Articles/rsshttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/The Malysa Affair: Compassion should be the only language of healthcarehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1682http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1682By now most of you have heard of the language prejudice suffered by Zbigniew Malysa when he went to the CHUM for some medical tests and was refused service because he asks to have things explained in English. His daughter  Suzanne has done a remarkable job of bringing this unconscionable behavior to the public's attention. We offered her whatever support and intervention she and her father need, and will continue to help through the pricess of examination of the behavior of the doctor by the CHUM and the Human Rights Commission to whom she has made a formal complaint. Beryl WajsmanThu, 18 Jan 2018 17:59:00 -0500Couillard administration begins to discuss potential Universal Basic Income initiativehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1681http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1681Although it’s presently considered to be among the most ambitious and progressive policy initiatives on the table, the Couillardadministration’s recent policy survey indicates that it’s going to take a while before there’s going to be any kind of a realistic discussion about a working UBI (Universal Basic Income) policy within Québec’s National Assembly.While early reports indicate that an efficient and universal UBI policy could make a serious difference in the lives of the working poor, Simon Lejeune’s analysis of the Couillard administration’s recent UBI report describes at least 6 problems that must be dealt with before any government can realistically consider adopting a UBI policy.P.A. SévignyThu, 18 Jan 2018 17:57:00 -0500NORTH AMERICA, JAPAN, INDIA AND THE TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIPhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1680http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1680Negotiating a free trade agreement with an increasingly totalitarian and plutocratic party-state in China, which treats its Tibetan, Falun Gong, Uyghur, Christian, farm, urban worker and other communities appallingly,should be unthinkable for any democratic country. Canadian Clive Ansley, who practised law in Shanghai for 14 years until 2003, notes that its Communist party has long operated outside and above the law: China is a brutal police state…There is a current saying amongst Chinese lawyers and judges who truly believe in the Rule of Law…: ‘Those who hear the case do not make the judgment; those who make the judgment have not heard the case’…. Nothing which has transpired in the ‘courtroom’ has any impact on the ‘judgment’. The Hon. David KilgourSun, 07 Jan 2018 08:30:00 -0500Jerusalem recognition opens door to out-of-the-box solutionshttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1679http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1679Washington, DC - After more than a generation of excavation in the Middle East, the US government has finally concluded that the hole it has been digging for the “Two State Solution” has no foreseeable “pot of gold” at the bottom.  Nor, to mix metaphors a bit, does the room filled with manure have a pony in it as hypothesized by the little optimist.So we have stopped digging (and closed the door to the manure pile). It was not that that “the two state solution” has not seemed both tantalizing and seductively attainable.  It should have been Political Science 101 simple:  a state for Israel.  A state for Palestine.  Land swaps transferring parts of Israel to Palestine to compensate for the major settlements constructed in the West Bank post-1967.  And Jerusalem as the capital for both Israel and Palestine. David T. JonesSun, 07 Jan 2018 08:27:00 -0500Quebec obstructs medicare portability and Ottawa does little to helphttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1678http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1678Hospital care is fully portable across Canada, but unlike all other provinces and territories, Quebec has refused to sign a reciprocal agreement for physician services. Quebecers seeking medical treatment in another province usually find that the MD refuses to accept their provincial health card. Instead they must pay upfront and wait for partial reimbursement (often only half of the amount paid) from the Quebec government. This affects three major groups of persons.Quebecers may wish to visit friends and relatives in other provinces. Those with pre-existing conditions should not be deterred from travel for fear that they may develop an unexpected illness and face unaffordable up-front medical charges in another province.Dr. Charles S. ShaverSun, 17 Dec 2017 20:51:00 -0500Shame! Not one voice against the suppression of expressionhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1677http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1677Yet again in Quebec, we are living through more suffocating political hypocrisy and pandering to the worst elements of division and discord merely to cover the cowardly partisanship of elected officials. And as has become de riguer here, truth, equity and respect for civil rights be damned. It is not justice that "rains down like waters" from the National Assembly but words of "nullification and interposition" as Martin Luther King, Jr. once called the rule and