Awards 2015/ President’s Remarks

Remarks by Thomas S. Saras NEPMCC Awards Ceremony, October 30, 2015. Your Honour, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentleman, Brothers and Sisters in Canada’s Ethnic Media and NEPMCC 2015 Awards Recipients; It is an honour and indeed a distinct privilege for me …

Remarks by Thomas S. Saras
NEPMCC Awards Ceremony, October 30, 2015.

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Your Honour, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentleman, Brothers and Sisters in Canada’s Ethnic Media and NEPMCC 2015 Awards Recipients;

It is an honour and indeed a distinct privilege for me and my colleagues to welcome you all today to this recognition of those who distinguish themselves in the service of Canada’s diversity in our great multicultural society, founded on the freedom of the press.

Your Honour, it was but a year ago that we were among the first voices to welcome you to the office of the L. Governor. Thank you for your vibrant example and contribution to Ontario, and to Canada.

It is in your distinguished presence that the NEPMCC wishes today to express its congratulations to this year’s recipients; and also a sincere thank you and gratitude to you personally and through you to the people of this great Province and to Her Majesty.
Your staff, a dynamic group of men and women, have been invaluable in their constant help, support and enthusiasm, which extends far and beyond their sense of duty.

Your Honour, We truly appreciate your continued support in hosting our event. This is a tradition that you had no hesitation in to continuing. By doing so, you honour not only the members of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada and the 750 Canadian publications they represent but also the panorama of the ethnic communities they serve in more than ninety languages, other than English or French, fully appreciate and understand.
For this gesture, we are most grateful to you.

Your presence here today also exemplifies care, concern and recognition of the realities and the importance of the roles that our ethnic communities play in the development of the Canadian multicultural mosaic. This has even more significance today when in other places of the Globe thousands are living under conditions which fail to comply with minimum standards of health, safety and decency, or simply struggling to protect their lives and the future of their children. For small children and students going to school hungry becomes unacceptable to any civilized and democratic society

Three millennia ago it was Aristotle who declared that “all men are equal”.

Although this principle is the lynch pin of our modern democratic societies, three thousand years later we still battle inequality in most areas of our society.

We together, as a country, are upholders of the ideal of democracy in our government and society. As a nation we seek spiritual union with those who love freedom.

Although from many bloods and diverse national origins, we stand before the world as one people united in a common democratic determination.
Furthermore, we believe that freedom of expression and freedom of information are important pillars for a successful democracy; and these pillars are founding principles of the outmost importance to the members of National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada.

We live in a democratic society. Our instrument is honor and friendship. Our guiding light in this organization is to ensure the increase of understanding of each other. Our basis is confidence to each other. These are the basic elements we rely upon to safeguard our rights and our liberties, as we together build our common Canadian and universal culture for existing and future generations of Canadians.

In the pursuit of these principles, our editors, writers and publishers work very hard to spread knowledge of the world’s events, in their neighborhoods, across and between our ethnic communities and to every corner of the planet, to the citizens of Canada and the world.

Allow me to point out that no corporate entity funds them. They are independently run by professionals who have to work hard in order to serve their ethnic community. For most of us, producing an ethnic medium is a daily struggle. Yet some of us have been successful enough to be around for forty or fifty years. As an example of this is statement stand today “The Canadian Jewish News”, “The Kanadansanomat” with a history of 83 years, “The Share News”, the Shahrvand, the Pride News, The Philippine Reporter”, with over 50 years of policing, and same with the rest of tonight’s recipients.

Your Honour, it is this spirit of courage and commitment that we are recognizing here today.
Today we are also recognizing, members of different ethnic communities for their efforts and success to make a difference in the lives of all Canadians; from the Principal of one Public School for her kindness to embrace equality and inclusion across her entire student population, to officers of peace as they serve Canadian communities in their best ways to unite law enforcement with community service. They all have come to this great country of ours seeking to positively contribute to our society. Most of our honourees grow up without experiencing life in countries where the destiny of the citizen is determined by the status of their birth more than the scope of their talent. Here in Canada, our social standing, race, religious and political believes, language and the ability of expression are of no consequence compared with our ability, dedication merit and ambition. This is something recognized very well among others, by Inspector Sonia Thomas, Sergeant Paul Chiang, Dr. Mary Jo Leddy, Panagiotis Tzimas, Royson James, Dr. Thurairajasingham Onnampalam, and Ahilakumaran Muthuthukumarasamey.
For their achievements we honour them today.

Thus by recognizing this evening’s recipients, we acknowledge our appreciation for what they tirelessly do for our communities, and at the same time we wish them luck and encourage them to continue their wonderful efforts in the future.

Finally, speaking directly to those who we honour today, I wish to express our thanks again for being here and allow me to extend our hearty congratulations to all of the recipients.

Merci.