Côte Saint-Luc will save $4.8 million thanks to fairer funding formula for island-wide service | Des économies de 4,8 millions $ pour Côte Saint-Luc grâce à une formule de financement plus équitable pour les services d’agglomération

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Côte Saint-Luc will save $4.8 million thanks to fairer funding formula for island-wide service
The City of Côte Saint-Luc as part of the Association of Suburban Municipalities has negotiated a $4.8 million reduction in its share of payments to the agglomeration of Montreal for island-wide services over over the next three years–savings that can be used to fund local programs, pay down our debt and reduce taxes by paying less interest on debt.
“The new formula will allow us to keep more money in Côte Saint-Luc for programs and services that our residents value as well as allow us to reduce our debt and our overall tax rate,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “It is extremely good news.”
The ASM has argued for years that the percentages were not fair. Mayor Denis Coderre must be commended for being a fair partner in the City of Montreal that worked with us to find a fairer formula.
Côte Saint-Luc will continue to pay into the island-wide Agglomeration of Montreal for services like police, fire, and public transit but at a lower rate.
Thanks to an agreement between the City of Montreal and the Association of Suburban Municipalities, the formula is changing. As a result, Côte Saint-Luc will be sending less money to the Agglomeration than we do today: $798,541 less in 2017, $1,597,081 less in 2018 and $2,395,622 less in 2019. That’s a savings of between 3 percent to 8 percent each year, compared to what Côte Saint-Luc previously paid the Agglomeration.
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Des économies de 4,8 millions $ pour Côte Saint-Luc grâce à une formule de financement plus équitable pour les services d’agglomération
La Ville de Côte Saint-Luc, de concert avec l’Association des municipalités de banlieue, a négocié une réduction de 4,8 millions $ de sa quote-part à l’agglomération de Montréal pour les services fournis à l’ensemble de l’île au cours des trois prochaines années – des économies qui pourront être utilisées pour financer les programmes locaux, payer notre dette et réduire les taxes en payant moins d’intérêt sur la dette.
« La nouvelle formule nous permettra de garder plus d’argent à Côte Saint-Luc pour les programmes et les services que nos résidants apprécient et elle nous aidera à réduire notre taux de taxation global, a dit le maire Mitchell Brownstein. C’est une excellente nouvelle. »
L’AMB soutient depuis des années que les pourcentages ne sont pas équitables. Le maire Denis Coderre, qui mérite d’ailleurs d’être félicité en tant que partenaire honnête à la Ville de Montréal, a travaillé avec nous afin de mettre au point une formule plus équitable.
Côte Saint-Luc continuera de payer sa part à l’agglomération de l’île de Montréal pour les services tels que la police, la protection incendie et les transports publics, mais à un taux inférieur.
Grâce à un accord entre la Ville de Montréal et l’Association des municipalités de banlieue, une nouvelle formule a été établie. Ainsi, les versements de Côte Saint-Luc à l’agglomération seront inférieurs à ceux que nous faisons actuellement : 798 541 $ de moins en 2017, 1 597 081 $ de moins en 2018 et 2 395 622 $ de moins en 2019. Cela représente des économies de 3 à 8 % chaque année, par rapport à ce que Côte Saint-Luc payait à l’agglomération jusqu’ici.

CSL, Hampstead not consulted on Montreal-area pipeline ‘consensus’

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The Montreal Metropolitan Community, headed by Montreal mayor Denis Coderre, recently announced that its 82 member municipalities were opposed to the Energy East pipeline that would transfer oil from Alberta, through Quebec, to New Brunswick.

But Hampstead mayor William Steinberg and Côte St. Luc acting mayor Dida Berku, who both head municipalities close to the CP railyard, say they were not consulted before the MMC announced the “consensus” opposition to the pipeline.

One alternative to pipelines is transport by rail, but a derailment of an oil-transporting train killed 47 people in Lac Mégantic in 2013.

