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PQ's Jean Poirier fighting Khadir's "discrimination" in Mercier

By P.A. Sévigny on August 30, 2012

While it may be hard for anyone who lives west of Atwater to like Pauline Marois’ Parti Québecois, it’s more than easy to like Jean Poirier who is Marois’ candidate in Montreal’s Mercier riding. While taking a well-deserved break from a frenetic amount of door-to-door activity amid the charming little streets which define Montreal’s trendy Plateau, Poirier told The Suburban that he believes in pressing the flesh because “…in the end, that’s the only way people can really get to know you.” And following those first few minutes, those are the same people who will tell you they can really trust a man like Jean Poirier.

A matter of prejudice

By Beryl Wajsman on August 21, 2012

There is a troubling aspect in the coverage of the unprecedented series of debates in the current provincial election. Too many commentators are paying attention to everything from hand motions to smiles and smirks. They should be paying attention to what is said. And so should all voters.
This is the most important since the 1995 referendum. The reason? After a spring and early summer of social insurrection organized and mobilized by the radical CSN union, the PQ and the QS as much as by students, we enter a fall and winter of public sector union negotiations and the sword of Damocles of more urban paralysis and economic atrophy caused by more demonstrations and marches. It is important for voters to use intellectual rigour to look at actions and results and not just body movements.

Dead End! Back to the future with Pauline Marois and the Parti Quebecois

By Jeremy Richler on August 19, 2012

It was twenty-seven years ago, almost at this exact time of the year, that I went with my family to see what would be the first installment in the Back to the Future trilogy. A ten year old boy, I was so excited; the hype was intense, and I just couldn’t wait. I wasn’t too disappointed in the end, and the unrepentant auf Biff Tannon certainly made me laugh!

Fast forward to 2012, and a new installment of Back to the Future has just been released. This time, it stars Pauline Marois, who, just like Marty McFly, finds herself alongside the mad scientist “Doc.” 

Marois, Bill 101 and small business: Mean-spirited, petty bullying

By Beryl Wajsman on August 19, 2012

So now Pauline Marois wants to extend Bill 101 to small businesses as well. Why not, Quebec has so much extra money to spend on more social engineering inspectors. And of course we need more constriction of entrepreneurs’ ability to function so we can lose more jobs.

A defense of Bev Oda

By David T. Jones on August 5, 2012

Washington, DC - Far be it for an American to offer a defense for a disgraced Canadian, but there is a touch of “kicking someone who is down” with the piling on commentary following Oda’s “retirement” on 3 July.  Essentially, she jumped before being defenestrated, but the absence of any context to her departure deprives Canadians of invaluable perspective.

The Debate About The Debates: "No Taxation Without Comprehension"

By Beryl Wajsman on August 3, 2012

As much as the ongoing fracas in the francophone media about what kind of leaders French debate to have is somewhat assuming, the refusal of Pauline Marois to accept an English debate, even one on radio where questions could be filtered, is downright insulting. It is time that Quebec’s non-francophones start saying “Assez c’est assez! “ Montreal island, as of several years ago, is more than 50% non-francophone. The 21% of Quebecers who are non-francophone account for some 40% of all individual revenues collected by Revenue Quebec. Where is, in Sheila Fraser’s words, their “value for money?”

“Do not cast me off in my old age. Forsake me not when my strength fails.” Psalm 71:9 A plea to the CSDM for compassionate authority.

By Beryl Wajsman on July 25, 2012

Those words came to mind when we got involved with the sad plight of the Borden Place seniors. There are many commentaries on that verse in Psalms. But among the most interesting is that even a King like David has a right make a plea and call on the compassion not only of God but on his community. And that both should respond with compassion.
This phrase of the Psalmist has been a cornerstone of social justice whether one is religious or not. It has become an article of secular faith that we do not take advantage of the vulnerable. It is an article of moral conscience, that we care for those who paved the way for the benefits of life we enjoy today


Borden Place seniors caught in bureaucratic and legal nightmare CSDM forces evictions though judgment was only against operator.

