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Ottawa Star The Voice of New Canadians www.OttawaStar.com • July 4, 2013 • Volume 1, Issue 1
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Photo: M. Belmellat
Canadian mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Story Page 2.
Code Cubitt is a Managing Partner at Mistral Venture Partners, a new venture capital firm based in Ottawa. After 15 years living in the United States, Code and his wife Janet agreed it was time to move their family back to Canada, both to start Mistral and to return to Canada’s unique culture and lifestyle benefits. “After Living in the US for so many years, we both felt it was important for our children to experience Canada’s unique culture. It’s subtly different from the US in a number of important ways.” With their two sons, Aethan (11) and Graeme (7), Code and Janet settled in the Code Cubitt Glebe and immediately got involved with Ottawa winter activities—skating on the canal and skiing at the nearby hills. Born in 1971 in London Ontario, Code spent his formative years in Ontario and Alberta. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Before graduating, Code also started and sold several small companies that served as an influential introduction to the entrepreneurial life has embraced. Continued on page 14
Major changes in the proposed Canada India US immigration bill Relations United States
The Associated Press
he U.S. Senate passed a bill that would overhaul the immigration system and provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already living in the U.S. It has also comprehensively addressed number of issues including border security, high and low-skilled workers, family immigration and employment verification. Attention now shifts to the House of Representatives, controlled by the Republicans House Speaker John Boehner stated in a news conference that the House would be drafting its own legislation with an emphasis on border security rather than accept
the Senate bill. However, President Obama says he has urged both House Speaker John Boehner and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi to find a way to pass a bill. He says a sweeping immigration measure that cleared the Senate with a large bipartisan majority is a “sound framework’’ that has been debated for weeks A look at major provisions of the Senate immigration bill: Border Security The bill sets out a series of requirements that must be achieved over 10 years before anyone here illegally can obtain a permanent resident green card. These include: 1. Roughly doubling the number of Border Patrol agents stationed along the U.S.-Mexico border, to at least 38,405. 2. Completing 700 miles of pedestrian fencing along the border, which would require approximately 350 new miles of fencing. 3. Installing a host of new security measures and technologies in specified locations along the border, including specific numbers of surveillance tow-
ers, camera systems, ground sensors, radiation detectors, mobile surveillance systems, drones, helicopters, airborne radar systems, planes and ships. 4. Implementing a system for all employers to verify electronically their workers’ legal status. 5. Setting up a new electronic system to track people leaving the nation’s airports and seaports. The border security improvements are designed to achieve 100 per cent surveillance of the border with Mexico and ensure that 90 per cent of would-be crossers are caught or turned back. If the goals of a 90 per cent effectiveness rate and continuous surveillance on the border are not met within five years, a Southern Border Security Commission made up of border-state governors and others would determine how to achieve them. Border security spending in the bill totals around $46 billion.
H.E. Narinder Chauhan
Path to Citizenship The estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally could obtain “registered provisional immigrant status” six months after enactment of the bill as long as:
I arrived in Canada in August 2008 and we tasted our first success when Canada, in a reversal of its policy, agreed to support India at the IAEA and the NSG for international civil nuclear cooperation. This was also the time Canada was at the height of its military involvement in Afghanistan, which gave Canada a refreshingly new perspective of India and its role in the region. By this time Canada had also begun losing its traditional markets and India with its growing middle class had become a trade priority. Both sides moved in fast to conclude the necessary agreements, exchange high-level visits and lead trade missions. Bilaterally, India and Canada have about 30 agreements and MOUs, most of which have been concluded over the past five years. We are currently negotiating Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, the Investment Protection Agreement and the Audio-Visual co-Production Treaty. We have already signed the Social Security Agreement, which will facilitate the movement of professionals. Services is a sector of aggressive interest to India under the CEPA which becomes even more important given that India will stand graduated out of Canada’s Generalised Scheme of Tariff Preferences by January 2015. India is also offering facilities to the Canadian long term funds, including pension funds and Teachers Funds to invest in India’s Infrastructure Debt Financing. There have been some positive developments here.
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Ottawa Star • July 4, 2013
Weekend Celebration Held In Honour of Korean War Veterans By Ellen O’Connor
anadian veterans of the Korean War were honoured for their service during a special Korean War Veterans weekend celebration in the nation’s capital from Friday, June 21 to Sunday, June 23. The three-day event began Friday morning with a commemorative wreath laying ceremony held at the Canadian Aboriginal War Veterans Memorial, on National Aboriginal Day, to honour Canadian Aboriginal Korean War Veterans. Following this, an opening gala dinner was held Friday evening at the LeBreton Gallery of the Canadian War Museum. The Canada Korea Society was the official host of the dinner, in partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada and the Canadian War Museum, along with collaborating partners the Honourable Senator Yonah Martin, the Historica-Dominion Institute and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea. About 400 guests attended the historic occasion, including Korean War veterans from across Canada and their spouses. Also in attendance was a delegation from Korea led by Vice Minister Choi Wan-keun, Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, representatives from the Canadian Parliament and Senate, representative of the Canadian Armed Forces, diplomatic representatives of the 21 countries that participated in the Korean
Photo: Sam Garcia
Senator Yonah Martin, The Hon. Yonah Martin, Co-Chair, C-K Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group & Ms. Young-Hae Lee, President, Canada Korea Society
War, special guests from partner organizations, Korean Canadian community leaders, youth and CKS representatives. Young-Hae Lee, president of the Canada Korea Society and official host of the evening, began the night expressing her appreciation for the sacrifice and achievements of the veterans and by acknowledging that the year 2013 was declared Year of Korea In Canada by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as it is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Canada and the Republic of Korea.
The year 2013 was also declared the Year of the Korean War Veteran by the Stephen Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, as it marks the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. Along with Lee, many speakers including H.E. Cho Hong-Lee and Minister Blaney, took to the podium to express their deep appreciation and thanks to all Korean War veterans and to remark on the special relationship that exists between Canada and Korea. A highlight of the evening was the presentation of a plaque to the Hon. Yonah
Martin, senator and co-chair of the Canada-Korea Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group by the CKS Board of Directors “to thank her for her inspired leadership, devotion and initiative in keeping the legacy of the Korean War Veterans alive,” said Lee. Due to Martin’s efforts, July 27 is now declared Korean War Veterans Day. Entertainment was provided throughout the evening, beginning with the Venti String Quartet of the Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy who provided musical accompaniment as guests viewed the Korean War Photo Exhibit, as well as the Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces who played music from the Korean War Era, young violinist Jae-won Suh and pianist Judith Ginsburg. A 13 member choir of Korean War Veterans from Unit 7 of the National Capital region also took to the stage to perform a collection of vintage songs, even donning hula skirts at the end of the show for a final song and dance routine to the laughs of the audience. The gala dinner was a large success, said Lee, and the rest of the Korean War Veterans weekend continued to be so with an evening reception held Saturday evening at Gov. Gen. David Johnston’s home. On Sunday the Korean War Veterans Remembrance Ceremony was held at the National War Memorial followed by a post-reception at the Chateau Laurier.
Five outstanding Canadians of Arab descent honoured By Ellen O’Connor
A crowd of 400 people filled the grand hall of the Canadian Museum of Civilization on June 17 for the first-ever Arab Ambassador’s Award and Gala Dinner held to honour the achievements and outstanding contributions Canadians of Arab descent have made in their communities. Organized by the Council of Arab League Ambassadors in partnership with the Canada-Arab Business Council, the gala recognized the accomplishments of 35 Arab-Canadian nominees in seven categories: political, business, artistic, youth, charity achievements, scientific, and expertise. Each winner received a bronze sculpture “Arabesque,” designed by renowned sculpture artist, Pascal Demonsand. All other nominees received a commemorative plaque in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments. Algerian Ambassador, H.E. Smail Benamara, dean of the Arab Ambassadors’ Group, began the night by congratulating all nominees on their achievements. “This is not a misplaced pride because it’s based on efforts, hard work, sacrifice, seriousness, dedication, and motivation,” said Benamara. “These are values that we would like to spread everywhere.” Mr. Pierre De Bané, former federal minister and senator, and winner of the political category, took to the podium as well
to share his story and thank the Council of Arab Ambassadors for their initiative. Also in attendance were dignitaries Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, speaker of the Senate, the Honourable Jason Kenney, minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, Mr. Deepak Obhrai, parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs, Ms. Hélène Laverdière, NPD MP, Mr. Massimo Pacetti, LPC MP and Mr. Paul Dewar, NPD MP. Along with the dinner and award ceremony, the crowd was entertained throughout the night by live song and dance performances including Andalusian Music Orchestra of Montreal, the mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah, singer Leila Gouchi, virtuoso oudist John Shadeed, virtuoso pianist Mehdi Bilal Ghazi, the Lebanese Zaffeh Group and the Palestinian dance band. Zaineb Kubba, business development manager at the Canada-Arab Business Council said the Council of Arab League Ambassadors had been planning for the past few years to hold an event to recognize the many accomplishments of Arab-Canadians across the country. “The embassies have never acknowledged or recognized the Arab community in such as inspiring way,” said Kubba, who along with the CABC organized ticket sales, sponsors and promotion for the gala. “I think it’s important that ambassadors and embassies show support to their communities.”
Photo: M. Belmellat
Algerian Ambassador, H.E. Smail Benamara, Dean of the Arab Ambassadors’ Group onstage with other ambassadors.
Kubba added that the event helped to paint a better image of Arabs of Canadian descent as well as raise awareness to the participation and integration of Arab-Canadians.
“I was amazed by what I saw and what they’ve done for the community,” said Kubba. “Canadians are becoming aware that immigrants play an important role and are becoming a part of the Canadian society.”
Recipients: Political: Mr. Pierre De Bané, Former Federal Minister and Senator, Ottawa Business: Mr. Abdo Ibrahim El Tassi, CEO/Director of Peerless Garments, Winnipeg Artistic: Ms. Julie Nesrallah, mezzo-soprano and radio host, Ottawa Scientific: Dr. Mona Nemer, professor, scientific researcher in cardiovascular disease, vice-president, research, University of Ottawa Expertise: Dr. Mamdouh Shoukri, president and vice-chancellor of York University, Toronto Charity Activities: Dr. Mohammed Awadh Baobaid, executive director of the Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration, London Youth: Mr. Mehdi Billal Ghazi, pianist, Best Academic Achievement prize, Toronto; and Ms. Sarah Myriam Mazouz, Canadian judo practitioner, bronze medalist at El Savador World Cup, Montreal.
Ottawa Star • July 4, 2013
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Ottawa is a great place to start and grow your business. Photo: Sean Killpatrick, The Canadian Press
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mrs. Narinder Chauhan. October 2012.
