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LETTER: Immigration, multiculturalism makes Timmins stronger

Jan 17, 2024Jan 17, 2024

Immigration, multiculturalism makes Timmins a stronger community

May 27 and 28 was a great multicultural weekend here in Timmins. I attended and enjoyed both events.

Saturday, was the second-annual Khalsa Day festival, which included a colourful parade hosted by the Sikh Sangat community at 24 Cedar St. S, and at a nearby parking lot with plenty of free food and drinks and other things.

It was great.

I met up with a lot of people. One of them was the man who brings in a lot of money to the city and northeastern Ontario: former mayor and now Ontario Minister of Mines and MPP for the Timmins riding, George Pirie.

It was indeed a great day for me (with colourful coverage in the May 30th Daily Press).

I believe the Sikh Sangat community will be, if not already, one of Timmins strongest and largest cultural groups that will never have a shortage of volunteers.

That said, on the Sunday, I went to the 51st Multicultural Festival at the McIntyre Arena.

I’ve been going to this event since 1974, doing volunteer first aid and injury prevention duties for 44 years. I gave up in 2019.

I am reminded of two more dedicated volunteers, former councillor and master of ceremony Michael Doody, who after 46 years gave up in 2018, and a great organizer and president Marjorie Boyd, who left after 40 years in 2017. Two great people to know.

This festival started at the South Porcupine museum, then moved over to "The Barn," then to the Sportsplex before settling in its current location at the McIntyre Arena – the ideal place for it.

In the early years, they had beer gardens, outdoor parades, with plenty of dance groups (my daughter Rose Marie was in the German dance troupe). The galleries were packed full and there was no elbow room on the arena floor to eat anything.

Over all those 51 years, groups had their ups and downs. Several left and others joined. I noticed this year, the Chinese, Germans, Finnish, French Canadians and Scottish had no booths there.

It was a great event, just the same.

That said, those festivals, along with all the many cultural groups we have here in Timmins are great for Timmins citizens of all cultures to get acquainted, to know each other better and contribute to a tight-knit community.

We are stronger as a nation and a community when we are enriched with other cultural communities. Social connections are a basic need that leads towards a better society for everyone.

To help to fill job vacancies in Canada, the federal government aims to bring in 500,000 high- and low-skilled newcomers annually by 2025.

Yes, Canada's immigration flood gates are wide open and Timmins stands to benefit.

Only the mines have gates here. So, welcome to Canada and welcome to Timmins.

Karl Habla,


Homelessness, crime leaving a poor impression on our city

I am reaching out to all Timmins residents and those passersby as visitors, regarding the situation which our city faces amongst the homeless.

We share the same dilemma as those from other communities across our province and country.

The issue is how those homeless occupants reflect on our city being a safe, carefree and friendly community.

I am totally disgusted with how there have been more business vandalisms, stealing from grocery stores, makeshift homes in wooded areas where schools are located (Birch Street South) and entrances to parks.

An incident happened recently on the corner of Brunette Road and Algonquin Boulevard, where the Timmins Police Service had to apprehend an individual at the arch entrance to the Hollinger splash park, while parents and their children were playing in the water sprays.

What about those onlookers (whether they are residents or visitors), what do they think of our city?

A city councillor escorted the TPS chief to visit his ward and show what his ward is encountering. People who reside by the Living Space building have mentioned that their property value has dropped due to the location of the building.

I am hopeful that the mayor and council take the effort to walk through the downtown core (alleyways included) and see for themselves what the conditions are really like.

I can only say this: What is taking place and what is being viewed is not safe, acceptable or pleasant for those who reside and visit our "attractive" city.

Gary Kader,


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Immigration, multiculturalism makes Timmins a stronger community Homelessness, crime leaving a poor impression on our city