Category Archives: Communities

Ukrainian Milana Muzikante and Lilia Ratmanski charged with threatening Sunwing flight while drunk on the plane

Police identify two women charged with threatening Sunwing flight

The two women who caused a Sunwing flight headed to Cuba to turn back to Toronto Wednesday evening are facing numerous charges.

By:  Staff Reporter, Published on Thu Aug 28 2014

The two women who caused a Sunwing flight headed to Cuba to turn back to TorontoWednesday evening — escorted by two fighter jets — are facing numerous charges.

Milana Muzikante, 26, of Vaughan, and Lilia Ratmanski, 25, of Whitby, have been charged with smoking on an aircraft and endangering the safety of an aircraft. They were set to appear in court in Brampton for a bail hearing Thursday.

Peel Regional Police Const. Thomas Ruttan said the pair will face additional charges including mischief endangering life and uttering threats.

Outside the courtroom Thursday afternoon, Ratmanski’s mother said her daughter was an A student in nursing at York who “never smokes, never drinks.”

The mother, who identified herself as a Ukrainian native, was accompanied by a family friend. Neither gave their names.

“I’m so shocked,” the mother said. “I don’t understand what has happened.” Continue reading

Domestic violence acceptable reason to keep Mexican woman in Canada

Mexican woman in Montreal facing deportation to remain in Canada

CBCCBC – Sun, 24 Aug, 2014

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Citizenship and Immigration Canada has stayed Sheila Sedinger Ayala’s removal order.

“It feels amazing,” Sedinger Ayala told CBC news. “Now I can concentrate on celebrating my daughter’s birthday which is this Saturday, the day I was going to be deported.”

Sedinger Ayala, 27, was initially ordered to be deported back to Mexico after her refugee claim sponsor  — her husband — was convicted of a criminal offence.

Her two Canadian-born children would  have stayed behind in Canada if the deportation went ahead.

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The decision comes one day after an immigrant rights group hosted a news conference for Sedinger Ayala on Sunday.

With her fiancé by her side, Sedinger Ayala sobbed while she explained what had happened to her and why she should be granted temporary residency to allow her to stay in Canada while she sorts out her affairs.

Sedinger Ayala said she moved to Montreal from Mexico City in 2005, fleeing from a violent ex-boyfriend.

She had one child within a year of arriving in Canada — a product of gang rape while in Mexico, said Sedinger Ayala’s lawyer Angela Potvin.

She later met and married a man in Montreal with whom she had another child. She said he sponsored her bid for permanent residency and in 2008, the federal and provincial governments accepted her sponsorship application.

However, Potvin said the sponsor was found guilty of physical assault during the course of Sedinger Ayala’s sponsorship application, which in turn made him ineligible to sponsor her. She said the conviction cancelled her permanent residency bid.

OTTAWA: Michael Lumahang drowned while trying to help rescue 12-year-old boy from river

Boy, 12, rescued by 24-year-old man but another man drowns while trying to assist

CBC News Posted: Aug 24, 2014 10:29 AM ET Last Updated: Aug 24, 2014 1:57 PM ET

Family members say Michael Lumahang, 39, drowned after trying to help rescue a 12-year-old boy from the Ottawa River on Saturday. (Facebook)

Family members have identified Michael Lumahang of Ottawa as the man who drowned while trying to help rescue a 12-year-old boy from the Ottawa River.

Family members of Michael Lumahang, including his wife, above, await news of the Ottawa man Saturday night near the Ottawa River. (CBC)

​Ottawa paramedics say they responded to a report of someone drowning at Bate Island near the Champlain Bridge just before 7 p.m. Saturday.

When they arrived, paramedics treated a 12-year-old boy for mild hypothermia.

Police said two men were fishing when they saw the boy in the water. They said a 24-year-old man rescued the boy and was uninjured.

A 39-year-old man also jumped in the water to help with the rescue, but he disappeared. The police marine and dive unit found his body on Sunday at about 6:35 a.m.

Family members have identified the man as Michael Lumahang, 39, who lived in Ottawa but was originally from Manila, Philippines.

OTTAWA: Misbahuddin Ahmed found guilty of two terrorism-related charges

Former Ottawa hospital technician Misbahuddin Ahmed has been found guilty of two terrorism-related charges by a jury.

CBC News Posted: Jul 11, 2014 2:30 PM ET Last Updated: Jul 11, 2014 7:29 PM ET

Ahmed, 30, had pleaded not guilty to conspiring to knowingly facilitate a terrorist activity, participation in the activities of a terrorist group, and possession of explosives with intent to do harm after his arrest in August 2010.

His eight-week trial began in mid-May and went to a jury on Tuesday. On Friday, the jury found him guilty of the first two charges but not guilty to the possession of explosives charge.

Conspiring to knowingly facilitate a terrorist activity carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison, while participation in the activities of a terrorist group has a 10-year maximum term.

Ahmed will be sentenced on Sept. 15.

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Crown lawyers said during the trial that Ahmed was a “committed jihadist” with an eye on potential Canadian targets, pointing to a bag in his basement they alleged held bomb-making materials.

