Category Archives: Communities

COQUITLAM: Couple pays $35,000 to the Dhadwals over “racist” remarks

Racist signs directed at neighbours who cut down trees cost Coquitlam couple $35,000

Published: November 22, 2013

KEITH FRASER
VANCOUVER DESI

Offensive protest signs and racist comments made during a battle between neighbours over three trees that were pruned and then had to be cut down has resulted in a Coquitlam couple being ordered to pay $35,000 in damages.

The dispute between the Demenuks and Dhadwals began when the Dhadwals, while building a new home, pruned and cut the roots of three large trees on the property boundary.

The Dhadwals had complied with municipal bylaws but the cutting of the roots endangered the trees and the two Douglas firs and the cedar tree were eventually ordered to be cut down.

The Demenuks sued the Dhadwals to recover for the loss of the trees and the Dhadwals filed a counter claim, alleging they had been defamed by the protest signs and had suffered aggravated damages arising in part from the racist comments. Continue reading

Surrey’s Punjabi radio stations facing CRTC ban

Surrey’s Punjabi radio stations facing CRTC ban

Published: September 19, 2014

banned-desi

The three Punjabi radio stations that will be the focus of the CRTC’s hearing in October. Facebook photo

TEREZA VERENECA
SURREY NOW

SURREY — Two radio stations operating out of Surrey could be slapped with mandatory cease-and-desist orders come October.

According to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), Radio India and Radio Punjab have offices in the city, but do not hold licenses to operate in Canada. Signals have been transmitting from Washington state, but their frequencies can be heard across the Lower Mainland.

In a notice of hearing, the CRTC states Radio India has an agreement with the licensee of KVRI 1600 AM in Blaine, Wash. Meanwhile, Radio Punjab is linked to New Age Media Ltd., the licensee of KRPA 1110 AM in Oak Harbour, Wash. A third radio station, Sher-E-Punjab, has studios in Richmond, but has an arrangement with BBC Broadcasting Inc., the licensee of KRPI 1550 AM in Ferndale, Wash.

The CRTC argues the broadcasting companies are skirting format and content regulations under the Broadcasting Act.

The CRTC will host a hearing on Oct. 15 in Gatineau, Que., allowing the stations to show cause as to why the commission should not issue the ban.

“Once we receive whatever documents, we’ll analyze them and come up with a decision. I don’t know how long it will take,” said Patricia Valladao, manager of media relations for the CRTC. Continue reading

VANCOUVER: Family of murderer Ninderjit Singh payS $150,000 so he could obtain illegal documents in the United States

Family of Vancouver teen’s killer paid $150,000 to help him flee country, says crown counsel

Published: March 27, 2013

Ninderjit SIngh

A photo illustration show how one-time fugitive Ninderjit SIngh changed his appearance over the 12 years he was hiding out in the U.S. after shooting and killing ex-girlfriend Poonam Randhawa. PNG files

KEITH FRASER
VANCOUVER DESI

The family of murderer Ninderjit Singh colluded with him in his efforts to evade police, paying $150,000 so he could obtain illegal documents in the United States.

After Singh fatally shot Vancouver teen Poonam Randhawa, he fled to California, where he eluded police for the next 12 years.

At his sentencing hearing Wednesday, Crown counsel Sandy Cunningham said that while in New York state, Singh obtained the necessary documents to become a different person.

“His family paid $150,000 to obtain the illegally forged identification,” Cunningham told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Butler. Continue reading

Surrey mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode proud to be “South Asian” first, then “Canadian”

Q & A: Surrey mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode discusses upcoming campaign trail

Published: September 20, 2014

Barinder Rasode announces her official bid for Surrey Mayor Saturday at SFU’s Grand Hall in Surrey, B.C. Kim Stallknecht/PNG

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

After months of speculation, Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode finally confirmed her bid for mayor in the upcoming election at a crowded celebration at SFU Surrey’s Grand Hall Saturday afternoon. While she is yet to release her official platform, Vancouver Desi caught up with the now official mayoral candidate to find out about the upcoming campaign trail.

1. Why should people vote for you?

I love Surrey, and I am passionate about making our city a better place to live and work. I’m prepared to make the tough decisions and take action to fix some of the long-standing issues in Surrey. We have made a lot of progress, but we have also learned some valuable lessons.

We need to make public safety our number one priority –- if we don’t fix Surrey’s crime problem, then all of the progress that we have made is in jeopardy.

