Housefather holds first summit of elected officials

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Anthony Housefather's first summit of elected officials at Cote Saint-Luc City Hall, July 13, 2016

Anthony Housefather’s first summit of elected officials at Cote Saint-Luc City Hall, July 13, 2016

This morning I attended the first ever Summit of Elected Officials in the Mount Royal Riding. Organized by federal MP Anthony Housefather this was the first time that our local MP has organized such an encounter for all elected representatives at all three levels of government and school commissioners.
Housefather’s staff highlighted federal grant opportunities and programs for municipalities and local not for profit and community organizations. Excellent information that we will be consulting city staff on and bringing back to my office at West-Central Montreal Health at the Jewish General Hospital.
Significant discussion took place on the extension of Cavendish Boulevard from Cote Saint-Luc to St. Laurent. This is the first time in the half century this project has been debated that all involved parties are sitting around the same table. This crucial project includes all levels of government as well as CP Rail and Canadian National Railways.
Additionally, we reviewed the mega 15/40 “Royalmount project” and received updates on the Blue Bonnets development. The 15/40 is a $2 billion project which will be totally private. It is the largest development of its sort in Quebec. The mega entertainment and shopping complex will include five hotels and an interior water park. Carbonlea is the same developer at the 10/30 on the South Shore. Plans are to make it one of the most visited tourist spots in Quebec. They are also seeking a metro and electric light rail connection as well as major public transit and bike routes. Construction is set to begin in 2018 and to be completed in 2021.
Housefather has made it a priority to bring together local representatives and to open up channels of dialogue. To his credit, this is the most in-depth and involved gathering of this sort ever organized by our local MP. The dynamic and engaging MP brought his entire staff of six assistants (four from Montreal and two from Ottawa). His staff has begun attending all public council meetings in the riding as well.
Housefather indicated that he worked very hard on the federal End of Life legislation, making it fair and equitable for all Canadians. He is proud to indicate that the Liberal government has agreed to reinstate the Court Challenges Program that had been disbanded by the previous Conservative government. This is of significant importance to minority language communities, especially the English-speaking communities of Quebec.
I put forward my opinion that it was ill-advised for the previous Conservative government to have scrapped the Long Gun Registry and reprehensible that the data collected was trashed. While it’s good for Quebec to have its own registry this will have limited effect, acting on its own.
Moreover, our cities and country would be far safer without guns (except for anyone who absolutely requires one). Anthony and I are in total agreement on this position. I hope other MPs will be convinced as well by their constituents. While we are far better off than our American neighbours in this regard we can still do much better.
CSL was represented by Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillors Ruth Kovac, Allan Levine and myself.  Town of Mount-Royal Mayor Philippe Roy and Councillors Joseph Daoura and Minh-Diem Le Thi and Hampstead Mayor Bill Steinberg and Councillor Michael Goldwax participated along with representatives of the CSDM, Borough of CDN-NDG as well as MP Marc Garneau’s office.
The next “Anthony’s Assembly” public forum takes place on Thursday, July 14 at CSL City Hall at 7:30pm.
August 28 is Anthony’s Family Fun Day in Van Horne Park. Open to all, there will be inflatables, bingo, hot dogs, food trucks and more.
On November 13 the Mount Royal riding office will host its first job fair at Lavoie School in conjunction with Agence Ometz.
Congratulations to the omnipresent and indefatigable Anthony Housefather and his dedicated staff for organizing this excellent summit.

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.

Solemn student ceremony in Hampstead remembers Canada’s fallen soldiers, victims of Holocaust

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Remembrance Day parade of students in Hampstead on November 5, 2015 (Photo: Denis Beaumont)

Remembrance Day parade of students in Hampstead on November 5, 2015 (Photo: Denis Beaumont)

The annual Remembrance Day ceremony in Hampstead was held today in bright, unusually warm sunshine. Over 100 students participated from surrounding public and private elementary and high schools. The event was held in cooperation with the Royal Montreal Regiment to pay respects to the courage and sacrifice of our veterans at the Cenotaph and Holocaust Memorial in Hampstead Park.

The event is held each year ahead of November 11 in order to allow for students and military personnel to attend together.

The focus of Hampstead’s Remembrance Day ceremony is to introduce the next generation to the tradition of remembering those who went to war to fight for the rights and freedoms that we enjoy today.  Students attended from Hampstead School, Solomon Schechter Academy, Bialik High School, JPPS Elementary School, and École des Amis-du-Monde. All students participated in the ceremony.

