Δευτέρα, 13 Μαρτίου 2017

I Won't Cry For You, Sophie Durocher!

I would like to answer to Sophie Durocher and her article on ethnic voters and Quebec nationalism!



I won't cry for you Sophie Durocher ...

I won't cry for you because the Greek Community supported Emmanella Lampropoulos who grew up in the community being faithful to her heritage as a Greek-Quebecer and as a Greek Canadian.

I won't cry for you Sophie Durocher who, being a journalist you should understand the real facts:
Quebecers are the 80% of this population and they don't need any extra support. They are the natural inhabitants of beautiful Quebec.


Stephan Dion did not need any extra support from Quebec.

He had it all, it was just obvious.I am sure he was endorsed by various Quebec organizations. And it was fair. 

Sophie Durocher you are the main stream.

And we proudly belong to the ethnic communities, we love, adore QUEBEC and the Quebecers and we are proud to speak three languages.

Maybe you should start learning about Quebec's diversity Sophie Durocher! It's never too late to stop using my beloved Jacques Parizeau's famous words against the ETHNIC VOTE!

Justine Frangouli-Argyris
Author/journalist
Montreal
Quebec

Δευτέρα, 6 Μαρτίου 2017

All You Would Want to Know About a Notary’s Work in Quebec!



Justine Frangouli-Argyris

You may think that a notary is an elderly man enclosed in an old dusty office, his mind overwhelmed with tedious bureaucratic details. However, in today’s world, a notary can be an elegant, sophisticated lady who works around the clock, juggling both motherhood and community service at the same time.



I recently contacted such a young female notary who is constantly lending her expertise by providing answers to questions one would ask about various notarial issues. Her name is Evangelia-Angie Pelonis and she is the proud mother of two young children. Besides being a hard-working professional, Ms. Pelonis is involved in various non-profit organizations at the same time.

Evangelia-Angie Pelonis is a Montreal notary who completed her legal studies at Université de Montréal and was received by the Chambre des notaires du Québec in February of 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science), a Bachelor of Law, and a graduate certificate in notarial law. 

 How do the roles of lawyer and notary differ?

Lawyers and notaries have the same background in that both professional orders require a law degree for admittance. Following a bachelor of laws, a future notary will need to complete a master’s degree in notarial law, and a four month articling period before they can be admitted into the order of notaries. It therefore takes at least 4 years of university in addition to the articling in order to become a notary.

Notaries play three roles in their daily practice: public officer, officer of the court and legal advisor. To sum up a list that’s too exhaustive to list here, we primarily advise clients on any legal matter and draft contracts for them to sign with the intention of avoiding legal conflicts and confusion. What sets us apart from lawyers (attorneys) is mainly the fact that we cannot represent clients in litigious situations. If a file of ours becomes contested then we must recuse ourselves since we need to remain impartial and therefore cannot represent one party against another.

 Is this divison of responsibilities becoming less defined? For example, is a notary not able to handle an uncontested divorce today?

 There are many fields in which notaries and lawyers overlap. We can do lots of things lawyers can and vice versa. Since notaries are impartial and often serve as mediators and problem solvers, the tendency towards preventive justice and out of court settlements means that our role is more important than ever in the legal sphere today.

 Notaries now have the capacity to handle uncontested divorces since the 21st of February. We were not able to in the past because it was argued that divorce is of a contested nature in and of itself, which is something that I do not personally agree with. We are actually very well positioned to handle divorces due to our knowledge and practice of marital law on a daily basis. All marriage contracts signed in Quebec must be done so before a notary, which of course includes the legal advice that comes with it, and we already settle dissolutions of marriages due to death; it is only logical then that we may submit divorce agreements to the courts in the case of a couple who agrees upon the terms of their separation.

 What requests represent the bulk of your workload?

 Real estate transactions typically represent an important part of the average notary’s workload. This is the case because every mortgage (hypothec) signed in Quebec has to be instrumented by a notary. We are also experts in title examinations, and in solving problems that exist, and preventing problems that may arise.

 The second largest segment of my practice personally, is estate law. The notarized will is the only kind that does not need to be probated following death, so we are very often solicited to draft and sign our clients’ wills. To this we add the signing of the protective mandate, which is also commonly known as a “living will”; it is basically a power of attorney only valid in the case where the person who signed it is declared legally incapable of representing themselves.

 We counsel clients on, and also handle, estate liquidation following someone’s death. We can settle an estate from start to finish, which relieves the burden from the liquidators or the heirs.

 Given the persistent strength of the real estate market, notaries have been very busy. How long do you see the condominium market can last?

 What most people don’t realise is how few notaries there are in Quebec. There are currently only 3800 notaries in the entire province. When all mortgages have to cross the desk of a notary, that makes for quite a busy profession!

