Category Archives: Communities

MISSISSAUGA: Dr. Sastri Maharajh back in business a year after admitting to sexually assaulting up to 13 female patients

Mississauga doctor sees male-only patients after sexual abuse discipline

Dr. Sastri Maharajh is back in business a year after admitting to sexually assaulting up to 13 female patients; experts are concerned about lax laws that allow less severe penalties for all but the most serious sexual transgressions.

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By:  Staff Reporter, Published on Thu Sep 18 2014

A Mississauga doctor disciplined by the province’s medical regulatory body for sexually abusing as many as 13 women is back in practice with conditions forbidding him from treating female patients.

“Important notice: Dr. Maharajh may treat male patients only,” reads a sign posted at the front desk inside Mississauga’s MD Walk-in clinic, where Dr. Sastri Maharajh has been working since late 2012.

Maharajh, 53, admitted to either placing his mouth on or resting his cheek on the breasts of up to 13 female patients between 2005 and 2011. He was disciplined for sexual abuse under the Regulated Health Professions Act after a College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario discipline committee hearing last summer.

Months after Maharajh’s licence was reinstated in July following an eight-month suspension, the strength of the legislation, touted as a zero tolerance law since its inception more than two decades ago, is being called into question.

Only sexual intercourse, various forms of contact with the genitals, the anus and the mouth, and masturbation merit a mandatory revocation of a doctor’s licence. If a doctor performs another type of sexual act, the panel can also decide to either suspend or impose specified terms, conditions and limitations on their licence.

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A University of Toronto graduate, Maharajh, who specializes in family medicine, earned his medical licence in 1985. He worked out of a private practice before transferring to the walk-in clinic almost two years. Online reviews from former patients called Maharajh an excellent doctor; many expressed surprise at his recent disciplinary record. Continue reading

RICHMOND, B.C.: Mayoral contender Lifeng Wei wants to implement Chinese-style city policies

ELECTION 2014: Civic pay, Chinese signs focus of Richmond mayoral debate

Richmond mayoral candidates Malcolm Brodie, Richard Lee and Cliff Lifeng Wei.  - Matthew Hoekstra

Richmond mayoral candidates Malcolm Brodie, Richard Lee andCliff Lifeng Wei.

— Image Credit: Matthew Hoekstra

In the wake of a report documenting a rapid rise in municipal compensation, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie defended city workers’ salaries in a Thursday mayoral debate.

Brodie, campaigning for a seventh term in the Nov. 15 vote, said unionized workers’ pay is governed by negotiated agreements. As for management—who are paid too much according to an Ernst and Young report made public last month—Brodie said “it’s all relative.”

“If we don’t pay our management enough, then they go somewhere else,” he said in front of a Minoru Place Activity Centre crowd of approximately 250 people. “That’s a huge cost, when you lose a longtime employee and that person goes elsewhere. So you have to pay market rate to your employees, and it’s also a matter of fairness.”

To probe municipal pay, the province hired consultants Ernst and Young, whose report criticized cities for allowing pay levels to climb by 38 per cent—twice the rate of the provincial public service—from 2001-12. The report also suggested municipal managers are paid too much and recommended the province take strong action to curb the trend.

Richard Lee, who is making a second run at the mayor’s job and running with Richmond Reform, said staff are entitled to their current deals, but suggested there’s room for wage scrutiny.

“I believe in the free market, we could have and in the future we will under my leadership, to hire somebody at a reasonable rate, not at the alarming rate that was shared with us in that study…”

Richmond City Hall’s payroll has grown by $15 million in five years. The city’s top earner is chief administrative officer George Duncan, who made $291,250 last year. Department heads also score high on the pay scale, as five of six general managers topped the $200,000 mark in 2013.

Thursday’s short debate, organized by the Richmond Centre for Disability, served as a prelude to a much larger forum featuring 28 candidates running for councillor.