Steinberg told resident Sonny Surkes Monday night that Hampstead was not consulted by the MMC. The mayor added that council does not yet have an official opinion on the issue yet, but that he personally agrees with the federal and Quebec Liberal governments’ position.

“There must be appropriate environmental assessments and safeguards for any pipeline, and we must look at both the economic and environmental issues, and then come to a decision,” Steinberg said. “I also believe this is not really a municipal issue, certainly not for Hampstead, no pipeline is going under our town.”

Councillor Leon Elfassy pointed out that the town has expressed itself before on issues affecting higher levels of government. Steinberg responded that this is for council to decide.

Berku told The Suburban Tuesday morning that Côte St. Luc was also not consulted by the MMC.

“In fact, I did get quite a few emails and reactions from residents who were surprised, saying ‘Coderre doesn’t speak for us because we have oil by rail, we’re concerned about it and would like to see more oil by pipeline.’”

Berku said council, while it is concerned about transport of oil by rail, agrees with the federal Liberal stance on the pipeline issue.

“We support the new federal standards for review, which combines stricter environmental assessment with community consultation.”

Berku said it is likely less expensive to transport oil by pipeline.

On the other hand, “these are not easy environmental choices. It’s not always clear which is the safest. …. The pipeline will obviously not run through Côte St. Luc.”

CJAD’s Gang of Four on the the Police and their Clown Pants

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Montreal police dressed in militia gear blocking city hall doors (Source: Sun Media)

Montreal police dressed in militia gear blocking city hall doors (Source: Sun Media)

The vandalism of police cars and fire trucks with union stickers and wearing camouflage and clown pants has gone on for far too long and should be put to an end.

I agreed early on that it was not fair to claw back on pensions that were already agreed to and that any changes ought to affect new officers or else be renegotiated within their collective agreements.


Montreal Police in camouflage pants (Photo: McGill Daily)


Forget that there are so many police officers earning in excess of $100,000 per year. These folks put their lives on the line to protect us and deserve to be well paid for doing so.

But, their protest have gone much too far. I agree with former federal Chief of Staff and lawyer Neil Drabkin who says that all that is needed is a directive to the police by the Mayor of Montreal , Denis Coderre, to show up to work in uniform or stay home and don’t get paid.

Montreal firefighters have painted 150 of the city's 200 trucks in black watercolour paint. (Photo: CBC News)

Montreal firefighters have painted 150 of the city’s 200 trucks in black watercolour paint. (Photo: CBC News)

The police have lost a great deal of respect from the public they serve. People are laughing at them. This is a very sad state of affairs. It is the wrong message to the public, especially to children. And the same argument stands true for municipal Public Security services as well.


Montreal Police officers in “clown” pants. (Photo: Canoe.com)


Read my previous posts:

Police and firefighters should wear their own pants

Painting fire trucks black endangers the public

Liebman to join Mayor Coderre on international scene


Howard Liebman outlasted most political attachés. After more than a decade on the job, day and night, for MP Irwin Cotler, Liebman is calling it a day, having accomplished more than most could have expected.
What a tremendous career this young lawyer and family man has had. He worked diligently and passionately on behalf of his boss, arguably the most outspoken Members of Parliament in recent history. Liebman took his job very, very seriously. It was a calling. A career. He could be counted on to represent the MP, at any time, at any place, while his boss traveled the globe on behalf of his human rights dossiers.
Liebman acted as the MP-lite, on behalf of our residents and city and riding. He delivered speeches and greetings, always in attendance at gatherings large and small across the federal Mount Royal riding, encompassing Cote Saint-Luc, Hampstead, TMR, and the Snowdon district of Cote des Neiges – NDG.
Glenn J. Nashen, Ruth Kovac and Howard Liebman at the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal

Glenn J. Nashen, Ruth Kovac and Howard Liebman at the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal

“It is with bittersweet emotion that I announce the departure of my long-time, trusted and respected Chief of Staff, Howard Liebman, who has been appointed Special Advisor to the Hon. Denis Coderre, Mayor of the Ville de Montreal, with responsibility for international relations,” Professor Cotler said. “Howard has been an indispensable and loyal leader of this Office and an exemplary public servant, whose commitment and tireless engagement and advocacy for this constituency – and overall public diplomacy and personal counsel – has been without parallel, these past 11 years.”
Howard Liebman and Heather Leckner

Howard Liebman and Heather Leckner

This appointment with Mayor Coderre is a perfect fit for Liebman, who carries himself like a career diplomat. Mayor Coderre is lucky to have gained such an asset on his team.

