Ramna Shahzad

Multimedia Journalist

Portfolio links — pitched, reported and written by Ramna Shahzad — August 4, 2015

Portfolio links — pitched, reported and written by Ramna Shahzad

For CBC News Calgary Summer 2015

Alberta behind on promise to protect land, says CPAWS

By Ramna Shahzad, CBC News Posted: Jul 14, 2015 7:41 PM MT Last Updated: Jul 14, 2015 7:41 PM MT


Royal Cavalry of Oman shares horse culture at Calgary Stampede

By Ramna Shahzad, CBC News Posted: Jul 10, 2015 11:13 AM MT Last Updated: Jul 10, 2015 11:29 AM MT

Calgary’s Cold War evacuation exercise plan unearthed by plumber

By Ramna Shahzad, CBC News Posted: Jul 09, 2015 2:08 PM MT Last Updated: Jul 09, 2015 2:32 PM MT

Drones reveal how flooding altered the Elbow River

By Ramna Shahzad, CBC News Posted: Jul 02, 2015 4:21 PM MT Last Updated: Jul 03, 2015 6:59 AM MT

As a Canadian Press student writer Fall 2013:

First direct flight to Canada from Saudi Arabia lands in Toronto

TORONTO — The Canadian Press
Published Monday, Oct. 28 2013, 1:20 PM EDT
Last updated Tuesday, Oct. 29 2013, 9:24 AM EDT

More than 1,000 women plan to build 6 Habitat for Humanity homes in Toronto
Ramna Shahzad, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, September 18, 2013 7:12AM EDT

Royal Canadian Mint’s Superman Coins Celebrate Comic Hero’s 75th Anniversary
CP  | By The Canadian Press
Posted: 09/09/2013 2:51 pm EDT Updated: 11/09/2013 5:12 am EST

Calgary local radio, AIR DATE: July 15, 2015 for 3:30 pm newscast — July 15, 2015
Calgary local radio, AIR DATE: July 14, 2015 for 3:30 pm newscast — July 14, 2015
“Fast with a Muslim Friend” for CBC’s The Homestretch — July 10, 2015

“Fast with a Muslim Friend” for CBC’s The Homestretch

A soundscape I created while working for CBC News Calgary about an Ahmadiyya Muslim campaign “Fast with a Muslim Friend.”
Air date: July 7, 2015 for CBC’s The Homestretch.

While the summer is a good time for teens to hang out with friends, shoot some hoops, eat some junk food .. that’s not the case right now for two Calgary brothers.
Ahkbar and Munib Ali are Muslim. They’re in the midst of Ramadan, the holy month when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.
The Ali brothers are also taking part of a national program called “Fast with a Muslim Friend.”
They invited some of their non-Muslim buddies over to the house … to try fasting for a day.
We also dropped by.

Those are Calgary brothers Akbar and Munib Ali – teaching a couple of their friends about fasting during Ramadan.
The “Fast with a Muslim Friend” program is being organized by the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Canada.
The website is fastwithmuslims.com.
Ramadan ends on July 17th.

Drones reveal how flooding altered the Elbow River — July 6, 2015

Drones reveal how flooding altered the Elbow River


Researchers are using drone technology to assess and study the aftermath of the Calgary floods from two years ago.

‘We don’t have a lot of opportunities to examine what floods do to the landscape.’ –  Chris Hugenholtz

The study began in 2012 as a test for the use of drone technology to map river systems and fish habitats in the Elbow River.

After the 2013 floods, researchers were able to re-visit the area and map it once again. This allowed them to assess how significant the changes in landscape were by comparing very precise and accurate 3-D maps and models of the area from before and after the floods.

“We don’t have a lot of opportunities to examine what floods do to the landscape and we don’t usually have the conditions before the flood to use for reference, so this was an opportunity to have that before and after,” says Chris Hugenholtz, an associate professor in the department of geography at the University of Calgary.

A 3-D shape of the river is difficult to get using traditional geographic methods of research. Aerial mapping allows researchers to take photos from all angles and combine them to reconstruct the shape of the river.

A changed river

The team’s research concluded that the flood completely restructured the flow in the area of the Elbow River by Redwood Meadows. They found that there were locations along the bank where up to 150 metres had been eroded. The findings were published online recently in the Earth Surface Processes and Landforms journal.

Aaron Tamminga, a PhD student at UBC who led the project and the publications related to the research, says it will take a larger flood than before to re-shape the landscape in any significant way in the future.

“The river readjusted after such a big restructuring event,” he says. “Smaller events cannot rework things as easily.”

Going forward, Hugenholtz says he hopes to improve this use of drone technology to support emergency and disaster management.

