Minutes of the Monthly Meeting held on April 10, 2017
Minutes of the Monthly Meeting held on April 10, 2017, at the Council Chambers City Hall.
Thomas S. Saras
Martin Van Denzen
Mohammad Bagher Samimi
Marek J. Goldyn
Mila Astroga Garcia
1. Welcome Remarks by the chair.
2. Minutes of the previous meeting
3. Report of the President/Discussions
4. Presentation by Councillor Jim Karygiannis
5. Presentation on Toronto Newcomers Day
6. Presentation by Jeffrey Kerr author of Barrier Free Real Estate Achieving Freedom at Home
7. Presentation by Hon. Michael Coteau – Minister of Children and Youth Services, Minister responsible for Anti-Racism
8. Presentation by Soo Wong MPP Scarborough-Agincourt
9. Presentation by Jessica Mohabir – aspiring journalist
10. New Members
Welcome Remarks by the Chair:
Dr. Tajdolati chaired the meeting and declared the meeting open. Suleiman Guven moved a motion to approve the agenda. Isa Melo seconded it. The motion was carried. .
Minutes of the previous meeting:
Pooyan Tabatei moved a motion to approve the minutes of the previous monthly meeting Suleiman Guven seconded it. The motion was carried.
• President Thomas Saras reminded the members to renew their membership this year in order to enjoy the benefits and privileges of being a member of NEPMCC. He expressed disappointed that only a portion of members have renewed their membership.
• President Thomas Saras informed the members that the first phase of the digital publishing platform has begun from January 2017 and the first phase will be completed by March 2018. He mentioned that the company responsible for the implementation of the Digital Publishing Platform would update 5 websites every month and as a result 60 websites can be migrated every year to the Digital Publishing Platform. He mentioned that the project has been tentatively approved by the Federal Government. With the proposed digital publishing platform, NEPMCC members will be able to publish their content digitally so that it can be consumed by the readers anywhere in the world using their computers and cell phones. This will save the members from maintaining expensive Information Technology (IT) infrastructures that they cannot afford. There were lot of discussions on this project and the President categorically answered all questions on this project posed by the members. He requested members to take advantage of this opportunity and be part of this historic project since there were limited spaces available for enrollment in the first year.
• President Thomas Saras suggested that the committee established to coordinate with the company responsible for implementing the digital publishing platform project for NEPMCC would later hold educational seminar on the operational working of the platform and educate the members about its benefits The members of this committee are, Yuri Natchetoi, Dr.Tajdolati, Eugenia E. Bakchinow, Maria Saras Voutsinas, Ricky Castellvi, Neel Nanda and Nitu Dahiya. A 2 day conference to be held later this year to educate the members on the Digital publishing platform. Motion: The Board agrees that on June 24 and June 25 to have a 2 day seminar to educate the members on the digital publishing platform. Suleiman Guven moved a motion to this extent seconded by Srimal Abeyawardene. The motion was unanimously carried.
• President Thomas Saras suggested that NEPMCC should celebrate Canada Day as it is marking the 150th year since the formation of the country. There were suggestions regarding this which would be discussed in the next meeting
• President Thomas Saras informed the members about the revenue in 2015 and 2016 by reading part of the income statements as received by the controller.
Presentation by Councillor Jim Karygiannis
The Hon. Jim Karygiannis, Toronto City Councillor for Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt, in his address to NEPMCC spoke about the over- heated housing market in Southern Ontario, specifically in GTA and is requesting that Premier Kathleen Wynne and Greater Toronto Area mayors recognize the urgency on imposing a foreign home buyers tax. “The average sales price of a GTA home increased a whopping 33 percent year to year from March 2016 to March 2017. This rapid escalation in housing prices is dangerous for individuals and families struggling to own home. It is not limited to Toronto; Housing prices across southern Ontario have increased at least 20 to 30 percent in the same time period, including in cities such as Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Barrie,” said Councillor Karygiannis. “In October of last year, I commissioned a poll by Mainstreet Research which showed 71 % of decided respondents in the City of Toronto favoured a tax on foreign home buyers. The people have spoken clearly and they want action from their government,” said Karygiannis.
He then invited the members of NEPMCC to participate actively celebrating Toronto Newcomers Day on May 15
Presentation By Senior City Staff City of Toronto on Toronto Newcomers Day:
Members were cordially invited to attend and participate at the annual Toronto Newcomer’s Day on May 15 at Nathan Phillip Square. Welcoming and Celebrating Newcomers. The attractions include official l welcome by Mayor Tory, Family Fun &, Citizenship Ceremony Information Fair, City Hall Tours, Newcomer Marketplace Food Trucks and others. Members were handed out flyers and encouraged to cover this event in their respective publications
Presentation by Jeffrey Kerr author of Barrier Free Real Estate Achieving Freedom at Home
The Chair Dr.Tajdolati invited the next speaker to make his presentation.
He made a brief presentation on his book “Barrier Free Real Estate Achieving Freedom at Home to the members and answered questions raised by members. An accessible home is a home where anyone with mobility challenges – for example a child in a wheelchair, an adult with vision problems or a senior with a walker – can live comfortably and safely. Copies of his book were distributed to all members and members were encouraged to learn more about barrier free real estate.
