Monday, February 28, 2011

Please help find Chanelle. Contact your local SPCA


Just a few short weeks ago, a friend and I decided to head to Abbotsford SPCA to take a few dogs for a walk.

It was a beautiful, sunny day and I usually make this exercise-inducing trip every few months.

When we arrived at the front door we were greeted by a small puppy playing at our feet. It was a cute little thing needing a bit of affection. She really took to my friend Rick Rake, who is a huge dog lover and is encouraging me to adopt a pet.

After our brief playtime with three-month year old Chanelle, we found out which dogs needed their daily run. It was our lucky day. There were two German shepherds sitting in their pens and waiting to be set free. One was a male and the other was a smart female. Both were strong and healthy, but pullers to say the least. After a few hours of doing our good deeds for the day it was time to head out for a bite to eat.
The following day, I received an unpleasant call from Rake telling me that Chanelle was stolen from the SPCA shortly after we left around 12:30. I couldn’t believe it. They figure she was stolen between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Chanelle, is a brindle cane corso/mastiff mix and is shaved around her abdomen because she was recently spayed. She has a large and prominent ID tattoo in her ear: 33ABIY.
“We’re worried and heartbroken,” said Jodi Dunlop, manager of the BC SPCA’s Abbotsford Branch on Industrial Way.
“Many people expressed an interest in adopting her and we were in the middle of reviewing those applications to place her in the best home.”
To whoever has taken Chanelle, please do the right thing and return her safely to the SPCA.
Recently, a day-old puppy was abandoned at a bus stop in Maple Ridge. Little Peanut was just a day old when she was discovered in a Puma sneaker box under a bus-stop bench on 207th Ave. in Maple Ridge.

The black and white mixed-breed newborn was rushed to the Dewdney Animal Hospital where she was treated for hypothermia and seizures and later died of an infection. This and other recent cases have SPCA worried about animal welfare and urging pet owners to be responsible.
Unfortunately, the
re are too many cases where pets are mistreated in our society. The unnecessary killing of 100 sled dogs in Whistler brings us to an important crossroads.

People and pet owners who abuse animals are simply cowards.

Harming innocent loving creatures that cannot speak or care for themselves is probably the lowest thing a person can do.

Stiffer penalties and not just fines are one of the primary solutions in ending this cruel behavior. On the good side, I have met many wonderful, compassionate pet owners who care for their pets as if they were family members.

If anything impresses me the most in our evolution as pet owners is you hardly ever see dogs chained up. Through my encounters pet owners can be some of the happiest people you’ll ever meet.

If you don’t have a pet, consider adopting one. I am. With their unconditional love you’ll see changes in how you see the world around you.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fighting racism & helping hospice

Fighting racism & helping hospice

Is racism on the rise in Canada?

According to a survey conducted by the Association of Canadian Studies and Canadian Race Relations Foundation in September, 46 per cent of respondents think racism is a growing problem.

It also showed that 38 per cent of Canadians witnessed a racist incident in the past year.

On a slightly more positive note, 65 per cent of Canadians said whites and visible minorities are treated equally in their workplaces.

Whether or not you believe that racism is a concern in this country, much work remains to be done.

Right here in the Lower Mainland, we have growing isolation issues with several of our multicultural communities, resulting in some racial tensions that are reflected in the statistics above. Take a closer look around and hopefully you'll see what many of the readers have been commenting on.

Hardly a week goes by without someone approaching me and sharing concerns. Some of us may not see it. As a part of this newspaper, I am in a unique position to hear such stories. I also appreciate anyone taking the time to express ways to make our communities more inclusive.

One way to do just that is to create awareness and do exactly what we're doing right at this moment. By discussing it and bringing light to the issues, we'll bring closure to the cultural divide we have unfortunately inherited.

I believe this is all part of the growing pains as a young diverse society. I am also not here to put the blame on anyone, or any particular group.

Instead, I am simply reminding everyone to pay closer attention on how we socialize with one another. Make a special effort and touch someone outside of your own ethnic community, or be part of the mainstream and get involved.

