CSL files motion to dismiss Meadowbrook developer’s $20 million lawsuit

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Suburban Newspaper, January 28h, 2015

Côte St. Luc filed a motion in Quebec Superior Court last year calling for the dismissal of a 15-year-old $20 million lawsuit brought by the developers of the Meadowbrook Golf Course against the city, Councillor Dida Berku told The Suburban Friday.

The motion to dismiss is expected to be heard in April. The original lawsuit was brought by previous developers when Côte St. Luc rezoned its portion of the golf course from residential to recreational.

The golf course is also in Lachine and part of Montreal West. The news of the dismissal motion comes as the Montreal city council and agglomeration council were expected to approve a land use and development plan this week changing the whole site’s designation from residential to recreational.

Groupe Pacific, the current developers of the golf course land, has already filed a $44 million lawsuit against Montreal, after plans for housing on the Lachine side were twice rejected by the city.

Regarding Côte St. Luc’s motion to dismiss, Berku pointed out that the developers’ lawsuit stayed in limbo for 14 years.

“Côte St. Luc made the call [to file a dismissal motion] last year when we found out about the $44 million lawsuit. We figured, we might as well get it to Superior Court and clear this up.
“The timing of this lawsuit was actually good, because it helps to crystallize the issues. The court will have to decide if it’s reasonable to wait 14 years on a motion to annul a zoning bylaw and on a motion to claim $20 million in damages. Our position is it’s an excessive delay and it should be dismissed.”

Groupe Pacific was not available for comment at press time.

Regarding Montreal’s land use designation change, Berku said that the mayors of Côte St. Luc and Montreal West, and those in Montreal “responsible for the planning and green space portfolios, will be meeting to further our common strategy, to see how to deal with this dossier.

“But what’s most encouraging, and what’s different today than before this decision was made, was the commitment, the undertaking Mayor Coderre made, that we will see this through and work together for a common purpose.
“He made the right and courageous decision, in the best public interest. The green space will serve not only the immediate neighbourhood, but the entire island of Montreal.”

Côte St. Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather was thrilled with the news of the land use designation.
“Protecting Meadowbrook has been something I and the council members, particularly Dida Berku, have been advocating for decades and was one of my key election promises in 2005 the first time I ran for mayor and a key element of the 2006 Côte St. Luc Strategic Plan,” he said.

Montreal West Mayor Beny Masella said the news is great for his town and the island as a whole.
“Zoning Meadowbrook as green space will help move Montreal closer to its goals of preserving an important percentage of land on the island,” Masella said

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

Montreal West trying to make drivers respect stop signs

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BY ANDY RIGA, THE GAZETTE NOVEMBER 4, 2013

Q. Are the new sidewalk extensions on Westminster Ave. N. in Montreal West an error? My theory is the people who designed them and the person who contracted it miscommunicated. They appear to have been made too wide. Cars can’t even make the turn safely from the side street going north onto Westminster because it is next to impossible to not cross over the line into ongoing traffic, forget about any larger vehicle. Buses and large trucks now hit the curb.

Maria Roberts

A. There was no error, says Montreal West Mayor Beny Masella. He said the sidewalks are being widened at two intersections – where Westminster meets Curzon and Parkside Sts. – to get drivers to stop at stop signs. The project cost $140,000.

During public consultations in 2008, residents complained about lead-foot drivers on the street, Masella said.

“The cars were just not stopping,” he said. “We’re not talking about rolling stops – the old-fashioned American stops – we’re talking about people not even slowing down, just going through the stop signs.”

Westminster splits Montreal West in two. “All the recreation locations and all the schools are on the west side so I have a lot of people crossing that street,” Masella said.

The town called in a traffic engineer, whose sidewalk-extension plan was validated by another engineer, Masella said.

Thanks to the new extensions, cars driving either north or south on Westminster now have to slow down and stop when they reach Curzon and Parkside. “Because the extensions are in your way, you cannot continue in a straight line you have to curve around them,” Masella said.

Having the curb jut out into the street also makes pedestrians more visible.

“Pedestrians are moved away from the background, you see them better,” Masella said. “And it shortens the distance that they’re in the middle of the street. Before pedestrians were crossing four lanes, now they’re only crossing two.”