By Beryl Wajsman on July 25, 2012

For the 20 tenants of the Borden Place Residence at 4635 Place Borden in NDG , the assisted living facility is a sweet taste of home. Though many are in their eighties and nineties, they are generally autonomous and mobile. The long-time staff gives them assistance whenever needed. It is like one big extended family.
After some 25 years in existence, the tenants had no reason to think that they could not live out their lives in this convivial and nurturing environment. Then money, courts and unfeeling bureaucracy fatefully conspired to turn their quiet lives into nightmares.   

«Mille faces cachées»

By Louise V. Labrecque on July 18, 2012

C’est dans une maison de la rue Saint-Hubert, à Montréal,  qu’habite le député d’origine iranienne Amir Khadir, lequel appelle à la non-liberté de commerce et  à l’apartheid israélien, notamment sur la rue Saint-Denis à Montréal, face aux boutiques Le Marcheur et Naot, lesquelles vendent des produits de marque israélienne. Sur la grande affiche, à côté de la porte principale, en gros caractères, est inscrit : « Quand l’injustice devient loi, la résistance est un devoir ».  Sitôt franchi le seuil, derrière ce paravent, une face cachée apparaît soudainement. En effet,  en se promenant dans le quartier, il n’est pas nécessaire d’avoir une loupe pour constater combien le député de Mercier suscite de vifs sentiments.  Il faut dire qu’en s’exaltant tantôt pour Martin Luther King, tantôt pour Mahatma Gandhi, il y a loin de la coupe aux lèvres. En effet, nous pourrions en rire si au moins c’était drôle.

Les faces cachées d’Amir Khadir

By Éric Duhaime on July 18, 2012

khadir_02.jpgLe dramaturge, romancier et enseignant retraité d’une école publique primaire, Pierre K. Malouf, publie, aux éditions Accent Grave, un important essai sur l’unique député de Québec solidaire.
Rien ne prédestinait pourtant Malouf à écrire un tel ouvrage.
Âgé de 68 ans, il en avait vu d’autres avec les communistes et syndicalistes du Québec des années 60 et 70.
Il change cependant d’idée et décide de sortir sa plume suite à la présence d’Amir Khadir parmi un groupe de manifestants devant Le Marcheur le samedi 11 décembre 2010, ceux-là même qui boycottent et harcèlent la boutique parce qu’elle vend des souliers fabriqués en Israël.


Les faces cachées d’Amir Khadir

By Jacques Brassard on July 18, 2012

Si vous êtes un «idiot utile» qui trouvez bénéfique et tellement «progressiste» le rôle joué par Québec Solidaire sur la scène politique;
Si vous êtes un grand cœur naïf sérieusement convaincu que le Hamas est une organisation humanitaire qui lutte contre l’horrible apartheid qui ravage Israël ;
Si vous êtes un électeur anonyme qui, dans les sondages, croyez sincèrement qu’Amir Khadir est un député humaniste qui n’a qu’une seule mission : la défense des pauvres, de la veuve et de l’orphelin,
Alors, il vous faut lire le livre de Pierre K. Malouf, paru aux éditions ACCENT GRAVE, Les Faces Cachées d’Amir Khadir. Ça défrise et ça déniaise!


Pourquoi Je suis devenu un 450

By Jeff Plante on July 18, 2012

Plante_Jeff.jpgJ'ai aimé cette ville à un point tel qu'à l'époque j'avais joint les rangs de l'équipe du maire Bourque, un maire certes mal aimé, mais qui avait une qualité intrinsèque : celle d'aimer sa ville, c'en était presque charnel. Je me souviens très bien comment à chaque conseil, malgré nos opinions politiques disparates nous avions le sentiment de travailler pour quelque chose de plus grand que nous. Chaque entreprise que nous amenions, chaque tournage international, chaque projet immobilier, chaque événement d'envergure qui s'arrêtait chez nous étaient pour nous une petite victoire.

Seventh hearing of OMHM versus Danny Palladini is long and complicated

By Tracey Arial on July 18, 2012

Manoir_Roger_Bernard.jpgTwo people testified on the seventh scheduled hearing in the case of Montreal’s municipal housing authority (OMHM) versus Daniel Palladini. The OMHM is trying to evict Mr.Palladini because it says he has caused too much trouble with his questioning of how some $16,000 of two tenants associations funds were spent. Palladini, who has lived at the OMHM's Manoir Roger Bernard for some ten years, was the charter founder of the associations.

