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Dan Delmar

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.

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.


There is no such thing as an “honour killing”

By Dan Delmar on March 12, 2012

It has become part of the Canadian lexicon thanks to the furor surrounding the Shafia quadruple murder trial. This concept of an “honour killing” has been widely condemned and strikes most people as shocking and revolting. But the condemnations are in vain and may even be counter-productive. In reality, these types of murders are no more or no less heinous than any other; let us dismantle the Muslim straw man and stop pretending that honour killings really exist.

The unilingual Anglophone witch-hunt

By Dan Delmar on December 16, 2011

Out of the clear blue sky, the manufactured chasm between the two solitudes reopened this week with a string of Quebec commentators fanning the flames of intolerance by, essentially, conducting a witch-hunt to find the ubiquitous unilingual Anglophone.

BIXI is dead. Long live BIXI!

By Dan Delmar on December 16, 2011

Another nail was hammered into the coffin of Montreal’s bike-sharing service when BIXI president Roger Plamondon quietly resigned; the news released just like any dignified public figure with a clear conscience would have it – on a Friday evening. 

The case against transparency: Public inquires may not be in the public interest

By Dan Delmar on October 26, 2011

Building one kilometre of road in Quebec costs 37 per cent more than it does in the rest of Canada; in urban areas like Montreal, the gap is wider at 46 per cent, according to statistics from one  particuarly troubling Transport Canada study. The numbers speak for themselves. 0 per cent of Quebecers believe that public money is being spent responsibly on infrastructure 100 per cent of the time. The question is: Where is our money going?

Predictably unpredictable

By Dan Delmar on August 2, 2011

It is amusing to sift through the thousands of column inches printed in the past couple of months throughout the Rest of Canada as pundits attempt, mostly in vain, to make sense of recent developments in Quebec politics...

Décision 2011: Key races to watch in central Montreal

By Dan Delmar on April 21, 2011

Outremont - Jeanne-Le Ber - Westmount-Ville Marie - Mont Royal - Notre-Dame-de-Grâce – Lachine

Don Cherry and hockey pornography

By Dan Delmar on April 21, 2011

max_pac.jpgMontreal Canadiens fans were horrified on March 8 when the seemingly lifeless body of a young star, Max Pacioretty, laid on the Bell Centre ice for minutes before being carried away on a stretcher by paramedics. Pacioretty wasn’t just a victim of an overzealous defenceman looking to intimidate his opponents, but a sport culture that tolerates brutal violence and even promotes it.

Revenge of the nerds

By Dan Delmar on February 16, 2011

delmar-twitter-screen-bw.jpgI was wrong.  Almost exactly two years ago, I wrote in these pages that, as a proud journalist, I would be boycotting Twitter and limiting my use of Facebook. I argued at the time that traditional forms of media could remain competitive with social media if they simply fought back andput out a more entertaining product.

If the shoe fits…L’ignorance, la haine et le boycottage

By Dan Delmar on December 27, 2010

Les boycotts sont souvent puérils et inefficaces. En politique extérieure, ils n’ont pas plus de valeur que le geste d’un enfant braillard qui interrompt le jeu et rentre à la maison avec son ballon. En matière de boycott, de nouveaux critères d'immaturité et d'ignorance viennent d’être tracés par Palestiniens et Juifs unis (PAJU), groupe soutenu par le député de Québec solidaire Amir Khadir.
Don’t let the name fool you: PAJU is a radical pro-Palestinian group that aims to unite Palestinian and Jews only in their hatred for the state of Israel and all those who, even passively, support it. Along with Khadir, they are working to transform St. Denis into what they call an “Apartheid-free zone.”


Quebec: The most insecure province

By Dan Delmar on November 4, 2010

Witnessing a hysterical Pauline Marois shrieking in the National Assembly a few days ago, describing the Québécois as a “petit people” could be interpreted as one of many signs that this province has lost its way; that it is the societal equivalent of a 13-year-old with adolescent angst and a desire to angrily lash out against authority figures. 
Marois’ fit provided a rare moment of honesty and insight into the attitudes of Quebec’s sovereignist political class. The leader of the Parti Québécois wants to lead a small people – in numbers, surrounded by Anglo North America, yes – but does she also want to lead a weak people; lost, confused and distracted by the red herrings of petty linguistic squabbles?

OBAMA’S CRISIS: The political junkies meet

By Dan Delmar on November 4, 2010

us_election_party.jpgA steady stream of beer, wine and fried snacks were being served to patrons crammed into the John Sleeman Pub on Peel St. as they watched U.S. election events unfold last week on big-screen TVs, cheering and jeering with every development. The atmosphere had all the markings of a major sporting event, but the crowd wasn’t watching the Canadiens losing to the Blue Jackets. They were watching the Democrats lose the House of Representatives to the Republicans and almost lose the Senate as well.

