Mazal tov to the newest CSL couple

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Welcoming the Chassan Yankel and the Kallah Mushkee

Welcoming the Chassan Yankel and the Kallah Mushkee

A special celebration took place in Cote Saint-Luc on Monday night celebrating the wedding of Yankel Raskin of Cote Saint-Luc to Mushkee Wilhelm of New York City.

While the traditional wedding took place last week in the hometown of the bride, Rabbi Mendel and Sarah Raskin decided that since the Cote Saint-Luc community is their family that the the Simcha would continue here.

Sheva Brachot (“Seven Blessings”) are special Jewish wedding blessings.

Sheva Brachot are recited for the bride and the groom under the Chuppah during the Jewish Wedding ceremony. There is a tradition to throw dinner parties for the new couple each night during the week following the wedding. At the end of each of these meals, Sheva Brachot are recited.

The source of this custom of a week of festive dinners is the week that followed Jacob and Leah’s wedding (Gen 29:27). This community-wide celebration with the new couple contrasts greatly with the modern Western custom of the honeymoon.

Sheva Brachot are recited over a cup of wine, and usually the seven blessings are divided among honored guests. The cup of wine is passed around the table to the person reciting each blessing.

Yankel and Mushkee Raskin were welcomed at a lavish reception at the sprawling Hechal Menachem Chabad Cote Saint-Luc Congregation on Kildare Road. The grand Chagall Ballroom was festooned with a sumptuous buffet, wildly joyous music and hundreds of well wishers from the community. The new couple was welcomed in and simultaneous Horas broke out on the men’s side and women’s side of the ballroom to thunderous and joyful Klezmer music.

Rabbi Raskin introduced Mayor Anthony Housefather to welcome the bride and groom as well as the community. The Mayor wished the couple well and expressed, on behalf of the council, hopes for a long and healthy life together. Although Yankel and Mushkee will be returning to New York City for training at the World Chabad Centre the Mayor welcomed them to return and establish themselves in Cote Saint-Luc.

L-R: Dr. Judy Hagshi, proud mother Sarah Raskin, Mushkee and Yankel Raskin, beaming Rabbi Mendel Raskin, Mayor Anthony Housefather, Councillor Mitchell Brownstein and Glenn J. Nashen

L-R: Dr. Judy Hagshi, proud mother Sarah Raskin, Mushkee and Yankel Raskin, beaming Rabbi Mendel Raskin, Mayor Anthony Housefather, Councillor Mitchell Brownstein and Glenn J. Nashen. (Also present: Cllr. Allan Levine)

Mayor Housefather was joined by Councillors Mitchell Brownstein, Glenn J. Nashen (and wife Dr. Judy Hagshi) and Allan Levine. The Mayor and Councillors danced the festive Hora with the Rabbi and his son along with invited guests and raised a glass in honour of the new couple and their Simcha.

The Rabbi and his wife extended wishes to the community for a “K’tiva Vachatima Tova L’shana Tova U’metukah”, for a Happy and Healthy and Sweet New Year and for all to be inscribed in the Book of Life.

 

Council votes to pay MMC

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Free Press. Feb. 13, 2013. Click to enlarge.

Free Press. Feb. 13, 2013. Click to enlarge.

 

I have always voted against payments to the Metropolitan Community.  Cote Saint-Luc derives very little value for its nearly half-million dollar annual expense.  Of course, we are also bound by law to pay this amount and therefore have no choice.

I feel it is better for this expense not to be adopted unanimously and for the public to be aware of how we are overburdened with multiple layers of regional government costing us in dollars, in bureaucracy and in confusing, complex and contradictory regulations and services.

Quebec is the most heavily taxed territory in North America.  This has an impact upon our economy, job creation and personal and corporate wealth.  Do we really need to be spending $500,000 on the MMC?

Hampstead honours the memory of Mayor Irving Adessky

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Click to enlarge

The Town of Hampstead rededicated their main park chalet in the memory of longtime Mayor Irving Adessky this week.  Adessky served on Hampstead Council for some 35 years, 27 of them as mayor.  A Hampstead icon, the popular Adessky passed away nearly two years ago.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Mark Adessky reminisced how town’s folk would visit the family home routinely to discuss issues of importance and to seek assistance from the mayor.  He remembered how his father would drive around the town each morning taking note of whatever needed fixing and would promptly send out crews to make the repairs.

Irving Adessky presided over the town during its expansion on what used to be a 9-hole golf course north of Fleet.  He served for many years on the Montreal Urban Community security commission and was one of the longest serving mayors on the Island of Montreal.

Mayor William Steinberg welcomed current and former Hampstead Town Councillors as well as Cote Saint-Luc City Councillors (pictured below), Lachine Borough Mayor Claude Dauphin and Pointe Claire Mayor Bill McMurchie.  Family and friends also attended along with Town staff and other invited guests.