Ahmed and his defence said during the trial that he was trying to stop a planned attack and was planning to destroy the contents of the bag, which he got from a known extremist.

The jury heard how the RCMP had tapped Ahmed’s phone and videotaped him meeting with that same extremist, whose name is covered under a publication ban.

A verdict is expected in the trial for Khurram Sher, one of Ahmed’s alleged co-conspirators, on Aug. 19.

Columnist suggests that praying in library is perfectly acceptable

Ethically speaking: Not necessary to take offence over public prayer

Woman disturbed by prayer in library should worry about something else

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There's no need to be offended by the sight of a devoted person praying in public, Ken Gallinger writes. After all, there are many more things to take offence at, like wearing a racist T-shirt in public.

 

There’s no need to be offended by the sight of a devoted person praying in public, Ken Gallinger writes. After all, there are many more things to take offence at, like wearing a racist T-shirt in public.

By:  Ethically speaking columnist, Published on Sat Aug 23 2014

Iwas doing research in my local library and witnessed something disturbing. A lady had a towel on the floor and was doing her prayers. She would stand up, bow down, and repeat for 15 minutes. Prayer should be done in one’s own home or a religious building. I was offended because the library is a public place and I had to witness something that should be done elsewhere. What are your thoughts? Continue reading

OTTAWA: Chinese restaurant fined after rice served sent six children to hospital

27 people at Tian Tian Chinese Summer Camp, 17 others got sick after eating rice

CBC News Posted: Aug 22, 2014 4:26 PM ET Last Updated: Aug 22, 2014 4:33 PM ET

A west Ottawa restaurant has been fined by Ottawa Public Health after rice it served made dozens of people sick and sent six children to hospital from a summer camp.

Paramedics were called to St. Cecilia School the afternoon of July 31 after several children and adults from the Tian Tian Chinese Summer Camp reported feeling ill.

Six children suffering from vomiting, dizziness and diarrhea were taken to hospital with suspected food poisoning. They were all released later that day.

Ottawa Public Health said in a statement Friday they inspected three restaurants that provided food for the camp that week. Two of those restaurants passed but the third, Lotus Chinese Food Takeout on Fallowfield Road, did not.

After interviewing more than 90 people from the camp, Ottawa Public Health said a total of 44 people felt sick after eating a fried rice dish from Lotus.

Analysis showed the presence of Bacillus cereus, a bacterium that releases toxins causing symptoms reported by those who got sick, in the rice and a noodle dishes from Lotus.

“Although this type of bacteria was found in both the rice and the noodle dishes prepared, the bacteria in the rice dish was at a level consistent with levels known to cause food-borne illness,” the statement said.

Inspection records show Lotus was found in compliance with regulations on Aug. 1, but had a “critical” food safety issue on Aug. 19 related to keeping food protected from contamination.

Lotus has been fined for operating a food premise maintained in a manner permitting a health hazard, and operating a food premise maintained adversely affecting sanitary conditions. Together, the offences carry a maximum fine of $600.

TORONTO: Vivian Wong, Leo Zheng and Thomas Ma lost money in condo development deal

Police investigating after condo deal falls apart

Toronto police confirm they are investigating a number of complaints from prospective buyers in the condo development who say they have lost money.

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Vivian Wong, Leo Zheng and Thomas Ma are among the prospective buyers who say they lost money in a condo development deal that fell apart.  Toronto police are investigating.

TARA DESCHAMPS / TORONTO STAR Order this photo

Vivian Wong, Leo Zheng and Thomas Ma are among the prospective buyers who say they lost money in a condo development deal that fell apart. Toronto police are investigating.

By:  Staff Reporter, Published on Fri Aug 22 2014

When a group of retail and condo buyers purchased units in an up-and-coming Yonge and Finch building also featuring a hotel, they envisioned packing up their current homes and moving into new ones where they would raise families, grow old and make memories together.

Instead, they say they’ve been subjected to almost nine months of anguish as they fret over what happened to the condos they were expecting and the millions they collectively spent on units at 5220 Yonge St. Continue reading

Vancouver flooded by immigrants from mainland China

Vancouver housing data reveal Chinese connection

IAIN MARLOW - ASIA-PACIFIC CORRESPONDENTThe Globe and Mail

Published 

Last updated 

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Macdonald Realty Ltd., which has over 1,000 agents and staff in B.C., said 33.5 per cent of the 531 single family homes sold by its Vancouver offices in 2013 went to people who the company said were a mix of recent immigrants and Canadian citizens.

Those buyers, the company added, tended to spend more money, too, with the average cost of a house sold to these clients topping $2-million, compared to $1.4-million on average overall.

The figures did not include Macdonald’s sales in suburban areas such as Richmond, Burnaby or North Vancouver.

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The information is based on reports from the firm’s sales, anecdotes from its agents and Mr. Scarrow’s own experience working with mainland Chinese clients, and it’s a glimpse into the influence of mainland Chinese money on Vancouver’s real estate market, which is considered among the most expensive in North America.