New markings on the road make it clear where cars turning from side streets have to be when they’re turning, he added. Cars have a full lane to turn into.

Some residents fear the new curb extensions won’t be visible in winter but Masella said he does not expect problems because Westminster is the first road that gets cleared after snowfalls.

“If three or four months down the line we see we’ve made the situation worse, we’ll fix it,” Masella said. “It’s nothing to shave them back a bit. I’m not saying I’m God and that everything the council does is right. If we made a mistake we can always fix it. It’s just concrete.”

Another major problem on Westminster has to do with train tracks that cross the street just south of Sherbrooke St. Dozens of commuter trains a day set off railway-crossing barriers, backing up traffic on Westminster, Sherbrooke and many nearby cross streets.

The Agence métropolitaine de transport has been studying ways to alleviate the problem, which is expected to worsen as new train departures are added.

Masella said the AMT is expected to reveal results of the study to the town soon.

Options include a car overpass or underpass but Masella said those options aren’t feasible because they would destroy Westminster’s business district.

“You can’t change the grade of the road,” he said. “The town’s position is the only acceptable solution there is to put the tracks down into a trench.”

Whatever option is chosen, a proposed fix is expected to cost tens of millions of dollars, money that the AMT currently doesn’t have.

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

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.

2013-12-01-Chanukah-in-CSL-2013-010.JPG

“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.”

2013-12-01-Chanukah-in-CSL-2013-006.JPG

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

Three cities thank Commander Bissonnette

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The mayors and many councillors of the cities of Cote Saint-Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West held a small reception to honour and thank outgoing Police Commander Sylvain Bissonnette. Bissonnette wrapped up his duties at Neighbourhood Station 9 last week and moved over to head up Station 8 in Lachine.

CSL Council thanks Commander Sylvain Bissonnette for his outstanding service

CSL Council thanks Commander Sylvain Bissonnette for his outstanding service

Mayor Anthony Housefather thanked Bissonnette for his exemplary service saying he will leave big shoes to fill.

As councillor responsible for public safety, I met and spoke to Commander Bissonnette quite often. He showed great understanding and sensitivity to not only the Jewish community but the greater community, its multicultural characteristics, and to our seniors.

His co-operation with city officials was exemplary. I’ve worked with many station commanders, and I’m saddened to lose him. He’s an outstanding leader.

Bissonnette’s encouragement and assistance in the launching of the volunteer Citizens’ on Patrol about six years ago was fantastic. Bissonnette recognized that vCOP is an asset, not a hindrance, to the work of the police. He was a partner in this project from day one, helping with the planning and training. It’s in great part due to his vision and willingness that Cote Saint-Luc has the lowest crime rate in the Montreal agglomeration.

More:

Cllr. Mike Cohen’s blog

Montreal community pays tribute to good cop

Jewish community bids adieu to Commander Bissonnette

PDQ9 Commander Bissonnette moving to Lachine

Commander Sylvain Bissonnette knighted by Order of St. John

New police commander for Cote Saint-Luc, Hampstead, Montreal West

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We have said adieu to veteran commander Sylvain Bissonnette who has vacated his Cote Saint-Luc office in Neighbourhood Station 9 to make room for incoming commander Marc Cournoyer. The change in command took place last week.

Meeting our new police commander, Marc Cournoyer

Meeting our new police commander, Marc Cournoyer

Cournoyer, a 25 year veteran of the force has held positions in many parts of the Montreal territory, including  Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Park Extension, and Pointe Claire.  He began his police service out of the station in Westmount.

His work included assignments on the morality squad and working with women suffering from domestic violence.

The new commander looks forward to working in partnership with the Public Security departments in the three cities as well as with the volunteers of CSL EMS and vCOP.

The first days of Commander Cournoyer’s introduction were far from ordinary with a stabbing incident on Kingsley Road, a rare occurrence in this city.

As he entered City Hall for his first formal meeting with Mayors Housefather, Steinberg and Masella, City Managers and myself earlier this week, the commander was stopped by a lovely older lady with a walker and was complimented on his suit. “You’re fine looking gentlemen,” the woman said. “Are you all from the same group?” she quizzed to the current and former commanders along with a regional chief. I interjected that they were police officers, which she politely brushed off. “Such handsome men, are you undertakers?” she joked.  The commander pulled back his jacket to reveal a shiny police badge and a service revolver. “Oh my,” she said, her eyes wide in astonishment. “I better let you get on with your business,” as she shuffled off.

