Minutes of the Monthly Meeting held on August 13, 2018, at Committee Room #2 City Hall.

Posted on by John (Ioannis) Saraidaris

Minutes of the Monthly Meeting held on August 13, 2018, at Committee Room #2 City Hall.

Thomas S. Saras
Neel Nanda
Maria Saras-Voutsinas
Rosemary Sadler
Ricky Castellvi
Ishkhan Ghazarian
Anfisa Lyasota
Kumanan Thambi
Mohammad Bayher Samimi
Leila Montaeiro Lins
Norman Hart
Sandie Defreitas
Ahmad Hotaki
Latif Thakkar
Ghulam Rasool
Maria Swietorzecki
Rosamarty Sadler
Khalid Malgram
Hon. Joe Volpe
Vadim Chaportchine
Mohammad Tajdolati
Jonathan Annobil
Cezar Bangu
Qazi Afrasiab
Muhammed Ali Bukari
Arif Ahmed
Khuram Aftab
S. Krishnalingam
A. Kourtesis
Kolososki Miecysfor
Gezahegn M. Demissie
Ned Blair
Ranjit Wicks
Shanthi Perera
Raj Rayaqure
Aris Babikian Speaker
Yuri Natcheroi
Elisayed Nasr
Said Henry
Luisito Queano
Isa Mela
Marek J. Goldyn
Najib Popalzai
Wais Popalzai
Bhaskar Sitarnite
Nuraz Sharma
Mustafa Kandel
Yuebing Hu
Theshome Woldeamanuel
Bobby Wang
Venkataran Nagaraj Bankalore
Alimaahbour Eshare TV
Susan Donan
Ernesto Donan
Chandrarathna Bandarte
Geraklis Kathy
Luba Cherny
Stas Mileashchenko
Ngozi Ugoh
Solomon Avemu
Dagny Pawlak
Dimitris Vohaitis
Raji Arasatnam
Darsy Joseph
Tamil Muk
Kathy Lin
Inga Chernei
Jannifer Keesmat
Ana Bailao
Sivamohan Sivalingam
Ali Mahmoud
Gezahegn Mekonnen Demissie
Saad Alsafar
Rui Yang
Thavapalan Kathiravelu
John Saraidaris
Hermie Garcia
Mila Garcia
Robin Berkovian
Mulugeta Zergaber
Janusz Niemczyk
Denis Brito
Eugenia Bakchinow
Anastasios Chatzitheofanous
Muhacumad NAEEM Islam
Foe Jole
Nishantha Dion
Thanapalan Kathivarelu
Salah Allam
Stena Allam
S. Subramanian
Elizabeth Muzale
Agenda of the day:
• Welcome Remarks by the chair.
• Minutes of the previous meeting
• Report of the President/Discussions
• Presentation by Khuram Aftab, Councillor Candidate Ward 23 Toronto
• Presentation by Aris Babikian, MPP Scarborough Agincourt
• Presentation by Mayoral Candidate Jennifer Keesmaat
• New Members/New Business
• Adjournment
Welcome Remarks by the Chair:

Dr. Tajdolati chaired the meeting and declared the meeting open. Ranjit Wics moved a motion to approve the agenda. Isa Melo seconded it. The motion was carried. .
Minutes of the previous meeting:
Khalid Magram moved a motion to approve the minutes of the previous monthly meeting Inchaha seconded it. The motion was carried.

President’s Report/Discussions:

