New Canadian Media

IN recognition of the current demand for skilled professionals in northern BC communities, the Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC) has launched a new website that connects skilled new Canadians living in Metro Vancouver with jobs in three northern communities – Prince George, Prince Rupert and Fort St. John.

Indo-Canadian Voice

Read Full Article

Published in Economy

by Shenaz Kermalli (@ShenazKermalli)

When Michelle Chagpar, an information technology professional from Toronto, told her employers she was taking two weeks leave to travel to Iraq to carry out humanitarian work, they were more than a little taken aback. “They were very surprised,” she says. “But just before leaving, I mentioned it to a client and they asked how they could get involved. For the most part, that’s been the reaction from people.” 

Concern over Canadians visiting Iraq right now is far from misplaced. With the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and Iraqi forces still battling over control of Tikrit, and dozens of foreigners – from charity workers to journalists – kidnapped and killed on a daily basis, Iraq remains highly dangerous, particularly for Westerners. Only a handful of international charities remain in the country.

“We are so blessed, especially in Canada, that we need to give back as much as possible.” - Dr. Hasnain Dewji

The volunteers from the BC-based charity Global Kindness face an even greater threat. Most of them belong to the Shia sect of Islam – the minority group that has been targeted most brutally by ISIS. ISIS fighters believe that the Shias are heretics and must die in order to forge a pure form of Islam. While Yazidis, Turkmen, Christians and the country’s other minorities have also been singled out, the risk to Shia Muslims is far more widespread. Last year, ISIS claimed on Twitter that it had killed at least 1,700 Shias in one month alone.

But that hasn’t stopped Vancouver dentist Dr. Hasnain Dewji from venturing on a high-risk mission to Iraq with Global Kindness, which he founded in 2002. The charity takes at least two trips each year to provide medical, dental and optical services to people in impoverished countries. It has run missions in Iraq before, but not since the advance of the Islamic State in Iraq in June 2014. 

500 Children Treated

This year, 24 Canadians, including nine dentists, an orthodontist, a periodontist, a paediatric dentist and nine other trained volunteers, joined the mission. They left Canada for the southern city of Najaf via Turkey on March 19 and so far have treated about 500 children, most of whom are orphans, in the southern cities of Kazmain, Kerbala and Najaf. Treatments range from preventative care in the form of fissure sealants to fillings, extractions and stainless steel crowns.

“Some of their stories are heart-wrenching. One of the kids we saw last time was known to never smile or laugh. He told me he was sitting in his dad’s lap when his dad was shot dead.” - Dr. Hasnain Dewji

“We are so blessed, especially in Canada, that we need to give back as much as possible,” Dewji says. “And the people we help are very appreciative. They tell us that very few people are willing to give their time and skills, and that being treated with dignity and compassion is something they don’t see often.”

“Some of their stories are heart-wrenching,” he adds. “One of the kids we saw last time was known to never smile or laugh. He told me he was sitting in his dad’s lap when his dad was shot dead.”

“I fixed his teeth... But I couldn’t get him to smile.”

Volunteers Impacted Forever

Volunteering overseas is something the Ugandan-born dentist feels so strongly about that he’s turned it into a family experience. His nine-year-old daughter happily joined the Iraq mission this year. “She likes playing with the kids and giving them the gifts we bring for them after their treatment,” says his wife, and fellow volunteer, Fatemah. Their four other children have also joined Global Kindness on previous trips to Cambodia, Peru and Haiti.

For Chagpar (pictured to the left), a vice-president at a software company, a humanitarian dental mission abroad initially felt far out of her comfort zone. But the Iraq trip this year marks her fourth mission with the charity and she says she comes back to Canada feeling inspired each time. “One time we treated a boy with long hair,” she recalls. “In Iraq, the boys all have really short hair, so it was a bit odd to see. After inquiring, we learnt that the boy has been injured in a bomb blast and had extensive scarring, hence the long hair. Whenever I feel down, or like I’ve lost focus on what’s important, I think of him. Even after everything he had been through he would still be laughing.” 

“You could see the devastation on the country side the war has caused, but you could also see how these people are trying to overcome it. They are slowly, but surely, rebuilding and that is an amazing thing to see.” - Michelle Chagpar

Another pivotal moment for the group came during the long drive from Kazmain to Karbala with a driver who said he was a high-ranking soldier on leave from the army. “He pointed out areas along the way where the army had pushed back against ISIS,” says Chagpar. “You could see the devastation on the country side the war has caused, but you could also see how these people are trying to overcome it. They are slowly, but surely, rebuilding and that is an amazing thing to see – and you see that attitude in the orphaned children as well. They don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Twenty-one other volunteers from Global Kindness’ U.S., U.K. and Africa chapters joined the group on this mission. The Canadian volunteers will be returning on April 3.

 

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

 

Published in International
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 13:24

Site C Jobs Should Be Open to All in B.C.

The concept of time travel got a big boost in the 18th century when writer H.G. Wells authored one of his most notable science fiction works, The Time Machine. Last week, the B.C. building trades’ unions made its own fantastical pitch for traveling back in time.

The building trades unions asked the court to bring the province back 50 years to a time when workers in their hiring halls were prioritized over all other workers on public infrastructure projects. They called on the government to abandon plans for the managed open-site model of the Site C hydroelectric dam megaproject and adopt an outdated closed-shop model

The Closed-Shop Model

At a time when we need to maximize access to skilled labour in the province, a closed-shop model would essentially hand building trades unions a monopoly on the largest public infrastructure project in B.C. history. 

