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.

Entire Meadowbrook parcel now protected from development

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

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

City of Montreal gives Meadowbrook Golf Course a green designation

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This is FANTASTIC news! Congratulations to all those involved in the 25-year fight to preserve Meadowbrook. Special kudos to Councillor Dida Berku! I have followed this dossier and spoken out about it many times and I am elated to learn of these latest developments (about no development!). More personal thoughts to follow…


For a quarter century, the 57 hectares of wide-open verdant terrain inhabited by the Meadowbrook Golf Course have been eyed by eager developers. Residential projects of anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000 units have been proposed for the property straddling Côte-St-Luc and Lachine.

For just as long, a dedicated group of conservationists known as Les Amis de Meadowbrook and their supporters have battled to preserve one of the area’s few remaining large green spaces. Ultimately, they would like to see the course transformed into a public park.

The conservationists appear to have scored another victory. In the land use and development plan for the island of Montreal, which spells out the development vision for the city and its adjoining municipalities, and is expected to be adopted Wednesday by the city’s executive committee, administrators have changed their initial designation of the Meadowbrook site from “residential” on the Lachine side to “large green space or recreational.” Côte-St-Luc changed its zoning on its side to recreational in 2000.

The Montreal urban agglomeration land use and development plan in turn influences the city of Montreal’s urban plan and that of its 19 boroughs, including Lachine.

The Meadowbrook file generated the largest number of briefs presented in the fall to the committee taking recommendations on the land use plan, said committee member Éric Alan Caldwell. His Projet Montréal municipal party made the same recommendation, and the committee voted unanimously that the Meadowbrook site be zoned green.

Once the zoning has switched to green, a developer would have to convince city councillors to change it back to residential in order to start a project, a process that would be “difficult,” Caldwell said.

Groupe Pacific purchased the property in 2006 for $3 million and has been lobbying to build on the Lachine site. As late as February 2013 it submitted a request to build as many as 1,500 housing units. Montreal city council rejected the bid, saying it was not interested in covering the costs for a new road, bridge and water and sewage pipes into the development. Media reports have pegged those costs at $160 million.

Groupe Pacific launched a $44-million lawsuit against the city last February, claiming damages for not being allowed to begin construction. Côte-St-Luc was hit with a $20-million lawsuit in 2000 by the previous owners of the land, Marathon Realty, the real-estate arm of Canadian Pacific, after it changed its zoning for the site. The case is still before courts.

Groupe Pacific did not respond to requests for interviews Tuesday.

Caldwell said he could not comment on the legality of a municipality switching zoning designations after a developer has bought a property zoned residential because the cases are still before the courts.

“What I can say is it’s legitimate for a municipality to want to define how it will be developed, and one of the necessities of urban life is to have enough green space. … If we create development plans, it’s to create a template that reflects the entirety of our needs. And the vision of the future is a motion that a municipality has the right to propose.”

There is nothing in the new zoning that would force Meadowbrook to become a public park, Caldwell said. It can remain a golf course.

rbruemmer@montrealgazette.com

http://link.videoplatform.limelight.com/media/?mediaId=01f4acbcf283426c8ed5263567265b89&width=480&height=321&playerForm=Player

Meadowbrook developer launches $44M lawsuit against Montreal

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The Suburban, February 26, 2014

The more than 25-year saga of the attempted development of the Meadowbrook Golf Course took a new twist as it was revealed that a subsidiary of its latest owner, Groupe Pacific launched a $44 million lawsuit against the City of Montreal.

The city has twice rejected the developer’s plans for housing on the site, saying the infrastructure needed would be too costly. Groupe Pacific’s Suzanne Deschamps was not available for comment at press time.

In the early 1990s, other attempts were made to develop the site, but plans were shelved after much protest against development. In subsequent years, Côte St. Luc rezoned its side of the site recreational. The other side is primarily in Lachine.

Campbell Stuart, former Montreal West mayor and now spokesman for Les Amis de Meadowbrook, says the lawsuit involves transferring the Lachine part of the site to Montreal in exchange for $44 million, which would include more than $850,000 in damages. Groupe Pacific had launched a lawsuit against Côte St. Luc for $20 million when the city rezoned the site.

