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Minutes of the Monthly Meeting held on August 12, 2019, at Committee Room #2 City Hall.


Thomas S. Saras
Neel Nanda
Maria Saras-Voutsinas
Rosemary Sadler
Ricky Castellvi
Jonathan Annobil
Pooyan Tabatabaei
Nisanta Dun
Lydia Sun
Leila Monteiro Lins
Jonathan Annobil
Mohammed Bagher Samimi
Ali Mahmoud
Mohammad Tajdolati
Ranjit Wicks
Sandie De Freitas
Norman Hart
Kathy L. L. Li
Teshome Woldramanuel
Khalid Magen
Mooka Tamil
Bobby Wang
Maria Swietoizacki
Elizabeth Muzalc
Joe Volpe
Susana Donan
S. Krishnalingan
Khalid Menan
Nagamany Longediably
Hermi Garcia
Mila Garcia
Eugenia Boukchwou
Vanessa Wheatle
Elsayed Nashr
Rui Yang
HaiTien Lin
Logan Longarigham
Nishrite Don
Isa Melo
Yuri Natcetoi
John Saraidaris
Said Henry
S. Krinalingam
Inga Cernei
Robin Beckosian
Khalid Magnam
Nishanta Don
Ali Mahboub
Denis Brito
Stensont A
Syed Irbal
Mike Kolosowski
Boddy Wang
Anastasios Chatzitheofanous
MuhacumadNaeemUl Islam
Foe Jole
Nishantha Dion
Ahmad Rostamijam
Lawrence Joseph
Ronny Yason
Khuvan Aftab
Abdul Azeem
Nawrin Farah
S Krishnalingam
Sonny Mir
Shaiful Horn
Bobby Wang
Ahmad Hotaki
Thomas  Galgor
S. Sivamohan
Kathy Geraklis
Tamil Muraka
Solomon Areinu
Salah Allam
Stena Allam


Agenda of the day:

  1. Welcome Remarks by the chair.
  2. Minutes of the previous meeting
  3. Report of the President/Discussions
  4. Presentation By Michael Garron Hospital Foundation
  5. Presentation by Daniel Bernhard- Executive Director, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting
  6. New Members/New Business
  7. Adjournment

  8. Welcome Remarks by the Chair:

    Dr. Tajdolati chaired the meeting and declared the meeting open. Arif Ahmed moved a motion to approve the agenda. Jonathan Annobil seconded it. The motion was carried.  The meeting was streamed live nationwide through the NEPMCC portal.

    Minutes of the previous meeting:

    Error in spelling of the name of Anastasios Chatzitheofanous Khalid Magram moved a motion to approve the minutes of the previous monthly meeting with a correction in the spelling Arif Ahmed  seconded it. The motion was carried.

    President’s Report/Discussions:

  9. Thomas Saras welcomed everyone to the monthly meeting of August 2019. NEPMCC had another productive year and the organization is working on a number of important projects this year which will benefit all the members. President Thomas Saras said that this year the Government will reward all legitimate ethnic media houses as it has a budget for it. All members that are in good standing with NEPMCC stands to get benefitted by its association and involvement with NEPMCC. The Government has allocated $10 million for the media industry and there are several programs where the members could apply for funding under this budget. In the program also included and the members of the Ethnic Press of Canada.
  10. The media fund would be distributed to the qualified members of the ethnic media industry. Qualified members are those who belong to one of the six media organizations.  President Thomas Saras suggested that a committee be formed that would recommend distribution of government funds to ethnic media based on the circulation and reach.
  11. President Thomas Saras informed the members of the various projects undertaken by NEPMCC and how members could benefit from federal programs for ethnic media.
  12. President Thomas Saras informed all the members of NEPMCC that he has been selected to represent Canadian media among a group of seven experts in Canadian Media as part of the panel to make recommendations to the Federal Government. In the history of ethnic media in Canada – ethnic media is sitting in the same footing as the so called mainstream media. Today Ethnic Media is part of the real voice of Canadian Media.
  13. 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 journalists 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 a journalist which recently graduated from a school of journalism or a journalistic student in the final year and get up to a maximum of $24,000 per year. The candidate publication must have a business office in the place of business and also must prepare local news (municipal, provincial and federal) for distribution in remote communities they serve.
  14. Program working with the panel is designed to support Canadian Media.
  15. The opening ceremony of the CNE Ethnic Press Exhibition would take place on August 18. Members were urged to submit copies for display the NEPMCC booth. It is a huge benefit and public relations boost for member publications as thousands of visitors visit the booth every day at the CNE. There will be also provisions for electronic media to display their site.
  16. President Thomas Saras expressed satisfaction on the meeting arranged on June 19 at City Hall along with officials of Canadian Heritage. This meeting was to educate members on the upcoming changes to the ATP and other funding programs for the media. This was a very important meeting as there are some changes taking place in the last year of the funding program for publishers.
  17. President Thomas Saras encouraged all to renew their membership in 2019 to take advantage of the privileges of the membership. NEPMCC has been over the years fighting for the rights of the members to stand in shoulder to shoulder with out brothers and sisters in the mainstream media.
  18. Educational conference/seminar will be held this year for 3 -4 days. A survey will be sent to the members to finalize the curriculum of the seminar. Daniela Spirlac from BeSoacial Event will send out a survey to the members.The seminar will most likely take place in Seneca College.
  19. 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.
  20. NEPMCC to build website for 20 members who do not have website. Ten of them this year and the rest next year.
  21. The President spoke about student internship program in cooperation with the schools of journalism.  Internship will be from 3 – 6 months. The program will cover $15 per hour per student and the rest has to be covered by the respective organizations. Maria Saras-Voutsinas is in touch with student intern coordinator from Seneca College and the universities of Ryerson, Toronto and York.. The program has started from January 2019. Any member interested in hiring students for their publications should contact Executive Managing Director Maria Saras-Voutsinas as it is on first come first serve basis due to limited funds approved by the Government on this project. This is a win- win situation as it will benefit the students as they will gain from the valuable experience as well as the members as they will get additional help in a very subsidized rate to run their publications. The program has already started in January and is in the second phase which will start from April and only those members, who have applied and contacted Executive Director Maria Saras –Voutsinas expressing their interests in hiring Student interns for their media outlets would be given preference and allocated student interns based on first come first serve basis.Members were informed in the previous meetings that effective from April 1 in order to qualify of funding for interns- there should be a proper office for the intern to work.The program since has received an overwhelming response and members who could not participate this time may be given another chance in the next phase provided they meet the requirements of this program.

