Society - "FIAT JUSTITIA RUAT CAELUM!" Another look at Morgentaler - CLAUDE-ARMAND SHEPPARD AND THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW
By Beryl Wajsman on June 18, 2013
In a time of expanding statist fiat, increasing conformity and ungracious self-absorption, it is important to reflect on how law can be wrestled to submit to justice when challenged by courage and conscience. The Morgentaler trials were arguably the pre-eminent examples of this in our era, both as regards our judiciary and our legislatures. They realized the dream of 19th century abolitionist Charles Sumner who demanded: “Fiat justitia ruat caelum! Let justice be done though the heavens fall!”
By William Johnson on June 16, 2013
On May 19, 1994, Jacques Parizeau addressed the National Assembly: “We are a state that subscribes to the rule of law. Canada and Quebec are not banana republics. There is the law. There is the Constitution. There is international law. And we have all been elected to defend the rule of law.”
Wonderful statement, even if Mr. Parizeau did not always practice what he preached. But there is a problem: for the rule of law to be in effect, the citizens must have a clear understanding of what the law requires. That is anything but the case in Canada, in Quebec, when the issue is secession.
By Robert K. Stephen on June 16, 2013
Esimesac has bizarre elements of “Mad Max”, “The Exorcist” and Monty Python’s “The Life of Brian”. Suffice to say it’s a Quebec quasi-mythical film possibly set in the First World War era but with mythology past and present intertwined it could be “anytime”. And there are no clear temporal boundaries here which make it all the more transcendent. Pay attention to the two appearances of the Quebec flag. With increasing industrialization the flag looks much more tattered in its second appearance.
By Amb. Freddy Eytan on June 16, 2013
La victoire imprevue d’Hassan Rohani et la participation massive des Iraniens aux elections prouvent que les sanctions occidentales imposees a Teheran sont douloureuses et efficaces. Le peuple iranien souhaite vraiment le changement et a ras-le bol de l’isolement de son pays dans l’arene internationale. Il a trop souffert de la politique desastreuse mene ces dernieres annees par le grotesque et l’extravagant illumine Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
By David T. Jones on June 16, 2013
Washington, DC - In the wake of the Newton elementary school massacre (overtaken by the Boston Marathon bombing), the usual suspects bayed and snarled.
And given a unique opportunity, President Obama misfired.
There is a military maxim associated with instructions to an Army Second Lieutenant, “Don’t just stand there; do something. Even if it is wrong, do something.” American politicians attempted to “do something” with little or no thought about process or consequences.
By Beryl Wajsman on June 9, 2013
Warrant issued based on resolved past infraction; entrapment to enforce arcane law existing only in Quebec may be in issue.
The recent seizure of the Globe Restaurant’s liquor supply, subsequently overturned in court just before the Grand Prix, did not stem from any offence. In fact, the Globe’s owners were not even presented with a copy of the warrant as mandated by law. It has also come to light that a previous incident in 2011 may have been the result of possible police entrapment, a tactic condemned in numerous judicial decisions going all the way to the Supreme Court and grounds for a legal defense usually resulting in acquittal.
By Beryl Wajsman on June 9, 2013
Il vient un temps dans les affaires entre gouvernants et gouvernes ou chaque action de l’administration publique aiguise la mefiance du peuple et ou le defaut d’agir suscite sa colere. C’est la ou nous en sommes rendus a Montreal. Tout contrat social entre les citoyens et l’Etat demande une certaine cession par le peuple de sa liberte et de son tresor. Rien de plus. Le contrat social n’exige nullement l’abdication de nos prerogatives. Le contrat social ne permet pas l’imposition au public de fardeaux financiers additionnels sous la forme de penalites en guise de punition pour des services pour lesquels les contribuables paient deja des taxes, mais que leur impose la bureaucratie gemissante de l’administration publique. Montreal besoin un marteau pour un maire!
By Sandy White on June 9, 2013
L’Association quebecoise de la vie nocturne (AQVN) denonce fermement les recentes interventions abusives du Service de police de la Ville de Montreal (SPVM) dans les restaurants et bars afin d’appliquer des regles qui font l’objet d’un debat.
Au cours des dernieres semaines, plusieurs interventions policieres ont eu lieu dans divers etablissements visant verifier l’application des lois archaiques qui gouvernent l’industrie quebecoise de la restauration et des bars.
