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Communities Rising Up Against Rogers Media’s Cuts to OMNI TV Multilingual Newscasts

May 27, 2015

                                                                                 MEDIA ADVISORY

May 26, 2015

Communities Rising Up Against Rogers Media’s Cuts to OMNI TV Multilingual Newscasts

Dominic Campione, President of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council, joined by Avvy Go (Past-President, Chinese Canadians National Council- Toronto Chapter), Silvana Tibollo (President, National Congress of Italian Canadians- Toronto District), and Amy Caspipullai (Senior Coordinator, Policy and Communications, Ontario Council of Agencies Servicing Immigrants) will host a news conference demanding the re-instatement of multilingual newscasts on OMNI TV eliminated by Rogers Media; and that the Federal Government and the CRTC maintain and strengthen their commitment to multilingual broadcasting.

Date: Thursday, May 28, 2015
Time: 1:15 pm
Location: Queen’s Park Media Studio
Room 148, 1st Floor, West Wing

For more information, please contact:
Canadian Ethnocultural Council/Conseil Ethnoculturel Du Canada
c/o Anna Chiappa

Tel: (613) 230-3867 ext 224
Fax: (613) 230-8051

Rogers Communications Inc. et al and OMNI TV – an open letter from concerned Canadians

May 26, 2015

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Board member Ilaneet Goren delivers deputation to Community Development and Recreation Committee (CDRC) speaking to carding and Undocumented Torontonians

May 25, 2015


UARR Deputation to Community Development and Recreation Committee, City of Toronto.

RE: CD4.2 Toronto Police Service: Service Governance Pertaining to the Access to Police Services for Undocumented Torontonians (Ward All)

May 21, 2015 | 9:30 AM

Good Morning Chair and Members of the Committee.

My name is Ilaneet Goren, I represent Urban Alliance on Race Relations. I am also a registered social worker and diversity specialist living and working in Toronto.

Today, the Toronto Police Service is presenting a report to the City of Toronto’s Community Development and Recreation Committee, claiming their practices of carding, racial profiling, and handing over non-status migrants to immigration enforcement are consistent with ensuring access without fear for undocumented Torontonians.

Today (May 21st) is also World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, a day dedicated to understanding and celebrating the values of cultural diversity in order to live together in harmony. But in our great city, this harmony is continually violated by carding practices that show no regard for equity, diversity and human rights.

In February 2013, many groups under the umbrella of the Solidarity City Network fought for Toronto to be declared as a Sanctuary City. Councillor Joe Mihevc was quoted in the National Post at the time, saying “council is supportive of making sure that everyone in this city, regardless of status, is a welcome Torontonian and that we’re not going to act as agents of [Citizenship and] Immigration Canada.”[i]

To be consistent with the Access Without Fear policy, all city services must be accessible to residents regardless of immigration status. Accordingly, the Toronto Police Service Board was asked to be in compliance with the policy.

Without demonstrating what has been done to change their problematic carding practices, the Toronto Police Board now claims it is in compliance with the policy.

As a growing body of evidence, numerous deputations, and ongoing feedback from diverse communities show, the reality is markedly different. As many of you know, the practice of random carding – a form of racism in policing – results in Toronto Police stopping Black and Brown people regularly, without providing a reason or an explanation, and without informing these persons of their rights to disengage. These stops are reportedly supposed to be random, and yet they overwhelmingly target Black and Brown people.

We are also aware of the harmful impact carding practices have had on those with precarious immigration status. For example, when Police conduct a warrant search or contact immigration and learn that a person does not have immigration status, that person is handed over to immigration enforcement and often swiftly deported, without any regard for their safety. All too often, when racialized people call the police, the officers ID everyone involved and hand over anyone without status to immigration enforcement. The vast number of deportations that take place – about 30 people each day or over 10,000 each year just in Toronto – take place as a direct result of the Toronto Police’s carding practices that target racialized people.[ii]

Therefore, the Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR) joins other concerned community organizations and groups today to assert that this report must be rejected. In solidarity, we urge the City of Toronto to step in and demand an end to racial profiling in our city, including police collusion with immigration enforcement.