 We are continuing to see a steady and strong real estate market in Quebec. The prices of homes seem to have stabilized and continue to increase, however at a slower pace than we saw during the decade of 2000-2010. As for the condominium market, demand is still high, however supply is also high. What we see in this case is that condos in desirable areas (ex: Downtown, Griffintown, Bois Franc, Plateau Mont-Royal and some parts of Laval) remain relatively easy to sell. We currently do feel, however, that it is a buyer’s market at the moment.  

 Do you receive inquiries concerning client's issues with their properties or dealings back home in Greece? What kind are those?

 Many of our clients are of Greek origin, so we are often asked about how to handle their properties back home. Often we are asked questions about land disputes, mostly regarding vacant land or agricultural land. Many clients of Greek origin have taken advantage of the transfer of property to their children that was possible without tax consequences up to a few years ago (γονικη παροχη). We also help Canadians settle estates in Greece, which is not an easy task from a distance; it takes longer than it would in Quebec, but eventually ends up settled.

 How does one go about finding a trustworthy notary? What should he or she look out for?

 Direct referral is the way most of our clients come to our offices, so it’s a good idea to ask family and friends if they’ve used a notary they were happy with. Like with many things, the lowest price should not be someone’s priority when looking for a notary.  Instead, one should look at the notary’s qualifications and experience in certain types of files. Also, because notaries and their clients can have long term relationships, it is important that the client and the notary feel comfortable working together.

 Can a Quebec notary help with affairs in other parts of Canada? In the US?

 We cannot act as lawyers in the rest of Canada or in the US because our jurisdiction is limited to Quebec. However we can sign notarised deeds relating to Quebec matters anywhere in the world. I myself have signed acts in Greece, Mexico and Florida.

 We can however help a client from Quebec who is dealing outside the province be it by signing a power of attorney, affidavit, or any legal documents that need to be signed before a notary or commissioner of oaths. We also help foreigners deal with property they have in Quebec, often from a distance, via powers of attorney. Since we are not familiar with laws and procedures in other jurisdictions, we keep a wide network of legal professionals in other provinces, states and countries.

 How important is it for an individual to have a will? What should they be conscious about?

 Every adult should have a proper will; I can’t stress this enough. Many people do not know what happens to their estate when they die without a will, and do not like what they hear when we explain the law to them. The only way to override the law is to prepare a will, ideally with a notary in order to benefit from the legal advice and knowledge. People should be conscious of the fact that a will provides surviving family members with peace of mind, tax savings and avoidance of heavy legal requirements should minor children inherit from their parents or other family members, only to name a few advantages. We have had many estates fall into court procedures because of issues that would have been avoided with a simple meeting with a notary to prepare a notarized will.

 How difficult is it to play well the roles of a wife, a mother and a busy notary?

 I am lucky enough to have an extremely supportive family. The adage of “it takes a village” rings very true in our household. My husband has been supportive during my career path since I was an articling student, and has provided nothing but encouragement and motivation. Along with sharing all household and parenting tasks equally, this allows for me to enjoy both my career and my family. My parents and parents-in-law are integral parts of our and our children’s’ lives, and thankfully love to cook and feed everyone!

 The struggle for that famous “balance” does certainly always hang in the background, but I am learning that we don’t need to do everything, instead we should focus on the things that are the most important to us. I also believe that if we seek perfection in every aspect of our lives, there is a good chance we will be disappointed with the outcome. I take things one day at a time, and think that it’s very important to keep an open and honest dialogue with those we love most.

 Do you mix yourself in the Greek Community things?

 I have always been involved in the Greek community to varying degrees throughout the years, and hope to increase my participation in the coming years. Maintaining my Greek cultural background and ensuring that my children get the chance to do this as well is very important to me.


Κυριακή, 15 Ιανουαρίου 2017

Osteoporosis, The Bone Enemy!

The Commitee of Health and Women Issues of The Lyceum of Greek Women of Montreal cordially invites you to its first medical seminar on Osteoporosis.
Come learn all about osteoporosis prevention and treatment, from our guest speakers presented by Dr. Georgia Vriniotis:
 Dr. Stavroula Christopoulos (endocrinologist), Catherine kalfantis (nutritionist) and Irma Pappas (physiotherapist).

February 19, 2017, 2:00pm -4:00 pm
Hellenic Community Center; 5757 Av Wilderton, Montreal, QC H3S 2K8

Admission is free thanks to our sponsors Phillips Lifeline and Slawner Ortho.

As osteoporosis prevention begins at birth -all ages are welcome!

**Coffee and light snack will be served**
**seminar will be given in both Greek and English**


 

 

 

Τετάρτη, 11 Ιανουαρίου 2017

Irene of Eternal Youth!


