The Métropolitain




By Beryl Wajsman on September 2, 2009

elderly_hands_small_4k1i.jpgI’ve often said that the word vacation doesn’t exist in my life. I feel privileged to be able to do advocacy and journalism . You get used to not having normal routines. Perhaps I never wanted them in the first place. So you live your life out there – on the edge -  available, attackable, accessible. And you get used to pretty much all sorts of tragic stories and appeals. But every now and then there  is one that not only ignites a fury that propels you to act, but also floods you with sadness that moves you to reflect.

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...

No honour in murder

By Beryl Wajsman on August 6, 2009

justice2.jpgWe need to take a step back and think about the use of the term “honour killings”. It has been much in the news of late as the horror of the deaths of the Shafia sisters sinks in. 

 On the one hand, the term gives a perverse cultural frame of reference for an act that can have no justification. On the other , since it is invariably used in reference to Islam, it denigrates a faith. Nothing in Islam justifies murder for the sake of a family’s “honour.” 


By Joel Ceausu on August 6, 2009

I’ve walked by the home a thousand times. I’ve parked in front of it; knelt by its driveway to readjust heavy grocery bags in my hands; stopped my bike to tighten my kids’ helmet; and dragged my children on their sleds over the mounds of snow that lay in front of it.
In a neighbourhood that has seen its share of tragedies – albeit mostly of the règlement de comptes and the occasional corpse-stuffed-in-trunk types – this one has shaken the reserve of Canadians beyond the H1P postal code.

“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.

Save Our Suburbans! How the Obama Administration is going to change what and how you drive

By Robert Presser on July 2, 2009

GMC-Yukon-XL.jpgVisitors to Havana marvel at the American automobiles of the 1950’s that have survived five decades of revolutionary communist rule to continue to ply its streets.  Some are still running due to modified Russian auto parts, while other have had their lives extended by craftsmen who lovingly reproduce each fallen piece of chrome so that the autos appear as pristine as they did on Batista’s last day in the Presidential Palace...

Will you get your money’s worth from “green” food?

By Mischa Popoff on July 2, 2009

There are three basic types of “green” farming. On June 30th, one of them will receive the golden stamp of approval from the federal government. Will this have a positive impact for farmers, consumers and the planet? Sadly, no...

“Montreal needs the main”

By Jessica Murphy on July 2, 2009

Surrounding Cabaret Café Cleopatre is a sex store and a nightclub, a vacant lot and sagging, boarded-up buildings with decades of grime ground deep into concrete and stone. On cloudy days the corner looks squalid. Sunny days don’t suit it. 
To get inside, you push through a gaggle of tough-talking strippers on a smoke break and through the music and black lights filtering from their ground floor establishment...

City taxi bureau’s RCG 08-022

By P.A. Sévigny on July 2, 2009

As the poorest of the city’s working poor, Montreal’s cab drivers are caught between a rock and a hard place. Once a cab driver gets behind the wheel and puts the key into the ignition, city by-law RCG08-022 will define the next 12 hours of his working life. In section 1 of the city by-law, article #59 defines a working taxi as any vehicle on the road with a dome, a working meter, a working radio and a visible pocket number. As article #59 draws the line between the city’s working taxis and everybody else on the road, city cab drivers are warning city authorities there could be serious trouble if police don’t stop their discrimination against them and their business. While everybody is supposed to be equal under the law, several city cab drivers say the city’s by-law turns them into second class citizens subject to a series of rules and regulations which is ruining their business and their means to make a living...

Another incomprehensible ban

By Iro Cyr on May 28, 2009

It is beyond comprehension to see that Health Canada is calling for a ban on the sale and distribution of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in this country...

What do Concordians have to say about staying in school?

By Teresa Seminara on May 28, 2009

As I was walking to school one Monday morning, from Guy-Concordia metro station to the SGW Campus, I could not help but wonder what students’ motivations are to be in University and whether the recession plays a decisive factor in their pursuit of earning a higher education. Above all, the thought that lingered in my mind as I passed my fellow Concordians was whether they are in University because of what other people want or expect from them or because they simply consider education an investment in themselves...

The real, earnest life of Arnold Steinberg

By Alan Hustak on May 28, 2009

STEINBERG-bw.jpg“Life is real, life is earnest, and the grave is not the goal,” reads the caption in the 1954 McGill University Yearbook under Arnold Steinberg’s graduation photograph. Whatever life’s goal, as a commerce student at McGill five decades ago Steinberg never imagined that one day he would become the university’s 18th chancellor. 
In Jewish culture, 18 is considered a lucky number - representing as it does the numeric value of the word, Chai, which means Life and is also the 18th letter in the Hebrew alphabet. The irony that he will be sworn in as McGill’s 18th chancellor in November is not lost on Mr. Steinberg.  “On the day of the announcement I hadn’t even thought of it, to be perfectly honest,” he said in an interview.