Mayoral candidates also waded into the contentious waters of Chinese-only signs. Lee said they’re “not a good thing.” Some will argue for freedom of expression, he said, but added “all rights are conditional.” Continue reading

West Africans claim to be facing stigma of Ebola in Canada

Canadians from west Africa face stigma of Ebola

 Chinta Puxley, The Canadian Press

 

The Ebola virus may not have crossed Canada’s border, but the epidemic sweeping parts of west Africa is taking a toll on many Canadians.

Those with parents, brothers, sisters and cousins in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea say they are living on the edge — filled with anxiety every time the phone rings and dealing with the stigma created by the disease.

Abu Bakarr Kamara, who immigrated from Sierra Leone in 2003 and lives in Winnipeg, said he often lets his phone go to voice mail when it rings for fear of hearing his father or sister have fallen ill.

“I listen to the voice mail before I call back,” he said. “If I don’t hear any terrible news on the voice mail, I say, ‘Thank God.’ That’s our life right now.

“It’s frustrating. It’s terrible. It’s terrifying. Sometimes you go to bed thinking about what horrible news you could get from back home. You just pray. It’s really heartbreaking.”

The World Health Organization estimates the disease has killed more than 4,900 people and infected about 10,000 — virtually all in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. A lack of beds in Ebola clinics is also forcing families to care for relatives at home, risking further spread of the virus, the WHO has said.

“The rate that people are getting infected in the capital city, it’s all so heartbreaking,” said Kamara, vice-president of the Sierra Leone Nationals Association of Manitoba. “It’s like there is no hope, even though we try to hope for the best.”

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In Edmonton, members of the Canadian Liberian Friendship Association are raising money to buy an ambulance for their homeland. President John Gaye said he and many others feel helpless.

Liberian-Canadians are also feeling the effects of the epidemic in their adopted country, he said. People back away suspiciously when they find out someone is originally from Liberia. Others cast suspicion with questions: when were you last there? Have you entertained any visitors recently?

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Abu Bakarr Kamara, a Toronto man from Sierra Leone who has the same name as the Winnipeg man but is not related, said his family back home faced a dilemma when his brother fell ill. No one wanted to take him to the hospital because, if he didn’t have Ebola, he could catch it there.

“Thankfully, he was suffering from malaria,” he said.

Canada’s health-care system is better equipped to contain and deal with the virus, he added. Canadians need to direct their energy into fighting the deadly disease on African soil to ensure it doesn’t ravage other countries around the world

“We live in a global world. People do travel; people do trade,” he said. “It’s better for these advanced countries to go to west Africa and stop this epidemic there rather than just sit here and wait to protect (Canada).

TORONTO: Dr. Oluleke Badmos charged with sexual assault and harassment of patient, police say there may be more victims

Clinic patient alleges inappropriate touching, harassment

CBC News Posted: Oct 23, 2014 1:03 PM ET Last Updated: Oct 23, 2014 11:22 PM ET

Police allege Dr. Oluleke Badmos inappropriately touched and harassed a patient of the CML Healthcare clinic. Police allege Dr. Oluleke Badmos inappropriately touched and harassed a patient of the CML Healthcare clinic. (Toronto Police Service)

A Toronto doctor has been charged with the sexual assault and harassment of a patient, and police say there may be more victims.

Police say a 26-year-old woman went to a clinic at 688 Coxwell Ave., near Danforth Ave., in spring 2013 for a routine medical exam.

Police say she was touched in a sexually inappropriate manner by the doctor. She stopped the examination and left the clinic but, in August 2014, police say the doctor started contacting her against her wishes.

Dr. Oluleke Badmos, 52, was on Wednesday charged with sexual assault and criminal harassment. Police say there may be more victims.

Anyone with information is asked to contact 55 Division at (416) 808-5500 or Crime Stoppers at (416) 222-TIPS. Continue reading

TORONTO: Muslim candidates in municipal election report alleged racist attacks

Islamophobia: the ugly side of the municipal election?

Three people vying for positions in Monday’s municipal election have reported racist attacks this week

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Hateful messages were scrawled on some of Ward 2 council candidate Munira Abukar's campaign signs.

