TORONTO:  Like always and now the people of Canada of all communities, origins and governments of all levels---Federal, Provincial and Municipal---have sincerely opened their arms, hearts and wallets to share the sorrow, pain and grief of the Haitians who are facing unimaginable terrible times as a result of tremendous destruction and devastation caused by the 7.0 magnitude massive earthquake on January 12, 2010, resulting in thousands of deaths, millions of injured and dislocation of people in their place of origin---Haiti.

 It was the worst earthquake to hit Haiti in two centuries. The epicentre of the quake was about 15 kilometres from the capital, Port-au-Prince. Over three million people have been affected. Hospitals, churches, schools, apartment and government buildings and other structures have been damaged.  Communication lines are badly damaged or are out of service. This is only a small portion reported and assessed otherwise the damage is colossal.

 It is time to seriously THINK, honestly UNITE and practically ACT. Cruel death has been unleashed by the natural disaster of huge magnitude and hunting the sick, injured and starving people. Already the death toll has reportedly passed the 200,000 figure and is rising every moment.

 Thousands are still trapped by the claws of death under the debris of destruction. Global efforts are underway to save maximum possible lives. Such is the focus and priority because material damages can be covered but lives lost cannot be brought back. 

 Canada and other members of the international community are presently on the ground responding to the humanitarian emergency. They are there to save precious lives and help rebuild Haiti. 

 In Haiti, the world has been turned upside down and it will take decades to fully recover and rebuild the country. Every single cent and help counts to save the lives of all those appealing, calling and struggling for survival. News reports speak to shortages of the necessities of life, humanitarian aid that is slow to arrive where it is needed and roads that are impossible to navigate.

 Thousands of trained emergency personnel are searching for survivors, providing much needed food and water, rendering emergency medical care wherever they can and providing comfort.

 They need the world’s attention, action and help NOW. A lot is being done but a lot more is needed to be done otherwise it will be too late for those in need of urgent and immediate help. We cannot afford to lose precious lives.

 We need people to go there and help and do whatever we can do. There is really a need to help the Haitians. The situation there is terrible and extremely critical. We have very important roles to play and we are in a position to play. Canadians can make great difference by tremendous contributions in all possible ways.

 In order to help the people of Haiti, Jim Karygiannis, PC, MP, Scarborough-Agincourt, Toronto, hosted the Haiti Earthquake Relief Round Table on Friday, January 22, 2010, from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM, at the Star Walk Buffet, 648 Silver Star Blvd., Scarborough, Ontario.

 Jim Karygiannis, in his address, said: “Now is our time to come forward and help others without asking. It’s our time to get together. If you think we as a community can do something, please do whatever is possible. Get involved in fundraising and all other activities to help the affected people. Just do anything to support the people. This is our chance to do something to help the people.”

 Jim Karygiannis thanked all those who supported him including his staff.

 The Round Table on Relief for Haiti was attended by a large number of influential people and distinguished personalities of various communities including leaders of ethnic communities, business leaders, educators, religious leaders, elected officials and community leaders. They are all concerned about helping the people of Haiti.  

Distinguished members of Pakistani community were also present there including Dr Shahid Hashmi, Chairman, Canpak Chamber of Commerce,  Sohabe Hashmi, emerging leader of the new generation, Nawab Salim Khan, Founding Member and Director of Pakistan Association of Canada, Javed Zaheer, Honorary Editor of English Weekly `Pakistan Abroad’, Andy Merchant of CPBC.

 Dr Shahid Hashmi, who is very close to Jim Karygiannis as a team member and family friend, maintains his old firm stand on such situations: “All the devastations, destructions and deaths that take place in the poor countries can be prevented with the help of the latest technologies that the advanced countries have. Why these technologies are not being used to predict the happenings of the natural disasters? Why do they have to come forward only for help when the destruction takes place and why not help alert the world before? This could be a great help in saving millions of precious lives and massive destruction.”

Dr Shahid Hashmi and his son, Sohabe Hashmi, are actively involved in helping the people, including of Haiti, through the Canpak Chamber of Commerce. All those interested in helping them can contact them: and . Tel: (416)876-1667 and (905)832-6985.

 Jim Karygiannis, MP,  is known and recognized for his immediate response, practical actions and sincere aggressive efforts to help all those in crisis in any part and corner of the world. He is fully supported by his family, staff and team. He immediately does what many others think.

This is his character, humanitarian and leadership quality. This is why he is respected, loved and supported by the people of not only his constituency but of other constituencies as well. He is aggressive, dynamic and cooperative and believes in actions and results.

 According to Statistics Canada, Scarborough-Agincourt is one of the most ethically diverse constituencies in Canada. When a natural or man-made disaster strikes, the devastating effects are keenly felt in Scarborough-Agincourt.

