Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire (ret’d) to speak at D’Arcy McGee medal ceremony

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Birnbaum to honour WWII veteran, special needs champion, CDN community storefront and emergency food-delivery hero with D’Arcy-McGee-National Assembly Citizenship medals
David Birnbaum, MNA for D’Arcy-McGee, recently announced the winners of the sixth annual D’Arcy-McGee-National Assembly Citizenship Medals competition. A public ceremony in their honour will be held, virtually, on Tuesday, June 16th at 7 p.m. Three individuals and one organization will be recognized for “outstanding achievement in community involvement”. They are George Nashen, 96, in the name of surviving veterans of World War II and those who passed before them, Sima Paris, co-founder and President of the Friendship Circle, MultiCaf, a store-front community outreach and referral service in Snowdon-Côte-des-Neiges and David Lisbona, Côte St-Luc entrepreneur and initiator of an emergency food-delivery network for seniors during the current pandemic.
“This has been an unprecedented and trying time for all us but it has also brought out the very best in so many individuals and organizations in this riding,” said D’Arcy-McGee MNA David Birnbaum. He initiated this citizen-medal program soon after his first election in April 2014. “While the crisis around us is far from over, I think it is always the right time to recognize those who inspire us to do more and do better by our fellow citizens. Even if we can only celebrate this event virtually this year, I do hope it will lift us up at this very tough time. ”
Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire (ret’d) has kindly agreed to deliver a brief address to the Zoom gathering. His own harrowing and heroic experience during the Rwandan genocide, and his outreach efforts since retirement have made him a sought-after public speaker. His Roméo Dallaire Foundation works to inspire young people from underprivileged backgrounds to develop their leadership potential. In appreciation of Mr. Dallaire’s participation, David Birnbaum’s office has made a donation of $1,000 to the Foundation.
The medals ceremony, on Tuesday, June 16th at 7 p.m. will be held by Zoom. Here is the necessary information to join:
Meeting ID: 959 6544 8337
Meeting Password: 466851
Please contact Birnbaum’s office (514-488-7028 or david.birnbaum.dmg@assnat.qc.ca) should you require further details.
Please join me in honouring my father by tuning in on June 16 at 7PM and leaving a message on this blog post. Thank you.
-Glenn
2019_Nashen_Birnbaum

MNA David Birnbaum and George Nashen (Photo: GJ Nashen 2019)

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Remembering Michael Kutz

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Michael was my neighbour, friend, supporter and advisor. His assistance during election campaigns was always genuine and heartfelt. As his longtime City Councillor I could always count on his wise. What’s more, his opinion mattered to the entire council and helped to shape policies and programs.

Michael enriched the lives of countless others, young and old. He was a passionate advocate for human rights, tolerance and acceptance. He had an open mind, he listened to all and he challenged when necessary, politely and respectfully. In short, he was a true Mentsch.

Kutz was the recipient of countless community awards including CSL Ambassador of the Year in 2013. He was presented with the Supreme Chancellor’s medal by the Supreme Lodge of the Knights of Pythias and he was a member of the board of governors, board of directors and executive of the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre. Michael regularly spoke to students, was a longstanding member of the Brigadier Frederick Kisch Branch 97 and the Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club. He published his autobiography, Life after darkness.

On learning of Michael’s passing, D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum said,”He was a gentle and courageous soul, whose generosity of spirit was all the more exceptional given the harrowing experience of the Holocaust that he endured.”

Former Cote Saint-Luc City Councillor Richard Schwartz said he would Richard fondly remembered Michael’s attendance at CSL council meetings and admirable contributions to the community. “We will miss his kind heart and sense of humour.”

Mike Cohen, City Councillor for District 2 and newspaper columnist told me this about Michael: “I have such fond memories of Michael Kutz. He and the late Gerry Weinstein were the dynamic duo of community activism. Michael was also a wonderful speaker about the Holocaust to young students.”

CSL Mayor Mitchell Browntein shared these thoughts with me: “Michael Kutz was an active volunteer in so many Cote Saint-Luc activities and a leader in Holocaust Remembrance.  He was kind, caring and passionate, always ready to lend a hand to support minority communities and believed strongly in justice and respect for all.  It was a pleasure working along side him on so many important issues for over 30 years. He was a dear friend and will be dearly missed.”

 

Michael Kutz memoirs

The Azrielli Foundation created the Holocaust Survivor Memoir Program where Michael Kutz was interviewed and shared his story: Nearly buried alive, ten-year-old Michael Kutz narrowly escaped the Nazi death squad that killed 4,000 Jews, including his own family, in his hometown of Nieśwież. Guided by his mother’s last words and determined to survive, he became the youngest member of a partisan resistance group in the dense Belorussian forest, and took part in daring operations against the Nazis and their collaborators.

He will be missed. He will be remembered.

Deepest condolences to Pat, Randy and Judy.

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Highly acclaimed CSL resident Michael Kutz passes away, Suburban Newspaper

Montreal wins Meadowbrook Golf Course battle in Supreme Court

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Meadowbrook is nothing short of an oasis that must remain green in perpetuity (GJN 2015)

This is absolutely tremendous news for Cote Saint-Luc and its neighbours and for all Montrealers. For those of us who have called for Meadowbrook to be preserved as greenspace and recreational use over the last 30 years our efforts will be of benefit for generations to come.

Glenn J. Nashen

René Bruemmer  •  Montreal Gazette • May 21, 2020

The long saga of Meadowbrook Golf Course that pitted developers vs. the city of Montreal in a $44-million lawsuit has made it all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada and the city has won.

The Supreme Court announced Thursday it has rejected Meadowbrook Groupe Pacific Inc.’s request to appeal a judgement of the Court of Appeal of Quebec that found in favour of the city.

As with all Supreme Court rejections for a leave to appeal, no reason was given.

Last November, Quebec’s Court of Appeal upheld a 2017 judgment by a Superior Court judge that had rejected a $44-million lawsuit against the city by Meadowbrook Groupe Pacific.

In the lawsuit, the developer argued it was owed $15 million in lost profits and $28.5 million in land value in what the developer considered a disguised expropriation by the city.

Groupe Pacific bought the land in 2006 for $3 million and was in talks with the city to build what it called an environmentally friendly, 1,600-unit residential complex dubbed Petite Rivière.

But the city argued its share of infrastructure costs for things like water and sewage pipes and a railway overpass would cost between $60 million and $150 million, and told the developer in 2010 it would not support development there.

