Government of Canada launches school bus seatbelt pilots in the District of Sudbury, Ontario and British Columbia

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Together with Gary Lillico of Canadians Parents for Mandatory Seatbelts I have been urging Transport Minister Marc Garneau to introduce legislation to require seatbelts on school buses across Canada. The evidence is compelling. Injuries can be reduced and lives can be saved. While this week's announced pilot project is a significant step forward I encourage you to contact your Member of Parliament as well as Transport Minister Marc Garneau and make your voice heard.
-GJN

TORONTO, Feb. 14, 2020 /CNW/ – The safety of Canada’s road users is a priority for federal, provincial, and territorial governments, and that starts with the safe transportation of our school children.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced that the Government of Canada is launching a pilot project introducing seatbelts in some school buses with the District of Sudbury, Ontario, and at a second location in British Columbia, which will be announced at a later date.

The pilot projects will involve a limited number of new school buses, equipped with three-point seatbelts that follow the latest federal safety standards.

School buses are the safest way to transport an estimated 2.2 million Canadian children to school. Recognizing that seatbelts can provide an additional layer of safety in rare, but severe school bus collisions, these pilots are an important step in examining the optimal and most efficient use of this safety feature in Canada.

The Sudbury Student Services Consortium as well as British Columbia expressed interest in this pilot. The Government of Canada is also open to partnering with other governments or jurisdictions who would be willing to step up and participate in a pilot.

The need for pilot projects stems from the report of the Task Force on School Bus Safety, Strengthening School Bus Safety in Canada, which explains the considerations associated with installing and using seatbelts on school buses, such as proper seatbelt adjustments for children.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada is pleased to collaborate with the Government of British Columbia and with Ontario’s Sudbury Student Services Consortium on these important pilot projects involving seatbelts on school buses. School buses continue to be the safest means of transporting children to and from school in Canada, but if there is an opportunity for improvement, we will explore all options as we continue to study and analyse the potential use of seatbelts on school buses. These pilots are an important element of our collective efforts to further strengthen school bus safety in Canada, and we look forward to the findings.”

– Minister of Transportthe Honourable Marc Garneau

“The Province of B.C. looks forward to working with Transport Canada to identify how jurisdictions can strengthen and improve safety in and around school buses. Participation in this pilot project will provide important information that will help guide decisions on school bus safety.”

– Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Honourable Claire Trevena
Government of British Columbia

“The Sudbury Student Services Consortium is thrilled to be working in partnership with Transport Canada on this very exciting project to support school bus safety. We are looking forward to working with our local school boards, school bus operators, students, and parents on this very important initiative.”

– Renée Boucher, Executive Director, Sudbury Student Services Consortium

Quick Facts

  • Each day, Canadian children travel to and from school every day on 51,670 school buses.
  • In July 2018, Transport Canada published new requirements to support the voluntary installation of three-point seatbelts on school buses.
  • In January 2019, the federal, provincial, territorial Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety established a special Task Force to carefully examine the issue of school bus safety, both inside and outside the bus, with an emphasis on seatbelts.

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This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.

SOURCE Transport Canada

SPVM Stations 9, 11 to merge

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The Suburban has been informed by a well-placed source that the process is underway for SPVM Station 9 in Côte St. Luc and Station 11 in NDG to merge.

From what we have heard so far, the new merged station will be located at Station 9’s current location, at the corner of Westminster and Côte St. Luc Road. Station 9 serves Côte St. Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West.

But we have heard concerns expressed that there will not be a police station situated in NDG for the first time and that there will be less police presence in Côte St. Luc, notwithstanding the station’s planned location.

The Suburban has placed calls to Côte des Neiges-NDG Mayor Sue Montgomery, and the SPVM’s media representatives, and we await their response.

We did speak with Côte St. Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, who told us Monday afternoon that he has not heard of the alleged merger plans.

Brownstein added that it while it would be difficult to make a statement without finding out further details, he did say it would be good news if the alleged merger results in the station remaining in Côte St. Luc, and that he hoped the police presence would not be lessened there.

joel@thesuburban.com

Carbon monoxide from car in garage killed Côte-St-Luc couple: coroner

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This is a heartbreaking, tragic reminder to be vigilant and prudent when parking your car in the garage and of the critical need to have CO detectors in your home.

GJN
House where couple was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Côte-St-Luc. PIERRE OBENDRAUF / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Woman probably forgot to turn her car’s ignition off after parking it in the garage

FRÉDÉRIC TOMESCO  Montreal Gazette: December 9, 2019

A Côte-St-Luc couple died of carbon monoxide poisoning last winter when the wife probably forgot to turn her car’s ignition off after parking it in the garage, a coroner has concluded.

