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West Island Blog Food Drive: What can I donate?

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West Islanders are coming together once again to lend a hand to the most vulnerable members of the community. Join the West Island Blog at Provigo Le Marché Kirkland for the annual Neighbours for Neighbours Food Drive on Saturday, November 7, 2020 from 9am to 4pm! All COVID-19 guidelines will be adhered to as safety is the number one priority.

Donating will be easier than ever – just place your bag of non-perishable items in the carts set up outside Provigo and volunteers will take it from there! There will also be containers for much-needed monetary donations where you can contribute by simply dropping in some spare change or bills. Financial donations allow food banks the flexibility of buying fresh perishables for their hampers or loading up on items they’re not getting enough of.

Unsure of what to bring to a food drive? Typically, items stored in your pantry that don’t require refrigeration, like dry and canned foods, are safe to donate as long as they have not reached their “sell by” date. Check out the list below for some ideas of what non-perishable items can be donated.

Most needed food and household items

Pasta
Pasta (canned or dry) and pasta sauces
Canned and frozen meats and fish
Canned meats and fish
Meat alternatives
Meat alternatives (peanut butter, soy, assorted nuts)
Canned goods
Canned goods (beans, soups, and stews)
Dairy
Dairy (shelf-stable, canned, and powdered milk)
Canned vegetables and fruit
Canned vegetables and fruit
Whole grain cereals
Whole grain cereals
Infant foods
Infant foods and baby formula
Bathroom tissue
Bathroom tissue and diapers
Personal hygiene products
Personal hygiene products
These are the food and household items most urgently needed by food banks per Food Banks Canada.

Whole grain foods like oatmeal, barley, high-fibre cereals or whole-grain pasta contain plenty of fibre and are an excellent source of minerals like magnesium and iron. Food banks with meal programs will use them in their kitchens to create fresh meals for their clients.

Baby cereals and jarred baby foods make good donations since roughly one third of Canadian food bank recipients are children.

Lean proteins from foods like canned tuna and chicken; plant proteins like peanut butter, beans, and lentils; or more complete proteins contained in other canned meats help in the maintenance of body tissue and contribute to a feeling of satiety. Nut butters are a favourite because they’re a versatile ingredient in snacks and meals.

Canned fruit is high in vitamin C and dietary fibre. Likewise, if they’re free of added salt and sugars, studies suggest that frozen and canned vegetables are often as good as fresh produce.

Milk alternatives like shelf-stable milk, powdered milk, almond milk, and rice milk from the grocery store shelf contain vitamin D, vitamin A, and, most importantly, calcium.

Rice particularly brown rice is preferred by many.

Money is by far the best donation you can make to your local food bank as it allows them the freedom to stock low inventory and high-demand items.

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What: West Island Blog’s Annual Neighbours for Neighbours Food Drive

Where: Provigo Le Marché Kirkland

16900, aut. Transcanada Kirkland, QC, Canada H9H 4M7

When: Saturday, November 7, 2020 from 9am to 4pm

Don’t forget to read 5 Easy Ways to Reduce your Daily Waste before your next grocery trip.

Treeazin pesticide applications for prolonged lengths of time – is this the answer?

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Tree Azin Beaconsfield EAB Emerald Ash Borer
Despite warnings by Health Canada not to leave TreeAzin applicator injectors unattended, some were detected in Beaconsfield in July.
By Rhonda Massad

In the early 1900’s there was the chestnut blight, an exotic pathogen that altered the hardwood forest forever. A few decades later Dutch elm disease, an exotic pathogen carried by the exotic bark beetle, terrorized majestic elms all across North America.

The emerald ash borer is making history as it wreaks havoc on ash trees across the country. Laval has 5000 public ash trees and claims the same amount in the private sector. It has already killed millions of ash trees in Ontario, Quebec and the United States, and poses a major economic and environmental threat to urban and forested areas of North America.

The period for action against the insidious insect is between October and April, when the insect is dormant. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) suggests moving the trees to an authorized disposal site during this period.

Some typical signs that an ash tree is infected with EAB is an increase in woodpecker activity, the tree canopy begins to die back in the upper third portion of the canopy and bark splitting.

To cut down a tree in most cities, a permit is required. The wood collection service is offered free by the City of Laval if the ash is contaminated, the whole must be accompanied by a proof provided by a contractor.

TreeAzin, a Class 4 pesticide determined by the Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency, is the most widely used product available in Canada, it is produced by the BioForest company from the extract of neem seeds a product of the neem tree.

TreeAzin is effective against a variety of insects that consume tree tissues, not only will EAB larvae be affected, other insects feeding on the treated tree.

“In my opinion the residue left behind from the injection of several hundred thousand trees in the Montreal region would not be significant to harm a human,” John Gasparetto, Business Development and Technical Specialist at Bio Forest explained, “testing has shown that to harm a human it would take up to two litres to cause any damage.”

According to Health Canada the toxicology database for NeemAzal Technical, the active ingredient in TreeAzin, did not undergo the usual amount of studies required for pesticide registration.

In the available studies it was determined that the health effects in animals given repeated oral doses of NeenAzal included effects on the blood, liver, thyroid and kidney. When given to pregnant animals there were irregular bone ossification as well as heart abnormalities. Effects were present in both mother and fetus.

Health Canada also states on it’s website that although the toxicology database was not complete before product registration, toxicology studies that were complete rendered the pesticide acceptable.

Felling a substantial portion of mature trees dramatically alters the appearance of neighborhoods and diminishes property values. Stormwater run-off increases. Shade decreases and air conditioners run longer.

In 2013, a study done for the U.S. government and published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine established a correlation between the presence of the emerald ash borer and an increase in deaths attributable to cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses. On average, the researchers witnessed 23.5 more deaths per 100,000 residents after the borer passed through a given area.

 

 

Tower of London remembers with more than 800,000 handcrafted poppies. Lest we forget.

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West Island News, West island Blog ,Rhonda Massad

By Simon Kent

 LONDON – One Canadian soldier. One poem. One sea of poppies lives on.

In May 1915, during the Second Battle of Ypres, Major John McCrae witnessed a friend fall in battle.

The Canadian military doctor and artillery commander was asked to conduct the funeral service. It is believed that after the burial, McCrae began writing his famous poem “In Flanders Fields.”

The piece lived on long after this son of Guelph, Ont. laid down his own life in combat less than three years later. It has been quoted, admired, reprinted, translated and parsed ever since.

Today, the sentiment of loss recalled by the humble poppy flower — and McCrae’s poem — is made real by a spectacular installation surrounding the historic Tower of London.

Come Tuesday — Nov. 11, Armistice Day — there will be 888,246 handmade, blood red ceramic poppies displayed. That’s one for every British and colonial soldier, sailor and airman who perished between July 28, 1914 and Nov. 11, 1918.

The interest has been nothing short of stunning.Poppies, West Island news, West Island, Rhonda Massad, West Island Blog

Upwards of four million people have already journeyed to the display. It carries the simple title: “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red.”

Last week, the Metropolitan Police asked that visitors postpone their trips because of the daily crush, but in a splendid display of British cussedness, people came anyway.

As they always would. To stand and stare in complete silence.

Each one keen to make this pilgrimage to what is, by any measure, an incredible public mixture of art and reverence for the departed.

The Tower of London poppy field is the result of an idea by British ceramic artist Paul Cummins, who has had a team working on the project since January.

Initially, it was thought that the display would be transient. After Nov. 11, it is scheduled to be broken down.

There is now a call for it to be permanent with a petition launched to that effect due to be presented to the House of Commons when 100,000 signatures are gathered.

London Mayor Boris Johnson is keen to keep the display.

“The poppy field at the Tower is a unique and poignant focus of remembrance in this centenary year,” Johnson told the Evening Standard.

“It has grown rapidly in popularity, to such an extent that it is now a global visitor attraction,” he added.

“I’m keen to explore whether we can keep the exhibition open for longer, to give as many people as possible the chance to see something so incredible, while easing the pressure on numbers.”

Of course, it’s not as if Canada has ever forgotten either the huge sacrifice this country made during the First World War or the contribution to the collective memory made by John McCrae’s simple words.

Institutions bearing his name include John McCrae Public School (in Guelph), the John McCrae Public School (part of the York Region District School Board in Markham) ,John McCrae Public School (in Scarborough) and the John McCrae Secondary School (part of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board in Barrhaven).

So much has been said, seen and written about “the war to end all wars,” it’s hard to fathom just why this simple public display above all else has sparked such veneration.

Perhaps, the field of poppies at the Tower of London taps the sense of loss represented by those who fell — not just in the First World War, but all who have made the supreme sacrifice since.

 

 

 

 

Beaconsfield Councillor not convinced on the long term impact of Tree Azin on the environment

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by Rhonda Massad

In their February, public council meeting the city of Beaconsfield voted to puchase more than $400,000 worth of Tree Azin, a class four bio-pesticide, to ward off the emerald ash borer (EAB) attack on ash trees. More than $220,000 of this expense will be applied to public ash trees while the remainder will be allocated to residents who wish to use the city to broker their deal for the pesticide application to their personal ash inventory.

“TreeAzin is effective against a variety of insects that consume tree tissues. In other words, not only will EAB larvae be affected, but probably all other insects feeding on the treated tree will also be affected,” Beaconsfield resident Fred J. Ablenas, PhD, Chemist and Biochemist explained in an earlier exhange, “the use of Treeazin could severely harm our songbirds, while the ash trees are going to die anyway.”

