PLEDGE TO PEDIATRIC CARE
Dr. Manraj Heran (left) shows members of the A Night of Miracles cabinet and advisory council the interventional radiology room at BC Children’s Hospital.
SOUTH Asian business leaders are counting on the support of the community to help raise $3 million for BC Children’s Hospital, through its A Night of Miracles black-tie gala October 13 at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel.
A Night of Miracles was founded four years ago by Robin Dhir of Twin Brook Developments Ltd.
“When I assumed the role of founding chair in 2008, my vision was to raise awareness of the gala and pediatric health care,” says Dhir. “I am delighted with the results we’ve achieved so far. Members of the South Asian community are becoming involved in our fundraising efforts and demonstrating their concern for the well-being of children in this province.”
(L to R): Dr. Manraj Heran, pediatric interventional radiologist, BC Children’s Hospital; Vik Khanna, vice-chair, A Night of Miracles gala; Robin Dhir, Chair, A Night of Miracles Gala; Linda Muller, Vice-President and Chief Philanthropy Officer, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.
This year, the A Night of Miracles gala will bring together close to 400 guests for an evening of fine dining, a silent auction, live entertainment and dancing. Proceeds from the event will go toward BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s $200-million Campaign for BC Children and this group’s specific commitment to supporting the construction of an interventional radiology room in the new hospital.
Interventional radiology procedures – that not too long ago were available only to adults – are minimally invasive, meaning they are performed with thin needles and catheters. Interventional radiologists use state-of-the-art, real-time imaging technologies – such as angiography and ultrasound to guide them during the procedures – to diagnose and treat a wide range of health conditions, including cancer, infections, blood-flow problems, brain conditions and many more.
The A Night of Miracles leadership group recently took a behind-the-scenes tour of the Radiology Department at BC Children’s with interventional radiologists, Dr. Manraj Heran and Dr. Josh Burrill, to learn about the many benefits this procedure provides and how it differs from traditional surgery. While it’s not the answer to all medical problems in which a procedure of some sort is required, interventional radiology exposes children to fewer risks, decreases their discomfort during and after the procedure, and reduces their length of stay at the hospital, allowing them to return home to their loved ones sooner.
“The full potential of interventional radiology will be realized in the new Children’s Hospital,” says Dr. Heran. “We’re no longer asking what can we do but rather what can’t we do in using this technology to treat our patients. The possibilities are endless.”
In recognition of the extraordinary pledge being made by A Night of Miracles, an interventional radiology room in the new BC Children’s Hospital will be named in honour of the South Asian community. “This is an opportune time for families, individuals and businesses from our community to step forward,” says Dhir. “Together, not only will we be ensuring that children continue to receive the best health care possible for generations, we will also be a part of creating a last legacy that all of us in the South Asian community can be proud of.”
BC Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in the province with the critical mass of pediatric clinical expertise, research program and advanced technology required to care for and treat children with chronic and complex conditions. When the current hospital opened in 1982, it was designed to accommodate 35,000 patient visits a year. Last year, the hospital had over 212,000 visits.
The Campaign for BC Children has three main objectives: build a new BC Children’s Hospital, relocate child development and rehabilitation services from East Vancouver to the hospital site, and support the expansion of Child Health BC, a Children’s Hospital initiative that is improving access to pediatric care throughout the province.
To find out how you can become involved in A Night of Miracles and to learn more about BC Children’s Hospital Foundation please call 604-875-2444 or visit www.bcchf.ca.
KHALSA DIWAN SOCIETY ATTESTS TO RESILIENCE OF CANADIAN SIKHS
BY SATNAM SINGH SANGRA
Punjabi Language / Science Educator
New Westminster Secondary School
ON September 15, I had the opportunity to attend the Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s unveiling of a commemorative plaque in celebration of the first Sikh Gurdwara built in North America in 1908 on West Second Avenue in Vancouver. Different personalities and community leaders talked about and shared their stories about the first Sikh Gurdwara and the importance of recognizing this site as integral to the cultural fabric and history of Vancouver.
Despite the fact that there is now a residential building built on the site upon which the Khalsa Diwan Society Gurdwara rested for more than 60 years, I still felt something very magical. It was like a homecoming to a home that I had never seen but have always felt to be an integral part of my identity as a Sikh Canadian.