Hampstead Councillors Edery, Goldwax, Shaffer, Mayor Steinberg, CSL Acting Mayor Glenn J. Nashen at Remembrance Day in Hampstead on November 5, 2015 (Photo: Denis Beaumont)

Hampstead Councillors Edery, Goldwax, Shaffer, Mayor Steinberg, CSL Acting Mayor Glenn J. Nashen at Remembrance Day in Hampstead on November 5, 2015 (Photo: Denis Beaumont)

Mayor William Steinberg spoke to the children assembled by emphasizing that we remember the past contributions of Canada’s military personnel who fought to earn freedom for future generations of Canadians. “Our dignitaries are the present and the past but you, boys and girls, are the future,” said Mayor Steinberg.

“This morning we remember the brave men and women who paid the ultimate price in WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the peace keeping and peace making missions, and today they are serving in Iraq. We also remember those who returned with serious injuries and also those who returned with no visible signs of injury,” Mayor Steinberg said. “No one serves in a war zone without suffering. We are grateful to all the members of the Canadian Armed Forces, past and present. They served and continue to serve in faraway lands so that we do not have to experience the horrors of war in Canada and so that we may live our lives in peace and harmony.”

Royal Montreal Regiment guards at Remembrance Day in Hampstead on November 5, 2015 (Photo: Denis Beaumont)

Royal Montreal Regiment guards at Remembrance Day in Hampstead on November 5, 2015 (Photo: Denis Beaumont)

“In the 1914 poem, For the Fallen, we read, ‘They shall not grow old’, and it ends with the words, which we repeat, ‘We will remember them, ‘” said Mayor Steinberg. “The verse does not end with, ‘We remember them’, but rather, ‘We WILL remember them’. It is a call to future generations to never forget the sacrifices and to learn the lessons of history. It is a call to value peace, freedom and democracy. And that is why I said that you, boys and girls, are our most important guests. You are tomorrow’s leaders and I have every confidence that you, too, will remember them.”

Adath Israel Rabbi Michael Whitman said to the children that we enjoy the right to vote and choose who will govern us, a right not shared with the majority of the world’s population. We enjoy these privileges because of the sacrifices made by so many who served in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Cote Saint-Luc was represented by Councillor Mitchell Brownstein, Stephen Erdelyi and myself, in my capacity as Acting Mayor. Former Councillor Isadore Goldberg and former Men’s Club President Jack Budovitch, both wearing their WWII military decorations, were also in attendance as was CSL Public Security Director Jordy Reichson and newly appointed Station 9 Police Commander Jean O’Malley.

The event in Hampstead Park was preceded by a ceremonial march of students from Hampstead School to the memorial site, led by the soldiers of the Royal Montreal Regiment.  The Regiment’s participation in Hampstead’s annual commemoration has become a tradition for the town, reinforcing the long-standing partnership between the Regiment and Hampstead.

In 2008, Hampstead granted the Royal Montreal Regiment the Freedom of the City, allowing the regiment the privilege of parading through the community with colours flying, bayonets fixed and bands playing. “The Regiment’s partnership with the Town is a great source of pride for Hampstead,” said Mayor Steinberg.


No changes to Fleet signage: Hamsptead

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May 15, 2015 | Free Press | Click to enlarge

May 15, 2015 | Free Press | Click to enlarge

More on the confusing traffic signs on Fleet Road in Hampstead which is nothing short of entrapment.







Garage Door Security Tips to Prevent Break-ins

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The Town of Hampstead has put together the following excellent tip sheet on protecting your property by securing your garage door. Kudos to Mayor Steinberg and the Town Council along with their Public Security department.


Did you know that garages are one of the easiest targets and a favourite method for thieves to gain entry into your home?

Most people are very careful to ensure that their doors are locked before leaving the house, but did you know that garage doors are often left unlocked, and in some cases, are left wide open? Whether by accident or due to carelessness, an open garage door is a sure-fire way to attract thieves to your home. Before you leave the house:

  • Close the door – Leaving the garage door open allows anyone walking or driving by a full view of all your belongings. A burglar only needs a few minutes to take what he wants from your garage – even while you’re at home.
  • Lock it up – Ensure that your garage door is securely locked by using a key or keypad locking system.
  • Bring it in – Bring your garage door remote into the house. Leaving it in the car, parked on the street, in your driveway or in the garage, allows burglars easy access to your home.
  • Buy a keychain remote – Instead of leaving your remote clipped to your visor, invest in one that you can put on your keychain.
  • Going away? – Be sure to disconnect your automatic garage door opener so that it cannot be opened while you’re away.

By following these helpful tips, you can help prevent an unsettling surprise when you return home.

Happy 100 Hampstead


Hampstead centennial


Hampstead turns 100 this weekend and they’re throwing a huge party. I hope they have a huge crowd and wish them great success.

