Israel ambassador says Ottawa City Hall art show "glorifies terror"

The current exhibition at the Karsh-Masson Gallery at City of Ottawa features an exhibit by Palestinian-born artist Rehab Nazzal. The exhibit has been strongly condemned by Rafael Barak, Israel’s Ambassador to Canada. [An article at  MuslimLink profiles Nazzal and the exhibition] Here is the press release issued this morning by the Embassy of Israel:

Exhibit at Ottawa City Hall Glorifies Terror

Ottawa, Canada – May 23, 2014: An exhibit at Ottawa’s City Hall Karsh-Masson Art Gallery reflects a culture of hate and incitement that contradicts the values of Canada as a guardian of peace and champion against terror. Although the exhibit claims to present “portraits of lost artists, activists, writers and leaders,” this deceitful description is cover for what is a “who’s who” of international terrorists: suicide bombers, masterminds of massacres, terrorist operatives and the hijackers of planes, buses, and schools. Many of those glorified are individuals connected to organizations that appear on Canada’s official list of terrorist entities. Continue reading Israel ambassador says Ottawa City Hall art show "glorifies terror"

Academic freedom in action: Ignoring the women at the U of T

David Gilmour, novelist and former broadcaster, and currently teacher at the University of Toronto:

I teach modern short fiction to third and first-year students. So I teach mostly Russian and American authors. Not much on the Canadian front. But I can only teach stuff I love. I can’t teach stuff that I don’t, and I haven’t encountered any Canadian writers yet that I love enough to teach.I’m not interested in teaching books by women. Virginia Woolf is the only writer that interests me as a woman writer, so I do teach one of her short stories. But once again, when I was given this job I said I would only teach the people that I truly, truly love. Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese, or women. Except for Virginia Woolf. And when I tried to teach Virginia Woolf, she’s too sophisticated, even for a third-year class. Usually at the beginning of the semester a hand shoots up and someone asks why there aren’t any women writers in the course. I say I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip Roth.

via David Gilmour on Building Strong Stomachs | Hazlitt | Random House of Canada.


UPDATE: Is David Gilmour a sexist? David Gilmour says, of course not.

UPPERDATE: Lest you believe Gilmour was taken out of context or misquoted, the transcript has been published.

EVEN MORE UPDATES: I put together a Storify — “Twitter is such a bore …”

Who should be Canada's national librarian? A librarian or an economist?

Library and Archives Canada

The country’s librarians and archivists never had a good feeling from the start about Daniel Caron, the economist appointed in 2009 by Heritage Minister James Moore to be Canada’s Librarian and Archivist of Canada, partly because, they felt, his professional training and pedigree was as an economist. (He did a postgraduate degree in economics at Laval and then a doctorate in “applied human sciences” at the Université de Montréal.) Caron, in 2009, was also taking over what was described as a newly “unified” institution. Rather than have separate two separate positions — a national Librarian and a Chief Archivist — both jobs were going to “unified” in one office and Caron was picked to make it a success.

Continue reading Who should be Canada's national librarian? A librarian or an economist?

In hot water for big spending ways, Canada's top librarian quits

Hot off the presses ..

Not only did the French- and English-speaking Caron bill taxpayers more than $4,000 in 2011-12 so he could take one-on-one Spanish lessons, he signed a $10,000 contract last year for another year’s worth of lessons though a spokesman said no charges were ever actually incurred on that second contract.

Still, Caron appeared to enjoy the taxpayer-funded perks of the job.

Caron enjoyed dining, for example, at the swanky Rideau Club in downtown Ottawa, billing taxpayers more than $2,100 for his 31 visits to the members-only club over the last two years. And if he wasn’t eating at the Rideau Club, taxpayers still paid: He expensed more than $8,700 for 35 business lunches elsewhere over the last two years.

Researchers with the opposition NDP calculated that Caron’s total bill to taxpayers for his travel and hospitality was more than $87,000 last year alone, including six trips to Europe so he could meet with international archivists. By comparison, his boss, the heritage minister, spent about only half that – $47,755 – on travel and hospitality.

via Sun News : In hot water for big spending ways, Canada’s top librarian quits.

