Archive | August, 2011

Stars of Bollywood: Vibrant, High Energy Show

Posted on 31 August 2011 by admin

Shiamak Davar International’s dance extravaganza Stars of Bollywood – tribute to the bollywood stars, through dance played out to an audience bursting at the seams last night. The show meant to be a one-night-only event was held at Markham Theatre. Thanks to popular demand; Stars of Bollywood will be back! This time around the show will be held at Brampton’s Rose Theatre on October 16, 2011.                                                     .

This large scale stage ensemble produced by Bollywood’s most respected and globally renowned dancer and choreographer, Shiamak Davar, promised to bring a unique cultural experience to audiences in the GTA… The animated audiences were proof that it delivered right on point.

“Stars of Bollywood is a vibrant, high energy show that brings out the best of Bollywood’s essence”. Says Davar “Shiamak’s dance company has performed this ensemble all over the world including India, China, UK and USA; for this particular performance, the Toronto team put in hours and sleepless nights practicing and the exuberant response by our audiences today paid off”, adds Mitul kadakia, Manager for Shiamak Davar International – Toronto.

With the overwhelming response and rush for tickets for last nights show in mind, SDI is pleased to announce that the show will be back this October. “We will bring back the magic on October 16, 2011” Cheered the enthusiastic performers. SDI promises that the show will come back with a bigger bang later this fall. New costumes, props and even more fan-fare are in store.

 

 

 

Comments (0)

Dr. Tarlochan Sidhu appointed Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science dean

Posted on 31 August 2011 by admin

Dr. Tarlochan Sidhu, Dean of Faculty of Engineering & Applied Sciences

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) proudly announces that Dr. Tarlochan Sidhu will become the new dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS) effective January 1, 2012. Dr. Sidhu comes to UOIT from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario where he is currently professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

 

“I am excited to be a part of UOIT’s bold vision as well as its innovative approach to teaching and research,” said Dr. Sidhu. “I look forward to collaborating with students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders to build upon the considerable accomplishments that the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science has achieved in a very short period of time.”

 

Dr. Sidhu’s distinguished track record in the field of engineering includes working for the Regional Computer Centre in Chandigarh, India; the Punjab State Electricity Board in India; and for Bell-Northern Research Ltd. in Ottawa, Ontario. From 1990 to 2002 he served as professor and subsequently graduate chair with the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan.

 

Dr. Sidhu earned his bachelor’s degree from the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology in Patiala, India in 1979. He moved onto postgraduate studies at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon where he received his Master of Science degree in 1985 and a PhD in 1989.

 

“Over the years, Dr. Sidhu has demonstrated impressive personal and professional qualities as an engineer, student mentor, researcher, chair holder and university administrator,” said Dr. Richard Marceau, provost and vice-president, Academic, UOIT. “He brings depth and breadth of experience to UOIT thanks to a career path which has taken him through different universities, in different provinces and countries. His commitment to excellence is matched only by his commitment to student success. We are absolutely thrilled that Dr. Sidhu will be pursuing his career at UOIT.”

 

Dr. Sidhu is the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)/Hydro One Networks Senior Industrial Research Chair in Power Systems Engineering. He regularly contributes to the activities of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power Systems Relaying Committee and served as chair of its Relaying Practices Subcommittee from 2007 to2009. He has published more than 200 papers in various journals and conferences, some of which have won major awards. He is regularly invited to give lectures/tutorials around the world on the subject of power system protection, automation and monitoring. He has served regularly as a consultant to power system industries both nationally and internationally.

 

More than 50 graduate students have completed their thesis work under his supervision/co-supervision. He serves as the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Emerging Electric Power Systems, an editor of the IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery and that of IEEE Power Engineering Letters. He is on the editorial boards of Electric Power Systems Research, Electric Power Machines and Components, and Relay (China).

 

Dr. Sidhu is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers (India), a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (UK), a Fellow of the Engineering Institution of Canada, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (USA).

 

Comments (0)

“Love should be free” – Rahul Bhardwaj, Co Founder of Two Mangoes

Posted on 31 August 2011 by admin

You can’t “create-a-date”, although what a great idea, eh? The site doesn’t allow for someone to custom create their mate, “blue eyes, black shoulder-length hair, 15% body fat (we wish!) It’s as if you were being set up by a friend. A friend would always ask, “What kind of guy/girl are you looking for?” before trying to set you up with her friends, right? TwoMangoes does the same. We all have certain compatibility points we’d like to meet, it’s natural.”

Parents’ are also realizing, over the past 15 years, that their first and second generation children aren’t going to easily trust their recommendations. The days of “we know a girl through Tina Aunty’s cousin’s sister-in-law’s brother” are sort of long gone. Kids don’t want to hear that.