Canada India Relations during my tenure Continued from page 1
Globally savvy Indian companies are well invested in Canada. All the flagship Indian companies have a presence here, including Tatas, Birlas, Essar, Wipro, Infosys etc. More that 500 Canadian companies have a presence in India including Bombardier, CAE etc. CEO’s Roundtable has been upgraded to a CEOs Forum to steer the trade and investment relationship further in the priority areas of energy, agriculture, services, infrastructure, technology etc. Potash and pulses constitute onefourth of our trade; Agriculture Cooperation Agreement that was signed in 2009, therefore, assumes significance. We have since concluded potash contracts and also made significant investments for long-term off-take in view of the fact that India does not produce an ounce of this mineral so important for food productivity and the livelihood of our farmers. ISRO is using Canada’s Radarsat technology for crop forecasting etc. Canada is very important in promoting food security, a national priority in India. Given the strengths of Canada in mines, both in terms of minerals and resultant technology, we have concluded agreements on mining and earth sciences with both the federal government and the provinces. The end purpose is to stimulate trade and investment and facilitate transfer of technology and do capacity building. We have advanced the dialogue on setting up centres of excellence in India. India is energy deficient and Canada is an energy superpower. In that spirit, we concluded agreement on energy cooperation during PM Harper’s first visit to India in 2009. An Energy Forum was set up which has now been upgraded to a ministerial level dialogue. There is a strong interest in the Indian public and private sector for investments in the Canadian oil, gas, and coal businesses, apart from learning from Canada’s best practices in the renewable technologies. Our companies are also investing in the Canadian export infrastructure, particularly on the Eastern Gateway. Realising that education and innovation is the bedrock of any society; we have completed eight joint projects and will soon announce additional projects under our S&T Agreement. We have also now brought in all the strands of innovation that we are discussing as part of our extant agreements under the umbrella of a joint S&T Action Plan. This includes whatever we are doing under energy, mining, earth sciences, intelligent transport systems, agriculture, education, health environment etc.
On education, the universities on both sides have concluded more than 300 agreements including for joint research, dual degrees, and student exchange. Twenty-one VCs of Indian Universities made a historic visit to Canada in 2011 for the Education Summit. We signed the MOU on cooperation in higher education during the historic visit of our Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to Canada, 37 years after the last Indian prime ministerial visit to the country. We also concluded the Cultural Cooperation Agreement apart from the Agreement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation and MOU on Mining and Earth Sciences during that visit. To project India’s soft power, we launched a year-long Year of India in Canada in 2011 which included cultural performances, writers festivals, film festivals, made in India shows, education summit and Innovation summit. This helped in raising awareness of India from its civilisational legacy to what modern India is all about. Here, I must pay tribute to the Shastri India Canada Institute (SICI), which with a membership of as many as 40 institutions across Canada (and 50 Indian Universities) provided the High Commission with the much needed connectivity coast to coast under the leadership of its then President of SICI, Prof Braj Sinha of Saskatchewan University. We received tremendous support from the provinces of Canada, particularly Saskatchewan which have emerged as the pioneers in promoting bilateral cooperation. I was personally struck by the acceptability that India enjoys across Canada not only among the governments, the businesses, but also the civil society. We were also gratified at the gesture of the Canadian government in supporting India’s role internationally including Indian candidatures in various international bodies as also India’s application for observership in the Arctic Council. We have strengthened our long standing dialogue on counterterrorism with a security dialogue at the level of the National Security Advisors. With this critical mass of a relationship, it is important that the desired momentum is kept up through an India Focus for developing policy linkages. In that spirit, we have collaborated with Canadian universities in setting up centres of excellence and India Chairs in prominent universities of Canada. The Indian community in Canada also realises the crucial role it can play in carrying forward this legacy. H.E. Narinder Chauhan is the Former Deputy High Commissioner of India to Canada, she served in Canada for five years and is elevated to the position of Ambassador. Her new posting is yet to be formally announced.
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Ottawa Star • July 4, 2013
Barrhaven’s New Chinese Guardian Lions are “Awoken” at Dedication Ceremony in Water Dragon Park By Ellen O’Connor
he entrance of Barrhaven’s Water Dragon Park is now home to two new Chinese guardian lion statues following a dedication ceremony on Wednesday, June 19 to symbolize the neighbourhood’s large Chinese community and to celebrate Ottawa’s strong ties with the Asian country. After a long journey that began in Beijing, China, the 2,000-kilogram guardian lions arrived at their resting place in the Barrhaven park. The pair of handcrafted marble statues was a gift from the Xicheng District of the City of Beijing and The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to the City of Ottawa and the local community. A group of about 100 people including Deputy Mayor Steve Desroches, along with special guests from the Xicheng District of Beijing, Chinese Embassy officials, members of the Chinese Community Association of Ottawa, and community members were in attendance at the morning’s event. Through a traditional ritual, the lions were awoken by a special eye painting ceremony. Following the ceremony, a Chinese dragon dance led the attendees on a tour through Water Dragon Park,
Photo courtesy: Office of Steve Desroches
From left: Ms. Dongmei Zhang, Senior Consultant, Xicheng District, Beijing, Mr. Dongwen Li, Minister Counselor, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Jason Kelly, Co-Chair of Water Dragon Park Community Cultural Committee, Mr. Steve Desroches, Deputy Mayor, City of Ottawa and local City Councillor for Gloucester-South Nepean, Mr. Jin Xue, Vice President, Chinese Community Association of Ottawa
named as such in 2012 by the City of Ottawa as a tribute to the special OttawaBeijing relationship. “We are starting to see a much more diverse community in Barrhaven,” said Deputy Mayor Steve Desroches, City Councillor for the Chapman Mills Drive community where Water Dragon Park is located. “I thought it would make perfect
Air India Crash Memorial By Ellen O’Connor
A group of people gathered in Commissioner’s Park near Dow’s Lake on June 23 to remember their loved ones lost in the tragic bombing of Air India Flight 182 killing all 329 individuals on board. Gathered around the Air India Memorial, a bronze plaque with the 329 victim’s names inscribed on it, family members and friends were joined by the Deputy High Commissioner of India Narinder Chauhan, Ambassador Ray Bassett of Ireland, MP Royal Gallipeau for Ottawa-Orleans as well as members of the community to lay wreaths and read prayers. This year marked the 28th anniversary of terrorist attack on the Air India Flight, which crashed off the coast of Ireland on June 23, 2985 as it flew enroute to England from Toronto. A second bomb destined for another Air India Flight killed two baggage handlers in Tokyo’s Narita Airport. Most of the victims were Canadian citizens. A moment of silence was held to remember loved ones and to remember others who have died from terror attacks in recognition of National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism. Susheel Gupta, director of the Air India Victims Families Association, who organized the event with India Canada Association, spoke at the memorial saying that although it
has been 28 years, terrorism still exists today. “This day and the memorial are to remember those who were lost and the future of those who lost their loved ones,” said Gupta, 40, Acting Chairperson and CEO, Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. “We can’t assume that terrorism happens elsewhere, because it can happen here in Canada. We’ve got to remain vigilant.” Gupta was 12-years-old when he received the news that his mother, along with other family friends, were on board Air India Flight 182. “We were awoken Sunday morning when the phone rang around 6:30,” said Gupta. “A friend of my father called to say he heard a news report that an Air India plane had crashed off the coast of Ireland. Shortly after, my father told my brother and I what happened.” A few days later, Gupta found himself in Ireland with his father having to look over hundreds of pictures of dead bodies in the hopes of recovering his mother’s. They did, and her body was cremated in India and her ashes sent down the Ganges River. Of the 329 victims, only 131 bodies were recovered. Today, Gupta, along with his father Dr. Bal Gupta, Chair of the Air India Victims Families Association, who attended the memorial in Toronto the same day, remain active in speaking on behalf of victims of terrorism and legislative changes in Canada.
sense to celebrate our relationship with our sister city Beijing and work with the community to honour that relationship and celebrate our heritage.” The pair features a male resting his paw on an embroidered ball, representing supremacy, and a female restraining a playful cub, representing nurture. Desroches said the lions appeal to all walks of life and within minutes of them being delivered, young children were playing with them and asking questions about their meaning and symbols. “The Barrhaven Guardian Lions project was a true community effort and would not have been successful without the generous shipping assistance of CN, the dedication of our community partners, and the
hard work of a great team who helped unload and install them,” said Desroches. The donation of the Barrhaven Guardian Lions to Water Dragon Park celebrates Ottawa’s ties with China and the City of Beijing, as well as the changing face of the city, as represented already by the Ottawa Chinatown Royal Arch, and the Sister City Friendship Relations established in 1999 by Mayor Watson. Traditionally, pairs of Chinese guardian lions sit on either side of entrances and were believed to have powerful mythic protective benefits and drive away evil spirits. They are often found in locations where Chinese people have immigrated and settled, such as the Chinatown arch on Somerset.
Sts. Peter and Paul Festival Ellen O’Connor
Live music, laughter and the delicious smell of homemade food drifted from the grounds of the Sts. Peter and Paul Greek Melkite Catholic Church this past weekend as the Lebanese community gathered together to celebrate the second annual Sts. Peter and Paul Festival. The free three-day event spanned over the weekend of Friday, June 28 to Sunday, June 30 to coincide with the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, celebrated by the Catholic Church on June 29. Close to 2,000 people came out to join in on the festivities held at the church, located at 1161 North River Rd in Vanier, to celebrate their culture through traditional song, dance and authentic Lebanese cuisine. Despite the rain, Friday evening began with the Divine Liturgy followed by live musical performances by Dunia Dick, Roger Helou, and the Ottawa Zaffeh Group, who specialize in traditional Lebanese folklore dancing and wedding processions. Saturday and Sunday followed with more live music from performers Mireille Nohra, Rami Al Abiad, Andre Ibrahim, Joe Nachef, George Hadchiti and the
Teen Catholic Group of Sts. Peter and Paul Church. Performances from the best talents of teenagers ages 12 to 16 also took to the stage for their turn in the spotlight. While listening to the traditional Lebanese music, the crowd enjoyed food prepared by the ladies auxiliary including thyme and cheese bread, chicken, a variety of sandwiches, corn on the cob and different sweets. Ten inflatable rides and games also sprouted up across the grounds for children and families to play in throughout the afternoon. Pierre Baliki, a member of the church and organizer of the festival, said that while the festival is a celebration of community, food and music, it is also a celebration of the beauty of Sts. Peter and Paul Greek Melkite Catholic Church as many parishioners were encouraged to go inside and admire the icons detailing the walls and ceilings of the church. This is the first festival of three for the Lebanese community this summer. The 23rd annual Ottawa Lebanese festival held at St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral runs July 17 to 21 and the 19th annual Family Gathering Around the Virgin Mary held at Saint Charbel Maronite Church runs August 14 to 19.
