Connect with us


Meet Alberta’s first Anti-Racism Advisory Council 


13 minute read

Meet Alberta’s first Anti-Racism Advisory Council

February 25, 2019 – from Government of Alberta

Alberta’s first council dedicated to combating racism will bring expertise and experience to assist in government’s commitment to end racism.

The council includes 24 members plus Education Minister David Eggen, who is responsible for government’s anti-racism initiative. The council will advise government as it develops strategies to end racism and discrimination in Alberta. This council is the first of its kind in the province.

More than 300 Albertans applied to participate on the council.  Members were selected for their demonstrated leadership abilities and experience in advocating for diverse communities. The council includes people from various faiths and other diversities, and members represent regions across the province.

“Establishing the Anti-Racism Advisory Council is an important part of our government’s efforts in fighting racism in this province. Each of the council’s new members brings a wealth of knowledge and lived experience to our government’s anti-racism work. I have a great deal of confidence in this new council and I look forward to working together to ensure all Albertans feel safe and respected. We will work together towards a common goal of ending racism in our province. We owe this to our future generations.”

David Eggen, Minister of Education

Minister Eggen will have two co-chairs on the Anti-Racism Advisory Council: Heather Campbell and Lucenia Ortiz.

“I am extremely proud to share the leadership of the Alberta Anti-Racism Advisory Council (AARAC). Thank you, Minister Eggen, for entrusting me with this fundamental element of the government’s plan to address racism. All Albertans will benefit from AARAC’s inspired work developing community-based solutions to address racism and remove barriers, allowing everyone to thrive.”

Heather A. Campbell, co-chair, Anti-Racism Advisory Council

“I am honoured to be selected as one of the co-chairs of the Alberta Anti-Racism Advisory Council. I look forward to working with the members of the Advisory Council who share a commitment to tackle racism and make Alberta a more welcoming and inclusive province.”

Lucenia Ortiz, co-chair, Anti-Racism Advisory Council

Council member biographies


Heather A. Campbell, Calgary

Campbell is a practising licensed professional engineer and procurement manager with the Alberta Electric System Operator. Campbell is a member of the advisory council for Western Engineering, sits as vice-president of the board of directors of Downstage Theatre and is a board member of Arts Commons.

Lucenia Ortiz, Edmonton

Ortiz is a planner with the City of Edmonton’s Citizen Services. Ortiz is a founding member of the Edmonton Multicultural Coalition and a member of the Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op.

Council Members

Shan Ali, Calgary

Ali is the owner and publisher of Express Media Network Ltd. where he launched Weekly Canadian Express, one of Western Canada’s largest South Asian newspapers, covering Calgary, Edmonton and Fort McMurray. Ali also publishes South Asian Xpress Magazine and hosts the Sangeet Studio Radio show. Ali is a board member for the Asian Heritage Foundation and the South Asian Canadian Seniors Society.

Sonia Aujla-Bhullar, Calgary

Aujla-Bhullar is a public school teacher in Calgary and a PhD candidate in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. Her current work centres on exploring multi-ethnic and multicultural community engagement within schools as part of present-day inclusive education measures. Her work with community organizations includes local and national initiatives within the Sikh community and she is a member of the South Asian Police Advisory Committee for the Calgary Police Service.

Melodie Bastien, Brocket

Bastien is the NorthStar parent connector at Opokaasin Early Intervention Society in Lethbridge. She provides one-on-one support, wraparound support services and cultural programming for families. Bastien participates in the Blackfoot Traditional way of life within the Blackfoot Confederacy.

Iman Bukhari, Calgary

Bukhari is a multimedia professional working as a planner in channel management for the City of Calgary. Bukhari is also an adjunct professor at Columbia College where she teaches human rights and diversity courses. She is the founder and CEO of the Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation.

Yic Camara, Edmonton

Camara is an integration and community liaison agent with Centre d’acceuil et d’etablissement of Northern Alberta, establishing and maintaining contact with French multicultural communities in Edmonton. Camara has been actively involved in the Guinean community and sits on the board of directors for Institut Guy-Lacombe de la Famille (Parent Link Centre) in Edmonton.

Nadine Eagle Child, Lethbridge

Eagle Child is a student counselor at Red Crow Community College. She is an executive member of the Apiistamiiks – White Buffalo Trail Blazers, a grassroots group fighting against racism, hate and discrimination in Southern Alberta. She has served as the co-chair of the Employment and Education subcommittee with the City of Lethbridge’s Interagency Group, and chair of the Student Success and Retention working group under the Iniskim Education Committee at the University of Lethbridge.

Michael Embaie, Calgary

Embaie is a practising, licensed immigration consultant and has volunteered with not-for-profit local, provincial, national and international organizations for over 25 years, including as president and board member of the Southern Alberta Heritage Language Association and as founding member and president of the African Community Association of Calgary.

Sithara Fernando, Fort McMurray

Fernando is a community-based environmental monitoring instructor at Keyano College. Fernando formerly served as the secretary and chair of the governance committee for the Pride Centre of Edmonton and the vice-chair of Some Other Solutions crisis prevention centre. Fernando is a registered professional forester and a mental health advocate.

