Articles/rsshttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/Wacky Wilde Travesty: The Importance of being Eccentric.http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1521http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1521Travesties, Tom Stoppard’s intellectual exercise about the literary and political co-ordinates of  art  and Oscar Wilde playing  at the Segal Centre until May 3  Is a polished, but exhausting three hour excursion into the surreal.. Unless you are familiar with the origins of Dadaism and the cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, know something of the precious personality of James Joyce and have studied  Vladimir Lenin’s revolutionary ideas,  this scholarly,  highbrow  drawing room comedy isn’t always easily accessible. There is much, much more going on in on in this chaotic production as well.   It is overloaded with talk, much of it too clever by half, and demands a familiarity not only with Wilde’s play, The Importance of Being Earnest, but with Shakespeare,  Gilbert and Sullivan and early 20th century European history. Alan HustakThu, 23 Apr 2015 02:52:00 -0400Thursday’s Israel Rally. Why it matters to us allhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1520http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1520Thursday at 11 in the morning, over 10,000 Montrealers of all faiths and backgrounds will march from Phillips Square to Place du Canada to celebrate Israel’s independence. It is important to all of us – as members of the family of free people – that we be there. Here’s why. If the Jewish people – in its national as well as religious manifestation - is the “canary in the mineshaft of history,” a phrase regularly employed by historians,  then Israel is the litmus test of the ability of western civilization to survive. It is the frontline member of the family of free nations facing the existential challenge of Islamist fundamentalism. It may very well be that as Israel goes, so goes the west.Beryl WajsmanMon, 20 Apr 2015 13:26:00 -0400Bombardier payment puts government priorities into questionhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1519http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1519 On Thursday April 2nd 2015 there was a large anti-austerity protest in Montreal. Several hundred kilometres to the northeast of the city, at the Bombardier plant in the small Kamouraskan town of La Pocatiere, Quebec’s economy minister, Jacques Daoust, declared that if the province were truly in a state of austerity it could not issue a $31.5 million advance payment for new Metro trains.Perhaps the students, teachers, nurses and diverse other public sector workers didn’t get the message, as apparently austerity had been overcome since the release of the budget on March 26th. Reported total budget cuts amounted to more than $700 million, with healthcare and education taking the hardest hit as anticipated.Taylor C. NoakesSun, 19 Apr 2015 14:30:00 -0400The "Other" Israel. Upcoming conference showcases "Start-Up Nation"http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1518http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1518In some ways, Israel is indeed what many have been conditioned to see: A conflict zone. Directly to the north is Syria, whose civil war has left more than 200,000 people dead and terrorist groups manning the Golan Heights along Israel’s border. Next door, Lebanon is run by the Iranian proxy Hezbollah, the leader of which has encouraged world Jewry to immigrate en masse to Israel, as the concentration of Jews there would make it easier to dispose of them in one fell-swoop.Charles BybelezerSun, 19 Apr 2015 14:15:00 -0400No rights without responsibilitieshttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1517http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1517The latest student displays of arrogant self-indulgence, culminating in the UQAM riot, have been nothing other than thuggery. The same kind of criminal activity we witnessed in the “Red Square” period. Destruction of private and public property, intimidation of others trying to exercise their own rights, criminal trespass and a resort to the appropriation of the facades of terror when rioters broke up classes with faces covered. What is beyond comprehension is why there is yet again a debate as to how these thugs should be treated? If they can be identified, charge them. If they can’t, then UQAM should use the student association fees to make up the damage. Including the destroying soft drink dispensing machine which some of the riot’s leaders would justify as an attack on global capitalism.Beryl WajsmanThu, 16 Apr 2015 11:28:00 -0400I Would Not Want To Be A Young Man Todayhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1516http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1516Washington, DC - I am now certifiably an “old man”—well past social security age with a gray beard.And, the sexual mores of today are so different than those prevailing when I was young that one wonders how a young man (often with his “brain” between his legs) is able to negotiate the minefields laying between his desire for sexual intercourse and acceptable female acquiescence in his desire.Recently, an Internet Headline News article, ostensibly directed at Canadian athletes but applicable to all young men, displayed as part of its story a wall-mounted poster listing a dozen examples illustrating how and when “NO MEANS NO.” David T. JonesThu, 16 Apr 2015 11:24:00 -0400Ted Cruz – crazy or not you have to pay attentionhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1515http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1515Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Texas, announced that he is seeking the Republican nomination for President of the United States.  