Minutes of the Monthly Meeting held on September 12, 2011 at Committee Room No 4, City Hall






Thomas S. Saras


Asha Rajak


Saasd Alsafar


Jonathan Annobil


William Doyle-Marshal




Neel Nanda


Ranjit Wicks


Chandraratna Bomdara


Pat Illenbasingle-Dasatha


Gamini Abersius Dasatha


Mohammad-Bagher Samimi


M.F. Shiravard


Irene Keroglidis


A Janus Rankivi


Marcelle Gideon


Rakki Prabhakan


Sandeep Prabhakar


Arif Ahmed


Luba Cherny


Andrei Mazuruc


Dr. Fereydoon Rachmani


Nuradia Wads


Suleyman Guven


Ned Blair


Mark J. Goldyn


Trifon Haitas


Blagoya Ristic


Pobeda  Piskaceva


Gerald Paul


John Saraidaris


Fardad  Housh


Shivamurusan Sivalingam


Muse Kulow


Sultan Ali Shunbuli


Logan Logeadralingam


Largsa Kazywa


Bal Mukunda  Nepal


Teshome woldeamanuel


Ammed (Ali) Mahboub


Assad  Zarinmeher


Mohammad  Ahmadi 


Mila Astorga- Garcia


Hermie Garcia




Ahmed Shah Hotaki


Madina Hotaki


Mohammad Tajdolati






1.      Welcome Remarks by the chair.


2.      Minutes of the previous meeting.


3.      Presentation by Andrea Horwath – Leader, Ontario NDP


4.      Presentation by Hon. Eric Hoskins and Hon. Kathleen Wynne


5.      Presentation by Trifon Haitas – Green Party Ontario


6.      New Business


7.      Adjournment






Welcome Remarks by the Chair:




Thomas Saras chaired the meeting and declared the meeting open.  Irene Keregolidis moved a motion to approve the agenda and Sandeep Prabhakar seconded it. The motion was carried










Minutes of the previous meeting:


Suleiman Guven moved a motion to approve the minutes of the previous monthly meeting held on August 08, 2011 Ahmad Shah Hotaki seconded it.  The motion was carried.


President’s Report/Discussions


·         Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). Thomas Saras thanked all volunteers for their participation in this year’s exhibition. This year we had a  space in the International Pavilion for the CNE ethnic press exhibition. Thousands of people at CNE were impressed by the display of NEPMCC exhibition for 18 days. The opening ceremony took place on August 21, 2011 with a lot of fanfare and speeches from all three levels of government.  Members who had decide to volunteer were be given passes and President suggested Asha Rajak and Neel Nanda to coordinate the activities with the volunteers during the event. President’s office received very select only copies of newspapers for CNE pavilion. President Thomas Saras had hoped to have as many copies as possible before the CNE but the participation to some extend was not the one we hoped. The President said that this was probably due to fact that the venture was new and many members did not responded in time. The fact is that under this circumstances more than 1000 visitors signed our book of Visitors and placed their commends.  President Thomas Saras had notified the members on exact timing of the closing ceremony which took place on September 4 at the Direct Energy Building- Hall B of the International Pavilion. Thomas Saras asked members to be present during the opening and closing ceremonies. The last Sunday/closing ceremony of the exhibition, (September 4, 2011), NEPMCC celebrated Canadian multilingualism by sponsoring a number of multicultural shows at the great stage of the Hall B International Pavilion. The President also said  that during the exhibition more than 300 requests received from the public for subscriptions in the various paper in displate.


·         Thomas Saras expressed disappointment on the comment of PC camp and the  leader Tim Hudak labeling immigrant professionals  as “foreign workers”. He then said “those foreign workers are going to pay taxes so all of us, including Mr. Hudak  will enjoy our retirement later. . .




·        NEPMCC Awards. 

 On October 28 NEPMCC will organize the annual Awards ceremony. Effective from January 1st until end of June 2011, members were asked to 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. . Members were earlier asked to send the completed nomination form to either Dr. Tajdolati or to the office of the President. . President Thomas Saras mentioned that NEPMCC has received all the nominations for the annual awards. Asha Rajak, Irene Keregolidis, and Dr. Tajdolati will decide on the nominations. Total 28 awards in different categories will be awarded during the ceremony.


·        The monthly meetings of NEPMCC at Queens Park will be renewed after the next Provincial Government comes to powering the election on October 6. The next meeting was therefore unanimously decided   to be in the month of November


·        Word on the Street.

 This year the Word on the street festival will be celebrated on Sunday September 25. As all the previous years Ahmed Shah Hotaki is in charge of this event.


 Presentation by Hon: Andrea Horwath, Leader Ontario NDP



Thomas Saras welcomed Andrea Horwath to the meeting.


