Articles/rsshttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/The Politics of Criminal Justice Pardonshttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1411http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1411Is it ok to punish a criminal for the same crime twice. Recently, the Supreme Court of Canada said no, ruling that tougher parole-eligibility rules -applied retroactively - violated an offenders’ Charter rights in this respect.  But what about punishing someone for crimes that were never committed in the first place? Would it be okay to judge a person based on allegations that could not be proven in court? Michael AshbyThu, 10 Apr 2014 17:19:00 -0400"Ç’est assez! " Le Québec rejette la politique de la peurhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1410http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1410La semaine dernière, nous avons demandé aux Québécois de voter comme si leurs vies en dépendaient et ils l’ont fait.La semaine dernière, nous avons écrit que « c’est le référendum ». Les Québécois l’ont compris également et ils ont répliqué avec un « non! » retentissant.La semaine dernière, nous avons exhorté les électeurs à ne pas pénaliser M. Philippe Couillard d’avoir dit la vérité en ce qui concerne la question de la langue. Ils ne l’ont pas fait.Beryl WajsmanThu, 10 Apr 2014 17:00:00 -0400Déception et méfiance- changeons donc de stratégiehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1409http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1409Rien ne va plus avec l’Autorité palestinienne  et la méfiance persiste, pourtant rien n’est complètement perdu. L’administration américaine est confiante pour l’avenir et souhaite un prolongement des pourparlers. Tout en exerçant des pressions sur les deux parties elle réanime à chaque fois le processus pour prouver sa puissance et surtout pour ne pas perdre la face.Jusqu’à ce jour, nous avons pensé sincèrement que notre partenaire est vraiment sérieux et que notre voisin a de bonnes intentions, capable de mettre fin aux hostilités et à la belligérance et même pourra signer  un jour un traité de paix viable. Amb. Freddy EytanThu, 10 Apr 2014 16:57:00 -0400"Ça suffit!" Quebec rejects the politics of fearhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1408http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1408Last week we asked Quebecers to vote as if their lives depended on it. And they did.Last week we wrote that "this is the referendum." Quebecers got that too. And answered with a resounding "NO!"Last week we urged voters not to penalize Philippe Couillard for speaking truth on the language issue. And they did not. Perhaps that is the most eloquent legacy of Décision 2014. Quebecers - all Quebecers - rejected the rhetoric of marginalization and the politics of fear. They said "Ça suffit!" to division and discord.Beryl WajsmanTue, 08 Apr 2014 02:36:00 -0400Syria “Sauve Qui Peut “http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1407http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1407At some point, one has to recognize that the cause, no matter how noble, has been lost.And the “West” has lost in Syria.Recall that approximately two years ago pontificating cognoscenti were saying Syrian leader Assad couldn’t last another six months, that it was “just a matter of time,” that the rebels would shortly prove victorious.In a word, “Not.”Assad has not only survived, he is winning; indeed, he has virtually won the civil war.David T. JonesMon, 07 Apr 2014 16:27:00 -0400This is the referendumhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1406http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1406Clearly, this is the most important vote you will cast since 1995. But aside from the fact that both Pierre-Karl Péladeau and Premier Marois have made it clear that there will be a referendum – whether Quebecers be “ready” or not – depending on which one you listen to, vote Couillard and the Quebec Liberal Party because of his courage to speak some much-needed truths and candidates with the competence to tackle the problems that face us with focus on the priorities that really matter.Beryl WajsmanSun, 06 Apr 2014 21:39:00 -0400C’est le referendum.http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1405http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1405C’est le vote le plus important depuis 1995. Mettons de côté le fait que tant Pierre-Karl Péladeau que Mme Marois se sont clairement exprimé sur la tenue d’un referendum, que les Québécois soient prêts ou non (dépendamment de qui vous écoutez). Votez pour le PLQ et les libéraux en raison de leur courage de dire la vérité qu’on a tellement besoin d’entendre, d’attirer les candidats compétents pour s’attaquer aux problèmes auxquels nous faisons face; l’accent étant mis sur les priorités qui comptent vraiment. Beryl WajsmanSun, 06 Apr 2014 20:48:00 -0400Geriatric Gem: 4,000 Miles at Centaurhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1404http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1404Thank God for understanding grandmothers.And thank our lucky stars for director Roy Surette’s  solid, production of Amy Herzog’s  intergenerational play, 4000 miles at the Centaur until April 20.   Essentially, the play is about blood ties, about   the relationship between Vera, a 91-year old non-judgmental grandmother (Clare Coulter) and her 21-year old grandson, Leo. (Nathan Barrett.)Grandma, as it happens is  an  independent  left-wing idealist who cut her teeth during the McCarthy era.  She’s losing her hearing, she’s frail and a bit forgetful, but  still mentally tough and  perceptive,..Alan HustakWed, 02 Apr 2014 10:05:00 -0400Shysters at the Segal: Glengarry Glen Ross By David Mamethttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1403http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1403It takes a special cast to pull off a David Mamet play, and Paul Flicker has assembled a superlative team of actors who can indeed handle the playwright’s spare, scalding idiomatic dialogue with his directorial debut of Glen Garry Glen Ross at the Segal until March 30.  