Potential new location found for CSL synagogue

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A potential new location has been found for the Fondation Sepharade Kollel Avrechim synagogue in Côte St. Luc, on the site of the city’s public works yard on Mackle Road, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein announced.

“There’s a very large parking lot, and it’s the area closest to the dog run in that parking lot,” Brownstein told The Suburban. “The parking lot has about 80 to 100 spots, and it’s at the far end.”

The mayor said the city and the synagogue are now in the preliminary stage of looking at the alternative locale.

“I met with Rabbi Yehouda Benoliol and his group, and we gave them the size and configuration, and Urban Planning has given them the configuration documents in terms of what they can work with, and now they have to present a proposal to the Planning Advisory Committee.”

During the July 4 council meeting, several residents asked about the synagogue, in light of a recent register which 23 residents signed, calling for a referendum on a rezoning for the original location elsewhere on Mackle Road.

Seventeen signatures were needed to prompt a referendum. But as the result would be clear — enough to reject the original location — and a referendum would be costly, no vote will be held.

As a result, Côte St. Luc council withdrew the original rezoning bylaw at last week’s meeting, with seven councillors approving and Councillor Dida Berku abstaining because she is a lawyer in a case, unrelated to the zoning, involving Rabbi Yehouda Benoliol.

At a previous meeting, Brownstein said the community would work together to find a new location for the synagogue.

Côte-St-Luc to mark Canada’s 150th by planting 150 trees

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From right: Côte-St-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, councillor Dida Berku and arborist Laurence Cloutier-Boucher at Pierre Elliot Trudeau Park in Côte-St-Luc, where 150 trees will be planted in honour of Canada's 150th birthday. In the last 10 years, 1,800 out of 10,000 city trees in Côte-St-Luc were felled due to disease and the push is on by the city to replant.
From right: Côte-St-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, councillor Dida Berku and arborist Laurence Cloutier-Boucher at Pierre Elliot Trudeau Park in Côte-St-Luc, where 150 trees will be planted in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. In the last 10 years, 1,800 out of 10,000 city trees in Côte-St-Luc were felled due to disease and the push is on by the city to replant. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Côte-St-Luc is planting 150 citizen-sponsored trees in its newly renovated Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park to mark Canada’s 150th birthday.

Resident Rhoda Albert caught wind of this initiative during a recent city council meeting and was the first one down at city hall, sponsoring a tree for $150 in honour of her late mother, Masza Safran.

In return, Safran’s name will go on a plaque that will be displayed in the park. Corporate donors, for $500, can also get a name on the plaque.

“I think it’s a great idea and, you know, whoever I mention it to is very interested,” Albert said. “The reason I did it is because my mother loved plants. She loved trees. She loved parks and I thought it would be a great thing to do for my mother.”

Councillor Dida Berku, who spearheaded the project, said this isn’t about collecting donations for trees that only cost about $300 each to plant. Instead, it’s about citizen engagement in a time when trees are needed in the city and the nation’s milestone birthday is being celebrated.

There will be a kiosk set up during the city’s Canada Day celebrations in the park Sunday (postponed by Saturday’s rain forecast), encouraging people to participate in the reforestation of a city that has been hit hard in recent years by the emerald ash borer beetle and Dutch elm disease. Arborist Laurence Cloutier-Boucher was hired by the city two years ago to boost the battle against diseased and dying trees. In the last 10 years, 1,800 out of 10,000 city trees were felled due to disease.

A variety of indigenous trees are to be planted, including maple, birch, willow, evergreens and fruit trees. The trees will be of varying levels of maturity, Berku said. As they grow, citizens will be reminded of the larger reforestation effort that is costing the city about $60,000 a year to run. Over the last couple of years, the city has planted about 200 trees annually, but these 150 are in addition to that yearly average.

“We’ve planted over 400 trees in the last three years and the plan is to plant at least 200 trees a year as well as educate the public as to the importance of a tree canopy and why we have to replenish it,” Berku said. Trees provide a habitat for wildlife, she added, and “it’s what makes our city beautiful. They’re a natural air filter.”

Public works director Beatrice Newman said a shady tree in front of a home can cut air conditioning costs by 20 per cent. Protecting public trees is a priority, she said, to the point that, as city hall renovations continue, contractors were brought in with special equipment to scoop up and relocate mature trees.

“If you don’t have trees, you don’t have a proper city that meets the needs of the community,” said Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, noting that the 150 trees will be growing in a fully revamped Trudeau Park. Renovated at a cost of $2.6 million, the park officially reopens Sunday and will boast several new features, including 10 wildlife sculptures by Canadian artist Shalom Bloom, play areas, water games, pathways and lighting.

Looking forward 50 years, Brownstein added: “For Canada’s 200th, imagine how big the trees will be.”

