of the Monthly Meeting held on March 14, 2011 at Queen’s Park
Adu Janus Raudkivi
C. Bandara Yathra
Longan N. Logendralingam
Ohannes (John) Baljian
Thomas S. Saras
William Doyle Marshall
Welcome Remarks by the chair.
Minutes of the previous meeting.
Presentation by the Hon: Sophia Aggelonitis, M.P. Don Valley
West ( Ontario Minister of Revenue)
Remarks by the Chair:
Saras chaired the meeting and declared the meeting open. Irene Keroglidis
moved a motion to approve the agenda. Dr. Lamba seconded it. The motion
Minutes of the previous meeting:
Irene Keroglidis moved a motion to approve the minutes of the previous monthly meeting held on February 14, 2011 Dr. Tajdolati seconded it. The motion was carried.
Thomas Saras thanked
all the members for attending the meeting.
pleased with the turn-out for annual general meeting.
The amount we have
in our treasury is $3250. President discussed the financial status of the
The office of the
President approached various governmental and private sector companies and
requested that they support financially our projects for the year 2011.
President is working
with the Federal Government on a proposal submitted earlier for 2011-2012
for financial assistance for our projects.
Saras encouraged the suggestion of an artistic NEPMCC pin to be
distributed during various events organized and hosted by NEPMCC.
to organize a two day workshop in City Hall dealing with training of
application for PAP
interviewed Premiere Dalton McGuinty in February 2011, which will be
published in the website. Copies
of the interviews will also be circulated to the members of NEPMCC via
email if they wish to publish the interview in their respective
Asha Rajak will be
undergoing the Auditor’s training in Ottawa. This will help exclusively
the members of NEPMCC to get their publications audited. Member
Publication certified by Asha Rajak will be placed on the website.
Saras mentioned a professional Information Technology Company will
maintain the website of NEPMCC making it highly interactive and user
NEPMCC is organizing the annual ethnic press festival Exhibition from May
9 – May 16 at City Hall. If
funds are available, besides the Toronto City Hall, we will also move this
exhibition to Winnipeg, B.C. and Montreal. The President asked members to
get their best publication for the festival.
Thomas Saras informed that the proposed economic survey is in the final
steps of the negotiations with Canadian Heritage.
This project is going to enrich our powers.
We have to demonstrate the power of ethnic media through the
survey. President Thomas Saras said he will update members on the progress
of this project. There is a problem though of the timing as the fiscal
year 2010 is coming to its end in few days (March 31, 2011), and if by
then we don’t get approval then the project is going to fail.
The project might
commence from March to be completed by July if things progress as per the
members to cooperate and respond to the economic survey undertaken by
NEPMCC as it was in their own interest to participate, if finally we would
President Thomas Saras mentioned that when we are deciding
on an award we are recognizing a publication due to their attendance and
for their commitment in supporting the organization by working hard for
the cause of the ethnic media and the Council.
NEPMCC Awards. In October we will organize our Awards
ceremony. Effectively from January 1st until 31st of
May 2011, members can download nomination form from our website and submit
names of members they propose from their community, media or organization
who they think are eligible for recognition or to receive the NEPMCC
Awards. Forms are available online. For the awards, we are planning to
reach various Ministries to sponsor awards for each award recipient and
category. This process is open for the submission now. Members were asked
to send the completed nomination form to either Dr. Tajdolati or to the
office of the President.
· Effective from the month of September, we are going to start planning second phase of the educational seminar. We are going to hold this seminar in 2012, since there are various processes involved in applying for funds and preparation and we need enough time for the preparation.
· Canada Day celebration will take place on July 2nd. President will notify the members of the special guest for the event.
· Annual get-together is slated to take place on December 16, 2011.
· Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). This year we have requested for space on international pavilion where we can display exhibition of the ethnic press for the eighteen days. Members were urged to ask their local business to sponsor some prizes which is going to be announced through lucky draw for the people who visit our pavilion. (August 18- September 2,) There may be prizes for the draw. Srimal Abeyawardene suggested of advanced publicity for the event.
· Word on the Street. Besides Toronto, this year we are going also to organize this exhibition in Vancouver on the same day with Toronto.
· Ned Blair suggested if members could give donation to the council.
