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NEXEN and a Proposal to define the opaque Net Benefit Criteria

Par Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette le 28 octobre 2012

Payette_Hervieux.JPGThe proposed buyout of Nexen Inc., a Canadian oil and gas company which has been discovering and developing energy resources in some of the world’s most significant basins – including Western Canada, the UK North Sea, offshore West Africa and the Gulf of Mexico – has been causing quite the commotion amongst politicians and the public.  Why is that?  The interested buyer happens to be wholly owned by its government – a government, it can be argued, whose values and beliefs differ greatly from our country, Canada.

Ella Bergeron and the empowerment of intolerance

Par Beryl Wajsman le 24 octobre 2012

And now the youngest victim of the nationalist rhetoric of the recent election campaign. The tragedy of two-year old Ella Bergeron this past weekend in Hudson. We say this not to exploit a child. But if the “little children shall lead them,” then the story of little Ella leads us to a hard and bitter truth.

Des promesses qu’il valait mieux ne pas tenir, sauf une !

Par Pierre K. Malouf le 19 octobre 2012

Élu le 4 septembre avec 31,9 % des suffrages exprimés (0,7% de plus que les libéraux)  et 54 sièges sur 125, le gouvernement dirigé par Mme Marois ne pourra pas tenir la plupart de ses promesses. N’étant pas totalement réduit à l’impuissance,  il a quand même pu prendre quelques décisions douteuses découlant de son programme électoral. J’en mentionnerai quelques-unes. Le moratoire complet sur l’exploitation des gaz de schistes annoncé, moins de vingt-quatre après son assermentation, par la nouvelle ministre des Ressources naturelles, Martine Ouellet, est le premier exemple qui me vient à l’esprit.

No mandate! A prejudiced, “not-ready-for-prime-time” government

Par Beryl Wajsman le 19 octobre 2012

One thing is clear from the narrow election result in Quebec - it gave the PQ no mandate for any of its radical agenda. It was to be hoped that we could take Pauline Marois at her word that she not only respected, but understood the will of the people. However, from the  inflammatory rhetoric, the sparking of new language friction and the irresponsible fiscal policies it was perhaps too much to hope for.The only sign of hope are the endless flipflops and reining in of her Ministers that she has done.

Tolerating intolerance in Quebec

Par Dan Delmar le 19 octobre 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.


Once upon a time in Quebec

Par Akil Alleyne le 19 octobre 2012

alleyne_akyl.jpgI’m not sure what to make of the recent Quebec provincial election. To be sure, the results were hardly surprising, given Jean Charest’s long-dwindling popularity. It’s a shame that the outcome appears to vindicate the anti-tuition-hike movement’s unreasonable goals and undemocratic tactics. (In truth, it does no such thing, at least not without proof that the tuition issue moved more votes than, say, the Charest government’s corruption. Alas, in politics, perception always trumps reality.) Nonetheless, since the Parti Québécois was first elected in 1976, Quebecers have consistently given each major party exactly nine years in power before trading it for the other.

Some Federal Electoral Boundaries proposals are questionable

Par Marvin Rortrand le 19 octobre 2012

The Federal Electoral Boundary Commission is proposing major changes to the electoral map and citizens and community groups have only a few more weeks to register to comment.

The Commission is mandated by law to review the electoral map on a periodic basis taking into account population shifts. This time the task is complicated by the decision of Parliament to increase the number of seats nationally from 305 to 338. Quebec's representation goes from 75 to 78 which has provoked major changes in boundaries many of which will give citizens pause as it often appears that the principles of physical integrity of neighbourhoods and community identity have not been respected.


Quelques questions pour J-F Lisée

Par Steve Ambler le 19 octobre 2012

Prenons deux individus, les deux parlant bien le français, le premier de Bordeaux et le deuxième de Shanghaï. Le premier parle français à la maison, et donc selon la logique du PQ vaut plus que le deuxième...

Religion and a secular charter for Quebec

Par Father John Walsh le 19 octobre 2012

I grew up in Montreal when the French-speaking Roman Catholic Church was literally present everywhere, from the opening prayer at a hockey tournament to the blessing of a beauty salon.  The hierarchy and the local clergy were the Church.   They were placed on pedestals with the expectation that they could solve all problems and do no wrong.   The religious, priests, brothers and religious women (nuns) ran the schools, hospitals, orphanages and every institution that dealt with the lives of French-speaking people in Quebec.   The educational system offered a classical education which meant that the French-speaking students were not introduced into the world of science where progress was exponential and the system also left them without an understanding of the impact of economic development. 

Insights from homelessness: There is much to learn from those who live far from the madding crowd

Par Father John Walsh le 19 octobre 2012


homeless.jpgThe majority of people in Montreal, and elsewhere, pass a homeless person on the street and they are unable to go beyond what their eyes see.  The very presence of a homeless person on the same street where people have their daily route to work disturbs some people; others, walk on as if they do not exist.   
The homeless are no different from you and me.  No different.  They laugh, they cry, they feel pain and they are struggling to make sense of their lives.  Each of us hasn’t a story to tell, we have a history to recount.  It begins with birth and ends with death.  History unfolds in one’s upbringing, one’s childhood, youth, adolescence and adulthood.  The road less travelled is that of the homeless people. 


After asbestos - Time to support a Royal Commission on toxic threat

Par Beryl Wajsman le 18 septembre 2012

Public policy is not always boring. As much as most voters like the excitement of personality over purpose, there are fleeting moments in the life a nation where we have to pay attention to what has been done, and not just to what has been acted. And when such moments occur, it is our responsibility as citizens to push forward the agenda of human progress. If we fail, at those moments, to engage in the life of our nation we compromise our responsibilities  as citizens of freedom and prejudice our rights to complain.
One such moment occurred last week in the life of this nation.

No mandate! PQ must govern for all Quebecers - now let's all get more involved in this society

Par Beryl Wajsman le 6 septembre 2012

One thing is clear from the narrow election result - it gave the PQ no mandate for any of its radical agenda. It is to be hoped that we can take Pauline Marois at her word and that she not only respects, but uderstands the will of the people.

Two-thirds of Quebecers - anglophones, allophones and francophones - voted for the federalist, free-market alternatives. Mme. Marois must take that into account and we all must hold her accountable.


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

Par P.A. Sévigny le 30 août 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

Par Beryl Wajsman le 21 août 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

Par Jeremy Richler le 19 août 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

Par Beryl Wajsman le 19 août 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

Par David T. Jones le 5 août 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"

Par Beryl Wajsman le 3 août 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.

Par Beryl Wajsman le 25 juillet 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.

Par Beryl Wajsman le 25 juillet 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»

Par Louise V. Labrecque le 18 juillet 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

Par Éric Duhaime le 18 juillet 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

Par Jacques Brassard le 18 juillet 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

Par Jeff Plante le 18 juillet 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

Par Tracey Arial le 18 juillet 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

Par P.A. Sévigny le 18 juillet 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!

Par Beryl Wajsman le 18 juillet 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

Par Akil Alleyne le 18 juillet 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

Par Joel Ceausu le 18 juillet 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

Par Tracey Arial le 4 juillet 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

Par Beryl Wajsman le 26 juin 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

Par Beryl Wajsman le 26 juin 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

Par Kristy-Lyn Kemp le 13 juin 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!

Par Beryl Wajsman le 13 juin 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

Par Byron Toben le 27 mai 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.

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