JGH News: Glenn J. Nashen awarded National Assembly Medal of Citizenship

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by: Henry Mietkiewicz

Receiving the D’Arcy McGee Medal of Citizenship of the Quebec National Assembly by (L-R) Former MNAs Robert Libman and Lawrence Bergman, current MNA David Birnbaum and Mayor Mitchell Brownstein

Glenn J. Nashen, Associate Director of Communications and Media Relations for CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, has been awarded the National Assembly’s D’Arcy McGee Medal of Citizenship in recognition of his many contributions to the lives of Montrealers in and beyond the provincial riding of D’Arcy McGee.

Mr. Nashen, a former long-standing City Councillor in Cote Saint-Luc, accepted the medal on June 19 from David Birnbaum, MNA for D’Arcy McGee, in a ceremony at City Hall.

The D’Arcy McGee Medal of Citizenship

The D’Arcy McGee Medal of Citizenship

In a video message, Premier Philippe Couillard praised Mr. Nashen for his “years of devoted service as a Cote Saint-Luc City Councillor, highlighted by your visionary leadership in creating a ground-breaking Emergency Medical Services team, as well as a unique volunteer citizens’ patrol, which are deeply appreciated by the community.

“Your continued volunteer and professional accomplishments only add to your fine record of community involvement.”

“Glenn exemplifies the kind of qualities of personal and professional dedication, leadership and energy that inspired me to create this medal ceremony in the D’Arcy McGee Riding,” Mr. Birnbaum noted. “I think it’s poignant to remember that he also joins [pioneer HIV/AIDs researcher] Dr. Mark Wainberg among the worthy past winners of the medal.”

Mr. Nashen has had a life-long interest in emergency services, which was among his key portfolios when he served as Councillor from 1990 to 2001 and from 2005 to 2017. He began volunteering in 1979 as a First Responder for Cote Saint-Luc’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and was a part-time Emergency Medical Technician with  Urgences Santé during the 1980s and ’90s.

Mr. Nashen says he is particularly proud of his key role in transforming the EMS into a modern, 24/7, all-volunteer, life-saving operation. He also saved it from closure in the early 2000s, a time of uncertainty when Cote Saint-Luc had to merge with the City of Montreal, only to de-merge later. Today the EMS responds to 3,000 life-threatening or potentially life-threatening calls per year.

Also created and launched by Mr. Nashen in 2006 was the unique and innovative  volunteer organization, Citizens on Patrol, which he built into an organization of nearly 100 participants who keep an eye on the city in marked patrol vehicles, scooters and bicycles. The volunteers assist and inform residents on matters of public safety, and they alert the authorities to any emergencies they come across. This public safety service, unique in Quebec, is greatly appreciated by area residents.

Since joining the JGH in 2001 as Director of Public Affairs and Communications, Mr. Nashen has been instrumental in enabling the hospital and, later, the CIUSSS to keep pace with rapid and constant changes in web and social media, branding, media relations and political affairs, while providing news and information about the JGH and the CIUSSS to the public and members of staff.

In addition, from 1995 to 2000, Mr. Nashen worked for Federation CJA where he headed the Young Leadership Division and founded the Jewish Chamber of Commerce. From 2000 to 2001, he was Executive Director of Alliance Quebec.

Mr. Nashen is married to Dr. Judy Hagshi, a family physician at the JGH.

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The D’Arcy McGee Medal of Citizenship of the National Assembly goes to…

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Receiving the D’Arcy McGee Medal of Citizenship of the Quebec National Assembly by (L-R) Former MNAs Robert Libman and Lawrence Bergman, current MNA David Birnbaum and Mayor Mitchell Brownstein

What a great honour in receiving the D’Arcy McGee Medal of Citizenship of the Quebec National Assembly by MNA David Birnbaum surrounded by family and friends. This annual event awards three people for their outstanding contribution to the residents and communities of the D’Arcy McGee riding.