In Defence of Anti-Discrimination Laws

By l'Hon. Irwin Cotler on May 28, 2009

Tom Flanagan, the former Conservative campaign manager and university professor, went on the offensive last week arguing that anti-discrimination legislation should rightly target only government – but not private individuals’ – action. This thesis is as provocative as it is dangerous. Far from demonstrating the uselessness of the law, Mr. Flanagan’s comments instead remind us of how vital a role it plays...

“It’s been fifteen years…” Michael Manning

By P.A. Sévigny on May 28, 2009

As of two weeks ago, it’s been fifteen years since Michael Manning heard his daughter Tara’s alarm clock go off while he was making an egg sandwich for breakfast. When nobody turned it off, he went to her room to wake her up for school.
“I still remember how the cover was drawn up to her chin,” he said as the tears flowed down his face. “I still recall how I thought she was sleeping until I touched her….and when I pulled the cover off, that’s when I knew my baby was dead.”..

Taste of the Nation’s Laurie Normand-Starr is gone

By Alan Hustak on May 6, 2009

LaurieNormand-Starr.jpgLaurie Normand-Starr, a community volunteer who died recently at her home in Westmount, threw lavish charitable fund-raising dinners where the rich were charged to feed the poor. 
Mrs. Normand-Starr spearheaded Taste of the Nation, the annual event which collected more than $2 million for three Montreal charities since the Montreal chapter was founded 16 years ago. The money raised by the event was divided among three charities:  Share the Warmth, the Pointe St. Charles community organization, Dans le Rue, and Oxfam-Quebec. 

“Enemies of equality” Author warns of Islamist interference in politics

By Dan Delmar on May 6, 2009

islamism-talk.jpgA Syrian national is warning fellow Canadians to stand up for secular values and not make unreasonable accommodations for Islamists.
Djemila 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.

L'apostasie : pas si inutile que ça

By David Rand on May 6, 2009

Depuis plusieurs semaines, les médias nous parlent de la vague d’apostasie suscitée par un sentiment généralisé de dégoût face à l'opposition réactionnaire de l'Église catholique à l'avortement et à l'utilisation du condom.  Dans sa chronique du dernier numéro du Métropolitain, intitulée « Les apostats de la dernière pluie », Pierre Malouf ne saisit pas la pertinence de ce phénomène, et va même jusqu'à contester la réalité des dommages causés par l'interdiction catholique du condom...

City’s red light district moves to the ‘Net

By P.A. Sévigny on May 6, 2009

Police officials report street prostitution for both genders has nearly been eliminated and swept off the streets in both the downtown core and the east-end’s Hochelaga-Maisonneuve districts.
There’s always a market for sex,” said one downtown police officer, “…but now it’s off the streets and on the web which is fine with us.”

À contre-Coran

By Louise V. Labrecque on April 9, 2009

MaVieAcontreCorancolor.jpgComme on l’a vu durant les audiences de la commission Bouchard-Taylor,  plusieurs bien-pensants considèrent que notre société démocratique devrait se plier à toutes les revendications faites au nom de l’Islam.  C’en était trop pour Djemila Benhabib qui, dans l’éclairant ouvrage qu’elle vient de lancer, critique notamment le fait que, dans leur rapport, les commissaires Gérard Bouchard et Charles Taylor ont complètement négligé de faire la distinction entre « musulmans » et « islamistes », ces derniers étant de la graine de fanatiques et ne constituant, de ce fait, qu’une infime minorité parmi les immigrants de religion musulmane. 

Following Mark Twain and the Mississippi River

By David T. Jones on April 9, 2009

It is a pity that political correctness has driven Mark Twain out of style.  A generation ago, Samuel Clemens (whose nom de plume was “Mark Twain”) was both an iconic author of children’s stories (Tom Sawyer, Prince and the Pauper) and regarded as one of the “greats” in American literature for the classic Huckleberry Finn.  Although “Tom” and “Huck” were often presented as a duality of “boys’ stories,” Huck was anything but a child’s tale with its sophisticated story of adult duplicity and mendacity along with Huck’s efforts to get a slave friend, “Jim” to safety...

EI for the self-employed

By Jessica Murphy on March 19, 2009

Chris Hopkins never really wanted to be an entrepreneur. But facing dire job prospects after moving to Prince Edward Island, he started a home business that eventually failed. Now, Hopkins is using his free time to spearhead a campaign to allow entrepreneurs to opt into the federal employment insurance program...

So just how Irish is Quebec?