“We found it unacceptable for Groupe Pacific to have bought a $3 million, 57-hectare property in 2006, lobby illegally for years, trying to get the city to buy into a project and when the city refuses to throw $100 million at them as a subsidy, they turn around and sue the city for $44 million,” Stuart told The Suburban Monday. “It’s gouging. And the reason they can’t build on it was obvious when they bought it. They knew it couldn’t be developed because the Office de consultation publique de Montréal had already said ‘don’t build on it, turn it into an eco-territory’ and two years previously, the mayor of Montreal said he would protect it.”

In a previous interview, Deschamps denied she breached any codes or laws regarding lobbying.

Stuart also pointed to last year’s rail disaster in Lac Mégantic. One reason cited by activists not to develop the site is its close proximity to rail lines.

“The city mandated its urban planning department to, in unanimous resolutions of the agglomeration and city councils, put in its urban plan the 300-metre safety setbacks, which means it can’t be built on. But it could never be built on.

As well, Les Amis de Meadowbrook provided a 2012 letter from CP’s Breanne Feigel to Côte St. Luc councillor Dida Berku, saying the feasibility of a residential project on the site, in light of the proximity to rail lines, is “not compatible with our operations in the area…. CP does not support the location of any residential development directly adjacent to active rail corridors and yards.

Stuart said the lawsuit is “not just attacking the City of Montreal, they’re attacking us, the taxpayers. And we’re pleased with the city, they’re doing the right thing.”

More:

Terrain de golf Meadowbrook: 44 millions réclamés à la Ville (La Presse)

Citizen’s group decries developer’s lawsuit against city over Meadowbrook golf course (Montreal Gazette)

CBC News (Advance to 8:15)

In my opinion:

The landowners of Meadowbrook Golf Course continue on the futile path of a residential development adjacent to a major rail yard and commuter rail lines notwithstanding the horrific lessons learned by last year’s Lac Megantic disaster. The railway association reported almost twenty years ago that any such development would require explosion-proof glass and special ventilation systems.

Developing Meadowbrook as a residential development is contrary to the founding principles of this land acquisition, originally purchased by the railway for recreation and leisure by its employees long before Cote Saint-Luc homes mushroomed in the late 50s and 60s. And with the influx of tens of thousands of West End residents through the decades the need for green space for recreation, sport and leisure has only become more obvious, not to mention the need for this land mass for air purification and filtration, for separation of the polluting smokestacks of Lachine industry down the bluff,  for safe distance between rail lines and houses, for cooling the West End from Urban Heat Islands and more.

The City of Montreal shouldn’t budge from its position of refusing the development proposal, just as Cote Saint-Luc has done for many years now.

Please search “Meadowbrook’ on this blog for the complete history on this important issue.

CSL renews push to extend Cavendish

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In a unanimous resolution the City Council of Cote Saint-Luc tonight adopted a resolution, together with its suburban partners, calling for the Montreal Agglomeration to include $44 Million in its 2014 capital expenditure budget toward Phase 1 of the Cavendish-Royalmount-Cavendish link. The resolution falls in line with Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre’s election promises (and we thank Mayor Coderre immensely for this position) to see the completion of this much-needed link between Cote Saint-Luc, Montreal, TMR and St. Laurent.

The resolution calls for the “optimal scenario” also known as the Cote Saint-Luc scenario, being an indirect link between the two dead ends of Cavendish, meaning rather than a straight line the link would connect to the new Hippodrome development in the Snowdon district as well as to the TMR scientific park.

The extension project has never been closer to reality despite 50 years of discussions. The responsibility to finally get the shovel in the ground lies with the City of Montreal acting on behalf of the Montreal Island Agglomeration.

This is good news for local commuters who need more efficient access to the West Island, the airport and to points north and north-east.

Even motorists who use Fleet Road will benefit by reducing the daily gridlock through Hampstead, further complicated by that town’s confusing left turn restrictions off of Fleet Road.

With the demolition of the Turcot interchange scheduled in the coming years we can expect a decade of traffic congestion across the West End and southern portion of Montreal. Cote Saint-Lucers and neighbouring residents will greatly benefit by quickly connecting toward the north and west, to Autoroutes 15, 13 and 40 and to Decarie. The route should also open up faster routes to the Metro system.

