News and announcements

Cote Saint-Luc applauds island-wide first responder services and demands ongoing protection for its volunteer emergency medical

COTE SAINT-LUC, Friday, July 14, 2006 - Mayor Anthony Housefather is responding with guarded optimism about today's announcement about Island-wide First Responder Services by the Montreal Agglomeration's Fire Department. 

Cote Saint-Luc has demanded that its all-volunteer Emergency Medical Services (“EMS”) department be authorized to continue responding to life-threatening emergencies in Cote Saint-Luc.   Previously Cote Saint-Luc had successfully negotiated to have its EMS designated as a local service under the control of Cote Saint-Luc in the agglomeration decree and that exemption continues until December 31, 2008.   Cote Saint-Luc has now requested that the Quebec Government take action to legislate the perpetual protection of this unique service.
 
“Cote Saint-Luc EMS is manned by highly trained, dedicated personnel who volunteer their time and efforts to serve the community,” said Mayor Housefather.   Their training is provided by the EMS Training Academy and follows U.S. guidelines for First Responders and E.M.T.'s, all of which is overseen by an emergency department physician serving as Medical Director, and an oversight committee of elected, lay and professional leaders in the Emergency Services Committee. 
 
Mayor Housefather commented that we strongly approve of the entire Island of Montreal being covered by First Responder Services but would vigorously oppose any attempt by the Fire Department to take over the EMS role in Cote Saint-Luc.   We have our own service, which is of higher quality than what the rest of the island will receive and will not accept it being sacrificed here.   We have met with our own MNA, Minister of Revenue Lawrence Bergman on many occasions on this issue and will work closely with him to get the legislation amended to ensure our service remains intact as a local service for generations to come.
 
“The extremely strong community support for the preservation of EMS needs to be recognized by the Quebec Government, the City of Montreal and the Agglomeration Fire Department”, said Public Safety Councillor Glenn J. Nashen. “In the event the Government fails to amend the decree prior to a provincial election, this may well turn into a hot button election issue in D'Arcy McGee.   The Fire Department also needs to be aware of massive opposition if they would ever try to come into our City and take over the service.”
 
EMS was created in 1965 and has been providing high quality First Responder services to the territory of Cote Saint-Luc since 1980.   EMS is equipped with a fleet of three modern emergency vehicles, state-of-the-art emergency medical equipment, devices, tools and supplies which have been purchased by the City of Cote Saint-Luc, all housed in EMS headquarters at 8100 Cote Saint-Luc Road.
 
“EMS responds to more than 3000 medical assistance calls each year and assists at community events, crises and other major emergencies in the community and throughout south-western Quebec,” said Councillor Nashen.   “EMS has a response time averaging 3 minutes, which is the fastest average response time for First Responder medical calls on the Island of Montreal.   The significant time differential in response between EMS and those Montreal fire stations providing emergency first response can mean the difference between life and death.”
 
The EMS system and volunteers have earned the praise and admiration of the community they serve and those whom they have aided through the years.   They have provided an important educational, community and volunteer opportunity to hundreds and perhaps thousands of young adults from the entire Montreal region, many of whom have entered the medical professions as a result of their rewarding experiences in this impressive organization said Mayor Housefather.   “On behalf of the Council of the City of Cote Saint-Luc, I assure our EMS volunteers and our residents that we will vigorously fight to ensure that our service remains intact and protected for future generations and will do everything we can to convince the Quebec Government and the agglomeration to support us in this matter.”
 

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CSL calls upon municipalities and boroughs with bilingual status to erect signs in French and English

COTE SAINT-LUC, JULY 14, 2006 - Côte Saint-Luc City Council has unanimously adopted a resolution calling upon all municipalities and boroughs in Quebec with bilingual status to erect all new signs in both French and English.

Mayor Anthony Housefather emphasized that the Charter of the French Language allows municipalities with bilingual status to erect bilingual signs and indeed all signage erected by municipalities with bilingual status can be in both the English and French languages provided French is predominant.  "The City of Côte Saint-Luc feels strongly that municipalities with bilingual status should erect bilingual signs to show that residents from both linguistic communities are equally respected," he stated. "Our signs send a message to young people and when our youth sees the English being removed from municipal signs they begin to doubt their place and future in Quebec. Unfortunately the OQLF has a tendency to adopt very restrictive interpretations of the law related to bilingual signs and often confuse municipalities into believing that their interpretation is the law, when indeed it is not."

Councillor Mike Cohen, whose corporate identity portfolio takes into account matters related to signage in the city, noted that it is  clear that Section 24 of the Charter of the French Language, which allows municipalities with bilingual status to erect bilingual signs, only requires that French be predominant, not markedly predominant which is the case with commercial signs. "We interpret this to mean that municipal signs in municipalities with bilingual status can have French and English letter of equal size with the French language being given more prominence by being on the left or the top part of the sign," he said. "Some representatives of municipalities with bilingual status believe that they can not put up bilingual signs or believe that if they do put up bilingual signs the French text would need to be larger than the English text or that the name of a street would need to be repeated twice on a street sign. This entirely stems from misleading information given by the OQLF or the Commission de la Toponomye".

Mayor Housefather made it clear that in his view those interpretations are contrary to the plain wording of Section 24 of the Charter of the French Language, which has now been in force for almost 30 years.