regulation of institutionalized prejudice in the American South. And not one voice was raised in the Assembly against the latest installment of capitulation and appeasement. Not one voice.Beryl WajsmanWed, 06 Dec 2017 16:25:00 -0500Poor Morale at Department of State—Ho Humhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1676http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1676Washington, DC - In recent media stories, there has been a flurry of excitement among the fluttering class prompted by a State Department spokesman’s comment that morale is poor at State.The announcement is as dramatic as “The sun rose in the east this morning” or “It was really hot and humid in Washington this summer.”Drawing on 50 years of experience with State, both on active duty and as a retired officer, I can say that there has never/never been a period when one could say that morale at State was good, let alone excellent. David T. JonesMon, 04 Dec 2017 10:07:00 -0500Who will watch the watchmen?http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1675http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1675When UPAC was created, there were many who warned that setting up another level of policing - with extraordinary powers - was inconsistent with due process of law and could pose a threat to basic liberties. UPAC's arrest without charge of former senior SQ officer and now Laval MNA Guy Ouellette may have finally woken up those in power to the dangers of such a body.Assembly Speaker Jacques Chagnon rose to give an extraordinary statement criticizing UPAC and saying in part that UPAC's action demonstrated, "...ignorance of our institutions, and in particular of parliament, which is at the very heart of the democratic governance of our State."Beryl WajsmanSun, 26 Nov 2017 19:55:00 -0500On Salman Rushdiehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1674http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1674Having recently completed “A Sketch of the Past” from Virgina Woolf’s Moments of Being, I walked away from the recent talk by Salman Rushdie at the Jewish Public Library inspired. He was enigmatic, charming and incredibly funny. His staggering playfulness interspersed with witticisms about everything from Saul Bellow and Heraclitus to Trump and the challenges of journalism today were enlightening to say the least. He spoke of the intersection of the public arena with private life and how that plays a role in fiction writing and journalism, as well as politics and social responsibility. However, it was not those reflections that inspired nor touched me. It was not his gaze outward that allowed me to get to know him a little better, rather it was the moments between his speech, the moments when he glanced inward that opened a porthole into who the man behind the work truly is. So, who is Salman Rushdie? Alecs Kakon-GrundmanSun, 19 Nov 2017 17:20:00 -0500The Church in Quebec - The challenge of asking why?http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1673http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1673In the recent visit of the Catholic Bishops of Quebec to Pope Francis, Bishop Lortie of Mont Laurier, vividly and honestly described the Catholic Church in Quebec.  He told Francis that the Bishops “are aware of the limits and poverty of our Church and we are looking for concrete ways to develop a missionary spirit in a Quebec that has broken its relations with the Catholic tradition and heritage and chooses to find its references elsewhere than the Gospel. In the present context being pastors of a small number, a  little flock, we ask ourselves as pastors, how can we reawaken the faith, reveal the love and mercy of God, open hearts to the Gospel, invite people to conversion, create disciples … in a secular, pluralist Quebec that is often allergic to religion?”Father John WalshSun, 01 Oct 2017 14:55:00 -0400Angela Merkel and the German electionhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1672http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1672Angela Merkel’s re-election as Germany’s chancellor for the fourth time on September 24 is important for Germans, Europeans and many democratic nations around the world, partly because of regional and other international misfeasance by Russia’s Vladimir Putin.Strobe Talbott, President Bill Clinton’s leading adviser on Russia, observes, “Chancellor Merkel is the most steadfast custodian of the concept of the liberal West going back 70 years ... that makes her Putin’s No. 1 target.”Merkel is the widely-recognized leader of Europe and defender of besieged universal values and democracy internationally. Putin is a contemporary would-be Russian czar, who wants to fracture Europe and democratic governance wherever possible. The Hon. David KilgourMon, 18 Sep 2017 09:20:00 -0400À la recherche de la Ménora du Temple de Jérusalemhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1671http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1671L’un des monuments les plus visités au forum à Rome est l’arc de triomphe de l’empereur Titus consacré par son frère Domitien pour marquer la prise de Jérusalem en l’an 70. On y trouve l’inscription : « Dédié par le Sénat et le peuple de Rome à Titus Vespasien Auguste, fils de Vespasien. »  Le butin pris au Temple de Jérusalem dont la Menora ou candélabre à sept branches y figure sur un bas-relief. Tout comme l’Arche de la loi contenant les tablettes des Dix commandements, la Ménora était conservée dans le Saint des Saints dans le Temple de Salomon.David BensoussanSun, 10 Sep 2017 11:51:00 -0400Statuary rapehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1670http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1670Washington, DC ~ The current  search for “feet of clay” throughout the United States is curious almost beyond puzzlement. We are self axle-wrapping over what statue should be permitted to commemorate whom and what. And not just statues and memorials associated with the Civil War Confederacy “losers” but other historical figures who don’t fit 2017 parameters for veneration.  