Archive for General

2021 Élection Fédéral / Federal Election 2021

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Interim President 2020

The WMA is pleased to announce that Mâitre Beryl Wajsman will be our interim president, effective immediately. We would like to think Antonio D’Amico for his service in this role following the departure of our previous president, Paul Marriott. An upcoming AGM will be announced shortly.

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Helen Rainville Olders Memorial Concert – 12 Jan 2020

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2019 Federal Election Meet The Candidates

Full details of this event, to be held on Sunday September 22nd at 19:00 in Victoria Hall, Westmount, will be available shortly.

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50 Things Wrong in Westmount Park

From Patrick Barnard, who compiled notes from Marilynn Gillies, Michelle Harper, and Brigitte St-Laurent.

On Thursday June 27, 2019 four Westmount residents conducted a tour of Westmount Park, seeking to make a list of elements that need fixing.

The four citizens are: Patrick Barnard, Marilynn Gillies, Michelle Harper, and  Brigitte St-Laurent

Emphasis is put on perennials in these notes. A horticulturalist can design attractive, sustainable gardens and plots with blooms throughout the summer. Perennials also have the added benefit of needing to be only planted once, allowing some resources dedicated to planting annuals to be put toward general garden maintenance. We feel that at least one full-time gardener should be hired just to work on the maintenance and care of Westmount Park and the other parks in the municipality.

Almost all trees in Westmount Park need trimming; some are dead.  The many stumps throughout  (we counted at least 15) need to be replaced by trees of a similar type. Originally, the creators of the park sought to plant trees from a very wide variety of species, some rarely seen in the city. 

We have all lived in Westmount for many years and we have seen a constant degradation of the park.  Unfortunately, at this point, a serious intervention is required.

  1. At  the eastern end near the bike-path entrance to the park, there are weeds under the benches and to the south of the benches.
  2. In the same area, the sewer in the hollow near the water hydrant gathers pools of stagnant water and needs levelling.
  3. There are cracks in the cement in this same area, and cracks in the raised flower beds also need fixing.
  4. The care of a proper gardener is needed here; the planting of perennials is recommended.
  5. Moving slightly west, grass portions by the bike path include worn-down patches that need reparation.
  6. Just east of the gazebo there is a stump to be removed – probably by being ground up – and a tree replacement seems desirable.
  7. Weeding is needed along the fence by the bike-path.
  8. East and west of the gazebo there are bare patches and weeds underneath the conifers there.
  9. By the gazebo there are missing cobblestones.
  10. The corners of the walking path west of the gazebo are worn down.
  11. The edges of the walking path need seeding or turf.
  12. A dead tree west of the gazebo needs to be cut.
  13. Walking west, the hedges along the walk path need trimming and “weed tress” should be removed.
  14. Some more benches are needed in the shaded area of the  “green” where Shakespeare-in-the-park often is staged.
  15. There is a dead tree to the south of the walking path and by the bike path. Needs removal.
  16. There is a “weed tree” in the bush by the fire hydrant on the green – needs removal.
  17. By the fenced soccer field – to its north – there is an unmaintained flower bed. Needs maintenance….
  18. Bushes out of control east of the dog-run.
  19. The northern edge of the dog park needs weeding and care.
  20. Around the pond area, all the bare patches should be fixed.
  21. Near the pond, just north of the dog run, benches need to be painted and there are missing cobble-stones.
  22. Cracks in the cement in front of the benches need to be fixed.
  23. Oak east of the pond needs to be trimmed.
  24. The walking path coming west from the northern field needs to be re-sodded on both sides.
  25. Big oak right by the pond railing needs to be trimmed.
  26. The retaining wall south of the pond needs fundamental repair.
  27. A pine near the water cascade is half-dead.
  28. In the toilet facility, the sink is broken in the ladies’ toilet and the ceiling needs to be re-done. The men’s mirror needs to be replaced; the tiling on the floor needs to be fixed; the lights need to be cleaned; the brickwork by the entrance needs fixing.
  29. There is a dead bush and a “weed bush” NE of the toilet area.
  30. The stumps to the NW of the toilets should be removed.
  31. There are damaged bushes to the west of the toilets by the pool of water there.
  32. Walking towards the library from the toilet area, bare patches need to be fixed by seeding or sodding.
  33. The “green area” with picnic tables and the vertical lights needs new grass and the conifers in the NW of the green area need care.
  34. The NW area of this green, near the kids’ area, and a little south of the walking path there needs seeding.
  35. The concrete path just south of the kids’ area needs fixing.
  36. Area just south of the swings needs sodding.
  37. The bushes south of the swings need trimming.
  38. The flower bed SE of the library y needs better, proper flowers and perennials.
  39. East of the library a “weed bush” hides the Japanese lilac. That weed bush should be removed.
  40.  The new benches by the library should be a sort of model for elsewhere.
  41. Comments communicated: “Every body says the park is shabby” and “The park is sad.”
  42. The bushes by the library entrance need trimming.
  43. The small garden area west of the library needs sodding, and perennials.
  44. There are dead trees all along Sherbrooke, particularly to the north of the parking lot.
  45. The whole area in front of the greenhouse needs weeding
  46. Where the cannons used to be – the whole area needs sodding and re-sodding.
  47. SE of the childrens’ area needs seeding and re-sodding.
  48. The area just NE of the chess area needs to be cared for and cleaned.
  49.  Area around the new exercise area and the ping-pong table also needs cleaning and care.
  50. The “Maltese Cross” garden just east of the north field badly needs restoration.

