Archive | October, 2011

Brampton Civic Hospital hosts BRA Day

Posted on 28 October 2011 by admin

With their new logo resembling the pink ribbon often associated with the commonly advertised breast cancer symbol, the organizers of Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day reveal a message of hope to their attendees. Bearing proudly a similar, but new ribbon that spawns an extra loop in the design represented for many survivors of the disease a newfound belief in “closing the loop on breast cancer.” The information session focusing on various breast reconstruction options was held at the Brampton Civic Hospital. It drew together a collective group of cancer survivors, medical staff and a few family members in support of their loved ones.

Dr. Don Jones, the corporate chief of surgery, and physician head of oncology at the William Osler for both the Etobicoke and Brampton location expresses his support for cancer events like this by stating that, “they are excellent opportunities for people, patients and people who don’t have the disease to otherwise learn about the disease and specifically for this evening to learn about the options that are available after surgery for some patients.”

As Dr. Jones’ general theme of awareness and educating the general public rang loud and clear throughout the evening, it was Dr. Christine Tang, the anticipated main speaker for the event that really stole the show with her in depth presentation and descriptive information packages for her audience. Dr. Tang’s passion for her profession became quickly transparent as she openly admits that this was a profession she just knew she would be involved in.

Karen Portelli, one of the cancer survivors that spoke, courageously tells the crowd of the three palpable lumps that was discovered in her breast and that was later confirmed as malignant. She described her decision to have breast reconstruction and did not hesitate to praise her experience with the medical staff that assisted her in the reconstruction process. Ms. Portelli explains that “I was blessed to have a fabulous medical team to talk to, and that included Dr. Tang and her team who were absolutely wonderful. They walked me through all the options available to me and explained which options weren’t and why. They explained the ins and outs of creating symmetry, the risks and benefits of each procedure, showed me pictures and they were available to answer all of my questions.” With her options clearly laid out for her Karen felt assured she was made aware on what she was getting herself into. She explains that “going into the surgery I had realistic expectations. I knew I couldn’t get my natural breasts back and that these were replacements, but I was still really excited.”  When asked if Ms. Portelli would do it all over again and make the same decision regarding breast reconstruction she replied confidently, “most definitely…in a heartbeat.”

With various breast reconstruction success stories like Karen Portelli’s to provide inspiration for women who are currently indecisive on what steps they should take, Dr. Tang uncovers some common factors and reasons that may distort this decision making process.  In particular Dr. Tang revealed that many women believe that “first that they are not suitable. They feel that they are too old or that it costs money.” These particular misconceptions which are a result of not being informed and educated correctly on age and monetary options can deter many women from inquiring about how breast reconstruction can become an option for them. In fact many women are not aware or remain ignorant that OHIP covers breast reconstruction surgery altogether.

By Anna Katryan


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Tri-Hospital United Way campaign to raise $100,000 for Peel Region

Posted on 18 October 2011 by admin

L-R: Mr. Anderson, CEO of William Osler, Shelley White, CEO of United Way of Peel Region, Ruby Brown, CEO of Trillium and Michelle DiEmanuele, CEO of Credit Valley Hospital

William Osler Health System, The Credit Valley Hospital, and Trillium Health Centre are partnering in a tri-hospital United Way Campaign for the second year. The three Peel Region hospitals had fundraised $88,000 for United Way last year. This year they are getting together again to raise $100,000 to meet the needs of the local communities. So far more than $47,000 has been raised.

So far, Credit Valley Hospital is leading the way with more than $21,000 raised, Trillium Health Centre is second with $20,000 raised, followed by Brampton Civic Hospital that has raised $6,000 so far. However, Matt Anderson, CEO of William Osler Health Centre indicated that this is to give false sense of security to his other two competitors, and that Brampton Civic Hospital will catch up.

With these funds, more than 400,000 in the Region of Peel are cared for said Shelley White, CEO of United Way of Peel Region. She also noted that these funds go a long way in helping more than 16 per cent people who live in poverty in the Region of Peel. This poverty rate is higher for immigrant families and their children. Ms. White also stated that the wait time for affordable housing in the Region Peel has dropped to 16 years from 21 years.

In an interview with Generation Next, Shelley White thanked the South Asian community for its spirit of volunteerism and contributions to the United Way. Ms. White agreed that more needs to be done to engage visible minority communities like South Asian community. She cited South Asian Council as one way United Way has attempted to include the local South Asian community.

