Category Archives: South/Southeast Asian community

TORONTO: Racism is cause of so many black children in foster and group homes, claim advocates

Why are so many black children in foster and group homes?

A disproportionate number of Toronto-area children in foster and group-home care are black. Advocates are blaming poverty, cultural misunderstanding and racism.

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Paul Chapman, who was 9 when he was removed from his family home, says many black youth "struggle" while in care. "They kind of lose themselves," he says.
JIM RANKIN / TORONTO STAR Order this photo

Paul Chapman, who was 9 when he was removed from his family home, says many black youth “struggle” while in care. “They kind of lose themselves,” he says.

By:  News, Insight , Social justice reporter ,Published on Thu Dec 11 2014

In the Toronto area, black children are being taken from their families and placed into foster and group-home care at much higher rates than white children.

Numbers obtained by the Star indicate that 41 per cent of the children and youth in the care of the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto are black. Yet only 8.2 per cent of Toronto’s population under the age of 18 is black. Continue reading

ALBERTA: 4 Filipino temporary foreign workers die in crash while driving on icy highway

4 Filipino temporary foreign workers killed in Leduc crash

Echoes 2012 crash that killed 4 Filipino workers near Calgary

By Lydia Neufeld, Scott Lilwall, CBC News Posted: Nov 24, 2014 11:25 AM MT Last Updated: Nov 24, 2014 5:44 PM MT

RCMP say icy road conditions were a factor in the collision that killed the four workers.RCMP say icy road conditions were a factor in the collision that killed the four workers. (CBC News)

A recently widowed mother working as a nanny to support her two teenagers was among four Filipino temporary foreign workers killed in a head-on crash with a truck on an icy Alberta highway Saturday morning.

Eva Janette Caperina, 41, was travelling with two men and a woman along Highway 21 when their Saturn Ion hit an icy patch near Leduc. Continue reading

Omar Elgammal and Danial Velshi suing the Toronto French School for defamation and racial profiling

Torstar News Service Omar Elgammal, left, and Danial Velshi, both 20, are suing the Toronto French School and its headmaster, former MP John Godfrey for defamation. The two are seen outside court on Monday.

A fist fight off school property that allegedly lasted “less than a minute” led to the removal of two Muslim students from a Toronto private school. The pair is now suing officials at the Toronto French School, claiming how they handled the fallout amounted to defamation and the effect of a “deficient” investigation was racial profiling. Continue reading

Quebec union apologizes for liquor store video questioning Indian and Pakistani salespeople’s alcohol knowledge

Quebec union apologizes for liquor store video that singled out immigrants

A Quebec union apologized for a video they recorded to promote provincial government liquor sales that singled out immigrants.

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 An image from a re-edited video released by the Confederation des Syndicats Nationaux that initially contained controversial remarks that singled out immigrant business owners from India and Pakistan.
 By: The Canadian Press, Published on Thu Nov 06 2014

CALGARY—Representatives of a Quebec union say they did not intend to offend anyone when they recorded a video promoting provincial government liquor sales that singled out immigrants as inadequate salespeople.

The video, recorded in Alberta, included comments from a French-speaking man suggesting private liquor sales in the province have resulted in a poor level of customer service.

The unidentified man asserts that immigrant business owners from India and Pakistan are uninformed salespeople when it comes to the sale of alcohol.

Following a backlash from outraged residents of Quebec and Alberta, the union, the Confederation des Syndicats Nationaux, issued an apology and announced its decision to remove the controversial remarks from the video.

Devinder Toor owns 14 Alberta liquor stores and has been in the alcohol sales business for 14 years.

He says he and his staff stay on top of available products in the market.

“We are very confident,” explains Toor. “The staff works to answer all the needs of the customers. We try to put the best value for the customers in terms of knowledge, prices and everything.”

Toor says Alberta’s decision to privatize liquor sales was a great thing for small business owners, customers, and the provincial government.

“It created a lot of business opportunities and it’s good for the government because the revenue stream is consistent,” explains Toor. “To be competitive you need to look around the market.”


Sanctioned MD Sastri Maharajh, allowed to treat only men, moves to Mississauga Health Centre

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By:  Staff Reporter, Published on Thu Nov 06 2014

A Mississauga family doctor whose case raised questions about gender-based practice restrictions and helped launch a review of health legislation has moved to a new clinic, the Star has learned.

In 2013, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario found Dr. Sastri Maharajhguilty of professional misconduct after he admitted to either resting his cheek or placing his mouth on the breast of as many as 13 female patients. The college suspended his licence for eight months and restricted his practice to male patients only.

Maharajh is one of 21 Ontario doctors who have gender-based practice restrictions, according to a Star investigation. Twenty are male doctors restricted from treating female patients. One is male doctor restricted from seeing male patients.

Back in September, Maharajh was working at Mississauga’s MD Walk-in clinic. On Wednesday, staff at the clinic said they hadn’t seen Maharajh for weeks.

“We came in one day about two months ago and all his stuff was gone,” said a receptionist who would not give her full name. “All his plaques, all his signs, everything.”

A lab technician at the clinic, who also would not give her full name, said Maharajh is still affiliated with the MD Walk-in clinic — some of his patient files remain at the office — but staff refer his patients to his new clinic, she said.

A doctor working at the clinic Wednesday would not comment on Maharajh’s disappearance. “She wants nothing to do with it,” said the receptionist.

