|Family, Friends & the Goan Community, Bids Farewell to Neves Menezes
By: Uvy Lopes
The coffin of the late Neves Menezes, draped with the Goan Overseas Association logo, leaves St. Patrick's Church after the funeral service held on February 28, 2005.
Neves Menezes' remains were repatriated to Canada on Feb 25, 2005 at the same time and day his daughter, Jacqueline, who had accompanied him on his vacation to Goa, was finally able to obtain a flight home.
Turner & Porter, who handled the funeral arrangements, extended their visitation hours from 2-8PM, inclusive, to accommodate the over 1000 condolers. Neves' wife, Mabel, still at Credit Valley hospital, was only able to be present at the Saturday visitation from 2-8PM, as her doctor was concerned about the strain on her from recent knee surgery. Neves' son, Norbert and his wife Valerie, his daughter Jacqueline, and their families, along with his sisters, Millie and Marina and their husbands, Geoffrey and Fred, respectively, met the condolers, Fr. Steven Szakaczki and the Legion of Mary said prayers Sunday night.
A majestic funeral for Neves was held at 10AM on Feb 28, 2005 at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Mississauga with over 500 people attending. Fathers Rudy Volk, Steven Szakaczki and Monsignor Terence D'Souza celebrated the Mass, with hymns such as AVE MARIA, PSLAM 23 and AMAZING GRACE sung by Mabel's niece, Dr. Lorna D'Silva, her daughter Andrea, and accompanied by organist Nelson Fernandez. The opening and closing processional music was composed by Neves' son, Norbert: ELEGY and THE HEAVENLY FIELDS. The readings and eulogies were given by Norbert and Jacqueline, the Prayers of the Faithful by Neves' nieces Melanie and Glynis, the Crucifix and Book of Gospel gifts presented by Millie and Marina, and the Offertory gifts given by Neves' immediate family: his wife, Mabel, sister-in-law Lucy DeSouza, sisters Millie and Marina, nephew Jason and brother-in-law Fred Noronha, and Mabel's niece Elaine Gunaratne. Pall Bearers were: Dr. Horace Vaz, Uvy Lopes, Roque Barreto, Gavin Correa, Dr. Errol Noronha and Gerard DeSouza. Honorary Pall Bearers were: Oscar Furtado, President of the G.O.A. and Elizabeth Gueco, President of the Legion of Mary - community groups that Neves was a member of, as well as had held executive posts with. During the processional closing music, to the toll of bells, the G.O.A. committee stood at attention as the casket passed the nave of the church in solemn respect for one of Canada's most dedicated Goan community leaders.
Neves was interned at St. Mary's Cemetery in a private family burial, and the reception that followed was abundantly catered by Elsie and Kevin Moniz. Dr. Mario Da Costa and Oscar Furtado paid tributes to Neves. The G.O.A. flag which draped the coffin on his last journey was blessed and later presented to his wife Mabel, by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the G.O.A., Roque Barreto, and President, Oscar Furtado.
Recent immigrants suffer most under EI system
Many newcomers can find only part-time and temporary jobs,
Extracts From Toronto Star - Opinion By Ken Georgetti Mar. 1, 2005. 01:00 AM
It would seem like a reasonable expectation that if you pay insurance premiums you should be able to collect benefits when hard times hit. But our current Employment Insurance system falls far short, particularly for new Canadians.
Only 23 per cent of recent immigrants who experience unemployment receive EI benefits, compared to 31 per cent of non-immigrant unemployed workers. Women fare much worse. Among unemployed immigrant women, merely 19 per cent qualify for EI when 30 per cent of other unemployed women do. ... Today, new research shows that the discriminatory effects of the eligibility rules on women, younger workers and part-time workers are also more acute on new immigrants.
This was evident during the SARS outbreak when many laid-off hotel workers did not qualify for EI benefits despite having a record of regular employment - and having paid premiums.
Here is the situation if you moved to Canada during the last 10 years:
Recent immigrants were more likely to experience a spell of unemployment in 2000, averaging four weeks compared to two weeks for other workers.