In conclusion, we would like to invite city officials to a stroll in the park with us on a day of their choosing.

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Southeast Sector – AGIL Report in English

Finally a long-awaited English translation of the AGIL report on the revitalization of the Southeast Sector is available. It’s not easy to find on the City website so here is a copy for reference:20190201-RapportAGILSommaireExecANG

This can also be found here: Westmount.org->Urban Planning->Major Projects->Southeast Sector Revitalisation

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September 11th: Meet The Candidates – Provincial Election

The WMA will be hosting a Meet The Candidates Night on Tuesday September 11th, starting at 19:00 in Victoria Hall. Well known CBC Political Analyst Bernard St Laurent will moderate the event. These are the candidates who have accepted our invitation to the debate:

  • CAQ : Michelle Morin
  • Conservative: Mikey Colangelo Lauzon
  • Green Party: Sam Kuhn
  • Liberal: Jennifer Maccarone
  • NPD: Nicholas Lawson
  • PQ: Jocelyne Marion Benoit
  • Québec Solidaire: Ekaterina Piskunova

Each candidate will be given two minutes to present their opening position (drawn in random order). After that, a public question and answer session where questioners have 30 seconds to pose their question and the candidates will be given up to two minutes to respond. The questions can be asked to a specific candidate or posed to all, though the moderator will ultimately decide who should respond. Following the end of the public question and answer session, each candidate (in reverse order from the opening) will be given three minutes to present their closing arguments.

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The WMA remembers Stan Grossman

Stan Grossman, an active member of the Westmount community, passed away on August 24, 2018. A former member of the WMA Board of Directors, he was involved with our activities until the end.

A lifelong Montrealer and longtime Westmount resident, Stan was an energetic organizer of a number of musical events in Westmount Park and at Victoria Hall. He was a frequent attendee at Westmount City Council meetings, asking informed questions and/or querying Council policy. His Letters to the Editor of the Independent were legendary; eloquently addressing the matter at hand.

He was a Westmount resident who truly cared for his community; heenjoyed living here and wanted our city to be the best.

A gentleman who was a friend to many, he will be missed. The WMA extends our sincere sympathy to his wife, Anne Dixon Grossman, and to the members of his extended family.

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Supporting fair access to community resources for a plethora of groups

Westmount is a community which is blessed by many local organizations and groups which call the city “home”. We are further blessed by allowing these groups to use public facilities for their meetings, often at no direct cost (depending on the facility).

Recently, it has been reported that one Westmount organization that has been in existence for twenty three years, has fallen foul of a well-intentioned bylaw adopted just before the start of the current Council’s mandate – this bylaw specifying, in black and white, that any group wishing to use a Westmount facility must be comprised of 50% Westmounters.