You may not like Ted Cruz.  Well, get in line, there are lots of progressive Americans ahead of you with that sentiment, never mind Canadian Liberals and NDPers, some Red Tories, and the list goes on.  Don’t dismiss him with a slight of hand, however.  Instead, pay very close attention to what he stands for and how he presents himself before the media.  He is the best semantic communicator in a generation, knows his political and economic history backwards and forwards and is wicked smart.Robert PresserThu, 16 Apr 2015 11:22:00 -0400On civil conservatism/ The restraint of reason over illiberal license.http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1514http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1514There are core belies of personal civil conservatism that drive my social activism and journalistic advocacy. Foremost amongst them is my concern that many of the approaches of  today’s inappropriately named liberalism have supported the proposition that the state has an undisputed authority to impose a framework of imperatives that not only delineate and define how we should live but who we should be.  Social engineering as statist faith has become too ingrained and is increasingly seen as central to “progressive” government doctrine. In today’s “liberalism,” Individual expression is to be moderated and sublimated to the supposed greatest good for the greatest number. Beryl WajsmanTue, 07 Apr 2015 12:11:00 -0400Olympic roof funding deserves a big, fat NO! Quebec needs to get priorities straight.http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1513http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1513Out of a $15 billion infrastructure envelope in the new budget we are seeing some ridiculous things. Worst among them is $220 million for the Olympic roof. Again. It's nice to know that all our other problems have been solved. This useless expenditure comes on top of $400 million to the Beaudoin family for a needless cement plant in the Gaspé. And some $300 million for a phosphate strip mine in Sept Isles. Cement and phosphate prices have been plunging.Beryl WajsmanTue, 07 Apr 2015 12:08:00 -0400Alana's pleahttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1512http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1512Although Mayor Copeman has already received a longer and far more detailed letter from Ms. Ronald, the following is an abridged and edited version, with Ms. Ronald’s permission, for the purpose of publication. It is a story of her trials and tribulations with the city's social housing bureaucracy. It raises critical issues of the tragedy of what our seniors on fixed incomes have to go through. They, who built our society, suffer needlessly because our governments have not met their fiduciary responsibility to assure that pensions are sustainable. By 2020, some 30% of Montreal's non-francophone population will be seniors. Close to 40% will have no other source of income than government pensions which are below poverty levels of $19,000 for a single individual. There is no more vital issue on the agenda of social justice than to right the wrongs to the most vulnerable among us. Former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty wanted to start increasing pensions two years ago. It is time to begin. Beryl WajsmanMon, 30 Mar 2015 23:41:00 -0400A Tempting Envelopehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1511http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1511Not only do you  have to care,  but you have to care passionately about the way movies  in English-speaking Canada are made to  appreciate  The Envelope,  Vittorio Rossi’s   “gibber about the Canadian film industry,”  playing at the Centaur Theatre  until  April 19. It’s  a  fascinating  glimpse into the world of moviemaking   but one  which may leave  many outside the theatre community a little bewildered.  The Envelope is  essentially  a play about  idealism,  greed  and artistic integrity  - in Rossi’s rant, it is about  “an industry that kills talent.”  Alan HustakSat, 28 Mar 2015 19:51:00 -0400Time for an economic «risque de tonnerre!»http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1509http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1509Thursday, Quebec unveils its new budget. It should have one critical, straightforward direction. Cut taxes. Cut bureaucrats. Restart our resource base. Other than these priorities, there is nowhere left to go and nothing left to take. Taxation is not a way to raise revenues. It is time for Quebec to stop pushing people and companies away. I don’t say this just because the Godbout report last week recommended sweeping changes in Quebec’s tax structure. It was gratifying to read the Godbout Report state clearly and candidly that radical tax cuts are the critical necessary step to economic revival.  