· There may be a roundtable discussion with the Prime Minister in April or May
· Motion: Irene Keroglidis moved a motion to approve the President’s Report. Suleiman Guven seconded the motion. The motion was carried.
by the Honourable Sophia AggelonitisMinister
of Revenue and Minister Responsible for Seniors
Thomas Saras welcomed Hon Sophia Aggelonitis
to the Council and invited her to address the floor. Thanked her for the
exemption in HST.
Remarks for the National Ethnic Press and
Media Council of Canada
March 14, 2011
Hon Sophia Aggelonitis Minister of Revenue
you very much for the invitation.
thrilled to be here, and I thank you very much Thomas for that wonderful
want to also take this opportunity to congratulate all of you who are
running in the election.
I wish you
all the very best.
most of you know, I am the daughter of Greek immigrants - in fact a very
proud daughter of Greek immigrants. I definitely understand the role that
ethnic media plays in the community.
the 1960s, when my parents came to Canada, they came to Toronto, but at
that time there weren’t any publications that were in Greek.
was difficult for them because they had to rely only on mainstream media
and their family and friends.
that trend has changed. Now we have many Greek newspapers, and we have
newspapers for almost every single community, which represents this great
multicultural country of ours.
in Canada show that ethnic media are institutions which work towards
building national unity.
media houses do this by having information available and accessible in
ethnic languages to non-English speaking citizens as well.
builds up a community of empowered and involved citizens.
able to empower our citizens is what makes Ontario so great. Ontario is at
its best when its citizens are at their best.
I will talk briefly about my role as the Minister Responsible for Seniors.
I will also speak about how the HST affects our seniors population.
I want to
share with you some important numbers. In Ontario today, one in eight
people is a senior. By 2031, that will be one in five.
change that’s happening - in 2017, the seniors population will be larger
than the number of children 15 years and younger. It’s going to be the
first time in Ontario’s history that we see that kind of a demographic
We also know
that three million baby boomers in Ontario are starting to retire this
this mean for us?
significant changes will be happening in our province. It will affect
healthcare, housing, transportation, and accessibility.
government wants to ensure that all seniors have the support they need to
continue to live with independence, in dignity, in good health, and in
is why we, through the Ontario Seniors Secretariat, work with many
different multicultural agencies to develop and support
culturally-sensitive services and resources.
know that some of you are very familiar with one of our projects - the
Diversity in Action Toolkit.
toolkit helps staff members who work in a seniors setting, and provides
them with information and ideas for providing care and services with
attention to the individual’s cultural preferences, beliefs and value
systems. I believe that is
have created a Senior Safety Line. This line is available 24 hours a day,
7 days a week in 154 different languages.
Senior Safety Line is very important because any information you require
about seniors services is available here, in 154 different languages. I
checked today to see if they had Greek, and they do.
number is 1-866-299-1011.
Minister of Revenue, my job is to ensure that Ontario seniors have the
support they need to live financially stable and secure lives.
have made major changes to Ontario’s tax system to make sure that
Ontario families were better off.
following tax benefits are significant for seniors.
include the Seniors Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant. This tax grant has
been increased – doubled in fact. It was $250, and is now $500, for
seniors who own their home.
also have the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit. That is to help not
only energy costs, but also property tax bills and is about $1,025 for
is also the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit. It’s a 10 per cent discount
off your hydro bill for the next 5 years. We know that electricity costs
are going up, and the 10 per cent is a measure to help families with that
tax cuts and tax credits are making things a little easier for seniors
around the province.
is why it is very important for people to file their taxes.
to all of you who are up for election today. I wish you all the very best.
Thomas thank you very much for the honour to have me here”
the Honorable Minister’s remarks there was question and answer session
Kulew, Bahram Bahrami, Dr Lamba, Suleiman Guven, Ahmad Shah Hotaki, Srimal
Blagoja Bob Ristic, Marek
J.D. Goldyn, Dr. Khan Khoda, William Doyle Marshall, Dr.
other members participated in the roundtable discussions.
A wide variety of topics were
intensely discussed such as:
Information on Seniors.
Percentage of Seniors Abuse
is on the increase
Ontario Network for
Prevention of Elder Abuse
Balancing benefits and taxes
in future with an eye on changing demographics.
Effects of recession on the
economy. Ontario has recovered 90% of the jobs lost during recession. This
is because of sound fiscal policy in Ontario.
Effects of federal government
cuts on settlement service
These and other questions on other issues were candidly answered by the
Honourable Minister. Thomas Saras thanked Honourable
Sophia Aggelonitis for all her support to the ethnic media and wished her
success in all her endeavors.