 

RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE REALIZATION OF THE CAVENDISH BOULEVARD EXTENSION PROJECT

 

WHEREAS the Cavendish Boulevard extension (the “Cavendish Extension”) is indicated within the 2008 Transport Plan of the City of Montreal (“MTL”);

 

WHEREAS the completion the Cavendish Extension is the responsibility of MTL (on behalf of the Montreal Island Agglomeration) (“Agglomeration”);

 

WHEREAS MTL conducted various studies (“the Studies”) regarding the Cavendish Extension between 2005 and 2007 which led to an optimal scenario (the “Scenario”);

 

WHEREAS the Scenario must currently be adjusted to reflect the new realities; in particular, the development of the Hippodrome site (the “Site”);

 

WHEREAS updating the Cavendish Extension must also consider collective and active transport in order to optimize the management of actual and future movement within this large sector;

 

WHEREAS the updating of the Cavendish Extension route must also consider the requirements associated within the presence of railway activities of CP and CN in particular, those with respect to security;

 

WHEREAS MTL, in respecting the requirements of the Deed of Cession (the “Deed”) concerning the Site, must proceed with an updating of the Studies analysing the new context of the Site as well as other projects that are earmarked for this sector (such as the Cité scientifique, the projet Triangle Namur/Jean-Talon and the reconfiguration of the Côte de Liesse access) and must also take into account the capacity of Decarie Boulevard (article 5.2.4. and article 6.2.4);

 

WHEREAS this requirement contained within the Deed necessitates revisiting the planning of the Cavendish Extension; a prerequisite that will permit the Cavendish Extension to be realized;

 

WHEREAS monies were earmarked in September of 2013 by the Montreal Agglomeration Council to update the Studies in view of allotting monies for the Cavendish Extension within the Agglomeration’s Capital Expenditure Budget (“CEP”);

 

WHEREAS an amount of forty-four million dollars ($44,000,000.00) must thus be allotted within the Agglomeration’s CEP pursuant to the requirements contained within the Deed by and between MTL and the Quebec Government (article 5.2.3);

 

It was

 

MOVED BY COUNCILLOR DIDA BERKU

SECONDED BY COUNCILLOR ALLAN J. LEVINE

 

AND RESOLVED:

 

“THAT the Cavendish Extension be realized on the basis of an optimal scenario and to adjust said scenario to the new realities (described above-herein);

 

THAT the Cavendish Extension be further realized by having the concerned parties strongly collaborate to ensure its efficiency and success;

 

 

THAT the aforementioned forty-four million dollars ($44,000,000.00) mentioned above herein be inscribed within the 2014 Capital Expenditure Program for the Agglomeration of Montreal;

 

THAT a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Quebec Minister of Transport, Sylvain Gaudreault and be deposited at a Montreal Agglomeration Council Meeting.”

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

City council: New rules would prevent construction near tracks, railway yards

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City council: New rules would prevent construction near tracks, railway yards. (Montreal Gazette) Link removed.

In brief:

  • Montreal has adopted new rules that would forbid the construction of new buildings within 30 metres of busy train tracks and 300 metres of a railway yard.
  • The new rules would also outline steps that could be taken to improve safety and reduce nuisances like noise and vibrations from rail operations, such as installing safety fences, berms and noise barriers.
  • Montreal city council voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt the new guidelines, drawn up by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Railway Association of Canada. They would be included in Montreal’s new urban plan, which must be adopted by the end of 2014.
  • Montreal’s agglomeration council is also expected to approve them Thursday, extending them across the island of Montreal.
  • Côte-St-Luc city councillor Dida Berku has been calling for more than 20 years for municipalities to adopt railway setback guidelines for development and said she was “elated” when Montreal city council adopted them.
  • The new guidelines could mean the controversial development of the west-end Meadowbrook golf course would not be allowed to proceed. The golf course, which is in Lachine and Côte-St-Luc, has a train yard on its north and west side, with train tracks running east-west through the golf course itself. Several housing developments have been proposed for the site over the past 25 years. Montreal has said building municipal infrastructure for the site is too costly.

This is excellent news.  I have supported this theory in order to safeguard residents living near rail lines and yards for 20 years and I’ve echoed Dida Berku’s call to protect Meadowbrook, in large part, because of this potential danger.

It is sad that this position by the City of Montreal had to follow such a horrible tragedy but Lac Megantic has served as a wake up call for municipalities across Canada.

Cote Saint-Luc has been very progressive in assuring Meadowbrook’s future as a green space. This resolution, soon to be presented to the Montreal Agglomeration Council will give greater assurance on its ultimate preservation.

 

CSL budgets modest tax increase

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At last night’s public meeting, Côte Saint-Luc City Council adopted its 2013 budget for local and agglomeration operating expenses.  An average single family home (valued at $470,000) will see a modest increase of $78 in taxes or 1.32 percent, well below the rate of inflation.

