The Canada Pakistan Business Council (CPBC) celebrates its 34th Anniversary Gala and honours Awards to prominent individuals who have contributed in their respective fields of specialization. Maintaining its traditions, CPBC event was attended by a cross section of people representing dignitaries, prominent business and community leaders, and members of the academia. And as always, a large contingent from the business community, Pakistan diaspora, and distinguished guests honored the occasion with their presence. As per the mandate of CPBC, this year’s event partnered and welcomed a high-powered ICT delegation, creating an opportunity to connect Canada and Pakistan, to bring together each other’s excellence and diverse strengths to enhance collaborations in this sector. To support the cause, Dr. Reza Moridi, Minister for Research, Innovation, and Science, Government of Ontario was invited as the guest of honor and keynote speaker.
The ‘CPBC Business Excellence Award 2017’ was awarded to Mr. Shakir Rehmatullah, President, and Founder of Flato Developments Inc. Mr. Rehmatullah is a community builder across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and has studied architectural engineering from the University of Miami. Shortly after graduating, he moved to Canada with his family and began working in the construction industry. After several years of working in the construction field, Shakir started Flato Developments Inc.
Under the leadership of Mr. Rehmatullah, Flato Developments was awarded the Markham Building Excellence Award in 2011. The award is presented annually to new home builders that demonstrate compliance with the Building Code regulations, the Building Code Act, and conduct exemplary site administration.
Mr. Rehmatullah is a well-known figure for his philanthropic initiatives and is a regular contributor to hospitals, charities, and recreational organizations, including the Markham Stouffville Hospital, Stevenson Memorial Hospital, Matthews House Hospice, as well as local non-profit organizations, sports teams, and more. Recently, he announced the FLATO sponsorship program that will offer two scholarships every year, in each community where he builds his projects. One scholarship will benefit a student in the construction field and the other will be awarded to a student enrolled in an arts program.
The significance of the arts in the community is also close to Shakir’s heart, and he has partnered with and continues to support the Flato Markham Theatre and the Varley Art Gallery.
A major corporate sponsor and official custodian of the Flato Markham Theatre, Flato’s naming agreement with the City of Markham’s Theatre is the first corporation to have formed such a partnership in Markham’s history. In addition to extending the naming agreement for 20 years, Shakir was also recently recognized as the First Honorary Patron of the Flato Markham Theatre for his long-standing support since 2010.
The event was attended by a number of dignitaries, prominent among them were Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Dr. Reza Moridi – MPP Minister for Research, Innovation and Science, MP Salma Zahid and MP Rob Oliphant – Co-chairs Canada Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group, MP Iqra Khalid – MP Mississauga, MP Lorne Coe – MPP Whitby-Oshawa, Dr. Shafiq Qaadri,Dr. Donald Bobaish, Deputy Minister, Global Affairs Canada, Chief Eric Joliffe – Chief of Police York Region, Mayor Linda Jeffery – Mayor of Brampton, Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Consul General of Sri Lanka, Mr. U L M Jauhar, Mr. Andrew Turner – Canadian Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan, Mr. David Agnew, President SENECA, Hon. Bryon Wilfert, Chairman CPBC, Samir Dossal – President CPBC and many more.