Archive | March, 2013

When Tusshar Kapoor lent moral support to Sunny Leone

Posted on 27 March 2013 by admin

MUMBAI: If you were wondering that it might have been easy for Sunny Leone to create a niche for herself in the Hindi film industry then you are wrong. The actor has had to work extremely hard to befit the Indian audiences` perceptions and cater to their ideology. Leone’s desi avatar in ‘Shootout At Wadala’s’ item number ‘Laila Teri Le Legi’ has impressed many of her followers and she is trying to put her best foot forward to connect with her Indian fans. And hence she communicated in Hindi while addressing reporters at a press conference.

However, she was extremely paranoid speaking in the language for she isn’t fluent at it. But she succeeded in her attempt to speak in Hindi as her co-star Tusshar Kapoor lent her moral support. Kapoor stood by Sunny and helped her tactfully answer the questions pertaining to the number (which has lyrics with sexual undercurrent) that were being hurled at her. That’s like a good colleague Tusshar!

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Hrithik Roshan to skip Holi celebrations for a cause

Posted on 27 March 2013 by admin

New Delhi: Actor Hrithik Roshan has decided to stay away from Holi celebrations in view of the prevailing water shortage in Maharashtra. The 39-year-old will not waste water by being part of the Holi celebrations. “Hrithik won`t be celebrating Holi as a mark of solidarity with those who are suffering from acute water shortage in Maharashtra. Instead, he will only use only a small amount of gulaal to apply a shagun tika as part of the traditional ritual,” a source said. The actor is also said to have decided not to play with too much of dry gulaal, as washing it off requires a lot of water. “Like Hrithik, even the other members of the Roshan family will keep the celebrations low-key. They will take part in the morning puja and then spend some quiet time together,” the source said.

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Double treat for Katrina Kaif’s fans

Posted on 27 March 2013 by admin

Mumbai: Katrina Kaif might just surprise one and all by doing a Hema Malini in the remake of 1970s’ super-hit film ‘Seeta Aur Geeta’. If the latest buzz is anything to go by then the stunning beauty is being considered to play a double role in the remake. Talking to a tabloid, Rohan, son of filmmaker Ramesh Sippy, refrained from commenting anything about the film but said, “Dad is not directing the movie.” Kaif is apparently thrilled about the project and is gungho stepping into the shoes of ‘Dream Girl’ Hema Malini. Hope things fall in place so that we can witness Katrina’s “double magic”.

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‘Companies need to look at the bright side of youth’

Posted on 20 March 2013 by admin

“There are about a million Muslims in Canada, and the growth rate is about 13% a year. Halal consumers are estimated to be about 7% of Canadian population by about 2031 — GTA is the most populated, followed by Quebec. Engro foods is available everywhere – be it FreshCo, Nofrills and even ethnic retail markets.”

By Staff Writer

Zanaira Mirza’s family moved to Canada 11 years ago from Lahore, Pakistan. She went to York University and studied business and marketing. While going to the university, she also worked full time. She initially worked for a company in a lower level administrative position and looked after accounting and conflict resolution.

Zanaira has been working for Engro Foods for the past nine months, and is now the assistant brand manager with Engro Foods.

Zanaira was applying for jobs for 8 months before landing a job at Engro Foods. She did not have hardcore marketing experience, and often went to recruiting agencies. “I was told that they need to have the key words in the resume,” she says. “I came to a point where I did not know what to do. But I chose to be more proactive. I went to the websites that connects young adults for internships with mainstream employers. I emailed directly to the CEO of the company and expressed my feelings. She said that the role was already fulfilled, but she connected me to somebody who may be interested Rumeet Toor — one of Canada’s top 100 most powerful women. That opened my first door into the marketing field. I met up with Rumeet and she offered me an opportunity to intern with her. I learnt so much from her. I also went to LinkedIn and applied for jobs. This was how I landed up with a job at Engro. But most of my classmates have settled for something more generic.”

Sharing her story of finding employment, Zanaira says, “Companies need to look at the bright side of youth and a fresh perspective in youth. They need to look at students as employees.” At the same time she does not let youth go off easy suggesting, “We need to look at co-op opportunities seriously; these can be a medium for you to be at a higher position.”

In Zanaira’s opinion, both employers and those seeking employment especially the new graduates need to be proactive; as far as students are concerned they need to be more realistic in their approach.

