In a “cabinet shake up” announced tonight by Mayor Anthony Housefather my responsibility as the de- facto councillor for public safety will change for the first time in more than 20 years. For the next four-year mandate my portfolio duties will include Public Affairs, Communications and Information Technologies. Additionally, the mayor has asked me to continue heading up the Emergency Preparedness dossier and to continue overseeing the volunteer Citizens on Patrol division that I created in 2006.

My passion for the all volunteer Emergency Medical Services launched my political career 25 years ago and my keen interest in promoting and advancing this unique life-saving service has never wavered. I will continue to serve as an active member of the Public Safety committee and  push EMS forward.

I am looking forward to working on many improvement ideas to enable the city to better communicate with its residents and for residents to easily and efficiently find information from all city services. We need to develop mobile apps to better meet the needs of our residents and to adopt online practices to share data and information.

Furthermore I am very excited to retain responsibility for Emergency Preparedness and vCOP. 2014 will see a major push forward in preparedness and I look forward to engaging residents in readying themselves for the possibility of disaster, large or small. As well, I continue to invest significant energy and hours with the leadership of vCOP in developing policy and programs, in augmenting their training and capacity to serve and protect our community in conjunction with our excellent public security department and local police station 9.

Mayor Housfather will retain responsibility for the Agglomeration Council, Legal Affairs, Purchasing, Human Resources, Inter-governmental Affairs and take on Inter-cultural and Intercommunity Relations.

Councillor Steven Erdelyi will assume responsibility for Finance and will continue to work on the Environment.

Councillor Dida Berku will assume responsibility for Public Works and Railway Relations, co-chair Environmental issues with Erdelyi and retain responsibility for the Cavendish Boulevard extension.

Councillor Mike Cohen will assume responsibility for Library and Culture while retaining Sponsorship and expanding his role from the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee to Animal Protection.

Councillor Sam Goldbloom will assume responsibility for Public Security, Dispatch and EMS .

Councillor Allan J. Levine will retain responsibility for Seniors, the Legion and Tennis while adding Urban Agriculture and Hockey.

Councillor Mitchell Brownstein will continue to oversee Parks and Recreation.

Councillor Ruth Kovac will continue to oversee Urban Development (Engineering and Urban Planning).

“I think that all members of council are excited about the challenges they are taking on or retaining,” said Mayor Housefather. “I believe that all members of council agree that the portfolio system I introduced in 2005, when first elected as Mayor, should continue as it has given councillors heightened responsibility and ensured a specific member of council was accountable for each activity within the city in addition to the council as a whole being accountable.”