NEPMCC Exhibition Honours men and women dedicated to the service of dignity of the human race.


By William Doyle-Marshall


A week-long exhibition of some of Canada’s ethnic publications were on display at the Rotunda of Toronto’s City Hall up to May 14 after being officially open in the presence of some 700 guests, friends and visitors.

  Included in the gathering were members of diplomatic missions in Toronto, representatives from the Toronto Police Service and York Regional Police Service, elected politicians from the three levels of governments, including newly elected Scarborough Rouge MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan.

   “Ladies and gentlemen of the press, you are the voice. You are the voice of Canada. Ethnic press media has outgrown by far all the mainstream media,” said Jim Karygiannis, Member for Scarborough Agincourt in Ottawa in his address to the ceremony.

  “We congratulate you, we are with you, we stand shoulder to shoulder and we thank you for being there to provide our message to our parents, to my mother that doesn’t speak a word of English as she reads the Greek paper; she waits for it every single day or she watches the TV,” he advised some 300 publishers, editors and their colleagues.

   Karygiannis issued a stirring appeal for all politicians to change their message and move away from giving ethnic media words of platitude and give them money. Government money must not only go to the main media but also to the ethnic media, the MP stressed.

   Thomas Saras, NEPMCC president observed, in a society with a diverse population, the ability to communicate is a basic element for the future and progress of the total population. Acknowledging that people are arriving here on a daily basis, some for better prospects and others are escaping oppression in their own country of origin, Saras said they seek refuge in the pages of the ethnic press in order to overcome the language barriers they face here.

  They look to the ethnic media to get much needed information about their cultural life in the new country. In this context the ethnic press and media become the basic course of information to newcomers. In addition it helps them adjust in the new society by bringing to them the message of the government and in return communicates their concerns to respective administration, Saras continued.

 The NEPMCC chief spokesman said the exhibition is a tribute to “our cultures as we are honouring the men and women who dedicate themselves to the service of the dignity of the human race. By recognizing the ethnic publications tonight we thankfully acknowledge the importance the freedom of expression, freedom of information and freedom of the press plays to our democracy”.

  Tony Ruprecht MPP for Davenport said every political party, every political force has to come to members of the ethnic community with hat in hand and beg for their votes. “Without you we cannot get a majority and that’s why the ethnic communities are one family. “It is now the Canadian family and in another ten years you will not recognize a family which does not have amongst its members an ethnocultural member, a minority member or a member from all over the various parts of Canada. That’s why you have become a force. You have become a third force.”

 We don’t want the squabble between English Canada and French Canada. No. we are the third force to ensure Canada stays united and that’s why we need you. We will need you for the future; we need you today.”

   Rathika Sitsabaiesan, newly elected Member of the House of Commons for Scarborough Rouge River, acknowledged the exhibition as a demonstration of the strength and diversity of the city through its ethnic media.

  Having a council that unites all the ethnic media branches goes to show the community’s strength. She told the gathering that her election as a young Sri Lankan born woman was only possible because the entire community came together and all of the ethnic Medias provided coverage in Scarborough and supported the grassroots candidates. “Without the ethnic media my campaign would not have been possible,” Sitsabaiesan concluded

   The second week of May is dedicated by the United Nations in honor of the “Freedom of the Press”. Consequently the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada as the previous years, organized the exhibition to show the Canadian public its members’ work that has been on-going for decades. A committee of the council will recognize the best 14 publications from the participating publications.

May 11, 2011