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

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

No referendum for new synagogue

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At its July 4 public meeting Cote Saint-Luc City Council voted to withdraw a bylaw dealing with a proposed rezoning of residential property for a new synagogue. Council has ended the process that would have lead to a potentially divisive referendum. Instead, the city and the congregation leadership have been in discussions on a more desirable piece of land on Mackle Road.

“I am very proud of our community in rallying together to respectfully discuss, in a positive manner, and to find solutions in seeking a new home for the Kollel,” said Mayor Mitchell Brownstein. “We will work together to make this a reality as quickly as possible within the provincial legal process.”

District 6 Councillor Glenn J. Nashen said. “The city will do its utmost to help its residents and support its institutions,” in support of choosing to work toward a new location for the Kollel.

A register for a rezoning bylaw to enable the new synagogue to be created on Mackle Road by the Fondation Sepharade Kollel Avrechim was held on Thursday, June 15 at City Hall. 24 people signed the register. Only 17 were required to sign in order to call for a referendum.

The register was called for, under provincial law governing rezoning, after 33 out of 56 eligible residents signed a petition to demand the register last May.

“As the Councillor for the area (District 6) I believe it is important to keep our residents united and supportive of one another. I am confident that we are looking at a better solution to meet everyone’s needs,” Nashen added.

Mayor Brownstein, Councillor Nashen and city staff have met with the rabbi, Kollel leadership and with concerned residents after the register closed and assured everyone that we shall work together as a community to find the congregation a more suitable place for them in our City.

Mayor Brownstein said we are, “Moving quickly to find solutions and all parties are pleased with our proactive approach. We are a beautiful, proud community that shall always find solutions to accommodate each other through consensus building.”

CSL Trudeau Park overflows with Canada D’Eh pride

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Was I really in Cote Saint-Luc last night? Where else can one find a culturally diverse entertainment line-up, a homage to world-class leaders and artists, a gastronomical cornucopia, and a children’s wonderland all topped off by a spectacular fireworks and laser show in your own back-yard?

Beatles cover band Replay belts out classic 60s tunes at Canada Day 2017

 

The end of a beautiful rainbow: right here in CSL

 

The Buffalo Hat Dancers belted out traditional aboriginal chants, danced up a storm (literally) at Canada Day 2017. The rain started falling during their dance and ended when they were finished? Miracle? Maybe not.

 

Crowds were a plenty at Canada Day 2017

 

As co-chair of the event along with Councillor Ruth Kovac I was proud to add words of reconciliation during my address to the crowd in stating we were on the traditional territory of the Iroquois Nation. Ruth added native greetings as well.

The City of Cote Saint-Luc Council and Staff put on a show worthy of Canada’s Sesquicentennial. If you missed it here are some highlights:

The extraordinary, world-class Shalom Bloom Sculpture Garden is unveiled in Trudeau Park

 

The newly inaugurated Shalom Bloom Sculpture Garden can be enjoyed during a leisurely stroll through the park

 

Canada Day 2017 Fireworks and laser light show was spectacular

I must take this opportunity to give a shout out to the vCOP (volunteer Citizens on Patrol) squad, celebrating 11 years of invaluable service to our fine community. I launched this service with a dozen residents (most of whom are still going strong) and we’ve since grown to 92 amazing volunteers.

My vCOP team celebrates 11 years at Canada Day 2017. Assistant Supervisor for Events, Susie Schwartz, in black, took care of all coordination.

 

vCOP Supervisor Mitchell Herf patrols the park at Canada Day 2017 on electric scooter

 

Security and safety were top of mind last night and CSL EMS (Emergency Measures Services) and Public Security in conjunction with Police were out in full force ensuring that everyone felt safe and secure while enjoying the many varied activities and delights.

The volunteers from EMS are always full of pride in service to our community at Canada Day 2017

 

CSL Public Security was out in full force, under the watchful eye of Lt. Anthony Tsakon (left). Longtime patroller Scott Hunt joins me in this snapshot at Canada Day 2017

 

The Station 9 crew is back in blue, Celebrating Canada Day 2017 with our local police officers

 

Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson walks the beat with the new EMS mascot at Canada Day 2017

 

Public Security Agent Erwin Luden stands on guard for thee at Canada Day 2017

 

How fortunate we are to live in a vibrant community and a world-class metropolitan city all in a tolerant and generous country. Our residents seemed to share the same sentiment.

 

Such a lovely family: The Ullmans enjoy the festivities at Canada Day 2017

 

Food trucks abound at Canada Day 2017. From cheese treats to loads of lobster and everything in between. My wife, Judy Hagshi, prefers a good cheese (but where’s the wine?) at Canada Day 2017

 

Library Director Janine West and volunteer Carol Mindel join me at the CSL Historical Society booth. Old photos were on display. Volunteers and vintage pics are wanted!