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Feds allowing millions in multiculturalism funding to go unspent each year Canada By Stephanie Levitz The Canadian Press
TTAWA – Millions of federal dollars earmarked for multiculturalism programming are going unspent, resulting in what the government calls responsible cuts to program budgets but what critics consider a sign of a worrisome shift. Figures from the Department of Citizenship and Immigration suggest at least $5-million a year hasn’t been disbursed since 2007, and the department’s marquee funding program has seen nearly 40 per cent of available funds go unused. So the department is scaling back the amount of money it sets aside for community multiculturalism projects, despite the fact that an internal government audit suggests demand for the cash remains high and that the government itself is partly to blame for the fact it isn’t being spent. “It is irresponsible and inefficient to year after year budget spending that is not being used,” Citizenship and Immigration spokeswoman Erika-Kirsten Easton said in an email. “This also means that the funding now being allocated to the program each year will not decrease, but instead more accurately reflect what is actually being spent.” The federal multiculturalism budget has slowly been eroding since the mid-1990s
and for this year, the government had originally forecast it would spend $21.3 million. Those numbers have now been revised down to $14.3 million, according to the department’s plans and priorities report. Easton said what looks like a $7-million funding cut can be explained partially by a change in the way the government accounts for the money spent to administer programs. But the Inter-Action budget, the department’s signature granting program, is also seeing its funds scaled back. It was set up in 2010 to support events deemed to be promote intercultural understanding, respect for democratic values or civic memory and pride. In 2010-2011, about $14 million was spent under the program to fund 140 projects and events. But that money represented only 63 per cent of what was set aside, according to documents from the department obtained via the Access to Information Act. That year, 751 proposals were received, with the total value of requested funds being nine times the available cash, a 2011 audit found. Though 567 projects were considered eligible, only 39 were recommended to the minister for approval and only 25 per cent were funded. “The approval process for projects and events was identified by many stakeholders as the single biggest impediment
to the effective operation of the program,” the audit said. “The lack of transparency and lengthy timelines associated with this process made it very difficult for program staff to manage their clients or expend their budgets.” When asked why the money was lapsing if the demand was clearly present, a spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said applications just weren’t up to snuff. “Only those projects that fulfill all of the rigorous program criteria are approved for funding,” Alexis Pavlich said in an email. “These criteria are in place to ensure that funded projects provide beneficial services that are in line with the program’s objectives, and provide good value for taxpayer money.” In 2011-12, about $9.5 million was spent under the program to fund 30 projects and 202 events. For this year, the budget will be scaled back further by at least $2.5 million. But all of the money is expected to be spent, Pavlich said. The government has narrowed the criteria for the program in a way that’s made it more difficult to access the funds, said Ratna Omidvar, who runs the Maytree Foundation in Toronto, a not-for-profit group involved in diversity programming. “I don’t think the multiculturalism program is being taken seriously any more and I worry about the nation-building aspects the program used to have,” Omidvar said.
Canada at work: Highlights from latest chapter of National Household Survey The Canadian Press
OTTAWA - Statistics Canada released the second batch of figures Wednesday from its voln Canada’s labour force numbered 18 million in 2011, but only 16.6 million had a job during the survey period—an employment rate of 60.9 per cent, compared with 62.6 per cent in 2006. The jobless rate during the period was 7.8 per cent, compared with 6.6 per cent in 2006. n 64.8 per cent of working-age women now have a post-secondary education, compared with 63.4 per cent of men—the first time the percentage for women has bypassed that for men. n Women accounted for 59 per cent of Canadians aged 25 to 34 with a university degree, compared with 47.3 per cent of their 55- to 64-yearold counterparts. n The most common occupations for women in 2011: retail salesperson; administrative assistant; registered nurse; cashier; schoolteacher. n The most common occupations for men: retail salesperson; truck driver; retail and wholesale manager; carpenter; janitor, caretaker and building superintendent. n Canada had more than three million workers aged 55 and over in 2011, comprising 18.7 per cent of total employment, compared with 15.5 per cent in 2006. n Employment rates were highest in Yukon (69.7 per cent), N.W.T. (66.8 per cent) and the Prairies, particularly Alberta (69 per cent) and Saskatchewan (65.1 per cent). Rates were lowest in Newfoundland and Labrador (50.7 per cent) and Nunavut (52.1 per cent).
untary National Household Survey, looking at labour, education, workplace, commuting, work language and mobility and migration. Some highlights: n Roughly 15.4 million Canadians said they commute to work each day, with three out of four driving a vehicle and just 5.6 per cent making the trip as passengers. 1.1 million people reported working from home. n Public transit was used by 12 per cent of commuters, up from 11 per cent in 2006. Of those, 63.5 per cent took a bus, 25 per cent rode the subway or elevated-rail train, 11.2 per cent took light-rail transit, streetcar or commuter train, and 0.3 per cent travelled by ferry. n 880,800 commuters, or 5.7 per cent, reported walking to work each day, while only 201,800 people (1.3 per cent) rode a bicycle, the same percentage as in 2006. n 29 per cent of Canadian commuters reported leaving for work between 7 and 8 a.m., 22 per cent between 8 and 9 a.m. and 18 per cent between 6 and 7 a.m. n Among Aboriginal Peoples aged 25 to 64, 48.4 per cent had some sort of post-secondary education, the majority a trades certificate or college diploma. 9.8 per cent reported having a university degree, compared with 26.5 per cent of the non-aboriginal population. n Nearly 29 per cent of Aboriginal Peoples in the same age group reported holding no high school diploma and no post-secondary qualifications, compared with 12.1 per cent of the non-aboriginal group.
There is also an ongoing evolution in how governments thinks about multiculturalism, suggested Jack Jedwab, the executive director of the Association of Canadian Studies. Core funding for multi-ethnic groups disappeared in the 1980s, and the funding model shifted to supporting specific projects. In the early 2000s, the government changed its focus again, this time to support integration and settlement for newcomers. That’s forced groups working in the sector to change as well. “The organizations out there are challenged by way of their capacity to undertake the types of projects that the multiculturalism program has identified as a priority,” Jedwab said. “Things are getting done, but they are not getting done through that program.” For example, settlement funding has risen by $400 million since 2005-06, according to the department. The two aren’t at all alike, argued Jinny Simms, the New Democrat’s immigration and multiculturalism critic. She said it’s important for the federal government to play an active role in both. “Settlement services are really there for when people arrive to help them transition,” she said. “Multiculturalism is something different. It’s not just for the new arrivals. It’s for all of us.” Multiculturalism does remains a mainstay of how Canadians think about Canada at large, Jedwab said.
Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs 6.10% of Canada’s population Indo Asian News Service
Hindus comprise 1.5 percent, Sikhs 1.4 percent and Muslims 3.2 percent of Canada’s population of around 35 million, according to the 2011 National Household Survey conducted by Statistics Canada. Of the immigrants who arrived to this country between 2001 and 2011 Hindus, Muslims Sikhs and Buddhists account for 33 percent, the new data released Wednesday revealed, which is changing the religious makeup of this North American country. Over 22.1 million people identified themselves as belonging to a Christian group, Roman Catholics accounting for 12.7 million and United Church two million. The Muslim population is growing at the fastest rate in the country, even exceeding people who say they follow no religion. 17.4 percent of the immigrants who arrived between 2001 and 2011 were Muslims. Hindus comprised 6.6 percent, Sikhs 4.8 percent Buddhists 2.8 percent, Jews 0.9 percent and Christians 47.5 percent in the same period. “We have been experiencing this kind of steady increase for a while,” the Calgary Herald quoted Amin Elshorbagy, president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, as saying. “We can see this in terms of the need to expand our infrastructure. Most of our Islamic centres are becoming very crowded.” South Asians, Chinese and blacks formed 61.3 percent of the minority population. They were followed by Filipinos, Latin Americans, Arabs, southeast Asians, west Asians, Koreans and Japanese. However, the survey, which replaced the long-form census that was cancelled in 2010, warned that the data may not be completely accurate, given its voluntary nature.
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Being a New Canadian W
hile celebrating Canada a place where our schools and 146th birthday, I ponour public places ring out with dered what it means to be a the sound of different tongues new Canadian. What makes spoken by people of various me proud of Canada? colors and creeds, inculcating Besides the all-pervasive in our children at an early and natural beauty and the sheer impressionable age the values vastness, its high ranking as a of finding the Canadian balance of individual expression safe haven, its unique role in and social peace. peacekeeping, its fundamental belief that the ethos of The affirmation of the multiculturalism is as an ethnic greatness of this country lies mosaic and not a melting not in the booming skyscrapers pot, its Charter of Rights and of Toronto, or in the wealth Freedom, enshrining human of energy stored in Alberta’s dignity and the preservation bedrock, or even in the majestic of our liberty, there really is heights of the Rockies. Rather, something deeper and abiding it is rooted, in a rather understated Canadian way, in the binding us together. belief that while our aspirations Being a new Canadian is and goals may be individual in to be passionate and bonded nature, we are part of a greater by the love of our land and a Canadian family remarkable awareness of the greater and at the end of “I believe Canadian values of the day, we rise the world equality, inclusivetogether and we ness, acceptance of needs more fall together as a difference, tolerance nation. This dream Canada” and liberalism. It is - the Canadian —Bono, 2003. falling in love with dream - with its this country. Reinsistence on small specting its culture and institumiracles, has paved the way tions, its people and way of life, where people of every ethnic and most importantly, agreeing and cultural mix known to to abide by and uphold the true man, whilst engaged in conflict Canadian values. elsewhere in the world, can live While our paths to harmoniously side-by-side with Canada abound with differall their differences, learning ences in origin and circumfrom one another and shaping stance, our individual journeys a collective identity. This dream are very much interwoven - the Canadian dream - born of within the greater immigrant a steadfast faith in a just society, narrative. Whether one imwhere we can worship whatmigrates here as a student ever God we see fit and respect with the longing for the best others’ right to do the same, education, as a parent aspiring where we can confidently think to provide a better future for and say what we want to say, their children or as a refuge and where, the proverbial pen is seeking to escape the clutches always mightier than the sword. of tyranny, Canada is the This is the land of opportunity where anyone can redemption of our hopes. As dream big and achieve what he one new Canadian rightly said or she wants to achieve. George about Canada, “There are no Lukk, a post-war immigrant racial boundaries, there are no beautifully captured the essence limitations. There are a lot of of being a Canadian: “I don’t opportunities with its growing. worry at all. I have a feeling I It’s only going to get bigger can do anything here. Anything and better.” can happen here. It is a little like It is to live in a land where being a child, with faith, again.” a multicultural society lives Immigrants come to side-by-side in harmony with Canada with their family minor and few irritations here looking for the “Canadian and there. For me, it is to live opportunity.” They realize it’s in a country where people of here, more than anywhere else different heritage can live harmoniously with their differencin the world, that one can keep es and paradoxes and create their heritage, their culture and recreate their identities to and still move on with their life fit whatever situation they may as a mainstream Canadian, find themselves in. It is to be in and in a very magical and
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Ottawa Star • July 4, 2013
The Great War’s End in Syria
unique way, can have the best of both the worlds. Here one doesn’t have to see oneself as only one thing or only another. As one new Canadian rightly pointed out, “As events arise my Judaism may come to forefront. In other cases I feel proud to be Canadian. I don’t feel I have to choose.” A new survey finds close to half of the country’s millionaires are either immigrants or first-generation Canadians who made the bulk of their wealth after their arrival to the country. One of those newcomerturned-millionaires is Vikram Vij, who opened up an Indian restaurant in Vancouver five years after immigrating to Canada. When Vij was asked what was the secret of his success he said: “When I came to this country I realized this was a young country, I realized if I worked hard, with honesty and with integrity, this country was going to give me the chance. And that’s what I wanted to achieve in my life in India.” Vij’s words throw light on an interesting fact about being in Canada. It demonstrates very clearly that the sky is the limit for new Canadians who come here seeking their dreams and they can go places where no one has ever been and forge the path for others. To be a Canadian is to live here and have a feeling that your hard work is recognised and appreciated: that you matter, that you have a voice and you are a face in the crowd. Here you can start from scratch and reach for the skies. Being a new Canadian means one doesn’t have to forfeit their culture or old country in the process of forging a new identity because Canada is “the sum of its immigrant voices.” It means coming from another country, but feeling right at home here. To be a Canadian is to embrace the extraordinary diversity and celebrate it as a proud national symbol. To manage to govern peacefully and prosperously with an even greater variety of national origins, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations and mother tongues. To not only acknowledge the diversity in our midst, but by and large, revel in it and celebrate it.