Zanaira says that members of our community can play more active role in helping young graduates. If they know someone, they can help people. “In my instance, my mother said that you should be thankful that you have a job. The mindset here, is that you live from pay cheque to pay cheque. But I didn’t want to settle for anything less.”

How does Engro foods contribute to multiculturalism? “It operates from Mississauga. It brings more opportunities to connect with people from different cultures- African, Irish, Pakistan etc,” Zanaira says. “Right now the company has about 20 employees. We are an ethnic brand – for example we have items like kebab. But we do have mainstream products as well — like cutlets. I see a lot of Chinese picking up our brand.”

Zanaira says that the Halal category is definitely growing. “There are about a million Muslims in Canada, and the growth rate is about 13% a year. Halal consumers are estimated to be about 7% of Canadian population by about 2031 — GTA is the most populated, followed by Quebec. Engro foods is available everywhere – be it FreshCo, Nofrills and even ethnic retail markets.”

Zanaira last went to Pakistan last in 2008. Talking about her home country, she says that “we are far more responsible here and approach our goals differently”. The lifestyle is different in both the places. “There are a lot of perceptions about Pakistan.” She studied at an English medium school and lived in a mainstream culture. “I led a blessed life there. Extremism in Pakistan is blown out of proportion. I do agree with the bombing news, if you visit Karachi or Lahore. But that is everywhere. Turn on CP24 and there is news that somebody is killed. Whenever I get a chance I try to dispel these myths. If you get upset, you prove they are right. But if you respond, you can clarify their concerns.”

Talking about structural discrimination in Canada, she says people have changed now. “But there can be some discrimination. The cultures we come from, we are trained to control our emotions.”

Finding the Mr. Right is another step in life: “In today’s time sometimes it becomes a little challenging for me as a girl, but I’ve far greater purpose in life. For me, I don’t work to live, but live to work. There are girls who prefer to marry late. It depends on the choice you have. In my case, I have a choice to do that,” Zanaira says.

What’s her vision for future in the next ten years: “Married with three children,” she laughs. “I want to do my MBA, and work hard. It’ll open up more opportunities. Engro foods has done well, our sales have tripled over the year. I’m proud to be part of the company that thinks out of the box.”

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Earth Hour 2013: What Will You be Doing?

Posted on 20 March 2013 by admin

This year Earth Hour 2013 will be held on Saturday March 23rd.
According to utility provider PowerStream 2012, thousands of the customers it serves indicated “their willingness to help fight climate change by turning off their lights for 60 minutes to reduce electricity consumption”.
The company’s system control centre saw a 7.8-per-cent drop in electricity consumption between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. March 31, which was down from the 8.9-per-cent decrease seen the year before.
“The 2012 results represented a total savings of 74.5 megawatts (MW) in peak demand, or enough electricity to power 2,256 average-size homes over a 24-hour period.”
That’s a fair bit of power, to be sure.
The largest power reduction seen in PowerStream’s service territory, at 28 per cent, came from Essa Township, while Bradford West Gwillimbury saw demand for electricity dip by 8.1 per cent. That’s a little higher than the PowerStream average.
Of course, it’s fairly safe to say many of those who clicked off the lights at 8:30 flicked them back on the moment 9:30 rolled around, which leads to the question what’s the point of all this Earth Hour business?
Originally held in Sydney, Australia in 2007, the first international Earth Hour campaign was launched in 2008.
The World Wildlife Fund-organized event captured the public imagination and we were inundated in the days following with a steady stream of satellite images featuring previously glimmering corners of the globe gone dark.
It was an inspiring sight.
The Academy Award-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, had been released just two years prior and injected the idea of man-made climate change and its impacts into the public discourse and suddenly, even for an hour, the world seemed united in its efforts to turn the tide against this truly global threat.
However, fast forward four years from that first worldwide campaign and Earth Hour just ain’t what it used to be.
Taking a look around Bradford at about 9 p.m. March 31, it appeared a fair number of people couldn’t be bothered with turning off the lights this year and PowerStream’s numbers seem to back up that observation.
In the lead-up to Earth Hour, many stressed the event is all about raising awareness and education about climate change, but we should be past that by now.
The people participating in Earth Hour and other eco-conscious events “get” the climate change issue and are probably the same folks who reduce, re-use and recycle almost every bit of waste they have and green bin the rest.
Having these people shut off their lights for an hour doesn’t really achieve that aim of raising awareness or educating people about climate change and the people who don’t participate by now are likely the same ones who could care less about climate change or simply don’t believe it’s real.
Shutting off your lights for a week won’t convince them otherwise.
In any event, it’s safe to say everyone has at least heard about the issue by now, so, again, it all comes back to why are we still doing this?
Earth Hour 2008 was a good global start, but it shouldn’t be the end. There has to be a next step besides patting ourselves on the back and then going back to business as usual for the rest of the year.
Otherwise, the event just begins to reek of “slacktivism”, which is the feeling of doing good when you’re not really doing anything. Turning off your lights for an hour once every year or clicking “like” on Facebook for a cause you believe in might make you feel good, but is it doing anything else?