Beaconsfield Councillor Pierre Demers, the only nay vote on the council panel, was not comfortable with the scale of the pesticide application.

“I believe that our plan should be a combination of protecting and replenishing our canopy,” Demers told The Suburban in an interview. “The current plan is singularly focused on the chemical treatment of ash trees on a large scale with a heavy focus on convincing residents that treatment is the way to go.”

“I’m not yet convinced that there will not be any long term consequences to our environment with the use of a the Tree Azin bio-pesticide on the scale that is being proposed.”

According to Demers he does not think residents are fully aware that should they choose to treat their trees they will need to continue with the application of Tree Azin every two years for the life of their trees. That 5% of the EAB larvae will survive this treatment indicating that for the bio-pesticide to have any real benefit it would need to be applied to every single ash tree in Eastern Canada for a sufficiently long period of time (years) in order to interrupt the insect’s life cycle completely in our region.

“In other words everyone would need to get on board, both public & private, not only in Beaconsfield but in our neighboring cities and beyond,” he said.

A bylaw was put in place last October to force landowners of the 180 hectare Angell Woods (AW), recently designated for conservation as a nature park by the city of Montreal, to prepare a silviculture management plan for the estimated 20,000 ash trees that currently stand in the woods. The plan would include strategies for the treatment or felling of ash trees and for replacing them, due for submission to the city this spring. Failure to submit a plan would expose the landowners to a minimum fine of $750 plus expense. For a repeat offence, the fine is doubled and applied daily after that.

“Beaconsfield’s punitive ash tree bylaw has singled out the owners of private forests for special consideration of the law. We can only conclude that it is part of their ongoing effort to get the land for pennies on the dollar, “ land owner Diana Shamoon concluded in an email exchange, “Nevertheless, failure to abide by the treatment and felling laws will result in fines, not just to the AW landowners but to all Beaconsfield residents.”

According to Demers, based of the rate of infestation witnessed so far, it would be safe to say that the EAB will be found in Beaconsfield, including Angell Woods, within the next five years or sooner.

“Allowing the option to introduce thousands of liters of a bio-pesticide into what is continuously being referred to as a fragile and dying ecosystem is illogical to me,” Demers explained, “I think when it comes to the EAB and AW, we should let nature take its course. Over time, the ash trees will fall and will be replaced naturally by other species of trees, as seen historically with other species of trees like Dutch Elm.”

8925 individuals of the Southern West Island’s population live under the poverty line, TQSOI report shows

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“The Portrait is the first step to moving the community to a better place” Holmes states.

by Rhonda Massad

The Table de Quartier Sud de l’Ouest de l’île (TQSOI)  launched the long awaited Portrait of the Population of the Southern West Island report dispelling myths about wealth on the West Island.

“This is an exciting tool that has been an idea for years, and has been finally realized with this groups of volunteers via the TQSOI,” president of TQSOI, Healther Holmes told The Suburban, “with the hired coordinator through funds we were able to secure from Centraide, DSP and MESS ville de Montreal.”

Table de Quartier Sud de l’Ouest de lîle (TQSOI) is a non-profit organization uniting citizens and stakeholders from the community, including institutions, private sector, and politicians in an effort to increase the quality of life on the territory of the Southern West Island which includes seven municipalities: Senneville, Sante-Anne-de Bellevue, Baie d’Urfé, Beaconsfield, Kirkland, Pointe-Claire and Dorval.

According to the report written by Alena Ziuleva of TQSOI,  the West Island is one of the richest areas in the province the social development needs have not been properly recognized.  The data presented shows poverty is hidden all over the territory.  More than 8900 individuals live under the poverty line. More than 6200 residents live in the most severe social deprivation conditions. In Pointe-Claire, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and Dorval one out of three seniors live alone.

The portrait expresses concern for those who live in poverty and suffer from social exclusion indicating that limited public transit in such a vast territory causes a serious barrier to access food resources, services and programs especially for youth, seniors and others who rely on public transit.  More than 90% of the low-income population and almost 85% of the residents have little to no access to fresh fruits and vegetables, within 500 meters of their homes.

The report suggests an increase in social and affordable housing and accommodations for those with special needs to significantly improve the quality of life of the homeless or those at risk of being homeless.  High costs of housing rental deters youth from staying in the community resulting in local commerces having a difficult time attracting employees as the youth move on.

Another major concern outlined is citizens access to health care and social services.  According to the report this territory is characterized by one of the lowest umber of physicians in the Montreal region. More than 45% of West Islanders say they do not always seek help at their usual source of care for urgent problems.

“Simply put this portrait is the first step in moving our community into a better place,” Holmes explained, “we share this information, gather a common vision, create an action plan on how to improve, then move into implementation.”

More information and an e-copy of  the Portrait  can be found at www.tqsoi.org .

 

 

As luck would have it the Emerald Ash Borer will be munching on other trees not just Ash trees

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Emerald Ash Borer takes our Ash Trees

By Rhonda Massad

Repeated application of pesticides over 15 to 20 years can’t be good for the environment.

As cities across the West Island and pretty much everywhere prepared their 2015 budgets many have included an extra amount to be allocated to applying Tree Azin to protect trees against the Emerald Ash Borer that was believed to attack only Ash trees.  If that wasn’t a tragedy in itself, as it turns out the EAB is just as happy to munch on other trees as well.

It has been discovered that the EAB is not limited to feeding only on ash trees. The EAB has now adapted an appetite for whitefringe trees, and other close relatives to this species such as forsythia, privet and lilacs could be affected as well. The EAB does not affect species such as maples and hickory that are not related or similar to the ash – yet.

TreeAzin, a Class 4 pesticide determined by the Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency, is the most widely used product available in Canada, it is produced by the BioForest company from the extract of neem seeds a product of the neem tree. It works on the insect’s hormonal system, not on the digestive or nervous system and does not lead to development of resistance in future generations. TreeAzin is a systemic insecticide, therefore is not sprayed like some insecticides but injected directly into the sapwood.

The TreeAzin label quotes that it is toxic to aquatic organisms. It is also toxic to bee brood. The product is systemic and is transported upwards through the tree. Bees may be exposed to residues in floral pollen or nectar resulting from tree injections. Applications to hardwood trees must be made post bloom.

TreeAzin is effective against a variety of insects that consume tree tissues, not only will EAB larvae be affected, other insects feeding on the treated tree will be as well. Which means the trees that are treated with this pesticide will have no insects left for the birds to eat.  Our song birds will be forced to move on and it is damaging to bees.

According to Health Canada studies determined that the health effects in animals given repeated oral doses of NeenAzal included effects on the blood, liver, thyroid and kidney. When given to pregnant animals there were irregular bone ossification as well as heart abnormalities. Effects were present in both mother and fetus.

There are no long term studies on the impact of this relatively new pesticide and the residue left in the water supply, which is claimed to be minimal after one application.  My deepest concern is that after applying this insecticide to our a huge number of trees over the span of 15 to 20 year will have a devastating impact on our health in the future.  We do not have the answer but  repeated applications of pesticides can’t be good.  Government needs to take a different approach and cut their losses and replace the canopy instead of trying to save what is destined for extinction.
 

WIPCR’s Teresa Dellar found a void, filled it

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Ian Bos, Teresa Dellar, West Island Palliative Care Residence., Kirkland Teresa Dellar, TC Dellar, Brigitte GArceau
Teresa Dellar founder of West Island Palliative Care Residence throws a great Pyjama party

By Rhonda Massad

www.thesuburban.com

Dollard resident Teresa Dellar is the executive director and co-founder of the West Island Palliative Care Residence (WIPCR). She is grateful to have had her family’s support since 1998 when she started out on her journey to give dying patients a place to go in their final days on the West Island.

In 1998, Teresa was the oncology social worker at the Lakeshore General Hospital where she found that in the most important time of the patients life they could no longer be cared for at the hospital and the only palliative care available was down town Montreal away from loved ones and the community in which they had lived their lives.

“In order to take on something of this magnitude, the people that surround you need to believe in you, I needed the support of my family first and foremost,” Dellar told The Suburban in an interview. “I could not have done it without my husband Gavin Fernandes and my sons, who were young at the time. My parents were instrumental in assisting me with their care. Today my sons both work at the residence part-time.”

In an impromptu conversation with the residence’s honorary co-founder, then MNA for Neligan, Russell Williams, she told him of her idea to open a hospice for people who were dying. According to Teresa, Russell was instrumental in making things happen. He knew how to work effectively with the government, knew the language.

“By 1999 we were incorporated,” she said, “the community jumped on board right away. NOVA, the CLSC and the hospital became involved and the fundraising started almost immediately. This was truly a community effort.”

Teresa hopes to provide care to as many patients as possible in the future. The average cost for a palliative care bed is $165,000. The provincial government grants a subsidy of $68,000 per bed.

“I had to give up parts of my life to do this but I believe we have been put here to do something good,” she pondered, “I recently read somewhere that we should stop looking for a miracle for ourselves and look to make a miracle for others. There are so many people behind the residence, together we make miracles for those who need us.”