Groupe Pacific charged that the city used high infrastructure costs as an excuse to block construction of its project in order to preserve the golf course as a green space following citizen protests.

Quebec Superior Court Judge Pepita G. Capriolo disagreed.

“The large number of difficulties that the developer faced before being able to start the project (negotiations with municipalities next to the site, with the city of Montreal, with Canadian Pacific and the suburban train authority AMT, the Ministry of the Environment, etc.) does not support the conclusion that only the actions of the city kept the developer from realizing the profits it had calculated,” she wrote.

In her judgment, Capriolo ruled Groupe Pacific had failed to prove the city had acted in bad faith, and noted that the city had not appropriated the land, which an evaluator has valued at $6.5 million. Under the city’s new land development management plan, Groupe Pacific is still free to operate it as a golf course or for other recreational purposes, she wrote.

Conservationists worked for more than 25 years to persuade the city to conserve the golf course lands.

rbruemmer@postmedia.com

For more articles and opinion on Meadowbrook search this blog

Remembering Kate Brecher

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Kate Brecher, 1921-2020


We are saying goodbye to the eldest in the Nachshen Family Circle. Sadly, Kate Brecher, (Auntie Kate to me, Kayla Nachshen to her childhood friends) passed away last night.

At almost 99 years old, Auntie Kate led a very full life that should be celebrated and remembered. Since we cannot do so together owing to the peculiar and unsettling times that we are living through I’ve decided to collect thoughts and memories from her family and friends.

 
Serendipitous. Despite the horrendous virus that has ended the lives of so many elders including Auntie Kate, she died peacefully in her sleep. The heavy heart lies with family who could not be by her side during these last several weeks. But when one looks a little further back a rich, vibrant and happy life are not so hard to see.

I spoke with Kate’s daughter-in-law Judy, today. She told me that, “My mother-in-law was a very caring grandmother. She loved to take my boys to the museum when they were small. For some strange reason she never liked to buy birthday cakes. We have a running joke in the family that she took out a wax birthday cake and reused it every year for each of us!”

“I remember the first time Robert brought me to meet his parents,” Judy said. “It was at Pumpernicks on Queen Mary Road, more than 40 years ago. She was so warm and welcoming.”

Robert Brecher and his mother Kate (2013)


My cousin Bobby, Robert Brecher, Kate’s younger son noted that, “My mother died yesterday, on my father’s birthday. They’re probably having cake together. Or maybe she took out the wax one!”

“My mother loved poetry. She wrote poems. She was a very proud woman and was so conscientious of her appearance. She always was sure to be prim and proper. She made people feel at home and comfortable,” cousin Robert said.

Joe and Kate Brecher with grandson Arjay (2004)


“And she was so proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

“A special moment that is seared in my memory was that she could not attend my Bar Mitzvah because of surgery she was having,” Robert recalled. “So I performed my Maftir for her a few days in advance. That was a very unique and special moment that we shared.”

“Mom had a very good feeling about the girl that I chose,” Robert told me, with his wife Judy listening in on the line. “My parents opened their arms to her. Everything connected.”

Tea Time with Kate, Judy Brecher and Cheryl Nashen (2013)

 
“What more can I say,” Robert recalled. “We took walks together and visited each other. Friday night suppers were special. But the simple things were the best. Sitting in the park and talking to my mother. Being together during holidays.”

“She had so much to live for and her longevity is due to her drive to witness her family growing and thriving,” Robert summarized.

Kate, Lise and Steve Brecher (Passover 2013)

Kate’s son Steve Brecher lives with his wife Lise in St. Sauveur. He would often drive in to the city to visit with his mother. “She was always doing for me, wanting to help me. From school and homework to shopping for summer camp to violin lessons. As I got older she supported everything I was involved in,” Steve said. “I ran marathons, 15 times in the New York Marathon. She was nervous for me and she made sure that I called her after each one.”

“Her caregivers loved her too,” Steve added. “They called her ‘Katie’. Her last wonderful caregiver, Caroline, told me that my mother was one of the finest people she had met, always in a good mood. She was constantly boasting about her grandchildren and how grateful she was for all the little things in life,” said Steve.

The Nachshen Siblings: Bess, George and Kate (2014)


She had many challenges through the years,” Steve recalled. “She managed my dad’s health issues and all of his needs. She was very attentive to my sister’s needs all of her life. In later years, she came to accept that things are the way they are. She would say, ‘As long as we have family we have everything.'”

George, Bess and Kate Nachshen with their parents Manya and Avrum and Uncle Boris Katz


My Auntie Betty, aka Bess, aka Elizabeth (Liz) Goldman, 91, lives is Boynton Beach, Florida. We spoke this morning. “My sister was a great role model to me. We were seven years apart. She would always have a big smile and she liked attention. My mother would squeeze orange juice and bring it to her early in the morning. Kate liked to feel special. My parents doted over her but they never played favourites, ” Auntie Betty recalled. “My mother made her beautiful clothing and I always got the best hand-me-downs. I didn’t know we were poor until I was an adult!”

Kate, George and Bess (2016)


Liz went on (and on and on) about her big sister. “Kate was popular. She had lots of friends. And she was always prim and proper (a recurring theme)”. 

“She played a mandolin purchased by our Uncle Boris,” Liz recalled. “She wasn’t necessarily so good but she played.” Azoy! 

Kate graduated from the Jewish Peretz School in 1933 and went on to Commercial High School in downtown Montreal. She learned to type and do stenography and how to work in an office environment. She worked as a secretary at Mendelson Brothers Custom Brokers until she married Joseph Brecher in 1943.

Kate Nachshen (beneath the blue dot, 1933)

 
Joe and Kate had three children: Steven, Linda and Robert and led a “perfect life” eventually settling into a beautiful, large house in on Linwood Crescent in the Town of Mount Royal and then spending decades in Cote Saint-Luc and many, many winters in Hollywood, Florida.

“She loved having afternoon tea. She was a great achiever and so committed to her parents, husband and children,” Liz concluded. “She was a great sister to me and to our brother George.”

Kate and Bess with George and Phyllis (2018)


My dad, George Nashen, 96, like his little sister Liz, phoned Kate at her nursing home two days ago to say goodbye. That was a heart-wrenching emotional experience for siblings that have been in close contact for more than nine decades.

“Kate was so proud to be my older sister,” my dad remembered from their early days growing up on Esplanade, near Mount Royal, now known as the Plateau. “She was just two years older than me but she was always my big sister, my protector.”

