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O c tober-Novem b er 2008 •

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“Using the power of the pen to facilitate smooth integration for immigrants into the Canadian society.”

Money Remittance Every Immigrant’s Heartache One knows it is pay day by the line-ups inside the cash stores around the city. The story is the same; one works very hard, and then rushes down to the cash store to

send the hard-earned money to relatives back home. The money earned has hardly had time to cool off before it is sent off to an remote destination. Those familiar

with this trend know too well the unspoken hardship some of these immigrants go through to send money home to their ∞ continued on page 4

Who Will Help Azim?

Who is denying Azim this fundamental right to freedom? He attends to his customers with such friendliness and openness that one could not help but notice Azim. Though his life is one of loneliness, frustrations, and un-

fulfilled dreams, these are never apparent to those not close enough to him to know. He hides his pain very well. Azim is not his real name, but one that would suit him for

this article. When there are no more customers inside his store, Azim comes out to the corner of the variety store he ∞ continued on page 13

You Are Fired!

‘Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely’

Have you wondered how some people in positions of authority and power abuse their privileges by oppressing those under them? Every society is replete with incom-

We are the Product of our Environment When The Voice in Diaspora asked a group that had gathered outside a downtown night club why there were so many problems being an immigrant youth, one of the youth who was ... Page 2

World Kindness Day® The date decreed for World Kindness Day is 13th November. This was the opening day of the first World Kindness Movement® conference held at Tokyo in 1998 ... Page14

Woman Alive! Page 8 SISO 15th Anniversary A Journey to Success ... Page 9

African Canadian Workers Project Page 17

A Day of Remembrance, November 11 Page 15


Professional Photography for Weddings Engagements, Family-Children Portraits Best Prices - Best Photos


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petent power hungry oppressors who, through sheer luck and connections attain the status and positions they are in today, but forgot why they are placed there in the

first place. Being power drunk is a human weakness that transcends all cultures. It is not a black or white thing. It ∞ continued on page 13



This November marks The Voice in Diaspora’s first year of existence. This newspaper is one of a kind, and we embrace this opportunity to thank God almighty for his mercies; and for our numerous supporters for all their endeavours to see that we are not extinct. The paper started from the vision of empowering our ethnic/ cultural populations in Hamilton and environs with information that would ease their transition in this new place they call home. We started with a mere 2,000 copies and a big ambition to increase our readership and partnership with important stakeholders in our community. We have achieved excellence in such a short time by increasing our circulation from 2,000 to 10,000 copies, and that is ever increasing. We have partnered with a super organization SISO that shares our vision and dream for a better co-existence of immigrants with the mainstream society. Our dream is to make The Voice in Diaspora a household name in Hamilton and beyond, and judging by the popularity of our newspaper amongst our numerous readers, that feat would easily be achieved. We implore other organizations serving immigrants in our city to embrace our vision and see us as partners and not competitors. We need your advertisements to keep this newspaper alive. More so, we need your opinions on how to improve this publication. Though opinion is the most abundant commodity on earth, sometimes people hoard it and that makes it hard to measure and evaluate an outcome. Yes we need your feedbacks; invitations to your events; and articles that match our mission. On this note I end with an adage that has kept me going when all circumstances around me seemed negative. “A quitter never wins; and a winner never quits” HAPPY ONE YEAR TO THE VOICE IN DIASPORA! Thanks Veronica Chris-Ike (Publisher/Editor)

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Oct-Nov 2008 • Vol 1-2 • Issue 12-13

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International Day for Tolerance – November 16

Hamilton and its economy need immigrant skills today, in future Many immigrants come to Canada with the expectation of freedom and opportunity only to face significant challenges upon their arrival including poverty, discrimination and lack of employment. A made-in-Hamilton immigration strategy is part of our planning process for future growth, but we must also focus on creating a welcoming and sustainable community.

The International Day for Tolerance is an annual observance declared by UNESCO in 1995 to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance. It is observed on November 16. The United Nations Charter states: 'We, the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, ... to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, ... and for these ends to practise tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours', What is tolerance? UNESCO's Declaration of Principles on Tolerance defines tolerance as "respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. It is fostered by knowledge, openness, communication, and freedom of thought, conscience and belief. Toler-

ance is harmony in difference." To celebrate a day of tolerance calls for a lot of soul-searching. People living together bring issues of strife, suspicion, jealousy, and hatred. Accepting our differences is the only way to strengthen and build a strong humanity. It is believed that the appreciation of diversity, the ability to enjoy one’s rights and freedom without infringing on those of others, has always been considered a moral virtue; and so this day was designated to be a reminder. As John F. Kennedy rightly stated “World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbour -it requires only that they live together with mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement." ■ From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia/

Various sectors of the Hamilton economy are beginning to experience skills shortages but thanks to the level of high quality immigrant skills in our community, the city is well poised to meet the challenges. All stakeholders must work together to bring about change and to provide the necessary support to build upon the strengths and skills immigrants bring to the community to enhance their employability. Employers have a prime opportunity to make a shift in the way they perceive and think about immigrant skills, and the broader community must work together to promote openness to cultural diversity.

Our Mission Using the power of the pen to facilitate smooth integration for immigrants into the Canadian society.

Publisher/Editor Veronica Chris-Ike

Art & Creative Design Jihan C. Aydin www . A4AMEDIA . com

Advertising & Marketing Shelley Prince 905.521.2875

Contributors Nica Brown, Blessing Tokis Veronica Chris-Ike, Kristin Ciupa, Hussein Hamdani, Ann Stanziani SISO (Settlement And Integration Services Organization)

The Voice in Diaspora Newspaper is free of charge. Publication will be done Bi-monthly till March 2009. 10,000 copies will be printed and distributed as follows: 1000 copies mailed to stake holders, 6,000 copies dropped into personal mail boxes; 3000 copies will be distributed to businesses, shopping malls, churches, Non-profit organizations, adult learning Centres, etc, in Hamilton and environs. The views expressed by writers do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this newspaper. All rights reserved. The Voice in Diaspora is not responsible for accuracy of information provided by advertisers and contributors. Reproduction in whole or in part without prior permission is prohibited.

An immigration strategy will improve access to and coordination of effective services that facilitate immigrant settlement and integration; improve access to the labour market for immigrants; and strengthen local and regional awareness and capacity to integrate immigrants.

I am pleased that the City of Hamilton and its partners are in the process of establishing a 15-person Immigration Partnership Council (“Council”) and developing an immigration strategy that will deliver significant benefits to our city and help meet our current challenges.

I look forward to working with each and every one of you in helping our community develop sustainable solutions that will enhance the vibrant and resourceful community within the City of Hamilton. ■ By Fred Eisenberger who is Mayor of the City of Hamilton

The Council will be a dynamic collabo-

The Voice in Diaspora P.O. Box 417 Hamilton, Ontario Tel: 905.521.2875 - Fax: 905.385.8085

ration of community leaders from many sectors including the immigrant service provider community, private and public sector employers, youth, community based organizations, health, governments, and educational institutions.

We are the Product of our Environment When The Voice in Diaspora asked a group that had gathered outside a downtown night club why there were so many problems being an immigrant youth, one of the youth who was more vocal than the others ventured some answers to the above question by stating that the youth have lost confidence in the school system, police force, their parents, and the society at large. One of his friends echoed his disappointment in the society by referring to the indifference of his teachers at school. He opined that the teachers at his high school do not have the interest and welfare of the students at heart. An example he gave was that some of the teachers have removed themselves emotionally from the student’s welfare and future advancement through education. This he said was apparent in the career and educational direction some of the students had been encouraged to pursue by some of the teachers, one that would never uplift them from the shackles of poverty. This group of immigrant youth believed that the teachers just wanted them to leave the school system, whether or not they covered the school curriculum. The youth blamed the police for always targeting them while they go about their legitimate business. When asked how often this happened and why they felt that they were targeted by the police, the group replied that they were frequently being questioned and asked to disperse from their gatherings whenever the police saw them. Also, they believed they were being targeted because they looked different, and dressed differently. The Voice wanted to find out from these

immigrant youth why they were fed up with their parents. They all raised their voices, answering at the same time. It was as if their frustrations were more from the home front than the two above mentioned. Their answers came from voices of repressed and misunderstood kids. The anger and emotion in their expressions left much to be interpreted by any child psychologist as to where our youth’s problems emanated from. Some were of the view that their parents, especially their fathers, were not there in the picture. They saw their fathers once in a while when he came back from wherever he went for some cheap labour. Others complained of a lack of role models, and the cumbersome adult roles they were made to carry as the male representatives of their families. Many were sad of being burdened at this age to interpret adult medical problems to their mothers during visits to the doctor. For others, it was that their

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families failed to provide necessities that would help them measure up to their peers. Some others blamed their parents for not believing their stories whenever they were in trouble with the school or the law. Most thought they were constantly being nagged at home by their families. All these complaints were well noted by The Voice. But there remains the final complaint, namely, their dissatisfaction with the society, which would form a good topic for discussion in the near future. ■ By Nica Brown

Oct-Nov 2008 • Vol 1-2 • Issue 12-13


Money Remittance ...Continued from page 1

relatives. Their anxious but well-contained facial expressions while waiting in line for their turn to move up to the cashier to transfer the money back home speak of immeasurable hardship and sacrifice. The amounts of money remitted to the developing countries through the sweat of these workers have done more than any foreign aid to eradicate global poverty. This fact came from a recent study which shows that “About 150 million migrant workers sent more than $300bn (£147.3bn) home in 2006, (International Fund for Agricultural Development) (IFAD). That compared with $104bn in aid from donor nations and direct foreign investment of $167bn. Asia led the remittance table, receiving $114bn, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean. The report, compiled in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), based its findings on official data from governments, banks and money transfer operators” (SOURCE: IFAD & IDB report, figures for 2006) A look at statistical evidence of the positive effect of money remittance is impressive. This correlates to the fact that what most people, recipients, World Bank, IMF and governmental agencies see is the positive effect but never the negative effect on the one who sacrifices his money. The struggles to make ends meet after remitting half of one’s wage home have been a huge sacrifice that Diaspora workers have had to live with. Stories abound of couples disagreeing on how much and to whose family the remittance should go. Many loving homes have disintegrated into chaos as a result of lack of mutual agreement between the husband and wife as to how the remitted funds should be shared amongst relatives. Many migrant workers had to work more than three jobs to be able to support families back home. Many are suffering from ill health as a result of pressure and stress of meeting mountains of family needs. Many migrant workers have developed early morning phone calls ‘phobias’, as the call might be coming from a distant far away relative unaware of time differences between here and the home country; phoning to demand more funds at the wee hours of the morning. Some brave

migrants have disconnected their phone lines or changed phone numbers to keep unwanted calls from their ever pestering family members. Below are some of the excerpts from people who shared their experiences with The Voice in Diaspora about money remittance. Rosemary (Ghana) Leaving my native country Ghana to begin my new life in Canada proved to be


Oct-Nov 2008 • Vol 1-2 • Issue 12-13

both challenging and rewarding. Growing up, I was taught at a very young age that money and resources should not be kept to just one individual, but shared within the family. Collectively, sharing assets not only broadens opportunities for all members of the family, but in essence it is a demonstration of love, commitment and respect. The concept of sharing one’s wealth and prosperity with their family is a strong cultural value and is deeply instilled into each family member.

