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2019 U N International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

please mark your calendars

Thursday March 21 2019 starting 8:30 am

and join us for CROSS CULTURES magazine’s

18th annual commemoration of the

UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

for the entire Waterloo Region

open to everyone at Kitchener City Hall

* we start with indigenous prayer, O Canada and greetings from dignitaries

* morning – focus on students from public, Catholic and private schools

* afternoon – open interactive roundtable and panel discussions, documentaries

– the meaning of being indigenous to a land

– what is race? why racism?

– youth identity

* evening – peace concert and art

CROSS CULTURES has been working on a MUTUAL RESPECT campaign

and last year we unveiled the prototype for what we hope will be completed by March 21st for a monument to be placed at the clock tower entrance of Victoria Park ..

this event is always a work in progress, and we would love to hear from you !

Gehan

-- 
Gehan D. Sabry
Editor / Publisher
Cross Cultures magazine (since 1991)
POB 20002 Kitchener ON N2P 2B4
519 893 4259
email: crosscultures@bellnet.ca
www.crosscultures.ca

Florence Carbray

Florence, my next door neighbour of 30 years, is the first person who welcomed me to this country, got me involved with the community association of which she was president at the time, hired my teenage daughter to baby side her boys … and so much more ..

During that long stretch of time .. we have had discussions, disagreed on so many current issues, about approaches to events, about public policies ..  but never on anything personal, and always with respect for each other’s point of view … we are both Taurus .. so you can imagine the kind of heated arguments that ensue .. her husband would just shake his head …

I decided today to tape an interview with her because she is running as a candidate for Kitchener Ward 4, and I wanted to bring out the aspect that some people may not know about her, about her humble, quiet yet efficient and sincere way of getting things done, about how for her 38 years of living here, she was been a go-getter of a very unique style … she listens, she brings people together, she respects everyone and she facilitates and moderates until both sides are satisfied .. an amazing lady!

snow clearing

a hot topic ? oh yes …

For 30 years I have been puzzling about how the devious establishment managed to pass a by-law that is so incredibly unfair to homeowners .. and worse yet .. that some people have been silent about that !!!

I decided in 2018 that I am going to do something about this … so .. in January I registered to make a presentation to Kitchener city council’s budget meeting, and followed it with another in June of the same year when, after wasting six months of staff paid time to  “studying” and “report” …they came up with an even more ridiculous suggestion of spending $750,000 on a “pilot project”, a hefty sum that could have been used as seed money for a one time purchase of the equipment to be immediately put to use for the upcoming winter .. so before I open the discussion, let me share the two presentation …

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January 15 2018

Mr Mayor, City of Kitchener Councillors, ladies and gentleman,

Good evening,

In this meeting when council discusses budgets, projects and upkeep of the city – all of them important and commendable endeavours and efforts we are very appreciative and grateful for –

Sadly, in our zeal to save money, the city has neglected to address a grievous wrong that should never have existed in the first place.

I am talking of the arbitrary sentence of hard labour (with no parole in sight) imposed upon homeowners . . . under threat of severe penalties . . . to shovel, scrape packed snow or ice on city owned sidewalks and the huge mounts resulting from what the plows dump at the entrance of our driveways … all in harsh, severe freezing weather conditions ..

This cannot be called a normal civic duty by any standard .. such an injustice and wrong should not be allowed to stand on any excuse, including money, especially in a large, rich city such as Kitchener.

This bylaw may have been necessary some time in the past, but with the wide tax base we have today, and especially with the newer and much cheaper technology available for sidewalk snow removal, there is no excuse for allowing a grievous wrong to continue. Modern snow removal machines do the job easily and at unbelievably high speeds. In exactly ten minutes one of those machines can finish the sidewalk going all around an average-sized crescent. That is one man, on one machine, sparing dozens of homeowners a lot of trouble, discomfort, pain, inconvenience, and even illness, injury or worse yet, a heart attack.

The idea of telling a homeowner if they can’t do it themselves they’re on their own and have to work out an alternative, or pay others to have it done, or buy a machine to do it, or any of that, is just more injustice and an unfair burden on their shoulders and should be crossed out of any solution.

The city and council very kindly work hard to afford better programs, more facilities and more activities especially for seniors, so why not add one more crucial service – that is to say – have the professionals do the job as it should be done?

Those who go out to do this arduous work on behalf of the city, risk life & limb or severe injuries for us every time they are out there . . . even though they did not voluntarily sign up for it . . . a forced, unpaid labour imposed indiscriminately upon the shoulders of innocent homeowners without their consent, regardless of their own bodies’ abilities – the old and young, the frail and able-bodied, the sick and well alike.

The premise is deeply flawed from its roots. It is a blatant travesty, and though we
worry about the pedestrian’s right to walk on cleared sidewalks, that is not a homeowners problem, and should never have been.

Human beings and justice should be primary elements of the discussions that go on among this venerable council that represents the people of this city. Until this matter is brought to a satisfactory conclusion we cannot call ourselves a civilized community by any other measure. We may have very high tech companies locating in our city, we may have the truly wonderful LRT, we can have all other kinds of perks and attractions, but we can never call ourselves civilized with that kind of travesty going on every winter.

We are certainly grateful and thankful to the mayor, council, and city staff for making our city well worth being proud of, but sadly that is marred by the inhumanity of an archaic unjust bylaw which has no place in such a city. Canadian winters dictate that this be considered a high priority on city budget

I am sure that once you realise the extent of wrong involved, you will take it upon yourselves to find the best solutions possible.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity, and though there is so much more that can be said on this topic, I am limited to 5 minutes, so please allow me to answer any questions now or later

Gehan Sabry

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June 25 2018

Mr Mayor, City of Kitchener Councillors, ladies and gentleman,

Good evening,

In my previous presentation to the budget committee in January of this year, I expressed what many feel about the unfortunate and unfair situation that has historically been imposed on homeowners to clear sidewalks that are owned by the city and should therefore be the city’s responsibility.

I am talking about the arbitrary sentence of forced, unpaid hard labour (with no parole in sight) imposed indiscriminately on innocent homeowners – without their consent regardless of their abilities (physical or financial) – old or young, frail or fit, sick or well alike.

The premise is deeply flawed from its roots, and until this blatant travesty is resolved without further delay, we cannot call ourselves a civilized community by any measure

The Canadian reality is that it snows in winter, and continuing to drag the issue is outrageous . . . pilot projects or months of preparing staff reports at this point should be viewed as redundant and a further waste of resources.

At university (half a century ago) one of my professor said and I quote “the best way to kill any project or idea is to give it to a committee” and how true this has been proven to be !!
I am sure that once you realise the extent of wrong involved, you will take it upon yourselves to find the best solutions possible. The city always manages to find funds when it has to or wants to . . . a case in point is the most recent example of how the city adjusted to the new provincial minimum wage.

Therefore objections based on cost, or, even mentioning an increase in taxes is adding insult to injury. So is imposing fines !

There are other cities in Canada that clear snow for the community as part of municipal operations expenses covered by EXISTING taxes. The city already clears sidewalks in the city centres and at parks. Wouldn’t take much more to keep pushing the sidewalk plows and clear everyone’s sidewalk especially with the newer and much cheaper technology available . . . in exactly 10 minutes one of those machines can finish the sidewalk of an average sized crescent – that is one man, on one machine, sparing DOZENS of homeowners a lot of discomfort, pain, inconvenience, even illness, injury or worse yet .. a heart attack . . . that is to say .. Have the professionals do the job as it should be done BY THOSE WHO SHOULD BE DOING IT!

Snow removal on residential sidewalks is the responsibility of our city, no ifs or buts about it!

So although we worry about pedestrians and strollers rights to access cleared sidewalks, that is NOT a homeowner’s problem, and should never have been.

Human beings and justice should be primary elements of the discussions that go on among this venerable council who represent the people, all the people

Thank you for giving me this opportunity and I look forward to answering any of your questions

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

the following are varying points of view and exchanges about the issue .. I will include the names where the dialogue was public, but will mask the names when the conversation was private

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Too slow on snow
Opinion Jul 19, 2018 Waterloo Region Record

Kitchener backs away from pricey snow clearing trial — June 27

Given that having walkways free of snow and ice (and obstructions in the other three seasons) is a human right, it stands to reason that the 24-hour time frame for clearing is not reasonable or acceptable. In order to be in any way meaningful, walkways must be cleared of snow and ice in a timely manner and maintained as such. When snowing, a pass at least every hour on every walkway would ensure safe conditions. The city has unlimited resources, and should use them to obtain the necessary staff and equipment to achieve this goal. A dollar value cannot be placed on the health and safety of the population. The notion that a 24-hour time frame for clearing is anywhere near effective is a mere token, indicating surrender to the vocal masses and is abdicating responsibility for the well-being of the population.

Ken Sowa
Kitchener

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Gehan AF D Sabry
for the past 30 years I have been puzzling over how and when the local authorities managed to con home owners into clearing the sidewalks for them in addition to what the city plows dump on the driveway .. while there is a simple gadget that attaches to the plow to clear that away … this is Canada and in winter it snows, and as the city is obligated to clear the roads, it is MORE obligated to clear its sidewalks for its pedestrians … instead I found that they had pitted pedestrians against homeowners … and the cheek of it .. they further imposed a penalty … lifetime sentence of free labour with no parole in sight !!!….. disgraceful doesn’t even begin to describe it … especially that with the advancement of technology, clearing an average crescent wouldn’t take more than 10 minutes .. one piece of equipment, one person !!! does that answer your question? oh .. and of course now they are scaring people by threatening to raise property taxes .. when in fact they should have been doing the work themselves a long time ago !!!

*************************************************************************

2018 October 6 fb exchange re bylaw w Gregory Heenan

Gregory A. Heenan
Question for ALL CANDIDATES what will you do to get bylaw enforcement out of the office and on the streets It is not my job to call their attention to violators. Would you encourage / propose a enforcement person for EACH of the10 wards or one for every two (5)

Gehan AF D Sabry
Gregory .. I am not a candidate …but I sincerely hope you are not referring to snow clearing …because that is one by-law that violates every homeowners human right … and the fight over it is far from over!!

Alan Balažic
Can you elaborate Gehan? I’m not clear about what right you’re speaking of?