NEW DELHI – As the West begins to gear up for the centenary of the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the Middle East is being convulsed as never before by the legacy of the Ottoman Empire’s breakup. Look no farther than Syria, where one part of that legacy is coming to a violent end. The Levant has, of course, been the scene of countless conflicts through the centuries. Peace still eludes the Levant. As Middle East analyst Murtaza Hussain recently observed: “Syria and Iraq, formerly unified Arab states formed after the defeat of their former Ottoman rulers, exist today only in name.” What will emerge could be a fragmented, easily manipulated region. This is why Syria’s civil war is now a geopolitical battle for regional domination, with multiple fractures along sectarian lines. As is now clear, no country is really free of the charge of interfering in Syria. While Shia-majority Iraq has attempted to portray itself as neutral, it has permitted Iranian flights to use its airspace to carry weapons to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Iran, too, has long used its alliance with Syria to pursue its interests in the Levant. On the ground, Hezbollah, now openly fighting in Syria to keep Assad in power, asserts that “war is coming to Aleppo,” the ancient city that is the heart of the anti-Assad rebellion. Indeed, according to Lakhdar Brahimi, who serves as Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria, there are an estimated 148 groups, big and small, fighting in the country. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Qatar attempt “to divert popular discontent along sectarian, Shia-Sunni lines.” This ancient fracture, papered over by Sir Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot 97 years ago in their secret agreement, has now swallowed Syria, with Assad portrayed as some sort of Alawite ogre. Many Western diplomats appear to be of the same superficial cast of mind as Sykes and Picot, believing that Assad’s fall from power would
remove Syria from the Iran-Hezbollah-Hamas axis. But will it? Recent history suggests just how malleable the elements in play in Syria really are. Consider Saudi Arabia’s actions there. As Bruce Riedel, an ex-CIA analyst and former National Security Council member, recently noted, “Ironically, [Saudi intelligence chief Prince] Bandar was crucial to the transition in Syria from Hafez Assad to Bashar back in 2000, assuring key Alawite generals that Bashar was up to the job and had Saudi support.” Now the same Prince Bandar “is trying to get arms to the Sunni rebels to oust Bashar.” Such long-term unpredictability is why the former EU foreign-policy high representative Javier Solana and former NATO Secretary Gen. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer assert that talks in Geneva are the only viable way out of the Syrian morass. An agreement last month between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov to launch a new political process for Syria marked a possible opportunity; but hope is waning even before the talks begin. Indeed, one reason for this is that, on the opening day of the Russia-EU Summit in Yekaterinburg on June 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that his country will honor its contract with Syria to deliver S-300 surface-to-air missiles. Putin stressed Russia’s disappointment over the EU’s failure to maintain the arms embargo against Syria, thus permitting each EU member state to arm the Syrian rebels. Now, with Obama’s decision to send arms as well, his “red line” in Syria could well create a legacy as damaging to the region as that of the Sykes-Picot “line in the sand” proved to be. To arm the rebel groups is, perhaps inevitably, also to arm their terrorist and mercenary allies. That is not a recipe for long-term stability Jaswant Singh is a soldier, writer and a politician. He is the only person to have served as India’s finance minister (1996, 2002-2004), foreign minister (1998-2004), and defense minister (2000-2001).
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Ambrose announces federal money to fight so called ‘honour’ crimes Canada By Dene Moore The Canadian Press
ANCOUVER – The death of 16-year-old Asqa Parvez at the hands of her own family was top of mind for federal Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose on Friday, as she announced funding for a program that will try to tap the perpetrators of so-called “honour” crimes for information on how to prevent them. Ambrose said the Mississauga, Ont., teen sought help at a shelter, but was returned to the care of her parents. “Unfortunately, the violence was being perpetrated by the family, in general, by the father and the brother. She ended up being killed,” Ambrose said at a news conference in Vancouver. It was a situation the shelter had not experienced before, she said. “It’s an issue that takes place across many different ethnic communities and cultural communities, but it is a real issue and we need to address violence against women and girls in every community, in every culture in which it exists across Canada,” Ambrose told volunteers and staff at MOSAIC, a multicultural and immigrant service organization. The federal government will provide $200,000 to the group for a twoyear project that will include consulting boys and men in multicultural communities to better understand the issues behind ethnic gender violence. Ambrose said there have been 19 murders on record that are considered honour killings. In B.C., an extradition hearing is set to resume next month for the mother and uncle of 25-year-old Jassi Sidhu, allegedly murdered in India because she married a poor rickshaw driver against her family’s wishes. Two years ago, Parvez’s father and brother received life sentences for strangling her to death in the family’s Mississauga home because she rejected traditional behaviour. Last year, Mohammad Shafia, 58, and his wife Tooba Yahya, 42, along with their son Hamed Shafia, 21, were each
found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of their daughters. Sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti Shafia, 13, along with Rona Amir Mohammad, 52—their father’s other wife in a polygamous marriage—were found in a car at the bottom of the Rideau Canal in 2009. Those are the cases that make headlines. “This happens every day in communities across the country and you don’t hear about it,” Ambrose said.
She said the Vancouver program is one of 600 the federal government has supported across the country with similar goals. The ultimate aim of the project is to develop strategies for preventing honour violence and for recognizing and dealing with it when prevention fails. “We want to learn from men who have used violence. We want to know from them what are the dynamics, what
are some of the things that led them to their acts of violence,” said Nimu Kang, director of family programs at MOSAIC. It’s difficult to engage both victims and perpetrators of such violence, but it’s important to do so, she said. “You do see some attitude changes. You do see people stepping up. You do see men saying no to violence,” Kang said. “Unfortunately we still have a long way to go.”
Spirit of Albertans celebrated as what it means to be Canadian The Canadian Press
OTTAWA - Celebrating the past achievements of Canada has always been a staple of the national Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill. But this year more recent triumphs were also feted: the downto-earth pluck of Albertans coping with recent floods and the around-the-Earth exploits of astronaut Chris Hadfield. Both were honoured by the stars and dignitaries taking part in the annual noon show, cheered on by an estimated 80,000 people attending the event. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said those in Alberta set an example for all Canadians. “When floods forced so many from their homes, communities dug deep, neighbours helped neighbours and people sheltered complete strangers,’’ Harper said in his speech. “That’s the spirit that makes Canada the best country in the world. The best, bar none.’’ The spirit came alive in the form of Tucker Densmore of Halifax and Adrian Thow of Brampton, Ont. who were a hit in the Parliament Hill crowd, covered from head to toe in red and white face paint. Families that happened upon them had their pictures snapped with the colourful pair. “My big wish for Canada is just to keep living the great life we live, just a great multicultural society and we’re just so fortunate to live here in Canada,’’ said Thow.
Anastase Rouli, who moved to Canada from Rwanda 24 years ago, took in the midday show with his wife and three daughters. “It’s a peaceful and multicultural state, and Canada is one of the best countries in the world, so it makes me happy to be here,’’ Rouli said. The Parliament Hill noon event featured a performances by Terri Clark, Carly Rae Jepsen, Marie-Mei and Metric, as well as live coverage of celebrations in New York and London. But the biggest cheers came for Chris Hadfield. Hadfield’s photographs of Canada taken from his perch aboard the international space station earlier this year earned him fans around the world. He rocketed further upwards in many’s estimation by recording a song while in space that he performed on Monday. Governor General David Johnston said Canada Day is about celebrating the contributions of Hadfield, Albertans and all Canadians. “Let me thank you, every Canadian who gives back to his or her community, every Canadian who takes risks, every Canadian who reaches for a dream; every Canadian who has made and continues to make Canada a truly great country,’’ Johnston said. “We have so much talent, so much creativity, so much ingenuity. So I chal-
lenge you this year to do and give what you can, to make our country smarter and more caring, fairer and more just, stronger and more united.’’ The support that Canadians have offered to flood-ravaged Alberta prompted Premier Alison Redford to publicly thank them in a video. “Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts,’’ Redford said in the video. “Whether it’s Red Cross volunteers from Newfoundland, social workers from Guelph (Ont.), dog trainers from Kelowna (B.C.) who provided food for search and rescue dogs, the important time and money Canadians poured into the Red Cross to help us rebuild.’’ ‘’On this Canada Day we are so grateful to be part of a Canadian community,’’ she added. Organizers of Canada Day festivities in Canada said thousands joined the celebrations at Fort Calgary, the site where the North West Mounted Police built their fort in 1875. Located at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers, the fort remained dry even though there was severe flooding all around it. Sara Gruetzner, Fort Calgary CEO, said many of the people who came to the fort thanked staff for going ahead with Canada Day celebrations and welcomed the break from cleaning out their flooddamaged homes.
Supreme Court upholds decision to deny Libyan man residency status By Mike Blanchfield The Canadian Press
OTTAWA – The Supreme Court has denied a Libyan man’s request for permanent residency status in Canada. In a 7-0 ruling Thursday, the high court upheld a 2009 decision by Peter Van Loan, then the public safety minister, to reject the man’s application on the grounds he was inadmissible in the national interest. Muhsen Ahmed Ramadan Agraira came to Canada on a false Italian passport
in 1997 and originally claimed refugee status because he was a member of the Libyan National Salvation Front – a group that opposed dictator Moammar Gadhafi. His claim was rejected in 1998 because his application was not deemed credible and was against Canada’s national security interests. Agraira married a Canadian woman in 1999, who sponsored him for permanent residency. Agraira’s lawyer, Lorne Waldman, called the court’s ruling and the govern-
Photo: D. Gordon E. Robertson, Wikipedia
The Supreme Court of Canada building.
ment’s position ironic, given that Canadian warplanes were part of the NATOled coalition that helped groups such as the LNSF in toppling Gadhafi in 2011. “When Gadhafi was overthrown this organization was involved in the coalition and Canada used military force
to support the overthrow of Gadhafi,” Waldman said. “Where is logic in deporting my client for being involved in an organization that we supported militarily and politically?” Continued on page 10
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Ottawa Star • July 4, 2013
Stones’ Mick Jagger looks back Teaching school might have been a good career choice
Photo: cinemafestival, Shutterstock.com
The Canadian Press
ONDON – Mick Jagger thinks his original career plan to become a school teacher might have provided plenty of satisfaction. The Rolling Stones frontman told BBC Radio Friday that his music career has not been challenging intellectually and that teaching might have been “gratifying” instead. He also said he had considered becoming a politician or a journalist when he was a teen.
Instead he has become one of the most successful rock singers in history. Despite his interest in other careers, Jagger says he’s “very pleased” with how things have turned out. The band is marking its 50th year together with a series of concerts that will also include a first ever appearance at the Glastonbury festival this weekend and a return in July to Hyde Park in central London.