The total budget amounts to $65M which breaks down as $37M in local costs and $28M in island wide agglomeration costs.

The City will continue to invest in critical infrastructure (water distribution network, roads, sidewalks, etc.) as well as in rejuvenating its oldest park equipment.

As Councillor responsible for Public Safety I am quite pleased that the city will continue its important investments in this area ensuring top quality volunteer EMS response, the steady expansion of the volunteer Citizens on Patrol as well as Public Security, Emergency Communications and Emergency Preparedness.

Also, the CSL Cycles program will continue to roll out with new bike lanes stretching from Cavendish, along Baily toward the Cote Saint-Luc Shopping Centre, to tie in to the NDG network running up West Broadway.  A new lane will also be painted along Kildare Road from Westminster to Shalom and through Ruth Kovac Park to reach the Cavendish Mall.

Unfortunately, Cote Saint-Luc is obliged to spend about half-a-million dollars on the Montreal Metropolitan Community, an added level of regional government for which we have very little input and see very questionable results.  I concur with the Gazette’s civic affairs columnist Henry Aubin who has argued for years that the Montreal region is overburdened with layers of bureaucracy from multiple transit authorities, government departments and agencies, all adding to our tax burden at one level or another.

Fortunately, with the municipal demergers in 2005, Cote Saint-Luc controls well over half its local taxes and sets priorities locally on services closest to the resident.

Here is a detailed copy of the CSL 2013 budget presentation.

Aubin: An eye-opener on what ails the city

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Thanks to the Charbonneau inquiry, we’re waking up to long-ignored corruption. The Merger Delusion has the potential to help open society’s eyes to misplanned government structures. The longer we ignore this reality, the longer Montreal will overspend and drift.

This opinion piece by Gazette columnist Henry Aubin is an excellent overview of Mayor Peter Trent’s just-released book “The Merger Delusion: How Swallowing Its Suburbs Made an Even Bigger Mess of Montreal.” 

Aubin: An eye-opener on what ails the city.

Historic vote for Montreal Mayor

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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.

City of Montreal pulls the plug on Cavendish again

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Côte Saint-Luc, September 14, 2012 – Only six months after announcing the Blue Bonnets agreement, which included the funding for Cavendish Blvd. road extension project, the City of Montreal has reneged on its undertaking and put the project on the back burner.
In March 2012, the City of Montreal and the Quebec government signed an agreement to transfer the Blue Bonnets race track land to the City of Montreal. One of the conditions of the transfer was an undertaking by the City of Montreal to set aside $44 million for phase 1 of the Cavendish Blvd. road extension project in its three-year Capital Works Budget. This agreement was ratified by the unanimous vote of the Montreal City Council on March 26, 2012.
Notwithstanding this undertaking in the agreement to set aside $44 million for this project and notwithstanding the unanimous resolution of Montreal City Council ratifying the agreement, the Tremblay administration has withdrawn the Cavendish Blvd. road extension project from the proposed three-year Capital Works Budget for 2013-2015, even though it was included in the last year’s three year budget (2012-2014). The proposed budget—without the funds for the Cavendish Blvd. road extension project—will be presented to Montreal City Council for adoption on September 20, 2012.
“The City of Côte Saint-Luc has worked very hard with our neighbouring cities and boroughs to convince the Tremblay administration that the Cavendish extension be made a priority,” said Anthony Housefather, Mayor of Côte Saint-Luc. “We worked with the local Liberal MNAs to find means of funding the project and over the last six months the announcements related to the Blue Bonnets site had pushed the project forward. The proposal by the City of Montreal to remove these amounts from the PTI 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.  We will use all means at our disposal to oppose this reversal.”
As well, the new Capital Works Budget does not provide for the completion of the feasibility studies that the City of Montreal also undertook to do. Since 2005, it has spent $2.5 million on these studies but so far has refused to make them public and now is refusing to complete them.
“This omission is in total violation of the Blue Bonnets agreement and the unanimous vote of Montreal City Council,” said Côte Saint-Luc Councillor Dida Berku. “This flies in the face of the will of all the councils of the boroughs of St. Laurent, CDN-NDG and cities of Côte Saint-Luc, Town of Mount Royal, Hampstead, and Dollard des Ormeaux, which have systematically called for the extension of Cavendish to be included in the Agglomeration of Montreal Transport Plan and in the Capital Works Budget of the City of Montreal. As well it flies in the face of the conditions in the Blue Bonnets agreement with the Quebec government and is a reversal of the public commitments and pronouncements of the Tremblay administration, made six months ago.”
When the Blue Bonnets agreement was announced, Minister Raymond Bachand said that one of the conditions of the transfer was that the proceeds would be used to finance the Cavendish Blvd. road extension project and that the City of Montreal would commit to proceeding with the feasibility studies in order to advance this project.
“We encourage residents to attend the meeting at Montreal City Hall on Thursday, September 20 and voice their concerns during question period,” said Councillor Berku.
Copies of the Blue Bonnets agreement, the 2012-2014 Capital Works Budget, and a press release from the City of Montreal announcing the commitment to build the Cavendish Blvd. road extension project are available at www.CoteSaintLuc.org/CavendishExtension.

