Minutes of the Monthly Meeting held on March 14, 2011 at Queen’s Park



Aaron Berhane

Aassan Zenchi

Adu Janus Raudkivi

Ahmad Hotaki

Aloy Percra

Asha Rajak

Aziz Bhuiyan

Baharam Bahrami

Bikram Lamba

Blagoya Ristic

C. Bandara Yathra

Dumitru Popescu

Emmanuel Ayiku

Fereydoon Rahmani

Hai-Tien Lin

Hermie Garcia

Iosif Spataru

Irene Keroglidis

Jacques Varboilion

John Saraidaris

Jonathhan Annobil

Khan Khoda

Logan Velumailum

Longan N. Logendralingam

Luba Cherny

Maia Cristea-Vieru

Marek J. Goldyn

Mario Spataru

Michael Shiravand

Mila Astroga Garcia

Mohammad Bagher Samimi

Mohammad Tajdolati

Moorthy Sellathurai

Mulugeta Zergaber

Muluken Muche

Muse Kulow

Naeem Iqbal

Ned Blair

Neel Nanda

Nishantha Dun

Ohannes (John) Baljian

Parry Long

Paulraj R.

Perrii Mathuraman

Peter Galiatsos

PJ Dilip Kumar

Pobeda Piskaceva

Raaz Hussain

Raffi Der-Boghossian

Rakhi Prabhakar

Ranjit Wicks

Saad Alsafar

Sandeep Prabhakar

Sara Akrami

Shunbuli Sultan Ali

Srimal Abeyawardene 

Susana Donan

Tamns Sovamovski

Tariq Sardar

Teshome Woldeamannuel

Thomas S. Saras

William Doyle Marshall

Kathy L. Lin

Badar Munir Chaudhary







1.      Welcome Remarks by the chair.

2.      Minutes of the previous meeting.

3.      Presentation by the Hon: Sophia Aggelonitis, M.P. Don Valley West ( Ontario Minister of Revenue)

4.      President’s Report

5.      New Business

6.      Elections

7.      Adjournment


Welcome Remarks by the Chair:


Thomas Saras chaired the meeting and declared the meeting open. Irene Keroglidis moved a motion to approve the agenda. Dr. Lamba seconded it. The motion was carried.



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.


President’s Report/Discussions:


·         Thomas Saras thanked all the members for attending the meeting.

·         President was 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 organizations.

·         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.

·         President Thomas Saras encouraged the suggestion of an artistic NEPMCC pin to be distributed during various events organized and hosted by NEPMCC.

·         President suggested to organize a two day workshop in City Hall dealing with training of application for PAP

·         Thomas Saras 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 publications.

·         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.

·         President Thomas Saras mentioned a professional Information Technology Company will maintain the website of NEPMCC making it highly interactive and user friendly.

·         This year 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.

·          President 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 plan.

·         President urged 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 receive approval.  

·         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.






Remarks 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

“Thank you very much for the invitation.

I am thrilled to be here, and I thank you very much Thomas for that wonderful introduction.


Friends, I want to also take this opportunity to congratulate all of you who are running in the election.


I wish you all the very best.


As 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.


In 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.


It was difficult for them because they had to rely only on mainstream media and their family and friends.


Fortunately 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.


Studies in Canada show that ethnic media are institutions which work towards building national unity.

Your media houses do this by having information available and accessible in ethnic languages to non-English speaking citizens as well.


This builds up a community of empowered and involved citizens.


Being able to empower our citizens is what makes Ontario so great. Ontario is at its best when its citizens are at their best.


Today 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.


Another 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 change.


We also know that three million baby boomers in Ontario are starting to retire this year.


What does this mean for us?


It means significant changes will be happening in our province. It will affect healthcare, housing, transportation, and accessibility.

Our 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 safety.

That is why we, through the Ontario Seniors Secretariat, work with many different multicultural agencies to develop and support culturally-sensitive services and resources.


I know that some of you are very familiar with one of our projects - the Diversity in Action Toolkit.

The 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 key.


We have created a Senior Safety Line. This line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in 154 different languages.


The 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.


The number is 1-866-299-1011.

As Minister of Revenue, my job is to ensure that Ontario seniors have the support they need to live financially stable and secure lives.

We have made major changes to Ontario’s tax system to make sure that Ontario families were better off.

The following tax benefits are significant for seniors.

They 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.

We 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 seniors.

There 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 transition.

These tax cuts and tax credits are making things a little easier for seniors around the province.

That is why it is very important for people to file their taxes.

Congratulations 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”




Following the Honorable Minister’s remarks there was question and answer session

Muse Kulew, Bahram Bahrami, Dr Lamba, Suleiman Guven, Ahmad Shah Hotaki, Srimal Abeyawardene, Blagoja Bob Ristic, Marek J.D. Goldyn, Dr. Khan Khoda, William Doyle Marshall, Dr. Freydoon Rhamani  and 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.

·         Ontario deficit

·         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

Review of Multiculturalism and proportionate representation of diverse communities in caucus and in Government.



·      Elections:

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 Officer.


They were as follows:

Ex-Officio 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)



Members 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)

Dr. Khan Monzoor-E-Khoda, Ph.D.,VP, Electronic Media “Desi Television”                                    (Bengali)

Mila A. Garcia, VP, Humanitarian and Immigration Affairs “Philippine R.”                               (Philippine)

Susana Donan, VP, Latino American Affairs                             “El CentroAmericano”                           (Latino)

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)




Rino Vultaggio                                                                                      “Il Marco Polo”                                         (Italian)

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.

Motion:  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 recorded.

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