Bollywood star Khan to face homicide charge over 2002 road accident The Associated Press
India, China must collaborate for movies, culture: Jackie Chan Indo Asian News Service
New Delhi - Jackie Chan, one of Asian cinema’s most prominent faces, is keen that India, the world’s largest film producing nation, and China, globally the second largest film market, must collaborate to make movies, and exchange culture more often. Singing and dancing in a Bollywood film is also on his wish-list! In the capital to inaugurate the Chinese Film Festival, jointly organised by the IndiaChina Economic and Cultural Council in association with both India and China, the 59-yearold star of movies like “Police Story”, “Rush Hour” and “The Myth” was “excitedly happy” with the warm reception from his fans. Such initiatives – film festivals, cultural exchange programmes and music events – will
“definitely” help the nations in improving relations, he said. “There are (many) productions, studios and directors, you can hire some of the Chinese stars – actors, actresses to act in the movies or find some Chinese location (for your films),” Chan told IANS in an interview. He cited his experience of working with Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat in the 2005 martial arts-based fantasy adventure film “The Myth”. “I worked with Mallika because there was a scope for something Indian (in the film)… (For Indian element) we know we need to come to India. But yes, I’ve always known India is a big market for films, and I believe we should collaborate for culture, music, movies, and everything,” he added.
Indo Canadian News Service
Los Angeles - (IANS/EFE) Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the recording category for her success in the bilingual market. “The path I have taken from the streets of the Bronx up to this moment on Hollywood Boulevard is paved with love and the support of my family, friends, and the family I’ve created in my work,” Lopez told reporters and the hundreds of fans who gathered for the event Thursday.
“This is a special moment, it’s a reference point and it inspires me to work harder and dream higher in everything that comes in the future. I hope you feel, because I do, that it was all worth it,” the singer said. The five-point star with the name of Jennifer Lopez and decorated with a brass disc is the 2,500th star since the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce decided in 1958 to award these honours to outstanding figures in movies, television, radio and music, and to display them on the 14-blocklong Walk of Fame where tourists love to have their pictures taken.
Photo: s_bukley, Shutterstock.com
Jennifer Lopez gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
Appearing before more than 600 admirers who obtained special passes through the Jennifer Lopez Web site, the singer of Puerto Rican descent blew them kisses and expressed her love.
NEW DELHI - A Mumbai court has ruled that Indian movie star Salman Khan will be tried for homicide for his alleged involvement in a fatal road accident more than 10 years ago. If convicted he faces up to 10 years in jail. The actor was earlier being tried for the lesser offence of causing death by negligence, which carries a maximum punishment of two years in jail.
Monday’s court decision is a blow for one of Bollywood‘s biggest stars. Khan has starred in about 90 Hindi-language films in his 25year career. One man was killed and another three were injured when Khan allegedly rammed his car into a group of homeless people sleeping on a Mumbai sidewalk in September 2002. The trial will begin July 19.
China artist Ai Weiwei releases protest album making fun of being detained by police Associated Press
BEIJING – He is no musician, but the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei is resorting to music to convey his criticism and mockery of China’s authoritarian state. On the second anniversary of his 81-day secret detention, Ai is releasing his first music album “The Divine Comedy,” which includes the single “Dumbass.” The song is meant to reconstruct his detention, which was part of an overall crackdown on dissent in 2011. Ai’s subsequent conviction for tax evasion has been seen by his supporters as punishment for his activism. The full album (released Saturday) has five other songs, in which Ai documents his experiences with police and shares his reflection on China’s current conditions. Musician Zuoxiao Zuzhou, a friend of Ai, wrote the
music for the album, with influences from pop, rock, punk and heavy metal. Ai’s vocals appear to be more speech making than singing, and the lyrics include obscenities to express his anger at what he sees as a repressive police state. “I had been thinking about how to recover from the trauma. And I came up with the idea of using music to convey a sentiment that is tremendously secret, and private, to the public,” Ai said last month when “Dumbass” was released as a single A sculptor, designer and documentary-maker, Ai has irked Beijing by using his art and online profile to draw attention to injustices in China and the need for greater transparency and rule of law. After his release in June 2011, Ai’s design firm was slapped with a $2.4 million tax bill, which he fought unsuccessfully in the Chinese courts.
Ottawa Star • July 4, 2013
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A music lover’s mission: An archive of Indian music By Shilpa Raina, IANS
ew Delhi – It was sheer curiosity that led to a beautiful serendipity which has now become a mission for authorclassical singer Vikram Sampath, who has created an archive of Indian classical music, Carnatic music, folk music and speeches from the pre-Independence era, digitised them and built a national treasure online. The Archive of Indian Music(AIM) is a museum of sorts to listen to the golden voices of bygone era. The recordings span 1902 to 1952 and boast of many known and unknown names like Bhimsen Joshi, Devika Rani, Abdul Karim Khan, Hirabai Barodekar and Madurai Mani Iyer among others. It can be accessed at www. archiveofindianmusic.org. “I was curious to listen to the voice of legendary singer Gauhar Jaan (the first Indian voice to be recorded in 1902) while I was writing a book on her. It was during the research that I realised there were old gramophone recordings of known and unknown singers in abominable condition,” Sampath, 33, told IANS.. “I started collecting them and reached out to record collectors. Some generous people donated. This is how the process began accidentally. One thing led to the another by chance,” he said, adding he has around 100,000 records for digitising, of which 10,000 have already been transferred.
Tom Cruise pays $50K a week for Suri’s safety
Actor Tom Cruise and actress Olga Kurylenko
Los Angeles - (IANS) Actor Tom Cruise reportedly pays $50,000-a-week to bodyguards to protect his seven-year-old daughter Suri. One of the “Oblivion” star’s main reasons for hiring security is the constant paparazzi that follows Suri and his exwife, Katie Holmes, all the time. “Tom is always surrounded by two rings of plainclothed security agents. That goes double for his precious daughter. Katie believes money is no object when it comes to the safety of Suri and insisted Tom handle that side of things,” femalefirst.co.uk quoted a source as saying. “These guys are highly trained. They legally carry weapons. When in Los Angeles they keep guns in the trunks of Katie’s SUV limos. When in New York, they have licenses to carry firearms on their person,” the source added. Holmes is appreciative of her former husband’s gesture and the security guards give the high profile actress peace of mind. “Katie knows the guys are the best in the world and she can breathe a lot easier with them on the job,” said the source.
The BITS Pilani alumnus has penned three well-researched books on history and music.” When in 2008, Sampath went to Berlin on a fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study, he came across recordings of Indian prisoners of war during the First World War. He heard many Indian voices reciting anecdotes in Urdu, Tamil and other languages. He was impressed to see how these recordings were preserved, but at the same time embarrassed when someone asked him: “Don’t you have a National Archive of Music in India?” After returning, he went with his ambitious proposal to the government. After running from pillar to post, he finally gave up on his dream. “It was frustration. But I was a man in a hurry,” he recollected. Though the dream had died, his vision hadn’t.
In one of the social gatherings, he met T.V. Mohandas Pai, who was at that time with Infosys and is now chairman of Manipal Global Education. Pai instantly liked the concept and proposed to fund the project. “He jumped at this idea like anything. He said he would provide me the muscle and I could do whatever is required to keep the cultural, valuable heritage of our country alive,” said Sampath who is the foundertrustee of his private non-profit trust. “We have imported excellent equipment required for converting these records digitally. We had decided not to compromise on quality. Pai even gave us space in Bangalore to operate from,” he added. The pilot of the site went online in January. After receiving an overwhelming response from music connoisseurs, the team is now working on making the final version user friendly.
To sustain and monetise the site, Sampath has plans to create audio-visual exhibitions across India. This will enable people access vintage music through Android phones. “We have plans to try different platforms. We want to take these recordings to music schools and colleges. This will be an interesting way of looking at history through sound,” he added. A corporate professional by day, a music lover at night and an author in his free time, Sampath knows how to balance his work and the website that takes him to ‘chor’ bazaars (flea markets) and ‘kabaadi’ (waste recycling) shops across India in search of old records. But, he is not complaining. “One question I never have an answer to is how I manage all this,” he quipped.
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Ottawa Star • July 4, 2013
Canada’s healthcare not keeping up More bad news for defenders of Canada’s healthcare system South Korea
By Doug Firby
ALGARY, AB - Troy Media – Canadians either love or hate their public healthcare system. But what do they really know about how it compares on the international stage? Comparing the healthcare systems employed in countries around the world feels like a mug’s game. It is incredibly complex because of the infinite variables that come into play. How does properly weigh such factors as cost per capita, measured outcomes, mortality rates and satisfaction? Any result is open to challenge. But the International Healthcare Report Card, prepared by the Ipsos polling firm on behalf of Reuters News, took a simpler and more manageable approach. It looked at 15 countries, including Canada, and measured the perceptions of the patients themselves on whether access and patient experience had improved in the past five years. And the answer for Canada’s health system defenders is not good news. More than 12,000 individuals responded to the surveys in countries from around the world, including Argentina, Japan, Belgium, Australia, the United Sates, and most of the European countries. They were asked questions around how much easier it is to access healthcare services than it was five years ago, and how does their experience in the system compare for the same time period. Overall, the average of the scores suggests that there have improvements on both measures, but some countries outperformed while others were in the tank. Just like the once-ridiculed automobiles they produce, South Korea has emerged as the winner of most improved on both access to specific services and on the experience. It was followed by Argentina, Japan and Belgium. Perhaps surprisingly, Poland and Australia also ranked well for improved patient experience. On the bottom of the scale, the financial basket case country of Spain came in dead last – patients there reported that both access and experience
—Source: International Healthcare Report Card, Reuters had declined drastically in the past five years. While the average score of all 15 countries was +130 points, Spain’s was a devastating -372 points – far and away worse than its 14 comparators. That score earned it the only F in the group of 15. Hungary was second last, and It-
aly third last, showing that the European nations overall were on the negative side of the ledger. That includes France, Great Britain and even Sweden, often heralded as a model socialist example. Where was Canada? It ranked ninth, with a score of 105 points. The
authors characterized that as a B-. What that means is that it hasn’t improved at near the degree of the eight other countries ranked above it. Even the oftencriticized U.S. healthcare system was ranked as more improved, pulling in 199 points and earning a B+. There are some important things to keep in mind when considering this survey. First, it measured the users’ perceptions of the system, which isn’t as objective a measure as statistics, such as mortality rates, for example. Secondly, it is not a ranking of the “best” system, but rather the most improved. As any high school underachiever can tell you, being voted most improved does not qualify you to be valedictorian. But there are troubling issues for Canadian policy makers to consider. Health care, like most modern services, is driven by technological innovation. If you are not constantly innovating and adopting best practices, something that might have been considered first-rate just two or three years ago becomes tired and oldhat today. Just ask the beleaguered folks at BlackBerry who didn’t think they had to keep up with the iPhone. As an aging population puts new pressures on our healthcare system, staying ahead of the game will require using emerging technology to gain new efficiencies. As research by Canada Health Infoway has shown (Editor’s Note: click here), the use of electronic medical records is just one such obvious innovation that will improve service at a sustainable cost. The onus falls back on the governments which control not only the budgets, but also the strategic directions of our healthcare systems. It’s time for them to realize that eight countries, at least, are getting better at this essential service faster than we are. We would be well served to visit some of those countries now, explore what they did to bring about such improvements, and consider whether some of those ideas can be implemented here. To me, that’s a much healthier exercise than the never-ending debate over public versus private systems. Let’s put the ideology aside, and focus on what will make our system better for everyone. Doug Firby is Editor-in-Chief and National Affairs columnist for Troy Media
The decision as a whole is valid: Justice LeBel Continued from page 7
The Supreme Court offered Agraira one remaining option to stay in Canada _ to reapply under humanitarian and compassionate grounds. “Having concluded that the minister’s implied interpretation of the term ‘national interest’ is reasonable, I should also confirm that the decision as a whole is valid,” Justice Louis LeBel wrote on behalf of the court. “The minister’s reasons were justifiable, transparent and intelligible.” LeBel said that the minister took into account Agraira’s “contradictory and inconsistent accounts of his involvement with the LNSF, a group that has engaged in terrorism.”