By Beryl Wajsman on June 9, 2013
This past Thursday we commemorated the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. He was shot on June 5, 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles as he was celebrating the California primary victory that would have led him to the Democratic presidential nomination. He died the next day. For many of us who were coming to political maturity in that turbulent time, hope seemed to die with him.
By Father John Walsh on June 9, 2013
McGill University was the site of a two-day Seminar that gathered people from all over Canada to discuss and debate how religion can or must bridge the growing divide between religion and secular society. Persons from a myriad of religious faith traditions were represented and each took an active role in contributing to the Canadian religious mosaic and expressed varied views of how religious people are investing time and energy to dialogue with the secularization of society.
By Beryl Wajsman on June 9, 2013
Some of you will be graduating this month. You go forth at a time in history of great danger as well as great opportunity. You are surrounded by far too much sham and drudgery, but also by noble acts of selflessness and courage. So these thoughts go to the class of 2013.
You will soon be leaving the comfortable world of academe for the much harder school of life. It’s waiting for you. Just there in the early morning. What you leave you should always remember. Keep these years of study and searching warm in your hearts, and remember the lessons of effort and striving. It is the truth you looked for. Never forget that goal in all your endeavors. It is pre-eminent of purpose.
By Amb. Freddy Eytan on May 30, 2013
Jerusalem - La derniere rencontre de Benjamin Netanyahou avec Vladimir Poutine n’a pas reussi a dissiper les graves preoccupations israeliennes, et il semble que la Russie soit determinee a poursuivre ses livraisons d’armes sophistiquees a la Syrie et a soutenir, coute que coute, le regime de Bechar el Assad.
Depuis la « Guerre Froide », la politique etrangere du Kremlin n’a pas vraiment evoluee. L’ex-Union sovietique possede l’art de faire monter les encheres et de raviver la tension dans le monde, mais a ce jour, elle n’a pas dispose de moyens operationnels pour mettre un terme aux crises regionales ou faire progresser un processus de paix equitable.
By Beryl Wajsman on May 21, 2013
Clearly the letter that Ministers De Courcy and Lisee released was nowhere near enough. Not enough because they failed to address the central point – Bill 14 is not necessary and is nothing but an attempt to solidify the `pur et dur` base through more politics of division. Not enough because the Bill demeans all Quebecers, francophones as well as non-francophones. Not enough because the government is still not willing to stop the economic destruction of Quebec by ceasing to put up these false issues of discord. But let us take another point of view for a moment and make what some of you may consider a strange plea.
By Amb. Freddy Eytan on May 12, 2013
Jerusalem - Le dernier engagement d’Hassan Nasrallah d’aider la Syrie à libérer le plateau du Golan, et former une résistance populaire dans le cadre d’une « bataille pour la Palestine » intervient quelques jours seulement après la publication d’informations sur des raids massifs de l’aviation israélienne dans la région de Damas, et juste après la visite secrète de Nasrallah à Téhéran.
Depuis la seconde guerre du Liban, déclenchée en juillet 2006, Nasrallah cherche en vain le soleil ; traqué par les services israéliens, il vit en effet sous terre tel un animal hypogé mais dans des conditions préférentielles de palace avec toute une technologie de pointe.
By Alan Hustak on May 12, 2013
Jay Baruchel is the big drawing card in Sherlock Holmes at the Segal Centre until May 28, but the hometown Hollywood actor of The Trotsky fame is not the best thing about the production. Undeniably, Baruchel lends an enthusiastic presence. His charisma cannot disguise the fact that he is an undisciplined stage actor whose rapid-fire, nasal delivery seems at times to channel Groucho Marx through John Cleese. Certain allowances, however, must be made. With a nod to his celebrity and to his credit, Baruchel accepted a challenge, took the risk, and does not play safe. He certainly doesn’t embarrass himself, even though he does look a little too youthful to be sucking on a curved briar pipe.
