Cote Saint-Luc Councillor Steven Erdelyi gives an excellent summary of why we must oppose Bill 14 and actively campaign to defeat the proposed legislation.
All about Côte Saint-Luc, public safety, language rights and local issues
February 27, 2013
Cote Saint-Luc Councillor Steven Erdelyi gives an excellent summary of why we must oppose Bill 14 and actively campaign to defeat the proposed legislation.
February 21, 2013
I have always voted against payments to the Metropolitan Community. Cote Saint-Luc derives very little value for its nearly half-million dollar annual expense. Of course, we are also bound by law to pay this amount and therefore have no choice.
I feel it is better for this expense not to be adopted unanimously and for the public to be aware of how we are overburdened with multiple layers of regional government costing us in dollars, in bureaucracy and in confusing, complex and contradictory regulations and services.
Quebec is the most heavily taxed territory in North America. This has an impact upon our economy, job creation and personal and corporate wealth. Do we really need to be spending $500,000 on the MMC?
February 2, 2013
Change needed at CSL-MoWest intersection: MoWest resident
CSL engineering dept. recommends simple stop at corner: Housefather
Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban
January 23, 2013
The flashing lights stop signal at Westminster and Westover in Côte St. Luc should be dismantled and replaced with a walk signal to improve pedestrian safety, council regular Daniel Markuze told Montreal West council at the late November meeting.
The signal is located north of the Westminster hump, right at the border with Montreal West, and has been in operation since 1963.
“Right now, they’re just flashing and it’s an accident waiting to happen,” he added. “The problem is for pedestrians. We need something where you press a button and its all right for people to cross. It’s needed especially for older people. It’s dangerous there.”
Mayor Beny Masella said Montreal West originally shared the cost with Côte St. Luc to install the flashing light signal. “Côte St. Luc, from what we’re understanding, is not sure they want to replace the lights completely, which is a $200,000 job, or just to change the controller, which is a $50,000 to $60,000 job. We’ve told them we’d probably be willing to participate in the costs. They’ve done a traffic study at the intersection, they’ve collected their data and it was supposed to be presented to their council. We asked that it be presented to our council to see if all of this is warranted. We’re waiting for that data [regarding traffic volume] to get back to us so we can make a decision how we can participate.”
Côte St. Luc mayor Anthony Housefather told The Suburban Friday that his city has done traffic counts at that intersection “and intends to leave this as a flashing light stop sign for now.
“All information we have is being shared with Montreal West,” the mayor explained. “The costs of this light, which are at the border of the two communities, were originally shared between the communities but Côte St. Luc has been maintaining it since installation. The costs of repairing the controller or replacing the light are not justified based on the assessment by our engineering department of the traffic at that intersection and they recommend using a simple stop. If Montreal West has other suggestions we will certainly consider them.”
Côte St. Luc Councillor Steven Erdelyi, who represents the area, said Montreal West originally installed the lights and Côte St. Luc helped pay for them and later, Côte St. Luc was in charge of their maintenance. Erdelyi said the current lights are 49 years old and need major work, and traffic studies have shown a 10 to one ratio between cars travelling on Westminster and cars on Westover. He said the data indicates a traffic light would not be necessary there, and that a regular or flashing stop sign are options. In comparison, at Côte St. Luc and Westminster where there is a button-controlled crossing such as what Markuze requested, “The ratio is roughly half and half between cars going on [the two streets]. Based on criteria from the Ministry of Transport, it doesn’t seem it’s necessary to have the traffic light” at Westover and Westminster.
January 16, 2013
Cote Saint-Luc City Council took a brief pause from its Monday night meeting to celebrate three birthdays. All the best wishes to Mayor Anthony Housefather, an athlete and competitive swimmer who usually passes on the snacks, and Councillors Steven Erdelyi and Mitchell Brownstein.
December 29, 2012
December 19, 2012
By Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban
Côte St. Luc council passed a bylaw last week restricting the use of potable -fit for human consumption- water in the city.
Mayor Anthony Housefather explained that the Quebec municipal affairs ministry suggested that all municipalities pass such a bylaw.
“We’ve reviewed this with all of our departments and we made many changes to the proposed draft bylaw,” he added.
Councillor Steven Erdelyi voted against the bylaw, saying it does not go far enough.
“It is a step in the right direction,” he said, pointing out that snowfall rates are dropping and McGill environmental professor George McCourt told a lecture in Côte St. Luc that only one percent of the Great Lakes system is accessible for residential and institutional use. “This is an opportunity for us to take a preemptive measure to further restrict the use of potable water, as many other cities have done. It’s a good start, but we could have gone further, so we won’t end up dealing with the problem further down the road.”
