Our world is upside down, and somehow we have been convinced that walking on the ceiling is normal. But this unsustainable balance of power is a house of cards, a carefully maintained illusion which depends entirely on our subservience to it. If we walk away from our televisions, break the bonds of our isolation and talk to each other about our dreams, our desires, we realize we are neither alone, nor crazy

On twitter, the hashtag #CasserolesNightinCanada became a trending topic in Canada, and my feed was full of expressions of solidarity from every part of the country, and grateful thanks from Quebeckers. Last night Canadians, and their international allies, sent a message. A message that we will not be divided against each other. That language and location will not keep us apart. A message that we are all in this together…

The government refused to even discuss Loi 78, the repeal of which students had made clear was a top priority. When asked at the press conference why the government refused to even discuss the special law, Charest tersely responded “It’s for their own security”. Charest went on to get into a testy exchange with a journalist who asked why the government had walked away…

In almost every report on the social movement now sweeping Quebec, including my own, words like conflict, crisis and stand-off figure prominently. Anger is omnipresent. The anger of protesters, the anger of government, the anger of those supposedly inconvenienced. Pundits scream about mob rule, anarchy in the streets and the dissolution of society as we know it. Don’t get me wrong, there is anger, present of course. But that is not what you see if you take to the streets, or watch CUTV’s live stream. Pundits can’t stop bemoaning the inconvenience to “ordinary” Montrealers posed by these protests. But I wonder, are there any “ordinary” Montrealers left to inconvenience…

I started to realize the immensity of the day four or five blocks away when the sidewalks on both sides of the street were packed with one way traffic. Arriving at Place des Festivals at 2PM on the dot, I found a sea of humanity as far as the eye could see. The entire Place, from St. Catherine to Président Kennedy, was packed too densely to allow much navigation. I made my way to a raised photographer’s platform…

The Conservative government is about to take yet another step to the right of their American cousins. Bill C-10, the ominous Omnibus bill now tumbling down the pipeline is a mish-mash of nine unrelated bills that form the centrepiece of the Conservative’s fear based “Law and Order” agenda. The American style bill would increase incarceration rates by adding new and longer sentences for drug related crimes, increasing mandatory…

Brian Topp will be in Montreal for an evening of politics, policy and pints this Wednesday, the 9th of November. Please come by and get to know one of the candidates in the race to replace Jack Layton as leader of the NDP.

Brian was born in Longueil and lived in Quebec until his late twenties. Although he has worked and lived across the country he has a special place in his heart for Quebec and a deep understanding of our realities.

I have only two words for Tim Hudak: Forget. You. They are words I never thought I’d use in print, and I don’t use them lightly. But when you actively promote hate, when you target my friends, my neighbors, my fellow citizens and single them out for hatred and condemnation because of who they are, and when you do it while campaigning to represent ALL Ontarians in order to score points with bigots… well you can go forget yourself Hudak, sincerely. I apologize for my language, I really do, but this is so sickening, so appalling, so fundamentally depressing, that I truly am at a loss for words…

Reading coverage of the Ontario leaders debate, one would be forgiven for thinking that it came out a wash, with no leader really picking up support out of the televised platform. In a Globe article published this morning Adam Radwanski even opined that “despite their better efforts, they [the Leaders] most likely succeeded in hardening their own support rather than moving votes”. Now, it’s easy to doubt your own instincts, or be confused about the victor in this debate, especially if you missed the show. After all, each party’s spin teams took to twitter and other social media platforms with a vengeance before the debate even ended, pronouncing it a decisive victory for their candidate. But the proof is in the pudding, as they say, and for that I turned to the only comprehensive and scientific post-debate poll…

The second last time I saw Jack Layton was at a garden party at Stornoway in late June. Speaking under a vast white tent as desultory raindrops punished the exiled mass of smokers, he declared his and Olivia’s new house, the residence of the leader of the official opposition, to be “the people’s house.” Shortly afterwards I caught him on his way out and sheepishly asked for a photo. I can’t say why really, I suppose I was overcome by the emotion of the moment. In seven years…

In politics smears have a tendency to work. That’s why attack ads and mudslinging are the norm down south, and a growing trend here. It doesn’t really matter if an accusation is true, studies have shown that people are far more likely to pay attention to the original, shocking, smear than to any subsequent correction. With the debut of Fox News North (aka Sun News) and the success of Stephen Harper’s cheap shot politics, it’s fair to wonder if our smug sense of superiority about the gullibility of our neighbors to the south is warranted. Sure…

Settling into my seat in the cramped but pleasantly cozy Theatre Ste-Catherine for The Mysterious Case of the Flying Anarchist, the much hyped play by local production company/political statement the Blacklist Committee for Unsafe Theatre, I really didn’t know what to expect. I have to plead unfamiliarity with the much-acclaimed Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo, upon which this play is based. So I had a vague idea that the plot revolved around the murder of an anarchist by the asshole Rob Ford and little else. Walking out of the theatre a little over an hour later weeping from laughing so hard, I have only one word: masterpiece. This is, by far, the best piece of live theatre I have seen in a very long time…