The CEOs of the three hospitals got together at Brampton Civic Hospital for a friendly game. The game was won by Ruby Brown, Executive Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer, however the spirit of team Credit Valley Hospital was much more noticeable.

Funds raised go to organizations such as Etobicoke Services for Seniors, Rexdale Women’s Centre, Canes Community Care, India Rainbow Community Services of Peel and Peel Senior Link, among others.


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Classical Musicians get together to dazzle audience

Posted on 18 October 2011 by admin

Eventivity Arts was proud to present singer  Azalea Ray  at the Lula Lounge, Toronto. Born in Holland to parents from Calcutta and raised from infancy in Don Mills Azalea has devoted her career to the exploration of classical and spiritual music.  She was joined by artists from Delhi, Ahsan Ali playing the Sarangi and Amaan Ali playing the tabla. Both hail from traditional musical families of the Kirana Gharana and the Moradabad Gharana. It was an evening of warm ambience, amazing acoustics,  Sufiana music, ghazals, and a full house of great listeners!


Eventivity Incorporated, is an event management company with a difference. The partners, Dr Nozhat Choudry, Farhana Khan and Ayesha Mawaz-Khan give the Company an edge with their diverse career paths and experiences. It is an all-encompassing venture that has three parallel verticals that manage events in the i) medical area ii) corporate events iii) arts, fashion and theatre.

The partners have in the past, used their individual expertise in conducting events. Now they have joined their resources to expand their scope of work, bringing you Eventivity Incorporated…where every event is planned to perfection!

Dr Choudry heads the Medical division and has over 20 years of experience in the Healthcare sector.  Where her team has put together a wide variety of Medical events ranging from Medical conferences, advisory boards, CME conferences to exhibitions.

Farhana Khan heads the Corporate Events division and is an experienced management professional with an MBA in Marketing and Management. Versatile in her experience in business planning, economic analysis, finance, contracts,  administration and marketing, she has worked as the Corporate Accounts Manager for AT&T, Canada, Budgets Manager for Qatar Petroleum and as a Business Planner for Dubai Petroleum.

Ayesha Mawaz-Khan heads the Arts, Fashion and Theatre division and has as MBA with a double major in Marketing and Finance. She has been an entrepreneur and a social worker. She set up a knitwear garment manufacturing Company (All That Jazz) . She has worked with various non-profit organizations in Bahrain, Brunei and New York, where she developed and implemented charity fund raisers, fashion shows and extravagant galas.

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Diwali: A time to share Ontario’s shared vision

Posted on 18 October 2011 by admin

The Festival of Lights is not only a wonderful occasion to celebrate with family and friends, it is also an opportunity to celebrate the rich and vibrant province we have built together.  Generations of immigrants have brought their skills and dreams to Ontario, and worked hard to create good lives for themselves and their families here.  That hard work has paid off — together, we’ve built strong schools, hospitals and a great quality of life.  And, to do that, we’ve always needed all of us to be at our best.

In an increasingly globalised economy, Ontarians know we must continue to move forward, together.  We know that we need to sharpen our competitive edge so that we can continue to attract new, foreign investment and the world’s best workers.  In 2003, we started that process by investing in new and innovative technologies and partnering with rising world economies to keep the world’s eyes focused on Ontario.  And it’s working.  Billions of dollars of new investment have poured into Ontario and our investments in clean energy and new technologies helped create thousands of good, Ontario jobs.

All that investment helps create a stronger, more vibrant Ontario.  And to keep that investment coming, it’s particularly important to ensure that we have a strong workforce.  That’s why we’re investing in training for new Ontarians. Since 2003, our training programs have helped more than 50,000 skilled newcomers to do just that.  That’s a strong record of success that we will build on and strengthen. We are investing more than $64 million this year alone in language training for 120,000 newcomers, as well as supporting Ontario’s settlement agencies to help newcomers settle and get into the workforce.

We were also the first government in the world to create the Office of the Fairness Commissioner whose job it is to make sure that the regulators who oversee access to professions in Ontario are fair, objective, transparent and impartial.  This legislation has been copied in other places around the world because it helps ensure that newcomers have access to the jobs they were trained for.

In uncertain economic times, we need our newcomers working in jobs that match their skills.  In fact, the Conference Board of Canada estimates that when immigrants are not able to work in the professions they’ve trained for, it costs the Canadian economy between $4 billion and $5 billion a year.  So Ontario’s Liberal government will continue to work closely with all our partners to ensure that newcomers are offered the right tools and supports.