 

 

David Birnbaum, député de D’Arcy-McGee MNA honoured three people for outstanding community service last evening at Ashkelon Gardens: Lina Fortin, me, and the late Gerry Weinstein. The winners were selected by a blue-ribbon jury of three former D’Arcy-McGee MNAs and Ministers, retired Justice Herbert Marx, Robert Libman and 20-year MNA Lawrence S. Bergman. The Victor Goldbloom Essay winner was Sarah Buzaglo, a grade 10 student at École Maïmonide.

Most of you will know that I have served in public office nearly all of my adult life. Allow me sum up this incredible journey in the form of my shift-on-duty.

Glenn J. Nashen riding aboard Cote Saint-Luc’s first Rescue Medical Fire vehicle RMF-11, 1981

 

Glenn J. Nashen, on duty, in Cote Saint-Luc’s second ever First Response vehicle

My shift begins. Fall of 1979. I’m a young First Responder in the Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Measures Organization. Dressed in a smart looking brown uniform, yellow stripe down the side of my pants, the alert tone rings and we spring into action, lights and siren blaring from our small red rescue-fire truck. An elderly person tumbles down the stairs at home. A car crashes into a light pole on Cavendish. Suddenly, a call for a cardiac arrest across the street. We respond to hundreds of emergencies, on every street in CSL. And that’s just the early morning.

 

I rise through the ranks of EMO and EMS, promoting citizen CPR training and pushing for Automated Defibrillators in public buildings and public vehicles, relentlessly championing for recognition of paramedics across Quebec, and advocating for air ambulance helicopters for the outlying regions.

Cote Saint-Luc EMO launched my side-career as an Urgences-Santé ambulance technician in 1980

It’s a busy shift and we are only in the mid-80s. My uniform changes colour, and so does the vehicle, as I find myself riding aboard yellow ambulances and doctors cars with Urgences Santé. Racing to life and death situations, performing CPR 125 times, bringing some people back to life and even delivering a baby. What a privilege. What responsibility at a pretty young age, to be in a position to make a profound difference in someone’s life during their moment of highest anxiety.

Councillors Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac enrolled at the Emergency Preparedness College of Canada 1991

My shift continues, it’s 1990, and I’m elected as the youngest member on city council. My first priority is to make cycling safer and CSL adopts the first bicycle helmet bylaw in the country! I play a leading role during major floods, the infamous Ice Storm, preparing for doomsday during Y2K, you remember year 2000!

Newspaper ad from June 2005 commemorating the 1st anniversary of the demerger referendum by the Cote Saint-Luc Demerger Committee Co-Chairs

No rest on this patrol. It’s the early 2000s and Anthony, Ruth, Mitch and I are up for the biggest challenge, to get our City back… and saving our EMS and keeping our police and our fire stations from closure.

The men and women of Cote Saint-Luc volunteer Citizens on Patrol

It’s time for a lunch break when a great idea strikes me… It’s 2005, CSL is about to be back in our own hands again, and I decide that we need to harness the energy of more volunteers to ensure CSL’s place as the safest community on the Island of Montreal. We need to enlist more volunteers, retirees, a group of neighbours watching out for neighbours. After lunch I set out on founding the volunteer Citizens on Patrol organization. We launch on Canada Day 2006. Now suited up in a bright orange polo top and in marked vans, scooters and bikes, we continue our patrol through the streets and parks and municipal facilities.

Fmr. Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen and Supervisor Mitchell Herf inaugurate the newest vCOP electric scooters

We stop to alert a resident that they forgot to close their garage door, a possible theft averted. We remind another to keep the emergency lane clear at the mall, we get the finger on that one, but that’s OK. All in a day’s volunteer work. An elderly couple thanks us for changing the battery in their smoke detector. We block a street from traffic and hold onlookers back as the fire department douses a house fire. Over to check on the home of vacationers. Then, we assist the police in looking for a missing child and we reunite the frightened youngster with their relieved parents. We feel pride and satisfaction knowing we’ve helped. We’ve made a difference. We’ve given our time but we’ve gained so much in return.