Councillor Glenn Nashen, who voted for the bylaw, said important steps are being taken towards water conservation.
“There are some new restrictions we didn’t have before – the watering of lawns, hedges, trees and other vegetable plants by portable sprinklers or porous hose is permitted only between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.. The notion is that a significant percentage of the water [generated] when one turns on a sprinkler during the day is evaporated and doesn’t actually serve the purpose it was intended for. Watering by in-ground automatic sprinkler systems is only permitted between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m…. during the least usage period. And most importantly, any of these systems may not exceed 45 minutes within these time frames.” Thus, a sprinkler timer would have to be used, at least overnight.
“This is quite significant, and I think this will cut down on those residents who leave at 7 or 8 a.m., turn on their sprinklers and it runs the entire day, perhaps watering half of the street. This will now be deemed in contravention of the bylaw.”
As well, water can be used to wash cars, driveways and exterior patios for no more than a 30-minute period.
Housefather added that landscape ponds will have to have a recirculation system.
“After Jan. 1, 2013, you cannot install a landscape pond that uses drinking water,” the mayor said. “There’s a number of places here where we’re really changing what we’re allowed to do in the municipality to preserve water. We try to find a reasonable balance between restrictions residents can live with without interfering with their quality of life and the important notion of preserving water as much as possible.”
Councillor Dida Berku agreed that the bylaw is a “good start,” and pointed out it can always be amended and perhaps strengthened. She added that information will be sent out to the public on the new restrictions.
December 13, 2012
Chanukah, the festival of lights, comes to life each year in Cote Saint-Luc. Chanukah decorations, both store-bought and child crafted, adorn front windows and doors and the Chanukah Menorah candles – electric, oil and wax – are prominently displayed in windows.
Rabbi Mendel Raskin of Chabad CSL has been promoting public candle lighting in front of City Hall for 25 years since 1998. I’m happy to have participated in just about every one of these ceremonies all of these years.
The candle lighting was followed by a bright and boisterous parade of vehicles with illuminated Chanukah Menorahs atop the cars and minivans, and even one limousine. An impressive escort of police, public security and vCOP vehicles flanked the procession as it departed from City Hall to loop the city spreading the light of the Menorahs and festive music.
Another gem in the fabric of Cote Saint-Luc is Rabbi Moishe Reikhtman and his Jewish Russian Youth Centre. Located at Cote Saint-Luc Road and Robert Burns the centre welcomes the sizable Russian Jewish Community in the area, particularly those with young families, teens and young adults.
Rabbi Reikhtman is an extraordinary individual who is outgoing, personable, compassionate and even educationally entertaining. He and is dynamic wife, Ayelet, have created a warm, welcoming environment to the Russian community. Their festive and spirited gatherings each holiday in the centre are packed with Russian speakers from the West End.
Beth Zion Congregation’s Reverend Yitzchak Rosenberg was on hand for last night’s lighting of the giant Menorah at City Hall to sing the blessings. Reverend Rosenberg has been a mainstay on the local liturgical scene for decades.
The involvement of so many leaders from local synagogues has helped to make Cote Saint-Luc a strong and vibrant community. The participation of so many residents is a wonderful experience. Mayor Anthony Housefather and the entire City Council was invited to the stage by Rabbi Raskin to officiate over the lighting of the candles by Councillor Steven Erdelyi who was hoisted in the city’s “cherry-picker”.
Rabbi Raskin told the crowd that the lights of the Menorah would spread peace and goodwill too all people of all religions. Mayor Housefather rejoiced in the upbeat spirit of the holiday and wished all residents well for a joyous holiday and a wonderful new year.
December 11, 2012
After several years of disagreement on how to apply the bylaw and months of debate on reworking the regulation City Council adopted a new tree protection bylaw last evening, or more specifically an amendment to the exiting bylaw.
Given that the logo of the City of Cote Saint-Luc is a stylized leaf, it is somewhat ironic that the new bylaw actually makes it easier to chop down a tree on private property.
Now, a resident may claim that a tree is impeding sunlight or blocking one’s view in order to gain permission to cut down a tree.
Council will no longer have any power over tree replacement as the decision to fell a tree is now conferred upon the Director of Urban Development.
What’s worse, any tree that is cut down need only be replaced with a single tree regardless of the size of the tree to be felled (unless more than five trees are cut on the same lot in a given year, a rare occurrence).