Both Mayor Housefather and Councillor Cohen emphasized that the city is currently reviewing its own street signage to ensure it is scrupulously bilingual and compliant with the law. A new bilingual street sign for Cote Saint-Luc will be unveiled in the fall and signage templates are in development. The Mayor and Council plan to replace every street sign in the city with the new model as part of the 2007 capital expenditures budget.

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EMS Saves another life

EMS Saves another life
 
CÔTE SAINT-LUC, JULY 7, 2006  - Côte Saint-Luc Emergency Medical Services was credited yesterday, once again, with saving a life.
 
A 9-1-1 emergency call was received Thursday afternoon for an unstable anaphylactic patient stung by a bee.  The caller gave an address on Blossom Avenue misdirecting the EMS and Urgences Santé ambulance crews.  When the additional information came in indicating the call was at the Meadowbrook Golf course, a second EMS crew responded, and arrived first to find an unresponsive patient and administered epinephrine by epi-pen.

The Urgences Santé ambulance response was delayed due to the incorrect address.
 
With the rapid intervention of Cote Saint-Luc EMS a life was saved.
 
One hour after the call Urgences Santé and hospital staff called EMS to congratulate the crews for the excellent intervention and for saving the patient's life.

“We are very pleased with the rapid care provided by our EMS crews,” said Mayor Anthony Housefather.  “EMS is an outstanding service that must be preserved in the future,” the Mayor said.
 
“Our EMS volunteers are outstanding first responders, highly trained in lifesaving techniques,” said Public Safety Councillor Glenn J. Nashen.  “They continue to prove themselves each and every day and we are grateful for their dedication and professionalism,“ Nashen said, adding that residents must speak up in order to ensure that the Montreal agglomeration and the provincial government continue to allow Cote Saint-Luc EMS to serve as the First-Responder service for Cote Saint-Luc when the island-wide Fire Department begins responding to medical emergencies in the next few years.  It is projected that Fire Department First-Responders will have a 6-minute or more response time, when the nearest station is available to answer a call.
 
EMS is currently in a recruitment campaign to train new volunteers. “If you care about your community and want to work with a team who knows how to keep their cool while helping others in need, then come find out all the details at our information meeting on July 11 at 18h00,” said Stephane Kallos, Director of CSL EMS.  The information meeting takes place at 8100 Côte Saint-Luc Rd.
 
Cote Saint-Luc’s volunteer EMS is a first responder service that responds to medical emergencies within its territory.  Calls are received through 9-1-1 and EMS volunteers are dispatched simultaneously with Urgences Santé ambulances.  While ambulance response time in Cote Saint-Luc stands at an average of 10 minutes, EMS crews arrive in approximately 3 minutes and immediately put their life saving skills to good use.  Last year, EMS volunteers responded to 3000 calls.
 
For more information about joining CSL EMS please call 514-485-6956.
 

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EMS on Recruitment Drive

EMS ON RECRUITMENT DRIVE
 
CÔTE SAINT-LUC, JULY 5, 2006
  -   Côte Saint-Luc Emergency Medical Services is launching a recruitment drive for volunteers to become trained as medics.

“We're looking for a few good people,” said Mayor Anthony Housefather.  “EMS is looking for energetic and dynamic people who want to learn a new skill and be part of a team of lifesavers,” the Mayor said.

“The EMS experience is an invaluable opportunity where recruits will learn lifesaving techniques, develop challenging career paths and gain leadership skills,” said Public Safety Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, who signed on as an EMS volunteer 26 years ago.  “Our EMS volunteers are lifesavers and anyone can acquire these, “Nashen said, adding that most volunteers are either students or working.  “Many past EMS volunteers have gone onto careers in medicine and allied health professions thanks to their CSL EMS experience,” Nashen said.
 
“If you care about your community and want to work with a team who knows how to keep their cool while helping others in need, then come find out all the details at our information meeting on July 11 at 18h00,” said Stephane Kallos, Director of CSL EMS.  The information meeting takes place at 8100 Côte Saint-Luc Rd.
 
Those interested in joining will follow a course lasting 120 hours.  Subsidized by the City of Cote Saint-Luc, the course will teach you about human anatomy, physiology, emergency scene approach, oxygen administration, defibrillation, spinal immobilization, trauma care, cardiac monitoring and much more.
 
Cote Saint-Luc's volunteer EMS is a first responder service that responds to medical emergencies within its territories.  Calls are received through 9-1-1 and EMS volunteers are dispatched simultaneously with Urgences Sante ambulances.  While ambulance response time in Cote Saint-Luc stands at an average of 10 minutes, EMS crews arrive in less than 3 minutes and immediately put their life saving skills to good use.  Last year, EMS volunteers responded to 3000 calls.
 
For more information about joining CSL EMS please call 514-485-6956.
 

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EMS on Recruitment Drive

CÔTE SAINT-LUC, JUNE 9, 2006 -   Côte Saint-Luc Emergency Medical Services is launching a recruitment drive for volunteers to become trained as medics.
 
"We're looking for a few good people," said Mayor Anthony Housefather.  "EMS is looking for energetic and dynamic people who want to learn a new skill and be part of a team of lifesavers," the Mayor said.
 
