Category Archives: Communities

ONTARIO: University chaplains resign over changes to office and Muslim prayer space

University chaplains resign over changes to office and Muslim prayer space

POSTED BY  ON  IN  | 1,520 VIEWS | 13 RESPONSES
Print Print

Decision-making process called into question; University says student needs were their priority

Taylor Lasota // GAZETTE

This story was updated on Nov. 26 at 9:30 a.m.

Western’s longest-serving chaplain, along with four of his colleagues, has resigned in protest over the recently announced move of the Chaplains’ Services offices and a dedicated Muslim prayer space in the University Community Centre.

Rev. Michael Bechard, Western’s Roman Catholic chaplain, submitted his resignation and those of Janet Loo, Annette Donovan Panchaud, Melissa Page Nichols and Maija Wilson from the UWO Chaplains’ Association, to University President Amit Chakma on Friday.

The University announced last week that the current Muslim prayer room in University College would be moved along with the Chaplains’ Services offices to one space in the basement of the UCC. In addition, the current multi-faith space in the UCC will no longer be used.

Bechard’s concerns are two-fold. He explained that the principle behind having a dedicated space exclusively for one faith group is contrary to how the UWO Chaplains’ Association advocates for faith space on campus. Additionally, he claimed that the decision-making process was flawed and only included certain groups. Continue reading

MONTREAL : Jewish community in shock after sudden death of popular teacher and parent, Sarit Malca

NOVEMBER 21, 2014 |MIKE QUEBEC BUREAU CHIEF

Teacher Sarit Malca’s sudden death has been a shock to UTT/Herzliah community.

Teacher Sarit Malca’s sudden death has been a shock to UTT/Herzliah community.

The United Talmud Torah/Herzliah school  community in Montreal is still reeling after the shocking and sudden death of  popular teacher and parent, Sarit Malca, who taught Hebrew and Jewish studies. On Sat., Nov. 15, the  41-year-old mother of two young girls, aged 8 and 5, went to the hospital suffering from severe stomach pain. Her condition continued to deteriorate and three days later  she passed away.

Social services agency Ometz has been in the school offering grief counselling. A Twitter hash tag #Herzstrong has been used to show how everyone will get through this experience together.

A native Israeli, Malca was noted for the work she did between the school and its sister city for a program called Gesher Chai, which linked her school with those in Beer Sheva. Continue reading

OTTAWA: Woman angry that bus driver refused to let her and her stroller on crowded bus

Mother filed complaint with OC Transpo last week, hasn’t received a response

CBC News Posted: Nov 26, 2014 5:00 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 26, 2014 5:58 PM ET

An Ottawa woman says she’s still waiting for a response from OC Transpo and doesn’t plan on riding buses with her baby on cold days in the future after a bus driver asked her to get off a bus with her stroller and two-month-old baby.

Robin Noel baby OC Transpo complaint asked to get off stroller Nov 26 2014Noel says she filed a complaint with OC Transpo that night and hasn’t yet heard back. (CBC)

“I was extremely frustrated, to say the least,” said Robin Noel, nearly a week after the Thursday, Nov. 20 incident during the afternoon rush hour.

She was waiting for a No. 2 bus on Somerset Street West and had timed it so she’d be waiting outside for only five minutes.

But the first bus was full and didn’t stop and the second, smaller bus was 20 minutes late. She said she watched six to eight people get off, but that the driver wouldn’t let her on.

“As I was starting to get on the bus, the driver looks at me and says, ‘I can’t fit a stroller, you have to get off,’” Noel recalled. Continue reading

Iranian-Canadians feel betrayed by allegations against Jian Ghomeshi

  • Share on Facebook Reddit this!
Sima Sahar Zereh, a 30-year-old Iranian-Canadian journalist and community activist, says there is sadness and a sense of betrayal in the Iranian-Canadian community over abuse allegations against former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi.

DAVID COOPER / TORONTO STAR Order this photo

Sima Sahar Zereh, a 30-year-old Iranian-Canadian journalist and community activist, says there is sadness and a sense of betrayal in the Iranian-Canadian community over abuse allegations against former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi.

By:  Business Reporter, Published on Mon Nov 10 2014

To many Iranian-Canadians, Jian Ghomeshi has long been their community’s brightest star, as he took great pride in his ethnic heritage and happily stepped into the spotlight at events and fundraisers.

But now, some are feeling a sense of sadness and betrayal amid widening allegations against him of sexual violence, and his firing as host of Q, one of the CBC’s most popular radio shows.

“He was an icon for so many of us in the Iranian community, particularly those of us who have any interest in media,” said Sima Sahar Zerehi, a journalist, teacher and human rights activist. Continue reading

ALBERTA: Hiring Albertans “is so expensive”, Chinese consul general in Calgary says referring to Chinese companies operating in the oilsands

China’s oil patch problems 5:13
Tonight’s first order of business, some shocking candour about China’s take on its Canadian energy investments, which apparently aren’t as profitable as they would be if only Chinese workers were allowed to be brought here.