The 1984 Pulitzer Prize winning work about a group of cut-throat Chicago salesmen selling worthless Florida real-estate to gullible victims  is a riveting exercise in Flicker’s hands, made even more topical following the bust in the corrupt U.S. housing market six years ago.Alan HustakMon, 24 Mar 2014 15:42:00 -0400Les navires iraniens dans le collimateur d’Israëlhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1402http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1402Une fois encore Israël brouille les cartes de ses ennemis, une fois encore Tsahal prouve que son bras est long et qu’elle est capable d’atteindre des objectifs à des milliers de kilomètres de ses frontières. Dans le passé, nous avons connu des exploits extraordinaires comme à Entebbe, à Bagdad, à Tunis ou au Soudan, soit pour libérer des otages, soit pour détruire une centrale nucléaire, éliminer un chef de l’OLP et faire écrouler son QG tel un château de cartes, ou bombarder des convois de contrebandes d’armes et des chefs terroristes, en Syrie, au Liban et dans les déserts africains.Amb. Freddy EytanSun, 16 Mar 2014 13:09:00 -0400Quebec's China Syndrome: A snitch society gnaws at the body of a just societyhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1401http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1401Back in the 1970s amidst the fear and panic over nuclear power plants, Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas starred in a move set in California called “The China Syndrome.” The story centred on a nuclear power plant gone wrong, and the hypothesis was that if the nuclear rods went out of their cylinders they could melt through the earth’s core all the way to China.Last week’s attack by the OQLF on a store  in Chelsea, Quebec called “Delilah in the Parc” raises the spectre of a different kind of China Syndrome. The syndrome of state censorship of public media and communication.Beryl WajsmanMon, 03 Mar 2014 15:18:00 -0500Climate Change Claptraphttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1400http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1400I too believe in climate change--absolutely.  I believe in global warming--and in global cooling--and in global “just the same.”  By definition “climate” changes every day, even every hour--just look at your daily weather forecast.  On a larger scale, climate has changed repeatedly over millennium; ice ages have come and passed.  Fifty years ago prognosticators mulled over a coming ice age (which didn’t). Climate will change again--over decades, centuries, and longer, given a wide variety of conditions, e.g., the sun is a variable star.  And the climate may, repeat may, be changing over a period of time so that the Earth becomes measurably warmer.  But living long enough to prove/disprove it is problematic.David T. JonesMon, 03 Mar 2014 15:14:00 -0500War Is Hellishhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1399http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1399“The War of the Worlds, not the one from outer space happened right here,”  Lillabit Bradley reminds us in David Fennario’s  Motherhouse, a 90-minute  monologue staged at the Centaur Theatre until March 23 to commemorate the centennial of the Great War.Motherhouse is not so much a play as an arresting diatribe in search of one.   As the protagonist, Bradley, who worked at the British Munitions Factory in Verdun when her brother went off to fight the war, Holly Gauthier-Frankel has her work cut out for her.Alan HustakMon, 03 Mar 2014 13:23:00 -0500Le chaos hospitalier au Québechttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1398http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1398Avis au ministre de la Santé M. Hébert : Les gens ne croient plus à rien et ce, pour de bonnes raisons.Le débat récent sur la « régionalisation » des hôpitaux et où ils peuvent se faire soigner peut embrouiller même les gens raisonnables qui pensent qu’il ne s’agit pas d’un simple malentendu, mais d’un ballon d’essai qui a mal tourné.Comme le lecteur peut s’en rappeler, il y a quelques semaines, le Ministère de la Santé a émis des directives à l’Hôpital Général Juif – mondialement reconnu, entre autres, dans leur spécialitéen traitement du cancer – à l’effet que les gens qui viennent de l’extérieur d’une région géographique spécifique ne devraient pas être admis comme patient à l’hôpital ni avoir droit à des soins. Beryl WajsmanFri, 28 Feb 2014 19:18:00 -0500Quebec`s hospital havoc. It’s not about regionalization, it’s about desperationhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1397http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1397Memo to Quebec Health Minister Hébert: nobody believes anything anymore. And with reason.The recent back and forth on hospital “regionalization” and where patients could get care, can rightly leave reasonable people thinking that this wasn’t so much a misunderstanding as a trial balloon gone bad. The reality is there is no way to fix it.As readers may recall, the Health Ministry issued directives several weeks ago to the Jewish General Hospital – world renowned in cancer treatment among other areas – not to admit as patients, nor administer care to, anyone outside of a specific geographically defined area.Beryl WajsmanFri, 28 Feb 2014 19:16:00 -0500Leslie’s Legacyhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1396http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1396Washington, DC…It is a shame and a pity that Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie’s immediate legacy from a lifetime of professional and distinguished military service should be a kertuffle over his moving expenses.The “perk”--and it is a serious benefit--is standard not only for Canadian Armed Forces retirees but also for U.S. professional military and career diplomats.  