Irene Argyris, beloved wife of Steve Argyris, left us this week. She was my closest aunt, by marriage, of Ted's family. Stricken by cancer, she left  with head held high as she never accepted to fight the deadly disease with chemotherapy, but, rather, spent her last summer in Lefkada enjoying her family, her beautiful home and the deep blue Ionian sea.

Irene lived an uncompromising end just as she lived an uncompromising life, always displaying a unique youthfulness which you thought would never end, even as the years passed. I first met Irene when she had just turned fifty, the year I was engaged to Ted and entered the Argyris family. I met her in Valaoritou Street, in downtown Athens, and admired her for her elegance, her charm and her laughter.

 She was a Canadian of Greek origin and that made her very proud.  Although she was born in Montreal, she spoke Greek perfectly and adored her country of origin. She returned to Greece every summer, to roam with friends on the islands and to end up, every August, with Steve, in Lefkada, where they would enjoy the beaches and the local food at the tavernas as if there were no tomorrow.

When I came to settle in Montreal, Irene opened her arms and her home to me as I was trying to adapt to the unknown reality of this wintry city. She always invited us for dinner, preparing the table, every time, as if it were a big celebration. She would always set crisp tablecloths and fine porcelain and, of course, serve the most beautiful and delicious dishes.

Those days will remain engraved in my heart and in my memory for the love, the generosity and the welcoming hug that Irene showed me. And I will never forget the evenings that we enjoyed with resounding, carefree laughter while Irene shared family stories that helped add to the understanding of my adopted home.


Every holiday, Irene would invite us to her festive feasts. At Christmas, she would serve roast pig accompanied by many other wonderful delicacies that she would prepare under the expert guidance of her father, Peter Glezos. For Easter, she would offer the best tripe soup that would be followed by the traditional roast lamb, expertly seasoned and decorated by Steve.

Her mother, Mary, and Peter were always present and I never tired of hearing the story, over and over, of how Peter secretly wed the beautiful Mary, who was an unacceptable "foreigner." And it never ceased to amaze me how Peter Glezos, of Naxos, was so proud of his origins that he knew every village and beach on the island even though he had never once visited Greece.

At these gatherings, Irene would display a class and tidiness that she inherited from her grandmother, Irene Glezos(Glezaina) from Naxos. Irene was religiousely devoted to her Greek grandmother, whose name and grace she inherited, but she also cultivated a long and close relationship with the cousins from her father’s family. However, it is that matriarchal figure of Irene Glezos, her gracious grandmother, that remains engraved in my mind as a result of the narratives related to me by my Aunt.

Irene managed to create a perfect balance in her life between Canada and Greece. In Montreal, she was the cosmopolitan teacher of cosmetology who had many friends and entertained in a Canadian way, albeit without forgetting the Greek traditions. In Lefkada, which she frequented much more often after her retirement, she would enjoy her wonderful home, always hosting acquaintances from back home. There, she would transform into the consummate “Lefkaditissa” and enjoy her many local friends.

Irene leaves behind her beloved husband, Steve, who stood heroically by her side until the very end and her daughter, Maria, who, in turn, also inherited the tidiness and the openness of character of her mother.

In Lefkada, she leaves her beloved granddaughter, Stephanie, who grew up spending her summers there with her grandparents. Today, Stephanie is married to Sotiris Kirolivanos and they have a wonderful daughter, Violetta.

Irene, I will always remember your agility, your enthusiasm and your zest for life. I will always remember you “YOUNG” as you never grew old, even while passing the martyrdom of the pains of illness.

Give my warmest greetings to my "butterfly," Konstantina, and to my parents. And kiss Mary and Peter for me.

Til we meet in the heavens,
My love,
Your niece,
Justine Frangouli-Argyris

Τετάρτη, 9 Νοεμβρίου 2016

The Art of Making Spoon Sweets, Marmalades and Jams!


Fruits, their flavors and the recipes of traditional spoon sweets and jams will have a feast day at the culinary event organized by the Lyceum of Greek Women of Montreal in collaboration with the nuns of the convent of Greek Orthodox Monastery of the Virgin Mary Consolation Lachutte, Sunday December 4,  2-5 p.m. at the hall of the Annunciation Church (Evangelismos).
That Sunday the Greek Orthodox nuns under the blessing of Gerontissa Thekla will reveal all the small and big secrets of the manufacture of spoon sweets and jams based on the wonderful fruit produced in Greece and in Quebec.
These sweets, pure and healthy, inextricably linked with the Greek tradition, are suitable for a modern diet with rich flavor and useful calories.
Our nuns with full respect for tradition will teach us how fruit instead of being discarded at the time of their production, can be transformed into preserves and jams, keeping the scent and the flavors live a long time in our cupboard .
In the  event coffee and Greek pastrieswill be offered by the ladies of the Lyceum of Greek Women of  Montreal.
Also, attendees can purchase the wall calendar of Greek Women Lyceum 2017 with recipes for spoon sweets and jams, illustrated by the talented painter Katerina Mertikas.
The original works of the painter will be sold at a silent auction.
They will be sold jars of traditional sweets and jams made from the nuns of the Monastery of Our Virgin Mary of Consolation.
Sunday, December 4 2p.m-5 p.m , Evangelismos Hall,
777 St-Roch Montréal, Québec H3N 2K3.
Tickets $ 20
For information and tickets please contact Mrs Villy Fasoula, tel. 514-261 5504


Πέμπτη, 3 Νοεμβρίου 2016

When Assault Is Not A Fact!