Some excerpts of the speech of Ontario NDP Leader Hon. Andrea Horwath is as follows


“It is a pleasure to be here. I want to thank Thomas Saras and the board of NEPMCC


I am delighted to be here. I am excited to the tremendous reception I am getting from the Province.


Keeping public money in Ontario to create jobs in Ontario just makes sense,” said Horwath. “Why would we send our money away when we have the talent, the skills and the people who need work? It’s time for change that puts jobs first.”


Every election students hear promises. Every year the cost of education keeps climbing. Ontario is now the most expensive province for a post-secondary education. We need change,” said Horwath.” We can tackle the problems of high tuition and student debt by freezing tuition fees and by taking the interest off of student loans. Our comprehensive jobs plan will help young people when they’re ready to enter the world of work.


People are tired of politicians who say anything to get elected. We have a plan to make education affordable that won’t vanish after the election.


In a global economy, our prosperity as a province will be measured by the quality of our education system and by how accessible that system is,” said Horwath.  “New Democrats can be trusted to take action on rising tuition and student debt.


New Democrats will get people working by rewarding “employers who create new jobs” as well as with new tax credits supporting investment in worker training and equipment.


Unlike the Liberals, our plan will increase the number of jobs available to everyone – men, women, young people, new Canadians – anyone who needs work.


New Democrats will make life more affordable for families by taking the HST off electricity and home heating, and by providing more support to municipalities to help freeze transit fares at current levels.


We owe laid-off workers more than squabbling and schoolyard stunts,” said Horwath.  “We can choose to do things differently by rewarding businesses that create jobs, not the ones that ship them overseas,” said Horwath. “It’s not just a question of what’s fair. It’s a question of what’s smart and what gets results.


When a company takes millions in public handouts, they should be creating jobs. Instead, they take the money and run. We need change,” said Horwath. “If a company’s not creating jobs, they shouldn’t be getting government support.


We want to give companies a tax break when they hire people, not when they take their clients out to a luxury suite at the Rogers Centre,” said Horwath. “Our priority is families looking for work and struggling with the bills – not more money for corporations making record profits.


The New Democrats’ Job Creation Tax Credit will reimburse employers 20 per cent of the wage for new hires for one year, up to $5,000 per worker. To qualify companies will have to provide on-the-job training and demonstrate they are creating new positions, not filling existing jobs with subsidized workers.


Instead of billions in no-strings attached corporate tax giveaways, the NDP’s Job Creation Tax Credit will create 80,000 jobs over four years.



 Gerard Paul, Mareck J. Godyn, Suleiman Guven, Janus Raudkavi Aaron Mefith and other members discussed a wide variety of issues such as immigration, trade, economy, healthcare, job creation amongst other issues.


Hon. Andrea Howrath candidly answered all questions to the satisfaction of all present.


President Thomas Saras thanked Andrea Howrath for her presentation. 




Presentation by Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins– Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Provincial Liberal Candidate for St. Paul’s.



President Thomas Saras invited Dr. Eric Hoskins to make his presentation before the council.


 Dr. Eric Hoskins made a presentation to the members of NEPMCC on behalf of the Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party.


Following are some of the excerpts of the speech of Hon.Dr. Eric Hoskins


·         “Good evening, and thank you for inviting me to speak to the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada. “I am really happy and thrilled to be here and I am pleased to see so many familiar faces that I have grown to know for the past two years.



·         Thank you for the opportunity to talk a little bit about the election, and what’s at stake.



·         It’s an opportunity to discuss the positive, forward thinking plan that the Ontario Liberals have for the future – in contrast with the short-sighted policies of both Tim Hudak and Andrea Horwath. 



·         Ours is a plan to win the future, not just the next election.  It’s a plan that focuses on the things that matter most to all Ontarians: health care, education, and jobs.



·         Let’s start with health care.  We have a plan to ensure that Ontario families enjoy a health care system that they can depend on when they most need it. 



·         That’s why we’re investing particularly in our seniors, so they can stay at home and age with dignity.  For example, our Healthy Home Renovation Tax Credit will give families a tax credit on things like walk-in showers and ramps.  We’re also bringing back house calls by doctors and nurses, and expanding our investments in home care and long-term care.



·         These investments stand in stark contrast with what the other parties offer.




·          In fact, it wasn’t so long ago under the previous Conservative government that Ontarians were having a serious discussion about whether universal, publicly-funded healthcare is even possible in Ontario.  Well, look how far we’ve come.  They closed 28 hospitals.  We’re building 18 new ones.  They fired doctors and nurses, we’ve hired more.



·         In education, our schools are better than ever.  Test scores are up, graduation rates are up, and class sizes are down.



