Minutes of the May 08 2023 Monthly Meeting

Minutes of the May 08 2022 Monthly Meeting

Minutes of the Monthly Meeting held on May 08, 2023, through video conference via Zoom



  • Thomas S. Saras
  • Mohammad Tajdolati
  • Neel Nanda
  • Maria Saras-Voutsinas
  • Rosemary Sadlier
  • Ricky Castellvi
  • Hon. Joe Volpe
  • Hon. Basilio Giordano
  • Daniela Sprilac
  • Michael Li
  • Helen Wang
  • Rue Hayer-Bains
  • Zuhair Alshaaer
  • Elsayed Nasr
  • Ned Blair
  • Jonathan Annobil
  • Shahidul Mintu
  • Deborah Shatz
  • Kamalavasan Navaratnam
  • Pooyan Tabatabaei
  • Martha Pinzon
  • Nishantha Don
  • Lankathas Pathmanathan
  • Linda Karuks
  • Liisa Qureshi
  • Zenaida Ferry-Kharroubi
  • George Guzmas
  • Roberto Hausman
  • Arif Ahmed
  • Fiza Syeda
  • Denis Poirier
  • Ragee Arasaratnam
  • Lydia Sun
  • Leila Monteiro Lins
  • Mohammed Bagher Samimi
  • Ali Mahmoud
  • Ghulam Rasool
  • Anfisa Lyasota
  • Ranjit Wicks
  • Sandie De Freitas
  • Norman Hart
  • Kathy Lin
  • Teshome Woldramanuel
  • Khalid Magram
  • Mooka Tamil
  • Bobby Wang
  • Maria Swietoizacki
  • Mike Kolososki
  • Susana Donan
  • Ernesto Donan
  • Khalid Hamid
  • Nagamany Logendralingam
  • Hermie Garcia
  • Mila Garcia
  • Eugenia Bakchinow
  • Michael Li
  • Sima Ghaffarzadeh
  • Cezar Bangu
  • Zuhair Alshaaer
  • Rui Yang
  • HaiTien Lin
  • Isa Melo
  • Yuri Natchetoi
  • John Saraidaris
  • Said Henry
  • Lui Queano
  • Tom Bijoet
  • Dimitri Papadopoulos
  • Ahmad Shah Hotaki
  • Kathy Gerasklis
  • Athanasios Kourtesis
  • Bill Fatsis
  • Nishantha Don

Agenda of the day

  • Welcome Remarks by the chair.
  • Minutes of the previous meeting
  • President’s Report/Discussions
  • Presentation by Toronto Mayoral Candidate Mitzie Hunter
  • Presentation by Toronto Mayoral Candidate Mark Saunders
  • Presentation by Toronto Mayoral Candidate Josh Matlow
  • Presentation by Toronto Mayoral Candidate Bradford
  • Presentation by Toronto Mayoral Candidate Olivia Chow
  • New Members/New Business
  • Adjournment

Welcome Remarks by the Chair:

Mohammed Tajdolati chaired the virtual monthly meeting and declared the meeting open. Bill Fastis moved a motion to approve the agenda. Yuri Natchetoi seconded it. The motion was carried unanimously.


Minutes of the previous meeting:

Hon. Joe Volpe moved a motion to approve the minutes of the previous monthly meeting and Yuri Natchetoi seconded it. Minutes of the previous monthly meeting were approved unanimously.

