CSL Golden Shuttle to Walmart Lasalle?

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Côte Saint-Luc seniors want STM shuttle service extended

Group says adding 5 minutes to current route would make a big difference

CBC News Posted: Jul 12, 2017 

A group of seniors in Côte Saint-Luc are asking the STM to extend a shuttle bus service that runs to Angrignon mall.

A group of seniors in Côte Saint-Luc are asking the STM to extend a

shuttle bus service that runs to Angrignon mall. (Simon Nakonechny/CBC)

A group of seniors from Côte Saint-Luc say they rely on the STM shuttle bus service that goes to Carrefour Angrignon shopping centre, but right now, it doesn’t go far enough.

The current route drops passengers off in the mall parking lot, making it more difficult to access nearby big box stores on the other side of a busy intersection on foot.

“To cross the Angrignon Boulevard, you take your life into your hands,” said Maureen Deery, a resident of St. Patrick Square, an apartment community for those 55 and up on Côte St-Luc Road.

As it stands, the shuttle’s last stop is at the mall. The group wants the STM to add a stop in front of the Walmart across the street. From there, they would have easier access to other big box stores.

The proposed stop would be about a kilometre away, which doesn’t seem far, but it’s a long way to walk for those who aren’t as spry as they used to be.

Shuttle provides ‘vital access’

The bus line is one of the STM’s last remaining “Navette Or” services designated specifically for seniors. It only runs three times a week and many passengers use it to get all their shopping done in one trip.

“The shuttle is a vital access,” Deery told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak.

csl seniors

The group of women live in the same apartment building and

use the shuttle service frequently. (Simon Nakonechny/CBC)

Another St. Patrick Square resident, Jackie MacDonnell, says crossing the six-lane intersection, especially when loaded up with heavy shopping bags, can be a struggle.

“It’s hard to get to Walmart because it’s quite a long walk, we have to cross busy streets and all that,” she told CBC.

Some of the users have been pushing for the change since 2015, and even submitted a petition.

The STM declined to give an interview on the topic but did issue a statement saying that there’s a moratorium on changing seniors’ shuttle bus routes and that no changes were being considered for the 262.

‘Huge gain for the seniors’

Côte Saint-Luc city councillor Dida Berku told CBC that she plans to put pressure on the STM to reconsider.

The proposed change would mean “a minor modification for a huge gain for the seniors,” she said.

csl shuttle

Some of the 262 bus users peruse the schedule.

They have been asking for the new stop for two years, with no success. (CBC)


Berku said the extra five minutes could be easily accommodated by cutting another, rarely used stop on the 262 line.

“It wouldn’t take much to simply modify the route,” she said. “This is why this shuttle was created.”

With files from Simon Nakonechny, CBC’s Daybreak


The City of Cote Saint-Luc strongly supports this request. Indeed, we have been in contact with the Montreal Transit Corporation / STM over the last few years to expand the Golden Shuttle service from CSL to reach more shopping centres as well as the hospital district. So far, they have not acceded to our requests.

Fleet to flow at 40 km/h



Cote Saint-Luc and Hampstead have agreed to harmonize the speed along Fleet in both towns to 40 km/h and to enhance the signage and street line marking at crosswalks. This cooperative project is aimed at ensuring greater safety of pedestrians.

Currently, the speed varies between 50 km/h in CSL to 50 km/h and 30 km/h in Hampstead.

Hampstead and CSL will install 40 km/h speed limit signs on Fleet between Cavendish and Dufferin Road on their respective territories. The cities will also collaborate to do their utmost to ensure that the traffic lights on Fleet Road, on their respective territories, are synchronized.

No_left_Fleet_Hampstead_2013a    No_left_Fleet_Hampstead_2013b

They will also work together to create a simplified plan as related to the wording on the signs for the no left turn policy on the streets running perpendicular to Fleet Road, namely, Netherwood, Finchley, Dufferin Road. This has been a serious source of frustration for motorists from both cities, many of whom have been ticketed for turning left off of Fleet, unable to decipher the confusing signage. The confusing road signs were also cited by a Montreal Court judge in dismissing a ticket to a Hampstead motorist (posted elsewhere on this blog).

Free Press, May 23. 2012

Free Press, May 23. 2012

Hampstead has also agreed to provide greater visibility for the unprotected cross walk between Queen Mary Road and Netherwood.

This synchronization plan is good news for West End motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike. While Fleet is not wide enough for a dedicated bike lane the slower traffic will improve the safety of those on bikes and walking across the street. It is intended that crosswalks will be even more visible by better street line markings and signage will be installed in high visibility colours.

