BY RATTAN MALL
THIS is the second half of our yearend roundup. (I have left out events of December since they are too recent)
Again, because of the large number of stories we publish every week, it was a challenge to narrow down the choice. In some cases we have had to leave out photos of individuals that were carried in the last roundup or are featured in an earlier item this week to save space.
We have also concentrated mainly on positive stories and cut down on negative items.
And again, we have tried to focus on stories that were mainly concerned with B.C.
Also, we must acknowledge the amazing charity work by dozens of South Asian groups, many of whom do not even seek publicity. Some hand out food to the homeless and less unfortunate almost every week, others send money and gifts to the poor and needy in South Asia, still others hold charity events and donate the money to hospitals and the food bank – and the list goes on and on. Our community can truly be proud of their generosity.
This week I would also like to mention our columnist from Ontario: HARNOOR GILL, a Grade 10 student of Christ The King Catholic Secondary in Georgetown, Ontario. His remarkable enthusiasm in volunteer work, charity causes and a host of other admirable activities to inspire youth deserve special mention. Most of his write-ups are carried on our website as they relate mostly to Ontario.
(FOR PHOTOS FOR EACH MONTH PLEASE SEE THE EPAPER)
ALLEGED TERRORIST PLOTTERS AT SOUTH ASIAN HOME
RCMP arrested Canadian-born John Stuart Nuttall, 38, and Amanda Korody, 29, of Surrey on Monday for allegedly plotting a Boston Marathon type of terrorist attack – explosive devices in pressure cookers – at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria where crowds were expected to gather on Canada Day. RCMP said: “Our investigation demonstrated that this was a domestic threat, without international linkages.”
RCMP also said: “These devices were completely under our control, they were inert, and at no time represented a threat to public safety.” That has many wondering what exactly was the RCMP’s role in the whole affair. Could defense claim this was entrapment? As it is, the two suspects were apparently on a methadone treatment program.
Also, did the police violate their rights by entering their suite last month? The couple’s South Asian landlord, Ramesh Thaman, told Asian Journal that a few weeks earlier a man parked a rental truck near the basement suite and calmly walked away. Then suddenly police arrived and evacuated several homes in the area, claiming that there could be dangerous chemicals in the truck and they wanted to check it out. They wanted to enter the basement suite because they claimed they wanted to make sure nobody was inside. So they asked him for the key and entered the suite.
ORDER OF CANADA: DEEPA MEHTA, DR. SALIM YUSUF
Two prominent South Asians, screenwriter, director and producer Deepa Mehta and cardiologist and epidemiologist Dr. Salim Yusuf were awarded the Order of Canada.
Deepa Mehta of Toronto was awarded in the Arts category “for her contributions to film as a groundbreaking screenwriter, director and producer.”
Dr. Salim Yusuf of Hamilton, Ontario, was awarded in the Health Care category “for his contributions to establishing effective treatments for heart disorders internationally.”
Mehta later attended an Indian Summer Festival event, sponsored by the Consulate General of India, Vancouver, the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the Simon Fraser University (SFU). Mehta, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and director, has had award-winning films such as Fire, Earth, Water and Heaven On Earth. Her latest film is an adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel, Midnight’s Children.
Dr. Yusuf is the Vice President of Research at Hamilton Health Sciences, Director of the Population Health Research Institute, and a Professor of Medicine at McMaster University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, holds a Heart and Stroke Foundations of Ontario research Chair, and has been a Senior Scientist of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
JAGDEV DHILLON: CANADIAN INSTITUTE OF PLANNERS
Jagdev Singh (Jag) Dhillon was inducted into the College of Fellows of the Canadian Institute of Planners at their annual conference in Vancouver on July 7. He is the first South Asian to be elected as a Fellow of this prestigious institute. Dhillon has had a lengthy and illustrious career in planning throughout British Columbia. After retiring as a Director of Community Planning, he continues to provide consulting services to many local governments and select private clients. As a volunteer adviser with the Canadian Executive Services Organization (CESO-SACO) he has successfully completed more than 30 projects in South America, Central America, China, Europe, Honduras, Africa, and the Philippines. He has also provided volunteer professional advice to various First Nations in British Columbia. The Planning Institute of British Columbia acclaimed Dhillon as the Planner of the Year 2003. Dhillon is Chair of the City of Vancouver’s Board of Variance, and a member of the Provincial Property Assessment Appeal Panel.
SOUTH ASIANS: VANCOUVER’S COMMUNITY SAFETY PROGRAM
There were three South Asians among the Community Safety personnel and another five among the Auxiliary Community Safety Personnel at the first swearing-in and graduation ceremony of Vancouver’s Community Safety (CS) program.
The Community Safety Program graduates:
Gurvir Athwal: Born in Vancouver and raised in North Delta, where he graduated from the French Immersion program at Burnsview Secondary School. He then completed the Justice Institute of British Columbia’s Law Enforcement Program diploma.
Harvinder Dhudwal: Born in India and raised in Cloverdale. After graduating from Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary school, he worked in the automotive industry and completed a four-year auto mechanics program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Sundeep Puni: Graduated from Killarney Secondary School in Vancouver, and then completed the Criminology Program diploma at Douglas College. He obtained a Basic Security Training certification and has worked in the security industry.
Community Safety Program (Part-Time) Graduates:
Tarinjit Dosanjh: Spent his entire life in the Lower Mainland. He has an associate arts degree in criminology from Kwantlen College and is currently attending Simon Fraser University to complete his BA.
Jag Ghuman: Born and raised in Vancouver. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminology from Simon Fraser University.
Guriqbal “Guri” Gosal: Born in Vancouver and raised in Surrey. He is currently attending Kwantlen Polytechnic University where he is studying criminology.