This began the next step in Cournoyer’s career. The unknown and unpredictable nature of policing in Cote Saint-Luc.

I look forward to working closely with the commander in ensuring Cote saint-Luc’s position as the safest community in the region.

Felicitations Commandant Cournoyer. We wish you a long and successful career in our city.

Jewish community bids adieu to Commander Bissonnette

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Rabbi Reuben Poupko and Moshe Ben shach present a plaque to Commander Sylvain Bissonnette

Rabbi Reuben Poupko and Moshe Ben Shach present a plaque to Commander Sylvain Bissonnette

Federation CJA held a small reception on Tuesday evening in honour of Police Station 9 outgoing commander, Sylvain Bissonnette.

Montreal Jewish Community Security Coordinating Group chairman Rabbi Reuben Poupko was joined by Federation CJA Operations Chief Moshe Ben Shach and Community Security Director Adam Cohen along with local police commanders and community members involved in security.

Poupko and Ben Shach noted that Bissonnette was an exceptional police representative who made enormous efforts in getting to know the Jewish community well. They credited him with providing excellent police services particularly during tense times in the Middle East and when an outbreak of stone throwing had been perpetrated against Jewish institutions here in the West End of Montreal.

In his remarks, Bissonnette said that when he took on the role of commanding the police force in Cote Saint-Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West he wanted to understand more than the residents.  He wanted to understand their parents, grandparents, their culture and their history. Bissonnette himself is a historian and his academic training served him well in his role as commanding officer in a territory that is rich in Jewish and multicultural communities.  The three cities are officially bilingual, with a strong sense of attachment and involvement, he noted.

This marks Commander Bissonnette’s last week in charge of PDQ9 before heading over to take up command in Lachine.

In the words of the commander, we don’t say good-bye to our friends, we just see them less often.

Bon voyage et bonne chance monsieur le commandant.

Change needed at CSL-MoWest intersection: MoWest resident

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Change needed at CSL-MoWest intersection: MoWest resident

CSL engineering dept. recommends simple stop at corner: Housefather

Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban

January 23, 2013

The flashing lights stop signal at Westminster and Westover in Côte St. Luc should be dismantled and replaced with a walk signal to improve pedestrian safety, council regular Daniel Markuze told Montreal West council at the late November meeting.

The signal is located north of the Westminster hump, right at the border with Montreal West, and has been in operation since 1963.

“Right now, they’re just flashing and it’s an accident waiting to happen,” he added. “The problem is for pedestrians. We need something where you press a button and its all right for people to cross. It’s needed especially for older people. It’s dangerous there.”

Mayor Beny Masella said Montreal West originally shared the cost with Côte St. Luc to install the flashing light signal. “Côte St. Luc, from what we’re understanding, is not sure they want to replace the lights completely, which is a $200,000 job, or just to change the controller, which is a $50,000 to $60,000 job. We’ve told them we’d probably be willing to participate in the costs. They’ve done a traffic study at the intersection, they’ve collected their data and it was supposed to be presented to their council. We asked that it be presented to our council to see if all of this is warranted. We’re waiting for that data [regarding traffic volume] to get back to us so we can make a decision how we can participate.”

Côte St. Luc mayor Anthony Housefather told The Suburban Friday that his city has done traffic counts at that intersection “and intends to leave this as a flashing light stop sign for now.

“All information we have is being shared with Montreal West,” the mayor explained. “The costs of this light, which are at the border of the two communities, were originally shared between the communities but Côte St. Luc has been maintaining it since installation. The costs of repairing the controller or replacing the light are not justified based on the assessment by our engineering department of the traffic at that intersection and they recommend using a simple stop. If Montreal West has other suggestions we will certainly consider them.”