“We’re looking to partner with different organizations in the city and province to figure out ways of implementing technology to give more operational measurements and to understand what’s taking place,” he says.

The study involved researchers from the University of Calgary and the University of British Columbia.

Elbow river

The map was produced with drone data from 2012 (pre-flood) and 2013 (post-flood), and show how the topography of the river changed as a result of the flood. The change map shows erosion (red) and deposition (blue) along a section of the Elbow River near Redwood Meadows. (Chris Hugenholtz)

Sample radio scripts — June 22, 2015

Sample radio scripts

Written, edited and added to lineup in iNews, clips cut in Dalet.

Story 1

Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose joined the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Calgary today to provide an update on the installation of defibrillators in hockey arenas across Canada.
In 2011, the government announced 10-million dollars wouled be used to put automated external defibrillators — or AEDS — in hockey rinks.
Since then, Ambrose says the government has installed 25-hundred of the devices.

IN: Of course we
RUNS: :13
OUT: has an AED
<<<< “Of course we want everyone to be active and healthy but with rigourous physical activity does come some risk so we do wanna make sure everyone is trained on AEDS and that every arena like this has an AED..” >>>>

Ambrose says seven lives have been saved using defibrillators under this initiative.

Story 2

Calgary’s mayor says its important for the city to show its support for aboriginal people through a symbolic gesture. City council raised the issue after the Truth and Reconciliation Commision report was released earlier this month.

Ramna Shahzad reports.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the city can do more to support First Nations here.
Here in the Canadian prairies, espcially in the beggining of aborginal awareness week it is important for us to address that and I think symbols can be powerful

The Mayor’s comments come after the issue was raised in council.

One idea that city council is dicussing is renaming a downtown bridge as a symbol of reconciliation. The Langevin bridge is currently named after Hector-Louis Langevin – who helped establish Indian resedential schools- a system the report called cultural genocide.

Sound up drums

Right across from city hall, the Aboriginal community gathered to kick off celebrations for National Aborginal Week.

Mark Wolfleg was there. He says in the past, issues like this have been brought up and forgotten.

Usually what happens stuff like this happens and then it ends and then everyone goes away

He hopes the city’s show of support won’t be short-term. Ramna Shahzad, CBC News, Calgary.

Story 3

A young woman running for city councillor in ward 2 says racist and derogatory comments on her campaign signs won’t stop her from moving ahead.

“The initial shock of frustration and the initial response of being upset by it happening, but also being the bigger person and saying I don’t give in to ignorance. I’ll pick the sign up and put 10 more where that one has been vandalized.”
Munira Abukar is running in Rob Ford’s old ward against the mayor himself.

Her photo on the sign has been scribbled on – written across it in large red letters – a derogatory term and the message, “GO BACK HOME.”
“Toronto is the only home I’ve known so when people tell me to go back home – I’m already home. I’m in Toronto. I’m home, I’m here. My house is just 2 minutes down the road, I’m just getting off the bus.”

The signs were first bought to Abukar’s attention on Friday night. They were placed around the corner off of Martingrove and Dixie.

Story 4

The wife of a missing man from Burlington is asking the public for help to find him.
50-year-old Janis Ozollapa was last seen on weeping willow drive in Oakville around 2 pm on Tuesday.
Ramna Shahzad has more on what his family has to say.

Patricia Rose can barely hold back her tears as she watches three friends tape a poster of her husband to a mailbox.
‘It’s been tough. I mean, obviously as each day passes it gets harder and harder, I mean just getting up and he’s not there, it’s getting difficult I have to admit, I try to stay strong and I’m thankful I have a support group around me but it is difficult.”

Rose says she checks in with police daily for any updates.
Meanwhile, Ozollapa’s friends are putting up posters in the area, on poles, street-signs and local stores.

His best friend Karlis Blums says he is a very caring and family-oriented man. “It’s been very difficult because as the days go by and you haven’t heard from him, it’s very heart-breaking and to have so far no real leads, worry he’s just disappeared, it gets difficult.”

Ozollapa is white, six feet tall and 170 pounds. He has grey eyes, a goatee and speaks with a heavy Latvian accent.
He drives a black Chevrolet Avalanche with a personalized licence plate reading his last name “OZOLLAPA.”
Halton police are asking anybody with information to contact them. Ramna Shahzad, CBC News, Toronto.

Legislative interns access opportunity of a lifetime – By QP Briefing Staff — October 10, 2014

Legislative interns access opportunity of a lifetime – By QP Briefing Staff

By Ramna Shahzad
Eleven-hour work days, countless meetings and dozens of obligatory work events – it doesn’t sound like the ideal job to most people. But for the Queen’s Park interns, it’s a dream job.

