Council speaks out against Bill 14, supports bilingual status quo

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Cote Saint-Luc City Council lead the charge last night against Quebec’s draft Bill 14 which would severely punish more than 65 remaining bilingual cities and towns.  The much criticized draft legislation threatens much of Quebec’s anglophone communities with losing its bilingual status permitting communication with residents in their preferred  “official” language.

Mayor Anthony Housefather, a former president of the once powerful and influential English-language rights lobby group, Alliance Quebec, took a leadership role in drafting the following resolution.  The Council felt so strongly about supporting the resolution that they took the unprecedented procedure of all seconding the motion simultaneously.

 

RESOLUTION ON SECTION 29.1 “BILINGUAL” STATUS

 

Whereas the Charter of the French Language (“Charter”) was adopted by the Quebec National Assembly in 1977, and over 80 municipalities throughout the Province of Quebec were recognized as having “bilingual status” pursuant to the provisions of Section 29.1 of the Charter; and

Whereas the original provisions of the Charter allowed those municipalities that had a majority of residents who spoke a language other than French to be officially recognized under Section 29.1; and

Whereas the City of Côte Saint-Luc has been recognized as having bilingual status under Section 29.1 of the Charter since 1977 and wishes to retain such “bilingual status”; and

Whereas currently the Charter does not allow the recognition of “bilingual status” under Section 29.1 to be removed from a municipality or borough except at the request of such municipality or borough; and

Whereas the Quebec National Assembly adopted Bill 170 imposing forced municipal mergers on municipalities in 2000 and simultaneously adopted companion legislation Bill 171 which drastically changed the criteria to obtain recognition under Section 29.1 of the Charter, from a majority of residents of a municipality or borough who spoke a language other than French to a majority of residents whose mother tongue was English; and

Whereas the revised criteria, under Bill 171, was imposed without consultation with municipalities recognized under Section 29.1 and adopted the narrowest and most inaccurate definition of the English-speaking communities within said municipalities or boroughs; and

Whereas the current Quebec Government has now proposed Bill 14, which would allow for the removal of Section 29.1 recognition from municipalities or boroughs by decree and against the will of the municipality or borough concerned, its duly elected council and its residents; and

Whereas the City of Côte Saint-Luc is firmly opposed to the proposed amendments to Section 29 of the Charter as set out in Bill 14

 

It was moved by Mayor Anthony Housefather, second by the entire city council and resolved:

 

THAT The City of Côte Saint-Luc hereby declares that it wishes to retain its “bilingual status” recognition under Section 29.1 of the Charter now and in the future and wishes to do so irrespective of any fluctuations in its population shown in census numbers now or in the future.

THAT The residents and Council of the City of Côte Saint-Luc view the recognition of our municipality under Section 29.1 as fundamental to the character of the municipality and as a testament of the historical presence of both the English- and French-speaking communities in the municipality;

THAT The City of Côte Saint-Luc vigorously opposes the proposed modifications to Section 29 of the Charter set out in Bill 14 and demands that the Quebec National Assembly continue to recognize the acquired rights of all municipalities and boroughs that currently possess such status and refrain from adopting any legislation that allows Section 29.1 recognition of bilingual status to be removed from a municipality or borough except at the initiative of and express request of said municipality or borough.

 

 

THAT The City of Côte Saint-Luc calls upon all of the members of the Quebec National Assembly to remove the provisions of Bill 14 that propose to amend Section 29 of the Charter or to vote against and defeat such provisions since we view such provisions as an attack on the fundamental rights and intrinsic character of all municipalities and boroughs that currently possess Section 29.1 recognition.

 

 

THAT The City of Côte Saint-Luc directs its clerk to send copies of this resolution to

all of members of the Quebec National Assembly, to all other municipalities in Quebec officially recognized under Section 29.1 of the Charter and to the local federal member of Parliament and the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada and the UMQ, FQM and FCM.