We need to get people and goods moving across our city, because right now our economy is literally stuck in traffic. One hundred thousand people will move to Surrey over the next ten years, so we have to take action now to fix our transit and transportation issues, and start managing our growth in a responsible way. Continue reading

B.C.: Chinese parents disagree with Canadian teachers’ right to strike

Chuck Chiang: Many Asian families place blame for strike firmly with teachers
BY CHUCK CHIANG, VANCOUVER SUN COLUMNIST SEPTEMBER 14, 2014

September is the month during which several East Asian countries — especially Chinese-speaking nations — celebrate Teachers’ Day. For international students in B.C. from those regions, the irony is impossible to ignore.

Students traditionally present gifts to their elementary or high school teachers on the various Teachers’ Days (the first Friday of September for Singapore, Sept. 10 in China and Hong Kong, and Sept. 28 in Taiwan).

In China, the gift giving has grown so lavish (think tablet computers, cosmetics and luxury apparel) that Beijing has had to crack down on the practice in conjunction with the anti-corruption campaign launched by President Xi Jinping in 2012. Continue reading

B.C.: Government of China has stepped into B.C. teachers’ strike

The government of China has stepped into the B.C. teachers’ strike and that is raising concern about a major source of lucrative international…more
BY TRACY SHERLOCK, CHUCK CHIANG AND ROB SHAW, VANCOUVER SUN SEPTEMBER 12, 2014

The government of China has stepped into the B.C. teachers’ strike and that is raising concern about a major source of lucrative international students for B.C. school boards.

Officials from the Chinese Consulate in Vancouver met recently with Education Ministry officials to express concerns about the teachers’ strike, which has delayed the start of the school year by nearly two weeks, with no end in sight.

Several Chinese parents asked the consulate to intervene, consulate officials said. They added that they met with B.C. officials on Friday to “relay the concerns of the parents to local administrators.” Continue reading

EDMONTON: Refugees facing “unprecedented” challenges finding affordable places to rent

Low vacancy rates ramp up challenges for new refugees in Edmonton

By Andrea Huncar, CBC News Posted: Sep 19, 2014 7:00 AM MT Last Updated: Sep 19, 2014 7:00 AM MT

Refugees arriving in Edmonton are facing “unprecedented” challenges finding affordable places to rent, says an agency that works with newcomers.

“People are paying regularly 50 to 85 and sometimes even up to 90 per cent of their income going towards rent,” said Kathryn Friesen, program manager with Catholic Social Services.

Refugee families receive a monthly allowance from Ottawa for up to a year after moving to Canada. If they have children, they also qualify for the Child Tax Benefit.

But high rents exacerbate an already challenging situation, said Friesen.

She said refugees eager to succeed are instead forced to leave important English language and skill training to take on two or three jobs in order to make ends meet, while some of their children even drop out to work.

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It’s a financial struggle that can also lead to health problems or re-traumatize those who have endured war or torture, she said.

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“We don’t want people to arrive and be crushed by challenges that seem insurmountable.”

‘A good place to stay’

Abdurashid Osman Adan, his wife and four children moved to Edmonton from South Africa in April.

“It’s a good place to stay,” said Adan, who is excited to be upgrading his skills and English so he can get to work.

“And we are glad for Canada to give us a resettlement. Everything’s alright.”

Adan is unwaveringly upbeat, despite the hardships he has faced. For the first three months after he arrived, he had just 138 dollars left over for food and necessities after he paid rent.

“It was very difficult – the life. But you know, I’ve got some friends here in Edmonton so that I just borrow some stuff from them so that when I receive the tax … I’m going to pay back them. ”

Even now that his Child Tax Benefits have kicked in, rent still gobbles up more than half of his total income.

Adan’s friends continue to help him out by supplying halal meat from their shop, as well as rides and clothing. He also still relies on the Edmonton Food Bank.

Low vacancy rate creates additional challenges

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At 1.4 per cent, Edmonton’s vacancy rate is one of the lowest in the country.

High rents continue to be driven up by an influx of newcomers, with fewer units existing today than 15 years ago, said Jay Freeman, executive director of Housing and Homelessness with the City of Edmonton.

More than 50 new affordable housing units, currently under construction at 127th Street and 144th Avenue, will become available next month, said Freeman.

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Christie Blatchford deplores lack of “kindness” in Canadian immigration policy

Christie Blatchford is a Canadian newspaper columnist, journalist and broadcaster.