As you light up this Diwali to honour the universal qualities of appreciation, compassion and forgiveness, I hope you’ll also celebrate Ontario’s shared vision of a bright future that will continue to help us move forward together.

Honourable Dalton McGuinty is the Premier of Ontario.

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Diwali honours the “light” within each of us

Posted on 18 October 2011 by admin

I have the privilege to represent a riding that has one of the most diverse populations in Canada.  One weekend I’m celebrating with the Chinese community, the next with the Filipino community, then Italian, Vietnamese, Korean – we truly are a multicultural nation!


Later this month, I’ll be joining the South Asian communities in my riding, and across the country, as we celebrate Diwali.


Diwali is a very special festival that I have come to greatly appreciate and admire.  The history behind this commemoration is deep and meaningful.


From the Hindu perspective, I have learned that it symbolizes the battle of good versus evil, marking the return of Lord Rama from a 14-year exile and the defeat of Ravana, the demon-king.   In the joy of his return, the people of Ayodhya lit lamps and firecrackers in celebration.


For Sikhs, Diwali celebrates the release of the sixth guru-prophet, Guru Hargobind and 52 Hindu princes from the Gwalior Fort in 1619 by the Mughal rulers of the day.  Sikhs celebrated his return by lighting the Golden Temple and this wonderful tradition continues today.


For the Jain community, Diwali is important because Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana or Moksha on this day.  Mahavira is responsible for establishing the faith followed by Jains today. According to tradition, the chief disciple of Mahavira, Ganadhara Gautam Swami also attained complete knowledge on this day, making Diwali a very special Jain festival.


Even some Buddhists celebrate Diwali, as it was on Diwali that Emperor Ashoka converted to Buddhism.  Even today, we will see temples and monasteries decorated in his honour.


Regardless of faith, tradition or geographical region, the one underlying theme in all the cultural festivities is the celebration of hope and inner strength. It reminds us that despite trying circumstances, there is always a silver lining and a “happy ending” awaiting us.  In essence, Diwali honours the “light” within each of us.


As the NDP’s critic for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I am honoured to join Canadians all across our country in celebrating Diwali.


On behalf of my Leader and our entire Official Opposition Caucus, I extend best wishes, and much happiness, to all for a wonderful Diwali.


I also want to express our deep gratitude for the generous sharing of culture and history that enriches us all.


Diwali aur naya saal mubarak!


Don Davies is the Official Opposition Critic for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. He is also the Chair of Federal New Democrat British Columbia Caucus. He represents the riding of Vancouver Kingsway at the House of Commons.

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Diwali: a chance to rekindle bonds

Posted on 18 October 2011 by admin

Many Canadians are now celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights. Diwali is an important time for Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists, as they celebrate the victory of good over evil, and light over darkness. It is a time marked by prayer, worship, gratitude, and the exchange of gifts with loved ones. While Diwali is central to these religions, it is also a cultural experience that brings together people of different faiths and cultural communities together to spread the message of peace and friendship.

Diwali celebrations take place over the entire month, with ongoing parties and mini-celebrations where families and friends get together to connect with one another, eat snacks, share sweets, and just have a good time. These smaller celebrations lead up to one special day of Diwali, which this year lands on October 26th.

On this main day of Diwali, there are large celebrations held across the country, featuring live music, dancing, crafts, and performances, not to mention delicious Indian food. These lively events are family friendly, and open to the public. For those who celebrate every year, this is a chance to gather with loved ones and enjoy the festivities; for newcomers to Diwali, it’s an opportunity to learn about another culture and celebrate Canada’s multicultural ties. I highly encourage those who have not participated in a Diwali celebration before to go out and experience this magnificent occasion.

Diwali means a lot to Canadians. Like all other cultural celebrations, it is not only celebrated by members of our South Asian community, but by many different faiths and cultural communities. These celebrations offer a chance for all of these different groups to interact with each other. Apart from meeting new friends, Diwali provides a chance to rekindle bonds with old friends and to take in the festivities with family. Diwali also serves as a reminder of the tremendous contributions of the South Asian community to Canada’s rich and diverse heritage.

Canadians love the opportunity to experience different cultures. As the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I have traveled across the country and taken part in countless cultural celebrations, and I am proud to say that all of these events are well attended by individuals representing all cultural backgrounds. This is what makes our country so great and strong. We have communities from coast to coast to coast that enjoy embracing these occasions and contribute to our pluralistic society.


