CJAD Firings

The Axeman Cometh

Montreal Gazette: Bell Media closes CJAD’s newsroom, cuts two weekday evening shows.

It’s Déjà vu. When Bell Media finds ways to increase revenue they leap into action. The “suits” at the head office do not consider the damage they are doing to the lives of their loyal employees many of whom have been out covering breaking news and risking their lives for years. I have been listening to Richard Deschamps reading the news on the hour every weekday and in the day when I was doing the overnight shift he often worked weekends as well. Shuyee Lee who spent 28 years at the station has been let go as well. Weekday evening shows Nightside, hosted by Jon Pole, and Passion with Dr. Laurie Betito has also been cut from the schedule.According to Michael Nguyen, president of the Federation professionelle des journalistes du Quebec, the job reductions underscore the erosion of local advertising revenue. I beg to differ as I find the hourly newscasts on CJAD are always one or two minutes late as we are bombarded with a medley of commercials. The reason for the firings , in my view, is the employees with longevity are being paid on a higher level than some of the interns who are being hired right out of journalism school. Let’s face it, the dollars saved in operations leave more for the “suits” to take home, and if the collateral damage includes a few people whose lives will be impacted by this, so be it. Therein lays the problem of living in a city where one corporation the size of Bell Media can control your destiny.


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Fay Wong

7020 Cote Saint Luc Rd.

I must start my review with an admission. I was never impressed with their lunch specials and could not understand why this restaurant continuously attracted a supper crowd. Tonight I decided to try their a la carte menu and I am pleased to report that I am now a member of the tribe. From the moment the young lady who answered the phone, I subsequently learned her name is Leah, to the 20 minutes later that I picked up my order I was impressed by the speed with which I was handed a heavy-duty shopping bag containing my order. I was quick to notice that each item as it appeared on the bill had a checkmark verifying that it had been packed. I had previously experienced a disappointment from another restaurant when I discovered they had forgotten peanut butter dumplings. Even though they took my name and phone number when I called back and they made up for the error on my next order it couldn’t happen at Faye Wong tonight.I had ordered egg rolls, peanut butter dumplings, Chicken Soo Guy, and steamed rice. The preparation and presentation of the food were excellent. The containers were plastic and worthy of keeping for future use.I give my experience tonight a 9/10 but we all have different taste, don’t take my word, and try it. You’ll like it.

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Nero vs Trump

An Editorial Comment

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

In July of 64 A.D., a great fire ravaged Rome for six days, destroying 70 percent of the city and leaving half its population homeless. According to a well-known expression, Rome’s emperor at the time, the decadent and unpopular Nero, “fiddled while Rome burned.” The expression has a double meaning: Not only did Nero play music while his people suffered, but he was an ineffectual leader in a time of crisis. 

In March of 2020 A.D., a great epidemic ravaged the United States and quickly became a pandemic. While his people suffered, Donald Trump organized and attended rallies in an attempt to win re-election while telling his followers that there is no problem. He did whatever he could to discourage people from wearing masks and staying away from crowds. He was unable to play a fiddle, so he played Golf instead. While the number of deaths climbed higher, Trump continued to contradict the doctors and scientists and insist we have passed the curve. Keeping in character, Trump fired anyone who contradicted him.

Having lost the election in November 2020 to Joe Biden, he refused to concede and turn over the government to the new team that was ready to start a task force to fight the pandemic.

The only constant in the legacy of Donald J. Trump was his ability to tell lies. 

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M.T.L. Bagel

5452 Westminster

Cote St-Luc QC

At one time I had nothing but words of praise for Dizz’s Bagels on Cote. Ste Luc Road. I actually wrote about them on my BLOG. For the longest time, they had a special featuring bagel with cream cheese and a medium coffee for $3.00. Suddenly a couple of weeks ago they raised the price to $4.00. Completely acceptable in line with rising costs for ingredients. However, this week they raised it again to $5.00. Completely unreasonable because now it borders on gouging. I was a five day a week customer and often while I was there I bought other products. Now it has become off-limits for me. Equidistant from where I live is a strip mall on the west side of Westminster behind the original B’nai Brith House. At the south end of the strip is M.T.L. Bagel. Aside from being as good a bagel as will be found anywhere in our city, they put a generous portion of cream cheese, plus a small coffee, and offer it as a special Monday thru Friday for $3.45 plus tax. Additionally, they have a tracking system to your phone that accumulates points for future bonuses each time you visit. Shirley and I are no strangers to the place. We have been shopping there since they opened. Try it you’ll like it.

