Pinoys on Parliament

Pinoys on Parliament

Back in February, I was in Ottawa to meet with several Members of Parliament in my role as Member of Manitoba’s Legislative Assembly, in my role as Special Envoy for Military Affairs, and as well to attend the 2nd annual Pinoys on Parliament Conference (POP) in Ottawa as a panelist.

I had the honour of meeting members of Manitoba’s Conservative Party of Canada caucus, my own Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Terry Duguid , the Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan and the many Filipino-Canadian youth from across our country.

I was honoured to be invited as a panelist at this year’s POP and share my experiences and journey how I got into a career in politics. As many of you know, there is not a lot of representation from our large Filipino community across the country. However, I am proud to be part of a lineage of elected officials from my home province of Manitoba. Regardless of political stripes, as I told the audience, I am proud to be from a province which has produced the first Filipino MP, Filipino MLA, and city councillor. I used my time in Ottawa at POP to let those who were in attendance to let them know “Be proud of your background, your Filipino heritage but we are all ‘Canadians first.’ This will get you further ahead in your acceptance with mainstream versus relying on just certain communities.” I happen to serve as the MLA for the Waverley constituency which is probably the most diverse in Manitoba. I am proud to serve them, proud to serve my province, proud to be a kababayan and proud to have served in the Canadian Armed Forces. I am a proud Canadian and Manitoban! I am glad I got this through to many as I am now connected through the many social media networks within this young segment of our population.

POP also provided me the opportunity to meet other inspiring panelists including Dr. Gigi Osler, past president of the Canadian Medical Association and Renjie Butalid, co-founder of Montreal Al Ethics Institute, who I hadn’t seen since I first met him in Cranbrook, BC of all places years ago! So it was great to meet some very talented individuals in different fields and learning more about each other.

Congratulations again to POP, your executive