Felix (Honduras) Felix lives with his wife and two stepsons in a tiny two room high-rise apartment on the east end of Hamilton. He works in a meat shop as butcher. Although he enjoys his work, he feels frustrated all the time because his pay cheque does not meet his needs. Felix migrated to Canada from Honduras in the late 1990’s and is the first of four brothers and a younger sister whose

none ever regrets doing what they are doing. The general opinion was that they feel privileged to help their families, seeing that they were fortunate amongst their siblings to migrate to Canada. However, the impact in terms of family breakdown and dissolution of marriage caused by differing opinions on money repatriation to families and relatives by immigrants in developed world could not be quantified.

As I moved away from my family and established myself in Canada, this core belief remained deeply engrained in my value system. Remaining committed to my African roots, I married a Ghanaian who shared in my values, culture and belief system. Together we struggle with the daily stresses of making our own financial ends meet, while balancing our core belief that we must financially assist our families in Ghana. I often joke with my co-workers that our families must have a “magic mirror”, as we literally begin receiving phone calls at 1:00 am on the eve of our pay periods. I suppose this humour is my attempt to stifle the frustration I feel trying to support my family in Canada while meeting the financial expectations of my family in Ghana. Annually, my husband and I send approximately 10% of our earnings to various family members. We are currently paying for both my husband’s nephew and my brother to attend college. We send over $1,200 at the beginning of each semester to cover their books, tuition, pocket money and accommodations. Aside from this long-term financial contribution, we receive constant phone calls for assistance with medical bills, funeral costs, legal assistance, births, etc. The calls really are endless and the requests are various. Trying to meet the financial demands has been exceedingly difficult. I work two jobs and my husband works a lot of overtime. As a family we rarely see each other and the stress of trying to meet the demands of our cultural expectations seeps into our marriage and into our home. My friends in Canada try to provide us with emotional support and advice; often their advice is to ignore phone calls or set limits. Though their solutions sound easy, the guilt we would feel for ignoring the needs of our families back home supersedes any discomfort we may be feeling

as a family trying to establish ourselves in Canada. It is very difficult to meet the cultural expectation that has been so deeply instilled into our value system; however, ignoring the financial needs and requests of our families feels impossible. So we continue to struggle… we continue to try to find a balance between one’s values and one’s means… we continue to raise our families in Canada, while supporting our families in Ghana. w w w.thevoiceindiasp

marriage ended before it really started, and left her with two children that depend on her family to raise them. Felix’s mother has been a widow for many years now and does petty trading to bolster what little money comes in each month from Felix to help the extended family. Life has not been easy for Felix, both growing up as a child and now as an adult male. The effects of the financial burden Felix faces daily has started to dampen the once romantic relationship he shares with his wife of six years. Felix met Arma his wife at the meat shop where he works. She was a regular customer and liked to carry a long conversation. Arma’s high spirit and cheerfulness was an instant attraction. Arma does not have much education and had worked as a seamstress in one of the old coat factories in downtown Hamilton. She was married before to a man with whom she had her two little boys. Her ex-husband was a dead-beat who could not hold down a job and was always getting into a fight after being drunk. Arma reported that her ex. has not been in the children’s life since their divorce 7 years ago and had disappeared completely from the picture without a trace. Arma felt blessed to have Felix in her life as he is providing the father figure her two young sons desperately wanted. She and Felix could not have children together, and both have accepted that fact and are contended raising the two boys Arma brought into the marriage. Their home had always been filled with love and laughter until lately when arguments over money and blame on how the money Felix sends home to his family is diminishing the family’s income. At the beginning of their relationship, Arma fully provided support to Felix to support his family back in Honduras through his bi-weekly stipends to his family. However, having done this over the years and seeing the constant request for more money from Felix’s family, Arma’s support has turned sour, and now she pleads with Felix to stop; but Felix sees his support for his family as an obligation and loyalty that transcends his present relationship with Arma. The constant accusation and blame about how much is spent and how much is sent home are negatively impacting their marriage. Felix’s story is the same as that of many immigrants who shared their experiences of how they struggle year after year to support their families back in the old country. Though these individuals are shouldering many responsibilities for their families,

Elizabeth (Nicaragua) I migrated from Nicaragua ten years ago with my daughter, who is now a teenager. I am the only child of my mother, and have been supporting her financially ever since I came to Canada. Being a single mother is not easy, and having a parent living very far away whom you never see from year to year is equally difficult, Elizabeth stated. I send an average of $300 USD monthly to my mother in Nicaragua. I have to buy American dollars because the Canadian dollar is not accepted in Nicaragua. I had to add an extra $17 USD to the cost of sending the $300 USD to my mother every month. I am a single mother and having a daughter who would soon go to college or university, it is natural to worry how my income would provide for her education. I even have to maintain mortgage payments, a much better choice than renting. This is not an easy challenge! Recalling memories of trying to bring my mother to visit Canada brings frustration and anger in me. At times, I feel the system needs to be more humane. Considering that I work very hard to contribute meaningfully to the society through the taxes I pay, it was shocking to me for the Canadian embassy to deny my mother a visa to visit me here. My mother has never had the opportunity to visit this great country where I have chosen to live. Presently, she has poor health, and it is too late for her to even consider plans of travelling to Canada to visit. What I am left with now is to continue sending money home to my mother. I am left at the mercy of the cash stores who charge exorbitant money transfer fees and make people like me who have relatives and families to support back home spend through the roof. I would like to see some changes in the system; some support from the government in terms of regulations that would protect consumers from paying high money transaction fees. Remember, without the immigrant workers labouring to send these monies home, those companies would not be in business. Finally, the millions of immigrant workers who work tirelessly to support families back home are true ambassadors of their countries. ■ Blessing Tokis

St. Joseph Immigrant Women's Centre Empowering Immigrant Women

St Joseph Immigrant Women's Centre is a pioneer when it comes to empowering immigrant women, no wonder they are the first organization in Hamilton to initiate a common forum for immigrant women to market their wares. The International Market Place event is heading into its 4th year.

explained that she uses her artistic expressions to promote her Columbia roots. To her Columbian culture is warm, colourful, creative and full of passion. All these Maria says she is sharing with her Canadian customers through her arts.

The many vendors and customers that attend St. Joseph Immigrant Women's International Market place event each year are gearing towards another top sell this November. This year's event would be different, in the sense that the proceeds realized would be donated to both KIVA (International Micro lending) organization, and Refugee Relief (to support Somalia refugees in Kenyan camps to get their DNA tested to facilitate family reunification).

The Voice in Diaspora spoke to Najama during a visit to St Joseph Immigrant Women's Centre to meet with some of this year’s vendors to find out how the yearly International Market Place event had enriched their lives. “I have benefitted a lot from the market place event since I started participating in it two years ago” , stated Najama. She migrated from Pakistan in early 2006. Najama went on to explain that she has been looking forward to this yearly event and cannot wait to display all the unique items she had brought from her home country Pakistan. Najama is a thirty-six year old stay-at-home mother, who takes English lessons to improve her marketability in the Canadian economy. She started displaying her merchandise at the market events organized by St. Joseph Immigrant Women's Centre after she was introduced to it by one of her friends. Though she sold many of the items she displayed during last years event, her profit did not add up to the amount of money and effort she put into it. For this year, Najama has brought in many colourful scarves, sandals, clothes, and jewelleries to sell. She is looking and sounding prepared and confident. Her main concern is the pricing aspect of her business which she planned to learn from the staff of St. Joseph Immigrant Women's Centre in order to remain competitive and profitable. Najama believes what she offers to her customers are unique, and is convinced Canadians appreciate her native arts and are eager to buy from her. She plans to continue marketing her products whenever opportunity calls, and to look for more avenues to expand her business. ■ By Veronica Chris-Ike

The Voice in Diaspora made a courtesy visit to Ines, Executive Director of St. Joseph Immigrant Women's Centre recently to find out the objective (s) behind the International Market project. Ines explained that International Market started four years ago in order to provide opportunities to immigrant women with small home-based businesses an avenue to expose and market their merchandises. She also stated that the women use whatever profit they make from selling their wares to supplement their family incomes. Ines was of the opinion that since a majority of these vendors are stay-at-home mothers, the International market place exhibition help connects these women to the rest of the society. Ines maintained that the success of the International Market place event is tremendous; seen in the number of past participants in the event who have gone on to participate in bigger exhibitions around the province. “Helping others through the funds raised at this year’s market place event would make many of us feel less guilty of the privileges we enjoy living in a country like Canada” Ines explained. Ines is imploring immigrant women vendors to embrace this opportunity to market their talents, showcase their products,

Najama (from Pakistan)

and share their country’s heritage with the rest of Hamilton. St. Joseph Immigrant Women's would help in providing training opportunities in merchandise pricing; packaging, and other incentives. St. Joseph Immigrant Women's Centre hire four people each year under the job creation program to help with the International market place event. Those hired for this event are people receiving unemployment benefits. The experience of participating in a program like the market place event helps most of them become work ready, and most find quality employment afterwards. St. Joseph Immigrant Women's Centre proudly supports women who go through their programs with child care minding, and have helped countless immigrant women succeed in fields they thought were impossible. Interview of two vendors who participates in the yearly International Market Place event:

Maria Isabel (From Columbia) She is a gifted artist that needs no formal training to create wonderful hand made crafts, jewelleries, paintings, and bags she markets all over Hamilton. Maria’s designs are unique, neatly made, and show the they reside in Canada has implications for Old Age Security eligibility and the contributions they are able to make to public and private pensions. A growing body of research also shows that immigrants who arrived during the 1990s have fared worse in the labour market than immigrants who arrived during the 1970s and 1980s.

