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Les Orphelins Duplessis

We marched with Sen. Jacques Hébert, we demonstrated with him
and we are pleased that he and his Committee negotiatated
a $35 million settlement for the Duplessis Orphans
with the Québec government.


Fighting Suffocating Bureaucracy

To read the full text of
"A Nation Under Suspicion - Time to Stop the Tyranny of the Mindless"

please go to the following link on this site:


Canada Free Press

Boycotting Israel, Palestinians

The C.U.P.E. boycott of Israel:
Echoes of darker evils

by Beryl Wajsman, Institute for Public Affairs of Montreal
Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"We cannot expect anti-Semitism to disappear - Jewish existence and Jewish philosophy will always be threatening. The trauma and insecurity, on the other hand, is within our power to diminish - should we decide to do so."

~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Harvard, 1968

The next time labour leaders in Canada want to know why there is such antipathy to their agenda in many quarters, they need look no further than the Canadian Union of Public Employees’ Ontario wing. This past weekend some 896 delegates representing 200,000 workers voted in convention to pass a resolution boycotting Israel, a social democracy with the most unionized political jurisdiction in the world.

It’s time to call a spade a spade. CUPE (Ont.)’s action is, at worst, a primordial example of a hypocrisy unmasked revealing the true face of anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism, and, at best, a knee-jerk Canadian antipathy to any American ally. An antipathy that at its heart is fuelled by a self-doubt driven by a jealousy of others self-belief.

To read the full paper please go to the following link on this site:



Canada Free Press


Bernard Shapiro, investigating Liberals and Conservatives

The Shapiro Affair:
A Commissioner worthy of contempt, or a culture beneath contempt?

by Beryl Wajsman, Institute for Public Affairs of Montreal
Monday, March 13, 2006


"The condition of all human ethics can be summed up in two sentences:
We ought to. But we don't."
~ Kurt Tucholsky, anti-Nazi German Philosopher

The audacity of Ethics Commissioner Bernard Shapiro's plans to investigate Prime Minister Harper and International Trade Minister David Emerson is a display of blatant partisan hypocrisy by a public servant whose practices and purposes have been roundly condemned and whose own public proclamations have compromised the very integrity of his office. To make matters worse, for NDP leader Ed Broadbent, the "secular saint" of Canadian politics, to warn Mr. Harper that he may be in contempt of Parliament if he does not co-operate with Shapiro is eloquent testimony to the fact that this nation's problem lies not with a Prime Minister who is in contempt but with a political culture that is beneath contempt.

To read the complete text please go to one of the following links:



Western Liberalism and Islamist Statism


To read this article in full please go to the following link:



 Canada Free Press



Government and Business in Quebec

The second fall of Quebec Inc.:
Time for an untranquil revolution

by Beryl Wajsman, Institute for Public Affairs of Montreal
Monday, March 6, 2006

"Democracy, the way we are practicing it, seems to be just gestation for the tyranny of the mediocre.
~ Bertrand de Jouvenal

The economic and social construct known as Quebec Inc. is a structure of parallel pillars. Buttresses of centralized state control and intervention with four times the number of bureaucrats than the State of California serving a population one-fifth the size. The promise was that working in tandem they would secure a bright future for all Quebecers with transparency and equity away from the influence of those terrible English and "vendu" elites. Savings and benefits from economies of scale would be passed on to the people. Well, it hasn't quite worked out that way under the Charest government


To read the complete text please go to one of the following links:






Saint Mary’s University
Since 1802

From: Peter March
Sent: March 4, 2006 3:29 PM
To: Institute for Public Affairs of Montreal

Wonderful stuff.  You take our breath away.  I'm forwarding it to colleagues.

Prof. Peter March

St.Mary's University



BPW on Free Speech and Holocaust Denial
With Rob Breakenridge on "The World Tonight"




The World Tonight
with Rob Breakenridge





Canada Free Press

Holocaust Denial, Free Speech, Danish Cartoons

The David Irving Prosecution:
The Perils of divisible freedoms
Mirroring what we seek to destroy

by Beryl Wajsman, Institute for Public Affairs of Montreal
Wednesday, February 22, 2006

"Freedom consists largely in the right to talk nonsense."
~Edgar Watson Howe, American novelist

"Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."
~ George Orwell

"Freedom is the right to be wrong; not the right to do wrong."
~ Prime Minister John Diefenbaker

Freedom is indivisible. If we want to enjoy it we must be prepared to extend it to everyone, whether they agree with us or not. This standard cannot be carried lightly, and the burden of it has fallen from many hands throughout history. Each generation must be vigilant that it not slip from its grip.

We are now in the midst of a grievous struggle against an implacable foe whose demands hearken back to the hegemony of the theocratic tyrannies of the Middle Ages. We have told these Islamist fanatics that we will not sacrifice our hard-won liberties and that we will protect at all costs the pluralism that defines our western way of life.