These range from George Washington (slave holder); Thomas Jefferson (slave holder; alleged sexual relations with a slave); Benjamin Franklin (owned slaves); Teddy Roosevelt (violent expansionist); Woodrow Wilson (ignored racism and promoted segregation—and didn’t “keep us out of war” as he promised).David T. JonesSun, 10 Sep 2017 11:46:00 -040040 years of Bill 101: The legacy of narrow spirithttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1669http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1669Forty years ago this past week - Aug.26, 1977 - Bill 101 became law. We all know the material damage it has done. The exodus of hundreds of thousands of anglophones and francophones. The departure of head offices. The giant sucking sound of foreign investments drying up and leaving. But we want to examine today the moral damage it inflicted. That perhaps is as much its lasting legacy as anything else.Beryl WajsmanWed, 30 Aug 2017 17:00:00 -0400Herb Paperman: Bringing conscience and compassion to community "A righteous, learned, man of deeds."http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1668http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1668There is a discussion in the Talmud among a number of Rabbis on who we should stand up for when they enter a room. They decided on three types of people. The righteous, the learned and the people of deeds. Yesterday, Montreal lost a man who embodied all three. Herbert Paperman passed away at the age of 92. Herb, as he was known to everyone, passed away as he had lived. Quietly, with dignity and surrounded by love. He was beloved by all, but it was right and just that his final hours in this vale were warmed by his beloved wife Leila and their family at his side. Beryl WajsmanMon, 07 Aug 2017 23:07:00 -0400Puzzling over hackinghttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1667http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1667Washington, DC ~ For an extended period now, Washington and President Trump’s administration have been wrapped around the axle over Russian “hacking” of Democrat-associated e-mails and Moscow’s alleged concurrent effort to assist the Trump campaign win the election.The effort to “get to the bottom of it” does not seem anywhere near to reaching any bottom.  Indeed, it has metastasized into investigations by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller that appear to be casting their investigatory nets in ever-widening directions, ensnaring President Trump’s son and son-in-law as well as assorted odds-and-ends deal-makers/fixers/lawyers of one nationality or another.David T. JonesWed, 02 Aug 2017 16:19:00 -0400The Kahdr settlement: A bodyguard of lieshttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1666http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1666Free nations in order to survive in liberty do not negotiate with, pander to or reward terrorists. This has been the keystone of policy among all western countries for decades. The Trudeau government's decision to settle Omar Khadr's legal pursuit against Canada for the alleged violation of his sec.7 Charter rights protecting the "security and liberty of the person" is shameful in principle, distorts the 2010 Supreme Court decision upon which the Prime Minister claims to rely on, opens the door to the compromise of the very Charter protections he seeks to defend and potentially blocks the ability of the widow of the man Khadr killed to obtain redress under the 2012 Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act that allows for the collection of damages from U.S. judgments in Canadian courts.Beryl WajsmanWed, 12 Jul 2017 17:08:00 -0400The Khadr Settlement: An Embarrassment to Canadahttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1665http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1665If there has ever been a time to question the integrity and moral compass of Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government, the time is now. A few days ago, news broke that Omar Khadr had reached a settlement agreement with the Canadian government that entails a formal apology and a $10.5 million payout. Apology and payout for what you may ask?Well, Khadr - who at age 15 decided to move to Afghanistan to live with his father, a high-ranking Al-Qaeda member - believes he should be compensated for ‘wrongful imprisonment’ at Guantanamo Bay. In 2010, after allegedly being tortured, Khadr pleaded guilty to throwing a grenade that killed U.S. Special Forces medic, Christopher Speer, and for blinding another soldier, Layne Morris. It was this act that landed him in the notorious prison.Kevin BudningSun, 09 Jul 2017 14:57:00 -0400"BREXIT" after the British electionhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1664http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1664Emmanuel Macron, president of France, is correct about Britain’s post-election Brexit realities. At a joint news conference with Prime MinisterTheresa May in Paris last week, he said the UK decision to leave the EU could be reversed: “As the negotiations go on, it will be more and more difficult to go backwards...”May knows she must respect the positions on Brexit of other parties, given her failure to secure a majority and the loss of 13 MPs. She is also under pressure from Brexiters on her own backbenches who could topple her as prime minister if she fails to deliver on their expectations.  