Immigrants face challenges (2007 General Social Survey Report ‘The retirement plans and expectations of older worker’) Immigrants to Canada, particularly those who arrive as adults, may face unique challenges preparing for retirement. Their career and earning trajectories are often disrupted, reducing their financial capacity to save. Furthermore, the length of time

mind of a young woman so gifted that it is hard to believe. Maria came to Canada four years ago and now has three small children. Her insightfulness into arts and craft came from watching her mother when she was growing up. Having children, and not able to participate in the job market, Maria decided to tap into her gifts, and that started her sojourn into the world of beautiful artistic creations. Maria’s first opportunity as a vendor came through the International Market Place event organized by St. Joseph Immigrant Women's Centre. She enjoyed the event which she took as a hobby; sold many of her wares to customers who could not get enough of her creativity; and now takes this hobby seriously. Maria has since moved on to market her work in so many market events, and the success from those events is engineering her to greater achievements in her new-found career. Maria told the Voice in Diaspora that she can now stay home comfortably to raise her children, while at the same time make a living from her talents. In November, She will join a group of artist to rent a John Street building to sell her designs to more customers. This has been Maria’s dream for a long time, and It is finally happening. She plans to help other struggling artist like her to live their dreams. Maria for those who arrived in the 1990s and 8 percentage points less for immigrants who arrived between 1975 and 1989.

■ (Grant Schellenberg is a senior analyst and Yuri Ostrovsky is an analyst in Business and Labour Market Analysis Division, Statistics Canada).

The retirement outlooks of immigrants are indeed different from those of persons born in Canada. For example, near-retirees who immigrated since 1990 are far less likely than the Canadian-born to express certainty regarding their retirement plans (44% and 64%), to have confidence in their retirement savings (50% and 71%), and to expect to retire before age 60 (9% and 32%). Immigrants who arrived during the 1980s have less favourable retirement outlooks than the Canadian born as well. Much of this difference is attributable to the employment and financial characteristics of immigrants. Yet even when these factors are taken into account, immigrants are still less likely than their Canadian-born counterparts to expect their retirement income to be adequate—7 percentage points less w w w.thevoiceindiasp

Oct-Nov 2008 • Vol 1-2 • Issue 12-13


An Interview With Jagtar "Do not be double-minded about staying here or going back to your home country; Canada is the best country to live in..." Mr. Jagtar Singh Chahal (Chairman & CEO Hamilton Cab) An interview with Jagtar at his Cannon Street office recently revealed a man well versed in many aspects of life. He comes across as un-assuming and welcoming; a man deep-rooted in native wisdom and intelligence and these values have propelled him to the height of success he presently enjoys. Jagtar is the CEO of the popular 777 7777 Taxi company in Hamilton. Life has not always been this bed of roses for him. A little bit of focus, tenacious ambition, and un-wavering in maintaining his chosen goals in life, saw him to this position. Jagtar Singh Chahal first came to Canada almost 20 years ago from Punjab India. He had BSC in Chemistry and Masters in English Language. His dream of securing a job immediately on arrival in his field was dashed, and instead of staying idle and complain about the system, he found various mean-paying jobs in the nursery and

meat shops, to mention but a few. His performance in those industries he worked for was very impressive. His diligence and hard work paid off in one of the companies when he increased sale to up to 20% in less than four months and was promoted from mere production worker to a foreman and subsequently to a senior foreman. Doing the low-paying jobs did not stop Jagtar from dreaming of a better life; thus he applied to further his studies at various universities. He got admissions quite alright into a few, but the courses he was offered were different from his choices. At that point, he resolved to focus more on business instead of going yet to another university; after all, he reasoned that school at that age would leave him with a mountain of debts. His hunches were right. Jagtar also believed a bird in hand is worth more than ten in the bush. Jagtar's quick fortune in the factory would come to an abrupt end in 1989, when he quit that industry to go into cab

driving. He was forced to switch jobs due to persistent ill health in the cold environment where he was working. That job change propelled him to his destiny. Jagtar came into the cab industry with the mind set to succeed. He did his calculation of how he was going to use the cab driving business to free himself from the shackles of poverty. He reasoned that if he drive cab for three years, he should be able to buy his first house, and that he did. In May 1990, Mr. Jagtar leased his first plate from Yellow Cab, and subsequently went to Blue Line in 1993, where he helped design the driver’s manual. In 1996, he bought his first plate and second plate in 1998. Mr. Jagtar went on to become the secretary of the Hamilton Co-op Association in 2000. It was the same year that a lot of changes and reforms relating to the taxi industry were introduced by the City of Hamilton. Jagtar contributed ideas and opinions that helped to bring workable solutions to anticipated problems in the taxi industry in Hamilton. Eventually in 2002, Jagtar started what was Co-op Taxi with only two cars. In October 2003, Co-op Taxi merged with Veterans Taxi to form what we now know as Hamilton Cab, they bought the famous 7777777 number for $20,000 and the rest is now history. His company is the fastest growing company in the taxi industry and is only 5 years old. His company bought the Yellow cabs in 2006, moved from the old company address in Charlton Street to its present location on Cannon Street in 2007. The com-

pany updated to new technology of a fully computerized GPS system, and could boast of over 400 drivers who provide quality services to their numerous customers. Jagtar loves the city of Hamilton. He stated that ‘Hamilton is a very good city for new comers to Canada to settle in; houses are easily affordable; it is a multicultural city; you can find your ethnicity here; the city can boast of good schools, colleges, a university and good hospitals; your neighbours are friendly; I have all kinds of people living on my street and we love one another'. His advice to new comers to Hamilton are “do not be double minded about staying here or going back to your home country; Canada is the best country to live in; you just have to work hard to achieve your goals; if you are indecisive, you will not make it here. I know a lot of people who went back home to stay after they migrated to Canada, now they are back on Canadian soil because they could not make it down there. If you are a new comer, find a job, any job to help pay your expenses; learn more skills and keep looking for something better; have big dreams and you will make it. Do not get off on the first station or get off on the first platform, keep riding, you will get a better one” says Jagtar. ■ By Veronica Chris-Ike

St. Joseph Immigrant Women’s Centre Call for Applications

Board Members (Volunteer Position) Background: Sharing in the movement towards empowerment and independence, sjIWC is committed to enabling immigrant women to discover and build their new futures. Role of the Board of Directors: Responsible for providing leadership and guidance to the agency’s overall direction through governance activities. The board meets on the 4th Thursday of each month. Qualifications: ➤➤ Interest in settlement and integration of immigrant women and their families ➤➤ Desire to contribute to the activities of the centre throughout the Hamilton area ➤➤ Ability to contribute skills and expertise in at least one of the following areas; »» Financing/accounting »» Marketing/community development/public relations »» Other business/community exposure ➤➤ Volunteer board experience is an asset. The board is committed to adding members that reflect the diversity of Hamilton. Applicants can contact the chair via e-mail with questions or provide an letter of interest and resume: Kathryn Lickley President, Board of Directors St. Joseph Immigrant Women’s Centre E-mail:


Oct-Nov 2008 • Vol 1-2 • Issue 12-13

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Survey of Earned Doctorates 2004 /2005

The number of students graduating from Canadian universities with a doctorate has remained stable since the mid 1990s, but there are signs that this may change.

their graduate or undergraduate studies also improved from the previous year; 50% of graduates were debt-free in 2004/2005 compared with 46% in 2003/2004. About 65% of students said they received a fellowship or scholarship through their university, 63% reported receiving a teaching assistantship, and 32% reported receiving a research assistantship.

Canadian universities awarded PhDs to about 4,000 students in the 2004/2005 academic year, according to new data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates.

Almost three-quarters of doctoral graduates had firm plans for their future when they graduated. Graduates of social sciences and life sciences were the most likely to have established plans.

Over three-quarters of these graduates completed their studies in a science or engineering field; the most popular was biological sciences. Although the number of graduates in recent years has not varied substantially, enrolment in doctoral programs has increased. Between 2000 and 2004, enrolment grew at an average rate of almost 7% a year. In 2004/2005, more than 34,000 students were enrolled in all years of doctoral programs. This suggests there should soon be a commensurate increase in the number of earned doctorates. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada attributes the growth in enrolment to two factors. The first is an increase in the number of faculty at Canadian institutions, which has increased the institutional capacity for training graduate students. The second is an increase in the level of funding for graduate students through student financial assistance and research grants from both governments and universities. Although PhD graduates accounted for roughly 0.4% of the population, Canada lags behind many other Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development countries in this regard. The proportion in the United States was 0.7%. Survey data also showed there was a more equitable distribution between the sexes among doctoral grads in 2004/2005.

About 46% of graduates were women, up from 43% in the previous year.

in engineering, but nearly four out of every five in psychology in 2004/2005.

The survey was administered to all students graduating from a doctoral program at a Canadian university. The 2004/2005 survey was the second edition.

Some of the gains made by women came in traditionally male dominated fields. In computer and information sciences and mathematics, as well as in physical sciences, the numbers of female graduates grew much faster than the number of male graduates.

Field of study: One-fifth enrolled in biological sciences About one-fifth of the 2004/2005 graduates (21%) were enrolled in biological sciences. Engineering and humanities each accounted for over 10% of graduates. As was the case in 2003/2004, about 9% graduated from both psychology and education, and 8% from social sciences. Physical sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and engineering, which together constitute the broad category of "science and engineering," accounted for over 75% of Canadian doctoral graduates. In the United States, this category accounted for 68%. Even though female graduates neared parity with men, there were wide gaps between the sexes within certain fields of study. Engineering remained the most maledominated field, while psychology became the most female-dominated. Women represented less than one-fifth of graduates

Between the 2003/2004 and the 2004/2005 academic years, the proportion of women graduating from computer and information sciences and mathematics increased from 20% to 30%. Profile of new graduates: Nearly onequarter planned on living outside Canada On average, doctoral graduates were 36 years old in 2004/2005. They took an average of 5 years 9 months to complete their doctorate. The international mobility of graduates is important because of the international nature of academic research. Nearly 23% of doctoral graduates in 2004/2005 planned to live outside of Canada on completing their degree, slightly higher than the proportion of 21% in the previous year. Almost 6 out of every 10 (59%) students graduated without any debt related to their graduate studies. The proportion of students without any debt from either

The majority of doctoral graduates found employment in research and development, or teaching. Almost 38% of graduates intended to work in research and development, while 33% planned to teach. Participation in doctoral education has been encouraged by the availability of financial support and by strong income expectations. Nearly two-thirds (64%) expected to earn more than $55,000, up from 60% in 2003/2004. Furthermore, for graduates who were continuing their studies, most chose postdoctoral programs with a focus on research and development. Canada continued to be a desired destination for foreign doctoral students. Nearly 23% of doctorate earners were foreign or visa students, and a majority of these students planned to remain in Canada. Over 42% of engineering graduates were foreign or visa students. The report "Doctoral Graduates in Canada: Findings from the Survey of Earned Doctorates, 2004/2005" is now available as part of the Culture, Tourism and the Centre for Education Statistics: Research Papers (81-595-MIE2008065, free). From the Publications module of our website, choose Free Internet publications, then Education, training and learning. ■

Official records of Canadian immigrants from 1865-1935 now available online passenger records also include information about birth year, occupation, other family members listed, and final destination in Canada. Most immigrants arriving at this time were British, Irish, Ukrainian, Russian, German, Chinese, and Polish.