Rahul Bhardwaj is the Co-founder and Product Manager at TwoMangoes.com, the fastest growing global dating site for South Asians.  He is also an investor and advisor to companies in the Web, Mobility, Gaming and Cloud Computing space.  An entrepreneur and product engineering expert, Rahul was the co-founder at  Vayyoo, a SM web to mobile solutions company he successfully exited in 2009.  His other achievements include – leading Fortune 50 Enterprise divisions with global SaaS solutions , bringing Canada’s first Microsoft Innovation Center to life, and winning numerous Microsoft Product awards judged by Bill Gates.

When not working on his startups, Rahul spends a majority of his time guest lecturing on Entrepreneurship and Product Engineering at various Colleges and Universities, and is also an active Board member of various student technology and arts organizations including – Junior Achievement, Children’s Peace Theater and the EPIC Technology Foundation.

Here’s our interview with him:

Why did you start a South Asian dating site especially when there are so many other sites out there?

My usual short answer to this question is: ask any user of any South Asian dating site if they are happy with their experience of what’s out there today, and you’ll most certainly understand why there’s a need for a better solution. Simply put, what’s out there is just not built well enough to give users an enjoyable, comfortable experience, and more importantly, hefty fees are charged for imperfect products. This is true for dating and matrimonial sites, alike.

Also, like every Entrepreneur whose product has a personal connection to them, my own site is tied to my personal story. It all began when my father told me he was going to put my profile up on a matrimonial site. You know the deal, finish college, look for a wife. I humored him for a few minutes and looked at the sites he had in mind to put me on. I was floored that customers were paying for sub-par experiences, and these sites were getting away with it! So, two things dawned upon me: 1. Like every nerd, I was going to solve my problem by building a website, and 2. I was going to build a better experience than what was out there, along with a sustainable business model that didn’t rely on directly charging people to find love. As my friend says, “love should be free.”  www.TwoMangoes.com and I are on that path today.

There’s a perception that people who are not good in face-to-face interactions use online mediums to meet with people.

I wholeheartedly disagree! Online dating shouldn’t really be processed as literal dating online. It doesn’t denote that you are not skilled in-person, or that you and your match will carry out a relationship and date online. Night after night of going to random “meat markets” just doesn’t appeal to all of us. It has little to do with whether someone is good at face-to-face interaction. I feel that most of our users view online dating as efficient, not as avoidant.

If people are choosing people online based on some set qualities, isn’t it kind of like superficial and narrow meetings?

Not at all. TwoMangoes is not a “made-to-order” service and it does not offer presets for users to select from. You can’t “create-a-date”, although what a great idea, eh? The site doesn’t allow for someone to custom create their mate, “blue eyes, black shoulder-length hair, 15% body fat (we wish!) It’s as if you were being set up by a friend. A friend would always ask, “What kind of guy/girl are you looking for?” before trying to set you up with her friends, right? TwoMangoes does the same. We all have certain compatibility points we’d like to meet, it’s natural. TwoMangoes just puts it there for you online. Nothing scientific about it.

How are parents taking online dating?

Our experience, and that of our friends, is that parents are totally for online dating. Parents are parents, and they ultimately want their kids to meet people who will make their kids happy. They’re also realizing, over the past 15 years, that their first and second generation children aren’t going to easily trust their recommendations. The days of “we know a girl through Tina Aunty’s cousin’s sister-in-law’s brother” are sort of long gone. Kids don’t want to hear that. This way, their kids are being proactive about their own dating life, and parents can feel reassured.

Is there a charge to register?

TwoMangoes.com believes love shouldn’t cost a thing. In fact, J.Lo, if you’re listening, we’d love you to sing that one for us. Seriously, we keep our services free because we don’t believe this process should be viewed as a business transaction. We want people to approach the dating process with excitement and options, without having to worry about the cost.

Do you feel it’s mostly the “never married” crowd who are using online media to find someone or is it divorced people as well?

We have found that regardless of whether you’ve been married previously or not, everyone still desires companionship, and there is nothing about a prior divorce that makes one more or less likely to seek online dating sites. We’re happy that the stigma, by and large, is fading.

Generally speaking what age group uses TwoMangoes?

Our age range presently is 20 to 58 years old, but the density of users is within the 25-35 year range.

How is TwoMangoes different from shaadi online and other such websites?

We’ve built TwoMangoes from the ground up, as a Web 2.0 social network experience. We consider ourselves a hybrid of Match.com and Facebook.

We have made it our mission to steer away from the “biodata” approach. Instead, we’ve replaced it with a more two-way social connection between individuals. Play on our site for a few minutes and you’ll see what we mean.