Roger Banon and Simone Elkeslassy were found dead by one of their sons Feb. 6 after uncharacteristically failing to answer phone calls during the day. Firefighters called to the scene noted the presence of carbon monoxide inside the garage and the house.

The couple lived in a single-family residence, with their bedroom located directly above the garage. A carbon monoxide detector was installed in the basement and was in service, the report said.

Banon, 88, had Parkinson’s disease. He had the constant help and support of his 84-year-old wife and other family members, according to the coroner’s report, which was released Monday. Husband and wife — both wearing pyjamas — were found lying on the floor of the guest room.

“It appears that Mr. Banon’s spouse probably had a moment of distraction when returning from the grocery store on Feb. 5 and forgot to shut down the engine of her car,” coroner Julie-Kim Godin concluded in her report dated Sept. 25, ruling out suicide.

Having just returned from a trip, Elkeslassy “had to resume her activities and her routine,” Godin wrote. “She had several tasks to perform and needed to take care of her partner. She probably had a lot of concerns on her mind, which contributed to this moment of distraction.”

Montreal police investigators found Elkeslassy’s car parked in the garage. While the garage door leading onto the driveway was closed, investigators were unable to establish whether the inside door leading to the house was open or closed.

The car key was in the ignition and it was switched on, the coroner’s report said. The fuel gauge indicated that the tank was empty and the hood was lukewarm.

“This allows us to conclude that the engine continued to run, probably for several hours, producing significant carbon monoxide emissions in the house,” Godin wrote.

Elkeslassy was an “active, autonomous woman who was very involved in the community,” Godin also wrote. She was seeing a doctor regularly, and a recent appointment had not resulted in any problems being identified. Elkeslassy “loved life and was very resilient,” the report cited her doctor as saying. She had never expressed suicidal ideas, the report said.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a recurring problem in Quebec.

On Friday, a Laval woman was found dead in a house after being poisoned by the toxic gas, police said. Two other people were taken to a hospital for the same reason. Results of the investigation may be announced Tuesday, a Laval police spokesperson said Monday.

Carbon monoxide is a clear, odourless and tasteless gas that can make humans sick and can lead to death. The gas is created when fuels such as oil, coal, wood, gasoline, propane and natural gas are burned.

Carbon monoxide doesn’t irritate the eyes or respiratory tract. But when a person inhales it, the gas enters their blood and interferes with oxygen intake, damaging tissue, according to Quebec’s health department. The effects can vary depending on the quantity of the gas in the air and the length of exposure. Severe carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to a coma and death within minutes.

ftomesco@postmedia.com

Urging the government to put seatbelts on school buses

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You may know that I have joined with Gary Lillico and his advocacy group Seatbelt’s for Canadian School Buses Now to urge Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau to require seatbelts on all school buses. Thousands have signed a petition in support. Read details on this campaign and watch an incredible CBC report for background information.

Tonight, Mount Royal Member of Parliament, Anthony Housefather, rose in the House of Commons to ask about this important issue. Thank you Anthony for pressing forward. We hope to see solid action by the Minister early in the new year to increase safety for school children from coast to coast.

I’ll continue to call upon Minister Garneau to move the necessary regulations or legislation. I have already spoken with him on three occasions on this topic over the last 12 months and I believe that he is interested in making good on this important subject that falls within his ministerial mandate.

Naloxone training coming to CSL First Responders

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Cote Saint-Luc EMS

With the opioide overdose crisis sweeping across Canada it was only a matter of time before widespread training of First Responders would take place. Montreal has announced its firefighters have started to receive this training. This leaves the question about Cote Saint-Luc, the only jurisdiction on the Island of Montreal with its own First Responder Service. Montreal firefighters do not respond to medical emergencies in Cote Saint-Luc.

I reached out to find out about CSL Emergency Medical Services training. Public Safety Councillor Oren Sebag confirms that CSL First Responders will indeed be trained to administer Naloxone in the case of opioide overdose.

Read More:

MONTREAL FIRST RESPONDERS TO BE TRAINED IN USE OF NALOXONE AS ‘ADDITIONAL TOOL’

“The real first responders are the people that make the call,” explains Richard Davy, a student of Social Work at McGill University. “When we consider how quickly someone can lose brain function without oxygen, these are the people that still need to be trained on how to use naloxone.”
Global
https://globalnews.ca/news/5388323/montreal-first-responders-naloxone/

Toronto cop weighs in on “armed police for hire” debate

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Toronto cop weighs in on armed police for hire debate
Toronto police sergeant Lawrence Sager, Facebook

Toronto police sergeant Lawrence Sager weighed in regarding a Suburban report that Hampstead is pressing for local Montreal Torah Centre congregants to be able to hire armed off-duty SPVM police officers to provide security.