1865 to 1935 is a very significant era for immigration to Canada, with 5.7 million immigrants landing on Canadian shores. Approximately 11.6 million present-day Canadians (1 of every 3) have ancestors who arrived during this time., Canada’s leading family history website has now made it easier for Canadians to trace their

roots and learn about the immigration process of their ancestors. The website has launched the Canadian Passenger’s Lists of more than 4,000 ships that docked in Canadian ports during that time period. The collection is indexed by name, month, year, ship, and port of origin and arrival. It also includes images of over 310,000 pages of historical records. Individual

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“This is the first time that these important records have been brought together in one place online, making them accessible to so many; they will be of significance to literally millions of Canadians who want to know when their ancestors first came to Canada and how far they came,” stated Josh Hanna of Ancestry International. ■ official-records-canadian-immigrantsavailable-online-080922.html

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Woman Alive!

Creating Access to Physical Activity Through Community Partnerships “I am writing to let you know what an extreme life lifting experience it has been. My only regret is that I didn’t find out about the program until two and a half years into my depression.”

health information and product donations such as the Community Food Advisor Program, North Hamilton Community Health Centre, the Around the Bay Road Race and Chatelaine magazine.

So begins the impassioned letter of thanks written by Bev, a participant in the Woman Alive! program, a free physical activity program for women facing multiple barriers to accessing physical activity in the city of Hamilton.

With increasing support, this free program has grown from one location to 5 and from approximately 40 participants in a year, to 565 with many being newcomers to Canada. Participants of Woman Alive! join for many reasons: to be healthier, more physically active, learn new information, meet new people, and to have fun. The results for many of the women is life-altering, as Bev states in her letter: “I am now actively looking for work, have made friends, feel more confident, and love life more than I have in three years. I recommend the program to anyone who needs to feel alive again.”

Woman Alive! provides an otherwise unaffordable opportunity for women struggling to make ends meet or those new to Canada and facing barriers of language and culture. Through aqua fit, aerobics, yoga, guided walks and health discussions, the women are able to learn healthier lifestyle behaviours, decrease their risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases, form friendships, and become the most positive of role models for their children. Strong community partnerships have made it possible to work towards a common goal: accessible, affordable physical activity provided in a supportive environ-

ment. Bev goes on to write: “The program offered more than exercise, with bus tickets, running shoes, babysitting, prizes, light snacks and information classes – it was no financial burden and everything needed was made available.” In 2007, with support from the Communities in Action Fund, two of the Woman Alive! series were tailored to the needs of

women from the Chinese and South Asian communities in Hamilton. Translated materials, interpretation, and on-site language support from the Women’s Health Educators of Public Health Services, were successful in helping women from diverse ethno-cultural communities to become more physically active. Over the past year, with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, some Woman Alive! participants have been completing a group fitness leadership certification program. This exciting opportunity means that women who have enjoyed the program as participants may soon be able to instruct in the program as well, or use their new skills to develop a career in fitness leadership outside of the program. Support from Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 has provided unique opportunities for participants to take part in the Around the Bay Road Race (at which over 300 pairs of gently used running shoes were collected for Woman Alive!), and to tour the YWCA Hamilton Beautiful Women Art Exhibit with the artist Cheryl-Ann Webster. These were opportunities for the women to get to know their city, to share in new experiences and to hear the resounding message that all women are beautiful and valued in our community. As well as funding support, others provide


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Public Health Services, in partnership with YWCA Hamilton, the City of Hamilton Recreation Department, Ontario Early Years Centres (Kiwanis Boys’ & Girls’ Club and Today’s Family) and Hamilton East Kiwanis Boys’ & Girls’ Club now offer the program at 5 Hamilton locations: YWCA Hamilton, Kiwanis Boys’ & Girls’ Club, Hill Park Recreation Centre, Sir Wilfrid Laurier Recreation Centre and Dominic Agostino Riverdale Community Centre. Funding for the program is provided by: Healthy Living Hamilton, Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Ministry of Health Promotion, United Way of Burlington & Greater Hamilton, Funding Research Excellence Development (FRED) through the PPADEC (Promoting Physical Activity Among Diverse Ethno-Cultural Communities) project of McMaster University School of Nursing, and Zonta Club of Hamilton 1. As well, each community partner contributes time, space, energy, resources and materials, accompanied by hefty portions of compassion, empathy and commitment to the program. For more information and on-line registration for the Woman Alive! program, please visit the Healthy Living Hamilton website: or call 905 546 3540. ■ By Ann Stanziani, Public Health Nurse The City of Hamilton, Public Health Services, Healthy Living Division

SISO 15 Anniversary A Journey to Success th

On November 28th SISO will celebrate its 15th Anniversary with a fabulous fundraising dinner to mark 15 years of success for the organization, its clients and our community.

The journey which was started on January 4, 1993 has proven to be one full of successful contributions to the mandate of meaningful integration and participation of newcomers in our community and economic development and growth. Looking back on its accomplishments, the organization acknowledges that its success belongs to thousands of volunteers who believed in SISO’s vision and served it well. It belongs to its dedicated and creative staff and to hundreds of volunteer Board Members who provided strategic vision and leadership. It equally belongs to SISO’s clients, partners, funders and donors. SISO was born after an increasing recognition by government funders and community activists of the growing importance of Hamilton’s immigrant population, and the inadequacy of the social service system to meet the needs of many members of the community’s diverse population. Two community-based research projects played critical roles in the initial development of SISO. From 1989 to 1990, Gloria DeSantis of the Hamilton Social Planning and Research Council (SPRC) conducted research funded by the Hamilton-Wentworth regional government, to uncover the barriers to people of diverse communities in accessing social services. Representatives of Employment and Immigration Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, and the Department of the Secretary of State, impressed by the involvement of a large number of immigrants and refugees in DeSantis’ research, asked DeSantis and SPRC to conduct a community-based needs assessment to develop a model for the delivery of settlement and integration services in the Hamilton area. The research process was guided by an advisory com-

mittee of active community members from diverse ethnocultural communities. A wide section of the population participated in the research, recommending the development of a “one-stop” agency that would serve the needs of people of all ethnocultural communities, and be led by a Board that was representative of the diversity of the community.

The initial team included an Executive Director and five dedicated Settlement Counsellors who were committed to assisting newcomers to integrate into all aspects of life in the local community. SISO’s first team was located in a converted house at 183 James St. South, which would soon become a focal point for immigrants and refugees in the community. The organization quickly built support by developing a strong network of volunteers to help address the great needs in the community. An acute lack of funding in the early years was one of the greatest challenges, as the organization had funds to run programs, but not for the initial start-up costs for the organization. SISO’s team struggled in the first years to create positive relationships with the established community organizations, many of which expressed interest in improving services for immigrants and refugees, but expressed doubt about SISO’s capacity to succeed as a fledgling organization run by refugees, immigrants and visible minorities. This scepticism about SISO’s approach and further funding cuts for social services in the mid nineties directly affected the organization’s capacity for service delivery in the early years. But it never affected its determination to create a world-class, model organization. The new year of 1998 brought major changes for SISO. The organization expanded physically into a new location at 135 Rebecca Street. In a less obvious change in leadership in 1999, SISO’s Board began to function under a policy governance model. The Board focused on providing strategic planning and direction for

the rapidly growing organization. In the fiscal year of 1998-1999, SISO more than doubled its total number of clients served, while improving coordination of service with mainstream organizations. In developing stronger partnerships with mainstream organizations, SISO maintained its consistent commitment to advocacy. SISO’s Board has addressed, on an ongoing basis, the need for adequate funding for English as a Second Language classes. In response to a recommendation of the 1997 Regional Forum, SISO facilitated the development of an advocacy body composed of representatives of diverse immigrant and refugee communities, the Community Coalition. 1999 was a turning point in the organization’s history, demonstrating the capacity of the organization to pro-actively address sensitive challenges and to mobilize volunteers and the larger community. Following a well-thought out-settlement plan, SISO’s staff and volunteers assisted the settlement of 750 refugees from Kosovo, through the summer of 1999. The Kosovar resettlement effort demonstrated SISO’s impressive capacity and preceded major expansions in the following years, in addition to positioning Hamilton as a re-settlement community for the federal government’s international commitment to assist war-torn countries. Through 1999-2000, the Board conducted a thorough review of the organization’s programs and revised the mission statement, mandate, values and beliefs, vision statement and by-laws, as part of an effort to clarify the organization’s priorities in anticipation of major growth. Additional developments followed quickly. Employment Services has been one of the major areas of expansion since 1999, with SISO taking the initiative to develop strategic partnerships with the local business community. Cultural Interpretation and Translation Services have also expanded dramatically, as SISO has helped

community institutions to recognize their responsibility to make services accessible to all clients. The HOST Program, drawing on a wide base of volunteers, expanded to include specialized programs to address the needs of foreign-trained professionals and to offer support for victims of torture. SWISH (Settlement Workers in SchoolsHamilton), was an innovative partnership with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB), the HamiltonWentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). As SISO has increasingly become a focal point for the immigrant and refugee community in Hamilton, SISO’s team has made deliberate efforts to support the development and growth of community organizations independent of SISO, including a large number of cultural associations, in addition to sponsorship and assistance provided for the development of the Hamilton International Health Professionals (HIHP), the Immigrant Culture and Art Association (ICAA) and the Hamilton’s Centre for Civic Inclusion. In April 2001, after dramatic expansion in SISO’s programs and staff, the organization was able to move to a much-needed larger office space. SISO’s current location in Liuna Station is symbolically appropriate, as the former railway station was a major arrival site for newcomers to Hamilton, particularly in the 1940s and 1950s. At the May 2001 Open House to celebrate SISO’s relocation to Liuna Station, it was clear that SISO had successfully moved from the margin to the mainstream of Hamilton, while retaining core values of accessibility and anti-racism. Elizabeth Gryte, CIC’s then Director of Settlement Programs for Ontario, described SISO as a “world-class organization” while former clients shared gifts and speeches with SISO, to express their gratitude. In October 2001, following a nomination by Hamilton City Councillor Andrea Horwath and Hamilton West MPP David Christopherson, SISO received a Citation of Citizenship Award from CIC, as one of twenty nation-wide recipients. SISO has grown dramatically since 1993, building upon strong roots in the community, to create positive relationships and initiatives for the future. SISO’s management has shaped an organizational culture of flexibility and openness to risk, motivated by a commitment to improve service delivery, advance the interests of immigrants and refugees and contribute to community and economic growth. 2008 marks the addition of 2 more offices (the Business Hub and the Globe) along with a Mobile office and the expansion and specialization of all programs and services delivered currently through 105 staff and in over 60 languages. Looking to the future, it is clear that newcomers will continue to play an important role in shaping the face of Hamilton, as it holds its position as the city with the third highest percentage of foreign-born residents in Canada. SISO will assist by sharing its vision that “settlement is about facilitating conditions and creating a good host community”. In the words of one volunteer, “SISO does not belong to anybody–it belongs to everyone.”

