Commentary

Single income tax form for Quebec a sticky issue

To put a spin on Benjamin Franklin’s truism: Nothing is certain in life except death, taxes, and federal-provincial disputes over taxes. Franklin, incidentally, knew a thing or two about intergovernmental relations, having helped set up the postal service. He served as deputy postmaster-general in British North America in the 1750s, well before the Boston Tea Party and all that.

Despite protests, fur remains very much in fashion

Several cities in California, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, are pushing ahead with bans on the sale of new fur apparel. Under the L.A. plan, for example, the ban would take effect in 2020, giving the Kardashians plenty of time to buy up existing stocks.

Northern ties with Mexico get lost in U.S. trade noise

COMMENTARY

Screen Shot 2019-01-29 at 3.48.52 PM.png

Do you get the feeling that half of Quebecers have been to or are going to Mexico this winter? If so, it is not your imagination (fueled by envy).

Funny, how Big Tobacco is quitting “ordinary” cigarettes

COMMENTARY

12319_big tobacco.jpg
Photo: Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

Any Bob Newhart fans out there? Sure there are. The American comedian and actor, still performing occasionally at 89, is the master of the deadpan reaction. His specialty is one-sided telephone conversations, and perhaps his best-known bit is his transatlantic chat with Sir Walter Raleigh in the English colony of Virginia.

Light at the end of the tunnel for VIA Rail upgrade plan?

Peter_Black_head shot USEa_41.jpg

If you’ve taken the early morning VIA Rail train between Quebec City and Montreal in the darkness of winter and have a window seat on the side facing southward, you are treated to what might be described as a terrifying thrill ride while sitting still on a siding.

“Earth has not anything to show more fair . . . ”

earth1.jpg
Photo: Rivière-du-Loup Tourism

Oh, I know the poet was writing his impression of old London in the early morning, but he might just as well have been describing what I’m looking at right now . . .

(Summertime. A pause in a riverside walk, St. Patrick, near Rivière-du-Loup.)

Euphoria, Elation … and Political Reality

The recent federal election ushered in a host of new faces in the province of Quebec; 59 of the 75 ridings have new incumbents. Since this outcome was quite unexpected, there is a justifiable and understandable feeling of euphoria and elation amongst the winners, all of whom are from the NPD. Quite a feat! Congratulations to them all and good luck in their new lives and responsibilities.

Ash trays and cigarettes

Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette, Puff, puff, puff until you puff yourself to death… [words of a Country and Western novelty song written by Merle Travis and sung by Tex Williams in 1947]

Synchronized traffic lights

Almost daily, I drive to work using a good portion of René-Lévesque Boulevard where traffic lights are synchronized to 50 kilometres an hour. When I hit the first green light I can usually cruise along the full length non-stop to my destination. The only obstructions are cars in your lane waiting to make a turn or a bus taking on passengers.

Why we love Hollywood action heroes so much

I was thinking the other day about why we as a society love Hollywood action heroes and their movies so much. What is it about the Rocky Balboas, Rambos, Chuck Norrises, Terminators, James Bonds, Steven Segals, and so on, of this world that appeal to our visceral sense of fulfillment and catharsis?

Syndicate content