By Alidor Aucoin on March 19, 2009

St-Patrick-Society-logo.jpgSo Irish, in fact, that people with names such as Aubrey, Charest, Sevigny, Beaudoin, Duceppe, Bourque, Sylvain and Dore can claim to be sons and daughters of Erin. A new exhibition that opened this week at the McCord Museum illustrates how Quebec has been shaped by the blending of the Irish and French identities...



« Plus le mensonge est gros, plus il passe »

By Germain Belzile on February 26, 2009

Les signataires du présent article veulent faire savoir aux dirigeants de Radio-Canada leur indignation.  Celle des citoyens trompés et à qui est dénié le droit vital à l’information mise dans son contexte.  Les reportages de Radio-Canada sur les représailles contre les tirs de mortier, de roquettes Kassam et Grad, qui ont terrorisé jusqu’à un demi-million de civils israéliens pendant huit ans nuit et jour à raison de trois alertes quotidiennes, sont indignes d’une société d’État dans un pays libre et démocratique...

Laïcité « ouverte » : une nouvelle trahison des clercs ?

By Roger Léger on February 5, 2009

La première question qui me vient spontanément à l’esprit, lorsque l’on parle du cours Éthique et culture religieuse, est son libellé même : Pourquoi Éthique et culture religieuse? Pourquoi pas Éthique et culture philosophique? Craindrait-on d’exposer les enfants à la philosophie, qui serait un « danger mortel pour l’humanité », disait Nietzsche ? Est-il préférable de maintenir la jeunesse dans le cocon douillet des fables religieuses ?..

Quebec’s poverty wall

By Jessica Murphy on February 5, 2009

Quebec gets both top marks and failing grades when it comes to fighting poverty in the province...

Réjean Thomas et le SIDA

By René Girard on February 5, 2009

Une vérité qui n’est dite qu’à demi ne sert nullement la cause que l’on défend.  Grand défenseur d’une cause dont on ne peut que le féliciter, Réjean Thomas, à chaque fois qu’il apparaît en public, occulte néanmoins une partie importante de la vérité, et nuit en fin de compte à la cause qu’il défend...

The New Frugality

By Jessica Murphy on January 15, 2009

Will 2009 be the year we finally learn financial common sense? History and the emerging field of behavioural finance suggests that we won't..,

Humanity 2009

By David Simard on January 15, 2009

The sum of human knowledge doubles every 18 months or so. Our understanding of everything is moving along in leaps and bounds. There are more scientists per capita than at any other time. These men and women are working in fields such as nanotechnology, the human genome and renewable energies...

Federal employees DO NOT earn more than private workers!

By Michèle Demers on January 15, 2009

For the fifth time in a row, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business has issued a flawed analysis alleging “widening gaps” between public and private-sector employee compensation...

Caregivers or victims?

By Jessica Murphy on December 18, 2008

Pinay, The Filipino women’s organization in Quebec, have opposed aspects of Canada’s Live-In Caregivers Program for over a decade.
In November, the McGill school of social work released a report that supports what they’ve been saying for years: the women coming to Canada as domestic workers are often victims of exploitation...

Liberating charities in their fight against AIDS

By Tom Lamberti on December 18, 2008

December 1st marked World AIDS Day, a day created to honour those who have courageously fought against HIV/AIDS in Canada and throughout the world. To commemorate the occasion, McGill students, local Professors and community activists gathered in the Lev Bukhman room on the McGill University campus to discuss public policy options that would help those fighting HIV/AIDS...

The swollen envy of pygmy minds

By Beryl Wajsman on December 18, 2008

This past Monday, civil rights champion Brent Tyler told the Supreme Court of Canada that the Quebec government is violating the constitutional rights of immigrant parents by denying their children access to English-language public schools. Tyler added,  and we concur wholeheartedly, that the policy could threaten the long-term viability of the English school system by eroding its student base. The issue this time is the constitutionality of Quebec’s Bill 104.,,

Healing scars: ‘the girl in the picture’

By Megan Martin on November 27, 2008

To much of the world, she is known simply as ‘the girl in the picture.’ She is a stark representation of the realities of war. But when Kim Phuc spoke to the students at Concordia University , she had only one message: peace.,,

Academia Nuts

By David Solway on November 13, 2008

As we survey the intellectual scene today, what appears perhaps most disconcerting is the modern western University. With its mimosa administrations, Jacobin unions and an energetic left wing professoriate, it has become the new industrial farm for the production of ideological madness and intellectual obscurantism...

Call it ‘The Sandwich Generation’

By P.A. Sévigny on November 13, 2008

Last Sunday, a new resource group called The Professionals Network for Caregivers, (Réseau des Professionels pour les Proches Aidants) held their annual resource fair at the Centre Mont-Royal in the downtown core...