■ By Aurelia Tokaci

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Host Program This was a busy month for the Host Department at SISO! There was a fresh new set of programming brought to the Host Calendar this fall season; from English Conversation Circles to Cooking and Craft Sessions. Sewing Clubs for Women and a delicious Ramadan Eftar (dinner) were held at the Riverdale Community Centre. Finally, the Host Program welcomed many new Canadian families from all over the world at our Welcome Circles and we look forward to their attendance at our monthly, information sessions. New & Improved Programming As the Host Team is now present in SISO’s two new locations - Hamilton East End and Mountain Office - new Host program activities were initiated and are now well

tion Circles began this September. At St. Charles, English Conversation Circles run every Monday, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Also the English Conversation Circle at Terryberry Library resumed the first week of October and meets every Thursday, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. There was an overwhelming response to our first few Conversation Circles and we look forward to seeing new faces each week. On Thursday October the 9thnewcomer women from around the world participated in a cooking session organized by the Host Program and Philpott Memorial Church. The children were engaged in fun, organized activities while the moms were busy cooking away. The theme of this event was cooking with apples. Together, participants made different dishes from apples such as apple sauce, apple crumble, baked apples and salads. The whole process of cooking with apples was very fascinating for the participants. It was a new experience as many of them had never cooked with apples before. In addition to the many recipes, volunteers, from Philpott Church, showed participants different varieties of apples and how to use them to make quick, healthy snacks.

Church and its volunteers, the Host Program was able to make this event a huge success. And of course, a great thanks to all the women who cooked the delicious food. What would Ramadan Eftar be without you! Welcome Circles & Information Sessions In the month of September, we were delighted – along with SISO staff and community members - to welcome over fifteen new Canadian families to Hamilton. This once again. The sessions are well attended and run by our very experienced volunteers. The Sewing Club runs from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. every Saturday morning. Also, this month, a craft night for newcomer women will be held on Thursday October 23rd, 5:00-7:30 p.m.Craft activities include beading, knitting and crocheting. By attending group activities, newcomers have the opportunity to socialize and build new friendships, learn about Canada – our culture and customs, improve their spoken English skills and build their social network. Ramadan Eftar (Dinner)

On September 26th, a big event took underway. On the Mountain, SISO has esplace for Ramadan Eftar at Riverdale Comtablished a partnership with St. Charles At Jamesville Community Center, the munity Centre. The event began with an Eid Adult and Continuing Education Center Host Sewing Club for Women has started Bazaar at 5:30 p.m.where participant had where our traditional English Conversathe opportunity to purchase handmade crafts, jewelry and tyranny and cruelty. The Harimandir Sahib, in traditional clothes. The artistic AmritsarIndia, the holiest temple of the Sikhs skills of Henna Tattoo artists is lit up with lights and fireworks in celebrawere available and in high detion. The underlying importance in all these is mand from many women and to signify the victory of good over evil, light The days shorten in October. There is chill in over darkness, knowledge over ignorance as children. At 7:00 p.m. it was the air and nature starts exhibiting its splen- well as love and goodwill towards everyone. time to break the fast – food dor of colors in the foliage, heralding the onwas heated and shared with Hindu businessmen start their new account set of fall, hinting at the approaching winter. all the guests. There a lovely of Warm and cheerful summer days seem to books on this day and pray for a prosperous food from all parts of the world, come to an end. Is everything really that dull new financial year. The day is marked by family with over forty different dishes and morose? No! That is a biased view as the get together, prayers, wearing of new clothes, ranging salads to deserts. positive energy that we get from the tradition distributing sweets and lighting lamps, canThanks to a newly established and festivities celebrated in October and the dles and fireworks at night. It is a joyous occapartnership with Lightway colours that we see all around us: crimson, or- sion thanking the Almighty for the bountiful ange, yellow, amber and purple fill our lives harvest. The atmosphere is filled with joy, love, with warmth and hope. This is the time when happiness, hope and goodwill. On the surface people express gratitude to nature or the di- level the ritual of cleaning the house, wearing vine powers for the bountiful harvests that new clothes and lighting the lamps marks the they reap at the end of summer. The luminous joy and happiness experienced by everyone. colors of nature remind us that we can con- However, at a deeper level the rituals actually mark the commitment one makes to cleanse tinue to hope. one of evils and make a new beginning. In Canada Thanksgiving Day has been celWhether it is Diwali or Thanksgiving Day ebrated for hundreds of years. Families get it is the opportune time for farmers as they together to feast and celebrate. In the same have harvested and gathered their produce season, people in Indiaand people of Indian and this calls for the whole family with othorigin throughout the world celebrate Diwali ers to rejoice. The two festivities in fall are a – the festival of lights with gusto. Diwali may great unifying force. It is the time when worfall in October or November depending upon ries and enmity are forgotten and people emthe night of the new moon in the month of brace each other with forgiveness and love. It Kartika in the Hindu calendar. It is the perfect is an occasion to renew our faith in goodness, dark moonless night to celebrate with lights brotherhood and sharing the joys of life. It is and fireworks. Diwali is undoubtedly the most the time when we shed the old and evil to celebrated festival of India. start anew and fresh. It is the time when we The word Diwali is derived from a Sanskrit illume the heart and soul within us to be good word – Deepawali meaning ‘a row of lights’. and virtuous. The universal message of peace There are varied origins attributed to Diwali. and love is reiterated. Some celebrate it as the auspicious day when On this auspicious day the staff at SISO wish Lord Ram returned home aftern14 years of exile. Others believe Sri Krishna killed the demon all who celebrate Diwali a happy and prosperNarakasura on this day. In Bengal it is the day ous New Year. May the coming year be full of to worship the Goddess Kali. Hindus devote love and wealth. It is our sincere hope that the this day to prayers to the Goddess of wealth lamp you light may light your inner souls and –Laxmi. Sikhs all over the world celebrate enkindle your heart with the eternal light. it as the day their sixth Guru with fifty two ■ By Kamal Grewal prisoners was released from the Gwaliorfort. The Guru and prisoners were liberated from


Festival of Lights

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month, Hamilton’s newest families came from many different countries, including Colombia, Somalia, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Burma, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. At the Host Program, we look forward to seeing these newcomer families again at one of our monthly Host Information Sessions. This month, the Host Program will be holding three information sessions for newcomer families. These information sessions provide an excellent opportunity for families to find out more about our Host Program, our activities and family matching program. Through these sessions, it is our goal to help newcomer families connect with programs and activities that will help build friendships and gain the support they are looking for. Are you interested in making new friends while improving your English or French Skills? Are you interested in sharing your Canadian experience and helping someone else settle in Canada?  To get involved call SISO at 905-667-7476 and ask for the Host Program or email ■

Celebrating the Opening of The Globe

We aim to empower youth and assist them in attaining the necessary skills

The process of adjusting to a new life in Canada is very difficult for young newcomers. If they are not supported and cared for adequately young newcomers will not become well adjusted adults who can contribute effectively to Canadian society. It is society’s duty to ensure that they are well adjusted because young, energetic, innovative, diverse, newcomers are necessary for a strong economy. We aim to serve thousands of new youth and help them get through the difficulties of adjusting to life in Canada. The Globe is the first and only youth centre in Canada dedicated to serving newcomer youth. The staff at The Globe is dedicated to creating the conditions necessary for youth to successfully integrate into society. We have highlighted a few of our services below however; we have many additional programs and services. 1. Educational Programming 1.1 English Conversation Circle We offer English conversation circles to all levels of English speakers. It is truly validating when youth improved their English language skills during English Conversation Circle and when they overcame their language and cultural barriers and make friends. 1.2 Homework Club The Globe homework club is a volunteer program that offers newcomer youth additional coaching and tutoring with their homework assignments. It is also an opportunity for students to get ahead academically, increase their self-confidence while interacting, socializing and sharing

experiences with other youth. The program also focuses on individual and group work to enhance the students’ literacy and creativity. The program involves a dedicated group of University and College students. Homework Club currently runs out of two locations and we will be adding a third location in the east end of Hamilton. The east end Homework Club will begin before the end of November. Homework Club will meet three times a week: Tuesdays 3.30pm-5.30pm Community Center


Wednesdays 3.30pm-5.30pm The Globe Thursdays 3.30pm-5.30pm The Globe For more information on the homework club please contact Amal Osman, or Rabe at (905) 527-2049 or email at aosman@ or 1.3 Education, Training and Employment Centre The Globe’s education and employment centre enhances newcomer youths’ selfreliance and leadership potential through Education and Employment Support Services. This program provides: A fully equipped resource centre Introduction to job search process and techniques

Resume and cover letter writing information and assistance Accreditation and licensing information and assistance College and University information and application assistance One-on-one educational and career planning counselling Workshops on computer fundamentals, career and educational planning 2. Sports and Recreation The sports and recreational programs provides youth with a safe and fun environment in which they can enjoy their spare time and explore all the options available in their community. The sports and recreational program is continuously expanding as we develop new partnerships and receive input from the youth. Some of our most popular programs include: Indoor soccer during winter Outdoor soccer during summer Basketball Volleyball 2.1 Field Trips We offer several field trips throughout the course of the year. The field trips acquaint the youth with different sites of interest in Hamilton. We take trolley rides along the Bayfront, visit the Gage Park Greenhouse,

the Museum of Art, Waterfalls of Hamilton and much more. During the summer we visit Marine Land, Canada’s Wonderland, Niagara Falls and the Butterfly Conservatory. 2.2 Relaxing at the Youth Centre The Globe has an amazing games room that is equipped with two pool tables, an air hockey table, a ping pong table and tables for board games. We also have a refreshing juice and espresso bar. 3. Youth Empowerment and Leadership We aim to empower youth and assist them in attaining the skills necessary to empower other youth. It is also important to assist youth to contribute to the community. We are fortunate to have a partnership with the YMCA, Soccerworld and the City of Hamilton. Through these partnerships we are able to provide volunteer opportunities for youth. We offer ongoing workshops, motivational speakers, poets and arts and many other experts from the community that can assist youth to reach their leadership potential. These workshops take place during a time called Empower Hour. Empower Hour Wednesdays 4:00pm - 5:30pm ■

LINC Learners’ Conference Over 100 adult English language learners gathered at the Hamilton Convention Centre for the second annual LINC Learners’ Conference. This learner centred event is provided by SISO through funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

from community agencies such as SISO, the Francophone Health Centre and Today’s Family to name a few. Participants enjoyed a tai chi demonstration by the Seniors Tai Chi Association. 15 seniors showed grace, beauty and artistry in movement.