CSL promoting ‘alternative transport

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CSL promoting ‘alternative transport

Joel Goldenberg, July 18, 2012

The Suburban

 

Côte St. Luc council passed a resolution last week to promote alternative and active means of transport, such as public transit and walking for exercise, specifically on Sept. 21 or 22 through a special event to be organized by city staff.

The City of Montreal has a car-free day on Sept. 22, but Côte St. Luc is not going as far as that.

The Côte St. Luc resolution was introduced by Councillor Dida Berku, and seconded by Councillors Glenn Nashen and Steven Erdelyi, and points out that on Aug. 1, the Eleanor London Library will be hosting a lecture called “Leave the car at home: Get walking. Get healthy.”

The city has also resolved to “actively support public transit solutions when and if they are available and meet residents’ needs.”

Côte St. Luc is also asking Montreal’s bus service to “move forward with a shuttle service” to the very busy Côte des Neiges hospital district, which includes the Jewish General and St. Mary’s hospitals, and numerous medical buildings along Côte des Neiges Road.

Côte St. Luc’s resolution also asks the Metropolitan Transport Agency (AMT) and Montreal agglomeration to support a train station within the municipality, and authorizes the city to participate in the AMT’s blog, “which is offered in order to promote the interests of the citizens of Côte St. Luc for more access to AMT train and bus services, which will encourage and allow our residents to benefit from these public services which they support financially.”

 

CSL gives new push to extend Cavendish

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The City of Cote Saint-Luc has adopted a resolution requesting the Quebec government and the City of Montreal to push forward with the Cavendish-Royalmount-Cavendish extension project.

Cote Saint-Luc has produced several excellent presentations on the Cavendish extension such as this simulation:

Cote Saint-Luc Council has unanimously supported the proposed extension since 1998.  Here is the resolution adopted at this week’s public council meeting:

RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE QUEBEC GOVERNMENT AND THE CITY OF MONTREAL TO INCLUDE THE CAVENDISH-ROYALMOUNT-CAVENDISH EXTENSION PROJECT AS A HIGH PRIORITY PROJECT IN THE NEXT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE MTQ (QUEBEC MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT) AND THE CITY OF MONTREAL

WHEREAS the project to link Cavendish Boulevard in the City of Côte Saint-Luc to Cavendish Boulevard in the Borough of Saint Laurent through Royalmount Avenue in the Town of Mount Royal, has been discussed amongst all the stakeholders for over a generation and has been an active project for the past 15 years;

WHEREAS, the aforedescribed Cavendish-Royalmount-Cavendish extension project (sometimes referred to as the ‘‘Cavendish extension project’’) was identified as the most important missing link in the Montreal road network and was defined as a priority project in the Montreal Summit of 2002;

WHEREAS CP rail and CN rail are committed to maintaining their presence in Côte Saint-Luc and Montreal and their yard operations represent an obstacle causing traffic congestion in the Western part of the Island of Montreal affecting the mobility of residents in Côte Saint-Luc and neighbouring municipalities such as: the Town of Mount Royal, the Town of Hampstead, the Town of Montreal West and the City of Montreal;

WHEREAS the new road connections along the Cavendish Boulevard axis would create economic vitality and open up important employment opportunities in the sectors of the Hippodrome, “Cité Scientifique’’ and industrial zones of the Town of Mount Royal and Boroughs of Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Saint Laurent;

WHEREAS in December 2004 a project bureau was formed by unanimous resolution of the Council of the City of Montreal with a budget of $5 million with a precise mandate to manage the Cavendish extension project, including the adoption of the final route proposal by 2006  and the design and completion of the work between 2007 and 2012;