Supreme Court rules against TMR victim’s family: Surprisingly broad interpretation of Quebec's Auto Insurance Act revives calls for "no-fault" refor

By P.A. Sévigny on July 18, 2012

Six years after Gabriel Rossy was killed after a rotten tree fell on his car while he was driving through Westmount during a freak summer storm, Canada’s Supreme Court ruled against his family after it sued the city for failing to properly maintain the tree that killed their son. Following last week’s unanimous decision, the court decided that under the regulations of Québec’s Automobile insurance Act, Rossy’s family must turn to the province’s automobile insurance board for compensation because he was driving a car at the time of his death.

Navi Pillay, butt out of Quebec!

By Beryl Wajsman on July 18, 2012

navi-pillay.jpgThe arrogant, breathtaking audacity of, pardon the expression, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, taking a swipe at Quebec’s Bill 78 as a cause of concern evidences again not only the UN’s never-ending readiness to take any shot at functioning democracies to balance off its cowardice in confronting tyrannies, but also the ignorance of its officials. Even at the highest levels.

The Kids Are Not All Right

By Akil Alleyne on July 18, 2012

alleyne_akyl.jpgI am fond of griping that Canadian politics always seem to become most interesting when I am out of the country. I was away at university in New Jersey when the wily Prime Minister of my childhood, Jean Chrétien, was supplanted by his restive deputy, Paul Martin; when the sponsorship scandal terminally weakened the Liberal Party’s grip on federal power; when Stephen Harper’s Conservatives won a minority government in 2006; and when the Tories finally won a majority, and the NDP supplanted the Liberals as Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, last year. (I was here, mind you, to witness the Opposition coalition power play of December 2008, but of course that died pathetically on the vine.)

Axe falls on English social service team

By Joel Ceausu on July 18, 2012

I am tired,” says André Gagnière, director-general of the Centre de santé et de services sociaux de la Pointe-de-l’Île. “I am tired of fighting for the Pivot by myself. I can’t do it anymore.”

And with that, it’s seemingly a done deal as the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal brings the axe down on a team of social workers that for years had ensured access to English services in the east end for a host of clients including children with intellectual disabilities.


OMHM versus Danny Palladini Raises Serious Questions About Rights of Low-Income Tenants

By Tracey Arial on July 4, 2012

The next hearing in the case of Montreal’s municipal housing authority (OMHM) versus Daniel Palladini will take place at 9 a.m. on Monday, July 9. It happens in room 2220 of the D wing at the Quebec Rental Board main office in the Olympic Village, 5199 Sherbrooke Street East.

The landlord plans to present one more witness, its employee Sylvie Marchand. She will speak for an hour and a half. The tenant won’t say who will testify on his behalf.

Corporations should just say no to the OQLF

By Beryl Wajsman on June 26, 2012

The problem with modern government is that everyone tries to do things by consensus and to give all parts of the whole a sense of importance. It doesn`t work.
In Quebec, what that produces - specifically in the case of the OQLF - is a bloated sense of self-importance resulting in actions that are not only injurious to the government as a whole, but to the citizens that government and those agencies are meant to serve. The latest broadside of the OQLF demanding that national and multinational companies add a French descriptor to their trade names is beyond reason.

"Les faces cachées d'Amir Khadir" The new faces of the old fears

By Beryl Wajsman on June 26, 2012

les_faces_cashes.jpgQuebec playwright and novelist Pierre K. Malouf has recently published an explosive book on one of the most controversial and divisive figures in the Quebec political scene. "Les faces cachées d'Amir Khadir" - "The Hidden Faces of Amir Khadir" - examines the Québec Solidaire MNA from Mercier from several perspectives.

The book, brought out by the independent publishing house called Accent Grave, is divided into two parts. The first examines Khadir's involvement in the boycott of a St. Denis St. shoe store called "Le Marcheur" because that store had the "audacity" to sell Israeli shoes among its products. Readers may remember this paper's leadership in supprt of Le Marcheur. Eventually, the street was taken back from Khadir and his cohorts, but they moved further down St.Denis to boycott a store selling exclusively Israeli producs called Naot.