LINC language learners from schools throughout Hamilton came together for this one day event. They had the opportunity to expand on their language learning experience through participation in interactive workshops. Participants were engaged in topics such as how to improve language skills using the internet, using and interpreting body language for effective communication and developing parenting skills.

At the end of a very full day, learners went away with new insights on mastering their language learning experience. All had very positive things to say about their conference experience and some are looking forward to next year’s event.

In addition to a wide variety of workshops, there was a small ‘market place’. Learners were able to obtain information

If you or someone you know would like to participate in this event next year, call the SISO Language Assessment Centre to find out about a LINC program in your area. (905) 667-7476. ■ By Charmaine Routery

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Business Hub Graduation of them for the work and tenacity displayed during the program and wish them the best of luck in pursuing their dreams. We are confident that we’ll see many of them at the top in the years to come! Program Details: Staff: Chouki Ouhib, Business Development Advisor

The first 35 graduates of the Business Start-Up Program at the Business Hub in Hamilton were presented with their Certificates on September 30, 2008. The graduates are immigrants to Canada who bring an entrepreneurial, professional or business management background and are seriously considering starting a new business in Canada or re-locating here a business they already run in their home country. The business ideas they bring include a variety of areas, from retail to trade and production. Some of them have already started to market their business and reach-out to potential clients, while others are in the process of pursuing investment opportunities. On behalf of SISO, we congratulate all

Partners: Mohawk College, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Canada Revenue Agency, Dan Lawry Insurance, Scotiabank, Development Bank of Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, Ministry of Revenue. 13 Business Development Seminars Additional Training Legal aspects of business start-up/management Sales & Marketing Assistance Business start-up requirements and pathway Market research, development of business plan, access to investment, loans, incentives or subsidies Benefits: Access to business start-up information

and resources

companies with markets overseas.

Networking opportunities with established businesses

The Business Hub provides a space for organizations and services already available in Hamilton to: connect with business immigrants and new Canadians; deliver programs and services that assist the business start-up process; provide information and support to assist new Canadian entrepreneurs. In addition, the centre connects business immigrants and entrepreneurs with services and assistance essential in their settlement process. ■ For more information or to register call: (905) 385-6192 x 406

Business Mentoring Reduced Membership Rates with Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Who Qualifies? Newcomers with: business/investment, entrepreneurial or professional background strong entrepreneurial spirit motivation and interest in opening a business in the Hamilton area Sound language and communication skills (French and/or English) What is the Business Hub? The Business Hub is a Global Business Innovation Centre which assists the start-up of new and emerging businesses by immigrants, through the provision of advisory services, business links and connections, physical facilities, training, assistance, and access to resources. Our program participants and graduates will commercialize innovative products and services, create jobs, pay taxes and strengthen the Hamilton economy. The services available through the Business Hub aim at assisting prospective entrepreneurs establish new businesses in Canada; develop business and management skills; facilitate the settlement and integration of business immigrants into the economy; and connect Canadian

AGH Blurb!

Latin American Contemporary Dance Presented by The Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH) in association with Settlement and Integration Services Organization on Friday, November 14, 2008 at 8:00 pm at AGH Tickets: AGH Members $10 / Students & Seniors $11 / General Admission $12 An exciting evening of fourcontemporary dances by Latin American choreographers and dancers originally from Columbia, Brazil, Mexico and Guatemala, currently living in Canada. They include Norma Araiza, Heryka Miranda, and Olga Barrios. The original dance works are inspired by family, displacement, joy of life, migration, love, bicultural identity, death, and passion. ■

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You Are Fired! ...Continued from page 1

is a fact; it is happening as you read this piece. It is disheartening knowing someone was fired from their job, not because of poor performance, but because of executive abuse of power. Many people at one point or another in their lives have been fired from their jobs. Yours faithfully have had my own share of being fired from jobs I liked so much and did so right, that I was consumed by anger and contempt of whoever got rid of me. Most times, I got fired for no fault of mine, my boss simply felt threatened by my competence and influence, and his or her lacklustre and incompetence. Some people got fired from their jobs because of discrimination, while others got the termination because they spoke up against injustices and oppressive company policies. However you might choose to look at unwarranted job termination, it is a human rights issue. Having said that, there are many things I would want to become in life that I have not yet been. Each time I got fired, it provided an opportunity to explore those life goals and ambitions I harbour inside of me, which the jobs I did kept me from

Who Will Help Azim? ...Continued from page 1

helps manage to smoke a cigarette, deep in thought, and gaze fixed on no particular object. He is merely thinking. Azim’s story is hard to believe. He came to Canada many years ago as a political refugee from one of the Middle Eastern countries. Everything was going well for him until Immigration Canada deemed him a terrorist; and since then, his life has nose-dived into one of confusion, stagnation and limbo. Azim fought for his country’s liberation movement back in the 80’s. His coming to Canada was to escape being perpetually entangled in a political movement that has resulted in the indiscriminate massacre of innocent civilians. And having realized the futility of fighting for a cause that has wiped out what is left of civilization in that region, and coming of

pursuing. I see being fired sometimes as a window of opportunity to explore alternatives. Some people who have been in the same predicament also share this view. At least, necessity is the mother of invention. Once no job is there to tie me down, I get restless looking for opportunities. That is how “The Voice in Diaspora” was created amongst other ventures I am engaged in presently. A good question that ought to be asked is ‘Why fire someone who is competent at what he or she does?’ Some bosses fear their incompetence will be more glaring in the face of a more competent employee. Many bosses have surrounded themselves with sycophants who play up to them and feed them with praise and information they would like to hear. As such, they do not know the truth about themselves and how others truly regard them as bosses. These kinds of bosses live in a fool’s paradise. They are the type who are afraid of intelligent, knowledgeable and ambitious employees, and would employ every strategy to fire them. There are a lot of emotional feelings and distress that come from being fired unnecessarily from a job. One feels angry, sad, embarrassed, empty, fearful, disappointed, guilty, oppressed, discriminated against, hopeless, and worthless, to mention a

age to understand the political brainwashing tinged with spiritual blindness, Azim was ready to move far away from his country into a new place that offers peace and freedom. Hence, his coming to Canada. Life has never been the same for Azim. He failed his political asylum bid in Canada, and he was put on a flight back to his country as a deportee for failed political claims, but was rejected in transit by one country after another because of being labelled a terrorist. Azim’s flight in transit was delayed for many hours on the tarmac under high security, while three foreign countries debated his fate. At the end of their deliberation, Azim was denied entry to his place of birth simply because he was still regarded as a threat to national security in two foreign countries. Azim’s deportation was halted half way through, and he was brought back to Canada with instructions to report to security officers periodically. Azim would have been happy to go back home. Since his asylum application

few. All these emotions arise as a result of a lack of control over what is happening around the person being fired. There are many changes and adjustments to be made quickly if that person wants to remain competitive in the job market. Being fired for no just cause is not the end of the world, and should not be seen that way. It is man’s inhumanity to man; an abuse of executive power; and lack of human empathy on the part of the boss. Why fire your employee for no just cause without thinking about the negative impact of that firing? Having discussed with some folks over the years about the characteristics of bad bosses who fire their employees unnecessarily, we have realized these bosses share the same, if not similar, qualities. General opinion shows that most of these bad and cowardly bosses feel insecure in their positions and in their private lives. They are cowards who hide behind the legality of some unpopular labour laws to terminate someone’s employment. Other qualities these bosses possess are: bullying, underachievement, poor performance, powerdrunk, jealousy, lack of foresight, and narrow mindedness. They need you to sing their praises, and you refuse to play the favourite tune, hence you are fired!

a job, the company loses. Whether that is acknowledged by the boss or not, it is a fact. Also, firing a high performing employee puts the rest of the company’s work force in fear and low spirits. People might not like what happened, but are so fearful of losing their own means of livelihood that they keep quite. The gossip mongers go behind the boss and say every negative thing imaginable about the boss. Some companies fire their employees and send email to the rest of the workers claiming that that employee quit the job. They even purchase farewell cards, sign and give to the fired employee to make it look that the person resigned. What a hypocritical, shameless act! In all, a boss that fires an employee without good reason is simply playing God. You are a boss there today, but are not sure what tomorrow holds in store for you. Remember, what goes around comes around. You as the boss should use your good office to affect others positively and not inflict pain and suffering in your employee’s life. You are the boss, the head of your organization, why fear your employee who is below you? Most importantly, why play God? BE CAREFUL! ■ By Veronica Chris-Ike

Whenever a good employer is fired from

was rejected, he was not allowed to work or do any meaningful thing with his life. It has been almost 10 years since this incident happened, and still he has not been told what his fate is, and has not been given any reason why he is still kept in Canada without proper identification. He has not seen any of his family members for quite a while, and wishes to go home to see his mother before she dies. Azim has lost all hope of making it back to his country of origin due to the political issues surrounding his involvement with a freedom fighting group. For the 2 to 3 years that I have known Azim, he is no longer the same. He is gradually losing his mind because of too much stress and anxiety. He used to take pride in his physical appearance, but these days, he stares ahead like a lost soul. His smoking has increased enormously, and the smile with which he used to welcome each customer to his store has started to diminish. He is a man deeply troubled, caught in the

middle of a youthful ideology of fighting for his country’s liberation, and the Canadian officials who have blocked his chances of returning to his motherland. Azim needs help to navigate this political maze he has found himself in. His defence is and has always been, “ I was forced and brainwashed to be a freedom fighter before the rational age of maturity. When I grew up to realize what the issues were, I made an effort to distance myself from it, and I ran away for my life.” Whether this is true or not, no one knows. What really matters now is that Azim is tired of being a victim all his life. He wants to go back home to see his aged mother, and if need be, settle down there for good. Who is denying Azim this fundamental right to freedom? I DO NOT KNOW! ■ By Blessing Tokis