WHEREAS in 2007, the City of Côte-Saint-Luc adopted resolution number 070730 and submitted a detailed brief to the Commission permanente du conseil d’Agglomération that clearly outlined the need to proceed with the Cavendish extension project (which was also supported by the Councils of:
Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Montreal West, Hampstead, Dorval, Town of Mount Royal and the Borough of  Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce);

WHEREAS the Cavendish extension project was included as a ‘priority item’ in the Agglomeration of Montreal’s Plan de Transport 2008, as per item 18e entitled, ‘‘Chantier, Entretenir et Compléter le Réseau Routier de L’Île’’, an extract from which reads as follows:

“A ce chapitre, Montréal entend réaliser en priorité les projets suivants:

  • Notre-Dame (Dickson to Curatteau
  • Sherbrookeest (36e avenue to Notre-Dame)
  • Sherbrooke(Pie-IX to Papineau)
  • Raccorder le boulevard Cavendish: une première phase des travaux établira le lien Royalmount/Cavendish et une seconde phase reliera les deux tronçons existants de Cavendish

WHEREAS the Agglomeration of Montreal identified the Cavendish extension project as one of its Capital Expenditure Projects in its three year capital expenditure budget of 2012-2015;

WHEREAS the City of Côte Saint-Luc deems the Cavendish extension project essential for the development and enhancement of the quality of life of its residents on its territory as well as those in its neighbouring communities;

WHEREAS all of the adjacent municipalities and boroughs are in favour of a Cavendish extension creating a link between its Southern and Northern portions which would create a boulevard which would integrate public and active transit;

WHEREAS the Town of Mount Royal, and the Borough of Côte-des-neiges-Notre-Dâme-de-Grâce have already publicly declared and adopted resolutions in 2007 and in 2012, that they are in favour of the Cavendish extension project;

WHEREAS the commencement of construction linking the two portions of Cavendish is dependent upon provincial financing;

IT WAS PROPOSED BY COUNCILLOR DIDA BERKU

SECONDED BY COUNCILLOR GLENN J. NASHEN

            “THAT the City ofCôte Saint-Luc reaffirms its support in favour of the Cavendish- Royalmount- Cavendish extension project;

            THAT the City of Côte Saint-Luc considers the Cavendish-Royalmount- Cavendish extension project a key element to improving traffic-flow for private, public and active transit  in the Central portion of the Island of Montreal;

            THAT the City of Côte Saint-Luc hereby requests that the Quebec Government and the City of Montreal give priority to the Cavendish-Royalmount-Cavendish extension project and that said project be included  and designated as a priority project in the next agreement between the MTQ (Quebec Ministry of Transport) and the City of Montreal;

            THAT a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Minister of Transport of Quebec, Pierre Moreau; MNA for D’Arcy McGee, Lawrence Bergman; the Executive Committee of the City of Montreal and all Mayors and Councils within the Agglomeration of Montreal;

THAT a copy of this resolution also be deposited at the next Montreal Agglomeration Council Meeting.

Fire prevention month – “Safety in the forefront” only in French

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Months of the Montreal Fire – Fire safety in the forefront

The following press release was issued by the Montreal Fire Department.  Despite repeated requests by the City of Cote Saint-Luc, Mayor Anthony Housefather and myself, the MFD, an Agglomeration of Montreal service, continues to publicize its safety events, promotions and website in French only.  What follows is a translation using Google Translate:

MONTREAL, Sept. 19, 2011 – The Fire Department of Montreal (SIM) offers the population of Greater Montreal, as part of the second edition of the Month Fire Prevention, a series of thematic activities. The event runs from September 19 to October 16, 2011. Although the evacuation plan is the theme this year, the importance of having a functional smoke alarm in the home remains at the heart of the actions taken.

Messrs. Claude Trudel, head of public security to the executive committee of the City of Montreal, Serge Tremblay, director of the Fire Department of Montreal, consider important that the initiative is repeated annually.

“The municipal administration strongly supports the initiative of the SIM. The success of last year shows that the population is becoming more receptive to messages of fire prevention. We must therefore continue all efforts so that citizens of the metropolis incorporate into their daily preventive behaviors suggested. So is safety. In this sense, I invite them to participate in large numbers to Month Fire of Montreal “, said Mr. Trudel.