 

MP Anthony Housefather had us chanting out C-A-N-A-D-A like our country was a Rockstar. Well, in that case I am a huge fan!

Jeff and Cheryl Nashen with their favourite MP, Anthony Housefather. Canada Day 2017

 

An honour to meet Wilem Dalaire, son of Canadian hero Lt. General Romeo Dalaire at Canada Day 2017

 

 

Wonderful, dedicated emcees Laurie Betito and Dan Laxer of CJAD 800

 

Ruth Kovac and I co-chaired this year’s Canada Day 2017 festivities in Cote Saint-Luc. Ruth, a Dutch immigrant, epitomizes the proud Canadian, and literally wears her Maple Leaf on her sleeve, and displays the Red an White all year long.

Judging from the smiles and cheers and the general good mod of the crowds pouring out of the park late at night a good time was had in celebrating Canada Day 150 in Cote Saint-Luc. Thank you to all the wonderful city staff headed by Nadia di Furia, Jonathan Shecter, Cornelia Ziga and Bebe Newman. Thanks as well to Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillor Ruth Kovac for their leadership.

 

See all the photos and videos here.

See Councillor Mike Cohen’s blog here.

 

 

New wildlife sculpture garden and plaque honouring Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire mark Canada 150 celebrations in Côte Saint-Luc

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Newly-renovated Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park is home to Côte Saint-Luc’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of Canada on July 1, as the city honours the Canadian general who saved tens of thousands people, unveils a one-of-a-kind wildlife sculpture garden, and plays host to thousands of residents and visitors.
“We’re putting the finishing touches on our renovation of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park and our Canada Day celebration will be the first of many memorable events at the park over the coming years,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “We’ll be joining thousands of communities across the country on July 1 in marking the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.”
The main Canada Day event begins at 4pm at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park (6975 Mackle Rd.) with the official unveiling of the Shalom Bloom Sculpture Garden.
“Ten life-size bronze sculptures of wildlife animals were donated to the city by Canadian artist Shalom Bloom, who lives in Côte Saint-Luc,” Councillor Ruth Kovac said.
Canada Day staples such as live music, inflatables, a petting zoo, a pony carousel, a caricaturist, a photo booth, and food trucks will be open from 4pm onwards.
The Canadian citizenship ceremony takes place at 5pm at the Aquatic and Community Centre at 5794 Parkhaven Ave.
“At 9:30pm, Côte Saint-Luc will unveil a plaque on its Human Rights Walkway for Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire (Ret’d), who is a celebrated advocate for human rights, especially in regards to child soldiers, veterans, and the prevention of mass atrocities,” Councillor Glenn J. Nashen said. “In 1994, Gen. Dallaire disobeyed a command to withdraw UN forces from Rwanda and remained to fulfill the ethical obligation to protect those who sought refuge. More than 32,000 people were directly saved by Gen. Dallaire’s actions.”
Mayor Brownstein will kickoff the fireworks and laser light show at 9:45pm.
The masters of ceremony for the event will be Dan Laxer and Laurie Betito of CJAD 800. The event co-chairs are Councillors Kovac and and Nashen.
A boat and airplane exhibit takes place from 10am to 1pm at the park.
In the event of rain, the unveiling of the Human Rights Walkway plaque will take place at the Aquatic and Community Centre, following the 5pm Canadian citizenship ceremony. Activities will take place under the roof of the Confederation Annex at Pierre Trudeau Park. The fireworks will be postponed until July 2 at 9:45pm. The Shalom Bloom Sculpture Garden unveiling will be moved to July 13 at 6:30pm.

Our mayor is a great actor, but I’m the acting mayor!

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Councillor Glenn J. Nashen and Mayor Mitchell Brownstein at the June 12, 2017 Council meeting

I’m always honoured, and somewhat excited, when my turn comes up in the council rotation to serve as Acting Mayor. This week a resolution was adopted that read:

“Be it resolved that Councillor Glenn J. Nashen is and shall be named Acting Mayor of the City of Côte Saint-Luc, effective July 1, 2017 up to and until September 30, 2017 inclusively, and further that the aforementioned Councillor Nashen shall have and may exercise the powers of the Mayor when the said Mayor is absent or unable to perform the duties of his office.”

Last time I served in this capacity our mayor, Anthony Housefather was elected to Parliament and I suddenly found myself serving as the actual Mayor of the City for two months (November and December 2015). This time around, while I may be the acting mayor I can assure you that our current mayor, Mitchell Brownstein, is the real actor.

Founder and executive producer of the CSL Dramatic Society, Brownstein has performed in nearly every production and is currently starring in the Little Shop of Horrors, on stage now in the CSL Harold Greenspon Auditorium (through June 25).

It’s a privilege to serve my community and to always be ready, just in case.

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