Gehan AF D Sabry
Alan Balažic – for the past 30 years I have been puzzling over how and when the local authorities managed to con home owners into clearing the city owned sidewalks for them in addition to what the city plows dump on the driveway .. while there is a simple gadget that attaches to the plow to clear that away … this is Canada and in winter it snows, and as the city is obligated to clear the roads, it is MORE obligated to clear its sidewalks for its pedestrians … instead I found that they had pitted pedestrians against homeowners … and the cheek of it .. they further imposed a penalty … lifetime sentence of free labour with no parole in sight !!!….. disgraceful doesn’t even begin to describe it … especially that with the advancement of technology, clearing an average crescent wouldn’t take more than 10 minutes .. one piece of equipment, one person !!! does that answer your question? oh .. and of course now they are scaring people by threatening to raise property taxes .. when in fact they should have been doing the work themselves a long time ago !!!

Gregory A Heenan
Gehan AF D Sabry – I NEVER said a flake about snow ….. general bylaws and property standards that is why I capitalized the direction of the question to CANDIDATES but it seems that not Christine Michaud nor Wes nor Florence nor either of the other CANDIDATES have it on their agendas

Aurie Botosan
There is SO much I could enlighten some on this issue as a private snow removal contractorbut as a Canadian who has endured many cold, snowy and dreary winters it’s what we do .. shovel our fair share !!! And then cozy up to a fire and watch our beloved Leafs lose on a Saturday night . Just think of the associated costs facilitating your suggestions $$

Gehan AF D Sabry
Aurie, the city can subcontract the work to you and other private snow removal contractors … I am not against private contractors, in fact at my work, we do have that agreement in place .. there is still plenty of work … but to impose it upon homeowners is a travesty .. unforgivable when it also comes with a fine if not done!!! The cost rhetoric they cook up is also unacceptable . the city has an obligation that it has been shirking for too long …

Aurie Botosan
Does the snow contractor at your place of work shovel the snow between your parked cars ?

Gehan AF D Sabry
Aurie Botosan we do not park overnight .. and if I am working late I go outside and move my car …

Aurie Botosan
Gehan AF D Sabry point I’m making is expectations of a service have to meet the allotted budget. Enjoy your Thanksgiving

Gregory A. Heenan
Aurie Botosan Gehan AF D Sabry HOW DID THIS BECOME A SNOW ISSUE NOT THE ORIGINAL point ….. looks like we need to get the school board trustees to approach a literacy concern I am now getting or maybe Doug Ford has an opinion on THAT too

Gehan AF D Sabry
Gregory .. I was responding to Alan Balažic who asked me to elaborate on my comment to you re by-laws .. there is absolutely no need for you to be dictatorial and muzzle the conversation just because you had something different in mind .. this site is about elections .. and elections revolve around CITIZENS not candidates .. we select .. we challenge .. and we decide .. that is democracy
Gregory A Heenan .. your post was about by-laws!!!!!! who now needs literacy .. if you wanted it to be specific you should have formed your sentence accordingly !!!!!

Gehan AF D Sabry
snow clearing is a
CITY OBLIGATION
.. not an excuse to raise taxes

Jamie Diebolt
If the City was responsible to plough all sidewalks they would have to increase staff and increase spending for more machinery/maintenance to do the work or hire contractors. Where do you think the money to do this would come from? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out

Gehan AF D Sabry
Jamie, the equipment will be a one time purchase that would probably have been covered by their ridiculous and thankfully withdrawn “study and pilot project” of 750,000 … and if they operated on an efficient budget like all other companies have to do .. instead of having to rely / fall back on the public trough, it would be extremely easy to do … without scaring people into thinking that the only way is to raise taxes and continue to commit a travesty against homeowners …

Alex Lobakov
Jamie Diebolt – I used to live in King City and the city was responsible for plowing sidewalks. And guess what?
Property tax rate was LOWER than they charge in Kitchener. What gives?

Chris Feeney
How do you really feel though…

Gehan AF D Sabry
Chris, about what?

Carol Daniels
You could move to a neighborhood with no sidewalks… Problem solved

Gehan AF D Sabry
Carol Daniels .. what is wrong is wrong … I should not have to shovel snow or mow a lawn that the city claims to own .. and therefore I also should not have to move myself just because you say so!! I pay my property taxes and deserve to be served as in all civilized societies where human rights are respected … I am not a tool of free labour to be pushed around and be threatened by penalties… and it is not a ‘problem’ it is a travesty being committed against homeowners ..

Carol Daniels
Wow. So angry! I said “could” which is in the passive voice. It was a idea, not a command.

Gehan AF D Sabry
you might want to consider how our rights are being abused as homeowners .. and when they get away with one thing they will spread to more .. so careful what you wish for

Carol Daniels
Gehan AF D Sabry – and what did I wish for?

Gehan AF D Sabry
Carol Daniels – you wished me gone to solve my problem .. which to me is an attitude that lacks compassion and trivializes my what you call “problem”

Carol Daniels
Gehan AF D Sabry – I didn’t mean to wish you away. I apologize if I hurt your feelings. You are correct that there are ways to keep the plowed stuff off the driveways off the sidewalk. I find it’s just too easy for people and agencies not to care. I’m just surprised that neighborhoods with no sidewalks aren’t more prevalent. As to th Boulevards, I’m sure that’s done so that certain services can be attended to without homeowners giving workers issues about trespassing, etc. I don’t think that can be helped

Gehan AF D Sabry
no problem .. Carol … I have made several presentations to the current council, and that is why I hope to counter the divisiveness and the pitting pedestrians against home owners and also to prove that a one time purchase of equipment would be more fiscally responsible instead of the six months salaries and staff time that culminated in a “report” suggesting a pilot project that would have cost $750,000 which I said should be used against the purchase of the equipment .. obviously private contractors think they will lose out .. when in fact this is an opportunity for them to step in and do the job .. even more efficiently! New technology indicates that an average crescent would take 10 minutes to clear .. one man one piece of equipment … in Sweden for example they realized that pedestrians are even more of a priority than the roads so they start by clearing them first .. without a single thought of using homeowners as slaves ..

Sara Lane
I like your point, im just not sure it’s a battle we can win. I don’t mind to shovel the sidewalk Infront of my house. I told myself long ago that if I was ever lucky enough to own my own home I’d remember that when I had to cut my lawn or shovel my driveway. Puts it in perspective when I don’t feel like doing it

Agata Majerski
If nobody says anything then there is no “battle” and the city wins every time. I have no problems clearing the sidewalks, but I always think of those injured and elderly that pay taxes and still have to do it.
If the city owns the sidewalk, then the city should clear it

Sara Lane
Yep but that point also begs the question are they going to cut the boulevard in front of your place too? Because that’ll be their argument that if they do snow because it’s their property than someone will want them to do the grass infront of houses as well

Gehan AF D Sabry
Sara Lane, whatever their argument, the slavery and abuse of homeowner’s time and efforts has got to stop and at no additional cost to homeowners because it was a travesty to begin with .. that point was been clearly explained to them .. I actually even accused them of being cheeky for still talking about by-law enforcement and increasing fines on something that violates my human right as a homeowner and should never happen in a society that calls itself civilized

Agata Majerski
Sara Lane well, the cut the garbage pick up to every two weeks now and limit on number of of bags. I don’t see cut on taxes, just on the service. Use the savings to do the sidewalks…

Sara Lane
Sara and 65 others joined Doon South Community Group within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community!
I get the every two weeks. It’s to push the green boxes into use. Well, that’s part of it. It was implemented but not received well. And we need to start doing more for the garbage issue as a whole

Gehan AF D Sabry
Agata Majerski – I like your point about using the savings .. and it even prompts me to say … learn to do things more efficiently … without always depending on dipping into the public purse for more taxes

Carol Daniels
Is there a budget item with the city to clear residential sidewalks?

Gehan AF D Sabry
yes Carol, they are half way to acknowledging their responsibility but keep scaring people about property taxes .. and although many people have even been willing to pay more … my position is that it is long overdue that they step up and correct their slavery and abuse of homeowners and that they are very crafty at finding funds when they want to .. they had already wasted six months of staff salaries to come up with a report that suggested they run a pilot project at a cost of $750,000 to which I replied that that was a redundant study and a waste of money and that the 750,000 should go towards a one time purchase of equipment and to stop dragging the issue ..

Warren Schnurr
The equipment may cost $750K but you also need to pay people to operate that equipment, it’s not as cut and dry as you think. Also, the norm for municipalites all over North America is that homeowners shovel the sidewalks and mow the grass on the municipal-owned boulevard. Sidewalk plowing is offered in some places but it is not in the majority of cities. It’s not slavery, it’s a normal part of living in an urban area in society

Sara Lane
I was cringing at the slavery term too. If I wrote that in some other groups I’d be lamb basted. I’m not ok with that term for this…

Gehan AF D Sabry
Sara Lane – but that is exactly what it is and that is what I said to city council .. it is public record .. why do you cringe when someone states the truth … if you are not clear how it is slavery .. I am more than happy to elaborate …

Sara Lane
Ugh nope. It’s an opinion

Gehan AF D Sabry
Sara Lane – I am surprised that the term offends you but the action it describes doesn’t

Sara Lane
You’re going to turn a lot of folks off with your argument using it. You go though, if you can change things all the power to you. If you need any signatures etc I would add mine

Gehan AF D Sabry
Sara Lane – thank you Sara I truly appreciate this and I just might need the signatures ..

Gehan AF D Sabry
I beg to differ Warren .. and btw it is not across the board many cities have realized how uncivilized it was to treat homeowners as free labour and have resumed their responsibility, and Warren, when something is wrong it is wrong … just because it has been allowed to continue in the past is no reason for it not to be remedied … as I explained earlier …new technology indicates that an average crescent would take 10 minutes to clear .. one man one piece of equipment … and again as I said …in Sweden for example they realized that pedestrians are even more of a priority than the roads so they start by clearing them first .. without a single thought of using homeowners as slaves ..

