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Here and Now

Turbaned Sikhs appear to be gearing up for a fight to protest the Ontario government’s decision to impose helmets on all motorcycle riders, without exception. Spokespersons for the large and politically powerful community are adamant that exemptions granted by the Mounties and provinces such as British Columbia and Manitoba should be available in Ontario as well. The battle lines seem drawn just as they were 25 years ago over turban-wearing Mounties.

Our History Editor Amira Elghawaby reported on the moving story of Yurij Fojczuk, who was among those interned just because of his Ukrainian heritage during World War I. His granddaughter, Marsha Skrypuch, shared his story with New Canadian Media, recalling how the experience affected him for the rest of his life. “The shame of his unjust internment stayed with him until his dying day,” she said.

In other headlines: 

 

 

Ripples

A four-page fact sheet released this week on poverty in Toronto has caused ripples by stating child poverty has reached “epidemic” levels with 29 per cent of children — almost 149,000 — living in low-income families. The document also tells us that poverty is endemic among residents of African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean and Latin American background.

Sticking with Toronto, a push by Canada’s largest school board to ramp up student recruitment is in jeopardy after efforts to dissolve a controversial partnership with the Chinese government. Roughly 75 per cent of the Toronto District School Board’s international students come from China. As foreign students make up less than one per cent of the TDSB’s total student body, there is an aggressive push to increase that number.

But a more toxic controversy linked to Canada can be expected to spread its foul odour if a Philippines environmental group’s proposal to send back 50 freight containers of toxic waste shipped by an Ontario-based company to its consignee in Valenzuela City last year is followed through. The shipment was intercepted at Manila port in January after local customs discovered that it contained waste materials, including adult diapers and household waste, instead of “scrap plastic materials for recycling.”

While Manila port figures out what to do with its unwanted Canadian stuff, the Philippine unit of Canada's TVI Pacific Inc. has secured an indigenous community's consent to mine for gold and silver at Zamboanga del Sur. The consent comes after two months of public consultations with the tribal community near the mining area.

As we’ve been reporting now three weeks in a row, the biggest international ripple is being caused by our very own Tahir-ul-Qadri, the Pakistani-Canadian

cleric, whose sway over his birthplace’s politics grows by the hour. His supporters have overrun the government quarter of Islamabad in a protest against corruption. Qadri, 63, who has twice left a quiet life of retirement near Toronto for the rough and tumble of Pakistani politics, has issued an ultimatum for the resignation of Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s prime minister – or else, a revolution.

Harmony Jazz

Following the release of access-to-information documents regarding birth tourism, considerable comment and interest in the revelation that there are only about 500 cases out of some 380,000 annual births in Canada. The Globe’s Editorial called for a rigorous study in Blood, soil, birth tourism and anchor babies, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers dissected the lack of a business case for changes to birthright on soil in Born Equal: Citizenship by Birth is Canada’s Valuable Legacy and our own Andrew Griffith was interviewed on Canada AM ‘Maternity tourism': Report recommends limiting citizenship by birth.

Lubomyr Luciuk, on the anniversary of the start of World War I, reminded us of the history of Canada’s wartime internment camps and activities to commemorate those interred in Lubomyr Luciuk: Remembering a time when Canadians were caged.

Many articles on radicalization and extremism connected to Canada. Canadian Security Intelligence Service, CSIS Director pens an op-ed stressing the threat extremists pose to Canada, both abroad and should they return home in Canadians in terrorist armies threaten us all. Yet another example, this time from Ottawa, of a Canadian-born extremist fighting in Syria in Ottawa jihadi seeking ‘martyrdom’ with ISIS in Syria, and Imam Soharwardy goes on a hunger strike to highlight opposition to ISIS in ISIS betraying Muslims, says Calgary imam before hunger strike. And Mehdi Hasan’s amusing yet serious takedown of would-be and actual extremists in What the Jihadists Who Bought Islam For Dummies on Amazon Tell Us About Radicalisation.

Back Pocket

Last year, Toronto photographer Colin Boyd Shafer began a quest to find and photograph a Torontonian from every country on earth. His blog, Cosmopolis Toronto, is a testament to the diversity of Canada’s largest city. There, you can browse a world map and find pictures and stories about Canadians with roots all over the world. Boyd Shafer’s quest is almost complete, but if you’re from East Timor, Monaco, or a mere handful of other international locations, you can apply to help him complete his work.

The work of Ottawa photographer Leslie Hossack also caught our eye this week. Hossack takes pictures of buildings, but architecture is not her primary interest. She chooses buildings because of their historical significance and photographs them without any visible signs of human presence, creating eerie images that suggest hubris and ruin. Hossack’s past projects have included an examination of Joseph Stalin’s architectural legacy, a study of Socialist buildings in Berlin, and a series on The Diefenbunker, a Cold War-era nuclear fallout shelter located outside Ottawa. Her latest series, Registered, features buildings associated with the internment of Japanese-Canadians during World War II. The exhibition, which also includes documents related to the internments,
captures this shameful chapter in Canadian history through the buildings where it took place: the camps, the Vancouver city offices, and the homes and businesses that were seized and never returned. Registered is showing in Ottawa at the Trinity Gallery of the Shenkman Arts Centre until September 23 and will also be shown next year at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Association in Burnaby, B.C.

And also in Ottawa this week, nominations are now open for the 2014 Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards. For the fourth year running, the City of Ottawa will recognize an outstanding immigrant businessperson and their contributions to the local economy. Know someone you’d like to nominate? Check the website for details.


With that, have a great weekend and don’t forget to look up the next edition of NCM NewsFeed every Friday morning! We will soon be launching an e-mail version of this newsletter, so please subscribe by clicking here.

Publisher’s Note: This NewsFeed was compiled with input from our Newsroom Editors and regular columnist, Andrew Griffith. We welcome your feedback.

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