Meadowbrook Golf Course: Developer Groupe Pacific wants to build up to 1,500 housing units on Lachine’s portion

Leave a comment

Developer Groupe Pacific may be dreaming about a major residential development at Meadowbrook but Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum has thrown cold water to wake them up.

This is welcome news from Applebaum, who today marks 100 days in office as Mayor of Montreal.

Continued public opposition to development is necessary on the Lachine side to ensure the developers and elected officials get a clear message that Meadowbrook should remain green, and become accessible, for all Montrealers and suburbanites for generations to come.

For more on Cote Saint-Luc’s efforts to preserve Meadowbrook as a green space, and my own opinion, please enter “Meadowbrook” in the search field.

Meadowbrook Golf Course: Developer Groupe Pacific wants to build up to 1,500 housing units on Lachine’s portion (Montreal Gazette) Link removed

Welcoming a new mayor

Leave a comment


Mayor Applebaum surrounded by proud family members shortly after being sworn into office

It was an honour for me to attend today’s swearing in of the 42nd mayor of Montreal, Michael Applebaum, representing the Jewish General Hospital as well as the city of Cote Saint-Luc. The Hall of Honour was packed with city councillors and community leaders from many cultural and religious communities as well as from the civil service and other walks of life.

Applebaum’s rise to power marks much more than the first Anglo mayor in a century and the first Jewish mayor (since the last acting Jewish mayor in 1927).

It marks a point in Montreal and in Quebec where we have moved past language issues to select a leader based upon skill, integrity and commitment. This moment in time is about unification rather than division, about a political maturity.

I hope that the opportunities that lie ahead for Montreal to rebuild its political image and rebrand the city are successful. And most of all I hope that the future for all who reside on the Island of Montreal and throughout Quebec will be a bright one.

That’s a tall order for Mayor Applebaum but he is driven and committed and I wish him the very best in this challenging year.

Historic vote for Montreal Mayor

Leave a comment

What a week at Montreal City Hall!

Michael Applebaum has made the local history books becoming the first English-speaking mayor in 100 years. Also, Montreal has not seen a Jew in the Mayor’s chair since Joseph Shubert was appointed Acting Mayor of Montreal for a period of three months, on August 29, 1927.

Although the vote was a squeaker with Applebaum taking 31 votes to Richard Deschamps’ 29 votes, there were three spoiled ballots which could have shifted the outcome the other way. The vote for interim mayor was a secret ballot of Council members only since Mayor Gerald Tremblay stepped down less than one year prior to the next general election on November 3, 2013.

Councillors Ruth Kovac and Glenn J. Nashen with CDN-NDG Borough Mayor Michael Applebaum

The fact that a by-election was not needed saved Montreal taxpayers about $10,000,000 according to media reports.

Michael Applebaum has shown himself as an honest, hard working and dedicated Borough Mayor and Chair of the Executive Committee. I have seen him in action with regard to the expansion of the Jewish General Hospital as well as other issues in the Cote des Neiges-NDG borough. He is on top of his files and thoroughly understands the needs of his constituents.

Any criticism of his French-language skills is ridiculous. His French is excellent, regardless of his accent. Even Montreal opposition leader Louise Harel said that she wished she spoke English as well as Applebaum speaks French. In fact, he didn’t even speak a word of English during his pre-vote address to Council! (It wouldn’t have hurt).

Applebaum will now lead not only Montreal City Council and his borough, but also the Agglomeration Council responsible for regional services including the Montreal Island demerged municipalities, the Ville Marie downtown borough and the Montreal Metropolitan Community.

Councillors Ruth Kovac, Glenn J. Nashen and Sam Goldbloom discuss local issues with Cote des Neiges – NDG Borough Mayor Michael Applebaum (2nd from left)

Huge responsibilities, demands and expectations lie ahead for Applebaum. If he succeeds in cleaning up the image and reputation of Montreal and setting the course for a solid future as an independent mayor don’t be surprised to see his name on next year’s ballot (regardless of today’s intentions).

So, congratulations Mayor Applebaum. I wish you great success and courage in all the lies ahead. As a Cote Saint-Lucer I’m looking forward to your leadership and vision to benefit all those who reside on the Island of Montreal and across the region.

Applebaum’s French not good enough?