We acknowledge the importance of the Toronto Police Service Board continuing the dialogue with community groups regarding the recently-revised Community Engagement policy. The guidelines and language in this policy have raised some serious concerns from many community organizations, including the UARR and the Ontario Human Rights Commission, which has called racial profiling a major human rights concern in a recent Public Announcement video (available on YouTube).

Social cohesion and strengthening of services within Toronto’s diverse communities and neighbourhoods is at the core of this committee’s work. The Urban Alliance on Race Relations, which has been working for 40 years to address systemic inequity in our city, shares this vision. Without addressing the problematic practice of carding, the Committee sends a misleading message from the City: that Toronto Police services are safe and accessible to undocumented residents. This will continue to put many people at imminent risk of deportation, as well as putting great stress on those service providers working hard to assist the most marginalized persons in this city.

We therefore respectfully urge members of this Committee to reconsider accepting the Toronto Police Service report without critically examining evidence and reports from diverse community groups representing and supporting those who are most targeted by acts of carding. We also ask that the City demand Toronto Police end racial profiling and work with immigration enforcement to ensure the safety of all individuals regardless of their race, ethnicity, or immigration status.


Thank you for your time.


[i]Richard Warnica, June 10, 2014. National Post.

[ii] No One Is Illegal (2015.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes to End Violence Against Women

May 21, 2015


Today was the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, commencing in Yonge Dundas Square at 12:00 pm. Urban Alliance was present to support our partners at White Ribbon. Before the walk began, the square was filled with participants, including men in high heels, to support women and to stand in the fight to end violence against women.

To learn more about the event or White Ribbon, or to support the cause, visit their websites by clicking the links above.

UARR Board member Anthony Morgan in feature InspiraTO Festival Play “Broken Windows”

May 20, 2015


Taken directly from Theatre InspiraTO:

Broken windows 

by Fiona Raye Clarke

Toronto’s newly instituted broken windows policing strategy, sees harsh punishments for petty crimes, which leads to a fatal shooting. Disturbing.


Directed by Chiamaka G Ugwu
Featuring: Marina Moreira (as Nahina)Anthony Morgan (as Eddie)Aisha (as Mabel)Basel Daoud (as Faouk)
Show Times:

Thurs. May 28, 7 pm
Fri. May 29, 8 pm
Sat. May 30, 8 pm
Wed. June 3, 8 pm
Thurs. June 4, 9 pm
Sat. June 6, 6 pm

Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkely Street, Toronto, ON


Chiamaka G. Ugwu (Director)

Chiamaka G. Ugwu is an actor and director recently graduated from Sheridan College and University of Toronto’s Theatre and Drama Studies program. Her directing credits include Neck‐Breaking Car‐Hop (Theatre Erindale Beck Festival), Snow Burns (Newborn Theatre), and an upcoming production of Overlaid (Playwrights Project), as well as Assistant Direction for Obeah Opera with Weyni Mengesha (Nightwood Theatre) and Transfusions with Maya Rabanovitch and Lisa Codrington (The AMY Project). Some of her recent acting credits include Blood Wedding (Modern Times), Here After (Upstart Theatre),The Rover (Theatre Erindale), and The Crucible (Theatre Erindale). Chiamaka is also a Youth Link Artist Program Facilitator with Soulpepper Theatre, developing and leading workshops for youth across Toronto. She gives thanks to God, teachers, friends, family, and mentors for their endless love and support.
Anthony Morgan (as Eddie)
Anthony is a human rights lawyer at the African Canadian Legal Clinic. He is a frequent public affairs commentator on issues concerning racism, critical multiculturalism and critical race theory in Canada. His comments on these issues have been featured in the Toronto Star, National Post, Globe & Mail, CBC News, and in many other of Canada’s major newspapers and broadcast outlets. Inspired bylegally-trained Black activists like Paul Robeson, Charles Roach and M.NourbeSe Philip,Anthony hopes to join the tradition of these creatives who were committed to exploring arts as a source and expression of Black freedom, genius and humanity.Basel Daoud (as Faouk)

Basel Daoud came to Canada from his native Egypt in 2010 to pursue his acting career. Theatre has been his main hunting ground, having featured in two Toronto Fringe Festival productions with the Socratic Theatre Collective, as well as a performance in 2012 at ChiCon in Chicago. He’s also lent his voice to several Arabic­dubbed Disney and Paramount productions, most notably in Megamind and Tangled.

