Wednesday Night #2184

Written by  //  January 24, 2024  //  Wednesday Nights  //  Comments Off on Wednesday Night #2184

Legendary Canadian director Norman Jewison dead at 97.
John Lownsbrough‘s tribute:
He enjoyed a remarkable career, starting in television (he directed those iconic Judy Garland shows), proceeding on to movies with Doris Day romantic comedies for Universal before scoring a major breakthrough replacing Sam Peckinpah on THE CINCINNATI KID. Not far ahead lay IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, which won the best picture Oscar for that year. The films that would come after included THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, MOONSTRUCK, A SOLDIER’S STORY and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF; he is shown here on location for that last named movie with its star Topol. FIDDLER is one of his best and illustrates his judgment and taste as well as the knack for eliciting the humanity of his characters. A story like MOONSTRUCK — starring Cher, who won an Oscar for her performance — could have gone well over the top with John Patrick Shanley’s fanciful screenplay as its basis but Jewison had a discernment that could somehow ground such material. R.I.P Norman Jewison. You had a great run. Bravo.

It was a great pleasure to have Dr. Mark Roper join us last week and to have him bring us up to date on developments in the Quebec healthcare file. At the same time, we urged him to apply for the position of  Santé Québec CEO at $652,000 ++ p/a.

The Israel-Hamas/Gaza war
A moment of optimism? There’s a Real Plan for Ending the War in Gaza The U.S., Egypt, and Qatar have devised a multistage plan for ending the Israel-Hamas war. But then comes the downer. One problem is that neither Israel nor Hamas has agreed to it.
Are Israel and Gaza considering a ceasefire?
Israel and Hamas have agreed that in principle an exchange of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners couldtake place during a month-long ceasefire. The glimmer of hope came after a month of mediation efforts led by Qatar, the US, and Egypt in recent weeks. The talks have focused on releasing Israeli hostages in return for a break in hostilities, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and more aid to Gaza.
Reuters reports One-month Gaza truce focus of intensive talks, sources say But the summary gives little indication of a promising outcome
Red Sea crisis
Meanwhile the disruption to global trade caused by the Yemen Houthi attacks on shipping in the Red Sea increases daily as container ships are rerouted around the coast of Africa, supply chains are disrupted and costs increased See Long reads How Red Sea Crisis Raises, Inflation, Supply Chain Worries Anew and Red Sea crisis: What it takes to reroute the world’s biggest cargo ships

John Buchanan recommends The Four Horsemen of Gaza’s Apocalypse by the controversial Chris Hedges -a virulent critique of President Biden’s foreign policy and his principal advisors, Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan and Brett McGurk. Joe Biden relies on advisors who view the world through the prism of the West’s civilizing mission to the “lesser breeds” of the earth to formulate his policies towards Israel and the Middle East.

Putin’s War
The UN refugee chief says that he’s worried that the war in Ukraine is being forgotten
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says that he’s worried that the war in Ukraine has been forgotten as the country prepares to mark two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion.
Ukraine war live
Unintended (?) consequences: Ukraine’s Black Sea grain export success tested by Red Sea crisis
Terrible late-breaking news Russia says 74 dead, no survivors, in crash of plane carrying Ukrainian PoWs
It wasn’t immediately clear what caused crash, which Ukraine has not confirmed
How Russia, North Korea, and Iran will sow chaos in 2024
Russia, North Korea, and Iran are the world’s most powerful rogue states. They have been working to strengthen their cooperation since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, united by the draconian sanctions levied against them, their shared hatred of the US, and their willingness to violate international law to disrupt a global status quo they believe serves Western interests at their expense.
In 2024, coordination among these rogue states will increase. Deepening alignment and mutual support will pose a growing threat to geopolitical stability as they boost one another’s capabilities and act in increasingly disruptive ways on the global stage.

Oh, Canada!
The Federal Cabinet held a retreat in Montreal 21-23 January and, as it was held in his riding, our MP Immigration Minister Marc Miller was host. Lots of talk about the cost of living, building more homes, creating good-paying jobs, improving our health care system, keeping our communities safe, and helping the middle class get ahead. Despite the previous week’s apparently encouraging meeting between QCGN and Official Languages Minister Randy Boissonnault, NOT ONE WORD ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF ANGLO COMMUNITIES AND INSTITUTIONS. Seems that after two days focused mostly on economics, affordability and housing, the final day was devoted to the possible outcome of the U.S. elections. Cabinet Retreat: Ministers Discuss ‘Team Canada’ Approach to U.S. Relations.
The spectre of another Trump presidency looms as Trudeau’s cabinet gathers to start a new year
The prime minister says his government is prepared — but is that even possible?
Then all was upended with Tuesday’s news that Ottawa’s use of Emergencies Act against convoy protests was unreasonable, violated Charter, court rules – Government says it plans to appeal the decision
Minister Miller, meanwhile, captured headlines with his announcement that the number of new international student permits would be reduced by 35 per cent next year as part of a temporary two-year cap on foreign enrolment, a policy that has been greeted with mostly approval.