“Today we see patients coming in who are much sicker than they used to be, baby boomers are trying more treatments and studies that are available,” she explained, “Palliative care is not just about cancer it includes all life-limiting diseases like ALS and renal disease. Only 16-30 per cent of Canadians have access to palliative care. NOVA and CLSCs do their best with home care but the budgets keep getting slashed.”

“We have to do something about the provincial debt but health care is taking a big hit — this is not the direction we should be going with an aging population. Our needs are growing every single day.”

The West Island Palliative Care Residence is a non-profit institution, accredited by the Quebec government to provide palliative care health services. Opened in 2002 with nine beds, a 2012 expansion increased its capacity to 23 beds, making it the largest freestanding palliative care residence in Canada.

Beaconsfield council votes itself 39% salary hike

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Beaconsfield tax take goes up

by Rhonda Massad

At Beaconsfield’s regular public meeting on December 16, mayor and council notified taxpayers that they intend to increase their own salaries, early in the New Year. Pending a unanimous vote to approve the hike, the mayor’s salary will increase by 25%, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015, and councilors will receive a 39% increase.

They announced the increase to mixed reviews from residents who attended the December budget meeting. As reported last week in The Suburban, Beaconsfield’s portion of the city’s 2015 budget is projected to rise 4.73%.

The city has held the average Beaconsfield residential property tax bill rise to 1.25% next year, by dipping into its surplus from previous years.

According to Councilor Pierre Demers, much more is demanded from elected officials than a decade ago. Though Beaconsfield council has voted itself small increases in pay over the past several years, it’s last a substantial adjustment was in 2007.

“There is never a good time to ask for an increase,” Demers acknowledged during the council meeting. “The optics will never be good. This increase will bring us to the middle of the pack of cities with comparable populations.

Demers suggested that it would be sensible in future to adopt automatic increases based a formula on which would take into consideration factors such as inflation. That would spare councilors from recurring remuneration debates.

Mayor Georges Bourelle told residents that the council proposed the increase almost immediately after the election but wanted to give residents a chance to see what the new team could do, prior to voting itself a pay increase.

Resident Cynthia Aboud was unsure about the increase when she arrived at the meeting but after the presentation was comfortable with the increase.

“I think that council presented a well thought-out argument for the increase in remuneration. While the timing may not be optimal, as a Beaconsfield resident, I have no problem with the proposed increase” Aboud told The Suburban after the meeting.

While most residents who spoke during the budget meeting did not take issue with council’s need to increase its monthly allotment, most objected to the amount of the hike.

“Who gets a 39% increase in their paycheque? Certainly not me,” resident Nikki Hainault told the panel. “We have had a bad year and we are looking to another hard one coming up. This raise is out of proportion to what is realistic.”

Resident Ron Belair also termed the raise excessive.

“What have they really done to deserve this increase?” he asked. “Where were all these raise ideas when these candidates were running, 12 months ago? They knew the salary when they signed up. There was no mention of this increase in their campaign flyers. In fact, they all promised to keep taxes steady.”

“The raise is too much in a time of austerity, when everyone is trying to cut back,” Belair concluded.

Owners highlight holes in Angell Woods plan “Zero development deprives seniors, poor of housing”

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Trees

By Robert Frank
www.thesuburban.com

Suburbanites’ battle to save trees in their back yards ran square against demand for sustainable development during the past week, in urban planning hearings at Montreal city hall.

The two main owners of development land in Beaconsfield, Diana Shahmoon and Menashi Mashaal, expressed concern that the Montreal agglomeration council is engaging in greenfiscation: enacting environmental zoning regulations that would permit the city to expropriate their land without having to pay them what it is really worth.

Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourrelle fuelled their concerns by suggesting to both Shahmoon and Mashall that their land is only worth $1.

The owners reminded Bourelle that the municipal evaluation had been imposed retroactively by judges Robert P. Lanctôt and Denis Bisson. The court concluded in their 2012 ruling that the city “can’t have it’s cake and eat it”, judging that it wasn’t fair to tax their property as development land, since the city had, for years, blocked them from improving it.

Deux poids, deux mesures

In contrast, as The Suburban reported last week, the agglomeration voted two weeks ago to spend $4.2 million to acquire land one per cent the size of Angell Woods for green space adjacent to Montreal city hall. That price was four times its municipal assessment.

Shahmoon suggested that Beaconsfield has not been forthcoming with studies that it claims support its conclusion that the land there is “old-growth forest”.

“Three taxpayer-funded scenarios, each of which called for a mix of conservation and development, were suppressed by the city and never publicly circulated,” she said.

The Suburban visited Angell Woods last week, where most trees appeared to be fast-growing species of limited age. The observations supported claims that the green space is instead former farmland that had been left fallow.

A handful of older trees were vastly outnumbered by abandoned bags of excrement that had been left littering the woods by irresponsible dog owners.

Shahmoon asserted that the Association for the Protection of Angell Woods (APAW) is responsible for the desecration of the land.

“APAW, with Beaconsfield’s support, has for decades permitted and even encouraged hordes of trespassers and their dogs,” she complained. “Over the years, it has served to massively defile and degrade the woods.”

In his presentation, Mashaal reminded the city that its sustainable development plan calls for transit-oriented development within one kilometer of public transit hubs like the Beaurepaire commuter train stations. The agglomeration’s own map shows that zone comprises most of Angell Woods, if it adheres to its own rules.

He added that sustainable development is needed to offset Beaconsfield’s lack of lodging suited to seniors and the city’s social homogeneity.

“More diverse types and priced housing will respond to the needs of citizens from differing types of households, at different stages of life and having greater or lesser incomes,” Mashaal said.

Mashaal recalled that his Jewish grandfather came to Canada to make a new life, after Iraqi authorities stripped him of his property there.

“You can’t expect to place a public park on private land,” he told The Suburban.

 

 

Bob Benedetti remembers

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Former Beaconsfield Mayor Bob Benedetti

by Rhonda Massad

Flying officer Bob Benedetti signed up to the Canadian Air Force in 1956 at 19 years.  He was a licensed  pilote and wanted to fly more so it seemed like a perfect plan. What followed was two years of intense training starting out with a group of 260 potential Air Force Pilotes with a final 30 that made it the whole way through training.

In 1958, based in Marville, France, his squadron, trained to fly CF-100 all weather fighter jets, was one of the first to be deployed to Europe during the cold war.  The CF-100, designed to fight particularly at night, carried 58 rockets on board and eight 50 caliber machine guns. According to Benedetti, it was a big plane that was worth a cool $1.5 million in the late 1950s. The squadron’s was the largest peacetime show of force ever deployed with 300 planes and more than 10,000 airmen deployed over four bases west of the Iron Curtain.

“We would be nose to nose with the Russian bombers that would fly right up to the border,” Benedetti explained in an interview with The Suburban, “we would go up and stare back in a game of chicken. They would have crossed had we not been there. Our job was to keep them away from crossing into free democracy.”

“I was young and indestructible, we all were. I was happy to serve. I feel it made me a better Canadian,” he remembered,” before i was deployed, I would hear the national anthem sung at school and at the hockey games. After serving it meant so much more to me.  I became more patriotic. Service is good for young people.”

Today, former Beaconsfield Mayor is actively involved in the community. He is a member of the Train de l’ouest committee, a board member at West Island community resources centre and a member of the steering committee for the Concertation West Island.

 

 

Beaconsfield studies it’s waste management

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Beaconsfield studies waste management

by Rhonda Massad

As Montreal landfills reach capacity and the provincial government applies pressure, municipalities are being forced to address organic matter that will no longer be accepted in landfills. Strategies vary from city to city but all with the common theme of diverting organic materials to composting sites.

Beaconsfield has opened up discussions with residents in three open town hall style meetings this past month to offer suggestions and hear what people had to say.

According to Beaconsfield city councilor Roger Moss, municipalities across Quebec are obliged to present a waste reduction policy to the Provincial government by 2016.

Beaconsfield’s pilot project which will study residents’ waste management habits will cost $228,000, half of which comes from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. The goal is to form strategies to reduce the 370 kilograms of waste per person per year compared to Kirkland’s 265 kilos.

“We are in the study stage at this point,“ Moss told The Suburban in an interview, “but by 2016 municipalities are being obliged by the provincial government  to have their plans for waste reduction in place.”

“The pressure will be coming down from Quebec to all municipalities to reduce the garbage,” Moss explained, “there will be disincentives from the government as well, to encourage waste reduction.”

Dollard des Ormeaux and Kirkland have instituted a organic waste pick up as part of their efforts to reduce waste through their brown bin collection which takes care of waste that cannot be composted such as cooked table scraps. Pointe Claire instituted a green waste collection which represents a large portion of waste.

According to Beaconsfield’s director of public works Andrew Duffield all comments that have been received in the town hall meetings will be compiled and taken into consideration.

Under the pay as you throw pilot project citizens were encouraged to compost and were given targeted information to support them with their waste management.  The information from the pilot project was very encouraging to Duffield as residents managed to put out 33% less garbage based on weight. This means there was less organic waste in the garbage.

As far as Beaconsfield resident Linda Frate is concerned even though people will have good intentions not everyone will compost properly and the city runs the risk of rodent infestation.

“I am concerned as I am already seeing people throwing garbage in parks, this behavior will increase,” Frate worried, “ and even though we will have a separate bin for garbage, recycling and other waste, when i put my dogs poop in the garbage I won’t have a choice to take it out every week because it will smell. So I will pay more because I am a pet owner.”