By Louise V. Labrecque on May 7, 2013
Le silence des musulmans dit modérés a de quoi laisser pantois. Il vient un temps où il faut cesser de s’accouder à la fenêtre, pour enfin prouver au monde notre « extraordinaire vision ». En effet, aucun vœu pieu ne fera l’affaire : ce qu’exige maintenant tous les états éclairés de la communauté internationale, ce sont des preuves, des données tangibles, empiriques, irréfutables, exprimant hors de tout doute que l’Islam est bel et bien une religion de paix. Et si nous sommes un tantinet pressés, voire clairement agacés, c’est que la farce a assez durée : nous sommes las de ce scandale fondamental laissant croire en une paix puisant hypocritement son eau à la source des pires barbaries, du terrorisme, de la haine perverse et mortifère.
By Rouba al-Fattal on May 7, 2013
During a break in a conference I attended recently I was asked by several pundits what I think about – what has been erroneously named – the “Arab Spring”, and whether the populations in these countries are ready for democracy. My short answer was, “No, they are not ready”. However, because this is a very timely and complex question, I have decided to give it here more than a terse, short answer.
Democracy, by definition, is “the rule of the people” from the Greek words “demos” (people) and “kratos” (rule). The will of the people is manifested most visibly through the electoral process.
By David T. Jones & Paul Tyson on May 7, 2013
Washington, DC - With much fanfare, the United States announced a comprehensive and wide ranging “pivot toward Asia.” And within Asia there is a “sub-pivot” toward Southeast Asia.
There hasn’t been much public discussion of this reordering of U.S. foreign policy, but now that the President and the Secretary of State have made Middle East excursions, let us consider our Asian shift.
One notes the first trips of the second incarnation of the Obama administration were not/not to Asia. So one can question the pertinence of the “pivot.”
By Beryl Wajsman on May 7, 2013
Yes I know. This kind of headline usually has the word "anglophone" in it. Yet last week two incidents demonstrated that politicians of several parties have not understood that the rejection of , and resistance to, Bill 14 may have done more to unite francophones and non-francophones alike in opposition to the politics of fear and the words of demonization than anything we have seen in recent history. And as much as many anglophones may be tired of some politicians taking their votes for granted through a perceived lack of choice, many francophones are tired of some other politicians taking their votes for granted by outdated appeals to prejudice and fear.
By Alan Hustak on May 6, 2013
Anyone who regularly depends on public transit can’t help but revel in the antics of The Number 14, the extravagantly theatrical stage production running at the Centaur until May 26. Staged by Vancouver’s Axis Theatre company, a troupe of six masked Commedia dell’Arte performers, it is a bus ride like no other. Put together on the west coast 20 years ago by the Centaur’s artistic director Roy Surette (who originally directed) and Wayne Specht, the founding director of the Axis Theatre, (responsible for this version), The Number 14 basically illustrates the day in the life of a bus and its driver.
By Amb. Freddy Eytan on April 30, 2013
Voilà déjà deux ans que la Syrie est ravagée par une guerre civile meurtrière et les puissances occidentales n'osent pas intervenir.
Contrairement aux prédictions simplistes des experts et des observateurs, Bachar el Assad est toujours au pouvoir et son armée demeure fidèle au régime alaouite. En dépit des massacres quotidiens, la Russie continue à fournir des armes et notamment des roquettes et des missiles sophistiqués pouvant atteindre une cible située à 300kms. Elle entraine également les soldats syriens dans les combats de guérilla.
By Rouba al-Fattal on April 30, 2013
A week ago two men were arrested in Canada on suspicion of planning what officials describe as an al-Qaeda-backed plot to derail a VIA passenger train traveling from Toronto to New York. Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officials said the alleged plot had support from al-Qaeda in Iran, although there was no sign of state sponsorship. The Iranian government quickly denied any links to the two men in question. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, also said “al-Qaeda's beliefs are in no way consistent with Tehran's”.
By Alan Hustak on April 26, 2013
Embrace the kitsch.
Almost 30 years after the wax museum at the corner of Queen Mary Road and Cote des Neiges closed its doors an interactive exhibition featuring wax celebrities has opened again, this time downtown in the Eaton Centre. More than 120 life-size figurines are arranged in lavish settings on the top floor of the The work of artisans with the celebrated Grévin studio in Paris, the exhibition is, for the most part, geared to a francophone Quebec audience.
By Alan Hustak on April 26, 2013
Will Baz Luhrman succeed where others have failed?
The Australian film-maker’s $150-million adaptation was to have been in theatres last Christmas but shooting down under was prolonged – not always a good sign in the industry of things to come. It is now scheduled to open the Cannes Film Festival in May and is expected to be in movie theatres this summer.
