Archive | June, 2011

‘Paul Weds Priya’ with a “twist”

Posted on 30 June 2011 by admin

 

Paul Weds Priya

In the glamorous South Asian outfits, the characters of a play called ‘Paul Weds Priya,’ were mingled with the crowd before the play began. It’s a theatrical performance of typical Indian wedding and all the drama associated with it.

Fenulla Jiwani, Aman and Harpreet have co-produced and co-authored the play. Partying best man, jealous brides-maid, arrogant mother-in-law, desi mother-in-law with Bollywood flare coupled with food and fights around it make this comic theatre. The characters have agreed to disagree on practically everything from décor to dress.

In short, it’s no less than a traditional wedding said Ms. Jiwani who also plays the bride. “People assume the characters,” she adds.

37-year-old single Jazz Mann had plenty of practice to be a groom before actually being a groom. As he started his acting career, he and his parents had a traditional argument over career choice. It was between the actor and doctor. At least the words rhyme!

The bride’s side envisions a lavish country club wedding and are ready to roll out the red carpet for their only child. The budget-conscious groom’s side, on the other hand are wanting nothing more than a small party at the local community centre. Regardless, everyone is ‘all smiles’ for the camera at the wedding until a deep dark secret is revealed.

 

But both the bride and the groom at ‘Paul Weds Priya’ would not give away the ending. They both insist that there is a twist at the end, and that twist remains a suspense for viewers to show up and watch.

 

 

 

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“Fabulous” South Asian turnout at 11th annual “Race Against Racism”

Posted on 30 June 2011 by admin

Inspector Craig Ellis, Officer-in-charge, Community Support Services, Diversity Relations Unit, Preel Regional Police

There was food. There was entertainment. And there was an overwhelming number of South Asians at Mississauga Valley Community Centre Park Areas A and E. They had all come together on 11th annual “Race against Racism” hosted by Peel Regional Police’s Diversity Relations Unit.

This 5 km run/walk is for everyone from the competitive runner, to those who just want to enjoy the sunshine, walk and have fun.

Speaking to Generation Next, Inspector Craig Ellis, Officer-in-Charge, Community Support Services, Diversity Relations unit of Peel Police said “This is an opportunity for the police and the community to get together. We wanted to make sure that we are inclusive with all members of the community..of different races and religions.”

As of 11:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, 580 people had registered for the run for “Race Against Racism.” Inspector Ellis expected this number to rise up to 800 people.

To Inspector Ellis, the presence of large number of South Asians from Sikh, Hindu and Muslim communities was an indicator that the South Asian community is engaged in initiatives to raise awareness about discouraging racism and hate crimes.

Peel Police's Diversity Relations Team - Detective Sergeant B.J.Sandhu, Cst. Lovejeet Bains, Det. Adrian Adore and Cst. Micheline (Lori) Murphy-LaBossiere

Almost 50 per cent of Peel’s population has immigrated to Canada in the last ten years. Many of these immigrants don’t even know when they are victims of racism or what racism really means.

“Racism is any time that you find somebody not respecting another person based on their race, creed or religion. There’s certainly no place in our community for such behaviour and we don’t stand for it..and it will not be accepted,” said Inspector Ellis.

Detective Sgt. B.J. Sandhu from Peel Police’s Diversity Relations Unit gives some indicators of racism. It can be name calling about your caste, creed or religion. Someone maybe racially profiling you without you being aware of it. Someone may scroll a sign or a mark on your property or on your car, and you may not even know what that mark means because you may not belong to that race.

However, he is encouraged by the fact that the number of hate crimes perpetrated in Peel Region has been fairly steady as compared to some other jurisdictions.

Inspector Ellis also encourages people who may have been victims of racism to contact Peel Police or their local municipal politicians.

People at 11th annual Race Against Racism

Race Against Racism

However, coming back to the turnout at the 11th annual “Race Against Racism” event, Det. Sgt. Sandhu is pleased with community’s response to his pleas to be engaged and involved. “This is the most fabulous turn out. We’re very very encouraged by it. Every community is represented here..South Asians, Chinese, Black communities.. All of our hard work has paid off,” he said.

