French-only warning signs dangerous: Letter to the editor

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Published in the Montreal Gazette, March 16, 2018
These French-only warning signs are actually dangerous for highway motorists not proficient in the French language. When approaching these massive electronic billboards and not immediately recognizing ominous words like “cahouteuse” or “aquaplanage” Without mastery of French you wouldn’t know whether to pull off the road or to call 911 for an urgent translation! I’ve made numerous demands for bilingual warnings and their inaction speaks volumes, in any language. They don’t care if you don’t understand.
Glenn J. Nashen
Cote Saint-Luc


In reference to:

Opinion: Meaning of Quebec highway signs should be clear to all

A year after National Assembly petition, provincial government still has not responded to safety concerns.


Can CSL EMS save more lives, respond faster?

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United Hatzalah ambucycle in Jerusalem

Jerusalem’s United Hatzalah (Rescue Squad) founder Eli Beer spoke to a crowd in Montreal yesterday and was invited to visit Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Medical Services. The United Hatzalah is an incredible program, all volunteer driven, with a singular focus on rapid, first-response to anyone in need. Its mission and purpose is very similar to that of Cote Saint-Luc. Despite difference in size and sophistication, Beer will undoubtedly find many similarities between his group and the outstanding, all-volunteer CSL EMS. Indeed, we have much that we can learn from Beer. Here are 4 key points we should explore.

EMS volunteers (Class of 2013)

#1 Volunteers

Despite CSL’s speed in responding to its 3000 medical emergencies each year, a three-minute average response time is excellent but we should always look for ways to cut seconds when lives are at stake. I have proposed that local, off-duty-EMS volunteers be alerted of life-threatening calls, and equipped, to respond when in close proximity.

What’s more, with an auxiliary force of 80 additional members of the volunteer Citizens on Patrol, some of them (say 20) could be trained at a basic first-responder level. They too are already available, on and off duty, and nearby.

And greater adoption of citizen CPR is crucial.

#2 Transportation

CSL EMS is not an ambulance service. It is a first-responder service. As such, it must rapidly access those calling 911. It should have a fleet of smaller, faster vehicles – not heavy and very expensive ambulances. To complement its lighter, quicker vehicles, a single ambulance would suffice for full protection from the outside elements during severe weather or at large events.

Hatzalah has a fleet of scooters to get around its congested urban centres. CSL already has a fleet of electric scooters for vCOP. Why not integrate these resources, with qualified members, for quicker response when they’re already on the road or when EMS is unavailable?

vCOP patrols the park on electric scooter (Canada Day 2017)

#3 Technology

Hatzalah has uses Israeli technology pushed out via an app for its members. Such technology is now widely accessible to anyone on their mobile devices. CSL should embrace this technology by outfitting all of its EMS and qualified vCOP members so that the closest crews can respond even faster to life-threatening emergencies while EMS and Urgences Santé ambulance are en route. Again, these extra responders are even more critical when EMS first-responders are tied up on other calls and unable to respond to a life-threatening emergency.

#4 Policy

CSL operates under rules and regulations established by higher levels of authority. These rules need to be updated to take into account the local realities of CSL EMS volunteers. Medical responders ought to be granted tax credits toward their training and equipment expenses. Also, the SAAQ has developed regulations in the last few years that allow volunteer firefighters unique privileges in responding to (medical) emergencies in their own vehicles. Despite numerous evidence-based presentations by CSL, the Quebec automobile insurance board refuses to recognize the unique nature of CSL EMS volunteers, who are better trained to deal with medical calls than firefighters. Updating policies and removing bureaucratic obstacles will help save even more lives.


There is no doubt that Cote Saint-Luc is a leader in community-based emergency medical services. Its program is one-of-a-kind in Quebec and it is a proven, life-saving organization. Adopting new ways of expanding its resources, exploring new rapid-response vehicles , embracing mobile technology and updating policies will bring this organization to a whole new level.



Source: Eli Beer: founder of Israel rescue organization shares his story in Montreal talk

Why can’t Montreal clear the snow?

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Van Horne congestion due to snowbanks and illegally parked car, on Feb. 12, 2018

Traffic continues to be snarled on Van Horne, west of Decarie, for more than two weeks.  The Borough of Cote des Neiges – NDG’s inability to clear the snowbank is baffling. No less than three types of ‘No Parking’ signs have come and gone yet the snow remains. The afternoon/evening rush hour on this route routinely sees a single lineup of vehicles backing up for blocks, into Decarie, sometimes all the way to Westbury. Is this because of incompetence or lack of resources?

Just a few blocks further the Town of Hampstead does a reasonable job of clearing nearly two full lanes, doubling the flow rate. And beyond that Cote Saint-Luc practically melts the snow from curb to curb.

The police routinely fail to enforce the No Parking restrictions on Van Horne (which I lobbied for several years ago). So even if the snowbank would be cleared illegally parked cars often obstruct the right lane (as photographed above at 5:20PM).

So what’s the problem in Montreal? We should be world leaders at clearing snow. Instead, we’re caught off guard by snow storms, can’t clear ice from sidewalks, our streets are riddled with potholes, and we needlessly waste time in traffic jams. Let’s hope the new administration figures this out quickly and get’s it right for next season. And ticket that car!


Police station 9 moving

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West-end Montreal police Station 9 closes on Monday as it moves to Westminster Ave.:


Safer Cycling, a priority in CSL | Le cyclisme sécuritaire, un priorité

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Watch & Share: Safer cycling ranks high on my plans. I started the CSL Cycles route and lanes which I want to expand. I introduced the very first municipal helmet law in Canada!

Regarder et partager: Le cyclisme en sécuritaire occupe une place importante dans mes plans. J’ai lancé le program Cycle CSL. J’ai initié la toute première loi municipale sur le casque de vélo au Canada!


Watch: Keeping CSL safe | Regardez: Gardez CSL le plus sécuritaire

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Watch and share: Working hard, on your behalf, making sure Cote Saint-Luc remains the safest city on the Island.

Regardez et partagez: Je travaille pour vous, afin que Côte Saint-Luc demeure la ville la plus sûre de l’île.


Watch: CSL EMS – It takes leadership to save lives | SMU de CSL Un leadership assuré et fiable

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Watch and share: CSL Emergency Medical Services has always been my passion. I’ve responded to many hundreds of calls through the years, performed CPR 125 times and I take enormous pride in this life-saving service. I was awarded the Governor General’s Award for more than 20 years in EMS. In my next mandate as City Councillor I plan to continue to grow this unique volunteer organization to help save lives and come to your assistance rapidly.




Regardez et partagez: CSL Services médicaux d’urgences a toujours été ma passion. J’ai répondu à plusieurs centaines d’appels au cours des années, j’ai fait la RCR 125 fois et je suis très fier de ce service qui sauve des vies. J’ai reçu le Prix du Gouverneur général pour mes plus de 20 ans dans le SMU. Au cours de mon prochain mandat, à titre de conseiller municipal, je prévois continuer de faire croître cette organisation bénévole unique pour aider à sauver des vies et à venir rapidement à votre aide.


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