Warren Schnurr
I don’t agree that is wrong, it’s fiscally prudent. There are many concerns that need to be addressed before the city goes and decides to just plow all the sidewalks…
1) There will be a substantial cost each year for the city to plow all the sidewalks. Do we, as taxpayers and voters want the city to prioritize sidewalk plowing over fixing roads and utilities or funding libraries and community centres?
2) What happens when the city budgets a certain amount for snow removal and the budget gets blown if we have a bad winter? Where does the money come from to cover the overrun?
3) If the city plows damage anyones property while plowing how does the city handle that? Who pays? How does the city insure against that and prevent lawsuits?
We democratically elect the people who make the decisions to plow the sidewalks or not to plow the sidewalks, they’re not our ‘masters’ they’re our representatives. If sidewalk plowing is such an issue we would have candidates running on that platform for the election this month. To date I haven’t even seen this register on the political radar.
People buy homes in this area knowing what their responsibilities are in terms of snow removal etc., they are not forced into buying that home and if they don’t want to shovel snow don’t buy a home here

Cory Janzen
Agree Warren Schnurr – there are far greater issues than this in our city…if It bothers you so much hire a neighbour’s kid to clear your driveway – creates jobs, keeps them off Fortnite for a while, and will be WAY cheaper than paying the City to manage it

Gehan AF D Sabry
Cory Janzen – your remark reflects total inconsideration for the free labour that is imposed on homeowners, the jobs should be created by the city … or else I will send my bills for all the hours I have to spend clearing their sidewalk in the winter and mowing their portion of the front lawn in the summer .. it isn’t about what is cheaper .. it is about what is civilized !!!!

Gehan AF D Sabry
Warren Schnurr – let’s take your points one by one:
1) There will be a substantial cost each year for the city to plow all the sidewalks. Do we, as taxpayers and voters want the city to prioritize sidewalk plowing over fixing roads and utilities or funding libraries and community centres?
* the city tax base has exponentially multiplied over the years so has technological advancement such that it is now very time and cost efficient .. with responsible budgeting it could and should assume its responsibility of minding its own properties .. such as the sidewalks and the gadget that attaches to the plows to clear what it dumps on my private driveway!!

2) What happens when the city budgets a certain amount for snow removal and the budget gets blown if we have a bad winter? Where does the money come from to cover the overrun?
* ask them how they managed to come up with a million dollars to cover the minimum wage increase that the province imposed this year

3) If the city plows damage anyone’s property while plowing how does the city handle that? Who pays? How does the city insure against that and prevent lawsuits?
* what do you suggest I should do if my husband dies of a heart attack while he has to do the free slave work on behalf of the city?

We democratically elect the people who make the decisions to plow the sidewalks or not to plow the sidewalks, they’re not our ‘masters’ they’re our representatives. If sidewalk plowing is such an issue we would have candidates running on that platform for the election this month. To date I haven’t even seen this register on the political radar.
* in a democracy WE THE PEOPLE tell the candidates what to run on .. HELLO !!

People buy homes in this area knowing what their responsibilities are in terms of snow removal etc., they are not forced into buying that home and if they don’t want to shovel snow don’t buy a home here
* it really is beyond your jurisdiction to tell me where to buy a home .. and .. it is well within my right to demand a resolve to this most uncivilized by-law!!!

Ruby Weber
You are so right, but how can we change it.

Gehan AF D Sabry
thank you Ruby, I have made several presentations to the current council, and that is why I hope to counter the divisiveness and the pitting pedestrians against home owners and also to prove that a one time purchase of equipment would be more fiscally responsible instead of the six months salaries and staff time that culminated in a “report” suggesting a pilot project that would have cost $750,000 which I said should be used against the purchase of the equipment .. obviously private contractors think they will lose out .. when in fact this is an opportunity for them to step in and do the job .. obviously more efficiently! New technology indicates that an average crescent would take 10 minutes to clear .. one man one piece of equipment …

Sam Meilach
And if you don’t clear the sidewalk they’ll fine you

Gregory A Heenan
if implemented (I think it should) Taxes will be immediately increased and then the screaming will be loud

Gehan AF D Sabry
Gregory, that was exactly what I objected to in my presentation to city council earlier this year … that it is bad enough that they had gotten away with taking advantage of homeowners for so long and should neither increase taxes or dare to mention fines any more!!!

Gregory A. Heenan
and HOW is that funded ? No transfer funding from province or region. Must be paid for and not everyone HAS A SIDEWALK some are without drive so plugged drive is not a worry.

Gehan AF D Sabry
Gregory A Heenan – when the province implemented the increase in minimum wage .. I asked … how is the city managing that .. the reply .. oh we managed!!!

June Connors
Perhaps if developers were not given “corporate welfare” (constant waiving of development fees owed to city/regional coffers)these savings could be used to benefit residents by clearing city sidewalks and keeping tax increases reasonable

Mike Franck
If developers aren’t given incentives (Corporate Welfare), they will simply go where incentives are offered; they will pay ongoing taxes, and hire people to operate their business’ (some of whom will be happy for new job opportunities & being able to afford a sidewalk to shovel). Just sayin’

June Connors
Mike Franck – respect your opinion but disagree and say let them go…just sayin

Gehan AF D Sabry
Mike Franck – is that all you can think of … money !!!! never mind the uncivilized bylaw that has been encroaching on every home owner’s human right to a normal life without having to slave for the city to do its sidewalk clearing for it!!!

Mike Franck
Gehan AF D Sabry – it is really kind of funny (read sad) for you to attack my observation so personally; if you don’t have a source of income, you’re unlikely to have a sidewalk to worry about shoveling. Besides, are you not complaining about having to pay for the cost to have someone else shovel your sidewalk? That kind of equates to thinking about money – n’est pas?

Gehan AF D Sabry
Mike Franck .. non pas du tout!!! I attack the idea and the line of thinking that you have put forward … where it is all about money … I am presenting an instance of a blatant human rights violation, and your line of thought only went to breaking it down to dollars and cents and developers ..

June Connors
Unless something has changed last time I checked the City owns both sidewalks and boulevards

Gehan AF D Sabry
yes thank you June!!!

June Connors
Gehan AF D Sabry.- I try to stick with the facts Gehan. Truth is the city has us clearing their sidewalks and maintaining their boulevards. If we do not do this they fine us. Although compliant I don’t call this “freedom.” Perhaps, someday this will change but not holding my breath waiting. Happy thanksgiving to you and yours

Gehan AF D Sabry
happy thanksgiving to you too June … it is nice to talk to someone who exchanges with civility!!!

Gregory A. Heenan
You MUST be trying to run for office but I find no mention of you at any level … odd usually individuals with such strong feelings as to THINK it is a ‘BLATANT HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION” would be the take action type of person … our MP is just that tried every way to get her son’s service dog allowed in school and then ran to try to change from within …. the test program is on so let’s see how that shakes out … heck we may all have to take garbage to the dump to get the money to clear some walks or maybe like some states it is a user fee base where if not paid your fire fee they will sit and watch your hones burn as they did in Tennessee

Gehan AF D Sabry
I would not even consider running … I am an activist I operate from an independent place … but activist I am … and I have already made two presentation to the current council and spoken to many about it .. this is not going away … you side track in your comments .. and you seem to be submissive to what “they” will decide … without realizing that residents need to be LISTENED TO and responded to .. not be pushed about by a handful of people .. remember the definition of democracy ..???

Gregory A Heenan
Mike Franck – I guess people need to be educated that we are given or allowed to live in a free system but free means “at a cost” in an example in the U S healthcare comes with a cost but to a high percentage …… ah never mind Gehan AF D Sabry may …..oh yeah she is an ACTIVIST not a politician

Gehan AF D Sabry
so Gregory A Heenan and Mike Franck .. you think USA is a model to follow !!! God help us!!! here I am talking about the rights of homeowners as citizens who pay their taxes – where an archaic by-law has been upheld by using divisive methods of pitting homeowners (who are also pedestrians) against pedestrians … just so that the city can shirk its responsibility of clearing ITS OWN sidewalks … talking about human rights of citizens in a supposedly civilized society .. yet you are too concerned about cost … so again God help us!!!

Kitchener ward 4 election 2018

Gehan AF D Sabry – I put the question to the 2018 candidates for Kitchener Ward 4:
Florence Carbray Christine Michaud Wes Hill Julie Batista Goncalves Geary Upneet Sasha Sidhu ?

Wes Hill
Hi Gehan AF D Sabry! That is one big topic! — and definitely one people can get seriously passionate about. Could you narrow it down a bit? What is your biggest concern about snow clearing in the city?

Gehan AF D Sabry
thank you Wes for asking … and yes it has been a great concern and a topic very much discussed .. I have a long and a short version for the reply .. and I did not want to influence your response … would you give me your thoughts first .. I will be happy to debate you on it

Christine Michaud
Hello Gehan. This is a hot topic specifically amongst seniors and those with physical disabilities. I don’t believe this issue is going to go away and I expect it will be discussed at council again. As a starting point I would like to see what the tax payer would have to absorb for different options then go from there

Gehan AF D Sabry
thank you Christine for your reply

Christine Michaud
Gehan AF D Sabry – my pleasure

Florence Carbray
This is a passionate issue! Thanks for the question. People who want to get around our city should be able to do so independently, safely and with dignity. It shouldn’t matter if they are walking, cycling, pushing strollers, or using a wheelchair, Getting to where you are going (to transit, work, school, and stores, anywhere) should not be a challenge. The biggest accessibility and mobility issue for citizens in Kitchener is during the winter months when not all sidewalks are kept clear of snow and ice, and accessible. The City Bylaw (Chapter 687) Article 1 DUTY OF OWNER indicates that every owner or occupant of a building … shall clear away and remove the snow and ice from sidewalks … within 24 hours. These sidewalks are city sidewalks, and not always cleared properly by homeowners. Bylaw enforcement is based on citizen complaints; that means a neighbour has to complain about a neighbour who does not clear the ice and snow off the sidewalks to get it taken care of. There are some who believe that the City should be responsible for clearing snow and ice from all city sidewalks. The issue of snow clearing city sidewalks will be on the agenda for the new Council, and if elected as Councillor, I will listen to residents, and be the voice of Ward 4

Gehan AF D Sabry
thank you Florence for your reply .. and as I have been saying .. this issue is focal for me .. and will not go away … many people support my stand on it .. it is public knowledge that I made two presentations to the current council and will continue to do what it takes until it is resolved

Mike Steinborn: Here’s an FYI from the City of Kitchener website. I did not know about this!
Neighbourhood-shared snow blower program
Get money to put towards a new snow blower for your neighbourhood. The city has grant funding for up to 10 neighbhourhood snow blowers. Each snow blower is to be shared by residents living in the same neighbourhood to keep their sidewalks, driveways and walkways clear. Interested Kitchener residents can apply online to receive up to $500 towards the purchase of a new snow blower.
The Neighbourhood Shared Snow Blower program is a neighbourhood led effort. We’ll provide you with a grant to help fund the purchase of a shared snowblower. The resident group is responsible for taking full ownership of the snow blower. This includes ensuring shared and equal access among the group, safe storage, operation, ongoing maintenance and required repairs.
The deadline to apply online is Oct. 26, 2018.