The opposition NDP is on to this:

Budget 2013: $8 million for Toronto's iconic Massey Hall

TORONTO – Canadian legend Gordon Lightfoot in performance in November, 2012 at Toronto’s Massey Hall, a venue he’s been playing every year in the fall for 45 years. The federal government, in its budget last week, promised $8 million to fix the place up. (Jack Boland / Toronto Sun)

From Budget 2013, tabled Thursday by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty: Continue reading Budget 2013: $8 million for Toronto's iconic Massey Hall

Stompin' Tom Connors: Icon of Canada, dead at 77

Stompin’ Tom Connors has passed away at the age of 77 in Peterborough, Ont. I just got off the phoen with Brian Edwards, Tom’s promoter of 25 years. Brian says Tom passed on at about 5 pm ET today, surrounded by family and friends. There was no precipitating illness at the end. “He just wore out,” said Edwards. On March 13, a memorial is scheduled at the Peterborough Memorial Centre, the same place where the Peterborough Petes play “that good ol’ hockey game”, but Edwards says it’ll be more of a celebration of life than anything else. “It’s very rare you can work with someone who’s got fans from 4 to 104,” Edwards said. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Lena, his 2 sons, 2 daughters and his grandchildren. God bless.

You can read Stompin’ Tom’s dying letter to his fans and to Canada right here:

Continue reading Stompin' Tom Connors: Icon of Canada, dead at 77

Hockey: Invented by the British, now Russia's national sport, says US writer

Canadiens score
MONTREAL, CANADA – Lars Eller (#81) of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates after scoring his second period goal during the NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre on February 2, 2013 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images/AFP)

Are you kidding me, Joshua Keating?

Keating writes:

Hockey, the British-invented, Canadian-developed national sport of Russia…

British-invented? We invented it! Continue reading Hockey: Invented by the British, now Russia's national sport, says US writer

Tax breaks to save heritage assets? What about our national parks?

Conservative MP Gord Brown
Leeds-Grenville MP Gord Brown speaks to members of the Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce during Thursday’s MP Breakfast at the Brockville Country Club. (RONALD ZAJAC/The Recorder and Times)

MPs have and will continue to criss-cross the country soliciting ideas that might make it into Jim Flaherty’s 2013 budget. (If you’re in St. John’s, NL Friday morning, you can bend the ear of the junior minister of finance, Ted Menzies at one of these consultations) One thing we know for sure about Flaherty’s budget: There ain’t a lot money that can be spent on new programs.  But what about tax breaks that would spur spending on public assets, assets the government would normally assume financial responsibility but for which, in a time of austerity, it doesn’t necessarily have the ability to do so? Continue reading Tax breaks to save heritage assets? What about our national parks?

It's that time again! CRTC wants to know what you think about the CBC

Offered without comment.

Ok, just a couple of comments: The CBC will be provided, this year, with a subsidy out of general tax revenues of just over $1 billion [PDF]. That’s billion with a ‘b’. One comparison: This year the federal government has allocated about half that — or $554 million for grants to students who need the help to attend post-secondary institutions.  

Now you may think that the vast amount of programming produced by CBC on radio, television and the Internet is a bargain at a billion dollars a year because no other organization in Canada can or does produce the programming CBC produces.  Or Continue reading It's that time again! CRTC wants to know what you think about the CBC

The Olympics as destructive public policy

Don’t know about you but I watch the Olympics in the first way Ian Johnson describes things here. Ian, on the other hand, has a rather different view …:

You can follow the Olympics two ways. First, there’s the right way: you pay attention to the athletes and root for great performances. You see them cry and hug each other in joy or look away in disgust at a bad performance. You empathize with them as human beings and debate issues like whether Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympian of all time or just the greatest swimmer. You wonder about doping but try to believe that the sports agencies have it more or less under control and that Dick Pound is just another Canadian curmudgeon.

Then there’s the way I watch the games: as a statistical survey of geopolitics and destructive public policy …

Read the rest : The New Olympic Arms Race by Ian Johnson | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books.