Farewell to Jack Budovitch

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Jack Budovitch (Photo Glenn J. Nashen)

 

Jack Budovitch was a proud Cote Saint-Lucer, a volunteer and leader and active in the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 97. Jack would often be seen selling poppies to help support charities throughout the city.

Jack was a founder of the Cote Saint-Luc Senior Men’s Club and served as its president. He was extremely devoted to the success of this organization and was instrumental in encouraging the city to eventually move the group from its old location in the CSL Shopping Centre to its current place in the Aquatic and Community Centre.

Jack passed away on September 1, 2017 at the age of 95.

Jack budovitch, CSL Senior Men’s Club founder and Past President and Councillor Glenn J. Nashen (Oct. 2009)

 

Anthony Housefather, Member of Parliament for Mount Royal recalled, “Jack was an incredible guy. His contributions to the Men’s Club and the City of CSL will not be forgotten. His warmth and good cheer made everyone around him feel good.”

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said, “On behalf of my wife Elaine and the entire City Council, we mourn and remember Jack as a wonderful friend of our city, who was a great volunteer always expressing positive thoughts and bringing joy to all he would meet. We will miss him dearly.”

Councillor Ruth Kovac added, “A great smile and gentlemanly manner defined my friend Jack.”

“Our deepest sympathy to the family from your comerades at Branch 97 Frederich Kisch RCL. Jack was our number one poppy person. His adoring smile won the hearts of every customer at the CSL IGA. Always a pal to everyone with boundless emery to raise funds for every good cause. His adoring fans will greatly miss this charitable celebrity,” said Councillor Allan J. Levine.

Jack was such a delightful person. He always had a smile and a positive comment. His interest and involvement in the civic life of Cote Saint-Luc was substantial. He was well respected and appreciated by the members of City Council. He will be remembered and missed.

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Côte Saint-Luc honours Councillor Allan J. Levine on 30th anniversary on City Council

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allan_levine_anniversary_2016-11-14

The City of Côte Saint-Luc honoured Councillor Allan J. Levine on Monday, November 14 as the long-time council member celebrates the 30th anniversary of his first election.

Councillor Levine was honoured at the start of the City Council meeting this evening.

“Councillor Levine has advocated financial prudence and has continually promoted healthy lifestyles through sports and recreation,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “He has served his constituents well and is a force for remembrance of our veterans, community gardening, and much more.”

Councillor Levine won his first election in November 1986. He was a well-known person in the community, in part from his years teaching at Wagar High School and teaching people to drive.

Councillor Levine advocated for an anti-smoking law in commercial areas, which he helped achieve. He also joined with his council colleagues to support mandatory bicycle helmets and no smoking in parks. He served as chairperson and member of the city planning committee for more than 20 years.

“Councillor Levine has always listened to his constituents and is accessible,” Mayor Brownstein said. “He always considers what is best for children and promotes an active lifestyle for seniors.”

Councillor Levine is the longest-serving member of the current Côte Saint-Luc city council. He has been a member of city council from 1986 to 2001, and from 2005 to present—the only interruption being during the forced municipal mergers of 2001 to 2005.

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and City Council present a certificate to honour Councillor Allan J. Levine on 30 years of service (Photo: Darryl Levine, CSL).

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and City Council present a certificate to honour Councillor Allan J. Levine on 30 years of service (Photo: Darryl Levine, CSL).

Federation of Canadian Municipalities annual congress offers unparalleled learning experience

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Earlier this week I had the opportunity to participate with over 1600 local elected officials from across the country in the annual conference of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. The theme of this years’ gathering was “Municipalities, The Heart of Canada.” I could not agree more with that statement. Our cities and towns, large and small, urban and rural, are where we live, work and play. We are the level of government closest to citizens and most responsive to their needs.
Neighbourly mayors and councillors: Dida Berku, Allan J. Levine, Marvin Rotrand, Russell Copeman, William Steinberg, Mitchell Brownstein, Glenn J. Nashen, Ruth Kovac