After consultation with our members, the WMA received a unanimous mandate to state a position on this news, but to also address the more general aspects of the current situation. Therefore, the WMA notes that there are essentially three types of Westmount-based groups:

  1. 100% Westmount-only groups
    • Westmount Municipal Association
    • Westmount Historical Association
  2. Sports teams from schools in Westmount and others that use the WRC
    • No mention is made of the percentage of Westmounters in these teams
  3. Westmount based organizations with extended membership to other
    communities

    • Westmount Youth Orchestra
    • Dramatis Personae
    • Westmount Rotary Club
    • Westmount Toastmasters
    • Westmount Horticultural Association
    • Women’s Canadian Club of Montreal

The three types of organizations could further be classified into

  • Sports
  • Culture
  • Association

It is worth noting that cultural organizations bring intangible benefits to our community that are beyond just their membership composition. The WMA believes that an arbitrary “50% Westmounter” policy is ill-advised and, if that test were to be used on all organizations that currently use Westmount facilities, many of the above-listed would fail that crude test.

A more important aspect is how can the current facilities be better utilized to support all of the organizations’ needs. At the moment, there is no simple booking system that is transparent to the potential user. Different facilities must be booked through different City departments and it is essentially impossible for a potential user to know what availability there is. Furthermore, there are facilities which could be made available that are currently not used at all. These include, but are not limited to

  • City Hall Council Chamber
  • City Hall General Committee room
  • Courthouse on Stanton
  • Lawn Bowling Club Rooms

The WMA has made use of the General Committee room in the past and the other locations had been suggested to the WMA as usable by the previous Director General. However, following discussions with the Director General this week, some of these extra facilities are probable not suited to general use but might be available for special occasions.

The WMA would therefore like to suggest that all facilities are made available in a transparent manner with a simple booking system (or, at least, a means to verify availability) for all organizations based in Westmount, irrespective of their make-up. With some creativity, all current organizations can be accommodated for benefit of our community and the wider society we share.

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2018 President’s Report

We are honored to invite you to our one hundred and tenth Annual General Meeting. We will present the slate of directors for 2018-2019, our financial report for 2017, membership information as well as this year’s recipient of the Derek Walker Volunteer of the Year Award, Angela Murphy.

First of all, I would like to thank Megan Durnford, Allan Kobelansky and Dr Markus Martin who retired from our boad this year. Your service, together with the current board, is greatly appreciated. We are fortunate enough to have had several new board members join this year, following last November’s municipal election and we are excited that this renewal of our organization has brought.

Speaking of the November election, I am proud that the WMA organized two immensley successful “Meet The Candidates” evenings. Given the large number of candidates running for municipal office this time, this was no mean feat with sixteen running for position of councilor and five running for the office of Mayor, this was a logistical challenge. We were fortunate enough to have renowned Quebec political analyst Bernard St Laurent moderate the candidates for council meeting and well-known CBC Daybreak Host, Mike Finnerty, moderate the mayoralty debate. Both meetings reached the maximum capacity for Victoria Hall, which I believe is a first for this type of meeting, at least in recent memory.

The WMA has been active on other files during this past year, including working with the Westmount Urban Planning department on modernizing their permit process. We were also able to bring to closure, with the help of council and the City administration, several outstanding issues during this past year and I would like to thank all those who were involved.

A new municipal council was elected in November and we congratulate all those who won their seats and I commit the WMA to working collaboratively with both the elected and administrative officials who so influence our daily lives. The WMA is a steadfast participant in every council meeting where we do our best to bring issues to the attention of council in order to improve the lives of all residents.

To that end, we organized a public meeting to discuss the future indoor pool and provided detailed feedback to Council on the wishes expressed. We look forward to this project coming to life.

The topic of tonight’s Round Table discussion was brought to our attention by the new Commissioner for Sustainability and I believe we will have an interesting and stimulating discussion on how we can work together to make Westmount a more accessible community.

Finally, I’d like to remind everyone that we rely on your support for all the work we do. Our strength and voice over these past one hundred and ten years has come from our membership. If you are not already a member, I commend you to consider joining our association, the oldest of its kind in Canada. Please enjoy your evening.

Dr Paul Marriott – President

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