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

awards: Each grouping highlights individual, group and youth awards.article continues below Trending Stories Social media flooded with claims of insurance fraudster' at parking lots in Metro Vancouver First Nations groups decry Colten Boushie murder trial verdict Orca punts seal 80 feet in the air VIDEO Vancouver police officer going for Olympic goldrelated Part 6 As city transforms, First Nations elders see improvement but also much work ahead Students back Marpole modular housing project2017 Newsmaker of the Year Fentanyl Recipients are nominated by the public, vetted via a peer review committee and confirmed by council members who assess influence, impact and achievements, according to Vancouver Courier. Thursday's winners included Mayor's Achievement Award Youth Marpole Students for Modular Housing The Sir Winston Churchill Secondary school students have supported modular housing for homeless people in their neighbourhood, staged rallies and encouraged conversation among the many competing voices in the area. The Awards of Excellence highlight individual residents, businesses and community groups for their efforts across five platforms diversity and inclusion, environmentalism, accessibility, volunteerism and health activism. Individual Vanessa Richards An artist and community engagement facilitator, Richards is the founder of for the Woodward's Community Singers, drop-in, no-cost choir based downtown. Organization The Overdose Prevention Society OPS The society runs a volunteer-led harm reduction and overdose prevention site in the Downtown Eastside that works to reduce the rash of opioid-related deaths in the city. Her volunteer work posts include the city's Black History Month Committee, Hogan's Alley Working Group and Big Sisters. ( As reported in the news.

african diaspora: Expand Photo Tofunmi Adebise My African Corner Who's involved in this project Chioma Ifeanyi-Okoro co-founder/CEO and Abdul-Aziz Garuba co-founder . What are your goals for this project Chioma Ifeanyi-Okoro My African Corner aims to transform word-of-mouth marketing among the African diaspora through an innovative digital media platform that brings African diaspora businesses, events, arts, culture and content to the limelight in cities across the world, starting in Toronto, according to NOW Magazine. On our blog, we tell positive stories, share business knowledge and showcase the beauty of the culture of people of African descent. See all of our profiles here. What is the biggest challenge you're facing Funding and hiring. We got into the Ideation program last summer and then into the Zone in the fall. Can you explain the mentorship process available to you through the Ryerson Social Ventures Zone SVZ Ryerson's Social Ventures Zone is an absolutely amazing resource. ( As reported in the news.

chris tanev: So that's great, according to Vancouver Courier. On the plus side, Darren Archibald will make his debut this season after sorting out his immigration issues. Brock Boeser is out with a hand injury and Chris Tanev is out with a lower-body injury, so the Canucks will be missing their best offensive and best defensive player. If you would like to stream these PITB Live game day previews live, like Pass it to Bulis on Facebook and be sure to follow and set your notifications to On. Read Related Topics ul ul ul ul 2018 Vancouver Courier Click here to take part in our readers survey ( As reported in the news.

moroccan origin: We want to create an environment, resources and tools to favour the freedom of each Muslim woman to choose her identities and her life journey, Devillaine said in an interview in Paris.A French woman of Moroccan origin and Muslim faith, Zouak is co-founder of a non-profit association augmenting the voice of Muslim women in France, according to National Observer. The Paris-based organization is called Lallab, a mix of the Arabic word for 'Mrs.,' Lalla, and laboratory. It was a confrontation Zouak would not forget. Zouak said in an interview that she and her sisters were raised by their parents to be strong and independent. We are constantly talking about them' but never giving them the chance to speak, she said. But outside what she called the family nest, she said felt like her identities were not compatible. ; Chatting with National Observer in December, Zouak described watching TV shows while she grew up in France that portrayed Muslim women as submissive and oppressed, and hearing some politicians stigmatize them. ( As reported in the news.