COURTESY MUNIRA ABUKAR

Hateful messages were scrawled on some of Ward 2 council candidate Munira Abukar’s campaign signs.

By:  News Reporter, Published on Fri Oct 24 2014

For three Muslim candidates, Toronto’s municipal election took a very nasty turn this week.

On Thursday night, a Purolator truck driver allegedly hurled garbage and shouted “terrorist” at a team of volunteers planting signs for Ward 2 council candidate Munira Abukar.

On Friday, a Purolator spokesperson issued a prepared statement that said the company is “deeply troubled about this report” and is “taking this matter seriously.” The spokesperson said Purolator President and CEO Patrick Nangle contacted Abukar on Friday morning “to apologize and express concern.”

This was not the first time Abukar has faced xenophobia on the campaign trail. Earlier this month, the Star reported that a campaign sign featuring Abukar wearing a hijab was defaced with the words “B—-” and “Go Back Home.”

“You can’t let a few election trolls ruin your city and ruin your home,” Abukar says. “There’s no room for hate of any kind in Canada”

TDSB Ward 10 trustee candidate Ausma Malik appears to be the target of an anonymous co-ordinated attack. In addition to being heckled at a candidates’ debate, her campaign office says that thousands of flyers were distributed throughout the ward this week which, among other things, accuse Malik of being a supporter of the Toronto 18 terrorist cell and a proponent of Sharia law. One flyer even has a photo of Malik superimposed over a yellow and green Hezbollah flag.

“The accusations are incredibly mean-spirited and they’re lies,” Malik says. “I’m doing this because I believe in public education, I believe in our community, and I believe that an inclusive, equitable and progressive public education system is possible — and especially in light of this, absolutely necessary.”

In Ward 18, council candidate Mohammad Uddin claims he has been the target of a steady stream of Islamophobic insults. On Thursday, he tweeted a photo of one of his campaign signs defaced with the words “F— Islam.” Uddin claims racist graffiti has been discovered outside his campaign office as recently as Friday, and earlier this month, he says his car windows were smashed and his campaign signs were stolen as the vehicle sat in his driveway.

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OTTAWA: Gurpreet Ronald, charged with murder of Jagtar Gill, denied bail

Bail denied for alleged Transpo femme fatale

BY , OTTAWA SUN

FIRST POSTED: | UPDATED: 

Gurpreet Ronald - accused in murder of Jagtar Gill
Gurpreet Ronald, 34, is accused of first-degree murder in the Barrhaven slaying of Jagtar Gill in her suburban Ottawa home.

A woman charged with murder in an alleged love-triangle slaying was denied bail Friday.

Gurpreet Ronald is charged with first-degree murder in the January death of Jagtar Gill along with the dead woman’s husband, Bhupinderpal Gill.

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It has already been reported that Jagtar Gill was found dead by the couple’s teenaged daughter on Jan. 29.

Ronald, who is also married with children, was arrested in April after a lengthy police investigation.

Bhupinderpal Gill, Ronald’s OC Transpo colleague with whom she was allegedly having an affair, was arrested days later. He too remains in custody.

Twitter: @ottawasuntonys

OTTAWA: Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, killer of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, was not on RCMP watchlist

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau wasn’t on RCMP terror watchlist 

QMI AGENCY

FIRST POSTED: | UPDATED: 

OTTAWA - The man who shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial in Ottawa before being gunned down in Parliament’s Centre Block was not one of the 90 radicalized Canadians on an RCMP watchlist, Mounties revealed Thursday.

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, “was an individual who may have had extremist beliefs.”

His e-mail was found on a hard drive belonging to someone who’s been arrested for terror-related activities.


 

Born in Montreal, he later lived in Calgary and Vancouver, then went to Ottawa on Oct. 2 to deal with an issue regarding his passport application, Paulson said. Police believe he was hoping to travel to Syria from Ottawa. Continue reading

OTTAWA: Cpl. Nathan Frank Cirillo fatally shot in terrorist attack

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo of Hamilton identified as soldier gunned down in Ottawa attack

Cirillo was standing guard at the National War Memorial when witnesses say he was shot at point-blank range. An assailant was later killed.