Shelly Lynn
So do you have to give the city names and addresses of your neighbors who are agreeing to this? Anyone can say they’ll do this but in turn keep the snowblower to themselves :(

Mike Steinborn
Probably. I haven’t looked at the application form but there’s probably something in there to prevent this program from being abused :)

Shelly Lynn
Mike Steinborn – I’ll give the city a call in the morning and get more info. We are on old Huron rd and I’m positive most of our street would appreciate this if we get snow this year

Mike Steinborn
Shelly Lynn – Check out this link: https://darrenk.blitzen.com/…/Neighbourhood-Shared-Snow…

Stacey Arnold
Yes you have to give them names. I’m not sure what the “length” of agreement is or what happens if someone moves? There’s a little more info here-
https://darrenk.blitzen.com/…/Neighbourhood-Shared-Snow…
I think in theory it’s a good idea; but it almost seems like they’re focusing on residents who can clear some of the city’s clearing areas as well

Mike Steinborn
Of course, there’s nothing preventing a group of neighbours getting together to buy a snowblower on their own :) Or someone who already has one to share theirs (something I’ve done after heavy snowfalls, which tend to be rare).

Gehan AF D Sabry
a deflective attempt to hold on to the archaic by-law that enslaves home-owners …

Yvette Maria Charbonneau
why not be part of the solution and figure it out to make it better for all instead of griping .. this is a potential solution to help neighbours including helping a senior neighbour who might not possibly be able to do it anymore sheesh

Gehan AF D Sabry
Yvette Maria Charbonneau … first I AM A SENIOR .. second .. I resent your language .. I do not gripe when I seek to correct a horrible injustice that you all seem to be brainwashed about … and if this deflective attempt was a solution I would have been happy about it .. but it is not .. it is a sorry cheap tranquilizer ..

Yvette Maria Charbonneau
I see your ranting as griping take offense all you want your not a part of the solution .. nor are you OFFERING a solution .. so still you are part of the problem

Gehan AF D Sabry
Yvette Maria Charbonneau – and you ARE the problem .. since you allow yourself to be herded by a handful of politicians

Yvette Maria Charbonneau
ha ha ha thank you so much for your entertainment value today
Mike Steinborn – I personally think that what you found is truly an amazing idea to get neighbours together to help one another and even be a bit more neighbourly bravo !

Kelly Sparks Farquhar
Wow ok a no vote – see ya

Gehan AF D Sabry
Kelly – I am not running for a vote .. ha ha

Kelly Sparks Farquhar
Gehan AF D Sabry – well you don’t seem very neighbourly or willing to try to help the situation

Gehan AF D Sabry
this is NOT a solution … this is a cheap cheap tranquilizer to drown attempts to demand our human right and defend ourselves as citizens in a supposedly civilized society .. which .. judging by how aggressive you lot are … is not quite that!!!

Shelly Lynn
Gehan AF D Sabry – maybe you should state your address or the area you live in so people who do want to make us of these snowblowers can be sure not to blow your driveway out in the midst of a snowstorm!

Yvette Maria Charbonneau
Gehan AF D Sabry – and yet you still have done nothing to offer a solution have you ?

Gehan AF D Sabry
Shelley and Lynn .. I have not experienced such venomous behaviour in a while … so below me to respond!

Shelly Lynn
Gehan AF D Sabry – you’re response doesn’t make sense. However, I do not understand how such a thing can be turned into something bad???!!! Nobody is forcing you to join in

Kelly Sparks Farquhar
Gehan AF D Sabry – thought you were running for a spot to represent pioneer park and Doon? If so you won’t get a vote from me

Gehan AF D Sabry
no Kelly I do not run for politics .. I have better things to do .. and I would never ask for your vote anyway!!

Kelly Sparks Farquhar
Do you even live in our community? Most of us are pretty nice and easy to get along with! Anyway hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and October fest! Cheers

Gehan AF D Sabry
Kelly Sparks Farquhar – happy thanksgiving to you too .. you could have fooled me about that nice and easy … but to answer your question .. yes I have lived in this wonderful community for 30 years and counting .. I was a member of the DPPCA since we had the grand opening of the community centre and I volunteered there on many programs … so .. shame on you lot for jumping at my throat like ths …

Kelly Sparks Farquhar
Gehan AF D Sabry – I don’t jump anywhere for anyone! I just hope all us dooners can get along is all! Have a great evening “neighbour”
Oh and sorry I was totally mistaken with you running because I have seen your name tied with a top runner! Please accept my apologies for that!

Gehan AF D Sabry
Kelly Sparks Farquhar – water under the bridge Kelly .. Florence had been my next door neighbour since I moved here 30 years ago, she welcomed me and made me part of the DPPCA and the board while the community centre was being built … I respect her very much

Kelly Sparks Farquhar
Gehan AF D Sabry that is awesome! Can not wait to see the “new” community centre

Gehan AF D Sabry
Kelly Sparks Farquhar – indeed .. all three of my kids grew up with the existing one .. now maybe my grandkids will enjoy the new one??

Kelly Sparks Farquhar
Gehan AF D Sabry- my kids did as well! Now hoping the same for my three granddaughters! See more in common than either of us thought!

Gehan AF D Sabry
Kelly Sparks Farquhar – we may even know each other by sight .. you never know !

Kelly Sparks Farquhar
Gehan AF D Sabry – true I worked at our Zehrs for 14 years lol. And my son will be 30 and daughter will be 29 in November

Gehan AF D Sabry
I look forward to meeting you .. we definitely crossed paths many times over the years !!!

Mike Franck
Well, you have the opportunity to change Council in a couple of weeks. For my part, I live in a Condo & have to pay for the services you seem to think should be free. (and I’d rather not be paying for yours)

Gehan AF D Sabry
Mike Franck- that is precisely the point I made to council … that the city should be ashamed of themselves for even mentioning raising taxes when they should have been taking responsibility for their own sidewalks from the start anyway .. and not even think of talking about fines and penalties .. Kitchener has grown exponentially and the tax base as well as technological advancements could easily afford what I am attempting to hold them accountable for … if they act fiscally, and efficiently … and stop wasting time (six months worth of staff time) just to come up with the idea of running a redundant pilot project at a cost of $750,000 which could have paid for the one time purchase of equipment … they came up with a million dollars just like that when the province raised the minimum wage …!!!!

Mike Franck
My humble apologies for having mistaken this for a Forum that considered different views. Your clearly follow City Hall far more closely than I; therefore, how dare I comment! Good night (& out)

my presentation January 15 2018 …

Sam Meilach
Good speech. I would add that as homeowners we have to make sure the sidewalks aren’t slippery. So when they’re icy we have to out lots of salt (if it’s too hard to scrape with a shovel). And yet they keep telling us not to use salt because it’s bad for the environment. But if we don’t they’ll impose a fine for have slippery sidewalks

Gehan AF D Sabry
yes Sam I totally agree .. .. btw I made a second presentation in June .. I would be happy to share if you are interested

Gehan AF D Sabry
it is a gross violation of homeowners human rights to clear snow on city sidewalks

Rod Pegg
It is the Kitchener bylaw to do so …. even without the penalty, we have traditionally always done this for our neighbourhoods … now with the mobility scooters and senior walkers out there on blustery days, I thought the city was already studying the winter sidewalk issue

Alysia Watkins
We get your point…can we leave it be? Kinda tired of hearing about this daily on this page

Gehan AF D Sabry
and I am tired of having to be abused and enslaved .. so sorry that my REAL problem makes you tired!!!!!

Pamela Fraser
Having to shovel sidewalks is not a REAL problem

Jeannie Brown Watt
Gehan AF D Sabry – please tell me how you feel abused and enslaved. Honestly, I am grateful to be living in this wonderful country. I believe that there are certainly more countries that have more serious issues of abusing and enslaving their people. Give it a rest, please!

Gehan AF D Sabry
if you don’t get it .. it is useless to engage with you … so sorry!

Jeannie Brown Watt
Gehan AF D Sabry – no need to be sorry. Please enlighten me on how we are abused and enslaved.

Gehan AF D Sabry
you don’t get it .. if someone has an issue .. you need to treat that concern with respect, if you don’t have that problem, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a problem .. I am finding Alysia and Pamela very insensitive

Gehan AF D Sabry
Jeannie Brown Watt – this has nothing to do with countries … we do live in the best country in the world .. but it only stays that way by being kept respectful of people

Jeannie Brown Watt
Gehan AF D Sabry – you are not answering my question. Again, please enlighten me on how we are abused and enslaved. I have no idea who Alysia and Pamela are. Do not tell me I don’t get it. Answer the question so I can “get it”

Gehan AF D Sabry
check my other post .. I did share my presentation to city hall in January .. and in June .. or even go to the council minutes .. it should be there .. I explained it all .. and guess what … there are many more like me who feel the same way

Andrew Leyes
Gehan AF D Sabry – give us the presentation here. Doesn’t seem like you even understand what you’re talking about. You keep spinning in circles around nothing

Alysia Watkins
Gehan AF D Sabry – not being insensitive I actually happen to agree with you on this topic but I also don’t need to see it brought up daily on my feed

Logan Macinnis
You’re going about this all wrong. I also agree that the city should be responsible but If you think that posting in this group is going to help your “real problem” then you’re delusional. All you are doing is wasting your time and the time of those who have to see this BS on a daily basis

Gehan AF D Sabry
Logan Macinnis Logan .. I am getting a lesson is how insensitive and uncaring my neighbours are … I have already made several presentations to city council and have taken the ‘democratic’ route, but when I see them now coming up with this ingenious idea of bribing people and tranquilizing the issue .. it concerns me very much…

Logan Macinnis
Gehan AF D Sabry – it shouldn’t, they haven’t changed the rules…it has been this way. You absolutely signed up for any local bylaws when you moved to the area…I’m sure a neighbor would help you clear snow if that’s a personal problem that you have but don’t make it a problem for all of us…you’re the only one I see complaining on this issue

Gehan AF D Sabry
Rod Pegg, yes Rod, but they are offering a tranquilizer of snowblower sharing program instead of solving the root problem and moving fast to rectify the injustice imposed on homeowners ..