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Common Sense Should Prevail

I cannot be accused of being Anti-Semitic because I am a member of the tribe. I do, therefore, advocate more Police action when opportunities arise to do so. I have editorialized in the past regarding young people who congregate in parks and in front of ice cream and frozen yogurt stores ignoring social distancing and not wearing masks. It is due to them that Quebec as a whole and mainly Cote St-Luc and Hampstead have the highest rates of infection. I believe strongly that a person has the right to follow his religion and to practice it, however, I feel inviting people to your home does not make it a synagogue and if I can’t have my own family visit my home during these exceptional times, why should the Rabbi. I have separate thoughts regarding the person who sold him the home knowing his intentions. Coincidently, I drove past the house on my way west on Fleet Road one night last week and could see the crowd inside the home through the spacious windows. Did they think they were above the law? It is no wonder that their children have the same disregard for the law and the virus continues to flourish. Hats off to the SPVM. Keep up the vigilance and keep us safe.

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The Wrong People Are Being Punished

As the pandemic worsens we are being forced to go backwards into lockdowns that we were able to avoid until recently. Restaurants, for example, were allowed to serve meals indoors providing certain criteria were observed. Reduced capacity was an important factor, as was social distancing, sanitizing the hands, and the wearing of masks by patrons and staff. We had no problem obeying the rules. The restaurant owners for their part spent vast amounts of money to install Plexiglas partitions between tables and booths. At midnight on September 30, 2020 we took a giant step backwards forcing restaurants into a lockdown that many of them will not survive.

The Minister of Health had made it simple; Wash your hands, wear a mask, and do not congregate. However, wherever I look as I drive through the city I see groups of young people, without masks, congregating in parks and on sidewalks in front of snack bars and ice cream or yogurt stores. I put the blame solely on them for the increase of Covid-19 cases and deaths. 

The Minister of Health is asking police to break up house parties. Why not ticket people gathering on streets and parks with their friends where none of them are wearing masks. They are much more visible and they are the root of the problem. They should be rounded up by police and obliged to produce photo ID in order to be ticketed and fined as are people who congregate in houses. If they cannot provide ID they should be taken to the local police station and held there till their parents come to pay the fine or post bail if they intend to dispute the charges.

For most of the population it is not a problem to follow a few simple rules, but because there are those that have no regard for public health, the wrong people are being punished.

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Roch le Coq

Roch le Coq

1541 Van-Horne

Montreal QC

Info @ roclecoq.com

Move over Colonel, there’s a new sheriff in town. Fried chicken prepared as only a master chef can. Accompanied by a generous portion of French Fries and gravy you’ll soon forget that this is fast food. Each order is individually prepared. Due to the current situation eating inside is not possible; however one can order and wait outside while the order is prepared and packed and brought out to you for takeout. There is a table and benches where you can eat on the premises and across the road there is a park with picnic tables. While you are inside ordering you must have a mask, and in return the staff are all wearing masks, gloves, and shields for your protection.    

Being my first time there I sought advice from one of the staff who went over the options on the menu with me and made very good suggestions. The menu is extremely varied offering many choices of main courses, sides, and sandwiches. They offer a choice of buckets of fried chicken in various sizes and choice of white or brown meat. They also offer trios so I ordered a trio consisting of two pieces of white meat, French Fries, and a Coke. Shirley ordered the Rochy Burger, fried chicken, lettuce, mayo kimchi, and pickles. All the sauces and gravy are house-made and delicious. Next time I will try the poutine and I suspect “next time” will be very soon. I counted five men working in this cozy little diner. The person I referred to as my advisor earlier, is I would imagine a manager, and if not ought to be. His name is Philippe. Tell him Sol sent you.

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The Smallest Objective

From a press release courtesy of Janis kirshner

The loss and recovery of memories is a central theme of intriguing narrative nonfiction, The Smallest Objective.

