Authors > P.A. Sévigny

P.A. Sévigny

Couillard administration begins to discuss potential Universal Basic Income initiative

By P.A. Sévigny on January 18, 2018

Sevigny_PA_bw.jpgAlthough it’s presently considered to be among the most ambitious and progressive policy initiatives on the table, the Couillardadministration’s recent policy survey indicates that it’s going to take a while before there’s going to be any kind of a realistic discussion about a working UBI (Universal Basic Income) policy within Québec’s National Assembly.
While early reports indicate that an efficient and universal UBI policy could make a serious difference in the lives of the working poor, Simon Lejeune’s analysis of the Couillard administration’s recent UBI report describes at least 6 problems that must be dealt with before any government can realistically consider adopting a UBI policy.

Atwood opens Atwater Library’s campaign

By P.A. Sévigny on November 1, 2016

Sevigny_PA_bw.jpgAlthough there’s always a good crowd at the Atwater Library’s regular Lunchtime Series events, it’s always a special day when Margaret Atwood drops by to offer up her own opinion about what Shakespeare was thinking when he wrote ‘The Tempest’: his play about a play that talks about what a grind it is to put on a play.

“Shakespeare’s Ariel wasn’t a magician,” said Atwood. “He’s a director and the (play’s) director is always the man who makes things happen!”

Suffering seniors - the sham of social security: Living on a pension in the Pointe

By P.A. Sévigny on April 27, 2015

Sevigny_PA_bw.jpgAt 79 years old, Kathleen Brown keeps a neat and orderly apartment with all the usual details that includes lots of pictures of both her children and her grandchildren on the refrigerator along with the local grocery-store’s Christmas holiday calendar on the kitchen wall.

“I don’t get anything done for free like other people do,” she said. “I’ve been paying bills for all of my life and I expect to keep on paying them till I’m dead and gone.”

Doing good is just not good enough!

By P.A. Sévigny on February 16, 2015

Sevigny_PA_bw.jpgDuring last week’s hour-long lecture in Westmount’s Atwater Library, Matthew Pearce once again reminded his audience why charity must be more than “...just a soup kitchen and a bed.” 

“Shelters were originally conceived as an emergency option and not as permanent housing for the destitute,” said Pearce. “So our goal is not to warehouse people but to help as many as we can to re-integrate back into society. Our ultimate mission is to end homelessness as we know it.”

MIGS director set to fight online terrorism

By P.A. Sévigny on February 16, 2015

Sevigny_PA_bw.jpgAs the Senior Deputy Director of MIGS - Montreal’s Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies - Kyle Matthews believes that we’re already beginning to fight the Third World War and that its front lines can be easily found on the internet.
Let’s face it,” he said. “…we’re at war, and as of now, the bad guys are winning.”
According to Matthews, western governments should recognize and understand that ISIS – the Islamic State – is already using the social media as an effective medium for all of its propaganda and recruitment efforts and research indicates that they are already getting excellent results.

Cop rage: police ticket 87 year-old $494 for crossing the street

By P.A. Sévigny on June 3, 2014

Sevigny_PA_bw.jpgLate last week, while on his way to an afternoon medical appointment, 87 year-old Sam Ferstman was given two tickets totalling $494 because he failed to see the pedestrian crosswalk on Ste. Catherine near the Stanley Street intersection.
“I could see that the light had changed so I (along with two or three other seniors) tried to move a little faster but just as I got to the edge of the sidewalk, this policeman grabbed me by the arm and pulled me aside ,” said Ferstman. “He was very rough and very rude and after he called me an old man (for the first time), he told me that this was going to cost me a lot of money.”

Montreal journalist’s method “for calling up ghosts”

By P.A. Sévigny on October 8, 2013

While the pictures are worth a thousand words, Montreal journalist Alan Hustak’s Montreal Then and Now also does a lot to remind its readers that you never really know what you’ve lost till it’s gone. During a recent event in the Dorval Library, attendants had to bring in more chairs in order to accommodate the SRO (Standing Room Only) crowd after which the veteran journalist used a power-point presentation to illustrate his own search for the city’s lost time. 

CRITIQ launch draws near record numbers opposed to Marois' policies

By P.A. Sévigny on March 13, 2013


"Canadian rights in Quebec are in jeopardy," group warns, " and maybe it's time for a Maple Spring."

In what many have called the largest gathering against discriminatory Quebec acts that curtail civil rights since Premier Bourassa used the notwithstanding clause in 1989,some 800 people crowded into the downtown Delta Hotel in order to attend a conference staged by CRITIQ ( Canadian Rights in Quebec.) CRITIQ is a broad alliance of anglophones, allophones and francophones dedicated to ensuring that constitutionally enshrined Canadian civil rights - particularly with respect to language - are respected in Quebec.