Representation of Women -100th
anniversary of Women’s Day
of Multiculturalism and proportionate representation of diverse
communities in caucus and in Government.
Before the elections the present board members resigned.
Thomas Saras, advised that the ombudsman and
himself received about 200 proxies from members all over the dominion of
Canada advising them that they are appointing them as proxies in order to
represent them during the elections. In the General Annual Meeting were in
attendance ninety five voting members and another twenty as observers.
Mr. Saras, announced the list of candidates
nominated for various office positions received by the Chief Elections
They were as follows:
Members of the Board.
Dr. Mohammad Tajdolati, Ph.D. “Humanities and Social Sciences” (Iranian)
Ombudsman, Chief Electoral Officer, Chief Arbitrator for NEPMCC
Ms. Asha Rajak, Commissioner for Affidavits
Executive Director (Nepalese)
of the Executive
Thomas S. Saras, President, CEO and Chair “Patrides, Review” (Greek)
Raffi Der-Boghossian, Senior Advisor “TorontoHye” (Armenian)
Dr. Bikram Lamba, Senior Advisor/Moderator “CMR FM” (Indian)
Hassan Zerehi, Senior VP, Policy “Shahrvand” (Persian)
Kathy L. Lin, Senior VP, Professional Development “CCTimes” (Chinese)
Neel Nanda, Secretary General, “Masters in Communications” (Indian)
Srimal Abeyerwardene, Treasurer “Sri Lankan Reporter” (Singhalese)
Irene Keroglidis, VP, Public Relations & Awards “M. Magazine” (Greek)
Longan N. Logendralingam, VP, Finance “Uthayan” (Tamil)
Ned Blair, VP, Business Promotion “Photo-Reporter” (Caribbean)
Luba Cherny, VP, Chair Cultural Affairs “Canadian Courier” (Russian)
Ranjit Wickramasinghe, VP, Vice Chair Cultural Affairs “Voice of Lanka” (Singhalese)
Hermie Garcia, VP, Human Rights and Free Speech “Philippine R.” (Philippine)
Aaron Berhane, VP, Journalists in Exile. “Meftih” (Eritrean)
William Doyle-Marshal VP, Journalists in Despair “CHRY Radio” (Caribbean)
Saad Alsafar, VP, Free Press and Democracy “Assaha” (Arabic)
Badar Munir Chaudhary, VP, International Relation “Akhbaar-E-Pak” (Pakistani)
Parry Long, VP, Education and Training “Fortune Smart” (Chinese)
Ahmed Shah Hotaki, VP, Special Events Coordinator “Afghan Post” (Afghani)
Dumitru Popescu, VP, Print-Membership “Observatoroul” (Romanian)
Khan Monzoor-E-Khoda, Ph.D.,VP, Electronic Media “Desi
Mila A. Garcia, VP, Humanitarian and Immigration Affairs “Philippine R.” (Philippine)
Donan, VP, Latino American Affairs
Suleyman Guven, VP, Middle East Affairs “Yeni Hayat” (Turkish/Kurdish)
Emmanuel Ayiku, VP, African Affairs. “Ghanaian News” (Ghanaian)
Teshome Woldeamanuel, VP, Community Outreach “TZTA” (Ethiopian)
John S. Saraidaris, VP, Public Image Coordinator & Web Master “Patrides, Electronic” (Greek)
George Gusmas, Chair “The News” (Greek)
Dimitris Yantsulis, Vice Chair, Public Relations, Comm. Outreach (Greek)
Helen Wang, Chair “Manitoba Chinese Tribune” (Chinese)
Thanh Nguyen, Chair “Vietnam Time Magazine” (Vietnamese)
“Il Marco Polo”
Maura de Freitas “The Celtic Connection” (Irish)
Sara A expressed displeasure with the
candidacy of Hassan Zerehi, the matter was referred to the Ombudsman. The
Ombudsman would come up with his findings and advice the council.
Peter Galiatsos moved a
motion to approve the names
of the new officers for a period of two years as suggested and announced
earlier .Ballijian (John) Ohannes seconded
The motion was unanimously passed. No absenteeism or opposition vote
The New Board is now elected for the period of two years from March 14th, 2011 to March 11, 2011
Adjournment: Irene Keroglidis moved a motion to adjourn the meeting, Hassan Zerehi seconded it. The motion was carried. The chair adjourned the meeting at 10:30 pm. The next meeting would take place on April 11, 2011