La Presse is reporting that there are concerns among Union Montreal’s ranks that Michael Applebaum‘s proficiency isn’t good enough to serve as interim Mayor of Montreal. The unnamed sources are quoted as saying that Applebaum’s French is not good.

Gimme a beak!

The voters of the largest borough in Montreal have re-elected Applebaum for more than a decade. Clearly his voters are content with the way he communicates in whatever language, presumably the majority of it in French.

He was also chosen to serve on the executive committee and to take on the all important role of managing a 4 billion dollar budget.

To suggest that he lacks decent communication skills is yet another slap in the face of every Anglo Quebecer that has made efforts to conduct various aspects of their lives in French. This climate of Anglo bashing since the PQ election has been a stain on Quebec’s reputation across Canada and damages civic cohesion here at home. No wonder we haven’t had an Anglo Mayor of Montreal in over 100 years.

Applebaum has proven his skill in the political arena. Don’t ask him to write a French test now.

Helen Fotopulos mairesse par intérim? | Karim Benessaieh | Montréal.


CSL, TMR request Cavendish link meet with new government

1 Comment

Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban

October 31, 2012

Côte St. Luc mayor Anthony Housefather and Town of Mount Royal mayor Philippe Roy have written, on behalf of the Association of Suburban Mayors, to the new PQ transport minister Sylvain Gaudreault and Montreal-area minister JeanFrançois Lisée, to ask for a meeting on the long-delayed Cavendish link.

“This is in response to [Montreal executive committee chairman] Michael Applebaum‘s comments that [if we] can convince the PQ to put Cavendish back on the agenda, [Montreal] will be happy to put the money in the budget,” the mayor told council regular Irving Itman.

Housefather was referring to Applebaum’s response to Côte St. Luc’s complaint that Montreal was placing Cavendish on the backburner because the project was withdrawn from Montreal’s proposed three-year Capital Works Budget for 2013- 2015, even though it was included in last year’s three-year budget (2012-2014).

Applebaum told The Suburban a few weeks ago that it was withdrawn because Quebec had not yet transferred funds for an earmarked $44 million, and that documents regarding the transfer of the Hippodrome land to Montreal for future housing have not yet been finalized. One of the conditions of the Hippodrome project is for Montreal to put aside $44 million for the first phase of the Cavendish link project. This agreement was ratified unanimously by Montreal city council this past March 26. According to media reports, Applebaum said those not happy with the current situation should approach the PQ on the issue.

Housefather’s response was prompted by Itman’s call for a commission to be established on the issue, because of the many promises and delays regarding Cavendish. Itman added that in response to a question he asked at Montreal city hall, Mayor Gérald Tremblay “sent me a timetable of the Cavendish project, [according to which] we should now be cutting the ribbon. “Is it not time to call a commission of inquiry, public or private, to find out whether there is a Cavendish project that is going through or not?” the resident asked. “Do we just forget about it for the next century, or will there really be a serious attempt to build it?”

Housefather said a commission would be ‘pointless. “It investigates acts, it doesn’t determine what people’s thoughts are on a matter,” the mayor added, pointing out that Côte St. Luc has been fighting for the extension for more than 12 years. “I’m doing my best, and I’ve continued to do my best throughout the period I’m mayor. We need the Quebec government to put the money forward and say they’re willing to spend the money to build the project and you need the City of Montreal to then say ‘we’re also willing to put money in and prioritize the project.’ “What is needed is political will.”

Itman said a commission would look into why the project has been placed on the backburner numerous times. He commended Housefather’s own efforts.

“That’s not what an inquiry is for,” the mayor said. “That’s when you bring judges and lawyers in to review the actions of the past and usually, to inquire into illegal acts. Cavendish is a political issue.”

Cavendish Blvd. extension on ice, disappears from city budget | CTV Montreal

Leave a comment


Cavendish Blvd. extension on ice, disappears from city budget | CTV Montreal.

CTV Montreal
Published Sunday, Sep. 16, 2012 7:37PM EDT 

MONTREAL—It’s been talked about for years: the extension of Cavendish Blvd. But just when it seemed like ground was going to be broken, another road block hit when the city announced plans to pull the project from its latest budget.

When the city’s 2012-2013 budget will be presented this week, the $44 million project to extend Cavendish Blvd. north towards St-Laurent will be absent.