Sharon Kirsch’s new book, The Smallest Objective, is a fitting read for this year’s World Alzheimer’s Month in September. Its author is well versed in the challenges and intricacies of the ‘dementia journey’ as she witnessed first her father and then her mother lose their memory, along with their independence and the underpinnings of their lives. A topical subject as people with dementia have suffered unduly from the COVID-19 pandemic, Kirsch chronicles the satisfactions and heartaches of caring for a loved one from afar. She shares the day-to-day anxieties of supporting her mother in assisted living, as well as asking the more searching questions about what it means when we can’t remember. As the author dismantles her parents’ home in Montreal while preparing it for sale, she happens upon objects hidden there—a treasure cache reveals of 20th-century family members she never knew, their fates bound up with the history of the city itself. In this poignant tale of loss and retrieval, Kirsch ultimately finds a new sense of purpose in recovering family memories on behalf of her mother—and some

Please click to see an excerpt read by the author  Click to read an excerpt from The Smallest Objective

September is World Alzheimer’s Month/Sept. 21 is World Alzheimer’s Day

Book traces author’s past while recovering memories


“Make it a habit at the outset to keep both eyes open.”—Manipulation of the Microscope, Edward Bausch

The Smallest Objective

Compelling narrative nonfiction by Sharon Kirsch

Please click to see an excerpt read by the author

“While the days tentatively grew longer and my mother gradually was vanishing from my life, her house was delivering to me through its objects a family I’d never known.”—The Smallest Objective

August, 2020World Alzheimer’s Month is the international campaign by Alzheimer’s Disease International every September to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia. World Alzheimer’s Day is on September 21.  Along with Alzheimer’s, many themes in The Smallest Objective reflect the current climate. The literary memoir examines lives lived; it’s about staying connected to loved ones, as author Sharon Kirsch (a Montreal-raised Toronto resident) is feeling heartache and anxiety being separated from her mother with dementia who is living in a care home in another city. From The Globe and Mail’s André Picard: “No group has been harder hit by the coronavirus pandemic than people living with dementia. They account for a staggering two-thirds of the nearly 9,000 COVID-19 deaths in Canada.”

The Small­est Objec­tive is a sto­ry about the decline of a par­ent, and of the author’s reflection on this pas­sage in life; as the narrator struggles with her mother’s failing memory, unexpected secrets come into focus and a layered legacy of willed forgetfulness is uncovered.

The emotional and physical impetus for Kirsch’s newest book stems from a sequence of loss, and recovery. Here it is anguish for her mother’s waning independence, and the act of reclaiming family stories. “My mother’s struggle with dementia and my own related feelings of helplessness and grief were the motivation for writing The Smallest Objective. When it proved necessary to transfer my mother from her home of 50 years to assisted-living, my strongest desire became to instil in her a sense of comfort and security. This meant concealing my own turbulent emotions surrounding her memory loss and the letting go of the family home,” said Kirsch. The author’s experiences were instead channelled through her writing. “I composed, too, with the awareness that dementia is pervasive and my mother and I were not alone in our journey—in the hope that others supporting a loved one through the dementia experience or having already done so might find some comfort or a sense of community in my memoir,” she added.

“There was a chronology to my mother’s forgetting: first, the symptoms of my father’s illness, then bill payments or going to a friend’s or relative’s funeral; later, that her son-in-law worked in Boston, which days the garbage went out, how to open the trunk of the car, what she’d eaten for dinner, that she’d eaten dinner, that she’d phoned me ten times, that she couldn’t remember.”The Smallest Objective

It became Kirsch’s respon­si­bil­i­ty to sort out the accu­mu­la­tion of fam­i­ly memen­tos. Most imme­di­ate­ly press­ing is the solu­tion to an old fam­i­ly mys­tery: what is her father sup­posed to have con­cealed beneath her par­ents’ bed­room floor? She undertakes an excavation for buried treasure aided by a team of archeologists. The book includes black-and-white photographs of the objects that spoke to Kirsch, disclosing her past.

This first-person creative narrative produces unsettling discoveries about several personalities as revealed by the things that survive them—a microscope and lantern slides, a postcard from Mexico, a worn recipe book, a nugget of fool’s gold, an enve­lope of yel­low­ing news­pa­per clip­pings, and the obituary of a renowned black sheep in the family. In the end, after much packing and unpacking, the search yields both less and more than Kirsch ever imagined, as well as the extent to which this unique family was punctured and shaped by the muffled anti-Semitism of the time.

