Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Congratulations to the past recipients at the Fraser Valley Cutural Diversity Awards. Well done.






Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards: 10 Years of Recipients

2003 – Speaker: Iona Campagnolo (Lieutenant Governor of BC)
Marketing and Outreach – Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce and Xa:ytem Longhouse Interpretive Centre
Inclusive Environment – Fraser Health Authority Language Interpreter Services Program of Abbotsford
Innovative Initiative – Youthquest! of the Fraser Valley
Reflective Workforce – Above the Underground of MCC BC Employment Development, Abbotsford

2004 – Keynote: Mike Harcourt (former Premier of BC)
Inclusive Environment – Farm Credit Canada
Reflective Workforce – Industrial Copper Systems Ltd.
Marketing – Clearbrook Public Library
Outreach – CanCity Savings Credit Union
Innovative Initiative – Mission District Historical Society

2005 – Keynote: Dr Lloyd Axworthy
Inclusive Environment – Harry Sayers Elementary
Reflective Workforce – Regional Treatment Centre of Pacific Institutions
Marketing – Abbotsford/Mission Outreach Services of the Women’s Resource Society
Outreach – Matsqui Sumas Abbotsford Museum Society
Innovative Initiative – “The Laramie Project”
Champion of Diversity – Inspector John Davidson (Honorary Mention: John Oostenbrink)

2006 – Keynote: Hugh Beard: (Film producer)
Life of Inspiration Award – Lexi Madsen
Champion of Diversity – Const. Shinder Kirk
Inclusive Environment – Downtown Chilliwack Business Improvement Association and W.J. Mouat Secondary School
Marketing – Aldergrove Library
Outreach – Kalgidhar Darbar Sahib Society (Abbotsford)
Innovative Initiative – Simonds Elementary School (Langley)

2007 – Keynote: Lesra Martin (Lawyer in Kamploops whose character was portrayed in the movie Hurricane)
Inclusive Environment – The West Heights Inclusive Neighborhood Project
Marketing – Punjabi Patrika
Outreach – Chilliwack Central Elementary School
Reflective Workforce – KPMG
Innovative Initiative – Silent Witness
Champion of Diversity – Ken Herar

2008 – Keynote: Nazanin Afsan-Jam
Inclusive Environment – Mission Secondary School
Marketing – Township of Langley Libraries
Outreach – Fraser Valley Child Development Centre
Reflective Workforce – TD Canada Trust
Innovative Initiative – Fraser Valley Youth Society
Champion of Diversity – Dr. Linnea Battel

2009 – Keynote: Andrea Holmes
Inclusive Environment – Spirit Bear Centre Society
Marketing – Mission Friendship Centre
Outreach – StrongStart Program at West Heights Elementary School
Reflective Workforce – Abbotsford Police Department
Innovative Initiative – Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association
Champion of Diversity – Chantell Gregg

2010 – Keynote: Deedee Coradini
Inclusive Environment – Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts
Marketing – City of Abbotsford
Outreach – Ministry of Children and Family Development (Abbotsford)
Reflective Workforce – S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Fraser Valley Self Employment Program
Innovative Initiative – The Reach Galley & Museum
Champion of Diversity – Rick Lucy

2011 – Keynote: Nehal Azab
Inclusive Environment – Chilliwack Library
Marketing – Mission Literacy B.U.S.
Outreach – CIVL Radio
Reflective Workforce – Loblaw Pharmacy (Chilliwack)
Innovative Initiative – Closelook Productions
Champion of Diversity – Inta Schorcht (Langley)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Searching for two Indo-Canadian males after sexual assualt. With comments below.

Community must pull together after Sexual Assault Case. With comments below.

UPDATED 10/02/12 – MORE COMMENTS RECEIVED -By Ken Herar. When a crime of sexual assault occurs and when different races are involved it can potentially divide a community. Last week on Thursday, Feb 2nd a 19-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by two men in Abbotsford.