Presentation by Hon. Michael Coteau – Minister of Children and Youth Services, Minister responsible for Anti-Racism
Dr. Tajdolati and Maria Saras Voutsinas introduced the Hon. Minister to the council.
Hon. Michael Coteau thanked the council for the introduction and began by giving information on his childhood background. Prior to entering the provincial government, Michael was elected as a school board trustee for the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) in 2003, 2006 and 2010. As a trustee, Michael advocated for student nutrition, community use of space and the use of educational technology. He initiated the ‘Community Use of Schools’ motion that drastically cut user fees and made schools more accessible to groups that offer programs for children. He helped introduce nutritional changes in schools that supported healthy food programs and increased awareness of student hunger.
He quoted “We live in a paradise compared to the rest of the planet”
Following his presentation he took questions from the floor and candidly answered all questions.
Dr. Tajdolati, Jonathan Annobil, Mereck Goodyn, President Thomas Saras, Rosemary Sadlier, Pooyan Tabatei asked a wide variety of questions on a number of topic such as ‘’Ontario’s anti-racism strategy”, “role of ethnic media”, systematic barriers etc. The Honourable Minister candidly answered all questions.
Presentation by Soo Wong MPP Scarborough-Agincourt
Maria Saras Voutsinas introduced MPP Soo Wong to the council.
She made a presentation on introducing the new OSAP and on her Private Member’s Bill 79
Following are the highlights of New OSAP:
Ontario is transforming student assistance to make college and university more affordable, including free tuition for qualifying adult learners, so that they can go back to school and upgrade their skills. The new OSAP will make average tuition free for students, including mature students and adult learners, whose family income is less than $50,000 per year. Students with children may be eligible to receive OSAP funding for child care costs, and students from higher-income families will also benefit from more generous grants and loans.
Private Member’s Bill 79:
Bill 79, the Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day Act, would declare December 13th of each year to be Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day in Ontario.
The Nanjing Massacre, or the Rape of Nanjing, was a six-week massacre initiated by Japanese imperial forces on December 13, 1937 in the then-capital of China, Nanjing. More than 200, 000 Chinese soldiers and civilians lost their lives during the massacre and tens of thousands of women in Nanjing were sexually assaulted during the capture of the city. The Bill focuses on global humanity issue that is affecting Ontarians. – As an inclusive society, Ontario acknowledges that global human rights and injustices have an impact in our diverse communities. Bill 79 will promote re-dress and reconciliation amongst communities in Ontario impacted by the atrocities and tragedies during WWII in Asia. Bill 79 focuses on a day to remember and honour the victims of the atrocities and related tragedies during WWII in Asia. Many Japanese-Canadian organizations are supporting the bill. To date, over 60,000 Ontarians from across the province have signed petitions in support of Bill 79. Bill 79 is supported by numerous organizations and individuals, including ALPHA Education, the Japanese Canadian Young Leaders organization, Chinese-Canadian business associations, Veterans for Peace, the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Day Coalition of Toronto, the Honorable Bob Rae, former MP Olivia Chow, award-winning author Erna Paris and many prominent Ontarians like Hughes Eng.
Following her presentation MPP Soo Wong candidly answered all questions relating to the new OSAP and her Private Member’s Bill 79 and encouraged all members to sign a petition supporting her Bill 79.
Presentation by Jessica Mohabir – aspiring journalist
The chair introduced Jessica Mohabir and invited her to make her remarks.
Following are the excerpts of her bio and her presentation
“My name is Jessica Mohabir, sixteen years of age, currently attending Castlebrooke Secondary School for my eleventh year of school. I have always wanted to pursue a career in writing because it has always peaked my interest. Starting from my sixth-grade graduation when I was given the literacy award, I knew I found my passion. In my spare time, I enjoy writing short stories and poetry. I have had the honour of publishing one particular poem featured in Polar Expressions Publishing’s These Eyes. Transitioning to high school, I found that there was minimal space for creative, literary work and took it upon myself to create our school’s creative writing club where I act as the executive and well as a journalist in our school’s newspaper: “The Castlebrooke Chronical.” Aside from writing, I do enjoy reading and editing others’ work when needed. I am the one my friends come to when they need advice on how to enhance their writing and structure. In the future, I plan to study journalism and allow that to be my first step to becoming a journalist as well as publish a novel or compiled collection of my work. In the future, I want to be able to appeal to an audience using my creative mindset and make an impact on the world.”
The Chair thanked the speaker and wished her support and success in her future endeavours.
Presentation by Tony Song – Yi Jing Association of Canada
Tony Song made a brief presentation on Yi Jing and how it can be and used in life, according to good and humane, so that physical and mental health, happiness, family happiness, social harmony, and ultimately achieve the purpose of world peace. He informed that classes are free and members interested in attending the classes can register free of cost.
A moment of silence for member who passed away:
Ahmed Shah Hotaki informed the council of the sad demise of Mr. Sultan Ali Shunbuli who was a member of NEPMCC. To this Srimal Abeyawardene suggested members stand up and observe a minute of silence for the departed soul. Ricky Castellvi seconded and all the members unanimously observed a minute of silence.
New Members/ New Business:
Ketan Raul – web editor – The Weekly Emerging Times and Bengalworld.com.
Adjournment: Jonathan Annobil moved a motion to adjourn the meeting and Srimal Abeyawardene 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, May 8, 2017 at the City Hall, committee room N#2.