Category Archives: African community

TORONTO: Thousands gather to honour life of Eritrean coummnity leader Nahom Tsehaie Berhane stabbed to death on September 27

Slain Eritrean community leader Nahom Berhane honoured by thousandsThousands of Eritreans gathered to honour the life of young civic leader Nahom Tsehaie Berhane who was stabbed to death last week.
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Mourners from the Eritrean community weep outside the funeral of civic leader Nahom Tsehaie Berhane, who was stabbed to death last week.

OLIVIA CARVILLE / TORONTO STAR

Mourners from the Eritrean community weep outside the funeral of civic leader Nahom Tsehaie Berhane, who was stabbed to death last week.

By: Olivia Carville Staff Reporter, Published on Sat Oct 04 2014

Hundreds of members of Toronto’s Eritrean community chanted in grief for more than an hour as they honoured the life of slain civic leader Nahom Tsehaie Berhane on Saturday.

The women, wearing traditional white head scarves, wept during the service.

The men, in black suits, bowed their heads.

Berhane, 34, was stabbed to death as he was walking with friends along Danforth Ave. near Greenwood Ave., on Sept. 27.

The father of two was well-known in the city’s Eritrean community and the Medhane Alem Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church, near Dufferin St. and Eglinton Ave. W., was overflowing with mourners Saturday morning. 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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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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TORONTO: Franklin Afrifa arrested in killing of Olatoyebi Waheed; Benard Asante still at large

 

Police are searching for Benard Asante, aka Benard Kissi, 24, of Toronto in connection to a fatal drive-by shooting near Jane and Eglinton earlier this week. Police have arrested Franklin Afrifa, 25, on charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder. He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday. Asante is wanted on the same charges.

Man arrested in fatal drive-by shooting

One man has been arrested and police are still searching for a second in connection to the shooting on Aug. 19, which killed a Toronto man.

By:  Staff Reporter, Published on Sun Aug 24 2014

A man has been arrested and one man is still wanted in connection to a fatal drive-by shooting earlier this week.

EMS was called to the area of Jane St. and Eglinton Ave. W. around 6:45 p.m. on Monday, to what appeared to be a targeted drive-by shooting on a busy North York street.

Olatoyebi Waheed, 24, of Toronto, was killed in the shooting, and a 23-year-old man sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Toronto Police executed two search warrants at residential addresses in Toronto on Sunday.

Franklin Afrifa, 25, of Toronto, was arrested at one of the homes. He faces charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder, and is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

Police are still searching for Benard Asante, also known as Benard Kissi, 24, of Toronto. He is wanted on the same charges.

Asante is described as black, five feet five inches, and 130 lbs. He has his hair in cornrows. Continue reading

LASALLE, QC.: Family from Cameroon fears FGM if deported

September 7, 2014 6:24 pm

Fearing female circumcision, Lasalle family fights deportation

Billy ShieldsBy Reporter

LASALLE – Hilary Fuh-Cham’s father was known as a “sub-chief” in his native village of Cameroon, a tiny place about 20 km outside the town of Bamenda, in the eastern part of the country.

But when his father died, his world turned upside down, triggering a series of events that left him,  his wife and three children in Canada fighting off deportation.

“The only time I said that I could not continue was when they told me my wife and my daughter would have to be circumcised,” he told Global News.

Fuh-Cham converted to Roman Catholicism when he was still quite young, but his father remained wed to indigenous beliefs.

When Fuh-Cham had to take up the role of sub-chief after his father’s death, it meant the women in his family had to undergo circumcisions and other practices they staunchly opposed, he said.

In December 2007, they arrived in Canada with their daughter in an attempt to gain refugee status.

“My main fear was losing my life,” said Yvette Fuh-Cham.

“I remember seeing my sister-in-law circumcised, the pain she had to go through. Just believing that’s going to be done to you, you have to leave, you have to hide.”

Their cause is being taken up by the Saint Jean Brebeuf parish in Lasalle.