 

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CSL First Responders in Jeapordy

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PRESSRELEASE

The Suburban Newspapers – Opinion

October 11, 2003

COTE SAINT-LUC FIRST RESPONDER SERVICE IN JEOPARDY

By Anthony Housefather & Glenn J. Nashen

Over the years there have been two services in particular provided by the City of Cote Saint-Luc that came to characterize that municipality as a leader in providing quality services to its population.  The first is the Public Library, which has become a sanctuary for voracious readers 365 days a year.  The second is Cote Saint-Luc’s volunteer Emergency Medical Services (“EMS”).

Over the last 23 years as a result of the political will of successive Cote Saint-Luc councils and the effort of hundreds of volunteers, EMS has been at the forefront of providing first responder services to the population of Cote Saint-Luc.  EMS is the only volunteer-based first responder service on the island and its training exceeds, and response time is less than those fire stations which provide first responder service.  We co-chair our borough’s Emergency Services Committee and oversee an EMS service made up of scores of volunteers who give their days, nights and weekends to provide first-rate services to the population.  These emergency care providers are extra sensitive to the particularly elderly population, speak a multitude of languages, and are even trained to deal with Holocaust survivors.

Unfortunately the collective agreement with the firefighters, which the City of Montreal’s executive committee ratified last month, puts the future of EMS into serious doubt.

The collective agreement devotes three pages to the issue of potentially expanding first responder services across the island.  Unfortunately the agreement also calls for an immediate reduction in coverage in those communities (including Hampstead and Montreal West) where it is currently provided by the fire fighters by reducing the minimum number of first responders in each station and no longer requiring them to respond to emergency “Priority 2 calls” which they responded to in the past.  Worse still, the agreement has set up a committee of two representatives of the fire union and two from the fire services along with a representative from the Quebec government to be named by the union to oversee the harmonization of first responder services across the island.  Not only are political representatives absent from this committee but worse still, the agreement seems to provide the fire department with a monopoly on the provision of first response.

This means that when the City of Montreal chooses to implement first response island wide, which would be a much appreciated development, the union will surely grieve the continued use of volunteers in Cote Saint-Luc as a violation of the collective agreement which was already done in the case of volunteer fire fighters leading to their disappearance in places like Baie d’Urfe .  Even if the borough is determined to continue the volunteer based service, we will face stiff opposition from the union and we may well be foreclosed from retaining a service that responds to over 3000 calls each year.

Given that discussions about the future of EMS have been brought to the attention of the Executive Committee member responsible for fire services and other negotiators for the last year, it is disconcerting to see that the recognition of the continued operations of EMS are not present in the collective agreement.  Given that our borough council has asked for the last year to have our volunteer EMS back up the firefighters in Hampstead and Montreal West by providing first response, and has been persistently told that this would cause friction with the union and can not be done, we cannot agree with those who say that the volunteer EMS will be preserved merely as a result of political will. Despite our political will we have been unable to have EMS back up two of the three former cities in our borough.  It would be surprising that now, in light of the collective agreement, our political will can trump the will of the union to have a monopoly on first response.  In the event that the union agrees to preserve EMS it may end up being as a diminished back up service as opposed to the primary first responder within the boundaries of Cote Saint-Luc.

Of course, despite the new collective agreement and our profound disappointment, countless residents will join us in continuing to fight tenaciously to preserve our life-saving volunteer EMS.    If this was a test of the new City of Montreal to preserve a unique local service that is treasured by the population it has come up severely short.  If the new City of Montreal fails to protect this unique, local service, it can do the same for any service in any borough.

Anthony Housefather is an attorney and Borough Councillor for Cote Saint Luc/Hampstead/Montreal West Glenn J. Nashen is a former Councillor in the City of Cote Saint-Luc and has overseen the volunteer EMS for the last 13 years.