·         Under the previous Conservative government, we lost more than 26 million school days because of the Conservative cuts that sent teachers to the picket line instead of being in the classroom.


 ·         Our platform builds on our progress.  It’s evidence of why Dalton McGuinty is often called the Education Premier.  In fact, our biggest commitment is about education – it will reduce the cost of tuition by 30 percent, by giving students and their families a grant of $1,600 each year if they’re in university, and $730 each year if they’re in college. 


·         We’re extending teachers college, and continuing with the implementation of Full-Day Kindergarten.


·         And we’re making those investments because we know that education is what will lead to economic growth.  We need all Ontarians working at their best if our economy is going to keep growing, and that means we need the best-educated workforce.


·         The recession wasn’t easy.  But throughout, our Premier, Dalton McGuinty, kept his focus on creating jobs and growing our economy.  It’s why Ontario is back stronger than ever.  And we’re moving forward. 


·         Our investments in making Ontario a global leader in green technology are creating 50,000 new jobs.  Those are jobs that will be lost if the PCs or the NDP get the chance to abandon the progress we’ve made.


·          We’re creating the No Skills Left Behind tax credit for employers who want to help new Canadians get the training they need to work in their field.  We all know people who came to Canada as an engineer or an accountant, who couldn’t work in their field because they didn’t have Canadian Experience.  Well, this tax credit will help address that problem, and ensure that everyone is working at his or her best.  It’s as if you have an all-star soccer team – you don’t want your best goal-keeper selling hot dogs in the stands.  You want him out there, in front of the net, contributing to the team, and helping you win.  That’s what the No Skills Left Behind Tax Credit is about.


·         But Tim Hudak would rather play the politics of division, fear, anger and resentment.  He calls our New Canadians foreign workers, not even recognizing that they’re citizens who work here and pay taxes here.  It’s shameful.  And he needs to apologize.  And why won’t the NDP condemn Tim Hudak’s comments?


 ·         Listen, there is one party – ONE party – who understands that these kinds of statements are not in keeping with Ontario values: values of openness and inclusion. 


The Ontario Liberal Party, and our leader Dalton McGuinty, don’t believe in us versus them.  It’s only us.  Moving forward, together, to build a brighter future for all Ontarians.


Presentation by Hon. Kathleen Wynne Ontario Minister of Transportation and Provincial Liberal Candidate for Don Valley West:


Hon. Kathleen Wynne further elaborated on some of the issues addressed earlier by Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins. She highlighted some of the great achievements by the Dalton McGuinty in education, jobs, economy, environment, healthcare, public transit and other sectors.


 A wide variety of issues such as clean energy, job creation, education, health care, foreign credentials recognition, “no skills left behind” trade, HST and other issues were keenly discussed. Suleiman Guven, Michael, Bob Ristic, Janus Adu Raudkavi, Liz Philbert, Mareck J. Goodyn, Fredoon Rahmani, Aaron Mefith, Mila Garcia and other members participated in the discussion.


Hon. Dr. Hoskins and Hon. Kathleen Wynne candidly and elaborately answered all questions to the satisfaction of all present.

 Thomas Saras thanked the guest speakers for their valuable time.


Presentation  by Trifon Haitas – Ontario Green Party

 Trifon Haitas made a presentation on behalf of the leader of the Green Party Ontario.

 Following is some of the excerpts of his presentation

 “Every time when the elections there comes the same song and dance. This is one of the reason I stepped up to the stage. There were a lot of wonderful questions asked earlier. Our platform is a five point plan and I encourage everyone to take a look at the Green Party platform (www.gpo.ca). It s time what Green Party has to say. We believe in grass root democracy. One of the reasons I chose to run with the Green Party because the one who has immigrated will work the hardest and the same goes to the smallest party. There are some hard questions we need to ask when it comes to renewable energy. There is no reason why local entrepreneurs can’t get the same break that a Korean company is getting.


Luba Cherny, Liz Philbert, Ranjit Wicks, Bob Ristic, Larissa, Gerard Paul and others discussed a wide range of topics. Trifon Haitas answered all questions raised by the members.


New Business: President Thomas Saras mentioned and expressed disappointment that the Leader of Ontario Progressive Conservative Party or a representative of the party was not able to attend and participate in the monthly meeting  on the invitation extended by the office of the President of NEPMCC, where all leading parties accepted and participated in the discussion at the NEPMCC monthly meeting in September at the City Hall


 Adjournment: Irene Keroglidis moved a motion to adjourn the meeting, Ahmad Shah Hotaki seconded it. The motion was carried. The chair adjourned the meeting at 10:30 pm. The next meeting would take place on November 14, 2011 at Queens Park.