For the sake of the success of this world struggle for hearts and minds, as much as the justice of the cause, it is incumbent upon all free men and women to raise their voices whenever freedom's indivisibility is compromised. Particularly when it occurs in our own backyards; especially when the one compromised is egregiously distasteful; precisely when what we are defending is the right that such an individual has to be the sovereign of his own conscience regardless of the low estate to which it brings him. For this, more than anything, is the object lesson in the difference between liberty and tyranny.

To read the complete article please go to one of the following links:








Volpe Officially Wants To Be Leader

Joe Volpe wants to be the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
No surprise, I guess, but now we know for sure. He made a call today to
a young liberal organizer (who prefers to remain in the background)
asking for his/her support. This is exactly how we found out about
the first guy to declare for LPC leadership, Beryl Wajsman.

So now we have three candidates.

Beryl Wajsman, Martha Hall Finlay, and Joe Volpe all want it. Wajsman
would be our first Jewish Prime Minister. Hall Finlay would be our first
woman Prime Minister to win an election and Volpe would be our first
Italian Prime Minister. Now to toot my own horn, this is
Leadership Hopeful #2 I've outed.

Stay tuned, there is a 3rd you'll hear about right here.


Canada Free Press



Liberal leadership race, Canada

Liberal renewal
A time to propose not merely oppose
Towards a return to radical Liberalism

by Beryl Wajsman, Institute for Public Affairs of Montreal
Friday, February 3, 2006

"I am a liberal of the British school. I am a disciple of Burke, Fox, Bright, Gladstone,
and of the other Little Englanders who made Great Britain and its possessions
what they are."
~Henri Bourassa

"Somehow liberals have been unable to acquire from life what conservatives seem
to be endowed with at birth: namely, a healthy skepticism of the powers of
government agencies to do good."
~ Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Among the reasons so many potential candidates have decided not to enter the Liberal leadership race is that they have no real fidelity to the idea of liberalism. And that includes the outgoing Prime Minister. They engaged with the Liberal party because of family traditions; electoral expediency; or simply because it was a winning machine. The same way star athletes want to play with a championship team.

Now that all these factors have been rendered meaningless by the regional breadth, if not the depth, of the most dramatic electoral shift in a generation, they are left rudderless. They simply don't know what brought them here in the first place. Power had always trumped principles. That was the raison d'être of the Natural Governing Party. Be all things to all people at all times at all costs. Just get the votes. With apologies to Karl Marx, that is not the small-l "liberal dialectic". It is time for all good Liberals to go to re-education schools and understand what being liberal really means.

To view this article in full please go to one of the following links:


Money for Montreal Hospitals

Reform of the Public Curator


We have received extraordinary co-operation from the Hon. Michelle Courchesne, Minister for Citizen Relations and Immigration, on our Private Members' Bill that would see some $1.5 million released to three area hospitals including the Shriners and the Montreal Childrens. Her Department oversees the Public Curator and her letter of support (above) was an extraordinary gesture from a Minister.



Much of our involvement on this issue stemmed from what we learrned in assisting social workers in the Guttman case (above).Many Quebecers, particularly seniors, are treated in unjust, degraded and undignified fashion whether they are in curatorship or are wards of the state in some other manner.





Terry Corcoran Establishes NCIS

Seen at an Institute Conference on Security and Trade are former FBI counter-terrorism Director Dale L. Watson (3rd from l.), Lt. Steve Roberts (4th from l.), Ron Durant NCIS associate (5th from l.), former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, Terry Corcoran, Stuart Sturm of the FBI (2nd from rt.) and David Harris President of Insignis Strategies and former Strategic Planning Director for CSIS (extreme rt.)



Institute Council advisor for public security Terry Corcoran has opened a new executive security and competitive intelligence agency called NCIS-National Criminal Investigative Service. He brings some 33 years of experience to this venture. Most recently he was Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Security Agency. Terry's relationships with senior officials in local, national and international public and private sector police and security organizations are unrivalled. He will be joined in this new agency by legendary Montreal Police Detective Lt. Steve Roberts. Until his recent retirement Steve was Assistant Director of the Major Crimes Unit.

NCIS has an ongoing partnership with Sec-Pro, a leader in the private security field, employing over 1700 guards through Quebec and eastern Ontario. Corcoran will soon be announcing several other important new associates, and strategic alliances, for NCIS and Sec-Pro.


Active in community affairs, Terry was a Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick's Day Parade, a candidate for city council in the last elections and is a Board member of Catholic Community Services.