“To my mind it’s like persecuted by the government, the federal government,” said Father Gerry Martineau, the pastor of the church.

“A lot of people will be extremely sad, his presence is felt. He’s very integrated into our community.”

The Fuh-Chams say they’ve attempted on three occasions to obtain the right to stay in the country either on refugee or humanitarian grounds, but have yet to get a result that keeps them in Canada – even though two of their children were born in Canada and have never been to Cameroon.

They say they have a little more than a month before they’ll be deported.

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© Shaw Media, 2014

GATINEAU: Child returned from Sierra Leone tested for Ebola

Child in Gatineau tested for Ebola virus

Published on: Last Updated: 

A young child from Gatineau who recently returned from Sierra Leone was being tested for the Ebola virus, according to Santé Outaouais.

She was being assessed in isolation Friday at a hospital in Gatineau while public health officials investigated the case.

Karelle Kennedy, a spokesperson for the Outaouais region’s public health authority, confirmed the child had developed a fever and was isolated Friday morning as a precaution. Test results were expected to come back by Saturday afternoon. Continue reading

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

CALGARY: Program launched for Somali youth to learn Somali language

Somali Youth League Society’s language classes bridge communication gap in families

Imagine not being able to communicate with your family members because you can’t speak the same language.

This is the reality for the 15 or so families who attended the opening night of Somali language classes at Pineridge School in northeast Calgary on Jan. 28.

Mohamed Omar, manager of the Somali Youth League Society, said “Most of the adults involved with the society are first generation Somalis.” Continue reading

SURREY,B.C.: Serial killer Charles Kembo loses conviction appeal

Four-time Surrey murderer loses conviction appeal

Charles Kembo was found guilty in 2010 of the first-degree murder of four people. He lost an appeal of those convictions this week. - File Photo / The Leader

Charles Kembo was found guilty in 2010 of the first-degree murder of four people. He lost an appeal of those convictions this week.

— Image Credit: File Photo / The Leader

A Surrey man found guilty of the planned murders of four people, including his wife and step-daughter, has lost an appeal of his convictions.

A jury found Charles Eli Kembo guilty of four counts of first-degree murder in 2010. He sought to have those convictions overturned on the grounds the judge made numerous errors, including in her instructions to the jury, combining the evidence of the different murder counts and admitting prejudicial portions of a police statement and referring to that statement as a confession. Continue reading

MONTREAL: Africans buy stolen bikes and sell them in Africa

These men buy bikes legally, and then sell them to their home countries in Africa for four times the price. (Radio-Canada)

Every year, about 20,000 bicycles are stolen in Montreal

CBC News Posted: Feb 26, 2014 7:11 PM ET Last Updated: Feb 26, 2014 7:11 PM ET

An investigation carried out by Radio-Canada’s Enquête program found that selling stolen bikes is big business in Montreal.

Every year about 20,000 bicycles are stolen on the island, but most victims never report the theft to police. For instance, in 2012, only 1,846 bike thefts were reported.

Philippe and Dominique, whose identity we are not revealing, track down bicycle thieves.

“There are thieves who prowl the night, searching in alleyways and backyards, and simply help themselves,” Philippe said.

It’s estimated that one of of two cyclists in Montreal has had his/her bike stolen at least once.

For sale

Re-selling bikes is big business in Montreal.

A number of unclaimed stolen bikes end up at municipal auctions.

Enquête spoke with a group of men who buy the bikes legally for a small price, and then sell them in their home country in Africa for four times as much.

“I’ve been doing this for 10 years,” one man told Enquête reporters.

The investigative program also found there were suspicious transactions taking place at L’Accueil Bonneau, a homeless shelter in Montreal, where one man bought several bikes last summer.

Similar situations are occurring in some parks or streets.

One Enquête employee was offered a bike for $40 — although it was worth $600.

The seller said he stole it about a month earlier near Cadillac metro station, in Montreal’s east end.

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