Nahla Gomaa, Edmonton

Gomaa is an associate clinical professor, researcher and educator at the faculty of medicine and dentistry at the University of Alberta. Gomaa serves as the Interfaith Portfolio chair in the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities, contributes to the city’s commemoration of Remembrance Day and organizes Islamic history month at city hall.

Adil Zaki Hasan, Edmonton

Hasan is the vice-president and chief operations officer at Hasco Development Corporation. Hasan is active in the community including as vice-president of civic engagement for the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council and board member for Al Mustafa Academy and Humanitarian Society.

Zahro Hassan, Edmonton

Hassan is a doctoral student at the University of Alberta. She has extensive community and youth development experience within several multiracial/multicultural immigrant communities in Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton. Hassan is a board director at the Edmonton Social Planning Council and a former support staff for the Toronto District School Board Task Force on the Success of Students of Somali Descent.

Abdulghani Haymour, Edmonton

Haymour is a business manager who works closely with the Canadian Arab Friendship Association (CAFA) to assist community members in areas such as filing government documents, accessing government resources and facilitating events. Haymour attends CAFA board meetings as a guest member.

Bernadette Iahtail, Edmonton

Iahtail is co-founder and executive director of Creating Hope Society, a society founded for the survivors of the Sixties and Seventies Scoop of Indigenous children in care. Iahtail is an active member of the Edmonton Coalition for Human Rights, Aboriginal coalitions, the Edmonton Aboriginal Leadership Team and Stony Plain Wapekin Leadership Team.

Adebayo Katiiti. Edmonton

Katiiti is the founder and president of RARICAnow, an organization for all LGBTQ refugees in Canada. Katiiti advocates for the rights of refugees by creating awareness of their existence in Canada and ensuring that newcomers and refugees learn Canadian culture and get support in navigating the refugee and settlement process.

Feisal Kirumira, Edmonton

Kirumira is special advisor to the dean of international students at Augustana campus, University of Alberta. Kirumira chairs the International Student Engagement Committee and participates on the Bridging Program Advisory Committee and the International Week planning committee.

Omar Najmeddine, Edmonton

Najmeddine is the executive director of the Al Rashid Group and leads all corporate functions for the organization. He is a board member with the American University of Beirut Alumni Foundation and a former board member with the Red Cross, and Community Interest Companies Association.

Roy Pogorzelski, Lethbridge

Pogorzelski is the director of Indigenous Student Affairs, an instructor for the Dhillon School of Business at the University of Lethbridge and owner and operator of three business. Pogorzelski is a member of the U of L senate, board member with the YMCA of Lethbridge, president of the Rotary Club of Lethbridge Mosaic and board member of the chamber of commerce. Pogorzelski is also an appointed director for the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) and sits as the CRRF advisor to the National Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination committee.

Tasneem Rahim, Calgary

Rahim is the director of fund development and alumni engagement at Bow Valley College. Rahim serves as a member and manages community relations on the Aga Khan Council for the Prairies, and is the communications member of the Management Committee for Generations: Multi-Generational Housing and Community Centre Campus Calgary.

Judy Shapiro, Calgary

Shapiro is the former associate executive director of the Calgary Jewish Federation, overseeing all of its programming areas. She is a member of the Calgary Interfaith Council and a regular volunteer at the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank. Shapiro is a past board member for the Calgary Council of Christians and Jews and the Committee on Race Relations and Cross-Cultural Understanding.

Pavit Sidhu, Calgary

Sidhu is the WiseGuyz program facilitator and sexual health educator at the Centre for Sexuality in Calgary. Sidhu served as a member of the University of Calgary senate in 2013 and as an appointee of the students’ union representing the undergraduate student body.

Delainah Velichka, Worsley

Velichka is a school board trustee with Peace River School Division No. 10. Velichka’s portfolios include Administrators’ Association, Teacher Board Advisory Committee, Transportation Liaison Committee, Audit Committee, Alberta School Boards Association Second Language Task Force, Clear Hills Trades Training, Council of School Councils Liaison Committee, Discipline Committee and the First Nations, Métis & Inuit Liaison Committee.

Teresa Woo-Paw, Calgary

Woo-Paw is owner and principle of Teresa Woo-Paw & Associates Ltd. Woo-Paw is a member of the board of directors for the Calgary Arts Foundation, board president of Action Chinese Canadians Together Foundation and is a founding member and current co-chair of the Asian Heritage Foundation.

Follow Author


Pastor, candidate under restraining order arrested for allegedly breaking COVID laws

Published on

CALGARY — A Calgary mayoral candidate who is under a restraining order and a pastor both face charges for allegedly violating COVID-19 laws over the weekend.

The Calgary Police Service alleges Kevin J. Johnston was in violation of a court order when he attended an illegal gathering Saturday morning.

The injunction, obtained by the province’s health delivery agency on May 6, mandates that event organizers comply with public health restrictions, including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits.