Agraira later said he exaggerated his involvement with the group in order to bolster his refugee claim. While the Supreme Court ruling did give Agraira one last hope to stay in Canada, it was not immediately clear whether that option remains available. That’s because Bill C-43, the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, received royal assent and became law on Wednesday – the night before his ruling. The new law gives the immigration minister more power to decide who should stay in Canada. Waldman said there’s enough room in Thursday’s ruling to justify making another application so his client can
remain in Canada. He said he plans to talk to Agraira in the coming days. Agraira has not received a deportation notice, he added. The high court did chide Van Loan for the “inordinate delay in rendering a decision that was of the utmost importance to Mr. Agraira” and decided not to order the government’s costs be covered for the case. Agraira was initially successful in appealing the government’s original decision. In December 2009, Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley overturned Van Loan’s decision. Mosley concluded that Van Loan had not balanced the factors in prior
Federal Court decisions on determining what is in Canada’s national interest. Mosley granted the application for judicial review, but the government took the case to the Federal Court of Appeal. The appeal court reversed that decision and sided with Van Loan. Justice Denis Pelletier pointed to Agraira’s own statement in a June 2009 affidavit when he tried to renounce his earlier declaration that he was a member of the LNSF. Agraira said when he arrived in Canada, he was told that claiming membership in the group would help his refugee claim. “I was ill-advised,” he said.
Ottawa Star • July 4, 2013
India an ever-changing place, says Kerry India Indo Asia News Service
ew Delhi (IANS) US Secretary John Kerry made a strong pitch for India and the US cooperating in clean energy and said the US is keen on implementing the Indo-US civil nuclear deal “as soon as possible.” Describing India as a nation that would soon become the most populous and the third largest economy in the world, Kerry touched on defence cooperation, IndiaPakistan relations, on Afghanistan, the contributions of the Indian American community and also on the Delhi gang-rape victim and the street protests in his over 40-minute speech at the India Habitat Centre. He described India as an “ever changing place” and that both sides have to move together with the current. Beginning his address on US-India Strategic Partnership with a “Namastey,” Kerry also offered condolences for the Uttarakhand flood devastation deaths and said it was a pointer to how climate change could affect the world. He said India should tap the new clean energy market worth $6 billion which would also help create new jobs. He made a forceful pitch for India and Pakistan to boost economic ties and said it could be the harbinger of a “new era of ties” between the neighbours and help bring in “a level of trust”. Kerry, who arrived earlier in the day on a three-day visit, said he welcomed the increase of “21 percent” in India-Pakistan trade. He said if India and Pakistan can “confidently invest in each other then the rest of the world will more confidently invest in you”. “That agreement demonstrates our mutual confidence of our strategic partnership”, he said, and added that “We look forward to realising its full implementation as soon as possible” including in the efforts of Westinghouse to construct nuclear power plants in India. Kerry also reiterated that the US backs India’s inclusion as a permanent member of a reformed and expanded UN Security Council and as a member of the four multilateral export control regimes (the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Austra-
lia Group, and Wassenaar Arrangement). A day before his meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on the Indo-US strategic dialogue, he said the US is looking for “co-production and co-development in defence systems”. He said India will “soon have more C17s” Globemaster aircraft than any country in the world, even more than the US itself. Elaborating on India’s role in its security vision for the Asian region, he said “India is a key part of the US rebalance in Asia and we are committed to that rebalance”. He said that India-US security interests are based on “a wide range of maritime and broader regional issues” and the US “values India’s role in our mutual efforts to ensure a stable and prosperous Asia”. Praising India’s constructive role in Afghanistan, Kerry suggested that India could also paly a crucial role in the Afghan 2014 elections. “India can play a critical role in supporting these elections,” he said, adding that New Delhi could help “Afghanistan in improving the electoral system in creating a credible and independent framework for resolving disputes”. He also sought to clear the air on proposed talks with the Taliban, which India has stressed should be “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned”. Kerry said: “Let me be clear, any political settlement has to be on the Taliban breaking ties with the Al Qaeda, renouncing violence and accepting the Afghan constitution, including its protection for all Afghan woman and men.” He said that Afghanistan “cannot again become a safe haven for international terrorism” and the US is committed to countering terrorism in that country where the US-led forces are set to drawdown next year. India has said that it has “reservations” about the Taliban and it would support “an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace initiative. He mentoned Nirbhaya, the Delhi gang-rape victim, and the massive protests against her brutal rape, in his speech. He said women and men should strive as equals. And when “inequalities or violence seeks to stamp out equality as with the tragic death of Nirbhaya, whose memory I was proud to honour at the State Department recently; We must all stand up and say ‘No’, just as so many did in New Delhi by demanding justice.”
www.OttawaStar.com • PAGE 11
EnjOy yOuR summER! at the
Sports • Tennis • Golf • Karate
Chinese crackdown on ‘illegal’ news websites Indo Asia News Service
Beijing - (IANS) Chinese authorities have shut down 31 news websites for operating without permits, conducting interviews in the name of news organisations and editing false information for blackmail and extortion, Xinhua news agency reported. According to the state internet information office, these websites include Ren Min Nei Can Wang, an unlicensed website that specialised in publishing false information and blackmailing companies and individuals, and peoplerw.com.cn. The latter was run using the name renwu.people.com.cn, a channel of people. com.cn, an online news portal operated by
the People’s Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China, the office said in a statement. Officials said these unlicensed websites have disrupted order in the dissemination of online news information, undermined the reputations of licensed Internet news organisations and damaged the legal rights of individuals and legal entities. According to a regulation on the management of Internet news information, websites must obtain government approval before providing such services. The shutting down of the websites followed a two-month campaign launched by the office May 9 to standardise the dissemination of online news.
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PAGE 12 • www.OttawaStar.com
Ottawa Star • July 4, 2013
Beneath NYC’s ground zero, a long awaited museum takes shape United States By David B. Caruso The Associated Press
EW YORK – Gray dust blankets everything in the subterranean halls of the unfinished National September 11 Memorial & Museum. But while the powder may look ominously like the ash that covered lower Manhattan after the terrorist attacks, this time it is a product of rebirth, not destruction. After a yearlong construction shutdown because of a funding dispute, and additional months of cleanup following a shocking flood caused by Superstorm Sandy, work has been racing ahead again at the museum, which sits in a cavernous space below the World Trade Center memorial plaza that opened in 2011. About 130 workers are at the site each day and there is much left to be done, but officials with the museum said the project is on track to open to the public in the spring of 2014. Some of the museum’s most emotion-inspiring artifacts already are anchored in place. Tears rolled down Anthoula Katsimatides’ cheeks Thursday as she toured halls holding a mangled fire truck, strangely beautiful tangles of rebar and the pieces of intersecting steel known as the Ground Zero Cross. “It makes me sad,” said Katsimatides, whose brother John died at the trade centre. But it’s also inspiring, said Katsimatides,
who sits on the museum’s board. “Seeing it come to fruition is pretty intense.” Work on the museum was halted for nearly a year, starting in the fall of 2011, because of a money fight between the memorial foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the trade centre site. In retrospect, that slowdown was a blessing. Shortly after the two sides worked out their differences, Superstorm Sandy sent the Hudson River thundering through lower Manhattan and filled the museum cavern with 7 1/2 feet (2. 3 metres)of water. The flood destroyed interior walls and electrical circuits, but the construction delay meant that hundreds of artifacts and exhibits that might have been in the museum still hadn’t been fabricated or were sitting safely in storage. There was minor flash rusting to one of the fire trucks that had already been lowered into the space, but the damage was repaired by conservators and isn’t noticeable today, said National September 11 Memorial & Museum President Joseph Daniels. Today there is no sign that there was ever a flood. Daniels said there has been “almost indescribable” progress on construction since the storm. Structural work appears mostly complete on the glass pavilion and wide staircase and ramp visitors will use to descend into the museum, past two towering “tridents” that once helped form the distinctive base of the twin towers. Once silvery, the columns were
stripped bare by the fires on 9-11 and are now the colour of rusted, raw steel. From a mezzanine, patrons will be able to peer into a deep, nave-like hallway nicknamed the South Canyon. The hall’s high western wall will eventually be covered with a multitude of notes and letters of support that people around the world sent to New York after the attacks. “They continue to send things. It’s amazing,” Katsimatides said. “That outpouring of support is one of the things that got the 9-11 families through.” Further down the ramp, visitors come to a platform overlooking an even more massive cavern bordered by the slurry wall, a 70-foot (21.4-meter)-tall, steel-studded concrete slab originally built to keep the Hudson River from flooding the trade centre construction site. In the hall’s centre stands the last steel column removed from ground zero during the cleanup operation. Recovery workers covered the pillar with their signatures before it was carried away, and visitors will get a chance to leave their own mark on another big piece of steel near the museum’s exit—though their autographs will be captured by a computerized touch screen and projected on the slurry wall, rather than left in ink on metal. Throughout the museum, curators have hung pieces of steel that were bent and twisted into striking shapes, including one sheet of metal that now appears to ripple like a flag and a huge girder bent by the impact of the aircraft hitting the towers. Many of them look like sculptures.
“In a strange way, they are like pieces of art,” Katsimatides said. But Daniels added that they weren’t chosen for their beauty, but to explain what happened at the site on 9-11. A few design elements of the museum are still under discussion. When visitors descend to the very bottom of the museum—where, in some places, they will be able to view the very bedrock that the towers once rested upon—they will enter a hall with a large wall bearing an inscription from Virgil. “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” Behind that wall will sit a special mausoleum, off limits to the general public, containing the unidentified remains of hundreds of 9-11 victims. Most of the interior walls of the museum have the look of bare concrete, as a constant reminder of the site’s location within the old trade centre foundation. But Daniels said the museum’s designers are talking about possibly cladding this wall in a different material, or a different colour, to separate it from the rest. “It’s a special place. Do we need something to distinguish it?” he said. The bulk of the work remaining to be completed will revolve around installing the museum’s exhibits, which will include many artifacts, including a wall made up of portraits of all 2,983 victims and a room where visitors will be able to call up video presentations that tell a story about each of them. “The idea is to learn about the lives that they lived, not just the deaths that they died,” Daniels said.
