PRINCE GEORGE, B.C.: Punjabi community needs Punjabi signs as members can’t read English

Officials at two Sikh temples have asked city council for bilingual signs in their areas

By Daybreak North, CBC News Posted: May 27, 2015 8:35 AM PT Last Updated: May 27, 2015 8:35 AM PT

Narinder Singh Pawar, president of the Guru Gobin Singh Temple Association in Prince George, holds an example of a street sign that would include English and Punjabi. Narinder Singh Pawar, president of the Guru Gobin Singh Temple Association in Prince George, holds an example of a street sign that would include English and Punjabi. (CBC/Audrey McKinnon)

Prince George city council is moving forward with two requests to add Punjabi to some signs in the city. The requests came from officials at Guru Gobind Singh Temple and Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple who say their buildings can be tricky to find, especially for native Punjabi speakers.

“We think we need signs in Punjabi and English because we’ve got community living here, lots of people (who do) not read English,” said Pal Bassi, secretary with the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Society.

If the proposals move forward after city staff reviews the associated costs, signs on Highway 97 North and South, Highway 16 West, Ospika Boulevard, and Davis Road, all in the vicinity of the two temples, would have Punjabi added to the existing English.

“If (people) go by, they don’t know about the Sikh temple, if they see the sign they can come if they need food, a cup of tea, or overnight, we can arrange something,” said Narinder Singh Pawar, president of the Guru Gobin Singh Temple Association.

Prince George mayor Lyn Hall supports the idea of multi-lingual signs and said they would be reflective of the growing cultural diversity in Prince George. 

“I see it as a big opportunity … we just need to look around and see how multicultural we are,” Hall said.

Prince George city staff will report back to council with the cost of adding Punjabi to the streets signs at an upcoming meeting.






with files from Audrey Mackinnon and Andrew Kurjata

Jinny Sims and Jasbir Sandhu blast Conservative Government over misleading about new RCMP officers

Thursday, June 18th, 2015 | Posted by 

Surrey’s NDP MPs Jinny Sims and Jasbir Sandhu blast Conservative Government over misleading about new RCMP officers

Jinny Sims

Jinny Sims

Jasbir Sandhu

SURREY’S NDP MPs Jinny Sims (Newton-North Delta) and Jasbir Sandhu (Surrey North) and Jinny Sims (Newton – North Delta) tore a strip off the Conservative Government in the House of Commons for failing to deliver on its promise for 100 new RCMP officers in Surrey.

Jasbir Sandhu

Sandhu said: “Gang violence in my community is in a state of crisis. Over 36 shootings in Surrey since March, and the Conservatives have to be pushed every step the way, and yet fail to take action. They have resisted supplying more RCMP officers and for critical investment in youth gang crime prevention programs.

“Now, the Minister of Public Safety says 20 new RCMP officers are on the ground, but reports say this is not true. Have the additional RCMP officers made it to Surrey yet, yes or no?”

Sims said: “The minister said promised boots are already on the ground to fight gang violence in Surrey, but the truth is there are no new RCMP officers on the ground in Surrey. The current complement of RCMP officers is 703, exactly what it was more than two months ago. The minister misled the public. The people of Surrey deserve better.

“Will Conservatives stop playing games with my community’s safety and tell us exactly when the 100 new RCMP officers they promised will actually be deployed?”

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SURREY, B.C.: Surrey school trustees hope to establish new Punjabi Language program

Friday, June 19th, 2015 | Posted by 

New Punjabi language program likely at Surrey’s T.E. Scott Elementary School in September


SUBJECT to school community consultations, Surrey school trustees hope to establish a new Punjabi Language program at T.E. Scott Elementary School in September. The recommendation follows a recent survey of Grade 4 parents at 10 elementary schools with the highest proportion of Punjabi-speaking families. More than 30 families indicated they would register their child for a Punjabi language class in Grade 5 if one was available.

A staff report – Long Range Facilities and Education Plan – endorsed by the Surrey Board of Education at its June 18 public meeting contains more than 40 wide-ranging recommendations to map out the district’s future direction and priorities in educational programming and facilities management.