The story of the Khalsa Diwan Society is almost as old as the immigration of the first Sikhs to British Columbia. During the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in 1897, Sikh soldiers passed through British Columbia. They were very impressed with the majestic land and quickly spread the word to other soldiers and their relatives in their homeland, the Punjab. By 1906 more than 5,000 Sikh immigrants had arrived in Vancouver looking for greener pastures.
Along with this increase in the Sikh population came an increase in anti-Asian hysteria. In their push to keep Canada a white man’s country, local politicians including the mayor of Vancouver were fueling the fire of hate and demanding a ban on immigration from India. Local media published unsavory stories written in bad taste about the new immigrants. They were portrayed as filthy, diseased, backward and uncivilized menaces. Canadians were warned that these people posed a threat to women and children and that they would become a burden on society. People didn’t want them living in their neighborhoods. It was impossible for them to find rental housing. They were condemned to old abandoned buildings on the outskirts of the city. Local workers unions wouldn’t accept the Sikhs as members. They were given the most undesirable jobs and paid the lowest wages.
The anti-Asian sentiment fueled by local politicians and media culminated in the Anti-Asian riots of 1907. Most Sikhs remained indoors for several days fearing for their lives. During that same year the government quickly denied the Sikhs their right to citizenship and their voting rights were abolished. The Canadian government then moved to effectively ban all immigration from India by enacting the continuous passage law. The overzealous lawmakers didn’t stop here. Their urge to keep Canada a white man’s country culminated in a plan to send the remaining Sikhs in Vancouver to British Honduras for good.
Despite facing a very hostile and racist environment, the early Sikh pioneers were committed to making Canada their new home. They worked hard and with the fruits of their labor they erected the first Sikh Gurdwara in Canada. The doors to the Khalsa Diwan Society officially opened on January 19, 1908. Continuing their Sikh tradition of equality, inclusivity and good will for all, the Khalsa Diwan Society welcomed their Hindu and Muslim brethren to join in prayers and langar and advocated for their interests as well.
Soon after its inception on June 12, 1908, the Khalsa Diwan Society – in its typical style - held a meeting of all the Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims to hear their views on the Honduras issue. Canadian government officials came to the Gurdwara that day as well to seek an answer. After the services were finished the congregation overwhelmingly rejected leaving Canada for Honduras. This message was relayed to the government officials who were made to wait patiently until Gurdwara services were finished.
From 1909 to 1919 the Khalsa Diwan Society fiercely opposed the discriminatory laws enacted by the Canadian government. The Sikhs continued their struggle by holding mass meetings at the Gurdwara, through press statements, liaising with Canadians who sympathized with them and sending several delegations to India, Ottawa and England to garner support for equal treatment in Canada.
The hard work and continued activism of the Khalsa Diwan Society resulted in relaxation of the continuous passage law. In 1919, South-Asian men won the right to sponsor their wives and children to come to Canada.
During the 1920’s the Khalsa Diwan Society continued its struggle for obtaining voting rights in Canada. The movement faced a little stagnation due to the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930’s. During this time, the Sikhs, like most people were focused on survival and maintaining whatever jobs they could. During these hard and trying times the Sikhs kept the doors of Khalsa Diwan Society open and fed anyone in need.
In 1942, as the premier organization of the Sikhs, the Khalsa Diwan Society decided to start an organized campaign to win back their voting rights. Members of the Khalsa Diwan Society executive travelled the entire province and put their case before ordinary Canadians and politicians alike. The Sikh campaign for franchise rights gained widespread support among several groups including journalists, church groups, boards of trade and workers unions. The long and difficult campaign spearheaded by the Khalsa Diwan Society lasted seven long years. It culminated in what many call the most significant victory in the history of Sikhs in Canada. On April 2, 1947, the British Columbia government voted in favor of granting franchise rights to all “East Indians” in Canada. After more than six decades of contributing to Canada, the Sikhs could finally call themselves Canadians!
The Khalsa Diwan Society attests to the resilience of the Canadian Sikhs. The legacy of social justice, activism and community service borne out of the first Sikh Temple on West Second Avenue continues to flourish. Canadian Sikhs are contributing to their societies more than ever. Through their Gurdwaras, Canadian Sikhs continue to feed impoverished persons free meals round the clock across the nation.
