Minutes of the Monthly Meeting held on February 08, 2021, through video conference via Zoom
Thomas S. Saras
Leila Monteiro Lins
Mohammed Bagher Samimi
Sandie De Freitas
Kathy L. L. Li
Gezahegn Mekonnen Demissie
Kathy L. Lin
Hai Tien Lin
Muhacumad Naeem Ul Islam
Agenda of the day:
- Welcome Remarks by the chair.
- Minutes of the previous meeting
- President’s Report/Discussions
- New Board of Directors of NEPMCC 2021-2023
- New Members/New Business
Welcome Remarks by the Chair: Mohammed Tajdolati chaired the virtual monthly meeting and declared the meeting open. Leila Monteiro moved a motion to approve the agenda. Yuri Natchetoi seconded it. The motion was carried.
Minutes of the previous meeting:
Roberto Hausman moved a motion to approve the minutes of the previous monthly meeting and Yuri Natchetoi seconded it. Minutes of the previous monthly meeting was approved unanimously.
- Thomas Saras welcomed everyone to the online monthly meeting of March 2021. During this difficult time the President reflected on the measures taken by NEPMCC to help its fellow members through various projects such as internship, LJI and others. He appreciated the hard work from everyone including Maria Saras- Voutsinas, Hon. Joe Volpe, Dr. Tajdolati and all other members who worked extremely hard during the exceedingly difficult year 2020 as a committee on various projects of NEPMCC. Although 2020 was a tough year for many, but NEPMCC had successfully implemented various projects for the benefit of its members. He hoped 2021 will be a better year for all. He urged everyone to follow public health guidelines and maintain physical distancing. He informed that LJI program has been approved for another term.
- President Thomas Saras thanked all the members who generously donated to NEPMCC.
- President Thomas Saras that new programs undertaken by NEPMCC are open to members. The LJI will close in March 30 2021 for the current year. He mentioned that the internship program will continue till July.
- President Thomas Saras had earlier made a written submission on behalf of NEPMCC to the House of Commons Standing Committee on finance for the pre-budget consultations in advance of the upcoming budgets. The details of which were shared via email with all members before this monthly meeting in December 2020. The submission was made in the best interests of the ethnic media industry in Canada.
- President Thomas Saras informed both LJI and internship program are progressing well. Although the internship program did not have many participants as expected. The internship program and LJI would invite new applications in 2021.
- Since the lockdown President Thomas Saras, is working everyday so that members get help. NEPMCC had another productive year and the organization is working on several important projects this year which will benefit all the members. President Thomas Saras said that this year the Government will reward all legitimate ethnic media houses as it has a budget for it. All members that are in good standing with NEPMCC stands to get benefitted by its association. The Local Journalist Initiative deadline is fast approaching, and President Thomas Saras encouraged members to apply for this program who qualify and are eligible for the project. President Thomas Saras mentioned that due to the Covid 19 pandemic the Government is trying to help the industry. Executive Director of NEPMCC is working extremely hard and is taking feedback from the members who are struggling in this difficult time. The LJI fund will be distributed in two phases for the duration of 6 months in each phase.
- President Thomas Saras urged the members for different projects that are available. If there is lack of adequate participation, the funds would go back and in future the allocations of such funds could be limited.
- The President is in touch with Federal Government and Provincial Government for funding members of NEPMCC during the ongoing Pandemic. President is scheduled to meet with representatives of both Federal and Provincial Government in order to request more funds for the struggling ethnic media industry.
- The President spoke about the ongoing student internship program in 2021 in cooperation with the schools of journalism. Internship will be from 3 – 6 months. The program will cover $15 per hour per student for the maximum 18 hours per week and the rest must be covered by the respective organizations. Maria Saras-Voutsinas is in touch with student intern coordinator from Seneca College. The program has started from January 2019. Any member interested in hiring students for their publications should contact Executive Director Maria Saras-Voutsinas as it is on first come first serve basis due to funds approved by the Government on this project. This is a win- win situation as it will benefit the students as they will gain from the valuable experience as well as the members as they will get additional help in a very subsidized rate to run their publications. The program has already started in April of 2020 and it is in the new phase in 2021.and only those members, who have not received funds through the program are eligible to apply this year and should contact Executive Director Maria Saras –Voutsinas, expressing their interests in hiring a Student intern for their media outlets. Members eligible to apply will be given preference on a first come serve basis. Members were informed in the previous meetings that in order to qualify of funding for internship program- they should be an active publication. Members in order to qualify for various projects undertaken by NEPMCC, they must be in good standing. If any member has not yet paid membership fees, they need to pay the fees and be in good standing for the programs that they qualify for.
- The internship program since had received an overwhelming response and members who could not participate last year may be given another chance in the next phase provided, they meet the requirements of this program. Members hiring interns now can only be eligible for part time as the students also continue their studies. The part time interns will be working with the publications for 18 hours per week X $ 15.00 dollars per hour, which is making $ 270.00 dollars per student per week X 12 weeks = 3,240.00 for the period of January the 1st to March 31, 2020. As of April 1st, 2020, the new financial year starts and new applications will be accepted by the NEPMCC. The current time of Applications will expire September 30, 2020.
- President Thomas Saras continued to educate members on various projects undertaken by NEPMCC and especially on the LJI. President Thomas Saras informed about the local initiative program The Local Journalism Initiative (LJI) supports the creation of original civic journalism that covers the diverse needs of underserved communities across Canada. Funding is available to eligible Canadian media organizations to hire an unemployed journalist or pay freelance journalists to produce civic journalism for underserved communities. The content produced will be made available to media organizations through a Creative Commons license so that Canadians can be better informed. He mentioned under this program a publisher can hire qualified journalist or a journalistic student in the final year and get up to a maximum of $30,000 per year. He mentioned that the program has been very successful and will close from accepting new applications in September 30, 2020, for the present cycle. He hoped that the program will continue to receive funds in future. The program also pays for mailing expenses of the copies of the publication to remote communities and provides special prepaid kits to members participating in the program.