Adding to that, however, unlike other sites, we’re not just online. TwoMangoes hosts speed-dating events, parties, and networking events which take place all across the US and Canada. We put a face to our name and provide our users with a strong offline experience to complement their online presence.

Finally, we’d like to emphasize that TwoMangoes is focused on providing our users with a high quality of connections on the site and a high quality of content which we put out for our blog and events.
What do you think are some of the challenges people face in finding Mr. Perfect or Miss Perfect?

Well, we feel the biggest challenge is that somewhere in the mix of Hollywood and Bollywood and other “-ollywoods”, people have latched onto a notion of a Mr. or Miss Perfect. We constantly need to remind ourselves to open our minds to new experiences, new ideas, and definitely to new people. The more open we are to new people, and also the more willing we are to break notions of whom we consider our “type”, the more experiences we’ll enjoy. That’s probably the biggest challenge- staying pigeon-holed with one “type”. We say, “break the mold!”

Comments (0)

Mississauga Erindale

Posted on 31 August 2011 by admin

Bio:

Liberal MPP from Mississauga Erindale since 2003.

Top three Issues:

  1. Healthcare and long term care
  2. Education  and Child Care
  3. Auto insurance

What Liberal Government did?

I had to go through the issue of providing long term care to my aging parents. Regulating long term care was never done before. We are aware that there are long waiting lists and we are not building at the same rate as the population is aging. But we have facilitated the system so that parents can stay at home. That program has worked relatively well.

We are providing full day kindergarten to families. It will take care of child care. Parents need to see how it flushes out.

We need to relook at the issue of auto insurance premiums. Our government has done everything it could do to make sure that the benefit package is competitive with other provinces and states. We hear about a lot of misuse of the auto insurance. False accidents are reported. Paralegals exploit it. So when insurance companies’ costs go up, the premiums go up. We need to work with stakeholders so that premiums are competitive. However, people should also shop for a competitive premium before their existing policy expires.

Opinion about other candidates:

I am not sure if the Conservative or NDP candidates have knocked any doors. I can debate with them on what street what issue was raised. As far as the PC goes, I always say Changebook means they should change the book. And the NDP will give everything to everybody but they never delivered when they were in government.

PC Candidate David Brown

Bio:

Born, raised and married in Mississauga, David Brown is a land use planning consultant.

Political Involvement:

I took a leading role at federal and provincial Conservative party. I also ran as a Conservative candidate in the federal election of 2000 from Mississauga South. Currently, David serves as a Chairman of Traffic Safety Council.

Flaws of the Liberal Government

The 13% HST had a negative impact on small businesses. The Liberal government didn’t negotiate a good deal with federal Conservative government that supported instituting 13% HST. People are tired of paying more and more taxes for less and less services. The Liberal government spent too much on bureaucracies like LHINs.

What will he Do?

The PC government will invest in education and healthcare. But at the same time we will find 2% savings outside of Ministries of Education and Healthcare. We will provide right level of service at the right cost. The PC will government will eliminate the HST from Ontarian’s home hydro and heat bills.

NDP Candidate Michelle Bilek

Bio:

Born in Toronto, raised in Mississauga to immigrant family from Czech Republic, Michelle has been a teacher by profession.

Political Involvement

Involved with NDP since my high school years, I’ve always voted for the NDP. It’s the only political party that speaks to me and people like me’s needs and concerns.

I was also the candidate from the riding in the federal election of May 2nd, 2011.

Top three issues:

Growing number of people are experiencing poverty. People are fighting a battle between inflation and their expenses. Majority of the income goes to their housing expenditure. Housing strategy needed at the provincial level, so that more people can find affordable housing.

When I was a kid, many more things were covered in healthcare. There is erosion of many services. Now hospitals are being merged or closed.

Government has to be accountable to people.

What will she do?

The NDP government will spend money on the people and not on bipartisan organizations or multimillion dollar international deals.

There is enough money to be spent on people in spite of fragile economy. We need a government that will listen to its people and is accountable to people. The Liberal government is spending money on bureaucracy to pay off its friends.

 

Comments (0)

Our Shared Responsibility: Build Future Worthy of Our Families’ Dreams

Posted on 31 August 2011 by admin

“If I were to talk to those people who have the greatest stake in the future — mothers and fathers –  and ask them what they want for their families, their answers would all be the same. They would say, “I want good schools for my kids. I want good healthcare for everybody in the family. I want a strong economy that supports good jobs. I want to live in a world that’s at peace. I want to be able to practice my faith with a sense of security. I want to live in a community that is accepting and uplifting.”