Sarah Tonin Kennedy
How is giving a community a gift of easy snow removal a bad thing? When did we stop taking pride in, and maintaining, our own corner of the world? My family, my neighbours, my other communities, would often just take turns clearing our driveways, those of neighbours with one parent and small kids, the elderly, the sick, etc. Including our sidewalks, because we did not wish to see anyone in our community slip or fall. We do not need more service, we need more community engagement and action. Just as this snowblower encourages

Gehan AF D Sabry
Sarah Tonin Kennedy – the key word is .. the sidewalk is city property .. I take much pride is every inch of my property … and we have wonderful relations with all our neighbours .. this is not a social issue .. please try to understand … this is about the city having tricked homeowners into doing its work for it, and now got more emboldened by imposing fines on us for something they should be doing, and went further by pitting pedestrians, strollers and wheelchairs against homeowners .. well homeowners are also the pedestrians, strollers, and wheelchairs .. we did not sign up for this free labour and it is something that we should never have been forced to do … sidewalks are city property .. they did not even allow us to replace a dead tree on the outside grass area … saying “do not touch it .. this is city property” .. so you tell me!

Colleen Erin
Gehan AF D Sabry – homeowners boulevards are also city property – is cutting the grass on the boulevard also an issue?

Gehan AF D Sabry
Colleen .. yes it is .. and I did mention it at one of my presentations to council .. I did say “if this is your property, why am I shovelling it and why am I mowing your grass for you”

Sarah Tonin Kennedy
Count me as one who doesn’t get it then. I am one of those people who look for solutions, and it seems you may be the opposite. Not likely we will come to any middle ground here. Where do you live? If I volunteer to clear the sidewalk out front your house will you be happy?

Rod Pegg
I like the snowblower plan … a healthy way to get neighbours out together and get some satisfaction bettering their neighbourhood

Gehan AF D Sabry
no one is asking you to stop your neighbourly togetherness, you are free to go out and share and shovel and do as you please, but it needs to be established and understood that it is not the job of a homeowner to do free work on city owned sidewalks .. I did not sign up for this ..and I object to the by-law, and find that imposing a fine is adding insult to injury

Rod Pegg
Okay

Gehan AF D Sabry
as for healthy .. I beg to differ … I have major back problems, and my husband has had a quadruple by-pass yet he has to stress in the middle of the night and maybe get another heart attack because he is being abused by the system

Rod Pegg
Neither one you should shovel snow … agreed

Gehan AF D Sabry
Rod Pegg – thank you Rod, I am being ridiculed by some here who think it is a fun thing ..

Rod Pegg
I’m surprised that a close neighbour hasn’t stepped in to help you out when there’s a winter storm … I help out a few of mine for a thank you wave & a smile

Gehan AF D Sabry
Rod Pegg – we do have wonderful neighbours and we have pot lucks and gatherings and all sorts of neighbourly activities .. I am not discussing social relations .. I am discussing a situation that has been unfair for too long .. it has been puzzling me for years now how this by-law came to be .. I had voiced it all along … two wrongs do not make a right …

Kelly Jackman
Maybe it’s time to buy a condo…to use the words ‘abused and enslaved’ in regards to shoveling snow is an insult to those who are truly abused and enslaved.

Gehan AF D Sabry
Kelly Jackman .. NO .. it is time the city steps up to its responsibility of clearing its own sidewalks .. I shouldn’t have to … never should have … I never signed up for it .. in a civilized country … our rights should be respected …

Kelly Jackman
When you moved to the city did they clear the side walks for you? No they did not, so now that your personal circumstances have changed the city you live in should accommodate you??? There are other places you can live that will clear your snow, there are companies you can hire to clear your snow, or you can move because YOUR personal circumstances have changed. I am not ridiculing you I am disagreeing with you

Nerina Avelleira
agree with Kelly’s first message – I came from condo world and you are at the mercy of 3 – 5 people

Gehan AF D Sabry
Kelly Jackman, it has nothing to do with my personal situation .. and you are clearly being brainwashed by the excuses the city offers in order to continue to shirk its responsibilities .. this issue has been bothering me for many years … and I had voiced my concerns quite often over the years …

Andrew Leyes
The government should wash my work clothes as they take taxes off my cheque. I’m tired after 40+ hr work weeks..

Gehan AF D Sabry
Andrew Leyes – you get paid for your work … I am being forced to do slave FREE labour to clear their sidewalk for them .. in return for which I hear : if you don’t do it we will fine you … how cheeky and disrespectful!!!

Jeannie Brown Watt
Why is this an issue now? If you’ve lived here for 30 years – it hasn’t changed. How cheeky and disrespectful for you to say it is “slave” labour. Perhaps you need to stop portraying as a victim and provide a solution. The City is providing a solution – be happy about it

Rod Pegg
We don’t usually argue on our neighbourhood page …

Kelli Kuzyk
Debate is fine if it is respectful. I love the solution the City has put forth but also understand that some people should not be moving heavy snow. There should be a sign up for those who need or want the help. Neighbors helping neighbors. Community spirit at its finest. There are 2 things I don’t want
1. Increased taxes to the City to cover the cost of removing our snow although I do agree that there are some areas that need faster help to remove the snow
2. I don’t want the risk of torn up grass to then have to repair in the Spring because someone didn’t care enough to do the job well. For my home I would want to opt out and do it ourselves. We already help out other neighbors as well.

Wasylyk Greg
Maybe move into a condo then, tired of hearing this daily. Take this problem you have to someone that might actually do something and keep it off of here. It’s getting very old!

Kirstan Howells
Is your only solution for the city to do it for you? Where will the money for that come from? Taxes? Reduce other services? They offered a temporary solution while they look into other solutions. Maybe partner with your neighbour and take turns shoveling. I think many people agree with what you are saying, but how you are saying it is going to get you no where. The city won’t listen and your neighbors won’t want to hear it any more

Gehan AF D Sabry
Kirstan .. well .. I have been doing it FOR THEM for 30 years and counting !!!! the city manages to come up with millions in no time when it wants to .. waiving the “raise taxes” threat is just another tool they are using to alienate people from the idea .. they are offering temporary tranquilizers .. the money they are dishing out now for the snowblowers could well be utilized towards working towards a one time purchase of necessary equipment to start taking their responsibility seriously towards clearing their own sidewalks

Erica DeFrane
Please stop using “abused” and “enslaved.” It’s very offensive

Mukul Verma
I 100% agree

Gehan AF D Sabry
Erica, what do you call being forced into FREE forced labour for the past 30 years ..

Erica DeFrane
I call it a FIRST WORLD PROBLEM.
People are actually being abused daily.
People are actually enslaved right now.
Using this inflammatory language is an insult to actual victims.
I understand you’re angry, and feel this is unjust. You have a right to be upset by what you feel is unfair.
Just stop using terms that diminish the people who actually are suffering because of real abuse and slavery. Why is that so difficult?
And for the record, I can’t shovel my own snow due to health reasons, and I live on my own. I hire someone to do it or my neighbour helps me out. I understand your frustration however I would never call it “slavery.”

Gehan AF D Sabry
Erica, so you object to a word, but not the concept of what it is? being forced to do something for free that the city is supposed to do for itself .. is called abuse and slavery .. any which way you look at it .. you are making me reach out for a dictionary .. give me a sec here ..:”a person held in servitude .. who has lost control of himself and is dominated by by something or someone …. and they give the example of alcoholism and drug addiction as well .. so it is not only a political issue .. I am a writer and a human rights activist, and I know how to use words .. the problem is people do not understand

Erica DeFrane
Gehan, I have an English degree. I understand just fine.
You just refuse to change how you are phrasing it, which means you are trying to be as inflammatory as possible.
I said clearly in my comment that agree that you are entitled to your feelings on the subject.
In the current political climate when the world is actually talking loudly about traumatic abuse and deep running racism stemming from slavery using this type of language is irresponsible and only serves to upset people further. It’s not going to help you win people over to supporting your cause.
It’s not me who isn’t understanding, it’s you. But it’s your decision, I’m going to block you so I don’t have to read it anymore if you decide to continue in this manner. It’s offensive. If you don’t understand why that’s the case the we have nothing to discuss

Sarah Tonin Kennedy
Gehan AF D Sabry – I will even come clear your sidewalk in a t-rex costume lol It is a beautiful day in beautiful Doon, try to find things to celebrate rather than problems, I promise it will make you smile

Kristy Grothen
As an admin for several groups, perhaps an admin for this group could turn off commenting? Just a suggestion. All the points have been made, and honestly I love being in the group but don’t need the overflowing notifications, as I imagine most everyone feels that way. Just my two cents

Laura Em-Oh
I’m not sure what part about this you don’t understand. Part of living in a city and owning a home means you have to follow the bylaws of said city. If someone falls down on the sidewalk in front of your home due to the ice and gets injured, both you AND the city can get sued. It is your responsibility as a homeowner to ensure your property is looked after so people won’t get injured. If you don’t like it, perhaps it’s time for you to get a condo or move to an apartment. You’ve made your point. Many people do not agree with you. It is unnecessary and frankly annoying to keep posting about this daily. There are more pressing issues happening in our city/province/country/world

Gehan AF D Sabry
Laura Em-Oh .. and I would have gladly supported your issues if you had respected mine … however .. I have discovered that I am surrounded by quite a few insensitive selfish bullies … and Laura, just because THEY TOLD YOU SO … and somehow slipped an outrageous by-law doesn’t mean it is right or that one should just be herded along . . key word again .. “your property” … the SIDEWALK IS NOT MY PROPERTY .. omg!!!