 President’s Report/Discussions:

(President Saras was away to represent NEPMCC in Ottawa)

  • Thomas Saras welcomed everyone to the online monthly meeting of April. He discussed that he is wrapping up the end of the fiscal year reports.
  • President Saras and Chair Tajdolati reminded members of the annual membership fees for 2023.
  • President Thomas Saras informed the members under LJI, there are three computers available for members who applied.
  • President Thomas Saras expressed disappointment as very few members have applied for the Student Internship program. He mentioned that this program may be terminated due to lack of participation.
  • President Saras encouraged participation in the Student Internship program. It has been a remarkably successful project and both students and publishers are benefiting immensely.
  • President Thomas Saras would send invitations to all three levels of government for the Press Freedom Week celebration.
  • President Thomas Saras informed the members about the Business Innovation Program.
  • Tentative date for the celebration of Freedom of the Press Day is marked for the third Friday of May 2023. Food and beverages would also be served at the event.
  • President Saras asked that all those with requests for LJI equipment upon approvals to come to the office of NEPMCC to pick up their gear.
  • President Saras mentioned that the LJI applications will be uploaded shortly and will advise the group once they can download the application.
  • President Saras explained that audits for the various programs we are administrating are happening.
  • President Saras reminded all participants in the LJI and Internship programs that they must declare on their outlets that they are receiving financial assistance from the Government of Canada. Maria shared a link to the Government of Canada site with the logo and statement that must be declared.

 Presentation by Toronto Mayoral Candidate MPP Mitzie Hunter.

  • The chair Mohammad Tajdolati introduced Mitzie Hunter to the council and invited her to make her presentation.
  • She began her address by mentioning that on May 10 she will be stepping down as a MPP because she wants to run for the Mayor of Toronto.
  • Her Six Point priorities includes:
    1. Affordable housing and renter protection.
    2. Getting Toronto moving,
    3. Safety, homelessness, and mental health
    4. Improved City services
    5. Green Vibrant City
    6. Transparency in governance and budget.

  • She emphasized mayor of the city, she will focus on the issues that matter most, ranging from affordable housing to public safety to transit accessibility, and more. She mentioned her plan is fully costed to fix the issues and is available at www.mitzieformayor.ca
  • Sean Pickford, Neel Nanda, Maria Saras Voutsinas, and others asked a wide variety of questions on issues facing the city.

 Presentation by Toronto Mayoral Candidate Mark Saunders

  • The chair invited Mark Saunders to make his presentation.
  • Mark Saunders has dedicated his life to serving and protecting the people of Toronto of every ward and every neighbourhood of the city. For 38 years, he served as a police officer and led the Toronto Police Service as its first Black Chief of Police. For too long, the status quo politicians have failed Torontonians. Mark is ready to bring a new approach to City Hall that is focused on building a safer, more affordable, and livable Toronto. Mark believes public safety is a fundamental human right, and the government’s most basic responsibility is to ensure residents are safe and secure. Every day, he felt the responsibility of putting his life on the line to protect the public and get the bad guys off the streets. While other people ran from danger, Mark ran towards it. Mark joined the Toronto Police Service right after graduating high school. He worked his way up the ranks, serving in the Intelligence Services for specialized investigations against organized crime, the Professional Standards Unit, the Emergency Task Force responding to high-risk emergency situations, the Community Safety Command, and the Urban Street Gang Unit. He was Unit Commander of the Homicide Squad before attaining the rank of Deputy Chief.
  • This election, Toronto has a stark choice. It’s a choice between the failure of the status quo and a bold viable plan and Mark Saunders mentioned he has robust plan and experience in the administration to make TTC and Toronto safe again.
  • Hon. Joe Volpe, Maria Saras Voutsinas, Bill Fastis raised some pertinent issues facing the city of Toronto with the Mayoral candidate and thanked him for his time.

