A recap of my annual 2024 District Meeting/Town Hall

My annual   District Meeting/ Town Hall took place on Monday, June 10, 2024. I started these sessions some 19 years ago when I was first elected as the Councillor for District 2. It is a chance to update my constituents on what is going on around the corner and within the city at large.

Here is a recording of my District 2 Meeting

 

Here is Glenn J. Nashen’s report on my District 2 meeting

I do walk the district several days a week with notepad in hand. I would invite you to  follow my website at www.MikeCohen.ca, listen to my podcast and like   my Facebook page  at MikeCohenDistrict2.

I also decided to continue to hold these meetings virtually as it has been deemed far more convenient for those I polled.

 J'ai commencé à organiser ces réunions il y a 19 ans, lorsque j'ai été élu pour la première fois en tant que Covone du district 2. C'est l'occasion d'informer mes électeurs de ce qui se passe au coin de la rue et dans la ville en général. J'arpente le district plusieurs jours par semaine, un bloc-notes à la main.

Je vous invite à suivre mon site web à l'adresse www.MikeCohen.ca.   J'ai également décidé de continuer à organiser ces réunions virtuellement, car cela a été jugé beaucoup plus pratique pour les personnes que j'ai interrogées.

Police Commander Desroches

My very special guest was Commander Stéphane Desroches of Police Station 9, which covers Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead, Montreal West and NDG. He has been with the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) since 1997. Before arriving at Station 9 he spent two years as a commander for a special corporate section for road safety.

Le poste de police 9 couvre Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead, Montréal-Ouest et NDG. C'est avec plaisir que nous accueillons notre nouveau commandant, Stéphane Desroches, qui travaille au Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) depuis 1997.

Avant d'arriver au poste 9, il a occupé pendant deux ans le poste de commandant d'une section corporative spéciale en sécurité routière.

New Medical Clinic

I was pleased to share some breaking news.    The building at the corner of Kildare and Cavendish has been undergoing quite a facelift. And on June 1 a new pediatric medical clinic will be in operation.  A blood test center is expected to open there too.  Stay tuned for more details.

Le bâtiment situé à l'angle des rues Kildare et Cavendish a subi une véritable cure de jouvence. Le 19 juin, une nouvelle clinique médicale ouvrira ses portes

Master Plan and Quartier Cavendish

 For the past two years the city has been putting together a comprehensive master plan.  How will this affect District 2?  The three main shopping centres – Quartier Cavendish, Cote St Luc Shopping Centre and Decarie Square- are a major component. On Wed July 10 (7 pm) there will be an information meeting at City Hall followed by a public consultation on Mon. August 12 (8 pm). At that point we will be able to share details of what type of development might occur at Quartier Cavendish. Please watch the video recording for Councillor Dida Berku’s presentation.

Depuis deux ans, la ville élabore un plan directeur global. Mais tout d'abord, quel sera l'impact sur le district 2 ?  Les trois principaux centres commerciaux - Quartier Cavendish, Cote St Luc Shopping Centre et Decarie Square - en sont une composante majeure.Voici quelques dates importantes pour en savoir plus : Mercredi 10 juillet à 19 h à l'hôtel de ville, une séance d'information

Lundi 12 août à 20 heures : tous les détails seront dévoilés et une consultation sera lancée.

Hydro Update

District 2 in Côte Saint-Luc will be part a major electrical system upgrade of the Hydro-Québec network. It will impact homes on Merrimac Road, Marc Chagall Avenue as well as Bialik High School. The installation of towers will take place no earlier than 2027. Other work, including the construction of a new substation behind Mount Sinai Hospital, will likely commence sooner. One of the big towers- currently behind the Meadows condo near the train tracks will likely be relocated on the grounds of JPPS-Bialik. As well, the wiring will likely wind behind all the buildings on Marc Chagall, JPPS Bialik and The Meadows along the railway lines. Stay tuned. Councillor Steven Erdelyi provides detail in the recording.

Le district 2 de Côte Saint-Luc fera partie d'une importante mise à niveau du système électrique du réseau d'Hydro-Québec. Ce projet touchera les résidences du chemin Merrimac, de l'avenue Marc Chagall et de l'école secondaire Bialik. L'installation des pylônes se fera au plus tôt en 2027. D'autres travaux, notamment la construction d'une nouvelle sous-station derrière l'hôpital Mont-Sinaï, commenceront probablement plus tôt. L'un des grands pylônes, actuellement situé derrière l'immeuble « Meadows », près des voies ferrées, sera probablement déplacé sur le terrain de l'école JPPS-Bialik. De même, le câblage passera probablement derrière tous les bâtiments de Marc Chagall, JPPS Bialik et The Meadows, le long des voies ferrées. Restez à l'écoute.

Alex Look

Alex Look was a former Cote St Luc resident. He attended JPPS-Bialik. On October 7 he was in Israel and was one of the victims of the Hamas massacre. He died a hero, trying to protect others. We will honor his memory by naming a park space after him. Council will formally decide soon if it will be at the space between Beth Chabad CSL and JPPS Bialik

Alex Look était un ancien résident de Cote St Luc. Il a fréquenté JPPS-Bialik. Le 7 octobre, il était en Israël et a été l'une des victimes du massacre du Hamas. Il est mort en héros, en essayant de protéger les autres. Nous honorerons sa mémoire en donnant son nom à un parc. Le conseil municipal décidera bientôt si ce parc sera situé entre Beth Chabad CSL et JPPS Bialik.

Rembrandt Park

 I am scheduled to do another walkthrough with the foreman at Public Works. I did so towards the end of last fall. More work will be done there in the coming weeks so please stay tuned.

The Five Buildings

The latest news regarding the five buildings on Kildare Road and Sir Walter Scott is that a change of ownership may take place in the coming months. When they were purchased in the winter, I worked closely with residents – with the help of Councillor Berku – to ensure that tenants knew we were in their corner over fears of renoviction. Our building inspector has kept a close eye on the properties, and I have reached out to the management regularly on basic tenant-landlord relation as a sign we are in their corner. Last week I met with two property managers who assured me they are working at responding better to tenant needs.


Three generous donations give a boost to the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee

I would like to provide an update on the fate of the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee. In a previous blog I explained the volunteer group's financial dilemma.  The committee is involved in a Trap, Neuter, Release and Adopt program. We rescue homeless cats. If they cannot be adopted, they are sterilized and placed back to the area where we found them. Our devoted Chair Diane Liebling has a team of feeders who keep these cats nourished year-round. There are also others who foster cats until we find them a forever home.

The committee had an annual grant of $5,000 from the city for many years. In pre-COVID years, fundraising and special events brought in more revenue. It has been tougher since then. In 2023 the city upped the contribution to $10,500. However, due to across the board cuts last winter the Cats Committe was brought back to $5,000. That and a shrinking surplus funds puts the committee's work in jeopardy.

Diane attended the last council meeting. I followed up with a blog and arranged for CTV Montreal to do this report.

Marissa Donation
Marissa Sidel, with her husband Neil Dubrofsky, presents myself and Diane Liebling with the cheque.

I am pleased to report that resident Marissa Sidel was the first person to step forward and present us with a very generous gift of $2,500. Marissa, a dog owner, told me she is allergic to cats.  "But I do love all animals in general and I feel sad that they will go hungry or sick," she said. "It’s the least I can do."

Marissa has issued a challenge, hoping that $25 people will give $100 each.   The first person to respond was her husband, Neil Dubrofsky.

So thank you Marissa. Diane and I had a nice meeting with her.

Following the CTV report, a former resident of our community who now lives in the Eastern Townships reached out and pledged $2,000. Then came a $500 cheque from a wonderful lady who lives within her means but wanted to help out.  Other cheques have started to come in as well.

We need this campaign to go well beyond the $5,500 the city cut. So I invite anyone who supports our cause to please lend a helping hand. You can send  a cheque or e-transfer to [email protected]

See this short video of a cat we trapped last night.

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned.


Yanky’s Pizza hopes to gain a following in Côte Saint-Luc

I have lived most of my life in Côte Saint-Luc and for the very first time we now have a true New York style pizza parlor.

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Yanky’s opened quietly in March, the brainchild of  local resident Jacob Grosz .He and his wife Yitty, a native New Yorker, spent a lot of time planning for this big investment.  “Yanky” is Jacob’s Hebrew name. He had opened up a counter top pizza place under the same name at the  Fooderie Market in Outremont in 2020. Last January he purchased Le Falafel Plus on Decarie. Then came Côte Saint-Luc and a cozy spot in the strip mall at the corner of Mackle and Westminster which already houses Nosherz, a dry cleaner and a  religious studies organization.

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As the chair of Local Commerce for the city, it was my pleasure to go meet with Jacob and Yitty. I was accompanied by Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, who biked over. This naturally fully kosher establishment offers delicious thin crust pizza, fries, cheese latkes, poutine, calzones, salads, garlic rolls,  soft drinks and slush. Very soon, a breakfast service will be introduced.