China’s South Korean Future
By Christopher R. Hill DENVER – The so-called six-party talks – the on again, off again international mechanism by which the United States, China, Russia, South Korea, and Japan negotiate with North Korea over its nuclear aspirations – are often cited as an example of multilateral diplomacy. In fact, the talks have served as a platform for addressing a host of issues that range far beyond the North Korean nuclear problem, in the process nurturing interlocking, interrelated bilateral relationships in the region. For the Chinese, in particular, the talks have been an opportunity to get to know some of their neighbors better – and they have certainly helped Sino-US relations. But perhaps the key bilateral relationship that has been strengthened by the six-party mechanism is that between China and South Korea. This will be on full display at the end of June, when South Korea’s new president, Park Geun-hye, visits Beijing to meet China’s new president, Xi Jinping. China and South Korea need no introduction to each other, of course – such is the burden of history in the re-
gion. But their relationship is about to change, thanks in part to the patterns of official cooperation that the six-party talks created. If the Chinese are successful in shifting away from North Korea, they have to pivot somewhere. And that place is South Korea. After all, China needs a sustainable relationship with the neighboring Korean Peninsula. The bilateral relationship has grown closer in recent decades, owing to active exploration of the Chinese market by South Korea’s large industrial conglomerates. Today, their bilateral trade dwarfs that between China and North Korea. Yet the relationship has always had a limited political dynamic. Given China’s close relationship with the North, its leaders have never warmed to South Korea’s democratically elected governments, whether left or right. But China is about to experience something new: South Korea’s soft power, personified by Park, who represents a center-right coalition, but defies the usual political labels. Indeed, she was elected with a curious blend of support: right-wing backers of her father, Park Chung-hee, who ruled the country with an iron fist from 1961 to 1979, and many other Koreans, including some on the left, who wanted someone different from the usual blue-suited, white-shirted Korean politician. Park is tough-minded on national security, but takes up new issues and
agendas with a refreshing combination of intellectual energy and personal calm. She listens carefully and pauses before responding. Moreover, rumor has it that she is considering delivering her speech in Beijing in Mandarin. Such a performance is likely to resonate not only with China’s leaders, but also with ordinary citizens. South Korea’s soft power is well deserved and extends across Asia. Its cultural and scientific achievements are increasingly influential throughout the world. Even when its relations with Japan are difficult, Japanese tourists flock to Seoul to shop and tour the studios that produce the country’s extraordinarily successful television dramas. Park’s visit to China will give her country’s soft power a human face. No new agreements or other diplomatic breakthroughs are likely to be announced during Park’s visit. The Chinese will look at her carefully, and may well be sizing her up as an immediate neighbor should North Korea persist on its current course to total isolation and oblivion. The Chinese know that Park values her relationship with the United States, but they also understand that she, like most mature South Korean leaders, desires a solid relationship with China as well – one based (unlike in centuries past) on mutual respect. China’s leaders will also be interested in her thinking on Japan, particularly given the inclinations
of her father, who served as an officer in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. Park’s visit to China comes at a time when China’s new leadership is grappling with problems near and far. Its reluctant pivot away from North Korea, however discernible, should not be regarded as a fait accompli; nor should it be explained away as the result of momentary frustration with the adolescent behavior of Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s boy leader. Over the centuries, the Chinese have learned a thing or two about when a dynasty’s days are numbered. China, too, is developing in ways that will be far easier to assess in retrospect than they are today. And, if South Korea’s own recent past can be any guide, China’s economic transformation is likely to be followed by political and social changes of equally dramatic proportions. Thus, how the Chinese receive Park may turn out to be less a reflection of change in South Korea than a reflection of change in the People’s Republic – an issue that goes to the heart of China’s identity and mission in the modern world. Christopher R. Hill was a former US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia, was US Ambassador to Iraq, South Korea, Macedonia, and Poland, US special envoy for Kosovo, a negotiator of the Dayton Peace Accords, and chief US negotiator with North Korea from 20052009. He is currently Dean of the Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver
Ottawa Star • July 4, 2013
www.OttawaStar.com • PAGE 13
US Secretary of State Kerry plunges back into Mideast peace process United States Indo Asian News Service
MMAN, Jordan – US Secretary of State John Kerry plunged back into the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Thursday, using Jordan as a base for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It is Kerry’s fifth visit to the region to try to restart peace talks that broke down in 2008. He left Amman Thursday evening in a convoy of nearly a dozen vehicles for the roughly 90-minute drive to Jerusalem to dine with Netanyahu. A Jordanian military helicopter flew over his convoy during the trip. He is to have lunch with Abbas on Friday in Amman and more meetings could be in the offing. U.S. State department officials say that while there are no scheduled plans for any three-way discussion during Kerry’s trip, they are confident that both sides are open to negotiations, or at least sitting down together at the same table. Kerry, they say, will continue to try to find common ground between the two sides that would lead to a re-launching of peace talks. On this trip, Kerry is trying to pin down precisely what conditions Abbas and Netanyahu have for restarting talks and perhaps discuss confidence-building measures. Beyond that, Kerry wants to talk about the positive outcomes, such as enhanced economic growth, of a twostate solution. But at the same time, the secretary, who has long-time relationships with officials from both sides, will remind them of what’s at stake if the conflict is left unresolved, they said. Earlier this month, in a speech to the American Jewish Committee Global Forum in Washington, Kerry warned of serious consequences if no deal is reached.
Photo: Xinhua/Mohammad Abu Ghosh
Visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, middle, waves to the media at Al Hummar Palace in Amman, capital of Jordan, on June 27, 2013.
“Think about what could happen next door,” he told the Jewish audience. “ The Palestinian Authority has committed itself to a policy of nonviolence. … Up until recently, not one Israeli died from anything that happened from the West Bank until there was a settler killed about a month ago. “But if that experiment is allowed to fail, ask yourselves: What will replace it? What will happen if the Palestinian economy implodes, if the Palestinian Security Forces dissolve, if the Palestinian Authority fails? … The failure of the moderate Palestinian leadership could very well invite the rise of the very thing that we want to avoid: the same extremism in the West Bank that we have seen in Gaza or from southern Lebanon.” So far, there have been no public signals that the two sides are narrowing their differences. Abbas has said he won’t negotiate unless Israel stops building settlements on war-won lands or accepts its 1967
lines —before the capture of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in a Mideast war that year—as a starting point for border talks. The Palestinians claim all three areas for their future state. Netanyahu has rejected the Palestinian demands, saying there should be no pre-conditions, though his predecessor conducted talks on the basis of the pre-1967 lines, and the international community views the settlements as illegal or illegitimate. Earlier on Thursday, Kerry talked about the crisis in Syria and the Mideast peace process over lunch with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. In a statement, the Royal Palace said Abdullah told Kerry that he will continue trying to bridge the gaps in the viewpoints of Palestinians and Israelis. But he warned that Israel’s “unilateral actions, which include continuous Israeli trespassing on Christian and Muslim holy sites, undermine chances for peace.”
Major changes in the proposed US immigration bill Continued from page 1
1. The Homeland Security Department has developed border security and fencing plans, per the specifications set out in the bill. 2. They arrived in the U.S. prior to Dec. 31, 2011, and maintained continuous physical presence since then. 3. They do not have a felony conviction or three or more misdemeanours. 4. They pay a $500 fine. People in provisional legal status could work and travel in the U.S. but would not be eligible for most federal benefits, including health care and welfare. The provisional legal status lasts six years and is renewable for another six years for $500. People deported for noncriminal reasons can apply to re-enter in provisional status if they have a spouse or child who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or if they had been brought to the U.S. as a child. After 10 years in provisional status, immigrants can seek a green card
and lawful permanent resident status if they are current on their taxes and pay a $1,000 fine, have maintained continuous physical presence in the U.S., meet work requirements and learn English. Also the border triggers must have been met, and all people waiting to immigrate through the legal system as of the date of enactment of the legislation must have been dealt with. People brought to the country as youths would be able to get green cards in five years, and citizenship immediately thereafter. High-Skilled Workers The cap on the H-1B visa program for high-skilled workers would be immediately raised from 65,000 a year to 110,000 a year, with 25,000 more set aside for people with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or math from a U.S. school. The cap could go as high as 180,000 a year depending on demand. New protections would crack down on companies that use
H-1B visas to train workers in the U.S. only to ship them back overseas. Immigrants with certain extraordinary abilities, such as professors, multinational executives and athletes, would be exempted from existing green-card limits. So would graduates of U.S. universities with job offers and degrees in science, technology, engineering or math. A startup visa would be made available to foreign entrepreneurs seeking to come to the U.S. to start a company. A new merit visa, for a maximum of 250,000 people a year, would award points to prospective immigrants based on their education, employment, length of residence in the U.S. and other considerations. Those with the most points would earn the visas. The bill would eliminate the government’s Diversity Visa Lottery Program, which randomly awards 55,000 visas to immigrants from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States, so that more visas can be awarded for employment and merit ties.
On Wednesday, an Israeli planning committee gave the final approval for construction of dozens of new homes in a settlement in east Jerusalem. The announcement, which was made the day before Kerry’s visit, appeared to be an Israeli snub at the secretary of state’s latest round of Mideast diplomacy. Officials travelling with Kerry sought to minimize the significance of the announcement, saying the U.S. has repeatedly said that continued construction of settlements were unhelpful to efforts to restart the talks. The settlements are part of the Har Homa area of east Jerusalem. The Obama administration said it was “deeply concerned” back in 2011 when an Israeli planning commission approved 930 new housing units in the Har Homa neighbourhood. The Palestinian side condemned the announcement. “Such behaviour proves that the Israeli government is determined to undermine Secretary Kerry’s efforts at every level,” said Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. Low-Skilled Workers A new W visa would allow up to 200,000 low-skilled workers a year into the country for jobs in construction, long-term care, hospitality and other industries. A new agriculture worker visa program would be established to replace the existing program. Agriculture workers already here illegally, who’ve worked in the industry at least two years, could qualify in another five years for green cards if they stay in the industry. Family Immigration Under current law, U.S. citizens can sponsor spouses, children and siblings to come to the U.S., with limits on some categories. The bill would bar citizens from sponsoring their siblings and would allow them to sponsor married sons and daughters only if those children are under age 31. Legal permanent residents can currently sponsor spouses and children, but the numbers are limited. The bill eliminates that limit. Employment Verification Within four years, all employers must implement E-Verify, a program to verify electronically their workers’ legal status. As part of that, noncitizens would be required to show photo ID that must match with a photo in the E-Verify system.
PAGE 14 • www.OttawaStar.com
From Left to right: Chinese Ambassador Zhang Junsai, Mr. W.H. Wong, Mrs. Ruby Williams (HKCBA Ottawa President)
Ottawa hosts National Canada-Hong Kong Business Forum Canada Ottawa Star
anadian companies are encouraged to route through Hong Kong to the vibrant and rapidly growing Chinese and Asian markets by making use of the Hong Kong advantages discussed at the 2013 National Canada-Hong Kong Business Forum in Ottawa on June 14. About 300 people attended the “Think Asia, Think Hong Kong” business forum organized by the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association and supported by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Toronto. Delegates from the eight sections of
the HKCBA including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Ottawa participated in the event. HKETO Director Gloria Lo described Hong Kong as “an amazing wonder in the world – an economic wonder,” which had made its way from a fishing village to the 9th largest trading entity and the third largest international financial centre after London and New York. “Over the past two decades, our economy has more than doubled in size and our GDP grew at an average of 4.5 per cent for the past 10 years in real terms,” she said.