But frankly, it is just common sense. And M. Couillard recognized that, in an interview with me in Feb. 2013 when he said, “We need a deep reform so that taking a job does not leave one in a worse net position than if they just remained unemployed.”  Beryl WajsmanMon, 23 Mar 2015 15:49:00 -0400Quebec electoral commission still fails citieshttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1510http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1510Rural/urban imbalance continues as Montreal stands to lose seat and Laval will not gain.Although the Liberal government has embarked on an ambitious effort to fix the provinces finances, Quebec City has not yet moved to address the province’s democratic deficit.According to the Quebec Electoral Commission, Montreal stands to lose a seat in the National Assembly and fast-growing Laval won’t gain any.That’s because Quebec crams two-thirds more citizens into its urban ridings than the ones in the hinterland. Last week, the Quebec Electoral Commission said in a statement that urban ridings can contain 60,484 voters, while rural ridings need just 36,290 eligible souls to get the same representation in the provincial legislature.Robert FrankMon, 23 Mar 2015 15:36:00 -0400Boycott this! Enough is enough!http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1508http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1508This past Sunday McGill students rejected a motion by their student society - the SSMU - that would have urged the university to boycott Israel and divest investments in companies with Israeli ties. Their action is to their credit and should be applauded. Particularly in light of the fact that last December, Concordia students voted in favour of such a motion.It is astonishing that students - heavily subsidized students at that - would even be allowed a say in determining academic and investment relations of the institution they attend supported by our tax dollars. Last week we used this space to say "Ça suffit!" to Hydro's gouging. This week we say "enough is enough" of the BDS - boycott, divestment, sanction - crowd.Beryl WajsmanMon, 16 Mar 2015 19:30:00 -0400Mr. Trudeau have you no shame?http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1507http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1507Justin Trudeau has compared Conservative immigration policies and rhetoric as creating an atmosphere akin to the Liberal government of Mackenzie King's "none is too many" policy against European Jews in World War II. This kind of outrageous demagoguery would disqualify Trudeau from being taken seriously for any office in most western countries.Aside from the fact that the Harper government just yesterday made clear again it's outreach to Muslims in Jason Kenney's address, there have been no restrictions on Muslim immigration into Canada as there were against Jews. No one is killing Muslims just for being Muslims, as Hitler did to Jews, except for other Muslims like ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al-Qaeda.Beryl WajsmanMon, 09 Mar 2015 23:24:00 -0400Be Careful, your views could affect your willhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1506http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1506Two weeks ago, a story that received limited press should have sent shockwaves throughout the legal establishment and to anyone who has prepared a last will and testament.   Ontario, Judge C.A Gilmore rejected the will of the late Rector Emanuel Spence who bequeathed his entire estate to only one of his two daughters as the judge believed his motivations were racist. As such, the Judge set a controversial precedent where the thoughts and views of the deceased, and not the recipient of the inheritance, was determined to be detrimental to public policy and warranted the complete nullification of his will.Jordan TurnerMon, 09 Mar 2015 17:55:00 -0400Hydro-Québec: "Ça suffit!"http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1505http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1505It is undignified, insulting and misleading for the Quebec Régie de l'énergie to put a positive spin on it's decision to allow Hydro a 2.9% rate increase instead of the asked for 3.9%. The implication that the Board was somehow protecting the public is nonsense. This Board has allowed almost 13% increases over the last three years. Neither inflation, nor the cost of production, nor our incomes have gone up anywhere near that mark. This is simply a hidden tax with one pocket of the government refilling the other pocket of the government. It is time to paraphrase René Levesque when he finished the nationalization of Hydro, as a member of the Lesage government, and say to the utility monopoly, "Ça suffit!"Beryl WajsmanMon, 09 Mar 2015 17:53:00 -0400Point Storieshttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1504http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1504The publishing industry being what it is  these  days  you won’t find a copy of  Dave Flavell’s  oral history of Griffintown,  Point St. Charles and Goose Village in any Montreal  bookstore.  