Sikh Gurdwaras and organization continue to donate millions of dollars to hospitals and disaster relief efforts across the globe and are front and center in protecting the human rights of oppressed people in Canada and throughout the world!
‘BECAUSE I WAS NOT A VICTIM OF FEMALE FETICIDE’
SUPPORTERS of the crusade Kionki Meri Bhroon Hattia Nahi Hoyi [Because I was not a victim of female feticide] initiated by Loveen Kaur Gill from Amar Karma took part in the Global Walk for Missing Girls Global Walk in Brampton, Ontario, on Saturday, starting at Khalsa Community School.
Among the speakers at the rally were Dr. Gurminder Sidhu from India, Principal Sarwan Singh, Harjot Ghumman from Fulkari Radio, Aman Dhillon from Amar Karma, Talat Zahira –a poet from Pakistan, Surjit Kaur - one of the organizers - and Charnjit Brar from Mulaqat TV show. They expressed their views on the issue and discussed various factors such as inequality, dowry, and lavish weddings that are responsible for such heinous acts.
Loveen Kaur Gill thanked everyone for their participation. She said: “We have penetrated the message through to families in villages, and they have sent us pictures and videos expressing their support. We have received pictures from many students from universities and schools and we are overwhelmed to know that it is working.”
As reported last week, the movement has already completed 10 weeks of print series in popular newspapers in Canada and India. So far many prominent female writers have contributed their writings.
The group is now making documentaries and visuals to portray the cause. Mandeep Aujla from Aujla Innovation has partnered to take care of the broadcast side of the movement. It has been planned that testimonials from women from around the globe will be included in these visuals, and the goal is to work against female feticide by empowering and strengthening women.
The walk element was very passionately conducted by people by wearing pink outfits, turbans and ribbons.
CANADIANS WILL CELEBRATE WOMEN’ HISTORY MONTH AND FIRST-EVER INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL NEXT MONTH
FEDERAL Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister of Status of Women Rona Ambrose on Wednesday encouraged all Canadians to mark their calendars for both Women’s History Month (October) and the first-ever International Day of the Girl on October 11.
The theme for this year’s Women’s History Month is Strong Girls, Strong Canada: Leaders from the Start.
“I invite everyone to commemorate the first-annual International Day of the Girl by celebrating girls in their communities, across Canada and around the world,” said Ambrose. “The International Day of the Girl will provide an opportunity for girls to have a greater understanding of their rights, to exercise them and to become leaders in Canada and beyond.”
Canadians are encouraged to take an active role in celebrating International Day of the Girl by participating in, or organizing activities to celebrate the girls and young women in their communities. For more information on Women’s History Month and the International Day of the Girl, or to send an electronic postcard to promote the International Day of the Girl, visit www.dayofthegirl.gc.ca.
LAKHVINDER JHAJ IS NDP CANDIDATE FOR ABBOTSFORD SOUTH
LAKHVINDER Jhaj, who lost the NDP nomination for Surrey-Tynehead against Raj Hundal in July 2011, won the party’s nomination for Abbotsford South last Saturday.
But Jhaj, who lost as the NDP candidate in the May 2009 election from the Boundary-Similkameen riding (Liberal - John Slater: 37.6% - 6,439 votes; NDP - Lakhvinder Jhaj: 32.8% - 5,626 votes; Conservative - Joe Cardoso: 20.2% - 3,456 votes; Green - Bob Grieve: 9.4% - 1,612 votes), will probably be looking at another defeat because the Abbotsford South riding is the turf of John van Dongen, who is immensely popular in the riding that he has represented for the past 17 years.
Van Dongen won the riding with 58.5 per cent of the vote in 2009 while his NDP rival Bonnie Rai got just 25.6 per cent of the vote. Van Dongen quit the Liberal Party to join the B.C. Conservatives.
Even with a Liberal candidate in the riding and in spite of the NDP popularity for now, van Dongen is still expected to win again.
Jhaj has a good background. In 2004, she was one of the 36 people who received the first ever Community Achievement Awards. The citation read: “As president in 2003 of the Penticton and District Multi-Cultural Society Lakhvinder Jhaj was instrumental in the declaration of National Multicultural Week and spearheaded the 2003 Multicultural Festival in Penticton. Lakhvinder piloted a forum entitled "Clash of Cultures," addressing inter-generational conflict within Indo-Canadian families and, as well, was involved in the Harvest Outreach Program.”