Christie Blatchford: Canada shows lack of kindness in deporting harmless Pakistani woman

Republish Reprint

 | September 16, 2014 7:57 PM ET
More from Christie Blatchford

Jamila Bibi was whisked away by two Canadian Border Services Agency officers early Tuesday morning at the Saskatoon airport, set for deportation to her native Pakistan.

Evan Radford/Postmedia NewsJamila Bibi was whisked away by two Canadian Border Services Agency officers early Tuesday morning at the Saskatoon airport, set for deportation to her native Pakistan.

When I saw the picture of a weeping Jamila Bibi in the Saskatoon Star PhoenixTuesday, I thought of only one thing, and that is, how Canada looks from the air.

I’ve flown across this country probably more than the average bear, most recently this summer from Prince George, B.C., to Moncton, N.B., when the shooting of four Mounties overtook the trial I was covering.

Lucky me, in the course of doing my job, I’ve seen Canada in all four seasons from the air. The only constant is how marvelously empty the country is, most of it.

Yet Canada couldn’t wait to deport Ms. Bibi, an unsophisticated woman from a village in Pakistan, Tuesday morning from the airport in Saskatoon. She and her friend and ally, Sahana Yeasmin, at whose restaurant Ms. Bibi had been working, said a tearful goodbye.

Ms. Bibi had been faithfully checking in weekly for the past 22 months, just as she had been ordered to do, and it was at one of these recent check-ins that authorities abruptly decided to remove her, despite a United Nations order to put the proceeding on hold until it was properly investigated.

Evan Radford/Postmedia NewsEvan Radford/Postmedia News

Jamila Bibi and Sahana Yeasmin, her friend and employer, cry at the Saskatoon airport as Bibi awaits deportation to Pakistan.

Her lawyer, Bashir Khan of Winnipeg, says she doesn’t know when she was born, but guesses she’s probably in her early 60s. He is enraged by her treatment, and so am I.

Ms. Bibi was sent back to a country where generally, women and girls are treated appallingly, where as the most recent report of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women notes, child and forced marriage, “karo-kari” (a local term that covers a wide variety of allegedly immoral female behaviour and which empowers family members to commit an honour killing), stove-burning and acid throwing, marriage to the Koran, and polygamy all persist.

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Canadian Muslims condemn ISIS savagery in Iraq, Syria

Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan

Canadian Muslims – living in a country where race, religion or ethnicity do not produce discrimination or oppression, the law is supreme, freedom of expression is enjoyed by all and the people are friendly and receptive to diversity – are horrified by the barbarity in Syria and Iraq.

They find the so-called Islamic caliphate particularly repulsive because its actions, particularly violent persecution of Shias, Christians, Yazidis, women and moderate Sunnis, violate the basic teachings of Islam that command justice, tolerance, compassion and respect for people of other beliefs. Its brutality goes against the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) whose life clearly illustrated that his mission was to be a mercy for all mankind.

Canadian Muslims worry about ISIS’s brutality for three other reasons. One is that while violence and brutality are common throughout the world and are committed by people of different faiths and also by those who profess no beliefs, the so-called caliphate says it is acting in accordance with Islamic teachings – a monstrous lie. Continue reading

CALGARY: HIV positive Sudanese man withheld his health condition from woman he married

Sudan: HIV/AIDS prevalence was 2.6 percent in 2012

KEVIN MARTIN | QMI AGENCY

CALGARY – Passing his HIV virus to his unsuspecting new bride was a criminal act, a judge ruled Friday in finding a Calgary man guilty of aggravated sexual assault.

Provincial court Judge Gord Wong said the man, who can’t be named to protect his victim’s identity, withheld his health condition from the woman.

As a result, Wong said the woman’s consent to sexual contact with him was gained through fraud, making it a crime.

Because the offender put the woman’s life at risk, the offence constituted an aggravated sexual assault – a crime that carries a maximum punishment of 14 years.

The 30-year-old Sudanese native met the victim at a party in May 2011.

Within days of their first contact he began talking to her about marriage and they wed in July, Wong noted.

By October, the woman suspected she was with child and went for a pregnancy test.

“Tests were conducted, which confirmed she was pregnant,” Wong noted.

“Unfortunately, those same tests showed that she had been infected by the HIV virus,” he said.

The offender became infected with the life-threatening illness before coming to Canada in 2004 and learned of his condition a year earlier.

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