Unfortunately, not one resident appeared at the special meeting convened to review the bylaw.
In supporting the proposal, Councillor Ruth Kovac exclaimed that Cote Saint-Luc will not have a net loss of trees.
Councillor Dida Berku, a passionate defender of the environment responded that the bylaw will have the opposite effect since a resident can now replace a 50 year old tree with a two inch sapling.
Whereas Council occasionally required two or more trees to replace larger ones, this will now only be triggered if a resident neglects to apply for a permit. In that case, two for one plus a fine will be required.
Berku went on to say that, “More trees will be cut and less will be planted. This dilutes the intent of the original bylaw which was based upon best practices in the region. The new bylaw permits you to cut a healthy tree, and this is plain wrong,” Berku said.
Our inventory of trees is directly linked to public health according to the Montreal Public Health Agency. Urban Heat Islands are spreading across the Island of Montreal and are evident around Cote Saint-Luc’s two shopping malls. Earlier this fall, Council had the opportunity to require the shopping centre owner to shade its parking lot with small islands of green space and trees but chose not to. Berku and I, along with Councillor Steven Erdelyi voted to require the centre’s management to plant more trees but we were outvoted.
According to Erdelyi, a June 2007 study by the Montreal Agglomeration measured tree coverage for the entire island. The study noted that while 20% of the island is currently shaded the target is set at 25%. At that time, Cote Saint-Luc had 15% shading while TMR boasted 25% shading.
In speaking against the new, watered-down bylaw I said, “My tree benefits my neighbours and their trees benefit me. It’s in the public interest to protect trees.”
There are many options for maintaining one’s property when it comes to trees. Pruning a tree will amply serve to prevent over-shading or restricted visibility without the need for chopping.
Mayor Anthony Housefather summed up the debate in stating, “Council had conflicting visions between those who believe one should have complete freedom versus some restriction. Despite our differences on this bylaw everyone is in good faith. It’s great that we can all work together, even if it’s not a perfect compromise.”
I voted against this bylaw, along with Councillors Dida Berku and Steven Erdelyi.
October 1, 2012
Environment, News clip, Resolution / Bylaw, Traffic / Parking, Urban Planning Anthony Housefather, Cote St. Luc Shopping Centre, Dida Berku, Drive-through, First Capital Realty, Steven Erdelyi, Urban heat island Leave a comment
Isaac Olson, The Free Press
September 11, 2012
On August 27, the Côte St. Luc city council, in a special meeting, approved a zoning change that paves the way for what will be the only drive-through restaurant in the area.
Representatives of the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre (located at 7073 CSL Rd. near Coronation Ave.) applied for a zoning change to allow the construction of a drive-through in the mall’s parking lot, explained Mayor Anthony Housefather in an email.
As of press time, the Free Press was unable to confirm which restaurant is eying the property as Gregory Menzies of First Capital Realty Inc., which owns the mall, was unwilling to reveal the business until the deal is finalized.
As the by-law was being drawn up, councillors Dida Berku, Glenn Nashen and Steven Erdelyi have reportedly voiced concerns, not because of the construction, but because of a desire for more area parking lots to be “greened up” rather than remaining heat islands.
On Nashen’s blog, he states he is in favour of having a restaurant open there as it would be a popular spot and conveniently located for CSL and NDG residents alike, while providing local jobs. However, he wrote, “What irks me is that this zoning amendment provides an opportunity to request, or demand, that the shopping centre provide more trees on its lot to create shade on what is one of the hottest spaces in the area.”
Studies indicate an increase in morbidity and mortality linked to higher temperatures, he stated, and, in Montreal, heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense with urban heat islands worsening the situation.
“CSL has no location or specific desire to add drive-throughs,” stated Housefather, noting no building permit has been issued. “It suited this one property … Safety on the site is the responsibility of the property owner, but the city worked with the property owner on a traffic configuration for the parking lot that made it safer than it is today.”
August 2, 2012
Environment, Health, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, News clip, Resolution / Bylaw Agence métropolitaine de transport de Montréal (AMT), alternative transport, Car-Free Day, Dida Berku, Metropolitan Transport Agency, Montreal Agglomeration, Steven Erdelyi 2 Comments
CSL promoting ‘alternative transport
Joel Goldenberg, July 18, 2012
Côte St. Luc council passed a resolution last week to promote alternative and active means of transport, such as public transit and walking for exercise, specifically on Sept. 21 or 22 through a special event to be organized by city staff.