Irving Adessky will be remembered as a pillar in his community and a builder of his town.  He was prudent, personable and proud.  It is most fitting that his memory be captured in perpetuity in the official dedication of this central meeting place in the town.

Local government officials present to honour the memory of Mayor Irving Adessky include: (left to right) Cllr. Steven Erdelyi, Fmr. Cllr. Barbara Seal, Cllrs. Allan Levine, Glenn J. Nashen, Ruth Kovac, Mike Cohen, Bonnie Feigenbaum, Mayor Claude Dauphin, Cllrs. Abe Gonshor and Michael Goldwax.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities unite local leaders

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A playground that is safe and fun for kids of all ages, public security agents patrolling in environmentally friendly vehicles, major green spaces returned to public use and residential streets that are designed to slow down traffic making it safe for children to play – these are the dreams dancing through councillors’ heads upon returning from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities‘ annual general meeting.

Cote Saint-Luc Councillors Sam Goldbloom, Ruth Kovac, Steven Erdelyi, Allan Levine and I were in Saskatoon from June 1 to 4, and we returned eager to share best practices from other Canadian municipalities.

Councillors Ruth Kovac, Glenn J. Nashen and Sam Goldbloom discuss local issues with Cote des Neiges – NDG Borough Mayor Michael Applebaum (2nd from left)

We had a unique and privileged opportunity to sit in on plenary sessions to hear from the national leaders, including the Conservative  government’s infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel, NDP Leader of the Opposition Thomas Mulcair, Liberal Leader Bob Rae and Green leader Elizabeth May.  All political parties spoke of the necessity to continue the infrastructure program that allowed Cote Saint-Luc, as one example, to build a first-class Aquatic and Community Centre.  The government announced that steady funding of municipalities would continue to great applause.

Councillors Steven Erdelyi, Sam Goldbloom and Glenn J. Nashen meet with newly elected FCM president Karen Lebovici

We also took part in learning sessions on a wide array of topics from the environment to public safety, financing to waste management.  The study tours were particularly motivating.  Saskatoon has designed parks and playgrounds with incredible imagination to make them educational and entertaining and fully respecting the environment.  They built in maximum involvement from the community, in planning, and financing partnerships.  There was so much to learn from their examples that could benefit the residents of Cote Saint-Luc and I am looking forward to working on the redesign of our flagship Trudeau Park in creating an even better use of public spaces.

Saskatoon has done a remarkable job at revitalizing their waterfront along the North Saskatchewan River. This water play feature is a major drawing for young children to learn about the local history, geography and culture and to have a good time splashing around.

We are bringing back best practices from across the country as to how other municipalities deal with issues that we all have in common, whether it’s water management, roads and sewer, recreational facilities or disaster readiness.

The river passes through downtown and the suburbs. Saskatoon is in the midst of a 100 year development plan to rehabilitate the area for recreation and leisure.

I was particularly impressed with the human touch offered by the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS).  The officers, from Deputy Chief Parnel to Sargent Patrick Barbar (relocated from the Montreal area)  were friendly and approachable, pleased to teach anyone interested about all the SPS does for its local citizens.

Saskatoon Police Services has acquired an armoured personnel carrier used in operations where the safety of its officers is better protected and dangerous situations are able to be neutralized quicker.

The SPS demonstrated the effectiveness of its K-9 force, remote-controlled camera-mounted mini-helicopter used to get close to situations where their personnel might otherwise be in direct danger and explained how they work with landlords in high crime areas to create safer and more hospitable areas.

Councillor Ruth Kovac meets the friendliest Sargent in Saskatchewan, officer Patrick Barbar.

Similarly the Saskatoon Transit folks were friendly, personable and very helpful.  Granted they were shuttling 1500 local government officials around their city however it showed how all civil servants are the front line personnel interacting with our citizens and that their style of communications and expression plays an important role in creating a customer-service oriented city.

We elected a new FCM president to lead the organization for the next year.  Councillor Karen Lebovici of the City of Edmonton, Alberta is no stranger to Cote Saint-Luc.  She visits our city regularly as her parents live here.  We invited her to meet our council on an upcoming trip to discuss how our local government can continue to be a voice on the national stage.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May addresses municipal leaders on the role we play locally in protecting the environment for future generations

Outgoing President Berry Vrabanovic of Kitchener, Ontario gave a humourous and engaging speech about his work at the national and international level.  Watch this terrific short episode as Berry does a Rick Mercer style rant about on the importance of Canada’s communities and cities – the place we call home.

Fascinating encounters in Halifax

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The annual conference of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is an interesting educational experience for municipal elected officials for many reasons.  Study tours, panel discussions, keynote speakers, federal leaders and networking all top the list.  It is a rare and unique opportunity for continuing education to benefit communities across Canada.  In addition, it affords the chance to speak individually to other Mayors and Councillors on matters of mutual importance and for all to speak with one voice to the federal leaders.