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Yanky’s is still in its infancy stage, so Jacob has yet to launch a website or any social media channels.  There are four booths that can seat four people each, four stools at the counter and some tables outdoors. Pickup is available, with delivery coming soon. However, if you have a large enough order and you are within the city limits, a staffer will bring it to your home.



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Mayor Brownstein and Jacob.

“As a Yeshiva student I learned how to cook and I really like it,” said Jacob.

“At home he is the best cook for me and our two boys,” Gitty chipped in.  

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Jacob said he first started eyeing this location, which is part of the old Quality Fruit spot, more than a year ago. It required a significant financial investment, notably the installation of a pizza oven. “We truly built this place from scratch,” he said proudly. “Now we want to get the word out to the community to please come support us. We can make pizzas for your parties. Call in an order when you are coming back from work. We are here to serve.”

You can call 438-818-PIZA (7492), email [email protected].  It is located at 5816 Westminster.


 

 

 

 


The Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee has an uncertain future

Some 15 years ago a lover of cats named Shelley Schecter approached city council about supporting her movement to save homeless cats in our community and take on the Trap, Neuter, Release and Adopt approach. Being a huge feline lover, I stepped up immediately and asked the Mayor – Anthony Housefather at the time- for his support. He responded with a logical challenge: to show the need for such a program.

DianeandgroupatCouncilMay2024
Diane Liebling and other volunteers at the last council meeting.

I decided to call a public meeting at City Hall, with Shelley, Alana Devine (then of the SPCA) and Dr. Marlene Kalin of the Côte Saint-Luc Hospital for Animals as the panelists. It was standing room only, with pretty significant media. The mayor was sold and helped me get $5,000 a year of city funding. Any other financial support would have to come from fundraising.

Hudson and Frobisher
Cats like this have been rescued by the committee for years.

 

From the 150 people who jammed City Hall, about 20 actually stepped forward to help Shelley and I get this program going. We estimated that there were probably thousands of homeless cats in our surrounding community, many in the CPR Yards. We got endless calls of cats being found under balconies with litters. Soon enough Diane Liebling stepped forward. A retired nurse, she devoted seven days a week to this cause. One of her major accomplishments was developing a group of people to feed outdoor cats – wild cats that can sadly never be domesticated. She also followed the lead of Shelley and found fosters who took in rescued cats until we could find them homes. We started an annual fundraising concert; did garage and bake sales; undertook raffles; and put the word out to people to merely send us tax deductible donation cheques. There is also a very active Facebook page.

It is very costly to bring cats into the local vet and have them neutered and vaccinated. By doing so they cannot procreate, and therefore the number of outdoor cats is greatly diminished. Cats that are deemed social and have been abandoned are kept by us and put up for adoption. Those that are feral (unsocialized with no exposure to humans) are released back outside provided there is someone to feed and shelter them. A few have been sent to farms, but this is rare.

Garage
Fern and Rachel at the CSL Garage Sale on Sunday raising funds for the committee.

 

We have several feeders in CSL that look after community cats for the duration of their life. We provide these residents with food and small shelters, if need be. Of course, all of this costs money: the majority of which goes to veterinary care and food.

“It’s very difficult to keep one step ahead of the community cats that appear in Côte Saint- Luc as they often wander over from NDG, Montreal West, or other areas,” Diane notes. “Sadly, we also have our fair share of abandoned cats, social and therefore adoptable, within the community. We do not put social cats back outside, but rather retain them until they are adopted. We do this through our foster program whereby people keep these cats until they are adopted. We absolutely, and sadly, do nit catch every unneutered cat so each year we find ourselves with many kittens. The cost is enormous.”

As Diane states, we are the only city within Montreal proper that has a dedicated program exclusively for the care of feral/community cats. The SPCA has a TNR program and the rest of the city (Montreal and surrounding areas) is dependent upon them for this service. However, not every Montreal jurisdiction is covered by the SPCA. In those areas not covered, there is a never ending cycle of stray, abandoned, and feral cats. The suffering of these animals is appalling.

The Cote Saint Luc TNR Program has become quite well-known (at least, by other rescues/people who do what we do) throughout the city/province committed to the health and welfare of outdoor community cats.

Last year, with costs increasing, I was able to have city council increase the annual stipend for the Cats Committee to $10,500. Regrettably, facing a multi-million dollar deficit last fall, cuts had to occur across the board and that meant the Cats Committee budget was brought back to $5,000.

Diane and committee members attended the last public council meeting and made it very clear that without a return to the $10,500 funding level from the city, the future of the CSL Cats Committee is in doubt. Diane told me frankly last week that if new funding does not materialize by the end of 2024 the work of this group will not be able to continue.

From Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and myself to all members of council and senior staff, the hard work of the CSL Cats Committee has never gone unnoticed. We only start building our budgets in the fall, so it is too early to forecast whether or not the city will be in a position to increase funding.

“The CSL TNR program is not sustainable with the allotment we are receiving from the city,” says Diane. “Despite our best fundraising efforts, we are one invoice away from closing up shop. The feral/community cats remain an issue, but not as serious as the stray, sick, and abandoned cats and kittens.”

I know there are a lot of animal lovers in Côte Saint-Luc and beyond. If anyone reading this story knows of some people or organizations that would like to assist this cause please let me know at [email protected] or [email protected]






The Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee has an uncertain future

Some 15 years ago a lover of cats named Shelley Schecter approached city council about supporting her movement to save homeless cats in our community and take on the Trap, Neuter, Release and Adopt approach. Being a huge feline lover, I stepped up immediately and asked the Mayor – Anthony Housefather at the time- for his support. He responded with a logical challenge: to show the need for such a program.

DianeandgroupatCouncilMay2024
Diane Liebling and other volunteers at the last council meeting.

I decided to call a public meeting at City Hall, with Shelley, Alana Devine (then of the SPCA) and Dr. Marlene Kalin of the Côte Saint-Luc Hospital for Animals as the panelists. It was standing room only, with pretty significant media. The mayor was sold and helped me get $5,000 a year of city funding. Any other financial support would have to come from fundraising.

Hudson and Frobisher
Cats like this have been rescued by the committee for years.

 

From the 150 people who jammed City Hall, about 20 actually stepped forward to help Shelley and I get this program going. We estimated that there were probably thousands of homeless cats in our surrounding community, many in the CPR Yards. We got endless calls of cats being found under balconies with litters. Soon enough Diane Liebling stepped forward. A retired nurse, she devoted seven days a week to this cause. One of her major accomplishments was developing a group of people to feed outdoor cats – wild cats that can sadly never be domesticated. She also followed the lead of Shelley and found fosters who took in rescued cats until we could find them homes. We started an annual fundraising concert; did garage and bake sales; undertook raffles; and put the word out to people to merely send us tax deductible donation cheques. There is also a very active Facebook page.

It is very costly to bring cats into the local vet and have them neutered and vaccinated. By doing so they cannot procreate, and therefore the number of outdoor cats is greatly diminished. Cats that are deemed social and have been abandoned are kept by us and put up for adoption. Those that are feral (unsocialized with no exposure to humans) are released back outside provided there is someone to feed and shelter them. A few have been sent to farms, but this is rare.

Garage
Fern and Rachel at the CSL Garage Sale on Sunday raising funds for the committee.

 

We have several feeders in CSL that look after community cats for the duration of their life. We provide these residents with food and small shelters, if need be. Of course, all of this costs money: the majority of which goes to veterinary care and food.

“It’s very difficult to keep one step ahead of the community cats that appear in Côte Saint- Luc as they often wander over from NDG, Montreal West, or other areas,” Diane notes. “Sadly, we also have our fair share of abandoned cats, social and therefore adoptable, within the community. We do not put social cats back outside, but rather retain them until they are adopted. We do this through our foster program whereby people keep these cats until they are adopted. We absolutely, and sadly, do nit catch every unneutered cat so each year we find ourselves with many kittens. The cost is enormous.”

As Diane states, we are the only city within Montreal proper that has a dedicated program exclusively for the care of feral/community cats. The SPCA has a TNR program and the rest of the city (Montreal and surrounding areas) is dependent upon them for this service. However, not every Montreal jurisdiction is covered by the SPCA. In those areas not covered, there is a never ending cycle of stray, abandoned, and feral cats. The suffering of these animals is appalling.

The Cote Saint Luc TNR Program has become quite well-known (at least, by other rescues/people who do what we do) throughout the city/province committed to the health and welfare of outdoor community cats.

Last year, with costs increasing, I was able to have city council increase the annual stipend for the Cats Committee to $10,500. Regrettably, facing a multi-million dollar deficit last fall, cuts had to occur across the board and that meant the Cats Committee budget was brought back to $5,000.

Diane and committee members attended the last public council meeting and made it very clear that without a return to the $10,500 funding level from the city, the future of the CSL Cats Committee is in doubt. Diane told me frankly last week that if new funding does not materialize by the end of 2024 the work of this group will not be able to continue.

From Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and myself to all members of council and senior staff, the hard work of the CSL Cats Committee has never gone unnoticed. We only start building our budgets in the fall, so it is too early to forecast whether or not the city will be in a position to increase funding.