“What happens to people on limited means who don’t necessarily compost well or a senior who does not want to go outside in January to compost, they will also have to pay more. I feel we are getting asked to do more and pay more. I feel hopeless,” Frate explained.

 

 

 

Beaconsfield EAB bylaw allows inspectors on private property

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EAB Tree Azin Injections in Ash Tree
Injection of Tree Azin in an ash tree

‘We don’t abuse the privilege,’

Director general Patrice Boileau

By Kevin Woodhouse
www.thesuburban.com

In order for the city of Beaconsfield to correctly assess the number of ash trees within its territory, the city’s new emerald ash borer (EAB) bylaw allows for inspectors to go onto homeowners’ property.

According to director general Patrice Boileau, “we have a responsibility to take the inventory of all ash trees and their dimensions. For the small minority of people who got back to us not wanting to go on their property, we would try to estimate the trees from the street.”

Resident Dennis Partington was one such citizen not interested in having inspectors in his yard. He wrote to Boileau expressing his concern and was informed that while “the idea of the program is to have everyone working in the same direction”, the director general noted that”if a resident is not interested in having the city to access their property, we will gracefully respect that. Our inspectors did receive the directive not to access a private property if that was the wish of the resident.”

“It is in the best interest for all if we are able to know how many ash trees we have within city limits,” Boileau told The Suburban.

Next up for the municipality will be to complete an inventory of all ash trees found within Angell Woods with the final numbers to come soon. At the beginning of September, Diana Shahmoon of Seda Holdings, one of the major property owners of Angell Woods, indicated via electronic-mail to Boileau that she “absolutely does not give Beaconsfield permission to enter my private property in Angell Woods.”

Boileau informed Shahmoon that, due to the provincial law, city inspectors have the right to count ash trees on her property and that failing to allow this procedure as “the owner is under the obligation to let him access his property, failing which a court order can by sought for by the town to force the access.”

In lieu of that, Boileau urged Shahmoon to allow the inspection.

Shahmoon told The Suburban via e-mail that “punitive nature of the bylaw is not appropriate and that the city combines that “with the coercive lengths of a court order to which the city apparently is prepared to go to private properties so they can compile their ash tree inventory. The combination seems to me to be such a severe over reach of municipal power that should scare to death every property owner in Beaconsfield.”

Meanwhile in Pointe Claire, the city announced through a press release, the only way the city communicates these days in lieu of interviews or press events, that they too are being proactive in combating EAB, noting that 500 trees on public land had been treated with TreeAzin.

 

West Island Blog community news

 

 

To treat or not to treat…the ash trees – The question facing every municipality

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By Rhonda Massad
www.thesuburban.com

The relentless emerald ash borer (EAB) insect has been found in several West Island communities. The struggle for every city and borough has been to develop a strategy to limit the devastating impact of the EAB that could wipe out all ash trees over the next ten years.

 

The strategies taken on by many cities include an inventory of public and private ash trees, which trees to cut down and which to treat with the pesticide TreeAzin which is not a cure but a preventative treatment that needs to be reapplied indefinitely.

TreeAzin is the most widely used product available in Canada, it is produced by the BioForest company from the extract of neem seeds. The neem tree, found in tropical and semi-tropical regions, produces a fruit and seeds that are the source of neem oil which can be found in many household products such as soaps and cosmetics.

According to the National Research Council of Canada, BioForest was launched by a small band of government forestry scientists after leaving their jobs with the Canadian Forest Service (CFS) in the mid-1990s, among them was Joe Meating, now president of BioForest.

Meating worked with a CFS research scientist who had been developing the promising new organic pesticide. BioForest ultimately signed a license agreement with Natural Resources Canada and CFS to register, market and sell the new pesticide, TreeAzin, along with its unique micro-injection method for applying the pesticide, the Ecojet System.

According Jason Gasparetto, technical specialist at BioForest, unlike chemical insecticides, it works on the insect’s hormonal system, not on the digestive or nervous system and does not lead to development of resistance in future generations. TreeAzin is a systemic insecticide, therefore is not sprayed like some insecticides but injected directly into the sapwood.

“In my opinion the residue left behind from the injection of several hundred thousand trees on the island of Montreal would not be significant to harm a human,” Gasparetto explained in an interview with The Suburban, “testing has shown that to harm a human it would take up to two liters to cause any damage.”

The TreeAzin label quotes that it is toxic to aquatic organisms. Toxic to bee brood. The product is systemic and is transported upwards through the tree. Bees may be exposed to residues in floral pollen and/or nectar resulting from tree injections. Applications to hardwood trees must be made post bloom.

According to Gasparetto this pesticide is deemed a class four or least harmful by the Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), responsible for pesticide regulation in Canada.

“The product was put through the ringer before being graded a class four which is the least harmful of the pesticides,” he continued,” but that is like saying you as a human are least harmful because you have never been charged with a crime, they are all horrible and this is the least horrible.”

To accentuate the difficult position municipalities are facing across the country, Serge Lussier, associate-director and academic adviser of the Farm Management and Technology Program at Macdonald Campus of McGill University weighed in during an email exchange with The Suburban.

“No solution is without risk or potential adverse effects but TreeAzin has been deemed by the PMRA to be a low risk pesticide when applied according to the label,” Lussier explained, “moreover, the only other solution currently available seems to be the widespread removal of the trees and their eventual replacement with other species, an unacceptable alternative as far as I am concerned.”

In 2013, a study done for the U.S. government and published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine established a correlation between the presence of the EAB and an increase in deaths attributable to cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses. On average, the researchers witnessed 23.5 more deaths per 100,000 residents after the borer passed through a given area.

 

 

Here is a link to The Health Canada website where the product is described as not having undergone the usual testing for pesticides and it’s impact on animal fetus

 

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pest/part/consultations/_prd2012-16/prd2012-16-eng.php#a4

 

 

West Island Blog community news

Emerald Ash Borer brings Beaconsfield residents out to city hall

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Emerald Ash Borer takes our Ash Trees

by Rhonda Massad

I attended the Emerald Ash Tree town hall meeting in Beaconsfield last night.  There was a short presentation about the deadly emerald ash borer that will wreak havoc on tree canopies across the country over the next few years.  It has already claimed millions of trees and dollars throughout North America.  It is a sad situation no matter how you look at it.

What is available to buy us some time is a class 4 pesticide called TreeAzin, not a cure and needs to be applied professionally over 14 to 20 years at $200.00  an application per tree every two years.

Pesticides in Canada are run through rigorous guidelines by the Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency, PMRA.  A class 4 pesticide is not as harmful as others but as stated by Mr. Meating, president of BioForest producer of TreeAzin, but still a pesticide.  Like myself and many other people Mr. Meating prefers to apply as little pesticide to his own land as possible.

“My grass and trees look awful,” he told me last night after the meeting,”I began my career testing pesticides because I wanted to make sure they were as harmless as possible. But all pesticides have a risk factor.”

My own personal preoccupation on this issue is there are no long-term studies on the impact of applying this pesticide repeatedly over the next 14 to 20 years or more to our ecosystem.  It has been determined that there is very little residue of this pesticide left in the leaves when they fall, but there is some –  which Mr. Meating agreed to when my question to council got redirected to him.

I wanted to hear from my city council, not really the man selling the pesticide, that they would apply the necessary pressure to higher levels of government to do an independent study and make sure this island wide pesticide application was not going to be something we were sorry about in 10 to 20 years.  My question was never answered by council.

That being said, I recognize municipalities have to do give residents a structure of guildlines to work with. Letting the ash trees die without action causes another issue.  Many health issues, such as respiratory illness and heat islands will result if all the trees go at once. That is not good news either.

I liked the suggestion of Mr. Meating who was chatting with a couple with more than 30 trees on their property.  He advised them to choose their best trees, treat those and over time replace the others with other tree species.  Seemed very reasonable to me – limit the amount of pesticide application, limit the amount of trees lost, maintain as much canopy as possible.  Not a bad suggestion for a really bad situation.

There is a bylaw in Beaconsfield being adopted next Monday, that will not allow us to cut down ash trees unless they are sick and issues a fine of $750.00 to the owner of any unreported sick trees.  This is too severe in my opnion.

I would ask council to reconsider allowing the people of this city to manage their own properties.  We are all upset about the loss of even one tree in this city.  Tree’s is one of the big reasons people choose to live in Beaconsfield.

I understand the city does not want people cutting trees willy nilly. That would not work either.  But maybe a compromise – allow those that have more than 5 trees to thin their stock and gradually replace what they have with something they can manage, when they can manage it. All within regulations outlined by the city.

 

 

West Island Blog community news

Rhonda’s West Island round-up

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By Rhonda Massad

www.thesuburban.com

 

The Slightly Incredible fundraiser

 

Pointe Claire resident Mike Vallée’s Slightly Incredible fundraiser went out in style! This was the fifth and final edition of the event, which raised $10,600 for West Island Community Shares and WIAIH.Slightly Incredible was first held in 2010 when Mike ran 10 kilometres, then played one hole of golf at 18 different courses to raise funds and awareness for West Island Community Shares.

 

In its final year, the format changed to a golf tournament at Beaconsfield Golf Club featuring a Whacky Putting Contest. In its five years of existence, Slightly Incredible raised close to $90,000 for West Island Community Shares.