Hon. Jason Kenney, M.P., P.C. is the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. He represents the riding of Calgary Southeast at the House of Commons. He is also more commonly known as “pa ji” in the Punjabi community.

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Liberal party understands global competition – Liberal MPP Dipika Damerla

Posted on 18 October 2011 by admin

As the election results were displayed on TV screen on October 6th, Dipika Damerla and her campaign sat on the edge making sure that they actually win before congratulating themselves. At the end when the polls closed, Dipika’s campaign was able to save the Liberal seat from Mississauga East-Cooksville.

When asked what her first thoughts are after winning, after a careful thought, MPP Damerla said in an interview with Generation Next “I am very happy that I’ve been able to keep the seat for Ontario Liberal Party (OLP). OLP has achieved a lot and I really believe that there’s a lot more to be achieved yet.”

The newly elected MPP also believes that the world has become an increasingly competitive place. There are only two ways to respond to such competition, either you meet it head on, or shy away from it. “The only party that understands that is the Ontario Liberal Party,” she said.

Additionally MPP Damerla’s value system matches with Ontario Liberal Party in the sense “I am socially progressive and fiscally responsible.”

Residents of Mississauga East-Cooksville have been without the sitting member of the Ontario Parliament after Peter Fonseca decided to run for the federal elections earlier this year. MPP Damerla’s first order of business is to listen to the people of the riding and take their concerns back to her government.

“People of Mississauga East-Cooksville haven’t had the local sitting MPP to listen to them. My first biggest priority is that door, so they people can come anytime to me and I can help them to the best of my abilities,” said the former senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of Economic Development and Trade. She is looking after her constituents from her office at Burnhamthorpe and Central Parkway in Mississauga.

Her second priority is to “to reach out to all the communities.”

And then she wants her government to focus on the fast growing needs of Mississauga as the community continues to grow at the rapid pace.

As an individual, Dipika was “surprised” at less than 50 per cent voter turnout on October 6th election. However, she believes that the way to encourage voter turnout is to win people’s heart into the fact that their voter matters. Her opinion is that if people intend to vote, they will vote regardless of whether there is online voting and voting process in convenient.

Her experience door knocking has taught her that people regardless of their colour, faith, language they speak want “decent jobs, bright future for their children and healthy community to live in.”

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Dhaka Diary: A Tale from the Road

Posted on 18 October 2011 by admin

Stepping out of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, the expected wave of humidity hit me, along with a million different sounds and smells. It was only 6:11 am but already the city was bustling with activity. Taxi drivers were already preying on hapless tourists, hawkers had already begun to sell their colourful wares, and street beggars had taken out their begging bowls- ready for business. Welcome to Dhaka city.


The Government of Canada Travel advisory urges Canadians to “exercise high degree of caution” when visiting Bangladesh, warning travelers about regional violence, electricity outages, street crimes etc. For readers who are wondering, Dhaka city is the capital of Bangladesh and that is where I spent my summer. It is also the country where I was born and spent my earliest years in. The concept of “Going back home” is one I’m sure many readers will be familiar with. It is that everlasting concept that though you have lived in Canada (perhaps all of your life), there is always that other country that you consider “home”, be it Pakistan, India, or in my case, Bangladesh. A rather weak myth is that children of immigrants absolutely despise “going back home” but I love returning to the place of my birth. The hustle-bustle of the city is intoxicating as it is sometimes painful. In the crevices of this burgeoning metropolis you find life at its most tender.


Of course I could write about the sights of Dhaka, its historic buildings, and how it is home to one of Asia’s biggest shopping malls, but a quick Google search would give you much the same. Instead I’ll share an anecdote about the city where every person is vying for some breathing space.  In this urban jungle filled with tangled vines of telephone lines and numerous watering holes (otherwise known as open drains), there are many such stories.



Like Canadians whose small talk often start with complaints of the weather, anyone you meet in Dhaka will tell you first before all else that the traffic is really, really terrible.


They will likely share a story about having gotten stuck in traffic for 3 hours just to get to a store nearby and you will look wide-eyed and wonder if they are making it all up. The truth is that they are not; on a good day you might actually arrive at your destination, on a bad day you would be lucky to even make it out of the street that you live on.