After extensive public consultations on programs of choice earlier this year involving stakeholder meetings and the online tool PlaceSpeak, the board has supported several recommendations to explore choice program expansion.

Ethnic communities feel betrayed as Rogers Television cuts back its multilingual newscasts

Jun 17, 2015 | Vote0   0

Diversity uncut as Rogers dismantles multilingual TV: Goar

Ethnic communities sound the alarm as Rogers Television cuts back its multilingual newscasts

Rogers Broadcasting Building

Rogers Broadcasting Building

Rene Johnston / Toronto Star

The Rogers Broadcasting Building, home, until recently, to newscasts in Cantonese, Mandarin, Italian and Punjabi.

“The math didn’t work,” Colette Watson said matter-of-factly. She is the vice-president of television and operations at Rogers Television.

It wasn’t a question of math, insisted the Cantonese, Mandarin, Italian and Punjabi-speaking viewers whose newscasts had been chopped. It was a betrayal, pure and simple.

In their view, the media giant’s latest cutback broke a long-standing commitment by Ted Rogers, the founder of the network. It violated the broadcaster’s 35-year pledge to champion diversity. It threw Canada’s ethnic minorities off the bus to make room for big-bucks sports franchises and lucrative digital platforms.

“Rogers has stripped bare the first-ever multilingual television licence,” said Dr. Joseph Wong, founder of the Yee Hong Foundation for Geriatric Care and a longtime member of the Chinese Canadian National Council. “We are asking the federal government and the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission) to make sure Rogers does not systematically dismantle an important part of Canada’s multicultural broadcasting heritage.”

He spoke for a coalition of community groups — the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, the Canadian Ethnocultural Council, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and the Toronto chapter of the Chinese Canadian National Council — fighting to the reverse the cutback.

There is no simple truth in this cash-verses-culture battle.

PEEL: Detective sergeant Baljiwan (BJ) Sandhu alleges the force discriminated against him

Jun 09, 2015 | Vote0   0

Peel police definition of minority an issue in Punjabi officer’s discrimination case



Torstar photo

Baljiwan (B.J.) Sandhu is a detective sergeant with Peel Regional Police. Sandhu is alleging the force discriminated against him. The force denies the claim.
Brampton Guardian

TORONTO — Does Ontario’s second largest municipal police force consider Portuguese-Canadian or even Greek-Canadian officers within its ranks to be “racialized minorities”?

That might become clearer after a hearing that began Monday before the Human Rights Tribunal, involving alleged discrimination by Peel Regional Police.

Baljiwan (BJ) Sandhu, a Punjabi-Canadian detective sergeant in Peel, alleges he was denied an opportunity for promotion to inspector in 2013 because of his race.

The force denies that Sandhu was discriminated against and claims two of the eight eventual promotions to inspector were, in fact, given to “racialized minorities” — leading to questions about just how broadly that category is defined.

“Apparently the applicant wants to get into the definition of racialized,” said lawyer Glenn Christie, who is representing the Peel force.

“It doesn’t matter what my client’s definition of ‘racialized’ would be,” Sandhu’s lawyer, Kelley Bryan, argued. “It matters what the respondents’ definition of ‘racialized’ is.”

The case has drawn much attention in Peel Region, particularly within its large South Asian community. On Monday, people stood outside the small hearing room with signs supporting Sandhu, while spectators inside had to stand for lack of seats.

OTTAWA: Taxi driver captured on video shouting a racial slur and profanities now out of job

Screen capture/YouTube A security guard gets caught in a heated exchange with an Ottawa taxi driver.

An Ottawa taxi driver is out of a job after he was captured on video shouting a racial slur and profanities at a security guard while allegedly refusing to move his car for an ambulance.

Video footage of the incident was uploaded to YouTube Wednesday.

Coventry Connections taxi service president Hanif Patni said Thursday afternoon the Capital Taxi driver filmed in the video declined an invitation to speak to his employer about the incident.

When asked if the driver was dismissed, Patni said, “he won’t be working with us at all.”

The City of Ottawa has also suspended the driver’s taxi license.