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Canadian Passport Valid for 10 years

Posted on 20 March 2013 by admin

Canadian Passport will have validity of 10 years, announces The Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird at round table with leaders of the Greater Toronto Area’s Indo-Canadian community, organized by National Council of Indo Canadians- NCIC on March 18, 2013.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird accompanied by his Parliamentary Secretary Deepak Obhrai met with leaders of the Greater Toronto Area’s Indo-Canadian community for a discussion on Canada-India relations on March 18, 2013 at the Riverstone Golf and Country Club in Brampton.

The roundtable was moderated by Yogesh Sharma, National Convener , NCIC.

Earlier Gurdev Singh Mann welcomed Minister and all guests, also briefed about aims and vision of NCIC. NCIC inspires to be a national organization of Canadians of Indian origin that promotes the values of peace, non violence, mutual respect and communal harmony. NCIC will be an umbrella organization to bring the Indo-Canadian community together.

NCIC stands for unity of Democratic India and Canada. NCIC will full fill the need of a grass root organisation of Indo Canadians, our membership and activities are not restricted to a community or Canadian coming from a particular province of India. NCIC’s main focus will be on- Needs and concerns of New Immigrant’s, Employment concerns of Youth, Needs and concern of Senior Citizen, Needs and concerns of women & Communal harmony

More than 85 community leaders attended the event which included south asian press club canada , punjabi press club , members of board of governors of national council of indo Canadians (NCIC), directors of NCIC, Members of Canada India Foundation, Directors and members of ICCC, WAR VETERANS FROM INDO CANADIAN COMMUNITY , heads of various Hindu temples , and Sikh Gurdwaras, Representatives of south asian radio and tv , various heads of women organizations and heads of community associations.

“Canada and India have longstanding bilateral relations, built upon shared traditions of democracy, pluralism and strong interpersonal connections,” said Minister Baird as he discussed the importance of deepening ties with India and responded to questions from members of the Indo Canadian community, that stands at over a million in the country.

Canada’s priorities in India include infrastructure, energy, food, education, science and technology. According to Statistics Canada, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and India in 2011 totalled approximately CAD$ 5.2 billion, an increase of 23.4% percent 2010.

Minister Baird addressed questions on energy, science and technology, education and research.

Minister announced that by the end of this year validity of Canadian passport will be 10 years instead of 5 years as requested by some of the participants in discussions.

Press invited attention of minister towards few militant groups who are working from Canadian soil to divide India , and the threats which media is getting from these groups when media does not support them . Minister assured the media proper security and reaffirmed the Canada respects unity of India and no group will be allowed to take law in its hand

in answer to a question , minister said Canada supports human rights and action against war criminals in all countries , he was responding to question about Canada’s stand on us resolution in UN for action against violation of human rights and also for war crimes in Sri Lanka.

“Energy will be a big part of our relationship with India,” stated Minister Baird.

Minister Baird also responded to questions on terrorism and security and the viability of tripling trade levels with India to $15 billion by the year 2015. He said the answer is free trade agreement between India and Canada is best answer to achieve this target.

He also cited main area of cooperation as natural gas, nuclear energy, non conventional energy, education , cooperation between universities of two countries .

Hon. Deepak Obhrai MP, Parliamentary Secretary to Foreign Minister earlier introduced Hon. John Baird.

Mr Patrick Brown MP, Chair Parliamentary Group Indo Canada Friendship also attended the roundtable discussions.

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Humber one of Canada’s best employers for new Canadians

Posted on 20 March 2013 by admin

Youssef Youssef speaks five languages fluently and has worked all over the world.