“Until age 15, or so, we argued at home. But as we became adults we stopped the bickering and had respect for one another,” dad told me. “We were different but never strayed from one another.”

George and Kate (2007)


“Kate had lots of friends that would come to visit her at the house,” dad said. “She wrote to me regularly when I served overseas in the RCAF. We missed a lot of time together during those years.”

“We were fond of each other and talked about so many things.” Dad recalls that, “My parents were very proud of her because we really had no material wealth growing up. But Kate always put her best foot forward and she and Joe had a wonderful life together. They would often pick up our parents and come visit us.”

My father concluded his remembrance by adding, “She adored her children and was proud of them.”

Auntie Kate and cousin Elliot Goldman


Cousin Elliot M. Goldman, from Boca Raton, Florida, was the youngest of Kate’s nephews and they had a special relationship. “I will never forget visiting Aunt Kate and Uncle Joe in Florida. They had a high diving board at the pool. Really high! I can still feel the sting from my belly flop but always had a great time visiting be it in Florida or Montreal.  She would fill my belly and then Uncle Joe would take me to a ballgame! You will be missed Auntie Kate! Love you always.”

Kate’s grandson Matthew Brecher lives in Israel but always kept in close contact with his grandmother. “Grandma you will be deeply missed and I will never forget all the good things like our trips to the planetarium and all the wonderful moments we shared together.”

Jay Brecher with his Grandma Kate at Jewish Eldercare Centre

Jay Brecher is Kate’s grandson.  He told me that, “Although I never lived in Montreal, I always looked forward to spending time with Grandma whenever I came to visit my parents in St. Sauveur. We would have lunch together and spend the afternoon reminiscing about Grandpa and other family members, and I would share photos with her from my latest travels. During each visit, I was always struck by how popular she was with the staff at the facilities where she lived in her later years. No doubt, it was a reflection of her exceptionally positive disposition. Rest in peace, Grandma.”  

Brandon Brecher added his memories of his grandmother. “I will miss the many trips to the museums. The many days spent at their house watching travel shows. The time I had too many of her meatballs Judy Brecher. I will never forgot our on going joke about her being a couple of days older than me. She loved my wife Jessica Eva Marie and their love of sharing interior decorating stories. How her eyes would light up every time she saw or heard of her only great grand children. Up until her last moments over Facetime my mom said her eyes would light up. I will never stop thinking about you grandma and the lessons you taught me.”

Cousin Margaret Nachshen said that, “Kate was a lovely lady with so many good qualities. Kate always had a sweet smile and a warm welcome for visitors. She was thoughtful and sincerely interested in other people. We will always remember her kindness and beautiful manner.”

Birthday cake for Auntie Kate (2013)


Cousin Mintzy Clement, of Toronto, said, “Kate was indeed a lady. She was always interested and pleased to hear from others, always happy to be in touch. I remember having conversations about difficult subjects with her, and even then she was always interested in sharing. She had a positive way of seeing the world.”

Cousin Al Fitleberg summed it all up like this: “What a great lady!”

Philip Clement and Kate Brecher


Cousin Philip Clement, of British Columbia recounts: “My story goes back a few years. Once when I was in grade 1 or 2 my mother was quite ill, and when I came back from Alfred Joyce school she gave me a note with my Aunt Manya’s address and told me to go spend the afternoon with her. It was an epic journey walking from Querbes to her apartment, with some nervousness for sure. When she opened the door the 7 year old me was IMMEDIATELY enveloped in such a genuine welcome. It was an experience of Love at its essence, and that moment was permanently embedded in my heart. I tell that story because that is how I felt visiting my cousin Kate the last time I was in Montreal about 4 years ago. Kate’s open arms, her smile, her joy, her embrace was the same essence of love and positivity. Precious and heart warming. May her memory always be blessed.”

“Condolences to Steven, Linda and Robert, and my dearest cousins Bess and George, bearers of that same eternal vibration of goodness, Philip said.”

Peter Clement, also of B.C. added, “Sad news. Katie was warm-hearted and gracious, always showed us, as kids, much kindness and love, and as adults she was always interested in what we were up to. She embodied the finest qualities of Manya and Avrum, of blessed memory. A truly beautiful person. Condolences to Steven, Linda and Robert, George and Liz and all the Brechers and Nachshens.”

Cousin Mandi Sananes of Toronto wrote, “My deepest condolences to all those who loved her. One can only hope she is in a happy place reunited with all the members of the Nachshen family circle who have gone before her.”

Cousin Ronnie Skolnick in Vancouver had this to say: “She was a sweet lady. Always a smile and a kind word.”

And cousin Eileen Nachshen in Thornhill, Ontario posted: “Kate was always interested in what we had to say, she paid attention and truly listened. I will remember her kindness, elegance, and grace. May her memory be a blessing.”

From Kibbutz Ha’Ogen cousin Nechama Barnea sent in this message: “In my day she was Katie. A real lady. She and Joe were one of the first that came to visit me in Israel. She was so interested in the kibbutz and our life in general. And brought me a bit of home Nachshenism. She was more of an aunt to me than a cousin but so different. She was less “old country” than all the real aunts. I loved her – I liked her. She was good friends with my mother. תהיה זכררה ברוך”

And this, from cousin Brian Nation of Vancouver: “In the later years of our lives I was not in close touch with my cousin Kate. But it’s true what they say, quality over quantity. The few times I saw and talked with Kate I treasure. She was such a sweet, sweet lady.”

Michael Litvack posted this interesting memory online today: “I remember Kate Brecher as being a ravishing red head, living at 4552 Lacombe. She was our landlady: I was only 8 years old, but I remember her and her good-looking husband Joe. They were quite the dashing couple in their 1952 Mercury Convertible, the first convertible I ever saw. I remember going downstairs to their living room to watch the Saturday night hockey games on TV, almost 70 years ago. May she rest in peace.”

Auntie Betty likes to have the last word. So before concluding this tribute, another thought from Liz: “An Ode to my sister. To have a sister like mine was a true blessing. Always a great role model, a ready smile, with a kind and loving heart. My memories are many and will always be with me.”

Visiting Auntie Kate at the King David: Nicole, Judy, Nathalie, Glenn and Jeremy Nashen

My own experience echoes these sentiments expressed by family through the generations. Wonderful visits when I was younger and always a smile and lots of questions from Auntie Kate (aka AK) when I became an adult. She loved asking me questions about my political career and commenting on local matters. She enjoyed the visits at her apartment and eventually the King David, the Castel Royale and finally the Jewish Eldercare Centre. My wife and kids would pop in for a visit and a few selfies with Auntie Kate. She loved all of us and was so happy to have visitors.

