by Gemma D. Dalayoan
November 12, 2018 is a memorable day for some community leaders because they attended a meeting with Honourable Melanie Joly, Federal Minister of Tourism, Official Languages & La Francophone at Jollibee at Northgate from -5:30 p.m -7:30 p.m . Honourable Kevin Lamoreau, MP of the North, and Honourable MaryAnne Mihychuk, MP of Kildonan,& St. Paul, both Liberal Members of Parliament facilitated the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to ask input and feedback about the federal policies and plans to promote Tourism and Languages throughout Canada. The minister wanted also to get to know the Filipino community.
A few leaders came representing their associations, such as: Ley Navarro, president, Manitoba Filipino Street Festival; Cris Santos, president, PCCM; Joy Lazo, president, Filcan Folk Council; Genalyn Tan, president, MAFTI; Gemma Dalayoan, past president, MAFTI and currently its internal consultant/adviser; Julie Holland Javier, president, MaCCFA and vice president, Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba; Dr. Irene Guzman, representing Dr. Roland Guzman, former honorary consul general; and Eddie Miller. The group spoke about how tourism could be promoted through festivals, multicultural events, services, tourist locations, and languages. Most of those present, especially MAFTI, were interested in seeking funding for their various programs. Joy Lazo, and Gemma Dalayoan discussed about events not only to promote tourism and languages but also lead Filipinos to successfully integrate into the Canadian society. The minister responded that policies and budget to support festivals and other events are in place. She advised those present to contact their MPs for help and support. Edward Miller, a political leader, of MP Kevin Lamoreau, and Umar Hayat thanked the Minister on behalf of the group.