road people: Canadians, of course, pride ourselves on being fair, middle of the road people, according to National Observer. That's why Stephen Harper's most methodical efforts to change our culture to become more extreme didn't take hold, and maybe even why he lost the last election. But it's also causing a backlash among many mainstream Canadians who are saddened by the divisiveness, feel that both sides are being childish, and yearn for a reasonable compromise. When you lose the centre, you lose Canada. So is there a reasonable, middle way forward on the Kinder Morgan pipeline The two kinds of climate denial Denial of the science of human-caused climate change is quite low in Canada, though it's higher than one would expect, especially in regions where fossil fuels contribute significantly to the economy. The kind of Canada I would be proud to live in would, just like we did in both World Wars, be among the first rich countries to go all in on climate leadership. ( As reported in the news.

catholic school: The guideline recommends consulting with students and families on washroom use, using the same language as students to describe their identity and emphasizes the importance of confidentiality, according to CBC. Edmonton Catholic school bans transgender child, 7, from girls' washroom Transgender child wins use of girls washroom in Catholic school The document, which includes a link to the board's administrative procedure around inclusion, is posted online in a district newsletter published in January. The resolution comes alongside the district's release of a new document titled Supporting Students of Sexual and Gender Minorities. A confidentiality clause prevents the district and the mom, who is not being identified to protect the privacy of her daughter, now 10, from discussing details of the agreement. But she is excited and hopeful that moving forward any other child in her situation won't have to go through what our family went through. She is excited and hopeful that moving forward any other child in her situation won't have to go through what our family went through'- Mom of transgender girl I'm extremely happy that this matter is now concluded and both my daughter and I can move forward with our lives, she said in an interview with a CBC News, explaining her daughter still fears she'll be forced to use a gender-neutral washroom again. ( As reported in the news.

dennis montoya: But members say a deep split that emerged last month between some of the group's 132,000 members and its president, Roger Rocha, reflects how the organization known as LULAC has transformed to include immigrant rights as a central feature of its agenda, according to The Chronicle Herald. It took a while but LULAC finally got with the times, said Dennis Montoya, the state director of LULAC New Mexico. Until about 10 years ago, the League of United Latin American Citizens was known for its efforts to Americanize Hispanic residents following decades of group support for restrictive U.S. immigration policy. Immigrants are an important part of our community. Rocha later rescinded the letter and called writing it the worst mistake of my life but said he will not resign. Rocha has been under intense pressure to resign after he wrote a letter on Jan. 28 supporting Trump's border security proposal including the U.S.-Mexico border wall and a reduction in visas for foreign relatives of U.S. citizens in exchange for greater protections for children in the U.S. who were brought to the country illegally by their parents and parents who overstayed visas. ( As reported in the news.

flake: Right now, it's tough to see, Sen, according to Metro News. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said Thursday about whether any proposals will get the 60 GOP and Democratic votes needed to survive. I don't know. Flake told reporters he thinks President Donald Trump sees a political downside of not fixing the problem of Dreamers, younger immigrants whose protections against deportation the president is ending. Flake recounted what Trump privately told GOP lawmakers after a White House meeting the president had with Congress' two top Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. But he says Trump is only willing to go so far because of his conservative base. ( As reported in the news.

harrison: The secret to learning languages Syrian refugee language program brings residents and newcomers together For some people they've been waiting for a few months, according to CBC. We've sort of had a surge of people come forward, looking to work with a volunteer, and we're just trying to chip away at the waiting list, Harrison said. More than 120 people are on a wait list, CEO Lucia Harrison told The Morning Edition's host Craig Norris Thursday. That surge is, in part, due to the influx of Syrian refugees to Waterloo region in the last two years. Some of this has been with the arrival of the many Syrians, but also other newcomers to the community. Over any other year, we've had more than double the number of people requesting to take part Harrison said. ( As reported in the news.

