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Independent topical weblog of current affairs, opinion and issues, featuring stories making news in Canada from immigrants, newcomers & ethnic communities' point of view and interests. ?

Carleton University and President Bashar Assad

President Bashar Assad: Some Syrian-Canadian students at Carleton University are accusing the governing Conservatives of allying with the regime under President Bashar Assad by launching airstrikes in the country which is still caught in a bloody civil war, according to Metro News. A lot of our families died. We became refugees. We lost families, we lost money, we lost houses, we lost everything and Canadian fighter jets could be days away from bombing targets in Syria, but opposition leaders Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau aren t the only ones against the federal government plan to expand its mission. I feel like us Syrians are getting betrayed. Why would we work with these kind of people? said Marwah Halak, a communications and political science student and president of the Syrian Association of Ottawa. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

United Nations and Foreign Affairs Department

Foreign Affairs Department: That message was delivered to United Nations donors conference in Kuwait by Diane Jacovella, who heads the Foreign Affairs Department global issues and development branch, according to Metro News. The big donors who ponied up Tuesday were the United States at $507 million and the host Kuwait with $500 million. Reuters reported the pledging conference raised less than half its target, about $3.8 billion and Canada urged international donors on Tuesday to swiftly deliver on their aid promises to Syria because the devastated country will need help after its civil war is over. She represented Canada at the pledging conference that had made a record $8.4-billion appeal for funds to respond to the Syrian civil war, which has left 220,000 dead and forced 11 million people from their homes. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Canadian Politicians and Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver: The popular chef, television star and best-selling author says it is time for Canadian politicians to do something about their country number one killer: diet-related disease, according to Metro News. When it has a dramatic cost to public health, which it does in Canada you really need to do something much more long term, much more strategic and Jamie Oliver, Britain celebrity chef, has thrown down the gauntlet or maybe it an oven mitt to Canadian politicians to join his international campaign for mandatory diet education in rich countries. The biggest killer in your country is diet-related disease. It not guns, it not armed robbery, Oliver said in an exclusive interview from Sydney, Australia, where he launched a global campaign this week urging G20 countries to make food education mandatory in schools. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Military Aircraft and Syria

Syria: MPs voted 142-129 to extend the mission until the end of March 2016, and authorize airstrikes in Syria. The extension does not include any additional troops or military aircraft, according to CTV. Last fall, the House voted to send 69 special forces soldiers, 600 military personnel, CF-18 fighter-bombers and two surveillance planes to fight in Iraq. Since then, the government has said that Canadian troops have been successful in dismantling numerous targets and weakening the terror group manpower and resources and The Conservative-dominated House of Commons has voted to extend Canada military campaign against Islamic State militants in Iraq and expand the mission into Syria. An NDP amendment to the motion, calling for an end to Canadian Force participation in the airstrikes and combat as soon as possible, as well as asking for a boost in humanitarian aid for refugees, was defeated. The Liberals also voted against it. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Saul Bellow

Saul Bellow: For the title of a new collection of nonfiction by Saul Bellow, Benjamin Taylor borrowed the name of a 1992 essay that Bellow wrote called "There is Simply Too Much to Think About." , according to Winnipeg Free Press. First, Bellow ceaseless and moving exploration of his vocation as writer and public intellectual. Second, his uncompromising stand on his Jewish identity, of which he was fiercely proud. "There is Simply Too Much to Think About: Collected Nonfiction" Viking , by Saul Bellow, edited by Benjamin Taylor In this splendid volume, Bellow does indeed give us much to think about, although many of the essays Taylor has selected keep returning to two major themes. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Steve McCready and Coles Island School

Coles Island School: Over time, enrolment has dwindled to a point where the school now teaches 30 students from kindergarten to Grade 5. Still, Steve McCready and others in the community have fought for five months to save it, according to CTV. The area district education council voted this month to close the school. Its future rests with the education minister, who has up to two months to make a final decision and - Coles Island School in New Brunswick has taught children for 58 years but this may be its last. "A school in a rural community is one reason people don't have to move away," said McCready. "Any people with younger families would not even consider moving to a community without a school nearby." (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Playing Basketball and Spence Neighbourhood Association