 

 

 

Ontarians embrace the religious and cultural diversity that breathes life into our communities — diversity that is the foundation of our success. Muslim Canadians are a vital part of our cherished mosaic, and have done much to enhance the social, cultural and economic fabric of our province.

 

Eid-ul-Fitr is a very important event on the Islamic calendar. It is a time to cultivate a spirit of peace, fellowship and forgiveness. It is also a time to focus on the value of friendship and family relationships, the importance of charity and of helping those in need — and to appreciate how fortunate we are to be Ontarians.

 

 

It has been my fundamental belief that here in Ontario we have been commissioned by history to lead and to stand as a shining example, not just for our people, but for the world, which sometimes despairs of our ability to rise above our differences and to celebrate what it is that we have in common. So thank you for celebrating your faith, living up to your teachings, your precepts, and your understandings. It’s important, again, to all of us that we in Ontario find accommodation and find strength in our differences.

 

 

There will always be times when that diversity and our differences create barriers, whether in the workplace or in our communities. That is why our government has worked hard to provide all of us tools to overcome those barriers.  We have strengthened our Human Rights system by streamlining the complaints process and setting up the Human Rights Legal Support Centre, which provides crucial legal services to individuals throughout Ontario who believe they have experienced discrimination.  The Centre’s services range from legal assistance in filing an application at the Tribunal to legal representation on human rights applications.  These are offered in many languages. Together, we have come a long way to ensure that our diversity truly is our strength.

 

All the world’s great faiths and all the world’s wisest people have been telling us something for thousands of years now and sometimes we fail to heed an important lesson. And that lesson is this: what’s most important is not the colour of our skin; it is not the language that we speak; it is not the wealth that we accumulate; it is not the power that we wield; it is not the traditions that we cherish; it’s not the culture that we inherit. What’s most important is what we have in common. It’s our humanity. And if I were to talk to those people who have the greatest stake in the future — mothers and fathers –  and ask them what they want for their families, their answers would all be the same. They would say, “I want good schools for my kids. I want good healthcare for everybody in the family. I want a strong economy that supports good jobs. I want to live in a world that’s at peace. I want to be able to practice my faith with a sense of security. I want to live in a community that is accepting and uplifting.”

 

That’s our shared responsibility in Ontario – to build something that is worthy of the dreams that we have for our families. I hope you have a wonderful Eid.

By Ontario Premier the Honourable Dalton McGuinty

Comments (0)

South Asian community’s constructive criticism is valued Matt Anderson, CEO of William Osler Health System

Posted on 31 August 2011 by admin

Matt Anderson, CEO of William Osler Health Foundation at the announcment of opening of Peel Memorial Hospital in 2015.

“These [CCACs] are the folks..who keep people in the community from coming to the ER..that’s the agency we thing we have the biggest relationship with.”

Matt Anderson, CEO of William Osler Health System is becoming a household name in the Punjabi community of Region of Peel. He is seen at gurdwaras and at local South Asian events to establish stronger relationship with the South Asian community.

As a CEO, he is grateful to the South Asian community for its warmth, continuous support and constructive feedback. In fact he urges the community to provide him and the William Osler staff with constructive criticism.

With a degree in English, Mr. Anderson started his career in healthcare industry almost two decades ago from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. He was contracted to write the Hospital’s strategic plan. The aspect of working with healthcare “felt pretty meaningful to me. I really enjoyed that,” he tells Generation Next. So there was no going back for him.

With knowledge of computers at a time when computers were largely unheard of, Mr. Anderson worked with healthcare and IT for almost a decade when he switched gears to become a healthcare administrator.

As an experienced healthcare administrator, Mr. Anderson believes that e-health system will have a huge impact on Ontario’s healthcare system.

“It’s hard to imagine running an industry as big as healthcare with such little..connected information,” he says.

He also believes that a number of things in healthcare system have conspired against providing a coordinated healthcare to Ontarians. Nonetheless with e-health records, general practitioners (GPs), hospital staff and other healthcare providers will have all the patient information at one place, helping reduce waste and inefficiency in the system.

Mr. Anderson cites an example of instituting a change in the hospital system. When the e-system, for example is introduced, for a period of time when e-system in under development, the hospital has to maintain paper charts. So the hospital in incurring the cost of maintaining paper charts as well as developing e-system.

Another challenge is that if prevention of diabetes program, for example, is introduced today, there is already a cohort of people who are diabetic and need dialysis. Therefore, there are dollars that need to go into prevention model. At the same time, patients who are already suffering from the disease need to be provided adequate care.

“There is the need to change the system. That is really, really hard to do, but it needs to be done. If the change has to be forced, then it has to be forced,” says Mr. Anderson.