Back to Canada … Thanks to invest Ottawa Continued from page 1
Code began his professional career at IBM in Toronto as engineer. It didn’t take long before his inner entrepreneur burst out and Code moved to an optical startup company; Ciena, near Washington DC. Code specialized as an RF engineer and, during this time he returned to school for an MBA. He then moved into the Corpo-
rate Development group at Ciena working on mergers and acquisitions, venture capital investments and, ultimately, divestitures during the optical market downturn. In 2002, Code joined Gabriel Venture Partners, a Silicon Valley-based early-stage venture capital firm. His family moved to California where Code focused on disruptive technology investments in the mobile
Is It Time For A Second Opinion?
Ottawa Star • July 4, 2013
Lo emphasized that Hong Kong “is the gateway to access the fast growing markets in Mainland China and other parts of Asia,” as well as a platform for Mainland enterprises to go global. There are now 737 Mainland companies listed on Hong Kong stock exchange, while more than 800 Mainland companies have set up regional operations or local offices in Hong Kong. “It is a world city in Asia and a hub for trading, logistics and financial services in the region,” she said. “It is not just a trade middleman, but a multiplier for capital and services in the region.” She asked potential investors in Canada to make full use of Hong Kong’s human resources. “In Hong Kong, you can easily find partners whom you can trust,” said Lo. “Our vibrancy could not be explained by mere efficiency and speed. Hong Kong people are highly praised for their tenacity and resilience, their vigour and drive.” Lo spoke highly about Hong Kong’s independent judiciary, financial system, clean government, independent anti-corruption authority, level playing field, simple and low tax regime, as well as strong protection of intellectual property rights, adding that Hong Kong is the only place in China that practices common law legal system. “In regard to business disputes, Hong Kong can provide strong support for mediation and arbitration with the presence of qualified professionals, arbitration bodies and modern legislation.” The HKETO Director concluded by asking Canadian businesses not to miss the boat with the rapidly growing wealth in Asia. “By 2025, it is projected that the Asian consuming class will increase to more than two billion people who will account for one third of global consumption.” Her view was endorsed by Chinese Ambassador Zhang Junsai in his speech
at the business forum. The Ambassador said that the Canadian Government has made Asia a “key priority” in its trade and economic diversification strategy. “Hong Kong has naturally attracted greater attention here as a financial, trade and shipping centre,” he said. The Ambassador said Hong Kong is expected to play a bigger part in China-Canada Strategic Partnership. “The increasing market integration between Hong Kong and the Mainland has provided good opportunities for Canadian companies targeting the Mainland,” said Ambassador Zhang. “Canada can team up better with Hong Kong in participating in the economic transformation of Mainland China.” Mr Simon Galpin, Director-General of Invest Hong Kong, gave a keynote speech on “Where Business Goes to Grow”, at the full-day forum’s luncheon. Other speakers at the forum included Mr Ian Burchett, Canadian Consul General in Hong Kong; Mr W.H. Wong, Advisor (Greater China) of the World Trade Centres Association: and Mr Andrew Yui, Director (Canada) of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Ruby Williams, President of KKCBA Ottawa was also in attendance at the business forum and said the feedback she has received from local members following the event has been amazing. “The HK forum is certainly a signature biennial event for the HKCBA and we are so glad that we were able to bring HK to the door step of Ottawa this year,” said Williams. “I hope with the encouraging messages from the Chinese Ambassador, HK and Canadian government officials, as well as prominent business leaders, Ottawa businesses will take the action they need to tap into the growing opportunities in Asia. Hong Kong will certainly be a perfect starting point for many of the SMEs looking to capitalize these opportunities.”
ecosystem. In 2007, Code joined Motorola Ventures, managing their west coast office. Subsequently, Code joined one of his portfolio companies, Zephyr Technology, as its Chief Operating Officer. After merging Zephyr with another company in 2011, Code embarked on a lifelong dream of sailing across the Atlantic Ocean. After 45 days at sea with stops in Bermuda and the Azores, Code and his crew successfully reached Portugal. From there, with Janet and the boys replacing the ocean crew, the family spent the next 13 months sailing about the Mediterranean visiting 13 countries with
extended stays in Greece and Turkey. “Without a doubt, it was the most fulfilling year of my life! Nothing creates a stronger family bond than cramming two adults and two young boys into a sailboat for a year!” Today, Code is building Mistral Venture Partners, an Ottawa-based early-stage technology investment firm. Mistral also has offices in California. He works closely with Invest Ottawa. Mistral focuses on investments in mobile and Internet-related companies, specifically the intersection of where Internet-connected technology disrupts or replaces large existing markets.
When the markets turn as volatile as they have been in recent years, even the most patient investors may come to question the wisdom of the investment plan that they’ve been following. I would be pleased to provide you with a personal consultation and second opinion on your portfolio. Call me at 613 239-2881.
Patrick Brooks, Investment Advisor 50 O’Connor Street, Suite 800 Ottawa, ON K1P 6L2 email@example.com
CIBC Wood Gundy is a division of CIBC World Markets Inc., a subsidiary of CIBC and a Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. If you are currently a CIBC Wood Gundy client, please contact your Investment Advisor.
Ottawa Star • July 4, 2013
Bank of Canada will raise overnight interest rate in July 2014: BMO economist By Alexandra Posadzki The Canadian Press
ORONTO - The Bank of Canada is likely to start raising its benchmark interest rate in July 2014, a full year before the U.S. Federal Reserve, BMO’s chief economist Douglas Porter said Wednesday. Porter predicts the overnight rate will go up by half a percentage point, which could put upward pressure on the Canadian dollar until the U.S. raises its interest rates the following summer. “If the currency gets too strong then the bank will likely stand back and won’t raise interest rates as much as what we’ve predicted,” Porter said following a speech he gave at the Toronto Region Board of Trade on Wednesday. The strong Canadian dollar has been a major impediment to Ontario’s manufacturing sector, said Porter, combined with weaker demand for goods from the U.S. and fierce competition from China. “While I think the (manufacturers) that have survived are very competitive, that doesn’t mean that it’s an easy ride from here on out,” said Porter. “They likely need the combination of either a weaker Canadian dollar or a better U.S. economy to continue to thrive.” Overall, Porter predicts the global economy is headed for a better year in 2014 on the back of growth in the United States and more stable conditions in Europe. The U.S. economy will grow at a faster pace than Canada’s for the next few years, said Porter, helped by` a comeback in house prices south of the border. “For a number of years Canada was outpacing the U.S., and now we’re in a situation where there’s just a lot more pent-up demand in the U.S. than there is in Canada,” said Porter. “Our consumer has tapped out, there’s not a lot of room for domestic spending to grow, and we think that the tables have turned and that’s going to be the story for the next number of years.” The U.S. growth should help boost the economy north of the border, said Porter, and “put a floor under” commodity prices, but they’re unlikely to reach the peaks they have seen over the past years.
www.OttawaStar.com • PAGE 15
Accelerate OTT Inspiring Entrepreneurs Canada Ottawa Star
Entrepreneurs have the power to build technologies and create solutions that transform the way we live. They are the cornerstone to Ottawa’s future economic prosperity. But why should we celebrate entrepreneurs – past, present and future? Learning from others who have been there before is invaluable for any entrepreneur. The sharing of “war stories” not only inspires would-be entrepreneurs, but can help validate and motivate when things are not going as planned. We celebrate entrepreneurs to provide them with well-deserved recognition for taking a risk to make a difference and creating change. That was the lofty goal of the inaugural AccelerateOTT event held June 14, 2013 at the Ottawa Convention Centre. Could bringing together Ottawa’s startup community with investors, representatives from the C100 and some quality keynote speakers add up to inspiration? The answer, a resounding yes! The day started with a fireside chat featuring Jason Calacanis, host of the popular podcast “This Week in Startups,” angel investor, past CEO of Weblogs Inc. and Silicon Alley Reporter, and Chamath Palihapitiya, Founder and Managing Partner of The Social+Capital Partnership, and longtime member of Facebook’s senior executive team. Jason and Chamath had an open discussion about life at Facebook, the challenge for transitioning from a startup to a very large company, whether innovators should be held responsible for
their inventions being used for wrongdoing and what it takes for entrepreneurs to succeed. The discussion was frank, controversial, at times funny and overwhelmingly inspirational. Chamath’s talk was motivational for a number of reasons. Considering the fact that Chamath grew up in Vanier, started his tech career working at Newbridge and drew inspiration from Ottawa’s own tech pioneers like Sir Terry Matthews, Mike Potter, and Michael Cowpland makes his journey stand out as a local success. He shared with the audience how he liked to walk by Terry Matthews’ office while he worked at Newbridge in hopes that some of his entrepreneurial “magic dust” might rub off. That is exactly what the organizing committee had in mind for the AccelerateOTT participants – time spent in the company of successful entrepreneurs whose background, mindset and passion to forge their own path was similar to their own as a source for inspiration and validation. As proof of concept, the Twitter feed for #accelerateott, was in excess of 400 tweets during the course of the event. The fireside chat was worth the price of admission and that was only the first session on the agenda. Presentations on branding, the road to IPO, the art and science of entrepreneurship, as well as a panel session featuring three local Ottawa successful entrepreneurs sharing lessons learned through their exits, also stoked the entrepreneurial engine that was surely firing on all cylinders after the interchange between Chamath and Jason. Some
common themes seemed to resonate throughout the presentations: passion, authenticity, finding the right team, taking risks, the importance of advisors and mentors, and focus. Successful entrepreneurs need to be passionate about what they are trying to build then they need to build a team that shares that passion. Keeping focused on what you are passionate about will help lead to success. When the final speaker took to the stage there was a significant buzz in the room. In his low key way, Tobias Lütke, CEO and Founder of Shopify, harnessed that buzz and delivered an inspiring and personal presentation. Personal growth and the pursuit of greatness make individuals and companies successful, said Lütke. To create a community that produces great companies you need to build an ecosystem that will support them and you need to create a culture that pays it forward. Lütke summed his presentation with sentiments that were echoed throughout the day: Think big. Start small. And shatter a lot of boxes. The community-wide organizing committee for the first AcceleratOtt event certainly thought big, but at 400 plus attendance they didn’t start small. Judging by the buzz in the room, the volume of activity on Twitter and the follow-up blogs and media articles, AcclerateOtt shattered its share of boxes. It certainly left the startup community in Ottawa asking for more. If you weren’t able to attend the event, subscribe to the Invest Ottawa YouTube channel as a video of the conversation will be uploaded soon. Contact us if you wish to get involved in next year’s event!
Indians cancelling foreign vacation due to weak rupee India Indo Asia News Service
New Delhi - (IANS) About 20 percent of Indians intending to go abroad on vacation have cancelled their trips in the last two months due to the falling rupee, a survey revealed here Friday. The report “Weak Rupee Makes Foreign Trips Unaffordable for Indians”, released by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), said that tourists are instead choosing domestic destinations for their vacation. “A decline of 15 to 20 percent has been witnessed in the last couple of months due to falling rupee. Indian tourists are not just restricting their vacation days, but are opting for holidays within the country
rather than going abroad,” said D.S. Rawat, secretary general of Assocham. “Over the past three months, travel costs and accommodation have gone up by around 20 to 25 percent,” he added. “Indian travel companies are also reducing the number of days from packages to make it more affordable,” Rawat said. As per the report, domestic destinations like Kashmir, Ladakh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh etc. are being preferred by travellers.
In 2012, around 15 million Indians travelled abroad, an increase of 10 percent over 2011, said Assocham. The battered rupee slumped to a record low of 60.76 against the dollar this week.