“The CSL TNR program is not sustainable with the allotment we are receiving from the city,” says Diane. “Despite our best fundraising efforts, we are one invoice away from closing up shop. The feral/community cats remain an issue, but not as serious as the stray, sick, and abandoned cats and kittens.”

I know there are a lot of animal lovers in Côte Saint-Luc and beyond. If anyone reading this story knows of some people or organizations that would like to assist this cause please let me know at [email protected] or [email protected]






Are the five buildings on Kildare Road and Sir Walter Scott about to be sold again?

The new ownership of  five residential apartment buildings on Kildare Road and Sir Walter Scott continues  to result in complaints being filed to myself and the city.

But here is some breaking news. I have learned that the buildings may sold again in the coming months, this time to a professional operator.

Group CLV sold the buildings to a group, represented by real estate broker Terry Geramanis, amid fears of possible renoviction.  The tenants were organized, hiring a lawyer and establishing a tenants association. In recent weeks I have received a number of calls by residents, notably complaining about a lack of communication.

To his credit, Geramanis has responded to all of my inquiries. 

TerryGeramanis
Terry Geramanis

There have been elevator issues in some of the buildings and Geramanis’ team has rectified those issues.

The problem now is that tenants say they can only e-mail their complaints to an address which is very short on responses.

TrevorAdele
Trevor and Adele.

 

Geramanis says that  although an email has been provided to the tenants to ask questions and make requests, a direct phone line was also shared with them, indicating their representatives’ phone numbers. To this day,  he says, they keep receiving and answering calls coming directly from tenants in the building.  

David : (438) 816-4243 

Avi : (438) 299-9934

In the lobby of one of the buildings I visited, though, only the e-mail address appears on a notice.

“I need to make it clear that there is undeniable willingness on my part and such of my team to ensure viable tenancy and maintain the property in a state that allows the current tenants to live peacefully in their unit,” Geramanis stated. “Furthermore, my team and I are committed to addressing any concerns the tenants may have and maintaining open lines of communications. We understand the importance of being accessible and responsive."

As for the building caretakers,  originally employees of CLV,  tenants say they lack the proper equipment to do their job and are not as visible as before.

“In regards to custodians on site, following the sale, we had made the decision to maintain their contracts in place,” Geramanis responded. “To this date, they are still present on site and answer when tasked. They also keep us updated relating to any problems the building or the tenants encounter.”

As for the  lack of on-site employee’s working tools, Geramanis  says he wishes to clarify that this was caused by CLV repossessing most of the equipment and material that was used for building maintenance and thus following the sale the maintenance room was for the most part emptied. “However, my team and I are in communications with our on-site caretakers and should a work equipment be needed to efficiently perform a job or to complete a maintenance requisition, it will be provided,” he said. “On that note, tenants should not be worried of any service disruption in the building."

On Monday, tenants Adele and Trevor asked  if I’d come meet them at their building on Kildare Road. Adele said the physical look of the grounds is already deteriorating under the new owners; no flowers or greenery has been planted in front nor has been the grass been cut. There is a large pothole at the entrance of the lot (I’m not sure if this a joint issue with the neighbouring Westwood building) and a few others in the parking lot.

“Concerning landscaping, the only thing I can mention at the moment is that we are having discussions with various companies to find the best fit,” said Geramanis.

Adele showed me the water leaks she has in her apartment bathroom resulting in mould. One of our building inspectors visited the premises. As of this writing he has not heard back from the landlords and plans to begin issuing tickets.

“We are aware of the situation and are in communication with our team to ensure that the issues encountered in their unit are fixed,” said Geramanis. “We have one and the same goal: to ensure the safety and smooth operation of our properties, creating a comfortable living environment for all tenants. It is not our intention, nor is it in our interest to create a toxic environment where our liability and reputation would be on the line. Any dialogue we engage in is purely amicable, without any fear or threat and we are here to listen and work together to find reasonable solutions that benefit everyone involved."

Adele and Trevor also told me they have seen large rats in the garage.

I will continue to advocate for the tenants and keep my eyes and ears open re a possible sale. At one point Geramanis referred to me as a journalist. That is one of my professions, but this blog is reserved strictly for my role as a city councillor to keep my constituents in the loop on important issues.


Notice of Virtual District 2 Town Hall on Monday, June 10/Réunion de district virtuelle

From the time I was first elected over 18 years ago, I originated the concept of District meetings/Town Halls. At least once a year invited constituents to a meeting where we talk about issues pertinent to the area I represent. During the pandemic, such gatherings took place virtually via Zoom. Due to popular demand,  I have decided to maintain this format. People appreciate the fact they need not leave their home.  Please join me for the next such meeting on Monday, June 10 (7:30 pm). Just log on to www.cotesaintluc.org/districtmeeting from your computer or device. Come meet our new police commander and participate in discussions about other issues. It is all outlined in the flyer below.

COM_VirtualDistrict2Meeting_2024-06-10_Email (1)

Dès ma première élection, il y a plus de 18 ans, j'ai été à l'origine du concept des réunions de district et des assemblées publiques. Au moins une fois par an, j'ai invité des électeurs à une réunion au cours de laquelle nous avons abordé des questions pertinentes pour la région que je représente. Pendant la pandémie, ces réunions ont eu lieu virtuellement via Zoom. À la demande générale, j'ai décidé de maintenir ce format. Les gens apprécient le fait qu'ils n'aient pas à quitter leur domicile. Rejoignez-moi pour la prochaine réunion de ce type le lundi 10 juin (19h30). Il vous suffit de vous connecter à www.cotesaintluc.org/districtmeeting à partir de votre ordinateur ou de votre appareil. Venez rencontrer notre nouveau commandant de police et participez à des discussions sur d'autres sujets. Tout cela est décrit dans le flyer ci-dessous.

Traduit avec DeepL.com

 

 

 

 


A Côte Saint-Luc family are making some of the best ice cream in the city

In the bustling streets of Buenos Aires, there lived a young girl named Veronica. She was a spirited soul with a passion for flavours and a heart deeply rooted in her Argentinian heritage. But her true love lay in the sweet art of making ice cream, a skill she learned from her beloved Italian grandfather, Nonno Luigi. 

Nonno  was a master ice cream maker, renowned in their family for his delectable creations. From the creamy richness of dulce de leche to the zesty tang of lemon sorbet, he could whip up flavours that danced on the taste buds. And Veronica, with her eager eyes and nimble fingers, soaked up every secret he shared, every technique he taught. Together, they spent countless afternoons in Nonno Luigi’s quaint kitchen, surrounded by the comforting scent of freshly churned ice cream. Veronica would listen intently as he regaled her with tales of their family's Italian roots, intertwining their heritage with the artistry of ice cream-making.

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Veronica and her two daughters

 

As Veronica grew older, she was encouraged by her friends, who insisted that no matter where they went, they could never quite find a taste quite like her and her grandfather’s ice cream, to begin to sell her delicious flavours. She always politely declined, however, and decided instead on pursuing graphic design as a career. She was able to translate her knack for all things creative from the kitchen onto beautiful logos, posters, and book covers. 

At the age of 32, Veronica  set off with her husband Juan for Canada, drawn by the promise of new beginnings and delicious frozen treats. At gatherings with her new Canadian friends, the whispers of her old friends resurfaced urging her to unveil her cherished ice creams to the world. Now, with a stable career in Canada and two daughters (Emma, 16 and Ursula, 13), she accepted and il Vero Spirito was born.

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Just last year, she and her family began expanding their ice cream repertoire. It now contains unique flavours such as beer and wine, panettone, and matcha! Since she wants her ice cream to be enjoyed by everyone, no matter their dietary restrictions, Il Vero Spirito ice cream is also available in vegan and lactose-free options. The newest addition to this plentiful line up are frozen treats for pets!

Last week, Veronica’s   surprised me and colleagues at my office with some small tastings. I am lactose intolerant  (although lactaid pills do the trick) so I appreciated the fact they cater to folks like me. I particularly loved the caramel, mint chocolate and cookie dough flavors.

Il Vero Spirito will cater your event or party.  Just send an e-mail to : [email protected] or text 438-345-9453

Follow them on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ilverospirito/


Remembering Côte Saint-Luc sportsman Mike Rothpan

Mike Rothpan passed away last week at the age of 90.

I have fond memories of Mike, whom I first met as a youngster. He was a crafty lefthanded pitcher in the Côte Saint-Luc Slo Pitch Association. This was not softball. A pitcher needed to bring in his delivery  with a very  high “slow pitch” and he did so perfectly.

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Mike Rothpan

Mike was not only among the best players; he also sported the nicest moustache in the community. When I saw him walking down the aisles of the local IGA not too long ago, the masterful moustache was still very much in place.

When I became old enough to play and serve as an organizer for the Slo Pitch Association I became friendly with Mark Rothpan, Mike’s son. As a chartered accountant he also served as league treasurer. Together, Mark, Mike and I worked on coordinating the annual awards banquet each fall. It was usually held at the old Bill Wong’s on Decarie. I must say that Mike took this task very, very seriously. Our league always had a solid turnout- probably in the 90 percent range. My late Larry, a good friend of Mike’s, was the emcee and he always secured a prominent sports personality as our guest. The meal was great and so was the company.