Côte St. Luc Councillor Steven Erdelyi, who represents the area, said Montreal West originally installed the lights and Côte St. Luc helped pay for them and later, Côte St. Luc was in charge of their maintenance. Erdelyi said the current lights are 49 years old and need major work, and traffic studies have shown a 10 to one ratio between cars travelling on Westminster and cars on Westover. He said the data indicates a traffic light would not be necessary there, and that a regular or flashing stop sign are options. In comparison, at Côte St. Luc and Westminster where there is a button-controlled crossing such as what Markuze requested, “The ratio is roughly half and half between cars going on [the two streets]. Based on criteria from the Ministry of Transport, it doesn’t seem it’s necessary to have the traffic light” at Westover and Westminster.

CSL – CDN medical district shuttle survey

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Côte St. Luc put out an advisory that the city and the Jewish General Hospital “in collaboration with Mobiligo and the Centre de gestion des déplacements de developpement économique SaintLaurent (CGD DESTL), is looking for solutions to improve commuting to medical facilities in the Côte des Neiges district for the residents, workers and users.

The goal of the project is to encourage single occupancy vehicle users to shift to environmentally-friendly transport practices, such as public transit, carpooling, walking and biking.

A survey of the population of Côte St. Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West is currently underway concerning their transportation needs to identify convenient options that could be offered to them, other than traveling alone in their car. Access to healthcare is more than having a family doctor; it is also being able to get to the doctor’s office without causing an impact on our health and our community environment.”

To participate in the survey, go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/DBGHB6N.

 

New law imperils English in suburbs

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Henry Aubin: New law imperils English in suburbs

Loss of bilingual status is a devastating blow and a barrier to business

BY HENRY AUBIN, MONTREAL GAZETTE DECEMBER 7, 2012

The Marois government’s proposed law to tighten the Charter of the French Language would deal a truly devastating blow to most of the 65 municipalities in Quebec that possess official bilingual status. The bill would strip this designation from a town if fewer than 50 per cent of its residents have English as their mother tongue.

Six of the 12 suburbs on Montreal Island that now offer services in French and English would lose the legal ability to continue to do so in English. They are Côte-St-Luc, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Dorval, Kirkland, Mont-Royal and Senneville. (See table.)

Four other suburbs, whose English mother-tongue residents are steadily declining and now represent less than 55 per cent of the population, are on course to falling under the threshold within a few years. They are Baie d’Urfé, Beaconsfield, Pointe-Claire and Westmount. Hampstead and Montreal West, both of which are near the 60-per-cent mark, are safer ground. (The island’s two remaining suburbs, Montréal-Est and Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, do not have bilingual status.)

Municipalities not on the island would tend to lose their status at a considerably higher rate. Many of these mostly rural towns or villages have aging anglo communities.

(The government would determine whether a city or town is above or below the 50 per cent bar on the basis of Statistic Canada’s census. However, it is unclear how the government would define people with English as their mother tongue. Most people have only one language as their mother tongue, but others list two or even more on the census form, depending the circumstances of their infancy. The table gives figures for both options.)

The proposed law, Bill 14, tabled this week by the minister responsible for language, Diane De Courcy, comes completely out of the blue. It’s been a long time since language has been a notable issue in the island’s suburbs or in the more distant places. You have to wonder what the problem is that De Courcy set out to fix.

To be sure, the presence of English has become a hot political issue, but that controversy has been confined do Montreal’s central core, especially the shopping areas. De Courcy’s measure gives the core a free pass — the bill can’t revoke Montreal’s bilingual status because the city doesn’t have one.

Removing the suburbs’ bilingual standing would also be curious because it would reduce the attractiveness of Montreal for knowledge workers from English-speaking countries. When they move here, these workers often choose to live in a bilingual suburb where — as is only normal — they feel more linguistically hospitable.

The Mercer 2012 Quality of Living Index of cities — an annual ranking to help multinational companies and organizations make decisions — came out the day before De Courcy tabled the bill. It rated Montreal well behind Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto. If the minority government succeeds in making Bill 14 law, it’s not going to help the economy.

Peter Trent, the Westmount mayor and leader of the island’s suburban mayors, is a moderate on language issues. He calls the measure “completely unacceptable” to anglo communities. As well, he notes an additional curiosity about the bill: “It wouldn’t help the cause of preserving French one jot.”

Trent notes a final curiosity about the bill: Those suburbs whose majority of English mother-tongue residents are rapidly shrinking might have no interest in attracting those newcomers who would further dilute the English mother-tongue presence. The law might thus have the perverse effect of making francophones unwelcome.