Reopen collective agreement, First Responders

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Cote Saint-Luc Demerger Committee – Press Release

September 28, 2003

REOPEN COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT ON FIRST RESPONDERS SAY HOUSEFATHER AND NASHEN

Montreal, September 28, 2003 – Cote Saint-Luc/Hampstead/Montreal West Councillor Anthony Housefather and former Cote Saint-Luc Councillor Glenn J. Nashen called upon the Executive Committee of the City of Montreal to reopen the firefighters collective agreement to properly provide for the continued operations of Cote Saint-Luc’s unique volunteer Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

“The current wording of the collective agreement would make it possible for the union to grieve the continued use of volunteers following the date at which Montreal implements first responders island wide,” stated Housefather.  “This is truly unfortunate due to the fact that Executive Committee member Peter Yeomans and the negotiating committee were made aware, through repeated correspondence and requests from myself, our Borough Council and Mr. Nashen, of the need to specifically recognize our EMS volunteer service in the collective agreement.”

“Cote Saint-Luc’s EMS service is a jewel in our borough that has been built over 40 years by successive Cote Saint-Luc councils and volunteers, including myself,” stated Nashen.  “It is extremely unfortunate that the City of Montreal’s Executive Committee has agreed to wording which puts EMS in a vulnerable position.”

Following intense discussions with the Borough Council, Montreal Fire Director Alain Michaud issued a memo on September 25, 2003, the day after ratification of the collective agreement by the Executive Committee, reassuring the Borough Council that Cote Saint-Luc’s EMS volunteer services would “not be affected in any way by the signing of the agreement” and that the volunteers could continue providing their services.  Michaud went on to “recognize the value of this volunteerism for the community of Cote Saint-Luc” and stated that he is committed to resolving these “problems” that were brought to his attention by the Borough Council.

Housefather and Nashen noted that regardless of the memo, Michaud’s position is not part of the collective agreement and therefore not binding on the union.  “We hope that Mr. Michaud will work with us to convince the union to amend the collective agreement to protect the Cote Saint-Luc volunteer EMS into the future,” they said.

Nashen and Housefather have both pledged to take all actions possible to save the volunteer EMS operations and called upon the City of Montreal to meet with the union to add a clause preserving the EMS operations as first responders within Cote Saint-Luc as a new annex to the collective agreement.

Moreover as a gesture of good faith they also called upon the City of Montreal to immediately accept the request that has been made by the Borough Council of Cote Saint-Luc/Hampstead/Montreal West for the last year for EMS to back up fire services in Hampstead and Montreal West.  Both Housefather and Nashen plan to work with Councillors Robert Libman and Dida Berku to achieve these goals.

Housefather and Nashen co-chair the borough’s Emergency Services Committee that oversees EMS operations.  Housefather was responsible for the emergency services portfolio while serving as a Hampstead Town Councillor.  Nashen has been an ardent promoter of Paramedics in Quebec, volunteered for EMS for the 23 years, the last 13 years as chair and co-chair.

CSL Courier – December 2001

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AU REVOIR         TIME TO SAY FAREWELL

CSL Courier – December 2001

It is with sadness that I pen this column in the final edition of the Cote Saint-Luc Courier.  I have actively participated in our community my entire life – these past 12 years as City Councillor for District 6.  Because of the Quebec government’s anti-democratic mergers we will no longer control our own municipality as we have done so effectively since 1903.

Although I did not seek re-election (to the new mega-city) this time, I do plan to focus my civic attention on preserving and enhancing our volunteer Emergency Medical Services, with which I have been affiliated for more than 20 years.

I will continue to speak out against forced mergers, advocate for de-mergers and hold the provincial liberals to their promise when they are elected.  As well, I will lobby for greater safety for Pedestrians in highly visible and clearly marked pedestrian corridors across the province as is currently the norm in other provinces and states.

I was elected by acclamation in 1990 as the youngest City Councillor, and was re-acclaimed in 1994 and 1998. It has been a privilege to serve as chair on the  Emergency Services, Emergency Preparedness, Volunteers’ Night, Strategic Planning, Twin City, and Canada Day committees.  I have also been a member of the Town Planning, Audit, Parks, Building, Railway, Welcoming and Communications committees.