The implication of lower wages for those workers is clear — but Canada’s message back could be that while we welcome investment, we don’t welcome labour practices that create a second class of citizen.

— Amanda Lang


The Chinese consul general in Calgary told the Globe and Mail that Chinese companies struggle to turn a profit on Canadian investments.

He said hiring Albertans “is so expensive” and that it “adds to the financial burden” of the Chinese companies operating in the oilsands. In the face of falling oil prices, pricier Canadian workers are only getting more burdensome for Chinese firms invested in Canadian resources.  Continue reading

ALBERTA: 4 Filipino temporary foreign workers die in crash while driving on icy highway

4 Filipino temporary foreign workers killed in Leduc crash

Echoes 2012 crash that killed 4 Filipino workers near Calgary

By Lydia Neufeld, Scott Lilwall, CBC News Posted: Nov 24, 2014 11:25 AM MT Last Updated: Nov 24, 2014 5:44 PM MT

RCMP say icy road conditions were a factor in the collision that killed the four workers.RCMP say icy road conditions were a factor in the collision that killed the four workers. (CBC News)

A recently widowed mother working as a nanny to support her two teenagers was among four Filipino temporary foreign workers killed in a head-on crash with a truck on an icy Alberta highway Saturday morning.

Eva Janette Caperina, 41, was travelling with two men and a woman along Highway 21 when their Saturn Ion hit an icy patch near Leduc. Continue reading

TORONTO: Haheen Afzal becomes citizen in spite of catastrophic citizenship test results

‘Comedy of errors’ lets woman become Canadian citizen despite abysmal results on citizenship tests

Republish Reprint | November 20, 2014 | Last Updated: Nov 20 8:41 PM ET
More from Adrian Humphreys | @AD_Humphreys
A Canadian citizenship ceremony. Before someone can become a Canadian citizen, they are required to demonstrate linguistic competence in either of Canada’s official languages and show an adequate knowledge of Canada’s social, civic and political norms.

Matthew Sherwood for National Post/FileA Canadian citizenship ceremony. Before someone can become a Canadian citizen, they are required to demonstrate linguistic competence in either of Canada’s official languages and show an adequate knowledge of Canada’s social, civic and political norms.

TORONTO — A would-be Canadian who received a grade of zero out of six on her citizenship language test and four out of 20 on the test’s knowledge component was nonetheless granted a Canadian citizenship certificate.

A “series of administrative errors” put Haheen Afzal — despite her abysmal results on the tests — before a citizenship judge in Hamilton, Ont., swearing an oath to the Queen and being issued a citizenship certificate.

When the mistake was discovered, Ms. Afzal did not want to surrender her citizenship and fought to keep it. Continue reading

TORONTO: Immigration consultant Razgar Hasan arrested on sexual assault charges


Torstar News Service Immigration consultant Razgar Hasan, 56, has been charged with sexual assault and breach of trust.

An immigration consultant faces charges of sexual assault and breach of trust.

Police say that on the evening of Sept. 20, a 23-year-old woman who had just immigrated to Canada visited an office on Finch Ave. W., for professional services. The woman alleges she was propositioned for sexual favours and was sexually assaulted. She told police she fled the office at her first opportunity.

Razgar Hasan, 56, was arrested on Saturday. He is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 18.

Omar Elgammal and Danial Velshi suing the Toronto French School for defamation and racial profiling


Torstar News Service Omar Elgammal, left, and Danial Velshi, both 20, are suing the Toronto French School and its headmaster, former MP John Godfrey for defamation. The two are seen outside court on Monday.

A fist fight off school property that allegedly lasted “less than a minute” led to the removal of two Muslim students from a Toronto private school. The pair is now suing officials at the Toronto French School, claiming how they handled the fallout amounted to defamation and the effect of a “deficient” investigation was racial profiling. Continue reading

KITCHENER, ON: Sikh community celebrates Sikh Remembrance Day


Metroland News Service Royal Military School cadet Sarab Jot Singh, Gurjanb Singh and Resham Singh Rana of the Golden Triangle Sikh Association salute after laying a wreath during Sikh Remembrance Day ceremonies at Mount Hope Cemetery.

KITCHENER — Pte. Buckam Singh may not have had the right to vote, but he still fought and died for his adopted country.

Eight years after his gravesite was discovered in Kitchener’s Mount Hope Cemetery, hundreds gathered around his final resting place to pay tribute to the Sikh soldier, whose story was lost to history for decades.

Pte. Singh, who came to Canada as a teenaged farm labourer, enlisted in the First World War, was wounded in battle and died in 1919 in a Kitchener military hospital, was buried here without ceremony shortly after the war ended. Continue reading

An immigration database