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Que Faire Maintenant?

By Louise V. Labrecque on November 10, 2013

Labrecque_Louise_bw.jpgNul n’est prophete en son pays et les traditions ont la vie dure.  Notre temps salue des ruptures que l’ont dit  necessaires .  Or, je prefere, et de loin, saluer l’invention, la continuite des connaissances.  Il y a une zone grise qui s’exprime ainsi :  Sapere aude ! , soit  le message celebre des Lumieres : « ose penser par toi-meme !» ou « aie le courage de te servir de ton propre entendement! »  De plus, Pierre Bayle a ecrit sur le deracinement, ce qu’il exige de l’homme, a savoir le droit d’ « une conscience errante ».  Et de la on suppose le defi irreconciliable avec une racine identitaire.

Canada and the Commonwealth

By David T. Jones on November 3, 2013

jones_david.jpgWashington, DC - The decision by Prime Minister Harper to avoid the leaders meeting of the Commonwealth in Sri Lanka has unleashed the pack of media attack dogs.  The reaction is predictable but also pathetic.  While there is an implicit obligation of Opposition to oppose, the criticism has been over the top.
There has been a remarkably intense and palatably cynical critique that Harper is acting either hypocritically and/or for prospective political gain.
Harper has taken a reasoned decision, telegraphed far in advance.  To wit, he noted upwards of two years ago that unless Sri Lanka leadership improved its human rights performance in relation to the Tamil minority, he would not attend the conference.  They haven’t; he won’t.

An Open Letter To Montreal`s New Mayor

By Philippe Roy on October 28, 2013

Roy_Philippe.jpgIn just a few days, we will know the identity of Montreal’s new mayor. As such, the chosen person will be given a broad and impressive mandate. In the current political context, he or she will face numerous challenges and big expectations.
Beyond the many duties inherent in being mayor of Montreal, the new chief executive will assume the chair of the Montreal Agglomeration Council, which is responsible for organizing a wide range of services for the 1.8 million inhabitants of the 16 related Montreal Island municipalities.
It is in my role as mayor of one of the 16 Montreal Urban Agglomeration municipalities that I want to draw my future colleague’s attention to three issues with a significant impact on all who live on Montreal Island.

Les impôts municipaux : prérogative des élus

By Claude Garcia on October 25, 2013

Garcia_Claude.jpgLe salaire des employes des municipalites de plus de 25 000 habitants au Quebec est superieur de 18,6 % a celui des employes de l’administration provinciale. La remuneration globale (ce qui comprend , en plus, les benefices marginaux et autres avantages) est quant a elle 33,6 % plus elevee chez les travailleurs du secteur municipal que chez leurs homologues de la fonction publique provinciale. Cette situation ne date pas d’hier puisqu’on constate, depuis l’octroi du droit de greve aux employes de l’Etat, il y a une cinquantaine d’annees, une croissance continue de l’ecart entre la remuneration globale des employes municipaux et celle de leurs collegues provinciaux.

Salem: Museums, Culinary Trails and...Witches

By Sharman Yarnell on October 16, 2013

Yarnell_Sharman_bw.jpgA drive into New England’s coastal area for the fall colours and a dose of history is just the thing - a history that is rather relevant when we consider what’s happening here in Quebec with the Marois government. People’s rights being taken from them, finger pointing, religious persecution - their rights of belief, rights of behavior, rights of thought, even - were summarily denounced, illegally declared criminal against all normally accepted laws of humanity and social behavior - and heavily paid for.

Korean NAvy vessels arrive in Montreal

By Alan Hustak on October 15, 2013

IMG_1160.JPGVisit Commemorates 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean engagement

A South Korean destroyer and an auxiliary naval vessel arrived in Montreal Sunday as part of ceremonies being held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean engagement.  The  Roks Dae Jo Yeong and Roks Hwa Chen will be open to visitors in the Old Port until Wednesday, Oct. 16  The ships are on a round the world cruise and are visiting ports of call in 14 countries which sent troops to the Korean engagement.