- President Thomas Saras informed the members of the various projects undertaken by NEPMCC and how members could benefit from federal programs for ethnic media. He mentioned about the tax credit by employing full time or part time journalists or reporters in the News Room.
- The president also encouraged all the members to apply for an ID or Media Pass of the organization. There are so many benefits; the president said that it is to one’s advantage to have it.
New Board of Directors of NEPMCC 2021-2023
Ex Officio Members of the Board:
- Mohammad Tajdolati, Ph.D. “Humanities and Social Sciences” Chair of the Board, Ombudsman, Chief Electoral Officer, Chair of the Awards Committee. Iranian
- Maria Voutsinas, B.A. Executive Director and Commissioner For taking Affidavits and administering the oath for the members of the NEPMCC.
- Daniela Spirlac, Director-coordinator of Marketing and Promotions
Members of the Executive:
- Thomas S. Saras, President, CEO and Chairman of the Board. "Patrides"
- Susana Donan Senior, VP, Alternate President. Latino
- Maria Voutsinas, Executive, Managing Director, Senior VP. Greek
- Hon. Joe Volpe, Senior VP, Membership and Programs. Italian
- Kathy L. Lin, Senior VP, Professional Development. Chinese
- Hermie Garcia, Senior VP, Policy and Constitutional Affairs. Philippine
- Neel Nanda, Comm. Senior VP, Secretary General. Hindi
- Arif Ahmed, Senior VP, Treasurer. Bangladeshi
- Logan N Logendralingam, Senior VP, Internal Corporis Affairs. Tamil
- Luba Cherny, Senior VP, Cultural & International Affairs. Russian
- John S. Saraidaris, Senior VP, Public Image Co/ Editor in Chief. Greek
- Ahmed Shah Hotaki, Senior VP, Special Events Coordinator. Afghani
- Ned Blair, Senior VP, Education/ Training/ New Membership. Caribbean
- Ricky Castellvi, VP, Public Relations, CNE and New Comer Days. Filipino
- Sandie De Freitas, VP. TV and Cinematography. Caribbean
- Paul Nguyen, VP, Social Media (New Trends). Vietnamese
- Lydia Sun, VP. Public Relations, Community Outreach. Chinese
- Margaret Bonikowska, VP European Affairs. Polish
- Ranjit Wickramasinghe, VP, South Asian Affairs. Sinhalese
- Mila A. Garcia, VP, Humanitarian and Immigration Affairs. Philippine
- Dimitris Vohaitis, VP, Issues of Justice and Equality. Greek
- Eugenia Bakchinow, Human Rights and Free Speech. Russian
- Mulugeta Zergaber, VP, Photojournalism. Eritrean
- Saad Alsafar, VP, Free Press and Democracy. Arabic
- Nishantha Don, VP, Marketing and Promotion. Sri lankest
- Dumitru Popescu, VP Print-Membership, “Observatorul”. Romanian
- Isa Melo, VP Events Organizer/ Magazine Membership. Brazilian
- Mohammad-Bagher Samimi, VP, Free Lance Journalists. Persian
- Mieczyslaw Kolosowski, European Affairs. Polish
- Emmanuel Ayiku, VP, African Affairs “Ghanaian News”. Ghanaian
- Teshome Woldeamanuel, VP, Community Outreach. Ethiopian
- Roberto Hausman, VP, Senior Advisor to President. Latino
- The Hon. Basilio Giordano, Chair Agent General for Quebec. Italian
- Vahakn Karakachian, Co-Chair organizer. Armenian
- Helen Wang, Agent General, Chair “Manitoba Chinese Tribune”. Chinese
- Phillip Lam Agent General, Chair “Vietnam Times Magazine”. Vietnamese
- Vinnie Combow, Senior VP, Chair of Provincial Council. South Asian
- William-Doyle Marshal, Board Member. Caribbean
- Maura De Freitas, Board Member. Irish
“The authority and powers of the Agent General are equal to those of a Senior Vice President. Each Agent General represents the Council in his Province and is responsible to organize the members of the local Ethnic Press and Media, in the area of his/her jurisdiction.” Dr. Tajdolati declared that the above officers of the new board of NEPMCC 2021-2023 were elected unanimously. President Thomas Saras expressed confidence that the new board will be active participants to take the organization further.
Many members appreciated the office of the President of NEPMCC for submitting an incredibly detailed recommendation to the standing committee on Finance and hoped that the recommendations would be implemented. Members also thanked Executive Director Maria Saras- Voutsinas for providing consistent and valuable help tireless for members with their issues during the pandemic year. Maria Saras- Voutsinas informed members that there was meeting with Premier Doug Ford. The Ontario Government has dedicated $10 million in advertising for 30 languages for ethnic media. Dimitris Vohaitas is travelling to Greece and proposed to invite the Prime Minister of Greece in next monthly meeting of NEPMCC
Hon Joe Volpe invited all members to write articles about community to submit to the organization. http://cnmng.ca/ (Canadian National Multilingual News Group).
He also invited members to share news feed and data about covid 19.
Adjournment: Hon Joe Volpe moved a motion to adjourn the meeting and Muhammad Bukhari seconded it. The motion was carried. The Chair Dr. Tajdolati adjourned the meeting at 8.30 pm. The next monthly meeting would take place on Monday April 12, 2021 through Zoom.
The above notes from the meeting of March 08, 2021 prepared by the Secretary General and Senior VP of the NEPMCC Neel Nanda.