Now, he calls Humber home.

“I love the culture at Humber,” says the native of Brazil, who taught at Carleton University in Ottawa and the University of the South at Santa Catharina in his native Brazil before coming to Humber in 2012. “There is a sense of family and belonging.”

That feeling of community is part of the reason Humber has been named one of the Best Employers for New Canadians for 2013 by Mediacorp Canada Inc. for the second year in a row.

Recognized employers provide a variety of programs and initiatives to assist recent immigrants to Canada.

“Diversity and inclusion are key critical components of Humber’s success. We’re truly honoured by this recognition,” said Deb McCarthy, Humber’s associate vice president of HR Services. “We understand the need to provide support to international hires through professional and personal development, engaging programs, valuable resources and mentorship to make their transition into a new workplace and a new life in Canada a positive one.”

Humber was selected as a Best Employer for New Canadians based on information provided to Mediacorp Inc. Each winner is evaluated by Canada’s Best 100 Employers editors on the programs they have to attract and retain new Canadians.

“New Canadians need social and professional integration in order to survive,” says Youssef, who teaches management studies in Humber’s business school. “Humber gave me the opportunity to be a full-time Canadian worker who contributes to the progress of this country.”

The award follows Humber’s most recent recognition as one of Canada’s Best Employers for Young People and Greater Toronto’s Best Employers for the second year.

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PIFF Back for Second Year

Posted on 20 March 2013 by admin

Festival to feature films, stars and events across GTA

Building on the success of the first ever Punjabi International Film Festival (PIFF) – Toronto last year, the much anticipated event is back and will be even bigger and better in 2013.

 The Punjabi International Film Festival (PIFF) – Toronto 2013 will be a four day extravaganza with short, documentary and feature length film screenings from around the world, on themes of Punjabi culture and identity. In addition, the festival will include gala events, concerts, after parties, workshops and industry networking opportunities.

 This year’s festival will take place from May 17 – May 20, 2013 in Ontario, Canada with exciting and glamorous events planned for the cities of Toronto, Brampton and Mississauga.

“We’re so excited to be able to bring the festival back for a second year to make it an annual event that showcases Punjabi culture and identity through fun filled, community events that people of all ages and background can enjoy,” says Sunny Gill, President of PIFF.

“This year’s PIFF will feature films and events to appeal to every audience. Our programming is designed to be family friendly with a mix of movies and artists that showcase the diversity of Punjabi culture,” says Inder Singh, Vice President of PIFF.

PIFF 2012 was an outstanding success attended by 8,000 direct participants. Over 70 film stars and members of the industry including Gippy Grewal, Neeru Bajwa, Kimi Verma, Mandy Takhar, Jasbir Jassi and Labh Janjua attended the festival from around the world. PIFF 2012 showcased 30 films in 3 different languages which included 7 world and 5 North American premieres, at ten high quality venues across the GTA including the Brampton Rose Theatre and Mississauga Celebration Square.

Stay tuned for more festival details or visit www.pifftoronto.com for more information.

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Centennial Gala Honours Canadian and International Achievements

Posted on 20 March 2013 by admin

The Sikh Foundation of Canada Hosts its 16th Annual Red Carpet Gala at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto.

 Be inspired, entertained and celebrate at the 16th Annual Centennial Gala on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. The red carpet event will honour and recognize the achievements of leaders and compelling individuals from business, health and the humanities – who have all contributed to the well-being of our world.

“Just as the community has grown over the years, so has our event!” says Sandeep Dhiman, Co-Chair of the Centennial Gala Committee. “Each year the event receives tremendous support from the community. This year, once again, we are all set to deliver an extraordinary event!” added Opi Marok Co-Chair of the Centennial Gala Committee.

Our Keynote speaker this year is:

Sheldon Levy

Sheldon is President and Vice Chancellor of Ryerson University. Sheldon is recognized for championing an entrepreneurial academic model with the international success of both Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone and Centre for Urban Energy, and is dedicated to student success, distinctive academic programs and research, and advancing the university role as city-builder. He was awarded a BSc, MA, and Doctor of Laws honoris causa by York University, and lectured in computer science and mathematics.

