Category Archives: Communities

HALIFAX: Immigration consultant Ziad El Shurafa fined $75k for helping clients lie on their Canadian immigration applications

Published September 11, 2014 – 6:49pm
Last Updated September 11, 2014 – 6:49pm

A Halifax immigration consultant who helped clients lie on their Canadian immigration applications has been handed a conditional sentence of two years less a day and fined $75,000.

Ziad El Shurafa, 41, of Bedford pleaded guilty in April to five charges of counselling misrepresentation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

He was sentenced Thursday in Halifax provincial court.

Judge Michael Sherar said immigration consultants are trusted and regulated to guide people from other countries through Canada’s “daunting” immigration process.

“(An immigration consultant) has a privileged role to play in maintaining the integrity of Canada’s immigration system and the administration of justice,” Sherar said. “They must uphold the rule of law and act at all times honestly and in good faith toward immigration officials, without intent to deceive or undermine the integrity of the system, or assist others to do so.

“And that’s what we have here today.”

Sherar said the courts must deter people like El Shurafa “from trying to deceive the system, trying to circumvent the system, trying to get (their clients) ahead of others.”

“They have to know that if they get caught, they will be punished,” he said. “The way not to get caught is to not commit the crime.”

The judge placed El Shurafa on house arrest for the first year of his conditional sentence. That will be followed by one year with an 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

El Shurafa is still allowed to work while he’s serving the conditional sentence and can travel to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for business purposes as long as he gets the court’s permission first. Continue reading

TORONTO: Refugee from Burma ends up working for the Karen community

From there to here: Burmese refugee loves Canada’s respect for human rights
For Mie Tha Lah, part of the persecuted Karen minority in Burma, Canada’s respect for human rights is one of his adopted home’s best features.

Mie Tha Lah, a 37-year-old refugee from Burma, now known as Myanmar, is a youth worker for the Jane/ Finch Community and Family Centre. When he arrived in Canada and saw the CN Tower he knew his dream for freedom was complete.


By: Debra Black Immigration Reporter, Published on Thu Jan 30 2014

More than 240,000 immigrants are expected to arrive in Canada this year. Many will settle in the GTA. For some, their dreams may take years to build. For others, those dreams may never materialize.
To explore that experience, the Star is publishing an occasional series in the words of newcomers, both recent and more established. If you would like to tell your story, email
Mie Tha Lah, a 37-year-old Burmese refugee, came to Canada in 2007 after the country’s doors were opened to members of the minority Karen community, who had been targeted by the government. Lah now works as a settlement worker with the Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre and is an accredited court interpreter.
Before coming to Canada with his wife, originally from the Philippines, his parents and siblings, he spent about 13 years in a refugee camp on the border between Thailand and Burma. While there, Lah received a scholarship to attend a Catholic university in the Philippines, where he studied education. Continue reading

SURREY: 5th Annual DARPAN Extraordinary Achievement Awards honoured ten members of the South Asian community


published by asingh on Tue, 09/23/2014 – 16:32

The 5th Annual DARPAN Extraordinary Achievement Awards were held at the Aria Banquet & Convention Centre in Surrey on Friday, September 19. The event honoured ten remarkable South Asian individuals who embody the spirit of community and believe in giving back through their own avenues in an effort to build society. The evening featured a keynote speech by Anuradha Koirala, a social activist from Nepal who has rescued and rehabilitated thousands of females from sex trafficking.

These award recipients were:

• Young Wonder – Anoop Virk
• Artistic Visionary – Sirish Rao
• Industry Marvel – Anita Huberman
• Advancing Philanthropy – Gunwant Bains
• Community Crusader – Dr. Raghbir Singh Bains
• Corporate Engagement – Peter Dhillon
• Breaking Barriers – Dr. Gurdev Singh Gill
• Heritage Defender – Naad Foundation, Amarjeet Singh
• Spirit of Sport – Arjun Gill
• International Sensation – Anuradha Koirala

Also spotted at the event were Honourable BC Premier Christy Clark; Dianne Watts, Surrey Mayor; Jinny Sims, Member of Parliament; Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education; Amrik Virk, Minister of Advanced Education; and Members of Legislative Assembly Harry Bains and Raj Chouhan.

Jus Solis or Jus Sanguinis for Canadian Sinhalese?

