Thomas S. Saras
Hon. Basilio Giordano
Leila Monteiro Lins
Mohammed Bagher Samimi
Sandie De Freitas
Kathy L. L. Li
Hon. Joe Volpe
Gezahegn Mekonnen Demissie
Muhammad Naeem Ul Islam
Mohammed Mominul Haque
- Welcome Remarks by the chair.
- Minutes of the previous meeting
- President’s Report/Discussions
- Presentation by Mohammed Mominul Haque, Peace and Justice Alliance
- New Members/New Business
Welcome Remarks by the Chair:
meeting open. Mohammed Tajdolati chaired the virtual monthly meeting and declared the Athanasios Kourtesis moved a motion to approve the agenda. Ned Blair seconded it. The motion was carried unanimously.
Minutes of the previous meeting:
John Saraidaris moved a motion to approve the minutes of the previous monthly meeting and Mohammad Bagher Samimi seconded it. Minutes of the previous monthly meeting were approved unanimously.
- Thomas Saras welcomed everyone to the second online monthly meeting of 2022. He highlighted the achievements of the council over the past few years and specially during the pandemic when members faced additional challenges. He praised the arduous work and dedication of all members who contributed towards its success and specially mentioned Maria Saras Voutsinas who has been tirelessly working for the members during the pandemic.
- President Thomas Saras reminded members the annual membership fees for 2022. Many members mentioned the significance and benefits of being a NEPMCC member. NEPMCC has tirelessly worked for decades to educate and influence Governments to take Ethnic Media industry very seriously.
- President Thomas Saras informed that the student internship program would begin from March 1, 2022.
- President Thomas Saras mentioned that next year NEMCC will host a 3–4-day educational seminar in Toronto.
- NEPMCC will participate at CNE Ethnic Press Festival and will also observe Freedom of the Press Week in May.
- Motion: There was motion on the floor to authorize the office of the President to participate in the CNE this year. George Guzmas moved the motion, Athanasios Kourtesis and Roberto Hausman seconded it. The motion was approved unanimously.
- President Thomas Saras suggested in creating a fund to help international journalists who are being persecuted and tortured in various countries worldwide.
- Mr. Saras informed the members that the LJI budget has been increased for the current year and for the next business year. He encouraged members that have not already done so to apply for funding. He also explained that the Internship Program will continue and that NEPMCC is currently waiting for its approval. Once the approval is received for the next cycle, all qualifying members will be encouraged to apply for it. He mentioned that NEPMCC has already received several applications on file and those that are approved will be funded once the program begins.
- President Saras emphasized that funds allocated under various projects would only be distributed to members who qualify for it
- Mr. Saras informed members on the upcoming events and projects for NEPMCC. Mr. Saras will try to organize meeting with Lieutenant Governor of Quebec to discuss on the issues of ethnic media in Quebec.
- President Thomas Saras thanked all the members who generously donated to NEPMCC. Although the industry and our members are struggling financially, he encouraged everyone that can do so to donate.
- Thomas Saras urged the members to participate in different projects that are available. If there is lack of adequate participation, the funds would go back to its source and in future the allocations of such funds could be limited.
- Members who wish to participate in projects undertaken by NEPMCC (other than the LJI) must be in good standing and abide by all the codes governing the council. They should also pay all membership dues.
- The President is in touch with Federal Government and Provincial Government for funding members of NEPMCC during the ongoing Pandemic. President is scheduled to meet with representatives of both Federal and Provincial Government to request more funds for the struggling ethnic media industry.
- President Thomas Saras mentioned that LJI payments will be made in 2 weeks.
- President Thomas Saras continued to educate members on various projects undertaken by NEPMCC and especially on the LJI. President Thomas Saras informed about the local initiative program The Local Journalism Initiative (LJI) supports the creation of original civic journalism that covers the diverse needs of underserved communities across Canada. Funding is available to eligible Canadian media organizations to hire an unemployed journalist or pay freelance journalists to produce civic journalism for underserved communities. The content produced will be made available to media organizations through a Creative Commons license so that Canadians can be better informed. He mentioned under this program a publisher can hire qualified journalist or a journalistic student in the final year and get up to a maximum of $30,000 per year. He mentioned that the program has been phenomenally successful. He hoped that the program will continue to receive funds in future. The program also pays for mailing expenses of the copies of the publication to remote communities and provides special prepaid kits to members participating in the program.
- The president also encouraged all the members to apply for an ID or Media Pass of the organization. There are so many benefits; the president said that it is to one’s advantage to have it.
Presentation by Mohammed Mominul Haque, Peace and Justice Alliance
Peace and Justice Alliance (PJA) is a Toronto, Canada based non-profit, non-governmental civic movement. PJA was founded with the intension of serving as a bridge between local peace builders and multilateral organisations, global community, worldwide NGOs, and individuals willing to contribute to peace building efforts. He made a brief presentation on the issue of law-and-order situation in Bangladesh. He has made report on it and will submit to the office of NEPMCC.
President Saras hoped that the restrictions will be lifted soon so that members can begin meeting in person at City Hall again. Till Public Health restrictions are in place NEPMCC will continue to stream the meetings live over zoom for the members across Canada.
Maria Saras Voutsinas informed that the office of NEPMCC has K95 masks and rapid test kits. Members interested in getting the masks can contact the office of NEPMCC. She informed on the Bill C-11 which amends the broadcasting act. She will be meeting with the industry partners and other stakeholders to make some suggestions and recommendations to the Federal Government.
Maria Saras -Voutsinas updated on the various steps taken by NEPMCC to further the cause of the members. She mentioned that NEPMCC is working with industry partners to bring free newspapers under the ambit of Aid to Publishers this year.
Mr. Saras also expressed his hope that we will be able to host an Educational Seminar in 2022.
Roberto Hausman moved a motion to adjourn the meeting and Ned Blair seconded it. The motion was carried. The Chair Dr. Tajdolati adjourned the meeting at 8:15 PM. The next monthly meeting will take place on Monday, March 14, 2021, via Zoom.
The above notes from the meeting of February 14, 2022, were prepared by Secretary General and Senior VP of the NEPMCC, Neel Nanda.