As the one who called for the initial meeting to discuss this project with Hampstead Mayor Steinberg I am very pleased with the cooperation between our two municipalities. Councillor Dida Berku and I along with CSL Urban Development Director Charles Senekal met with Mayor Steinberg and members of his administration last winter to discuss common concerns and ideas to reduce risk.

Two weeks ago I met again with Mayor Steinberg, CSL Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and members of council along with CDN-NDG Mayor Russell Copeman and Councillor Marvin Rotrand at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in Winnipeg. We had a productive working meeting where we touched upon the Fleet –  Van Horne corridor among other subjects. Copeman and Rotrand are also open to the idea of synchronizing Van Horne between Hampstead and Decarie to 40 km/h as well.

Safer at 40 km/h speed sign

In addition I’ve asked Councillor Rotrand to have his staff repair the significant depressions in the roadway on Van Horne to ensure a steady flow of two lanes of traffic during rush hour and to have police enforce the no stopping regulation which often causes a bottleneck, blocking the flow of traffic and the 161 bus.

Thank you to the three municipal administraions and especially mayors Steinberg, Copeman and Brownstein for demonstrating a genuine interest in cooperation and collaboration.

Do you have ideas to improve this thoroughfare? Please share your ideas here.

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.
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.

Upgrade coming to Kildare / Cavendish, safer for pedestrians

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Free Press | Feb. 23, 2016 | Click to enlarge

Free Press | Feb. 23, 2016 | Click to enlarge

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.”

CSL opposes illogical riding changes

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Côte St. Luc council unanimously passed a resolution Monday night expressing opposition to a proposal by Quebec’s Electoral Commission to change the boundaries of provincial west end ridings.

The commission proposes the merging of Outremont and Mont Royal into one provincial riding, and the result would change the D’Arcy McGee boundary.

D’Arcy McGee currently includes Côte St. Luc, Hampstead, and Snowdon east to Decarie Blvd. The proposed change would involve expanding the eastern limit of the riding past Decarie to Côte des Neiges.

As well, a section of Outremont populated with Hasidic Jewish community members would be transferred to Mercier, represented by Québec Solidaire’s Amir Khadir.

A resolution read by Councillor Mitchell Brownstein said the proposed changes to the ridings would:

• “compromise the electoral influence of the Quebec English-speaking community.”

• Violate the “legislative and legally-confirmed requirement that natural communities be respected,” and “dilute the distinct character of the sociological and demographic natural communities which are presently represented within their respective boundaries.”

The resolution also asks that Côte St. Luc representatives be invited to make their case to the electoral commission.

“When you’re merging two ridings, particularly those that have such a significant English population, you’re taking away rights from the English community,” Brownstein said. “We find this is an offensive move towards our community, and it’s quite serious. We have to all get together and oppose it. The three ridings are very important and distinct, and should be maintained. They might modify the boundaries, but the distinct ridings should continue to exist.”

Pro-mayor Dida Berku urged the public to express their opposition by going to the bilingual site,http://lacarte.electionsquebec.qc.ca/, and writing their opinion.

“D’Arcy McGee is composed of Côte St. Luc and Hampstead, which is a distinct community,” she added. “We like it that way. The change would dilute the natural community of D’Arcy McGee.”

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)

Court of Appeal dismisses Meadowbrook developer’s motion

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The Quebec Court of Appeal on Friday dismissed a motion by Meadowbrook Golf Course developer Meadowbrook Groupe Pacific, regarding the latest version of a lawsuit against Côte St. Luc that has wound its way through the courts for 15 years.

Côte St. Luc was originally sued by Meadowbrook’s developer in 2000 when the city changed the zoning of its part of the golf course site from residential to recreational and commercial. Developers have been wanting to place housing on the site, half of which is in Lachine, for more than 25 years.

The original lawsuit was on the backburner for years, until Groupe Pacific changed its lawsuit to claim $32 million — $19 million of which was to force the city to basically buy the part of the land in its territory — a land swap: and $13 million for loss of profits, reduced by Quebec Superior Court from $20 million.

Quebec Superior Court found that the revised case was a “new recourse” not allowed by the Code of Procedure, and did not allow the company to pursue the $19 million claim. The court also found Groupe Pacific to be the cause of the original lawsuit being in limbo for some 12 years.

Now Groupe Pacific wants to amend its lawsuit once again, to claim another $20 million. The developer wanted the Quebec Court of Appeal to state its opinion on the merits of such a re-amendment to the Quebec Superior Court. That appeals court hearing took place Friday and lasted three minutes.

“Their appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed,” said Côte St. Luc Councillor Dida Berku. “They wanted an opinion from the Court of Appeal as to whether or not they were precluded from claiming another $20 million. The judgment states that if they want to re-amend to claim another $20 million, they have to go back to Superior Court, and the Superior Court will decide. The Court of Appeal will not decide on the merits of their re-amendment in advance.”