  22. Presentation by Michael Garron Hospital Foundation

    Shannon Moon VP Annual Events and Operations
    Meredith Ferguson, Director of Operations
    East Toronto is one of Canada’s most diverse communities, with more newcomers, children, elderly people living alone, and refugees than elsewhere in the city. And just as diverse as the faces in the hospital’s hallways are the healthcare needs of our community.
    Throughout history, Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) has continually adapted its campus and facilities to meet the changing health care needs of the community. Today, the hospital finds itself in a position where it can no longer rely on expansion. The hospital must replace some of its most out-dated clinical care areas and create a welcoming, safe and efficient facility for patients and their families.
    In spring 2018, Michael Garron Hospital began its campus wide redevelopment project in partnership with EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare, the Ministry of Health and Long term Care (MOHLTC), and Infrastructure Ontario (IO).

    The project includes:

    1. The creation of an eight storey Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre and adjoining three storey building at the corner of Coxwell and Sammon Avenues
    2. Demolition of several out-dated wings (A, B, C, E, F wings and D podium),
    3. Four storey underground parking lot, and
    4. Renovations to existing spaces. This transformational project will be the largest construction project in the history of Michael Garron Hospital; a project that will forever change the organization and the care it provides to the community.
    5. The Heart of the East is Michael Garron Hospital Foundation’s $100-million fundraising effort in support of a healthier East Toronto - in particular, the $500-million transformation of the hospital campus. With the support from the community, MGH will ensure that their facility meets the needs of the diverse and often under-served community, accelerate research and learning, and elevate the patient care experience.

      East Toronto is one of Canada’s most diverse communities, with more newcomers, children, elderly people living alone, and refugees than elsewhere in the city. And just as diverse as the faces in the hospital’s hallways are the healthcare needs of our community.

      Supporting the Heart of the East means supporting the well-being of the vibrant community. Because when people are healthy, everyone around them benefits. The speakers mentioned that there are various ways where the community can get involved in contributing towards the redevelopment of the hospital. The speakers encouraged the members to spread the awareness to their respective audience as it is for the benefit of the diverse constituents. The speakers then opened the floor for questions for a roundtable discussion.

      Maria Saras - Voutsinas, Arif Ahmed, Dimitris Vohaitis, Tom Ristic and others participated in the roundtable discussions following the presentation and asked questions on a wide variety of topics.

      Presentation by Daniel Bernhard- Executive Director, Friends of Canadian Broadcasters

      Daniel updated the members on the latest campaigns run by Friends of Canadian Broadcasters.
      In the lead-up to the Federal election in 2019, FRIENDS has committed to an ambitious advocacy agenda in support of Canadian democracy and the ability to tell our own Canadian stories. Canada enjoys a distinct cultural and democratic identity that joins us together and sets us apart. In every generation, vigilant citizens have fought against powerful interests to carve out space for Canada in the broadcasting system, so that our culture and identity can develop and evolve.

      FRIENDS works to protect and defend Canada’s rich culture and the healthy democracy it sustains. A strong CBC, fearless journalism, and our shared story make us who we are. Millions of Canadians care deeply about the values and they deserve a tireless advocate in Ottawa.
      Daniel Bernhard mentioned there are various ways members could support their campaign to strengthen Canadian Media and home grown publications. He proposed to send a draft article so that members could inform their collective audience how the big tech giants such as Google and Facebook are evading thousands of taxes owed to Canada by using a loophole in the taxation system in Canada.
      Before opening the floor for discussions, he stressed the importance of NEPMCC and its role in strengthening Canadian Media.
      Many members participated in the discussions and agreed to spread the message to its readership and audience.

      Presentation by former Chief Justice of Bangladesh Mr. Surendra Kumar Sinha

      Former Chief Justice of Bangladesh Surendra Kumar Sinha made a brief presentation and comment on the present state of judiciary in Bangladesh. As per him, he was being allegedly targeted because he said was an activist judge. He claims that he delivered judgments that provoked bureaucrats, the establishment and politicians.

      New Members/ New Business:

      CNE passes were distributed to the members with the expectation that everyone receiving the passes attend the opening ceremony of the NEPMCC booth at the CNE. The opening ceremony to take place on August 18 at the International Building Main Stage
      Members were invited to the Annual Kurdish Heritage Festival on 18th August from 5 pm to 10 pm at Mel Lastman Square

      Adjournment: Ricky Castellvi moved a motion to adjourn the meeting and Susana Donan seconded it. The motion was carried. The Chair, Dr.Tajdolati adjourned the meeting at 9 pm. The next monthly meeting would take place on Monday, September 09, 2019 at committee room N# 2 at the Toronto City Hall.