Jhaj moved back to Abbotsford from Pentincton a couple of years ago.
Jhaj’s South Asian roots may not be of much help in the riding if Abbotsford Councillor Moe Gill decides to seek the Liberal nomination.
SOUTH ASIANS RECEIVE BAD PUBLICITY ONCE AGAIN BECAUSE OF ILLEGAL CLEARCUT IN SURREY
ONCE again South Asians received bad publicity in mainstream media because of a flagrant disregard of rules regarding cutting of trees on a Surrey property in Newton.
It’s not clear whether the contractors (whatever their ethnicity) are responsible for the illegal clearcut on the property at 5904 144th Street or the owners. However, media reported that the owner is 0749813 BC Ltd. whose directors are listed as Bhupinder Singh Bal and Gurcharan Singh Brar, according to the city permit.
The mention of South Asian names is enough to get people all riled up because of several incidents involving them in illegal cutting of trees in the Lower Mainland.
The developer was allowed to cut down 39 trees for construction of four homes, but a large strip of land was clearcut and that included part of a city park, a federally protected salmon-bearing stream and private properties, it was reported.
The City was unaware of what was going on until neighbours contacted officials who issued a stop-work order. The City is now examining the damage and has told media that no matter which tree removal company is involved, the developer is held responsible for the clearcut.
JASBIR SANDHU TO HOST SURREY COMMUNITY SERVICES EXPO
FOLLOWING the huge success of last year's services expo, Jasbir Sandhu, MP for Surrey North, will host the 2nd Annual Surrey Community Services Expo on Saturday, September 22, from 1 to 4 p.m., at the Surrey Centre Library at 10350 University Drive.
“The Community Services Expo brings Surrey’s wonderful community and government service providers together, and allows people an opportunity to learn about the services that are here to help them,” said Sandhu. “Community building is about connecting, and this event is a great opportunity for people and organizations to connect.”
In addition to over 30 organizations ranging from Arthritis Society to the Surrey Food Bank, Service Canada will provide a workshop on Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefits at 3 p.m.
“The response to last year’s expo was so overwhelmingly positive, that I decided to make it an annual event,” said Sandhu. “I make it a priority to stay connected to the people of Surrey, and to support our community in every way I can. This event is a great opportunity to do just that.”
Everyone is welcome. Admission is free.
DAVID SUZUKI SHOWS OFF HIS BHANGRA MOVES
DAVID Suzuki is ready to become a bhangra star to inspire the South Asian community and all Canadians to spend time in nature. People who sign up between September 17 and October 14 for the Punjabi by Nature challenge, a joint effort of the David Suzuki Foundation and Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS), get to vote on the dance move he’ll learn.
The challenge is to spend 30 minutes outside every day for the next month. David Suzuki will show off his dancing skills by demonstrating the move that gets the most votes at the end of the challenge.
“Spending time outdoors is good for our health, head and happiness. We want to raise awareness about the benefits of spending time in nature within cultural communities across Canada,” says Harpreet Johal, from the David Suzuki Foundation. “Punjabi by Nature helps get people outside and celebrates the Punjabi culture of bhangra.”
More Canadians live in cities than ever before in history. The average person is indoors more than 90 per cent of the time and spends more than six hours a day in front of screens.
Studies show that getting outside:
* Reduces anxiety, depression and stress
* Increases energy, immune function, concentration, weight loss and fitness
* Lowers the risk of diabetes, heart attack and colon cancer
“The South Asian population, like all Canadians, needs more awareness about the importance of getting in touch with nature,” says Jasleen Kaur, from Progressive Intercultural Community Services. “We hope this fun campaign focusing on the Punjabi community will help the message stick.”
Challenge participants will be entered into a contest to win two tickets to hear David Suzuki speak at the PICS 25th Anniversary Celebration on November 2 in Surrey.
There will also be a nature walk and discussion on the health benefits of going outside every Sunday of the campaign (September 23 and 30, October 7 and 14) at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey at 1p.m.
For more information about the campaign and to see a promo video starring David Suzuki, go to http://ow.ly/dOu75
To vote for bhangra move that David will learn go to http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/punjabi-by-nature/punjabi-by-nature-challenge-go-outside-and-teach-david-suzuki-a-bhangra-move/#vote
To play the jingle on radio, go to http://db.tt/AeuTy5UV
SOUTH ASIAN CHARGED AFTER CRASHING THROUGH FRONT ENTRANCE OF ROYAL COLUMBIAN HOSPITAL
ON September 9 at 1:35 am, the New Westminster Police Department received a phone call regarding a vehicle that had crashed through the front entrance to the Royal Columbian Hospital.
