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MP’S REPORT: Canada 150 Citizen Awards

November 29, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Leona Alleslev, MP
Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill

For Canada 150 I decided to recognize exceptional people from our community at the Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill Canada 150 Citizenship Award Ceremony which was held on November 13.
The award recipients all represent Canada’s commitment to innovation and discovery, thought leadership and the important Canadian values of diversity, inclusion and compassion. For Canada 150, we unite as Canadians to imagine a vision – a big, bold vision – of what our country can become. These award winners have committed themselves to this vision by dreaming boldly through projects that will position our nation for continued success in the next 150 years. Join me in congratulating them, and learn more about each recipient’s achievements below.


BOB DENGLER – Bob Dengler, his son Steven, and Robert MacDuff successfully completed the world’s first Canadian around-the-world helicopter flight, and the first ever father-son global circumnavigation in honour of Canada 150.

JAN OUDENES – In 2003 Dr. Oudenes started Alphora Research Inc. to develop process technology for novel pharmaceutical molecular structures which are exceptionally difficult to manufacture commercially.

KAYLEY TING – Kayley Ting, Gr.12, presented her project “Analysis of Electrodermal Activity to Quantify Stress Levels in Autism” at the Prime Minister’s Science Fair. Kayley recognized that a challenge for those with Autism is coping with sensory overload, so she created a wearable device that identifies the causes of sensory overload to help prevent future occurrences.

CLASSY CYBORGS – The Classy Cyborgs are 10 young inventors ages 13–15. They developed the Treasure Box Braille Learning System that teaches the alphabet and basic math to those who are blind but cannot read Braille. Members: Vera Cotturo, Sammy Emamian, James Andrade, Sean Llyod, Sebastian Villate, Logan Maier, Rhys Binnie, Isabel Neufeld, Jenna Pezzack, and Disha Prashar.


HOWARD DOUGHTY – Howard was a post-secondary teacher for 48 years at Seneca College with a principal interest in the theory and practice of democracy, as it relates to education. Howard published over 400 articles in peer-reviewed journals, presented over 100 academic papers at professional conferences and published 8 high school text books in Canadian studies.

OLIVIA RAILTON – Olivia is a World Champion in both debating and public speaking. Most recently, Olivia took 1st place at the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships.

SEAN CISTERNA – Sean Cisterna is an award-winning film director from Oak Ridges. His films have been screened at festivals around the world. Sean directed the critically acclaimed youth cancer drama Kiss and Cry (2017). Sean always incorporates local actors, crew, businesses and locations into his productions.

ROBIN MORRISON-CLAUS & STEPHEN LANNING – Robin, teacher-librarian and Stephen, science and phys-ed teacher at Regency Acres Public School, created a “Makerspace” to encourage their students to incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) initiatives into their daily learning so students can use critical thinking skills, and real world problem solving scenarios.


JAMES WAING-HING HUI – Mr. Hui has been an extraordinary leader in founding and initiating service organizations including the Outreach Senior Caring Program, the Hong Kong Tourists Industry (Toronto) Association, the Toronto Chinese Soccer Association and English as a Second Language and Citizenship classes.

RAZAK DAMANI – As the former President of the Islamic Shia Ithna-AsheriJamaat (ISIJ) of Toronto, Razak helped develop a new multi-purpose community centre and mosque: home to one of Ontario’s top schools. Razak is also President of NASIMCO, an organization that supports community development locally and internationally.

JIM CHAPMAN – Jim has volunteered for local organizations for over 40 years including: delivering meals for Meals on Wheels, helping in Don Valley Jr. High School’s library, and participating in committee work at the North York YMCA.

ROSEMARY PARK – Rosemary founded three non-profit organizations: CIVICYork services, Aurora Community Fund, and York Region Community Foundation. Through CIVICYork, Rosemary established an online hub for connecting residents with programs and services. Rosemary was also appointed to Canada’s Volunteer Awards Advisory Committee.

HAMIDA MERCHANT – Hamidais the Property Manager of Ja`Fari Islamic Housing Corporation in Richmond Hill for over 18 years where she has implemented important programs to better serve the residents of Crescent Village, focused on women fleeing domestic violence, youth and seniors.

Thank you to all of these award winners for contributing not only to our community but to our country!

Contact me!, phone: 905.773.8358, office: 12820 Yonge St. Suite 202, Richmond Hill, ON L4E4H1.



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