Laura Em-Oh
You really should speak to a lawyer about this so you can clearly understand why you have to look after the sidewalk and boulevard. Because you do not want to listen to anyone else

Gehan AF D Sabry
Laura Em-Oh – by laws are made to be challenged and changed .. I do not need a lawyer .. all you need to do is stop being brainwashed by the city

Laura Em-Oh
didn’t want people to personally attack you and then you call me brainwashed. If you want people to take you seriously, you should look back on how you responded to everyone on this thread

Gehan AF D Sabry
Laura Em-Oh – that is really rich coming from one who tells me to seek professional help

Laura Em-Oh
Gehan AF D Sabry Excuse me? When did I say that?

Gehan AF D Sabry
Laura Em-Oh scroll back .. I am not making this up

Laura Em-Oh
Gehan – someone named Logan said that to you. My name is Laura. Perhaps you need to scroll back and look a bit more carefully before throwing accusations around at people

Gehan AF D Sabry
my sincere apologies Laura, my mistake

Sarah Tonin Kennedy
People not agreeing with you is not bullying. Please, stop taking terms reserved for serious matters, and applying them to to your pet peeve

Erica DeFrane
How are you being bullied? I asked you politely to change your terminology and other people have asked you the same and you have refused. Asking you to change offensive wording is not bullying. By making things so heated you are losing the support of people you may have had otherwise, it’s not people bullying you.

Laura Em-Oh
My disagreeing with your point of view is not bullying you. I’m giving you information. You do not want to listen to anyone and keep using offensive terms. I don’t care if you do or do not support my ideas. Facts are facts

Sarah Tonin Kennedy
FACT Shoveling a sidewalk is not a human rights violation. FACT Stating that fact is not bullying

Gehan AF D Sabry
Sarah Tonin Kennedy – FACT .. free forced labour of clearing city owned sidewalks is a violation of my rights as a home owner and as a human being .. FACT disagreeing with me is no problem .. but opting to muzzle me is bullying!

Logan Macinnis
Seek professional help Gehan…you need it and we can’t help you

Gehan AF D Sabry
Logan Macinnis … and so starts the personal insults .. wow ..

Logan Macinnis
Not a personal insult at all…Interesting that you view it as one though.

Gehan AF D Sabry
Logan Macinnis – what’s interesting is that you had no meaningful contribution and resorted to attacking .. I have been in the public domain for too long to be affected by your technique

Logan Macinnis
This whole thread doesn’t contain a “meaningful contribution” get over yourself and find something useful to do with your time

Gehan AF D Sabry
Logan Macinnis – if you had something useful to do, maybe my interests wouldn’t have been your concern in the first place … I advocate for what is right .. that is what I do …

Yvette Maria Charbonneau
imagine how bad its going to get when it actually is snowing !! we are in a bit of a heat wave right now and this post has been repeated in every community group at least 3 times now lol hold on folks its going to be a rough winter with this one I think lol

Gehan AF D Sabry
you are not funny, you are insensitive

Sarah Tonin Kennedy
No, if someone put a muzzle on you that would be assault. Being asked to please stop referring to a household chore as a human rights violation is just an example of good sense. If you honestly believe that this is violating your human rights, then this community group is not your solution. Please handle your concerns appropriately and contact a lawyer. I am certain with this case you will have your pick of lawyers volunteering to help protect you

Gehan AF D Sabry
Sarah Tonin Kennedy – it is not a household chore .. the sidewalk is NOT MY PROPERTY

Sarah Tonin Kennedy
OK, call a lawyer. Let me know what they say, I’ll wait…..

Gehan AF D Sabry
Sarah Tonin Kennedy – I do not think it is your place to tell me what to do ..

Sarah Tonin Kennedy
You have a problem, that you have voiced repeatedly. Clearly your current methods are not resolving anything. If I were forced into human slavery do you know what I would do? Alert the people who could help, such as the police or a lawyer. So, we can not help you with this (despite my repeated offers to just shovel your sidewalk for you). As opposed to repeating yourself like a broken Chatty Cathy, go on to the next step in solving your problem. You say this is a human rights violation, I can’t be certain it is not, so seems logical to call a lawyer (who can be certain) and go from there. What on earth do you have to gain from continuing on here? What is the end goal for you?

Laura Em-Oh
Gehan I offered that a suggestion below because I honestly think a lawyer is the only person who can clearly explain to you your rights in this situation. It wasn’t meant to belittle you. I studied the law, but am not a lawyer therefore I don’t feel like I have enough knowledge on this topic to fully explain this issue to you. But someone who does this for a living most likely does

Gehan AF D Sabry
Laura Em-Oh – Laura, lawyers implement the laws, what I am discussing is CHANGING the by-law .. because it is in violation of my rights .. as a human being and as a homeowner… I know my rights very well .. and I am really disappointed by the number of people who want to succumb to what is being done to them .. this great country is built on democracy and justice .. the fact that it has been accepted by so many and not challenged by those who agree with me .. is because the city has been waiving the “raise taxes” and using arbitrary measures like increasing fines

Laura Em-Oh
There is no way the city can afford to have enough human power to clear sidewalks in a quick and efficient manner. This is why it must be done by the homeowner. When a snow event happens they can barely get the roads cleared quickly enough. The city would go bankrupt with the amount of money it would cost to do this. It makes fiscal and general common sense to have the homeowner clear the snow in front of your own property so people can walk by without falling, wheelchairs can get through, etc

Zack Merry
The city barely plows the snow and you expect them to do a decent job shovelling sidewalks??

Gehan AF D Sabry
that is precisely why they should be held to account and made to perform their duties fiscally and effectively

Gehan AF D Sabry
Laura Em-Oh .. that is exactly the misinformation that is being circulated .. I have challenged it .. this city has grown and its tax based multiplied, so did technology … there are solutions .. but you are not being told about them

Laura Em-Oh
I used to live in a city where they did clear the sidewalks. It was never done very quickly and got axed because it was too much money. As well, properties were damaged by it (grass and gardens ripped up when they didn’t stay on the sidewalk)

Gehan AF D Sabry
Laura Em-Oh – it is a city responsibility .. so they need to do it and do it properly .. failing that ..they need to change their ways .. we have the right to expect that!!!

Logan Macinnis
Gehan AF D Sabry – why do you expect perfection from our city? Do you have any idea how much it would cost for the city to keep every sidewalk clear of snow every time it snows? It would be astronomical. I think you are expecting too much

Gehan AF D Sabry
Logan Macinnis – they are already working towards the solution .. and rather than waste 6 months of staff time to “study” and come up with a redundant pilot project that would have cost $750,000 for a pilot project .. my presentation in June 2018 suggested that money go towards a one time purchase of equipment in order to move ahead, technology right now is such that an average crescent requires a maximum of 10 minutes .. that is one man one piece of equipment … it also creates jobs both for the individuals and for subcontractors … . they have the money, they now need to start acting fiscally responsible and perform their long shirked duty .. dangling the snowblower share idea right now is a tranquilizer not a solution …or hiring more by-law enforces against what is already a travesty and a violation of our rights is WRONG ..

Logan Macinnis
But it’s not a “one time purchase” all of the machines purchased need regular maintenance, gas, drivers etc… and while it does create more jobs, they are government jobs paid for by our tax dollars. This means that they will have to take funding from elsewhere. Perhaps we should fire a few more nurses or teachers so we can have our sidewalks cleared?

Gehan AF D Sabry
Logan Macinnis – no you should fire more high paid bureaucrats ..

Logan Macinnis
So you’re suggesting that the high paid bureaucrats fire some of the high paid bureaucrats? Yeah I’m sure that will happen!

Gehan AF D Sabry
Logan Macinnis – our tax dollars already provide a very sufficient budget, they managed overnight to provide the ONE MILLION extra dollars to cover the minimum wage increase when the province dictated it .. so .. I see no excuse for continuing with the charade about sidewalks

Logan Macinnis
Gehan AF D Sabry – they didn’t have to prepare “overnight” as they knew about the increase months in advance and had time to prepare, just like business owners did, and even if they get more money to spread around (and they likely will with Cannabis legalization next week) it will likely go to more important things than the sidewalks. Hiring more nurses, teachers, police, fixing the roads etc…

Gehan AF D Sabry
Logan Macinnis – funding for nurses and teachers is PROVINCIAL not municipal, and by overnight I meant .. they did not threaten to raise taxes over it..

Logan Macinnis
Gehan AF D Sabry – because they didn’t have to…because they spent time preparing. And I understand that nurses & teachers are paid through the municipal branch but at the end of the day it all just our tax dollars

Gehan AF D Sabry
Logan Macinnis – they re-allocated from their existing budget, what I meant was there wasn’t a hoo ha about it … because they can’t mess with the province .. our tax dollars are not being used in a fiscally responsible way … some bureaucrats act as though it is their own money to waste

Logan Macinnis
Gehan AF D Sabry sounds like that’s the issue that needs to be tackled! Please name one point in time where the government was fiscally responsible with tax dollars. And even if you find one there will still be 50% of the population that disagrees. You are seeking perfection in a system that is built to be divided…it’s an impossible task

Logan Macinnis
And even if you find one there will still be 50% of the population that disagrees. You are seeking perfection in a system that is built to be divided…it’s an impossible task

Gehan AF D Sabry
I can only try Logan ..

Logan Macinnis
Gehan AF D Sabry – at the end of the day I just hope everyone is living their happiest life, and if that’s dedicating 30 years to get your sidewalks cleared…all power to ya! Good luck!!

Gehan AF D Sabry
Logan Macinnis – no I actually have been doing other work .. I am a human rights activist on many issues

Logan Macinnis
Gehan AF D Sabry – t hat’s great! I hope you end up creating change some day!

Rod Pegg
Proven again … an argument can never be won on Facebook … the dog and I are going for a walk in the woods on this beauty day … turning off notifications to me for this post

Gehan AF D Sabry
Rod Pegg, enjoy your walk .. and of courses it is your choice .. but maybe one day you will have an issue that you are passionate about … hope you get the support you will need

Sarah Tonin Kennedy
Question for you Gehan AF D Sabry…. I live in a home that my father in law and his father jointly own. It is their home, their responsibility. Despite paying rent, I am required to shovel the steps and driveway, as I am the healthiest in the home most days. Do you think I should pursue action against my father in law and his father for not clearing their own property? It is an honest question, and I would very much appreciate a direct answer.

