Breaking: Natural gas leak disrupts central Cote Saint-Luc

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Emergency crews respond to natural gas leak at Parkhaven and Kildare in Cote Saint-Luc (Photo: Sidney Benizri)

Emergency crews respond to natural gas leak at Parkhaven and Kildare in Cote Saint-Luc (Photo: Sidney Benizri)

UPDATED Aug. 30, 2016 22:20

A ruptured natural gas line disrupted a normal, quiet afternoon in Cote Saint-Luc today. Just before 5:00 P.M. calls started coming in from residents in the area of Parkhaven and Kildare about the smell of gas. I was passing the intersection of Cavendish and Kildare at 5:00 P.M. and noticed the distinct rotten-egg sulfuric smell. Emergency services were called and began arriving moments later.

CSL volunteer Citizens o Patrol maintain perimeter around gas leak (Photo: Sidney Benizri)

CSL volunteer Citizens o Patrol maintain perimeter around gas leak (Photo: Sidney Benizri)

Cote Saint-Luc Public Safety Director was one of the first on scene and quickly dispatched his Public Security agents to close off the area and evacuate residents within close proximity to the construction site at Kildare and Parkhaven.

As close as we can safely get to the scene of the leak (Photo: Sidney Benizri)

As close as we can safely get to the scene of the leak (Photo: Sidney Benizri)

CSL volunteer Citizens on Patrol was also activated and several teams quickly responded to assist in securing a perimeter to safeguard the immediate sector for several responding Montreal Fire Department vehicles. Police services also responded along with an Urgences Santé supervisor and CSL Emergency Medical Services. Within a short while Gaz Met crews also showed up on scene to assess the situation. Hydro Quebec emergency crews showed up and began cutting power to the immediate area and as far west as Blossom Ave.

vCOP detour traffic off of Kildare onto Wildwood (Photo: Sidney Benizri)

vCOP detour traffic off of Kildare onto Wildwood (Photo: Sidney Benizri)

By 6:30 P.M. I saw some fire crews leaving the area. By 7:30 P.M. some power was returning to the outer perimeter.

At 9:30 P.M. Gaz Met capped the leak and the fire department has begun house to house inspections. Once complete the road will be reopened and Hydro Quebec crews will be able to restore power.

As of 10:20 P.M. all power and water are reported to have been restored.

 

Gaz leak Parkhaven Kildare Photo Sidney Benizri 2016-08-30 006

CSL personnel and senior management were on scene coordinating local services and assessing damage. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein was in constant contact with staff. City Manager Nadia Di Furia and Assistant Manager Jonathan Shecter remain on scene as of this posting to coordinate with Reichson. Joining them are Urban Development Director Charles Senekal and Manager Mohammed Ali.  These two engineers know every inch of the city and are extremely helpful in this situation in organizing the response for underground services such as water supply. As work crews will begin digging up the road this evening, Senekal and Ali will work with water engineering company Sima, to minimize any disruption. While some local streets may have their water cut, PS and vCOP will begin distribution of bottled water, as per our emergency procedures.

“We have a fantastic team and I am proud to be standing here with them,” City Manager Di Furia stated.

Councillor Sidney Benizri, who lives a few houses away from the scene provided the pictures in this blog post.”It looks like tonight we need to be patient. All the teams are at work here and they’ve handled the situation very professionally,” said Benizri, who is still without power as of this posting.

Evacuated residents take shelter in Montreal Fire Department bus

Evacuated residents take shelter in Montreal Fire Department bus

Councillor Dida Berku reported that the Cavendish Mall food court was packed due to the power outage.

Many thanks to Director Reichson, Public Security agents, senior management, and all emergency personnel from Montreal, Gaz Met and Hydro Quebec for quickly bringing the situation under control and keeping our residents safe.

As Cote Saint-Lucers we are truly fortunate to have a dedicated staff and a city council so committed to our residents. Each city councillor gets involved side by side with our members of staff to ensure our residents are safe and sound. Tonight was no exception as mayor and councillors immediately began emailing, texting and calling to check on the situation and to receive frequent updates.

Gaz leak Parkhaven Kildare Photo Sidney Benizri 2016-08-30 005

 

August Council meeting rap up – Free Press

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August 8 city council meeting highlights:
Gilfix learns there’s little the city can do
about pesky, yard-squatting wildlife

by Isaac Olson – Free Press

At the start of the August 8 Côte St. Luc
council meeting, Brian Gilfix learned
there’s little the city can do about pesky
skunks, groundhogs or squirrels because
provincial law severely limits the amount
people can intervene in the lives of wild
animals.