The event is sponsored by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

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NDP celebrates 50th anniversary at convention

Posted on 30 June 2011 by admin


 

During the weekend of June 18-19, 2011, New Democrats from across the country gathered in Vancouver to participate in the latest party convention. It was an opportunity to mark on the past 50 years of achievements and successes, the recent electoral gains in all regions, and map out a future strategy to become the next government in Canada.

 

2011 is a historic year for the NDP – it’s our 50th anniversary and we’re now Official Opposition. While we have much to celebrate, there is also much work to be done. During the recent convention, it was a chance for all party faithful to come together, reflect on our humble beginnings and renew our commitments as we move forward.

 

Jack Layton reminded us that just two years ago, during the 2008 NDP convention in Halifax, we made a commitment to lead the party to major breakthroughs across the country. He reminded us that the sceptics said it couldn’t be done, that it was foolish to try to bring change to Ottawa, and that the way things are is the way things will always be.

 

Well, the Canadian people had a different idea. And on May 2nd, New Democrats proved the sceptics wrong.

 

Of course, we stand on the shoulders of giants and are building on the work and momentum from successful leaders from our past, including Tommy Douglas, David Lewis, Ed Broadbent, Audrey Maclaughlin, Alexa McDonough, and the millions of men and women who worked so hard to fulfill a dream of a stronger, better Canada.

 

Although Mr. Layton repeated the NDP’s priorities during the election, they have been at the forefront of the party all along – improving healthcare, strengthening pensions, creating jobs in Canada, making life more affordable for families, and fixing what’s wrong in Ottawa.

 

While Conservatives believe in tax giveaways to massive profitable companies – even as they ship jobs overseas, New Democrats will put forward ideas to reward small businesses and those creating jobs right here in Canada. While Conservatives believe trade deals should create a race to the bottom, New Democrats will seek open trade that lifts the standard of living of all Canadians.

 

No doubt, Canada is the greatest country in the world, built on hard work and determination, and the belief that by working together, there is no challenge we can’t overcome. This is at the core of being a Canadian. We know that in good times and bad, we are all in this together. In a country as fortunate as ours, nobody should be left behind.

 

The NDP will continue to develop new ideas to meet the needs of the 21st Century family, to continue to build our party, and bring together all Canadians looking to build a better Canada. Then, and only then, can we look at fulfilling the dream of all those that came before us and who fought so hard to see a government that put families first.

By Rupinder Kaur

Ottawa

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Want to Have Fun, Have it with Nach Di Jawani A chat with Iqbal Virk

Posted on 30 June 2011 by admin

Nach Di Jawani is a South Asian dance group committed to promote South Asian Heritage and bring the community together on one platform. They have been doing community events since 2001.

Nachdi Jawani consists of members that are highly motivated and enthusiastic in what they do. I had an opportunity to sit with Iqbal Virk, the founder of this organization and discussed his motives and intentions in starting this organization.

What culture do you belong to?

I am from Punjab, Jalandhar.

How important is culture to you?

Culture is very important to me. In fact in my growing years I participated immensely in my school festivals and was awarded as the best dancer. Furthermore, when I came to Canada, I continued my passion for dance. I realized that there were not many academies in Canada that identified and promoted South Asian Heritage successfully and I felt there should be an institution for the new generation that allows students to broadcast our heritage. Hence we collectively started this organization as a hobby first, however due to community support the group quickly escalated and achieved new heights.  So culture to me is something we can pass onto our new generation.

Do you think what you do is taken seriously by people?

Yea, actually it should be a professional business, however for me it is just a hobby. However in order to make it professional there is fee structure,  all full time and part –time employees are on pay roll.

When you started this institution, did you consider it just as a hobby or did you think also in terms of professional?

When I initiated this institution it was just a hobby, and desire to promote south Asian culture and attempt to provide the society with something meaningful. However at this stage, I would prefer if it gets more successful and more people engage themselves in dance.

Do you think you can make a living on what you do?

I definitely think it is possible to make a living in a profession such as this. Nach di Jawani makes me proud because I see parents and children coming together, smiling and enjoying themselves.  One reason I am able to still run Nach Di Jawani is because I am so satisfied with my personal business, I am also able to subsidize my time and money into this organization. For example when we take part in competition out of this country, we cover all of our student’s expenses.