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

My shift isn’t quite done and yet another quick uniform change. This time for a two-month stint as mayor of CSL in 2015. What was once just a dream actually became a reality.

 

And as we head back to the station to wrap up this shift for today, in 2018, I can see how my my parents gave me the keys to these patrol vehicles, for this mission to Repair the World.

Receiving the D’Arcy McGee Medal of Citizenship with my parents, George and Phyllis Nashen (June 19, 2018)

So thank you mom, who just celebrated her 90th birthday and thank you dad, who is three days shy of his 95th. Thank you for these important life lessons in public service and looking out for one’s neighbour.

 

These lessons were also fueled by my wife, Judy, who’s always ready to give her utmost to her patients and to the community and together we are handing over these keys to our children, Nicole, Nathalie and Jeremy.

Glenn J. Nashen, Judy Hagshi with Nicole, Nathalie and Jeremy Nashen (*June 19, 2018)

So I close by again thanking my wife and children, because when my proverbial uniform went on, they knew that it meant I’d be away from the house again and again and again. Public service, and long shifts, do come at a very high cost!

 

My wife says this about me: My heart is in Cote Saint-Luc and Cote Saint-Luc is in my heart. I feel that way too about our beautiful province and our amazing country. And I hope that one day my tour of duty will continue and my unquenchable need to Repair the World (Tikun Olam) will take off in some new direction to make this place the very best for all of us.

 

Thank you as well to our incredible life-saving volunteers at CSL EMS and to our dedicated and unstoppable volunteers in vCOP.

Thank you David and our former MNAs Herbert, Robert and Lawrence for this great honour. And thank you for reading this and for “joining” me on today’s shift. I appreciate all the good wishes and support I receive from family, friends and members of the community.

 

Congratulations to my fellow laureates, Lina Fortin and the family of the late Gerry Weinstein

 

Celebrating with the Pressers (Sandie and Robert) and Fabians (Leslie, Ricki, Jamie and Sammi)

 

My longtime friend and fellow vCOP volunteer Mitchell Herf

 

Sharing the good vibes and smiles with my colleagues Stephanie Malley and Marisa Rodi

 

Siempre me complace celebrar con mis amigos cercanos Natalia y Pablo

 

D’Arcy McGee National Assembly Citizenship Medal Ceremony (Photo Darryl Levine)

 

Friends from way back to Bialik days, Ben Burko (and son Milo) and Gary Polachek

 

Mitchell Brownstein and I go way, way back. I am so proud of my friend the mayor and pleased to celebrate with him.

 

David Birnbaum and Glenn J. Nashen (Photo Darryl Levine)

 

Former Quebec Cabinet Minister Lawrence Bergman and I have had a wonderful relationship over the years. He has been a friend and a mentor.

 

Gracias Miguel Banet y Lulu Brenner por venir y mostrar tu amor y apoyo

 

 

Watch and share: Here’s what they’re saying | Regardez et partagez: Voici ce qu’ils disent

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Watch and share: What do Dr. Mitch Shulman (CJAD and MUHC), fmr. Quebec Minister of Revenue Lawrence Bergman and Dr. Marc Afilalo (JGH) have to say about the Cote Saint-Luc elections?

 

Regardez et partagez: Le Dr Mitch Shulman (CJAD et CUSM), ancien ministre du Revenu du Québec, Lawrence Bergman, et le Dr Marc Afilalo (HGJ) se prononcent sur les élections à Côte Saint-Luc. Écoutez ce qu’ils ont à dire.

 

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CSL announces mayoral election process

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

 

Statement from Lawrence S. Bergman, former MNA for D’Arcy McGee riding

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Lawrence Bergman, fmr. MNA for D'Arcy McGee

Lawrence Bergman, fmr. MNA for D’Arcy McGee

Statement from Lawrence S. Bergman, former MNA for D’Arcy McGee riding:

 

I received an election pamphlet today (October 14, 2015) that obviously was created to deliberately mislead the public.

