Too much snow? Melt it away!

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With technology advancing faster than ever I’ve often wondered why snow clearing operations haven’t changed very much since I was a kid. I recall watching in utter amazement back in the ’60s as a parade of snowplows, dump trucks, sidewalk plows and snowblowers worked their way down Cork Avenue.  Sure they landed a man on the moon… Heck, I’m even named after the first man to orbit the moon! But this was happening right on my street. Snow clearing was really out of this world.

I never spent a moment thinking about the cost of acquisition and maintenance the rolling equipment, the manpower cost, the pollution spewing from the roaring engines or the danger to pedestrians as these trucks barreled down Guelph and Kildare headed to the snow dump. I didn’t know that there was more equipment to push the dumped snow up a mountain to await the great thaw. The noise caused by this whole procession didn’t bother me back then.

Fast forward a few decades and as a City Councillor I was responsible for millions of dollars in expenditures for everything I’ve described above. How much do we pay in our municipal tax bill just to cart away and pile up the snow? Millions upon millions. And now residents have pressured City Hall to hire even more equipment and labour to break down those mountains of dirty snow every spring to speed up the melting. An absolute waste of tax dollars, a danger to pedestrians, and environmental hypocrisy to those who proclaim to be a friend of the earth. There’s got to be a better way.

Click to enlarge

I discuss issues of technology with my friend Mitchell Herf and we thought a lot about it. What if we could melt the snow as soon as we pick it up and avoid the parade of additional expensive vehicles, reduce our manpower costs, eliminate the mountains of dumped snow and reduce the danger to pedestrians and the environment? Too good to be true? Actually, some towns are doing it already.

SRS-M150 snow melter by SRS Snow Removal Systems

 

It’s time for our progressive, innovative, smart city, Cote Saint-Luc, to test out one of these 21st Century solutions. Plow it, blow it, melt it and flush it down the sewers with just one truck and one operator. I know that Councillor Ruth Kovac wants to melt the snow on heated sidewalks so this should grab her attention and that Cllr. Dida Berku is all about environmental concerns and Cllr. Steven Erdelyi would like find ways to reduce expenses. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Public Works Director Bebe Newman are also reading this post and I hope they’ll all take up the challenge of researching new solutions for an age old problem and make our city safer, cleaner and cut down on costs.

 

The snow removal truck melts the snow and water is dumped into the sewers

 

Large snow melting dumpsters can be installed strategically during snow clearing

operations to cut down on unnecessary dump truck trips

 

 

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CSL developing plan to ensure CO detectors in every local home | thesuburban.com

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Côte St. Luc’s staff directors will be presenting a plan to the city council “to ensure that every home in [the city] has carbon monoxide detectors,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein told The Suburban.

We asked for Brownstein’s reaction to the deaths last Wednesday of a couple identified in the media as Roger and Simone Banon of Cavendish Blvd. According to media reports and interviews, it appears the couple, 88 and 84 years old respectively, forgot to shut off their car motor and it is suspected they died of carbon monoxide poisoning. We have heard that the couple’s bedroom was directly above the garage of their home.

“This is a terrible tragedy and the city shall be proactive to ensure something like this does not happen again,” the Mayor added.

No criminality is suspected in this tragedy.

Former CSL councillor Glenn Nashen, who used to have the public safety portfolio on council, wrote on his blog page that there should be a law requiring CO detectors in every local home, “regardless of the year it was built.

“These devices are cheap and readily available at hardware stores and pharmacies, easy to install— many simply plug in — and alert you once the device has expired in 7-10 years,” Nashen wrote. “They also save lives.”

The CSL website fire safety page strongly recommends CO detectors.

“Ideally, you should install one on the same level as the bedrooms, on the ceiling of the common corridor serving those bedrooms,” the page says. “An additional unit is strongly recommended in the area where the potential source of carbon monoxide is situated —furnace room or family room fireplace.”

The Quebec Coroner’s Office told us the investigation is still underway into last week’s tragedy, and that we will be advised when their report is ready.