I wish you lots of success, Howard, and great personal enjoyment. I hope our paths will continue to cross both professionally and personally.

Howard Liebman, Irwin Cotler and Glenn J. Nashen at a briefing at Cote Saint-Luc City Hall

Howard Liebman, Irwin Cotler and Glenn J. Nashen at a briefing at Cote Saint-Luc City Hall


Cheering for the away team

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From left: David Kronish, Mayor Denis Codderre, Sydney Kronish

From left: David Kronish, Mayor Denis Coderre, Sydney Kronish

Cote Saint-Luc Men’s Club President Sydney Kronish and his grandson David had a chance encounter with Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre last night. They were seated near each other at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida to cheer on the Montreal Canadiens who faced off against the Florida Panthers.

Kronish, at the game with his grandson David, who attends Herzilya High School, spotted the mayor and posed for a photo and a chat about politics back home. Coderre is a huge Habs fan and given the enormous Quebec Snow Bird population  in South Florida there was plenty of cheering for the away team en français.

The senior Kronish proudly boasted of his Cote Saint-Luc links to which Mayor Coderre responded with an amicable nod about his fellow mayor and colleague, Anthony Housefather.

Coderre was a longtime Liberal MP who rose to the main seat of civic government as Mayor of Montreal.

Housefather, who has served for twenty years in municipal politics, is the Liberal candidate in Mount Royal riding and hopes to rise to MP in this year’s federal election.

Kronish said it was clear from the many Quebecers he spoke to at the game that they were “in love” with Denis Coderre.

South Florida is also the winter home to thousands of Cote Saint-Lucers. The recent CSL men’s Club annual luncheon in Boca Raton was packed with 250 attendees. The pools around Century Village in Deerfield Beach are packed with CSL residents and one can always bump into a neighbour from back home in the local restaurants, theatres, golf courses and beaches.

Incidentally, with a cheering assist by Sydney and David Kronish along with Mayor Coderre, the Habs beat the Panthers 3-2.

CSL files motion to dismiss Meadowbrook developer’s $20 million lawsuit

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Suburban Newspaper, January 28h, 2015

Côte St. Luc filed a motion in Quebec Superior Court last year calling for the dismissal of a 15-year-old $20 million lawsuit brought by the developers of the Meadowbrook Golf Course against the city, Councillor Dida Berku told The Suburban Friday.

The motion to dismiss is expected to be heard in April. The original lawsuit was brought by previous developers when Côte St. Luc rezoned its portion of the golf course from residential to recreational.

The golf course is also in Lachine and part of Montreal West. The news of the dismissal motion comes as the Montreal city council and agglomeration council were expected to approve a land use and development plan this week changing the whole site’s designation from residential to recreational.

Groupe Pacific, the current developers of the golf course land, has already filed a $44 million lawsuit against Montreal, after plans for housing on the Lachine side were twice rejected by the city.

Regarding Côte St. Luc’s motion to dismiss, Berku pointed out that the developers’ lawsuit stayed in limbo for 14 years.

“Côte St. Luc made the call [to file a dismissal motion] last year when we found out about the $44 million lawsuit. We figured, we might as well get it to Superior Court and clear this up.
“The timing of this lawsuit was actually good, because it helps to crystallize the issues. The court will have to decide if it’s reasonable to wait 14 years on a motion to annul a zoning bylaw and on a motion to claim $20 million in damages. Our position is it’s an excessive delay and it should be dismissed.”