"The EMS experience is an invaluable opportunity where recruits will learn lifesaving techniques, develop challenging career paths and gain leadership skills," said Public Safety Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, who signed on as an EMS volunteer 26 years ago.  "Our EMS volunteers are lifesavers and anyone can acquire these, "Nashen said, adding that most volunteers are either students or working.  "Many past EMS volunteers have gone onto careers in medicine and allied health professions thanks to their CSL EMS experience," Nashen said.
 
"If you care about your community and want to work with a team who knows how to keep their cool while helping others in need, then come find out all the details at our information meeting on June 22 at 18h00," said Stephane Kallos, Director of CSL EMS.  The information meeting takes place at 8100 Côte Saint-Luc Rd.
 
Those interested in joining will follow a course lasting 120 hours.  Subsidized by the City of Cote Saint-Luc, the course will teach you about human anatomy, physiology, emergency scene approach, oxygen administration, defibrillation, spinal immobilization, trauma care, cardiac monitoring and much more.
 
Cote Saint-Luc's volunteer EMS is a first responder service that responds to medical emergencies within its territories.  Calls are received through 9-1-1 and EMS volunteers are dispatched simultaneously with Urgences Sante ambulances.  While ambulance response time in Cote Saint-Luc stands at an average of 10 minutes, EMS crews arrive in less than 3 minutes and immediately put their life saving skills to good use.  Last year, EMS volunteers responded to 3000 calls.
 
For more information about joining CSL EMS please call 514-485-6950.

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 Media Contact:

Marie Josée Lai
City of Cote Saint-Luc
Communications
514-485-6937

Côte Saint-Luc seeking to be safest city on the Island of Montreal

Cote Saint-Luc Seeking to be Safest City on the Island of Montreal —Introduces Innovative Program to Prevent Crime

CÔTE SAINT-LUC, MAY 29, 2006 - In a bid to enhance community safety and security, the City of Côte Saint-Luc is becoming the first city in the Montreal region to implement the innovative Citizens on Patrol ("COP") program, Mayor Anthony Housefather announced today.
 
"Côte Saint-Luc's new council has an objective of being known as the safest city on the Island of Montreal. Citizens on Patrol (COP) complement the agglomeration Police Department, Côte Saint-Luc's own Public Security Department and its Emergency Medical Services volunteers.  COP is a volunteer-based program already established in communities throughout Canada and the U.S.  The volunteers contribute to the well-being of the community and help to deter crime," Housefather said.  "They also assist residents and visitors in a meaningful and tangible way."
 
Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, who is responsible for Public Safety, researched the organization for the last year and has been putting it into motion locally.  "COP will benefit everyone in our community," Nashen said.  "Whether you are out for an evening stroll, playing with your kids in the park, or stuck on the side of the road, our volunteers will be patrolling in marked vehicles to offer a greater sense of security by their presence and to render assistance until the arrival of Police, Public Security or E.M.S."
 
Patrollers, on foot, bike or in vehicles will notify local agencies with emergency and non-emergency situations as they maintain a positive and respectful presence in the community.  Volunteer patrollers will build a feeling of personal satisfaction knowing they are proactively helping improve safety in the community while they meet and participate with like-minded individuals who share a similar goal.  They will gain a better understanding of crime related issues and increase their knowledge on crime prevention strategies while having fun and getting to know their neighbours, Nashen said.
 
Qualification for volunteering is minimum 18 years of age, in good health and residing, working or having a vested interest in Côte Saint-Luc.  Volunteers must pass a security check, have good interpersonal and communications skills, possess a positive attitude and be able to work in a team environment, act professionally and participate in training sessions.  Patrollers will also be required to commit to a minimum 4 hours per month.
 
"Citizens on Patrol will complement our Public Security, Police and Emergency Medical Services and assist by adding extra eyes and ears on the streets of the City, making it safer for all residents," said Côte Saint-Luc EMS Director Stephane Kallos.
 
"These volunteers will be an ally in the effort to keep our community safe," added Commander Rene Allard of Neighbourhood Police Station 9 located in Côte Saint-Luc.
 
"We will have a new corps of volunteers to call upon in major emergencies and disasters, and to help with community services and public education," said Councillor Nashen.  "The lessons of the Ice Storm, floods, major snow storms and building evacuations have taught us that preparedness is the key to a well managed community. It is important to be well prepared and to have members throughout the community ready to help."
 
The COP program is under the command of the Director of Côte Saint-Luc's volunteer EMS, Stephane Kallos and is being coordinated by Nashen and Lt. Jordy Reichson.
 
The inaugural information session will be held on June 14 at 8:00 p.m. at Cote Saint-Luc City Hall for anyone who might be interested in becoming involved.  
 
A second public information session is scheduled for June 19 at 6:00 p.m. at Cote Saint-Luc EMS Headquarters, 8100 Cote Saint-Luc Road.  Those interested will be able to fill out application on-site.  Please bring a copy of your driver's permit.   

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Côte Saint-Luc names Tanya Abramovitch the new director of the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library

CÔTE SAINT-LUC, MAY 25, 2006- Mayor Anthony Housefather is pleased to announce the appointment of Tanya Abramovitch as the new director of the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library.

Abramovitch has been on staff for five years, beginning in 2001 as a reference librarian. A graduate of McGill's Graduate School of Library and Information studies, she worked in McGill's Government Documents Department before becoming a public librarian. She prefers working with the general public, because their interests and habits are more varied than those of students. "I love people, and it means a lot to me to be able to make a difference in their lives," remarks the energetic 30 year old.