Demerger News

(L-R) Borough Representative Anthony Housefather, Ruth Kovac, former CSL councillor Glenn J. Nashen

We would like to congratulate Institute Council member, and former Cote St. Luc councillor, Ruth Kovac for her outstanding organizational work and tireless energy in her successful fight to demerge Cote St. Luc-Hampstead-Montreal West. Ruth co-chaired the demerger coalition in that borough.She had a singular ability to rally diverse elements of the community and get them to commit as selflessly as she did. Now taking a a well deserved break, we think she should seriously consider a run for the Mayoralty of CSL upon her return.


Election Announcement


Raymonde Folco, MP for Laval West, speaking at an Institute Conference


Folco-Laval West


We are pleased to announce that Raymonde Folco, MP for Laval West, won her re-nomination convention last night. Mme. Folco is a frequent participant in many of the Institute's Conferences and an effective ally on many of our initiatives. More importantly, she is one of the few in Ottawa who have built an enviable record as a social progressive on domestic issues and as a supporter of a Canadian foreign policy committed to democratic development abroad. She understands that social justice does not stop at our borders. Attached hereto you will find a copy of an inspiring address she gave in the House last year.


At the Chicoutimi Caucus of the Federal Liberal Party some eighteen months ago that saw the announcement by then Prime Minister Chrétien of his retirement date, Mme. Folco was the only member of the Caucus who spoke to thousands of FTQ members who were demonstrating outside. This was an example of the courage she has shown throughout her public life whether as President of the Quebec Women's Commission, Vice-Chair of the House of Commons Citizenship and Immigration Committee or as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources.


When she approached the Institute for assistance in her re-nomination, we were more than happy to help. It cannot always be just about policy. There are times when it is about very real politics. Many of Mme.Folco's colleagues have either lost their re-nomination challenges or have chosen not to run. We hope that progressive Liberal MP's whose conventions are coming up will take heart from her victory.


Notre mémoire et notre vécu collectifs nous rappellent toutefois que la liberté est fragile et requiert une constante vigilance. Nous ne pouvons toutefois prendre nos droits pour acquis.Nous ne pouvons présumer la bienveillance des autres qui nous entourent. Raymonde Folco comprend que c'est un défi constant à notre force de caractère et au courage de nos convictions.



 Building Bridges

Canada-Israel Committee Chairman Dr. Thomas O. Hecht, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and BPW

We have always believed that there is more that brings people together than sets them apart. This is at the heart of building the kind of broad alliances so vital to moving the agenda of social justice forward at the national and international levels. So we are fully at ease going to state dinners for the President of Israel...

...as well as assisting the Director-General of Royal Air Maroc, Amb. Mohamed Berrada, Morocco's former Finance Minister...

...and attending the National Day receptions of Arab states such as Kuwait.

These back channel relationships are among the most important assets a public interest advocacy organization can have. It never fails to raise the level of civility, and thereby the level of effectiveness, on any file or initiative.

Building the same kind of rapprochement here at home as well with Guy Bouthillier (l.) former president of Québec's St.Jean-Baptiste Society and Nino Colavecchio, President of the Canadian Italian Congress...

Debating Clarity



Accompanying the Hon. Stephane Dion, Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs, at a debate on the Clarity Act at McGill University. Mr. Dion’s opponent was Daniel Turp, Bloc Québécois MP for Beauharnois-Salabery.



Sen. Finestone’s Scholarship Fund



Letter of thanks from Sen. Sheila Finestone for our support of her scholarship fund at McGill University.

A Great Mentor

With the Rt. Hon. Herbert Eser Gray, a great friend and mentor

With Martin

With Prime Minister Martin at a Canada Day celebration.

Remembering the Greatest Prime Minister

Interview about the Trudeau years at the time of the Prime Minister's funeral. The picture shows BPW speaking at a convention with Prime Minister Pierre- Elliott Trudeau, Sen. Dalia Wood and then Quebec political Minister Jean-Pierre Côté at left.


With Chretien


With Prime Minister Chretien at a party at 24 Sussex.

 A Return to Ottawa





Terry McDonald



November 19, 1999




Beryl Wajsman, Special Counsel to MP Irwin Cotler


For Beryl Wajsman, Special Counsel to Mount Royal’s newly elected MP Irwin Cotler, it’s a case of déjà vu. Wajsman worked on the Hill in the 1980’s both as a political staffer and in the Department of Justice. He has since pursued an active career in urban development and public interest advocacy.After an absence of some ten years he has returned to the scene on a year-long commitment to organize and administer Cotler's Montreal and Ottawa offices. He will be shuttling between the two cities as he will also be acting as Special Counsel on policy matters.





"A Statement of Purpose" outlines the purpose and passion of our work, it's politicall context, and our hopes for a national leadership that will not compromise justice through timidity and will never cheapen honor by expediency.


“RFK and PET: A Start in Advocacy” outlines in words in pictures our beginnings in public interest advocacy and the work we were involved in through the 70's, 80's and early 90's.




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