“Police Paid Duties have always been an extremely effective way to provide security to an event,” Sgt. Sager wrote on Facebook this past weekend. “Few would try and cause trouble with highly visible uniformed police officers present. The only pitfall is the cost.”

As we reported, Hampstead councillor Harvey Shaffer was told by the SPVM that the MTC congregants would not be allowed to hire officers. The SPVM declined to comment to The Suburban, when asked the reason for the refusal. Mayor William Steinberg is working on the matter as well, in light of recent shootings in synagogues in the U.S. and religious institutions around the world.

Sgt. Sager posted as part of a Facebook discussion on our article initiated by former Côte St. Luc councillor Glenn Nashen.

“Toronto Police have done paid duties at synagogues for many decades, as well as funerals and many other large private events,” the sergeant, who attended Wagar High School in Côte St. Luc, explained. “The paid duty office determines the number of officers required, depending on the venue and can also provide cruisers for funeral escorts.

“The drawback is that paid duty officers are quite expensive,” he added. “You get what you pay for. A police officer is armed, well trained, has other use of force options and is equipped with a police radio, in touch with the police dispatcher, capable of calling for immediate police backup without delay. We actually have difficulty filling all the paid duty requests due to manpower shortages.”

Nashen responded to Sager by saying that paid armed off-duty officers “would be a viable option in Montreal for those that can afford it. Unfortunately, the cost couldn’t be sustained by community organizations already struggling.”

Sgt. Sager further wrote that he does not know why Montreal police have not provided the service, “but I suspect it has to do with the Quebec Police Act.

“In Ontario, it’s called the Ontario Police Service Act and every province has its own laws governing what their police can do,” he wrote. “Toronto Police do paid duties in order to bolster our numbers rather than using on-duty officers and it’s allowed in Ontario.

Sgt. Sager also pointed out that the Toronto police’s 32 Division “has the largest Jewish community in Toronto with many synagogues.

“During the High Holidays, there were so many paid duties that they filled its own binder. Once no more could be given out because we ran out of officers to do them, they were offered to the rest of the service outside our division. …. Despite the high cost, there’s no shortage of requests and in many cases insurance companies require that paid duty officers be hired.

joel@thesuburban.com

New director takes control at CSL Public Safety

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Philip Chateauvert

Philip Chateauvert is assuming command of the Cote Saint-Luc Public Safety Department. Public Safety includes five divisions of professional staff and volunteers: Public Security, Emergency Communications (Dispatch), Emergency Medical Services, volunteer Citizens on Patrol and Emergency Preparedness.

Chateauvert spent the last five years as manager of Public Safety. He takes over from Jordy Reichson who recently moved on after a 10 year run as Public Safety Director. Reichson was an energetic and creative leader in this field with a passion for matters of community and personal safety. He has taken on the responsibility of managing the security of all City of Montreal buildings and facilities.

Chateauvert has distinguished himself as an affable colleague of staff and volunteers. He is also very interested in teaching which he continues to do in the field of security management at two CEGEPs, La Cité collégial Ottawa and Gerald Godin in the West Island.

He also directed medical operations in various major events such as the Thriatlon International de Montréal and the Montreal Marathon.

Previously, Chateauvert had five years of experience as a security manager in various organizations such as the Port of Montreal, the École de Technologie Supérieure and the Société de la Place des Arts. Before that he was a firefighter.

I was fortunate to serve as City Councillor responsible for Public Safety from Chateauvert’s beginning in Cote Saint-Luc. He was an excellent addition to the city’s ranks who gained the respect and appreciation of his crews.

Philip Chateauvert

I recently asked Chateauvert what inspires him most about his job?

“Undoubtedly, to have the opportunity to have an even greater impact on our ability to help the community by making it safer,” he said. “Very few managers can say that as part of their work they have the opportunity to put in place policies and procedures that can save lives,” Chateauvert added proudly. “This is my greatest motivation.”

And what are Chateauvert’s highs and lows?

“Anytime I feel like I made a difference in someone else’s life is a great day for me. Lucky enough, this happens quite often in our line of work,” he said.

“However, facing the death and grief of our patients’ families is certainly the most difficult part to see,” said Chateauvert.

And what plans does Chateauvert have as he assumes control as director?

” I plan to continue to give my 110% to find ways to prevent even more crimes, save more lives and make Cote Saint-Luc an even safer place!”

I wish much luck and success to Director Philip Chateauvert.

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