On one side, in Liberal colours and pictures showing statements taken out of context. In fact, the issuer was actually the Conservative Libman campaign.  

These Conservative pamphlets are an insult to the intellect of the voters of Mount Royal, who have always elected Members of Parliament in the tradition of Allan McNaughton, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Sheila Finestone, Irwin Cotler and soon, Anthony Housefather …people of tremendous integrity, intellectual honesty and respect for the electors of Mount Royal.

The people of Mount Royal deserve better, not the negative campaign undertaken by the Conservatives who should apologize for their tactics.

MNA Birnbaum inaugurates citizenship medals

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For the very first time, Member of the Quebec National Assembly, David Birnbaum, inaugurated the D’Arcy McGee Citizenship Medals, this evening in Ashkelon Gardens at Cote Saint-Luc City Hall.

The first three inductees were selected by a blue ribbon panel of three former MNAs for D’Arcy McGee riding: Dr. Victor Goldbloom, Justice Herbert Marx and Lawrence Bergman. All three served as ministers in previous Quebec Liberal governments. The dedicated Bureau Chief of the riding office, Elisabeth Prass, served as emcee.

Attending the D'Arcy McGee Medal of Citizenship Ceremony: Cllr. Ruth Kovac, Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil, Energy Minister Pierre Arcand, Hampstead Mayor Bill Steinberg, CSL Mayor Anthony Housefather and Cllrs. Glenn J. Nashen and Mitchell Brownstein

Attending the D’Arcy McGee Medal of Citizenship Ceremony: Cllr. Ruth Kovac, Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil, Energy Minister Pierre Arcand, Hampstead Mayor Bill Steinberg, CSL Mayor Anthony Housefather and Cllrs. Glenn J. Nashen and Mitchell Brownstein

Mr. Birnbaum introduced the medal presentation as a unique and meaningful manner in celebrating the deep involvement and  active participation of the citizens of D’Arcy McGee. Eloquent and sophisticated in speech-making, Mr. Birnbaum spoke beautifully about each award winner as well as in reference to his esteemed predecessor MNAs.

Medal recipients were Paula Brauer Shuster, Samuel Gewurz and Barbara Seal.

Paula Brauer Shuster is a retired teacher who now serves as a volunteer library ambassador in Cote Saint-Luc, offering community input on library programs and serving as driver in the home delivery program to those who are home-bound. She is always involved in book sales, the annual city tomato plant giveaway and Canada Day celebrations. Paula serves lunch at B’nai B’rith House and volunteers for the Pharmaprix Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. Library Director, Janine West, noted in nominating Paula: “Her willingness to help and selfless spirit have made her a very beloved member of the Cote Saint-Luc library family.”

Paula Brauer Shuster accepting the D'Arcy McGee Citizenship Medal in Ashkelon Gardens

Paula Brauer Shuster accepting the D’Arcy McGee Citizenship Medal in Ashkelon Gardens

Barbara Seal is a former citizenship court judge, Hampstead Town Councillor and director of the Segal Centre for Performing Arts. She’s the National President of the Canadian friends of Tel Aviv University and a director of the McGill School for Continuing Studies. In her long professional and volunteer career, Barbara has been chair or director of more than 40 community, educational, cultural and health support organizations. She has lectured widely, has been a lifelong learner, and the recipient of a myriad of citations and awards. She continues to conduct the annual Canada Day Citizenship Ceremony in Cote Saint-Luc.

