Articles written by: Irwin Block

He who laughs last is reading Josh Freed
Features / Reviews & Previews

He who laughs last is reading Josh Freed

Life in Montreal would be a lot more boring if we didn’t have Josh Freed poking fun at its vagaries. In his inimitable style, Freed has a way of turning commonplace activities into sources of joyful absurdity. Josh’s column in The Gazette is the first thing many of us turn […]

Louise Harel says she plans to return to university for a week of English immersion.
Features

Louise Harel, the woman who would be mayor

Now that Montreal has its first anglo mayor in a century, Louise Harel has a new record in mind: becoming the city’s first female mayor. With city hall shrouded in a black cloud of collusion, corruption and kickbacks, Harel sees herself as having a credible chance of taking over next […]

Harriet Johnson is among 33 people who have signed on to a class-action lawsuit against the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children.
Features

‘I saw the devil’ in Home for Colored Children, alleged abuse victim says

Physical, psychological and sexual abuse of minors leaves an indelible mark on their lives. The pain never goes away completely, but more and more victims are seeking recognition and retribution. Harriet Johnson, mother of six and a Montreal resident, has taken a two-track approach for abuse suffered at the Nova […]

The Sunshine Boys at the Segal Centre a rollicking theatre experience
Features / Reviews & Previews

The Sunshine Boys at the Segal Centre a rollicking theatre experience

There was not an empty seat in the house, and when the action hit high gear, not a dry eye from all the laughter. This was the scene last month at the Segal Centre as veteran actors Aron Gonshor and Sam Stein went through their shtick as out-of-work and estranged […]

Trench Patterns at Bain St. Michel: Good intentions clash with ideology
Reviews & Previews

Trench Patterns at Bain St. Michel: Good intentions clash with ideology

The audience walks into the intimate confines of Infinitheatre and sees her, the central figure in Trench Patterns, lying on a hospital bed. The backlit screen showing the cross on Mount Royal above a mound of trees and hospital sounds suggest it’s the Royal Vic. Scenes of combat fill the […]

Reviews & Previews

Author Peter Beinart critiques settlements, calls for boycott

It was one of the most electric moments in the years I spent as a student at McGill University. On January 31, 1961, Hillel House on Peel St. was packed with students and professors who were sitting on tables and stairs to hear controversial British historian Sir Arnold Toynbee debate […]

Remembrance Day: Younger veterans carry the torch
Features

Remembrance Day: Younger veterans carry the torch

Bravery, love of country, willingness to defend Canadian values and confront tyranny—all are qualities that accompany our soldiers who serve overseas. On November 11, we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as those who came back injured physically or emotionally from combat. We also pay tribute to […]

Slavoj Zizek’s Year of Dreaming Dangerously: Wave of revolts predicted
Reviews & Previews

Slavoj Zizek’s Year of Dreaming Dangerously: Wave of revolts predicted

A year ago, North America was in the throes of the Occupy movement, Quebec’s student boycott was being mapped out, and the Arab Spring was reaching a crescendo. What to make of it all? One of the most perceptive analyses comes from the brilliant and voracious mind of Slovenian philosopher […]

First female senior rabbi installed at Temple Emanu-el-Beth Sholom
Features

First female senior rabbi installed at Temple Emanu-el-Beth Sholom

The scene: a crowded Friday night at the Temple Emanu-el-Beth Sholom in Westmount. Excitement is in the air as the huge main sanctuary fills up. This is no ordinary Sabbath service. The archbishop of Montreal, Most Rev. Christian Lépine, is in the audience, as are Protestant clergy and U.S. consul-general […]

Montreal city councillor Alex Norris has a reporter's eye and a politician's ear.
Features

Montreal city councillor Alex Norris fights for a cleaner, greener city

What the heck is going on at city hall? In Montreal, Laval, Boisbriand, Mascouche—just about everywhere that big money is being spent on infrastructure—it appears that inflated prices, as much as double the market value, kickbacks to civil servants and elected officials and payoffs to political parties and the Mafia […]