New Star Books Publisher Rolf Maurer was riveted by Kirsch’s hinted secrets and depth of discovery, “This is a book about the Kirsch family as well as the darker and more tragic aspects of people’s existence. As with any great memoir, the real gold is in the stories that the narrator encounters in settling her own account,” he said. For further insights into Kirsch’s story, check out her blog and Facebook page.

In The Small­est Objec­tive (the title refers to the lens of a microscope that allows for the highest degree of magnification), we learn the story of Kirsch’s  grand­fa­ther, Simon Kirsch, an ide­al­is­tic young plant scientist versed in the fossil record who turns lat­er in life to iconic prop­er­ty devel­op­ment; of Jockey Fleming, the Runyonesque uncle manqué well-known by gossip columnists who hid his ori­gins to play the role of one of the era’s great colour­ful char­ac­ters; and of Kirsch’s independent aunt, who came of age in the lead-up to Expo 67 but was unable to fulfill her promise, tearing a jagged hole into the author’s mother’s life.

FromThe Miramichi Reader: “In this particularly well-crafted memoir, author Sharon Kirsch shares her experience of exploration, healing and loss. Akin to an intricately detailed slide under a microscope, this suite of stories, in fact, a collection of newly discovered memories, is a familial jigsaw puzzle—a series of mysteries, reassembled by way of meticulous research and the astute observation of a writer in her prime.”

The Smallest Objective is a beautiful and melancholy memoir about the hidden recesses of a family (some at the fringes of the law), and the treasures that the past can bring in the face of a difficult present. This is an ideal time to read a book and be transported; reflecting on parents, extended family and wild eccentrics who were only talked about in a whisper…

“Several decades ago, then, willingly, deliberately, I’d left my parents and the house behind. Now my mother and the house were leaving me.”—The Smallest Objective

Click to read an excerpt from The Smallest Objective

Creative nonfiction/literary memoir

The Smallest Objective by Sharon Kirsch

Published by New Star Books ISBN: 9781554201556 | 272 pages |$21

The Smallest Objective in bookstores, and as an eBook at Amazon & Kobo among others

Book launch including dynamic readings and an insightful Q & A at a future date

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Does Anybody Care?

I get around a large part of the city and it is irritating to see so many people of all ages who don’t seem to find it important to follow the rules during the current pandemic. They won’t wear a mask, and they won’t stay a safe distance from their friends. Whether it’s outside of Baskin Robbins on CSL Road or on a terrace in Little Italy where dozens of people are crammed together drinking beer and carrying on like there was no real problem. What doesn’t help is the irresponsibility of the bar owners who allow more people than the law permits in public places. A recent example was in a bar on the South Shore where many patrons were infected at a birthday party. Another problem is that the police and public security do nothing to enforce the laws that cover the use of masks and the need for social distancing. If we continue on the path we are on many more people will become infected and many more will die. If we are going to ignore people endangering lives but issue tickets for illegal parking somebody is giving the wrong commands.

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Elio Pizza Revisited

Elio Pizzeria Restaurant revisited

Elio Pizzeria Restaurant – Cuisine Italienne Rosemont …


Elio Pizzeria – Rosemont-Petite-Patrie Restaurant, (514) 276-5341, 351, rue

Bellechasse, Montréal

It’s been way too long since we visited Elio’s or anywhere else since the Covid pandemic struck in March of 2020. We sat on the outdoor terrace and there was absolutely no threat to our wellbeing. The staff wore masks or shields, there were lots of stations to wash hands with sanitizer, and there was single file entry and responsible spacing between tables.

And now, on to the food.  Shirley had a combo Caesar Salad and Spaghetti with meat sauce. She commented that it was one of the best salads she has ever eaten and she has eaten in many fine dining restaurants internationally. I had a combo of thin crust pizza with pepperoni and anchovies and spaghetti with garlic and olive oil. As always, it was delicious. The service was exceptional thanks to the attention from Peter who waited on our table and tolerated my sense of humour. The combos come with free dessert, and that dessert was Dulce de Leche, a cake that words cannot describe. We finished our meal with a cup of coffee.

One last note, Elio has acquired a parking lot directly across the street.

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