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Meet Alberta’s first Anti-Racism Advisory Council 



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.

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Premier Kenney’s reaction to Federal approval of Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion




Premier Jason Kenney reacts to approval of Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

This was a live video broadcast of the news conference held by Premier Jason Kenney in the moments after the Trans Mountain Pipeline was approved.

Media release from The Province of Alberta

“We appreciate the federal government’s second approval of this existing project. This approval is an important milestone for Alberta, and for Canada. The decision was made on the merits of the project that is supported by the majority of Canadians. Approving the TMX pipeline is a step forward for economic growth and prosperity.

“But approval is not construction and, regrettably, for far too long this project has been mired in uncertainty. TMX has been through countless months of consultation and a lengthy and rigorous review process. The immediate test is the start of construction, with shovels in the ground and real progress. Success will be measured by one thing alone: completion of this pipeline.

“At the same time, this is just the beginning. Without TMX and other coastal pipelines, we are underselling our resources to the United States and allowing OPEC countries to dominate global energy markets. That doesn’t reduce energy consumption, but sells Canadians short, making us poorer.

“We should never have been put in the position of depending on one coastal pipeline project, which is exactly what happened through the cancellation of Northern Gateway and the death of Energy East. These policies are now being enshrined in bills C-48 and C-69. Both bills pose a threat to Alberta’s energy industry and provincial autonomy.

“Albertans continue to urge the federal government to listen to the provinces, job creators and the Senate on these bills to restore investor confidence and diversify our markets.

“We remain committed to fighting for additional pipelines, growing the economy and creating good jobs.”

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Retired Oil Field Worker sparks national conversation with his pitch for a new route to move Alberta Oil




The following Opinion piece comes from local writer / editorialist (and former oil field worker) Garfield Marks. 

We have not been able to run our bitumen through a pipeline to a refinery in New Brunswick. There has been resistance in parts of Ontario and in Quebec. What if we came up with another plan. Would we consider it? There will be road blocks, but not insurmountable, would we consider it?
Yes how about Thunder Bay?
Thunder Bay, Ontario, the largest Canadian port of the St. Lawrence Seaway located on the west end of Lake Superior, 1850 kms. from Hardisty, Alberta. A forgotten jewel.
So what, you may ask. 
They used to ship grain from Thunder Bay in huge tankers to ports all over the world. Why not oil?
The Saint Lawrence Seaway ships fuel, gasoline and diesel tankers, to this day.
We could run oil tankers to the Irving refinery in New Brunswick, bypassing the controversial pipeline running through eastern Ontario and Quebec.
The pipeline, if that was the transport model chosen, would only need to run through parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Like, previously stated the pipeline would only be 1850 kms. long. 
The other great thing about Thunder Bay is the abundance of rail lines. Transportation for such things as grain and forestry products from western Canada. If you can’t run pipeline from Hardisty, through to Thunder Bay, use the railroad.
Why Hardisty, you may ask.
Hardisty, according to Wikipedia,  is mainly known as a pivotal petroleum industry hub where petroleum products such as Western Canada Select blended crude oil and Hardisty heavy oil are produced, stored and traded.
The Town of Hardisty owes its very existence to the Canadian Pacific Railway. About 1904 the surveyors began to survey the railroad from the east and decided to locate a divisional point at Hardisty because of the good water supply from the river. 
Hardisty, Alberta has the railroad and has the product, the storage capacity, and the former Alberta government planned on investing $3.7 billion in rail cars for hauling oil while Thunder Bay has the railroad and an under utilised port at the head of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Economics are there along with opportunity, employment would be created and the east coast could end its’ dependency on imported oil. 
Do we have the vision or willingness to consider another option. I am just asking for all avenues to be considered.
In my interviews in Ontario there is a willingness to discuss this idea. 
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation is still reviewing the idea of shipping crude oil from western Canada through its system, and it’s a long way from happening, according to Bruce Hodgson, the Seaway’s director of market development.
“Obviously, there needs to be an ongoing commitment on the part of a producer, and so that’s going to be required for any project of this nature,” he said. 

We could consider it, could we not?
CBC NEWS did a story about this idea on March 7 2019;
A retired oil field worker in Alberta has “floated” a novel solution to Alberta’s oil transportation woes: pipe the bitumen to Thunder Bay, Ont., then ship it up the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Irving oil refinery in New Brunswick.
Marks’ proposal might be more than a pipe dream, according to the director of the Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy.
‘I don’t think that it’s a totally nuts idea’
“I don’t think that it’s a totally nuts idea,” Warren Mabee said. “I think that there’s some flaws to it … but this is an idea that could work in certain circumstances and at certain times of year. … It’s not the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.”
The chief executive officer of the Port of Thunder Bay said shipping oil from the port “could easily be done.” 
“We ship refined gasoline and diesel up from Sarnia. We’ve done that for many many years,” Tim Heney told CBC. “So it’s not something that’s that far-fetched.”
There are, however, plenty of potential drawbacks to shipping crude through the Seaway, Mabee explained, not least of which is the fact that it isn’t open year-round.

The need to store oil or redirect it during the winter months could be costly, he said.
Potential roadblocks
Another potential pitfall is capacity, he added; there may not be enough of the right-sized tankers available to carry the oil through the Seaway. 
Finally, he said, the journey by sea from Lake Superior to the Irving refinery in New Brunswick is a long one, so it might make more sense to transport the product to a closer facility such as the one in Sarnia, Ont.
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation is still reviewing the idea of shipping crude oil from western Canada through its system, and it’s a long way from happening, according to Bruce Hodgson, the Seaway’s director of market development.
“Obviously, there needs to be an ongoing commitment on the part of a producer, and so that’s going to be required for any project of this nature,” he said. 
So far, no producer has come forward seeking to ship crude through Thunder Bay, he said. 

Asked about the possible environmental risks of shipping oil on Lake Superior, both Hodgson and Heney said shipping by tanker is relatively safe; Hodgson noted that any tankers carrying the product would have to be double-hulled, and crews are heavily vetted. 
Time to rethink pipelines?
There hasn’t been a spill in the Seaway system for more than 20 years he said. 
Nonetheless, Mabee said, the potential for an oil spill on the Great Lakes could be a huge issue. 
“The St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes have a lot of people living in close proximity, a lot of people who rely on it for drinking water,” he said. “There’s a delicate ecosystem there. I think a lot of people would push back against this proposal simply from that perspective.”
In fact, one of the reasons Mabee appreciates Marks’ proposal, he said, is because it invites people to weigh the pros and cons of different methods of transporting oil. 
“If we’re not going to build pipelines, but we’re going to continue to use oil, it means that people are going to be looking at some of these alternative transport options,” he said.

“And if we don’t want oil on those alternative transport options, we need to give the pipelines another thought.

Time to consider all options, I dare say.

​Garfield Marks​

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june, 2019

fri21jun(jun 21)6:30 pmwed03jul(jul 3)12:00 amTHE WORKS ART & DESIGN FESTIVAL6:30 pm - (july 3) 12:00 am

sat22junmon01julEdmonton International Jazz Festival7:30 pm - (july 1) 9:15 pm

mon24jun1:30 pm4:00 pmWellness Recovery Action PlanningCanadian Mental Health Association1:30 pm - 4:00 pm