Fiona Raye Clarke (Playwright)

Fiona Raye Clarke is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of Southampton is currently a student at Osgoode Hall Law School. Winner of the ArtReach Youth Arts Pitch Contest for Black Like We and the Neighbourhood Arts Network BMO Seeds Fund, she is the editor of Basodee: An Anthology Dedicated to Black Youth. She is a member of the InspiraTO Playwriting Academy and a research assistant for AVNU’s Case Study at Ryerson University. Fiona is a co­facilitator for Toronto WordSmiths and is currently an intern for Jumblies Theatre.

UARR Board member Tam Goossen speaks about the importance of OMNI on Metro Morning

May 19, 2015

metro morning

From Metro Morning:

“For decades, OMNI TV and its predecessor provided Canadian newscasts in a variety of languages other than English. But now, that programming has faded to black. That’s not sitting well with some community leaders”. Listen to UARR Board member Tam Goossen on the importance of OMNI news in a featured interview with the CBC’s Metro Morning:

Related Resources

Rogers dismantling of OMNI TV “a dark time” for multiculturalism in Canada

May 19, 2015


Rogers dismantling of OMNI TV “a dark time” for multiculturalism in Canada, say coalition of community leaders.

CRTC should hold Rogers Media Accountable say Canadian Ethnocultural Council, Urban Alliance on Race Relations, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, and Chinese Canadian National Council – Toronto Chapter.


When:          Tuesday, May 19, 2015 

Time:            10 am

Where:         Room G, Ryerson Student Centre, 55 Gould Street (Gould and Church)



Diverse community leaders are coming together to voice our concerns over the systematic dismantling of multilingual programming by Rogers Media. Rogers cut 110 jobs from its television operations on May 6, mainly at the OMNI multicultural stations. OMNI newscasts in multiple languages have also been eliminated.


Community Reaction

Over the past few years, Rogers has stripped bare the first ever multilingual television channel founded in 1979, a national bridge builder that has reached members of diverse communities over the past 35 years. Rogers has marginalized the spirit of the license. The latest announcement is both a disrespect to the diverse communities across the country and a disregard of their own commitment to CRTC, say community groups.

“Rogers and OMNI have been granted the privilege to broadcast in Canada by the CRTC. They have promised as a condition that they would meet their requirements to serve diverse communities across Canada. This is not about charity. This is a fundamental agreement that they have laid bare,” says Dr. Joseph Wong, founding member of the Chinese Canadian National Council.  “We are asking the Federal Government and the CRTC to make sure that Rogers continues to serve Canada’s diverse communities and does not continue to systematically dismantle an important part of Canada’s multicultural broadcasting heritage.”

Key community leaders will voice concerns and ask the Federal government and CRTC to strengthen their commitment to multilingual broadcasting.



  • Joseph Y.K. Wong, founding member of CCNC and Yee Hong Foundation for Geriatric Care
  • Tam Goossen, Past President, Urban Alliance on Race Relations & member of the Ontario Press Council
  • Dominic Campione, President of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council
  • Amy Casipullai, Communications and Media Officer, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
  • Thomas S. Saras, President & CEO, National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada
  • Dr, Winnie Ng, Unifor Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy, Ryerson University


For more information contact:

Chase Lo, Executive Director, Chinese Canadian National Council, Toronto Chapter, 416.576.4022

Jason Merai, Urban Alliance on Race Relations 416.703.6607 ext 2 | @UARRToronto |


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