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It’s time to legalize

Par Dylan Jones le 15 août 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  Their position is outdated and must change.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!

Par Beryl Wajsman le 13 août 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

Par Beryl Wajsman le 30 juillet 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

Par John Parisella le 12 juillet 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!

Par Beryl Wajsman le 12 juillet 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

Par Beryl Wajsman le 2 juillet 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

Par Beryl Wajsman le 28 juin 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

Par Beryl Wajsman le 22 juin 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

Par William Johnson le 16 juin 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

Par Beryl Wajsman le 9 juin 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

Par Beryl Wajsman le 9 juin 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

Par Sandy White le 9 juin 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

Par Beryl Wajsman le 21 mai 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

Par Beryl Wajsman le 7 mai 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

Par l'Hon. Irwin Cotler le 22 avril 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!...

Par Bernard Amyot le 14 avril 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

Par MIchel David le 7 avril 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

Par Dan Delmar le 5 avril 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

Par Me.Linda Hammerschmid le 31 mars 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

Par William Johnson le 31 mars 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!

Par Beryl Wajsman le 14 mars 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!

 

Cinq éléments les plus honteux de le projet de loi 14

Par Beryl Wajsman le 13 mars 2013

Les gens devraient lire le projet de loi et comprendre que le mal est possible ici. Il n’est pas question de langue dans ce projet de loi. Il est question d’une tentative vénale par un gouvernement qui a dû reculer sur presque toutes ses promesses de tenir la ligne de partie de sespurs et durs grâce à une politique de diabolisation, d’invalidation et d’interposition.

CRITIQ launch draws near record numbers opposed to Marois' policies

Par P.A. Sévigny le 13 mars 2013

critiq_01.jpg

"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.

 

It Is Not Over! Stay Vigilant And Resolute/

Par Beryl Wajsman le 13 mars 2013

Angelica Montgomery`s report on CJAD this morning that the CAQ opposes important elements of Bill 14 is gratifying. But this is not over. The CAQ will be voting against Bill 14 because it rejects closing English CEGEPs to francophones, and it supports the right of municipalities to determine and protect their own bilingual status. The CAQ also wants the exemption for soldiers’ children to be maintained.

Exclusive: Lisée on language and Montreal

Par Beryl Wajsman le 13 mars 2013

The man who is arguably Quebec's busiest Minister, and some would say the one holding the brief on the most contentious issues, took time out for a rare weekend interview this past Saturday. Jean-François Lisée, Minister for International Relations, External Trade, La Francophonie and Minister responsible for Montreal, forthrightly addressed concerns on the politics and policies of language of the Marois administration that have many Montrealers, regardless of cultural background, angry and concerned. To his credit, Minister Lisée set no preconditions on the questions that would be posed.

PITY THE FRANCOPHONE PARENT IN QUEBEC! The language of education in Quebec - why does the majority continue to favour the minority?

Par John N. Buchanan le 13 mars 2013

Ever since the PQ returned to power (and in the election campaign beforehand) language has been back on the political agenda.  A draft law with new provisions to bill 101 is presently before the National Assembly,  proposing to tighten the language rules for businesses with at least 26 employees (down from 50) and requiring CEGEPs to give priority to English students first before granting spots to francophones.  In addition, the proposed law -  in a perverse way - guarantees that any French employee cannot be fired because they are unilingual, raising the spectre of an endless parade before the tribunals of wrongful dismissal cases, based on language, and a fear amongst businesses of hiring unilinguals.

Agnès Maltais’ aborted pilgrimage to Ottawa

Par William Johnson le 13 mars 2013

william_johnson.jpgWas it symbolic? Quebec’s labour minister Agnès Maltais took a plane to the national capital Monday but was unable to land. The airport tarmac was covered with freezing rain making a landing dangerous.
The Quebec minister flew to confront Diane Finley, the federal Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. Maltais insists that Ottawa doesn’t understand Quebec’s labour market. She came intending to set Finley straight and insist that the reformed program for employment insurance that went into effect in January be rewritten to suit Quebec. In fact, the policy of the Quebec government is to demand the total transfer of employment insurance to Quebec, as part of “la gouvernancesouverainiste.”

 

A Native and a Zionist

Par Ryan Bellerose le 13 mars 2013

I am a Métis from Northern Alberta. My father, Mervin Bellerose, co-authored the Métis Settlements Act of 1989, which was passed by the Alberta legislature in 1990 and cemented our land rights. I founded Canadians For Accountability, a native rights advocacy group, and I am an organizer and participant in the Idle No More movement in Calgary. And I am a Zionist. 