Police also say Pastor Tim Stephens was arrested Sunday afternoon for organizing a church service that was held earlier in the day at Fairview Baptist Church, which police allege did not comply with public health orders.

Police say they received repeated calls from concerned citizens about services at Fairview Baptist Church in recent weeks, and that Stephens was proactively served a copy of the May 6 order last weekend.

On Friday, Alberta Health Services said the Court of Queen’s Bench imposed a restraining order on Johnston, requiring that he stay at least 100 metres away from health officers and must not publish any threats or hate speech directed at them.

Johnston is running in this fall’s municipal election and has been a vocal supporter of anti-lockdown protests.

“We are at a critical point in our province’s response to the pandemic and citizens must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being,” police said in a news release announcing Johnston’s arrest.

They didn’t say what event he allegedly attended.

Alberta Health Services has said Johnston has been aggressive and threatening towards two particular health workers as well as to the general AHS workforce.

Johnston appears regularly online, promoting far-right ideology.

Premier Jason Kenney tweeted Saturday that he was glad the restraining order was issued, calling Johnston a “nutbar.”

Police, meanwhile, said they did not enter Fairview Baptist Church during Sunday morning’s service, and that Stephens was arrested in the afternoon.

“The Pastor acknowledged the injunction, but chose to move forward with today’s service, ignoring requirements for social distancing, mask wearing and reduced capacity limits for attendees,” police stated in a news release.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Continue Reading


Big third period lifts Vancouver Canucks to 4-1 victory over Edmonton Oilers

Published on

EDMONTON — Matthew Highmore scored twice in the third period Saturday as the Vancouver Canucks topped the Edmonton Oilers 4-1. 

Travis Boyd and Bo Horvat also had goals for the Canucks (22-28-3), and J.T. Miller registered a pair of assists.

Oilers defenceman Adam Larsson opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the season midway through the first period.  

Thatcher Demko had a big performance for Vancouver, stopping 31 shots, including a breakaway chance by Connor McDavid. Mikko Koskinen had 37 saves for Edmonton (35-19-2). 

The result ended a two-game losing skid for the Canucks, who linger at the bottom of the North Division standings with three games left to play. 

With their final playoff tune-up complete, the Oilers will turn their attention to Wednesday’s first-round playoff series opener against the visiting Winnipeg Jets.

The Canucks broke the game open midway through the third period.

Highmore’s second goal of the afternoon came with 6:33 left to play. He sent a backhand shot towards the Edmonton net from the top of the slot and Koskinen fumbled with the puck before it dribbled over the goal line.

The goal, the Vancouver forward’s third of the season, sealed the score at 4-1. 

An odd-man rush saw Highmore blast a shot up and over Koskinen’s glove 9:13 into the period. Just 16 seconds later, Boyd snapped a shot past the Edmonton netminder from the middle of the slot to make it 3-1.

The Canucks outshot the Oilers 17-5 in the final frame on Saturday. 

McDavid had a prime chance to add to his NHL-leading 105 points in the third period when he picked up a Canucks turnover in the neutral zone and sped away for a breakaway. 

The Oilers captain attempted to put a wrist shot in from the top of the crease but Demko made a blocker save.

The Canucks netminder kept the score tied at 1-1 with a stellar stop midway through the second period. 

The Oilers were awarded their second power play of the game when Zack MacEwen hauled down Joakim Nygard. Alex Chiasson’s snapshot from the bottom of the slot nearly restored Edmonton’s lead, but Demko swept it off the goal line with his right pad. 

Edmonton’s first power play of the afternoon didn’t go as planned. Vancouver’s J.T. Miller was called for holding 1:12 into the second period and 15 seconds later, the puck was in the back of the Edmonton net. 

A shot by Leon Draisaitl went wide and was picked up by Tanner Pearson. He streaked up the ice and sent a backhanded pass across the top of the crease to Horvat, who popped it in to tie the game at 1-1. 

It was the Canucks’ fifth short-handed goal of the season and Horvat’s 18th goal of the year. 

Still stationed in the penalty box, Miller tapped his stick against the glass in appreciation. 

Edmonton was 0 for 3 on the power play and Vancouver went 0 for 2. 

Larsson opened the scoring 12:45 into the opening frame, blasting a slapshot past Demko from above the right faceoff circle. 

McDavid and Draisaitl had assists to extend their point streaks to eight games. McDavid has 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) over the stretch and Draisaitl has 17 points (7-10).  

Edmonton still won the 10-game season series with six victories over Vancouver. 

The Canucks will host the Calgary Flames on Sunday, kicking off a three-game series that will close out the season for both sides. 

Notes: Slater Koekkoek returned to the Oilers lineup after missing 20 games with a broken collarbone. … Canucks defenceman Jalen Chatfield turned 25 on Saturday. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 15, 2021. 

The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

may, 2021

tue04may(may 4)4:57 pmwed30jun(jun 30)12:00 pmMove Your Mood Family Challenge (June)4:57 pm - (june 30) 12:00 pm