The City of Côte-Saint-Luc announced today that it has been certified as a monarch-friendly city by the David Suzuki Foundation.

In Quebec, the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge—Monarch-Friendly Community initiative was introduced thanks to a partnership between the David Suzuki Foundation and Espace pour la vie. The purpose of the initiative, intended exclusively for municipalities, is to implement concrete measures to restore and protect monarch habitat over the entire length of the butterfly’s migration corridor and to encourage people to get involved in its preservation.

To date, hundreds of mayors and municipal leaders in North America have pledged to help save the monarch. In Quebec, the initiative was launched in June 2017. Côte Saint-Luc is the 75th municipality in Quebec to be certified as a monarch-friendly city. It follows municipalities such as the cities of Montreal, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Pointe-Claire and the borough of Saint-Laurent. Participating municipalities must complete at least three actions from the U.S. National Wildlife Federation list of 24 actions for municipalities in the next year.

Côte Saint-Luc resident Myra Shuster will serve as a Monarch Ambassador to the David Suzuki Foundation. It was Ms. Shuster that suggested Côte Saint-Luc join the initiative to help save the monarch butterfly.

Côte Saint-Luc’s monarch initiative is supported by the City Council, which is poised to endorse a series of actions, including launching a public awareness campaign, collaborating with our local community gardens, increasing butterfly-friendly plantings on municipal properties, and encouraging residents to plant milkweed in their home gardens. Most importantly, the demonstration garden behind the library will be repurposed to focus on creating a monarch butterfly habitat. Janine West, Director of the Côte Saint-Luc Public Library, will spearhead the activities and include educational programming for youngsters as well as adults.

In addition to the commitments made by the municipality and the Côte Saint-Luc Public Library, Ms. Shuster will set up a committee to encourage citizens to participate in various actions to help restore the monarch’s habitat. The committee will network with other municipalities Monarch Ambassadors and committees to exchange ideas on best approaches and practices. Côte Saint-Luc hopes to create a Monarch highway or Butterflyway with neighbouring communities.

City Council will take the first steps towards certification by adopting a resolution at the July 12, 2021, City Council meeting confirming the City’s commitment to becoming a monarch-friendly city and outlining the number of steps it will take over the course of the year to achieve this.

To be certified, municipalities must commit to implementing at least three of the 24 monarch habitat protection measures proposed by the David Suzuki Foundation. One of the criteria for certification was to complete a commitment in the Demonstration Gardens and Other Activities category. To this end, Councillor Cohen was pleased to announce the planting of a true Monarch Oasis in the Library’s demonstration garden located in Ashkelon Gardens. Work on this butterfly garden, will begin this summer. Côte Saint-Luc is posed to complete 15 actions and not only will receive a silver designation but will also be recognized as a member of the National Wildlife Federation’s Circle of Leaders.

National Pollinator Week is taking place from June 21 to June 27. It is an annual event celebrated internationally in support of pollinator health.

The City is planning an information session for those wishing to learn more. If anyone is interested in attending the event or learning more on the effort to save the Monarch Butterfly, please contact Janine West at [email protected].

Quotations

“We are committed to preserving the environment for future generations. The certification goes hand in hand with our values of sustainable development. That’s why helping this declining migratory insect was so important to us. We are pleased to see that our citizens have initiated this project.”

— Mitchell Brownstein, Mayor of Côte Saint-Luc

“Municipalities play a crucial role in the conservation of the monarch and its habitat. They can take simple actions that have a positive impact on the species and other pollinators and educate their citizens about the importance of taking part in this conservation effort. We applaud the city of Côte Saint-Luc’s commitment to take concrete actions to protect monarchs and their habitat. We hope that Côte Saint-Luc and its citizens will inspire other municipalities to join this vast movement to protect this emblematic butterfly.”

— Julie Roy, Citizen Engagement Specialist at the David Suzuki Foundation