Neighbourly mayors and councillors: Dida Berku, Allan J. Levine, Marvin Rotrand, Russell Copeman, William Steinberg, Mitchell Brownstein, Glenn J. Nashen, Ruth Kovac

This was an unparalleled opportunity to engage with elected representatives from municipal governments in all ten provinces and all three territories. It was a chance to hear from experts in many social sectors and industries.
CSL Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi at FCM 2016

CSL Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi at FCM 2016

I attended a workshop dealing with effective engagement with local first responders. The panel included outstanding professionals including Cathy Palmer, a member of the Calgary police force who serves on police governance associations across Canada, former Saskatoon Fire Chief Dan Paulson and Winnipeg Police Service Chief Devon Clunis. The three were highly informative and very instructive. Also in attendance was Stephanie Durant, Director General of Public Safety Canada.
Winnipeg Police car decorated for the Pride parade

Winnipeg Police car decorated for the Pride parade

Chief Clunis stressed the importance of having outside bodies to come in and measure the efficiency of municipal operations.

I was particularly pleased by comments by Winnipeg Fire & Paramedic Service Chief John Lane who said, residential sprinklers are a minimal investment and the long-term benefits are very significant. “This is the right way to go. You need the political fortitude to get this done in your communities,” he said.
I’m proud to have pressed for a residential sprinkler law in Cote Saint-Luc, an early adopter in Quebec. Our city is much safer thanks to this bylaw.
Winnipeg Fire Chief John Lane leads his service in the Pride parade

Winnipeg Fire Chief John Lane leads his service in the Pride parade

 

There was a very moving and emotional “Tribute to Fort McMurray.” The delegates thanked the first responders and elected representatives of the surrounding municipalities for stepping up to meet the urgent and immediate needs of those residing in the Municipality of Wood Buffalo, the regional government encompassing Fort McMurray. The assembly reached out to salute and recognize all Albertans and Canadians for pitching in with relief aid.
The following musical video tribute was presented to a standing ovation:
A tearful Councillor Allan Glenn Vinni from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo thanked the FCM delegates for support and encouragement and lots and lots of cash assistance. “We will get the job done and rebuild,” Vinni said, adding it will take between three and five years to recover.
The mayor of sister city Lac la Biche said the Fort McMurray disaster became a cause for all municipalities from coast to coast. “You should all be proud. You’ve shown the world what we can do.”
FCM 2016 Fort McMurray Tribute
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson said, “The response of municipalities has been extraordinary. They received tens of thousands of ‘refugees’. Small communities doubled their population overnight. It was the smaller communities that stood up in an extraordinary way. Response erupted in a local way,” the mayor said. Iveson pointed out that his city had to cope with hundreds of unscheduled evacuation flights. “The arrival of South African firefighters, singing in the airport, was a very powerful moment.”
“Hoteliers gave rooms for free. Apartment owners gave rooms for free. Moms cooked meals. Bus drivers drove evacuees. Firefighters volunteered to go to the epicentre,” Iveson said of the extraordinary efforts of everyday Canadians.
To great applause, Tree Canada’s executive director, Michael Rosen, announced the “re-greening” of Fort McMurray.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the FCM 2016 delegation in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the FCM 2016 delegation in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signaled the important partnership that municipalities will play under a Liberal government in Ottawa.
Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May addresses the FCM 2016

Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May addresses the FCM 2016

Green Party leader Elizabeth May as referred to as “one the most influential women in the world,” according to Newsweek.
This isn’t a time to build pipelines, May said. It’s time for an “orderly liquidation of fossil fuels” she said, quoting an industry analysts in last week’s Globe and Mail.
Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen at FCM 2016

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen at FCM 2016

“It makes a lot of sense for municipal leadership at the local level to have  a role in national discussions when so much of that discussion involves municipal life,” May said. “Municipal government has proven they are agile even with one hand tied behind your back. Keep passing resolutions demanding change regarding climate change,” she said.
Gala dinner FCM 2016 - Standing: Cllr. Ruth Kovac, Cllr. Sam Goldbloom, Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen, Elaine Brownstein, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Doris Steinberg. Seated: Cllr. Dida Berku, Jacob Kincler, Tree Canada Executive Director Michael Rozen, Mayor William Steinberg.