Lisée, Drapeau and Montreal`s special status

By Beryl Wajsman on October 15, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgOne of the reasons that the nationalist narrative in Quebec gained currency over the past forty years – particularly with young Francophones – is that our history is not known. People buy into whatever version of history the nationalists sell, particularly the skewed version of Francophones  having been victims of imperialists in their own native land when in fact their very presence here is as much the product of European imperialism as the Anglophone presence. History matters. And not just because, as Santayana wrote, `Those who forget it are bound to repeat it.” It matters because Its perversion is used as a political tool. Particularly in a jurisdiction with North America`s highest high school dropout rate.

Montreal can work. Let’s just do it! Part 1

By Beryl Wajsman on October 6, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgDespite the allegations brought forth at the Charbonneau Commission and the arrests from UPAC, and the never-ending record tax increases, the solutions to Montreal’s challenges are not that complicated. What is complicated, as it is in all matters human and political, is that candidates for office – and the bureaucrats already in – must muster the courage and resolve to commit themselves to speaking hard truths to the people; to entrenched vested interests and most of all to themselves.

"Breaking Quebec” –The Marois malaise

By Beryl Wajsman on October 6, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgThe hit cable series “Breaking Bad” ended its five year run this past weekend. But we have another up here. It’s called “Breaking Quebec” starring Pauline Marois.

Amidst the stark battles over Bill 14 and the Values Charter, sight has been lost of the broader malaise of the Marois administration. And frankly, some anger should be kept in reserve by demonstrators to make their voices heard on it.

Why special status would work

By Beryl Wajsman on September 25, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgThere has been considerable public confusion on what special status for Montreal would actually mean ever since last week's release of the CRITIQ commissioned IPSOS poll demonstrated a dramatic 76% support for the idea among francophones and anglophones alike living on the island of Montreal. The most common misconception is that special status is equated with partition or some other form of division from Quebec. That is not the case. Indeed if it was, special status would not work. Special status is an idea whose time may have come precisely because it would be a boon for both the metropolis and the province.

Restons vigilant face à l’islamisme protéiforme

By Pierre Brassard on September 15, 2013

Depuis plusieurs annees, le deploiement et l’installation de divers groupes islamistes au Canada et au Quebec suscitent des interrogations qui sont plus que legitimes.Cependant, il devrait y avoirdes principes forts pour nous guider comme« societe ouverte » pour y faire face avec encore plus de maturite. Invitation donc a un travail de longue haleine.

The “Values Charter”: A different perspective

By Beryl Wajsman on September 9, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgLet’s put aside for a few moments all the pros and cons of the PQ’s proposed “Values Charter.” Enough has been written, with sufficient passion, on all sides. But what has not been sufficiently debated, even by those who favor this proposal, are the optical, tactical and legal errors of its presentation.  We need to say something about that now.
It is important to look at these errors because even the fiercest opponents of the PQ have generally given it credit for knowing how to manipulate its agenda even if it sometimes did so on the edges of reason and regulation. The handling of this “values” issue has been so absurdly managed, that reasonable people may question the fundamental motives behind it.

Not The Time To Let Our Guard Down

By Beryl Wajsman on September 7, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgAs heartening as it was to hear that Premier Marois realizes that passage of Bill 14 is now unlikely and that it may well die in committee, we would caution that this is not the moment to let down our guard. We can indulge in cautious optimism, but we must keep up the pressure. One thing that we can be happy about. Engagement works and community matters! Decisions can be influenced. But you can’t leave it up to the few. The few can’t defend the many alone forever. But events of the past ten months culminating in the Premier’s statement prove that the few can succeed with the help of us all.

Innovation, immigration and infrastructure

By Hon. Gerry Weiner on August 23, 2013

Weiner.jpgMost readers will recall the extensive coverage of the steps the Stephen Harper government took in launching the reform of Canada’s immigration system. There have also been a plethora of news stories about the critical need to finance the repair and modernization of deteriorating local infrastructure in Canada.. While these stories may seem unconnected, using innovative strategies to achieve the former may actually help solve the latter.
Examples of crumbling municipal infrastructure are becoming almost daily occurrences throughout Canada.

