NewsBriefs: Immigrant-Centric Show Launches in GTA - New Canadian Media

NewsBriefs: Immigrant-Centric Show Launches in GTA

“New Canadians”, a television show about newcomers in Canada, has now launched in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Produced by New Horizons Media in association…

“New Canadians”, a television show about newcomers in Canada, has now launched in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Produced by New Horizons Media in association with the New Canadian Media Professionals Network (NCMP), the show will focus on supporting newcomers and would-be immigrants by providing resources and information to help them integrate into Canadian society easily. 

The show is split into five segments: settlement, employment/small business, education, successful immigrants, news and events. 

Gerard Keledjian, the creator of “New Canadians”, immigrated to Canada in 2010. Having worked in the media industry in Dubai, he wanted to gain some local media experience and started volunteering at Rogers TV Toronto. 

“I realized that there were so many resources and programs that were targeted to newcomers that were either not being promoted at all or not promoted effectively.”

He came up with the idea for the show after looking into resources he could use to help him integrate into Canadian society. 

“As I was researching my settlement and immigration journey, I realized that there were so many resources and programs that were targeted to newcomers that were either not being promoted at all or not promoted effectively,” he recalls. 

“Using my media background to promote and talk about these programs and the successes immigrants are achieving, I tried to inform people about these programs and motivate them to use them as resources to minimize their struggles.” 

Keledjian hopes to expand the show to other regions, including Hamilton and parts of Atlantic Canada such as Newfoundland and Labrador. 

“New Canadians” airs on Rogers TV in Toronto every Friday at 7 p.m. on Cable 10 and 63, and every Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in Peel region on Cable 10. The program’s web component is available at http://newcanadians.tv/. 

Longest-Serving Visible Minority MP to Temporarily Lead Conservatives 

As Stephen Harper steps down from Conservative leadership, longtime Calgary MP Deepak Obhrai will take over the party’s leadership duties for a short period of time. 

Obhrai, elected in 1997, has been given the task to run its first post-election meeting next Wednesday because he is the party’s longest running member. 

This is all part of a change made to the Parliament of Canada Act put forward by MP Michael Chong that was passed into law in June. 

The new rules call for caucus to vote on key matters, managed by the caucus member “with the longest period of unbroken service.” 

As it happens, Obhrai, who represents Calgary’s Forest Lawn riding, was elected the same year as Jason Kenney and Gerry Ritz. But because his victory in the federal election was recorded first, he was designated to lead the Conservative party. 

“I think the fact that I’m the longest-serving member of the Conservative caucus, it’s an honour and privilege to represent my riding.”

While Obhrai initially had reservations about Chong’s requested provision, he now says it is an honour to serve the Conservative party in this role as it is the first time it’s had to happen since the law was passed. 

“I’m so delighted and pleased to be part of this historical event that takes place on Wednesday where the caucus will decide what it wants to do,” he says, adding the meeting will focus on what the Conservatives’ next steps will be in deciding who will run for leadership. 

But one question remains: is he hoping to make his temporary role a permanent one? 

“No,” he replies, with a laugh. 

“I think the fact that I’m the longest-serving member of the Conservative caucus, it’s an honour and privilege to represent my riding,” he adds. “But, I think I would elect new people to come in.”   

He says that he’s just happy to serve his constituents. 

“They put their confidence in me and I’m very humbled by that.”   

More Time Needed to Settle 25,000 Refugees 

Prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau promised during the election campaign that Canada would accept 25,000 refugees from Iraq and Syria by the end of the year. 

However, that is a substantial goal to reach in two months, according to The Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance (CISSA).

“Prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis by resettling 25,000 additional government assisted refugees to Canada is to be applauded, but more time is needed to adequately settle and support these additional refugees,” says Chris Friesen, chair of CISSA-ACSEI, in a press release.

Noting that 25,000 refugees will need government support and help from other community initiatives, the organization made several recommendations to the Liberal government to consider. 

Primarily the organization calls for the timeline to resettle 25,000 refugees be extended to the end of December 2016 as well as all outstanding family reunification cases for government assisted refugees to be expedited and processed before the end of this year.  

CISSA-ACSEI also suggests more resources be allocated to help Syrian newcomers, such as settlement-related and trauma counseling and funding to help refugees travel to Canada.