Newspapers in town have taken no notice of it.   But for anyone interested in the social history of Montreal’s storied English-speaking tenement neighbourhoods,  his book, Community and the Human Spirit is well worth ordering on line.  Like Patricia Burns’ Shamrock and The Shield   Which was published ten years ago, Flavell captures a chorus of voices to chronicle  a time and place that no longer exists – not just the Irish.Alan HustakSun, 08 Mar 2015 14:28:00 -0400A Wild Nighthttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1503http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1503There are home invasions and then there are home invasions.  The Good Night Bird, at The Centaur until March 22 is a preposterous,  heterosexual twist on James Kirkwood’s gay comedy,  P.S. Your Cat Is Dead.  (Yes, there is a role for a dead cat in this show too.)   In  Colleen Murphy’s screwball version of the Kirkwood tale a mentally unstable, filthy vagrant bent on killing himself  hits the balcony of a high rise and winds up, instead, in the bedroom of an emotionally alienated  married couple where he breathes new life into their sedentary relationship.Alan HustakSat, 28 Feb 2015 14:52:00 -0500Justin Trudeau just doesn't get ithttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1502http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1502Justin Trudeau said yesterday that Prime Minister Harper's insistence that niqabs - female face coverings - should not be allowed in courts and citizenship ceremonies demonstrates an insensitivity to minority rights. I would say that Mr. Trudeau's continuing failure to comprehend that cultural particularities should never be raised to secular right is an overt threat to the health of a liberal pluralistic democracy and is cause for concern in someone who seeks to become the head of government.Beryl WajsmanWed, 18 Feb 2015 18:11:00 -0500New income security coalition unites left and righthttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1501http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1501Few things unite the right and left in Canada, Tim Hortons and hockey notwithstanding, but a not-so-radical idea might be one of them.Mention “guaranteed income” and most people think “handout.” But there’s a lot more to it, says Jonathan Brun, spokesperson for the Basic Income Canada Network and co-founder of Revenue de base Quebec, working to get Canada to adopt a basic income scheme. “It appeals to everyone because it addresses the burgeoning government bureaucracy and maintains a solid social safety net while changing the way government transfers wealth between taxpayers.”Joel CeausuMon, 16 Feb 2015 21:20:00 -0500Doing good is just not good enough!http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1500http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1500During last week’s hour-long lecture in Westmount’s Atwater Library, Matthew Pearce once again reminded his audience why charity must be more than “...just a soup kitchen and a bed.”  “Shelters were originally conceived as an emergency option and not as permanent housing for the destitute,” said Pearce. “So our goal is not to warehouse people but to help as many as we can to re-integrate back into society. Our ultimate mission is to end homelessness as we know it.”P.A. SévignyMon, 16 Feb 2015 21:18:00 -0500Time for compassion and coherence in welfarehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1499http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1499The Couillard administration is taking a look at revising welfare. It is in the context of the general austerity plan. It has been made clear that there will be some nominal cuts. This is the wrong policy. It punishes the vulnerable, perpetuates a system that does not work and cannot achieve any economic or social benefits. It is time for compassion and coherence in our welfare policies.  Our social security system – pensions and welfare – have been compromised for generations by governments taking in what were in fact trust monies – deducted from all of us at source - and using them for general purposes.Beryl WajsmanMon, 16 Feb 2015 21:12:00 -0500MIGS director set to fight online terrorismhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1498http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1498As the Senior Deputy Director of MIGS - Montreal’s Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies - Kyle Matthews believes that we’re already beginning to fight the Third World War and that its front lines can be easily found on the internet.Let’s face it,” he said. “…we’re at war, and as of now, the bad guys are winning.”According to Matthews, western governments should recognize and understand that ISIS – the Islamic State – is already using the social media as an effective medium for all of its propaganda and recruitment efforts and research indicates that they are already getting excellent results.P.A. SévignyMon, 16 Feb 2015 21:09:00 -0500Earth Angels - Forever Plaidhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1497http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1497Forever Plaid at the Segal Centre until February 22 is a happy-go-lucky musical museum piece, mounted with obvious affection and encased in clean-cut nostalgia.  