July 
2008

Vol 8-No. 1


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CEMA Award for South Asian Outlook Publisher


Award for South Asian Outlook publisher

CEMA Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Gala Award


Hon. Jean Augustine  Suresh Jaura


Suresh Jaura  Ben Viccari

Each year, CEMA gives juried awards of excellence for entries in four different categories: Print, Radio, Television and Internet, to journalists plus the Sierhey Khmara Ziniak Award for the year's best contribution to the idea of multiculturalism through journalism. This award is named after Sierhey Khmara Ziniak (1905-1992), CEMA's founder.

Suresh Jaura, Publisher, South Asian Outlook e-Monthly publisher, has won the Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA) award, at the 30th Anniversary Award Gala, in the internet category, for his incisive editorial Two  Kinds of Canadians on systemic prejudices against non-whites.

In his acceptance speech, on June 27, 2008, Suresh Jaura, explained the background to his winning editorial. The speech was very well received by the audience. At the reception, he was complimented by many persons from the audience. 

The award was presented to Suresh by Ms Brenda Nadjiwan, Co-Chair, Strategic Alliance of Broadcasters for Aboriginal Reflection (SABAR) and Regional Director of the Ontario Region of Indian & Northern Affairs Canada.  

This is the second time Suresh has won the award. The first time was on June 25, 2004 at the 26th Annual Awards Gala of Canadian Ethnic Journalists' and Writers' Club (CEJWC) ,now known as CEMA, when Internet category was included for the first time in addition to Print, Radio and Television.

In 2004, Jay Chauhan, South Asian Outlook columnist also won the award, for his series Window on Canada: Legal Opinion offering his views in question and and answer format. 

In 2005, Gyan Rajhans, South Asian Outlook columnist, won the award for his informative internet series on South Asian Spirituality offering an introduction to some of the faiths of Canadians from areas covered by this internet service.

The Canadian Ethnic Media Association is an organization for professionals engaged in the field of print and electronic journalism and creative writing.  CEMA was founded in 1978 to answer the needs of editors, writers and broadcasters who were excluded from the then existing ethnic media association which admitted only publishers of print media.

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Acceptance Speech

 


Ms Brenda Nadjiwan (background)

Honourable Jason Kenny, Minister of State for Multiculturalism, Honourable Jean Augustine, Ms Madeline Ziniak, CEMA Chair, Mr Ben Viccari, CEMA President, Honoured Guests, my fellow award winners, Ladies and Gentlemen!

 

My sincere thanks to CEMA for this award. I say that straightaway because I do not wish to sound ungrateful.  

 

But the fact is that I wish I did not have to write about Two Kinds of Canadians to get an award like this.

 

The editorial deals with systemic prejudices against non-white immigrants - not about the non- recognition of foreign credentials, not about the Lack of "Canadian experience" - a term which is commonly used to keep away new immigrants from high skilled jobs. Both these do combine to make professionals end up driving taxis and delivering pizza even though their selection was based on their education and experience.  

The editorial details experience of non-white Canadian citizens who after initial difficulties have finally established themselves and have overcome the feeling of having been let down by Canada Immigration after they migrated.

 

I wish there was only one kind of Canadian, irrespective of colour, and of the place and time of migration. Because let's not forget, in one way or other, at some time or other, everyone in this room has a history of migration.

 

I wish that there was one kind of Canadian if only because the government our government, that most of us elected would honour its own laws our laws in action and not just in speech. We are supposed to be a progressive country, and it is not nice to see our government betray the principles that it says it upholds in our name.

 

I wish there was one kind of Canadian so that we would not be talking in the 21st century about the kind of thing we thought went out mostly in the 19th and the rest in the 20th. It should be too late in the day to have to say what we are saying today.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am not arguing against immigration controls. No sane person would. I am saying that the family of a non-white Canadian is just as much family as that of a white Canadian. A non-white Canadian, inviting a relative for a visit, is required to submit a notarised sponsorship declaration, bank account statements, list of assets, notice of assessment from Revenue Canada, while the other Canadian does not need to send any documentation.

 

When a government does that, it does us all an injustice. But it also does itself a dishonour. And it disregards the most fundamental principles of our constitution.

 

You cannot have a government that professes to fight discrimination and then itself discriminates. You cannot have a government where the bureaucracy betrays the people or some people that it is meant to serve. You cannot have a government that collects taxes from all, but does not share their benefits with all.    

 

It is a matter of simple observation that the taxes we pay do not produce differently coloured dollars. We've all done our bit to give those people in the south a run for their dollar, and we'll do it again. All I say is do not disown your own.

 

I want to write in South Asian Outlook one day about how two kinds of Canadians merged into one. And I want another award for that.

 

Thank You.

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