I’d also see Mike at the Snowdon YM-YWHA. He was very conscious of staying in shape. And after showering from a workout, he’d walk out of the locker room looking like a million books: his hair slick backed….and oh that terrific moustache!

Mike was a big family man, dad to Mark, Sharon and Debra. So it was with a heavy heart he had to say good-bye a few years ago to his daughter Debra , who lost a battle with cancer. No parent should have to outlive their child.

Mike also lost his loving wife of 58 years, Eleanor. In recent years he was grateful to have the company of Rose Gotteiner. He adored his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Last year, for Father’s Day, Mark produced a touching video of his dad.

Give it a view here. It  is full of smiles and joy

Rest in peace Mike and please say hello to my dad, whom I am sure has already given you a hero’s welcome to heaven.

 


Nos Amours- The Saga of the Montreal Expos to be shown at CineStarz Deluxe Cavendish beginning Friday

West End residents who were fans of the Montreal Expos can raise their glove to Bruce Gurberg. The owner or the CineStarz movie chain has arranged to book the fabulous documentary Nos Amours- The Saga of the Montreal Expos at his state of the art Quartier Cavendish beginning Friday, May 3.

Owner Bruce Gurberg has so much confidence in its success that he has scheduled it for five screens per day. Manager Matthew Craigie was a big Expos fan so he is excited.

Go here to:  Download Show Schedule - CineStarz Cavendish 5_3_2024 - 5_9_2024

The 92 minute film explores key moments in the Expos 36 year history, as well as the spirited journey to bring Major League Baseball back to Montreal.    There is an impressive cast of on-screen participants,  including  Warren Cromartie, Charles and Stephen Bronfman, the 1981 and '94 teams, caricaturist Terry Mosher, magician Alain Choquette, super fan Katie Hynes, former Habs president Pierre Boivin and rapper Annakin Slayd.   

Producer Robbie Hart, whose brother is noted recording artist Corey Hart, spent 12 years working on this film. It is sequel to a film he did between 1998 to 2002 about the efforts to try and keep the team in Montreal. “Now I did one about trying to bring them back,” he said.

ExposNosAmours
A scene from the movie.

 

This is a film that unravels the unique, profound relationship that can exist between a city, a team and fans.

I loved every minute of this film, from the vintage archival footage of the days at Jarry Park to behind the scenes moments from the various Expos reunions.  .

“Some films happen in a short timeframe,” Hart told me. “For this one I had to follow the river. It started with Warren Cromartie and ended up with Stephen Bronfman’s dream of getting a team coming crashing down. I am proud of the footage. Much of this material, from the reunions to Stephen and Charles Bronfman together talking about the planned resurgence have never been seen before..

The documentary certainly has its highs and lows. I must confess to getting very emotional at some scenes, specifically legendary catcher Gary Carter’s last at bat- a double- as an Expo. Carter passed away way to soon of a brain tumour in 2012. He was not only a special player, but a special person. I am proud to say I knew him. I also got choked up with the scene from a 1979 game against the Pittsburgh Pirates when legend Rusty Staub was reacquired in a trade and made a pinch hit performance. A crowd of 60,000 people gave an endless ovation. I remember being at the game.

Stephen Bronfman gets a lot of air time  and you can see the passion he grew up with as the son of the original Expos owner and the leader of a group trying to bring the majors back here. His group came very close on a proposed deal to share home seasons with the Tampa Rays. Unfortunately that arrangement was scuttled. 

Look out for a scene recorded at Côte  Saint-Luc's Trudeau Park.

For any parent out there who has  a child interested in or currently playing baseball, take them to see this film. It is a living history on how the game prospered here.  

This film is a beauty. I have already watched it three times. It really does remind us all what we lost in this city.

Here is the trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLjG1kGviMo


Students conduct survey at Quartier Cavendish: People still like the name Cavendish Mall

Noah and AVery
Noah to my left and Avery on the right.

 

For the past several months, Bialik High School students Avery Hannon and Noah Galambos  have been volunteering for the Côte Saint-Luc Local Commerce Committee that I chair. They have made filed two reports. Here is the first one in which they surveyed some of the shoppers. What follows is written in their words.

In the heart of Côte Saint-Luc lies the Quartier Cavendish, still  best known by its original name the Cavendish Mall. This shopping center  plays an important role in the city  as it represents a local spot for commerce and community. The Cavendish Mall was built in 1973 and underwent a major renovation in 1992.  According to a CBC article published in June 2018 by Joshua Levy, the Cavendish Mall during the 1980s was “the beating heart of our neighborhood.”  In addition, yearly fairs and a traveling zoo helped attract families and teenagers. This venue   was also a “sanctuary” for seniors, many of whom were Holocaust survivors. However, in 2010, almost 40 percent of the Mall was demolished in order to build new homes. 

Much of the Mall has changed over the last decade. As a result, we  conducted  a survey for the Côte Saint-Luc Local Commerce Committee  in order to determine people’s attitudes towards the Mall . The goal of the survey was to ask people to reflect on their views about how they use the Mall l and what they believe will improve their experience.

A total of 20 participants were surveyed and presented with a series of questions. Although an effort was made to ask shoppers these questions, many kindly declined. As a result, participants sitting at the food court became the primary sample upon which the results are based. These participants ranged in age from 15 to 84 with the bulk of the sample being over 70 (65 percent). The results of their responses were divided into two age groups (67 and younger and over 70).

First age group: 67 and under (eight  participants)

Have you ever been to the movie theatre?

According to our first group of participants 63% (n=5) of them have been to the movie theatre while 37% have not (n=3).

How many times a week do you go to the Mall?

According to our first group; 25% goes twice a week (n=2), 25 % goes three times a week (n=2). 25% goes five times a week (n=2). 25% go seven times a week (n=2).

Do you call the mall Canvendish mall or Quartier Cavendish?

100% of people call it Cavendish Mall. 

What are your top 5 favourite stores in the mall?

100% of people said their favorite stores were IGA, Pharmaprix, Dollarama. Some other popular stores were the nail salon, barbershop, and maxi bakery. 

What do you think should be added to the mall?

Each person had their own unique answers. The most common responses included were Walmart, Tim Hortons, Starbucks, female clothing stores, shoe stores and a formal sit down restaurant 

Group 2: 70 and up (12 participants)

Have you ever been to the movie theatre?

Out of our “older”group of participants 58% of them said they have gone to the theatre before (n=7). While 42% said they have never gone (n=5).  

How many times a week do you go to the Mall?

8% (n=1) said they go twice a week, 25% (n=3) said that they go to the Mall three times a week. 8% (n=1) said they go four times a week. 42 % (n=5) said they go five times a week. 8% (n=1) said they go six times a week and 8% (n=1) said they go seven times. 

Do you call the Mall Canvendish Mall or Quartier Cavendish?

Just like the first group 100% of people call it Cavendish Mall

What are your top 5 favorite stores in the mall?

Similar to the group above, 100% of people said IGA, Pharmacix, Dollarama. Some other popular stores were Global Gurl and le Salon des Ongle.

What do you think should be added to the mall?

Surprisingly, 25% of people (n=3) reported the mall is perfect while another 25% (n=3) stated they would love a Chinese restaurant. Some other requests included clothing stores, shoe stores, and a computer store.

 

 Summary

The results of the survey revealed that both groups had similar views. They referred to the center as Cavendish Mall and not Quartier Cavendish. In addition, the most popular stores were IGA, Dollarama, and Pharmaprix. More retail establishments were requested by much of the sample including restaurants and clothing/shoe stores. Over 60% of both groups use the movie theater. Finally, over 70 percent of the sample visit the Cavendish Mall more than three times a week suggesting that it is a frequent destination for them.

Stay tuned for their next report in which they speak to some of the merchants.


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.

 


Seeking a viable solution for the CSL Minor Hockey Association

In recent weeks the mayor and city council have been receiving a lot of communication from parents whose children are registered in the Côte Saint-Luc Minor Hockey Association (CSLMHA) regarding the amount of ice time they receive.

CSLMHA
Minor hockey players like this are seeking more ice time.

 

While I have responded individually to my constituents, it is important  for people to understand the role of elected officials. We do not focus our attention on operational issues. That is why we hire staff.  But of course, when our citizens are upset about something, it is our duty to look into the matter seriously. We have certainly done that and at our weekly meetings many hours have been devoted to  detailed briefings on the allocation of ice time.

I grew up playing minor hockey in Côte Saint-Luc. We had no arena when I started out so we rented space in Montreal West and had games  at the crack of dawn on weekends. The Samuel Moskovitch Arena opened in 1977 and over the past 47 years participation grew on all fronts, from hockey to figure skating not to mention rentals. An arena is an expensive facility to  fund and we have always devoted most of the available ice time to our own citizens.

Again, I will re-emphasize the fact that we have an experienced team of staff at the Parks and Recreation Department, not to mention some key individuals at City Hall, who oversee these dossiers.