Spence Neighbourhood Association: Young men and women from inner-city Winnipeg made their neighbourhood proud Monday night. Six youths who grew up playing basketball at the Spence Neighbourhood Association brought home championship banners. , according to Winnipeg Free Press. The Spence Neighbourhood Association barrier-free sports programming is helping create winners. The success of these student athletes, supported by strong, loving families, is what happens when we invest in inner-city youth. Kyanna Pingue-Giles of the Sisler Spartans makes a basket against the Oak Park Raiders on Monday. Photo Store Making Spence Street sports history, youths from the neighbourhood played for championship teams at the Manitoba varsity high school basketball finals, for Oak Park and Sisler high schools. And last weekend, youths from Spence won the AAA junior varsity girls championship, playing for the University of Winnipeg Collegiate. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

McCready and Coles Island School

Coles Island School: Coles Island School in New Brunswick has taught children for 58 years but this may be its last, according to The Chronicle Herald. A school in a rural community is one reason people don t have to move away, said McCready. Any people with younger families would not even consider moving to a community without a school nearby and Over time, enrolment has dwindled to a point where the school now teaches 30 students from kindergarten to Grade 5. Still, Steve McCready and others in the community have fought for five months to save it. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Quebec Society and Political Organization

political organization: The Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West group had organized a demonstration to oppose what it called the "Islamification" of Quebec society in the Little Maghreb neighbourhood of Montreal, according to CTV and An anti-Islam protest by a right-wing European political organization was scuttled in the face of hundreds of counter-demonstrators in Montreal on Saturday afternoon. But after several hundred people from various anti-racism groups showed up 30 minutes before the event was set to kick off, police advised to cancel their protest. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Steve McCready and Coles Island School

Coles Island School: Over time, enrolment has dwindled to a point where the school now teaches 30 students from kindergarten to Grade 5. Still, Steve McCready and others in the community have fought for five months to save it, according to CTV. The area district education council voted this month to close the school. Its future rests with the education minister, who has up to two months to make a final decision and - Coles Island School in New Brunswick has taught children for 58 years but this may be its last. "A school in a rural community is one reason people don't have to move away," said McCready. "Any people with younger families would not even consider moving to a community without a school nearby." (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Syria and Permanent Water and Sanitation System

permanent water and sanitation system: Some tankers come loaded with fresh water for the more than 80,000 refugees who have settled at Zaatari, while others haul away the waste. The tanker-truck system is eventually set to be replaced by a more permanent water and sanitation system that says will provide better access to water at less than half the current annual cost. , according to CBC. Since 2012, the number of people in need inside Syria has grown from roughly one million to 12.2 million, or by 1,120 per cent , a report from the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs says . Every day in Jordan, 85 tanker trucks make 300 trips to provide water and handle sewage for the Zaatari refugee camp, a sprawling settlement set up to accommodate refugees fleeing the conflict in neighbouring Syria. That the plan, but the $14 million US system isn't expected to be up and running until mid-2016. Stephen Harper says Canada won't ask Syria consent for strikes Canada to resettle 10,000 more Syrian refugees over 3 years Lebanon limits entry of Syrian war refugees (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor: The accusation came from renowned philosopher Charles Taylor, who co-chaired Quebec 2007 commission on reasonable accommodation of cultural and religious minorities, according to CTV. "Ask yourself what are the recruiters for Islamic State saying? They're saying to Muslims , 'Look, they despise you, they think that you're foreign, you're dangerous, you're not accepted here, so why don't you come with us?"' Taylor said following a speech to the annual summit of the Broadbent Institute, a social democratic think-thank and - Prime Minister Stephen Harper was accused Saturday of playing into the hands of terrorist recruiters with inflammatory comments about the face-covering veil worn by some Muslim women. Taylor said Harper is fuelling anti-Muslim sentiment and that, in turn, makes alienated Muslim Canadians easier targets for recruitment by radical Islamist terrorists. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Buddhist Monks and Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society

Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society: The Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society is holding an open house at its monastery in Little Sands. , according to CBC. The open house will run until 4 p.m. A group of Buddhist monks who have made P.E.I. their home for the last seven years is having an open house Saturday. Visitors will see a large prayer hall that can accommodate 500 people and features gold-plated Buddha statues. The monks will also display of some of their Buddhist teachings and exhibit traditional hobbies such as art, writing and elaborate sculptures made out of butter. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Charles Taylor and Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Prime Minister Stephen Harper: Prime Minister Stephen Harper was accused Saturday of playing into the hands of terrorist recruiters with inflammatory comments about the face-covering veil worn by some Muslim women, according to The Chronicle Herald. Taylor said Harper is fuelling anti-Muslim sentiment and that, in turn, makes alienated Muslim Canadians easier targets for recruitment by radical Islamist terrorists and The accusation came from renowned philosopher Charles Taylor, who co-chaired Quebec 2007 commission on reasonable accommodation of cultural and religious minorities. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Quebec and Protesters

protesters: The handful of members of Pegida Quebec chapter were shouted down by several hundred protesters who chanted anti-Islamophobic statements to protest what they describe as the group racist agenda, according to Metro News. The jubilant counter-protesters waved banners and balloons as they marched through Montreal immigrant-heavy Little Mahgreb neighbourhood and A European right-wing group debut in Quebec to protest what it called the Islamification of Quebec society fizzled on Saturday in the face of a strong counter demonstration. The supporters told police the event was cancelled soon after it was scheduled to begin. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Radio-Canada and Jaggi Singh

Jaggi Singh: The self-described leader of the relatively new Qu bec chapter, Jean-Fran ois Asgard, told Radio-Canada that "Islam needs to reform itself or leave the West." , according to CBC. Jaggi Singh of the No One Is Illegal activist group helped organize Saturday counter-protest. A march organized by sympathizers of a Europe-based anti-Islam, anti-immigration group called was cancelled on Saturday after hundreds of people showed up to protest against itself. European anti-Islam group plans debut in Montreal Who is behind Germany anti-Islam campaign? German 'anti-Islamization' leader resigns over Hitler pose Well-known activist Jaggi Singh said is a collection of neo-Nazis, Islamophobes and internet trolls. Radio-Canada (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Winter Operations Director and Darrin Natolino

Darrin Natolino: Blindsided by winter, according to The Chronicle Herald. To the gentleman March 24 who compared HRM managers to the Toronto Maple Leafs: your attack on winter operations director Darrin Natolino was almost personal. Shame on you. If you ve stuck with the loser Leafs this long, you must still believe. Then believe in your city. I ve been a fan since 1968 and I still believe, too and Seriously, are you kidding me? All this whining and complaining about the snow state of Halifax? Blaming everyone you can think of, but the real culprit is Mother Nature. What a bunch of spoiled brats we are. Yes, I got it. HRM should have been on the ball in earlier storms, no doubt there. Yes, I ve complained, too, because it wasn t what it was. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Chaldean Catholics and Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Prime Minister Stephen Harper: Prime Minister Stephen Harper is pushing to expand the mission against He wants to implement airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria, a move that is being rejected by the New Democrats and Liberals. mission to be extended, but no boost to aid for now mission has support of Canadians, polls suggest , according to CBC. Chaldean Catholics say that in Iraq, they are facing the desecration of their churches and religious artifacts at the hands of insurgents. Increased Canadian military force to fight in Iraq and Syria has the support of Chaldean Catholics in Windsor in order to save people of their faith from persecution. But it a move that has the backing of Windsor Chaldean Catholics. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Matt Kruchak and Saskatoon

Saskatoon: You don't even need to travel to different parts of the city just head down 22nd Street. , according to CBC. You don't need to leave Saskatoon to enjoy savoury Indian curries, flavourful Middle Eastern falafel or spicy Chinese beef dishes. As Saskatoon Morning explores the future of 22nd Street, online host Matt Kruchak took a trip to visit just a few of the many restaurants that serve food from around the world. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Windsor Castle and Royal Collection Trust

Royal Collection Trust: England Royal Collection Trust, which is responsible for the care of the Royal Collection and manages the public opening of the official residences of the Queen, will publish a book on the history of Windsor Castle in 2016. , according to CBC. "As part of research for the book, we have been looking into the history of other places across the world which share the Windsor name," Royal Collection Trust senior press officer Hannah Dolby wrote in an email to . Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth summer and weekend retreat, is said to be the largest and oldest continually inhabited castle in the world. Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press Officials from Buckingham Palace could soon be calling Canadian cities and towns named Windsor. Windsor Castle is the Queen summer and weekend retreat. It is the largest and oldest continually inhabited castle in the world. It began as a Saxon village more than 1,000 years ago, and has been home to British monarchs since William the Conqueror in 1086. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