Rajwant Sidhu: Born in India, where she spent the first 10 years of her life before immigrating to Canada with her family. She has an accounting diploma from Kwantlen University and is currently working towards obtaining a degree in human resource management.
Sukhi Waraich: Born and raised in Surrey. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminology from Simon Fraser University. Sukhi also has a paralegal certificate from Capilano University and a legal assistant certificate from Vancouver Community College.
TIM UPPAL: STATE MINISTER (MULTICULTURALISM)
Tim Uppal, who was Minister of State for Democratic Reform before the Cabinet shuffle, told me that he was “very excited” about his new role and was “very pleased that the Prime Minister has asked me to take this on and work with Minister Jason Kenney.”
Kenney, who is now Minister of Employment and Social Development, will continue to play the primary role in the Multiculturalism Ministry.
Uppal was born in New Westminster and his family moved to Edmonton when he was very young. He’s been the MP for Edmonton-Sherwood Park since 2008.
When I asked Uppal how he felt multiculturalism had changed over the past decades, he noted that originally it was about telling the communities: ‘Go celebrate your culture.’ But he felt that multiculturalism should be about other Canadians also experiencing those cultures.
He then spoke of his own experience: “My parents came from Punjab and I grew up, I guess, the ideally multicultural way because on a Saturday afternoon, we went and learned Bhangra, but on Sunday we’d go play ice hockey. So that’s what it means to be a Canadian now that you do both. You are very proud of your heritage but you are still very much Canadian.”
He pointed out that he played football all through his high school years and then in university, he started playing kabaddi and did so for 12 years.
He added: “Only in Canada, I think, we’d be able to do both of those things.”
ASIAN JOURNAL RECEIVES CRIME STOPPERS AWARD
Crime Stoppers’ Executive Director Linda Annis presented Asian Journal Publisher Lucky Randhawa the Crime Stoppers 2012 Print Award “in recognition for outstanding performance and commitment to British Columbia Crime Stoppers.” Vancouver Police Sgt. Ron Fairweather, Municipal Police Coordinator with Crime Stoppers was also present.
There are four ways that you can leave an anonymous tip about a crime or suspect without any fear that police or anyone else will trace your call or track you down. They are only interested in your information – not who you are. Even the courts will not allow your identity to be revealed. You can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or 1-800-222-TIPS. Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers provides a telephone multilingual translation service capable of accepting tips in 115 different languages (including Punjabi and Hindi). You can ask to give a tip in the language of your choice. The tip operator receiving your call will arrange the translation service for you. Or go to www.solvecrime.ca and leave a tip online. Or text: BCTIP and you message to CRIMES (274637). Or Facebook: www.facebook.com/metrovancouvercrimestoppers. Information from tips is also provided to various organizations such as Canada Revenue Agency, Customs, Immigration, Conservation and so on.
MOTA SINGH JHEETA, DR. RAGHBIR SINGH HONOURED
The Sikh Motorcycle Club of British Columbia honoured S. Mota Singh Jheeta and Dr Raghbir Singh Bains for their distinguished services rendered to the community in getting exemption from wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle in British Columbia at their 14th annual celebration of turban victory. S. Pritam Singh Aulakh had been recognized on an earlier occasion.
The legal fight started by turban wearing motorcyclists in BC ended in 1999 when the final verdict was announced by Frances Gordon, member of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, allowing turban-wearing Sikhs to drive motorcycles without wearing helmets in this province.
Avtar Singh Dhillon, a practicing Sikh, challenged the law that did not exempt turban-wearing Sikhs from wearing a helmet. However he was unsuccessful every time he tried to take up the case with the government authorities.
Finally, the Sikh community of B.C. collectively decided to fight this case and appointed an experienced committee.
As a result of this success, the Sikh Motorcycle Club of British Columbia was established during 2002. There are 135 active members of the club now.
DASMESH UNITED FC: 10TH ANNIVERSARY
Kudos to the Dashmesh United FC soccer club and players. Over the years, as kids are relaxing during the summer break, many are very active in the world of soccer thanks to one of the largest summer clubs in the Lower Mainland. This year was special marking their 10th anniversary by hosting a thank you banquet for the team players and coaches.
The club handed out plaques to all of their coaches and sponsors, player of the year awards to divisional players and trophies to all U4 to U12 players in attendance.
The following were inducted into the “Dasmesh United FC” hall of fame:
* Dasmesh United FC’s U21 open women team for winning the U21 Provincials.
* Bindy Braich for his many years in coaching / playing on India’s Nations Cup team.
* Jasmin Dhanda for her playing success at the local, provincial and national levels.
UBC MEN’S BASKETBALL: MINDY MINHAS
UBC Thunderbirds head coach Kevin Hanson landed a major prospect for the 2014-15 season: Mindy Minhas, a 6-foot-4 small forward committed to the Thunderbirds basketball program.
The dynamic Minhas has been playing for Drive Basketball, under the guidance of former T-Birds Pasha Bains and Chad Clifford, since he was in elementary school. Minhas is entering his grade 12 year at Vancouver’s Sir Winston Churchill Secondary, where Rick Lopez, the 2013 B.C. high school basketball coach of the year, is the bench boss of the senior boys’ team.
This past season, Minhas led his Churchill team to a 13th-place finish at the B.C. High School ‘AAA’ Boys’ Provincial Championships in Langley. He was named the tournament’s Most Inspirational Player after averaging 22.2 points, 11.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 3.8 steals a game over five appearances. His performance also landed him a spot on the event’s Third All-Star Team. Churchill was also declared the Most Inspirational Team of the provincial championships. For the entire high school season, Minhas averaged 35 points, 10 rebounds and six assists per game.