Platform and Accomplishments
It continues to be a privilege to serve as your councillor for CSL District 4. In meeting with you, I have heard your concerns. Thank you for your continued support and the confidence you have shown in me. My goal has been to continue to make improvements both in District 4 and the City of Cote Saint-Luc as a whole.
Parks and Infrastructure Initiatives
In District 4, since elected, I have worked to initiate major renovations to Schwartz and Fletcher Parks, and minor renovations to Earle Park to ensure our children have safe and dynamic places to play. This included adding new play structures, new splash pad equipment, a skate spot and a community garden in District 4. Work has recently begun toward the creation of a Nature Path / Dog Run just west of Schwartz Park that will be completed this fall. I thank the residents that gave their feedback for these projects at district meetings or placemaking sessions.
I am continuing to focus on improvements to the city’s infrastructure. Last year we saw major renovations to the Westminster Underpass including the replacement and extension of the railing and repairs to the retaining wall. This ensures safe passage for the pedestrians and hundreds of children that walk along the underpass each day. Last year we also installed a new pump at the Cote Saint-Luc Underpass by partnering with Montreal, so that all 3 underpasses in CSL have brand new pump stations to secure safe passage even during the worst of thunderstorms.
We have sleeved about 20% of the water pipes in Cote Saint-Luc and over 30% of the pipes in District 4 have either been sleeved or undergone cathodic protection. This adds up to 50 years to the life of a pipe. I also pushed for pressure-regulating chambers to insulate CSL pipes from irregular fluctuations in Montreal’s water pressure. In the last 5 years we have reduced the average number of watermain breaks by 58%, reducing the number of homes damaged by water.
In District 4, Cote Saint-Luc repaved the following streets: Kingsley, Cranbrooke, Magnolia, Luck and sections of Sunnybrooke and Wolseley. This year 1100m of sidewalks were replaced in CSL, with much of this being in District 4. We did a complete renovation of the traffic lights at Cote Saint-Luc Rd. & Westminster including adding sonar devices for those that are visually impaired. This was a first in Cote Saint-Luc and one of the first in the Province of Quebec. We added a crossing guard at CSL Rd & Westminster during key hours to help seniors cross safely.
Over the next four years, my goals include to repave more roads and reline or protect more pipes in the district and in all of Cote Saint-Luc. You will see more extensive work on Côte Saint-Luc’s system of water and sewer pipes in the next year.
On the environmental front, we continue to produce large annual increases in waste that is diverted from landfill through the brown and blue bin programs, household hazardous and bulky waste. From 2007 to 2016, the amount of garbage going to landfill from Côte Saint-Luc has decreased by 33 percent while the amount of waste diverted has more than tripled.
In 2007, the organic waste pilot project that I planned and initiated began in Cote Saint-Luc. A year later, Cote Saint-Luc was the first city on the Island and one of the first in the province to adopt a Brown Bin Organic Waste Collection for all single-family homes and duplexes. We presented the program at the National Assembly and have assisted many other cities to use our program as a turnkey model. Since first elected, I pressed to expand recycling to all apartment buildings, offer bulky waste collection, more household hazardous and e-waste drop-off opportunities, and have held zero-waste events.
In the last few years, Cote Saint-Luc has installed Geothermal heating for the ACC, replaced the bunker oil boiler for the outdoor pool with a cheaper, more environmentally friendly natural gas heating system. I have organized meetings with Hydro-Quebec to save money for Cote Saint-Luc on our energy costs and I’m continuing to work on energy and cost-saving measures, such as switching more lights to LEDs. I lobbied successfully for the purchase of electric vehicles and installation of charging stations with more coming soon. I initiated legislation that was successfully adopted for new multi-family apartment buildings to have a triple chute system for garbage, recycling and organic waste. This was another first on the Island of Montreal.
Moving forward, I will continue to work hard for Cote Saint-Luc to be a leader in environmental initiatives. Some of the ideas I will push for include: requirements for all new developments to have green or white roofs and grey water recycling for water runoff, banning wood-burning fireplaces for new homes and black bins for garbage in varying sizes where residents are taxed based on the size of the bin.
I am very happy to hear the results of the recent Meadowbrook court case with Montreal and I will continue to do everything I can to ensure Meadowbrook remains a green space.
Local District Initiatives
In the district, I have also focused on adding new stop signs and traffic calming measures and several new beautification measures such as removing graffiti, new benches, public recycling bins and the clean-up of vacant lots. I also lobbied for Bell to enhance many of their utility boxes in CSL to camouflage them with the environment and prevent graffiti. I have also been pushing for more trees to be planted by the city to replace those felled because of the Emerald Ash Borer.
I thank those of you that have given me feedback and come to my regular district meetings. In the next four years, residents will see more traffic calming measures, trees, benches & waste bins in the district. I continue to regularly patrol the district and try to pro-actively alert the various city departments to issues before residents have to bring them up.
As a parent, I was extremely bothered by adults smoking in parks and playground areas and presented legislation to ban smoking in playgrounds, sports fields and at the outdoor pool. Cote Saint-Luc was one of the first cities in Canada to adopt this legislation in 2012. Finally 4 years later, the provincial government adopted similar legislation. In the next few years, you will see improved signage in playground areas reminding residents of the anti-smoking legislation.
I want to continue to ensure that Cote Saint-Luc is providing activities for children of all ages. Some of the initiatives I will be working on include offering an after-school homework program for children, more sessions for children and parents on anti-bullying, greater investment in smaller community parks, hiring of summer park monitors to organize activities for children, such as in Fletcher Park, and more outdoor skating rinks or skating paths in community parks.
Customer Service and Financial Initiatives
With regard to customer service, Cote Saint-Luc was the first city in Quebec to adopt an App / web site for the residents to signal non-emergency issues such as potholes or burnt-out street lights. We recently upgraded to the Voila App to further optimize the repair process. I am continuing to work with CSL staff to make sure that the software is optimized to improve the speed at which complaints are resolved.
On the financial side, my focus has been on improving services while keeping tax increases at a minimum. As the chair of the CSL Audit Committee, my goal has been to ensure spending is kept in check and along with other members of the committee, review all city expenses. In the last 4 years, the average tax increase has been 1.76% for single-family homes. This is roughly half of the neighbouring borough, CDN-NDG, which had an average increase of 3.20%.
I am also working to make the city of Cote Saint-Luc more e-friendly to allow residents to check their tax bills and permits on-line.
I have also been actively involved in the Placemaking and Emergency Preparedness committees and have co-chaired the following committees: Canada Day, Winter Carnival and Garage Sale.
I have worked tirelessly to meet your needs. On November 5th, I ask for your support to help me continue to serve the residents of District 4.