African Diaspora and United Nations

United Nations: Approximately 200 million people identify as persons of African descent in the Americas . In December 2013, the United Nations under resolution 68/237 declared 2015-2024 the decade of persons of African descent to recognize the contributions of the African diaspora because our contributions remain largely invisible. Like in the U.S., the Black diaspora in Canada often experience discrimination in their access to opportunities and justice, and face alarmingly high rates of violence, together with racial profiling. From the recent onslaught of violence against African-Americans like the Black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida; Eric Garner, a father, killed in an illegal chokehold by the or Mike Brown execution by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Countless murders of Black people seem so unthinkable in today world; yet it is a trend in the Americas and Chip in to keep stories like these coming. Something is wrong in Canada banks. There is a cultural and class bias emanating from within our financial institutions. I cannot quite pin point it exactly. Canadians of colour often find banking a harrowing experience regardless of the bank. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Antonio Guterres and Asylum Claims

asylum claims: Worldwide, 866,000 new asylum claims were lodged last year a 45 per cent increase from 2013, the highest level since 1992 at the beginning of the Balkan conflicts, said the United Nations report to be released in Geneva Thursday, according to Metro News. In the 1990s, the Balkan wars created hundreds of thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers. Many of them found refuge in industrialized countries. Today, the surge in armed conflicts around the world presents us with similar challenges, said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres and Canada has remained at the bottom of the world top-15 refugee receiving countries, according to the annual asylum trends report. Syrians were by far the largest group among those seeking asylum in 2014, with 150,000 claims, or one-fifth of the total. Iraqis came second, accounting for 68,700 applications, double the number in 2013. Both countries are at war with Islamic State group extremists. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Antonio Guterres and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees: The wars in Syria and Iraq are pushing asylum claims to their highest global levels in 22 years, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said Thursday, according to The Chronicle Herald. The situation mirrors that facing the globe after the Balkan wars of the 1990s, when hundreds of thousands of people sought refuge, said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres and Syrians made 150,000 applications for refugee status to 44 countries in 2014, making them the largest group that year, and Iraqis accounted for 68,700, the said in its global trends report. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Opposition New Democrats and Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson

Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson: The question of what role the military should play in halting the spread of radical extremism across the Middle East was at the heart of Thursday debate about expanding Canada mission in the region. , according to Winnipeg Free Press. The Opposition New Democrats want the soldiers pulled out immediately, while the Liberals suggest they could remain, but solely to train existing security forces. Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson answers a question during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. THE Sean Kilpatrick The Conservative government has signalled its intent to keep the existing Canadian Forces contingent in Iraq there for another year, and to broaden the mission to include airstrikes in neighbouring Syria. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Justin Trudeau and Rob Nicholson

Rob Nicholson: Nicholson referred to the "rhetoric" of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, also known as or in his speech in the House of Commons. , according to CBC. He added: "These threats cannot be wished away by pious rhetoric. We cannot speak of supporting the mission and our soldiers in one breath while voting against them in the next." NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau are "dismissing Canadian values" by opposing the mission against Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson said Thursday as MPs kicked off the debate on extending it by a year and sending Canadian pilots to bomb targets in Syria. "has declared war on Canada," Nicholson said. "By name, it seeks to wage its jihad against our people. No matter how these facts are communicated, Canadians know that the leaders of the opposition parties will dismiss that and with that, they are dismissing Canadian values." mission will need more than one year, sources say Canada mission complicated: Chris Hall Government defence spending unsustainable, watchdog says (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Government Departments and Federal Government

federal government: The federal government had thousands of privacy breaches that affected tens of thousands of people last year, according to The Chronicle Herald. None of the breaches were linked to known criminal activity and There were 5,830 privacy breaches across all government departments in 2014, said documents tabled in Parliament this week. The exact number of people whose personal information was affected isn t known but is at least 44,000. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.
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