Understanding Canadian Business Law

We will write a series of articles every month exploring various legal issues that the business person will encounter when starting and running a business in Canada. This month, we will provide some introductory information on how the law functions in Canada and how the law applies to the business person. Law is a set of rules that can be enforced by the courts or by other government agencies. With the exception of Quebec, the provinces and territories have adopted a common law legal system, which consists of common law developed by deci-

sions of courts and statutes enacted by Parliament. When a decision is made by a court, that decision becomes common law. All lower courts are then bound by that decision when they are faced with a similar case. For example, all provincial courts are bound by decisions made by the Supreme Court of Canada. Statutes or legislation are created by Parliament and consist of rules that take precedence over court-made law. For the business person, statutes set out specific rules which govern business activities. Although court-made law forms the basis of our legal system, it is statutes that control and restrict what we can do and determine what we must do to carry on business in Canada. In Canada, the power to create law is divided between the central Canadian Parliament and the provincial and territorial legislative assemblies. The Constitution Act (1867) assigns the power to create and enforce certain areas of law to the federal government under s. 91, and assigns provinces the power to create and enforce the law in different areas under s. 92. For business persons, it is important to remember that each province has the power to es-

tablish rules in the areas over which it has jurisdiction. As a consequence, businesses operating within and between provinces must comply with federal, provincial and municipal regulations. Under s. 91, the federal government has power over matters such as banking, currency, the postal service and criminal law (although not its enforcement). The federal government also passes legislation affecting the regulation of import and export activities, taxation, environmental concerns, money and banking, intraprovincial and international transportation and intellectual property. The provinces have jurisdiction over such matters as hospitals, education, the administration of courts and commercial activities carried on at the provincial level. Most business activities that are carried on within a province are governed by provincial legislation or municipal bylaw, including issues such as the sale of goods, consumer protection, employment, secured transactions, incorporation, real estate and licensing. For industries that fall under federal jurisdiction, such as banking w w w.thevoiceindiasp

and railways, there are corresponding federal statutes which govern these issues. Thus federal and provincial legislation contain the rules that must be followed to successfully start and run a business in Canada. When starting a business or carrying on activities as a business, it is important to consider whether your business falls under federal or provincial jurisdiction, or whether it may fall under multiple provincial jurisdictions if you are conducting business in more than one province. In the following issues we will talk about the different methods of carrying on a business: sole proprietorship, partnership and incorporation; financing business and funding alternatives; real estate considerations; and estate planning for a business venture. ■ Hussein Hamdani is a lawyer at SimpsonWigle Law LLP where he practices in the area of corporate/commercial and real estate law. Kristin Ciupa is a student-at-law at SimpsonWigle Law LLP, practicing in the areas of corporate/commercial, real estate and wills and estates.

Oct-Nov 2008 • Vol 1-2 • Issue 12-13


World Kindness Day®


he date decreed for World Kindness Day is 13th November. This was the opening day of the first World Kindness Movement® conference held at Tokyo in 1998, and the 35th anniversary of the Small Kindness Movement of Japan, which brought the signatories of the ‘declaration of kindness’ of the World Kindness Movement together in 1997. The purpose of World Kindness Day is to look beyond ourselves, beyond the boundaries of our country, beyond our culture, our race, our religion; and realise we are citizens of the world. As world citizens we have a commonality, and must realise that if progress is to be made in human relations and endeavours, if we are to achieve the goal of peaceful coexistence, we must focus on what we have in common. When we find likenesses we begin to experience empathy, and in such a state we can fully relate to that person or those people. While we may think of people from other cultures as being ‘different’ when we compare them with our own customs and beliefs, it doesn’t mean that we are any better than they are. When we become friends

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with someone from a different culture we discover that despite some obvious differences, there are many similarities.

helping to break down the walls that separate races, religions, cultures. Helping our global brothers and sisters.

Sometimes, knowledge that is passed on to us about different races, different cultures, has become distorted, and we build up a false, negative impression of these people. It is only when we get to know such people that we realise it is a lie.

During the Great War (1914-18), when the dead were piled high in ‘no man’s land,’ a truce would be declared so the dead could be gathered by the respective sides. When this was completed, the battle would resume as if nothing had happened. One moment joining together in a common cause, the next, mortal enemies again. Do you associate this with day to day living? We have our moments of joining in a common cause – when we pause to be of service, or when we observe Kindness Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas Day, Anzac Day, Australia Day, Clean Up Australia Day, and so on. But then we go back to the way we were before the truce was declared – we go back to being at war! Not physically at war, but psychologically. At war with the traffic, our boss or a co-worker, the neighbour’s howling dog, rising prices, rude people, the noisy garbage truck, the promotion we didn’t get, unruly children, the computer crash, the noisy party, falling share prices, an argument with our partner, the

Another form of separation is in those people who fail to let go of transgressions that have occurred in the past. This also applies to some groups, where bitterness from many hundreds of years ago has been passed down though generations, and hatred becomes a normal reaction to thoughts of, or association with, the other group of people. The recent genocide in Europe is a tragic example of this. There is a need to let go of past transgressions if we are to live in peace. While we cannot change the past, we can ensure such things never happen again. If we were to ask ourselves on a regular basis, "Is what I am involved in at this moment promoting joining or separation?", it would remind us of our commitment to kindness. All it requires is remembering. If our memory is not the best, small signs can be created and posted about the home and work environment. Simple solutions are workable solutions. Simple solutions to promote joining, working away at our goal for world peace with little acts of kindness,

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washing machine breaking down, the late train or bus, the long queue, the parking ticket, the recording that says, "Your call is important to us," the person who didn’t ‘understand.’ It seems as if the whole of humanity is going through some mid-life crisis. All of these stressful incidents in our engagement with the world is creating separation. How can we hope to have a peaceful world when we are incapable of creating peace in our own lives? We give energy to whatever we put our attention on, and how sad that our energy is generally focussed on the negative things (creating stress and hostility), and on the things we don’t have (creating feelings of lack and dissatisfaction). What would it take to focus on the good things about our life, and be thankful for what we have, instead of being resentful or irritated about what we don’t have? ■

A Day of Remembrance


very year on November 11, Canadians pause for a moment to remember the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace. Why Remember? We must remember. If we do not, the sacrifice of those one hundred thousand Canadian lives will be meaningless. They died for us, for their homes and families and friends, for a collection of traditions they cherished and a future they believed in; they died for Canada. The meaning of their sacrifice rests with our collective national consciousness; our future is their monument. To fully appreciate the sacrifices of Canadians that fought in different wars, full disclosure of the human face of war must be shared. There was “loss of comrades, extreme living conditions, intense training, fear, as well as mental, spiritual and physical hardship; all these illuminate what the individual sailor, soldier and airman experienced in battle”. The First World War 1914-1918 In the First World War, the Canadians' first major battle occurred at Ypres, Belgium, on April 22, 1915, where the Germans used poison gas. As approximately 150 tonnes of chlorine gas drifted over the trenches, Canadian troops held their line and stopped the German advance in spite of enormous casualties. Within 48 hours at Ypres and St. Julien, a third of the Canadians were killed. Using outdated 19th century military strategy, Allied generals believed that sending wave after wave of infantry would eventually overwhelm the enemy. Soaring casualty rates proved that soldiers attacking with rifles and bayonets were no match for German machine guns. Each side dug in and soon the Western Front became a patchwork of trenches in France and Belgium stretching from Switzerland to the North Sea. In April 1917, Canadians helped turn the tide of battle when they won a major victory at Vimy Ridge. This triumph came at high cost: more than ten thousand casualties in six days. Even with this victory, the war continued for more than a year. Finally, on November 11, 1918, the Armistice was signed and the Canadians took part in the triumphant entry into Mons, Belgium. Throughout this conflict, Canadians proved that they could pull their weight, and by their effort earned for Canada, a new place among the nations of the world.

The Second World War 1939-1945 During the Second World War, Canadians fought valiantly on battlefronts around the world. More than one million men and women enlisted in the navy, the army and the air force. They were prepared to face any ordeal for the sake of freedom. When the war was over, more than 42,000 had given their lives. On the home front as well, Canadians were active as munitions workers, as civil defence workers, as members of voluntary service organizations, and as ordinary citizens doing their part for the war effort. In December 1941, Canadian soldiers were participants in the unsuccessful defence of Hong Kong against the Japanese; 493 were wounded and 557 were killed in battle or at the hands of the Japanese as prisoners-of-war (POWs). The situation faced by the Canadian POWs was horrible; they laboured long hours and were given very little to eat. The daily diet was rice - a handful for each prisoner. Occasionally, a concoction of scavenged potato peelings, carrot tops and buttercups was brewed. The effect was obvious: Sidney Skelton watched the 900-caloriea-day diet shrink his body from 145 to 89 pounds. And whenever a group of prisoners could bribe a guard into giving them a piece of bread, they used a ruler to ensure everyone got an equal share. Canadians played a leading role on the European front. On August 19, 1942, Canadians attacked the French port of Dieppe. Canadians made up almost 90 per cent of the assault force. The raid was a disaster. Out of a force of 4,963 Canadians, 3,367 were killed, wounded, or became POWs. Lucien Dumais was there and described the beach upon landing: The beach was a shambles, and a lot of our men from the second wave were lying there either wounded or dead. Some of the wounded were swimming out to meet our flotilla and the sea was red with their blood. Some sank and disappeared. We stood by as they died, powerless to help; we were there to fight, not to pick up the drowning and the wounded. But the whole operation was beginning to look like a disaster.

lines of the Allied forces who landed on the coast of Normandy. All three Canadian services (Navy, Army, and Air Force) shared in the assault. In Normandy, the fighting was fierce, and the losses were heavy. Approximately 14,000 Canadians landed on Juno Beach and suffered 1,074 casualties (including 359 fatalities). Canadians encountered fierce resistance from the German occupiers as they fought through Northwest Europe, particularly at Caen and Falaise, France, as well as the formidable task of clearing the English Channel ports in France and Belgium. They also saved the Allied advance from stalling by defeating the Nazis in the Scheldt estuary of Belgium and Holland - intense fighting over flooded terrain. In May 1945, victory in Europe became a reality and millions celebrated V-E Day. Still ahead lay the final encounter with Japan. Then, on August 6, 1945, the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Three days later, a second bomb destroyed Nagasaki. On August 14, 1945, the Japanese accepted the Allied terms of unconditional surrender and the Second World War was over. The Korean War 1950-1953 The hard-fought end to the Second World War did not provide Canadian troops with a long peace. By 1950, Canadian soldiers were mobilized on behalf of the United Nations (UN) to defend South Korea against an invasion by North Korea. By 1951, the People's Republic of China had joined North Korea against the UN force. In Korea, the Canadians fought at Kapyong, at Chailli, in the advance across the Imjin River, and in the patrolling of the Chorwon Plain. When the hostilities ended in 1953, Canadians stayed as part of the peacekeeping force.

ficult, with harsh weather, rough terrain, and an elusive and skillful enemy. In their own camp, they had to deal with casualties, illness and limited medical facilities. The winter of 1951 was especially severe. They were living twenty-four hours a day in trenches, which provided some protection but little comfort. As one soldier recalled, the weather aggravated what was already a demoralizing experience: Rain was running down my neck, my hands were numb, and I never seemed to be dry. Kneeling in the snow, or advancing in the rain, my knees and the front of my legs became wet. Then the dampness soaked right through and the skin underneath became tender and raw. Altogether, 26,791 Canadians served in the Korean War and another 7,000 served between the cease-fire and the end of 1955 when Canadian soldiers were repatriated home. There were 1,558 casualties, 516 fatal. While Canada's contribution formed only a small part of the total United Nations effort, on a per-capita basis, it was larger than most of the other nations in the UN force. "It (Canada's participation in Korea) also marked a new stage in Canada's development as a nation. Canadian action in Korea was followed by other peacekeeping operations which have seen Canadian troops deployed around the world in new efforts to promote international freedom and maintain world peace." From all of these records of warws, the observations of the individuals who took part stand out as reminders of the true nature of conflict. Through knowledge of the realities, we may work more diligently to prevent them from happening again. ■

The conditions in Korea were often dif-

Canadians played an essential role as the war continued. They participated in the conquest of Sicily in 1943, and defeated the Nazis in Italy despite fierce resistance especially at Ortona and Rimini. On June 6, 1944, D-Day, Canadians were in the front w w w.thevoiceindiasp

Oct-Nov 2008 • Vol 1-2 • Issue 12-13


For Some Doctors, Empathy Is in Short Supply Study finds they miss patients' cues about fears of well-being, even death Doctors are missing their cues when it comes to opportunities to empathize with the plight of their cancer patients, a new study suggests.

opportunities," but found that the physicians responded empathically to only 39 of them. Each encounter elicited an average of less than two empathic responses from the doctor.

