Month: October 2015

Danison Buan: Young entrepreneur seeks to reduce food waste

Vancouver -“Life is so short that one has to do what you can now and not wait,” says Danison Buan, the man behind the recently launched Refood ( – a social enterprise to recycle food that would otherwise be wasted and share it with charities. A recent study found that $31 billion of food is wasted every year in Canada and when energy, water and other resource costs are factored in, the true cost could be up to three times that much. A professional chef, Buan said that that the death of a good friend by suicide instilled in him the sense of urgency – “what happens tomorrow?” he asks. The Winnipeg born and raised Buan, 29, is so driven to do what he dreams of that even at his young age he has already started several ventures – among them DMCL, a micro financing venture, Vacation Assisted Living (VAL),Arancino and Skyvox. In addition, he operates two restaurants – Golphi’s Steakhouse and Lobster and Cafe 5th Avenue, both in New Westminster. “I stay focused on what I am doing at the moment,” he told Philippine Canadian as we chatted at the offices of The Hub Network, another enterprise run by Filipino-Canadian Jay Catalan. To help him stay focused and be productive, he employs a ‘virtual assistant’ who is in the Philippines and chats with him everyday, checking on...

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Lumads march against Canadian mining companies

By Hilary Beaumont Vice News October 28, 2015 Hundreds of sombre indigenous protesters marched through the dark streets of Manila Sunday nightafter travelling for days to the Philippine capital. They held banners and signs calling on the government to end the escalating violence and killings of Lumads in the mineral-rich southern Mindanao region. The Lumads, an indigenous group with traditional land in the Mindanao, say the government is sanctioning military and paramilitary operations on their land in order to displace them and allow mining companies, including those with Canadian, Australian and British interests, to enter the region. In recent months, increased violence and murders of Lumads in the Mindanao region has forced thousands to evacuate communities and schools. On Aug. 18, five Lumads were killed, allegedly by government soldiers, according to Human Rights Watch, and on Sept. 1, three leaders of a Lumad community were allegedly killed by a paramilitary group. Bishop Modesto Villasanta told Filipino newspaper Sun Star that soldiers stood by and did nothing as the paramilitary murdered them. That’s why hundreds of Lumads led a caravan called a Manilakbayan from the Mindanao area to Manila, stopping to hold rallies along the way, to bring attention to the murders. The government, meanwhile, has denied any responsibility. In early September, Philippine president Benigno Aquino said “there is no campaign to kill Lumad people. We are serving the people...

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Employer says Filipina caregiver not qualified

A Filipina caregiver is at the centre of a controversy after her employer went public, alleging that she did not have the proper qualifications to care for their severely disabled daughter putting her life at risk.”As a mom, it made me sick to my stomach to think that I trusted this woman with Stephanie, thinking that she would have that knowledge that when things went wrong she’d be able to handle it,” Maureen Hall told CBC’s Go Public. 21-year-old Stephanie Hall-Wilkins has cerebral palsy and is completely dependent on others for care. She suffers from severe seizures and has to be fed through a tube in her stomach. Hall and her husband Steve Wilkins hired Wee Care Nanny Placement Agency out of Toronto to find them a caregiver with nursing experience. According to the CBC, the agency found Hershey Romero, from the Philippines. The couple paid more than $10,000 in agency fees and other costs to bring her to Canada under the federal government’s Live-in Caregiver program. Lack of medical know-how obvious The couple told CBC that  Romero seemed “dumbfounded” when asked to do simple medical tasks.  They said, at one point, she confused Stephanie’s seizure medication with Advil. “We finally came out and asked her. She said she didn’t pass her nursing and didn’t have the qualifications in order to understand the needs of Stephanie. We basically called her...

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Migrant workers call on Trudeau to end discrimination

Vancouver – A nation-wide coalition of migrant workers today called on Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau to end the discriminatory practice of tying migrant workers to specific employers and give them permanent status upon arrival. MoVE – a campaign for Mobility, Voice and Equality for Migrant Workers is simultaneously launched in four Canadian cities (Charlottetown, Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto) by the Coalition for Migrant Workers Rights – Canada (CMWRC). Ten organizations including the B.C. Federation of Labour and the Hospital Worker’s Union, Unifor (?) supported the coalition by speaking at the press conference and sending letters of support. Asked about the timing of the announcement, Cenen Bagon of the Vancouver Committee for Domestic and Caregiver Rights said “they waited for the new government, hoping that their demands will be more acceptable.” She said the formation of the coalition is a “historic moment since for over 40 years there was no single voice advocating for migrant’s workers rights.” “ We want farm workers to be given the right to negotiate their contracts,” says Raul Gatica of the Migrant’s Workers Dignity Association who advocates for farm labourers. “Right now, it is only the employers and the governments that negotiates their contracts,” he adds. David Fairey of the B.C. Standards Coalition says changes to the temporary worker’s program is “long overdue” calling it a “form of indentured slavery”. “If temporary workers are endangered,...

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