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At least 30 shots are fired inside the main building of Canada’s Parliament Hill, after a gunman shot and killed a soldier at the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa.

 By:  Ottawa Bureau reporter,  Ottawa Bureau reporter, Published on Wed Oct 22 2014

OTTAWA — The Canadian soldier who was shot and killed as he stood guard on a bright and chilly morning at the National War Memorial is identified as Cpl. Nathan Frank Cirillo, family and military sources say.

A Parliament Hill security guard was wounded in the chaotic attack Wednesday just before 10 a.m. in the nation’s capital that police believe involved more than one assailant.

Cirillo, of Hamilton, was one of two Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada reservists standing guard in front of the monument when a gunman opened fire Wednesday morning. The shooter was killed inside the Parliament buildings after firing at least 20 shots.

Ottawa police would not confirm a CBS News report that has identified the dead shooter as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. A high-ranking federal officer confirmed his identity to The Canadian Press. He was born in 1982 and is believed to be Canadian, the American news outlet reported, quoting U.S. officials. Continue reading

Lack of ethnic organ donors on Canadian registry frightening

October 18, 2014 10:42 pm

Bone marrow recipient urges ethnic donors to join registry

By   Global News

VANCOUVER — As hundreds run and walk through Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park tonight as part of the fight against Leukemia, Christina Law is particularly grateful for their support.

The 38-year-old was first diagnosed with the disease in 2003 and though her doctors wanted to perform a bone marrow transplant, she couldn’t find a match. Law was treated with high-dose chemotherapy, and was in remission for 10 years.

Unfortunately, in 2012 she had to fight for her life again when she was diagnosed with another blood disorder.  This time, a bone marrow transplant was the only option. She found a match and had the procedure, but it didn’t work as well as doctors had hoped. In a few weeks, with thanks to an anonymous donor, Law will be undergoing a second transplant.

“It’s like a ticking time bomb inside me and I don’t know whether things will go even worse, to the point that the doctor cannot save my life. It’s very scary,” Law toldGlobal News.

What is particularly frightening is the lack of ethnic donors on the Canadian registry. Only one in four are non-Caucasians.

Read More: Montreal woman who pleaded with B.C. residents to save her life finds umbilical cord donor

“A patient’s chance of finding a match within their own ethnic background is much, much higher,” says Law.

That’s why Law has become an advocate with the Chinese Stem Cell Initiative and urges people to take five minutes to sign up online with the bone marrow donor registry.

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–With files from Elaine Yong.

MISSISSAUGA: Pakistani woman takes federal government to court over nikab ban

Ex-immigration minister Jason Kenney ‘dictated’ niqab ban at citizenship ceremony, court told

A ban on veils while taking the citizenship oath was driven by Kenney’s own ideology, say lawyers for Zunera Ishaq, who is challenging the policy in court.

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The federal government introduced a new policy to ban new citizens from wearing face-covering veil during the oath taking at citizenship ceremonies like this one in Toronto.

By:  Immigration reporter, Published on Fri Oct 17 2014

A Mississauga woman has taken the federal government to court over a policy that forbids wearing the face-covering veil while taking the oath of citizenship, arguing the ban breaches her Charter rights and fails to accommodate her religious beliefs and dress code.

Banning the niqab from citizenship ceremonies is the result of former immigration minister Jason Kenney imposing his own ideology of “Canadian values” on the process, Zunera Ishaq’s lawyer, Naseem Mithoowani, told federal court Justice Keith Boswell at a hearing in Toronto on Thursday.

“The true motivation of the policy is to compel Muslim women to abandon, albeit briefly, their religious adherence,” Mithoowani said.

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It’s the first such challenge against the niqab ban at citizenship ceremonies; if successful, it could strike down the policy. Continue reading

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