I take this opportunity to extend my very best wishes to my friends in Hampstead, Mayor Bill Steinberg and the members of Town Council.

Turning 100 is a real big deal and Hampstead is an amazing municipal success story in the socio-geo-political context of Quebec. The urban design, landscaping and planning of the town was avant guard way back when the village began to expand. The early emphasis on livable spaces and pedestrian connections to open green spaces, parks and playgrounds has served its residents well for several generations.

Mayor William Steinberg and Cllr. GJ Nashen

Mayor William Steinberg and Cllr. GJ Nashen

Hampstead and Cote Saint-Luc share a close relationship and similar history. From farm land at the turn of the last century to popular suburban bedroom communities at the end of the century we share many common roots. And today we share a police station and fire services. We play tennis at each other courts, swim at each others pools, send our kids to each others camps and the list goes on. We are much more than neighbours as our towns are home to common friends, school-mates and families.

Mayors Beny Masela (Montreal West), Bill Steinberg (Hampstead), Anthony Housefather (Cote Saint-Luc, Peter Trent (Westmount)

Mayors Beny Masela (Montreal West), Bill Steinberg (Hampstead), Anthony Housefather (Cote Saint-Luc, Peter Trent (Westmount)

So happy birthday to our friends, neighbours and family next door in Hampstead. Here’s to another 100 years of friendship, cooperation and working together for the benefit of all of us who call Cote Saint-Luc and Hampstead home.

Hampstead coat of arms


Read more in the Gazette

Housefather, Steinberg and Birnbaum dunk for charity and Cavendish

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The mayors of Cote Saint-Luc and Hampstead along with the D’Arcy McGee MNA took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to a new level by creating additional awareness that our cities are still waiting for the Quebec government to take the much delayed Cavendish extension project off the back burner.

Anthony Housefather, William Steinberg and David Birnbaum took a cold bucket of water to the head to raise some funds for a dreaded disease and also to call attention at the dead-end on Cote Saint-Luc’s side of Cavendish Blvd. Three cheers to our three leaders for this act of charity and strategy.

Watch the Global News report here.

Bowser and Blue – 10 years after demerger

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CSL demerger co-chairs, 10 years later: Mitchell Brownstein, Anthony Housefather, Glenn J. Nashen, Ruth Kovac

CSL demerger co-chairs, 10 years later: Mitchell Brownstein, Anthony Housefather, Glenn J. Nashen, Ruth Kovac (Photo Elaine Brownstein)

Bright sunshine greeted hundreds of happy residents of Cote Saint-Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West last Sunday at the concert marking the 10 year anniversary of the demerger from the megacity. The feature performers were political-comic-balladeers Bowser and Blue.

The mayors and councillors took to the stage to revel in regaining their cities and touted the virtues of lower taxes, better services and happier residents than during the PQ government imposed four-year mega-merger fiasco.

Mayor Anthony Housefather is joined by councillors and Hampstead Mayor Bill Steinberg and Montreal West Mayor Beny Masela to celebrate 10 years of demerger from Montreal mega-city

Mayor Anthony Housefather is joined by councillors and Hampstead Mayor Bill Steinberg and Montreal West Mayor Beny Masela to celebrate 10 years of demerger from Montreal mega-city (Photo Elaine Brownstein)

George Bowser and Rick Blue entertained in their usual, clever and witty way, poking fun at Anglophones, Francophones, Montrealers, Quebecers and Canadians. They laughed at Montreal’s state of street repairs and crumbling overpasses, the Champlain Bridge and at our various accents and unique ways of saying Bonjour/Hi to begin a conversation with strangers.


George Bowser and Rick Blue perform in CSL Trudeau Park

George Bowser and Rick Blue perform in CSL Trudeau Park (Photo Peter Dascal)

Last week the three communities placed blue ribbons along their main streets as a reminder of the campaign that took place a decade earlier whereby the ribbons served as a symbol for those seeking to demerge. Then Borough Councillor Anthony Housefather served with Mitchell Brownstein, Ruth Kovac and myself as the CSL Demerger co-chairs. We worked tirelessly, with an army of dedicated volunteers, in an election-style battle like we had never seen.

Mayors Beny Masela (Montreal West), Bill Steinberg (Hampstead), Anthony Housefather (Cote Saint-Luc, Peter Trent (Westmount)

Mayors Beny Masela (Montreal West), Bill Steinberg (Hampstead), Anthony Housefather (Cote Saint-Luc), Peter Trent (Westmount) (Photo Elaine Brownstein)

Despite the difficulties the Liberal government introduced to regain our cities we succeeded with a successful referendum with the yes vote placing in the high 90% range. Cote Saint-Luc and its neighbouring towns, along with a handful of other suburbs were legally demerged from Montreal to carry on as autonomous municipalities, as was the case for nearly a century.