The world, however, knows that she and David Cameron - with good reasons -supported "Remain" in last year’s national referendum.The Hon. David KilgourMon, 26 Jun 2017 19:54:00 -0400Dare to dream! Passion is not the enemy of reason. Fear is. Commencement 2017http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1663http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1663Many people will be graduating this month. They go forth at a time in history of great danger as well as great opportunity. They are surrounded by far too much sham and drudgery, but also by noble acts of selflessness and courage. Here are some thoughts for them, the class of 2017.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.Beryl WajsmanThu, 15 Jun 2017 18:06:00 -0400NATO and the Transatlantic Relationshiphttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1662http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1662When 12 democratic governments seeking to check Soviet expansion formed NATO by treaty in 1949, it seems unlikely that any of their political leaders thought they would today number 28 and become the most successful defensive military alliance in history. Post-1952 American President Dwight D. Eisenhower noted at the time, “We are engaged in a war of great ideologies. This is not just a casual argument between slightly different philosophies. This is light against dark, freedom against slavery…”.The initiative represented a major turning point for the United States. Unprecedented in peacetime, Washington was entering a permanent alliance linking it to Western Europe in both a military and political sense.The Hon. David KilgourSun, 11 Jun 2017 23:40:00 -0400THE SIX DAY WAR—ICONIC MILESTONEhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1661http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1661Washington, DC ~ Four times in the 75 years of my life, Israel has had to fight its Arab neighbors:  1948, for the creation of the country; 1956, to restore freedom of navigation through the Straits of Tiran and the Suez Canal; 1967, in pre-emptive strikes against Arabs on the verge of their own attacks; and 1973, beating back a surprise Egyptian attack across the Suez Canal that was initially successful.Each time there was the basic appreciation that Israel could not afford to lose a single war or “never again” would be implemented to catastrophic effect.It is the 1967 “Six Day War,” now in its 50-year commemoration starting on 5 June, that has proved the most enduring and consequential.David T. JonesWed, 07 Jun 2017 17:47:00 -0400"Masada shall not fall again! Metzadah shuv lo tipol!" The legacy of the bold and the bravehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1660http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1660This week we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Israel's victory in 1967's Six Day War. A war pre-meditatively planned and instigated by frontline Arab states whose leaders promised to "drive the Jews into the sea!" It was a victory for the frontline nation in the family of the free, a precursor of the time of terror we live in today, but more than all that, it affirmed President John F. Kennedy's creed that with, "Resolve and courage, the bold and the brave can assure the survival and success of liberty."In the weeks leading up to the War - a war that took place just 22 years after the liberation of the death camps of the Holocaust that killed 6 million Jews - Arab states flaunted international law and the international community responded with submission and impotent silence.Beryl WajsmanSun, 04 Jun 2017 12:50:00 -0400JFK:Why he matters stillhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1659http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1659“When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun.” ~ Robert F. Kennedy quoted these lines from Romeo and Juliet upon the death of his brother....Today we commemorate the centenary of the birth of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Think of it. He could very well have still been with us. Think of the difference in this world if he had lived the vigorous and robust life he could have. Just over a half-century after his assassination on that terrible day in Dallas, his hold on our imagination does not wane. It is important to reflect on the reasons why.Beryl WajsmanMon, 29 May 2017 10:24:00 -0400CULTURAL APPROPRIATION IS A CROCKhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1658http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1658Washington, DC - Sometimes one is impressed over the trivial pursuits of injustice collectors.  (One of) the latest “viewings with alarm” has been the contretemps over “cultural appropriation.”The intimation appears to be that the “culture” of a specific group is itself the equivalent of patent-protected material, and that nobody is permitted to act in a manner that reflects another member/group of society.It is hard to imagine anything more absurd.  