Groupe Pacific was not available for comment at press time.

Regarding Montreal’s land use designation change, Berku said that the mayors of Côte St. Luc and Montreal West, and those in Montreal “responsible for the planning and green space portfolios, will be meeting to further our common strategy, to see how to deal with this dossier.

“But what’s most encouraging, and what’s different today than before this decision was made, was the commitment, the undertaking Mayor Coderre made, that we will see this through and work together for a common purpose.
“He made the right and courageous decision, in the best public interest. The green space will serve not only the immediate neighbourhood, but the entire island of Montreal.”

Côte St. Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather was thrilled with the news of the land use designation.
“Protecting Meadowbrook has been something I and the council members, particularly Dida Berku, have been advocating for decades and was one of my key election promises in 2005 the first time I ran for mayor and a key element of the 2006 Côte St. Luc Strategic Plan,” he said.

Montreal West Mayor Beny Masella said the news is great for his town and the island as a whole.
“Zoning Meadowbrook as green space will help move Montreal closer to its goals of preserving an important percentage of land on the island,” Masella said

Hope growing for Cavendish link


July 30th, 2014

Suburban Newspaper | Joel Goldenberg

In our special issue of more than six months ago, our evaluation of the status of the long-awaited Cavendish link between Côte St. Luc and St. Laurent was that of mild optimism.
In that issue, we took note of the many promises made over the more than 45 years that the project has been a topic of discussion, only to have nothing happen. The roadblocks have included Côte St. Luc’s opposition to the project because of traffic concerns until the late 1990s, when then-mayor Robert Libman and his council conceived a less intrusive indirect route; and the high cost of building an underpass or overpass under or over CN rail lines.

We also noted this past winter that Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said during his election campaign that connecting Cavendish was a priority, that $1.2 million was approved by the Montreal executive committee in its capital works budget to update the $5 million merger-era study, and that the planned Hippodrome housing development makes the Cavendish link even more necessary, as the homes would be close to where a link would be. On the other hand, Montreal has yet to approve $44 million in its capital works budget for Phase 1 of the link, as is called for in the Hippodrome project agreement.

And yet, in the months since, the feeling expressed has been that that the project is closer to fruition than it has ever been in the past. Côte St. Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather told a recent meeting organized by Councillor Mike Cohen that he is very optimistic about the progress that has been made.
“We created a committee composed of St. Laurent, Town of Mount Royal, Côte St. Luc and Côte des Neiges-NDG and Montreal central services,” the mayor told the meeting. “We’re re-evaluating all of the plans that came out of the 2005-2007 engineering effort, and updating them.

“I certainly expect we’re going to move forward with Quebec and secure the proper funding for the extension to happen, so that for all those people who say ‘is it going to happen in my lifetime?’ I’ll be able to say ‘yes, it will happen in everyone’s lifetime that’s in this room.’ This is a big priority for Côte St. Luc. We want to make it happen, and Montreal is now committed to making it happen with us, as is TMR. I hope we’ll have continued good news on this very important issue.”

Not long before, Housefather said he was so confident every interested party was on board that it was not necessary for his city to do any more lobbying.

“It’s a priority for everyone,” he told council regular Bernard Tonchin. “The problem before was we didn’t have the will of the elected officials of the City of Montreal to move the project forward, now the mayor of Montreal is committed to it.

“This has been going on for months,” the mayor added at the time. “The mayor of Montreal has our attention. Coderre has put this in place and is working with us. There’s nothing we need to do…. The only question is how the development will be funded and how we’re going to fund Cavendish. It’s not a question anymore of should it happen or not happen. There’s nobody you need to convince.”

Of course, much of the funding will have to come from the provincial government to cover the estimated $140 million cost. That is more likely under the current Quebec Liberal government than it would have been under a Marois PQ regime.

So add at least some more optimism, if not giddy excitement, to this elusive link seeing completion.

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