CBC News

Welcome neighbour

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I was pleased to attend a welcome reception ushering in the new council of the Town of Hampstead this evening.

The new council of the Town of Hampstead

The new council of the Town of Hampstead

Mayor William Steinberg introduced the six councillors in order of their seat number, highlighting two new members: Karen Zajdman in Seat 1 and Warren Budning in Seat 5.

Returning to council are Jack Edery (Seat 2), Leon Elfassy (3), Michael Goldwax (4), and Harvey Shaeffer (6).

Mayor William Steinberg and Cllr. GJ Nashen

Mayor William Steinberg and Cllr. GJ Nashen

Cote Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather along with myself and Councillors Ruth Kovac, Allan J. Levine and Dida Berku were in attendance to greet and congratulate our neighbouring municipality.

The Youth Seat members since the 90s: Anthony Housefather, Bonnie Feigenbaum, Warren Budning.

The Youth Seat members since the 90s: Anthony Housefather, Bonnie Feigenbaum, Warren Budning.

We look forward to many fruitful initiatives and good relations together with our neighbours. (Fixing the needlessly confusing no left turn signs on Fleet would be a good start. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself). We already cooperate in different areas such as recreation and snow dumping. Other possibilities lie ahead.

Acclaimed Cllr. Michael Goldwax delivers white glove service

Acclaimed Cllr. Michael Goldwax delivers white glove service

Meanwhile we congratulate the new council and wish you much success.

Jack Edery and GJ Nashen

Jack Edery and GJ Nashen

Hampstead stands with CSL against Bill 60

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Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg at his desk ...

Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mayor Bill Steinberg and the members of Hampstead Town Council have taken a principled and bold stand against the odious proposed “Charter of shame” (as coined by MP Irwin Cotler), the PQ government’s Bill 60.

Mayor Steinberg announced at Monday night’s rally outside Cote Saint-Luc City Hall that his town was poised to adopt a resolution later that night denouncing the bill as “racist and immoral”. This strong language stands in sharp contrast to that of Cote Saint-Luc’s resolution against the Charter of Quebec Values adopted in October.

The Hampstead resolution says, in part:

  • We believe in the fundamental right of freedom of religion and expression;
  • We believe that in a liberal democracy there is a very real place for the separation of church and state and that the state has no right to impose religious beliefs on its citizens. The separation of church and state should not, however, be confused with the persecution of religion by the state.  It is the basic right of every citizen to be free to believe as he will and practice his religion free of state intervention, so long as the practicing of his religion does not interfere with the basic rights of other citizens to freely enjoy their own civil rights;
  • We believe the wearing of a Kipah, Sikh turban, or Hijab, is not an impediment to carrying out ones’ duties as employees of the State. These symbols do not diminish the wearer, they do not impede the wearer and they are not prejudicial to those with whom the wearer of a religious symbol interacts;
  • We reject the notion that people who believe in a deity are somehow lesser citizens. We reject the notion that wearing an identifiable religious symbol that does not physically impede a person from performing his/her duties, is a basis for discrimination;
  • We believe in a Liberal Democracy the majority does not have the right to pass racist and discriminatory laws against any minority.
  • The strength of a society is not evidenced by its ability to subjugate its minorities but by its ability to protect them.
  • Should this Charter, or any variation which violates the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. be passed by the National Assembly, the Town of Hampstead will not recognize it as a valid law. We will not comply. We will not be complicit with hatred, racism and intolerance.

Mayor Steinberg and the council have shown solid leadership in taking this position and standing up against the Quebec government and their horrendous, discriminatory law.

Indeed, every municipality on the Island of Montreal, including the City of Montreal, has spoken out, either individually or through the Association of Suburban Municipalities against the so-called Charter of Quebec Values.

Town of Hampstead won’t apply ‘racist’ Quebec charter

Hampstead passes resolution denouncing Quebec’s proposed charter

Taking a stand against Bill 60: Hampstead, CSL, universities throw down gauntlet CTV News

Large crowd rallies against ‘Charter of shame’

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“We’re not going anywhere. We’re staying!”

These ominous words uttered by Mayor Anthony Housefather echoed off the walls of Cote Saint-Luc city hall in an impassioned speech that delighted the crowd.

Major personalities to take the microphone included Rabbis Chaim Steinmetz and Reuben Poupko, Father Peter Laviolette and Mayors Bill Steinberg of Hampstead and Beny Masella of Montreal West.