The 19-year-old victim was walking along the sidewalk at about 7 p.m. when she saw a newer-model white pickup truck pass her twice as she headed east toward a bus stop. Two South Asian men were inside the vehicle.

As the woman approached the intersection, the male passenger exited the truck, grabbed the victim and pushed her into the rear seat of the truck. The driver parked the vehicle a short distance away and both men sexually assaulted her. She was then pushed out of the truck and onto the ground in a parking lot in the area of Gladys Avenue.

Cst. Ian MacDonald, from the Abbotsford Police Department said the victim, who was severely traumatized, made her way home and did not disclose the incident until the next day. He said she has been offered specialized victim assistance through Abbotsford Community Services.

A very unfortunate situation such as what has happened to this woman, has to be closely monitored by the entire community. There is simply no excuse for this. Praying on innocent people on our public streets is disgraceful. As a South Asian man, my heart goes out to this woman, her family and friends. I’m terribly sorry this has happened to you. I want you to know that I, as well as the rest of the South Asian community stand behind you and support you during this most difficult time. These two individuals don’t represent our community and we’ll make every effort to make sure these people are put behind bars.

Devious acts shouldn’t taint a specific community. I’ve been hearing various comments over this past week regarding this incident. Many have been very supportive regarding what this woman has endured, however, others people’s comments have the potential to divide the community. Here is what one person said on Facebook: “Time to start deporting these people that are not born in Canada & strip them of Canadian citizenship or send them to jail for 99 years if born here!” I responded with this: That’s a pretty racist remark to make. Sorry to say. Not everyone of color is always an immigrant or a criminal. Think about it.”

At the end of the day, there are good and bad in all races. When we speak about diversity, the one thing we have in common is that we all stand up against people who commit criminal acts and believe in public safety.

Diversity is also about reaching out together and trying to help one another at a time where someone or some family may need it. There may be set backs at times, however, it’s moments such as these where we can come to the realization that we’re all really one people living under one big umbrella.

Anyone with information or the knowledge of the whereabouts of these two individuals, please contact your local police authorities.

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3 Comments For This Post

  1. Observation Says:

    These deviants are scum. WHEN they are caught and tried they deserve the strictest punishment allowable under Canada’s lax sexual assault laws. In addition to that, if it is found that they are not Canadian citizens, they need to be deported to their country of origin after serving their sentences.

    I believe the facebook comment the writer was referring to is not only racist but an ill educated position as well. Having said that, I strongly believe in deporting criminals who do not possess Canadian citizenship i.e landed immigrant or refugee status because that protects Canadians of all races.

    If I’m not mistaken I think that has already happened with a couple of street racing killings.

    Lastly, I would encourage Abbotsford residents to help this 19-year-old woman by posting sketches of the beasts around town. Someone somewhere has to have seen something and/or recognize the faces.

    Thinking of the survivor.

  2. Deceit in Drugs Says:

    These are two individuals, who need help and
    no one can say race played a part in the assault,
    until,we get the facts.

    Various different reasons for the assault can be
    listed, but, people need to keep things in
    perspective, realizing that this incident is only
    about the people involved in this incident and no
    other people, race or culture.

  3. Observation Says:

    Deceit in Drugs, I disagree with the following in your comment: “These are two individuals, who need help”. They used their penis as weapons. Their attack was predatory. They knew what they were doing. Anyone who commits a crime so haenous is beyond help.

    However, I do agree that this is not about race. Race, is always a scapegoat for the weak and uneducated. Simply put this is about a crime committed against a nineteen-year-old woman.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dog tags might lead to sexual predator.

Dog tags might lead to sexual predator

Major crime investigators are looking to identify a South Asian man wearing military-style dog tags around his neck in connection with the recent sexual assault of an Abbotsford woman on Feb. 2 (see Ken Herar's column, pg A8).

Const. Ian MacDonald said the dog tags are a distinctive item, and someone may recall seeing a South Asian man wearing them.