It’s time to legalize

By Dylan Jones on August 15, 2013

Jones_Dylan.jpgThe legalization of marijuana is our generation’s answer to the prohibition of alcohol.  Although the true rate of marijuana use among North American adults varies depending on who’s asking, it is generally accepted that a substantial portion of the population uses, has used or will use marijuana at some point.  A good indicator of this is the recent decisions by the Washington and Colorado electorates to legalize marijuana in those states.  Marijuana is also legal in Portugal, Uruguay and the Netherlands.  Despite its high usage, legislators around the world and here in Canada have clung to the notion that marijuana should remain illegal.  Their position is outdated and must change.

Enough! We have a right to be human!

By Beryl Wajsman on August 13, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgTwo weeks ago it was a student sitting on the grass. Last week a woman putting out her garbage two hours early. Next week someone will throw a cigarette butt or candy wrapper on the road. What connects all these incidents? Massive fines that go up to $692 per incident that many cannot afford to pay. This has to stop!



The right to be let alone

By Beryl Wajsman on July 30, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgAs we enter what we hope is a quiet period in Quebec’s political landscape, it is time to reflect on the turbulence we have gone through over the past eight months. Pastagate, Pastrygate, Spoongate and all the other “gates.” But what is the common thread that binds all these egregious violations of private prerogative? What was the most injurious prejudice to our social contract? It was the constant and unceasing violations of the central right of free people everywhere that Justice Brandeis declared in the quote above. The right of every individual to be let alone.

Tragedy and Leadership

By John Parisella on July 12, 2013

Parisella.pngIn the past few days, U.S. media networks have been reporting on the tragic events in Lac Mégantic, Québec, where a runaway, unmanned train carrying crude oil from North Dakota (73 wagons) barreled through a quiet tourist village of 6,000 inhabitants, derailed and exploded, leaving devastation in its trail.  At the time of this writing, the entire downtown area had been decimated—15 people are reported dead and close to 40 missing. This will surely rank among the most heartbreaking tragedies in Canadian history.  The events have since galvanized Canadians from coast to coast to offer heartfelt encouragement to the tiny village of Lac Mégantic and its inhabitants who are coping with this unspeakable horror.

Megantic - Let's focus on what's really important!

By Beryl Wajsman on July 12, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgWhenever a tragedy happens, there seems to be a default question. Who's to blame? Though that's critical, might we suggest a new default question. How can we help?
We seem to be mature enough to ask that second question whenever there are tragedies caused by nature's fate. But when tragedies happen through error, we almost need reassurance that something - anything - will be done to avoid it happening again. But there is no assurance of that. That's why the word "accident" is still in the dictionary. 

My Canada Includes Quebec

By Beryl Wajsman on July 2, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgThere has been a troubling undercurrent recently by some in the non-francophone communities that proposes that one is either a Canadian or a Quebecois. This proposition is historically inaccurate, morally reprehensible and patently hateful. It evidences a rejection of our history, an ignorance of our laws and a disdain for the truth. My Canada includes Quebec!
It includes Quebec not merely as a physical territory, but as a moral patrimony. A patrimony which if lost, would leave Canadian values bereft of the best of us.

The Meaghan Moran Affair: Reaping a poisonous whirlwind

By Beryl Wajsman on June 28, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgSo young Meaghan Moran, a 17-year-old part-time employee at a South Shore IGA supermarket, has become the latest victim in the ongoing babel about protecting French language and culture in Quebec. And yes we meant to spell babel just that way. Read on. Because this time it's different.
It's different because Meaghan is a victim not of some snooping inspector or some "denonciation anonyme," but of a store supervisor who told her that Quebec law did not allow her to speak anything but French even in the employees' room of the workplace, and that in any case if anything other than French was allowed "ghettos" would be created among the employees. Rubbish of course.

"SPOONGATE!" - TIME TO DISSOLVE THE OQLF AND GET QUEBEC MOVING AGAIN

By Beryl Wajsman on June 22, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgSo, now the barely legible words  "what's your mix" and "Sweet moosic" on the plastic spoons of Menchie's yogurt has drawn the attention of the OQLF language troopers.  The words are moulded into the plastic spoons in all 305 North American locations. They are barely legible because the spoons are all monotone.  But Menchie's has been told by an inspector that they may have violated Bill 101 and the issue was under investigation. Trouble is, only three of the locations are in Quebec and the spoons are produced at the franchise operator's American headquarters. That bit of  reason and sanity  has failed to move the guardians of  French purity.