The NWPD arrived and observed a black truck, bearing British Columbia License Plate EH 2567, stopped inside the main entrance of the hospital causing thousands of dollars of damage to the hospital. The driver was extracted from the vehicle by staff and paramedics. He was identified as Ranji Singh Sandhu, 27, of Surrey.
Multiple witnesses observed Sandhu drive the vehicle erratically on East Columbia Street, turn into the hospital parking lot, maintain his speed and turn into the front emergency entrance doors at the Royal Columbian Hospital.
Police said that when Sandhu drove into the hospital, two pedestrians sustained minor injuries caused by his actions. His actions were a complete disregard for human life and safety since many pedestrians were observed walking near the entrance of the hospital prior to the vehicle crashing inside the hospital.
Sandhu has been charged with one count of impaired driving, one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, one count of mischief over $5,000, and one count of mischief that caused actual danger to life by willfully damaging the property of Royal Columbian Hospital.
He was taken into custody.
FOUR YEARS LATER: WHERE IS KWANTLEN UNIVERSITY FOREIGN STUDENT SAHIL SHARMA?
ON November 13, 2008, Sahil Sharma left his home in the Newton area of Surrey to attend Kwantlen University at 72nd Avenue and 128th Street. After paying his tuition he attended classes throughout the day and into the evening. Once he left the school he was never seen or heard from ever again.
Sahil was a foreign student from India who was attending Kwantlen with a focus on Information Technology. He had settled in with his extended family and everything was in place for a positive future.
Sahil is described as a 24 year old South Asian male, 5' 6", 144 lbs, with black hair and brown eyes and a slight beard.
In the weeks, months, and years since his disappearance, Surrey RCMP have examined all avenues of investigation, including those of which were even remotely possible, all to no avail. Investigators have made extensive inquiries with police agencies across the globe as well as with family and friends in India. Family members have even hired a private investigator and contacted psychics in the hopes of locating Sahil.
Unlike the many thousands of missing persons reported to the Surrey RCMP, Sahil was not reported to have any addictions or significant health issues nor had he been reported missing in the past.
“We want people to know that we never give up trying to locate a missing person, or at least obtain answers for the family and loved ones left behind,” says Surrey RCMP Missing Persons Unit Cpl. Barb Creighton. “Should anyone have information at all that might assist us in doing this for Sahil’s family, your assistance would be greatly appreciated.”
If anyone has any information related to this missing person they are asked to contact the Surrey RCMP Missing Persons Unit by e-mail or through our non-emergency number at 604-599-0502. If you wish to remain anonymous, please call Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).
$1.75-MILLION EMPLOYER FUND TO ATTRACT AND INTEGRATE SKILLED IMMIGRANTS
THE Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC) will design, implement and manage a new initiative that will support B.C. employers, industry and business associations in developing initiatives and resources that address challenges in hiring, integrating and retaining new immigrants, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Pat Bell announced on Tuesday.
"Our government recognizes the key role of employers and the need for employer-focused and employer-developed resources to effectively attract, assess, integrate and retain immigrants in B.C. workplaces," said Bell. "Employers have unique insights and understanding of the challenges in hiring, retaining and integrating newcomers into their workplaces. Engaging employers in the development of targeted initiatives, resources and tools will ensure their effectiveness in addressing immigrant employment and labour market challenges."
The Employer Innovation Fund for Immigrants will utilize up to $1.75 million. It will be made available between September 17, 2012, and March 31, 2014.
Given the forecast that over the next decade there will be over one million job openings due to our aging workforce and economic growth, we will not be able to meet our labour market demands without new skilled immigrants.
The IEC-BC understands the barriers that B.C. employers face in attracting, hiring and retaining immigrant talent as well as their connections with employers, business associations and other key stakeholders. This makes them uniquely positioned to lead this employer-focused initiative that will support the labour-market integration of new immigrants.
