Wednesday Night #1905 with Jennifer Maccarone & Dr. Mark Roper

Written by  //  September 12, 2018  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

We are delighted to have Jennifer Maccarone, the LPQ candidate in our riding of Westmount-St. Louis as our guest this Wednesday Night.
Her visit with us follows on the heels of Tuesday Night’s “Meet the Candidates” at Westmount’s Victoria Hall and coincides with the “Creative Laboratory” Wednesday happening at Vic Hall – part of the OCPM public consultation about the closing of Camilien-Houde to through traffic.
Jennifer Maccarone to run as Liberal candidate in Westmount-St. Louis
The president of the Quebec English School Board Association (QESBA) was a vocal opponent to Bill 86, the Liberals’ now-defunct school board reform legislation.
“After three months of interviews with potential candidates to find Jacques Chagnon’s replacement … with five potential candidates interviewed by the board, it was unanimously decided that Jennifer Maccarone would be the best candidate to represent the citizens of Westmount-Saint-Louis, the English-speaking community and the values of the Liberal Party.”
Premier Philippe Couillard who gave the riding association the right to choose their own candidate, a historic move for Quebec’s Liberals. See her CTV interview
Also, Global ‘Focus Montreal’: Candidates discuss education in lead-up to Quebec election
Laval’s Maccarone could make QESBA relevant (The Suburban 15 August 2018)
If you want to learn more about her thoughts on Education, see her TEDx Laval Talk of 2016 Our Students, Our Schools, Our Communities – Our Future

We are also very pleased that Dr. Mark Roper will join us to share his thoughts regarding the critical shortage of family doctors in the Montreal area and the constraints imposed by regulations introduced by Health Minister Barrette. A year ago, on 11 September, the new superclinic opened at the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex of which Mark is the Director, but it has not alleviated the situation for Anglophone communities in CDN, NDG and CSL

As we consider education in Quebec, perhaps we might all be inspired by this extraordinary experiment in Connecticut
Heather Won Tesoriero’s The Class: A Life-Changing Teacher, His World-Changing Kids, and the Most Inventive Classroom in America – we are sure that U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had nothing to do with it – and we should not tell her about it.

Of concern to many of us amidst the usual array of promises in the election campaign is: What each party would do for the anglophone community
(CBC) Anglo rights may not be a big campaign issue nor have there been any official announcements or promises made so far, but to more than 14 per cent of the population, how the Quebec government interacts with and provides for its English-speaking citizens is a big deal.
In fact, other than cursory lines in party platforms recognizing the importance of the Anglo minority, no concrete commitments have been made.

Meanwhile, Beryl Wajsman’s editorial in the September 5 edition of The Suburban urges voters to Remember Robillard: Rays of reasons for Quebec for all parties .
“The official name of the group she chaired was the Commission on Government Efficiency. Its four volume “Focus on Performance” may be the most “lucide” evaluation of what ails Quebec since the Quiet Revolution. Among the most stunning — yet long advocated by business and consumer groups — recommendations is that the SAQ should have some private sector competition [after Sunday and Monday’s 2-day strike, no doubt many would agree] and that the tax collection responsibilities of Revenue Quebec be transferred to the Canada Revenue Agency which collects taxes for all other provinces. Savings estimated? $400 million.”

Quebec is, of course, not alone in having elections. Over the weekend, the Swedes went to the polls with inconclusive results. The country faces weeks of stalemate after its traditional center-left and center-right blocs tied with neither holding a majority. As the Economist summed it up “The populists did less well than expected, and the mainstream parties better than feared.” Meantime, as Bloomberg’s editorial board puts it: “Say this much about the European Union: It rarely runs out of crises. In Sweden, the far right just moved closer to power. In eastern Europe it’s already there, and populist governments are flouting democratic norms and daring Brussels to stop them. The EU’s leaders must respond to the threat of illiberalism — but they should be careful not to overreach.” This solemn statement concerns the EU’s possible invocation of article 7 as sanction of Hungary’s flaunting of the rule of law.