“The Jew is not my enemy!” Fatah challenges extremists within his own faith

By Dan Delmar on November 4, 2010

jew.jpgReligious extremism in Islam, Tarek Fatah says, is a “disease that is affecting us to the point that we’re becoming insane with our hatred. I wanted to investigate what is the root cause of the hatred of the Jews.”
Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Fatah is the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress and the author of the just-released “The Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism.” His book tour included two stops in Montreal last week, including one at Côte St. Luc’s Beth Israel Beth Aaron Synagogue.

For the decriminalization of vice

By Dan Delmar on September 9, 2010

vertu_small.jpgNot all that is immoral should be illegal. Behaviour deemed unacceptable by traditionalists, or even by the majority, is routinely the subject of fodder for the “There Ought To Be A Law” crowd, simply because it offends their delicate sensibilities. Rarely is there a debate about the consequences to maintaining the charade of the War on (insert vice here) and the effects of said war, which most often are in complete contradiction to the stated goals.

Creative regulation without reflection, a Montreal trademark

By Dan Delmar on July 22, 2010

Montreal is a city known for overregulation. We have grown accustomed to being punished for a myriad of offences considered banal by any rational person; not holding the Métro escalator handrail, having weeds grow over a decimetre on sidewalks in front of our business, tying a dog’s leash to a tree, spilling cold coffee onto the street…
The latest assault on reason again punishes small and medium-sized businesses. The Métropolitain was prepared for a summer vacation period free of new paternalistic regulation to sift through, but evidently it is asking too much of our municipal leaders to give us this reprieve. 

What Hampstead can learn from Syria and Tunisia

By Dan Delmar on July 22, 2010

In their fight to prevent the Quebec government from passing Bill 94, niqab and burqa-wearing Muslim women have found support in the most unusual of places: The most heavily Jewish town, statistically, in the entire province. 
The face veil – the dehumanization of women – is where most reasonable people would draw the line. And evidently leaders in jurisdictions like France, Belgium, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt agree, having adopted various sorts of niqab restrictions. Why does Hampstead purport to know what is better for Muslim women than a growing number of Muslim nations?

Shocking traffic stats scream ‘Big Brother!’

By Dan Delmar on April 23, 2010

jaywalk_small.JPGThis year, Montreal will issue one traffic ticket for almost every man, woman and child in the city - and that, believe it or not, is a conservative estimate based on information from the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal. Most people aren’t aware of it, or if they are, they accept the ticketing as fair punishment for bad behaviour. If so many of us are breaking the law on such a regular basis, it begs the question: Are we guilty of delinquent behaviour, or are we victims of municipal persecution?

Namur Jean-Talon: An eco-utopic condoville?

By Dan Delmar on April 23, 2010

njt-scalia.jpgCar dealerships, cheap office space, a cemetery, barren lots and a handful of sub-par apartment buildings; such is the makeup of the neighbourhood becoming known as NJT – Namur Jean-Talon. Within ten years, it is expected to undergo a complete transformation and the worth of the area is expected to increase tenfold.  NJT is a project twice as valuable to the city as Griffintown, but without the high profile and ensuing scepticism.

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.

Burqa tolerance points to a leadership vacuum

By Dan Delmar on February 11, 2010

The lack of political courage across all levels of government and most political parties is nothing short of shameful. The burqa (or niqab) is possibly the most offensive garment on the face of the earth: A head-to-toe covering worn by women who practice an extremist and some say perverted form of Islam. It is a symbol of repression, misogyny and, as French president Nicholas Sarkozy said last year, “debasement.” It should not be tolerated in any civilized society...

Handicapped woman meets rigid bureaucracy

By Dan Delmar on December 3, 2009

Teri-Lee Walters has been in a wheelchair since the age of 13 and is hurt that, in 2009, handicapped persons are still have trouble exercising their most basic rights as citizens. 
On Sunday, Nov. 1 – municipal election day – Walters and her 75-year-old grandmother made their way to the polling station at St. Gabriel School in Point St. Charles. It was not made clear, Walters said, that she was supposed to vote in advance because of her disability...

The kids will be alright!

By Dan Delmar on December 3, 2009

There seems to be only one issue that unites politicians of all colours and creeds. It became painfully obvious how omnipresent this theme was as I had the painstaking task of interviewing dozens of candidates – some competent, some not – vying for city council seats leading up to last month’s election. In order to be considered as a credible politician, it appears as though one has to make the supposed plight of children a focal point in a campaign. More specifically, how to protect our little tykes from speeders, drug dealers, pedophiles and a myriad of dangers that lurk around every corner.

Harel: « Je suis le contraire d’une bureaucrate ! »

By Dan Delmar on October 1, 2009

Mayoralty candidate Louise Harel went on the defensive in an interview with The Métropolitain this week, saying she does not favour big government, but rather one that is effective and close to citizens, and also harshly criticizing « certains journalistes Anglophones » who she says are jumping to conclusions about her vision for Montreal...