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.

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.

Titanic: The Canadian story - centennial edition

By P.A. Sévigny on April 8, 2012

book_cover_small.jpgMétropolitain senior editor Alan Hustak pens powerful history.
Even if it’s been a 100 years since the boat hit the iceberg, the fate of the Titanic and the hundreds of people who lived and died with her is still one of the great legends of 20th century. While the ship was originally meant to reflect the glory of British industrial initiative and corporate enterprise, the boat’s fate also reflects the hubris of an industrialized civilization which would soon assume its own apotheosis on the killing fields of Western Europe.

Irving Layton’s big birthday party

By P.A. Sévigny on March 13, 2012

For a man who left specific instructions not to place a marker or a stone over his grave, Montreal’s Irving Layton isn’t the only poet who would be pleased to see his work is still alive and doing so well. 
Leonard Cohen once wrote that, “I always think of something Irving Layton said about the requirements for a young poet, and I think it goes for a young singer, too, or a beginning singer: 'The two qualities most important for a young poet are arrogance and inexperience.' It’s only some very strong self-image that can keep you going in a world that really conspires to silence everyone.


CEDEC study indicates “…more than a perceived discrimination" against anglophones in the workplace. Bill 101 still contracting community

By P.A. Sévigny on March 12, 2012

If you’re an underpaid, under-employed or unemployed middle-aged Anglophone living in Montreal, you’re not alone. Apart from your dismal French, your age and what many would politely describe as ’your limited skill set ‘, the results of a new survey indicate your prospects for a good job are dim-very dim. Based upon results of new research conducted by Montreal’s CEDEC (Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation), anglophones face a serious range of obstacles which can effectively limit, or effectively destroy their employment opportunities in what is already Montreal’s severely depressed labor market.

St. Denis Street's 'battle of the flags' costs two people their jobs

By P.A. Sévigny on March 7, 2012

st_denis_01.jpgMore than a year after they first raised their flags and banners  outside Yves Archambault's Le Marcheur-a shoe store located on one of  Montreal's hottest retail shopping strips, more than a few business  people with stores located along St. Denis Street wish the Tremblay administration would do something about lawyer 'Bill' Sloan and his  group's Saturday afternoon demonstrations. Every Saturday afternoon,  Sloan and his tiny little group of so-called political activists known  as PAJU (Palestinians and Jews United) stretch their banners and flags  along the sidewalk opposite Naot-one of the many shoe stores located  along the sunny side of Rue St. Denis.

Minister assures protection for non-francophone media

By P.A. Sévigny on December 16, 2011

During an official government consultation which took place in the Théatre Rouge located in Montreal's Conservatoire D'Art Dramatique, Quebec's Minister of Culture and Communications stated that there would be "no mandatory French language tests," for Quebec's ethnic and Anglophone media.

Ministre Christine St-Pierre is presently leading a province-wide consultation which is examining assorted issues related to Quebec's media following the release of what has come to be known as the Payette Report.


Candles, tears and a song for Jack

By P.A. Sévigny on August 26, 2011

vigil_layton.jpgThree generations after friends and supporters first raised the city’s monument to honor George Étienne Cartier, more than a thousand people came out to honor another great Canadian. As the sun was setting over the mountain, women dressed in black with nothing more than a bright orange scarf began walking down the street towards the monument. Others used the bus while some rode in on their bikes. There were lots of smiles and friendly greetings as everyone caught up on the news after they dropped out of sight after the last campaign. While some women were pushing baby buggies, others were helping their mother shuffle along with her walker. Some were happy to be with friends while others stood alone with their thoughts at the foot of the monument. Candles were lit as someone began to read the letter Jack Layton wrote only hours before he died. 

When the medium is part of the message

By P.A. Sévigny on June 10, 2011

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Montreal artist Keira Parnell. As the curator of the new Mail-Art exhibition hanging in NDG’s popular Connexions Language School, Parnell said she had a great time putting together the eclectic mix of original postcards that makes up the show. “Once you get involved in the mail-art community, using the mail to send your work is just as important as getting one back.”

