Minutes of the Monthly Meeting held on July 20, 2020, through video conference via Zoom
Thomas S. Saras
Leila Monteiro Lins
Sandie De Freitas
Kathy L. L. Li
Kathy L. Lin
Agenda of the day:
- Welcome Remarks by the chair.
- Minutes of the previous meeting
- Report of the President/Discussions
- Presentation by David Harkness manager of Business Innovative and CI of Canada Periodical Fund
- Presentation by Eugene Berezovsky – Manager, Event Operations, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
- New Members/New Business
Welcome Remarks by the Chair:
Mohammed Tajdolati chaired the virtual monthly meeting and declared the meeting open. Rosemary Sadlier moved a motion to approve the agenda. Hon. Joe Volpe seconded it. The motion was carried.
Minutes of the previous meeting:
Mohammed Bagher Samimi moved a motion to approve the minutes of the previous monthly meeting and Pooyan Tabatabaei seconded it. Minutes of the previous monthly meeting was approved unanimously.
- Thomas Saras welcomed everyone online to the very important online monthly meeting July 20 2020. He welcomed members from all over Canada. He said till situation improves this is the way NEPMCC might conduct future meetings and also hoped that we could also meet in City Hall when the situation improves.
- Since the lockdown President Thomas Saras, is working everyday so that members get help. 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. The Local Journalist Initiative deadline is fast approaching and President Thomas Saras encouraged members to apply for this program who qualify and are eligible for the project. The program has successfully closed for the year 2019-2020. The program in 2020-2021 will work for 6 months duration each period and the cycle would end in March 2021. President Thomas Saras mentioned that due to the Covid 19 pandemic the Government is trying to help the industry. Executive Director of NEPMCC is working very hard and is taking feedback from the members who are struggling in this difficult time. The LJI fund will be distributed in two phases for the duration of 6 months in each phase.
- President Thomas Saras urged the members for different projects that are available. If there is lack of adequate participation, the funds would go back and in future the allocations of such funds could be limited.
- The President is in touch with Federal Government and Provincial Government for funding members of NEPMCC during the ongoing Pandemic. President is scheduled to meet with representatives of both Federal and Provincial Government in order to request more funds for the struggling ethnic media industry.
- The President spoke about the ongoing 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 for the maximum 18 hours per week 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 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 April of 2020 and is in the new phase in August of 2020 and only those members, who have not received funds through the LJI program are eligible to apply this year and should contact Executive Director Maria Saras –Voutsinas, expressing their interests in hiring a Student intern for their media outlets .Members eligible to apply will be given preference on a first come serve basis. Members were informed in the previous meetings that in order to qualify of funding for internship program- they should be an active publication.
- It is therefore alone with your application you submit also a chq with the amount of your membership, as this organization has also to survive.
- The program since had received an overwhelming response and members who could not participate last year may be given another chance in the next phase provided, they meet the requirements of this program. Members hiring interns now can only be eligible for part time as the students continue also their studies. The part time interns will be working with the publications for 18 hours per week X $ 15.00 dollars per hour, which is making $ 270.00 dollars per student per week X 12 weeks = 3,240.00 for the period of January the 1st to March 31, 2020. As of April 1st 2020 the new financial year starts and new applications will be accepted by the NEPMCC. The current time of Applications will expire September 30, 2020.
- An education session may be arranged with the officials of the ministry in order to educate the members on the qualifying criteria for ATP. This would be for the benefit to all members especially during the current situation for future applications. Members who are receiving funding from ATP may not be eligible to apply for tax credit from Revenue Canada.
- Many members supported the idea that any members who received funding from the Aid to Publishers Program should make a donation to NEPMCC, as the organization has worked hard to guide the members to receive funding and also worked hard so that the government increase funding for the ethnic media industry.
- President Thomas Saras continued to educate members on various projects undertaken by NEPMCC and especially on the LJI. 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 an unemployed journalist 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 qualified journalist or a journalistic student in the final year and get up to a maximum of $30,000 per year. He mentioned that the program has been very successful and will close from accepting new applications in September 30, 2020, for the present cycle. He hoped that the program will continue to receive funds in future. The program also pays for mailing expenses of the copies of the publication to remote communities and provides special prepaid kits to members participating in the program.