History and society advance by the spread of ideas, inventions, and associated technology.  Culture, not just biology, is constantly evolving.  Otherwise, my Chinese mother-in-law would never have been permitted to read Shakespeare as a child.  Or members of First Nations to use rifles while traveling on snow mobiles.  David T. JonesSun, 28 May 2017 23:44:00 -0400Le négationnisme de Marine le Pen et la responsabilité de la Francehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1657http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1657Jerusalem - Le président Rivlin a eu raison de condamner le négationnisme de Marine le Pen au moment même où les Français s’apprêtent à voter au deuxième tour de la présidentielle. C’était son devoir d’alerter et de remettre les pendules de l’Histoire à l’heure de la vérité.Certes, rares sont les déclarations prononcées par un dirigeant officiel israélien contre un candidat à une élection dans un pays étranger, mais comment ne pas sursauter et se révolter contre les tentations de blanchir le gouvernement de Vichy dirigé par Pétain.Ce maréchal, vainqueur de Verdun, l’homme providentiel de l’époque, et ses collaborateurs,ont agi volontairement et ont offert aux Allemands une aide importante, la plus considérable et la plus précieuse de tous les pays de l’Europe occupée.Amb. Freddy EytanFri, 28 Apr 2017 13:00:00 -0400Quebec pockets $2.8 billion in Hydro profits and still raises rateshttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1656http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1656April 1st was a day of unpleasant surprises for many people across Quebec.  On this day Hydro Quebec started cutting electricity to households that have not been able to keep up with their electricity bills.  It was also the day when hydro hiked its rates 0.7 percent for residential consumers.  This increase is not trivial for the dramatically increasing numbers of households that have fallen behind on their bill payments.  While wages and government benefits have stagnated, the prices of food, rent, and other necessities have skyrocketed.  That the cost of electricity, an essential service under the responsibility of a crown corporation, should have also outpaced inflation is outrageous and shameful.    Debbie Byer, Iocent Crammer, Aissatou Diallo, Maria Ines GardunoSun, 23 Apr 2017 12:37:00 -0400Two Minutes to Midnighthttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1655http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1655Since 1947, The Chicago-based Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has maintained a Doomsday Clock indicating how close they feel the world is to a global nuclear war.  Now the clock is set to two and a half minutes to midnight, to which it has been creeping closer over the past 26 years since a recent low of 17 minutes, recorded following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  I think that the clock does not reflect the current danger represented by the twin threats of the Syrian civil war and persistent belligerence from North Korea.  There are more dangerous factors involved than at any other time since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, the atomic scientists need to get together and tick the clock 30 seconds closer than their most recent setting of January 26th, 2017.Robert PresserSun, 23 Apr 2017 12:30:00 -0400RUSSIA: SET/RESET/RESET AGAINhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1654http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1654Washington, DC - The United States has a “Russia problem.”  (And to be sure, Russia has a “United States problem.”)This is not “Cold War II”—much as media always in search of a conflict to which they can attach a tag line might prefer.  The “Soviet Red Army” of the 1980s that we feared for a generation would crash through the Fulda Gap headed to the Rhine—where we would have to fight outnumbered and win for the West’s survival—hasn’t existed since 1989.To be sure, Russia remains the only country whose nuclear strikes could comprehensively destroy the United States--at the cost of its own annihilation.  But despite this disconcerting reality, we “trust the Russians” to continue to act in sane self-control over their forces.David T. JonesSun, 23 Apr 2017 12:27:00 -0400Westmount: For community and for dignityhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1653http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1653I want to thank the hundreds of you that have expressed your support and confidence as I explore a possible candidacy for the Mayoralty of Westmount. Most of you have been with me in so many of our efforts. The fight against Bill 14, battling the Payette Plan, advocating for seniors rights, helping strengthen our food bank network, protecting minorities from racist authorities, representing the vulnerable against state fiat and championing our Canadian civil rights in the face of institutionalized prejudice.  Without your help I would not been honored with a Martin Luther King, Jr. Award  from Rev. Darryl Gray, nor a Parliamentary Certificate for contributions to Canadian democracy from the Hon. Marc Garneau, nor a Queen's jubilee medal for community service from Sen. Leo Housakos. You've been at the barricades with me.Beryl WajsmanThu, 06 Apr 2017 22:42:00 -0400