By l'Hon. Irwin Cotler on April 22, 2013
In the words of René Lévesque, “A nation is judged by how it treats its minorities.” Regrettably, linguistic minorities in Canada have often had to fight for just treatment, and that struggle continues against the backdrop of several troubling recent developments that threaten the rights of minority language communities throughout the country. Simply put, it is critical to ensure that minority language communities feel welcome and are able to thrive, and this is as true for Anglophones in Quebec as it is true for French-speakers elsewhere in Canada.
By Bernard Amyot on April 14, 2013
Depuis plus d’années dont je me souvienne, je dénonce l’ambiguïté sémantique imposée par les leaders indépendantistes québécois qui insistent et persistent, sciemment, à n’utiliser que le mot « souveraineté » lorsqu’ils réfèrent à leur projet de faire sécession du Canada.
Cette volonté incessante d’occulter la perspective d’une rupture a de tout temps été utilisée par les séparatistes québécois en vue de leurrer leurs concitoyens qui, sondage après sondage depuis près de 40 ans, refusent dans une large proportion d’adhérer à cette option lorsque la question leur est clairement posée.
By Amb. Freddy Eytan on April 7, 2013
Le mouvement sioniste existait depuis Theodore Herzl mais c’est la Shoah qui a rendu la création d’Israël urgente, obligatoire, vitale et immanente. La création de d’Israël est le triomphe de la vie sur la mort, la victoire des prières entendues. Juste après la guerre, les Européens, encore troublés et culpabilisés, ont préféré tourner la page furtivement. Le Vatican a fermé ses archives. Les portes du souvenir ont été bouclées à double tour. Personne n’osait franchir les murs d’acier et vérifier les arcanes du monde de l’indifférence, remuer un passé flou et douteux. Derrière le rideau de fer, les camps de la mort résonnaient encore des cris des âmes pures et innocentes. Les cendres de nos proches, de nos coreligionnaires, ont été absorbées, englouties dans le sol européen.
By MIchel David on April 7, 2013
Plusieurs tendances lourdes et extérieures à Montréal ont contribué à son déclin depuis la deuxième guerre mondiale, par exemple: voie maritime, avions à long cours, déplacement de l’économie vers l’Ouest.
Ces tendances ont été exacerbées par de trop nombreuses blessures que nous nous sommes infligés nous-mêmes, mentionnons le FLQ, la dégradation des standards académiques, les plus hautes taxes, l’immobilisme, les fusions/défusions, les infrastructures, le très mauvais management; en somme, l’absence complète de leadership
By Robert K. Stephen on April 5, 2013
Ich Bin Eine Terroristin” (I am a terrorist)
How can an 11 year old French girl so apparently sweet be a vicious communist thug? Invariably children are portrayed in film as sweet and innocent but in this case I see 11 year old Violette (Mathile Besse) in a far more sinister light. A bit like Damien in “The Omen” or Linda Blair in “The Exorcist”. Can you imagine an 11 year old girl infatuated with the German revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg running away from home in her small village in France to visit the Luxemburg memorial in Berlin (where Luxemburg was assassinated in 1919) and then to Wroclaw in Poland (then known as Breslau in Germany) to visit the city where Rosa Luxemburg was imprisoned? Far too offbeat for Hollywood fluff. Delightfully European.
By Rouba al-Fattal on April 5, 2013
It has been two years since the Syrian Government’s violent crackdown on protesters started. According to UN reports, the conflict has claimed more than 70,000 lives, displaced four million people internally and forced about million people to seek refuge in neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, where many opposition leaders have taken refuge. Thousands of civilians have also been detained arbitrarily and there are reports of executions and torture. Also since the uprising many schools were damaged or forced to close and Syrian civilians suffer the lack of basic services such as electricity, clean water and hospitals. Moreover, the situation in Syria has created a fertile ground for trans-national terrorism to rise.
By Dan Delmar on April 5, 2013
After a provincial election in September where the Parti Québécois spoke of French tests for candidates seeking public office, watering down Montreal’s ethnic communities and ridding the public sector of religious symbols – except for those linked to Catholicism – observers expected Quebec to become, yet again, a national embarrassment. The PQ has not only met, but exceeded expectations with a new round of childish, xenophobic rhetoric this week.