CSL Mayor Anthony Housefather congratulates Judge Barbara Seal on being presented with the D'Arcy McGee Citizenship Medal

CSL Mayor Anthony Housefather congratulates Judge Barbara Seal on being presented with the D’Arcy McGee Citizenship Medal

Samuel Gewurz is a commercial and industrial real estate developer who has given back to his community throughout his life. He has been recognized with awards for his impact on urbanism in Quebec and for his leadership initiatives to promote staying in school, heritage properties and sustainable development. Sam has been a volunteer advocate and supporter of MADA, which provides groceries and prepared meals for thousands fighting poverty, Hebrew Academy and Canadian Friends of Bar Ilan University, among others. MADA director Rabbi Chaim S. Cohen noted in supporting Sam’s nomination: “We are continuously honoured and awed by his care to MADA and the community. He’s a true leader, paving the path of goodness and kindness in our community.”

Music was provided by the local, talented and energetic high school band, Les jeunes musiciens de l’Ecole secondaire St-Luc.

Congratulations to the medal recipients and to MNA David Birnbaum for this excellent initiative.

Why I support the call for an Office of Anglophone Affairs

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The need for an Office of Anglophone Affairs to represent the interests of 800,000 English-speaking Quebecers is reasonable and quite evident.

First, having three cabinet members of the Quebec Liberal Party who come from the English-speaking community does not absolve the government from its ongoing obligation to its English-speaking population. Cabinet members come and go, so do governments, and cabinet members have many more responsibilities than uniquely watching out for linguistic issues of their constituents.

The last four decades have shown us that English-speakers promoted to cabinet are no guarantee that the rights afforded to the English-speaking community will be respected in each ministry and throughout the government.

No disrespect or lack of appreciation to our Anglo MNAs, past or present. Their competencies are far from limited to their mother tongue. In D’Arcy McGee riding, for example, David Birnbaum is off to a great start, is very interested in his constituency and his assistance is quite sincere, I have no doubt. Lawrence Bergman was a model MNA, of the highest calibre. Robert Libman (Equality Party) was elected specifically because of his position on language and Bill 101 and had wide community support because he was a thorn in the side of the government – a voice specifically for the English-speaking community.

An Office  of Anglophone Affairs would be such a representative body that is sorely lacking in Quebec City.

Editorial: An Office of Anglophone Affairs is needed now more than ever | Montreal Gazette.

Second, in an era when a judge of the Quebec Court rules that it is legitimate for the government to deny the rights and freedoms guaranteed to all Canadians and Quebecers, such as this week’s ruling to uphold Bill 101 with respect to marked predominance of French on signs, it is clear that the Quebec English-speaking community needs greater presence within government. An office, as suggested by Commissioner of Official Languages, Graham Fraser, would be a good start.

Smaller English wording on signs will convince more people to speak French? Nonsense. This is nothing more than the government, through its OQLF, bullying small business owners, who have enough trouble making a living in this province without being restricted from communicating with their non French-speaking customers.

It is harassment of Anglo seniors who have difficulty reading much too small English wording in the few cases where English is even provided.

It is an insult to English-speaking Quebecers that their language is diminished by such mean spirited laws that do absolutely nothing to promote the French language

It is pure politic and it is contrary to what Philippe Couillard told us in last year’s election campaign (‘English is not the enemy’).

Finally, Quebecers were screaming their support for freedom of expression, alongside people of good will all across the planet just two weeks ago. Where are they today? Where are our business leaders demanding their freedom of expression to run their businesses as they see fit in order to create wealth in our province? Where are those politicians who waved their signs upholding freedom of expression? Where are all those marchers?

We’re quick to cry for freedom for everyone all over the world. I fully support that. But what about right here in Quebec, in Canada, where we have something called a ‘Notwithstanding Clause’ that allows our own government to deny our rights? What about our own freedom of expression?

All other provinces have an office for their French-speaking communities. Anglo Quebecers need a voice too.

 

Read more:

Court quashes challenge to Quebec’s sign law (The Gazette)

Judge shoots down sign law challenge (CTV News)

Suburban | Feb. 4, 2015 | Click to enlarge

Suburban | Feb. 4, 2015 | Click to enlarge

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