malik yoba: But this year has an added level of resonance, with the film celebrating its 25th anniversary and Jamaica competing with its first-ever qualifying female bobsled team, according to CTV. This year they're going to make history again, says Robinson, who goes by just Leon professionally. The Disney comedy, loosely based on the true story of a Jamaican bobsled team that defied the odds to make it to the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, always makes headlines around the Games. Especially now in the year of the women -- the timing could not be more perfect. Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis and Malik Yoba play the other members of the team, who have to train in the hot weather of Jamaica with rickety equipment. Robinson starred as Jamaican sprinter Derice Bannock, whose longing to compete in the Olympics prompts him to form a bobsled team with a dishonoured coach, played by the late John Candy. ( As reported in the news.

rohingya muslim: Then Buddhist neighbours and seven soldiers took his only cow, which he rented out to fertilize rice fields, according to Toronto Star. Next, he says, they killed his uncle and strung him up on a wire for trying to stop the theft of his buffaloes. First, soldiers stopped the Rohingya Muslim from walking three hours to the forest for the firewood he sold to feed his family. By the time Goni saw bodies floating down the local river, of fellow Rohingya killed for illegal fishing, he knew his family would die if they didn't leave. On the worst days, his children ate nothing. On bad days, they carved the flesh out of banana plant stalks for food. ( As reported in the news.

ronald reagan: He said 9 million jobs in America are tied to trade and investment with Canada and the truth is that both Canada and the United States are winning, according to Metro News. And so is Mexico. His remarks at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, struck a co-operative tone at a time when President Donald Trump is threatening to withdraw from the 24-year-old pact that governs trade on the continent. And that's exactly how we should keep it. We need to collectively do a much better job of ensuring the benefits of trade are shared more broadly, to more people, he said. But he also acknowledged that global trade is not working for everyone and said income inequality is growing worldwide. ( As reported in the news.

sean doyle: You're definitely seeing a lot more visible minorities in the area, which is great to see.' Sean Doyle Doyle, from North Cape, said diversity in the area has been growing for some time, according to CBC. You're definitely seeing a lot more visible minorities in the area, which is great to see, he said. Huge pond hockey tournament set for West Prince this weekend Western P.E.I. mink farm assets being sold to pay creditors The idea snowballed from there to make the event open to people from various cultures already existing in West Prince, says Sean Doyle, the co-ordinator of the event. I go to St. Jude Church in Tignish and there's quite a large Filipino community there, so it's wonderful to see. Simon and St. ( As reported in the news.

students: Between 2007 and 2017 more than 45,000 EAL students entered Manitoba schools, according to CTV. To give an example of the rising numbers, in 2002 there were about 2,600 new EAL students in Manitoba. As of September 2017, the province reports 15, 883 students receive English as an Additional Language EAL funding. This past September there were almost 5,000. Pembina Trails follows with 983. The Winnipeg School Division has the most EAL students. ( As reported in the news.

thursday mattis: President Donald Trump said in September that he was terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which provided protection from deportation for people brought to America as children who are now living here illegally, according to Metro News. Previously, U.S. officials have said the military members' DACA status wasn't clear. Mattis said Thursday he spoke with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen earlier in the day in what he described as a confirming call and was told that those military members and all veterans who were honourably discharged will be safe unless they have committed a serious felony or a judge had issued a specific deportation order for them. But on Thursday Mattis said flatly it's not a problem. In terms of the DACA situation ... it's clarified they are not in any kind of jeopardy. They will not be subject to any kind of deportation, he told reporters. ( As reported in the news.

west brom: Absolutely gutted and in disbelief at the situation I find myself in, he wrote on Twitter, according to The Chronicle Herald. Rodriguez was seen pinching his nose and saying something to Brighton defender Gaetan Bong, who is black, after an on-field confrontation during the Jan. 13 game at The Hawthorns. The England international, who faces a five-game ban if found guilty, denies the charge. Bong, a former Cameroon international, alerted the referee moments later. West Brom said it remained fully supportive of Rodriguez, with director Richard Garlick adding the club is committed to backing Jay throughout this process. The FA said Rodriguez is alleged to have used abusive and/or insulting words which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race. ( As reported in the news.