I have advocated for the recognition of Paramedics in Quebec for the last 20 years and am proud to see that this is slowly becoming a reality at long last.  I introduced the very first municipal bylaw in Canada legislating mandatory wearing of helmets for cyclists and skaters, which has since become the norm in many parts of the country.  I am truly proud to be serving as the last Pro-Mayor of this City.

I hope that in the not too distant future, our City, and others being forcibly merged, will rise from the ashes of Bill 170, and continue in the rich heritage of our  98 year old community.  It has been a great honour to serve as your representative at City Hall during the last 12 years and to participate in many important achievements.  My sincere thanks go out to our Mayor and Council, administration and staff and of course to all my electors.  Whatever comes, I will continue to proudly serve the community one way or another.

Nashen Will Not Seek Re-election in 2001

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Nashen Will Not Seek Re-election in 2001

August 27, 2001-Cote Saint-Luc Councillor Glenn J. Nashen announced his intention not to seek re-election in the upcoming (forced merger, borough) municipal elections.

Nashen said that he intends to focus his civic attention on preserving and enhancing the volunteer Emergency Medical Services and would continue to serve as Chair of the Emergency Services Committee if invited by the new Borough Council.

The Councillor says he will continue to speak out against forced mergers and will advocate for demergers and hold the provincial liberals to their promise if they are elected in the next provincial elections.

As well, the Councillor has been recently appointed to the position of Director of Public Affairs and Communications of the Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital.  “I want to focus my attention on the hospital community at this point, while continuing to advocate on behalf of EMS”, Nashen said.  As well, the Councillor indicated that he will lobby for greater safety for pedestrians in highly visible and clearly marked pedestrian corridors across the province as is currently the norm in other provinces and states.

Nashen was elected in 1990 as the youngest City Councillor, and is the only CSL elected official still in his 30s.  He has served on the Town Planning, Audit, Parks, Building, Railway, Welcoming and Communications committees, and has served as chair on the  Emergency Services, Emergency Preparedness, Volunteers’ Night, Strategic Planning, Twin City, and Canada Day committees.  Nashen is the former Executive Director of Alliance Quebec, Director of young Leadership and the Jewish Chamber of Commerce of CJA, and Chief of Staff to the then MNA for D’Arcy McGee, Robert Libman.

Nashen has been an outspoken advocate for the recognition of Paramedics in Quebec for the last 20 years.  He introduced the very first municipal bylaw in Canada legislating mandatory wearing of helmets for cyclists and skaters, which has become the norm in many parts of the country.  Nashen will serve as the last Pro-Mayor of the City from September 1 to New Year’s Eve.

“I hope that in the not too distant future, our City, and others being forcibly merged, will rise from the ashes of Bill 170, and continue in the rich heritage of our 100 year old community”, Nashen said.  “Whatever comes, I will continue to proudly serve the community”.

Unity protection lost under Bill 170, Nashen, Suburban

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Unity-protection-lost-under-bill-170-Nashen-Suburban-2001-05-16

Affidavit contesting forced mergers, 2001

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AFFIDAVIT FILED BY COTE SAINT-LUC TO CONTEST

FORCED MERGERS (BILL 170)

MAY 4, 2001

SOLEMN DECLARATION

I, THE UNDERSIGNED, GLENN J. NASHEN, COUNCILLOR FOR DISTRICT 6 OF THE CITY OF COTE SAINT-LUC, DOMICILED AND RESIDING IN COTE SAINT-LUC, DISTRICT OF MONTREAL, SOLEMNLY DECLARE:

I have reviewed the material filed by the Procureure-Générale du Québec et al in this case, and in particular the material filed by Paul-André Linteau;  I submit this affidavit in general response thereto to illustrate the importance of the municipal institutions for the English-speaking ethno-cultural group in Quebec.

