Unifor received an Award of Appreciation from the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians, or CASSA, for helping sponsor an event in Toronto to celebrate the culture and contributions of the South Asian community in Canadian society.
Much of the focus of Toronto Mela 2013 was the recently announced cuts to ethnic programming by Rogers Media at its OMNI television stations.
In accepting the award, Unifor Human Rights Director Vinay Sharma said the cuts will hurt new comers.
“We believe in local and community-based programming in our various languages. We believe in building a stronger OMNI,” Sharma said.
Unifor is committed to multi-ethnic programming, and anxious to help in its survival, Sharma said.
“Unifor is willing to work with partners on a real campaign to broaden multi-ethnic media to ensure continued delivery of quality multicultural/multilingual programming to enhance Canadian society,” Sharma said.
Unifor hosted a booth at Mela 2013, where visitors could sign a petition supporting OMNI programming.
“Multicultural and multilingual television is not only necessary for multicultural communities to preserve their heritage but that what makes Canada unique,” said Grade 12 student Matthew Satar, who volunteered at the Unifor booth.