No mandate! A prejudiced, “not-ready-for-prime-time” government

By Beryl Wajsman on October 19, 2012

One thing is clear from the narrow election result in Quebec - it gave the PQ no mandate for any of its radical agenda. It was to be hoped that we could take Pauline Marois at her word that she not only respected, but understood the will of the people. However, from the  inflammatory rhetoric, the sparking of new language friction and the irresponsible fiscal policies it was perhaps too much to hope for.The only sign of hope are the endless flipflops and reining in of her Ministers that she has done.

Tolerating intolerance in Quebec

By Dan Delmar on October 19, 2012

Delmar_Dan_bw.jpgAnglophone pundits, myself included, were targeted recently by the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste, a radical sovereignist group founded in 1834, whose ideas are barely more evolved than they were 178 years ago.

SSJB president Mario Beaulieu was so crass as to accuse some in Anglo media of creating a climate of hate that led a madman to shoot up the Parti Québécois’ victory celebration, killing Denis Blanchette.


Once upon a time in Quebec

By Akil Alleyne on October 19, 2012

alleyne_akyl.jpgI’m not sure what to make of the recent Quebec provincial election. To be sure, the results were hardly surprising, given Jean Charest’s long-dwindling popularity. It’s a shame that the outcome appears to vindicate the anti-tuition-hike movement’s unreasonable goals and undemocratic tactics. (In truth, it does no such thing, at least not without proof that the tuition issue moved more votes than, say, the Charest government’s corruption. Alas, in politics, perception always trumps reality.) Nonetheless, since the Parti Québécois was first elected in 1976, Quebecers have consistently given each major party exactly nine years in power before trading it for the other.

Revenue Quebec reforms regulations Minister and Director-General take action after problems brought to light

By Beryl Wajsman on October 19, 2012


Bachand.jpgWhen we take on advocacy cases and causes they usually center on an individual. An individual who has suffered a prejudice that is demonstrative of a broader systemic problem whether in a government department or within a major corporation. Individual cases that have within them issues illustrative of universal applicability. But sometimes it can't be done that way. Fear and impotence stand in the way.
Fear of retribution, and impotence in the face of a maze of ever-changing rules and regulations that baffle even experts. That is the way it is for most citizens who feel victimized by Revenue Quebec and have no idea what to do about it. Many call us.


Some Federal Electoral Boundaries proposals are questionable

By Marvin Rortrand on October 19, 2012

The Federal Electoral Boundary Commission is proposing major changes to the electoral map and citizens and community groups have only a few more weeks to register to comment.

The Commission is mandated by law to review the electoral map on a periodic basis taking into account population shifts. This time the task is complicated by the decision of Parliament to increase the number of seats nationally from 305 to 338. Quebec's representation goes from 75 to 78 which has provoked major changes in boundaries many of which will give citizens pause as it often appears that the principles of physical integrity of neighbourhoods and community identity have not been respected.


Quelques questions pour J-F Lisée

By Steve Ambler on October 19, 2012

Prenons deux individus, les deux parlant bien le français, le premier de Bordeaux et le deuxième de Shanghaï. Le premier parle français à la maison, et donc selon la logique du PQ vaut plus que le deuxième...

Religion and a secular charter for Quebec

By Father John Walsh on October 19, 2012

I grew up in Montreal when the French-speaking Roman Catholic Church was literally present everywhere, from the opening prayer at a hockey tournament to the blessing of a beauty salon.  The hierarchy and the local clergy were the Church.   They were placed on pedestals with the expectation that they could solve all problems and do no wrong.   The religious, priests, brothers and religious women (nuns) ran the schools, hospitals, orphanages and every institution that dealt with the lives of French-speaking people in Quebec.   The educational system offered a classical education which meant that the French-speaking students were not introduced into the world of science where progress was exponential and the system also left them without an understanding of the impact of economic development. 

The Problems with Nexen

By The Hon. David Kilgour on October 19, 2012

Kilgour_David_bw.jpgThe proposed buy-out of Nexen Inc., Canada's sixth largest oil company, for $15.1 billion by the government-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) obliges the Harper government to decide whether or not to approve the purchase under the undefined "net benefit" and "national security" tests in the Investment Canada Act. Here are some concerns.

Now Is the Time for Anger

By David T. Jones on October 19, 2012

Jones_David_bw_new.jpgAmericans are now reaping the results of the “Arab spring.”  The out-with-the-old; in-with-the new upheavals in 2011 were supposed to demonstrate a surge of democracy, human rights, personal freedoms, and liberties akin to those in Eastern Europe, following the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of Soviet tyranny in 1991.  Commensurate, albeit ancillary, was the expectation that the United States, the “shining city on a hill,” as the exemplar of democracy and human rights, would be appropriately appreciated by these flower children of spring.  It would be the culmination of the Middle East “reset” epitomized by President Obama’s Cairo doctrine speech in June 2009, emphasizing U.S. respect and appreciation for Islam.