What are some of the youth issues?

Today’s generation is much different than what it used to be. If I talk about my experience five years ago when South Asian community was new, I strongly felt that parents were involved in making careers and settling in Canada. They were not able to give enough time to their kids.

On the one hand people need artists to entertain at events and so on, yet there is no respect or serious money in it. Do you agree?

I can answer this question in terms of my organization, our organization tries our level best to give incentives to our performers. I believe if they get a chance to be on stage, and on television it allows an individual to feel like a star. We don’t really look for serious money or that respect, we feel it’s an investment by itself when we make our students feel happy and their parents happy at the same time.

Today when there are so many South Asians in the community, there are many organizations much like yours trying to make a mark in the society. So how do you compete against such organizations and make a mark on the society?

When I started it, I didn’t feel like there was any competition and even today I don’t feel there is a competition for us. I strongly believe that when you believe in something it will grow by itself, hence I choose to ignore other competition and work at the best of my ability in an attempt to make our organization grow. We have already accomplished a lot, we were recently acknowledged by Guinness Book of the World Records for having the record of largest bhangra performance of 763 people. So I don’t feel there is such competition, and to me I feel that we are the largest dance group for the South Asian community.

Today’s youth is very involved with themselves, so how do you promote this organization and attract youth to take part in such organization?

I believe events that we host are incentives for youth to be part of our organization. Dance by itself is form which attracts everyone, and when you see performers having fun..that energy is passed down to the audience and the audience also wants to be part of such academy. Furthermore, when people attend our class, they spread the word because they realize how much fun it is and they ask others to be a part of it as well.

BY Saurabh Agarwal

Mississauga

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LOCAL ROGERS TV STATION HONOURED WITH IMPRESSION AWARDS

Posted on 30 June 2011 by admin



Rogers TV, the local TV station in Mississauga has been honoured with two 2011 Impression Awards.

Rogers TV, Cable 10 received the Ted Rogers Innovation Award for its live gavel to gavel coverage of The Mississauga Judicial Inquiry and the award for Best Mini-Program for Remembrance Day, which highlighted war veterans living in our community, young and old.

“It’s a great honour for our station to be recognized,” says Station Manager, Jake Dheer.  “It’s truly a testament to our hardworking team who continue to produce excellent community-driven programming.”

The Impression Awards are annual honours handed out by Rogers TV for the past 13 years and recognizes the very best in local programming and community commitment from across the country.

The Ted Rogers Innovation Award recognizes exceptional innovation by honouring a community event, local channel, sponsored project, internal process, fundraiser or a community initiative where a new innovative approach was taken.  Rogers TV in Mississauga served Rogers Cable customers by providing live gavel to gavel coverage of the entire Inquiry proceedings, ensured multiple camera coverage in the court room in the least obtrusive manner, streamed and archived the proceedings on the website and was the lead broadcaster which provided media pool feeds.

Rogers TV is a unique TV channel where community members take an active role in conceptualizing and producing programming for local audiences. Our staff and volunteers produce informative and entertaining local programming, reinforcing Rogers’ commitment to the communities we serve. Rogers Communications is Canada’s largest provider of wireless voice and data communications services and one of Canada’s leading providers of cable television, high-speed Internet and telephony services. Rogers TV is only available to Rogers’ customers, including the company’s 2.3 million cable customers in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

 

 

 

 

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Ramneet Kaur: the Survivor of a life threatening Disease

Posted on 30 June 2011 by admin

“The higher the income, you pay more and more taxes. When I was working..I was making a decent amount of money and the taxes obviously are high. But then you have to remember that most of the things in Canada are publicly funded, and healthcare is one of them. We have six people in the house who need a doctor at some point or the other, even if it’s just the flu. I am not sure if it’s better to reduce the taxes and make healthcare private.”

“When I’m in Canada I’m more of a Canadian..when I’m in India, I’m more of an Indian. I try not to carry my Canadianism to India.”