"Tanya is an amazing individual," stated Mayor Anthony Housefather. "She has passion, dynamism and drive and has a terrific understanding of the residents of Côte Saint-Luc. We currently have one of the best libraries on the continent and Tanya will be working with her staff and our council to make it even better. I have the utmost confidence in her abilities." Said Councillor Steven Erdelyi, who has the library portfolio:

"Tanya has shown a great deal of enthusiasm and diligence during her years at the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library. The council and I look forward to working with her as the library approaches its 40th anniversary and continues to grow and improve in the future." Since 2004, Abramovitch has acted as the Public Services Librarian, a senior management position.

Members of the public may also recognize her from the several programs in the library that she animates, including a non-fiction book club and a recent lecture series on non-fiction books. Known to read four books a week (a habit she promotes in her interesting blog), she is passionate about reading, although she wonders if she'll have as much time to feed her addiction. On top of being Côte Saint-Luc's new director of library services she's also the president of the Public Libraries Division of the Quebec Library Association.

Abramovitch is thrilled to be taking the reigns at such a critical time in the history of the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library. With major renovations, the 40th anniversary celebrations, and now, a new directorship, she promises residents that their library will better than ever before. "We want to be leaders," she says, "not only in the library world, but in the community as well. We want to get CSLers as excited as we are about what we're doing and what we will do, which is nothing short of great."

GOALS Abramovitch has already developed an ambitious set of objectives which will work on over the next three years. She states that the life of the library has gone through three distinct periods: the CSL Shopping Centre Era (1966-1986), the New Building Era (1986-2001), and the Merger Era (2002-2005). "This year marks a new epoch, also characterized by a physical alteration but additionally by a vast upgrade in its structure, role, offerings, and leadership.," she says. "Further, since January 2006, new city-wide and Council-driven initiatives have impacted the library in several ways, and will continue to do so in the future."

More specifically, Abramovitch's visions is broken down into different categories: Focusing on the public perspective, Abramovitch says the library should not just aspire to stay relevant to the lives of CSL residents. " It must be crucial to their existence - the first place they go to learn, relax, meet friends and discover culture," she says. "Every Côte Saint-Lucer should be an active member of the library. This is far from the case now. If some residents don't know about it, then it must become a priority to inform them. If they can't make it here, then we must go to them and eliminate as many barriers as possible.

"Over the past few years, patrons have felt that the library has declined for a variety of reasons, and it lost some CSL membership. The perception should be not only that they have 'their' library back, but that it has never been better. The library's leadership has to be highly visible and interactive, not just within the community but also in the professional world. The library should have the reputation of employing star performers at all levels who provide outstanding service and who are highly dynamic. It should be constantly improving and be perceived as doing so. Some highlights of Abramovitch's primary goals for her three-year plan include:

  • Establish new Library (physical space, virtual space, organigramme, strategic plan, work-flow systems, marketing plan).
  • Streamline and rationalize all operations.
  • Increase Côte Saint-Luc membership of library to at least 15,000 from 10,000.
  • Increase per capita circulation figures from 16.8 items per head per year to 33.6 items per head per year.
  • Establish Community Outreach and Volunteer Programs.
  • Create multi-level partnerships (local, provincial, national; professional, cultural, sociological).
  • Establish Teen and Family services, spaces, and programs.
  • Obtain grants.

As Abramovitch explains, the action plan must be viewed as layers being built upon layers. Once the first one is set up it should continue to function smoothly while more are added.

Abramovitch's immediate goal is for CSL residents to be reassured that the change in leadership is positive for the Library, and that it will benefit them, pretty much immediately.

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Côte Saint-Luc has adopted a new by-law

CÔTE SAINT-LUC, MAY 8, 2006 - In an effort to preserve the character of its neighbourhoods , the City of Côte Saint-Luc has adopted a new by-law governing the total or substantial demolition of immovables.

No such demolition can occur before a certificate of authorization is issued by city council. All such certificate requests must be submitted by the owner of the building to be demolished, or by his/her duly authorized representative to the city's Urban Planning Department. A preliminary program must be presented, which includes without limitation designs, plans and /or other documents necessary to establish the conformity of the said program with all applicable by-laws.

In the case of a demolition request for a substantial part of a building, plans and appropriate calculations must be submitted in order to determine the percentage of the exterior wall area and the roof to be demolished, in relation to the total exterior wall area and the total roof area of the said building.. The measures to be taken for the relocation of tenants or the date the building was vacated, if necessary. The reasons justifying the request, a preliminary program for reutilization of the demolished area and the work schedule of the demolition and reconstruction work (if necessary) must also be stated.

Once a demolition request is formally received by the Urban Planning Department, it will be forwarded to the Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) chaired by Councillor Allan J. Levine, which will subsequently make a recommendation to city council. The PAC will consider the state of the building mentioned in the request, the deterioration of the architectural appearance, aesthetic character or quality of life of the neighbouring area, the cost of restoration, the projected use of the area to be demolished and when the building includes one or more apartments, the prejudice caused to the tenants.

A sign that is easily visible for passers-by must be affixed to the building in question, once council has received a certificate of authorization for demolition request and the PACs recommendation. Where the building includes one or more apartments, the applicant must submit, by registered or certified mail, a notice to each tenant in the building and submit proof thereof to council at least 10 days before the meeting during which the applicant's request will be studied. 