charge: Boyd will be fined 5,000 for the first charge, which involved the cultivation of some protected land, but the Crown and defence couldn't agree on a fine for the second more serious charge of modifying a riverbank without a proper permit, according to National Observer. The judge in the case has reserved his decision on sentencing, including the second fine, until April 17. Former MLA Bill Boyd was in a Kindersley provincial court this week to face three counts under the Environmental Management and Protection Act and one count under the Wildlife Habitat Protection Act. ; He pleaded guilty to two of the charges, and the other two charges were dropped. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said he believed Boyd was treated the same way any other person would have been under the circumstances. Prior to that, he was also in the middle of a controversy over a land deal outside Regina. Boyd was kicked out of the Saskatchewan Party in August 2017 by former premier Brad Wall after the conflict of interest commissioner said he tried to influence potential investors while he was on a trip to China. ( As reported in the news.

tech sector: On offer is a rapidly growing tech sector in places like Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo with companies that require executive-level expertise to compete with Silicon Valley rivals, according to National Observer. Canada has also invested millions to attract top talent and researchers away from other countries. He knows he faces international competition for top talent, including the established tech ecosystem in Silicon Valley. ; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will make a pitch to that talent on behalf of prospective employers like Zifkin during his discussions today in San Francisco, including face-to-face meetings with the head of Amazon and eBay. Rana Sankar, Canada's consul general in San Francisco, says the goal of Trudeau's visit isn't to lure talent away from the region, but ensure that Canada has a voice in what has become the epicentre of the new economy. We are here to co-create with the tech sector here. We are here not to steal jobs from Silicon Valley, Sankar said in an interview this week. ( As reported in the news.

african allies: Those who don't leave face indefinite incarceration, according to CTV. The protesters said the plan would put them in danger and said the deportations were racist. Israel has given thousands of migrants in the country until April 1 to accept an offer to leave for an unnamed African destination -- widely known to be Rwanda, based on testimonies of people who have already left -- in exchange for 3,500 and a plane ticket. They urged Rwanda and its president, Paul Kagame, not to co-operate. Kagame -- We are not for sale, said one banner. Rwanda is one of Israel's closest African allies. ( As reported in the news.

canada download: The decisions indicate where each asylum seeker comes from, why they said they had to flee their homeland and whether their bid to stay in Canada was successful, according to CBC. Gender persecution the top reason women seek asylum in Canada Download the raw data and see CBC's full analysis here The acceptance rate increased significantly in the past five years, to 70 per cent in the first nine months of 2017, up from 44 per cent in 2013. CBC obtained almost 90,000 asylum claim decisions made by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada between January 2013 and September 2017. The last time acceptance rates were this high was in 1991. Many asylum seekers say they were forced to flee criminals or gangs. When asked what's behind the increase, IRB spokeswoman Melissa Anderson said each refugee claim is reviewed on its own merits and decided on the basis of the facts and evidence presented. ( As reported in the news.

canada: He will meet with various business leaders and entrepreneurs in the technology sector to explore opportunities for growth in high-quality jobs and investment in Canada, press secretary Eleanore Catenaro told the Star in an email Wednesday, according to Toronto Star. Another Trudeau spokesman, Cameron Ahmad, told Reuters news service the point of Trudeau's San Francisco meetings with Bezos and other tech leaders is to portray Canada as a good place to invest . . . and to explore opportunities related to job growth with those prominent business leaders who may be interested in expanding their operations in Canada. The Prime Minister's Office isn't predicting what will happen in the closed-door conversation that is part of Trudeau's four-day U.S. trip. Toronto is the only Canadian city among 20 on Amazon's list of 20 finalists to be the possible home for its second North American headquarters, with a promise of as many as 50,000 jobs and up to 5 billion in investment by the online retail giant based in Seattle. The Toronto-area bid is unusual in that promises no special incentives, such as tax breaks, instead focusing on the region's assets in terms of tech talent, education institutions, ethnic diversity and openness to newcomers, and cosmopolitan lifestyle. Article Continued Below Amazon has pitted the cities against each other in a bid process reminiscent of Olympic hosting competitions. ( As reported in the news.