- President Thomas Saras reminded that deadline for nomination of Awards 2020 is fast approaching on June 30. He stressed that no applications will be accepted after the deadline.
- President Thomas Saras informed the members of the various projects undertaken by NEPMCC and how members could benefit from federal programs for ethnic media. He mentioned about the tax credit by employing full time or part time journalists or reporters in the News Room.
- President Thomas Saras mentioned that due to ongoing pandemic most events scheduled earlier by NEPMCC have been cancelled or postponed due to the safety measures. He expressed optimism that NEPMCC would hold events once the situation changes and when it is safe for everyone as per Health Canada.
- There were suggestions from 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.
- President Thomas Saras encouraged all to renew their membership for 2020 and 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 later next year in 2021 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.
Presentation by David Harkness manager of Business Innovative and CI of Canada Periodical Fund
Dr. Tajdolati introduced David Harkness to the council.
He began his brief by explaining about the Special Measures for Journalist Program.
The Special Measures for Journalism component of the Canada Periodical Fund is designed to provide short-term emergency financial relief to Canadian magazines and community newspapers during the COVID-19 crisis in 2020. The component provides funds for the 2020-2021 fiscal year to publishers that have a free circulation model or low levels of paid circulation, or that publish in digital format.
Daily newspapers and magazine or community newspaper titles currently receiving Aid to Publishers (Canada Periodical Fund), funding are not eligible under this new component. Using a formula based on editorial content expenses over a 12-month period, the Special Measures for Journalism component provides funding to eligible Canadian publications. Publishers are able to use funding to support the creation of content, production, distribution, online activities or business development.
To be eligible for funding, publishing firms must meet all of the following requirements:
- be private-sector entities, including corporations, not-for-profit organizations, partnerships and sole proprietorships
- be majority owned and controlled by Canadians
- have their principal place of business in Canada
- have published 1 or more eligible periodicals at the application deadline
To be eligible for funding, periodicals must meet all of the following requirements:
- be published by an eligible publishing firm
- be owned and controlled by Canadians
- be a magazine or community (non-daily) newspaper, in print or digital format
- have completed at least 1 uninterrupted 12-month publishing cycle at the application deadline, and continue to be published until at least March 31, 2021
- contain an average of at least 80% Canadian editorial content in the issues published during the publisher's financial year
- contain an average of at least 50% Canadian editorial content in the issues published during the financial year, in the case of ethnocultural publications
- contain an average of no more than 70% advertising in the issues published during the financial year
- contain a majority of original content
- be edited, designed, assembled and published in Canada
In addition, applicants must ensure they meet additional eligibility criteria detailed in the Application Guidelines — Special Measures for Journalism.
David Harkness emphasized that the application s very straight forward and urged everyone who qualifies to submit complete application with the very few mandatory documents. He encouraged members to call his staff, if members needed any clarification regarding this program.
Bhaskar Sharma, Sean Pickard, Pooyan Tabatabaei , Kathy Lin, Weera Fonseca, Ranjit Wicks, Mila Garcia, Arash Kharabi, Shail Prasad, Maria Swetorzecki, Margaret Bonikowoska, Hon. Joe Volpe and others asked a wide variety of questions on various topic relating to this program
Presentation by Eugene Berezovsky – Manager, Event Operations, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
Invited members of NEPMCC to the initiative of dialogue with Lieutenant Governor of Ontario on the impact of Covid 19. There would be a press meet with the members of NEPMCC and the date would be announced later. He mentioned that communities have managed and adapted to the pandemic and emerged stronger. The office of the Lieutenant Governor would like to know the stories from the communities in how they dealt with Covid 19. More information regarding this would follow later.
New Members/ New Business:
Pooyan Tabatabaei moved a motion to adjourn the meeting and Hon. Joe Volpe 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 17, 2020 through Zoom
The above notes from the meeting of July 20,2020 prepared by the Secretary General and Senior VP of the NEPMCC Neel Nanda.