• President Thomas Saras mentioned the conference organized by NEPMCC in Vancouver, British Columbia was a great success. This conference was organized in order to hear about the problems faced by the members in British Columbia and how the organization can help them, as well as to educate the members about the benefits of the digital platform undertaken by NEPMCC for all its members. The meeting with the members in Vancouver took place on Saturday July 21, and the President was accompanied by Yuri Natchetoi for this very important conference. The meeting was attended by more than 70 member publishers of BC. During the conference a decision was taken for the creation of a provincial branch in order to provide more services to members of the Western Canada. Vinnie Combow of the Voice and Awaaz publications, ( rcombow@gmail.com), and Maura De Freitas, publisher of the Celtic Connection, (Maura@telus.net ) were elected both Senior Vice Presidents to represent the sector and to cooperate with the Head Office in Toronto. The two will call another meeting in order to elect the members of the board of directors. The President of the NEPMCC will be attending this meeting if the members decide his presence is needed.
• The president reminded to members that August 17, 2018 open the doors to public the annual National Canadian Exhibition, CNE, the biggest event of its kind in Canada. He mentioned that for the last 38 years the NEPMCC is participating in the fair with all the benefits in order to promote and support the sector to Canadian Public. Saturday, August the 18th, at 12:00 noon the organization is doing the official opening of the pavilion with the participation of members and a number of VIP. The president encouraged the members to attend. To this extent the office will provide to all those willing to attend free entry tickets and also this day the entrance to fair will be free for the members only by showing their Media Pass. The event will conclude with a reception for all present members with live music wine and cheese. CNE passes were distributed in the meeting.
• President Thomas Saras mentioned that nominations for the Annual Awards is now closed this year and only 20 nominations have been submitted to the Awards Committee. This year the Annual Awards ceremony will take place at the Rotunda of the Toronto City Hall, on Friday November 9th, 2018 and Her Honour the L. Governor will present them on behalf of the organization. Following the presentation of the awards the organization will offer a reception in honour of the recipients. The president brought a motion therefore that all the expenses for the above be accepted by the members as legitimate and the executive should be paid them from the treasury of the organization. The motion was carried. The End of the Year “Get Together” event, will be organized at the Saint Laurence Hall, and the day will be Friday, December 14th, 2018 from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Tickets will be issued for all members willing to attend this annual event of cooperation and families meeting.

• Freedom Day was attended by very few members although 300 members confirmed their attendance. This is a drain on our treasury and also reflects poorly on the organization as the event was attended by the Lord Mayor and many other dignitaries.
• President Thomas Saras suggested that next year NEPMCC will be working to organize the event even better. President Thomas Saras expressed disappointment that the May 4 Celebration of Press freedom Day was attended by only few members. The president also announced a 4 day educational seminar on journalism for all the members in 2019. He would send a questionnaire to members in order to find on what subjects interests the members most, for the educational seminar and the program would be decided accordingly.
• Due to sickness of Brother Srimal Abeyewardene, Senior VP and Treasurer of the organization, and his inability to perform his duties, the Board of Directors decided to appoint as new treasurer and Senior VP, Brother Arif Ahmed until the end of the term of this board, March 31, 2019. A motion was presented to members to accept the recommendation of the Board. The motion was accepted unanimously.
• The Annual Ethnic Press Festival will take place at CNE as all the other years and the booth of NEPMCC will be located in the International Pavilion near the main stage. Members were asked to bring 50 copies of their best publications for the press festival for the CNE. This is a great opportunity for the members to promote their respective publications as thousands of visitors drop by the MEPMCC booth every day at the CNE. The official opening ceremony of the Ethnic Press Festival will take place on August 18, Saturday at 12:00 noon, at the International Markets Pavilion, (Hall B.) of the direct energy building, in the main stage. Many government officials and dignitaries will attend the opening ceremony of the NEPMCC Ethnic Press Festival. Following the ribbon cut the organization will offer to attending members and their friends a wine and cheese reception.
Motion: President Thomas Saras suggested that any member that accompanies or travels for official visit for the business of NEPMCC be reimbursed $300 per day+ expenses of the trip. Isa Melo moved the motion and Arif Ahmed seconded it. The motion was carried.
• President Thomas Saras mentioned that the Government has allocated $50 million dollar for five years or 10 million dollars per year, for financial support to community publications, out of this amount 20%would be distributed to Ethnic Media. He encouraged all members to apply for funds under the Canada Periodical Fund and other such programs by Federal Government. President Thomas Saras would meet with the officials of Ministry of Heritage to discuss distribution of advertising in ethnic media.
• President 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. 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 your advantage to have it.
• The City of Toronto will offer editorials in English which should be translated in 10 different languages. The Editorial will be published in the website and also in the main language of the publications.
• The President spoke about student internship program with the schools of journalism. Internship will be from 3 – 6 months. The program will cover $12 per hour per student and the rest has to be covered by the respective organization. President Thomas Saras said he will travel to Ottawa to continue his dialogue with the Federal Government regarding advertising and funding to ethnic media. A motion was placed on the floor about his plans for the program. The motion was carried unanimously.
• Thomas Saras mentioned that rules will be changed for receiving grants under Canada Periodical Fund and more emphasis will be given on Canadian content, writers and circulation than sales, which was the measure in the previous years. He emphasized that before submitting their application under the Canada Periodical Fund, the members should thoroughly go over all the rules in order to avoid any rejection of their application.