If the Four Aces, the Four Lads, Johnny Ray, (“The Cry Guy”),  Topo Gigo, Senor Wences and Caribbean calypso rhythms  mean anything to you, this local production is a faithful, full-fledged hi-fidelty hit. Stuart Ross’ Forever Plaid made its debut off Broadway 25 years ago, and it remains a crowd pleasure with a certain generation. especially the baby boomers who grew up in an era of 45 r.p.m juke box tunes. Alan HustakSat, 07 Feb 2015 18:01:00 -0500The Mascia judgment: Justice deniedhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1496http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1496Justice Salvatore Mascia's judgment in the latest challenge to Bill 101 continued the tradition of avoiding the hard truths that would have necessitated condemning the ugly compromise of justice that has been the hallmark of Quebec law since the passage of this notorious legislation. In so doing he failed a generation and blunted hope. Worse still, he denied natural justice.I do not use the term "natural justice" pejoratively. It is a term of legal art. It refers to those rights inherent to every human being simply by right of birth. And one of those primordial rights is that all people are to be treated - and seen to be treated - equally before the law. The dignity of the individual has been the litmus test of all civilized systems of law. It is a test Quebec fails time and again.Beryl WajsmanTue, 03 Feb 2015 16:10:00 -0500Online petition demands Hydro rate freezehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1495http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1495One of the latest petitions to hit activist website change.org is one that could affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of Quebecois and Quebecoises trying to keep warm. Solene Tanguay, a self-described single mother from the Quebec City area, mounted a petition demanding that Hydro Quebec freeze residential electricity rates. Since launching, the petition has attracted over 16,000 supporters and Tanguay is looking for almost 10,000 more.  To sign the petition, please visit change.org and search for Hydro-Quebec.Stephanie AzranTue, 03 Feb 2015 16:06:00 -0500“Counter-productive” Groups denounce welfare reformhttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1494http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1494“There’s still time,” says Clement Citeya of the Comité des Personnes Assistées Sociales de Pointe-Saint-Charles (CPAS). Still time that is, for the province to reconsider its welfare reforms that the groups calls counter-productive and shows “shocking contempt for welfare recipients and are based on a false understanding of the welfare system.” Quebec is applying its austerity belt cinching to welfare rolls as well, affecting many of the nearly half-million Quebecers receiving social assistance.CPAS along with Côte-des-Neiges based Project Genesis and other groups held a press conference last week to denounce the changes and Employment Minister François Blais’ “spreading false ideas rather than dealing with real social assistance issues.”Joel CeausuTue, 03 Feb 2015 16:00:00 -0500Despite Grandeur, Paris Demonstration Will Fail to Promote Changehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1493http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1493The media coverage surrounding the biggest march in French History where 1.5 million French citizens and over 40 world leaders marched together to show solidarity for the victims of the massacre at Charlie Hebdo and at a kosher supermarket was unprecedented.  The march was portrayed as a momentous event showing support for freedom of expression and free speech which are paramount to a democratic state and gave legitimacy to the old expression that the pen is mightier than the sword.   However, despite the sheer numbers at the Paris demonstration, it will go down in history as a missed opportunity and not a turning point in the fight for freedom of expression.Jordan TurnerWed, 21 Jan 2015 10:12:00 -0500The pen or the Kalashnikov- your choicehttp://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1492http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1492Last week, #Je SuisCharlie became the anthem of artists, journalists and citizens who refused to back down in the face of violence. 12 people died in the attacks in Paris and several more French citizens were killed in the days following. In the initial affront, gunmen with Kalashnikovs went into the building during an editorial meeting and opened fire. On writers, editors, citizens of France who may have taken things too far, but for a real purpose. This isn't the first time the magazine has been under fire- literally. It was firebombed in 2011 for publishing an edition poking fun at Mohammed and Islamic law. Writers and the editor-in-chief were and are used to receiving death threats. Even after requests from the French government to temper their satire, the magazine refused. Stephanie AzranSun, 18 Jan 2015 10:16:00 -0500