Gilfix said he wanted to bring to the
council’s attention the increase of skunks,
groundhogs and squirrels in the area.

“There is quite a proliferation of these
animals in the area,” he said, noting he
has discussed the issue with pest control
companies and neighbours. These types
of animals can be a hazard as they can
carry diseases like rabies, tear up gardens
and chew through power lines, he added.
“I’m just wondering what the city can do?”

Councillor Dida Berku told Gilfix there
is little the city can do because of provincial
law. The councillor reiterated what is on
the city’s website – residents can contact
the Montreal SPCA to report wild animals,
but not much can be done as animals cannot
be caged unless they are trapped in a
ceiling, roof, shed or enclosed balcony
area. Even then, the animals are released
in the area, most often on the property,
and then residents are encouraged to repair
whatever route the animal used to get
trapped.

Councillor Glenn Nashen said the animals
just return to the property, he said,
and moving them a limited distance
doesn’t get rid of them. Nashen said he
has had a skunk on his property for the
last three year and he has explored all of
his option, but he’s discovered that he is
virtually “powerless” when it comes to getting
rid of the animal. The SPCA can, the
site notes, recommend techniques and
products to deter these animals, but animals
are only removed if they are sick or
injured.

Brownstein touts upcoming play

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, a staunch
supporter of and participant in the Côte
St. Luc Dramatic Society, touted the
group’s upcoming presentation of Florida,
an original musical parody slated to hit
the stage later this month. The play will
be put on at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium
on August 25, 27 and 28.

According to the Dramatic Society’s website,
the play “is written and directed by
Ari Sterlin. Inspired by the award-winning
Chicago, Florida features 15 seniors from
Côte St. Luc and tons of fun and exciting
song and dance numbers.”

Senior drop-in centre coming to the ACC

The council approved a partnership
agreement between the Cummings Centre
and the city to provide a senior drop-in
centre in a fully renovated room with an
accessible bathroom in the Aquatic Community
Centre.

The city, said Brownstein, spent about
$10,000 on creating a space for this program,
which caters to seniors with health
problems such as dementia and Alz –
heimer’s. The service gives caregivers a
break, he noted, as they can leave the
seniors in the care of professionals.

The drop-in centre will replace that
which was closed earlier this year after
government funding was pulled.

Excavation draft by-law approved

The council approved a draft by-law that
prohibits the excavation of any lot or land
without written permission issued by the
city’s director. It also requires that completely
opaque construction fencing be
erected around excavation sites.

New chairs

Côte St. Luc’s city hall has all-new, contemporary
seating. The chairs were installed
over the summer in both city hall
and the Harold Greenspon Auditorium,
said Brownstein, noting the more comfortable
seating may encourage more attendance
of council meetings.

 

 

Free Press | Aug. 16, 2016 | Click to enlarge

Free Press | Aug. 16, 2016 | Click to enlarge

“Florida” hits the stage in Cote Saint-Luc

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Florida CSLDS 2016

The latest musical parody swept into Cote Saint-Luc last night at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium in CSL City Hall as the CSL Dramatic Society presented Ari Sterlin’s “Florida”, a take-off on the Broadway musical hit production of Chicago.

Star of stage and council meetings, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, opened the show saying, “Providing members of our community with the ability to exercise their passions while bringing arts and culture to the community is a core value and fundamental reason for which the City of Cote Saint-Luc decided to establish a Dramatic Society. Actors and audiences benefit alike creating a better quality of life for all to enjoy.”

The chorus of Florida, a Seniors Summerworks Production

The chorus of Florida, a Seniors Summerworks Production

The fast-paced humour, dancing and singing highlights the talents of many returning local actors. Notably, senior performers Judy Kenigsberg (Roxie Hartkovitch), Hannah Scheffren (Velma Cohen) and Councillor Sam Goldbloom (Moe Sunshine) kibbitz and cajole in a fun-loving way as youngster Jordana Kujavsky (Mama Moses) returns to the CSL stage and wows the crowd with dimples and gusto.

Hannah Scheffren (left) and Judy Kenigsberg, and all the jazz

Hannah Scheffren (left) and Judy Kenigsberg, and all the jazz

 

Rookie CSLDS actor Louis Schiff (Amos) does a funny solo number, Cellophane Rabbi, while another first-timer Dan Sterlin puts on an impressive sleaze-bucket lawyer performance as Billy Schwartz.