Glenn and Jeremy visiting Auntie Kate at the King David (2018)

My final visit was on January 30 of this year. Her eyes lit up in recognizing a familiar face but could no longer recall my name. “I know your George’s son,” she said much to my relief. And with just a bit of prodding she sputtered my name aloud and asked how my wife and children were doing.

The last sibling reunion, Nov. 20, 2019

Despite testing positive for Covid-19 one week earlier she remained asymptomatic until the last day. The doctor told the family that she passed away peacefully, without any pain, in her sleep. “She passed away like a candle flickering out,” her son Steve said.

A life well lived.

Farewell Auntie Kate

Who’s your guardian angel?

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Quebec Premier Francois Legault has thanked “Guardian Angels” repeatedly during his daily press conferences. Emergency responders have paraded by local hospitals, sirens wailing, as a signal to the personnel inside, technicians, orderlies, nurses, doctors and auxiliary staff, that they are appreciated and honoured for their professional and personal efforts during these difficult days. Social media posts thank those working in long-term care facilities and rehab centres for caring for the elderly and the infirmed, restaurant staff for take-out and delivery and truckers and grocery store workers for keeping essential supplies flowing.

We all have our guardian angels. Mothers, fathers, neighbours, caregivers, friends and volunteers.

To be sure, these have not been easy days and weeks for many who are dealing with loneliness in their isolation, job layoffs, financial hardship, and health problems. Others are busy just trying to care for their families and dealing with emotions of physical isolation or boredom or lack of routine. And yet others, sadly, tragically, are grieving the loss of loved ones.

For my family, like many of you, we are trying to stay healthy of mind and body, positive in thought and good humoured.

Family online Shabbat Shalom

Yet we are concerned for our parents, 96 and 91 years of age, living independently at home, thankfully with a wonderfully dedicated caregiver. Daily check-in calls and video chats and tumultuous gatherings for the Passover Seders and welcoming Shabbat on Zoom and care packages lovingly left at the door by sisters-in-law, brothers and my wife provide comfort and relief and closeness in a less than completely satisfying way. They are happy and mostly healthy and for that we are thankful and anxious to be together, really together, soon.

Jeremy in class

Our kids are busy with online classes, music lessons, homework and studying, and friends by phone and video, Netflix parties and Tik-Tok and just hanging out together. Thank God they get along!

How to get through another day at the office from home and keep the family safe and fed and clean and sane? A concern facing us and millions of others.

How I enjoy our almost-daily walks (10,000 steps, my new record!) with my co-quarantined brother and kids along with a couple of neighbourhood friends – our family on one side of the road and theirs on the other – and playing outside with my son. How many menu items can we invent from our “Passover Pandemic Pantry” that we stocked to overflow weeks before anyone thought of hording toilet paper? And thankfully, there are wonderful friends that have delivered fresh produce as we have isolated ourselves for more than three weeks from the rest of the world.

Judy between deliveries, on call for Family Med OB-GYN at the Jewish

And most of all we miss our own Guardian Angel, my wife, Judy, who has lived apart from us for more than three weeks. As a physician at the Jewish General Hospital she has kept our family safe, like so many other doctors, by physically secluding herself from her children and husband. The risk of infection is too great, so Judy and so many of her colleagues in healthcare, have taken unprecedented steps to safeguard family while focusing their care on their patients. We all worry when they head in to the hospital and are relived to hear that they have returned home and feel just fine, other than exhausted.

We are so proud of her for her dedication to her patients and for the sacrifices and we pray that she remains safe, that all Guardian Angels remain in good health. We love and miss her and are anxious for this to pass and to be reunited as a family.

No, these are not easy days. But we are fortunate that this isn’t a man-made war. It’s not a natural disaster that will demolish homes. This isn’t civil strife or political upheaval. We are directed to stay home, to wash our hands and to stay apart from others. Who knew that something so simple could be so hard?

Thankfully, we all have our Guardian Angels watching over us and things will get better!

Suspending EMS service unprecedented since service began in early 1980s

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As a volunteer from the very first day in Cote Saint-Luc EMS, a crown jewel of local services that spurred me into a volunteer and political career that spanned nearly four decades, it is inconceivable that it is now closed in order to protect the health of its volunteers!

We faced uncertainty at EMS when the mega city of Montreal tried to gobble it into the new agglomeration-wide fire department in 2002. Yet we prevailed in keeping CSL EMS in local hands – a unique lifesaving service across the region and indeed throughout Quebec.

But today we face a different, unprecedented challenge. And drastic measures are necessary in very uncertain times.

EMS volunteers (Class of 2013)

Our CSL EMS volunteers are precious lifesavers but even these heroes have their limits. Without adequate training in handling patients with potential cases of COVID-19, nor essential personal protective equipment, it is far too risky to put our volunteers in harms way.

The temporary shuttering of CSL EMS is yet another reason to stay safe and to stay home. Seniors and the elderly in particular must avoid any risk to the greatest extent possible. While EMS has boasted very rapid response times, as little as 2-3 minutes in some cases, average ambulance response times hover closer to 10 minutes at best. And these are not the best of times.

I want to thank our incredible volunteers, EMS and vCOP, who have been sidelined by this horrific virus. You are our local heroes and you’ll all be back protecting our city very soon. Be well and stay safe.

Côte Saint-Luc mayor urges self-isolation as 4 people test positive for COVID-19 | CBC News

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3 cases linked to synagogue, 1 in assisted living facility

CBC News · Posted: Mar 20, 2020 9:03 AM ET

Three confirmed cases were traced back to the Beth Chabad community centre and synagogue. (Jay Turnbull/CBC)

Four people in Côte Saint-Luc have tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the mayor to urge residents to self-isolate to prevent the spread of the virus.

Three of the people recently attended the Congregation Beth Chabad community centre and synagogue. 

The fourth person lives in the King David assisted living facility and recently attended a wedding at the Shaar Hashomayim synagogue on March 12. That person was transported to the Jewish General Hospital Tuesday.

The Cavendish Mall closed on Friday in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.

Beth Chabad is asking all congregants who have been in the synagogue since March 14 to place themselves in self-isolation.

In a statement, Shaar Hashomayim’s rabbi Adam Scheier said the synagogue had been rented for the wedding.

“Our clergy were not present. At no time did any guest enter our kitchen or anywhere other than the public spaces of the building,” he said in the statement. 