 This community has come together on many occasions including when:

i)   Typhoons and landslides hit the Philippines.

ii)  Earthquakes struck Sichuan, China and South Asia.

iii) Cyclones swept across Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh.

iv)  Massive flooding deluged Guyana.

v)   Hurricanes battered the United States.

vi)  Tsunami struck South Asia.

 In the Round Table on Relief for Haiti, one minute silence was observed for those killed in Haiti. The important discussion of the Round Table was on how we, as concerned Canadians, can best assist our neighbours, the survivors of the earthquake in Haiti.

The City of Toronto is also involved in the Haiti relief effort. The GTA has an estimated 20, 000 residents of Haitian descent. The Ontario government has committed $1 million (Dollars one million) in emergency aid.

 As always, Canadians are offering aid and humanitarian assistance in times of need. Canadians are a generous people and, in times of international disaster, they open their hearts and wallets to assist people in dire need.       Canadians are answering disaster-relief appeals from aid agencies for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. 

 Representatives of Canadian humanitarian organizations, despite their hectic schedules, attended the Round Table on Relief for Haiti and talked about the challenges their personnel are currently facing on the ground. 

 Those who were present and those who spoke on the occasion included:

 Michael del Grande, Toronto City Councillor for Ward 39, Chin Lee, Toronto City Councillor for Ward 41, Ms. Soo Wong, Toronto District School Board Trustee, Pierre Eddy Toussaint, a respected member of the Haitian Canadian community, Gerry Phillips, MPP for Scarborough-Agincourt, Ms. Jennifer Mayville, Communications Co-ordinator, Ontario Zone of the Canadian Red Cross,  Dennis Fair, Provincial Director of International Programs for the Canadian Red Cross, Ms. Penny Fancy, Resource Director for IDRF, Michael Weickert, Senior Team Leader in Humanitarian and Emergency Assistance for World Vision, Dr Aslam Daud, Chairman of Humanity First, Matt Capobianco, Manager, Emergency Programs, Global Medic, Sam Sotiropoulos, Community Liaison for the Round Table discussion,  and William Jiang, Director, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office. 

The participants of the Round Table on Relief for Haiti engaged in thought-provoking deliberations that will, no doubt, prove extremely helpful. They heard from representatives of the Haitian Canadian community, humanitarian aid organizations currently on the ground in Haiti and elected officials. They discussed how to help the neighbours in need.

 Each and every participant realized that the challenges that people in Haiti---Survivors, international humanitarian organizations and the news media are facing are monumental.

 Samir Dossal was facilitator for the Round Table on Relief for Haiti. He is a businessman who is concerned about community service and outreach. 

At the end of the Round Table on Relief for Haiti, delicious lunch was served. Jim Karygiannis, MP, thanked Tony Woo, President of Star Walk, International Buffet, for allowing the use of the hotel for the Round Table. Jim presented him a gift.

 According to a Press release issued by office of Jim Karygiannis, MP,  on the Round Table on Relief for Haiti:

 “The Honourable Jim Karygiannis, Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Agincourt, on January 22, 2010, convened a multi-faith, multi-cultural forum on the current situation in Haiti.  Community leaders and representatives of humanitarian agencies discussed the importance of long-term assistance for Haiti. 

“Jim Karygiannis said that the situation in Haiti is critical in the aftermath of the massive earthquake. Canada and the international community have emergency humanitarian teams on the ground providing clean drinking water; food; and, emergency medical care.  It is crucial that the world be there for Haiti in the next few months and decades.”

 “Representatives from the Canadian Red Cross, the International Development and Relief Foundation, World Vision, Humanity First and GlobalMedic reported on the difficulties emergency aid workers are facing as they help sustain the life of survivors.

“A member of the Haitian Canadian community, Pierre-Eddy Toussaint said it is important for everyone to remember that Haiti needs to be re-built. The world has a moral obligation to help Haiti educate its children, re-build society and revive hope amongst its people and create a lasting legacy.”

 “Over one hundred participants, many of whom have experienced similar disasters in their homelands, are considering how they can best help Haitians now and in the future.”

 For pictures of the Round Table on Relief for Haiti, please visit:

 ---Javed Zaheer, Free Expression Award Winner (NEPMCC---Canada), Desi Idol Recognition Award Winner, Member & Honorary Director of NEPMCC, Veteran Active Member (VAM) of Toronto Press Club, Member of The National Club, Member of The Ontario Club, Honorary Editor of English Weekly `Pakistan Abroad’, Chief Editor (Honorary) of English Weekly `The Ambassador’, ex-Senior Sub-Editor of English Daily DAWN, Pakistan, and Honorary Director of Canadian Active Networking Of Peoples Interest (CANOPI) is contributing purely on Voluntary and Honorary Basis in order to serve all people and communities with the spirit of community and humanity service. The objective is to make both the Pakistani media and the Pakistani community powerful, influential and effective. Contact: (416)696-0981/