For example, the multicultural department of Mission Community Services will be celebrating Lunar (Chinese) New Year on Feb. 9 at Mission Library from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Also, on Feb. 23 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., the Abbotsford Building Connections Project will open the first Intercultural Hub located at the Matsqui Recreations Center. It will provide a space for all residents to meet, enjoy intercultural activities and enhance social networking.

Listening and sharing in a valuable discussion with citizens; at the end of the day, we cannot tell citizens how to live, but we can certainly create awareness with Canadians.

There are no special equations on how to make multiculturalism work more effectively. We all must participate equally and be inviting every day.

- - -

The following story also can't go without mention.

In what I think will be 2011's philanthropic story of the year, Quantum Properties has donated $272,000 from its Mahogany at Mill Lake high-rise project to the $10 million Abbotsford Canuck Place Children's Hospice.

It's people like Quantum's CEO and president Diane Delves, and her team, who truly make a difference.

- Ken Herar is a columnist for the Abbotsford-Mission Times. Contact him at: kenherar@gmail.com.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Is racism on the rise in Canada? The act of kindness in land developer Diane Delves







Is racism on the rise in Canada?

According to a survey conducted by the Association of Canadian Studies and Canadian Race Relations Foundation in September, 46 per cent of respondents think racism is a growing problem.

It also showed that 38 per cent of Canadians witnessed a racist incident in the past year

On a slightly more positive note, 65 per cent of Canadians said whites and visible minorities are treated equally in their workplaces.

Whether or not you believe that racism is a concern in this country, much work remains to be done.

If you recall, I experienced this first-hand when I was refused entry to a Christmas party in Surrey because I was East Indian. The surprising part of this whole fiasco was not that I wasn’t allowed to be part of this social gathering. It was the kind people who came up to me after with comments: “ I am surprised this kind of stuff still happens today.”

To put it frankly, we shouldn’t be surprised. Racism just doesn’t disappear.

Right here in the Lower Mainland, we have growing isolation issues with several of our multicultural communities resulting in some racial tensions that are reflected in statistics above. Take a closer look around and hopefully you’ll see what many of the readers have been commenting.

A week doesn’t go by where someone approaches me and shares concerns. Some of us may not see it. As being part of this newspaper, I am in a unique position to hear such stories. I also appreciate anyone taking the time to express ways to make our communities more inclusive.

One way to do just that is to create ‘awareness’ and do exactly what we’re doing right at this moment. By discussing it and bringing light to this discussion we’ll bring closure to the “cultural divide” issues we have unfortunately inherited over the past decades. I believe this is all part of the growing pains as a young diverse society. I am also not here to point the blame on anyone or any particular group.

But, simply requesting everyone to pay a closer attention on how we socialize with one another. Make a special effort and touch someone outside of your own ethnic community or be part of the mainstream and get involved. For example, the multicultural department of Mission Community Services will be celebrating Lunar (Chinese) New Year on February 9, 2011 at Mission Library: 11am to 2pm. Also, on Feb 23rd from 2-3pm, the Abbotsford Building Connections Project will open the first Intercultural Hub located at the City of Abbotsford Matsqui Recreations Center. It will provide a space for all residents to meet and enjoy intercultural activities and enhance social networking.

I plan to get involved during my cycling adventure from Mission to Victoria this June. Along with my teammates we'll have the opportunity to visit a dozen or so communities.

Listening and sharing in a valuable discussion with citizens. At the end of the day, we cannot tell citizens how to live, but we can certainly create ‘awareness’ with Canadians. There are no special equations on how to make multiculturalism work more effectively. Just that we all must participate equally and be inviting each and every day.Once we end this isolation, we’ll truly experience the benefits of living in a multicultural country.

* * *

This can’t go without mention: In what I think will be 2011’s philanthropic story of the year, Quantum Properties is donating $272,000 from its Mahogany at Mill Lake highrise project to the $10 million Abbotsford Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. It’s people like Quantum’s CEO and president Diane Delves and her team who truly make a difference.