Feds must act to require school bus seat belts

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Tens of thousands of school children are riding daily on buses that Transport Canada knows are not safe enough. Despite evidence showing that three point seat belts on school buses prevent or lessen injury and save lives, the government has not taken action to correct this serious situation.

In October 2018 the CBC Fifth Estate investigated the issue and concluded that seatbelts on school buses could have prevented thousands of injuries and numerous deaths.

The report continued with a follow up in December looking a the campaign to make buses safer across Canada by changing outdated legislation.

An online petition is nearing its goal of 50,000 signatures. I have signed and encourage you to do so as well.

More can be done to bring about change.

I call upon my mayor, Mitchell Brownstein, of Cote Saint-Luc, Quebec, to adopt a resolution in support of this urgent legislation at the next public meeting and ask the city to share their resolution with all municipalities across the Montreal region. You can do the same in your city or town anywhere in Canada.

As well, I am fortunate to have one of the most passionate and accessible members of parliament, Anthony Housefather, as my representative. I call upon him to speak with his colleague, Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, who has reportedly called for a report from his department in the past weeks. You too should contact your MP’s office.

Finally, there must also be pressure upon industry itself. To that end I will raise the issue with my kids’ school, where I serve on the Board of Directors. Bus companies that offer seat belts should be hired ahead of those that don’t. Bus companies should know that parents and schools are seeking providers that are proactive and take the necessary measures to keep children safe, even in advance of legislation.

Each of us plays an important role in making school buses safer across Canada.

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Montreal’s plastic bag ban does not apply in Côte Saint-Luc

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Montreal’s plastic bag ban does not apply in Côte Saint-Luc

By: Mike Cohen

On August 23, 2016, the city of Montreal adopted By-law 16-051,  prohibiting the distribution of certain types of shopping bags in retail stores.

Reusable bags

The ban for merchants offering light plastic bags to consumers took effect on January 1, 2018. It applies to all establishments whose main activity is the sale of merchandise at the retail level. A grace period for compliance will be granted through June 5, 2018. Banned are: conventional plastic shopping bags (a thickness of less than 50 microns) and Oxo-degradable, oxo-fragmentable, biodegradable shopping bags, whatever their thickness.

Now let me advise you that this ban does not apply in Côte Saint-Luc. While I always have reusable bags in my trunk, be it for the grocery store or the pharmacy, I do not believe we should adopt a similar by-law.  Is it fair for someone who makes an unplanned trip to a store or for a senior or an individual using public transit who does not have any reusable bags handy? Yes, I suppose you can buy a new reusable bag at a number of stores. But should we force that on anybody?

I will be the first person to urge people to bring their own bag. I have more than a dozen in my trunk and the collection keeps growing. When I went on holiday to Tampa, I made sure to pack a few reusable bags and I used them for all of my grocery store visits.

Just understand your geography. In Montreal,  not covered by the by-law  are plastic bags used exclusively to transport foodstuffs to the cash counter of a retail store or to protect them, for hygiene purposes, from direct contact with other items (fruits, vegetables, nuts, bulk confectionery, prepared foods, meat, fish, bread, dairy products, etc.).

Côte Saint-Luc City Council will be addressing this with some kind of policy in the not too distant future.

Video: Acceptance speech at D’Arcy McGee Citizenship Medals 2018 Ceremony

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D’Arcy McGee Medal of Citizenship of the National Assembly goes to…, Nashen Notes

D’Arcy McGee medals awarded, The Suburban

The Late Gerry Weinstein among citizenship medal recipients, Canadian Jewish News

 

 

Leaf blowers are a menace to our quiet, suburban neighbourhoods: Beaconsfield council to vote to restrict the use of leaf blowers

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Leaf blowers are a menace to our quiet, suburban neighbourhoods.

They are polluting our cities, spewing toxins, dust and noise from their wailing motors.

Rather than depositing fallen leaves into our environmental, government-mandated composters, these aggravating agitators blast nature’s fallen foliage into our streets and across our sidewalks only to be blown back by gusts of wind onto the next lawn over. Even worse, our soon-to-be clogged city catch-basins and drains will require even noisier and more-polluting over-sized vacuum vehicles on scene. We’re paying the price.

But we don’t have to pay such a heavy price. City Councils, near and far, should give consideration to this wise decision by our neighbours in Beaconsfield.

Of course, gardeners will spend more time collecting and depositing leaves, grass clippings and the like. However, the cost will not only balance out in less need for municipal crews and equipment but we will reap the immediate benefit of healthier, more tranquil places that we wanted when we moved to the neighbourhood.

 

Source: Beaconsfield council to vote to restrict the use of leaf blowers

D’Arcy McGee medals awarded

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From left, Sarah Buzaglo, Lina Fortin, David Birnbaum, Glenn Nashen, and Lynn and Jeff Weinstein.
Joel Goldenberg Photo

The annual D’Arcy McGee Citizenship Medals, conceived by area MNA David Birnbaum, were awarded at a ceremony recently to École des amis-du-monde principal Lina Fortin, former Côte St. Luc councillor Glenn Nashen and, posthumously, community activist Gerry Weinstein.

As well, Maimonide secondary IV student Sarah Buzaglo won the third annual Victor C. Goldbloom Vivre ensemble essay contest.

The ceremony was held outside the Bernard Lang Civic Centre in Côte St. Luc. The jury was made up of former D’Arcy McGee MNAs Herbert Marx, Robert Libman and Lawrence Bergman. The latter two attended the ceremony, but Marx could not due to illness. Also on hand were CSL Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and members of his council, and Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg and Councillor Michael Goldwax.