Ramneet Kaur discovered that she had a life threatening disease when she was a mother of one. The doctors’ had told her that her kidneys have hardened which leads to losing whatever protein she eats, messing up her blood pressure. Soon after doctor’s diagnosis, she discovered that she is expecting another child. While she was bed ridden, she is grateful to her mother-in-law who had immigrated to Canada just in time to be a life saver.

Her husband, an IT network administrator, has been very supportive for her. Talking about him, Ramneet goes all wooshy  with love “It was very important for me to be with the right man because you spend the rest of your life together.”

Dentist by trade, Ramnnet had been a dentist for a couple of years in Chandigarh before she moved to Canada. She had graduated from Rajiv Gandhi University in Bangalore. As a kid, she had gone travelled the entire world with her father who worked at an airline.

Here in Canada, she has worked at a dentist’s office and is taking classes from George Brown College to get relevant certification to work in Ontario.

While good stories are hard to come by, Ramneet is happy by how the healthcare system in Ontario took care of her. “It was actually for me, a very good experience. I don’t know maybe because I had such a complicated pregnancy, that’s why I got so much attention, I don’t know. For me I didn’t see any wait time for myself, but I’ve seen wait times for my mom and my mother-in-law and everybody,” she tells Generation Next.

Ramneet is one of those immigrants to Canada who comprehend the limitations of the government and the responsibilities of the citizens, so for shortcomings in healthcare or education, “I wouldn’t just blame the government,” she says.

As a mother, Ramneet wanted her daughter to go to full day kindergarten, “but in our area the school she goes to doesn’t have it yet. I think it may be because of a lack of funding or because they’re doing it area wise.”

Like many South Asian immigrants, she also understands that the higher you earn, the more taxed you are. “The higher the income, you pay more and more taxes. When I was working..I was making a decent amount of money and the taxes obviously are high. But then you have to remember that most of the things in Canada are publicly funded, and healthcare is one of them. We have six people in the house who need a doctor at some point or the other, even if it’s just the flu. I am not sure if it’s better to reduce the taxes and make healthcare private,” she says. Ramneet lives with her husband, their two kids and in-laws.

Upbringing kids with South Asian values and traditions is at the core of any family. Ramneet and her husband take their kids to Gurdwara regularly. “We try to teach them our teachings and the Holy Scripture. My husband believes that you just don’t want to recite your Scripture, you should understand them. Obviously it takes lot of time and effort to do that.. We try to teach them things, like my kids love bhangra,” she tells us.

At one point, she did consider putting her daughter at a Punjabi school to learn to read and write Punjabi language, however the timing wasn’t right and it did not happen.

Ramneet still visits India. Her approach to these visits is “when I’m in Canada I’m more of a Canadian..when I’m in India, I’m more of an Indian. I try not to carry my Canadianism to India,” she tells Generation Next.

 

 

 

 

 

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South Asian community needs its own infrastructure Baldev Mutta, CEO of Punjabi Community Health Services (PCHS)

Posted on 30 June 2011 by admin

Bladev Mutta, CEO of PCHS

“I think among the seniors and my generation (I came in 1968) we like to go back and build a big kothi and it’s just for show…I’m not saying we should forget it [back home], but if the dominant part of your thinking permeates from them there, I’m wondering to what extent you are really integrating and feeling connected to life in Canada? To what extent are they feeling the pain that 33,000 children in Toronto go to bed hungry?”

“One of the things that we spend time on every week is how do you deal with the image of these macho men who think that she’s [the wife] at fault because she called 911..it is very easy to make the statement that in Canada women have too many rights, if only they were back home..we would fix them. That’s the attitude.”

“The bigger challenge for any organization [like Peel Police etc]..is, do they have diversity at all levels or is it just diversity at door..at the front line staff? How many senior directors, CEOs, commissioners are representing the community in the Peel region? I think there is a great deal of discussion beginning to happen now and that’s a debate that will become stronger.”

I remember that a 16-year-old South Asian girl was dating a guy in high school. The parents went to the guidance counsellor to talk about how dating is a taboo issue in the South Asian culture, and that they send their kids to get educated at school. The guidance counsellor’s approach was that your kid is in Canada. She has every right to date like all children in Canada.