Housefather gave an electrically charged plea to about 700 enthusiastic residents who cheered him on in great support before he even uttered his first word.

Cote Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather addresses the large crowd

Cote Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather addresses the large crowd

“This is an odious bill that sends a message that some Quebecers are more equal than others,” Housefather said. “This is not the charter of most Canadians, most Quebecers or most Cote Saint-Lucers,” the mayor added saying that the government can remain secular. with equality between men and women without needing such legislation.

“We can light the Christmas tree and the menorah in front of city hall, we can employ staff wearing hijabs, kippas, turbans or crosses, and none of this interferes with offering excellent services at fair rates to our taxpayers,” said Housefather. The mayor added that the city will never fire anyone for displaying their religious convictions and that we will go to court to fight this bill should it ever become law.


“Some people have asked why as a city we are speaking out against the Charter,” said Mayor Anthony Housefather. “City government has an absolute right to speak out against the charter. Our council is unanimous in opposing it and, in fact, each and every city on the Montreal island has adopted positions against the charter. We are against the charter because it is a violation of both the Canadian and Quebec Charters of Rights and international treaties Canada has signed. It would reduce religious and linguistic freedoms in Quebec as the primacy of French is also bundled into the charter. In the same way CSL led the fight in opposing Bill 14 which would have reduced our residents linguistic rights we will also lead the fight against this charter. Indeed the charter is a municipal issue as it impacts our employees and how the municipality operates including forcing elected officials to adopt policies against their conscience.”

Photo Pascal Dumont

Photo Pascal Dumont

Housefather ended with a poignant reminder citing former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s famous quote that the ‘State has no business in the bedrooms of Canadians’. “Well, I say that the state has no business in the wardrobe of Canadians,” the mayor emphasized, to wild applaud.

Mayor Bill Steinberg announced his council was set to adopt a resolution after the rally vowing to ignore and to fight Bill 60 if it were ever to be adopted into law.

Photo Pascal Dumont

Photo Pascal Dumont

Rabbi Steinmetz, the spiritual leader of Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Congregation, worried aloud that a year ago he would never have thought twice about wearing his kippah elsewhere in Quebec. Today, he would be worried for his children’s safety to wear a kippah outside of Montreal.  He referred to Bill 60 as the “Charter of darkness”. “It is destructive and divisive,” he said. “This is cheap demagoguery. A ploy to get better results at the ballot box.”

Citing the civil disobedience movement of Martin Luther King, the rabbi added, “We are here not just to oppose it Bill 60, but to deny its legitimacy. We will never respect this law. If it is ever passed, we will deny it and undermine it. We will act with civil disobedience and follow the lead of the Jewish General Hospital.”


After Father Laviolette’s remarks and illumination of the Christmas tree, the St. Richard’s choir sang Christmas songs in English and Italian and ended off on a unique and hugely appreciated rendition of: “We wish you a happy Chanukah.”

Rabbi Poupko of Congregation Beth Israel Beth Aaron added in, “I am glad they did not sing Silent Night. History has taught us that when rights are being trampled we must never remain silent.”

Mount Royal Liberal MP Irwin Cotler was unable to attend the rally, but he sent a message calling Bill 60 ‘the Charter of shame’.

Mayor Masella acknowledged that while our communities have not elected PQ MNAs, “we need to tell the CAQ and the Liberals that there is no common ground here.”

After the rally, the large crowd moved over to the giant menorah where Chabad Rabbi Mendel Raskin, just back from his native Casablanca, Morocco, and Rabbi David Cohen led them in song and celebration.

The view from up above. The crowd spills into Cavendish Blvd. as lomos wait to begin the parade.

My view from up above as a light the giant menorah. The crowd spills into Cavendish Blvd. as limos wait to begin the parade.

I was privileged, as the Deputy Mayor, to climb into the ‘cherry picker’ to be hoisted up to the top of the menorah to light the six ‘candles’ (for night six of Chanukah) and sing the traditional blessings. The view was amazing from 30 or 40 feet in the air and I stated over the loudspeakers, “I hope Mme. Marois can see us lighting this menorah in Quebec City! These lights of freedom and celebration should shine bright across our province.”

In Chabad tradition, jelly-filled donuts were passed around along with dreydles and Chanukah-gelt (Chocolate coins) and several youngsters were chosen to ride in limousines – with illuminated Chanukah menorahs atop their roofs – through the streets of Côte Saint-Luc, holiday melodies blaring for all too hear.