community people: And Voglers Cove is deeply attached to them, according to The Chronicle Herald. For good reason. The 74-year-old migrants from Massachusetts are deeply attached to the Lunenburg County village. David helped found the local volunteer fire department in the 1970s and still volunteers there. They're a precious resource for any small community people ready to step up and give their time to make it a safer, better place to live. Kat founded and operates a free library, Read and Share Corner, at the community hall. ( As reported in the news.

italian woman: The shooter is being charged with attempted murder with the aggravating circumstance of racial hatred, according to Metro News. While this particular act is being described as a retaliation for the murder of an Italian woman, for which the main suspect is a Nigerian man, there has been a marked increase in anti-migrant crime since 2014. Over a two-hour period, the man shot from his car at Black migrants from Nigeria, Ghana, the Gambia and Mali according to RAI state television. Neofascist groups are, according to Infoantifa, responsible for 142 attacks since 2014. A Guardian analysis notes that in 2001 the group had 1,500 members; today they have over 13,000. One group, Forza Nuova, has grown massively. ( As reported in the news.

gang members: We've really never seen anything quite like this, the level of ferocity, the level of violence, and the reforms we need from Congress to defeat it, Trump told law enforcement officials and lawmakers, eventually threatening another federal government shutdown if Democrats don't agree to pass an immigration package he said would help keep gang members out, according to CTV. If we don't get rid of these loopholes where killers are allowed to come into our country and continue to kill ... if we don't change it, let's have a shutdown, Trump suggested. Speaking to law enforcement officials at the White House on Tuesday, Trump singled out the MS-13 gang, which is believed to be behind 25 killings on New York's Long Island in the past two years, and has become a prime target of the Trump administration. I'd love to see a shutdown if we don't get this stuff taken care of. The president wants billions for a southern border wall, major cuts to legal immigration, and more money for interior enforcement and other changes in exchange for granting a pathway to citizenship for up to 1.8 million young immigrants living in the country illegally. Trump's latest threat is part of a pressure campaign he has been waging to try to get Democrats to sign onto a sweeping immigration plan that they've rejected. ( As reported in the news.

immigrant return: Danbury officials are appealing an arbitration panel's finding that former Officer Christopher Belair's behaviour during a traffic stop was outrageous and disturbing but the city did not have just cause to fire him, according to Metro News. Belair was fired after video surfaced showing him using profanities while threatening to beat a driver and telling him to leave the country. A city in Connecticut is fighting efforts to allow a police officer who was fired for berating and threatening an immigrant return to the force. The News-Times reports the arbitration panel said a 90-day suspension would have been more appropriate. Neither Belair nor his lawyer could be reached for comment, but Belair previously said he still wanted to help people. Belair was charged after the confrontation but was acquitted in 2015 of third-degree assault and threatening. ( As reported in the news.

manuel orrego-savala: Curry criticized Trump and others who cited the case as part of the nation's immigration debate, noting that two innocent men lost their lives in this horrible incident, according to The Chronicle Herald. Curry filed felony charges earlier in the day against the suspect, Manuel Orrego-Savala, a citizen of Guatemala who has twice been deported from the U.S. Orrego-Savala is accused of driving the pickup truck that hit Jackson and his Uber driver, 54-year-old Jeffrey Monroe, early Sunday in Indianapolis. Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said his office would vigorously prosecute the case regardless of the suspect's immigration status. We are disheartened that ghoulish and inappropriate public commentary has politicized this tragedy, Curry, a Democrat, said in a statement. We will simply seek justice on behalf of the families of those two victims. Much of such commentary, including tweets by the president, fails to acknowledge that both Edwin Jackson and Jeffrey Monroe lost their lives on Sunday. ( As reported in the news.