Anyone with information about the identity of the man wearing tags or information about the Feb. 2 attack should call the Abbotsford Police at 604-859-5225 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Let's catch these two Indo-Canadian men and take back our safe streets.





Heinous act doesn't reflect us all

When a crime of sexual assault occurs and when different races are involved it can potentially divide a community.

On Feb. 2 a 19-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by two men in Abbotsford.

The young victim was walking along the sidewalk at about 7 p.m. when she saw a newer model white pickup truck pass her twice as she headed east toward a bus stop.

Two South Asian men were inside the vehicle.

As the woman approached the intersection, the male passenger exited the truck, grabbed the victim and pushed her into the rear seat of the truck.

The driver parked the vehicle a short distance away and both men sexually assaulted her.

She was then pushed out of the truck and onto the ground in a parking lot in the area of Gladys Avenue.

Const. Ian MacDonald, from the Abbotsford Police Department said the victim, who was severely traumatized, made her way home and did not disclose the incident until the next day.

He said she has been offered specialized victim assistance through Abbotsford Community Services.

A very unfortunate situation such as what has happened to this woman has to be closely monitored by the entire community.

There is simply no excuse for this. Preying on innocent people on our public streets is disgraceful.

As a South Asian man, my heart goes out to this woman, her family and friends. I'm terribly sorry this has happened to you. I want you to know that I, as well as the rest of the South Asian community, stand behind you and support you during this most difficult time.

These two individuals don't represent our community and we'll make every effort to make sure these people are put behind bars.

Devious acts shouldn't taint a specific community. I've been hearing various comments over this past week regarding this incident.

Many have been very supportive regarding what this woman has endured; however, others people's comments have the potential to divide the community.

Here is what one person said on Facebook:

"Time to start deporting these people that are not born in Canada & strip them of Canadian citizenship or send them to jail for 99 years if born here!"

I responded with this: "That's a pretty racist remark to make.

Sorry to say. Not everyone of colour is always an immigrant or a criminal. Think about it."

At the end of the day, there are good and bad in all races.

When we speak about diversity, the one thing we have in common is that we all stand up against people who commit criminal acts and that we believe in public safety.

What has occurred is an act of violence towards this woman, and it has also transcended into to being an act of violence towards our community. Many people feel unsafe now having these individuals still at large.

Diversity is about reaching out and trying to help one another at a time where someone or some family may need assistance.

There may be setbacks at times; however, it's moments such as these where we can come to the realization that we're all really one people living under one big umbrella.

Anyone with information or the knowledge of the whereabouts of these two individuals, please contact your local police authorities.

- Ken Herar is a freelance columnist with the Abbotsford-Mission Times. Contact him via e-mail at kenherar@ gmail.com.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Two Indo-Canadian men accused of attacking women in the streets of Abbotsford. Identify these culprits.

Indo-Canadian Community Behind Woman Allegedly Sexually Assaulted By Two South Asian Men

An incident like this can sometimes divide a community along colour lines. The incident prompted one racist person to post on Facebook these comments: “Time to start deporting these people that are not born in Canada & strip them of Canadian citizenship or send them to jail for 99 years if born here!” I responded with this: That’s a pretty racist remark to make. Sorry to say. Not everyone of color is always an immigrant or a criminal. Think about it.”

By Ken Herar

When a crime of sexual assault occurs and when different races are involved it can potentially divide a community. Last week on Thursday, Feb 2nd a 19 year old woman was sexually assaulted by two men in Abbotsford.

The 19-year-old victim was walking along the sidewalk at about 7 p.m. when she saw a newer-model white pickup truck pass her twice as she headed east toward a bus stop. Two South Asian men were inside the vehicle.

As the woman approached the intersection, the male passenger exited the truck, grabbed the victim and pushed her into the rear seat of the truck. The driver parked the vehicle a short distance away and both men sexually assaulted her. She was then pushed out of the truck and onto the ground in a parking lot in the area of Gladys Avenue.