If there is such great waste and inefficiency in the system, why doesn’t anybody do anything about it?

At the hospital level, the hospitals are taking action to be more effective in providing healthcare. Mr. Anderson points out the merger of University Health Network and Toronto Rehab Institute that will result in better care for patients. In Mississauga, Trillium and Credit Valley Hospital boards have also decided not to wait for the government to take action, and taken the lead to provide the better care.

At William Osler, Mr. Anderson says “we’re still dealing with our last merger.” Peel Memorial Hospital was merged with Brampton Civic Hospital. However, William Osler is looking into collaborating with Community Care Access Centres (CCACs).

“These [CCACs] are the folks..who keep people in the community from coming to the ER..that’s the agency we thing we have the biggest relationship with,” he says.

At the governmental level, Mr. Anderson says “it’s risky for them..putting money into infrastructure. There are vested interests. There are people in the system who are doing very very good job. Their jobs will have to change…they can lobby to say that we don’t want change, but the government has to have the courage to say that it will change.”

Additionally, polls after polls  have indicated that public trusts healthcare providers more than they trust politicians. So if the healthcare providers say something is not right, “it’s hard for them [politicians] to push for the change. They have real work to do,” says the CEO of William Osler Health System.

Nonetheless, he does give credit to the Liberal government for some of its measures. “They [the Liberal government] did a good job when they took on the big pharma companies,” he says. Excellent Care for All Act, a legislation passed under the Liberal government, he says, needs to be extended beyond the hospital sector to primary care providers, long term care homes and CCACs.

As a CEO of one of the busiest Health Systems of Ontario, Mr. Anderson’s hope from the next Government of Ontario is “to continue down the path of saying, fairly aggressively..here’s the reform we need in our system.”

Mr. Anderson believes that the priorities in the healthcare system must be set by politicians because they are elected by people. So the polls had indicated in the past that the longer ER wait times are a major concern for people in Ontario. The government, hence, said to hospitals and LHINs that reducing wait times at ER is a priority which is “totally reasonable,” however the solution to long ER wait times will be different at Brampton Civic Hospital than it is at a hospital in London.

The Former CEO of Toronto West LHIN, Mr. Anderson is all for Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). He says virtually every jurisdiction in the world has a regional model of providing care.

“I just don’t want to see it centralized at Queen’s Park,” he says not because he was the former CEO of a LHIN but because the healthcare needs for the Region of Peel are different from Ottawa or Thunder Bay.

Mr. Tim Hudak, the leader of PC Party has vowed to scrap LHINs. In an interview with Generation Next, NDP leader Andrea Horwath said that the spirit with which LHINs were formed has been lost. “They were meant to engage the local communities..put priority on community’s healthcare needs,” LHINs haven’t done that says Ms. Horwath. Hospitals may be happy with LHIN’s performance, however “I am not interested in keeping hospitals happy, my job is to make people happy..and if people are not happy with their healthcare system, they can’t access it when they need it, then we have a problem,” she stated. Liberal Minister of Health Deb Matthews supports LHINs quite aggressively.

Nonetheless, Mr. Anderson cites the example of Alberta that moved from regional to centralized model and then back to the regional model of providing healthcare.

PC has also casted doubts on healthcare announcements that have been made extensively over the past few days by the Liberal government.

As an industry expert, what does Mr. Anderson think about these announcements?

Not speaking about other regions, Mr. Anderson says that as far as William Osler is concerned “we look at it from process perspective. If I had had these announcements and I wasn’t involved with capital branch [of Ministry of Health] and we weren’t talking with Infrastructure Ontario, then I’d be a little skeptical, I’d be a little worried about what’s happening here..Everything is happening the way it should be. If it was just the show, we won’t be wasting time with the Capital branch and Infrastructure Ontario.”

While Mr. Anderson would like to see healthcare depoliticized, he also shares fondly how his father who lived in Toronto Central West LHIN region would blame the Minister of Health for everything that will go wrong in the healthcare system. “And most people are like that,” he says.

For South Asian parents who encourage their kids to be healthcare professionals, we asked Mr. Anderson to predict jobs of the future in healthcare.

He feels that the jobs in the healthcare may not be the same as they are today. However, there may be a lot of engineering and IT jobs in healthcare industry in the next decade or so. Personal Support Workers (PSWs) can also be in high demand as healthcare system moves to provide aging population the care they need in the comfort of their homes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (0)

3 reasons to vote for me: Sincere, Trusted and Proven Leadership Jake Dheer, candidate for Mississauga City Council Ward 5 by-election

Posted on 31 August 2011 by admin

“It’s a high time that the community is reflected in Mississauga City Council, but there’s gotta be the right person to do it.”