By Amb. Freddy Eytan on March 31, 2013
Jerusalem - La visite du président Obama dans notre région aura sans doute des retombées politiques locales, régionales et internationales. La première conséquence est considérable car elle met un terme à plusieurs années de tensions, d'incompréhensions, de haine et de dégâts bilatéraux entre la Turquie et Israël: deux puissances régionales pro-occidentales ayant des intérêts stratégiques communs dans un environnement déstabilisant et explosif.
By Me.Linda Hammerschmid on March 31, 2013
As with every type of case heard at the Supreme Court level, our changing social customs, over time, coupled with new appointments at our High Court, usually bring about new judgments on old issues.
As a Canadian citizen, I have reached the end of my patience with the time and money wasted on and by the OQLF.
Last time I checked, (2 weeks ago), the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteed me, and every other Canadian citizen, even those who live in Quebec, the right to use English.
By William Johnson on March 31, 2013
Even as English is again under attack at the National Assembly during the hearings on Bill 14, it is perhaps true that most Quebecers have been misled into believing that English is not also an official language of Quebec. But that’s entirely unfounded in fact or in law. English has been an official language of Quebec ever since 1763. Every law passed since then has been passed in English. Every law to be passed by the current Parti Québécois government will be passed in English as well as French, and the English text will be official, just as will be the French.
By David T. Jones on March 29, 2013
Washington, DC - Analysts are clever in finding (and repeating) aphorisms. One is the definition of insanity as “repeating the same negative action believing that this time it will have a positive result.”
And thus the Syria syndrome.
We have watched the Arab Spring degenerate into a noxious weed patch when we believed flowers had been planted. We have watched the consequence of removing the Libyan tyrant Qhadafi (vicious but not directly invidious to USG interests) and reaped the results in Benghazi and Mali.
By Alan Hustak on March 22, 2013
Dance me to the end on/off love at the Centaur until April 14 is a lugubrious, downright macabre exploration of love and pain by Granhoj Dans, a contemporary dance troupe from Denmark. The North American premiere of the show is described as a poetic meditation, an attempt to make Cohen’s words become flesh.
From the moment director Palle Granhoj steps on stage and boldly edits one of Cohen’s poems, furiously scribbling to make the verse suit himself , he makes it clear that he is expropriating the poet’s work to make it conform to his image of himself - although anyone sitting beyond the fifth row may have had trouble reading his scrawl.
By Alan Hustak on March 21, 2013
I won’t throw bouquets or sigh and gaze too much, nor will I praise its charms too much. People might think I liked the Hudson Village Theatre’s revival of the Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! And they would be right – I am head over heels in admiration of the intimacy and the ingenuity of the amateur production of this rousing musical, which was mounted on a stage no bigger than a postage stamp. (Complete with the ballet dream sequence.) Because the theatre in an old train station is so small the romantic atmosphere of the story was in fact, somehow subtly deepend.
By Dr. Mitch Shulman on March 17, 2013
Drug companies can’t charge whatever they want. The highest price they can charge is actually set by a federal institution. Before we begin though, there’s something you should know about me. For 16 years I held medical positions of increasing responsibility in 2 international research- based pharmaceutical companies. I bring you an insider’s perspective very few people have.
By Robert K. Stephen on March 16, 2013
If you are looking for a gorgeous chunk of Portugal you really must stay at the Fortaleza do Guincho situated in the Sintra Cascais Nature Reserve some 10 minutes away from Cascais, the trendy resort suburb of Lisbon.. This is not a hotel as most of you will know a hotel. It is a small hotel within an old fort perched on a cliff overlooking the crashing waves of the Atlantic. It is part of the Relais & Chateaux brand dictating strict standards of luxury accommodation and food.
By David T. Jones on March 16, 2013
Thus Tom Flanagan’s musing, off topic response to a Q&A, regarding whether viewing (not creating, circulating, let alone participating/implementing) child pornography/pedophilia justified a prison sentence has destroyed his career. Virtually instantly CBC dropped him as a commentator and the University of Alberta announced his retirement. So toxic is his name that reportedly an article he coauthored on a totally different political topic was withdrawn from publication--even when Flanagan offered to remove his name from the article.