The City of Montreal has a car-free day on Sept. 22, but Côte St. Luc is not going as far as that.
The Côte St. Luc resolution was introduced by Councillor Dida Berku, and seconded by Councillors Glenn Nashen and Steven Erdelyi, and points out that on Aug. 1, the Eleanor London Library will be hosting a lecture called “Leave the car at home: Get walking. Get healthy.”
The city has also resolved to “actively support public transit solutions when and if they are available and meet residents’ needs.”
Côte St. Luc is also asking Montreal’s bus service to “move forward with a shuttle service” to the very busy Côte des Neiges hospital district, which includes the Jewish General and St. Mary’s hospitals, and numerous medical buildings along Côte des Neiges Road.
Côte St. Luc’s resolution also asks the Metropolitan Transport Agency (AMT) and Montreal agglomeration to support a train station within the municipality, and authorizes the city to participate in the AMT’s blog, “which is offered in order to promote the interests of the citizens of Côte St. Luc for more access to AMT train and bus services, which will encourage and allow our residents to benefit from these public services which they support financially.”
July 22, 2012
More seniors than youth struck by cars in CSL: stats
New light mechanism at busy Côte St. Luc Road and Westminster
Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban
July 11, 2012
Côte St. Luc is the only city on the island of Montreal where senior citizens exceed young people in terms of those hit by cars at intersections, Councillor Steven Erdelyi told his District 4 meeting at the Waldorf residence last Thursday.
“Based on a study, which was a few years ago… at every other city and borough on the island, there’s more children up to 18 [hit by cars],” he added. For this reason, and also as a result of past complaints, a crossing guard was installed at the busy corner of Côte St. Luc Road and Westminster Avenue for two hours during the day, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.. The intersection is in Erdelyi’s district, and is frequented by numerous seniors, as the Waldorf residence and B’nai Brith House are in close proximity.
“Some said, let’s put the crossing guard there in the [early] morning because of the kids, but I said the problem is not so much the kids, it’s the seniors,” the councillor said. Erdelyi told The Suburban that the data collected for the pedestrian victim study was from about 2003. He added that the data did not indicate who was killed or injured. But the data did say which were the most dangerous intersections with the most injuries- Cavendish Blvd. and Kildare Road was first, Cavendish Blvd. and Mackle Road was second and Côte St. Luc Road and Westminster was third.
“It’s important to make sure senior citizens can cross the road safely,” Erdelyi said. In that vein, the councillor spoke about new traffic light mechanisms at Côte St. Luc and Westminster. “All the buttons [for the walk signals], all the poles have been replaced,” he said. “The structure there is about 30-40 years old, and it was time to replace it.” Erdelyi said that when the walk button is now pressed, a beep sound is heard, confirming that it’s working. The walk signal does not come on immediately, as the traffic light cycle continues. “If you don’t press the button, the walk signal will not come on. If you do want to cross, you need to press the button and be patient and wait for it.
One of the problems we have there is many people don’t wait.” A sonar beeping signal for the visually impaired will be coming in the future.
June 22, 2012
Events, Historical Abe Gonshor, Allan Levine, Barbara Seal, Bonnie Feigenbaum, Claude Dauphin, Irving Adessky, Michael Goldwax, Mike Cohen, Montreal Urban Community, Ruth Kovac, Steven Erdelyi Leave a comment
The Town of Hampstead rededicated their main park chalet in the memory of longtime Mayor Irving Adessky this week. Adessky served on Hampstead Council for some 35 years, 27 of them as mayor. A Hampstead icon, the popular Adessky passed away nearly two years ago.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Mark Adessky reminisced how town’s folk would visit the family home routinely to discuss issues of importance and to seek assistance from the mayor. He remembered how his father would drive around the town each morning taking note of whatever needed fixing and would promptly send out crews to make the repairs.
Irving Adessky presided over the town during its expansion on what used to be a 9-hole golf course north of Fleet. He served for many years on the Montreal Urban Community security commission and was one of the longest serving mayors on the Island of Montreal.
Mayor William Steinberg welcomed current and former Hampstead Town Councillors as well as Cote Saint-Luc City Councillors (pictured below), Lachine Borough Mayor Claude Dauphin and Pointe Claire Mayor Bill McMurchie. Family and friends also attended along with Town staff and other invited guests.
Irving Adessky will be remembered as a pillar in his community and a builder of his town. He was prudent, personable and proud. It is most fitting that his memory be captured in perpetuity in the official dedication of this central meeting place in the town.