Less than 15 kilometres away, front-desk staff at the Mississauga Health Centre confirmed Maharajh is now practising there.

A sign displayed at the front desk read: “Important Notice Dr. Maharajh may only treat male patients.”


30,000 caregivers to become permanent residents in 2015

Live-in caregivers no longer required to reside with employers

The Canadian Press 
Published Friday, October 31, 2014 9:08AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 31, 2014 1:42PM EDT

OTTAWA — Immigration Minister Chris Alexander says live-in caregivers from abroad will no longer be required to reside with their employers, part of an effort to reduce caregiver abuse.


He says changes to the program will make 30,000 caregivers permanent residents in 2015. There is currently a 60,000-case backlog.

Starting next month, the government will launch two new pathways for caregivers hoping to find work in Canada.

One pathway is for child-care providers; the other is for those who take care of the elderly or the ailing. Alexander says applications under both streams will be processed within six months.

The 2015 immigration plan unveiled today sets a target of up to 285,000 new permanent residents next year, an increase of about 20,000 people over last year’s goal.

Students and temporary foreign workers seeking to settle in Canada permanently will have the best chance at nabbing a spot: spaces in the Canadian Experience Class program are set to jump to up to 23,000 from last year’s maximum goal of 15,000.

The program fast-tracks permanent residency for people who are already in Canada as part of other programs, including the controversial temporary foreign workers program, which is undergoing an overhaul.

The government is also set to admit more federal skilled workers, aiming for 51,000 people as it revamps the entry program to bring them to Canada.


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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.


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

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

Bail denied for alleged Transpo femme fatale



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.


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

TORONTO: Niran Murray charged with first-degree murder of prostitute Evelyn Castillo who came to Canada as a caregiver

Toronto man charged with murder of sex-trade worker in Mississauga

 | October 16, 2014 10:46 PM ET
More from Canadian Press
Niran Murray has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a sex-trade worker at a Mississauga hotel

Peel Regional PoliceNiran Murray has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a sex-trade worker at a Mississauga hotel.

BRAMPTON, Ont. – Peel regional police announced Thursday that they had charged a 32-year-old Toronto man with first-degree murder in the death of a sex-trade worker at a Mississauga hotel.

Forty-three-year-old Evelyn Castillo of Thornhill, Ont., was found without vital signs just before 7 p.m. at a hotel on Britannia Road East on Oct. 11.

Her body was found by emergency crews putting out a fire at the hotel.

Insp. George Koekkoek told reporters that an autopsy revealed that Ms. Castillo had died as result of injuries received prior to the fire being set.

Arrested and charged in the case is Niran Murray, more commonly known as Nick Murray. He was due to appear in court Thursday.

Police believe Mr. Murray may have allegedly assaulted other women in the past, particularly sex-trade workers, and are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

“He is currently before the courts facing an allegation of assault and mischief, the victim in that case was also a sex-trade worker and the offence is alleged to have occurred in a hotel as well,” said Insp. Koekkoek.


Insp. Koekkoek said police believe Mr. Murray was a customer of Ms. Castillo’s, who also worked as a caregiver. But investigators are still trying to determine whether the two had any previous contacts.

Police did not reveal any other details about Ms. Castillo, but published reports said she arrived in Canada from the Philippines about two years ago.

Ms. Castillo’s murder was the Peel region’s fifth homicide of 2014.

The Canadian Press

Vancouver International Film Festival not enough Asian oriented ?

by CRAIG TAKEUCHI on OCT 6, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Vancouver Asahi stars Tsumabuki Satoshi and Kamenashi Kazuya drew crowds of fans to the Vancouver International Film Festival.

ANYONE WHO ATTENDEDThe Vancouver Asahi world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival on September 29 saw the intense J-power of the J-pop machine in full force.

 Japanese stars Tsumabuki Satoshi and Kamenashi Kazuya (who are actors as well as J-Pop stars) aren’t just big in Japan, but across Asia. And, as evidenced by the screaming throngs of fans at the Centre for Performing Arts, also around the world, including right here in little Vancouver.

Fans were not only vocal in their adoration, but also physical.

When the stars waltzed the red carpet, fans mobbed up against the line of security guards. At one point, the stars were ushered off the red carpet after the situation threatened to deteriorate.

A few days earlier, Vancouver was graced by another dazzling convoy of Asian stars: Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, and Bollywood powerhouse Shah Rukh Khan. As Charlie Smith  reported, King Khan and his costars drew massive crowds to the Pacific Coliseum.

Of course, these aren’t the first or last times that Vancouver has seen the power of Asian stars to draw huge crowds, even if they fly under the radar of mainstream media.

However, there appears to be an opportunity for the Vancouver International Film Festival to recognize, should it be intent on balancing a commercially competitive future with an artistic one.

The Toronto International Film Festival has well established itself as a destination event for Hollywood’s glitterati. The VIFF has traditionally focussed more on being a filmmakers’ festival, and it can’t compete with TIFF for attracting stars. Well, from Hollywood, that is.

But contrary to what they’d have us believe (or beliebe, for all your Beliebers), there is a world beyond Hollywood.

Judging by this year’s changes at VIFF, there have been hints of more competitive marketing and a broader reach than in previous years, such as the creation of the new Style in Film series and the merger of the two print guides into one. Continue reading

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