 

Kirkland Family Day

 

Initial scheduled in June by cancelled due to inclement weather, the annual Kirkland Day bash was renamed Family Day and held on Sept. 5, at des Bénévoles Park.The festivities began at 3:30 p.m. and wound up with a fireworks display at 9 p.m.True to Kirkland’s ability to entertain in style the event was free of charge for inflatable slides and bouncers, corn roast, face painting, music and entertainment.

 

There was a fee for the BBQ and, of course the Beer tent.The weather gave everyone a bit of a scare when a storm ran through mid way through the festivities, but the weather gods were kind when all was clear for the end of day fireworks.

 

Sainte Anne de Bellevue Garlic Festival

 

The eighth annual Garlic Festival was a great success. This year it was bigger than ever.The annual garlic dessert competition proved to be tastier with this year’s champion Kate McGregor.

 

The winning dessert was in fact a garlic sundae, garlic ice cream with caramel sea salt topping and garlic sprinkles. Baie d’Urfé Mayor Maria Tutino was on hand to announce the contest winner.Mini seminars on how to grow great garlic at home, garlic in the kitchen cooking demos and tastings were among some of the spot lights of the festival. There was also a garlic braiding demonstration. To wind things up Lise Anne Briand was crowned the new Garlic Queen.

 

West Island Blog community news

First BRCA support group to open in Montreal

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by Rhonda Massad

www.thesububan.com

The first Montreal based BRCA support group has opened will open it’s doors and will meet once a month on Tuesdays, starting October 14, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the YM-YWHA on Westbury Ave in Montreal.  The group will  provide women who are at risk for hereditary breast or ovarian cancer or have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation an informal arena where they can exchange experiences and give peer support to one another.

Karen Malkin-Lazarovitz and Rachel Silva-Smith joined forces along with support from Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support, a national, not-for-profit organization, when they realized they could offer a much needed service to women exploring genetic testing, worried about a lump, waiting for test results or coming to terms with a diagnosis.

Malkin also has a parent with a gene mutation and tested positive in 2009 to carrying the mutated gene. Malkin, within a few months of diagnosis, had a double mastectomy and a full preventative hysterectomy to dramatically reduce her chance of getting cancer by almost 40%.

Having started a support Facebook page when diagnosed in 2005 with over 3,500 followers, Malkin is fully aware of the need for support during this often overwhelming experience.

“There is much to be said for the internet and the support group that has developed over the years,” Malkin explained to the Suburban in an interview,” but there is an aspect of “show and tell”  and just a simple need to speak to someone, that cannot be achieved online. One of the first things I did when I was diagnosed was seek out someone who had had the surgeries I was up for to see what it would look like.”

“This is not a decision to have a boob job. This is a decision to have an amputation and a decision you make while you are healthy,” she explained,”not everyone goes the route that I went. Some people choose to monitor more carefully through with increased screening or drug therapies such as tamoxifen.”

The support group will provide that provides free support, insight and information to anyone, including those at high risk and those affected by breast and hereditary cancer.  Additional information can be had by contacting the group at BRCA.chatmontreal@gmail.com .

 

West Island Blog community news

Quebec rejects Beaconsfield’s Angell Woods resolution

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By Robert Frank
www.thesuburban.com

The Suburban has learned that the province turned down Beaconsfield’s request to protect private land in Angell Woods from development under Quebec’s Sustainable Forest Development Act (SFDA), soon after the city sent it’s request to Quebec City.

“On April 28, Beaconsfield requested, via Resolution 2014-04-699, that the Quebec Natural Resources Ministry recognize a portion of Angell Woods as an exceptional forest ecosystem (EFE),” said assistant deputy minister Léopold Gaudreau in a July 18 letter to Diana Shahmoon, president of Seda Holdings—one of two firms that own most of the private land in Angell Woods.

“However, under SFDA, EFEs are only recognized if they are located on lands in the domain of the State, in other words, on public lands,” Gaudreau continued. “The legal provisions do not apply to private lands.”

According to Mayor Georges Bourelle, the city knew SFDA was limited to public land when it passed its resolution.

“We recognized that it had never before been authorized on private land but we tried it anyway,” he told The Suburban.

“We had hoped that maybe the [provincial] government would consider it, even though it was on private land,” he said in an interview, “but we were aware when we made the request that it had never been done on private land before, so it is not surprising that [the Quebec government] said what it said.”

“Basically we will see, now that the [Montreal agglomeration’s new] urban plan is being put together, what the next step will be,” Mayor Bourelle added. “We will wait for that.”

“I don’t know what provisions of the urban plan would affect Angell Woods,” he concluded. “We do know that it was identified as a forest of metropolitan interest within the Montreal metropolitan council for a long time. It goes way back.”

“The city’s behavior is incoherent,” Shahmoon said in an interview. “It makes a big deal about passing resolutions that it knows will not go anywhere. Then, when they go nowhere, it doesn’t inform the public. At the same time, they keep telling us that they want to negotiate with us [to purchase the land]—but no one has contacted us.”

SFDA, which came into force April 1, 2013, was Quebec’s effort to promote sustainable development by the province’s massive forestry industry, which has long harvested timber to turn into lumber for construction and pulp for Quebec’s paper industry.

Before last year’s municipal election, the previous city council proposed a plan that would have preserved at least 80 per cent of Angell Woods in perpetuity, while permitting a small-footprint, transit-oriented residential development beside the Woodland commuter train station.

The Montreal agglomeration supports transit-oriented development as an environment-friendly form of urban planning.

During the election campaign, Mayor Bourelle endorsed his predecessor’s plan.

“I would favor a partial maximum two-storey residential development of Angell Woods at the south end with proper by-law controls and negotiations with the private landowners that will ensure that 80 per cent of the Woods is kept as a preserve, as long as a traffic solution for Elm and Woodland crossing is conceived and/or negotiated and implemented by council before any development takes place,” Mayor Bourelle wrote in a pre-election online comment, Sept. 11, 2013.

 

 

West Island Blog community news

 

Baie d’Urfé resident wants report on styrene plant safety

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Styrochem
By Rhonda Massad

www.thesuburban.com

 

Jean-Pierre Themens has asked the Baie d’Urfé to disclose the results of its independent engineering assessment of the StyroChem plant in the town’s industrial park, about 200 metres from his home.StyroChem has been making expandable polystyrene (EPS) for food service, packaging, construction, casting and specialty applications in Baie d’Urfé since 1984. It has also operated in Fort Worth, Texas, for the past 38 years.Themens began to pose questions after several residents on his street, including his wife, were diagnosed with cancer.

 

“What are the results of the chemical analysis done on the samples taken from the chimney of the StyroChem factory?” Themens asked Mayor Maria Tutino during the Baie d’Urfé’s July 8 town council meeting.“Since scientists have proven that styrene is very carcinogenic to lab animals,” he observed.

 

According to Mayor Tutino, as soon as the results of the studies are in, they will be shared with the public.

“We take your comments very, very seriously,” she explained, “and we have acted on it. We will share the results with you very soon.”

Themens also expressed concern about a StyroChem request to double its styrene storage capacity. The town approved the request in principle, July 15, 2013, but left it until after last November’s municipal election for the next council to decide. The request is also subject to Canadian Pacific Railways and provincial government approval.

“We have not received a request for increased storage under this mandate,” Mayor Tutino explained. “We are still considering whether it poses a risk to our citizens. If it does we will consider other actions.”

StyroChem president Glenn Wredenhagen told The Suburban in an interview that the company adheres to very strict guidelines outlined by all levels of government and takes a serious interest in safety.Wredenhagen confirmed that the StyroChem plant has the capacity to house 96,000 gallons of styrene (in water-gallon equivalent) and up to eight railway tank cars on its Baie d’Urfé premises.

“Federal, provincial and local governments regulate anything that goes into the air, ground and water,” he explained, “we [also] have to adhere to the stringent regulations of our insurance company, which requires us to continuously upgrade to best practices.”

Wredenhagen went on to say that the fire department is very attentive to community safety and that StyroChem meets with firefighters whenever they want.

“At the request of Baie d’Urfé, we allowed a third-party engineering firm in to evaluate the plant and we got excellent reviews on that,” he said. “We welcomed the city council to come for a visit, several have, and we are open to solving all issues.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a tree frog.

Merger disillusion reshaping Montreal politics

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By Rhonda Massad

www.thesuburban.com

Ten years ago, 19 former Montreal suburbs bought into the bigger is better vision. Today, those same boroughs see smaller as better and are rushing toward the exit. In contrast, the 15 demerged municipalities have learned to work together in unison and gradually their voice is growing stronger.

After they left the mother ship and went back to acting on their own, they regained control of the basic services that are most important to residents such as snow-clearing, garbage collection, recycling, recreation programs, libraries and public security.

Meantime, some of the 19 merged municipalities are spinning away from Montreal in disappointment. The current proposal to change the proportion of funds that are allocated to the boroughs grates on some, because they see it as reneging on the promise that they would retain local autonomy.

Today, the association of suburban municipalities march firmly with Westmount Mayor Peter Trent acting as president and Baie d’Urfé mayor Maria Tutino acting as Vice President. The agglomeration council monthly meetings remain frustrating to the 15 demerged cities, since they pay a hefty bill and get little in return. With other cities threatening to demerge, however, their clout is rapidly increasing. They had to work hard to prove themselves to their constituents.

