Canadian Ethnic Media Association Sends Open Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau Calling on Governments to Deal Directly with Ethnic Media Regarding Coverage of the Covid 19 Pandemic
(TORONTO. April 9, 2020) In an open letter addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Ethnic Media Association calls on the country’s Federal and Provincial Governments to reach out directly to all ethnic media, as the most effective means to inform Canada’s diverse communities about the Coronavirus Covid 19 Pandemic.
As the virus sweeps rampantly across Canada, and indeed the whole world, CEMA Chair, Madeline Ziniak, urges all levels of government to recognize the importance of communicating with new, and older, more vulnerable Canadians in their primary languages of comfort.
Ms. Ziniak, speaking in a video presentation on behalf of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association, expresses concern that information has not been received directly from any level of government. “We realize this is a very busy time, but it is necessary for governments to harness ethnic media to address this crisis, and to serve as a conduit to ethno-specific communities”, says Ms. Ziniak.
The video, released today, is entitled, Stand Up For Canada. To view the video, click here, or visit the News Page on the CEMA website: www.canadianethnicmedia.com.
In the video, Ms. Ziniak, in conversation with Dora Konomi of Itoc Media (Agape Greek Radio) describes the fear and confusion, especially among older, more vulnerable Canadians, over the rapid acceleration of the disease, and the measures that must be taken to mitigate its effects. Important concepts such as physical or social distancing, staying at home, and practicing good hand hygiene are best conveyed directly in primary languages of comfort. Navigating the intricate labyrinth of applying for financial assistance can be made less daunting if explained in the mother tongues of the ethno-cultural communities.
Canada’s ethnic communities rely on their language-specific media to keep them informed of developments here and abroad. “Ethnic media is a source of message distribution which provides information to approximately 250 ethnic groups and communities in Canada”, explains Ms. Ziniak. They have quick access to hundreds, if not tens of thousands of community members whose first language is neither English or French.”
While many ethnic journalists have tried to keep abreast of the world situation by turning to mainstream media and translating important updates and details, they can better serve their communities if such critical information is sent directly to them. With their insight into the sensibilities of the cultures they represent, they can build broader awareness among their community members, and generate informed inquiries and responses to government programs.
Ms. Ziniak emphasizes the important role ethnic media continues to play in reaching Canada’s diverse demographics, and states the “Canadian Ethnic Media Association is ready and willing to do its part to assist the flow of information to those who need it. The time is now.”
For further information, please contact:
Canadian Ethnic Media Association
Caribbean: Pardon is not enough
Vaughan’s weekly print newspaper, Share, reports on the controversy:
Several activists have recently discussed how the legalization of marijuana in Canada has affected Caribbean communities both in Canada and in the region and what lies ahead for the community. The discussion took place at Ryerson University in connection with the mixed reactions evoked by the easing of laws governing the use of cannabis in Canada. The recreational use of marijuana was legalized in the country last October, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promising that his government will consider pardoning people convicted in the past of marijuana possession. However, activist Donisha Prendergast is among those who think that a simple pardon is not enough. She and her fellow panelists addressed many people who have suffered in the past when using or possessing cannabis was against the law. They emphasized how mothers and fathers were arrested, imprisoned and separated from their children, negatively impacting families and their mental health. Prendergast said that marijuana, previously criminalized and presented to society as an illegal drug, has been rebranded for people like former police officers, involved in what is now known as the cannabis industry. (21/03/2019)
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Millions for Difficult Youth: Subsidies from Trudeau
Published by Russian Express, a weekly newspaper and web news source from Toronto, Ontario.
At the end of June, Trudeau's government announced a $9-million fund that aims to help black youth fully and equally participate in Canadian society.
Canadian Heritage said in a press release "Canada’s diversity is a source of strength and an important factor in our success as a country. However, our success has not been equally shared by all members of our society. Unfortunately, Canada’s Black community faces unique and significant challenges, such as an overrepresentation in the criminal justice system and a higher prevalence of low income."
The commentary in Russian Express noted that the allocation has come as "A response to the wave of murders in Toronto committed mostly by young members of the Black community."
The author says that subsidies from the Trudeau government for the needs of the Black community speak of several things. "First, despite all previous efforts and costs, a certain segment of Black youth remains inadequately integrated into Canadian society. Second, this problem is of a cultural nature: A criminal subculture cannot be integrated into a traditional Canadian culture that is based on other values. Finally, it is worth recalling that the existing problems are largely the result of certain immigration and social policies in Canada.
The press release from Canadian Heritage also quoted Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen saying "Racism and discrimination are real challenges faced by some Canadians every day, including Black Canadian youth. With this new funding, Black Canadians and communities across Canada will receive support to help fund projects that overcome these issues through education and understanding.”
One out of every five Canadians is a part of a visible minority, and Canada's Black population is the third largest visible minority. The funding will be spent over three years, and fund projects that respond to key concerns of Black Canadians to help address issues faced by Black youth that affect their full and equitable participation in our society.