INTRODUCTION

1. I am the Councillor for District 6 of the City of Cote Saint-Luc (The City);

2. I am chairman of the Emergency Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) and the Municipal Emergency Preparedness Committee (MEPC) of the City of Cote Saint-Luc.  The ESAC is an oversight committee for municipal emergency services including, but not limited to, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Department, Fire Prevention, Public Security and Civil Protection.  Also within the committee’s purview is community policing (MUC Police Services), Urgences Santé, etc…  The MEPC is established pursuant to an Act respecting the Protection of Persons and Property in the event of a disaster cap P38.1 (revised statutes of Quebec) and has as its mandate the creation, review, maintenance and testing of a municipal emergency plan in case of disaster within the territory of the municipality;

3. I have made this solemn declaration personally and on behalf of the City of Cote Saint-Luc;

4. The present procedure has been authorized by the Municipal Council of the City of Cote Saint-Luc;

5. The present procedure challenges the constitutionality of the Act to Reform the Municipal Territorial Organization of the Metropolitan Regions of Montreal, Quebec and the Outaouais, S.Q. 2000, C-56 (hereinafter: Bill 170); and more specifically Schedule I, I-A and I-B of Bill 170 adopted by the Quebec National Assembly and assented to on December 20th, 2000;

6. I was born in the Province of Quebec in 1962, and have always been a member of Quebec’s English-speaking community.  I graduated from McGill University in 1985;

7. I am currently employed as Executive Director at Alliance Quebec.  Founded in 1982, Alliance Quebec is a volunteer-based community organization committed to the preservation and enhancement of the English-speaking communities and institutions within Quebec. Alliance Quebec works to encourage the recognition of English-speaking people as full participants in Quebec society, ensure guaranteed access to health and social services in English, and secure a strong and accessible English school system. The organization works toward an acceptance of an open and multicultural society; a commitment to a united Canada; a participative and integrated approach toward community retention and development; and proactive and entrepreneurial management;

8. Given my experience as a Councillor in a predominantly English-speaking community and as Executive Director of the Province’s largest English- speaking lobby association, I have developed significant expertise in the needs of the English-speaking community of Quebec;

9. I formerly served for five consecutive years as Director of Young Leadership at the Federation of Jewish Community Services of Montreal;

10. I have been extensively involved in a number of Jewish Community organizations over the last 20 years, as demonstrated by my curriculum vitae, that is produced to support my affidavit as exhibit GJN-1; Given my experience as a professional and volunteer in the Jewish Community over the last 20 years I have developed significant expertise in the needs of the Jewish Community of Quebec;

11. I have trained as an Emergency Medical Technician and served as a volunteer in the Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for 18 years and was employed by Urgences Santé and previously by Resuscicar Ambulance and Medic-1 Ambulance from 1980 to 1997;

12. I am an applicant in this action in my own capacity as an individual residing in the City of Cote Saint-Luc and as a mandatory for the citizens of Cote Saint-Luc in my position as a municipal Councillor;

EROSION OF SERVICES TO THE OFFICIAL LINGUISTIC MINORITY AND TO THE JEWISH CULTURAL MINORITY BY AMALGAMATION

EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES

13. I believe that the Cote Saint-Luc volunteer Emergency Medical Services are threatened with closure by Bill 170, thereby diminishing, and potentially risking, the health and safety of our residents.  EMS responds to approximately 3000 local calls for emergency assistance within an average response time less than 2.5 minutes;

14. Our volunteer first responders are all bilingual and many are fluent in other languages as well.  With a significant population of senior citizens who readily rely upon rapid emergency pre-hospital care, many of whom are not fluent in either English or French, many of whom speak eastern European languages as their first language, many of whom speak Yiddish as their first language, EMS is uniquely capable of quickly bridging any linguistic gap and thereby rendering rapid care and quickly reassuring elderly and distraught residents.  Often, EMS first responders will act as interpreters to the Urgences Santé ambulance technicians and doctors, as well as police, fire and other responding authorities as most of these emergency personnel would not be fluent in Eastern European languages, certainly not in Yiddish; indeed many do not even speak English well enough to communicate with the sick or injured in emergency situations.  It should be noted that in crisis situations many people would revert to their mother-tongue even if they were fluently bilingual in several languages;