City council will rule on each demolition request in public. The decision will be rendered verbally and followed up within a reasonable delay by a written decision setting out the justification and sent to all interested parties. Council may impose any condition related to the demolition of the building or the reutilization of the demolished area. It can, for a justifiable reason, modify the delay, provided that a request is made before the expiry date of the delay.

In addition to a fine, whomever proceeds with the demolition of a building without a certificate of authorization shall be forced to restore the immovable so demolished to its former condition. If that does not occur, council has the option of carrying out the work itself and recovering the costs from the offender.

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Côte Saint-Luc names Stephane Kallos as Director of the city's volunteer Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

COTE SAINT-LUC, March 22, 2006 - Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather and Councillor Glenn J. Nashen (Public Safety) are pleased to announce the appointment of Stephane Kallos as Director of the city's Volunteer Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

Mr. Kallos has been a volunteer officer with EMS for several years with substantial emergency pre-hospital care experience. He has spent the last eight years as an instructor in pre-hospital trauma life support educating civilian and military trauma care instructors across Canada. In addition, he has trained first-responders in the corporate and industrial sectors as well as firefighters and others in remote villages in Northern Quebec.

Mayor Housefather congratulated Mr. Kallos on accepting this new position. "Stéphane brings years of important skills and experience to EMS," said Mayor Housefather. "He will be collaborating closely with our new council, in particular with Councillor Nashen to reinvigorate the volunteer organization." "The long-term continuity of our volunteer EMS first-responders answering the most critical emergencies is priority 1," Nashen said, referring to the city's three-year window of opportunity to have priority 1 emergency medical calls remain a CSL responsibility rather than being handed over to the fire department. "Stéphane will assist the council in safeguarding all levels of EMS," Nashen said.

Nashen also indicated that Kallos will help re-launch a CPR Training Program and set up a new Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Program and prepare a new set of volunteers ready to assist in disaster. Kallos holds eight EMS-related teaching certifications. Kallos will also oversee CSL's Emergency Dispatch & Communications Centre.
 
"Our volunteer EMS is an extraordinary organization that has grown with the community since the mid 60s," said Nashen, who has chaired the Emergency Services Committee since 1990. "Our volunteers are highly skilled and tremendously dedicated. Stéphane will help bring them to a new level of professional excellence," added Nashen.
 
Housefather also commended Councillor Nashen for stepping in as Interim Director of EMS since the resignation of the previous director.
 
About CSL EMS

Côte Saint-Luc's unique volunteer Emergency Medical Services began in the mid 60s under the Emergency Measures Organization banner. Originally formed as a civil protection volunteer corps the group formed a First Responder service in the late 70s and began responding to medical emergencies along with private and police ambulances and the CSL fire department. Since 1982, CSL EMS has been a partner with Urgences Santé in responding to all medical emergencies in the City. As well, they will come to the scene of road accidents, fires and other emergencies and work in partnership with other responders. CSL EMS is the only municipal volunteer First Responder service in the Montreal region.

Residents can inquire about joining or supporting EMS by calling the director at 485-6952. For emergency calls, residents should always dial 9-1-1.

About the Emergency Services Committee
 
The Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Services Committee was established by Council in 1990 and serves as an oversight body providing community vision for local services including Public Security, Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Communications & Dispatch and local policing, Fire Prevention and Disaster Preparedness.  

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Youth take leadership in Israel's Independence Day Celebration

Montreal - Montreal's Jewish community will be celebrating 58 years of Israel's Independence on Wednesday, May 3, 2006 at Pierre Elliot Trudeau Park in Côte Saint-Luc. Employing a "for the children by the children" attitude, this year's Yom Ha'atzmaut Celebration is being lead by an enthusiastic group of Jewish day school students working in close collaboration with their schools and with FEDERATION CJA.

"I am so happy to have the opportunity to help organize this special event in our community. We are all excited to plan for it in our schools in preparation for Yom Ha'atzmaut," said one student committee member. The 2006 Israel's Independence Day Celebration marks a fresh rethink of the annual event to maximize the involvement of youth. While past observances traditionally took the form of a downtown rally, this year, event Co-Chairs Brenda Gewurz and Gary Lackstein have listened to the needs of the Jewish day schools. In addition to changing the event location to the more accessible Côte Saint-Luc area, the celebration will also have an earlier start, in order to allow schools to continue their Yom Ha'atzmaut celebrations in the classroom. The schools and students have been actively involved with all aspects of the event, including the day's programming.

Although the spirit of the event is largely directed towards its young participants, everyone is encouraged to come out and celebrate Jewish identity and education, pride for the state of Israel and community involvement. The event will start at Cavendish Mall (at the back of the parking lot on Kildare Road) at 9:45 a.m. Participants will then march together to Trudeau Park to officially kick off festivities at 10:30 a.m., with popular Jewish spiritual singers, Stotland Yard, leading the way with high-spirited singing and dancing.

The committee would like to thank the newly reconstituted Côte Saint-Luc city council for its cooperation.
 