Month Fire of Montreal is an event that has no equal. Last year, nearly 83,000 elementary students have undertaken to check the smoke alarm in their homes as part of their participation in the activity “Firefighter for a Day”, almost 12 000 people been encountered at public events, more than 3000 dwellings were visited 230 primary schools were inspected and about 1 400 children were sensitized through appropriate activities. This year the contest “Draw your plan! “And the series of activities offered, the service is optimistic it will exceed the number of children and families joined them.

Throughout the Prevention Month, the SIM will deploy resources in public places to raise awareness and to provide fire safety tips, visit the private primary schools and all secondary schools of the island, meet with groups of seniors, will experience the fire simulator to small pre-school, will hold open houses in some barracks and visit homes to ensure they are equipped with a smoke alarm functional. In all these activities, followed by several activities jointly.

“For the second consecutive year, the MIS staff has invested to provide an imaginative programming and a high quality of Montrealers. We have honed our communication strategies so that our message is heard by as many citizens as possible. Since the fire first starts at home, I encourage people to learn about fire prevention to our prevention officers and firefighters as well as through our website. By visiting it, they can view videos themes, various documents and consult the complete program of the event, “said Director Smith.

To be aware of the program, visit ville.montreal.qc.ca / sim.

CSL Emergency Preparedness – Always Planning

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The Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC), chaired by Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, was tasked with updating the city’s Emergency Preparedness Plan. The previous plan was adopted during the merger and included the Towns of Hampstead and Montreal West. Prior to that, the city had its own plan, first adopted in the early 1970’s.

In 2007 and 2008, a working group of city staff met with the firm Multi-Risk International, which was contracted to develop a new plan for the city. The plan was produced in June 2008. The Multi-Risk International plan and the pre-merger Côte Saint-Luc plan served as valuable resources and references in the development and update of this document.

The new Emergency Preparedness Plan was reviewed intensively by Mayor Housefather and members of Council, particularly Nashen and Ruth Kovac (both members of the Emergency Preparedness Committee since 1990 and have attended Emergency Preparedness College of Canada) and was officially adopted at the March public council meeting. They worked closely with Jordy Reichson, Director of Public Safety, Cote Saint-Luc’s point-man on emergency operations and readiness issues.

The next step will be to undertake training for all key stakeholders and players, including the elected officials, city staff and partners involved in the management of an emergency as well as advising the public that a new plan has been adopted.  A sensitization and education campaign of residents, through a “Guide to public safety” document will be conducted later this year.

The new plan will “tested” through tabletop exercises and possibly a live exercise.

The resolution reads as follows:

RESOLUTION TO ADOPT AN EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN FOR THE CITY OF COTE SAINT-LUC

“WHEREAS, the City of Côte Saint-Luc considers the protection of residents and infrastructure an important element in the safety of the city and its people;

WHEREAS, the Civil Protection Act requires all municipalities on the island of Montreal to enter into an agreement with the Agglomeration of Montreal, acting as a regional authority, regarding the prevention of, preparedness for, mitigation of and response to emergencies on its territory;

WHEREAS, the Emergency Preparedness Committee has prepared a plan for dealing with emergencies and disasters of all kinds on its territory.”

It was

MOVED BY COUNCILLOR GLENN J. NASHEN

SECONDED BY COUNCILLOR RUTH KOVAC

AND RESOLVED

“THAT the Côte Saint-Luc City Council herewith adopts the attached document, entitled “Emergency Preparedness Plan”, consisting of 99 pages;

THAT the Côte Saint-Luc City Council hereby authorizes the Director of Public Safety to submit a copy of the said plan to the Centre de sécurité civile, a division of the Montreal Fire Department;

THAT said resolution is for immediate action.”

Reverse 911 service coming to Montreal

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CBC News – Montreal – ‘Reverse 911’ service coming to Montreal.

I’m glad to see the Montreal Agglomeration is embracing new technologies to communicate more effectively with The Island’s residents in case of emergency or crisis situation. In 2011, though, they should also be actively pursuing the myriad of social media possibilities that can reach out much faster to many more people, and faster, than a traditional phone dialer. Twitter is an undeniable major player and its role in disseminating emergency communications should not be underestimated.

I do find a sense of irony in reading about Fire Department’s interest in reaching out to the residents across the Island of Montreal. If they are truly motivated to be more efficient at communications they ought to ensure that their own website’s English side shows more than “under construction” some 10 years after the announcement to merge Fire departments across the island.

After all, effective emergency communications is carried out in many languages, not just one.

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