Montreal’s ‘Socratic’ dialogues City conference cites ‘Canadian Model’ as a working plan for a ‘post-crisis world’

By P.A. Sévigny on April 21, 2011

bandage_globe.jpgNinety nine years to the day after the R.M.S. Titanic hit an iceberg and sank while trying to break a trans-Atlantic speed record on its way to New York, Professor Kimon Valaskakis and his New School of Athens are determined to devise the means by which the world’s assorted economies can avoid similar disasters.
“We must face the facts,” said Valaskakis. “The recent financial earthquake caused a socio-political tsunami which has spread all the way from the Persian Gulf to Madison, Wisconsin.”

Dr. Patrick Moore “How Greenpeace turned its back on science”

By P.A. Sévigny on April 21, 2011

Following a recent  lunch and lecture in Montreal’s well-appointed Omni Hotel, city business people were lining up to meet Patrick Moore who was one of the founding members of the Greenpeace organization and is now one of its more notable critics.
“We did a lot of good things over the early years,” said Moore, “…but after 15 years, there came a point where we had to part ways over obvious scientific issues.”

A nice way to say ‘Thank You’!

By P.A. Sévigny on April 21, 2011

maison_partage.jpgWhile some may think it was nothing more than an evening full of music, a bit of wine and a plate full of spaghetti Bolognese, others would recognize the supper party as the kind of event which pulls a community together.
​“Without all of your efforts,” said Michelle Bourget, “…none of this would be possible.”
​After spending almost 30 years with friends and colleagues fighting the endemic poverty in Montreal’s Sud-Ouest, Bourget’s efforts are beginning to pay handsome dividends because hundreds of people who used to come to their doorlooking for something to eat are now honorably employed, working professionals or even own their own business.


Le boycott sur St-Denis est un échec

By P.A. Sévigny on February 16, 2011

IMG_9367.JPGQuand cinq députés fédéraux, les chefs du PQ et du Bloc québécois et un nombre de plus en plus important de députés provinciaux condamnent vos manifestations hebdomadaires comme étant « … totalement inacceptables dans une société démocratique» vous pourriez envisager de plier les banderoles et de rentrer à la maison. En date du samedi passé, ce semble être ce qui s'est avéré car les militants de PAJU (Palestiniens et Juifs unis) ne se sont pas présentés alors que presque 20 personnes se sont réunis devant Le Marcheur, le magasin de chaussures de la rue St-Denis de Yves Archambault, pour démontrer leur soutien au droit de l'homme d'affaires de la rue St-Denis de gérer sa propre entreprise et ont repris la rue. Une victoire après presque treize semaines. 

These boots are made for walking…Supporters of store owner condemn Khadir's smears of Israel

By P.A. Sévigny on December 27, 2010

these_boots.jpgThese boots are made for walking……and as far as Sharon Freedman and her friends are concerned, that’s just what they’ll do. On Christmas morning, at least a dozen homeless kids are going to get a stellar Christmas present, courtesy of Freedman and a few friends who want to let everyone know how a bit of Christmas charity speaks louder than anything Québec Solidaire’s Amir Khadir might have to say about a St. Denis store owner’s right to mind his own business.


To be or not to be, is still the big question

By P.A. Sévigny on December 27, 2010

While death and taxes continue to be the two immutable factors of modern life, questions raised by legal euthanasia seemed to be less concerned with the inevitable end of life as opposed to the where, when and especially how the lights get turned off.
“It’s not so much about if we’re going to die,” said Dr. Stephen Liben. “It’s all about how we’re going to die.”


Confronter le grand mensonge - L'affaire Al-Durah: ACT for Canada hosts Karsenty

By P.A. Sévigny on November 4, 2010

karsenty_1.jpgPour la majeure partie de la planète, ça fait plus d'une décennie que le monde entier a vu le vidéoclip où le jeune de 12 ans Mohammad Al-Durah a supposément été tué par une volée de balles israéliennes près du carrefour de Netzarim dans la Bande de Gaza. À l’intérieur de quelques heures après que le caméraman Talal Abu Rahma ait filmé le corps du garçon se trouvant à côté de son père blessé, le journaliste français Charles Enderlin a ajouté un commentaire audio où l'histoire entière a été réduite en un court reportage qui a par la suite été télévisé à la télévision française et plus tard diffusé au monde entier à travers l'Internet.

Alors, félicitons maintenant les hommes célèbres!

By P.A. Sévigny on July 22, 2010

PGL-BW.jpgCinquante ans après que le Premier ministre libérale du Québec Jean première Lesage et son conseil des ministres aient entrepris le changement des réalités sociales, politiques et culturelles du Québec, Paul Gérin-Lajoie, son ministre de l'éducation, est le seul homme encore parmi nous qui peut dire au Québec comment c’était d'être un des dirigeants de l’illustre Révolution tranquille du Québec. Pendant un événement qui a rassemblé un grand nombre d’invités un soir au Centre Sheraton du centre-ville de Montréal, plus qu’une simple poignée des élites politiques du Québec étaient heureux d'aider Gérin-Lajoie et sa famille à célébrer le quatre-vingt-dixième anniversaire de cet homme. 