“We have instructed our employees who were present at that wedding to quarantine and be alert for symptoms.”

One case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the King David assisted living facility in Côte Saint-Luc. (Jay Turnbull/CBC)

‘Our worst nightmare’

Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein told CBC News he is concerned his city could become the “epicentre” of the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec.

“We know we have a dense city, [we] live close together, many religious institutions as well as senior residents and hospitals,” Brownstein said. “This was our worst nightmare.”

Brownstein said the city had tried to shut down events, such as weddings, to avoid such a situation.

The city enacted state of emergency measures Tuesday, which would allow the city to call public health and Montreal police to shut down events of over 10 people.

All the synagogues in the city agreed to shut down as of yesterday, he said. Shaar Hashomayim, where the wedding took place, is located in neighbouring Westmount.

“It’s a shame it took until now,” he said.

He said the city is dealing with a “mushrooming” situation, because snowbirds — elderly residents who go down south during the winter months — recently returned from places such as Florida.

“We’re trying to get this all to stop, but we don’t know where the virus has spread to.”

Brownstein said Quebec public health will investigate when and where the confirmed cases went and will have details for the public soon.

Farewell Isadore

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Isadore Goldberg was a quiet, unassuming man of conviction. He lead a purposeful and deliberate life of service. Service to his country, service to his customers in his furniture business, and service to his constituents and city.

Isadore borrowed a line from Mark Twain in saying that, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” when in 2015 the TD Bank summarily informed him that he was, well, deceased. The story made Canada-wide news in The National Post. He had a good sense of humour too.

Isadore Goldberg, front and centre (with his walker) along with fellow veterans, politicians, clergy and officials on Remembrance Day, Nov. 11, 2019

Isadore was proud of his military service and displayed his WWII medals at VE Day and Remembrance Day in Cote Saint-Luc.

It is with sadness that we say goodbye to Isadore Goldberg.

Isadore and I served together on City Council from 1990 to 2001. He was always at every city function, meeting residents, conversing with people, representing our city. He was recognized and known by politicians across the region and at all levels, always on a first name basis. He was also the gentle King of MacDonald, meeting neighbours, trying to solve their problems. He was a city icon.

May he be remembered as a dedicated civic leader who always fought for his constituents and for the good of Cote Saint-Luc.

N

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CSL WWII vet, 96, to receive National Assembly medal

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CSL WWII vet, 96, to receive National Assembly medal
D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum and World War II veteran George Nashen.
Photo courtesy David Birnbaum’s office

D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum will be honouring Côte St. Luc resident George Nashen, 96, with the National Assembly Medal at the annual D’Arcy McGee Citizenship Medal ceremony June 1, Birnbaum’s office announced.

The MNA’s office stated that Nashen, the father of former CSL councillor Glenn Nashen, will be honoured “in the name of all of those men and women who served the cause of freedom in that most pivotal and tragic conflict of the 20th century.” The medal becomes part of the permanent National Assembly record.

“It struck me at our last Remembrance Day ceremonies in the riding how sadly close we are to a time when no first-hand witnesses to World War II will be with us to remember, or to be honoured for their sacrifice, courage and legacy in saving our fundamental freedoms, here in Quebec, in all of Canada and around the world,” Birnbaum explained. “Furthermore, this riding that I serve is home to one of the highest numbers of Holocaust survivors and their families in Canada. The obligation of remembrance is deeply felt here, and this medal is one further way of expressing that obligation.”

Nashen, a long-time community volunteer and former clothing manufacturer, was a Royal Canadian Air Force Sergeant during World War II.

“I was 19 when I enlisted,” the veteran explained, “and I wasn’t that worldly. I didn’t understand much about politics. By 1938, with the rise of Hitler, the terrible threat to the free world started to become clear. I thought, I have to go over.”

Nashen added that it is important for young people to “learn about the atrocities and the sacrifices of World War II. Do they really know the seriousness of war, the feeling of daily life, when you get issued a helmet and a gas mask to make sure you survive the day?… The freedoms we take for granted today, were in peril back then. That should never be forgotten.”

Nashen stated that while he appreciates the medal recognition,he would “only accept the honour in the name of all of those veterans, still with us and those departed, who served in World War II.”

joel@thesuburban.com

WWII Vet George Nashen to be honoured by National Assembly

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By CJN Staff – January 13, 2020 

Second World War veteran George Nashen, right, poses for a picture with D’Arcy-McGee MNA David Birnbaum.

Second World War veteran George Nashen, 96, will receive a special national assembly medal from David Birnbaum, the MNA for the riding of D’Arcy-McGee, at a ceremony in June.

Nashen will be honoured in the name of all of the men and women who served the cause of freedom in that conflict. Nashen, who lives in Côte-St-Luc, Que., is one of the few surviving Jewish-Canadian war veterans.

In announcing the move, Birnbaum explained that he wanted recognize the contribution of our Second World War veterans while it was still possible. “It struck me at our last Remembrance Day ceremonies in the riding how sadly close we are to a time when no first-hand witnesses to the Second World War will be with us to remember, or to be honoured for their sacrifice, courage and legacy in saving our fundamental freedoms here in Quebec, in all of Canada and around the world,” he said.

“Furthermore, this riding that I serve is home to one of the highest number of Holocaust survivors and their families in Canada. The obligation of remembrance is deeply felt here and this medal is one further way of expressing that obligation.”

George Nashen in 1944.

Nashen is a long-time community volunteer and former clothing manufacturer who held the rank of sergeant in the Royal Canadian Air Force. During the war, Nashen lost a number of dear friends and has always made it his duty to share his experience, particularly with young people.

“I was 19 when I enlisted,” said Nashen, a Baron Byng High School graduate, “and I wasn’t that worldly. I didn’t understand much about politics. By 1938, with the rise of Hitler, the terrible threat to the free world started to become clear. I thought, I have to go over.…

“It’s important for young people to learn about the atrocities and the sacrifices of the Second World War. Do they really know the seriousness of war, the feeling of daily life, when you get issued a helmet and a gas mask to make sure you survive the day?”

In 1943, Nashen was stationed in London. “I went over on the Queen Mary,” he recalled. “We were 26,000 enlisted men and women; the ship normally carried only 2,000.

“It was a humbling and scary few years. I remember the rumbling of incoming and outgoing bombers overhead, every night in London. The stakes were enormous, and the freedoms we take for granted today were in peril back then. That should never be forgotten.”