Watch Global News from CSL

Watch CBC News from CSL (advance to 5 minute mark)

Watch CTV News from CSL (first news item)

Des juifs et des chrétiens de Côte-Saint-Luc se révoltent contre la Charte (Huffington Post)

Hampstead council votes unanimously to condemn Bill 60 values charter (Montreal Gazette)

Cote Saint Luc, Hampstead, Universities denounce Charter (CTV News)

West-end mayors vow to defy values charter | The Canadian Jewish News.

Cllr. Mitchell Brownstein on Global Montreal

Students pay tribute at Hampstead Remembrance Day ceremonies


Bright skies and a cold breeze greeted more than one hundred and fifty people who assembled at the Town of Hampstead cenotaph for the 2013 Remembrance Day ceremonies Thursday, November 7 at noon.  Public Security Lieutenant Mike Fitzpatrick blasted commands in true military style as the soldiers of the Royal Montreal Regiment Branch 14 and members of the Royal Canadian Legion assembled their colours before a large audience of school children from Hampstead School, Solomon Schecter Academy, JPPS and Bialik High School.

Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 14 assemble at Hampstead cenotaph

Members of the Royal Montreal Regiment Branch 14 assemble at Hampstead cenotaph

Mayor Bill Steinberg welcomed members of his council as well as Councillor Ruth Kovac and myself who were representing the City of Cote Saint-Luc along with Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson. Also in attendance were Station 9 Police Commander Marc Cournoyer and his Lieutenant J.P. Theoret, Mount Royal riding Chief of Staff Howard Liebman, Montreal Torah Centre’s Rabbi Moshe New, Adath Israel’s Rabbi Michael Whitman as well as holocaust survivors and other dignitaries including former Councillor  Bonnie Feigenbaum and Isadore Goldberg.

Mayor Bill Steinberg and members of Hampstead Town Council along with CSL Councillors Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac

Mayor Bill Steinberg and members of Hampstead Town Council along with CSL Councillors Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac

One by one the various school classes were called up to the microphone to recite poems and sing songs of remembrance in honouring those who had fallen to protect Canada and the world, those who were injured in the line of duty, those who serve today in peacekeeping roles around the world as well as to those who perished in the Holocaust at the hands of the nazis.

CSL Cllr. Ruth Kovac lays a wreath at the Hampstead cenotaph as Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen looks on

CSL Cllr. Ruth Kovac lays a wreath at the Hampstead cenotaph as Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen looks on

Howard Liebman’s words echoed across the chilly field:

On this 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, we pause in tribute and we remember.

We reflect on all of those who fought in the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, and those who participated in peacekeeping missions around the world. We remember as well those murdered by the Nazis in the Shoah, and pay tribute to the survivors.

This is also a time to reflect on those currently serving our country abroad including those selfless individuals who are involved in peace operations to help bring about security and stability around the world.

This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the infamous Evian Conference, the 75th anniversary of Kristalnacht (the Night of Broken Glass) and the 65th anniversary of the Genocide Convention (the Never Again Convention) and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

At this moment of Remembrance and Reminder  – of Witness and Warning – our Member of Parliament, Irwin Cotler, reminds us that Canada’s veterans have fought dutifully and courageously for their country and the preservation of peace, security, and human rights abroad. We can all take pride in their service.

We Remember. Nous nous souvenons. 

Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 14 talking with the school children

Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 14 talking with the school children

Cllr. G.J. Nashen, PS Dir. J. Reichson, Cllr. R. Kovac, Cmdr. M. Cournoyer, Lt. JP Theoret, PS Dir. Michel Pilon

Cllr. G.J. Nashen, PS Dir. J. Reichson, Cllr. R. Kovac, Cmdr. M. Cournoyer, Lt. JP Theoret, PS Dir. Michel Pilon

CSL council sworn in at city hall ceremony

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The Cote Saint-Luc City Council 2013-2017

The Cote Saint-Luc City Council 2013-2017

The City of Cote Saint-Luc Council was sworn into office Monday evening in a ceremony at City Hall. One by one the members of Council followed the Mayor in taking the Oath of Office before City Clerk Mtre. Jonathan Shecter and a crowd of invited guests and families.

Member of Parliament for Mount Royal Irwin Cotler and trusty chief of staff Howard Liebman were present to witness the official ceremony as was Member of the National Assembly for D’Arcy McGee Lawrence Bergman.  It was very nice of these representatives from the federal and provincial legislatures to honour the members of council with their attendance.

Police Station 9 Commander Marc Cournoyer, Suburban Newspaper Publisher Michael Sochaczevski and highly acclaimed member of the Conservative Party of Canada and former Chief of Staff to successive cabinet ministers Neil Drabkin attended as well.