While doctors are able to address such concerns as medication issues, missed appointments, or pain, they tended to skirt "existential" issues, such as questions dealing with life and death, which are of paramount importance to most patients, the study authors said. "Physicians only responded to 10 percent of empathic opportunities and, when patients raised existential concerns, physicians tended to shift more to biomedical responses," said study author Dr. Diane Morse, an assistant professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Centre, in New York. "Physicians had trouble addressing the bulk of concerns, which were about patient fears, concerns about death or dying, or worsening conditions." Yet this may be the most important point of intersection between a doctor and his or her patient. "The relationship between a patient and a physician is more than just the delivery of a diagnosis or a treatment plan," said Dr. Arthur Frankel, a professor of medicine at the Texas A&M Health Science Centre College of Medicine. "Basically, for cancer care, if you're not able to form a close tie with your patient and improve their qual-

Empathic opportunities included patient statements such as, "This is kind of overwhelming," and "I am fighting it." When the doctors did show empathy, half the time it was in the last third of the encounter, even though patients had been raising concerns throughout the session. "Physicians are more comfortable about things they know what to do about, like 'I ran out of my medicine,' 'I couldn't get appointment,' 'I'm having pain,'" Morse said. "But when the patient asks how much longer do I have to live, it's scary. It's hard to know what to say." ity of life, then there's a real question as to what you are doing. "We can hopefully, at times, make suggestions or do things with patients that may buy some time and, in some cases, long-term remissions. But, by and large, the major job of an oncologist is to bond with the patient and the patient's family and help them with a crisis," added Frankel, who's also director of the Cancer Centre, Cancer Research Institute and Division of Hematology/Oncology at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas. Empathy -- identifying with and under-

Heavy snoring may be stroke risk factor

standing another person's situation and feelings -- has been linked with improved patient satisfaction, including less anxiety and better compliance with treatment. Physicians, residents and medical students also show evidence of more satisfaction and less burnout if they provide empathy, Morse said. For the study, she and her colleagues analyzed 20 audio-recorded and transcribed interactions between male patients with lung cancer and their thoracic surgeons or oncologists.

Hepatitis C patients may have abnormal blood sugar based on the results of an oral glucose tolerance test. After excluding the subjects who were known to have diabetes, just over one third of the hepatitis C patients (34.2 percent) had normal results on the oral glucose tolerance test, the authors report, whereas 42.8 percent had impaired glucose tolerance and 23.0 percent had undiagnosed diabetes.

In the current study, the researchers performed sleep tests to assess snoring and obstructive sleep apnea in 110 subjects. In addition, the subjects also underwent a special ultrasound test to look for carotid atherosclerosis.

"Previous studies have suggested that snoring and obstructive sleep apnea...may be important risk factors for the development of carotid atherosclerosis and stroke," write Dr. Sharon A. Lee, of Westmead Millennium Institute, NSW, Australia, and colleagues. However, it was unclear if snoring, in the absence of breathing interruptions (sleep apnea), is also linked to carotid atherosclerosis. Obstructive sleep apnea is a common problem in which soft tissues in the back of throat repeatedly collapse during sleep causing breathing to stop for brief mo-

1 6 Oct-Nov 2008 • Vol 1-2 • Issue 12-13

In contrast, 64.7 percent of the controls had normal levels of glucose, 32.4 percent had impaired glucose tolerance, and 2.9 percent had diabetes.

The subjects were categorized into three snoring groups based on the amount of snoring: absent or mild snoring (0 to 25 percent of time), moderate snoring (25 to 50 percent of time), and heavy snoring (more than 50 percent of time). Overall, 31 percent of subjects had carotid atherosclerosis. As night time snoring increased, the rate of atherosclerosis rose from 20 to 65 percent. The impact of snoring on carotid atherosclerosis was apparent even in patients without sleep apnea. By contrast, snoring was not associated with plaque build-up in the femoral arteries, the major vessels that supply blood to the legs. "The importance of our findings is the implication that the risk of developing carotid atherosclerosis (and potentially stroke) is not confined to the population of patients with established obstructive sleep apnea, but also extends to the population of heavy snorers," Lee's team concludes. " ■ Sleep, September 2008. w w w.thevoiceindiasp

Added Frankel: "The most important job of a physician is also the most important job for a minister or for a lawyer or anyone else: To try and help people cope with the uncertainties of life." ■ Archives of Internal Medicine 2008.

The researchers identified 384 "empathic

ments. Snoring as well as excessive daytime sleepiness are common symptoms. The condition can be effectively treated with a small machine that blows air into the throat, preventing the tissues from collapsing.

Heavy snoring is associated with plaque build-up or "atherosclerosis" in the carotid arteries in the neck that supply blood to the brain and, therefore, may be a risk factor for stroke, according to findings in the journal Sleep.

"It would be helpful for physicians to think about having a response ready," Morse added. "The bulk of patients' concerns are existential and physicians don't necessarily have to do something to fix it. Just acknowledging it, in and of itself, can be very helpful and it doesn't take a lot of time."

A family history of diabetes, male gender, advanced fibrosis stage of hepatitis, and increasing age each increased the risk of having glucose abnormalities, according to additional analyses. Nearly two thirds of patients with chronic hepatitis C infection may have abnormal blood sugar levels, according to a report in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. Blood sugar, or "glucose," abnormalities "are common and easily underestimated among patients with chronic hepatitis C infection," Dr. Ming-Lung Yu from Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan told Reuters Health. Careful evaluation for undetected glucose abnormalities is "essential" in caring for chronic hepatitis C patients. Yu and colleagues compared the prevalence and characteristics of glucose abnormalities among 522 chronic hepatitis C patients and a comparison group of 447 without hepatitis C infection ("controls"),

Two consecutive fasting plasma glucose measurements or randomly measured glucose levels greater than 200 milligram per decaliter were not sufficient to confirm glucose abnormalities in the patients with chronic hepatitis C infection, Yu noted. "Since family history, insulin resistance, age, and obesity are predisposing factors associated with diabetes in chronic hepatitis C patients, we would recommend an oral glucose tolerance test for chronic hepatitis C patients who are older than 40 years old," have a family history of diabetes or who are overweight, Yu advised. ■ American Journal of Gastroenterology.

African Canadian Workers Project African Canadian Workers Project … and still I rise: African Canadian Workers in Ontario 1900 – Present, held a community feedback meeting on September 25th 2008 at the Stewart Memorial Church. Present at the meeting included: Dr. Gary Warner, Deborah Simon, Doreen Johnson, Evelyn Myrie, Vince Morgan, Kojo Damptey, Joe Rhodes, Angela Dauda, Veronica Chris-Ike (The Voice in Diaspora) and Renee Wetselaar, from Worker Arts and Heritage Centre. Meeting Objective was to explore ideas/opportunities for marketing

..."and still I rise" travelling exhibit locally, nationally and internationally. Some members volunteered to help do the marketing. Other important issues discussed at the meting included: the final stages of development of the virtual museum and launching in 2009; to find a permanent home for the exhibit; and the need to look at creating a larger plan for a Black Museum for Hamilton, possibly sited at Steward Memorial Church (SMC). Here are pictures of the attendees at the meeting.

SISO Youth Center (The Globe) Opening Ceremony October 24th 2008

Hamilton Politicians cutting the tape to declare open SISO Youth Center (The Globe)

Youth Center Staff

Youth Center Staff

Invited Guests

Hussein (SISO Board Chair) Andrea Howarth (NDP MPP) Morteza Jafarpour (SISO's Excecutive Director) at the opening ceremony w w w.thevoiceindiasp

Oct-Nov 2008 • Vol 1-2 • Issue 12-13


HCCI Francophone CMT Graduates, September 2008

Cross section of participants at the event

Participants at theFrancoPhone CMT program

Evelyn Myrie (HCCI Board Member), Agnes Gizard with her daughter Naomi at the event.

MP Christopherson speaking at the event

Nasir (HCCI staff) at the event with other invited guests The Graduation cake Madeline Levy and Madina Wasuge (ED HCCI)

Mentors and mentees at SISO Mentorship program event

TD Bank Rene and colleagues at the SISO Mentorship program event

Morteza with Banking sector reps at the SISO Mentorship program event

The Voice in Diaspora will not be publishing in December 2008. We are using this opportunity to wish our numerous readers and customers MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS

More interaction Mentors and mentees at SISO Mentorship program event

SISO Mentorship program opening night, Steve Varey Vice President of Scotia Bank Hamilton/Niagara with some mentees

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Open House for "The Hub" SISO New Economic Power House

Some attendees Aurelia, Manager for Employment SISO

Morteza Executive Director SISO speaking during the opening of the HUB

Cross section of invited guests at the opening ceremony of the Hub

SISO Annual General Meeting 2008

YWCA Brantford ED in attendance

Nasir (HCCI) and some guest at SISO AGM

Morteza at 2008 SISO AGM

Some guest at SISO AGM 2008

SISO Board in attendance at the AGM

A Church with A Vision! The church of Pentecost in Canada recently grouped their church districts into areas, headed by area heads. The greater Toronto area is headed by Pastor Alex Agyei-Gyamera who would be assisted by six executive members. The Church of Penticost national head Apostle Anthony Miah was on hand on October 5th for this historic inuaguration. From Left- Emmanuel Davis; George Asiffo;  Joseph Tieko;  Pastor Christian Atinka Popo-ola, Pastor Joseph FynnSackey; Pastor Alex Agyei-Gyamera (Area Head); and Lawrence Manu.

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Oct-Nov 2008 • Vol 1-2 • Issue 12-13



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