Specifically, retiring U.S. diplomats often serve a final posting overseas or, if serving a terminal assignment in Washington DC, don’t expect to retire there.David T. JonesWed, 19 Feb 2014 21:40:00 -0500Remembering Ryanhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1395http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1395Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and former Quebec premier Jean Charest paid homage last week to Claude Ryan, one of Quebec’s last great Catholic intellectuals.Ryan, who was a champion of asymmetrical federalism, often frustrated both Mulroney and Charest with his notion that Quebec required enhanced constitutional powers to promote the equality of the French-language throughout Canada. But that didn’t stop either of them from reminiscing about him on the 10th anniversary of his death, and warmly remembering him as a great Canadian. Alan HustakTue, 18 Feb 2014 19:55:00 -0500Drainville just doesn't get ithttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1394http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1394As I have written before, reasonable people can agree that laity in the areas of the public square where we make laws, interpret them and enforce them has a long history of tradition and jurisprudence in western democracies. There have even been lay regulations in public schools that have withstood tests of intellectual rigour and legal challenge. What is not acceptable about Bill 60 is the breadth and depth of its imposition of secularism in areas such as healthcare where it is irrelevant. It should not, and must not, be imposed beyond the confines described here.Beryl WajsmanMon, 17 Feb 2014 20:59:00 -0500A Bob Forsaken Timehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1393http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1393Lucinda Davis is God in the Centaur Theatre’s  existential  drama The Book of Bob, and she’s divine.  The premiere of  Arthur  Holden’s  updated interpretation of the strained Old Testament parable, The Book of Job,  running until March 2,   is a toute de force for Davis  who  is an astonishing  presence throughout the 90 minute show.   If, as  scripture  insists,   we are  created in the image of God,  Davis seizes the conceit  and infuses  ten different characters with her phenomenal  talent.  Alan HustakMon, 17 Feb 2014 12:53:00 -0500The Invisible Servantshttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1392http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1392There once was a television series about New York called The Naked City and the opening line was: There are 8 million stories out there.  How true!  Each woman and man has a story to tell and so few are told.  I would say that is really true about the homeless.  The story of homeless people begins and ends with what they look like, not who they are, not what they have experienced and we never get to know why they are homeless.  They just are!  They just are on our streets, in our neighborhoods, and although they are just there we distance ourselves from them by not recognizing who they really are. Father John WalshSat, 15 Feb 2014 10:13:00 -0500A Real Charter For Quebechttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1391http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1391The fundamental reason for the Quebec Charter of values as proposed by the present PQ Government, tabled as Bill 60, is to render Quebec a secular society, defined as a neutral society disallowing any faith community to be part of a public discourse.   No society can move forward without hope and if it were possible to create a neutral society the need to instill hope in every member of Quebec society remains fundamental.   Hope speaks louder than faith.The following expressions of hope are essential to a Charter which opens all of society to a good life today and a better life tomorrow.Father John WalshSat, 15 Feb 2014 10:11:00 -0500Budget 2014: “Move along, nothing to see here!”http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1390http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1390The problem with reading most of the post-budget analysis is that it fails to answer the critical question, “what does all this mean to me?”  This lighter analysis will attempt to answer this query both metaphorically and through several Canadian personas.Overall, accepting this budget is like buying a new car in the last year of the current model’s production, right after spy photos come out showing you what the replacement will look like. Unfortunately for you, the current family ride died and this year’s model meets all your needs, though you wish you could hold out just a little longer for the newer, sleeker, sexier, more economical (if that’s your thing) version.Robert PresserSat, 15 Feb 2014 10:07:00 -0500Potty-mouth Diplomacyhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1389http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1389Washington, DC - Even two generations ago, I was probably a sheltered middle-class child.  Perhaps my upbringing was closer to “Victorian” in ignorance of sex and sexuality than even 20th century protocols.  At an age when today’s children are getting explicit, detailed information on pregnancy, homosexuality, etc, I was still being told that “the stork brought you” or that I was “found under a cabbage leaf.”  