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