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Cote Saint-Luc appeals agglomeration council budget

COTE SAINT-LUC APPEALS AGGLOMERATION COUNCIL BUDGET; AT LEAST $105 MILLION UNJUSTLY ATTRIBUTED TO AGGLO BUDGET

COTE SAINT-LUC, FEBRUARY 20, 2006
- As is its right under Article 115 of Bill 75, Côte Saint-Luc City Council will be adopting resolutions tonight (8 p.m) at 5801 Cavendish Boulevard to oppose two by-laws related to the recent budget imposed on the Agglomeration Council by the City of Montreal. One of these by-laws, the Règlement sur le partage des dépenses mixtes, contravenes article 69 of Québec's Bill 75, while the other, the Règlement sur les taxes, is imprecise and grants an inordinate discretion to the Montreal administration.

Earlier today detailed studies were released which demonstrated that Agglomeration taxes are at least $105 million above what they should have been. This has led to a tax increase of an average of 14 percent in Cote Saint-Luc's residential sector.

"Our local budget was a responsible one," states Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather. "The vast majority of the unreasonably high residential tax increases experienced by Côte Saint-Luc and most other demerging municipalities were caused by a residential rate charged by the agglomeration which was far too high.

The City of Montreal is trying to charge the agglomeration for many items, which should be in Montreal's local budget. It is also imposing cost sharing formulas, which make us pay far too high a share of agglomeration expenses and arbitrarily assigning unjust tax rates. The Government of Quebec provided us the right to appeal certain matters to the Minister all 15 demerged municipalities are doing exactly that."

Mayor Housefather notes that the municipaliti are asking the Government of Quebec for structural changes to how the agglomeration works. "While Montreal acted unfairly in the preparation and imposition of the agglomeration budget, the Government of Quebec gave them the tools to do so through the laws and decrees they adopted related to the agglomeration," he said. "Now that the Minister can see how Montreal abused the powers which she gave them she needs to act. We need structural change so that we as taxpayers can not be taken advantage of by being made to pay too much for regional services."
 
Mayor Housefather called on concerned citizens to follow the lead of individuals such as Cote Saint-Luc resident Michael Lifshitz and let their voices be heard.
 
Mr. Lifshitz launched an online petition last week which has become a rally cry for all of the demerged municipalities. In seven days, more than 2,000 people have signed on. Paper copies, in French and English, are also available for people to sign at the respective city and town halls. "I would like to personally thank and congratulate Michael Lifshitz for his efforts and encourage all other residents of the 15 municipalities to contact the Premier, Minister of Municipal Affairs and their own MNA," said the mayor.
 
"As a result of the new Montreal budget, Mayor Gérald Tremblay has managed to keep his promise not to increase taxes by shifting that tax burden on to the residents of the demerging municipalities," says Mr. Lifshitz. " Obviously, this is not fair. When the Agglomeration Council was established, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Nathalie Normandeau, promised the demerging Municipalities that if they felt they were not being treated fairly, they could oppose what was adopted by the agglomeration and she would make a fair decision on the issue. It is time to hold her to that promise. It is important that our elected representatives know that this situation is unacceptable and we expect them to fix it. The online petition can be accessed at
http://www.petitiononline.com/ImpotTax/petition.html . This is an updated bilingual version of the original petition which can still be  accessed at http://www.petitiononline.com/DemAgglo/petition.html which has already recorded 2,280 signatures. Mr. Lifshitz reports that the petition has already made its way to Snowbirds in Florida. Those who sign on are being urged to pass it on to as many people living in these municipalities as possible. "As signatures accumulate, I will be writing to all MNAs representing residents in these municipalities, as well as Premier Jean Charest and the Minister of Municipal Affairs to show them the results of the petition," he says. " For those of you who believe there is no point on signing the petition as nothing will change, let me ask you this - what will change if you do nothing?"

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2006 Budget Adoption

COTE SAINT-LUC, DECEMBER 19, 2005-In the six weeks since being sworn into office, members of the reconstituted city council of Côte Saint-Luc have worked overtime to prepare a budget which will allow core services to be returned to pre-merger levels.
 
On December 19, the council adopted a balanced budget of 29,975,594 million for 2006. There were numerous variables in the construction of Cote Saint-Luc's first city budget in five years. Important information was missing which needed to be reconstructed or negotiated with the Quebec government, the Transition Committee and the City of Montreal. The constantly changing information led to marathon council meetings which sought to put monies into local services, but to limit the tax impact on residents. As a result of the substantial increase in labour costs since the mergers, the increase in the cost of water, the 9.1 percent increase in Cote Saint-Luc's evaluations and the one time transition costs, a tax increase was inevitable in 2006. However council's goal was to keep it manageable while taking steps to limit the need for major increases in coming years. Finally, with great effort the budget projects a tax increase of approximately 9.46 percent based on an assumed agglomeration rate of 73 cents for residential. This is substantially less than what is anticipated in most other reconstituting communities. Mayor Anthony Housefather lauded the efforts of his eight city councilors, notably Dida Berku who assumes responsibility for the finance portfolio. "Dida has put in an enormous amount of hours working with Council and our new finance department staff these past few weeks and all of the taxpayers of Côte Saint-Luc owe her much gratitude," he remarked. "This is Cote Saint-Luc's first true budget since the one adopted in December 2000 and everything had to be put together from almost scratch. For the first time since the mergers I now actually feel that I have a handle on our finances and we have now regained control of the process which allows our city to be fiscally responsible. In fact, monies spent in CSL this year will go up by $1,664,669 million from 2005 to ensure services return to 2001 levels. Council took into consideration that we wanted to cut spending wherever possible, but we wanted to pump new funds into services to allow them to be first rate and better than we have known during the merger period."
 
