Category Archives: South/Southeast Asian community

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

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

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.

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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.
CRAIG TAKEUCHI

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

VANCOUVER: Indo-Canadian women claim to hear taunt ‘Surrey’s that way!’ at Gastown bar (2013)

Indo-Canadian women claim to hear taunt ‘Surrey’s that way!’ at Gastown bar

Published: November 10, 2013

Raj Khangura 24, (left) Jas Dhillon (centre) and Mandeep Grewal 28, were out for Dhillon’s 26th birthday at The Charles Bar last month. She and her friends believe they were victims of racism because as they left the bar manager shouted at them “Surrey’s that way!” Mark van Manen/ PNG

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Vancouver’s Jas Dhillon will forever remember her 26th birthday – a day she’d much rather forget.

On Oct. 19 she hoped to celebrate over dinner with friends at The Charles Bar in Gastown. According to Dhillon, she and her friends – all Indo-Canadian women – arrived for their 6 p.m. reservation and were greeted with nothing but rude service, only to be kicked out of the establishment by 7 p.m. as a bar manager allegedly shouted at them, “Surrey’s that way!”

For Dhillon, that final comment changed it from being bad service to something more serious, she said, because she believes it was in reference to the Lower Mainland city’s large East Indian community.

“That’s ridiculous,” Dhillon told Vancouver Desi. “To be honest, we don’t think that kind of stuff still happens.

“To have that happen in Vancouver, in our own hometown – we were just shocked.”

According to Dhillon, the poor treatment began early in the evening, when she realized they were short a few chairs and sat at another booth , which seemed to prompt the manager to approach her and say she’d be kicked out if she didn’t go back to her table.

“The last thing I want to do is leave – it’s my birthday, I don’t want to ruin the party,” said Dhillon. “It’s six in the evening, we’re just sitting there having a good time … Why is this guy being so rude to me from the get-go?” Upon telling her friends what happened, some wondered if it was racism, but they brushed it aside and carried on with their evening. Continue reading

SURREY, B.C.: The Vedic Hindu Cultural Society ordered to hold election in Supreme Court ruling

Surrey Hindu temple ordered to hold election in Supreme Court ruling

Published: October 4, 2014

SAM COOPER
VANCOUVER DESI

There will be a court-ordered election at Surrey’s largest Hindu temple on Sunday, after a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled members were wrongly terminated in 2012.

The Vedic Hindu Cultural Society near Bear Creek Park in Surrey has been torn by internal power struggles and court battles for years.

Leaders have battled over society finances and accounting, and traded accusations of gender discrimination and defamation, according to court documents. Continue reading

ABBOTSFORD, B.C.: Ongoing conflict between two Indo-Canadian groups in the Fraser Valley leaves young Sikh man dead

Friday, October 3rd, 2014 | Posted by admin

Teen Shot To Death In Abbotsford’s Ongoing Conflict Between Two Indo-Canadian Groups

Police on scene of an apparent drive-by shooting that ended the life of an Indo-Canadian in his late teens.

Homicide investigators in the Lower Mainland have been busy of late with murders taking place all over the lower mainland and now in the Fraser Valley with this latest killing of young Indo-Canadian which the LINK has learned is Herman Biring, the son of Sukhjivan Singh Biring “Thakra”,  who is also known as a promoter of Punjabi shows in the Abbotsford area.

By R. Paul Dhillon

With News Files

ABBOTSFORD – A drive-by shooting in Abbotsford left a young man dead, who sources out of Abbotsford say is an Indo-Canadian in his late teens

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Sources tell the LINK that Herman Biring is the victim of ongoing conflict between two Indo-Canadian groups in the Fraser Valley, which police had earlier warned would get more violent and feared people dying as a result of the continuing escalation

Police responded to the area around Sparrow Drive and Goldfinch Street in the city just after 8 p.m.

They found a male, believed to be in his late teens, slumped over inside a dark coloured SUV and suffering from apparent gunshot wounds, reported CTV News.

He was pronounced dead on scene. Continue reading

VANCOUVER: City’s ghostly Punjabi market reflects demographic shift

Thursday, September 25th, 2014 | Posted by admin

Vancouver’s Fast Eroding Punjabi Market An Election Issue In Vancouver?

Non-Partisan Association mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe said if elected his NPA Vancouver government would help revitalize shuttered stretch of Main Street that has declined under mayor Gregor Robertson.

VANCOUVER  - Although there aren’t many Indo-Canadians left in Vancouver and thus the decline of the once thriving Punjabi market in Vancouver but the upstart NPA mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe is making the South Vancouver market which has become a ghost town of shuttered businesses, a key election issue, hoping to win whatever Indo-Canadian-South Asian votes left in Vancouver.

“The Vision Vancouver machine has failed this area,” LaPointe said last week while touring the area.

Jay Jagpal, NPA Park Board Commissioner candidate, lives in the Punjabi Market area. His family’s South Vancouver roots extend to 1971.

Speaking in Punjabi in a video release, Jagpal said: “this neighbourhood needs a government that is directly connected to it and cares about it, and that’s the change the NPA is offering.”

The stretch of Main Street between 48th and 51st Avenue once boasted a variety of retail outlets, restaurants and other South Asian cultural offerings. It is now a strip of empty stores, their windows papered over and displaying “Closed” signs.

An example of the City’s neglect of the struggling community is the India Gate that was to be finished for the 2010 Olympics. The City supported the construction of the project. It was never built.

Mayor Robertson has done nothing to develop plans that would market the area and help restore it to its former vibrancy, says LaPointe.

“When neighbourhoods face tough times, their civic government must step in, build a new plan to support them and help resolve the issue,” says LaPointe. “Mayor Robertson has not done this. But I will.”

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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.

DEBRA BLACK / TORONTO STAR Order this photo

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 dzblack@thestar.ca
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