Nominations sought for Laurie Normand-Starr award

By . on March 25, 2010

LaurieNormand-Starr.jpgIt’s been almost a year since community volunteer Laurie Normand-Starr died.

To honour her memory, a humanitarian award in her name will be presented to deserving individual yet to be chosen during a dinner at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel on May 3. The selection committee, headed by her husband and her son,  is soliciting nominations for the award.

Pour un Québec scandinave

By Pierre K. Malouf on March 25, 2010

cap_booksbw.jpgLes Québécois comprennent enfin que l’heure est grave. Ramenés au réalisme  grâce au  leadership exemplaire du premier ministre, ils sont prêts à payer leur électricité au prix du marché, à débourser quelques dollars supplémentaires pour faire garder leurs enfants dans les CPE, à voir augmenter la TVQ de 1%,  à dépenser davantage pour envoyer leur progéniture à l’université,  à être à jamais les citoyens les plus taxés en Amérique du Nord. Ils voient aussi venir d’un bon oeil les mesures d’austérité qui seront prises pour ralentir l’augmentation des dépenses publiques. Le bon exemple nous est fourni par les employés de l’État, qui, de bon coeur, vont se contenter de modestes augmentations.

Nous n’avons pas à tolérer l’intolérable

By Djemila Benhabib on March 25, 2010

S’il y a une chose qu’a révélée au grand jour cette épisode de la jeune femme égyptienne en burqa qui s’est auto-exclue d’un cours de francisation à cause de son attitude sectaire, c’est la grande incapacité d’un bon nombre de  journalistes à décrypter le discours, les symboles ainsi que l’activisme des tenants de l’obscurantisme le plus réactionnaire du monde musulman, à savoir le salafisme.

Adding to the World’s Misery The Travesty of “Israel Apartheid week”

By Noga Emmanuel on March 25, 2010

Last month an ugly ritual event  replayed itself: “Israel Apartheid week”. In Montreal, 500  local artists signed a letter in support of an international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against the Jewish state: "to protest the Israeli state's ongoing denial of the inalienable rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties, [as] well as Israel's ongoing occupation and colonization of the West Bank (including Jerusalem) and Gaza, which also constitutes a violation of international law and multiple United Nations resolutions".

Afghan detainees – the real issue

By Mischa Popoff on March 25, 2010

In politics there are issues you can bludgeon your enemies with, but every now and then an issue arises that through its repetition will turn against you because a deeper issue lies within it. What the Liberals and NDP fail to appreciate as they attack the Conservatives over the Afghan detainee issue is that at a visceral level Canadians just don’t care about Afghan detainees because they’re the enemy. There, I said it.

Down and out in downtown Montreal

By P.A. Sévigny on March 25, 2010

As an advocate for some of the more vulnerable people across the nation, Liberal MP Marc Garneau couldn’t do much better than to use the downtown core’s Sac à dos to mount his campaign for sustained government support to help the poor, the sick and the destitute who live in the city’s downtown core. “Sustainable funding is crucial to the continued operation of organizations in Montreal like Sac à dos,” said Garneau,”…and everybody knows the demand for their services is increasing by the day. More and more people are using the city’s food banks and line-ups for the shelters keep getting longer and longer.”

“…more than just a meal”

By P.A. Sévigny on March 25, 2010

After twenty years on the front lines in the war against poverty on the mean streets of Cote Des Neiges, people at the MultiCaf project are still working hard to provide basic food security and social support networks for the district’s poor. Decades after the organization first opened its doors, MultiCaf is still working hard to help empower the local residents through an assortment of social action initiatives with a number of new programs aimed at feeding the poor and the disabled. As one of the borough’s foremost social and economic activists, Outremont businessman Francois Pilon said he was more than impressed with everything the MultiCaf people were doing in their district.

Israël n’a pas le choix

By Germain Belzile on March 25, 2010

Quelque 7000 obus de mortiers et roquettes tirés sur le territoire d'Israël depuis 2001. Des dizaines de milliers de civils israéliens ciblés par des attaques quotidiennes. Les alertes plus que quotidiennes qui terrorisent les enfants dans leurs écoles et leurs garderies. Quel gouvernement peut tolérer cela ? Depuis sept ans, les brigades d'Al-Aqsa (branche du Fatah), le Djihad islamique et le Hamas se sont armés pour atteindre leur but : détruire l'État d'Israël. 

Les vraies vérités sur Israël

By Beryl Wajsman on March 25, 2010

israel-flag.jpgOver the past month – from that annual hatefest called Israel Apartheid Week to the needless row over the Jerusalem buildings – we have witnessed a viral and venal campaign of disinformation about our one democratic ally in a a sea of theocratic tyranny. We want to devote this front page to setting the record straight. To fight the teachings of contempt. Here’s the real deal on Israel.
During IAW we saw the usual collection of Islamist apologists and their fellow-travelers in academic, political and diplomatic circles seeking to portray Israel as an apartheid-era South Africa in relation to its Arab citizens.

