Downsview filmmaker wins prestigious award

by David Ros

Sue Chun has just been named one of the YWCA’s 2014 women of distinction, but you might not be able to tell this based on her humble demeanour.

The 25-year-old filmmaker insists that while she is thrilled to be honoured in such a way, she was taken aback by it.

“To be honest, actually, I was really surprised and even now it’s kind of conflicting in a way because I’m not sure that I deserve this at this time in my life especially,” Chun said. “I myself am growing as well and just seeing the other women that are receiving the award doing things at such great capacity

I know I have a lot to grow still, but it does encourage me to do more and to do better.”

It’s this very passion and humility which led Chun to tell the positive stories, particularly of new Canadians in the Jane and Finch neighbourhood. Which she says is often only portrayed in a negative light.

Chun started off by volunteering to help produce videos for while she was in high school and it just took off from there.

“I started off by just following the main team around and taking demo shots,” she said. “As I veered into my involvement with the web site, I started developing my own productions.”

Chun said the moment that truly inspired her to continue on as a filmmaker was when she made a short documentary on Robert Sargent, who helped many of the Vietnamese “boat people” who fled during the Vietnam War to settle in Toronto.

“It just really inspired me because during that time, there was a lot of racism going on and not too many people were keen on helping out a new community of people,” she said. “It was inspiring to see that not only was he a white man, but he decided to take on the responsibility to help out these people on his own and through his help, this different generation of the families that he has helped have gone on to do greater things.”

Some of Chun’s short films can be seen at, she also said she has another project called newcomers, which is coming soon and will feature some more of her films.

Chun will receive her 2014 YWCA Women of Distinction award on May 22 at the Carlu, 444 Yonge St.

Community consultation held to discuss Jane Finch transit problems

By David Ros

The Jane-Finch community is home to more than 80,000 people yet, it has some of the least adequate transit services for a community of its size.

The purpose of a recent meeting held at the York Woods Community Library Theatre was get community consultation on how this problem can be fixed.

TTC chair Maria Augimeri, who was present at the meeting, said that under the Transit City program, which has now been scrapped, there would have been an 11km Light-Rail Transit (LRT) route along Finch Ave., W, which would have significantly improved transit service in the area.

According to Mitch Stambler, a TTC planner, the 35 Jane bus and the 36 Finch-West bus are the 2nd and 3rd  busiest bus routes in the city.

The buses along both routes are often overcrowded, leaving many people to wait for multiple buses to arrive because there is no room for them to board. This can be particularly problematic during rush hour when both streets are filled with heavy traffic congestion.

Although, the extension to the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line will provide service to the community when it is projected to open some time in late 2016, it will do very little to ease the transit problems along those routes as most community members will still have to reach the new stations by bus.

According to Augimeri, a push to create more subways, which are significantly more expensive to build, has “distracted” from the fact that the province has already agreed to provide funding for LRT routes along Jane St., and Finch Ave., W.

Jamie Robinson, Metrolinx’s director of community relations and communication for TTC projects, agrees saying that if the LRT routes are built, they will be 60 per faster than the current bus routes. LRT vehicles can hold significantly more people than buses and because they operate within their own dedicated lanes, they can provide quick and efficient service even during rush hour.

Work has already begun on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line which is scheduled to begin operation in 2017 and as of now, it is unclear what will happen to the other LRT routes that were approved as part of the Transit City plan.

These issues are unlikely to be resolved until after the the municipal election on Oct. 27.

Growing a better community one tree at a time

By Matias de Doviitis

Our public parks are ours to take care of. We as community members are the owners of them, and if we want to preserve them to be used for future generations, then it is up to us to maintain them.

This was the lesson learned by more than 500 local elementary school students on Tuesday May 6 when they participated in a park clean up and planted new trees at Remberto Navia Sports Field, located between York Gate Blvd., and Norfinch Dr.

The event, organized by Councillor Anthony Perruzza’s office, gives students an opportunity to get out of the classroom and into the sunshine for a day of hands on learning. The students were able to learn the value of keeping our parks clean as well as the vital role that trees play in our ecosystem, helping to purify the air we breathe.

Children often learn better by getting their hands dirty and experiencing the world around them. It’s one thing to hear about the impact of litter and pollution on our environment, but it’s another thing to see it right in front of our very eyes and perhaps more importantly, to do something to make it better.

Programs like this one help to build confidence because it shows students that they can make a difference.

Not only did the students enjoy themselves, but they also provided a valuable service to our community. This event is also important because it encourages students to take action in order to reduce their carbon footprint. It also teaches them to take pride in their community and that their actions matter. The little things they can do such as planting a tree will leave a lasting positive impact for years to come.

This program teaches students social responsibility that they will carry with them for years to come and judging by the looks on many of their faces, this experience is something they will not soon forget.

It’s for this reason that I am proud to have taken part in this event over the years, and have always been inspired by watching how excited the students are to participate and to share in the joy of learning.

It is crucial that programs like this continue in order teach these students who represent our future to create a better society for every one of us.