Gala dinner FCM 2016 – Standing: Cllr. Ruth Kovac, Cllr. Sam Goldbloom, Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen, Elaine Brownstein, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Doris Steinberg. Seated: Cllr. Dida Berku, Jacob Kincler, Tree Canada Executive Director Michael Rosen, Mayor William Steinberg.

Great respect and sensitivity was paid to First Nation communities throughout Canada. Winnipeg, it was pointed out, is the homeland of the Métis. It is a ‘Treaty Territory’ at the fork of the Assiniboine River and Red River.
One of the indigenous leaders was invited to bring a blessing to the assembly. He thanked ‘Mother Earth’ for the food and water and delivered a special greeting to the women who have exceptional blessings of the aboriginal leaders, for having ‘open minds and open spirits and for celebrating life”. The traditional wishes ended with “Mig’wich”.
We were fortunate to meet Winnipeg Councillor Marty Marantz (representing Tuxedo) and his wife Lisa. Marty represents a constituency most similar to Cote Saint-Luc in terms of Jewish community with many families in his town having links to families in ours.
St. Leonard Borough Mayor Michel Bissonet, Cllr. Ruth Kovac, Cllr. Glenn J. nashen, Jacob Kincler and Cllr. Sam Goldbloom at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, Winnipeg

St. Leonard Borough Mayor Michel Bissonet, Cllr. Ruth Kovac, Cllr. Glenn J. nashen, Jacob Kincler and Cllr. Sam Goldbloom at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, Winnipeg

Winnipeg is also home to the only national museum outside of Ottawa. The Canadian Museum of Human Rights is an architectural marvel and educational castle. It was an extraordinary experience to gather with all FCM delegates in this amazing national treasure and to learn about Canada’s brighter and darker chapters in human rights.

Canadian Museum of Human Rights 2

Speaking of human rights, it also happened to be International Pride Day, and the extremely festive and lively parade made its way right under Winnipeg’s new and spacious RBC Convention Centre. FCM delegates poured into the streets to cheer on the thousands of revelers including major city services.

Hi 5 to Winnipeg EMS showing their pride

Hi 5 to Winnipeg EMS showing their pride

 

Cote Saint-Luc Mayor and Councillors proud to salute those participating in Winnipeg's Pride Parade

Cote Saint-Luc Mayor and Councillors proud to salute those participating in Winnipeg’s Pride Parade

The FCM Trade Show is an incredible learning opportunity with displays by well over one hundred exhibitors from national organizations, corporations, municipal suppliers and federal government agencies. The information gleaned in these venues enables us to learn about best practices, emerging technologies and to be educated by federal department staff and non-profit experts.
Sun Country representatives promoted electric vehicle (EV) possibilities for municipal fleets and EV charging stations. CSL will soon install its first EV charging stations.

Sun Country representatives promoted electric vehicle (EV) possibilities for municipal fleets and EV charging stations. CSL will soon install its first EV charging stations.

 

Overall, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is an incredible organization representing cities and towns from coast to coast to coast. It has served as the national voice of municipalities since 1901. Cote Saint-Luc benefits greatly by its membership and participation in its annual conferences.
maniitobaplate
The City of Winnipeg under the leadership of Mayor Brian Bowman is to be congratulated for its sensational hosting of FCM 2016. Winnipeg’s city staff were out in full force assisting in every aspect and always with a smile. It is very clear why it’s called “Friendly Manitoba.”
The Manitoba Legislature with the Golden Boy atop and the Manitoba Law Courts with its green dome as photographed from the RBC Convention Centre

Setting Sun in Winnipeg: The Manitoba Legislature with the Golden Boy atop and the Manitoba Law Courts with its green dome as photographed from the RBC Convention Centre.

