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Looking at the latest Order of Ontario winners

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24 Outa 25 Isn’t Bad! (if you ignore that Mike Harris is # 25) By Stephen Weir In any other year, the release of the names of people receiving the Order of Ontario is greeted with loud cheers and applause. This year, the January 1st announcement brought out the Boo Birds and Nay Sayers because of one name on the list – former Ontario premier Mike Harris. “Go to Hell, Mike Harris and take the now devalued (Order of Ontario) award from your friends with you!” screamed the lead editorial in a recent edition of the Caribbean Camera newspaper. A group representing seven Ontario First Nations feels the same. They told the CBC that giving Harris the Order of Ontario is an “insult”, a “slap in the face “and a “step back in reconciliation.” Why the backlash? It all depends who you listen to. For the Caribbean community it is all about the cutbacks to social support that the Harris Government made when he was at the helm (1995–2002). Meanwhile Indigenous chiefs are critical of 75-year-old Mike

Pandemic News: Sticking It To The Man

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 Rev Jesse Jackson Senior says he just #Gotit! Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Dr. Kiran Chekka CoChair of Covid Task Force By Stephen Weir : Chicago based civil rights leader Jesse L Jackson invited reporters and photographers from around the world (including this office) to come to Chicago to witness his getting a needle in his arm.  Normally watching a person receive an injection is neither fun or newsworthy, however, this past weekend’s presser was a joyful kick-off an awareness campaign to get people of colour, be they in the US or Canada, to be vaccinated.  "We need to ensure eradicating this horrible virus from our lives and move on to our new normal," said Rev. Jackson. "COVID-19 is surging across our country and the world. People of colour are the most affected by this pandemic, not just health-wise, but economically."  Jackson was administered a dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine and showed no ill-effects during the presser. Right after this picture was taken, h

Boy What a Saga!

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Antonio Michael Downing’s story is a true tale for the Diaspora.   By Stephen Weir   If you have pigged out on  poulourie , studied from   Nelson’s West Indian Reader or had a  rumbo  yell at you walking home from school, then Antonio Michael Downing’s  Saga Boy, My Life Of Blackness And Becoming  will soon deeply speak to you.  This Saga Boy is a local  musician, writer, and activist and his wild ride autobiography is set to loudly drop early next month. Saga Boy is the real deal that takes readers from Trinidad’s Monkey Town to the wilds of Northern Ontario and finally to fame and fortune here in the Six. Don’t recognize the name? Maybe you know him as  Mic Dainjah, Molasses or have caught him on stage playing cutting edge music under the name John Orpheus. “ Throughout the years, I would give myself many names,” writes Downing in the new book. “They called me Tony in Trinidad, Michael in the gleaming boardrooms of corporate Canada, Mic Dainjah when I toured England with my rock ’n’

Missing Parangs? CHIN up, Jai is back on the airwaves

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  PARANG MUSIC HERALDS THE BOXING DAY RETURN OF JAI! By Stephen Weir:  On December 26 Jai Ojah-Maharaj ( pictured above ) will be back. His return comes just in time to bring Parang music back to the airwaves. The godfather of Soca and Parang on Toronto radio will soon be heard on CHIN radio, the station where it all began for him over 30 years ago!  His  Caribbean Connection  Saturday night show will be a huge Boxing Day present for FM listeners from Toronto to Buffalo and beyond. “ I have been talking to Lenny Lombardo (the owner of CHIN radio) on and off for quite sometime now,” said Jai yesterday. “ Things began to heat up about three weeks ago, when we learned the Saturday night  South Asian Show  was giving up its weekly time slot.  They have had that (time slot) since I left CHIN in 2011 (to join the just launched G-98.7), and of course I want it back!” “ Because of the Pandemic the community is missing the joy of Parang,” he continued. “So when we come on the air next Saturday,

Editorial critical of GG written for newspaper but not used. Q'uelle Domage it is an important message to power

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  Another Letter To Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette At the beginning of this year The Caribbean Camera published an editorial that asked you to include ALL Canadians in your decision making process when you decide who is to join the ranks of Order of Canada.  Good news, ten months later -- it appears you listened and have now included a single person of colour amongst the latest additions to this exclusive club. One out of 114. Yes it was a baby step and yes you have a long way to go. But we rejoice that our Queen’s representative has noticed us! It was in our January 8 th  edition that our erstwhile reporter Stephen Weir penned an editorial that pointed out to you, The Governor General, that your December 2019 list of citizens who had earned the  Order of Canada had a lot of people missing – specifically the names of people of colour. He also pointed out that this wasn’t the first time your appointment list did not include a single person of colour. In the summer of

Toronto Book Award has spoken

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  Desmond Coles win the Toronto Book Award for walking the walk and writing about it.   By Stephen Weir:  Often called the human launch pin to Toronto’s Black Lives Matter movement, writer and broadcaster Desmond Cole has just  been awarded the 2020 Toronto Book Award for his memoir “The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power”. The annual civic book award ceremony is usually held at the Toronto Reference Library, but this year was held virtually on Monday night. The prize was presented live on line by Paul Ainslie city councillor for Scarborough-Guildwood and a member of the Toronto Public Library Board.  Cole takes home $10,000 and four finalists receive $1,000 each. Also in the running for the Prize was Jamaica Canadian writer Zalika Reid-Benta (Frying Plantain), Katie Daubs (The Missing Millionaire), Vivian Chong and Georgia Webber (Dancing After TEN) and Jean Marc Ah-Sen  (In the Beggarly Style of Imitation) Cole’s book, according to his publisher, “ chronicles just on

The GG Gives BDJ the OC and happiness reigns on Jolly Way

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  ONLY CARIBBEAN CANADIAN TO RECEIVE THE ORDER OF CANADA - FLOW FOUNDER DENHAM JOLLY                       Brandeis  Denham Jolly , a Toronto businessman, author and broadcaster  is one of 114 new appointments to the Order of Canada  announced by her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada. The  new appointees to the Order were announced last Friday. Created in 1967, the Order of Canada is one of our country’s highest honours. The Order spotlights people whose service shapes our society. More than 7,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order of Canada. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others. Mr. Jolly’s official citation recognizes “his contributions to the promotion of equity and opportunity within the Greater Toronto Area’s Black community.” 85-year old  Brandeis Denham Jolly was born in  Green  Island, Jamaica. After coming to Canada he studied at the University of Guelph, Dalhous