Berku said the Court of Appeal judgment was basically quoting Côte St. Luc’s position in this matter.


Zero dollars from Montreal agglomeration for Cavendish link for 2016, 2017

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The Montreal agglomeration budget provides a total of $0 for the long-awaited Cavendish link project between Côte St. Luc and St. Laurent in 2016 and 2017, Côte St. Luc Councillor Dida Berku told council regular Bernard Tonchin at the November council meeting.

However, $13 million will be provided in 2018, she added.

“At the last agglomeration meeting, when I asked the question to Aref Salem, who is responsible, he said ‘don’t worry, we’re still working on it.

The whole Cavendish link dossier has been moving forwards and backwards for some 50 years, with promises of funding and action, and other times the matter being placed on the back burner, especially when the demerger of municipalities took place in 2006.

“Will you as acting mayor bring up the issue of Cavendish, since our new prime minister mentioned there will be a few billion dollars of infrastructure?” Itman asked Pro-Mayor Glenn Nashen.


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.

Process begins for second CSL B’nai Brith House


July 27, 2015
Côte St. Luc council last week passed, with one opposing vote, a first draft bylaw allowing for the construction of a second B’nai Brith House residence, to be located on city land close to the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre.
Last year, council voted 4-2 to sell the land to B’nai Brith Canada. There is another B’nai Brith House at Côte St. Luc Road and Westminster.
As is required, a public consultation will be held on the new rezoning bylaw 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10 at the Côte St. Luc city hall council chamber.
“B’nai Brith Canada and other seniors organizations that own seniors properties in the city were given a chance by the city to come forward with a proposal to make use of that land for affordable housing for seniors,’ said Mayor Anthony Housefather. “B’nai Brith was the only one, in the end, that actually came forward with a proposal. The other potential bidder, Federation CJA, supported the B’nai Brith project, and St. Patrick Square also supported the B’nai Brith project.”
Housefather added that council extensively discussed whether a residence represented the best use of the land, and that most of council decided that “this was a very heavily needed project in the community, so that seniors moving out of their homes in the community could find affordable housing and live in Côte St. Luc. B’nai Brith has said there is a very long waiting list for this project.”
Councillor Dida Berku said that she supports the project, but voted against, reiterating her fear that the location is too close to railway tracks. Housefather said this is a legitimate concern, but that council worked with B’nai Brith and city staff to maximize safety in the residence’s design, including berms and sound barriers. Late last year, Berku and Councillor Steven Erdelyi voted against selling the land to B’nai Brith Canada, but Erdelyi was not at the July council meeting.
Berku added that the location for the residence is convenient, as it would be close to the shopping centre. But she reiterated that new Federation of Canadian Municipalities and Railway Association of Canada guidelines  call for a safe distance setback — from building to property line — of 30 metres.
“The issue of the proximity is one I’m struggling with,” she added. “I just don’t feel the proximity can be ignored in light of what happened at Lac Mégantic, where 47 people were killed. Here, you’re building a six-storey senior residence within 30 metres of the right-of-way of the railways. For me, it’s definitely too close. Until we see the final design, I’m not going to vote in favour of this project or the rezoning. I’m not prepared to take that risk.”
Berku acknowledged that most of Côte St. Luc is built around railway tracks, with many homes in closer proximity.
“But for me, that’s not a reason to repeat the mistakes of the past” with “sensitive” housing, she added.
Councillor Ruth Kovac, who voted in favour of the rezoning, said numerous Côte St. Luc places, including a synagogue, a school and Mount Sinai Hospital, the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre, and other locations and relocations that Berku voted for, are close to tracks.
“What message are you telling for all the residents of Côte St. Luc, that we should move everything a little bit further away, that we should live in fear?” Kovac said. “This building has been approved by our Planning Advisory Committee, it’s gone through multiple revisions, this is probably going to be the safest building that’s in proximity of a railway. To give seniors a safe place to live, in proximity of a shopping centre where they will have everything they need close to them, is probably the best thing council can do for them.”


Entire Meadowbrook parcel now protected from development

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Free Press | Feb. 10, 2015 | Click to enlarge

Free Press | Feb. 10, 2015 | Click to enlarge

Is Overdevelopment Just Par for the Course?

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This is an excellent article that appeared in the Link from Concordia University this week outlining the 25 year struggle to save Meadowbrook.

Is Overdevelopment Just Par for the Course? | Special Issue | The Link.

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

CSL votes 4-2 to sell land for new B’nai Brith residence

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The Suburban | Nov. 19, 2014 | Click to enlarge

The Suburban | Nov. 19, 2014 | Click to enlarge

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