Vancouver has been flooded in recent years by tens of thousands of investor-class immigrants from mainland China, who have seen the west coast city as a stable – and picturesque – place to park their capital in luxury property.

That has helped drive up the average price of a single-family home in Vancouver to around $1.2-million.

Mr. Scarrow, who noted the firm does not query buyers about immigration status, believes that investment flowing from mainland China into Vancouver real estate is a quantifiable phenomenon, but has not personally seen much of the more controversial type of buyer: Those from abroad who buy for investment purposes but never live in the city. “We still see very few pure investors from China who have no connection to Vancouver,” he says.

Getting a handle on foreign buyers is difficult and Macdonald’s survey is far from exact – though one major property developer in Richmond said “that sounds about right.” The federal government does not collect meaningful data on the number of foreign buyers purchasing Canadian real estate, leaving industry participants to debate the impact of foreign capital on the local market. And that debate has gotten heated recently, with some developers accusing others of racism and criticizing those who want to slap curbs on foreign investment. The issue is complicated by the fact that some of Vancouver’s ethnically Chinese-Canadian citizens with ties to Hong Kong view newer immigrants from mainland China with a degree of suspicion, assuming their wealth might have been accumulated in part by proximity to China’s Communist Party, rather than in a free market with the rule of law like Hong Kong.

The lack of hard data has also complicated discussions about the city’s affordability crisis and fuelled a local cottage industry where analysts attempt to decipher the scope of foreign money by looking at things like electricity usage in downtown neighbourhoods where some suspect foreign buyers have bought condos in which they never live. Continue reading

TORONTO: After 47 years of living in Canada, feminist Ceta Ramkhalawansingh wants Canadian anthem be more “inclusive”

Toronto city councillor pushes for “O Canada” change

Ceta Ramkhalawansingh wants city council to ask Ottawa to make the national anthem more gender-inclusive.

By:  Staff Reporter, Published on Thu Aug 21 2014

In one of her only acts as a politician, interim city councillor Ceta Ramkhalawansingh wants to make history.

At Monday’s council meeting, Ramkhalawansingh will introduce a motion to request the federal government change the English words of Canada’s national anthem to be more gender inclusive.

If successful, singers of “O Canada” will eventually proclaim “true patriot love in all of us command” instead of “true patriot love in all thy sons command.”

“It’s about inclusion, and you’re really changing two words,” Ramkhalawansingh said.

Changing the national anthem requires an act of Parliament, not city council. But Ramkhalawansingh wants to push her colleagues in that direction.

“It’s my last city council meeting and I’m a feminist,” she said. “If you go back and look at the city’s history you will see the City of Toronto has provided leadership on many gender equality issues.”

The recommended word changes are based on the national “Sing all of us” campaign, founded by former prime minister Kim Campbell, author Margaret Atwood, Senator Nancy Ruth, former University of Toronto chancellor Vivienne Poy and educator Sally Goddard.

“It will be very interesting to see who supports and who may not support it,” Ramkhalawansingh said. “I can predict there will be a couple who won’t.”

Before joining city council, Ramkhalawansingh was a municipal civil servant for three decades and retired in 2010 as manager of diversity management and community engagement for the city.

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__________

Ceta Ramkhalawansingh

Country of Origin:

Trinidad and Tobago

My name is Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, and I moved to Toronto in August 1967. I came with my family, which included my mother, my father, my brother and a sister. The five of us moved here in part because our parents wanted us to attend university in Canada. We moved from Trinidad and Tobago, and although there are very good schools there, I think that they thought that travel and living overseas would be a very good thing for us to do.

 

When I moved to Toronto in 1967, I attended one year of high school and then entered the University of Toronto, where I became very involved in a range of student activities, in addition to going to school, of course. I became very involved in student government, as well as various course union programs. At that point in time in 1968 onwards, there was a move afoot to change the curriculum of the University of Toronto towards a more integrated, interdepartmental approach to curriculum, rather than very rigid programs of study. I became very involved in advocating and working towards establishing a feminist studies program.

HALIFAX: ‘Muslim Canadian of African descent’ Mohamed Yaffa claims discrimination because of his ‘race, national or ethnic origin, colour and religion’

Halifax man alleges discrimination at Air Canada’s hands

Mohamed Yaffa, who specializes in diversity and inclusion, testified in ongoing case he faced “enhanced security screening” due to his skin colour and religion.

By:  Staff Reporter, Published on Tue Aug 19 2014

Mohamed Yaffa, a diversity and inclusion co-ordinator in Halifax, is demanding to know whether Air Canada trains its staff on just that: diversity and inclusion.

In a case currently before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, he alleges the airline subjected him to “enhanced security screening,” including “enhanced questioning,” on six different occasions from March to June 2010 because of his race, national or ethnic origin, colour and religion.

Yaffa, who describes himself in tribunal documents as “a Muslim Canadian of African descent,” is the diversity and inclusion co-ordinator for Capital Health, which provides health services in the Halifax region. He did not return several requests for comment. Continue reading