Source: CSL developing plan to ensure CO detectors in every local home | City News | thesuburban.com

Why you must have a carbon monoxide detector in your house

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According to the Cote Saint-Luc fire safety webpage, Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas that is toxic in high concentrations or over extended periods of exposure. It is a by-product of incomplete combustion (burning). If you heat by wood, oil or gas, or cook by wood or gas, if your hot water is heated by gas, if you have an indoor gas operated grill, etc., then there is a risk of exposure and an investment in a carbon monoxide detector is highly recommended.

Ideally, you should install one on the same level as the bedrooms, on the ceiling of the common corridor serving those bedrooms. An additional unit is strongly recommended in the area where the potential source of carbon monoxide is situated (furnace room or family room fireplace, etc.).

Cote Saint-Luc has required smoke alarms in homes for decades. Our volunteer Citizen on Patrol Smoke Detector Brigade does hundreds of home visits every years to ensure the safety of residents.

vCOP Smoke Detector Brigade goes door to door inspecting mandatory smoke detectors and will go so far as to install a new one (Photo: Martin Chamberland, La Presse)

The time has come to adopt a municipal bylaw in Cote Saint-Luc requiring at least one CO detector in every house, regardless of the year it was built. These devices are cheap and readily available at hardware stores and pharmacies, easy to install (many simply plug in) and alert you once the device has expired in 7-10 years. They also save lives.

Today’s tragic incident in Cote Saint-Luc is a grim reminder of the consequences of carbon monoxide.

N

CO poisoning suspected in CSL

CSL seniors who died in their home were pleasant, quiet neighbours

 

Coroner investigating after two people found dead in Cote St-Luc home | CTV News Montreal

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https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/mobile/coroner-investigating-after-two-people-found-dead-in-cote-st-luc-home-1.4286257

Impassioned MP Housefather vigorously defends minority language rights in House of Commons

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“Many in Quebec’s English-speaking community wonder whether anyone ever speaks up for them,” said Mount Royal Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather. “I have spoken out for minority language rights my whole life and do so in the House of Commons as well.”

This video of Housefather’s back and forth with the Bloc Québécois shows just how impassioned the MP is when debating a proposed bill that would give English-speaking Quebecers in the federal civil service fewer rights to work in their language than any other civil servant in Canada.

“In this video my vision of Canada comes out loudly and clearly in both official languages,” Housefather said.

Thank you, Anthony, for always standing up for your constituents and all Canadians, especially on matters of linguistic rights and basic human rights. You are a formidable representative, a masterful spokesperson.

 

Nicole and Sarnai’s first review: Café Melbourne: Where to Cram for Your Next Exam

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I’m very pleased (and quite proud) to introduce my daughter, Nicole, and her friend Sarnai, as they post their very first restaurant review…

Café Melbourne: Where to Cram for Your Next Exam

By: Nicole Nashen and Sarnai Bisaillon for MtlRestoRap.com

Steps away from the bustle of Mont-Royal, there is a hidden gem in the Plateau region and this past December, we found our new go to study spot; Café Melbourne.

As two Dawson students, we both appreciated the ambiance that came with the café and noted that it is the perfect place to cram for your finals or perfect your essay. There was a blend of coffee shop music and sounds from the kitchen. The grinding of the coffee, the release of steam from the coffee machine and the clinks of the glasses. The smells of different, exotic coffees filled our noses as the sun shone through the window, warming our faces. All in all, we felt warmed and welcomed as though we were in our own kitchens.

Inspired by the previous owners, Anisha, Francois and Mathieu ensured Cafe Melbourne stays true to its name, offering Australian-inspired cuisine for the last year since it reopened. François told us “…Australians have a lot of fun with the way they create plates”. They mix and match different ingredients that work well together in order to create dishes that are aesthetically appealing.