15. Many of our first responders, being members of the Jewish community, and yet others familiar with the community, are highly sensitive to the needs of our significant population of holocaust survivors.  Our first responders are professionally trained to deal with the psychological trauma of those who survived inhumane conditions and unspeakable experiences and whose circumstances are such that figures of authority, and those in uniform, evoke memories more painful than most can ever imagine;

16. I believe that the reduction of service or elimination of the Cote Saint-Luc EMS would result in a significant loss to the community and would prove to be a major disservice to residents ultimately resulting in a deterioration of health care and quality of life;

JEWISH COMMUNITY

17. The City of Cote Saint-Luc comprises a significant Jewish population (65%) and receives services that are highly sensitive to, and respectful of, said community;

18. As a community  with a predominantly English-speaking and Jewish population the City of Cote Saint-Luc has provided local benefits and services and served as a recreational and cultural beacon for the community both on its own and in co-operation with other groups.  The benefits and services provided are necessary to prevent the out-migration of residents from the English-speaking and Jewish communities and to make those residents more comfortable in Quebec;

19. These said benefits and services include, but are not restricted to, the following examples:

A )  Synagogues (and Churches) are assisted through Community funding (tax monies);

B)  Sensitivity in zoning regulations;

C)  Through co-operation with the City there are public events organized around major holidays such as the lighting of the Menorah at Chanukah, the celebration of the Jewish festivals of Purim and Sukkoth, many of which take place in municipal parks and buildings;

D) Sensitivity in Fire Prevention of religious institutions;

E)  Heightened public security at community institutions (ie. Jewish Day Schools, synagogues) during High Holy Days, and at other times;

F)  Relaxation of parking restrictions during High Holy Days and other religious holidays when religious observers are prohibited from driving a car and thus preventing them from moving their vehicle;

G)  Sensitivity of all municipal staff to the cultural demographics of the citizenry of Cote Saint-Luc;

ENGLISH-SPEAKING COMMUNITY AND BILINGUAL CHARACTER OF THE CITY

20. The Government of Quebec adopted Bill 170, as well as Bill 171, which raises the minimum threshold for a municipality (or borough) to attain bilingual status by requiring that the English-speaking residents of the given jurisdiction comprise in excess of 50% mother-tongue English-speakers, whereas previously the definition was 50% non-French-speaking, thus making it more difficult, and practically impossible, to acquire bilingual status;

21. It is apparent that the Government of Quebec sought to reduce the rights of the English-speaking residents of bilingual jurisdictions with this legislation by using the strictest possible definition to determine “membership” in the English-speaking community;

22. Section 1 of Bill 170 declares the new City of Montreal to be a “French City”.  The new City of Montreal will not qualify for bilingual status under section 29.1 of the Charter of the French Language;

23. Services that are transferred from the new borough to the new central City of Montreal will no longer be provided bilingually.  Therefore, the English- speaking residents of the City of Cote Saint-Luc will immediately lose their bilingual services that they have enjoyed for decades.  Some of the powers to be transferred include the municipal court, finance and taxation, fire fighting (and possibly Emergency Medical Services), maintenance of major parks and arteries;

24. The City of Cote Saint-Luc look to, as an example, the loss of police services and assessment services to the Montreal Urban Community in 1970 as to the likely scenario for the new City of Montreal in the event Bill 170 is permitted to stand.  Those services were previously municipal and the City of Cote Saint-Luc can provide residents with services in English and French.  The MUC, as an entity, does not enjoy bilingual status and therefore does not officially provide services in English;

25. As a result of the MUC’s failure to provide bilingual services in these areas, the City of Cote saint-Luc and other bilingual municipalities adopted resolutions calling upon the MUC to provide bilingual services and apply for bilingual status.  A copy of said resolution is attached as Appendix GJN-2.  In 1997, Vera Danyluk, Chair of the MUC, informed the City of Cote Saint-Luc that MUC lawyers had provided advice that since the MUC did not have bilingual status it could not provide bilingual services or erect bilingual signage under current Quebec law.  A copy of said letter is attached as Appendix GJN-3. It is highly probable that the new City of Montreal would treat transferred services from the bilingual jurisdiction to the new “French city” in exactly the same manner as the MUC did;