For example, earlier this year they proved their ability to opt out of Montreal’s proposal to handle the fight against the emerald ash borer centrally from downtown. The grass really is greener on the other side.

Forcing Montreal at long last to grapple with its systemic problems will ultimately benefit every resident of the island, demerged or not.

Angell Woods’ landowners speak out

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It is always important to hear both sides of the coin – Here is their letter to Your Local Journal newspaper:

We recognize that there are many differing perspectives on what has happened, and what still needs to happen, with Angell Woods. We would like to share some information that might help clarify our position.
The City of Beaconsfield maintains that they have been attempting to resolve this situation with us for years. This is only true if you believe that we should give up our rights to the land that we have paid taxes on as developable property for 60 years. 
In 2009, then Mayor Bob Benedetti offered to “buy” the land; however, he was offering no money, only tax credits. This was not a hard offer to decline.
During Mayor Pollack’s administration, the City relied on Montreal to step in to save all of the woods. Montreal did make offers to a number of owners, but only for pennies on the dollar. 
We have been told repeatedly by Mayor Georges Bourelle that Réal Menard, the individual responsible for preservation on the agglomeration executive council, will negotiate with us. However, as of this writing, we have never received any communication from Mr. Menard himself.
Before all of that, in 2011, some landowners visited officials in Montreal about finding a resolution in Angell Woods, and were told outright that those officials considered the devaluation of our property — the result of a Beaconsfield bylaw freezing all development on it – to be the legitimate value that they intended to use in order to acquire it for preservation. This is exactly what we are seeing today.
The City of Beaconsfield has claimed that it has been protecting our rights as landowners, and has tried to blame the public use of our land on APAW, the Association for the Protection Angell Woods. APAW could not do what it does without a compliant administration that willingly works hand in glove with them.
APAW has been deeply involved in the mayoral elections and holds special status in the City. The City has shared information and studies it has commissioned with APAW about our land that it refuses to share with the landowners. The City has also relied on APAW’s documents and studies, without offering us the opportunity to supply our own information. 
In permitting APAW to publish public trails in Angell Woods, and to sponsor events like the Angell Woods Appreciation Day, they promote public pressure for saving all of the woods, a clearly articulated APAW objective.
We recognize that the Mayor and his councillors are in a difficult bind: there is public pressure on them to preserve all of the woods, but they claim that there is simply not enough money to buy them. Consequently, some of the landowners believe that the only fair resolution in Angell Woods is one that allows for a mix of preservation and some tasteful and ecologically sensitive development. Such a resolution would recognize landowners’ rights to develop, satisfy the City’s desire to preserve ecologically valuable land, while easing the tax burden for residents, something that makes that very preservation possible. 
Our rights as landowners in Beaconsfield have been taken away for too long, but we are still willing to work with the City to find a resolution. We believe transparency is the best way to end this stalemate.

Sincerely,

Diana Shahmoon, Seda Holdings
New York
and
Menashi Mashall, Yale Properties
Montreal See More

Bourelle outlines spending on Angell Woods

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Perron: Cost could top $1.5 million

 

By Robert Frank

www.thesuburban.com

 

Mayor Georges Bourelle provided a breakdown of how much Beaconsfield has thus far spent it its bid to buy up land in Angell Woods, during the June 16 council meeting.

 

He read part of an itemized breakdown in reply to Beaconsfield resident Gilles Perron during question period.

 

“In 2007, we acquired a portion of land for $148,700,” responded Mayor Bourelle. “Later in 2007, we made another purchase worth about $200,000 and in 2008 we spent another $200,000 on an acquisition.”

 

“This year, we have made a series of smaller acquisitions, worth about $43,000, $18,000, $6,000, $5,000 and so forth,” he added.

 

Perron expressed concern that “to purchase about 25 per cent of Angell Woods the city has spent $750,000 and will possibly spend another $800,000.”

 

Wants other West Islanders to kick in money

 

He asked Bourelle to pass a resolution to ask neighbouring cities like Pointe Claire, Kirkland and Baie d’Urfe to contribute to the purchase the green space, which would be turned into a regional park.

 

“I will certainly ask and see what their reaction is,” promised Mayor Bourelle, “particularly to take the necessary initiative at [an upcoming] agglomeration council meeting.”

 

Last month, The Suburban reported that Beaconsfield had voted to add another $250,000 to its war chest to buy Angell Woods land from its current owners.

 

In addition to the earmarks for eventual property purchases, the city has forgone considerable tax revenue since it passed an interim bylaw that prevents owners from building on the land, which is zoned for development similar to the city’s leafy Beacon Hill district.

 

Beaconsfield has also had to pay for legal fees to defend its stance in court, which would bring the total cost to the city so far over $1 million, not counting the hundreds of thousands of dollars that it has already allocated to discretionary Angell Woods war chest for future acquisitions.

 

Councilor Pierre Demers, who voted against last month’s quarter-million dollar earmark, said that while campaigning door-to-door during last year’s municipal election campaign, the overwhelming majority citizens whom he met favoured preserving Angell Woods as green space but were unwilling to shoulder the eyewatering cost of buying the development land from its longtime owners.

 

The previous, Pollack city administration had favoured a compromise that would have saved at least 80 per cent of Angell Woods, with eco-friendly transit-oriented development limited to a small footprint surrounding the Woodland commuter station—a proposal that Mayor Bourelle endorsed during the election campaign.

Pointe Claire’s Lumen plans move to Laval

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By Rhonda Massad

www.thesuburban.com

 

Quebec’s largest distributor in electrical material is moving their head office and distribution centre to Laval with an investment of $100 million.

 

Currently located in Pointe Claire, Quebec, Lumen plans to build its new distribution centre on close to one million square feet of land. The structure will house an administration center of 80,000 sq. ft. and a warehouse of 305,000 sq. ft. The site also allows for possible expansion of 140,000 sq. ft.

 

Martin Fournier Lumen’s project manager explained in an interview with The Suburban that the main reason for moving out of Pointe Claire is a lack of space.

 

“We moved from St. Eustache to Pointe Claire in 2004, now we are moving to Laval simply because we could not find adequate space in Pointe Claire,” he explained, “we expect most of our 260 employees to remain with us through the move.”

 

Two parcels of land in Laval were merged together thanks to an association between developers and Loracon Cosoltec, at the junction of highways 13 and the 440. The construction is scheduled to begin immediately. Expected completion is April 2015.

 

According to Fournier operations will move at the end of summer 2015.

 

Lumen, a member of the Sonepar Group, the world’s largest privately-held electrical distributor, was established in 1962. It was acquired by Sonepar in 1984.

 

Today, Lumen has over 575 employees across Quebec, including a team of representatives and consultants specialized in a large range of fields, including automation, industrial wiring, lighting, tooling, occupational health and safety, e-commerce, communication networks, process control, and engine controls.

 

In Canada, Sonepar has over 1,800 employees.

 

Beaconsfield wants to protect Angell Woods

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One of the land owners says Bourelle “switched positions” on development

 

 

By Kevin Woodhouse

The city of Beaconsfield passed a resolution at its April council meeting seeking for two portions of land on Angell Woods to be protected by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment Ministry. 

Mayor Georges Bourelle told The Suburban that while the two areas the city are seeking protection are not grand in size, they are important ecosystems that include sugar maple groves, bitter nut hickory and red ash trees.

If the land is designated for safekeeping, the two portions of land “would be kept by the ministry of Resources so there would be no cost for taxpayers,” Bourelle said. 

The mayor sees the two parcels of land designated for protection the same concept “as heritage homes are protected for the community” from undue changes or renovations that must be approved first. 

Ultimately, the city would like “to protect all of the woods and the best option will be to come to an agreement with the owners and then acquire the land through the city of Montreal’s agglomeration council that sets aside a fund for acquiring green spaces throughout the island,” said Bourelle. 

In terms of development in Angell Woods, Bourelle said that “development is off the table and out of the discussion.” 

For Sarah Blustain and her mother Diana Shahmoon of Seda Holdings, a company that is one of the two main owners of the land, the latest move by the city to name the two portions of land to be protected, “we didn’t even know the action was going to be taken,” said Blustain. “We want to negotiate in a transparent way but we have to be able to get market value for the land.” 

The mayor’s decision to take development off of the table came as a surprise to Blustain who said she “knows that there is a popular will to preserve the land but the city cannot afford to due to financial constraints. Originally, the city was going to allow for some development in the southern part of the land, allowing the northern part to be preserved, but Bourelle switched his position on this.”

During the last municipal election campaign, Bourelle posted a response on social media to an article in another West Island publication about Angell Woods. In September 2013, Bourelle wrote publicly that “I would favour a partial maximum two-storey residential development of Angell Woods at the south end with proper by-law controls and negotiations with the private landowners that will ensure 80% of the Woods is kept as a preserve, as long as a traffic solution for Elm and Woodland crossing is conceived and/or negotiated and implemented by council before any development takes place. It is totally unrealistic and a cop out to expect the landowners and developers to come up with an acceptable alternative at the cost for the Woodland intersection. Instead we will end up with more lawsuits, legal costs and loss of potential revenue for the city.”

Bourelle also told The Suburban in the September 11th, 2013 edition, that “as far as I am concerned, a two-storey residential condo development such as has been proposed (the 80/20 split) , falls within my vision of acceptable densification in Beaconsfield.”