This measure might make short-term political sense: Riling the anglos is often a surefire way to boost the PQ in anglophobes’ eyes.

But as a step to advance the interests of francophones, the bill shoots itself in the foot. In the end, it would harm everybody.

Read more:http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Henry+Aubin+imperils+English+suburbs/7669480/story.html#ixzz2EUfHTkUV

 

Councillor Dida Berku’s CSL Corner

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The Free Press, September 11, 2012

Many residents of Côte St. Luc work at, or need, to visit the Jewish General Hospital (JGH) or surrounding hospitals and medical clinics and offices. In coordination with the environment team from the JGH and other community partners, CSL is launching a survey during Active Transport Week, September 17 to 22, of workers and residents who travel this route. The survey will target the hundreds of medical staff and employees who live in CSL and work in the hospital district, as well as the thousands of users who go there regularly.

We want the feedback of residents as to when and under what conditions they would use a shuttle or collective taxi service. We already have a Golden Shuttle #262 sponsored by the STM, which services seniors for trips to Angrignon shopping centre and does the circuit of all our public institutions (library, ACC) and private senior residences. The idea is to explore alternative options that could work for our local populations presently using the highly congested Fleet Rd. corridor and are saddled with the problems of traffic and costly parking.

We welcome all residents who have ideas and an interest in this project to attend our presentation September 20 in the CSL library at 7 pm, and to participate in the survey, which will be available through the city halls of CSL, Hampstead and Montreal West, and on our websites. We will use this survey to lobby the STM transit authority for a shuttle service between Côte St. Luc and the hospital district, and to set a route that accommodates the maximum number of workers and residents of our communities.

Gardeners licensing

Last May, Côte St. Luc adopted By-law 2390, which requires gardeners and snow removal contractors to obtain a $125 annual licence from the city. The goal is to keep track of licensed contractors so we can ensure that the gardeners who bring garden waste to our Public Works yard are really working for people in Côte St. Luc and not bringing waste from other cities.

This new by-law is in conformity with by-laws of our neighbouring municipalities and was introduced to ensure that the gardeners and contractors in our city respect our rules and keep our city clean.

New brown bins coming soon

Côte St. Luc will receive replacements for the 240-litre brown bins (the large one), which were defective and broke too easily. All homeowners will receive new improved bins in the fall. Schedule to be announced.

Dida Berku can be reached at dberku@cotesaintluc.org. She is the councillor responsible for environmental issues, finance, CLD Centre West and the Cavendish extension. She represents Côte St. Luc District 3.

CSL mayor favours right on red

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By Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban

June 6, 2012

Côte Saint-Luc mayor Anthony Housefather, speaking for himself and not his council as a whole, supports allowing right turns on red lights on the island of Montreal. “I favour it because it is simply logical,” Housefather says. “There is no reason the island of Montreal should be different than everywhere else in North America. If there are downtown arteries where right on red should not exist or other arteries where it should not be allowed because of danger — perhaps Kildare/Cavendish for us — each city should just put up a sign saying no right on red at that intersection. If it ever came up for a vote at the agglomeration council I would certainly vote in favour of allowing right on red.”

But Montreal West mayor Beny Masella does not believe Montrealers are ready for right turns on red. His town, with perhaps one exception at the border with Côte St. Luc, does not even have a traffic light — not even the busy part of the commercial district of Westminster near the rail crossing.

But in terms of right on red in general for the island, “not yet. I don’t think we’re at the point where we can deal with it properly. “We’re not even stopping at pedestrian crosswalks yet, so if we think we can go when we have pedestrians crossing, that makes me a little nervous. I’d like to see us a bit more conscientious about stopping at the crosswalks when there’s a pedestrian there, and then we’ll go to the next step. Off the island might be a different story — there’s a lot less crosswalks. I’m not there yet to say I support right on red.”

In terms of other big cities, Masella said he was recently in the U.S. and saw how a car automatically stopped when a pedestrian was crossing a crosswalk. “I’d love to see us enforcing the rule about stopping for pedestrians on crosswalks, and then we could take the next step.”