It’s called being human

By Kristy-Lyn Kemp on June 13, 2012

Krista.jpgJust last week I published an opinion piece concerning the need for the government to sit down with the student leaders and educate them about tuition rates across Canada as well as in other countries. While I still believe that the students need a lesson in reality, and that it is part of the government’s responsibility to provide such education in this time of crisis, I no longer believe that many of the student protestors are worth the time that it would take to educate them. A lot can happen in a week, as has been evidenced by the recent influx of pictures of the student protesters with their arms raised, posing as did those who supported Mussolini and Hitler.

Memo to Montreal’s mad marchers: Nazi salutes? You lose!

By Beryl Wajsman on June 13, 2012


nazi_salute.jpgThe sight of Montreal’s marchers giving Nazi salutes has gone viral around the world. These gangs of thugs have lost all credibility.
Yes, we know, some voices are calling for understanding of “context.” That these students were making a point that the police were fascists. Nonsense!
Justin Trudeau recently said in Parliament that the first party to invoke the Nazis or Hitler in a debate automatically loses. Memo to Montreal’s mad marchers: You lose!


Student rioters might be banned from USA

By Byron Toben on May 27, 2012

Can arrests or convictions of student protesters bar them from future entry to the USA? I have been asked this increasingly. A complete answer could fill a booklet.The ultimate conclusion is yes, in some cases. The details, translated from legalese into plainspeak, are the following.

Charter rights don’t just belong to the students

By Beryl Wajsman on May 23, 2012

The current debate about Quebec’s Bill 78 and Montreal’s notional and nascent demonstration regulations, have opponents of both measures invoking the Charter. Well, Charter rights are not one-sided. It’s not just the students who have them. The students’ victims — all of us —  have them too.

The reality of the current troubles is that a small group of students, probably positioning themselves for a future in politics, gave a large number of their cohorts a reason to party. In the streets, and at the expense of all citizens. In the course of two months, their demonstrations have involved criminal trespass, violent destruction of private property and collective intimidation of the two-thirds of students who want to study and complete their semesters. A massive, moveable rave snaking its way through our streets at a whim. Even union supporters of these paragons of radicalism cannot control them.

Puzzling Over the Quebec Student “Strike”

By David T. Jones on May 18, 2012

jones_david.jpgWashington,DC - Following the elements of Quebec’s student “strike” during the past 11 weeks has been somewhat equivalent to a TV mini-series, but while sputtering along, it leaves a Washington commentator with a number of observations.

First, it is really not over money.  The amount of tuition increase over five (or seven) years is trivial in real terms.  Variously, it was been characterized as a latte a day (or a bottle of designer water) in total price.  Rather it appears symbolic, even akin to the precursor-stimulus for theAmerican Revolutionary War of a tax on tea.

Gérald Larose et la marge la plus extrême. Partie 4 de 4

By Pierre Brassard on May 18, 2012

Un ami de très longue date de Gérald Larose, le défunt syndicaliste de la CSN Michel Chartrand (1916-2010), qui n’a jamais laissé planer ses doutes sur son petit catéchisme « antisioniste » a eu une influence significative sur Gérald Larose. Laissons les calembours populistes au personnage Chartrand, mais n’oublions pas les propos peu raisonnables qui nous éloignent substantiellement de son côté « humaniste chrétien », surtout quand il est question du Moyen-Orient. Revenons sur une déclaration que ne renieraient pas aujourd’hui les organisations palestiniennes extrémistes. 

Titanic, the Movie Sequel coming soon to Quebec

By Boyd Crowder on May 18, 2012

On the approaching 100th anniversary of the the sinking of the Titanic, the evocation of that event brings to mind a suitable metaphor for where we seem to be headed, as western societies in general, and  Quebec society in particular.
Look around and take stock at where we are.
Over 40% of Quebecers do not pay any income tax.
For the remaining 60% who do, what do we get for our hard earned money?