Let me tell you why.

 

Mulcair’s Folly

Par Akil Alleyne le 11 mars 2013

alleyne_akyl.jpgNew York - In my last comment in these pages, I cautioned federalists against allowing the Parti Québécois’ underwhelming 2012 election performance to lull them into complacency. Even with a mere minority government, the Péquistes will pounce on any political friction between Quebec and the rest of Canada, the better to roll the referendum dice again. There is no telling what developments may so offend Quebecers as to make a third referendum a realistic possibility. Separatism has appeared to go into terminal decline before and yet still experienced frightening resurgences, usually with little or no warning. It is exactly when separatist sentiment is at low ebb that federalists should prepare a strategy for dealing with the threat if it ever rears its head again.

Our Soldiers' Children

Par Colin Standish le 11 mars 2013

Standish.jpgWhen I think of Bill 14, I think of Sandra. Sandra goes to the English-language Dollard-des- Ormeaux (D.D.O.) school just off Valcartier military base near Quebec City. When I met her, she emotionally asked why she would have to change schools and lose her friends. Her father serves in the military and was wounded in Afghanistan. She lives with her mother, her parents separated partly due to the strain of post-traumatic stress after her father returned from combat. Now, one of the few constants in her life, her elementary school and close friends, could be taken away by Bill 14.

Beware of Quebec`s revisionist history

Par Jim Wilson le 11 mars 2013

One of Quebec’s recent educational musings is to consider revising the History course presently been taught in schools. Revamping and revising school curriculum should be part of ongoing educational practice; however, when a history course is being changed it requires great scrutiny, for no other course is more susceptible to a government’s manipulation. The oft quoted statement that ‘history is written by the victors ’ can be challenged; history, as  taught in schools, is written not by the victors, but by governments, who have control of the curriculum content, the text books, and the examination format.  

Estates-General on Quebec Sovereignty: A Distinction With A Difference

Par Beryl Wajsman le 11 février 2013

So often, we become immune to the nationalist nonsense coming out of Quebec. It all becomes so much white noise. Many would tell us that we've taken so many punches that the latest is simply a distinction without a difference.
Once in a long while - sadly - we get off our lethargy and remember that we are Canadians - not just Quebecers - and that we are imbued with inalienable rights. That is what is happening now in the reaction of anglophones and francophones against Bill 14. Our civil rights matter!

The only language of a hospital should be healing

Par Beryl Wajsman le 24 janvier 2013

lachine_hospital.jpgWhen Provincial Health Minister Dr. Réjean Hébert took the unilateral decision last week to pull Lachine General Hospital out of its arrangement with the MUHC, Hébert violated the cardinal promise of the Hippocratic oath. Do no harm!
Hébert justified his decision by saying it was necessary to protect Lachine's "francophone vocation." It is true that LG is listed as a franchone institution. But its decision to join the MUHC was based not only on its need for more money and doctors, but also on the fact that the physical proximity of the MUHC was simply closer than the francophone CHUM.

The Ancient and Idle Attawapiskat Wars

Par Nathan Elberg le 14 janvier 2013

Chief Theresa Spence’s moderate hunger strike is the polar opposite of the war tactics of the 17th and 18th century Indians of James and Hudson’s Bay.  The lowlands of the northern forest, their shorelines and muskegs were hotly contested by the Cree and Inuit prior to the arrival of the Europeans, as the latter moved further and further south.  The fur-traders turned the tide in favor of Indians, who were first able to trade for guns; the Inuit were initially kept unarmed by Hudson’s Bay Company policy.  The armed Cree turned with a vengeance on their Eskimo rivals.

Bill 14- Don't even think about it! A memo to Liberals and the CAQ

Par Beryl Wajsman le 13 décembre 2012

Rarely does a piece of legislation come forward that calls for complete rejection. Bill 14 however is just such a piece of proposed law. No Liberal or CAQ MNA should even think of compromise or common cause with the PQ government of Pauline Marois on this regressive and retrograde proposal.
Its rejection is compelled not just by the social, cultural and economic damage it will cause; not just by the civil rights - legislative and acquired - that are once again aborted ; but by the sheer transparent political opportunism and venal prejudice that gave it birth.


Editorial Staff

Beryl P. Wajsman

Redacteur en chef et Editeur

Alan Hustak

Senior Editor

Daniel Laprès

Redacteur-adjoint

Brigitte Garceau

Contributing Editor

Robert J. Galbraith

Photojournaliste

Roy Piberberg

Editorial Artwork

Mike Medeiros

Copy and Translation

Val Prudnikov

IT Director and Web Design

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