Menashi Mashaal of Yale Properties, the other main landowner, feels that throughout the last few years, “we have been left in the dark” as there have been no formal negotiations between the city and the company that owns roughly half of the 100-odd hectares in Angell Woods.

Because of the current interim bylaw imposed by the city a few years ago, the owners cannot develop the land nor can the city collect tax revenue from the landowners, Mashaal said that “because of the current case pending” he could not comment on what Yale Properties will do next.

Blustain believes that the city should develop some of Angell Woods as a “way for the city to afford the land. Is the city really trying to buy it?”

“Hopefully the city and the owners can come to an agreement,” said Bourelle. “But I’m not sure if they are willing sellers.”

 

 

SPCA West Division unofficially opened in Vaudreuil

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1514598_507022162741187_547502632_n.jpg The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) quietly opened the doors of its West Division unofficially last month. The SPCA new branch will offer much relief to its overburdened Montreal and Valleyfield divisions. According to chairman Pierre Bourbonnais, SPCA West will take animals that their owners surrender from anywhere they originate. “Unlike traditional shelters, we do not euthanize. We are a no-kill shelter,” he explained. “We are completely on our own,” he added. “Contrary to what most people think, we do not receive any government funding or help from other SPCA divisions,” Bourbonnais said. Once complete, the shelter will be able to house 125 cats and 25 dogs. “We moved more than 30 dogs this month and only received 33,” he said.

 

SPCA West is currently negotiating municipal animal control contracts with West Island and off-island cities from Dorval to Hudson. All those municipalities currently have arrangements with private firms to handle strays or lost animals according to Bourbonnais. SPCA West has proposal a much more far-ranging service to those municipalities. Its goal is to bid on as many contracts as possible, as the SPCA will shelter the animal for an agreed-upon days, after which time the animals become property of the SPCA and never euthanized. Though the doors are not officially open due to the fact that the building wasn’t quite ready, SPCA West is accepting furry friends for adoption. So far, demand has outstripped supply. Bourbonnais reported that, to date, more animals have gone out than have come in.

 

Under a new program in partnership with Safari pet stores, the SPCA provides cats to Safari stores for retail sale. The partnership policy permits people to return the pets if things don’t work out. Bourbonnais suggested that this process will decrease demand for kitty mills. He hoped that a future agreement will extend this arrangement to dogs as well. “This initiative is among the first of it’s kind,” he said. “It is like having shelters within the stores,” said Bourbonnais. He added that the official opening is slated for Spring 2014, after the winter thaw, as the celebration will take place outdoors in a nearby park. As with all SPCA shelters, all incoming dogs and cats are checked by a veterinarian, dewormed and spayed or neutered. More information is available on the SPCA West web site at www.spcaouest.ca or by visiting their new digs at 3658 Cité des Jeunes, Vaudreuil-Dorion [514] 566-5678.

Canadian Politician Criticize Central Bank-Supports Crypto backed Currency and Economy

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Maxime Bernier, former cabinet minister and the founder of the People’s Party of Canada, shows his support for Bitcoin as the federal election approaches.

Bernier, known also as Mad Max, is an outspoken politician who has voiced his criticism against vaccine mandates, mask mandates, and lockdowns in Canada.

On Tuesday last week, Bernier further made another claim. He tweeted that cryptocurrencies are indeed an innovative way to counter central banks’ actions which he alleged are destroying the economy.

“My people are asking if I support Bitcoin and cryptos. Of course, I do! I hate how central banks are destroying our money and economy.”

Bernier’s remarks come days before the federal election, which is scheduled on Monday. People’s Party currently holds no seat in parliament.

Right-wing politicians worldwide support the crypto idea, and some are designing campaigns and policies that include the role of Bitcoin.

Canada has paved the way to many crypto spaces that include crypto exchange-traded funds, which are yet to be approved in the US. However, prominent lawmakers including, Justin Trudeau, have remained silent regarding the role of cryptocurrencies in the country’s economy.

Stifel Analyst Forecast a NeoGames Stock Bounce Back

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NeoGames (NASDAQ: NGMS) stock is down by 10.65 percent over this month. The stock has also declined by 51 from its 52 weeks all- high in the market. However, one sell-side analyst believes that the shares of the iLottery provider can bounce back.

In a note to clients, Stifel analyst Steven Wieczynski targets a $71 price for NeoGames. That is near twice the $36 it closed on 17th September.

Wieczynski cites catalysts that include the possibility of more states considering approving internet lottery programs, for instance, Ohio. NeoGames is also targeting Connecticut and West Virginia.

NeoGames stock has been struggling since the company announced its second-quarter earnings. Some analysts attribute this fallout to the vague guidance offered by the operator.

Furthermore, Neogames stock was hit by Caesars Entertainment’s (NASDAQ: CZR) sellout of 6.12 million shares of the company. CZR inherited 24.5 percent of NeoGames via its $3.69 billion acquisition of William Hill.

Another factor the makes wieczynski give a positive rating of NeoGames stock is the company’s attempt to launch in other states outside Michigan.

“There is still significant growth ahead for NGM’s non-Michigan contracts. NGMS has done a tremendous job ramping penetration in New Hampshire and Virginia, with iLottery instants running 40 percent of total instant sales just 2.5 and 0.5 years, respectively.”

NeoGames is operational in four US states. It is also pursuing iLottery contracts in Alaska, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Connecticut, and Maryland. Outside the US, NeoGames provides iLottery services in Canada and some European countries.

New Orleans Casinos Revenue Decline in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

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In August, New Orleans casinos made less money this year compared to the same period last year. Revenue of the three riverboat casinos, the Harrah’s land-based resort, and the Fair Grounds tumbled from $32.2 million last year to $30.5 million this year.

Casinos in Southeast Louisiana began closing late in August as the powerful Hurricane Ida rolled toward the state. The storm sustained a speed of 150 mph when it slammed Louisiana at Port Fourchon, south of New Orleans, on 29th August. It became the fifth strongest hurricane in the history of the US.

On its path, the storm knocked down the powerline, destroyed homes and businesses, and killed dozen people as it plowed along the Gulf Coast, through mid-South and then East Coast states, including New Jersey and New York.

Casinos in South Louisiana closed before the Ida landed and stayed shuttered into early September. Harrah’s casino resort had a better position to win more than last August. The land-based commercial casino revenue jumped from $11.8 million last August to $13.7 million last month.

Though Harrah’s experienced a gain in revenue in August this year, other gaming properties in New Orleans reported a steep tumble. Amelia Belle, for instance, went from $2.4 percent in previous to $1.7 million last month. A 32.1 percent decline.

Caesars and WynnBET Seek Exposure in Indiana through a New Deal with Colts

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Indianapolis Colts are doubling down their efforts to be present in sports betting. The Indiana NFL team last week signed a deal with both WynnBET and Caesars Entertainment.

However, the deals are not similar. Caesars deal, the Las Vegas casino giant becomes the official casino partner and thus acquiring the naming rights at one entry gate and Lucas Oil Stadium lounge.

Caesars’ deal also extends the previous relationship with Colts. Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Indiana Grand Racing & Casino are Caesars gaming properties near Indianapolis that partnered with Colts.

Part of the Caesars deal also includes a free-to-play game sponsored by the sportsbook. Players are to predict the outcome of six games once per week. Lucky winners will be eligible for a grand prize and a trip to Caesars resort in Vegas.

WynnBET deal with Colts is also on naming at the NFL’s team official pre-game tailgate area. The online sportsbook operator also received branding rights for a section of an upstairs club section of the stadium.

Furthermore, the WynnBET deal also touches on the team’s broadcast and other media resources. The sportsbook betting app will be featured before the start of games and after the game on the Colts’ radio network. WynnBET will also sponsor the Colts’ podcast on its mobile app.

Caesars and Wynn’s partnership with Colts is all about exposure. The sportsbook operators are not only targetting the fans attending a game but seek to gain market all across Indiana.

Las Vegas Police Investigating two Incident of Carjacking on the Strip

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Nevada police are investigating a carjacking incident at Summerlin’s Red Rock Casino Resort Sap last week.

Last week, on Wednesday night, a silver sedan pulled up to an unnamed woman in a parking lot. An armed man alighted the car- and ordered the woman to hand over the keys for her 2021 Toyota Sienna.

The woman handed the keys, and the suspect fled in the car. The woman did not suffer any injury. The suspect is described as being in his 20s.

However, the vehicle was found abandoned forty minutes later. Police are still searching for the suspect.

The second incident in the same parking at Summerlin took place two weeks ago. On 2nd September, two different women were robbed and assaulted in different parking lots.

The woman alleged to have been approached by four suspects who took her purse, hit her on the side of the head, and stole her Mercedes.

The suspects are yet to be apprehended. According to the police report, the woman is in stable condition.

Nunavut Cancels Travel Bubble with Churchill, Man.

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The soaring numbers of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba has forced Nunavut’s chief public health officer to suspend the territory’s travel bubble with Churchill, Man.

Dr. Michael Patterson revealed all common area travel authorization letters are no longer valid in a Friday news release.

“Anyone currently in Churchill must receive authorization to return to Nunavut,” Patterson stated in the release.

He revealed Manitoba is experiencing new COVID-19 cases and he decided to close the travel bubble “due to the increased risk of exposure.”