Published On:Thursday, September 18, 2014
Posted by Sri Lanka Guardian

by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

 ( September 18, 2014, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) Our culture determines the order in which we think. Racism happens when there is conflict in this order of thinking due to different ethnicity based thought orders. Migrants who use the cultural system of their country of origin are in reality using Jus Sanguinis (Citizenship law by blood). Migrants who use the cultural system of their country of residence are likewise using the objective system of Jus Solis (Citizenship law as per land of birth). The law would help raise our experiences to the common level. But harmony may not be achieved through some laws due to lack of knowledge of higher cultures. We must find the order that fits our own experiences so that our mind is healthy for us.
[For almost forty years since the Vaddukkoddai Resolution of 1976, the North and East of Sri Lanka had been a land soaked in blood -- Terra Sanguinis -- mostly "Tamil blood"]
Applying the thinking order of Thesawalamai – the law applicable to Jaffna Tamils North and East of Sri Lanka is therefore Tamil Land – for better or for worse. Continue reading

Millions of dollars sent by Filipinos from Canada back home


published by asingh on Tue, 09/16/2014 – 16:43

Filipinos abroad sent back home cash worth $2.063 billion in July—the biggest amount on a monthly basis so far in 2014.
Almost four-fifths of July’s cash remittances were from Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom and United States.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data released this week showed that cash remittances coursed through banks last July exceeded by 6.0 percent the $1.946 billion sent home by Filipinos overseas during the same month in 2013. It was the second straight month that cash remittances exceeded the $2-billion mark.
From January to July, cash remittances totaled $13.485 billion, up 5.8 percent from $12.746 billion in the same seven-month period in 2013.
The BSP noted that cash remittances from land-based workers grew 5 percent to $10.3 billion, while those from sea-based employees rose 8.5 percent to $3.2 billion.
The robust cash remittance flows came “on the back of stable demand for skilled Filipinos abroad,” the BSP said, citing Philippine Overseas Employment Administration data showing that job orders during the January to July period hit 540,037. Over two-fifths of the overseas jobs bagged by Filipinos were in the production, professional, service and technical sectors in the countries of Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and UAE.
The BSP added that the continuous expansion of bank as well as non-bank remittance service providers both internationally and domestically sustained cash remittance flows.
Personal remittances from Filipinos abroad, meanwhile, went up 7.1 percent to $2.284 billion in July from $2.132 billion in the same month in 2013.
According to the BSP, personal remittances “measure the total amount of remittance flows into the country, including cash and non-cash items that flow through both formal (via electronic wire) and informal channels (such as money or goods carried across borders).”
As of the end of July, personal remittances reached $14.958 billion, 6.4-percent higher than the $14.063-billion haul during the first seven months of last year.
“The continued expansion in personal remittances during the first seven months of 2014 was mainly due to the steady increase in remittance flows from both land-based workers with long-term contracts (by 5 percent) and sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts (by 8.4 percent),” the BSP said.

Government invalidates passports of those who join extremist groups

Government invalidating passports of Canadians who joined extremist groups

Published on: Last Updated: 

The government has begun invalidating the passports of Canadians who have left the country to join extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander revealed in an interview on Friday.

The minister told the National Post his department had also revoked the passports of several Canadians who had not yet left the country but who had intended to travel to the volatile region to enlist as foreign fighters.

He would not disclose the number of passports Citizenship and Immigration Canada had revoked over the conflict but said there were “multiple cases.” The government says about 30 Canadians are with extremist groups in Syria and 130 are active elsewhere.

“Yes, I think it’s safe to say that there are cases of revocation of passports involving people who’ve gone to Syria and Iraq already,” Alexander said. “I just don’t want to get into the numbers, but multiple cases.”

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander would not disclose the number of passports Citizenship and Immigration Canada had revoked over the conflict but said there were “multiple cases.”

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander would not disclose the number of passports Citizenship and Immigration Canada had revoked over the conflict but said there were “multiple cases.”

The action means Canadian fighters in Syria and Iraq may effectively be stranded there. Their passports are no longer valid and therefore cannot be used to return to Canada. Nor could they be used to travel elsewhere.

This week the Post revealed the identity of another Canadian with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Mohamed Ali, a 23-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., left Canada in April and later wrote online about playing soccer with severed heads.

Other Canadians allegedly with ISIL and similar extremist groups in the region include Hasibullah Yusifzai of Burnaby, B.C., and Calgary’s Farah Shirdon, who this week threatened attacks on the United States, before Twitter suspended his account.

Alexander said while they were few in number, he was troubled that Canadians had joined ISIL, which has been committing widespread atrocities in an attempt to impose its militant version of Islamic law on Syrians and Iraqis.

“We are not by any means the leading contributor of foreign fighters to Syria, even though the dozens that are there and the 130 that are abroad (with other extremist groups) is a disturbing number for all Canadians. But we want to ensure that Canada’s good name is not besmirched by these people any more than it already has been and that Canadians are protected.”


Binoy Thomas on why Western-educated Muslims join ISIS

Why Western-educated Muslim Youth Embrace IS?

Why Western-educated Muslim Youth Embrace IS?

Why Western-educated Muslim Youth Embrace IS?


Why are so many Muslim youth, born and raised in the liberal West fighting alongside Islamic State for a cause that they believe would see Islam as it existed a thousand years ago, as the dominant force in the world?