Jake Dheer is no unknown name when it comes to the South Asian community of the GTA. Resident of Mississauga for more than 30 years, Jake is known for his humour and liveliness in the South Asian as well as the non-South Asian community.

He is also one of those few South Asian candidates who has gone beyond just working with South Asian community. Most recently he was quite active in fundraising events for Sheridan College’s Mississauga campus.

Station Manager of Rogers, Jake is the Immediate Past-Chairman of the Mississauga Board Of Trade. He has also served in leadership roles on boards of several other organizations including United Way of Peel, Credit Valley Hospital Foundation, City of Mississauga’s Economic Development Advisory Council, Mississauga Chinese Business Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters Of Peel, Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion’s Gala Committee, Mississauga Mayor’s Metrolinx Advisory Council, Interim Place, Living Arts Centre, Peel Children’s Aid Foundation, University of Toronto Mississauga’s Principal Advisory Council, Community Living Mississauga Tribute Dinner Committee and Carassauga to name a few. Jake is also the co-founder of The Revolutionary Film Company, Mixed Nuts Comedy Troupe and two radio programs. And the list goes on.

Talking to Generation Next, Jake Dheer noted the top three issues of the Ward 5 of Mississauga.

“I have to say that it is about the taxpayers..making sure that the taxpayers are getting the services they deserve and that the council is being held accountable. And that the money is being spent wisely,” he said.

“The second one is the community health centre,” he stated. The Government of Ontario has announced funding for Malton Community Health Centre so the issue has already been taken care of. Mayor of Mississauga was at hand at the announcement of funding for Malton Community Centre to pat the McGuinty government on back for its commitment to municipalities.

The third issue of the Ward in Jake’s opinion is the Goreway Bridge. “It’s about the gridlock but also there are certain streets..that are almost like mini 401s. People go very fast on these roads..and fronts of houses face these streets..so it’s very dangerous for kids playing.”

“Crime in Malton is the big one as well,” he added. While almost all candidates of Ward 5 have rated crime as a challenge in Ward 5 especially in Malton, those in law enforcement note that there is no statistical data to support the suggestion.

During last year’s municipal election, Mayor Hazel McCallion campaigned with Simmer Kaur, a candidate who took more than 18 per cent of the votes from the Ward. In some of these joint events the Mayor urged the candidate to campaign in all parts of the Ward.

Mindful that he has to represent the entire Ward, Jake says that he is spending equal time in knocking doors in Malton and knocking doors in the South side of the Ward.

Almost all candidates running in Ward 5 have noted the same issues. So what makes Jake stand out?

“If you look at my years of service, merely 30 years of community service, that community service has been at all levels, business, social, culture, these are grassroot facets of human life…I’m not a professional politician so to speak…while politicians were busy being politicians, I was busy serving my community,” he says. He also notes that he is not a recycled candidate who has been kicked out from their another ward and is now running again using recycled sign boards and so on.

“It’s a high time that the community is reflected in Mississauga City Council, but there’s gotta be the right person to do it,” he says. “I am the right candidate for that,” he emphasizes.

He says residents of Ward 5 should vote for him because he is “sincere, trusted and proven leadership.”

 

Comments (0)

Tim Hudak Government Will Help Ontario Businesses Create Jobs

Posted on 31 August 2011 by admin

Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak is promising relief for Ontario businesses.

In a meeting with industry leaders, he discussed how an Ontario PC Government will make Ontario a national leader in private sector job creation once again.

“While the entire world was hit with a global recession, Ontario fell faster, further, and harder than any other province.  And despite Dalton McGuinty’s promises, Ontario families have been hit with countless tax hikes and skyrocketing hydro bills,” said Mr. Hudak.

Changebook’s job commitments:

  • Reducing the business tax burden to 10%.
  • Treating energy policy as an economic policy, and ending the expensive energy experiments that drive up hydro bills.
  • Unplugging Dalton McGuinty’s smart meter tax machines and allowing small businesses to decide if ‘Time of Use’ pricing is right for them.
  • Eliminating job-killing red-tape and reducing the regulatory burden by 30%.
  • Putting more money in the hands of consumers by removing the HST from hydro and home heating bills, eliminating the debt retirement charge, and reducing income taxes.

He reiterated that “On October 6, families will have a clear choice.  Dalton McGuinty and the NDP, who will raise taxes, increase red tape, and create more roadblocks to job creation. Or a Tim Hudak government that will focus on making Ontario the leader in private sector job creation by cutting red tape, lowering business taxes, and treating energy policy like economic policy.”

