RADIO - Red FM 106.7 The Evening Show - Calgary, 27/04/2020 - PHONE IN, Punjabi
Translated Summary: Amanjot Singh Pannu - A blame game has begun in various places because of the coronavirus. This is happening at the High River Cargill meat plant as well. It is said that 70% to 80% of the 2,000 workers there are connected to the Filipino community and many belong to the South Asian community. Now there is a blame game occurring. The Filipino community has come forward to say they are being blamed for the spread of the virus. The host asked listeners about who is actually responsible for the spread: the workers, the union, the management, or the government? One caller said that the management appears to be at fault. He said that the occupational health and safety organization that checks all these plants was doing so via videoconference to check whether all the regulations were being followed. He added that checking has to be sudden and in-person and that it is very difficult to maintain social distancing at a meat processing plant. He said that now poor Filipinos are being blamed. They are being stopped from going to grocery stores in High River, and a bank refused them as well. Another caller said that the fault lay with the Alberta government, Premier Jason Kenney, and healthcare. He said that in British Columbia, there is an NDP government and everything is under control. Another caller was of the opinion that the communities working at the plant are at fault because people coming back from India tend to lie on forms. He said that the management did not bring the virus but that it came from within the communities working there. The host said that discrimination against anyone is wrong. He also said that since the workers at the plant are temporary foreign workers, they are afraid to speak up because it may cost them their job and consequently their permanent residence. The host said that the fault lies with the management and a system in which the inspection of whether regulations are being followed or not was done on camera.
RADIO - Fairchild Radio FM 94.7 Cantonese Noon News - Calgary, 28/04/2020, Cantonese
Translated Summary: Phyllis Ho - Alberta Health Services is sending help to Millrise Seniors Village in Calgary to support the facility during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement released on Monday. Due to challenges in staffing levels at the facility over the past few days, AHS is directly involved in supporting residents and staff of Millrise Seniors Village to manage the COVID-19 outbreak on site. AHS said it took immediate action to improve staffing, outbreak control, and infection prevention and control measures. The health authority said that over the weekend, it sent about 20 staff to the facility to help deliver care. Ashley Homme, the general manager of Millrise Seniors Village, said the facility is more than open and transparent. A COVID-19 outbreak was initially declared at the site on April 15, according to AHS. AHS said that its action at Millrise came just days after it and the United Nurses of Alberta signed an agreement to ensure that Albertans in care homes would be supported during staffing shortages.
Mississauga residents stressed about COVID-19 situation urged to contact Canadian Mental Health Association - Punjabi
TV - PTN 24 North America News - Mississauga, 27/04/2020 - NEWS, Punjabi
Image source: PTN24 website
Translated Summary: Gurinder Singh - The Ontario government announced that all publicly funded schools will remain closed until the end of May. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said that Mississauga parents and teachers might be feeling stressed and anxious with school closures being extended until the end of May. While it’s the right thing to do, it doesn’t make it easy. With all the uncertainty out there, it’s ok to not feel ok, she said. She urged parents who are stressed and worried about this decision to contact the Canadian Mental Health Association for help.
By Muskan Sandhu
Photo by Artur Tumasjan on Unsplash
As the war against COVID-19 rages on, Canada is being forced to consider enlisting soldiers its systems have deemed misfits in the past. The Ontario government’s decision to issue a 30-day license to foreign-trained doctors so that they can share the burden of the times has ignited enthusiastic discussions in various ethnic media outlets. These stories go on to shed light on the dull but recurring ache of immigrants who are unable to fully integrate into their new home owing to the lack of acceptance of their credentials; as if their professional training is an irretrievable suitcase left behind in the former homeland.
The conversation often begins with what is seen as a long-standing injustice of the system against doctors and other professionals with foreign credentials. An editorial in the Caribbean Camera, a weekly Caribbean newspaper in Toronto, wrote: “Many in Toronto's Caribbean community may at some time or other have met ‘overqualified’ immigrant cab drivers or security guards...Many immigrants from places such as the Caribbean, Africa or India still recall their disappointment when they first tried to find work in their specific fields in Canada. They were often told that they lacked ‘Canadian experience,’ and others were turned away with the news that they were ‘overqualified.’”