"This is an exciting employer-focused initiative that will result in innovative and practice approaches that employers have told us they need to support the hiring and retention of skilled immigrants," said Bob Elton, chair, Immigrant Employment Council of BC. "Employers know we are entering an era of unparalleled global talent scarcity and competition and want to tap into skilled-immigrant talent. The projects and resources funded by this initiative are intended to help employers develop new ways to meet their labour needs today and in the future."
IEC-BC will engage key employer stakeholder groups in the development and implementation of the fund, targeting small- and medium-sized enterprises, and business associations, such as chambers of commerce, boards of trade and sectoral associations.
Projects will support different regions of the province, with a priority placed on key sectors of the provincial labour market highlighted in the BC Jobs Plan. This will address skills shortages that would benefit from the integration of skilled immigrants.
WelcomeBC is the Province's strategic framework for the settlement and integration of newcomers to British Columbia. In recent consultations with employers, ensuring that employers are actively involved in developing and implementing initiatives for increasing immigrant labour market participation in B.C. was identified as a high priority. WelcomeBC is made possible through funding from the governments of Canada and British Columbia.
The Immigrant Employment Council of BC, an initiative of the Vancouver Foundation, stimulates the integration of skilled-immigrant talent into the province's workforce by fostering solutions, building connections and being a champion to help employers attract and retain immigrants.
CONSERVATIVES FAILING TO PROTECT MIGRANT WORKERS: JINNY SIMS
A new report issued this week shows the Conservative government’s shocking negligence when it comes to protecting migrant workers in Canada, says NDP Immigration Critic Jinny Sims (Newton-North Delta).
“It says migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse, they have no access to permanent residency and there is little oversight,” said Sims in Question Period on Tuesday. “To make life even more difficult, new government changes mean employers can now pay migrant workers 15% less than the average Canadian worker.”
The report, issued by the Toronto-based Metcalf Foundation, says migrant workers face systemic exploitation and that federal immigration laws are – in part – to blame.
“Why is this government failing to protect migrant workers?” Sims asked Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.
The report also makes several recommendations, including stronger legislation to govern worker recruitment like the one introduced by Manitoba’s NDP government and sector- or province-specific work permits that allow migrants freedom to choose employers.
CANADA’S LAWS FUEL MIGRANT WORKER EXPLOITATION: REPORT
CANADA’S reliance on low-wage migrant workers with temporary immigration status is growing but our laws make them vulnerable to abuse, says a new report published by the Metcalf Foundation.
Made in Canada: How the Law Constructs Migrant Workers’ Insecurity shows that low-wage migrant workers are brought into Canada on terms that leave them open to exploitation and that present barriers to enforcing basic rights to decent work.
The report highlights that the number of temporary foreign workers in Canada has more than tripled in the past decade. Most low-wage migrant workers in Ontario labour as live-in caregivers; as agricultural workers; and in sectors such as hotels, restaurants, food processing, and construction. They are frequently underpaid, overworked, and denied basic rights like decent housing, and health and safety.
“Since migrant workers don’t enjoy the same legal status and protections as permanent residents, they are at higher risk of abuse by employers who take advantage of their vulnerability,” says the report’s author Fay Faraday, Metcalf Innovation Fellow, and respected constitutional, labour, and human rights lawyer.
“It’s time to put an end to this type of exploitation,” says Faraday. “It’s a Made in Canada problem – it reflects the way immigration and labour laws and policies fail to adequately regulate Canada’s migrant labour market. But there is a Made in Canada solution.”
While federal immigration and provincial employment law and policy are typically developed separately, Made in Canada examines the two systems in an integrated way and recommends our federal and provincial governments do the same.
“At each stage in the labour migration cycle, migrant workers face insecurity that is either created through law or sustained because the law fails to prevent practices that are known to undermine workers’ security and capacity to enforce their rights,” Faraday says.
Faraday’s report documents detailed policy and legal changes that would improve the situation. Sandy Houston, President and CEO of the Metcalf Foundation, calls on federal and provincial governments to take a close look at the flaws in immigration and labour migration policies.
“Cycling a renewable pool of precarious workers in and out of the country is not a model for building a sustainable economy, for building secure communities, or for building a nation,” Houston says. “We can do better.”
THREE SOUTH ASIANS FROM NEW WESTMINISTER KILLED IN COQUIHALLA HIGHWAY CRASH NEAR KELOWNA
The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of three persons who died after being involved in a motor vehicle incident near Kamloops last week on Friday evening (September 14).
