Articles written by: Irwin Block

Quebec voters fear a reignited sovereignty debate, Kathleen Weil says.
Features

Kathleen Weil gears up to fight for diversity and individual rights

The evening before the September 4 Quebec election, Kathleen Weil could be seen strolling along Monkland, enjoying a dish of ice cream and appearing confident of personal victory in N.D.G. Schmoozing in outdoor cafés, she and her constituents were concerned about a PQ return to power, as predicted in the […]

Saturday-night shoppers crowd Jaffa Road in Jerusalem. Photos: Barbara Moser
Features / Travel

Analysis: Israel is thriving, but settlements cast a shadow

BY: IRWIN BLOCK Israel is seen as a society beset by seemingly insurmountable obstacles, challenges and threats. Based on what we see and read in the media, life in the “promised land” would seem to be unlivable. But on the streets of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa, there is a […]

Election 2012: No panic on Monkland over minority win
Features

Election 2012: No panic on Monkland over minority win

Gil Benabou (from left), Molly Mouyal and Coby Steiner talk politics and sip coffee at Pain Doré on Monkland. BY: IRWIN BLOCK It was the day after the Quebec election, and for many west end residents there was a sense of relief that Pauline Marois’s Parti Québécois will be restrained […]

Rabbi fosters religious-humanist approach to Judaism
Features

Rabbi fosters religious-humanist approach to Judaism

BY: IRWIN BLOCK When Ron Aigen came to Montreal from the U.S. in the summer of 1976 for his first posting as a rabbi, he was in for some big surprises. For starters, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-born graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, with a degree in family therapy and community […]

In search of greener pastures for Canada’s political landscape
Features

In search of greener pastures for Canada’s political landscape

BY:IRWIN BLOCK Being leader of Canada’s fifth political party is not the easiest way of getting the nation’s attention. But that has not stopped Green Party chief Elizabeth May from making her presence felt in the hurly burly of Ottawa politics, even if the NDP, Liberals, and Bloc have priority […]

Features / Health

No need for men to suffer alone

BY: IRWIN BLOCK In 1994, Pointe Claire resident Charles Curtis got the result from what was then a relatively new test for something called the PSA level in the blood. Prostate specific antigen, PSA, is the substance produced almost exclusively by certain cells within the prostate gland. When my own […]

Vic Vogel’s Cuban music dances along the edge of bebop
Features

Vic Vogel’s Cuban music dances along the edge of bebop

BY IRWIN BLOCK The irrepressible Vic Vogel was on the phone from his home near the Jacques Cartier Bridge, searching for words to explain what he does with Cuban music. Words failed him, so he put down the phone, went over to the piano and played a few bars of […]

Richard Galliano plays Bach to Piazzolla at Maison Symphonique de Montreal. (Photo courtesy of the jazz fest)
Reviews & Previews

Montreal International Jazz Festival: Discover a taste for every ear

BY IRWIN BLOCK Jazz fan or not, there is a tremendous range of music in free outdoor venues and paid indoor ones to satisfy most tastes at this year’s Montreal International Jazz Festival. The first of hundreds of daily shows starts Wednesday, June 27, and continue until Sunday, July 7, […]

Reviews & Previews

Economist Jeff Rubin: Economic slide is not all bad

BY IRWIN BLOCK As surely as lilacs bloom in spring, gas prices in Montreal soared above $1.33 a litre in May, and for economist Jeff Rubin, that may not be all bad. There is little we can do about the growing demand for petroleum, especially in the new consumer economies […]

Health

Years of sun exposure takes its toll on skin

BY IRWIN BLOCK One “feature” of growing older is acquiring liver spots and various other blemishes on the skin. To find out whether they pose a risk, I recently asked a dermatologist to have a look at my arms, face and back. It turned out that half a dozen of […]