“As elected officials our primary role is to help the individual, every individual; improving happiness and quality of life,” states Mayor Brownstein. “That's what we do and why we do it.  Balancing interests is a difficult task and favoring anyone is against our core values, so we leave staff to try to find the best fair balance. When we disappoint it saddens us.”

One parent wrote to tell me that he has  been made aware by the CSLMHA that the city   has not been supportive towards the program. I can speak on behalf of the mayor and council by saying this: if we could wave a magic wand and simply agree to every single demand of the CSLMHA we would. If money was no object (or we could find a very generous multi-million dollar sponsor) we would have a second indoor arena/ice surface.  But that is certainly not something that is happening tomorrow.

When I was a local hockey player, it was the staff of the Parks and Recreation Department that oversaw the programming, working of course with many volunteers.  The CSLMHA , just like the CSL Figure Skating Club, is an independent entity, and their volunteers put in countless hours of work.  However, it is their role to negotiate with the city over ice time, manage their own budget, oversee registration and other matters.

So here is what our staff do when it comes to ice time, as my colleague and Parks and Recreation dossier holder Andee Shuster emphasizes. For starters they review the requests from all the groups wishing to rent ice time and then they build a schedule. It is important to note that the CSLMHA is able to rent half of all prime-time ice time at the arena, plus another six hours at the Sports Annex. That is by far the most prime-time hours rented to any group. “The city doesn’t run the CSLMHA,” Andee reminded us. “Our role is to meet with it, listen to its requests, balance those requests with those from other groups, and then build a schedule—imperfect as it may be to the wishes and desires of each group—that is fair to all.”

The city is well aware that many residents observe Shabbat and this was taken into account when building the schedule. It is one of many factors we take into account, including, for instance, school end time.

The CSLMHA has told our staff that they  require 38 hours of ice time per week for the upcoming 2024-25 season, which would represent an increase in five hour per week.  Furthermore, they ask for an increase on days that are not Friday or Saturday; if it is an increase in weekday ice, then nothing before 6 pm and ending after 10 pm; and if it is an increase on Sunday ice time, nothing ending past 10 pm. This is not including Annexe time.

Our staff met with the CSLMA Executive in January, at which time it was stated that changes would be made to the current schedule to accommodate their requests, but it was unlikely that we could make this happen in  its entirety.

A meeting will take place in May to reach a final agreement for next season. The city’s objective remains to ensure that the global community is taken into consideration.

Cornelia Ziga, our director of Parks and Recreation, said it best when she explained that our mandate is to provide a wide variety of opportunities for a variety of sports and leisure activities. Our arena accommodates hockey (all ages), learn to skate, figure skating, and public skate. It satisfies the mandate. The casualty at the arena we are told is  public skating. Its time has been reduced significantly due to the increased demand from CSLMHA.

“In terms of valuing residents over non-residents, we do that with early registration, preferred pricing, and other access,” says Councillor Shuster.

The CSLMHA  is quite frankly a victim of its own success, having grown the program beyond its own mandate. So naturally that translates into a need for more ice time.    

In conclusion, we are all on the same team here. We have heard the concerns from individual parents who were encouraged by the CSLMHA  to e-mail their city councillors. Our staff have once again been asked to  make this dossier a priority and come up with the best  plan possible within our means.

There is no incentive for the mayor and council to dismiss these concerns. Let’s hope for a resolution that satisfies all parties.


Carol Rabinovitch's Re/imagined solo art exhibit to benefit Cats Committee

Bravo to Côte Saint Luc contemporary artist Carol Rabinovitch, who will be donating a share of the proceeds from her Re/imagined” solo art exhibit at the CSL Public Library April 8 to May 16 to the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee. The latter is indeed one of my longtime "pet" projects, run completely by volunteers. We work on rescuing homeless cats. Our budget was cut and expenses keep rising, so every dollar helps.
CAROLrabin
 
Rabinovitch's creations are whimsical and colourful, incorporating her signature dots and swirls. Included are oil paintings, acrylic paintings, mixed media in “Marvelous Montreal”, collages and monoprints.
 
Caroltabin2
Rabinovitch in front of one of her pieces of art.
Rabinovitch has participated in many juried group exhibits and several solo shows in Montreal and the United States where many of her artworks have been sold. She was represented in local art galleries and in Chicago. Never shy to step up before the media, she has been the subject of many interviews.

To see more of her images, visit instagram.com/carols.whimsy.art and www.artistsinmontreal.com where she won the Judge’s Choice Award for “Martini” in February 2023.
 

The return of a Steinberg grocery store: Peter Lipari to rebrand IGA Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre

As a self-proclaimed man of the people, Peter Lipari is beloved by those who shop at his Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre IGA grocery store.

Merchant_IGALipari - Copy
Last fall I presented Lipari with the Merchant of the Month Award.

On a daily basis Peter literally walks the aisles talking to customers and getting their feedback on a wide variety of topics. If people suggest he purchase a particular product not in stock, he will go the extra mile to find it. But now Peter has told me he intends to play out the ultimate request: bringing some major nostalgia back to the community. IGA Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre will now be renamed Steinberg CSL, which for 75 years was a mainstay on the Quebec grocery store scene.


Lipari met with former Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg. His late parents, Morris and Clara Steinberg, were part of the family-owned grocery store chain. Steinberg very much liked the idea of bringing back the name, which was so synonymous with food. He has consented for the Steinberg name to be used for a nominal fee plus a percentage of sales on all of the merchandise Lipari plans to roll out. William Steinberg’s son Craig, a social media and graphic arts specialist, will play a key role on the marketing side while wife Doris and daughter Tara will also be involved.

Steinberg
A familiar brand is coming back.


“This will be the start of something big,” said Lipari. “I have been working on this for years. While we are starting out at my store, I have communicated with franchise owners from other brands across the island and they are on board.”

At the Côte St. Luc Road location, renovations will be done to build a small deli to be named Ben Ash in the corner end near the frozen foods. Ben Ash was also a mainstay at the centre.


Lipari said he will not mess with Quebec’s language police and try to call the store Steinberg’s. The family removed the apostrophe in 1961. Lipari even has the notable catchphrase which will even go over well with CAQ government. “Je fais mon Steinberg” did indeed become a phrase housewives used to use to signify they were going out to buy food for dinner.


When I was a child, my parents took myself and my two siblings to Steinberg at the CSL Shopping Centre. We shopped together and then had hotdogs at PikNik. The manager’s name was Mr. Caplan. We all got so excited to line up at the car order and have the bags packed in the trunk.


Isn’t this a great idea? Could it come true? Yes, indeed it can. But for now it is just an April Fool’s joke. However, knowing Mr. Lipari and Mr. Steinberg from this little article could become a real thing.


Tenants concerned about renovictions get advice at City Hall meeting

The concern expressed by the residents of five buildings on Kildare Road and Sir Walter Scott over the presence of new owners and a fear of renoviction has resulted in the formation of a tenants association, the engagement of a lawyer and clear line drawn in the sand.

Logisactionaudience
The audience at Monday's meeting.

When Groupe CLV sold the five buildings in February to a group Gestion Galleon, residents sounded the alarm over suspicious evening visits from company representatives offering some tenants cash incentives to leave. This triggered worries about potential renovictions. The latter occurs when landlords use non-urgent renovations as a pretext to force tenants to vacate.  Landlords may harass tenants to force them out, and some send illegal lease non-renewal notices.

Councillor Dida Berku (a tenants rights lawyer for 40 years ) and myself have been very active on the file since day one. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein has been following the situation closely. Now our Urban Planning Department has stepped in. This type of action is fairly unprecedented. I have been on council for 18 years and in my District there are 16 rental buildings (and eight high rise condos). Tenant-landlord disputes occur in all of these buildings and I hear about them. We always have to draw a fine line between by-law infractions which we can intervene on or a dispute between a tenant and landlord which precludes us from intervening. That being said, our involvement in working with tenants to help stave off any serious problems is not something we have done in my time in office.

CatherineLogisaction
Catherine Plawutsky

On March  25, our library helped organize a special information meeting for tenants of the five building with  LogisAction,  which provides assistance to tenants in NDG and finds solutions to problems related to their rental situation. It was good to see some of the leaders of the tenants association. We provided the use of our auditorium for free. Attendees signed in when they arrived. Councillor Berku, myself and Mayor Brownstein made opening remarks. Lawyer Justin Demers was on hand and Catherine Plawutsky from Logis Action gave a very informative presentation. 

Earlier in the day, our Associate City Manager Tanya Abramovitch held a meeting with the Urban Planning Department.  It is very important to emphasize that the e-mail to address any infractions is  [email protected] 

According to Tanya, the great majority of complaints the department has received, through in person appearances, phone calls, and emails, have related to threats, the rent cheques, and things that are not ones the city can do anything about. Those are complaints for the Régie du logement or even the police, and we have told them that.