26. As a result of the MUC’s refusal to provide bilingual services, it also refused to erect a bilingual sign in front of the then newly created Neighbourhood Police Station 9, serving Cote Saint-Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West, despite the fact that all three municipalities possess bilingual status and all three had requested bilingual signage at this site.  With the refusal by the MUC to provide bilingual signage the three cities were forced to pay for their own bilingual sign, out of city funds, in addition to the millions paid out to the MUC every year for police services, in order to erect a bilingual sign. Newspaper stories and an op-ed piece on this issue are annexed as Appendix GJN-4;

27. The new City of Montreal is deemed by Bill 170 to be the employer of all employees of the mega-city.  Therefore, despite the bilingual status granted to the borough in which the City of Cote Saint-Luc would find itself, the borough would not be able to ensure that all employees working within its territory were bilingual since it would be up to the “French” mega-city to assign employees;

28. The new City of Montreal would not have the same right to require knowledge of the English language for job positions that the City of Cote Saint-Luc currently enjoys, nor is it likely that all efforts would be made to hire an equitable number of employees from within the English-speaking community.  At this time, residents can be served in either English or French in every department of the City of Cote Saint-Luc.  The percentage of English-speaking people currently working for the City of Montreal and the MUC is  below 7%;

29. Currently, the Mayor and all the City Councillors representing the City of Cote Saint-Luc are from the English-speaking community and are sensitive to the needs of residents who often feel targeted by the Quebec government and envisions their municipal politicians as the protectors of their quality of life in Quebec;

30. Currently, even before the full force of Bill 170 is enacted, the Office de la langue francaise is pursuing Cote Saint-Luc, and other bilingual municipalities to francisize street signs that are otherwise non-French descriptive.  It is my belief that the local population feels targeted and discriminated against by the harassment of the OLF in this, and many previous cases;

31. Combined, Cote Saint Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West have 21 municipal elected officials, all from the English-speaking community.  In the new City of Montreal these municipalities would have 2 representatives out of a total of 71 and who would have no ability to influence decision-making as compared to the present situation;

32. As a result of possessing bilingual status, The City of Cote Saint-Luc has:

A)  Bilingual Signs;

All road signs, park signs, City building and infrastructure signs and other signs in the City are bilingual;

City vehicles such as EMS units, fire trucks, public security cars and Public Works, Engineering and Recreation vehicles have bilingual insignias;

City sewer insignias are bilingual;

All letterheads, envelopes and cheques are bilingual;

City Pins, Flags and Crest are bilingual;

The City’s website is fully bilingual;

All by-laws are adopted and are available in 2 official versions, English and French.

French & English bilingualism is a significant fact in the hiring process;

The City works internally largely in English, that being the preferred language of members of Council and most staff, however French-speaking staff work in French and in harmony with the English-speaking staff;

Residents are always served in the language of their choice;

All mass communication sent out by the City is bilingual;

All programs of the City are bilingual, however due to its largely English speaking character most recreation programs and City sponsored activities and Council meetings take place predominantly, but not exclusively, in English;

33. The City has always ensured that our French-speaking residents are fully respected, as well as their needs, and consequently programs are offered in French wherever possible;

34. As a result of the proposed Bill 170, English language services provided within the City of Cote Saint-Luc would decline dramatically and would impact upon the population in a negative manner. I believe that the effect of Bill 170 would be of serious detriment to the residents of Cote Saint-Luc and would result in a significant loss of rights for residents.  Ultimately, Bill 170 could lead to a significant out-migration of the English-speaking community in Cote Saint-Luc;

35. The loss of the City of Cote Saint-Luc as a Municipality that has effectively served the English-speaking community and Jewish community would be extraordinarily damaging for both the English-speaking and Jewish communities and could lead to the out-migration of English-speaking Quebecers living therein, particularly younger people who are more mobile;

