The Canada Pakistan Business Council (CPBC) celebrated its 34th Anniversary Gala on May 23rd, 2017 and honoured distinguished individuals who have contributed in their respective fields of specialization through excellence awards. Maintaining its traditions, the CPBC event was attended by a cross section of people including dignitaries, prominent business and community leaders, members of academia, and other distinguished guests. The well-attended Gala was graced by several hundred people representing the business community and the Pakistani diaspora. This year CPBC partnered with and welcomed a high-powered ICT (Information Communication Technology) delegation from Pakistan headed by Mr. Aamer Khanzada of Pegasus Consulting. The visit was inspired by the ICT Forum through the joint initiative last year of the Consulate General, Ministry of International Trade and CPBC, thereby creating an additional opportunity to connect Canada and Pakistan, and to bring together each others excellence and diverse strengths in a manner that enhances collaboration in this sector.
Prominent dignitaries that attended the event also included MP Salma Zahid and MP Rob Oliphant – Co-chairs of Canada Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group; MP Iqra Khalid (Mississauga); MPP Lorne Coe (Whitby-Oshawa); MPP Dr. Shafiq Qaadri; Dr. Donald Bobaish, Deputy Minister, Global Affairs Canada; Mr. Eric Joliffe, Chief of Police York Region; Linda Jeffery, Mayor of Brampton; Frank Scarpitti, Mayor of Markham; Mr. David Agnew, President SENECA; Hon. Bryon Wilfert, Chairman CPBC; Samir Dossal, President CPBC, and many more.
Dr. Reza Moridi – Minister for Research, Innovation, and Science – was the Guest of Honour. In his keynote speech, Dr. Moridi, who holds a Ph.D. in Physics, acknowledged the contributions of Nobel Prize winners from Pakistan and conveyed a message of support for greater collaboration between Canada and Pakistan in the fields of science and technology.
Mr. Samir Dossal, President CPBC, expressed his gratitude to all those who sponsored and volunteered for the event and spelled out his vision of exploring new business opportunities and expanding CPBC’s prospects. He also expressed strong support for the platform named CPBC NexGen that has been created for the next generation of young and ambitious community members so that they may expand the existing horizons in developing leadership in various fields, including trade, research, and development.
Consul General of Pakistan, Mr. Imran Siddiqui, emphasized the importance of bridging gaps between the Pakistan and Canada in various spheres, especially in the fields of education and research development.
Mr. Andrew Turner, Deputy High Commissioner of Canada in Islamabad, also attended the event and conveyed a very positive message from the High Commissioner, proposing development of confidence building strategies and expansion of bilateral trade from the current level of $ 1.4 billion per year.
Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance; highlighting the increased engagement with Pakistan reference the visit of MP Omar Alghabra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Consular Affairs) to Pakistan. She also highlighted the support of the Canadian Government to support the eradication of polio from the face of this earth.
Mr. Dexter Salna, representing the Constellation Group, shared his remarkable success story of doing business in Pakistan. He described the exceptional growth that his organization experienced and expressed interest in its continued expansion.
Dr. Donald Bobaish, Assistant Deputy Minister (Asia Pacific), Global Affairs Canada was amongst our honoured guests. Dr. Bobaish has served at the High Commission of Canada in Pakistan and has recently relaunched the Pakistan-Canada joint working group on trade and investment. He has underscored the importance of a mutually symbiotic bilateral relationship to promote commercial and cultural avenues. Dr. Bobaish is also a strong proponent of propagating Pakistan-Canada collaboration through trade and investment and has appreciated CPBP’s exceptional efforts in facilitating bilateral ties between the two countries.
Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, unable to attend the event, sent a heartfelt message in which she appreciated the efforts made by CPBC and its role in enhancing the importance of cultivating pleasant and constructive relations between the two countries.
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The Gala was held at the popular GTA venue – Chateau Les Jardin. Canadian and Pakistani national songs were sung by Canadian and Pakistani artists in Urdu, reflective of the warm ties between the two countries.
Delicious Pakistani cuisine was served and guests mingled with each other until late in the evening.
Chairman, Hon. Bryon Wilfert, highlighted the exceptional growth and engagement between Canada and Pakistan and presented the vote of thanks
CPBC is pleased to acknowledge MPP Dr Shafiq Qaadri and CPBC NexGen Leaders who hosted and emceed the event.
Distinguished individuals were honoured in an award ceremony recognizing their outstanding feats in their respective industries and areas of expertise.
Shakir Rehmatullah – CPBC Business Excellence Award 2017
President and founder of Flato Development Inc., Mr. Rehmatullah is an outstanding and longstanding member of the Canadian construction industry and is a prominent builder in the residential and commercial sectors.
Dr. Wendy Cukier – CPBC Professional Excellence Award 2017
One of Canada’s leading expert on disruptive technologies, innovation processes, and diversity, Dr. Cukier has worked with more than 40 organizations, spearheading several large scale projects including the SSHRC-funded DiversityLeads.
Zeeshan Ali – CPBC Professional Excellence Award 2017 (Male)
Mr. Zeeshan Ali is the regional vice president of Salesforce and has been inspiring digital transformations within Canadian enterprises. He is a thought and innovation leader and has demonstrated phenomenal business results.
Fahim Hamid Ali – CPBC Excellence Award for Arts & Culture 2017
Mr. Fahim Ali is a renowned artist who has been widely recognized across the world for his artistic prowess and mastery of various mediums.He is one of Pakistan’s premier cultural ambassadors in Canada.
Dr Naweed I. Syed – CPBC Excellence Award for Innovation 2017
Dr. Syed is a professor in the department of cell biology and anatomy at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary and scientific director at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute. He has received multiple awards for his work, including accolades for his brain chip technology to understand brain function.
Talat Muinuddin – CPBC Excellence Award for Humanitarian Services 2017
Mrs. Muinuddin is a founding member and President of Women’s Intercultural Network (WIN), a foundation that recognizes community contributions from female minorities and promotes diversity. She is also the founder and President of Rehma Community Services, an organization committed to improving the quality of life of Muslim immigrants and fostering community development.