Text of the speech by Dave Dat Nguyen, President of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA) at our annual dinner held on June 17, 2011, at Toronto’s Casa Loma:
Good evening, The Honourable Bob Rae, MP for Toronto Centre, The Honourable Ted Opitz, MP for Etobicoke Centre (Conservative), The Honourable Laura Albanese, MPP, York South- Weston, The Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, MPP (St. Paul’s) & Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Madame Chair Madeline Ziniak, Board Members, CEMA members and special guests. As President of CEMA, the Canadian Ethnic Media Association, it is my honour to be here with you this evening. Welcome to our annual season’s dinner.
First, I would like to thank Board Member, Elena Zolotko for her initiative to have our season’s dinner at Casa Loma. I think you would all agree that it was a great idea. It is such a beautiful and historic location and I sincerely thank the CEMA organizing committee, for putting together this wonderful event. We would make Ben Vicarri, our past president, who passed away last year, proud. The past year has been great for CEMA. We have conducted many informative monthly meetings to serve our members. The most notable was a joint meeting with the Association for Canadian Studies and the Ontario History and Social Science Teachers’ Association. Together, we organized a successful conference with the focus on multiculturalism, ethnic media and Canadian history. By working together with other organizations, we have shown that CEMA can work with many diverse groups to promote multiculturalism and the ethnic media. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Canada multiculturalism policy. Recently, there have been doubts about its benefits. There also have been comparisons between Canada’s multiculturalism policy, and the United States’ policy of the Melting Pot. Both policies have pros and cons but I can safely say that Canada’s multiculturalism policy has proven to be the better platform in embracing immigrants. It gives immigrants a chance to be successful. It definitely gives immigrants like me a chance to excel and to contribute positively to Canadian society, yet still retaining our ethnic identity. We salute the 40th anniversary of multiculturalism. I hope that the new Conservative majority government will continue to support this policy. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper for his recent election victory. We are looking forward to working with the federal and all other levels of government on issues concerning ethnic media. I would like to thank the CEMA board, our CEMA members, our Chair Madeline Ziniak, the staff at OMNI Television; the staff of my companies, Thoi Bao, Thoi Bao TV and Webnews Printing for their support over the years. May God Bless you all. Thank you and have a nice evening,