Based in Cemetery Village in South Florida the parody pokes fun at Bubbies and Zaides. Florida tells the story of a past-her-prime vaudeville star and a new hopeful on the scene who will find themselves locked up together in Florida’s finest penitentiary after having committed horrible crimes toward their men. Ari Sterlin does a fine job at  writing, directing and choreographing this spoof production.

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillor "Moe Sunshine" Sam Goldbloom

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillor “Moe Sunshine” Sam Goldbloom

This show is a Senior Summerworks Production pairing senior citizens with emerging young artists. The artistic director is none other than the incomparable, talented and energetic Anisa Cameron.

If you wait you’ll miss it so go get your tickets before it’s too late. Last night’s opening performance was sold out. There are just four performances this weekend: two afternoon matinees and two evening shows, this Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 27 and 28). Visit www.CSLDramaticSociety.com for details or get your tickets at the Aquatic and Community Centre or the Public Library.

URGENT: Jewellery Theft Alert from Police Station 9 – Appel à la vigilance

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montreal_police_car

Montréal, August 25th 2016– The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) would like to warn all citizens to exercise caution in order to prevent the theft of jewellery being perpetrated by con artists in public places.

THIEVE’S METHOD

  • The thief acts alone or as part of a group.
  • The thief uses false pretences to get close to you (talks about a deceased family member, asks for the way to the hospital, asks for the time).
  • The thief then offers you a piece of jewellery of no value.
  • The thief comes in closer to get you to try on the jewellery.
  • At the same time, the thief steals your valuable jewellery without your knowledge.
  • The theft is not noticed until later.

 

PREVENTION TIPS

  • Travel in a group whenever possible.
  • Hide your valuable jewellery until you reach your destination.
  • Refuse a gift from a stranger and do not let that person come close to you.

 

RESOURCES

If you are a victim of fraud or theft, or if you think you might be, immediately contact the following resources for help:

Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) – 911

Elder Abuse Help Line: 1-888-489-2287

Tel-Aînés: 514-353-2463

Canadian Anti-Fraud Center: 1-888-495-8501

N

Appel à la vigilance pour prévenir le vol de bijoux

plus particulièrement les personnes aînées

 

 

Montréal, le 25 août 2016 – Le Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) fait appel à la vigilance des citoyens pour prévenir le vol de bijoux par des arnaqueurs dans des lieux publics.

MÉTHODE UTILISÉE PAR LE VOLEUR

  • Le voleur agit seul ou en groupe.
  • Il utilise différents faux prétextes pour approcher la victime (parle d’un membre de sa famille qui est décédé, demande le chemin de l’hôpital, demande l’heure).
  • Il vous offre ensuite un bijou qui n’a aucune valeur.
  • Il s’approche de vous pour vous faire essayer le bijou.
  • Au même moment, il subtilise à votre insu vos bijoux de valeur.
  • Le vol n’est remarqué que plus tard.

 

PRÉVENTION

  • Privilégiez de circuler en groupe.
  • Cachez vos bijoux de valeur jusqu’à leur destination.
  • Refusez le cadeau d’un inconnu et ne le laissez pas s’approcher de vous.

 

 

Si vous êtes victime d’une fraude ou d’un vol, ou pensez l’être, n’hésitez pas à contacter les ressources suivantes pour obtenir de l’aide :

 

 

 

What to do about pit bulls and dangerous dogs in our community

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By Councillor Mike Cohen:

 

While the Quebec government studies the issues of dangerous dogs and consults with municipalities, many of which have already implemented bans on pit bulls in particular, the City of Côte Saint-Luc is reinforcing an existing bylaw.

Our most recent bylaw regarding dangerous dogs was adopted in 2009. In the wake of a series of high-profile dog attacks, Public Safety Department has sent letters to current owners of pit bulls in our community that we have on record, asking that they be muzzled.
According to our bylaw, a dangerous dog” means: a dog which has a propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack, bite, threaten, or injure, with or without provocation, any persons, property or other animals; with or without provocation or physical injury, attacks, bites, or threatens any person, property; a domestic animal that has been trained for dog fighting or to attack upon a command . In the event that the owner and/or custodian of a dangerous dog fails to comply with the obligation to muzzle the animal when on any public property throughout the city of Côte Saint-Luc, he shall be liable to a fine.