Gehan AF D Sabry
Sarah tonin Kennedy .. no Sarah … my honest answer is .. where family is concerned one does not use logic, one makes every effort to be supportive .. that obviously does not apply to my argument with the city .. no apples and oranges

Sarah Tonin Kennedy
What support do you want though? This is the confusing part. Even if you succeeded in getting every single member of this group to agree with you, how would that change the issue you are so passionate about? Do you understand why people are encouraging you to take the correct steps? There is literally nothing to be gained from hammering on the same point. Help me connect the dots, what are you trying to accomplish?

Sarah Tonin Kennedy
I did not ask you to relate it to your issue. I asked you if you think that scenario is a human rights violation and if I would be in a position to pursue action?

Gehan AF D Sabry
Sarah Tonin Kennedy I personally hold family in high regard, and don’t hold back wherever I can in such situation .. you asked for my perspective ..

Sarah Tonin Kennedy
For the third time…. Would I be in a legal position to pursue action against them? That is the question.

Gehan AF D Sabry
Sarah Tonin Kennedy – I answered you TWICE .. I do not apply legal anything where family is concerned

Sarah Tonin Kennedy
Ok. The homeowners of the home I rent, forget they are family. Now what? Direct answer, I asked so kindly for a direct answer

Gehan AF D Sabry
Sarah Tonin Kennedy – depends what contract or agreement you committed to … so again .. I will remind you .. I did not sign up for the free labour they imposed on me nor accept the insult of imposing a fine … that is just me!!!

Sarah Tonin Kennedy
Gehan AF D Sabry – thank you, that is the clearest you have made yourself (to me) about your concern. I would suggest, again, that speaking with a lawyer is your best approach to finding some degree of resolution. I am still really struggling to sort out what you are hoping the outcome would be of having everyone here agree with you? I am assuming your end goal is to have the by-law changed, so I am trying to offer suggestions that may actually lead to your end goal

Sarah Tonin Kennedy
What support do you want though? This is the confusing part. Even if you succeeded in getting every single member of this group to agree with you, how would that change the issue you are so passionate about? Do you understand why people are encouraging you to take the correct steps? There is literally nothing to be gained from hammering on the same point. Help me connect the dots, what are you trying to accomplish? (question repeated from above, as I truly would like to see some resolution to this issue)

Sarah Tonin Kennedy
What support do you want though? This is the confusing part. Even if you succeeded in getting every single member of this group to agree with you, how would that change the issue you are so passionate about? Do you understand why people are encouraging you to take the correct steps? There is literally nothing to be gained from hammering on the same point. Help me connect the dots, what are you trying to accomplish? (repeated question from above, as I am truly trying to find a way to help resolve this issue for you)

Gehan AF D Sabry
Sarah Tonin Kennedy – the by-law change requires our representatives to council … the law-makers .. hopefully .. to realize how wrong that archaic by-law was and to correct it .. no lawyer is required for this … it is political activism … and I have been working on that … and I am getting to hear the public opinion .. and I will tell you .. so far the supporters of my view are far more than those who here have attempted to suppress me … whether because they do not understand their rights or because they have been conditioned to obey blindly .. and this had been a very interesting exercise!!!

Sarah Tonin Kennedy
Ok, that makes some sense to me. I am all for activism, whether I agree or not, I will always defend your right to have your say. May I suggest you start a separate group in relation to your activism? I am feeling that you may find a lot more support that way, and perhaps your end goal will be able to pick up some momentum. Time spent arguing with those who don’t agree is simply time wasted when it comes to activism. Find your like minded group, and get busy with a plan. Good luck ✌

Gehan AF D Sabry
Sarah Tonin Kennedy – on the contrary .. this is a learning experience I am testing the waters .. in fact I learn more from those who raise counter arguments …

Mike Steinborn
It looks to me like both parties are attempting to address the same issue but from different perspectives that may actually be complementary rather than opposed to each other. Helping our neighbours with snow removal, whether on our own or via the city’s snowblower program, addresses the issue now and perhaps even for the foreseeable future. What Gehan is proposing is also a viable solution but one that will certainly take much more time to achieve, provided the City can ever be convinced. Same battle, different fronts. I also agree that we’ve probably had adequate representation of the positions and I will at this point turn off further commenting on this post. FYI individual members can personally turn off further notifications for any post they wish simply by clicking on the 3 dots at the top right corner of the original post and selecting “Turn off notifications for this post”