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown noted in an interview with the Punjabi Channel Y Special TV program that, “These brilliant minds who have passed all Canadian exams are working in packaging plants, driving taxis, or delivering pizzas. They are not even allowed to volunteer.” Similarly, Councillor Charmaine Williams in an interview with Prime Asia TV, a Punjabi channel from Brampton, pointed out the issues faced by doctors who do clear Canadian equivalency exams: “Many people are foreign trained and have gone through all of the Canadian qualifications, but they are in limbo because they are waiting for a residency position. Canada seeks out the best of the best for immigration, and doctors are highly favoured. But when doctors come here, they have to take tests, which are not frequent, and then they have to wait for a residency. Only about 350 foreign-trained doctors were given a residency last year, out of 1,700 who applied.”
In this context of feeling undervalued by the system in pre-corona days, Ontario’s decision to give these doctors a chance to join the fight against COVID-19 has drawn a response of elation and optimism from several media outlets. The Mandarin Fairchild Radio FM 96.1 radio program in Vancouver deemed Ontario’s move “Good news!” worthy of reference. Current affairs expert Manan Gupta from Toronto’s Punjabi CIAO AM 530 Frontline Radio described Mayor Patrick Brown’s demand for permitting foreign-trained doctors to help out during the crisis as “very positive in the current scenario.”
Host Harjinder Thind from Vancouver’s Punjabi Red FM 93.1 Harjinder Thind Show appreciated the letter written by city councillors to the BC health minister, urging him to allow foreign-trained doctors to help out in the pandemic and perhaps permit them to continue practicing later on. He called the councillors’ approach “far-sighted.” The media also reports of individuals who see this opportunity as a chance to show gratitude to Canada. The Toronto Chinese newspaper New Star Net highlighted a refugee who “worked as an obstetrician and gynecologist in Syria” and who “after learning about this measure in Ontario...plans to apply so that he can pay back Canada, the country that gave him another chance to survive.”
Amidst the appreciation for the step forward by Ontario, the oddity of a licence that expires after 30 days is not lost on the media. Will the doctors who prove themselves during the pandemic revert to being misfits after helping out for 30 days? A headline in the Toronto Polish newspaper Goniec simply asked, “Temporary doctors?”
As if elaborating on this precise question, immigration Lawyer Dr. Jagmohan Sangha commented on the TV program OMNI News: Punjabi Edition that: “Policies need to change if the government ever wants foreign-trained professionals, including doctors, lawyers, teachers and nurses, to practice in Canada. Doctors are not seasonal workers, to be given 30-day licenses. Professionals come to Canada and work in other fields and their talent goes to waste.” As with other things, time alone will tell if 30 days will transform into years of service for these doctors, or if their degrees will go back to gathering dust in the archive of lost dreams.
PRINT - Danestaniha Magazine - Vancouver, 24/04/2020 - NEWS, Farsi
Image Source: Danestaniha Magazine April 24
Translated Summary: The IMF projects the global economy will contract by three per cent in 2020, in what it calls the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Just days before it announced travel restrictions to help contain the spread of COVID-19, Canada said it would welcome over one million immigrants between 2020-2022, mainly to help grow its economy. Of course, little did Canadian government officials know at the time of the announcement that the global economy would be heading towards such a major contraction. Canada’s economy is facing tough times, but immigration will play a pivotal role in supporting Canada’s economic recovery since immigrants will help to fill newly-created jobs and also support job creation in other ways.
Coronavirus discriminates against Blacks, through surveillance, policing and absence of health data - Caribbean
WEB - Pride - Ajax, 24/04/2020 - COMMENTARY, English
The many Black people working in essential jobs do not have the luxury of staying home during the pandemic. Photo credit: Piron Guillaume/Unsplash.
Summary: Beverly Bain, OmiSoore Dryden, Rinaldo Walcott - Effectively, anti-Black racism has already ensured that Black people and undocumented residents are less than citizens in late modern capitalist Canada. Yet, the people who are likely most at risk are the ones who are being asked to sacrifice their lives. Collectively, Black people in Canada find themselves among the most disadvantaged in all indicators of what is considered a “good life.” Public health has historically been an extension of policing for Black people that has positioned us as suspicious and nefarious in our actions and movements. In our current state of emergency, this union of policing and public health has led to more Black people being arrested, detained and physically restrained in the name of public health protection. In a section on disavowing the data, the article notes that on April 10, Ontario’s Chief Medical Health officer, David Williams, said as the province fights to contain the coronavirus, disaggregated race-based data is not necessary. While some provincial public health officers in Canada claim to be concerned about all citizens and committed to everyone’s health, they simultaneously declare that now is not the time to address the social determinants of health nor to begin the collection of disaggregated race-based data. In other words, they refuse to address how racial discrimination negatively impacts the health of Black people. Black lives are further in peril in a time of COVID-19. Subject to death on both the public health and policing fronts, we will not be silent.