Pit Bull

Is this strong enough? As the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection, I know how it must feel for someone who has a pet they love, only to be threatened to have it taken away via legislation. Several municipalities do have laws on the books banning pit bulls. However, they are not the only breeds that pose a threat. We will wait to see what the Quebec government decides for that will impact on our future actions. In the meantime, I wish to urge the owners of dogs considered to be dangerous to please use a muzzle.

The City of Laval wants Ottawa to make changes to the Criminal Code of Canada to create uniform rules across the country to deal with the problem of dangerous dogs.Right now, it’s possible to charge owners of dogs who attack people with criminal negligence, but it rarely happens. Laval Mayor Marc Demers said that the article in the Criminal Code dealing with criminal negligence should be amended to make specific reference to the responsibilities of dog owners.”We would like the federal government to do its homework, so it would be all across Canada the same thing, it won’t change from city to city,” Demers told CBC News.”That way, across the country, if you bring up your dog to be vicious so he may attack somebody, you are responsible for that.”
In recent weeks we have had some disturbing incidents in our own community. At one park, three people with large dogs (a pit bull, a rottweiler and another breed ) were approached by a Public Security agent and asked to leave the premises with the dogs. The owner responded that her dogs were trained to attack on command and loosened her grip on the leash. Fearing for his safety, the agent called immediately for police back-up who arrived, handcuffed the woman in the back of the police car and pointed a Taser at one of the men. Police declarations were filled out and we believe charges were filed against one or all of the individuals involved.
Meanwhile, we had a pit bull attack when the dog escaped from a ground floor apartment and attacked a pug. The dog in question already had a muzzle order in place. Public Security and police were on scene. We issued tickets and the police pressed criminal negligence charges against the owner.
As of January 1, 2017, any dog on a list of banned breeds will be prohibited. Anyone caught with a banned dog will be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 for a first offence. The City of Montreal is working to come up with a uniform set of rules regarding “dangerous dogs” across its 19 boroughs, but won’t say if it’s leaning toward an all-out ban on any particular breed. Here is a recent TV report.
In Ontario a pit bull ban was proposed in 2004 after a number of cases in which people were badly injured in pit bull attacks. It was passed in 2005. “The legislation bans pit bulls in Ontario, places restrictions on existing pit bulls, and toughens the penalties for the owners of any dog that poses a danger to the public,” Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General says on its website.
The legislation, called the Dog Owners’ Liability Act, defines a pit bull as a pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier or any dog “that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar.

City of Côte-St-Luc eyes CP rail yards for development

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Shaun Michaud, Montreal Gazette

The Canadian Pacific rail yards take up about one-third of Côte St-Luc — land that the city would like to re-purpose.
Mayor Mitchell Brownstein says owning that land “would be a great boon for the city,” which “desperately needs” the land for housing and business development. 
The railway company has owned the land well over 100 years, and Brownstein said CP could make a profit by selling. 
“I do believe that it’s a reality that could happen in the next five to 10 years with the proper plan,” the mayor said in an interview with the Montreal Gazette, adding developments similar to the future Quinze40 shopping complex in Town of Mount Royal and a residential redevelopment of the former Blue Bonnets racetrack on Décarie Blvd. in the Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough could increase the value of the rail yard land.

Brownstein, who has been in office since April, said during that time he has met with CP to discuss moving the train yard off island to Les Cèdres near Vaudreuil, and that the company wouldn’t be opposed to the idea as long as a reasonable development project were proposed. Brownstein said CP could make a financial gain by selling the land and relocating. 
But the Coalition for the Relocation of the St-Luc Rail Yards — a non-profit organization led by a former mayor of Côte-St-Luc and former MNA for D’Arcy-McGee, Robert Libman — says city hall isn’t doing enough, “and this is why citizens felt the need to create something to make it happen.”
“(The rail yards) are located at the geographic epicentre of the island of Montreal,” said Libman, an architect and real estate lobbyist. “It’s somewhat of an obstacle to economic development.”
If train operations were moved off the island, Libman said, Côte-St-Luc would find itself with 2.04 million square metres (though the city estimated it at 1.6 million square metres) of land in a prime location, which he valued at least $1 billion. Libman, who now runs Libcorp, an urban-planning consulting firm, said he has no intention of becoming personally involved in developing the land.
“The even number I used was based on the relative value of residential land in that area, which about $50 a square foot,” he said in an interview.
The city said it couldn’t confirm the land’s potential value. Potential developers would buy the land directly from CP.  
“Côte-St-Luc has right now the second-highest tax rate on the island,” Libman said. “And one way to expand Côte-St-Luc’s tax base would be to allow the rail yards to leave.”
Libman’s coalition has asked a class of graduate students at McGill University’s School of Urban Planning to come up with a redevelopment plan and feasibility study for moving the yards, including possible decontamination. In the meantime, the coalition sent a letter to CP Rail in mid-July to present its vision. CP hasn’t responded yet, Libman said. 
***