 Presentation by Toronto Mayoral Candidate Josh Matlow

  • The chair invited Josh Matlow to make his presentation to the council.
  • As a Mayor, Josh Matlow will fight for a better Toronto. A Toronto that is safe, affordable, and livable for all Torontonians.
  • Housing: Comprehensive Housing Plan He mentioned that will addresses both the urgent housing and homelessness crises facing Torontonians today with an investment of $407.6 million to lower the cost of housing, support homeless residents and create more great places to live in neighbourhoods that include childcare, schools, infrastructure, and parks. This will be funded through the Community Health & Safety Fund and City Works Fund
  • Environment: TransformTO Funding. The first plank of our environment policy includes a $200 million annual investment to ensure Toronto can meet its TransformTO commitment to be net zero by 2040.
  • Transit: He advocated that will reverse TTC cuts and return service to pre-pandemic levels so that it’s easier for all to get around the city.
  • This will be funded through the City Works Fund, and later through the climate action levy. He mentioned that he will launch a comprehensive transportation network in Scarborough that includes a connected network of public transit routes (with over 40 stops) and cycling and walking trails that will shorten commute times and improve quality of life.
  • Ontario Place: He advocated that he would stop Doug Ford’s plan for a private spa at Ontario Place by withholding 16 acres of City-owned property to ensure that everyone has access to this important part of the waterfront.
  • Community Health & Safety Fund: He will establish a $115 million fund to address well-known risk factors for criminal behaviour, including poverty, racism, and trauma, which will make the TTC and city safer.
  • Bill Fastis and others asked pertinent questions to the Mayoral Candidate Josh Matlow. Josh Matlow answered all questions addressed to him.

 Presentation by Toronto Mayoral Candidate Brad Bradford.

  • Mayoral candidate Brad Bradford mentioned that he understands the challenges the city is facing because his young family lives them every day. Trained as an urban planner and having spent a term on City Council, Brad said he knows first-hand that City Hall is obsessed with talk, debate, and deferrals rather than the solutions we need right now. As s next generation leader, he has the energy to hustle, roll up his sleeves and get stuff done, he mentioned.
  • Maria Saras Voutsinas and others asked questions to the Mayoral Candidate Brad Bradford, and he categorically answered all questions addressed to him.

 Presentation by Toronto Mayoral Candidate Olivia Chow

  • The chair invited the former MP and Mayoral Candidate to make her presentation.
  • Olivia is running to be Toronto’s next mayor and to make the city more caring, affordable, and safer for everyone. A city where everyone belongs. Throughout her life and career, Olivia has been motivated by one thing: making life better for the people in her community. That’s what drives her. As an advocate, school board trustee, Toronto City Councillor, member of the City’s budget committee, and local Member of Parliament, she has taken on some of our city’s biggest challenges and delivered solutions that make people’s lives better, she mentioned. Olivia knows people are feeling frustrated by the state of our city – we’re all tired of feeling stuck. Stuck in traffic, stuck waiting for the bus, stuck not being able to afford a home, or stuck on waiting lists for childcare, or other basic services. That’s not acceptable in a city with so much potential.
  • Born in Hong Kong, Olivia moved to Toronto with her parents when she was thirteen. She lived in St. James Town, and her mother’s income as a maid supported her family. Times were difficult, she mentioned. In 2006, Olivia took her fight to Ottawa as a Member of Parliament. Recognizing the needs of the constituents in her Toronto riding, she introduced legislation for universal childcare, and improving public transit. Olivia married Jack Layton in 1988, and they forged one of Canada’s most remarkable political partnerships. Together they inspired millions of Canadians to fight for progress and hope for the future.
  • As mayor, Olivia Chow will make Toronto a more affordable, safe, and caring city.
  • Maria Saras Voutsinas, Bill Fastis, Sean Pickford, and others asked questions on a wide variety of topics including advertising by the City Hall in ethnic media publications.

New Business/Discussions

  • The chair asked if there are any new business for discussion, as nobody asked for the floor, the Chair moved to next item. Maria Saras Voutsinas gave everyone an update on the various ongoing projects under NEPMCC.


Bill Fastis moved a motion to adjourn the meeting and Kathy Lin seconded it. The motion was carried. The Chair, Dr. Tajdolati adjourned the meeting at 8:30 PM. The next monthly meeting will take place on Monday, June 12, 2023, at City Hall

The above notes from the meeting of May 08, 2023, were prepared by Secretary General and Senior VP of the NEPMCC, Neel Nanda.