L'échec de l'Occident dans la confrontation avec les"fous d'Allah"

By Amb. Freddy Eytan on October 19, 2012


Freddy_Eytan.JPGDepuis les attentats spectaculaires du 11 septembre 2001 contre l'Amérique, le combat inlassable contre le terrorisme n'a pas cessé un seul jour, mais il a fallu plus de dix ans à la CIA pour réussir à tuerle chef commanditaire, le tristement célèbre Oussama Ben Laden.
En dépit du combat tous azimuts contre l'Axe du Mal, les islamistes de tous bords, chiites et sunnites, continuent sans crainte à dicter leur loi fanatique et à propager le culte de la mort. Ces groupes extrémistes tels qu'al Qaïda rêvent d'instaurer un sinistre objectif, à savoir un califat de l'Indonésie au Nigéria dont le centre serait al Qouds…


Occupy Wall Street Blues

By Akil Alleyne on October 19, 2012

alleyne_akyl.jpgOn my way to the subway station in mid-September, I was somewhat startled to glimpse a community newspaper headline screaming “OCCUPY’S ONE-YEAR BLUES” on a newsstand. Then I remembered that, lo and behold, the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protests was fast approaching. I realized that I was momentarily taken aback by the headline because I had almost totally forgotten about Occupy Wall Street. Less than a year ago, the airwaves and the Internet were burning up with talk about this audacious and potentially game-changing new movement. Now, in the middle of an election campaign that will determine whether and how Washington will address OWS’ concerns, the movement itself seems moribund. What happened?

Le réveil macabre d'Arafat et la tragi-comique justice de François Hollande

By Amb. Freddy Eytan on October 19, 2012

Freddy_Eytan.JPGJeudi 11 novembre 2004, 3 heures du matin, Yasser Arafat est décédé à l'hôpital des armées Percy à Clamart… Quelques heures après, sur le tarmac de la base aérienne de Villacoubay, le cercueil d'Arafat est recouvert du drapeau quadricolore palestinien et porté par huit soldats français de l'armée de terre. Au son de la marche funèbre de Chopin, trois compagnies de la Garde républicaine en tenue d'apparat rendent les honneurs…Après la sonnerie aux morts retentit l'hymne national palestinien et la Marseillaise, joués par la fanfare militaire. Des drapeaux français et palestiniens en berne flottent au vent tandis qu'un avion Airbus de l'armée de l'air s'envole avec la dépouille vers les cieux escorté par un autre avion de la République française avec, à son bord, le chef de la diplomatie…

Vivre en plein milieu du peuple

By Father John Walsh on October 19, 2012

father_walsh.jpgUn jour j’ai rencontré Sœur Hélène Préjean, l’auteur du livre Dead Man Walking et consultante majeure du film du même nom, dont Susan Sarandon à obtenu un « Oscar » pour le rôle de la religieuse.  J’ai pu l’interviewer à la radio et j’étais surpris quand elle me disait que la vie à Nouvelle Orléans cote « suburbia » était une vie tranquille.  Mais, un jour elle a déménagée l’autre cote de la ville, quartier pauvre, et le premier soir quelqu’un cognait à la porte.  Elle ouvre la porte et une femme me poussait de cote et entrait brusquement, un homme la suivait avec un couteau à la main.  La surprise qu’elle me révèle : ce soir-là mon Dieu a changé complètement. 

Dieppe : un épisode terrible, mais pour le Canada, une force unificatrice

By Bernard Amyot on October 19, 2012

Amyot_Bernard.JPGLe 19 août dernier, les Dieppois et de nombreux Français ont commémoré le 70ème anniversaire du raid de Dieppe.  
Le 19 août 1942, des milliers de soldats canadiens ont combattu avec grand courage dans le cadre de ce débarquement mémorable, mettant ainsi la table pour les opérations du Jour J et l’Invasion alliée de Normandie plus de deux ans plus tard (Opération Overlord).  Les Français se souviennent encore vivementde ce raid et continuent de le célébrer, bon an mal an.  Les Canadiens devraient, a fortiori, se souvenir avec autant de ferveur des énormes sacrifices de leurs compatriotes.

Insights from homelessness: There is much to learn from those who live far from the madding crowd

By Father John Walsh on October 19, 2012


homeless.jpgThe majority of people in Montreal, and elsewhere, pass a homeless person on the street and they are unable to go beyond what their eyes see.  The very presence of a homeless person on the same street where people have their daily route to work disturbs some people; others, walk on as if they do not exist.   
The homeless are no different from you and me.  No different.  They laugh, they cry, they feel pain and they are struggling to make sense of their lives.  Each of us hasn’t a story to tell, we have a history to recount.  It begins with birth and ends with death.  History unfolds in one’s upbringing, one’s childhood, youth, adolescence and adulthood.  The road less travelled is that of the homeless people. 