There are certain things that are in the purview of the city, and certain things that are not. Elevators, electricity, plumbing, and ventilation of buildings this size are under the purview of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ).  Things like emergency lights, blocked exits, sprinklers, fire alarms, imminent walls of bricks falling, and defective generators are under the responsibility of the SIM. It is always better for the tenants to call directly, since they see things at all hours and live the reality. The RBQ says they will respond within 30 days but it is never that long.  We can make a complaint (and did for the elevator), but us calling versus residents does not move things along faster. The elevator complaint has been deposited at the RBQ, and the property owners have been informed that it has

In our by-laws, permits are required for most work, including the replacement of floors, cabinets, opening a wall, things that touch Gyproc. This is different than in Montreal, where for minor interior work you do not need a permit. Tanya points out that this is fortunate, because it forces the property owners to apply for permits for even small work on one unit.  Our Urban Planning Department also proactively contacted the property owners and let them know that they need a permit to do basically anything, and that they can’t even change the sign outside without going through the city. As of today, not a single permit request exists for any of these buildings. The department will not issue any if one is requested until our director of Urban Planning returns anyway. Our renoviction bylaw, adopted last fall,  only applies in the context of a permit, not before.  Urban Planning will flag Tanya immediately  if any permit request comes in for any of these buildings.

At the information session I informed  tenants that it would be helpful if they can tell us if they hear any sounds of construction (sawing, hammering, etc). If they dothey should contact Urban Planning  by email and let them know right away. We   will then send an inspector to check it out. If it’s on a weekend, we will pick it up on Monday and do what  is needed.

In the past, when these buildings were CLV-owned, there were certain complaints that occurred.  CLV took care of them right away. Our Urban Planning team is concerned that new owners may let this slip. If, for instance, there is any vermin,   contact Urban Planning directly. The department is keeping a log of complaints about these addresses for things that pertain to us. If there is anything to note, it will be flagged.

We do not have the resources to go and visit these buildings on a daily basis if there is no cause to do so. As soon as there is cause, we will log it and go. Having a lawyer on their team compiling a list of complaints would be helpful.

The owners are very aware that we are watching them closely. If there is movement, we will be ready,

The city cannot intervene on everything that is going on. Tenants need to exercise their rights, organize and help each other.  

 .


Should Housefather cross the floor now and join the Conservative Party of Canada?

Last week I had the pleasure to address the Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club. There were about 30 people on hand at the Aquatic and Community Centre and another 80 or so watching online. With 770 members this is one well-oiled machine.

Housefather-265x352
Anthony Housefather


I touched on many topics which I will elaborate on later in this piece. But let me fast forward to the question period and the discussion I had with members when I departed. Many of the individuals wanted my take on the Federal Liberal Party, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and our Mount Royal Liberal Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather. These days they are all facing a common among Jewish residents of the riding in particular: not wanting to cast their vote in favor of Trudeau.


The next federal election is not expected to be held until the fall of 2025 as long as the NDP continues to blackmail the Liberals for their support. Billions of our dollars are being poured into NDP-supported programs like pharma care and dental care in order to ensure the Liberals do nor lose a vote of confidence. I am not saying that either of the NDP initiatives are bad for the population. However, with a bulging deficit can we really afford them at this time?

MeCharlesEkloveBernie
With Charles Eklove and Bernie Green after my address to the Men's Club.

So what do people in Mount Royal do if Trudeau sticks around as leader? Do they still support Housefather, who is probably the best MP we’ve ever had? He was mayor of Côte Saint-Luc for 10 years, my first decade on council, so I know him well. Anthony thinks of his constituents first. He was never Trudeau’s choice for the Mount Royal nomination. Yet he beat his competitor handily. Mount Royal traditionally became the home of a cabinet minister. Both the late Sheila Finestone and Irwin Cotler were accorded those honors; not Anthony.


When the Liberals adopted new language legislation Bill C-13 last spring by a 301-1 to vote, Housefather was the only dissenter. That drew praise from his constituents. Rightfully so, he insisted that the federal bill took a wrong turn by referring to Bill 101, Quebec’s Charter of the French Language, which was extensively overhauled via Bill 96, our controversial law that toughens French language rules.

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Justin Trudeau

Soon after the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel on October 7, followed by the war in Gaza, Housefather became an instant spokesperson for the Jewish State. While Trudeau has tried to walk a fine line between the Israeli and Palestinian positions, he has failed to satisfy either side. Housefather has found himself consistently speaking out against his own party. The straw that broke the camel’s back came when the NDP proposed a motion in the House of Commons calling on Canada to recognize the "State of Palestine." While a much watered-down position passed, only the Federal Conservative Party and three Liberals – Housefather, Marco Mendicino and Ben Carr- voted against it.


Housefather subsequently went public about how this left him feeling "isolated" and he is now "reflecting" on his place within caucus.


At the Men’s Club I was asked specifically why Housefather would not cross the floor and join the Conservatives. Leader Pierre Poilievre may have his faults, but like his predecessor Stephen Harper he supports Israel to the highest level. Over the last few months he has been visiting Montreal-area synagogues. His chief lieutenant Melissa Lantsman, accompanied by longtime Tory insider Neil Drabkin, was making the rounds last week. She is Jewish and the reception she received was warm. If Trudeau stays on, the Tories think they can take Mount Royal.


Now that Housefather has opened the door to reflecting on his future with the Liberals, and hanging his hat on the Israel issue, I believe his constituents would applaud a move to the Tories, Poilievre is going to win the next federal election. If Housefather makes the move now, he would all but be assured of being named to the cabinet – a dream come true.


I am sure this is a terribly difficult decision for Housefather to make. He has been a lifelong Liberal. But is this the same party that he first joined? Now is the time for his constituents to speak up. If enough of them tell him to cross the floor, maybe he will. I for one would strongly recommend it.

Let me conclude with some comments about my Men’s Club appearance. Thanks to President Charles Eklove and director Bernie Green for inviting me. My topic was A Man With Many Hats: City Councillor, Journalist and Education Sector Communications Official.


I touched upon my role with the English Montreal School Board and our battles with the Quebec government over Bills 21, 40 and 96; the constant attacks on the English community by the CAQ government; the lackluster performance of the provincial Liberals and our need to give the Canadian Party of Quebec some support for speaking up for us; The Suburban Newspaper and the important role it continues to play in the community; COVID-19 and the fact that if you feel sick these days up to date rapid tests are impossible to find and nobody seems to care about spreading germs to others any more; the local restaurant scene; and an update from Côte Saint-Luc city council.


Thanks again to the Men’s Club for having me. This is one influential voting bloc and there is no question, I’d say, that most of them would like to see Housefather free from the Trudeau regime. We shall see.


Library member Sarah Fremeth turned 100 and her family dedicated sensor panels to childhood corner

Thanks to a generous donation in centenarian Sarah Fremeth’s name, new sensory panels were
added to the early childhood corner of our CSL Public Library.

Sensory panels are bright, colourful, and stimulating for young children. Through visuals, touch, and sound, they engage the senses. They also help develop motor skills, balance, hand-eye coordination, and visual processing, which are all essential for young childrens' development. Through these toys which are designed to develop essential skills, children can also begin to learn about colour, pattern, gravity, and develop spatial reasoning.

SarahFremeth
Sarah Fremeth is congratulated by librarian Antonella Lalli.

 

Sensory panels are beneficial for all children, but they are also wonderful for children with
sensory disabilities and children with autism. They can be very engaging for children who are
particularly sensitive to colour, sound, touch, etc. Sensory panels can help them learn about
their senses in a way that feels safe and comfortable for them.

It was an extra special gathering that day with group member Sarah Fremeth. In October, she
turned 100 and the group planned to throw her a small birthday party. Chief Librarian Janine West had arranged for the mayor to present her with a special framed commemorative certificate. Unfortunately, she was hospitalized days before the October date and was not well enough to attend until now.

We were finally able to present it to her in February.

Sarah Fremeth Sensory Wall
The sensory wall.

 

Mur sensoriel Sarah Fremeth

Grâce à une généreuse donation au nom de la centenaire Sarah Fremeth, de nouveaux panneaux sensoriels ont été ajoutés au coin de la petite enfance de notre bibliothèque publique CSL.
ont été ajoutés au coin réservé à la petite enfance de notre bibliothèque publique CSL.

Les panneaux sensoriels sont lumineux, colorés et stimulants pour les jeunes enfants. Par le biais de l'image, du toucher et du son, ils éveillent les sens. Ils contribuent également au développement de la motricité, de l'équilibre, de la coordination main-œil et du traitement visuel, qui sont tous essentiels au développement des jeunes enfants. Grâce à ces jouets conçus pour développer des compétences essentielles, les enfants peuvent également commencer à apprendre les couleurs, les motifs, la gravité et à développer un raisonnement spatial.

Les panneaux sensoriels sont bénéfiques pour tous les enfants, mais ils sont également formidables pour les enfants souffrant de handicaps sensoriels et les enfants autistes.
sensoriels et les enfants autistes. Ils peuvent être très attrayants pour les enfants qui sont
particulièrement sensibles aux couleurs, aux sons, au toucher, etc. Les panneaux sensoriels peuvent les aider à découvrir
Les panneaux sensoriels peuvent les aider à découvrir leurs sens d'une manière sûre et confortable.