It came as a total shock to hear that Gerry Slavounos, the Member of the National Assembly of Quebec of Greek origin, was forced to resign fροm the Liberal caucus following alleged charges of sexual assault.

Apparently, Alice Paquet, a 21-year old participant at a vigil for victims of sexual abuse at the University of Laval, took the floor and announced, in dramatic fashion to a stunned audience, that she, herself, had been a victim of sexual abuse by a sitting member of  the National Assembly.

The very next day, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard accepted the resignation of Mr. Sklavounos from his caucus, who is now sitting as an independent MNA, while Ms. Paquet was invited to make the rounds of numerous radio and television programs, telling a story filled with gaps and contradictions.

At first, she claimed that, after the initial incident, which occurred in 2014, she went to the police, who, allegedly, discouraged her from filing a complaint because Sklavounos was a public person and she would not be believed. Shortly afterwards, she altered that story line, saying that it wasn't the police but, rather, her friends and family who discouraged her from proceeding. In the meantime, the police had already issued a statement in which they stated that they had repeatedly tried to reach Paquet, to resume the legal process and confirm the details of her story, but that she never responded to their calls.

Paquet noted that she willingly went to Sklavounos’ room but claimed, although they were kissing, “that foreplay is not a contract for sex.” She also admitted that she could not remember if she had said “no” and that she had returned to have sex with him again two weeks later. “I’m a little masochist,” she said. “I can’t say I said no clearly. I don’t remember. But I know very well I didn’t say yes. If a woman doesn’t feel free to say no, she is being raped. If she feels uneasy, it’s rape.”

Miss Paquet’s interviews are filled with so many gaps, inconsistencies and ambiguities that, taken as testimony, are likely insufficient for the pressing of charges, let alone the conviction, of assault. Regardless, Gerry Sklavounos languishes without a caucus seat and has been pilloried as an
“aggressor” in the media of Quebec and Canada.

As a woman, I fully respect women’s rights and I strongly support those who have been the victims of rape, even verbally, as it is their inalienable right, even their obligation, to denounce all rapists who must be severely punished.

However, when a young girl, such as Alice Paquet, accuses a public persona of sexual assault, the worst form of violence, and proceeds to overturn, one after another, the scenarios of her personal narrative, then I wonder how the media can so effortlessly embrace a story without proof or investigation, socially condemning someone without any regret.

Importantly, Alice Paquet’s claims have the effect of weakening the position of women who have experienced sexual violence. Instead of solidifying the case of women who have actually suffered the horror of male violence, she weakens it, fomenting suspicion in future cases. In fact, such unsubstantiated stories have the effect of ridiculing complaints of sexual violence.

Before the castigation of anyone, there must be a thorough investigation of the events. It is irresponsible of our society, whether it be represented by politicians or the media, to accept, at face value, any unsupported complaint, in effect turning the twisting and falsification of events into an iconic reality .

Silence and shame are unacceptable when it comes to women's violence but lies and unsupported accusations weaken every assaulted woman’s position.


Δευτέρα, 28 Μαρτίου 2016

International Press Coverage of the Greek Debt Crisis !!! An open lecture

     

On April 8, 2016, journalist and writer Justine Frangouli-Argyris, a weekly blogger for the Huffington Post and until recently the Athens News Agency correspondent for Canada, will deliver a talk on the international press and its coverage of the Greek debt crisis.

Drawing on her extensive experience in print and digital media, Ms. Frangouli-Argyris will examine the—in her view, decidedly harsh —portrayal of Greece in the international media from 2010 to the present. An open discussion will follow her talk.

The lecture, organized by the Research Institute of Hellenic American University, in cooperation with Hellenic American College, will be held on Friday, April 8th at 19:00 at the Auditorium of the Massalias 22 building.

The lecture will be given in English.

Ms. Frangouli-Argyris, a native of Lefkada and graduate of the University of Athens Law School, is a journalist and writer. She has been living and working in Montreal, Canada since 1989. She is the author of several best-selling novels, including High Heels for Six and For the Love of Others, as well as several works of non-fiction, among which her authorized biography of Spyridon, former Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of America.

Ms. Frangouli-Argyris is currently a Huffington Post blogger (USA Edition) and a columnist for various Greek-Canadian and Greek newspapers and websites.