It was issues like the lack of cultural sensitivity in delivering services that led to the birth of Punjabi Community Health Services, says Mr. Baldev Mutta, the Executive Director of PCHS.

Back in 1990s the predominant approach was “We [the mainstream Canadian organizations] are saying on the one hand that we value your culture, we would like you to celebrate your culture, but on the other hand, when these kind of issues emerge, we still want everybody to behave in one prescribed manner, which means it is the way the European dominated cultures behave,” says  Mr. Mutta.

The unique issues faced by the South Asian community compelled Mr. Mutta to consider starting an organization that will address these unique concerns of the community. However, it wasn’t an easy task. The mainstream social agencies were opposed to the idea of an agency that will cater to an ethno-cultural group.

While PCHS’s name was not chosen intentionally, it still caters to almost 75% South Asians from Northern part of India and some people of Pakistani origin, says Mr. Mutta. However, now there is a strong push from the community to broaden the horizon from PCHS to be all inclusive not just to other South Asian communities but to broader Canadian community as well.

Twenty years later, while there is generous debate in the Canadian society about multiculturalism and diversity, not enough dollars are spent on encouraging it.

“I think that the most challenging aspect is that we in Canada do not recognize that there is such a thing as systemic racism. We are so polite that we simply ignore that there are systems that perpetuate racism. We don’t acknowledge the historical racism against immigrants generally..in Canada, there is a culture of politeness, not rocking the boat…the federal government is notorious for not hiring visible minorities,” opines Mr. Mutta. Even the corporate sponsors are reluctant to donate to an organization that has an obvious name like Punjabi Community Health Services for fear that their organization will be associated with one particular minority group.

Another challenge is hiring diverse staff.

“The bigger challenge for any organization [like Peel Police etc]..is, do they have diversity at all levels or is it just diversity at door..at the front line staff? How many senior directors, CEOs, commissioners are representing the community in the Peel region? I think there is a great deal of discussion beginning to happen now and that’s a debate that will become stronger,” says Mr. Mutta.

In South Asian media’s tour to Brampton Civic Hospital, one of the doctors accompanying the tours commented that no one in Brampton understands English. Mr. Mutta is critical of such blanket judgments; however in his estimate almost 25 per cent of South Asians in Brampton may not be literate even in Punjabi language.

Last year, it was at PCHS that the Minister of Status of Women Rona Ambrose made a statement that the government is “looking at” adding `honour killing’ as a separate charge to the Criminal Code. This was later denied by the government.

Should cultural practices be taken into account while legislating the crimes?

“It’s a little bit dicey how we answer it. People get very uptight when we say in certain cultures there are honour based killings. The community perceives it as if you are bad mouthing tour community. There is no honour killing in our community. But then what about Aqsa Parvez? Isn’t that coming very close to honour killing? We have to really look into our community and ask how do we label it? Are the existing laws enough to prevent an honour killing from taking place?” says Mr. Mutta sitting at a conference table in his Malton office.

Are they?

“No they are not,” he responds thoughtfully. Citing the example of stalking laws, Mr. Mutta says “if there is reasonable and probable ground to believe that someone may lose his/her life because it is honour based, then there should be some way to protect her in some shape or form. From that base, the laws are not enough. We have cases where families literally take their young girls back home to marry them against their will, and then bring them back here.”

One can argue that sons can be forced into arranged marriages as well. “Not to that extent,” Mr. Mutta believes.

Another thing Mr. Mutta has failed to understand in his years of serving the South Asian community is the community’s fascination with “back home.”

“I think among the seniors and my generation (I came in 1968) we like to go back and build a big kothi and it’s just for show…I’m not saying we should forget it [back home], but if the dominant part of your thinking permeates from them there, I’m wondering to what extent you are really integrating and feeling connected to life in Canada? To what extent are they feeling the pain that 33,000 children in Toronto go to bed hungry?”

 

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The Gloves come off

Posted on 30 June 2011 by admin


While talking about the benefits of Bill C – 4 in a teleconference, federal Minister Jason Kenney took a few shots at Ontario Liberals as well.

Minister Kenney applauded PC leader Tim Hudak’s announcement that social assistance will not be provided to new comers or to those who have made asylum claims as a result of human smuggling operation to Canada before their year’s up in Ontario.