Will we ever have legal “clarity” on secession? The Dion-Turp debate

By William Johnson on June 16, 2013

johnson_william.jpgOn May 19, 1994, Jacques Parizeau addressed the National Assembly: “We are a state that subscribes to the rule of law. Canada and Quebec are not banana republics. There is the law. There is the Constitution. There is international law. And we have all been elected to defend the rule of law.”
Wonderful statement, even if Mr. Parizeau did not always practice what he preached. But there is a problem: for the rule of law to be in effect, the citizens must have a clear understanding of what the law requires. That is anything but the case in Canada, in Quebec, when the issue is secession.

SPVM backs off as Globe Restaurant had not committed offence

By Beryl Wajsman on June 9, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgWarrant issued based on resolved past infraction; entrapment to enforce arcane law existing only in Quebec may be in issue.
The recent seizure of the Globe Restaurant’s liquor supply, subsequently overturned in court just before the Grand Prix, did not stem from any offence. In fact, the Globe’s owners were not even presented with a copy of the warrant as mandated by law. It has also come to light that a previous incident in 2011 may have been the result of  possible police entrapment, a tactic condemned in numerous judicial decisions going all the way to the Supreme Court and grounds for a legal defense usually resulting in acquittal.

MONTRÉAL –PLUS LIBRE, PLUS JUSTE, PLUS RICHE A FREER, FAIRER, RICHER MONTRÉAL

By Beryl Wajsman on June 9, 2013

richermont_s.jpgIl vient un temps dans les affaires entre gouvernants et gouvernes ou chaque action de l’administration publique aiguise la mefiance du peuple et ou le defaut d’agir suscite sa colere. C’est la ou nous en sommes rendus a Montreal. Tout contrat social entre les citoyens et l’Etat demande une certaine cession par le peuple de sa liberte et de son tresor. Rien de plus. Le contrat social n’exige nullement l’abdication de nos prerogatives. Le contrat social ne permet pas l’imposition au public de fardeaux financiers additionnels sous la forme de penalites en guise de punition pour des services pour lesquels les contribuables paient deja des taxes, mais que leur impose la bureaucratie gemissante de l’administration publique. Montreal besoin un marteau pour un maire!

Des lois archaïques sur l’alcool mènent à de l’abus avant le Grand Prix

By Sandy White on June 9, 2013

nightmontreal.jpgL’Association quebecoise de la vie nocturne (AQVN) denonce fermement les recentes interventions abusives du Service de police de la Ville de Montreal (SPVM) dans les restaurants et bars afin d’appliquer des regles qui font l’objet d’un debat.
Au cours des dernieres semaines, plusieurs interventions policieres ont eu lieu dans divers etablissements visant verifier l’application des lois archaiques qui gouvernent l’industrie quebecoise de la restauration et des bars.

Advance the attack! A response to the De Courcy-Lisée letter

By Beryl Wajsman on May 21, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgClearly the letter that Ministers De Courcy and Lisee released was nowhere near enough. Not enough because they failed to address the central point – Bill 14 is not necessary and is nothing but an attempt to solidify the `pur et dur` base through more politics of division. Not enough because the Bill demeans all Quebecers, francophones as well as non-francophones. Not enough because the government is still not willing to stop the economic destruction of Quebec by ceasing to put up these false issues of discord. But let us take another point of view for a moment and make what some of you may consider a strange plea.

Time To Stop Taking Francophones For Granted

By Beryl Wajsman on May 7, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgYes I know. This kind of headline usually has the word "anglophone" in it. Yet last week two incidents demonstrated that politicians of several parties have not understood that the rejection of , and resistance to, Bill 14 may have done more to unite francophones and non-francophones alike in opposition to the politics of fear and the words of demonization than anything we have seen in recent history. And as much as many anglophones may be tired of some politicians taking their votes for granted through a perceived lack of choice, many francophones are tired of some other politicians taking their votes for granted by outdated appeals to prejudice and fear.

