Ethnic Media put everything into their Stories .. the Mainstream Media is not interested


By William Doyle-Marshall

  The role of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC) in uniting Canadians by its work came in for high praise during the organization’s Canada Day Celebration at the Whistlers Restaurant.

   “Without you the main stream media does not have the heart to do it,” said Judy Sgro Member of the House of Commons.

  Having been exposed to the ethnic media throughout her political career Sgro admitted that members of the ethnic media put everything into their stories. “You cover so many of those issues that only you would cover because the mainstream media is not interested. You touch the lives of so many people and I am grateful for the work that you do on behalf of all of us as Canadians to deliver the message to those that need to hear it from you,” Sgro added.

   Dr. Gervan Fearon, Dean of the Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the work done by the members of the Council. Fundamentally, they have contributed to the betterment of the inclusion of communities in Canada and generated a more inclusive society at large, he alluded.

   “Additionally I think your work assist in telling the stories that’s important to many of our communities and by so doing you help to make members of these communities feel a part of Canada which is important on this special weekend as we celebrate Canada Day,” Dr. Fearon continued.

   Asha Razak, the council’s Chief Executive Officer, told guests the celebration was an opportunity to see the modern day Canada where all the races, nations and religions are celebrating together the great day of the birth of their great country – Canada.

  In her welcoming address Razak acknowledged the struggles of the brave men and women in the Canadian forces who stand on guard here at home and abroad serving the interest of the Canadian people and the ideals of freedom, equality and democracy for every citizen of the international community.

   As the CEO reminded all that it was a non partisan gathering where they were there to celebrate freedom, dreams, hopes and struggles of a new life, she said NEPMCC was celebrating 144th anniversary of Canada -- a country with a great spirit of acceptance and inclusiveness of sympathy, willing to help and provide opportunities for the future of all its citizens and their children.

   Razak was also proud that Canada is a country where every culture is celebrated and every religion is accepted; every language is free to flourish and citizens are encouraged to respect and honour their cultural traditions and to be proud of their cultural backgrounds and traditions.

   Patrons heard they were living in  a country that is proud, strong and peaceful, loyal to its friends and to its ideals of freedom, equality and respect of every culture, every language and every religion.

   Keynote speaker Bob Rae, Leader of the Liberal Party in Parliament reminded the 250 patrons present that Freedom is very special. All the multicultural media, all of the voices that are in newspapers, on the Internet, on the radio and everywhere, are expressing a reality about Canada that other people wouldn’t be able to cover. “The so called mainstream media wouldn’t necessarily be able to reflect all of that,” he concluded.

   One of the things about the Internet and blogs is that everybody now is a journalist, Rae said. “All you need is an I-phone or a Black Berry or put up your cameras. Everybody’s part of this media now; everybody is part of the communication world that we are in.”

 While he doesn’t always like all the things that the media have said about him, Rae concluded that doesn’t matter. “What matters is that you are saying it, that you are exercising that freedom. But freedom is only good if we use it. So use it. Criticize power; tell truth to power; express the views of your community; don’t be afraid to punch and punch back. Not with your fist but with your voices and with your hearts and with your passion. That’s what makes it great,” Rae emphasized.

   President Thomas Saras presented a certificate of recognition to MP Jim Karygiannis and honourary membership and award of excellence medal to Indira Naidoo-Harris, director of Communications, Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration  for their contributions to the council and its work.

July 4, 2011