Andrew Caddell devotes this week’s Hill Times column to French media bias hurts Quebec’s democracy (subscription)
By not reporting fairly on the preoccupations of the Anglophone community, the French media do a disservice to the cause of democracy in Quebec.
…  In Quebec, the French media does find fault with the premier. But it’s a selective critique: rarely, if ever, does it focus on the concerns of the province’s 1.25 million English-speakers. One reason is ownership: le Journal de Montreal and the TVA network are owned by Quebecor, run by one-time Parti Québécois leader Pierre-Karl Péladeau.
In Quebecor media, there has been a virtual cacophony of columnists and commentators opposing any defence of the English-speaking community. Just recently, columnist Sophie Durocher wrote: “My resolutions are … to regularly remind the whining columnists of the Montreal Gazette to stop playing the victim.”
The other main French papers, Le Devoir and La Presse, are not much better.

Désirée McGraw been named the official opposition’s spokesperson on the Social Economy*, Social Solidarity and Community Action. She writes that her primary focus in this new role “will be tackling the food insecurity crisis raging across the province. Our food banks are desperately struggling to meet the skyrocketing demand that is the result of a higher cost of living, with many having to turn hungry households away. This is unacceptable, and I vow to do everything I can to help them.”
*We invite you to seek out your preferred definition of ‘social economy’ – Wikipedia; OECD; Social Economy Europe

Quebec Liberals want Champagne for the provincial leadership—and he’s not ruling it out (subscription)
Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne’s name generates the ‘most interest and enthusiasm’ amongst Quebec Liberals for the provincial party’s top job, says a top Quebec Liberal Party source.

Paule Robitaille: Face aux migrations, surfer sur la vague au lieu de la contrer
(Blogue CORIM) Mon souhait (illusoire peut-être) pour 2024 est que nos gouvernements se responsabilisent et se coordonnent intelligemment pour absorber ces étrangers déjà sur notre territoire. Rêve pieux, direz-vous, de voir Québec et Ottawa s’entendre sur ce sujet explosif. C’est pourtant notre avenir qui se joue.

29 January
Margaret MacMillan Lecture 2024
If you’re in Toronto on the night of January 29th, join Catherine McKenna at Trinity College, University of Toronto for her lecture “Where Change Comes From: My Time in Politics, the Paris Agreement and the Future of Climate Action.”
Details and link to register

The enduring magic of The Little Prince: with Stacy Schiff, Mark Osborne and Éric Dupont
As Writers & Company wraps up after a remarkable 33 year run, we’re revisiting episodes selected from the show’s archive. This interview originally aired Dec. 16, 2018.
Since its publication more than 80 years ago, The Little Prince has sold an astonishing 200 million copies. Apart from religious texts, it’s said to be the most translated book ever, appearing in some 300 languages. An illustrated children’s story, The Little Prince is also admired — by children and adults alike — for its sophisticated ruminations on life, love, loss and friendship.
The Little Prince: 75th anniversary edition – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Oscar-nominated doc The Last Repair Shop shows how ‘music can change lives’
Halifax filmmaker Ben Proudfoot and co-director Kris Bowers net Academy Award nod for new short
The Last Repair Shop tells the story of technicians who repair public school musical instruments in Los Angeles free of charge, and the kids who play them.

Jon Stewart Returns to ‘Daily Show’ as Monday Host, Executive Producer
Stewart is the persona most closely identified with “Daily,” and turned it from Comedy Central’s bid to be part of the late-night landscape into a cultural institution that became a touchstone for much of TV’s younger crowd. Executives at the network may be hoping that Stewart will cultivate new talent for “Daily,” and ultimately find the show’s next leader. During his “Daily” tenure, Stewart helped launch careers for many comedians, including John Oliver, Samantha Bee and Steve Carell.

This has been fun to watch
Loblaw 50 per cent off stickers to return after public anger over discount reduction

7 national parks where your dog can fetch a B.A.R.K. Ranger badge
All good boys and girls are eligible — if they follow these park rules

Long reads
How Red Sea Crisis Raises, Inflation, Supply Chain Worries Anew
By attacking ships plying the Red Sea, Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have caused the biggest disruption to global trade since the Covid-19 pandemic and provoked a military response, including US and UK airstrikes on Yemen.

‘Capitalism is dead. Now we have something much worse’: Yanis Varoufakis on extremism, Starmer, and the tyranny of big tech

How the War in Gaza Revived the Axis of Resistance
Iran and Its Allies Are Fighting With Missiles and Memes

How Wars Don’t End – Ukraine, Russia, and the Lessons of World War I
By Margaret MacMillan
“The longer a conflict lasts, the more important allies and resources become,” writes Margaret MacMillan.
As the war in Ukraine enters its third year, both sides are looking abroad for help. Russia is getting weapons from Iran and North Korea. Meanwhile, Ukraine is once again turning to its allies in the West. Complicating matters for Kyiv is the uncertain future of U.S. aid to Ukraine, which has stalled amid Republican efforts to tether funding to stricter U.S. immigration policy.

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