University of Calgary expects hundreds of positions will be terminated in the coming months to meet budget needs in 2020 - Cantonese
RADIO - Fairchild Radio FM 94.7 Cantonese - Calgary, 22/04/2020 - NEWS, Cantonese
Translated Summay: The University of Calgary expects hundreds of positions will be terminated in the coming months to meet budget needs in 2020, but that number could increase depending on COVID-19’s impact. The Alberta government announced in February it was cutting provincial funding by six per cent (from the previous year) for post-secondary institutions. This reduction resulted in more than $20 million decrease to the University of Calgary (Campus Alberta Grant). Linda Dalgetty, University of Calgary’s Vice-President of Finances and Services, said many international students have returned to their home countries amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The university is watching the fall semester closely and how the pandemic might impact the term.
PRINT - Corriere Canadese- Toronto, 22/04/2020 - NEWS, Italian
Image Source: Corriere Canadese website
Translated Summay: No byline - According to the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, the province must do more to protect the most vulnerable. CEO Doris Grinspun said residents of long-term homes, the homeless, and Indigenous communities require greater protection in the battle against COVID-19. We are ensuring that long-term care residences have the personal protective equipment they need, Premier Doug Ford said Monday. Meanwhile, Toronto Medical Officer of Health Eileen de Villa is continuing to put pressure on the province to conduct further testing in facilities that host large numbers of people, like refugee shelters.
RADIO - CIAO 530 AM Morning Awaz with Aman Deep - Toronto, 22/04/2020 - COMMENTARY, Punjabi
Image Source: Facebook profile picture
Translated Summary: Host Amandeep Benipal talked about homemade non-medical masks to stay safe during the COVID-19 Pandemic. He said that some community members in a collective effort to fight COVID-19 are preparing these masks. He has contacted Peel Police and Brampton Transit about these masks. These are not medical masks, but can help people to protect themselves. The use of these masks by common people can increase the availability of N95 masks for health workers. He said that the Health Canada website and Canada’s Chief medical officer Dr. Theresa Tam say that non-medical masks can help people to stay safe. The masks are free.
What risks do Alberta taxpayers bear from the provincial government’s pipeline investment? - Cantonese
RADIO - Fairchild Radio FM 94.7 Focus - Calgary, 20/04/2020 - COMMENTARY, Cantonese
Translated Summary: Forest and Teddy - Both the Alberta and federal governments believe the project will provide material benefits to both the province’s government revenues and the wider Canadian economy. In addition, TC Energy plans to purchase the provincial government’s equity once the project is complete. As long as the pipeline generates revenue for the provincial government, then the government will be at low risk. However, Alberta’s energy sector is also contingent on the political climate in the US. Currently, the US Republicans' policies resonate most closely with Alberta’s vision for the energy sector. But with calls for more environmental protection, energy sector policies will be further impacted. For example, more consultation with Indigenous communities will be required before a project gets approved. Forest said the Alberta government wanted to take this opportunity to demonstrate leadership by making an investment and boost investors’ confidence in the oil and gas industry. They want to show that Alberta is fully in support of the development of the energy sector. Teddy said if the Alberta government didn’t make an investment, it is unlikely the pipeline construction would begin. Forest pointed out that the current bill C-48 and C-69 will also impact the energy sector. Both hosts agree that the long-term concern is the oil price. Newfoundland attempted to invest in their own energy sector once but overestimated the return on investment. Consequently, the province was not even close to reaching their projected goal. Forest said the provincial government should be held responsible for making an unrealistic projection. Lastly, the international market also has a significant impact on North American oil prices. It is evident that Saudi Arabia's and Russia’s oil price war has impacted North American oil prices. The hosts said we will have to wait until after the summer to see how long-lasting the international impacts will be on the oil and gas industry.