I have a confession to make.

I have on more than one occasion dined in Italian restaurants in Montreal.

I do not know who owns them.

And if by chance, one of two of them are mob-controlled, and I believe most are not, it doesn't mean I am connected.

I go for good food. I mean, “Leave the gun take the cannoli.”

And that's why what is happening to Mayor Applebaum is unfair.

In the past he may have gone to restaurants that are owned by suspected criminals or dubious characters.

So what?

Look at this headline that screamed from Le Devoir this week: Applebaum at Mafia Restaurant. And so were hundreds of other customers every week.

It's the same self-righteous display of false probity that cast aspersions last month on anyone who ever had lunch at a swank club in Old Montreal.

Guilt by association.

Applebaum is right to say there is a smear campaign against him. There is no proof he did anything wrong. He is not being investigated. The police have not come to call.

All he did was meet with some investigators from the Charbonneau Commission.

Frankly, I would have been surprised if they did not want to meet with the Mayor of Montreal.

Until the day there are documents or proof, and if that day ever comes, he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

It looks to me like a witch hunt, so I say put up or shut up.


Healthcare should trump petty language policies

A hospital is supposed to be a place which makes us better.

It is not supposed to be a political football used for mean-spirited small-minded partisanship based on language.

But that is precisely what the PQ health minister is doing with Lachine Hospital.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Let' s see who is opposed to plan to remove the hospital from the MUHC network:

  • doctors
  • nurses
  • hospital employees
  • the mayors of Lachine and Dorval
  • most members of the community

Who is in favour? Mario Beaulieu, the ankle-biting president of the Societe St-Jean Baptiste de Montreal. Who, by the way, had a meeting with the health minister before the decision was announced.

A mere coincidence? Hardly.

The hospital was a failure before the MUHC came in.

McGill brought better funding and patient care with no reduction of services in French.

The new "Save the Lachine Hospital" committee took its first steps this week.

One of the ideas is to take a cue from the students last summer with pots and pans protests.

Perhaps this is one tactic our pot-banging premier could understand, because clearly reason and common sense are not enough.


What's French for Kumbaya?

You couldn't make this one up if you tried.

The PQ's solution for linguistic harmony is a song about us all getting along.

It’s a fine tune written by a local musician and the intention is heartfelt.

At the same time they are beefing up Bill 101 and engaging in shenanigans with Lachine Hospital, the PQ is telling us "Don’t Worry Be Happy."

I would prefer some concrete measures, like helping our schools and finding ways to help young Anglos stay in Quebec and feel welcome here.

But obviously, this government thinks it can have us for a song.