In my opinion:  Mayor Housefather certainly speaks for me too.  It is ridiculous that a motorist may turn right on red in Laval, Quebec City or for that matter St. Sauveur, but cannot in Cote Saint-Luc, Hampstead or Pointe Claire.  Put up a “No turn on red” wherever city’s determine those intersections are too congested and leave the other 99% to flow freely.

As for Mayor Masella’s point about not stopping for pedestrians in crosswalk, police should start ticketing. Our lax enforcement on pedestrian safety in Quebec is nothing short of shameful.

What do you think?  Click on LEAVE A COMMENT.

CSL, Bergman working toward Cavendish link: Housefather

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CSL, Bergman working toward Cavendish link: Housefather

April 25, 2012

Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban

Côte St. Luc mayor Anthony Housefather insisted to discouraged council regular Bernard Tonchin that Côte St. Luc and especially D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman are working hard to help the cause of a Cavendish Blvd. link between Côte St. Luc and St. Laurent.

Côte St. Luc, Hampstead, St. Laurent, Côte des Neiges/NDG, Montreal West and Town of Mount Royal have passed resolutions asking that the link be prioritized. The Quebec government also revived the issue in their announcement that the Hippodrome land would be ceded to Montreal for future development.

Tonchin said at last week’s city council meeting that he would not attend the next Montreal island-wide agglomeration meeting if the Cavendish link was not on the agenda. The resident pointed out that previous plans called for the link to be completed this year.

“I’m very concerned with Cavendish, it’s a 40-year battle,” he added. “I and some others are ready to go down again to the agglomeration council, because we have more support now [from suburbs] and we really need it. I’ve asked many times to invite our representative from D’Arcy McGee to a meeting strictly on Cavendish. He got a lot of things done and is pretty powerful in Quebec. We have to confront him, once and for all, on the extension of Cavendish. I don’t know where we stand.”

Housefather said Tonchin is well aware that Côte St. Luc has been in favour of the link for more than 10 years, and that the city and TMR pushed to have it as part of the agglomeration’s transport plan.

“Lawrence Bergman is working on the Cavendish dossier,” the mayor added. “I speak to him about this dossier on a weekly basis. There is nothing he does not know about the population’s support for Cavendish going ahead. He knows it very well. He’s doing his best to lobby, to get the money for Cavendish being extended. He’s doing everything he can. “There is definitely every kind of impetus that the city can have on Cavendish. And there’s no point in putting it on the agglomeration agenda – there’s nothing being voted on. But you’re always welcome to show up for question period and you can ask it to Mayor Tremblay exactly the way you put it to me. There’s nothing I can do to further Cavendish than I’m not already doing. I’ve asked along with the mayor of TMR for a meeting with the Quebec transport minister and I’m waiting for a response, and we’ve done our best at every level of government.”

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.

CSL Police station 9 managing overnight patrols again

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CSL Police station 9 managing overnight patrols again

By Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban

February 22, 2012

Montreal police Station 9, which serves Côte St. Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West, recently resumed managing overnight patrols after several years, it was announced at the Montreal West and Côte St. Luc council meetings.

“We have increased surveillance overnight by Station 9,” said Montreal West Councillor Julie Tasker-Brown, in charge of the security portfolio on council. “We used to have to share the services of [NDG’s ] Station 11, which had a big territory, and now we get Station 9 back at night. That’s good news.” The overnight service resumed in late January. Station 11 had been managing the overnight patrols for more than three years.

At the February Côte St. Luc council meeting, Councillor Glenn Nashen, who has the security portfolio on his council, made the same announcement, pointing out that the patrols “are now run out of Station 9 vehicles in our territory. “This means it’s likelier we have more manhours being covered, not into NDG, but right here in Côte St. Luc, so we appreciate Commander Sylvain Bissonnette listening to us and our neighbours, and advocating on our behalf to bring this back after a hiatus of a few years,” Nashen added.

Mayor Anthony Housefather pointed out that after advocacy by Côte St. Luc helped save Station 9 from elimination, one of the agreements involved in keeping the Cavendish Blvd. station open was to have the night shift run out of Station 11.

“I guess it’s the same with demerger – the argument was ‘you lose it, you lose it,’ and eventually you get it back,” the mayor added.

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