The Manitoba administration reported 629 active cases in the province on Friday. The latest statistics also indicate a surge in hospitalizations with 72 people in hospital on Friday compared to 62 on Thursday.

The release said,

“All unvaccinated travellers who departed Churchill into Nunavut on or after Sept. 12 must quarantine immediately for 14 days from the day they entered the territory.”

Additionally, those who returned to Nunavut before Sept. 12 have to wear a mask and be on the lookout for symptoms.

Different rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers

The release also gave directions for travellers depending on their vaccination status

It stated that vaccinated travellers traveling with unvaccinated dependents could apply to enter the territory by emailing a vaccinated traveller declaration form to vaccineexemptions@gov.nu.ca.

Non-Nunavut locals must also give proof of vaccination.

For unvaccinated travellers, they must stay at a government of Nunavut quarantine site in southern Canada before coming back to Nunavut.

Those travellers can email a quarantine reservation request form to nuisolationreservation@nunavutcare.ca to schedule their stay.

The release revealed that isolation is free to those travelling to Nunavut, but that the administration is not responsible for travel costs associated with alterations to public health measures.

Sask. Couple Finishes Home on Wheels after Nine Months, Starts Adventure

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It is a dreamlike feeling, Shanny Kirby stated, right before closing the wooden door to the creamsicle-coloured 2002 Bluebird bus that she and Karlen Janvier spent nine months renovating.

Before the Saskatoon-based couple met, they wanted to travel in a renovated bus. When they met, and Janvier revealed he had the same dream, Kirby joked she only thought he was trying to flatter her.

It appears he was not.

The couple purchased a bus together on December 19. Just a day short of nine months, the two pulled out of their driveway and started toward their first destination on Saturday: the Fairy Creek blockade on Vancouver Island.

“There are people making a stand to support the … old-growth forest out there from being totally clear cut,” Kirby stated.

“So, [we’re] going to go out there and help support them however we can and then explore around the island a bit.”

Their initial plan had relied on the pandemic easing up before their planned departure in September. They hoped to go to the United States and South America. The soaring of COVID-19 cases in the pandemic’s fourth wave made them reconsider their plan.

Home on wheels

The bus is fitted with almost everything they want: a composting toilet, rooftop solar panels, and a shower at the back.

There are some small additions, the couple revealed, like canvasing off the sides for rainy days that have yet to be outfitted for the bus.

“We had a totally different plan in the beginning like it reached a point where the bus was almost building itself,” Kirby noted.

“The layout was different than we initially planned, but it’s just as you go you have to problem solve and just tackle each problem one-by-one and … I’m in love with the bus.”

Shanny decorated a section of the interior with colourful tiles, and Janvier made his mark with artful, wooden pieces on other parts of the walls.

Nevertheless, what matters the most is that they built it themselves.

“It’s just special because we’ve been in here the last couple nights [and] it’s like every time we roll up a curtain or turn on the water or open a cupboard drawer, start a fire, it’s like ‘We did all of this. We made that happen,'” Kirby stated.

“We built everything ourselves and that’s a really satisfying feeling.”

They revealed they’re not sure how long they’ll reside in the bus, now that the wheels are going round, however, the tentative answer is “as long as we want to.”

“My family doesn’t particularly love that answer,” Kirby laughed. “Maybe a year, maybe a couple of years, maybe only half a year, we don’t know.”

Ontario Woman Says Air Canada Allowed Her Child to Fly Internationally Unsupervised

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An Ontario woman claims Air Canada permitted her 11-year-old son to go on an international flight without supervision and fly home from Mexico City alone.

Toronto woman Monica Perez states her son, Sebastian, flew to Mexico City in June to pay a visit to his aunt for the summer holidays.

“My son went on vacation, going and returning on his own,” Perez revealed to CTV News Toronto on Sunday. “I paid $200 to have a guardian with him.”

According to Air Canada’s website, it is a must for children aged eight to 11 travelling alone, to fly with the airline’s unaccompanied minor service.

An Air Canada officer escorts the child to the gate and helps with boarding. The child is normally seated in the last three rows to be close to the cabin crew.

Sebastian was initially scheduled to fly home on Aug. 20, but Perez stated she used Air Canada’s free change option to push his flight to September 17.

She revealed that she was then contacted by Air Canada and informed Sebastian’s flight had been moved up to Sept. 14 because of a schedule change at the airline.

On Sept. 14, Perez stated Sebastian’s aunt drove him to the airport in Mexico City to fly back to Toronto.

“My sister checked him in and she was told by Air Canada they don’t have a guardian for him,” Perez revealed. “They said I didn’t pay the fee, but of course I paid the fee. I have the receipt.”

Perez, who was in Toronto, claims she was informed over the phone by an agent in Mexico City to call the Air Canada support line.

“I was on hold forever,” Perez noted.

While waiting on the support line, Perez stated the agent at the check-in counter told her sister that if Sebastian didn’t board the flight he would lose his ticket.

They were also informed that it could be days before there was room on the next available flight.

“My sister felt she didn’t have any choice but to let him go on his own,” Perez stated.

Perez said another family flying back to Toronto on the same flight, agreed to step in and assist Sebastian to get through security and to his gate.

Perez said,

“It’s the middle of the night and he’s at the busiest airport in Mexico.”

‘HE WAS FEELING LOST’

Perez revealed her son got on the plane and was seated in the middle of the almost 300-seater plane instead of near the cabin crew.

She stated her son could no longer see the family who assisted him to board the plane.

“He was feeling lost,” she noted. “I didn’t sleep all night thinking about it.”

Perez reveals that by the time she got through to Air Canada’s support line, Sebastian was already on the plane.

She claims she was informed by Air Canada that when the schedule change occurred on Sebastian’s booking “they forgot to attach the unaccompanied minor fee to the new flight.”

When the flight landed in Toronto, Perez stated that Sebastian got off the plane and made his way to customs.

“He did customs on his own,” she revealed. “They asked him lots of questions. They asked him how much money he has. He said he told them a couple of thousand dollars because he was thinking about his Xbox, clothes, iPad, and toys.”

Perez, who went to Toronto Pearson to pick up her son, stated an Air Canada agent brought him out to the arrivals area.

Perez claims she believes the customs agent must have notified Air Canada about Sebastian being alone.

“The lady came and the first thing she said is ‘I’m not supposed to be with him because you didn’t pay,'” she stated. “I lost it.”

A spokesperson for Air Canada noted they are concerned to hear about the event in a statement to CTV News Toronto.

“Air Canada is continuing to review what happened as this passenger should have travelled under unaccompanied minor service,” the spokesperson stated.

“Our customer relations team will be in direct contact with the family in the coming days.”

However, Perez reveals she has been in contact with Air Canada’s customer relations team multiple times since the event occurred.

Viewed by CTV News Toronto, e-mails to Perez show Air Canada offered her a $200 voucher for future travel.

“Respectfully, we consider this matter closed,” the e-mail from Air Canada on Sept. 17 notes. “Continuing to exchange emails will not change our position on providing a full refund.”

Perez reveals she doesn’t feel Air Canada is taking the situation seriously.

“Air Canada doesn’t understand my frustration,” she noted. “To them, it was a tiny little mistake but it was big to us.”

“I don’t want any credit, just a refund. I don’t want to fly with Air Canada anymore. I don’t care if I have to take three connecting flights with another airline. I just want my money back.”

Battle Ground Likely To Shift Balance Of Power During Election

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Polls are expected to close on Monday evening and then tallying begins. The outcomes of the poll will determine what party carries the day in B.C and whether the country will have a majority or minority government.

Jody Wilson-Raybould, Vancouver-Granville incumbent and one-time liberal cabinet minister, chose to stay out of the race, creating space for a fierce 3-way race between the NDP, Liberals and Conservatives.

Others taking part in this election include lawyer Kailin Che, conservative and self-declared climate activist Anjali Appadurai, NDP.

As has been the case in various other federal elections in the past, organizers announce winners even before votes in the west cost are counted. However, the race this year is cutting it quite close, so the rest of country is looking to B.C to know who hold the balancing cards.

If the People’s party shines, it might just be the spoiler in a number if the races, and possibly getting support from the conservative side of things.

In the mean time the Green party is hoping it will exceed its own expectations and grab a lions chunk of the progressive votes.

Canadians Head To The Polls

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The time that most Canadians had been waiting finally arrived. Votes have been cast and polls will close on the 20th of September.

Quebecers scheduled to vote should head down to the station indicated on their voter’s card sent to them and have ready their proof of identity and address. Longer waiting time is also expected because of COVID-19 protocols.

Those who have note received their voter’s card can register and download their proof of registration.

Polls will open at 9:30 am, and close at 9:30pm.

In a few hours, the leading candidates will be declared. Hoping to squeeze out luck from the last few hours of campaign, candidates in the boroughs spent time talking to voters.

The borough, formerly a Bloc Quebecoise stronghold, has been NDP turf for the last 11 years.

NDP’s Alexandre Boulerice, the last Quebecer on still out campaigning, spent the last few hours speaking to voters.

He noted that the last few hours are crucial for his campaign.

The Block is hoping to secure its riding, and decided that the youth would help get them there, a move that was reflected in its choice of 21-yeqrl old candidate for Rosemont-La Petite, Shophika Vaithyanathasarma.

The liberals are also hoping for a chunk of the borough and are hoping to add it to their Montréal fortress.