The man behind Ottawa’s Vietnamese community

A lab accident in the late 1960s changed a young man’s career plans, his life and eventually the city of Ottawa.

Can Le has a quick smile and exudes energy as he shows a visitor around. The retired economist and president of the board of directors of the Vietnamese Canadian Centre on Somerset Street has spent the past 40 years growing and nurturing the Vietnamese community in Ottawa.

“He’s a determined one,” says Ha Quyen Nguyen, volunteer coordinator for the centre. “For everything he plans to do, he will go until the end.”

When Le arrived in Ottawa, there were few people here of Southeast Asian descent. Today, about 9,000 people of Vietnamese origin live in the city. Most have him to thank for the support systems that have allowed their community to thrive. And Ottawa, which continues its tradition of taking in refugees right up to the present day, owes some of its welcoming mindset to Can Le’s work.

Liem Duong, a software engineer for the Department of National Defence who has known Le since 1983, says he is known across Canada “from Vancouver to Halifax.” But “if you ask him, he won’t say much about himself.”

So we’ll tell you about him…

Read the whole story at the Ottawa Citizen:

The Capital Builders: How Can Le shaped Ottawa’s Vietnamese Community

Heavy construction frustrates Ottawa commuters

Heavy construction frustrates Ottawa commuters

Late for work? You’re not alone. Canada 150 and Confederation Line construction projects have led to lane closures, long delays and frustration for commuters going through the downtown area.

Some of the most heavily travelled Centretown roads are under construction, or slated to be soon. Lyon Street, McLeod Street, Queen Street, Rideau Street, and Kent Street are just some of the main thoroughfares affected by the upheaval, clogging city streets during rush hour.

“Since I’m on the 95, I’m passing right through the #OnTrack2018 mess,” said Evan Przesiecki, an Ottawa resident and Carleton journalism student.

commuting_through_construction_in_downtown_ottawa

Please head over to Capital News Online to see the rest of the story I worked on as part of the multimedia team. Find out the Ottawa neighbourhoods with the most construction and why things may only be getting worse when winter starts. 

SRI LANKAN TOURISM LEVELS UP

Meet the man who may have been the mastermind behind your best vacation.

Ramesh Srinivasan has worked in the hospitality and tourism industry for decades, starting in India, then moving to Toronto.

Now he’s a professor and program director at Humber College. He continues to shape the industry by teaching students in the school of tourism and hospitality and the school of business.

This summer he extended his reach by coming to Sri Lanka with the Uniterra program. He’s a Leave for Changevolunteer, taking time off from work to share his expertise with partners abroad.

Hear more about his work at the University of Vocational Technology (UNIVOTEC) in Ratmalana, just outside of Colombo.

Safety first in Sri Lanka

Every story he tells seems to have a disastrous ending. He isn’t trying to scare you though, he just wants you to take what he’s saying seriously. Safety is important.

Malcolm Fan is a charismatic speaker and his scary stories are all examples from his work as an advanced care paramedic in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He spent three weeks in Sri Lanka in August 2016, travelling up and down the island visiting Uniterra partners. Garment factories, vocational schools and even the WUSC Sri Lanka office learned about first aid best practices and policy.

It was a whirlwind of long van rides and trying to sleep while he was driven from one end of the country to the other. But by the time he left, he’d trained hundreds of workers who will then share their knowledge with hundreds more.

Hear more about the work he did as a Leave for Change volunteer, under Uniterra’s corporate volunteering program. Learn more about the program here.