Newly re-elected Hampstead Mayor Bill Steinberg and CSL Councillor Glenn J. Nashen

Newly re-elected Hampstead Mayor Bill Steinberg and CSL Councillor Glenn J. Nashen

It was very meaningful to have the newly elected members of Hampstead Council along with Mayor Bill Steinberg as well as mayoral candidate Bonnie Feigenbaum take part in this civic ceremony. Mayor Anthony Housefather said that such a warm relationship between our neighbouring towns was unheard of in the 90s when a decade long feud between the former mayors kept our towns at a frosty distance.

Members - past and present -  of the Hampstead "Youth Seat": Newly elected Councillor Warren Budning, Former Councillor Bonnie Feigenbaum, CSL Mayor Anthony Housefather

Members – past and present – of the Hampstead “Youth Seat”: Newly elected Councillor Warren Budning, Former Councillor Bonnie Feigenbaum, CSL Mayor Anthony Housefather

Friends, family, supporters and senior staff filled the Council Chamber for the short ceremony. I was very pleased to have my family with me including my parents George and Phyllis Nashen, my wife, Dr. Judy Hagshi and our children, Nicole, Nathalie and Jeremy, as well as my brothers, Stan, Barry and Jeff and sisters in law, Franci Niznik and Cheryl Carpman. My nephew, Michael Nashen, was on shift at EMS and came by with the whole crew. Our family has roots in CSL going back to 1958.

Nicole, George and Glenn J. Nashen

Nicole, George and Glenn J. Nashen

The eight members of council plus the mayor have been together since the demerger in the autumn of 2005.  Each one serves as an independent yet the level of cooperation and collaboration is unprecedented allowing for each of us to realize many of our priorities and electoral promises. There is a spirit of teamwork and consensus building which is a rarity at any level of political office.

Nicole, Glenn, Michael, Barry Nashen

Nicole, Glenn, Michael, Barry Nashen

This family like spirit has proven to be a major benefit to the residents of Cote Saint-Luc as it has enabled us to work together to bring to life major projects such as the Aquatic and Community Centre, opened just two years ago. Our infrastructure (sewers, water pipes, roads and sidewalks), although not nearly as exciting as playgrounds and pools continues to be upgraded.

Brothers Stan, Glenn, Barry Nashen

Brothers Stan, Glenn, Barry Nashen

Speaking of playgrounds, Imagination Park opened a year ago in District 6 and is a beautiful locale for the younger crowd as well as older folks.

I am hopeful that this next mandate will prove every bit as successful as the last two terms and many new projects will come to fruition including major parks and playground upgrades and so much more.

Many thanks, once again, to my family, friends, constituents, campaign volunteers and readers of my blog. This begins my 6th term in office and I am excited and ready to go!

More on Councillor Mike Cohen’s blog

First five bilingual municipalities adopt resolutions opposing Bill 14’s provisions on removing bilingual status

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Côte Saint-Luc, December 18, 2012 – The first five municipalities with bilingual status adopted resolutions yesterday affirming their desire to retain their bilingual status and opposing Bill 14, which would give the Quebec government the power to unilaterally remove this status against the will of the municipality or borough concerned.

The municipalities that adopted the resolution yesterday include the City of Côte Saint-Luc, the Town of Hampstead, the Town of Montreal West, the Town of Mount Royal and the Town of Senneville. It is anticipated that cities, towns and boroughs with bilingual status across the province will adopt the resolution prior to the legislative hearings on Bill 14.

“If the bill becomes law, more than half of the 84 municipalities and boroughs that have bilingual status might lose it,” said Mayor Anthony Housefather of Côte Saint-Luc. “It is unconscionable that the Parti Québécois government amended the legislation in 2000 to define who is an English-speaker in the narrowest possible way and now wants to use those misleading numbers to unilaterally remove bilingual status.”

Since 1977, it have been illegal for municipalities to, among other things, send a bilingual tax bill, erect bilingual signage, or send a bilingual memo to city workers. However, an exception was made under Section 29.1 of the Charter of the French Language, commonly referred to as bilingual status, for municipalities where a majority of residents spoke a language other than French. In 2000, another Parti Québécois government adopted Bill 171, which drastically changed the criteria to obtain bilingual status 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.

This revised criteria was imposed without consulting municipalities and boroughs, and adopted the narrowest and most inaccurate definition of the English-speaking communities.

“The criteria for who is English-speaking is ridiculously restrictive,” said Mayor William Steinberg of the Town of Hampstead. “You could live in English, speak to your kids in English, consider yourself to be English-speaking. But if 50 years ago your mom spoke to you in Italian, or Yiddish, or Greek, when you were a toddler, then the government says you are not English speaking when it comes to a municipality or borough being eligible for bilingual status.”