Ce jour-là, Sarah Fremeth, membre du groupe, a participé à une réunion très spéciale. En octobre, elle
En octobre, elle a eu 100 ans et le groupe avait prévu de lui organiser une petite fête d'anniversaire. La bibliothécaire en chef Janine West s'était arrangée pour que le maire lui remette un certificat commémoratif encadré. Malheureusement, elle a été hospitalisée quelques jours avant la date prévue et n'a pas été suffisamment rétablie pour assister à la fête.

Nous avons finalement pu lui remettre le certificat en février.


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

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

 

IMG_5675
Councillor Shuster reads the resolution.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was carried unanimously.


Two months of Hydro-Québec work slated for Rembrandt Ave.

As part of its rehabilitation program for underground structures, Hydro-Québec has announced that they will carry out civil engineering work to repair an underground chamber on Rembrandt Avenue,  between  Kildare and Merrimac.

This will impact the street in a number of ways:  the removal of parking spaces in the area; access to west side of the park will be blocked; the pedestrian crossing  will be removed; noise from machinery during certain manoeuvres; the installation of a detour and appropriate signage; and the  presence of flagmen (as needed) to facilitate traffic flow around the worksite

It is important to note  that there will be no interruption of electricity service  as a result of this work. Work will begin in March 11 and continue until May 17 from 7 am to 7 pm,

Hydroquebec

Nature des travaux

Dans le cadre de son programme de réfection des ouvrages souterrains, Hydro-Québec doit réaliser des travaux de génie civil afin de procéder à la réfection d’une chambre souterraine.

Secteur

  • Avenue Rembrandt, entre les chemins Kildare et Merrimac

Impacts

  • Entrave partielle de l’avenue Rembrandt, entre les chemins Kildare et Merrimac
  • Retrait de places de stationnement dans le secteur
  • Accès au parc côté ouest condamné
  • Traverse piétonnière enlevée
  • Bruit de machinerie lors de certaines manœuvres

Mesures d’atténuation

  • Mise en place d’un détour et d’une signalisation appropriée
  • Maintien de l’accès aux résidences en tout temps
  • Présence de signaleurs (au besoin) pour faciliter la circulation autour du chantier
  • Sécurisation du chantier pour la sécurité du public et des travailleurs et travailleuses

À noter qu’aucune interruption du service d’électricité n’est prévue dans le cadre de ces travaux.

Exemple de réfection d’une chambre souterraine

Calendrier de réalisation

  • Du 11 mars au 17 mai 2024
  • e 7 h à 19 h

Sales of five buildings on Sir Walter Scott and Kildare Road raises concerns

Five residential apartment buildings in District 2 have been sold for more than $40 million.

The buildings implicated are 5755, 5765 and 5775 Sir Walter Scott and 6565 and 6575 Kildare Road. They were previously owned by the CLV Group.

For Côte Saint-Luc, the good news is that at a time when our finances have been adversely affected by a lack of home sales due to high interest rates, inflation, city of Montreal transfers and more, we will net $1.2 million in welcome taxes. However, tenants of the five buildings have sounded the alarm due to the mysterious nature of the new owners. The company listed is Immeubles Galleons S.E.C. It is unclear who actually heads this enterprise. One name kept coming up; a developer I have worked with in my day job. When I reached him he insisted that he was originally a prospective buyer. “I flipped the offer to another investor prior to closing,” he stated.

Kildare apartments
Some of the buildings on Sir Walter Scott Avenue.

A letter advising tenants of the change was not printed on any kind of letterhead and rather than being delivered to each door, it was merely posted on some of the walls in high traffic areas.

Two property managers, Mr. David and Mr. Avi, are listed. They actually work for the person who denies he is the real owner. “They are helping the new owners with his renovations after hours,” he told me.

I was able to connect with Avi, who is a constituent of mine. I recommended that letters be delivered to each door with clear instructions of how to pay the rent. They cannot assume everyone will respond to a flyer posted on wall minus any stationary.

Tenants fear that the new company will proceed with renovictions - the eviction of all of a building's tenants on the grounds that a large-scale renovation is planned. Having represented District 2 for 18 years now, I know for a fact that in each building there are tenants who called these places home for many years. So I was not surprised to start hearing from some of them soon after the posting of the new ownership occurred. They immediately fired out letters to City Hall, getting the attention of the mayor, council as well as our legal and building inspection departments. Deputy Mayor and Councillor Dida Berku was a tenants rights lawyer for 40 years and last fall she was instrumental in drafting our first ever renoviction bylaw. It emphasizes that prior to the issuance of a permit for major works that require evacuation, written documentation must be provided demonstrating that affected tenants have agreed, in writing, to either temporarily relocate or voluntarily vacate their dwellings during the 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 be provided.

Councillor Berku and I met with tenants last Thursday night. There were representatives from each building. They are being proactive, having already engaged a lawyer.

One tenant told me the new owners state no dogs are allowed in the building. As the councillor responsible for Animal Protection, I have been told of such edicts before. A dog (or cat) is truly a member of one’s family. Such a clause by a landlord can only be used for new tenants.

Clearly this is a developing story which we will continue to follow.


One-on-one with newly appointed Police Station 9 Commander Stéphane Desroches

There is a new commander for Police Station 9, which covers Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead, Montreal West and NDG. It was a pleasure for me to meet Stéphane Desroches, who has been with the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) since 1997.

Commander Desroches began his new role in October, just days before the terrorist attack by Hamas in Israel and the start of the war. Needless to say this was a true baptism under fire. “I won’t lie; this was not an easy start for me,” he told me in an interview at his office in the Westminster shopping plaza Station 9 headquarters. “There was a lot of anxiety in the Jewish community, with the schools and synagogues. In addition, October is the time when there is a large turnover of staff at the stations. So let’s just say I got to meet the community leaders very quickly and my goal was to reassure all of them that Station 9 was there to support them.”

 

CommanderDesroches
Commander Desroches.


A married father of two, Commander Desroches grew up in Verdun where his first act of public service was to work as a lifeguard. He attended Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf for high school and CEGEP. He initially enrolled at the Université de Montréal to study information technology, but quickly realized this was not for him,. So he switched gears, signing up for police technology at CEGEP Maisonneuve.


“I always like teamwork and helping people,” the Commander said. “I think my experience as lifeguard played a role in this.”
Commander Desroches concluded his studies at the l’Institut de police du Québec. His first assignment as a police officer was in South Shore Laprairie before joining the SPVM (then called the Montreal Urban Community) where he spent time as a constable at stations in LaSalle and Verdun for the first five years. “It was nice to work in the area where I grew up,” he said. “Then again, it was also awkward when I’d go shopping off duty and run into somebody I arrested.”

Desroches and me in lot
In front of the headquarters with the Commander.

For Commander Desroches, the next assignment was in downtown Montreal investigating street gangs and organized crime. That was followed by six years with the arson and explosives division. “This is a small squad that is not very well known,” he explained, “Recently, in fact, I was called back to help with the investigation into the terrible fire in Old Montreal.”


More interesting assignments continued to come Commander Desroches’ way: car crash investigations, background checks on new officers and criminal investigations and a Detective Lieutenant for Lachine/LaSalle. Before arriving at Station 9 he spent two years as a commander for a special corporate section for road safety. “It was an interesting position that certainly benefits me today in my new role,” he said. “I oversaw car crash investigations, school crossing guards, protocols for back to school and driving under the influence, photo radar and traffic coordination,”


At Police Station 9, Commander Desroches has 118 officers and civilians working under him. I personally asked if he could look into whether we can find a crossing guard for the corner of Cavendish and Kildare. In addition, I pointed to the cars that speed excessively on Marc Chagall Avenue and motorists who blow stop signs on Kildare Road.


Commander Desroches agreed that like any other neighbourhood, there are concerns about burglaries and stolen vehicles. “Our investigators have been successfully in catching some of these criminals,” he said.


Given his own background, Commander Desroches says he does indeed place an important focus on road safety. “Our patrollers are out there giving out infractions for moving violations, “ he said. “For cars that speed or go through stop signs, our actions are all about saving lives. Not only does the motorist getting the ticket think twice; others driving by see us taking action and I hope it impacts them as well.”

Desrochesandofficers
Commander Desroches with officers Linardakis, Iacovella and Ménard.


Commander Desroches says he is pleased to be working with such a good team at Station 9. After our talk we went for chat with socio-community officers George Linardakis and Andrew Iacovella as well as traffic supervisor Kelsey Ménard.
We should all feel very fortunate to have Police Station 9 headquartered in our city. They do indeed have our backs.

Welcome to the community Commander Desroches!

 

Un nouveau commandant pour le poste de police 9 Il y a un nouveau commandant pour le poste de police 9, qui couvre Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead, Montréal-Ouest et NDG. J'ai eu le plaisir de rencontrer Stéphane Desroches, qui travaille au Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) depuis 1997.