Nashen expressed his appreciation for the medal, but stressed that he would only accept the honour in the name of all the veterans.

Each spring, Birnbaum bestows three D’Arcy-McGee national assembly citizenship medals upon individuals chosen for their community contributions by a three-member jury. Nashen will formally receive his medal at that ceremony, which will be held on June 1. The names of all the medal winners become part of the permanent national assembly record and are noted in perpetuity on its official website.

Canadian Jewish News

Raffi Service Station closes after 50 years in CSL

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Like Cher or Madonna you don’t need a second name to know who Raffi is. In Cote Saint-Luc, Raffi has celebrity status.

Raffi Abikian has been running the service station at Guelph and Westminster for 27 of the last 50 years, mostly as a Shell Station. His regular clients number in the thousands and generations of Cote Saint-Lucers have entrusted their prize possession to Raffi’s Service Station.

Unfortunately, the pumps and bays are quiet at Raffi’s now. The last full service garage in CSL has shuttered, as reported by Mike Cohen.

Raffi’s nine employees kept the pumps flowing and the mechanics bay busy, seven days a week. And Raffi’s service doesn’t end there. Several years ago he acquired a garage in lower NDG (near the Reno Depot) where his staff do body work to round out their service offering.

If that weren’t enough Raffi was dedicated to the community and regularly sponsored major Kiddushes (meals following a traditional synagogue service) at Beth Zion, and was often involved in one way or another in other community events.

You won’t find a more honest and hard working garage owner than Raffi who was part and parcel of the fabric of Cote Saint-Luc. 

Raffi has reluctantly merged all operations to his NDG service station/body shop after the property owner, Sobey’s, decided not to renew Raffi’s lease. Mike Cohen reports that Raffi may even implement a shuttle service down to his NDG centre. 

My family relied upon Raffi and his automotive mechanical and maintenance services just as we would our family physician, dentist or lawyer. Raffi and his team will be missed in CSL. 

 

Raffi Abikian (Photo Mike Cohen)(

A Day to Remember

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Three generations marking Remembrance Day 2019: George, Glenn and Jeremy Nashen

Each year, on Remembrance Day, our family takes time out to pay tribute to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces who served in wars, conflicts, peacekeeping missions and here at home. We remember those who fell in action and who were injured. We think of those who continue to serve and we acknowledge the hardship for their families.

Closer to home, my family pays tribute to my father, George Nashen, for his service as a Sargent in the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII.

This year we attended the Cote Saint-Luc ceremony held last Friday in City Hall. While the number of WWII veterans sadly diminishes each year we were fortunate to be with my dad, as one of only three veterans in the capacity crowd.

George Nashen surrounded by mayors, councillors, MNA, MP, clergy and emergency responders as school children look on

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein honoured the attending veterans, Alan Ruben, former City Councillor Isadore Goldberg and my father, George. The Mayor produced a video highlighting their contributions to Canada. Below you can watch the portion about my father.

 

There were three main pillars to this year’s events: the children, the wreath laying and the speeches.

Four elementary schools (JPPS, Hebrew Academy, Ecole de la Monde and Merton School) and two high schools (Bialik and John Grant) participated. The children recited poems, including In Flanders Field, and sang songs, such as The White Cliffs of Dover, in four languages. It was an impressive showing of the next generation and was reassuring that the fading memories of long ago sacrifices would still be remembered.

Wreaths were deposited by the politicians, emergency services, volunteer and community organizations, students and the staff of the city. One moving episode had three generations of the Reichson family including former CSL Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson, along with his father and daughter, laying a wreath in memory of his grandfather while holding his shining service medal from WWII and his photo.

The speeches were poignant and emotional. Mayor Brownstein spoke about educating the next generation and how the CSL Dramatic Society fulfilled an important mission in presenting the Broadway smash hit, Cabaret, earlier this year. The musical exposed the troubling times emerging in Germany as the country, and Europe descended into despair and chaos.

Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather gave a stirring speech about the veterans who returned to Canada and built our community. With his voice cracking with emotion, Housefather highlighted the veterans’ contributions and participation in civic life and noted that this spirit has endured and has made Cote Saint-Luc a volunteer-rich community with residents passionate about being involved.

Polioce Station 9 Commander Luis Olivera lays a wreath, accompanied by vCOP Susie Schwartz

D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum was solemn and retrospective and in his typical eloquence and charm marveled at the passing of the torch down through the generations.

The speeches were heartfelt and meaningful. I am grateful to our Mayor, MP and MNA for singling out my father as an example for the next generations.

MNA David Birnbaum, Cllr. Dida Berku, Fmr. Cllr Isadore Goldberg, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Mayor William Steinberg, MP Anthony Housefather and George Nashen

A minute of silence in memory of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice serving in the Canadian Armed Forces

George’s Story

 

Sergeant George Nashen, Royal Canadian Air Force, 1944

George Nashen, 96, served in the Royal Canadian Air Force from December 1942 to April 1946 and was stationed at RCAF Overseas Headquarters in London, England for nearly three years. Luckily, he was not called up to the front lines. But his buddies were. Some never returned.

My father enlisted in December 1942 with several of his friends from Baron Byng High School, and was shipped off for two months of basic training in Toronto where the RCAF had taken over the CNE Fairgrounds. From there he was stationed at the Rockcliffe Airbase in Ottawa from February until August 1942 and then to Halifax where they boarded the Queen Mary cruise ship that had been commandeered to transport troops.

“We were 26,000 troops and 1,000 crew members crammed into the ship for the four day crossing to London, England,” my father told me. “There were 54 troops to a room and we took turns sleeping, 27 at a time slept on the hammocks lined up three high in nine columns,” he said. “It was so uncomfortable and there were so many disturbances that I chose to sleep in the hallways and stairwells. But the ship would list from one side to the other every seven minutes as it curved to avoid sailing in a straight line to escape any pursuing German U-boats. I remember the empty Coke bottles rolling bake and forth in the halls and hitting the walls preventing any rest there as well,” my dad said.

RCAF Aircraftsman 2nd Class, George Nashen (1943)

“In London, we slept in the Canadian Legion Hall until we could find an apartment,” my dad reminisced. There were no barracks in the city as they couldn’t chance losing so many soldiers in a targeted German bombing raid. “One night a bomb fell right outside the Legion Hall and blew in the doors and windows. As the glass flew and the ceiling collapsed I immediately rolled under my bed to take cover,” he said. “I yelled out to my buddy, Mel Nicol. ‘Are you alright Nic?’ Mel Nicol was real joker and responded, ‘I’m not sure, I’m looking for my leg’. Of course, he was just fine,” George said.