What a privilege it is to represent Cote Saint-Luc before all levels of government.

Not only is there the chance to meet 2300 local elected officials and MNAs, MLAs and MPs from coast to coast to coast but this year representatives of local governments came from as far away as Mali and Burkino Faso in Africa, Ukraine, Cambodia, and several South Americans.

  Seydou Zsgre, Exec. Sec. Assoc. of Municipalities of Burkino Faso and his colleague meet CSL Cllrs. Sam Goldbloom, Ruth Kovac, Glenn J. Nashen and Allan Levine

Joel Arsenault is the Mayor of the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and President of the Quebec Federation of Municipalities (FMQ).  Also known as Iles de la Madeleine, this is one of the most beautiful locations in Quebec, not well-known to many CSLers but well worth a visit.

Joel Arsenault, Mayor of the Magdalen Islands and President, Federation of Quebec Municipalities, Glenn J. Nashen and Maurice Cohen, Cllr. St. Laurent (Montreal)

The Quebec caucus of the FCM is well represented by elected men and women from across the province who we elected to serve in this role last weekend.  These include Borough Councillor Maurice Cohen a 29 year veteran of St. Laurent Council. Mayor Scott Pearce of the Township of Gore near St. Sauveur and Dorval Mayor Edgar Rouleau.

Lachine Borough Mayor Claude Dauphin becomes the 2nd Vice-President of the FCM.

Hampstead Cllr. Bonnie Feigenbaum, Baie D'Urfeé Mayor Maria Tutino, CSL Cllr. Ruth Kovac

Happy Chanukah – Joyeux Hanoukah

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Chanukah is one of my favorite holidays as the joyous festival spreads across Cote Saint-Luc and throughout the world.  Here at City Hall we look forward to welcoming Chabad CSL’s Rabbi Mendel and Mrs. Sarah Raskin and his entourage for the traditional lighting of the giant Menorah, singing, dancing, eating latkes and jelly-filled donuts, or sufganiot, and of course, the famous Menorah Car Parade.

Lighting the Chabad Chanukah Menorah at Cote Saint-Luc City Hall in the first snow storm of the season are Lawrence Bergman, MNA, Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, Mayor Anthony Housefather and Councillor Allan Levine

The miracle of Chanukah has been felt for generations and spans our community around the globe.  Here is a terrific video produced by Federation CJA to commemorate Chanukah:

And on a fun and musical note, watch this talented group of guys from Yeshiva University, suitably named the Maccabeats:

Happy Chanukah to all !!

CSL shuttle launch

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It’s not the space shuttle!  It’s the all-new CSL Golden Shuttle.
  
 
 
 

Golden Shuttle 262 takes to the road on November 2

 

 
Today the City of Cote Saint-Luc and the Montreal Transit Corporation launched a special shuttle aimed particularly at senior citizens.The bus line is numbered 262 – and the official title is the “Navette Or Côte Saint-Luc”.The service was launched in District 6 at the Caldwell Residences by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Société de transport de MontréalMichel Labreque and Councillors Dida Berku, Allan Levine and myself.

I am particularly pleased to be officiating at the inauguration of this service, something that I have spoken a great deal about over the last few years in anticipation of this day.

Cote Saint-Luc places enormous importance in providing quality services to our senior population.  It is fitting that the first stop on the 262 route will be at our intergenerational and aquatic centre, now under construction.

The ability to remain active and mobile are key factors in maintaining a high quality of life and we hope that our seniors will take great advantage of this new service.

The route ia served by a minivan based on a schedule with 4 departures per direction between 9 am and 6 pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  The route begins at the future site of the Cote Saint-Luc Aquatic and Community Centre, at Parkhaven and Mackle Roads (northern terminus), and zigzags past seniors residences, the library, city hall, the Cavendish Mall / CLSC, Cote Saint-Luc Shopping Centre, several condos and ends up at Carrefour Angrignon (southern terminus).

The round trip route has 32 stops (16 per direction) offering front door access to 1180 homes.  The journey takes 44 minutes in each direction. 

 
 

L-R: Charles Senekal, Manager, CSL Engineering, Beverly Akerman, President, CSL Senior Social Centre, Sidney Margles, President, CSL Senior Mens Club, Cllr. Michel Labreque, President, MTC/STM, Cllr. Dida Berku, Cllr. Allan Levine, Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen, Tanya Abramovitch, CSL City Manager

 

The shuttle service will begin November 2, 2010 and anyone can hop on with an Opus card or by paying the usual STM fare.

For the detailed route of the 262 from the STM website click here. For the 262 pamphlet click here. For the STM press release click here.

 Read it in the West End Times.



 

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