Cst. Ian MacDonald, from the Abbotsford Police Department said the victim, who was severely traumatized, made her way home and did not disclose the incident until the next day. He said she has been offered specialized victim assistance through Abbotsford Community Services.

A very unfortunate situation such as what has happened to this woman, has to be closely monitored by the entire community. There is simply no excuse for this. Praying on innocent people on our public streets is disgraceful. As a South Asian man, my heart goes out to this woman, her family and friends. I’m terribly sorry this has happened to you. I want you to know that I, as well as the rest of the South Asian community stand behind you and support you during this most difficult time. These two individuals don’t represent our community and we’ll make every effort to make sure these people are put behind bars.

Devious acts shouldn’t taint a specific community. I’ve been hearing various comments over this past week regarding this incident. Many have been very supportive regarding what this woman has endured, however, others people’s comments have the potential to divide the community. Here is what one person said on Facebook: “Time to start deporting these people that are not born in Canada & strip them of Canadian citizenship or send them to jail for 99 years if born here!” I responded with this: That’s a pretty racist remark to make. Sorry to say. Not everyone of color is always an immigrant or a criminal. Think about it.”

At the end of the day, there are good and bad in all races. When we speak about diversity, the one thing we have in common is that we all stand up against people who commit criminal acts and believe in public safety.

Diversity is also about reaching out together and trying to help one another at a time where someone or some family may need it. There may be set backs at times, however, it’s moments such as these where we can come to the realization that we’re all really one people living under one big umbrella.

Anyone with information or the knowledge of the whereabouts of these two individuals, please contact your local police authorities.

Ken “Kulwinder” Herar is a Mission-based writer and a winner of the champions of diversity award for his columns in the LINK newspaper and other Fraser Valley newspapers. Herar can be reached at kenherar@gmail.com or view his blog at http://www.kenherar.blogspot.com

Saturday, February 4, 2012

" A lie is a Lie" Sunny Singh Chopra.

“A Lie Is A Lie” – But That’s Not The Whole Story – Mr. Kiddah!

As we get set to celebrate a new year of cultural diversity, let’s work on how we can create a stronger integrated community. Before we can celebrate our diversity, we need to begin speaking with one another and it’s going to take more than just food, festivals and dance to make this happen.

By Ken Herar

A month ago Sunny Singh Chopra wrote a letter to the editor in this paper quoting from my last column “Is Facebook a Cultural Divider or a Uniting Force?” Also, he commented on his Facebook page and said the following: “Our article is a stinging critique against Mr. Herar’s previous article that stated Facebook, separates Canadians. In the end a lie is a lie. Media like KiDDAA will always fight for truth and multiculturalism. Uncle Toms need not apply.”

For those who may not remember what my column was about, I specifically discussed how Facebook is a tool that brings people together but it clearly depends on how people use such tools in social media in order to accomplish that goal. In my research, I found that many people don’t reach out to other races than their own. Mr. Chopra purposely paraphrased me incorrectly for his own gain and self satisfaction in hoping to promote his KIDDA magazine. Mr. Chopra, in the future if you’re going to quote someone, be sure you’re coming from a honest place. Make sure you get your facts straight otherwise “a lie, is a lie”.

As we get set to celebrate a new year of cultural diversity, let’s work on how we can create a stronger integrated community. Before we can celebrate our diversity, we need to begin speaking with one another and it’s going to take more than just food, festivals and dance to make this happen. It’s great that people encourage gatherings that include these elements; however, it sometimes starts and stops here.

I was recently reading an article and it stated that: “In 1976 there were only 6 ethnic enclaves all of Canada, however, according to the latest statistics there are more than a 110 ethnic enclaves in Metro Vancouver and 230 across Canada.” Is this something that we should be concerned about?

There’s some beauty in enclaves and people find comfort within their own, however, the one disadvantage is that it can limit us in how we interact with one another. Throughout the years, many people have made comments to me about the large South Asian population in West Abbotsford and I have addressed some of the concerns relating to this issue. The one that comes up most often is that neighbors don’t speak with one another especially if they are from a different race.