The Ontario Legislature Internship Program (OLIP) is less like an internship and more like a full-time job. Ten graduates with exceptional academic and career backgrounds are placed in a demanding and fast-paced political environment where they  become part of the inner workings of Queen’s Park.

Throughout the year, the interns provide support to MPPs as highly qualified assistants. Each intern is placed with two MPPs per year. These placements include everything from historical or political research, writing speeches, setting up meetings and attending events with major political figures. As political staffers at Queen’s Park, the interns attend many receptions and events, many specifically for the interns.

“To be able to go to a reception and speak to the Premier (Kathleen Wynne) or Tim Hudak or Andrea Horwath – it’s incredible the type of access we get,” says Aaron Denhartog, a current intern and York university political science graduate.

Taylor Lew says being and intern opens up a lot of doors. “During orientation, we had meetings with many accomplished people from diverse backgrounds. For example, we met with all the party leaders, the independent officers, and of course, our incredible sponsors,”  says Lew, who has an honours BA in international relations  from the University of Toronto. “It’s key to always have your business cards on hand.”

Becoming an intern is a highly competitive process, involving 200 to 250 applicants, who may hold degrees in various disciplines, such as history, journalism, English, philosophy and chemistry.  They all share an interest in politics; they  must all have and demonstrate  knowledge and understanding of the legislature, says Henry Jacek , the program’s  director and the chair of the selection committee.

“We try not to give too much of an edge to masters students,” Jacek says. “But it’s getting harder because the number and quality of applicants who have masters degrees has gone up dramatically.” Usually, half of the successful interns have post-graduate degrees.

Mitchell Davidson attended the University of Western Ontario where he completed both his honours BA  and master of arts degree in political science. He is a current intern who is in charge of recruitment for the next batch of interns, contacting schools  to encourage students to apply.  “One of the key things that the program wants is diversity,” he says. “You don’t want an internship program where only certain views or areas are represented. The idea is to take people from all walks of life.”

Andrea Ernesak , who was an intern in 2012-2013, says a benefit from the program is in the relationship-building.  “It’s a tightknit group of people,” says Ernesak. “It’s an awesome professional network but we are all really close personally as well.”

An internship lasts a year – but  it can be a ticket to an interesting career in politics.

In fact, Ernesak’s current position as the legislative assistant to Steven Del Duca, the MPP for Vaughan, was a result of her being hired full-time after her internship.

Igor Delov, who was an intern in 2008-2009, is an executive assistant at the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario. He says the OLIP experience had a decisive impact on getting him his current job. “There’s a lot of crossover between the responsibilities that I have in my current position and the types of things I did as an OLIP intern. You could say it’s almost an extension of the type of work I did before.”

Leslie de Meulles, an intern in 2009-2010, says the internship led to her current job as senior policy adviser in the minister’s office of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. She interviewed her current employer, Michael Gravelle, for her academic research paper for the program, and kept an eye open for any openings in the office. “I wouldn’t have the job if it wasn’t for the internship.”

Other internship perks include taking trips to understand different legislation processes. These include Ottawa, Yellowknife and even Britain. The interns are paid $20,000 in stipends, plus additional payments when they complete a draft and final version of an academic paper.

Future plans for the current interns include everything from political staffing, teaching, more graduate studies, law school and even running for office. While nothing is certain, the OLIP experience helps the interns decide whether  political staffing, Queen’s Park and politics in general is the right fit for them.

“I’m excited to come to work every day,” says Denhartog. “It might be a slow day but then there will be late breaking news, something will happen in the legislature and the office will go nuts.”

Davidson says the experience makes it very difficult to leave Queen’s Park. “The type of work we do, whether it’s writing speeches or attending meetings with stakeholders, is pretty meaningful,” he says, “it’s a relatively addictive place to be.”

CTV Toronto | Breaking News – Weather, Sports and Entertainment News —

CTV Toronto | Breaking News – Weather, Sports and Entertainment News

CTV Toronto | Breaking News – Weather, Sports and Entertainment News.

More than 1,000 women plan to build
6 Habitat for Humanity homes in Toronto

Ramna Shahzad, The Canadian Press 
Published Wednesday, September 18, 2013 7:12AM EDT 

Read more: http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/more-than-1-000-women-plan-to-build-6-habitat-for-humanity-homes-in-toronto-1.1459659/comments-7.436095#ixzz3FhUwfJGm

My personal battle with the early bird – The Globe and Mail — October 9, 2014

My personal battle with the early bird – The Globe and Mail

Contributed to The Globe and Mail

February 14th, 2013, Union-Pearson Express —