Quebec’s Debt: Who manages better? It depends on what's an investment and what's an expense

By Robert Presser on October 19, 2012

Presser_Robert_new.jpgIn the aftermath of the Quebec election, taxpayers wait with clenched teeth for a coherent taxation strategy to make up for the lost revenue from the cancellation of the tuition hikes, the abolition of the health care tax for some (with an increase for others) and the cost of the PQ’s election promises.

A Dark and Comic read: Bluebeard’s Seventh Door

By Alan Hustak on October 19, 2012

Vescei_Andre.jpgSex, guilt, music, Serbian-Croatian politics and the atrocities committed by the fascist  Croatian Ustasha revolutionary movement during the Second World War figure prominently in Bluebeard’s Seventh Door, Andre Vecsei ‘s didactic novel which his wife has published posthumously. The title comes from one of the author’s favourite operas by Bartok  in which pentatonic chords reminded him of “The antagonism between men and women.”

Vecsei is at his best describing  the musicians sexploits, especially a  licentiouis lecture tour in New York state. He returns to discover that his  Schererazade, has run away with a colleague and  learns the end of her story from a “a fat old  fabulist” .

Yoga gets off the mat and tries to help part of the world

By Beryl Wajsman on October 19, 2012

backbend.jpgMany people think yoga is a discipline practiced by those privileged with the time and means for proper instruction and a certain degree of self-absorption. Somewhat removed from the harsh realities of life that beset most people. It is of course not that at all. And for for the past several years, adherents to a certain school of Yoga have set out to demonstrate just that.
The Global Seva Challenge, a program of "Off the Mat into the World", adopts a cause every year and hundreds of yoga instructors around the world adopt personal projects to raise money for the goal. This year the Seva Challenge is to help victims of sex trafficking. 


Un cynique chez les lyriques

By Louise V. Labrecque on October 19, 2012

cynique_chez_les_lyriques.jpgD’abord, on se demande pourquoi un titre pareil. Puis, nous traversons le préambule pour découvrir les intentions de l’auteur, Carl Bergeron. Soudain, s’impose comme une envie d’en savoir davantage, de dévorer ce livre ou mieux, d’écrire, exactement de la même manière que l’on constate l’urgente nécessité, tous les printemps, de préparer le terreau afin que plantes, fleurs et fruits puissent planter ses racines. En fait, cela va encore plus loin que la parole ou l’écriture. Plus loin que la sensibilité. Nous parlons ici de cynisme, comme analyse symbolique et philosophique des films de Denis Arcand. En tant que rapport au monde également, dans un regard en surplomb -comme celui d’Arcand-, scrutant l’horizon au tant de l’intime que du collectif, notamment en ce qui a trait à la situation québécoise actuelle. 

The Not So Perfect Martini in New York City

By Robert K. Stephen on October 19, 2012

nycmartini.jpgMartinis and Kraft Dinner have much in common. One can spend hours comparing techniques, add-ons, personal preferences and anecdotes and reach no conclusions as to the ultimate Martini or bowl of Kraft Dinner. Do you like your Kraft Dinner, milky, cheesy, al dente and with chopped up hot dogs in it? Do you like a gin vs. vodka Martini, dirty Martini, with lime twists or with or without vermouth? Do you like to eat your Kraft Dinner right out of the pot with a soup spoon or in a bowl? Would you like your Martini shaken in front of you or be content to hear it be shaken twenty feet behind you? Do you want it stirred or shaken? All these questions are deep and serious worthy of contemplation by both philosophers andprobably not wine writers who should keep their snouts out of Martini stemware.

CREATURE MYTHOLOGIES St. Henri gallery combines art and interior design.

By Alan Hustak on October 19, 2012

Rhino_rabbit.jpgNostraCasa  a  new  concept gallery opening in St. Henri Aug 30 represents a felicitous  marriage of contemporary  art, interior design and eco-luxurious furniture.

A dozen artists are represented at the gallery’s opening art exhibition  Creature Mythologies, a show that features fairy tale beings, astonishing animals, and esoteric creatures that dwell in an artist’s deep flight of fancy. It is an usual concept  that combines the surreal with conceptual photography and sculpture.

4035 St-Ambroise, Suite 407, Montreal, Quebec  Tel.: 1 (514) 937-1549

Guys and Dolls revisted

By Byron Toben on October 19, 2012

This is how my strange and wondrous experience happens.
I am floating around Writers Valhalla, which is in a place called Eternity, chatting with wise guys Willie the Shakes and  North Side Hendrik, when Big Mouth G.B. Shaw butts in.

“Damon, Dear boy…” sez He,
“You talking` to me ?” sez I...


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