“Suddenly the City of Montreal is saying they want it removed. All of the other cities on the island, the demerged cities don’t, want it removed. We think it’s very important for all Montrealers and all people that live on the island,” said Cote-St-Luc mayor Anthony Housefather.

The two phased extension was supposed to connect the road between Cote-St-Luc and St-Laurent and ease traffic along the congested Decarie highway. The project seemed like it would finally happen in March as it was made a condition of the Blue Bonnet race track deal struck between the City of Montreal and the province.

But the extension was dependent on the re-election of the Liberals and since that didn’t happen, the city can’t guarantee it will get the funding.

“It was clearly indicated in the capital budget that the realization of the Cavendish project, like the Tramway, is dependent on government grants,” said Michael Applebaum, the mayor’s main lieutenant, in a statement.

“We have removed these projects from the budget to avoid inflating the budget unnecessarily.”

Talked about for decades, millions of dollars have been poured into feasibility studies to somehow connect the one kilometre gap between both stretches of Cavendish Blvd.—now divided by one of the island’s main east-west railroad trunks.

Housefather says he refuses to allow the project to go on the backburner again.

“I am confident that the logic is there for this to happen and that anybody who tries to put their blocks on it is going to get pushed out of the way because the vast majority of the people on this island want this project to happen,” said Housefather.

It will be up to the new Parti Quebecois government to decide if the road can go anywhere. The PQ’s MNAs will be sworn in on Monday.


Read more:


City of Montreal ‘pulls plug’ on Cavendish extension

1 Comment

MONTREAL — The long-awaited Cavendish extension, which was part of a deal between the city of Montreal and the province, has suddenly disappeared from the three-year capital budget with no explanation, charges a Côte St. Luc city councillor.

Dida Berku calls the withdrawal of the $44-million project “a flagrant violation of a resolution unanimously adopted” by Montreal city council in March 2012.

And the move means the city is reneging on the deal it signed in March 2012 with the provincial government to develop the former Blue Bonnets race track land for the construction of between 5,000 and 8,000 homes, she said.

But Michael Applebaum, mayor of Côte des Neiges—Notre Dame de Grâce, said the deal was conditional on the money coming from the provincial government, and since there’s no indication that will happen, he had to take it out of the budget.

“I’m going to work very hard to get the money from the (provincial) government and when they do that, we’ll put it in the budget,” said Applebaum, chair of the city of Montreal’s executive committee.

The deal between the city and province called for the completion of phase one of the extension that would connect Cavendish Blvd. in St. Laurent to Royalmount Ave., and be built in five to 10 years at a cost of $44 million. It was included in the 2012-2014 three-year capital budget, but has mysteriously disappeared from the 2013-2015 budget released this week.

“I’m being realistic and not putting in the infrastructure budget if the money isn’t there,” Applebaum said. “(Those upset about this) should be asking the provincial government and the new minister of transport if this will be a priority for them.”

The proposed budget is to be presented to Montreal city council for adoption next week.

Anthony Housefather, mayor of Côte St. Luc, said the city would do everything to oppose the change.

“The proposal by the city of Montreal to remove these amounts … is a complete reversal of commitments made only months ago and is completely unacceptable to those living and working in the west end and West Island of Montreal,” he said in a statement.

The second phase of the extension, to link Royalmount Ave. to Cavendish Blvd. in Côte St. Luc, was to begin only after 2017.

Construction of the homes was only to start in 2017 and the city would use profits from the sale of the land to reinvest in the area as well as cover costs for studies to build the extension.

The 102-year-old Blue Bonnets racetrack shut down in 2009.

The Cavendish link was meant to ease traffic along the congested Décarie highway by connecting the northern and southern portions of the disjointed artery between St. Laurent and Côte St. Luc.

“It’s been one step forward and two steps backwards since the demerger,” Berku said. “What’s going on here?

“They just pulled the plug on it.”

Montreal council approved the $140-million extension in 2004, opened a project office and assigned it a $5-million budget to draw up plans.

But Mayor Gérald Tremblay’s $8.1-billion, 20-year transportation plan, made public in May 2007, put the project on the back burner.

Berku said when they asked Applebaum why the project was no longer in the budget this year, he told them ‘it was complicated.’

“But there’s nothing complicated about it, they just removed it from the budget,” Berku said.

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

Read more:

Older Entries