The B.C. building trade unions are nostalgic for the uncompetitive, unfair, and untenable closed-shop agreements of the 1960s and 1970s. This model had project owners negotiate the terms of the project labour agreement with a union or a group of unions. Then contract bidding was allowed only to those contractors who already had agreements with the signatory unions. 

In some cases, only members of those building trades unions were allowed access to work. In others, alternative union and non-union workers had to pay dues to the building trades unions in order to work on the project, irrespective of their choice of labour representation.

As a province we can’t afford to go back in time.
 

This approach had clear drawbacks. To begin with, it discriminated against workers who had chosen to be represented by a different union; plus, it discouraged these workers from contributing their expertise to the project due to these additional barriers to entry for the work. 

Canada’s labour market has also evolved dramatically since the 1960s to include a richer diversity of players: traditional craft unions, alternative unions, and non-union labour organizations. The diversity of players in the labour market has created a path for a managed open-site model.

The Managed Open-Site Model

What B.C.’s building trades unions don’t want you to know is that managed open-site models have been employed successfully on many major infrastructure projects in British Columbia. It’s a model that has worked for both public and private sector projects including BC Hydro’s Ruskin Dam and the Interior to Lower Mainland Transmission Line.

[W]e must all focus on working together to meet the labour challenges ahead.

On these projects, CLAC workers, non-unionized contractors, and Building Trades subcontractors worked alongside one another. With this model, the question was never which workers can we exclude, but how many skilled British Columbians can we put to work. As a result, project owners have seen an improved labour supply, budget savings and greater hiring flexibility.

While Premier Christy Clark has recognized the fundamental rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining rights, she should also continue to support fair access to work and uphold the managed open-site model for the Site C megaproject. BC Hydro simply can’t shut out skilled workers when the province is expecting one million job openings by 2020. 

As a province we can’t afford to go back in time. 

Managed open sites are critical to the success of Site C and future major infrastructure projects because they create jobs for British Columbians and help build a prosperous future for our province’s economy.

With considerable plans on the horizon for B.C., especially in the LNG sector, government, industry and union players must have an eye to the future and not the past; we must all focus on working together to meet the labour challenges ahead.


David Prentice is the Provincial Director CLAC BC, which is a multi-sector union representing over 60,000 workers in almost every sector.

Reprinted with permission from the Asian Pacific Post.

Published in Economy

The francophone community in British Columbia is growing, with roughly 70,000 people whose first language is French, almost 30,000 of whom live in Vancouver, according to the Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique. With the Journée Internationale de la Francophonie (International Francophonie Day) coming up on the 20th, March is an important month to celebrate…

The Source

Read Full Article

Published in Arts & Culture

BRITISH Columbia has introduced amendments to the Tobacco Control Act to regulate e-cigarettes, legislation that will help stop the growing use of e-cigarettes by young people in B.C.

“More and more young people are using e-cigarettes,” said Health Minister Terry Lake on Thursday. “This legislation will limit the exposure to children of the possible dangers of e-cigarette vapour and the potential that e-cigarettes have to normalize smoking behaviour.”

Indo-Canadian Voice

Read Full Article

Published in Health

DOMESTIC violence is an issue that affects everyone, yet talking about it is tough. A new radio and social media campaign – #SaySomething – aims to end the silence by encouraging all British Columbians to speak up and learn how they can safely help. In 2013, there were 12,359 police-reported victims of domestic violence, though […]

Indo-Canadian Voice

Read Full Article

Published in National

A house belonging to a South Asian family was shot at on Monday at about 9:30 p.m. in the 31400 block of Southern Drive in west Abbotsford. Police responded after receiving calls from neighbours and collected evidence from the scene including bullet casings. Fortunately, no one was injured. Police sources told The VOICE that they […]

Indo-Canadian Voice

Read Full Article

Published in National
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 03:02

Preparing for a Million Job Openings in BC

By 2022, there will be one million job openings in B.C. from a combination of new retirees and economic growth. Part of our province's success has been our ability to introduce three consecutive balanced budgets -- and this year we will likely be the only province in Canada to do so.

One of the main priorities in Budget 2015 is to support skills training to help our youth gain high paying, in-demand jobs. 

Asian Pacific Post

Read Full Article

Published in Economy

Are you interested in becoming a student at a renowned Canadian university? 
On Saturday, Feb. 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Surrey campus of Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) is holding an open house for future students, local businesses, families and the general public. 
Attend a mini-lecture, take a campus tour and connect with instructors, current students and KPU alumni. 

Asian Pacific Post

Read Full Article

Published in Education

British Columbia posted a 5.3% increase in international overnight visitors for 2014, surpassing the 3.2% increase in arrivals to Canada as a whole. This was the third straight year of increased visitation to B.C.

Figures released by Statistics Canada show an increase in international overnight visitors across all key markets, including those identified by Destination British Columbia as potential growth markets in its new three-year strategy.

Indo-Canadian Voice

Read Full Article

Published in Economy
Page 10 of 12

Poll Question

Do you agree with the new immigration levels for 2017?

Yes - 30.8%
No - 46.2%
Don't know - 23.1%
The voting for this poll has ended on: %05 %b %2016 - %21:%Dec

Featured Quote

The honest truth is there is still reluctance around immigration policy... When we want to talk about immigration and we say we want to bring more immigrants in because it's good for the economy, we still get pushback.

-- Canada's economic development minister Navdeep Bains at a Public Policy Forum economic summit

Zo2 Framework Settings

Select one of sample color schemes

Google Font

Menu Font
Body Font
Heading Font

Body

Background Color
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Top Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Header Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Mainmenu Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Slider Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Scroller Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Mainframe Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Bottom Scroller Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Breadcrumb Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Bottom Menu Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Bottom Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image
Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image