National Newswatch

Ex-Hasidic man educated in religious school had never heard of science, trial told

Feb 13 2020 — Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press — MONTREAL — Boisbriand, Que., is only about a half-hour drive north of Montreal. But to members of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group who live in the off-island suburb, Montreal may as well be another planet, a former member told a courtroom on Thursday. When Yochonon Lowen left the Tash Hasidic community 10 years ago, he spoke little English and no French, had never heard the […]

Ex-Hasidic woman tells Quebec trial she was removed from secular studies at age 13

Feb 12 2020 — Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press — MONTREAL — An ex-Hasidic Jewish woman who is seeking a judgment against the Quebec government for allegedly denying her a proper education told a Montreal trial she was terrified to speak out against her former community but came forward because she wants to help future generations of children. Clara Wasserstein, a former member of the ultra-Orthodox Tash community north of Montreal, told a courtroom Wednesday she decided to bring […]

Quebec knew about illegal Hasidic religious schools for decades, trial hears

Feb 11 2020 — Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press — MONTREAL — The Quebec government knew for decades that children in a Hasidic Jewish community north of Montreal were not receiving a legal secular education, a witness said Monday at a trial centring on a couple's claim they were deprived of a proper education. Maryse Malenfant, who oversaw private education conformity for the Quebec education ministry, confirmed that she became aware in 2005 that none […]

Ex-Hasidic couple take Quebec to court over religious school education

Feb 10 2020 — Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press — MONTREAL — An ex-Hasidic Jewish couple who were educated in a private religious school graduated without knowing how to speak French and hardly being able to speak English, a lawyer said Monday at the opening of a trial centring on the Quebec government's responsibility to regulate religious schools. The couple were in Quebec Superior Court on Monday seeking a […]

Montreal to fully ban plastic bags by end of 2020, mayor announces

Feb 5 2020 — Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press — MONTREAL — Given the urgent need to reduce the city's environmental footprint, Montreal will move to fully ban the distribution of plastic bags by the end of 2020, Mayor Valerie Plante said Wednesday. Plante told a council meeting that the current measures that limit retailers to selling thicker bags haven't worked to reduce plastic waste. "We have to reduce at the […]

Montreal city councillor withdraws motion defining anti-Semitism amid criticism

Jan 28 2020 — Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press — MONTREAL — A Montreal city councillor withdrew a motion to have the city adopt an international organization's definition of anti-Semitism on Tuesday, as critics charged that its wording aims to limit criticism of the Israeli state.  Lionel Perez withdrew the motion endorsing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's working definition of anti-Semitism after it failed to gain support from Mayor Valerie Plante, whose party has […]

Montreal city councillor withdraws motion defining anti-Semitism amid criticism

Jan 28 2020 — Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press — MONTREAL — A Montreal city councillor withdrew a motion to have the city adopt an international organization's definition of anti-Semitism on Tuesday, as critics charged that its wording aims to limit criticism of the Israeli state.  Lionel Perez withdrew the motion endorsing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's working definition of anti-Semitism after it failed to gain support from Mayor Valerie Plante, whose party has […]

McGill principal defends decision not to divest after prof’s resignation

Jan 20 2020 — Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press — MONTREAL — The principal of McGill university is defending the institution's commitment to reducing carbon emissions after a professor resigned over its refusal to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Suzanne Fortier said the institution's plan to reduce the overall carbon footprint of its endowment will ultimately be more effective than the "symbolic gesture" of pulling out of oil […]

Students from Canadian universities, families among plane crash victims in Iran

Jan 8 2020 — Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press — Newlyweds, a toddler and university students returning to their studies were among 138 people travelling to Canada who died Wednesday morning when a Ukrainian passenger plane crashed shortly after taking off from Iran's capital, Tehran. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said 138 of the 176 passengers aboard the Kyiv-bound plane had connecting flights to Canada. "A Ukrainian Airlines plane just landed in […]