 

 

Comments (0)

Islamic Militancy in Pakistan and Afghanistan

Posted on 31 August 2011 by admin

There is proliferation of Islamic radical and militant groups in Pakistan. The international community often describes Pakistan as the epicenter of terrorism.   This is exaggeration but the fact of the matter is that several militant Islamic groups are based in Pakistan.  These groups not only target the US interests but some of these also target Pakistani state and society.

The tribal areas have a variety of militant groups that pursue varied agendas. The tribal area groups include the Tehrik-i-Taliban-i-Pakistan (TTP) which is a conglomerate of a number of small groups, the Al-Qaeda leadership, various local groups that fight with each other to establish their domain, the Afghan Taliban and two-three groups based in North Waziristan like Haqqani group and Mulla Nazir group and others. There is a small group of foreigners from the Arab world and Central Asia.

On mainland Pakistan, Kashmiri and Pakistani groups are functioning. The Pakistani groups include Jamatud-Dawa/Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and Jaish-i-Muhammad. The sectarian groups include Sippah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, now labeled Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and their breakaway factions.  There are some free floating small groups that may have been associated at one time with one of the above groups. Now they function as separate entities.  Further, many activists have overlapping associations with more than one group.

Some of these groups have developed close ties with the TTP because the tribal areas provide a secure place for training, including training for suicide bombings.  Some reports indicate that the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba has made a limited appearance in Afghanistan in collaboration with the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban. Another significant development is that Jamatud Dawa has started becoming active in Pakistan’s domestic politics. It was active in the protest against Raymond Davis in February-March 2011.  Similar street activism was noticed after the U.S. claimed to have killed Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011.

Some of the groups based in Pakistan and Afghanistan have developed global outreach. The activities of Al-Qaeda and Taliban (Afghan and Pakistani) have implications for many countries. Some Pakistan mainland based militant groups are found to be periodically active in Afghanistan, Iran and India.  These movements have challenged the interests of the United States and selected western countries.  A good part of terrorist activity in the West is linked with the Taliban movement or Al-Qaeda.

Pakistan’s intelligence agencies, especially the ISI, initiated and patronized some of these groups at one stage as a part of their strident agenda in Indian-administered Kashmir and Afghanistan. Over the years, most of these groups have become autonomous. However, the ISI seems to continue maintaining ambiguous relationship with Jamatud Dawa and Jaish-e-Muhammad.

The roots of the current militancy go back to the 1980s when American CIA cooperated with Pakistani ISI to build up Afghan-Islamic resistance to Soviet troops in Afghanistan. Some conservative Arab countries also helped this effort by providing funds which were in addition to the funding provided by the CIA.  Several thousand volunteers from Muslim countries, especially from the Arab world, joined the Islamic-Afghan resistance to fight the Soviets.  Osama bin Laden and some of his colleagues came to Pakistan-Afghanistan for the first time during these years.  Pakistan’s Islamic parties also benefited from American-Arab funding. A good number of people joined militancy and adopted religious orthodoxy as a way of life. General Zia-ul-Haq’s military government patronized religious orthodoxy and militancy.

It was easy for the government of Pakistan to stop supporting militancy and abandoning the Taliban after the terrorist attacks in the United States in September 2001 because they viewed militancy as a policy instrument. When they changed the policy, the instrument of militancy lost relevance.  However, most of the militant groups treated militancy as an article of faith and were not willing to opt out of it. They viewed Pakistan’s changed policy as a betrayal under American pressure.

These militant groups continued to function in Pakistan because these had built societal support through Islamic-denominational networks of seminaries, mosques and parties.  The institutions and organizations associated with Deobandi/Wahabbi/Salafi and Ahle Hadees Islamic traditions generally support or sympathize with militant movements.

The growing anti-American sentiment in Pakistan has also helped these militant groups to mobilize support.  In case of the Punjab based groups that function in Indian-administered Kashmir, often cash on anti-India sentiments that increase manifold in a situation of increased tension between India and Pakistan.

Militancy has also cashed on American failure to rehabilitate and reconstruct Afghan economy. The Afghan refugees that returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan were disappointed because there was nothing to look forward to in term of opportunities to make their living.  With the exception of Kabul and few other cities, rest of Afghanistan continued to suffer from the ravages of war. All this enabled the Taliban to return and establish themselves in parts of Afghanistan.

Today, these militant groups, especially the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban are functioning effectively in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistani tribal areas. If the Karzai government in Kabul could not provide effective security after the exit of American/NATO troops, the Taliban will directly challenge the Kabul government.

The future of Afghanistan is uncertain. If the Taliban overwhelm Kabul, it will have problematic implications for Pakistan. Its tribal areas will virtually go under the control of Afghan and Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan civil strife will then spillover to Pakistan where the followers Deobandi/Salafi/Whabi tradition of Islam are expected to extend varying degrees of support to the Taliban.