Equitable and Responsible: A proposal for proper public transit funding

By Raymond Beshro on May 18, 2012

The public consultation currently underway on the financing of public transit (PT) will draw out specialists on new methods and sources of funding, and will generate recommendations for the Transport Commission of the MMC (Montreal Metropolitan Community).  This article seeks to bring to the forefront the notions of equity and responsibility in the allocation of public funds, more specifically for the funding and development of West-bound PT projects.

The urgency for responsible authority. Pause if there is no cause

By Beryl Wajsman on May 18, 2012


IMG_1307.JPGThe story of the abuse and humiliation of Abiner Lema and Stacey-Ann Philip by Montreal police underlines once again how critical it is that this city achieve what I call for in the title to this piece. Responsible authority.

An end must be brought to the aggression demonstrated by too many of our security officials, whether police or STM guards. The stories come in on a weekly basis. Yes, I know it is a minority of our security personnel that step out of line. But that minority is in danger of growing into a plurality.


Those F-35s

By David T. Jones on May 18, 2012

There is one sure way to avoid controversy over cost overruns, misestimates, delivery failures and the like for major military equipment—or any significant item of goods or service.

Don’t buy them.
Otherwise, the exercise is problematic.  Attempting to get the best item at the best price with assured delivery schedules and guaranteed performance is fraught with difficulty and usually falls short in one or another particular.


An evening at city hall

By Beryl Wajsman on May 17, 2012

city_hall.jpgMonday night I went to city hall. Not as a journalist but as a citizen. To ask a question of the Mayor. I ran into a reporter friend of mine who asked me if I wasn’t worried about crossing the line. I asked, “What line? From writer to citizen? “ I said to him that if journalists give up their responsibilities of citizenship, they do no one any good. If the media truly want to be considered the fourth estate of government, then journalists must become in Malraux’s words “citoyens engagés.”

Promouvoir l’investissement équitable pour les communautés de l’Ouest

By Raymond Beshro on April 8, 2012

amt_map.jpgDans l'exercice de consultation sur le financement du transport collectif (TC), des spécialistes des modes de financement apporteront des pistes de solution à la Commission de transport de la CMM, et je leur laisse le soin de le faire.  Ce mémoire vise plutôt à ramener à l’avant plan la notion d’investissement responsable et d’équité dans la distribution des investissements, plus spécifiquement en ce qui a trait au financement et audéveloppement du TC vers l’Ouest.

The Bedford decision: For liberty not license

By Beryl Wajsman on March 30, 2012

The Ontario Court of Appeal decision in the Bedford case striking down that province’s anti-brothel laws should be celebrated for reasons far removed from the salacious. The decision, if properly interpreted nationally, would open the door for liberty not license. It is in that sense that it is important.

Olymel and Halal: Private prerogative must trump public interference

By Beryl Wajsman on March 23, 2012

The controversy over Halal chicken slaughtering by Olymel has ballooned into a series of debates on everything from animal cruelty to unfair pricing to unreasonable accommodation . Yet all these miss the central point. If a society wants to be called free, it cannot take upon itself the right to dictate to a private enterprise - that asks nothing from the state - how it should conduct its business. That is not freedom. That is statism. The arrogance that our public officials and commentators take upon themselves to intervene in private prerogative is not only unjust, it is dangerous. It leads to a society where demonization becomes the goal and disinformation the tool.

Time for a nation of one piece

By Beryl Wajsman on March 15, 2012

A biographer of U.S. Supreme Court Justice and champion of civil liberties Louis D. Brandeis, once described him as a man with a “mind of one piece.” He took the phrase from Brandeis’ own teaching. The great jurist had tried to instill in his students, colleagues and indeed in public officials, the understanding that for the people to feel that their governors are dispensing justice there must be equity in the law. And for there to be equity there must be consistency. And for there to be consistency there must be reason. A holistic approach not only to the law, but to society as a whole. Reason, consistency, equity, justice.

Editorial Staff

Beryl P. Wajsman

Redacteur en chef et Editeur

Alan Hustak

Senior Editor

Daniel Laprès


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Robert J. Galbraith


Roy Piberberg

Editorial Artwork

Mike Medeiros

Copy and Translation

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IT Director and Web Design

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