Minister Kenney said “offering welfare payments to bogus asylum claimants is a big problem for Canada.  It creates yet another pull factor, an incentive for people to come and – people who are not really in need of Canada’s protection to come here and make asylum claims.  And, for example, right now we have the number one source country for refugee claimants in Canada is a European Union democracy — Hungary.  We’re getting hundreds of claims from Hungary – asylum claims from Hungary every month and it would appear that most of those people are enrolling in welfare – for welfare in Ontario even though about 98 percent of the Hungarian – or 99 percent of the Hungarian asylum claimants are found to be false claimants.  They are found not to need our protection..So there is a connection here between generous welfare payments and abuse of our asylum system and I encourage the provinces to look at that.

 

 

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Canadian refugee system “generous” but we need to send strong message “Don’t pay smugglers” Minister Kenney

Posted on 30 June 2011 by admin

 

The federal government has tabled Bill C-4 to discourage human smugglers from brining migrants to Canada, and also to dissuade migrants from paying huge sums of money to human smugglers to come to Canada.

In a teleconference with community media, Mr. Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Multiculturalism described the purpose of bringing forth this legislation as “This legislation would send a strong message that human smugglers who are convicted will face as much as 10 years in Canadian prison.  Ship owners who allow their ships to be used in these disgusting operations will pay fines of as much as $10 million.  And their customers, if they get to Canada, will not be able to obtain immediate permanent residency through our asylum system.  If they are deemed to be refugees, they will not be sent back to face risk of persecution but nor will they be rewarded for paying a smuggler with quick permanent residency and the privilege of family sponsorship.  Rather, they will face up to one year of detention so that we can focus on the appropriate security and police and background checks without overwhelming our immigration system.  And, secondly, they – if they are deemed to be actual refugees, they would be given a temporary visa in Canada for five years.  If during that period conditions in their country of origin improve significantly, they would be sent back.  If not, they could apply for permanent residency after five years and subsequently sponsor family members.”

Minister Kenney urged the Opposition to support Bull C-4 “and to listen to Canadians, especially new Canadians who have a real stake in maintaining public support for immigration and a fair system for all where you don’t get to jump the queue by paying people to come to Canada illegally.”

The legislation has been brought forward in the backdrop that in the last two years two vessels carrying people landed on the shores of Canada. Citing the poll conducted by Ipsos last year, Minister Kenney said “Two-thirds of Canadians in public opinion polls have said that the government should prevent these ships from entering our territorial waters.  And 55 percent of Canadians in a poll taken last year indicated that even those ship passengers who are deemed to be refugees should be sent back to their country of origin.”

While proposing a mandatory an-year long detention, Minister Kenney insisted that “What we’re proposing is a heck of a lot more kind and compassionate and humanitarian than what most other – than how most other countries deal with these smuggling issues.” As an example he cited Italy, United States and Australia.

Minister Kenney said that Canada needs to send a strong message to human smugglers and those who use their “disgusting” services to “don’t pay the smuggler.  If you need protection, go to the UNHCR in your region and go about this like legal refugees do.  Don’t pay the smuggler.  That’s what the five-year possible return policy says.  It adds an element of doubt into the calculation of the clients of the smugglers about the certainty of permanent residency in Canada.  And we think that doubt is essential to reduce the price that they’re willing to pay.”

The legislation has been widely criticized for the violation of Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. “It’s difficult to understand why the government would be proposing to bring this legislation back without change when it has been so widely condemned by legal experts as clearly in violation of our Charter and clearly in violation of international standards of human rights,” says Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees. “There’s no ambiguity about this. It does not conform to our international legal obligations.”
“The government describes it as being anti-smuggler, but the people who would suffer most are the refugees,” says Dench. “They would be detained for up to a year, and even those accepted as refugees would be held in suspended animation for five years without any right to travel, to reunify with family or get on with their lives.”

 

 

He clarified that parental sponsorships are being processed as usual in Mississauga. The letter sent to some homes was sent be mistake. He also promised to look into the fact that many refugees are waiting for CIC to renew their work permit and federal interim health card for more than six months.