By Dr. Hasan Askari

Lahore

Comments (0)

Breakaway: Movie Made for the Youth of Canada

Posted on 31 August 2011 by admin

Nav Bhatia Entertianment presents Breakaway

Nav Bhatia Entertainment is presenting a movie called Breakaway. Breakaway is targeted to youth that are products of immigration families whether they are first generation Indians or whether they are Jewish. “It’s the film you can identify with,” said Pauline, the Co-Producer of Breakaway.

Breakaway’s story is a journey of a young Punjabi boy who is trying to find himself in the adopted land, keeping his ties with his culture and religion. At the same time he tries to fit into the society where he goes to school to and wants to play ice hockey. The movie also addresses the discrimination pagri wearing sardars face in the modern society in sports such as ice hockey. The team of sardars plays against “hammerheads,” [gori teams] to win the prestigious Mississauga Hyundai’s Cup.

The movie has “a very diverse caste” with Vinay Virmani, the local Brampton boy as a lead character. Russell Peters who needs no introduction is cast in the secondary lead role. Vinay is a Punjabi boy who is in love with ice hockey, a sport not totally understood by Desi community. Then there is , a gori girl friend that “Indian parents are so nervous about.” Vinay and his sardar team players compete with other ice hockey teams, perhaps winning Nav Bhatia cup at the end.

Breakaway’s script was shared with the Prime Minister’s office. At PMO’s the script was so well-taken the Prime Minister’s Office wanted to hand the Hyundai Cup to the winning team. Does the PM hand over the Cup? You’ll have to watch the movie to know.

The movie also addresses the deep rooted mindset that is dominant in the South Asian community where parents want a better life for their kids to the extent of having a cushy good paying job only. These parents don’t want their kids to be integrated into the society.

Pauline Dhillon, Co-Producer of Breakaway

Mindful of the fact, Pauline says “I think our parents and our generations prior to us came with a certain mindset. And they want a better life for their children but they don’t let them understand and experience the dynamics this country has to offer…Breakaway is a good reflection for parents and youth to find a happy medium.”

Grateful to the government’s support, Pauline said “they [all levels of governments] are extremely supportive of films like these.”

At an individual level, Pauline says when in Rome you have to do as Romans do. “Your culture and your values are something that are instilled into you by your family. I was born and raised in Canada, but I am Indian at heart and I’ll always be an Indian at heart. I am blessed to have both these experiences and both these worlds in my life,” she said.

As a female producer, she doesn’t believe there are any glass ceilings. “I had no problem. I do not believe that there are glass ceilings for women. Your hard work, your determination, your dedication” gets you success, she says.

In conversation with South Asian media, Pauline and Mr. Nav Bhatia of Mississauga Hyundai briefed the South Asian media about the storyline of Breakaway and how South Asian families of Canada can especially relate to the movie.

In entertainment business for over 14 years, Mr. Bhatia applauded the local South Asian media “as my team in Ontario,” that has been “the backbone of my success.” He is also credited for mainstreaming Bollywood in Canada.

Pauline is encouraged by the response the Alliance trailer has gotten so far – 125,000 hits “supersede any Holloywood” movie, she said.

The movie is premiering at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) at a prime spot on Saturday September 10th. It will be released in Canada on September 30th. In India, the movie will be released on September 23rd and is titled Speedy Singhs. The producers are also working on subtitles in Hinglish.

Mr. Bhatia said that he decided to present the movie because he believed in the story line and “had seen Vinay as a kid who had grown up in front of his eyes.”

RDB, Jassi Sidhu, ludicurous add other local touches to the movie that is exclusively filmed in Toronto in six weeks’ time. The producers had consulted with various gurdwaras to ensure that religious sensitivities are responded to. The movie producers had gone as far as to hire four Sikh pagrai experts who were at the set for six weeks to make sure that turban is done in the right manner.

Cast

Vinay Virmani as Rajveer Singh
Anupam Kher as Darvesh Singh
Camilla Belle as Melissa Winters
Gurpreet Guggi as Uncle Sammy
Russell Peters as Sonu
Noureen Dewulf as Reena
Sakina Jaffrey as Livleen Singh
Rob Lowe as Coach Dan Winters

Cameo Appearances: Akshay Kumar, Aubrey ‘Drake’ Graham (Music Feature), Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges (Music Feature)
Writers
Noel Barker, Vinay Virmani, Jeffrey Schechter And Matt Simmons

Songs by
RDB, Jassi Sidhu, Rishi Rich Productions, DRAKE

Comments (0)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here