This is the challenge for 2012, that we must make a point to step up as individuals in the community and start connecting with one another within our workplaces, neighborhoods and schools. We can all be very judgmental at times, this behavior generally stems from personal biases or assumptions. Again, let’s challenge ourselves in recognizing our individual biases and work through them so we can connect with one another and enjoy our community on a different level.

Recently, I was approached by Henry Bridge of Abbotsford who took the time to share some of his thoughts. He told me that he enjoys the various diverse cultures within Abbotsford and appreciated my work.

Another example of local people reaching out is Gurdip Dhaliwal. In 2008, she began the annual New Year’s Day meal at the Salvation Army for people in need. The event has been a wonderful success and is growing each year.

Diversity is about connecting with people and these examples demonstrate the positive benefits of how we can celebrate our differences but still be connected with one another within the community. Sometimes it may take personal sacrifice to make this succeed. This begins with examining how we’re living our lives. By doing so, it allows us to identify the changes that must be made.

While I was writing, the following question came to mind. Do we have any intercultural clubs locally to discuss the health of diversity in our community? Please email me and let me know.

Ken “Kulwinder” Herar is a Mission-based writer and a winner of the champions of diversity award for his columns in the LINK newspaper and other Fraser Valley newspapers. Herar can be reached at kenherar@gmail.com or view his blog at http://www.kenherar.blogspot.com

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Are ethnic enclaves a growing concern in the Lower Mainland and across Canada?



Coming clean out of enclaves

As we get set to celebrate a new year of cultural diversity, let's work on how we can create a stronger integrated community.

Before we can celebrate our diversity, we need to begin speaking with one another and it's going to take more than just food, festivals and dance to make this happen.

It's great that people encourage gatherings that include these elements; however, it sometimes starts and stops there.

I was recently reading an article that stated: "In 1976 there were only six ethnic enclaves all of Canada, however, according to the latest statistics there are more than a 110 ethnic enclaves in Metro Vancouver and 230 across Canada."

Is this something that we should be concerned about?

There's some beauty in enclaves and people find comfort within their own, however, the one disadvantage is that it can limit us in how we interact with one another.

Throughout the years, many people have made comments to me about the large South Asian population in west Abbotsford, and I have addressed some of the concerns relating to this issue.

The one that comes up most often is that neighbours don't speak with one another, especially if they are from a different race.

This is the challenge for 2012, that we must make a point to step up as individuals in the community and start connecting with one another within our workplaces, neighbourhoods and schools.

We can all be very judgmental at times; this behaviour generally stems from personal biases or assumptions.

Let's challenge ourselves in recognizing our individual biases and work through them so we can connect with one another and enjoy our community on a different level.

Recently, I was approached by Henry Bridge of Abbotsford who took the time to share some of his thoughts.

He told me that he enjoys the various diverse cultures within Abbotsford and appreciated my work.

Another example of local people reaching out is Gurdip Dhaliwal. In 2008, she began the annual New Year's Day meal at the Salvation Army for people in need. The event has been a wonderful success and is growing each year.

Diversity is about connecting with people and these examples demonstrate the positive benefits of how we can celebrate our differences but still be connected with one another within the community.

Sometimes it may take personal sacrifice to make this succeed. This begins with examining how we're living our lives. By doing so, it allows us to identify the changes that must be made.

While writing this, the following question came to mind: Do we have any intercultural clubs locally to discuss the health of diversity in our community? Please e-mail me and let me know.

On another topic, "Let's Talk . . . Mental Health" is having a discussion on Feb. 8 from 5: 30 p.m. - 7: 30 p.m. at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford in room B121.

The goal is to change the way we think about mental health and treatment.

For more information you can check out the Facebook page "Canadian Association of Philosophical Counselling" or contact Sheetal Deo at sheetal. d30@gmail.com.

- Ken Herar is a freelance writer with the Abbotsford-Mission Times. Contact him via e-mail at kenherar@ gmail.com.