KEY FINDINGS

Ø 64% are following the story of the Tamil migrants “very closely” or “moderately closely.”

Ø If the refugee claims are legitimate, and there is no discernible link between the migrants and any terrorist organization, 48% would deport the passengers and crew to their country of origin; 35% would allow them to stay in Canada as refugees

Ø 72% expect more ships carrying migrants to attempt to reach Canadian waters in the next few months

 

 

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Ontario invests in UTM’s renovations

Posted on 30 June 2011 by admin

“Opposition is narrow minded.”

Minister Haridner Takhar

“Ontario’s the only province that doesn’t give grants to foreign graduates.”

David Naylor, President of UofT

“There won’t be interruption of classes while UTM renovates.”

Deep Saini, VP of UTM

The Liberal Government of Ontario will be investing $52.5 million in renovating University of Toronto, Mississauga campus. The project requires $75 million in total to replace a 43-year-old temporary building to a state-of-the-art academic environmentally friendly and sustainable building.

Making this announcement, Mr. Harinder Takhar, the Ontario Minister of Government Services, said “it’s a very important investment for Mississauga. The campus is expanding, as the region is growing. The funding will help in replacing a 43-year-old building into a new environmentally friendly and sustainable building..we need to replace the old infrastructure with the new infrastructure.”

The project is expected to create about 525 construction-related jobs.

Lavishing high praise on the Government of Ontario’s investment in UTM, Dr. Deep Saini, Vice Principal of UTM, said “my hope is that shovels will be in the ground within months rather than years…we’ve a track record of building buildings within 18 months at UTM.”

” As the University of Toronto Mississauga continues its exciting expansion, the Government has partnered with us again to ensure that students will have the leading-edge facilities they need for an exceptional educational experience. We are grateful that our students will now have even better opportunities to make to a brighter tomorrow for themselves and our province,” stated Mr. David Naylor, the President of University of Toronto,” stated Mr.  David Naylor, President of University of Toronto.

Minister Takhar said the government of Ontario has done a remarkable job in making postsecondary education accessible to Ontarians.

“We’ve said to Ontario students that if you want to go with postsecondary education, we’ll help you..we’ve added 60,000 spots in Ontario colleges and universities,” said the MPP from Mississauga-Erindale.

Speaking to Generation Next, Mr. Naylor agreed with Minister Takhar. He noted that the issue of affordability of postsecondary education is evergreen.

“If you look at the numbers..there have never been as many students involved in higher education in Ontario as there are now..there has been huge expansion of undergrad and grad slots in colleges and universities…the question of affordability of education is an evergreen question. The government has also expanded student aid..expanded funding to all colleges and universities to put aside funds so that students have access to education,” he said.

Both the PC Party and the NDP have questioned the government’s logic in offering scholarships to foreign students when the education is unaffordable to Ontario students.

“Foreign students are covering their costs fully. When they come to us for undergrad education they do not get government’s loans, government grants or bursaries. They provide diversity and energy to our campuses and we welcome them in Toronto and Mississauga..which are very multicultural. Ontario must continue to attract outstanding foreign students. It’s not zero-sum-being at all. Moreover, one has to ask oneself why six provinces provide government grants to foreign graduate students. That’s because we didn’t have to pay for their education from kindergarten to grade 12 and we didn’t have to pay for their undergrad. These foreign students are a cheaper source of the world talent that this country can ever access. Ironically Ontario is the only province that doesn’t provide grants for graduate students. In my opinion that should be changed immediately. The low grade xenophobia that we don’t want international students is regrettable. And I am a big fan of seeing more international students.”

Responding to Opposition’s claims of unaffordability of postsecondary education and attracting international students, Minister Takhar said “The opposition has a very narrow view…we want more international students to settle in Ontario. They are good for our economy and bilateral trade and they are our best ambassadors moving forward. We have to get them from whereever we can.”

Mr. Naylor applauded South Asian students in three University of Toronto campuses, saying “we wish more and more South Asians will choose to come to our campuses.” He also said that there are almost 25 per cent South Asian students studying at UofT.

While there will be renovations at UTM, students will be moved around however the classes will go on smoothly said Mr. Saini.

 

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