Le commandant Desroches est entré en fonction en octobre, quelques jours avant l'attaque terroriste du Hamas en Israël et le début de la guerre. Il va sans dire qu'il s'agissait d'un véritable baptême du feu. "Je ne vais pas mentir, les débuts n'ont pas été faciles pour moi", m'a-t-il confié lors d'un entretien dans son bureau situé dans le centre commercial de Westminster, au quartier général de la station 9. "Il y avait beaucoup d'anxiété dans la communauté juive, dans les écoles et les synagogues. De plus, le mois d'octobre est la période où il y a un grand renouvellement du personnel dans les stations. J'ai donc rencontré très rapidement les leaders de la communauté et mon objectif était de les rassurer en leur montrant que la station 9 était là pour les soutenir".


Marié et père de deux enfants, le commandant Desroches a grandi à Verdun, où son premier acte de service public a été de travailler comme sauveteur. Il a fréquenté le Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf pour le secondaire et le CEGEP. Il s'est d'abord inscrit à l'Université de Montréal pour étudier les technologies de l'information, mais il s'est vite rendu compte que ce n'était pas pour lui. Il a donc changé de cap et s'est inscrit en techniques policières au cégep Maisonneuve.


"J'ai toujours aimé travailler en équipe et aider les gens", explique le commandant. "Je pense que mon expérience en tant que maître-nageur y est pour quelque chose.


Le commandant Desroches a terminé ses études à l'Institut de police du Québec. Sa première affectation en tant que policier s'est faite sur la Rive-Sud de Laprairie avant de se joindre au SPVM (alors appelé la Communauté urbaine de Montréal) où il a travaillé comme constable aux postes de LaSalle et de Verdun pendant les cinq premières années. "C'était agréable de travailler dans la région où j'ai grandi", dit-il. "Mais c'était aussi gênant quand je faisais des courses en dehors du service et que je tombais sur quelqu'un que j'avais arrêté."

DesrochesandmeinfrontofstationLe commandant Desroches a ensuite été affecté au centre-ville de Montréal, où il enquêtait sur les gangs de rue et le crime organisé. Il a ensuite passé six ans à la division des incendies criminels et des explosifs. "Il s'agit d'une petite brigade qui n'est pas très connue, explique-t-il. Récemment, j'ai été rappelé pour participer à l'enquête sur le terrible incendie du Vieux-Montréal.


Le commandant Desroches se voit confier d'autres missions intéressantes : enquêtes sur les accidents de voiture, vérification des antécédents des nouveaux agents, enquêtes criminelles et lieutenant-détective pour Lachine/LaSalle. Avant d'arriver au poste 9, il a passé deux ans en tant que commandant d'une section spéciale de l'entreprise chargée de la sécurité routière. "C'était un poste intéressant qui m'est très utile aujourd'hui dans mes nouvelles fonctions", a-t-il déclaré. "J'ai supervisé les enquêtes sur les accidents de voiture, les brigadiers scolaires, les protocoles pour la rentrée scolaire et la conduite sous influence, les radars photo et la coordination du trafic.


Au commissariat 9, le commandant Desroches a 118 officiers et civils sous ses ordres. J'ai personnellement demandé s'il pouvait vérifier si nous pouvions trouver un brigadier scolaire à l'angle de Cavendish et Kildare. En outre, j'ai attiré l'attention sur les voitures qui roulent à une vitesse excessive sur l'avenue Marc Chagall et sur les automobilistes qui ne respectent pas les panneaux d'arrêt sur Kildare Road.


Le commandant Desroches a reconnu que, comme dans n'importe quel autre quartier, les cambriolages et les vols de véhicules posent problème. "Nos enquêteurs ont réussi à attraper certains de ces criminels", a-t-il déclaré.


Compte tenu de sa propre expérience, le commandant Desroches affirme qu'il accorde une grande importance à la sécurité routière. "Nos patrouilleurs sont sur le terrain pour verbaliser les infractions au code de la route. "Pour les voitures qui roulent trop vite ou qui ne respectent pas les panneaux d'arrêt, nos actions ont pour but de sauver des vies. Non seulement l'automobiliste qui reçoit la contravention y réfléchit à deux fois, mais les autres conducteurs nous voient agir et j'espère que cela a un impact sur eux aussi".


Le commandant Desroches se réjouit de travailler avec une si bonne équipe au poste 9. Après notre entretien, nous avons discuté avec les agents sociocommunautaires George Linardakis et Andrew Iacovella, ainsi qu'avec la superviseuse de la circulation Kelsey Ménard.


Nous devrions tous nous sentir très chanceux d'avoir un poste de police 9 dans notre ville. Ils nous soutiennent vraiment.


Bienvenue dans la communauté, commandant Desroches !


Hydro project for the towers won't start now until 2027/Le projet hydroélectrique ne démarrera pas avant 2027

District 2 in Côte Saint-Luc will be part a major electrical system upgrade of the Hydro-Québec network. Work  was originally scheduled to occur between 2023 and 2026,   impacting homes on Merrimac Road, Marc Chagall Avenue as well as Bialik High School. The installation of towers will take place no earlier than 2027. Other work, however, will likely commence sooner

Hydro
A look at where some of the work  on Merrimac will take place.

Hydro will be converting three 120-kV substations to 315 kV. This includes the Hampstead substation (in Côte Saint-Luc) and rebuilding the 120-kV Aqueduc-Saraguay  overhead transmission line at 315 kV over a span of 18 km between LaSalle and Saint-Laurent. Known as the Aqueduc-Saraguay project, the cost is estimated at over $500 million. The project involves replacing aging equipment, maintaining the system’s reliability, meeting future electricity needs and supporting economic development.

Geotechnical surveys will be taking place over the next few months in the Hydro-Québec transmission line easement. These surveys are in preparation for the project, and are intended to complete the data required for the project's engineering study. This work will only last a day or two.   It will  involves taking soil samples with a drill.

Le district 2 de Côte Saint-Luc fera l'objet d'une importante mise à niveau du système électrique du réseau d'Hydro-Québec. Les travaux devaient initialement avoir lieu entre 2023 et 2026 et concerner les maisons du chemin Merrimac, de l'avenue Marc Chagall et de l'école secondaire Bialik. Ils ont maintenant été retardés et ne commenceront pas avant 2027.

Hydro convertira trois sous-stations de 120 kV en 315 kV. Cela comprend le poste de Hampstead (à Côte Saint-Luc) et la reconstruction de la ligne de transport aérienne à 120 kV Aqueduc-Saraguay à 315 kV sur une distance de 18 km entre LaSalle et Saint-Laurent. Connu sous le nom de projet Aqueduc-Saraguay, le coût est estimé à plus de 500 millions de dollars. Le projet prévoit le remplacement d'équipements vieillissants, le maintien de la fiabilité du réseau, la satisfaction des besoins futurs en électricité et le soutien au développement économique.

Des études géotechniques seront réalisées au cours des prochains mois dans la servitude de la ligne de transport d'Hydro-Québec. Ces sondages sont préparatoires au projet et visent à compléter les données nécessaires à l'étude d'ingénierie du projet. Ces travaux ne dureront qu'une journée ou deux. Ils consistent à prélever des échantillons de sol à l'aide d'une foreuse.

 

 

 


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.

GroupFirepit
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.

MascotsGroup
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.

 


Snow Dump Letter from Constituent Bobby Gordon about the snow dump

I have repeatedly voted against allowing the Town of Hampstead to use our snow dump each winter. Yes, we do get valuable revenue and when the snow reaches a certain level during the season the agreement ceases. Nonetheless, I remain concerned by the number of large vehicles going down Marc Chagall Avenue and of course the messy mountain that accumulates in the winter and remains with with us through most of the spring.

Marc Chagall Avenue resident Bobby Gordon has been consistent in his concerns about the snow dump sharing agreement.

Here is the most recent letter he sent to city council,

I am sure that if I had showed up at the meeting for the vote on Oct 16, 2023 with half the residents of Marc Chagall and a marching band, the result of the vote would not have changed. 

SnowDump

Dida Berku seemed fixated on the $100,000 that Hampstead is paying CSL to use our dump. I guess money is the motivating factor over the concerns and safety of our residents. She made no mention of the negative effects such as the extra truck traffic, the dangers to pedestrians, air and noise pollution, and the wear on our road!  

I am convinced that the city councilors who voted to accept the money from Hampstead would sing another tune if the dump was on their street.    

 When I first voiced my concerns to all the city councilors, in an email response to me, Andee Shuster said she will study the matter. I doubt if she  really studied it so I am personally inviting her next time there is a snow fall to come with her fellow counlcilors to  Marc Chagall and stay for an hour. This way they could see the negative impact it has on our residents due to the trucks not being able to access the dump by Kildare Road.  

 From 6:30 am to 6 pm there is  constant truck traffic back and forth on our street every few minutes non stop! This goes on for days until the streets are cleared.  The trucks are very noisy and spew pollution all the while exceeding the speed limit. It is a miracle that nobody has been run over and that there has not been a major accident but it is only a matter of time until this occurs.  

 The fact is if we did not take the snow from Hampstead it would help alleviate some of the negative issues I have pointed out! 

I would really like to thank Mike Cohen and Oren Sebag for having the courage and decency to put their fellow citizens safety and concerns above the almighty $$ by voting against renewing the Hampstead deal. 

Bobby Gordon