Tuesday is the 17th anniversary of 9/11. The Trumps will be at a memorial in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where on Sunday, the 93-foot tall ‘Tower of Voices’ memorial opened at the Flight 93 crash site.
Is it merely ironic coincidence that Chrystia Freeland is headed back to Washington to resume NAFTA negotiations, on Tuesday, or a subtle reminder of the role Good Neighbo(u)r Canada played during that terrible time?
Our good friend C. Uday Bhaskar reminds his readers of another dreadful outcome of 9/11 in his piece 17 years after 9/11, little light at the end of the tunnel in Afghanistan.

While invoking significant anniversaries, 15 September is the 10th anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. We can expect an overwhelming amount of analysis, commentary and punditry over the next days. One of the most interesting so far, is The Real Cost of the 2008 Financial Crisis. The New Yorker’s John Cassidy reviews “Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World,” by the Columbia economic historian Adam Tooze, who “points out that we are still living with the consequences of 2008, including the political ones. … Using taxpayers’ money to bail out greedy and incompetent bankers was intrinsically political. So was quantitative easing, a tactic that other central banks also adopted, following the Fed’s lead. It worked primarily by boosting the price of financial assets that were mostly owned by rich people. As wages and incomes continued to languish, the rescue effort generated a populist backlash on both sides of the Atlantic. Austerity policies, especially in Europe, added another dark twist to the process of political polarization. As a result, Tooze writes, the “financial and economic crisis of 2007-2012 morphed between 2013 and 2017 into a comprehensive political and geopolitical crisis of the post–cold war order”—one that helped put Donald Trump in the White House and brought right-wing nationalist parties to positions of power in many parts of Europe.”

The Brookings Institute offers a double-header: reflecting on whether US counterterrorism efforts have improved since 9/11 and highlighting that American defense strategy must adapt to a new generation of U.S. military recruits, the youngest of whom were born in the year of the attacks and for whom the Great Recession—not 9/11—was the formative national event of their youth.
Additionally, there is a two-day event “Responding to the global financial crisis” whose primary objective is to answer the inevitable question that those who fight future financial crises will ask: Why and how did they do it the way they did in 2007-2009?
At a special event on Wednesday, Andrew Ross Sorkin interviews former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and former Treasury Secretaries Tim Geithner and Hank Paulson.
Expect a fair amount of justification of the actions taken and it seems unlikely that Adam Tooze’s views will be popular.

As Hurricane Florence is set to hit the U.S. East Coast and 1 million flee while mayors declare states of emergency, we are sure that everyone is relieved to hear that Donald Trump recognizes that the Hurricane will be ‘tremendously big and tremendously wet’; he also says the federal government is “absolutely, totally prepared” for “a storm that is going to be a very large one, far larger than we have seen in perhaps decades.” We are not making this up! We could not. But that’s okay because he also tells us that the US knows how to deal with the impending disaster, given that the hurricane response in Puerto Rico was an ‘incredible, unsung success’. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló does not agree.

We rarely cite sports news, but the controversy over Serena Williams‘ conduct at the U.S. Open cannot be ignored. Opinion is polarized. The Slate conversation between By Josh Levin, Vann Newkirk II, and Louisa Thomas airs most sides of the matter and is sympathetic while recognizing that bad behaviour even when excusable should not be condoned. How We See Serena WilliamsShe is a champion, a goddess, and a flawed human being. Our conversations about her should reflect her complexity.  Martina Navratilova is a bit harsher, though still sympathetic: What Serena Got Wrong Just because the guys might be able to get away with it doesn’t mean it’s acceptable.

We will leave to another week the on-going debate regarding  the author of the now- infamous NYT op-ed,  I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration and the quite venomous comments on the SCOTUS confirmation hearings, e.g, Confirmed: Brett Kavanaugh Can’t Be Trusted. Similarly, the Transmountain pipeline will have to wait – maybe something new will come out of the Liberals’ caucus retreat this week? Climate, pipelines and NAFTA to dominate Liberal caucus meetings

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