Our Linguistic Duality Must be a Legal Reality

By l'Hon. Irwin Cotler on April 22, 2013

In the words of René Lévesque, “A nation is judged by how it treats its minorities.” Regrettably, linguistic minorities in Canada have often had to fight for just treatment, and that struggle continues against the backdrop of several troubling recent developments that threaten the rights of minority language communities throughout the country. Simply put, it is critical to ensure that minority language communities feel welcome and are able to thrive, and this is as true for Anglophones in Quebec as it is true for French-speakers elsewhere in Canada. 

La déclaration de Bernard Landry: Utilisons les bons mots!...

By Bernard Amyot on April 14, 2013

Amyot_Bernard.JPGDepuis plus d’années dont je me souvienne, je dénonce l’ambiguïté sémantique imposée par les leaders indépendantistes québécois qui insistent et persistent, sciemment, à n’utiliser que le mot « souveraineté » lorsqu’ils réfèrent à leur projet de faire sécession du Canada.
Cette volonté incessante d’occulter la perspective d’une rupture a de tout temps été utilisée par les séparatistes québécois en vue de leurrer leurs concitoyens qui, sondage après sondage depuis près de 40 ans, refusent dans une large proportion d’adhérer à cette option lorsque la question leur est clairement posée.  

 

Réinventons Montréal: Cité-État

By MIchel David on April 7, 2013

David_Michael.jpgPlusieurs tendances lourdes et extérieures à Montréal ont contribué à son déclin depuis la deuxième guerre mondiale, par exemple: voie maritime, avions à long cours, déplacement de l’économie vers l’Ouest.
Ces tendances ont été exacerbées par de trop nombreuses blessures que nous nous sommes infligés nous-mêmes, mentionnons le FLQ, la dégradation des standards académiques, les plus hautes taxes, l’immobilisme, les fusions/défusions, les infrastructures, le très mauvais management; en somme, l’absence complète de leadership

PQ language tantrums reach a new low

By Dan Delmar on April 5, 2013

After a provincial election in September where the Parti Québécois spoke of French tests for candidates seeking public office, watering down Montreal’s ethnic communities and ridding the public sector of religious symbols – except for those linked to Catholicism – observers expected Quebec to become, yet again, a national embarrassment. The PQ has not only met, but exceeded expectations with a new round of childish, xenophobic rhetoric this week.

The time call on Ottawa for rights protection is now

By Me.Linda Hammerschmid on March 31, 2013

hammerschmid_linda.jpgAs with every type of case heard at the Supreme Court level, our changing social customs, over time, coupled with new appointments at our High Court, usually bring about new judgments on old issues.
As a Canadian citizen, I have reached the end of my patience with the time and money wasted on and by the OQLF.
Last time I checked, (2 weeks ago), the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteed me, and every other Canadian citizen, even those who live in Quebec, the right to use English.

The myth of disestablished English

By William Johnson on March 31, 2013

johnson_william.jpgEven as English is again under attack at the National Assembly during the hearings on Bill 14, it is perhaps true that most Quebecers have been misled into believing that English is not also an official language of Quebec. But that’s entirely unfounded in fact or in law. English has been an official language of Quebec ever since 1763. Every law passed since then has been passed in English. Every law to be passed by the current Parti Québécois government will be passed in English as well as French, and the English text will be official, just as will be the French.

 

You take a walk M.Dubuc!

By Beryl Wajsman on March 14, 2013

Monday night the usual suspects held a rally in support of Bill 14. You know who they were. Impératif français, Mouvement Montréal français, etc...ad infinitum...ad nauseum.

But at the press conference before the rally - a rally attended by only several hundred attesting to francophone fatigue on this issue - one Pierre Dubuc,editor of L'Aut' Journal, decided to unburden himself of his true feelings and blurted out, with unconcealed venom, "If someone can't ask for a Métro ticket in French, let them walk!" Well M. Dubuc, here's a message for you. Why don't you take a walk! Out of here!

 


Editorial Staff

Beryl P. Wajsman

Redacteur en chef et Editeur

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Daniel Laprès

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Brigitte Garceau

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Roy Piberberg

Editorial Artwork

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