on messenger:
~~~~~~~~~~
HI Mike, I appreciate your closing remarks on my post … since you say you closed comments I am messaging you … I have already been making great progress and strides on this issue with the current council .. my concern is that I may lose that support on the next council .. depending who gets elected .. especially that offering the snowblower share program seems to me .. as I called it .. a tranquilizer not a solution … so thanks!

Gehan AF D Sabry
Wes Hill Upneet Sasha Sidhu SECOND CALL .. I am still hoping to hear from you on this issue .. thanks

Wes Hill
Hi Gehan. Since last we messaged one another, I’ve been looking into the concerns you’ve raised, as well as the feedback you have received — specifically related to sidewalks in winter.

Currently, our city has over 1,100 km of city sidewalks, and maintains about 200 km across the city, with property owners responsible for the section of sidewalk fronting their properties. The city is test-piloting year round maintenance on the trails (something I’m all for continuing), but I know you’d like to see the city take over maintaining sidewalks citywide. I can’t think of a single person that wouldn’t like to see the city take over sidewalk snow removal so it isn’t an unreasonable view by any stretch.

So let’s take a look at a neighbouring city that does provide the service just for comparison. ( I chose Guelph because a family member lives there in a neighbourhood similar to Pioneer Park & Doon communities)

The City of Guelph, according to their website “clears snow from 660 kilometres of sidewalk, 180 crosswalks, crossings, steps, walkways, and 590 bus stops throughout the city.
Sidewalks are prioritized based on pedestrian traffic volume and proximity to high use facilities, such as schools, hospitals, and public buildings.”

The page goes on to say:

“In Guelph, there are nine zones for snow plowing and sanding, which are prioritized into two classifications:

High priority sidewalks – serviced first after four centimetres of snow accumulates.

Residential sidewalks– serviced after eight centimetres of snow accumulates.

Clearing the ice and snow from the sidewalk in front of your home or business will make it safer for everyone. Keeping sidewalks free of snow and ice is important for everyone’s safety, particularly the elderly, children and people with disabilities.”

As I mentioned, I have a family member who has lived in Guelph for almost 15 years, in a long established neighbourhood with predominantly 50 foot lots, and in close proximity to a bus stop on well used bus route.

She tells me that a typically, residential streets, can take a week or more before the sidewalks see any city workers. Clearing snow within 24 hrs by residents is still a requirement. Bylaw enforcement is spotty at best, only enforced if complaints are lodged. Dog walking in the winter is impossible thanks to snow and ice build up. She is actually pretty annoyed over the poor cost-benefit of Guelph’s snow removal services. She and her husband MUST own an SUV in order to get off their own street most days through the winter.

Keeping our sidewalks walkable year round is a serious challenge. If we want people to walk, bike and ride transit — we are going to have to do a lot better than we are right now.

It comes down to how we can make that happen efficiently and cost effectively. I know this isn’t the ‘yes I will fight for it at all costs’ answer you’d like, but I will commit to doing everything I can to improve snow removal services in our city

Gehan AF D Sabry
Wes Hill – I very much appreciate your response as well as the time and interest you took in looking into the issue … while we were out talking to residents on the weekend … one person said he found a city vehicle parked in a quiet place with the city employees FAST ASLEEP inside .. he took a photo and sent it along to the city .. he never got a single response or REACTION !! … I tell you this because everyone is being coerced or brainwashed into thinking that if the city does the work it will be an additional cost that they are scaring everyone into believing will result in increased taxes .. and that I TOTALLY TOTALLY refuse … they should clean up their own act and perform as efficiently as the rest of us have to .. as you and everyone who read my comments (on other posts) know .. this for me is the most paramount issue … I have been puzzling over it for the past 30 years and finally found the time to take it on … so I am not wanting to wait for pilot projects and staff reports and all the rest of the bureaucratic nonsense …. it is an abominable travesty that needs immediate fixing … I will add .. and I find it unacceptable that they even dare mention fines let alone increasing them .. one current councillor said that “they found that doing so minimizes the uncleared sidewalks” .. that literally made my blood pressure shoot sky high … I am a resident as well as a pedestrian and was for many years a stroller user and our family are all cyclers … and our tax dollars should serve us all … I have been doing FREE hard labour on behalf of the city for far too long!

************************************************************************************************

Arabian Nights

advance notice … this is coming in the fall

a cultural extravaganza

films and documentaries, panel discussions,

theatre, music, song, dance,

visual art, crafts, information booths . . .

from around the Arab World and locally …

Mutual Respect – restoring common ground

Mutual Respect – restoring common ground

As my family celebrates our 30th year of being Canadian, I am deeply disturbed by the set back that we are currently experiencing; the gap that has been widening among the members of our wonderful and historically nurturing community, the atmosphere of divisiveness, the fearmongering about ‘other’, the sense of entitlement, the hate . . . and yes . . . the racism . . . and in how fellow Canadians regard each other, treat each other and feel towards each other.

In the past, I had felt a certain uneasiness about ‘imposing’ behaviours on people . . . such as political correctness, and although “multiculturalism” surely had short term benefits in curbing some of those attitudes, I always worried that over-sensitizing would only send those with insecurity about defining Canadian identity and values, and their resentment of the unknowns, into hiding below the surface and denial of their true emotions. The idea of equity, diversity, anti racism and all the different names we gave it was a good start, but it should have been supported by a plan and a list of measurable objectives . . . to address the core problem and gradually building on the goodness in every person . . . I call it Mutual Respect.

That may have been what prompted me, in 1991, to launch Cross Cultures magazine … a safe space for exchange of information towards promoting mutual respect through knowledge and better understanding of the different cultures and faiths of Canada.

It is all about knowing each other, you always hear someone say “I know a Muslim”, or, “I know a ….”, once that barrier is overcome, people see the ‘other’ as a human and the labels get dropped.

This brings me to my current campaign … I am very excited about the Mutual Respect project. Our approach covers culture / ethnicity; faith / belief; male-female parameters; gender self identification; discrepancies in social status (education / income / poverty); changing attitudes with regard to authority (politicians / civil service) etc.

The current population of this Region is over 500,000 (in 2016 it was 535,154) who have come to Turtle Island from many countries of diverse cultural backgrounds and faith beliefs, and have so far managed to enjoy a fairly safe and caring community in spite of the turmoil that is happening in the world around us and the rise of white supremacy.

To maintain and nurture this neighbourliness and live together in harmony and mutual respect we, at Cross Cultures, feel an urgent need to exert a renewed effort to sustain and build on those good foundations.

There is growing support for this project from many levels – individuals, educators and academic institutions, ethnic and faith communities and grassroots organizations.

As a first step towards a more open discussion on the Mutual Respect, a prototype of a plaque with the theme
of the indigenous medicine wheel / four directions and the wording:

Our Region embraces
MUTUAL RESPECT
we are proud of our diversity
and are stronger for it

was unveiled during our 17th annual commemoration of the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at the Kitchener City Hall. This has evolved into a monument / rock not a plaque to match its natural surroundings and is being designed by local indigenous artists and will eventually be installed at the entrance of Kitchener’s Victoria Park somewhere around the Clock Tower.

This Mutual Respect project will involve a concerted effort such as interactive roundtable discussions, town hall events, etc. and depending on the audience we are engaging, it may require full or half day seminars.

In addition to the publication, Cross Cultures have organized the region’s annual commemoration of the U N International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination for several decades now.

As well as regularly facilitating roundtable, interactive dialogue series, town hall gatherings, panels, debates and events … to discuss a wide range of topics in a very sincere, frank, inclusive, intellectual informative -while mutually respectful – atmosphere, towards dispelling the misinformation and the myths surrounding “other”.

We also partnered with various entities in the community over the years to have a SeasonS of Light where each faith, spirituality, religion … shared the light in their particular path, and we made a special point of holding this in December which is, among other occasions, Christmas. I am not familiar with too many people who want to call it a holiday .. I used to say “I have yet to meet”, but one year I got an email setting me straight that the writer of the email objects .. but we all know that he is in the rare minority.

Another bi-annual Gala brings together in one room heroes from every field, there are no awards, we honour contributions from all, and we just have a happy festivity.

Cross Cultures have been doing all this in print and in the community since 1991 and are well positioned to facilitate open minded discussions on mutual respect.

In order for this to be meaningful and effective, the dialogue should start at the grassroots, whereby all are heard and included.

Please help us lead your group in this conversation

respectfully,

Gehan AF D Sabry

love thy neighbour … 2017 iftar

2017 love thy neighbour IFTAR

an opportunity for muslims and non muslims to mingle and enjoy a relaxed social gathering

because in the end we all identify as CANADIAN ..

please encourage your colleagues and neighbours to join you …

an opportunity to show support to the Muslim community that is currently very much misunderstood ..

 … there will be no speeches the idea here is to encourage everyone to socialize and mingle

the ‘iftar’ will be an all Halal meal, in addition to some specials of Ramadan . . .

for example  .. fava beans are a must every night of Ramadan no matter  how elaborate the food is ..

also a middle eastern dessert

and qamar el din (dried apricot juice)

and Karkadeh which is a wild flower tea (served cold since we are not in winter)

breaking of the fast is at sundown ..  that on Friday will be at 8:58

if you have any dietary restrictions .. please let us know NOW

ADVANCE reservations ONLY please .. we need to know the exact numbers prior to the event

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~ ~ ~  ~ ~ ~ ~

looking forward to hearing from you

Hero Gala 2016

2016-hero-gala

here is an opportunity to enjoy the Golf’s Steak House &
Seafood restaurant’s amazing ballroom, their delicious food and
40 years of experience in hospitality


live band, ballroom dance show by Fred Astaire team

door prizes and so much more …

an evening of HERO recognition

we do not single out anyone, it is not a competition

we celebrate everyone in the room

novel idea .. YOU BET!

it is about honouring sung and unsung heroes …

a deserving person in your life … a celebration of all good work

a member of your staff, a colleague, a volunteer, a student, teacher a boss even

5:00 – 5:30 arrival, registration, seating etc

5:30 – 6:30 reception, mingling, networking (cash bar)

6:30 – 7:30 sit down dinner

7:30 onwards lots of celebrating and fun ..

for sponsorship opportunity and other details email us at

crosscultures@bellnet.ca

 

 

Canada’s 149 th Anniversary

Anicka Christine Bakos
is a University of Waterloo graduate with interests in writing, editing and helping Canadian newcomers learn English

Each year on Canada Day special citizenship ceremonies take place throughout the country.‭ ‬I like to take‭ ‬the opportunity each year to reflect upon my experience growing up in‭ ‬Canada.‭ ‬I‭’‬m sure most of us would agree that we live in one of the best places in the world.‭

It‭’‬s no surprise that earlier this year the University of Pennsylvania‭’‬s Wharton School of business and BAV Consulting ranked Canada as the second-best country in the world from among sixty nations in a survey released at the World Economic Forum in Davos,‭ ‬Switzerland.‭ ‬And I think Canada‭’‬s former Governor General the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson would wholeheartedly agree with the survey results.

Recently I had the opportunity to hear the former governor general speak at a lecture at the University of Waterloo.‭ ‬Having arrived from Hong Kong as a refugee at the age of three,‭ ‬Clarkson related some of her own experiences growing up in Canada and reflected on why multiculturalism works so well in this country.‭ ‬Like many of us,‭ ‬she reminisced about being uprooted,‭ ‬coming to a new country and having to‭ ‬“learn new things and new habits”‬.

Clarkson believes that the process of belonging to a new country is an important one.‭ ‬She explained that‭ ‬“When we talk about belonging we have to think of what we belong to,‭ ‬and we can‭’‬t belong unless there is something to belong to.‭ ‬You have to be able to belong,‭ ‬but you also have to be able to criticize,‭ ‬to disagree,‭ ‬and that is fundamental to belonging”‬.

Clarkson believes that Canada has significantly changed for the better.‭ ‬She described Canada as a‭ ‬“white,‭ ‬fairly racist country‭”‬ back in‭ ‬1942‭ ‬where‭ ‬“laws were enacted…‭ ‬to discourage any kind of immigration from China‭”‬ adding that‭ ‬“parts of Canada were intensely racist”‬.

Many of us forget that in fact overt discrimination remained a part of the official Canadian immigration policy up until the latter half of the twentieth century.‭ ‬In‭ ‬1962,‭ ‬new immigration regulations were finally introduced eliminating overt racial discrimination and establishing skills as the main criteria for determining admissibility rather than race or national origin.‭ ‬But it was not until Canada‭’‬s adoption of multiculturalism as an official policy in‭ ‬1971‭ ‬that the cultural diversity of Canadian immigrants began to be promoted as an integral part of the Canadian identity.‭ ‬Clarkson agreed that over the years Canada has become‭ ‬“very good at welcoming people,‭ ‬welcoming refugees,‭ ‬introducing people to new languages‭ [‬and at‭] ‬settlement”‬.

But according to Clarkson,‭ ‬we as a country need to strive to become even better.‭ ‬Clarkson argued that‭ ‬“We also have to feel that all human beings are equal.‭ ‬That everybody is a human being and there is no human being who is more human than any other‭”‬ adding that‭ ‬“That‭’‬s something we have to really internalize because I think it is something that underlies a lot of problems that we face today”‬.

The former governor general described Canada today as‭ ‬“a society…‭ ‬that creates a lateral trust among all equals because we are all equals as human beings,‭ ‬and it’s a key element of our democracy‭”‬ adding that‭ ‬“I think that we have a society that is like a kind of great friendship”‬. She went on to say that‭ “‬It’s very important to know that in order to belong you don’t have to agree with everything,‭ ‬and you don’t have to agree with each other or your leaders.‭ ‬When you come here and you become a citizen you have to say,‭ ‬you know,‭ ‬everything that’s happened in this country up until now I accept and I am part of it now”.

Asked how she coped in her new country in times of difficulty,‭ ‬Clarkson replied,‭ ‬“You look for mentors,‭ ‬you look for people who are going to help you,‭ ‬and that’s what makes me believe so strongly in the public education system‭”‬ adding that‭ ‬“Public education is the single most important thing that we have going for us as an immigrant nation.‭ ‬If we don’t have strong public education we can’t make our values known‭; ‬that is the most important thing”.

Clarkson concluded by reminding her audience,‭ ‬“We have to learn to live in a society of belonging with the levels of discomfort,‭ ‬the difference it brings.‭ ‬Living with that level of discomfort shows sophistication of human activity which differentiates us with what we call the bad side of tribalism.‭ ‬We have to understand that we’ve already created in this country a really remarkable thing”‬.

So as we celebrate Canada‭’‬s‭ ‬149th birthday,‭ ‬let‭’‬s all help to make this the best country in the world‭!

Happy Canada Day‭!

UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2016

UN International Day for the

Elimination of Racial Discrimination

annual commemoration organized by Cross Cultures magazine

for the Waterloo Region

Free Public event
Thursday March 31 2016
at
Kitchener City Hall

an open invitation to the entire community to participate and attend …

with THREE entirely different but equally thrilling segments

9:00 am – 1:30 pm
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
8:30 arrivals

9:00 Elder Jean Becker leads indigenous opening prayer
followed by
O’Canada with Cross Cultures signature presentation ..
&
dignitary greetings * panel discussions, speakers, presentations (multimedia etc), information booths, displays …

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2 – 6 pm
Politics vs Religion
if that topic interests you but you are not from WR .. we can arrange to skype

discussions around this year’s theme:

~ ~ ~
6:30
PEACE CONCERT

. . . this annual general arts and culture extravaganza encompasses the broader sense of the word culture !
song, dance, instrument, drama, poetry, visual art & photography display, CD & DVD etc

there are many hidden talents in each group and we would love to hear from them and invite them

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
for those who have not joined us over the years:

Cross Cultures has been organizing Waterloo Region’s full day FREE event to commemorate the

UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

for educators, students, organizations and the general public ..

PS
since March 21st this year falls on the Monday back from March Break and holy Easter week
the consensus has been that we go with March 31st instead