The three are: Sada Mudaliar, 49; his mother-in-law Zaruna Begum, 60; and his brother-in-law, Shahir Khan, 41. All three were residents of New Westminster.
They were passengers in a large SUV, which was travelling northbound along the Coquihalla Highway when the driver lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle overturned and went down a steep 30-metre embankment five kilometres south of the Logan Lake turnoff.
Two others in the vehicle, including the driver, survived the crash. However, the three passengers were all confirmed deceased at the scene of the incident.
The BC Coroners Service and RCMP Traffic Services are continuing to investigate these deaths.
Other family members of the three have been notified of the deaths.
MAKING HISTORY, FIRST SIKH TESTIFIES AT U.S. SENATE HEARING
“You may have been full of hate, but my mother was full of love”
(First photo: Kamaljit Singh Saini and Harpreet Singh Saini with Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl. Photos: The Sikh Coalition / Photo Credit: Russell Brammer)
OVER 400 people attended a Senate subcommittee hearing on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., to watch Harpreet Singh Saini deliver an emotional tribute to his mother, who was one of six worshipers whose lives were taken in the August 5 attack on the Oak Creek Gurdwara in Wisconsin. Harpreet also made history by being the first Sikh to testify at a U.S. Senate hearing.
With his brother Kamaljit by his side, and backed by Oak Creek community members Amardeep and Kanwardeep Singh Kaleka, Harpreet moved the hearing room to tears with his courageous and heartfelt testimony, saying: “I want to tell the gunman who took her from me: You may have been full of hate, but my mother was full of love.”
Senate Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights, paid tribute to the Oak Creek community by displaying photographs of those who lost their lives: Paramjit Kaur Saini, Sita Singh, Ranjit Singh, Prakash Singh, Suvegh Singh, Satwant Singh Kaleka.
Of note, the United States Justice Department representative at the hearing stated that by “mid-October” the decision of the Justice Department on the longstanding Sikh demand to create an anti-Sikh hate crime category “would be known.”
The historic hearing was convened after more than 150 organizations, led by the Sikh Coalition, requested the hearing in a joint letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on August 21.
The Coalition thanked Durbin for his leadership in convening the hearing. The Coalition said it is also deeply thankful to the over 400 people, mostly Sikhs, who completely filled both the hearing room and the hearing overflow room. Their service in attending the historic hearing made a clear statement to the Senate that Sikhs will stand up for both their rights and the rights of all. The Sikh Coalition is also grateful to Harpreet Singh Saini for exemplary courage and leadership in offering his testimony.
BY HARNOOR GILL
Grade 9 student
Christ The King Catholic Secondary
“There is no way to peace; peace is the way” – Mahatma Gandhi
MAHATMA Gandhi was the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. Employing non-violent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for non-violence, civil rights and freedom across the world. With this in mind, I would like to spread peace across the globe just like Mahatma Gandhi did when he was around in India. So you will learn my objectives of doing that, a project I am working on in order to accomplish this and how you can help this growing project of mine.
Do you know that it's the International Day of Peace on September 21! Excited? Want to know more about how your country could be inspired? There is an inspirational initiative being taken by my Peace Welcome Club. Founded by myself, the club empowers children to become leaders by showcasing themselves in order to help others make a significant change in their region in turn inspire others to follow. I am on a mission to convey the message that “together we can change the world and make this world a better place for the future generations!”
Giving back to the community with my talents has always been the greatest passion of mine. I started PEACE (Peace Welcome Club) earlier this year when I noticed that young immigrants need resources that would encourage them to volunteer! PEACE is its own unique kind of organization, a youth-led initiative for youth! It’s a way to make the kids who are shy know that we are here for them and show them we care and give them courage. I not only organize the events, but get lots of kids involved as well with kids on the board, helping out with flyers, getting sponsors for local events. I have a vision to fulfill this dream of mine to encourage and motive newcomers to Canada and local youth towards volunteering and getting them involved in local community projects.
Peace Welcome Club is looking for corporate and individual sponsors to run this initiative on a large scale. I give presentations to get sponsorships for charity events as well as speaking arrangements to other kid charities. To simply support us you may visit our Facebook page to be notified of events at www.facebook.com/peacewelcomeclub and opportunities around your region by contacting us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make a Pledge, make Peace and Volunteer on this International Peace Day!