End of year message

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Message from the Acting Mayor of Cote Saint-Luc

CSL Courier – December 31, 2015

Just as the seasons change so does life in the City of Cote Saint-Luc and at our City Hall. After ten incredible years at the helm, our esteemed mayor has accomplished a lifelong dream and has taken on the title of Member of Parliament. We are so fortunate as he will continue to serve us with integrity and passion and determination, now as our Man in Ottawa!

Anthony Housefather, MP, in the Hall of Honour, in the Parliament of Canada

Anthony Housefather, MP, in the Hall of Honour, in the Parliament of Canada

I was honoured to join several Members of Council, our outgoing M.P. Professor Irwin Cotler, and several Cote Saint-Lucers at the official Swearing In Ceremony on Parliament Hill a few weeks ago. It was an extraordinary day, steeped in Canadian tradition and history that will long be remembered. Please join me in congratulating the Honourable Anthony Housefather, M.P. for Mount Royal and wishing him every success in his service to our constituency and our country.

My first public council meeting as Acting mayor of Cote Saint-Luc, November 9, 2015

My first public council meeting as Acting mayor of Cote Saint-Luc, November 9, 2015

In the interim I have stepped up to lead the city as Acting Mayor. I have been working hand in hand with the Members of Council and the Administration to ensure a smooth transition as we prepare for winter, build our 2016 budget and get ready to elect a new mayor in an upcoming byelection.

I am also excited to be celebrating 25 years since I was first elected to this venerable council, together with my friends and colleagues Councillors Mitchell Brownstein, Ruth Kovac and Dida Berku. It is truly an honour as I consider being elected to serve the public as a great privilege. I congratulate my colleagues on this important milestone in our political lives.

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

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

I also note the long and distinguished service of  Councillor Allan J. Levine who has served, remarkably since 1986.

 

As for Councillors Steven Erdelyi, Mike Cohen and Sam Goldbloom, our youngsters on council, they have deeply devoted themselves for the last 10 years.

 

All together, we have worked collaboratively and respectfully, for which I am very grateful. We have a dedicated and talented group of councillors here in Cote Saint-Luc, along with a dynamic and creative administration and staff led by Tanya Abramovitch, Nadia Di Furia and Jonathan Shecter, all of whom are focused on delivering quality services and programs to our residents. In addition we have hundreds of incredible volunteers who give of themselves, tirelessly, all for the benefit of our city and its residents.

 

In the meantime, as the seasons roll over, I invite you to enjoy all our city has to offer throughout the winter months. Our Aquatic and Community Centre is bursting with activity seven days a week. Whether its for a dip in the pool or shooting hoops or taking an art class drop by and get active. The CSL Public Library is open every day of the year and offers so much for every age. Whether you prefer to skate indoors at the arena or at one of the outdoor rinks or go for a brisk walk along one of our park paths we take this opportunity to wish you a safe, healthy and maybe even a warm winter. Safe travels to our snowbirds.

CSL alert mass notification

And please stay in touch with your city all year long. Subscribe to the Cote Saint-Luc newsletter at www.cotesaintluc.org/subscribe. Also CSL Alert allows you to receive notifications about events that may affect your home or neighbourhood via phone call, text message and e-mail. Visit www.cotesaintluc.org/alert to sign up.

2015-11-30 Council portrait photo

On behalf of the council, I take this opportunity to wish you a festive and bright Chanukah, a joyous and spirited Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.

Glenn J. Nashen

Acting Mayor

 

Read the full edition of the CSL Courier (Dec. 2015)

CSL announces mayoral election process

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By Joel Goldenberg
The Suburban
Côte St. Luc has announced the process leading up to next year’s mayoral election, to replace Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather.
Pro-mayor Glenn Nashen is at the helm for now.
At Monday night’s public meeting, Côte St. Luc’s city clerk officially declared a vacancy on council.
“Because there is more than one year until the November 2017 municipal elections across Quebec, the city council cannot simply appoint someone to be mayor — there must be a by- election,” the city announcement says. “The Returning Officer will select a date for the byelection at a date to be determined. If only one candidate files nomination papers, then she or he will be acclaimed mayor. When the b-election date is set, it will be posted at CoteSaintLuc.org.”
So far, among council members, only Councillor Allan Levine has declared an intention to run, via his Facebook page. Other council members are either considering the possibility, saying it’s too early at this point to declare anything or are not running — at least next year.
The Suburban heard a rumour that former D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman, who is very popular in the community, would possibly run. We called Bergman and asked if he had any intention to run.
“No, at the moment, I have no intention,” Bergman said. “At the moment.”

