With Grey!

What little remains of our civil liberties in our personal lives is due to the efforts of a handful of Canadians. The imposition of politically correct attitudes and affects combined with the overbearing reach of the control state have made public officials, for the most part, feckless and weak. Pandering rules principle. Paramount among those who continue to seek to make law the shield of the honest and the staff of the innocent and not just a two-edged sword of craft and oppression is Montreal lawyer Julius Grey. He has devoted his life to the vulnerable and nearly-vanquished, and time and again to the only causes worth fighting for, the lost ones. In Quebec, he is singularly responsible for keeping the flame of individual conscience and consequence alive in the face of collectivist lockstep. He has said many times and in many places that ?legislating niceness is not very nice.? When he said those words he was not talking only about the endless stream of nanny-state rule and regulation. He was also talking about the demonization of people for the views they hold. The suffocating rush to conformity that poisons every aspect of our public debate. Last week Julius Grey almost became a victim of these maladies we oppose so vigorously. Grey has been acting as counsel to the Town of Hampstead. Last week a resolution was introduced seeking to terminate his mandate because he supports Louise Harel for the Mayoralty of Montreal. Though the resolution passed, Mayor William Steinberg courageously vetoed it. The words used in the debate are important to reflect on. Lawyer David Sternthal, a candidate for the Hampstead Mayoralty, moved the resolution saying, among other things, that ?I cannot see why this town would continue with someone who endorses a candidate for mayor who was the cause of why our town lost its official status. I find it inconsistent ? Julius Grey is not the only attorney. It?s incumbent upon us to end Mr. Grey?s mandate. He had a choice. He didn?t have to speak out.? Mayor William Steinberg responded that ?Obviously, I don?t agree with Julius Grey?s endorsement. However, I am intending to veto this resolution because I think it is irresponsible. One reason is that a person?s political views should not affect their employment ? there is something wrong with saying that because someone is a Communist, they cannot work in the film industry. There is something wrong with saying that because someone supports Louise Harel for mayor of Montreal, even though I don?t personally do that... you cannot have a job. That?s very wrong.? Indeed it is very wrong. And very dangerous. When David Sternthal stated that Grey didn?t have to speak out he is egregiously in error. We need Julius Grey to speak out. And we need more and more Julius Greys speaking out. I am sure that the very people who seek to silence him politically applauded him judicially. Applauded him when he helped overturn parts of Bill 101. Applauded him when he defended the religious rights of Orthodox Jews to build sukkahs on their property. Applauded him when he spoke out so many times for the sovereignty of the individual over the crush of the collective. But now they demand a litmus test of political purity? Mayor Steinberg was right when he said it smacks of McCarthyism. Indeed, it smacks of Stalinism. We cannot be sunshine patriots. We cannot call on the Julius Greys only when our backs are against the wall. We have no right to demand that he champion our liberties of expression yet seek to defame him when he exercises his own. We don?t have to agree with all his political positions, but we do have to defend his right to have them; advocate them and not be prejudiced by the expression of them. It is time for our community to lose the appetite for gratuitous cannibalism. In Julius Grey?s offices hang portraits of great jurists. One of them, Justice Louis Brandeis, said the following, ?If we have to live our lives weighing every action, every communication, every human contact, wondering what agents of the state might find out about it, how they would analyse it, judge it, tamper with it, and somehow use it to our detriment, we are not truly free.? It is time for us to be free. Within ourselves. Standing with Julius Grey will assure that. n




Jackson did more than provide the soundtrack for many who now mourn. As the top-ranking contributing pop artist, Jackson supported nearly 40 registered charities, as he opened doors for black recording artists around the world. Innovative songs, videos and television work, with dance moves acclaimed by Fred Astaire, included pleas for interracial understanding and global consciousness. We Are The World, which he cowrote with Lionel Ritchie, became the anthem for Live Aid, assisting six African countries during a time of devastating famine. Through his Heal the World Foundation, MJ airlifted 46 tons of supplies to Sarajevo, but didn?t confine his work to cheque-writing. His benefit concerts, hospital visits, bringing deprived children to Neverland (despite whatever motives one might ascribe), make him a humanitarian, in my book, and warrant all the attention he now receives in death. But the main reason, I suspect, for the magnitude of emotion, is the tragic spectacle of a fragile artist cut down just as he was gathering courage and strength to stage his return. This is a man who touched millions and we are enriched by his love and body of work. Alana Ronald, Montreal

TV worth paying for

Fairness works both ways. It was reported (Gazette, July 7) that the CRTC has decided that it is only fair that cable and satellite companies should pay to broadcast programs offered by local networks such as CTV and Global. If this decision includes the CBC, that, in my opinion would constitute double-dipping. Rogers? VP has indicated that the ?fee-for-carriage system? would cost subscribers in the area


of $50 and $100 a year. I have no doubt that the other cable and satellite providers will also download any fees. I can also predict now that this cost will inch its way up on a regular basis, because this new, easy source of cash will only serve to make these networks less innovative and more needy. However, since the CRTC decision is not likely to be reversed regardless of our objections, I hope the CRTC will deem it to be equally fair that, rather than force the consumer to prop these companies up financially, the new fee should be a user pay option, on the basis that if we choose a channel, we do so because we consider TV worth watching to be TV worth paying for. Myra Smith, St. Laurent

Questions for QESBA

Allow me to pose questions to the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) following a letter to the editor in The Suburban on Dec. 17, 2008 titled SScchhooooll bbooaarrdd rreeffoorrmm:: YYeess,, wwee ccaann!! The thrust of the letter was that the Lester B. Pearson School Board community think about withdrawing its membership from the dysfunctional QESBA, thus saving about $230,000 and reinvest the money into our classrooms. Now consider the July 7, Canada News Wire press release: ?The Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) will hold its annual Congress on Education July 9-11, 2009, at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax.? Since the QESBA is a member of the CSBA, how many Quebec school tax dollars were spent toward this event? What was the cost-benefit for See LETTERS, next page

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