Louise et l’État : une histoire d’amour

By Dan Delmar on October 1, 2009

Si les sondages des récents mois s’avèrent véridiques quant aux intentions du tiers des électeurs qui daigneront voter le jour du scrutin, Louise Harel a bien des chances d’être élue maire de Montréal.   Mme Harel est connue en tant qu’ancienne députée du Parti Québécois et ministre de premier plan.  Mais quelles sont son histoire et sa vision d’un bon gouvernement, et aussi, que planifie-t-elle pour Montréal ?

On the morality of bottled water

By Dan Delmar on September 2, 2009

Journalists are often invited to all kinds of launch parties, cinq à septs, premieres; it’s one of the perks of the job. Most are fairly unremarkable and formulaic: Wine, women, tapas and, “hey, are you going to mention how revolutionary ‘Product A’ or ‘Politician B’ is in your article?” Not likely, no. But thanks for the chicken skewers...

“I was molested!” An airport security check worthy of Penthouse Forum

By Dan Delmar on August 6, 2009

I was molested. Seeing these three words in print is a stark reminder of my ordeal, from which I may never fully recover. He caressed my inner thigh, cupped my buttocks in his large, burly hands and gently ran his fingers through my hair. This trauma didn’t occur during my childhood; it happened just last week.I had managed to string together five days in late July to vacation in New York City and was making my way through a security checkpoint at Trudeau International Airport when it happened. A U.S. Homeland Security agent pulled me aside and informed me that I had been selected for a “random” search. I was separated from other passengers and, with apologies to actual victims of sexual assault, was fondled by the guard who evidently had mistaken me for a terrorist – or for his lady friend.

Montreal’s war on cars endangers citizens

By Dan Delmar on July 2, 2009

With a municipal election only months away, anti-car policies are being forced on citizens, notably in the borough of Côte-des-Neiges-NDG, where merchants are left scratching their heads..

Decorated restaurateur spotlighted for extending a helping hand (DATE DE PARUTION 2 OCTOBRE 2008)

By Dan Delmar on June 18, 2009

When the owner of a chic Parisian bistro hired Jean Lafleur, convicted in the wake of the sponsorship inquiry, to work as a sous-chef, he never imagined that his face would be plastered on the front cover of the Journal de Montréal shortly thereafter...

Parking revenues double in 2007 (DATE DE PARUTION 12 JUIN 2008)

By Dan Delmar on June 18, 2009

Montreal made almost twice as much in 2007 from parking revenues as it did the previous year and City Hall says: mission accomplished...

“Arrogants, vulgaires et disgracieux!” (DATE DE PARUTION 9 AVRIL 2009)

By Dan Delmar on June 18, 2009

Some downtown business-owners came out swinging on Wednesday, saying the Tremblay administration has lost control over its employees and is driving people out of the heart of the city with overbearing regulations...

“Enemies of equality” (DATE DE PARUTION 6 MAI 2009)

By Dan Delmar on June 18, 2009

islamism-talk.jpgDjemila Benhabib, author of Ma vie à contre-Coran, spoke to a group of roughly 50 last week at a Côte des Neiges bookstore. Describing herself as an ordinary woman having experienced extraordinary hardships, she told the audience of her family’s persecution in Syria and the constant threats that came from religious fanatics that forced them to leave the country in the early 1990s. The title of her book refers to the battle she fought as a child and teenager against Islamist indoctrination in her homeland and the threat it now poses to the West.

“We are a testament to their failures” (DATE DE PARUTION 16 OCTOBRE 2008)

By Dan Delmar on June 18, 2009

Three Canadian Muslims took a stand earlier this month against the extremist branches of their religion and appealed for Quebecers to stand up for their secular values. Speakers Tarek Fatah, Raheel Raza and Salim Mansur all share the dubious distinction of being the subject of a Fatwah, an Islamist bounty on their heads, for having spoken out against extremists. What they also have in common is their fearlessness, their perseverance and their willingness to wear the Fatwah as a badge of honour..

Citizen demonization continues

By Dan Delmar on May 28, 2009

Woman detained, fined for poor escalator etiquette

Having spent her formative years in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, Bela Kosoian knows what it’s like for government to encroach on personal liberties. The manner in which she says she was treated inside a Laval Metro station would make even the most hardened Stalinist blush...

SPVM denies ticket quotas

By Dan Delmar on May 28, 2009

Every traffic cop must write up 18 daily, Brotherhood says

Upset over budget cuts, the Montreal Police Brotherhood took a shot at the SPVM recently by acknowledging the existence of daily traffic ticket quotas; a system the department’s brass continues to insist does not exist...

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