 

Federal election leaves Côte-St-Luc without a mayor

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The election last month of Anthony Housefather as the MP for Mount Royal riding has created a vacancy that may interest as many as three sitting members of council.

Housefather, 45, mayor since 2005, resigned Wednesday after winning the federal seat in Mount Royal for the Liberals. He’d been acclaimed in the last two municipal elections in 2009 and 2013. With the next one not scheduled until November 2017, the city is required by provincial law to call a by-election to replace him.

If a single candidate is nominated, he or she will be acclaimed. But there appear to be more aspirants this time around.

Councillor Allan J. Levine confirmed to the Montreal Gazette he is running.

“I feel the city needs a new direction on finance,” he said. “The debt ratio is high and Côte-St-Luc, with the second highest tax mill rate on the island, needs someone with a tough stand on taxes.”

Mitchell Brownstein, who worked on the Housefather election campaign and was president of the Liberal riding association in Mount Royal, has already obtained the support of fellow councillors Mike Cohen and Sam Goldbloom without stating his intentions so far.

Brownstein said he’ll be attending Housefather’s swearing-in at Ottawa next week and won’t make any announcement before then, but did say “I’m seriously considering it” and  “I’m very appreciative of the overwhelming support I’m getting from the public.”

Councillor Dida Berku said she’s thinking about it as well “but I don’t know yet. I’m not ruling it out.”

Berku, who ran once for mayor against  Bernard Lang in 1994, said her choice would have been for city to function with a succession of acting mayors until the next scheduled election in 2017.

“We’ve just come out of a very divisive (federal) election. Nobody has an appetite for another election now, in the middle of winter. We get along well, it’s a good team, there’s a lot of collaboration. If we could continue to run it that way, collectively, that would be my preference.”

Robert Libman,  who ran second to Housefather as the Conservative candidate in Mount Royal and preceded him as Côte-St-Luc mayor, also has been mentioned as a possible mayoralty candidate.

“A lot of people approached me about it, but it’s not in my plans right now. I’m going back to my career as an architect and planner,” Libman said.

If an election is needed, the municipality likely will ask the province for permission to delay it until April, in part because so many of its residents are snowbirds who winter in warmer climes. It’s one of the topics on the agenda for the first council meeting without Housefather on Monday night.

CSL Senior Community Garden celebrates 40 years

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The Cote Saint-Luc Senior Community Gardens marked their 40th anniversary in style with, what else, a garden party.

The gardeners, about 72 in total, along with special guests, enjoyed a beautiful dinner in the garden, with live music. There were lots of smiling faces as the gardeners celebrated this milestone anniversary in a little, hidden oasis right in the very epicentre of Cote Saint-Luc, near the corner of Kildare Road and Kellert Avenue.

Joining the celebration tonight was Mayor Anthony Housefather, Councillors Mitchell Brownstein, Dida Berku, Ruth Kovac, Allan Levine and myself.

Gardeners Allan Levine and Alberto Cambone

Gardeners Allan Levine and Alberto Cambone

Levine, a gardener himself, led me over to his plot in the gardens. He told me he had to wait three years until a plot became available, as the program is so popular. He was beaming with pride as he showed off his prize zucchinis (I didn’t know they could grow so large!), 16 sorts of tomatoes which he grew from seeds including one type from Israel and a slew of herbs including basil, tarragon and leek . His rhubarb looked amazing and the aroma from his garden was striking, unlike what you’d expect to smell in the middle of the city.

