Now that the civic political dust has settled and the winners are facing the challenges on how to run the city, majority of the Winnipeggers have been looking forward for a much better decision making process, being more transparent and accountable!
“I’m excited to tell you that positive change is coming to City Hall.” newly elected Brian Bowman, with his usual big smile,along with his wife and two sons, told his cheering volunteers at the Inns at the Forks.” Winnipeg will want action and we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
With his mom and dad, his wife and his two sons together with the Bowman team members and countless volunteers and well-wishers, Brian waded his way to thank those who had work so hard to win the election, from behind the poll at the beginning of the mayoral campaign to this unprecedented result, getting a walloping 47.5% of votes, beating a traditional politicians, former NDP MLA and MP, Judy Wasylycia-Leis;and former councillor and MLA candidate Gord Steeves.
As the Media frenzy and photo ops with the supporters going on, Bowman welcomed the visit of only two mayoral candidates, Robert-Falcon Ouellette, 3rd placer; and Gord Steeves, 4th placer. and the re-elected North Kildonan Councillor Jeff Browaty.
In this election also, re-electionist Mike Pagtakhan retained his Pt. Douglas Ward, against four opponents including Anthony Ramos, a kababayan and former school trustee. Cindy Gilroy got re-elected, surpassing her previous opponent, Harvey Smith, a veteran in the City Hall, with more than 1,915 votes.
And with the new Mayor and new faces in the City Council Chamber, together with the re-elected incumbents, we are expecting a much better governance, looking into the needs of the Winnippegers! That the City Hall is a bastion of change, of hope, and of belonging!
In the school trustee election our four kababayan (compatriot) candidates did not make into the winning circle, placing seconds after the votes were counted, Julie Holand Javier, a medical professional and an active community volunteer, WSD Ward 6; Jerry Medina, a basketball commissioner and active in sports in the community, WASD Ward 5; and Michael Pajemolin, an active community volunter, WSD Ward 9. Re-electionist Cory Juan, Seven Oaks School Dvision, Ward 2, did not retain her seat at a school trustee.
The four trustee candidates would have been working hard for the Filipino and the community at large if they were given the most needed support. And being a multicultural society, the presence of some ethnic candidates (visible minorities) would make a big difference in the decision making process. A big difference is possible if you “are inside the box”. With Cory Juan who had been a school trustee for six years at the Seven Oaks School Division, she had been active in making sure that the school division would have a multi-racial employment opportunities.Through her advise and inspiration, the Seven Oaks Filipino Employee Associations. Her mantra is to involve various ethnic groups into a school system. Maples, Amber Trails and Riverbend and other areas are multi-racial communities and our kababayans would have participated in the decision making for our children and the tax payers.
Is the Filipino vote strong enough to elect our kababayans as school trustees? The influx of new Filipino immigrants since the inception of the Provincial Nominee Program, more classes, with the exception of heritage language class, have been expanding. And more facilities are being built to address the needs of the over-growing community. Now, we are outside of the “box” and hoping that the needs of our school children will be addressed accordingly.
With so many Filipino Canadians who are running for mayoral, councillor and trustee positions in Ontario and in Manitoba, our hopes that someday our kababayans will be more active in the decision making process, and more aware the importance of our votes. We make a big difference when that political maturity comes!