Of course, I too was sitting in such traffic one day and in the space of an hour the car had moved only a few metres, I might add.


Between contemplating whether to doze off or continue playing games on my cell phone, I spotted a young boy walk up to our car. He seemed to be about 9 or 10 years old, but keeping malnutrition in mind, I would guess that he was at least 12 years old. Oddly enough, I recognized his face from the previous year when he had sold us some limes or other fruit as we waited for traffic to let up. I noticed that he had grown and where there had been innocence, now shone a raw hardness. As I looked on, he came up to the window and flashed us a smile, waved as though we were long lost friends, and moved on. He did not try to sell us anything, nor did he ask for money. I was taken aback at this brazen display of human contact, this outwardly show of happiness. Why did he smile when there was nothing to smile about? Why did he not ask for any money, if for nothing but to buy himself a shirt? What on earth was he so happy about?! At that moment, it hit me how seldom I smile at my own neighbours on the street and how waving to a stranger here in Toronto might get me some really curious stares…


If the boy who perhaps had no more than the equivalent of a dollar in his pocket could smile through the haze of cars, pollution, and as some say, sense of impending doom, then I think we can all find it in ourselves to smile more often. The skeptics will say that I’m being unreasonable, that boy was probably making a fortune on the streets, and I was looking at him through the eyes of an uninformed tourist. I admit that claim may be true but all I’m trying to say is that Dhaka might be overrun with corruption and poverty, the system of law is particularly unsound, and the streets are seriously unsafe, yet there are still moments that will make your breath stop short.


So my story ends there and I’ll leave the reader to find out more about Dhaka in the best way possible- by visiting it. Go and walk through a melee of people at a crowded shopping center, take in the monsoon rain from your balcony, or just get stuck in traffic.

By Nazifa Islam


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Building contacts is the soul of business Satish Takhar

Posted on 18 October 2011 by admin

Satish Takhar, President of ICCC

Lou Milrad, CEO and Chair of the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance (GTMA) was the keynote speaker at Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce’s Monthly Business  Networking reception held at The Host in Richmond Hill on Wednesday, October 12, 2011.

Mr. Milrad said the GTMA and the ICCC would explore ways to work together in areas of common interest.

Mr. Milrad explained, “The GTMA is a public-private partnership that serves as the key point of contact

for businesses exploring opportunities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The partnership brings together the 29 municipalities and regions in the Greater Toronto Area, the governments of Ontario and Canada, several not-for-profit organizations, and a broad cross section of private sector corporations.”


Lou Milrad, CEO and Chair of GTMA

Mr. Satish Thakkar, President, ICCC, in his remarks emphasized that, “Building contacts is the soul of business and commerce, as it is through meeting people from different spheres of life and sharing experiences with them that we can grow as business people and professionals.”


Mr. Thakkar also noted that that the Chamber has embarked upon a strategy of reaching out to various organizations to create linkages for its members for better economic opportunities.





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UofT Student returns Wallet full of cash & credit card

Posted on 18 October 2011 by admin

We hear often about corruption games and misappropriation deals by politicians and others. But there are many who live by the principles of hard work and honesty that we all cherish. Despite the cynicism that we all exude, the good amongst us are far more than the bad amongst us.


Hina Asjad, a second year Criminology student at University of Toronto is one of them. Recently, on her way home from school, she found a wallet on Clarkson Go Station in girl’s washroom.

The wallet was full of cash, credit cards, change, a key and many other important ids. Not knowing the owner of the wallet, with uncertainty, she took it home and gave it to her father, Asjad Hussain, who is very well known in Pakistani community and executive member of Canadian Association of Pakistani Origin (CAPO).

He looked through it, and tried to find a way to contact the owner of the wallet. With no such luck, they were unable to find any contact number. Through her license, they discovered that the owner of the wallet was from Nova Scotia, which made it even more difficult to contact her. Hina used Canada 411 in effort to get to her.

Meanwhile, her father found a dentist card from Halifax with the date of her next appointment on the back. He contacted the dental clinic to confirm whether the owner of the wallet was a patient of their clinic. Fortunately, she was. Hina’s father left his number with them and kindly asked them to get in touch with the lady and for her to call him. The owner of the wallet spoke to Hina’s father and in the evening came over to pick it up. She brought flowers and a thank you card to show appreciation for Hina’s honesty. She was full of gratitude and pleased to get her wallet back.

Also, she thanked Hina’s father for his sincerity.


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