Presentation Khuram Aftab Candidate for Councillor Ward 23
Khuram Aftab introduced himself with his short biography and why he is interested in running for the office of councillor ward 23. He described his journey after immigrating to Canada and working for the community. From working in Sam Food Store to taking ownership of the company he described it has been a fascinating journey. His background is in construction and has a MBA in Finance. ward is considered high risk for gun violence and drug addiction among the youth. He mentioned his plans in detail to combat gun violence and drug addiction by engaging the youth and the less fortunate in community activity along with the Police and social workers. He has always been donating food to the needy and less fortunate in order to create a positive environment in the society.
MareckGoldyn, Januscz. Muhammad Bukhari, Sandy Defreitas, Arif Ahmed and other members participated in the discussions following his presentation.
Presentation by Aris Babikian MPP Scarborough Agincourt
Aris Babikian began his address by remembering his days as the member of NEPMCC and still considers himself as an integral part of the organization. He mentioned that he is an activist first and politician afterwards. He spoke about different topics and asked for inputs towards the needs of the community so that he can represent the voice of ethnic media and its concerns in Queens Park. He candidly answered a wide variety of questions to the satisfaction of all.
Januscz , MareckGoldyn, Arif Ahmed, Muhammad Bukhari, Michael Homsi, Jonathan Annobil, Michael Homsi, Joe Volpe, Ricky Castellvi, Nabil Saad and others discussed on a wide variety of topics such as immigration, minimum wage and other issues facing the community.

Presentation by Mayoral Candidate Jennifer Keesmaat
Jennifer Keesmaat Toronto City’s former chief planner gave a kbrief introduction of herself to the members and outlined the reason as to why she is running for the office of the Mayor of the City of Toronto. She mentioned that there is a lot of work to do to keep Toronto a liveable and affordable city, to bring us together to make Toronto work for everyone. But to do that, the city needs bold ideas to move it forward, not cut it back. She gave her vision on housing, public safety, transit and other areas affecting the city.
Maria , Muhammad Bukhari, Januscz, MareckGoldyn, Demetris and others asked her wide variety of questions on a number of topics which were candidly answered by the mayoral hopeful.
NEPMCC adopts motion on journalists and children attacked in Bangladesh
Muhammad Ali Bukhari from Toronto
The National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC) has adopted a motion with great dismay on torture against the Daily Amar Desh editor Mahmudur Rahman, internationally acclaimed photo-journalist Shahidul Alam and school children demonstrated for the road safety in Bangladesh.
It has been adopted unanimously in its monthly general meeting held on August 13 evening at the New City Hall in Toronto, while President Mr. Thomas S. Saras was in chair and the motion presented for discussion by THE organization’s Ombudsman and Editor-in-Chief of the Persian Mirror Dr. Mohammad Tajdolati, which was duly seconded by one of the editors of the Philippines Reporter Mrs. Mila Garcia, who fled Manila in 1984 after she was released along her husband from military camps under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos for reporting on the rampant exploitation of peasants and corruption in rural Philippines.
The motion contains condemnation on the brutal attack on editor Mahmudur Rahman in court premises as well as arrest, detention and alleged torture of photojournalist Shahidul Alam, targeted attacks on journalists in Bangladesh and pro-government youth activists attacked students with clubs, while police fired tear gas to break up the demonstrations of school children, which bring traffic to a halt protesting road safety. It also urges the Bangladeshi government to immediately release Shahidul Alam and step up to stop attacks on journalists and the children at concern.
New Members/ New Business: Notwithstanding any new member at the meeting, the chair declared the business of the day closed.

Adjournment: Khalid Magram moved a motion to adjourn the meeting and Isa Melo 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 10, 2018 at committee room N# 2 at the Toronto City Hall.

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