“My grand-kids were just here this morning and they loved picking Zaida’s vegetables and bringing them home to eat,” Levine, the proud grandfather, gardener and city councillor exclaimed.

Alberto Camboni may deal in meat by day, but after hours he dons his boots and grabs his shovel and off to the garden he goes. After an incredible 35 years in the Community Garden he has amassed three contiguous plots where he features a large fig tree (did you know we have them in Canada?) and grows cucumbers, arugula several types of tomato plants including Romanella (aka Roma), several types of beans and eggplant among other vegetables.

The beans were so large that they could have been featured in a Jack and the Beanstalk movie!

“The garden is so close to home,” said Cambone, who begins tending to his plot each year in April and goes right through to November. “I like the camaraderie.” As he showed me his garden one could hear English, Italian and Romanian being spoken nearby. The multi-cultural group of gardeners are friendly, happy and welcoming people I noted.

Another local I bumped into was Lloyd Pedvis who lives  a stone’s throw from the gardens. He has been a member for three years and is immensely proud of his garden plot and enjoys the experience of getting his hands dirty and growing his vegetables.
Garden president Mandie Aaron oversees the operation and can be seen fluttering around the garden with her wide brimmed hat with purpose and pride. She certainly seemed pleased with state of her oasis estate.
“In my garden, I plant about 6 different varieties of kale, collards, mustard greens, peppers, carrots, and beans. I also have garlic, multiple varieties of herbs, some of which, like caraway, I grow specifically to harvest the seeds,” Aaron said to me. “I have a freezer and a dehydrator, and store most of what I grow for use through the winter.”
“In the ‘donation’ garden, this season, I am growing peas, beans, cucumber, peppers, eggplants, garlic, lemon balm, rhubarb, cabbage cauliflower, multiple varieties of herbs. Everything that’s grown there is donated to MADA. Other gardeners also contribute to the MADA donations,” Aaron said.
“I’ve been there, helping out, since my Mom got a garden about 22 years ago. Even though I’m not a senior, I was given permission to be a member and, about 10 years ago, or so, got my own garden.”
“I was elected President/Garden Coordinator 3 seasons ago. It’s a lot of work, but I enjoy it very much. We have such long winters, it’s wonderful to have a reason to be outdoors all season long,” Aaron recalled. “Watching everyone’s garden grow over the season, and seeing the pride they have in it, is very rewarding.”
June McLure’s plot is a beautiful array of colourful flowers, some low and swaying in the breeze and others strung up along an Italian type of trellis. I felt as though I was in the botanical gardens, so impressive was her piece of paradise.
The garden is part of the city’s urban agriculture plan which encourages the practice of growing food in or around a city. The ‘Côte Saint-Luc Grown’ initiative is just a few years in the making and includes the creation of a demonstration garden behind the City Hall/Library complex to teach gardening skills to adults and children, edible landscaping on city property, new community gardens, a farmers’ market, and the distribution of food boxes.“The goal is to entice and empower our residents to take an active role in the growing of their own food to make them more knowledgeable and savvy food consumers, and hopefully, healthier overall,” Mayor Anthony Housefather said. “In a short time, we have put together programming that will help contribute to personal and community wellness, now and for the future.”
In addition to the action plan, Côte Saint-Luc also unveiled its food charter, which is a statement of values and principles to guide the food policy. The goals of the food charter are wellness, the creation of great places, community building, food security, the joy of growing food, sustainability and more.
The action plan and food charter are available at CSLGrown.org.
Judging from the happy looks from gardeners 55 years old and up, this is a tremendous project whose seeds continue to produce an incredible crop that cannot be measured.
Good luck to all you gardeners. May your baskets overflow with goodness. May your flowers give off incredible aroma and gorgeous colours. And may you enjoy the bounty of your labour for years to come.

Global News reports on the CSL Seniors Community Garden

Montreal Gazette: Gardener, den mother, honorary senior: Mandie Aaron is one busy volunteer (July 19, 2015)

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