We must not abandon Afghanistan

By Lauryn Oates on March 25, 2010

In the recent speech from the throne on March 3, Afghanistan was mentioned in only two instances, and not mentioned at all in the budget speech the following day, strangely sidestepping the subject of the country in which we have engaged with so closely for the last seven years.
This is perhaps not surprising, given the inability of any of the three political parties to take any leadership on what a Canadian contribution to Afghanistan after 2011 might look like, and the Afghanistan fatigue that sadly characterizes Canadian public opinion.

Canada can help imprisoned Chinese hero Gao Zhisheng

By The Hon. David Kilgour on March 25, 2010

Members of Gao Zhisheng's international legal team, on which I am privileged to work, have submitted a petition to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, urging the UN to declare that the Chinese government's detention of Gao violates international law. Our team hopes that the UN will decide accordingly, but also that the Harper government and opposition party leaders will speak out on behalf of this extraordinary human rights lawyer, who 'was disappeared' by the Chinese party-state over a year ago.

A Conservative Budget

By Robert Presser on March 25, 2010

index_flow_bw.jpgThe game changing 1995 federal budget slashed transfers to the provinces and set in place five years of spending restraint.  The resulting limited growth in federal government spending, coupled with falling interest rates that reduced the interest burden on Canada’s existing debt, allowed the federal government to move into surplus before the millennium and post a decade of surpluses which ended in 2009.  The great shame of this period of fiscal nirvana is that it could have been even better for the Canadian taxpayer.  The Liberals consistently under-estimated their surpluses and even after an orgy of last-minute spending in the final quarter of every fiscal year up until their defeat in 2006, they still exceeded their surplus predictions.


By Robert Elman on March 25, 2010

The  “Canary in the coal mine,” is Greece, but is there an “ Elephant in the room?” Greece, like most of the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) has spent in a profligate manner, and has been less than humble in its demeanour. As you will later read , Greece’s dealing with her partners have been brought into serious question.
Greece became a member of the EU in 1993 with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty. There were very clear stipulations regarding Debt to GDP, Capital accounts, deficit to GDP and so on.

Piperberg's World

By Roy Piperberg on March 25, 2010


The private lives of public people

By Dan Delmar on March 25, 2010

Over one decade after American conservatives tried to demonize oral sex in the oval office, public figures are still being unfairly chastised for behaviour that should have remained private; behaviour that likely has no negative impact on their roles as politicians or professional athletes; behaviour that, while not admirable, is completely natural and may understandably result from attaining a certain level of success.

PHILIPPE CASGRAIN A renaissance man passes

By Alan Hustak on March 25, 2010

Casgrain_Philippe.jpgIf Philippe Casgrain hadn’t gone into law he might have been actor. 
Mr. Casgrain, who  died  Feb . 28 at 82 was one of those cultivated, old-world figures with a sense of panache.  A specialist in commercial and environmental law, he often relied on his natural charm to argue a case. “I’m always anxious for the judge to take his seat in the courtroom so I can put on a show for him,”  he once told a reporter, “You  have to be as well prepared as any actor if you are going to be convincing and win any sympathy for your client.”

The discreet charm of Pascale Bussières

By Alan Hustak on March 25, 2010

YRC8773.jpgThere are actors, and then there are stars.    
Pascale Bussières, the alluring star of at least 30 Quebec feature films, was never trained to be an actor -  she was always too busy working before the cameras  to bother going  to a theatre school.
 With her seductive eyes, luminous features   and expressive face,   Bussières can play almost anything. 

Back to her roots: An affectionate history of Griffintown

By Alan Hustak on March 25, 2010

Brave is the writer who tackles a history of Griffintown;  braver still the writer who would weigh in on the storied Montreal slum neighbourhood  from her  vantage point in Toronto.  There is much to admire in Sharon Doyle Driedger’s  enthusiastic,  if  somewhat  disjointed history of the Irish experience in Canada.  But  for a book with the subtitle:  How a Small Immigrant Community Shaped Canada ,  often the story she tells  doesn’t have all that much to do with “The Griff.”   Driedger holds forth  with authority in some chapters, especially her telling of  the 1842 canal workers strike at Beauharnois,  the floods and on the Christian brothers influence on the  neighbourhood.

Rambunctious “Comedy of Errors”

By Alidor Aucoin on March 25, 2010

Centaur Director Peter Hinton’s totally off-the-wall staging of William Shakespeare’s  The Comedy of Errors  is a rambunctious, gender crossing romp. The pl ay is a  ridiculously complicated  two hour series of fast-paced,  mad cap routines rooted  in the mistaken identities  of two sets of  identical twins who were separated at birth,  Antipholus of Syracuse (Marcel Jeannin) and  Antipholus of Ephesus,  (Andreas Apergis)  and their twin servants, both named Dromio.

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