The coffees we ordered were both simple and unique at the same time. The cappuccino was well made, with foamy flower designs to top it off but the real stunner was the lucky charms latte. The glass was overflowing with the breakfast cereal that we all know and love and brought us both some smiles and when we asked “why?”, Francois simply smiled and told us it was fun.

When it came time to eat, we asked Francois to surprise us with his two favourite dishes. The avocado toast was a delicious blend of so many different flavours that we never would have thought could go together. What impressed us the most was a jam we thought was made from dates which turned out to be a tomato jalapeno jam! The matcha porridge was unexpected since neither of us thought matcha could ever go in porridge. To top it all, there was a satisfying arrangement of fruits and coconut shavings with raspberry sauce drizzled over everything.

Now that school has started again, it is important for all students to find their study corners and Cafe Melbourne is the place to be. They are open 9-4 and brunch is offered every day of the week. A full brunch can range between $15-$21 and they will now offer a smaller version for a smaller price. In the upcoming year, they hope to have DJs come in for a fun morning with live music. They also plan to bring in guest chefs for collaborations once a month. As Francois told us, 2018 was a year to learn about their new business and 2019 will bring new and exciting events.

You can find more information on any one of their social mediums.

Website: https://www.melbournecafemtl.com/

Instagram: lemelbournecafe

Address: 4615 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal.

Nicole and Sarnai are second year Law, Society and Justice students at Dawson college who try out new cafes in the Montreal area to study.

All photos are courtesy of Café Melbourne

The driving force of a Mensch: Harold Cammy

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Harold Cammy (right) with McDonald’s entrepreneur and philanthropist Pierre Brunet at surprise retirement party, Dec. 2018

Much has been said about Harold Cammy who takes his retirement after serving the city of Cote Saint-Luc for a remarkable 45 years. I’ve known Harold for most of my life and he has known my family for just as long. My reminiscence here is upon Harold, the character, as there’s not much I can add to the long list of accomplishments and achievements which can be read at some of the links below.

I begin my comment with Harold’s concluding ones, in his farewell address posted online:

We have the ability to be “kind” to people, to be “responsive” to people, to “support and assist” people because that is what a City and its staff should be doing. Making someone’s day just a little bit better…a little more enjoyable.

It doesn’t take a great effort to be kind and helpful…it just takes a little empathy, compassion and understanding of human behaviour.

“People will not always remember all the good things you do for them, but they will always remember how you made them feel about themselves”.

Harold and Beverly Cammy

We can learn a lot from Harold’s wise words. They are prophetic and introspective, philosophical and visionary. He lead his career, and obviously leads his life by these words. Many of us would be better off if we walked in Harold’s direction.

Indeed, whenever I would come across Harold during my many years as a City Councillor there was always a positive, cheery exchange. Always smiling, he would have the uncanny knack of making you feel important in his world, and invariably you’d walk away being a bit happier yourself.

A people-person by nature, Harold wouldn’t forget to ask how the family was doing, usually by name. ‘How’s George?’, he’d ask about my father. ‘Send him my regards,’ he’d say. ‘Say hello to Judy,’ my wife.

I was most always on the receiving end of peppy one-liners, a quick joke, a greeting or a comment from Harold. I’m sure he had plenty of reason to be gloomy or dreary over the years, but he chose the path of positive reinforcement: A firm handshake, eye-to-eye contact and a warm smile. He chose kindness and compassion. He chose to be charitable and he brought us all along. He was and is a real Mensch.

I salute Harold not only for his praiseworthy efforts for the residents of Cote Saint-Luc over these past 45 years, but for his kinder, gentler and humbler ways. This unpretentious career professional touched more lives than we can imagine. We’re all lucky to have benefited from his generosity of spirit and his acts of kindness.

Judy and I wish you a wonderful retirement, Harold, and many years of good health and continued happiness for you, Beverly and Lacey. I will always remember how you made me feel.

 

N

 

 

Read more:

Mike Cohen’s blog and Harold’s retirement memories

Canadian Jewish News, Jan. 10, 2019

 

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