What did the West do so wrong that they have pushed them so far into the past to be mindless barbarians?

The liberal Western intellectuals do not want to discuss it, because if you scratch that scab, the fingers will point right back at these very same ivory tower influencers who always had an excuse for all sorts of bad behaviour.

Look at the way, we treat our classrooms, where bad behaviour becomes an opportunity for governments and unions to create committees and reports that put real dollars into the hands of friends and sympathizers. The most egregious of these elements are in the left of the political and media spectrum (ie. if they are any different from each other). I remember one report, some years ago about how many times Ontario students say ‘f— you’ to their teachers, and the people the writer interviewed were all either offering excuses for the abusers or showed no particular alarm at this trend. The writer had his/her own demons to hang out to dry, and that’s not to say, we do not. We all do. There was no one who said that it was just plain wrong and such behaviour has no place in a classroom. That would be considered rude and absolute, an anachronism in our fifty shades of grey universe.

The movement to pass the parcel (student) without testing them for what they have learned (play school stretched into adulthood) is yet another case of justifying bad attitude of those not wanting to put in the time to study. It might help the teachers to become even lazier than required under the law, but really, are we doing the young ones a favour? Or are we pushing them to be dealers?

What do we do with most acts of criminality, especially when committed by the youth? We blame poverty, lack of opportunity, social service cuts, shortage of basketball courts, discrimination, low intellect, alcohol abuse, climate change, anything at all that can help us detach ourselves from the actual job of stating the obvious or passing judgement. Often, after I read certain verdicts from the Canadian courts, I get the feeling the judge was simply too lazy to write a few more extra pages, which you need to do when finding someone guilty, and instead let someone walk with a gentle admonishment. Nobody wants to call a spade a spade without running the risk of being painted as a zealot. Continue reading

Yezdi Pavri is new Chair of Canada-India Business Council

Yezdi Pavri Is New  Chair Of The Canada-India Business Council 

Yezdi Pavri Is New  Chair Of The Canada-India Business Council 

Yezdi Pavri Is New  Chair Of The Canada-India Business Council

Toronto: Yezdi Pavri, retired Vice Chairman of Deloitte Canada has assumed office as the Chairman of The Canada India Business Council (C-IBC) effective September 15.

Pavri succeeds Don Stewart, the former CEO of Sun Life Financial, who has served in this role with distinction for the past two years.

Pavri is recognized for his strategic business acumen and vision. He was a member of Deloitte’s national Management Committee and Client Council, and was the Managing Partner of the Toronto practice. He both founded and led Deloitte’s national Enterprise Risk Services practice and was a founding member of the global firm’s India Steering Committee.

“The Council has benefited immensely from Don Stewart’s business experience and guidance during the past two years and we look forward to increasing our reach and impact under Yezdi Pavri’s leadership,” says Peter Sutherland, President & CEO of C-IBC.

“It is truly a most exciting and opportune time for the business relationship between Canada and India to flourish and reach its true potential,” says Yezdi Pavri.

Gary Comerford, Vice Chairman of the Council adds, “I am delighted that Yezdi has agreed to be the new Chair of the C-IBC. He brings a passion and knowledge that will enable C-IBC to continue to aggressively promote trade between Canada and India.”

Pavri also served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of United Way Toronto and as the Treasurer on the Board of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). He now serves on the boards of ICICI Bank Canada, Hydro One and Enterra Holdings Ltd. (the parent of Golder Associates). Mr. Pavri also acts as a Strategic Advisor in Canada to HCL Technologies Ltd.

Pavri holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai and a Master’s degree in Thermal Power Engineering from Imperial College in London.

Associate professor Walid Hejazi introduces course on Islamic finance at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Business schools feed hunger for courses on Islamic finance, aboriginal leadership

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 | September 25, 2014 6:00 AM ET
More from Denise Deveau

Walid Hejazi, associate professor at the Rotman School of Management in Toronto, teaches Islamic finance. The course has been met with tremendous interest from both local and international students.

Peter J. Thompson / National PostWalid Hejazi, associate professor at the Rotman School of Management in Toronto, teaches Islamic finance. The course has been met with tremendous interest from both local and international students.

Six years ago, Walid Hejazi, associate professor at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, discovered that half the people in his program had an increasing desire to learn more about the Middle East. It wasn’t surprising given the fact that international students comprise a larger and larger portion of enrolment at the school.

“At the time there was very little offered in terms of Islamic finance on the curriculum,” he says. So he took it upon himself to build a Middle East-focused curriculum, starting with study tours to the region.

After the fourth junket, he introduced a course on Islamic finance.

Because Mr. Hejazi’s parents came to Canada from Lebanon, he has spent a good part of his life and career travelling to the region. “There’s no question that has given me perspective on that part of the world that a vast majority of professors don’t have. In fact, I’m one of the few Arabic professors on the faculty.” Continue reading

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