36. The out-migration of English-speaking Quebecers has been disastrous for the English-speaking community as a whole and for individuals and families.  It has weakened our institutions and torn families apart;

37. The loss of the last level of government (namely the City of Cote Saint-Luc as a political body) which English-speaking people can effectively control would be a serious infringement on charter rights of the Official Linguistic Minority and would be a serious set back for the English-speaking community from which they may not recover;

38. The existence of the City of Cote Saint-Luc as a political body which has consistently fought for the rights of the English-speaking community has assisted English-speaking people and institutions across the Province of Quebec, not just in the City itself;

39. It is a social reality that Quebec is the only Province in which there exists an English-speaking Minority community;

40. In my view the Supreme Court of Canada has declared that the rights of both Official Linguistic Communities to live in comfort and respect across Canada is an underlying Canadian constitutional principle in the Reference case on Quebec secession and that all laws must be interpreted in this light;

41. In my view Bill 170 will make many English-speaking people uncomfortable in Quebec and will potentially lead to an out-migration of English-speaking Quebecers;

42. In my view, this law has a discriminatory impact on English-speaking Quebecers since the loss of our municipal institutions leads to an impact on our rights which is not equivalent to the impact on our fellow Quebecers from the French-speaking community;

THE POLITICAL IMPACT OF THE GOVERNMENT’S DECISION

43. The result of the November 15 Leger poll showed that 87.8% of residents wanted Cote Saint-Luc to remain as an autonomous City and not be merged with Montreal or other municipalities.  The results are attached as Appendix GJN-5;

44. One of the key reasons for the results were the desire of the residents to continue to live in an English-speaking community with their own political representation;

45. The effect of the new City of Montreal is to reduce control of the English-speaking community of the City of Cote Saint-Luc over its own services and institutions;

46. The current Quebec government has vigorously opposed the rights of certain areas within Quebec to remain part of Canada if Quebec ever voted to separate from Canada;

47. Indeed, around the same time as the Government of Quebec passed Bill 170 it also passed Bill 99 which affirmed the National Assembly of Quebec was the sole master of Quebec’s political future and in my view contradicted the Supreme Court decision in the Reference Case on Quebec secession;

48. One of the elements of the Supreme Court decision was that in the event of negotiations on secession the issue of boundaries of an independent Quebec and the rights of minorities would need to be on the table;

49. Bill 99 affirms that the boundaries of Quebec are sacrosanct and cannot be changed;

50. I sponsored a resolution for the City to remain in Canada, in case the Province of Quebec sought to remove itself from Canada through secession.  A principle reason for this resolution is to guarantee bilingual services and the preservation of the English-speaking community.  Said resolution is attached as Appendix GJN-6.  The Cote Saint-Luc Unity Resolution ensures that the Governments of Quebec and Canada would be put on notice to ensure that Cote Saint-Luc wished to remain part of Canada in the event Quebecers voted to separate;

51. Over 96% of Côte Saint-Luc residents voted against separation in 1980 and 1995;

52. All of the bilingual municipalities in the Montreal region adopted similar unity resolutions.  They are attached as Appendix GJN-7;

53. The effect of Bill 170 would be to rob the City of Cote Saint-Luc and the other bilingual municipalities of the ability to defend our citizens right to remain Canadian in the event of a “YES” vote on separation;

54. I believe that one of the reasons for the merger legislation was to prevent bilingual municipalities from defending their residents rights to remain Canadians in the event of a Quebec vote for secession.

55. I have read the present solemn declaration and all the facts mentioned are true to my knowledge.

56. I file exhibits GJN-1 to GJN-7.

CÔTE SAINT-LUC, May 4th, 2001

signed

Glenn J. Nashen

Solemn declaration made before me,

In Côte Saint-Luc, this 4th day of May 2001.

signed

Frances Edwards

Commissioner of Oaths

Judicial District of Montreal

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