Thomas S. Saras
Leila Monteiro Lins
Hounda Lena Roy
Sandie De Freitas
Muhammad Ali Boukari
Kathy L. L. Li
Ahmad Shah Hotaki
- Welcome Remarks by the chair.
- Minutes of the previous meeting
- Report of the President/Discussions
- Presentation By Roman Baber, MPP York Centre
- Presentation by Chris Dudley, Director of HELIX (Seneca's on campus entrepreneurship incubator)
- New Members/New Business
Welcome Remarks by the Chair:
Dr. Tajdolati chaired the meeting and declared the meeting open. Ranjit Wicks moved a motion to approve the agenda. Lalit Thakkar seconded it. The motion was carried. .
Minutes of the previous meeting:
Minutes of the previous monthly meeting. Error. Dimitris Vohaitis moved a motion to approve the minutes of the previous monthly meeting with a correction Khalid Magram seconded it. The motion was carried.
- Thomas Saras welcomed everyone to the monthly meeting of July 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- Program working with the panel is designed to support Canadian Media.
- There were suggestions on the floor that any members received funding from the government under ATP may make a donation to NEPMCC as NEPMCC has worked hard to ensure members receive funding. The suggestion was unanimously endorsed as it is the duty and responsibility of the members to ensure that NEPMCC is in strong financial position as it tirelessly works hard for the interests of its members.
- The opening ceremony of the CNE Ethnic Press Exhibition would take place on Sunday August 18, 2019. 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.
- 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.
- 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 the mainstream media.
- 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.
- 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.
- NEPMCC to build website for 20 members who do not have website.
- 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. The program has started from January 2019. Any member interested in hiring students for their publications should contact Executive 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. There was a suggestion that members receiving assistance for the internship program should make small donation to NEPMCC. 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 fundingfor 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.
Presentation by Roman Baber – MPP, York Centre
He thanked the council for inviting him to make his presentation. He mentioned about his immigrant background of Russian Heritage.
He spoke about the Canadian opportunity and also about the financial state of Ontario. Canadian opportunity is preserving Canada as Canada. He said it is important to safeguard the Canadian mosaic.
Roman Baber was called to the Ontario Bar in 2006 and then went onto join a Bay Street law firm before opening up his own firm, Taylor, Baber and Mergui which he remained a partner at until his election.
Baber serves on the Standing committee for Government Agencies in addition to serving on the Justice Policy committee. Because of Baber's background as a lawyer, he was also appointed as a member of the Select Committee on Financial Transparency
In November 2018, Baber became a special adviser to the PC caucus and Minister Lisa MacLeod on immigration issues across Ontario. In this role, he chairs the committee which reviews immigration processes across the entire Province.
Baber was reportedly assigned a task by Premier Doug Ford's office on April 2, 2019, to write a report on the Ontario Autism Plan and to lay out what options and methods there were to fix the plan after the Ford government's plan got mixed reviews. Baber formulated a 51-page report which apparently is based on hundreds of hours of insight from professionals and parents in the autism community. Baber's solutions and ideas are said to be cost-effective and a sustainable option. The report calls for a re-set on the autism plan and shared some very shocking information regarding what has been shared by the Ontario Minister of Children, Community and Social Service
Maria Saras - Voutsinas , Mareck, Goodyn, Dimitris Vohaitis, Joe Volpe, Tom Ristic and others participated in the roundtable discussions following the presentation and asked questions on a wide variety of topics.
Presentation by Chris Dudley, Director of HELIX (Seneca's on campus entrepreneurship incubator)
Chris Dudley thanked the council to invite him to the monthly meeting.
He spoke about the Career Recharge Program run by Seneca College at the Newnham Campus.
Career Recharge is an innovative initiative to help prepare individuals in their career future, whether that means re-entering the workforce, advancing in your field, changing careers or starting a new venture. The aim is to help individuals to become an entrepreneur or intrapreneur. Learn to develop one’s own venture or use one’s entrepreneurial mindset to encourage change and innovation from within an organization. Career Recharge hosts free workshops, which are open to the public. One can attend every other Tuesday between 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Newnham Campus.
Members were encouraged to publish this information for the benefit of its readership.
Mareck Goodyn, Arif Ahmed and others asked questions and participated in round table discussions
New Members/ New Business:
Arash Kharabi - CEO, President, Production Director, Iran Star
Parvaneh Ebrahimi – Editor in Chief, Iran Star
Hassan Golmohammadi - Director of Community out-reach, Director of Resources, Senior Writer and Editor, Iran Star
Fariba Yahyavi - Director of Public Relation, Host, Iran Star
Hon. Joe Volpe expressed disappointment in the process and manner in which CRTC approves licence in broadcasting for the ethnic media. He wants to raise awareness that licences were approved purely based on merit and wants to start a campaign so that the interests of the deserving stakeholders in Canadian Ethnic Media is protected.
Motion : To allow NEPMCC to prepare a report to the government, PMO, Canadian Heritage CRTC – requesting that CRTC should change the culture. Dimitris Vohaitis, moved the motion, Ricky Castellvi seconded it and it was unanimously carried.
Karim Mirshahi invited everyone to the waterfront awards 2019 which will take place in the Globe and Mail Centre. The WATERFRONT AWARDS 2019 is a red carpet charity gala, held in Toronto, in July 19, celebrating the achievements of outstanding women in the Greater Toronto Area. Sponsored by Toronto Waterfront Magazine, this annual event is in support of The Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness (www.abusehurts.ca) a national, charitable organization since 1993. Experience one of the best skyline views in the city, as it celebrates outstanding GTA women at the Globe and Mail Centre. There will be live entertainment, a silent auction, celebrity presenters and other surprises!
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, August 12, 2019 at committee room N# 2 at the Toronto City Hall.