Among the honourees are:

 

Bobby Bansal

Bobby is a successful British born writer and film maker of Sikh origin. Bobby published his maiden publication ‘The Lion’s Firanghis: Europeans at the Court of Lahore’ in 2010 which since has received 7 international awards. He is currently working on his next book ‘Remnants of the Sikh Empire’ and simultaneously vigorously pursuing his charity work through his foundation. Bobby’s maiden documentary film as a director ‘The Sikhs of Kabul – A Forgotten Community’, which was filmed entirely in Afghanistan, received an overwhelming response at the Iceland Documentary Film Festival, Punjabi International Film Festival in Toronto & Sikh Arts Film Festival New York in 2012. He is currently working on several major documentary film projects which include ‘The Persian Sikhs’ and ‘From the Khyber Pass to Kabul’.

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy

A graduate of University of Western Ontario, Canada, Sukhinder is a leading consumer internet and media executive with over 18 years of leadership experience at global and early stage companies including Google, Amazon, Yodlee, and News Corp. Sukhinder Singh Cassidy is Founder & Chairman of JOYUS, the web’s first premium video shopping network online. Sukhinder also serves on the Boards of TripAdvisor Inc, and J. Hilburn. Sukhinder also sits on Princeton University’s Computer Science Advisory Council.

For her work in the Internet industry, Ms. Singh Cassidy has been profiled in numerous publications globally, including Fortune, Forbes, WSJ, Business Week and many others. Most recently she was named one of the Top 100 People in the Valley by Business Insider in 2012, one of the top 100 Women of Influence in the Bay Area in 2010, a “Woman to Watch” by Ad Age in 2010, and Fortune in 2008, and Techcrunch’s first General Management Fellow in 2009.

Dr. Shan Chandrasekar

Dr. Shan Chandrasekar is the President and CEO of Asian Television Network (ATN) International Limited, a long established television broadcast company serving multicultural communities across Canada.

Dr. Chandrasekar started his broadcast career in Canada after graduating from McGill University in Montreal with a Master’s degree in 1971. Dr. Chandrasekar understood the changing cultural paradigm of Canadian diaspora and has worked diligently to establish ATN as a platform of a multi-cultural audience, with 35 specialty channels that cater to over 1.4 million diverse subscribers across Canada. He was inducted into the “Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame” The highest honor in private broadcasting in November 2004. He was Conferred an Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Laws Degree) by York University in Toronto in June of 2010. Shan is an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 award finalist in Ontario.

Savneet Singh

Savneet Singh is the Founder of Gold Bullion International (GBI), a leading physical precious metals trading and management firm. GBI has created the first truly integrated solution that allows investors to order physical precious metals in the same manner as ordering a stock or bond. Currently the company has storage locations in New York, Utah, London, Hong Kong and Zurich. In founding GBI, Mr. Singh has been successful in recruiting a well known management team in addition to a Board that includes General Wesley Clark, Former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt.

Mr. Singh received his B.S. in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University and currently serves on the boards of Ecologic Solutions and Stiki Digital. Savneet was recently named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list, in addition to the Empact 100 list of top 100 Entrepreneurs under 30.

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BMO brings back controversial mortgage rate

Posted on 20 March 2013 by admin

Bank of Montreal is bringing back its controversial 2.99 per cent five-year fixed-rate mortgages.

BMO sparked a mortgage price war among the banks early last year when it first introduced the rate, one that angered Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who has been worrying that Canadians are taking on too much mortgage debt. The bank stopped offering the rate later in 2012.

The bank is now cutting the rate on five-year fixed mortgages from 3.09 per cent to 2.99 per cent, effective immediately.

It said the rate will only be offered on mortgages with a length of 25 years or less. Mr. Flaherty tightened the mortgage rules in July and those changes included saying the government would only backstop insurance on mortgages of 25 years or less, down from 30 years. It was one of numerous changes he has made in an effort to make it slightly harder for consumers to obtain mortgages, as he’s sought to cool the growth of debt levels and house prices.

When the banks engaged in a mortgage price war early last year, Mr. Flaherty urged caution.

“You should be cautious about your lending practices, because this is the type of practice that led to a mortgage crisis in the United States several years ago,” he has said he told them. “So my expectation is that you will not compete to the bottom on interest rates, which is the direction they were going.”

In a press release Ernie Johannson, senior vice-president of personal banking in Canada for BMO, said “BMO’s efforts to encourage Canadians to pay down debt and build equity in their homes have been aligned with Minister Flaherty’s timely and prudent actions to encourage moderation in the housing market.”

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