But their work history in the paid labour force was not all that different.
Male immigrants averaged 44 weeks of employment in the year, the same as for non-immigrants. Women immigrants averaged 26 weeks of employment in the year, compared to 37 weeks for other women workers.
EI fails recent immigrants for two key reasons.
First, the EI requirement for new entrants in the job market of 910 hours in a year to access benefits means that a recent immigrant must hold a full-time eight hours a day job for six months.
Second, the majority of new immigrants settle in big cities that tend to have relatively low overall unemployment rates. Because benefits are also determined by where you live as much as by the numbers of hours worked, this further penalizes the unemployed EI claimant.
Many recent immigrants can find only part-time and temporary jobs, or short-term, full-time permanent jobs. They spend a number of difficult years finding adequate employment in terms of pay, hours and job security. But the great majority are nonetheless actively participating in the job market.
Gaps in hours worked between recent immigrants and other Canadians do not exist because of any unwillingness to work but because of unrecognized skills and credentials, racial discrimination by employers, and the fact that recent immigrants - particularly workers of colour - are disproportionately employed in temporary and short-term jobs.
City of Brampton Caps New Homes to 5,500 Units a Year
Feb. 28, 20050 1:00 AM Extracts from Editorial in Toronto Star: Steer Brampton's urban growth
Brampton has experienced too much of a good thing, the city's planning committee warns. Growth has morphed into urban sprawl. A flood of new residents is straining city services and burdening local taxpayers.
That's why the committee proposes to cap construction of new homes at 5,500 units each year. Despite opposition from developers, it is a fair measure and it deserves strong support from city council.
This bustling community of 400,000 faces a tsunami of residential expansion - one that shows every sign of needing to be channelled.
Construction of new housing has tripled over the past decade. Last year, the city issued more than 9,500 residential building permits, double the projected growth rate.
The pace is likely to become even more frantic now that neighbouring Mississauga's supply of available land has been all but exhausted. Brampton still has more than 5,600 open hectares.
Growth is usually a good thing. Construction provides jobs, cities collect development fees, and their residential tax base broadens. But there are costs - heavy costs - when expansion runs amok.
New subdivisions require an expanded road system, community centres, parks, libraries, schools, fire halls and wider transit service. Development fees cover only part of those costs, leaving existing taxpayers stuck paying for much of this growth. Local school boards have found it especially hard to keep pace with the city's soaring population.
Capping residential development is a sensible response. Brampton would still be expected to expand by about 20,000 people each year, even with a cap. Moreover, the proposed restraint won't affect housing applications already in the system. It could take three years for the cap to have its full effect.
Developers are grumbling, but they have no reasonable ground for complaint. New homes will continue to be built in Brampton and at a brisk pace, too. Profits are still to be made.
People who are new Brampton residents stand to benefit the most as city services gradually catch up to the area's spreading neighbourhoods.
Home buying intentions in the GTA set to rise: RBC survey
TORONTO, March 3 /CNW/ - The number of residents in the Greater Toronto Area planning to buy a house or another home within the next two years has increased to 39 per cent from 32 per cent last year. Nationally, 29 per cent of Canadians intend on purchasing a home within the next two years.
According to the RBC Royal Bank 12th Annual Homeownership survey, 10 per cent of GTA residents who plan to buy a home within the next two years plan to do so within the next six months and 16 per cent plan to do so within the next 6 to 12 months. Sixty per cent of GTA residents planning to buy intend to purchase a resale home, forty-six per cent plan on buying a bigger home than their current residence.
"These survey results should burst any talk of a housing bubble in the GTA coming to an end," said Paul Bimm, senior manager, New Homes, RBC Royal Bank. "If anything, 2005 will be another blockbuster year for home buying activity."
The housing industry is a key economic driver in Canada with existing homes, home building, buying, renovations and mortgage expenditures representing an estimated record $1.7 trillion in 2004. The sale of homes is an important economic indicator and consumer confidence barometer and the RBC survey indicates that 2005 should be another banner year.
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