George and Mel eventually rented an apartment at Queens Gate Gardens about a 30 minute walk from Harrods, where the RCAF set up their administration and accounting division. We often joke that my father served in women’s lingerie during WW II, in reference to the department in Harrods where the Accounting Office was located. They were paid $2.50 per day subsistence allowance for their lodging and another $1 for food.

As an Aircraftsman 2nd Class they received $1.30 per day. Dad used to send $10 per month back to his Mom in  Montreal to save for him. Upon his return, three-and-a-half years later he had saved up about $300.

George Nashen in front of the Cote Saint-Luc cenotaph in Veterans Park 2012

One night they were awakened by a bomb blast and heard that the nearby hospital was hit. Mel and George raced over to offer their assistance only to find out that 30 babies had been tragically killed. “It was the saddest day of my life,” my father said.

Back at Harrods he was busy taking care of Airman Pay Accounts to ensure each of the troops received their salary. Daily Routine Orders were meticulously entered for the tens of thousands of airmens’ accounts, all manually, of course.

My dad lost his best friend in battle. “Jay Singer was like a brother to me,” my father recounts. “Jay and I were inseparable from kindergarten through Baron Byng High School. Jay was an air force pilot from the age of 19. His plane went missing while laying mines in the Baltic Sea on June 15, 1944. Jay was just 22 year’s old when he died in service. I’ll never forget him.”

Jay Singer

Jay Singer

My father endured the bombardments and hardship of everyday life in London but fortunately was safe relative to so many others. The thick, dark clouds that hung over the city many nights from fog made it impossible to see right in front of you. My father recounts as he would feel his way along the walls of the buildings on his way home, counting off the number of doors and turns in the road to find his way home.

One night a bomb fell at a pub just outside of Harrods and some Londoners were killed. The next day, a young Princess Elizabeth, came by to visit and offer her support. My father watched excitedly from the window as the future Queen made her way along the street.

My father returned home in April 1946.

Three generations of Cote Saint-Lucers: George, Glenn and Jeremy Nashen 2013

Each year, I ask dad to take out his medals and his beret and to teach my own kids what it meant to serve Canada as a soldier.  They listen in amazement at his stories of 70 years ago, as they reflect on their lives in the best country to live in, Canada.

WWII veteran George Nashen, 93, deposits the wreath on behalf of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 97 at the Cote Saint-Luc Cenotaph in Veterans Park. Accompanied by his grandson Cory, son Jeff and vCOP Phil Mayman. (Photo: Darryl Levine, CSL).

Each year on Remembrance Day, I salute my dad, and all those who served, who paid the ultimate price, who sustained injury and who were lucky to return just like George. His bravery and commitment, and theirs, to stand on guard, to liberating those who had their freedom taken from them so many years ago, to keeping Canada glorious and free, shines like a beacon to my kids and our entire family.

With my dad on Remembrance Day (Jewish General Hospital, 2014)

We’re proud of his accomplishments and grateful to still have him, and my mother, as our bridge between our past and our future.

 

George and Phyllis Nashen at their 95th and 90th birthday party (June 2018)

N

More:

Mount Royal Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather’s speech

Councillor Mike Cohen’s blog

 

CSL holds memorial tribute for Cllr. Ruth Kovac

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Last week the City of Cote Saint-Luc held a moving and emotional tribute to remember Councillor Ruth Kovac who passed away on October 1, 2019. The mayor, councillors, former council colleagues and members of the public spoke publicly along with Ruth’s family.

The first video, below, is a photo-video montage remembering the civic contributions of Councillor Kovac.

The second video, below, is the footage of the speeches as well as the photo-video montage all in one. You can watch the full event or you will find my tribute at 18:45 and the family’s remarks at 37:40.

I welcome your comments and memories of Ruth right here on my blog or on Facebook.

My speech begins at 18:45

Goodbye friend. A tribute to Ruth Kovac.

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I met Ruth Kovac nearly 40 years ago. We were both enrolled in an Emergency Medical Technician course and so began a four decade long friendship that was rooted in our common desire to help others in their time of need.

Ruth always sought out opportunities to give back to her community. We volunteered our way up through the ranks at Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Measures Organization in the 1980s, responding to hundreds of medical emergencies, helping those who were sick or injured and organizing CPR courses.

We decided together with my friend Mitchell Brownstein that the best way to make a bigger impact and help more people was to run for public office. The three of us were elected to Cote Saint-Luc City Council in 1990. Ruth developed expertise in many civic areas, but she excelled when it came to Parks and Recreation and Urban Planning. For years she championed these departments working closely with staff of all levels.

Councillors Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac enrolled at the Emergency Preparedness College of Canada 1991

She was a fierce defender of Canadian Unity and proudly wore her Maple Leaf flag but never forgetting her rich Dutch heritage.

Councillors Ruth Kovac and Glenn J. Nashen

Ruth and I worked closely on seeking recognition of Paramedics in Quebec, on getting CPR into school curriculum, on acquiring Automated External Defibrillators in our municipal buildings and vehicles. One of our biggest efforts was promoting bilingualism, especially on emergency communications from the government and also from companies doing business in English-speaking areas across western Montreal. She continued this gargantuan effort most recently with Harold Staviss.

Celebrating demerger victory (June 2004) with Ruth Kovac, Anthony Housefather and Mitchell Brownstein

Ruth and I fought for pioneering No-Smoking bylaws in the early 1990s and for promoting the first mandatory municipal cycling helmet bylaw in Canada. We also worked together to make Cote Saint-Luc first to require residential sprinkler systems for single family homes.

Whether it was her beloved Mount Sinai Hospital, where she served in several leadership positions through the years, or Canada Day festivities in Cote Saint-Luc which we co-chaired numerous times or the annual blood donor clinic that she chaired year after year, she put her heart and soul into every activity that she touched. And my, how she touched a lot of organizations and people.

Our seats were side by side for all 24 years that we served together on City Council. So, she jokingly referred to me as her “Council-husband” and she affectionately became my “Council-wife”.

We co-chaired so many projects and events and together with Mitch, Dida Berku, Allan J. Levine, Isadore Goldberg, Harold Greenspon, Richard Schwartz we became a Council family. We supported one another’s ideas and projects and always tried to seek consensus. Sure, we all fought a bit behind closed doors, but we always emerged as friends and colleagues for the benefit of our beloved City of Cote Saint-Luc. Ruth would have it no other way. She would stick two index fingers to her lips and blast out an ear piercing whistle to catch our attention. “When we go out there, we are united,” she would blast. And so it was.