Bill 14, tabled by the new Parti Québécois minority government, would allow for the potential removal of bilingual status from municipalities or boroughs by decree–and against the will of the municipality or borough concerned, its duly elected council and its residents—if less than 50 percent of residents are mother tongue English speaking.

“We believe the proposed law is an attack on the fundamental rights and intrinsic character of all municipalities and boroughs that currently possess bilingual status,” said Mayor Philippe Roy of the Town of Mount Royal.

Of the 1,476 cities and towns and boroughs in Quebec, only 84—or 6 percent—have bilingual status.

The cities that passed resolutions affirmed that they view bilingual status 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.

Copies of the resolution are available here or at


Cinq premières municipalités adoptent des résolutions manifestant leur opposition aux dispositions du projet de loi 14 sur le statut bilingue

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18 déc 2012

Côte Saint-Luc, le 18 décembre 2012 – Les cinq premières municipalités ont adopté, hier, une résolution affirmant leur désir de conserver leur statut bilingue et de s’opposer au projet de loi 14, qui autoriserait le gouvernement du Québec à révoquer unilatéralement ce statut contre la volonté de la municipalité ou de l’arrondissement en question.

Les municipalités qui ont adopté la résolution hier sont la Ville de Côte Saint-Luc, la Ville de Hampstead, la Ville de Montréal-Ouest, la Ville de Mont-Royal et le Village de Senneville. On s’attend à ce que d’autres villes, cités et arrondissements de la province ayant un statut bilingue adoptent aussi une résolution semblable avant la tenue des débats sur le projet de loi 14.

« Si le projet de loi devient loi, plus de la moitié des 84 municipalités et arrondissements qui possèdent un statut bilingue risquent de le perdre, a précisé le maire de Côte Saint-Luc, Anthony Housefather. Il est inadmissible que le gouvernement du Parti québécois ait modifié la loi en 2000 pour imposer la définition la plus étroite possible d’une personne d’expression anglaise, et qu’il veuille maintenant utiliser ces chiffres trompeurs pour retirer unilatéralement les statuts bilingues. »

Depuis 1977, il est illégal pour une municipalité, entre autres choses, d’envoyer un avis d’imposition bilingue, d’ériger une signalisation bilingue, ou d’envoyer un message bilingue aux employés municipaux. Une exception a toutefois été établie en vertu de l’article 29.1 de la Charte de la langue française, communément appelée le statut bilingue, pour les municipalités dont la majorité des résidants parlent une langue autre que le français. En 2000, un autre gouvernement du Parti québécois a adopté le projet de loi 171, qui a modifié considérablement le critère d’obtention du statut bilingue : d’une majorité de résidants d’une municipalité ou d’un arrondissement parlant une langue autre que le français, à une majorité de résidants dont la langue maternelle est l’anglais.

Le critère révisé a été imposé sans consultation auprès des municipalités et des arrondissements, et l’on a adopté la définition de la communauté de langue anglaise la plus étroite et la plus inexacte.

« Le critère servant à déterminer qui est de langue anglaise est extrêmement restrictif, a soutenu le maire de la Ville de Hampstead, William Steinberg. Peu importe si vous vivez en anglais, si vous parlez à vos enfants en anglais, et si vous vous considérez comme anglophone, si votre mère vous a parlé en italien, ou encore en yiddish ou en grec il y a 50 ans quand vous n’étiez qu’un enfant, le gouvernement affirme que vous n’êtes pas anglophone dès qu’il est question de la reconnaissance du statut bilingue à une municipalité ou un arrondissement. »

Le projet de loi 14, déposé par le nouveau gouvernement minoritaire du Parti québécois, permettrait le retrait potentiel du statut bilingue aux municipalités ou aux arrondissements, par décret et contre la volonté de la municipalité ou de l’arrondissement, de son conseil dûment élu et de ses résidants – si moins de 50 pour cent de ses résidants sont de langue maternelle anglaise.

« Nous croyons que la loi proposée est une attaque aux droits fondamentaux et au caractère intrinsèque des municipalités et des arrondissements qui possèdent présentement un statut bilingue », a affirmé pour sa part le maire de la Ville de Mont-Royal, Philippe Roy.

Pour près des 1 500 cités et villes et arrondissements au Québec, seulement 84 – ou 6 pour cent – possèdent un statut bilingue.

Les villes qui ont adopté des résolutions ont affirmé qu’elles considéraient le statut bilingue comme essentiel au caractère de la municipalité et comme un témoignage de la présence historique des communautés anglophones et francophones dans leur municipalité.

Le texte de la résolution est accessible ici ou à

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