The CP rail yard in Côte-St-Luc is one of largest in Canada, linking Eastern Canada to the West and the United States. A variety of products, including wood, chemicals, plastic, metals, minerals, consumer products and oil pass through the yards, which also border St-Laurent, Lachine and the CN-owned Taschereau yards. 
Since the Lac-Mégantic disaster of 2013, which saw 47 people killed after a runaway oil train jumped the tracks and blew up in the centre of town, several cities have expressed concern about hazardous materials being shipped through their territories by rail. 
Libman’s group call the rail yards in Côte-St-Luc “a threat to safety and security” because of the dangerous elements that are handled there.
Mauricio Guitta lives on Wentworth Ave. close to the freight cars. He considers the move a welcome proposal. 
“My friend … he (lives) right in front of the trains. The whole house shakes and the lights shake and everything,” he said.
Still, not everyone in the neighbourhood agrees.
Yao Liu said he’d never heard of the idea and would rather keep the yards because they block off traffic and provide security to the family-friendly area.
“We don’t have a lot of traffic on our side,” he said. “Even in summertime when I open the windows, I hear nothing.”
The city’s communications manager, Darryl Levine, said the city would work with developers by re-zoning parts of the new district for both residential and commercial buildings. He added that Côte-St-Luc hopes property taxes from new business and homeowners would make up for losing revenue from CP’s property taxes CP.
As well, Levine said, the rail yards have for years stalled progress on a plan to connect Cavendish Blvd. from Côte St-Luc to St-Laurent.
“You have to build an overpass to go over all the tracks that are in the CP rail yard and you may also have to build an underpass beneath some of them and that’s hugely expensive,” Levine said. “It’s an important missing link in the road network.”
This summer, the city of Montreal put a reserve on a parcel of land adjacent to the yards necessary to build the missing link of Cavendish Blvd. and allay traffic woes in the area.
Yet the city would encourage potential developers to create a neighbourhood built around people rather than around cars, Levine said.
***
CP Rail would not confirm or deny holding relocation talks with Brownstein, but emailed The Montreal Gazette a pamphlet of its relocation policy, which describes the moving of rail lines out of a city as a “complex and serious issue,” requiring an extensive review to “determine the impact to customer service and the full cost to all stakeholders, which will be significant.”
Three Canadian prairie cities that are among the fastest growing metro centres in the country are similarly eyeing such spaces for development.
Regina is working on plans to redevelop the site of a former CP rail yard located in the heart of the city. Saskatoon is considering the possibility of relocating its rail yard. And the Manitoba provincial government even hired former Quebec premier Jean Charest to head a task force to analyze rail yard relocation efforts in Winnipeg. 
smichaud@postmedia.com
Twitter.com/shaun_mic

City of Côte-St-Luc lobbies Canadian Pacific to move its rail yards off island

CSL speed trailer warns you to slow down, obey limit

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Cote Saint-Luc's speed trailer deployed on Cavendish Blvd. (July 2016. Source: CSL)

Cote Saint-Luc’s speed trailer deployed on Cavendish Blvd. (July 2016. Source: CSL)

A speed trailer (pictured above) is shared between the municipalities of Cote Saint-Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West. This summer it has been deployed in several locations in CSL, including Cavendish northbound, coming out of the underpass, and southbound at Merton. The speed limit sign at the top of the trailer is changeable according to our local streets: 30, 40 and 50 km/h.

The trailer will be situated at different locations throughout the city for a week at each time.

Local police station PDQ9 may send out an officer to issue tickets in these, or any other location, so you are advised to slow down.

CSL Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson, responsible for this valuable traffic calming device when on our territory is very responsive to complaints by residents. While speed is a police matter, our Public Safety team will be out there as additional eyes and ears and advise police of trouble spots on our territory.

Drive safely. Slow down. And watch out for pedestrians.

 

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