It generated an inchoate sense of frustration, but not living on a farm where normal animal activity would have clued me in, I had no obvious source of information.David T. JonesSat, 15 Feb 2014 10:05:00 -0500Former Canadian Bar President condemns Bill 60 - Bernard Amyot calls it a “vindictive act”http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1388http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1388Amyot told The Métropolitain that, “All my professional life I have made respect for the rule of law the hallmark of my public engagement. The reason is simple. Our social cohesion, and the protection of our democratic values depends strongly on the fidelity we evidence towards the rule of law and due process, which fidelity obliges elected officials to work within established parameters - within the rules of the game if you like - that protect the equity and equality of all citizens.”Beryl WajsmanTue, 11 Feb 2014 22:06:00 -0500The Seagull Soars at the Segalhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1387http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1387In director Peter Hinton’s coherent and highly entertaining adaptation of The  Seagull at the Segal until Feb 19, Chekhov’s  enigmatic psychodrama  has been transplanted from a Russian dacha to a chalet somewhere in the Canadian wilderness. The script has been updated and is as full of  contemprary references as a pop-culture magazine.  It is a three-and a half –hour excursion into the tragi-comic relationships of dysfunctional family that has gathered together in the claustrophobic confines of the lakeshore cottage.All of them are self-absorbed characters, who talk about art, philosophy and their individual struggles in an attempt to relate to one other  another. Alan HustakSat, 08 Feb 2014 15:30:00 -0500Albert Camus: Le portrait d’un justehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1386http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1386« Chaque génération, sans doute, se croit vouée à refaire le monde. La mienne sait pourtant qu’elle ne le refera pas. Mais sa tâche est peut-être plus grande. Elle consiste à empêcher que le monde ne se défasse. » Lorsqu’Albert Camus prononce ces mots le 10 décembre 1957, il est à l’hotel de ville de Stockholm. Le prix Nobel de littérature vient de lui être décerné tandis que la guerre froide scinde le monde en deux blocs ennemis. Camus évoque alors la terrible condition des intellectuels condamnés à la censure dans les pays communistes d’Europe centrale et orientale.  C’est à Louis Germain, son instituteur de l’école communale, qu’il dédie son discours de Suède : Camus n’a jamais oublié cet homme qui lui avait transmis, dans sa jeunesse en Algérie, le goût des lettres. Esther BenfredjThu, 06 Feb 2014 18:15:00 -0500Canada Is Never Dullhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1385http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1385Washington, DC - Almost a generation ago, when first I contemplated engaging with Canadian issues, I was told that “Canada is dull.”  Subsequently, when assigned to Ottawa, I experienced a referendum on revising the Constitution (1992), a change in Tory party leadership, the virtual annihilation of the Tory party (1993), a cliff-hanging referendum on Quebec-Canada separation (1995), and reconstitution of conservatives until they ultimately won a majority government in 2011.  Simultaneously, the “natural governing party” imploded with revolving door leadership, Bloc Quebecois separatists lost 90 percent of their seats, and the previously laughably amusing socialist NDP became the federal official opposition. Interspersed there were two wars, a Great recession, and complex trade arrangements.David T. JonesTue, 04 Feb 2014 18:10:00 -0500A wake-up call to Quebec: “ We’re Quebecers too and we’re here to stay – our way!”http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1384http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1384It seems that every week the Marois government gives us new reasons to pause in astonishment at its craven opportunism and breathtaking hypocrisy. Not to mention its continued pursuit of monstrously wrong-headed policies and manipulation of the public purse. Last week was no exception.And there is the political profit. Nationalist governments will go to any lengths to spend public dollars pursuing the language and culture wars and eeking out whatever `victories` they can get. This administration has spent its almost 18 months in power proposing divisive and demonizing legislation that is a slap in the face to the 20% of Quebecers who are not Francophone. Constant and continuing marginalization. It`s time for a wake-up call.Beryl WajsmanMon, 03 Feb 2014 17:59:00 -0500Claude Ryan Rememberedhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1383http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1383Although Claude Ryan died ten years ago  he remains a moral presence in Quebec. As a measure of his ongoing influence, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, NDP Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair and former Quebec Premier Jean Charest will take part in a seminar at the Newman Centre on Peel St. February 13 and 14 marking the 10th anniversary of Ryan’s death. As well, the first volume of Michael Gauvreau’s two volume Ryan  biography is about to be published.Alan HustakSat, 01 Feb 2014 13:55:00 -0500Remembrance - Auschwitz, January 27th, 1945http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1382http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1382Today, January 27th, is the 69th commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops. Perhaps for this reason, this date was chosen as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  Curiously, and sadly, it took the UN sixty years to give recognition to this most seminal and apocalyptic event in human history. The organization at whose entrance are carved the words of the prophet Isaiah that, “Swords shall be beaten into plowshares and nation shall not make war against nation anymore,”got around to commemorating Holocaust remembrance only in 2005. We are not only still waiting for Isaiah’s prophecy to be realized but also for that day when those other prophetic words “Justice shall roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream…” have life breathed into them.Beryl WajsmanMon, 27 Jan 2014 16:46:00 -0500