Councillor Ruth Kovac greeting new citizens on Canada Day with Councillors Sam Goldbloom, Glenn J. Nashen and Steven Erdelyi

She was one of the few who got along quite well with Mayor Lang, respecting his perspective and experience and often playing the diplomat in connecting divergent opinions.

Ruth agonized over each new development, every exterior home renovation, each zoning bylaw and amendment. Box loads of cheques would be sent before each weekend to her house to cross-check invoices and ensure that our city operated smoothly and transparently. She would read through stacks of paperwork and only sign the cheque once she was satisfied that staff met her expectations in due diligence. She took this responsibility very seriously and made it a full time endeavour.

Celebrating another victory: Ruth and Peter Kovac

Every year or two we would travel, along with a few other council members, to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conferences across this great country. Ruth proudly represented our city, region and province and loved engaging with councillors, aldermen, reeves, mayors, provincial and national legislators. She would have no issue walking up to anyone and starting a conversation. She loved to boast about our amazing services back in Cote saint-Luc and to learn from others. She developed acquaintances across Canada and would reach out from time to time.

Ruth with the Boys in Blue. She always admired Constable Vincent Di Angeles of PDQ 9.

Ruth banded together with Mitch, Anthony Housefather and me as the co-chairs of the Cote Saint-Luc demerger committee. We fought mega-Montreal and against all odds we succeeded in reestablishing our City of Cote Saint-Luc. The four of us worked very closely on numerous files and projects, with Anthony as our new mayor along with our new colleagues Mike Cohen, Steven Erdelyi and Sam Goldbloom. The council family evolved and worked so well together, succeeding at major expansion with the new Aquatic and Community Centre which Ruth championed with gusto, like she was building her own house.

Ruth Kovac actively involved in the development of the Cote Saint-Luc Aquatic and Community Centre in 2011

We typically greeted each other with a goofy, “Hello friend.” We chuckled each time.

Ruth developed a great working relationship with successive police commanders from Neighbourhood Station 9, which we fought to protect from closure, together with Anthony and Mitch. We won.

She relished in her relationships with directors and managers and all city staff. She remembered everyone’s name and always gave a cheery hello to all as she entered City Hall.

Councillor Ruth Kovac with Commander Bissonnette and Director Jordy Reichson

And we fought to save our Emergency Medical Services from being wiped out by the merger madness. And won again. Ruth was determined to do the right thing, she would say. “Listen to the people,” a quote she’d remind us of from one of her political favourites.

Councillor Ruth Kovac even convinced her husband, Peter, to join vCOP. Seen here on Canada Day 2012.

Somehow, she managed to carry out a very full council agenda for three decades, all the while raising her three children with Peter and then taking an active role with her grand-kids. And she was so devoted to her mother, Ilse, bringing her everywhere she needed to go. But Ruth would rarely miss a meeting, was always prepared, did her research and got ready for discussion and debate. She was a wise and thoughtful woman of balanced and sage advice and kept a calm head about her.

She would berate Anthony and me for not wearing ties, for being too casual. She’d offer to take us shopping for more formal attire. “You need to dress smart, look sharp,” she’d say. She liked to think of herself as old fashion, but she was really quite avant guard.

Ruth was always so proud of those around her, especially when she worked to see Anthony Housefather elected as our Member of Parliament

Ruth never backed off from a battle. She pulled herself together no matter the odds and gave it her all. She handled her bout with cancer in the same way, preferring to keep it as her secret for the very longest time. And throughout this period she attended her council meetings, read the reams of required documents even when she was too weak to lift them, responded to emails from constituents and posted city announcements on her Facebook page. Most others would likely have thrown in the towel. Given up. Not Ruth. She slugged it out to the very end. As she always did.

I’m so lucky that I had one last chance to sit and talk and laugh and cry with Ruth last Thursday and together with Anthony and Mitch send her flowers to share online for her very last Shabbat, as she made a weekly habit of posting beautiful flowers to share with her world and to send messages of peace and togetherness.

As I left her home my eyes swelled with tears at the thought this could be my last, “Hello friend.” Luckily, I had never had to deal with such a suffering friend or the prospect of loss. Ruth, knew this and in her own generous way made it easy for me, and for others. She told me she was at peace with her circumstances, was proud of her accomplishments and those that we achieved together. She couldn’t ask for more than the beautiful family that she and Peter had raised and the wonderful friends that surrounded her nor the supportive community that comforted her. I told her that her legacy would carry on for generations and that I was proud of all she had done for so many people.

Ruth pushed me to go beyond my limits. She enriched my life. I will forever be grateful for our friendship.

Goodbye friend.

Cote Saint-Luc loses a civic giant

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Mitchell Brownstein, Anthony Housefather, Ruth Kovac and Glenn J. Nashen tally up results in leading the city to victory in the demerger battle

Ruth Kovac passed away this morning.

Cote Saint Luc City Councillor, champion volunteer, wife, mother, grandmother- Ruth was a woman of extraordinary accomplishment who was deeply loved. Our council was like a second family and having been co-chairs of the demerger campaign with her we felt exceptionally close.

At times Ruth could be like a second mother or sister but she was always an exceptional friend. Nobody was more pragmatic. Nobody more driven and nobody cared more about the community she loved in.

CSL demerger co-chairs, 10 years later: Mitchell Brownstein, Anthony Housefather, Glenn J. Nashen, Ruth Kovac

Up until last week she was responding to resident emails and proposing improvements in her City and at her synagogue. She even arranged for remote viewing of High Holiday services so those who were home unwell could watch.

We have lost a leading light of our community and extend our deepest sympathies to Peter, Debbie and Anthony, Jeff, Tammy and Jason and her entire family.

We love and miss you Ruth.

All our love, Mitch, Glenn and Anthony

Celebrating demerger victory (June 2004) with Ruth Kovac, Anthony Housefather and Mitchell Brownstein

More:

Longtime Cote Saint-Luc City Councillor Ruth Kovac passes away, CTV News

‘She was one of a kind’: Côte Saint-Luc city councillor Ruth Kovac passes away, Global News

Obituary: Longtime Côte St-Luc city councillor Ruth Kovac, Montreal Gazette

Côte Saint-Luc mourns the death of longtime city councillor Ruth Kovac, CBC News

Ruth Kovac: A personal tribute to a warrior, The Suburban

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