Housefather holds first summit of elected officials
July 13, 2016
This morning I attended the first ever Summit of Elected Officials in the Mount Royal Riding. Organized by federal MP Anthony Housefather this was the first time that our local MP has organized such an encounter for all elected representatives at all three levels of government and school commissioners.
Housefather’s staff highlighted federal grant opportunities and programs for municipalities and local not for profit and community organizations. Excellent information that we will be consulting city staff on and bringing back to my office at West-Central Montreal Health at the Jewish General Hospital.
Significant discussion took place on the extension of Cavendish Boulevard from Cote Saint-Luc to St. Laurent. This is the first time in the half century this project has been debated that all involved parties are sitting around the same table. This crucial project includes all levels of government as well as CP Rail and Canadian National Railways.
Additionally, we reviewed the mega 15/40 “Royalmount project” and received updates on the Blue Bonnets development. The 15/40 is a $2 billion project which will be totally private. It is the largest development of its sort in Quebec. The mega entertainment and shopping complex will include five hotels and an interior water park. Carbonlea is the same developer at the 10/30 on the South Shore. Plans are to make it one of the most visited tourist spots in Quebec. They are also seeking a metro and electric light rail connection as well as major public transit and bike routes. Construction is set to begin in 2018 and to be completed in 2021.
Housefather has made it a priority to bring together local representatives and to open up channels of dialogue. To his credit, this is the most in-depth and involved gathering of this sort ever organized by our local MP. The dynamic and engaging MP brought his entire staff of six assistants (four from Montreal and two from Ottawa). His staff has begun attending all public council meetings in the riding as well.
Housefather indicated that he worked very hard on the federal End of Life legislation, making it fair and equitable for all Canadians. He is proud to indicate that the Liberal government has agreed to reinstate the Court Challenges Program that had been disbanded by the previous Conservative government. This is of significant importance to minority language communities, especially the English-speaking communities of Quebec.
I put forward my opinion that it was ill-advised for the previous Conservative government to have scrapped the Long Gun Registry and reprehensible that the data collected was trashed. While it’s good for Quebec to have its own registry this will have limited effect, acting on its own.
Moreover, our cities and country would be far safer without guns (except for anyone who absolutely requires one). Anthony and I are in total agreement on this position. I hope other MPs will be convinced as well by their constituents. While we are far better off than our American neighbours in this regard we can still do much better.
CSL was represented by Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillors Ruth Kovac, Allan Levine and myself. Town of Mount-Royal Mayor Philippe Roy and Councillors Joseph Daoura and Minh-Diem Le Thi and Hampstead Mayor Bill Steinberg and Councillor Michael Goldwax participated along with representatives of the CSDM, Borough of CDN-NDG as well as MP Marc Garneau’s office.
The next “Anthony’s Assembly” public forum takes place on Thursday, July 14 at CSL City Hall at 7:30pm.
August 28 is Anthony’s Family Fun Day in Van Horne Park. Open to all, there will be inflatables, bingo, hot dogs, food trucks and more.
On November 13 the Mount Royal riding office will host its first job fair at Lavoie School in conjunction with Agence Ometz.
Congratulations to the omnipresent and indefatigable Anthony Housefather and his dedicated staff for organizing this excellent summit.