A total $11,816,444 will go toward paying the salaries and benefits for Côte Saint-Luc's municipal employees. The second-largest expenditure, $5,080,000 million, will be put towards Côte Saint-Luc's debt, which includes more than $29,040,616 million going to Montreal and demerger costs, $792,559 million to the debt balance still owing from 2001.In reviewing the budget numbers prepared by civil servants during these past six weeks, council was able to make more than $2 million in cuts. However, every effort was made to allocate monies to have enhanced services. "We have made efforts to be creative through intermuncipal agreements with Hampstead dealing with the library, dispatch services and use of the snow dump," said Councillor Berku. "This will generate new revenues. We have maintained our state of the art library with the largest per capita expenditure on the island, increased our book buying budget $ 100,000 as compared to last year and eliminated the annual $5 membership fee for existing Côte Saint-Luc members.
 
"First class service is now being expanded to include water maintenance. For the first time we will have a contract to maintain and keep our water infrastructure in top condition. Furthermore over the next two years we will have completed diagnostics for long term investment. "If we want to move ahead and expand recycling we will have to be innovative in the field of service delivery. Now that we have solved the issue of public private partnership for the water system, we may look to creative ways to increase service in garbage and recycling. That will be next year's budget challenge. In the meantime we will start a pilot project for recycling in condos."
 
As predicted, notes Councillor Berku, the costs of running the city have increased substantially due to increased labour costs as a result of the merger of Côte Saint-Luc with Montreal and the turnover of personnel due to the breakup of the three cities. "The cost of transition will be paid over the next few years and the increased costs for water maintenance are going to bring positive tangible results for the residents," she said.

Mayor Housefather said he now anxiously awaits the Agglomeration Council's budget. "While we have a seat at this table, the City of Montreal controls 87 percent of the votes," he said. "We hope they will act responsibly andwork in cooperation with the reconstituting communities to prepare the budget. The agglomeration decree means that the residential rate which was set out in the original agglomeration budget of 78 cents should be at least five cents less."
 
Mayor Housefather stated that preparing the budget in such a short period was a major challenge. Côte Saint-Luc, in fact, had a more difficult challenge than any other demerged suburb. Not only is it demerging from Montreal, but it is also separating from a borough which included the reconstituted towns of Hampstead and Montreal West. "Virtually all of the municipalities had no turnover in staff," said Mayor Housefather. "They simply change the nameplate in front of their building from borough to city or town and their staff component remains in place. Our staff are still managing borough affairs. And we have incurred a severe staff turnover. Our new director of finance has only been in place for two weeks and several other key posts have yet to be filled."
 
Mayor Housefather said he looks forward to having a full 12 months in office to get Côte Saint-Luc in order. "In the brief period since being sworn in we have tried to be creative," he said. "We've entered into some revenue generating agreements with Hampstead, we have introduced a Privilege Card to allow use of our recreational facilities for CSL residents free of charge, we have drastically increased the book buying budget for the library, we have succeeded in getting a three year reprieve for EMS and we have used the budget exercise to introduce other new services such as a pilot recycling program for condos. In addition, there are many interesting projects on the table for 2006 and beyond."
 
City Council will formally adopt the tax rates at the next public meeting on Monday, January, 16, 2006 at 8 p.m.

 

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Côte Saint-Luc Tennis Club a gem

BY NOAH SIDEL - The Chronicle

I paid a visit to the Côte St. Luc tennis club on Saturday afternoon, and I must say it was a bit of a revelation for me.

I've been around West End sports for a long time and I've covered everything from hockey to figure skating to gymnastics to volleyball, but for some reason never tennis.

I was there to interview the club's Veteran's League championship team, including former club president and team co-captain Norm Yudin, amongst others. Yudin and company were extremely welcoming and the club's setup allows for an very intimate atmosphere. I'm an experienced enough journalist that I'm never shy going into a strange environment, but I can say that some places are more welcoming than others.

The CSL Tennis Club is one of those more welcoming places. As you walk into the club from its parking lot at the west end of Guelph, the design of the grounds — a former sewage treatment plant of all things — is warm in and of itself.

The courts wrap around a central chalet that looks like a short lighthouse, and there's a nice little picnic table area where people gather to chat and eat. On Saturday, they even had a barbecue and some beers going around in celebration of the Veteran's team.

What was most striking about the club at first glance was that everyone there seemed to be genuine friends with each other.

It was such a nice time, that while it usually takes me half an hour to get one of these stories wrapped up, I stuck around for almost two hours just to chat with the members.

Yudin was also very enthusiastic about drumming up some new blood for the club. While it has a very active membership, the club leans toward the older demographic. At $320 per summer, however, it seems very affordable for both young and older members alike. 

The season runs from April through October and more information can be found in the recreation section of the website.

Côte Saint-Luc launches month-long school-zone safety blitz

CÔTE SAINT-LUC, NOVEMBER 20, 2006 – The City of Côte Saint-Luc and the Montreal Police Department will launch a month-long school zone safety blitz on Wednesday, November 22.

