Visit with the Canadian Minister of Justice
Vic Toews;  Rev Okoth Otura and Rev David Reimer
(L-R) Hon. Minister of Justice, Vic Toews; Rev Okoth Otura and Rev David Reimer
Rev. Okoth Otura, Program Director at the Broad African Resource Centre (BARC) has recently met with The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

Rev. Okoth Otura who is also President of two Christian organisations; the East African Christians Transformation Mission Fellowship (EACTMF) and Christians Democratic Movement-Kenya (CDM) met with the Hon. Minister at the Mennonites Heritage Museum in the City of Steinback, Manitoba.

The meeting with the Hon. Minister took place on May 22, 2006 during Rev Okoth and his wife Deborah Cooper Okoth's extensive "Meet the Kenyans and Continental Africans" work study tour that took them across greater Western Canada. The study tour was meant to study Federal and Provincial Government systems programs, popularize and marshal support for Continental Africans Organizations in Canada.

Senator Vivienne Poy, Esther Simon (BARC) and Neil Hetherington (Habitat)
(seated L-R) Senator Vivienne Poy; Esther Simon (BARC Executive Director); Neil Hetherington. Standing are other Seneca Distinguished Alumni Awards recepients
Rev. Okoth Otura was recently appointed to head a department with BARC as the Program Director. Rev. Okoth has extensive knowledge and experience in Community, Program and Policy Development. In addition to his Pastoral and Christian mission background, he also has experience in international humanitarian aid activities and spiritual development, both here in Canada and internationally.

According to Esther Simon, the Executive Director of BARC, Rev Okoth is a key player in our organisation's role and commitment to serve the community. Esther Simon who founded BARC, has been working in and supporting newcomers to Canada with settlement and social support services for easy integration into the Canadian system. Esther's work in the community has been recognized through her nomination for the Premier's Award 2004 and induction as a Seneca College Distinguished Alumni, 2005. Along with Esther Simon, six other distinguished Seneca graduates were inducted at the 2005 ceremonies. They included Vivienne Poy, the first Canadian of Asian descent to be appointed to the Senate of Canada; Neil Hetherington, CEO Habitat for Hummanity Toronto; Michael Foster of Union Communications; James Derbyshire, President of Derbyshire Viceroy Consultants Ltd. Also inducted were Paul E. Sims, a medical practitioner and Helen Szumigaj, Vice President, Mother Parker's Tea and Coffee.
The Broad African Resource Centre (BARC) Executive Director, Esther Simon and Rev Okoth have lined up, a working plan to meet with other Canadian Government officials, business community leaders. BARC will be visiting some Canadian cities and as part of these meetings present a concept paper on the roll of continental Africans in building a civic society, and public engagement. The goal of these meetings is:

  • To establish and forge forward a strong partnership with the Canadian Government.
  • To Promote, and create awareness of the positive contributions continental Africans have made in building a Canadian social, political, and economic system.
  • To facilitate and support the inclusion of Africans in Canadian policy development, implementation and humanitarian aid activities and other issues that affect the community.
    Rev. Okoth Otura can be reached at revokothotura@broadafrican.org
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