health Centre, said he’d relocate to the Cavendish/Kildare building if such services would be offered.
As for parking, there are 96 indoor and 76 outdoor. Unquestionably, with thousands of people living within easy walking distance, potential medical clinics would not necessarily require people to arrive via a vehicle.
“Last year one of our major tenants left after having been here for 10 years,” Aaron explained. “That left us with a 75 percent vacancy rate. We intend to fill all of those spots in a way that the neighbourhood benefits as well.”
Earlier this year our Public Works Department completed some much needed repairs to one of the walkways at Rembrandt Park, pouring new asphalt to cover paver stones which represented both a hazard to pedestrians and a tendency for puddles to appear after rainfalls. The work, which you can read more about here, was certainly welcomed by park-goers.
Improvements made to the troubling pathway.
Regrettably, another pathway closer to the Meadows Condominums on Merrimac Road, has been filling with water for years and this summer has been no exception. I shared this with Public Works and while that issue was scheduled to be looked into next year they were kind enough to pour some more asphalt there last and it does represent an improvement.
George Lubell shows me an area that could be adjusted.
I visited the pathway with George Lubell, a retired electrical engineer and a member of my District Advisory Committee. He lives on Rembrandt Avenue. He was pleased with the remedial action taken to raise the centre of the path so that it drains to the sides. “That solves most of the problems but I believe there will be an accumulation of water at the end of the paved path where it meets the pavi uni,” he commented. “In any case, (the city) deserves credit for following up, correcting the deficiencies and getting the path into a useable state.”
Given the fact I walk through the park several days a week, I will keep a close eye on this situation.
En début d'année, notre service des travaux publics a effectué des réparations indispensables sur l'une des allées du parc Rembrandt, en coulant un nouvel asphalte pour recouvrir les pavés qui représentaient un danger pour les piétons et une tendance à l'apparition de flaques d'eau après les chutes de pluie. Les travaux ont été bien accueillis par les visiteurs du parc.
Malheureusement, un autre sentier situé plus près des condominiums Meadows, sur Merrimac Road, se remplit d'eau depuis des années et cet été n'a pas fait exception à la règle. J'ai fait part de ce problème aux services des travaux publics et, bien qu'il soit prévu de l'examiner l'année prochaine, ils ont eu la gentillesse de couler un peu plus d'asphalte à cet endroit pour la dernière fois, ce qui représente une amélioration.
J'ai visité le sentier avec George Lubell, ingénieur électricien à la retraite et membre du comité consultatif de mon district. Il habite sur l'avenue Rembrandt. Il est satisfait des mesures prises pour relever le centre du sentier de manière à ce qu'il s'écoule sur les côtés. "Cela résout la plupart des problèmes, mais je pense qu'il y aura une accumulation d'eau à l'extrémité du chemin pavé, là où il rencontre le pavi uni", a-t-il commenté. "Quoi qu'il en soit, (la ville) mérite d'être félicitée pour avoir suivi les travaux, corrigé les défauts et rendu le chemin utilisable.
Étant donné que je me promène dans le parc plusieurs jours par semaine, je suivrai cette situation de près.