Constables from Côte Saint-Luc Public Security together with officers from Neighbourhood Police Station 9 will patrol the school zones at every school in Côte Saint-Luc during the morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up. It will last until the week of December 25.

Public Security and police officers will enforce by-laws related to school zone and road safety, such as prohibitions against stopping or parking one's car in a crosswalk, double-parking, driving faster than 30 km/h and U-turns. In addition, motorists will be reminded they are obliged to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk.

"The goal of this month-long blitz is to make drivers and parents more aware of the school zone by-laws, which exist to protect our children," said Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, who is responsible for public safety. "There will be zero-tolerance for any violations to these safety rules. School zone safety is a year-round concern."

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For more information, contact: Darryl Levine, 514-485-8905,
dlevine@cote-saint-luc.qc.ca

Little Corner Café offers fresh foods and a choice to the Bernard Lang Civic Centre

CÔTE SAINT-LUC, NOVEMBER 17, 2006 – The Little Corner Café was launched last month at the Bernard Lang Civic Centre (5851 Cavendish Blvd.) in Côte Saint-Luc.

The Little Corner Café is a privately-owned business. It sells coffees, lattés, espresso, teas, muffins, cookies and a large selection of kosher products. It also offers daily breakfast and lunch specials.

"We think the café fulfills a need for residents who visit the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library and City Hall," Mayor Anthony Housefather said. "We wish it great success."

Jean-Marc Rubio, the owner of the Little Corner Café, is encouraged by the response from residents.

"People tell us every day that they are excited to have a place to have breakfast or lunch so close to the library," Rubio said. "Our coffee is fantastic and all our food is made fresh every day."

The Little Corner Café offers seniors and students a 10 percent discount on breakfast and lunch combos. It is open weekdays from 8am to 10pm and weekends from 10am to 8pm. Call 514-488-6247 for details.

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For more information, contact: Darryl Levine, 514-485-8905,
dlevine@cote-saint-luc.qc.ca

New art exhibits at the public library in Côte Saint-Luc

CÔTE SAINT-LUC, NOVEMBER 15, 2006 – The City of Côte Saint-Luc presents "Ombres et lumière de l'Inde", photographs by Daniel Gauvin,
from November 9, 2006 to January 3, 2007 at the Eleanor London Côte
Saint-Luc Public Library (5851   Cavendish Blvd.).

Also, to be seen at the same time in the Main Gallery is "Schweitzer
in Seriation: 1991-2005", collages by John Schweitzer. This exhibition
runs from November 9 to December 10, 2006.

Eight series are featured in this fourteen-year survey of collages by
Montreal-based John A Schweitzer RCA, tracing his œuvre from the 1991
series, Sunt Lacrimæ Rerum, to the most recent Benjamin's Alphabet
(2005).

The exhibitions are on view daily between 10am and 10pm. Call
514-485-6900 for details.

"These exhibits enhance the reputation Côte Saint-Luc has earned as a
supporter of the arts," Mayor Anthony Housefather said. "We are
thrilled to have artists of the caliber of John Schweitzer and Daniel
Gauvin on display."

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For more information, contact: Mona Turner, 514-485-6926,
mturner@cote-saint-luc.qc.ca

Tennis pays tuition for CSL's Rath

BY MARK LIDBETTER - The Suburban

Côte St. Luc’s Zachary Rath learned to love tennis at an early age and has turned that commitment to a full scholarship at the NCAA level with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Rath, 20, is now in his junior year at the college and is majoring in management.

He was a GMAA champion for Bialik High School and was ranked as Canada’s top 18-and-under singles player.

After that, he turned his attention towards getting an education at a U.S. college through a tennis scholarship.

“The rules say you can apply to all you want but you can only visit five,” he said. “I had just returned from my fourth trip to a school when Georgia Tech contacted me. I made Georgia Tech my choice because of their reputation for excellence.”

With the school year wrapping up, he’ll be back in Côte St. Luc this summer, taking his post as tennis pro at the Côte St. Luc Tennis Club. Rath is a regular at the club, having spent most of his summers there since he was nine.

“My parents (Sidney and Beverly Rath) were members of the Côte St. Luc Tennis Club so I started playing at the age of nine,” Rath said. “It was about a year after that when I started competing in 10-and-under tournaments.”

By 13, Rath says he felt tennis could be a path he could pursue to higher levels of competition. Three years ago he made his debut with the Yellow Jackets.

“It was tough my first year, both academically and athletically, but you learn how to budget your time for everything.”

Now Rath is playing up the list of players and is partnered with sophomore Scott Blackmon. They are enjoying success in doubles competition.

“We play so well together,” he said. “We’ll be even better next season.”

Rath is a power-serving player who has improved his ground strokes and is looking to become more aggressive on the court.

“I don’t have any big holes in my game,” he said. “I need to work on a couple of things to improve my overall game.”

Rath attributes his improvement to the coaching he gets from Georgia Tech’s Kenny Thorne.

“He’s made a huge difference in my game,” he said.

Rath pays close attention to the drills and practice sessions he and his teammates go through not just to improve his skills but to use when he returns home for the summer.

“I love coming home in the summer and getting the chance to teach and compete back home.”

Once Rath graduates, he would like to take a crack at the pro tour.

“I want to try and see how I do in some pro events,” he said.

“I will always have my education to rely on once I get to experience playing as a pro.”