Of Fortin, Birnbaum said: “During her tenure, Lina has made it her mission to create a positive and inclusive school for her students — a school open to the world and ready to accompany every student on a positive journey as they strive to master French, and every other subject.”

Of Nashen, Birnbaum said he has “matched an exemplary professional career with an equally impressive record of volunteer community service. Glenn conceived, organized and initiated ‘Volunteer Citizens on Patrol’ (vCOPs) 11 years ago. They help individuals with safety and security matters and assist in crowd control at local events and in emergencies. Glenn was also actively involved in Emergency Medical Services for over 30 years. One of the highlights as CSL City Councillor was his initiation and introduction of Canada’s first municipal legislation requiring bike helmets in 1992.”

Birnbaum praised Weinstein as a “true and selfless community activist who would leave no stone unturned in order to do good for those more vulnerable. Gerry was instrumental in the development of B’nai Brith House, a 95-unit residence of affordable housing in Côte St. Luc. The residence that now bears his name along with that of Ted Greenfield is a model for fulfilling seniors’ housing needs in a dignified and fulfilling manner.”

Weinstein’s son Jeff, on hand with his mother Lynn, accepted the medal.

In her winning essay, Buzaglo wrote: “In order to ‘live together’, the world must unite and live as a whole. In other words, we must work together to better ourselves and evolve. We must take into account all the external conflicts that set barriers in order to achieve this.”

Premier Philippe Couillard also offered congratulations to the winners in a video shot with Birnbaum, praising each of the medal winners for their accomplishments.

The late Gerry Weinstein among citizenship medal recipients

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D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum, third from left, presents National Assembly Citizenship Medals to, from right, Jeff Weinstein, accepting on behalf of his late father Gerry Weinstein, with his wife, Marjorie, Glenn Nashen and Lina Fortin. At left is Sarah Buzaglo, winner of the essay contest, in Côte-St-Luc, Que., on June 19. (Photo CJN)

 

Gerry Weinstein, a man who devoted his life to helping those in need, was posthumously honoured by the national assembly with a Citizenship Medal bestowed by the D’Arcy McGee riding.

Weinstein, who died two years ago, was “a true and selfless community activist who would leave no stone unturned, in order to do good for those more vulnerable,” said MNA David Birnbaum, while presenting the award in a ceremony held on June 19.

A stalwart of B’nai Brith Canada, Weinstein was instrumental in realizing its affordable seniors’ housing projects in Montreal, both of which are located in the Côte-St-Luc, Que., riding. B’nai Brith House opened 12 years ago and Chateau B’nai Brith will be inaugurated soon.

Despite having chronic health issues for much of his adult life, Weinstein persevered until the second project was finally given the go-ahead, with Quebec government support. Sadly, he passed away before the groundbreaking ceremony.

He had also served as a leader of the Knights of Pythias, president of the Foundation for Children’s Diseases and chair of Telethon of Stars.

This was the fourth consecutive year that the Citizenship Medal has been awarded to residents of D’Arcy McGee who have made outstanding contributions to the community, or non-residents who have contributed to the riding.

The other 2018 recipients are Lina Fortin, principal of Ecole des Amis-du-Monde, and former Côte-St-Luc councillor Glenn Nashen.

Fortin was described as an inspiration and mentor to the diverse students, parents and teachers at the public French elementary school in Côte-St-Luc, where she has been the principal since 2012.

“During her tenure, Lina has made it her mission to create a positive and inclusive school for her students, a school open to the world and ready to accompany every student on a positive journey, as they strive to master French and every other subject,” said Birnbaum.

Nashen was cited for both his exemplary professional career and record of volunteer service. He initiated Côte-St-Luc’s Volunteer Citizens on Patrol program 11 years ago, has been involved with its emergency medical services for over 30 years and introduced Canada’s first municipal legislation requiring bicycle helmets in 1992.

Nominations for the medals were accepted from any resident of the riding. The winners were selected by a jury composed of past D’Arcy McGee MNAs Herbert Marx, Robert Libman and Lawrence Bergman.

Also honoured at the ceremony was Ecole Maïmonide Grade 10 student Sarah Buzaglo, who won the Victor C. Goldbloom Vivre student essay contest. Named in honour of the late D’Arcy McGee MNA, the contest encourages young people to build bridges between different groups of people, as he did throughout his life.

Making CSL streets safer by limiting truck traffic

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At the September 11, 2017 Public council Meeting the City Council notice was given for a new truck route in order to regulate traffic in Côte Saint-Luc.

According to the Highway Safety Code, a By-Law regulating the traffic of trucks must be approved by the Minister of Transport. Once approved, trucks and tool vehicle traffic will be permitted on Cavendish Boulevard and Côte Saint-Luc Road as well as on all streets throughout the City for local deliveries.

Côte Saint-Luc will also request that all neighbouring cities adopt a similar resolution in support of this new regulation.

This new By-Law will improve the flow of traffic on Fleet Road which is not capable of handling trailer trucks. It will also keep trucks mainly on our two major boulevards and off our side streets as much as possible. Of course, local deliveries will always be permitted.

As the councillor responsible for the Pedestrian and Traffic Safety dossier I was pleased to give notice for this motion. Safety and security has always been my primary focus as City Councillor and any ideas to keep pedestrians safe and vehicles moving at a safe speed are always welcomed and reviewed with our traffic engineers.

 

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