Fifty years after – The Church today

By P.A. Sévigny on June 10, 2010

As one of the city’s more successful antique dealers, the late Conrad Martin used to tell stories about how he started out as a ‘picker’ when he used to go up into the Gaspé and the Lac St. Jean districts to buy up whatever he could find once the province’s Catholic Church began to close up its empty churches and assorted convent properties. 

“I used to make sure I had big rolls of cash,” said Martin. “I would go up to see the Abbess of the convent, put the money on her desk and make the deal right then and there before calling in the boys to load up the truck.”

Griffintown: The limits of loss

By P.A. Sévigny on April 23, 2010

horse-palace-2.jpgDecades after there will be nothing left of Montreal’s Griffintown except for the name and Mary Gallagher’s headless ghost, more than a few urban planners will continue to wonder why so little was done with such a magnificent opportunity for truly sustained and  modern urban development. “This is such an incredible opportunity to build a real 21st century city,” said Montreal urban activist Judith Bauer. “Why can’t these people think of empty urban space as something more than just another opportunity to build another pile of condos?”

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.

Montrealers’ Hallelujahs for Haiti

By P.A. Sévigny on February 11, 2010

MICHAELE-JEAN-BW.jpgTrois semaines après que la terre s'est soulevée sous leurs pieds, environ 200 000 personnes sont censées être mortes, écrasées sous des tonnes de béton émietté. Port-au-Prince est en ruines et les survivants fouillent les décombres pour de l'eau et un peu de nourriture. « Les damnés de la terre » de Frantz Fanon a pris une nouvelle signification alors que les images numériques de la catastrophe haïtienne commençaient à faire chemin à travers les médias. À son crédit, la planète a commencé à se rassembler et l'aide était en chemin...

‘It sounds like a whisper!’

By P.A. Sévigny on January 7, 2010

Folk artist Tracey Chapman may be right. When people start talking about a revolution, it really does sound like a whisper. 
“People are angry,” said Maison du Partage food bank director Madeleine Daoust.”…really angry. There’s a lot of tension in the air and people are beginning to lose patience ….They know something’s wrong and for once, they’re not to blame.”

Multiculturalism questioned at fiery Fraser debate

By P.A. Sévigny on December 3, 2009

fraserinstituteprksfly_resize.jpgThe recent debate on the merits of Canadian multiculturalism between secular firebrand Djemila Benhabib and Montreal civil rights lawyer Julius Grey began to get personal after Benhabib accused the Canadian government of moral and intellectual cowardice. Hosted by the Fraser Institute at Peel Street’s Café Ferreira, an erudite crowd full of assorted academics and civil servants were especially eager to hear what Benhabib had to say about the province’s ongoing multiculturalism debate. Even as she read off a prepared text, Benhabib continued to insist responsible governments (especially those in the west) must continue to stick to their secular guns.

Ladies and Gentlemen…Leonard Cohen! Still your man

By P.A. Sévigny on October 1, 2009

He may have written Death of a Lady’s Man but Leonard Cohen is not, repeat, not dead. As of last week, he’s 75 years old and pulling in a pension but the man’s alive, the man is well and as far as we know, he still knows how to make the ladies sweat.
Edmonton’s Allison Akgongor’s Longing for Leonard knows what she’s talking about when she writes
Leonard’s sounds entice us
His words carry us away

Vision sets its sights on Ville-Marie

By P.A. Sévigny on September 2, 2009

With less than a month left to go before the start of Montreal’s municipal election campaign, Louise Harel’s team is already up to speed with 10 more weeks to go before next November’s election. While Harel’s charm offensive is winning converts all over the city, she’s still letting everyone know she won’t back down from a fight-any fight...

Closing Peel Street bad idea

By P.A. Sévigny on September 2, 2009

Last July, the entire section of Peel Street between Sherbrooke St. and De Maisonneuve Blvd.was closed after a decorative slab of concrete weighing 135 kilos fell out of its 18th floor casement, killing Léa Guilbeault, 33 and permanently injuring her husband Hani Beitinjaneh. After Guilbeault’s body was taken away, city fire and security officials immediately closed the street as a security precaution against further incidents and possible injuries. Six weeks later, Peel Street is still closed and local business people wonder why the Tremblay administration can’t do anything about it...

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