June 11, 2012
Canada, Environment, Events, Finance, Montreal, Police, Quebec, Recreation, Safety, Urban Planning Allan Levine, Berry Vrabanovic, Bob Rae, Denis Lebel, Elizabeth May, Karen Lebovici, Michael Applebaum, Rick Mercer, Ruth Kovac, Sam Goldbloom, Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatoon Police Service, Saskatoon Transit, Steven Erdelyi, Thomas Mulcair 1 Comment
A playground that is safe and fun for kids of all ages, public security agents patrolling in environmentally friendly vehicles, major green spaces returned to public use and residential streets that are designed to slow down traffic making it safe for children to play – these are the dreams dancing through councillors’ heads upon returning from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities‘ annual general meeting.
Cote Saint-Luc Councillors Sam Goldbloom, Ruth Kovac, Steven Erdelyi, Allan Levine and I were in Saskatoon from June 1 to 4, and we returned eager to share best practices from other Canadian municipalities.
We had a unique and privileged opportunity to sit in on plenary sessions to hear from the national leaders, including the Conservative government’s infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel, NDP Leader of the Opposition Thomas Mulcair, Liberal Leader Bob Rae and Green leader Elizabeth May. All political parties spoke of the necessity to continue the infrastructure program that allowed Cote Saint-Luc, as one example, to build a first-class Aquatic and Community Centre. The government announced that steady funding of municipalities would continue to great applause.
We also took part in learning sessions on a wide array of topics from the environment to public safety, financing to waste management. The study tours were particularly motivating. Saskatoon has designed parks and playgrounds with incredible imagination to make them educational and entertaining and fully respecting the environment. They built in maximum involvement from the community, in planning, and financing partnerships. There was so much to learn from their examples that could benefit the residents of Cote Saint-Luc and I am looking forward to working on the redesign of our flagship Trudeau Park in creating an even better use of public spaces.
We are bringing back best practices from across the country as to how other municipalities deal with issues that we all have in common, whether it’s water management, roads and sewer, recreational facilities or disaster readiness.
I was particularly impressed with the human touch offered by the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS). The officers, from Deputy Chief Parnel to Sargent Patrick Barbar (relocated from the Montreal area) were friendly and approachable, pleased to teach anyone interested about all the SPS does for its local citizens.
The SPS demonstrated the effectiveness of its K-9 force, remote-controlled camera-mounted mini-helicopter used to get close to situations where their personnel might otherwise be in direct danger and explained how they work with landlords in high crime areas to create safer and more hospitable areas.
Similarly the Saskatoon Transit folks were friendly, personable and very helpful. Granted they were shuttling 1500 local government officials around their city however it showed how all civil servants are the front line personnel interacting with our citizens and that their style of communications and expression plays an important role in creating a customer-service oriented city.
We elected a new FCM president to lead the organization for the next year. Councillor Karen Lebovici of the City of Edmonton, Alberta is no stranger to Cote Saint-Luc. She visits our city regularly as her parents live here. We invited her to meet our council on an upcoming trip to discuss how our local government can continue to be a voice on the national stage.
Outgoing President Berry Vrabanovic of Kitchener, Ontario gave a humourous and engaging speech about his work at the national and international level. Watch this terrific short episode as Berry does a Rick Mercer style rant about on the importance of Canada’s communities and cities – the place we call home.
May 31, 2012
May 30, 2012
Côte Saint-Luc to distribute free compost on May 31, 2012
Residents of the City of Côte Saint-Luc can collect free compost at the Great Compost Giveaway on Thursday, May 31, 2012 from 2 pm to 8 pm at the Public Works Department Building.
“Côte Saint-Luc residents were pioneers in organic waste collection on the island of Montreal,” said Councillor Steven Erdelyi, the council member responsible for Public Works issues. “Our residents deserve a lot of praise for their efforts, which has helped reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill by 38 percent since 2008. This annual compost giveaway is one of the ways we can say thanks. This nutrient-rich compost is great for lawns.”
Côte Saint-Luc is distributing 20 tons of compost in all. Every household is entitled to 120 litres. Residents can bring their own empty 40 litre buckets to help cart away the compost. Bags will be available for residents without buckets. Residents should bring a utility bill or some other official document showing they live in Côte Saint-Luc.
The compost comes from the St. Michel Environmental Complex, which distributes it to communities. The compost comes from green waste derived from leaves.
If there is compost left towards the end of the day, residents may return to take away more.