Tight race for Tyndall Park Riding

Tight race for Tyndall Park Riding

1st in Manitoba politics

by: Lucille Nolasco and Rod E. Cantiveros

Q & A with the three venerable gentlemen candidates

You are one of the youngest, if not the youngest, candidate in this election. Do you see this an advantage or a disadvantage?

Sevillano: Far beyond seeing it as an advantage or disadvantage I see it as a wonderful opportunity to get young people and all people engaged in democracy. In the same way that our province is made up of different people and ages, I think it is only healthy for that our legislatures be reflective of these demographics.

The Marcelinos are quite popular in Winnipeg. Do you think this works to your advantage? Why/ Why not?

Marcelino: We are a family whose record of honest public service has remained beyond reproach. But I assure you that we never sought the spotlight nor the very public recognition of the good that we sometimes do.

You have served Manitoba as an MLA before and can be considered a veteran, do you think this gives you an advantage over the other candidates? Why/ Why not?

Aglugub: Yes, I served for two terms in 1999 and reelected in 2003. I hope it will be an added advantage over the other candidate. Having served as an MLA before, we could say that I am familiar with the responsibilities in serving your constituents and the obligation as an elected member of a legislative body.

There are people who think that you lack political experience to win the election… What do you say to that?

Sevillano: Having managed both of Kevin Lamoureux’s recent by election and general election campaigns, this may be my first personal campaign, but it’s certainly not my first rodeo. Ever since I got involved it seems as though our team has been campaigning for a solid two years. Together we have accomplished much and with hard work and taking nothing for granted this campaign is another mountain we hope to climb.

Marcelino: Since Coming to Canada in 1980, I have been active member of this community. I have counselled families in distress as a community elder. I have served as a marriage preparation presenter at St. Edwards Church and I have been engaged in helping immigrant families prepare Provincial Nomination applications. These are part of the experience that I bring with me.

There are people who think that you have served enough and should just focus on a nice retirement. What is your response to that?

Aglugub: A couple of people have thrown at that question before. Yes, I did retire from my job with the Department of Agriculture and I am enjoying my retirement, meaning that I do not have to wake up early in the morning to go to work. But that is beside the point. Community service is a never ending task.

Often times I am called for advice on certain issues, review PNP applications and sometimes assist community organization resolve some issues, etc. We have a growing Filipino community, would you not favor increasing our presence in the political arena an advantage so that we can influence government policies related to immigration, qualification recognition, equal opportunity and work to improve supports for the community? If one of us is successful in the election, would it not be considered a pride of the community?

What made you decide to run?

Sevillano: Ghandi is absolutely right when he said that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. Serving the community is something I’ve always enjoyed doing and continue to do. Being an MLA affords me that ability to serve my community and the people at large in a new and exciting way.

Marcelino: I grew up seeing my father, who was a political leader in the village, holding and presiding over meetings of the caucus of elders. To hear and see animated debates among the elders that linger on for hours was a scene that was both fascinating and inspiring. To me, serving the people is the greatest honour that could be bestowed upon a person.

What made you decide to run again for politics?

Aglugub: Lot of people from the community and other non-Filipino friends of mine have encouraged me to run again. In fact I have been resisting the idea after I lost the nomination in The Maples. I left for holiday instead to refocus and refresh myself after the nomination. I was already planning an extended trip to pursue a project that I have been planning to do.
But the temptation to run again was difficult to refuse and with the idea of being able to help more people came to mind crystalize my acceptance to run again. I consulted my close friends and advisers and also said unanimously to go for it.

You are from Tyndall area yourself, what do you see as the biggest concern of the people in the area? How do you propose to address this?

Sevillano: Having canvassed the entire riding in a little over 3 weeks, it really depends on where this question is being asked. In the Weston and Brooklands area the issues are predominantly health care for seniors and crime. For Tyndall Park and Garden Grove its youth engagement and immigration. It’s about bringing resources back in the community. Over the past 11 years parts of the riding have been slowly neglected and I would love the opportunity to raise these issues on the floor of the legislature. You are more than welcome to visit my website www.roldantoday.ca for my expanded answers.

You yourself, are not from Tyndall area…How do you propose to respond to the concerns people in the are might have?

Marcelino: Tyndall Park has been my community since my first days in Winnipeg. My kids grew up in the Tyndall Park area. My activities were centered in the Logan and Bannatyne homes that I share with family and friends.

You yourself, are from the Maples…How do you plan to respond to the concerns people in the Tyndall area might have?

Aglugub: I am only 5 to 10 minutes away in Tyndall Park from Maples where I maintain residence. The concerns of people in Tyndall Park is about the same as in The Maples or in any other community in Winnipeg. We are all concerned about neighborhood safety, property tax, income tax and health care.

Under the PC plan, the party proposes to make our communities safer with a tough approach to crime and addressing the root causes of crime. Hiring more police officers and providing more resources to our courts.

On taxes, Mcfadyen plan is to lower income tax with tax credits, extend the $100 monthly child care benefit from 6 to 12 months, will implement a $500.00 home renovation tax credit for homeowners also will offer all Manitobans a $500.00 fitness tax credit.

How much do you depend on the Filipino vote?

Sevillano: Just as much as every other vote. Yes I am a very passionate and proud Filipino and yes I love my country and her people, however Tyndall Park is made up of many people from around the world and their vote is just as important, that is the beauty of democracy.

Marcelino: That there are 3 Filipino candidates running to represent Tyndall Park illustrates the level of maturity and awareness our community has reached. However I am running to represent the entire constituency of Tyndall Park.

Aglugub: Tyndall Park is a diverse community but there is sizeable proportion of Filipino vote. I would be lying if I said I am not depending on the Filipino vote. I am also aware that the area was represented by a Liberal member in Legislative Assembly for years. It means that I just have to work harder to deserve their vote.

What is your view about the Pinoy culture that whoever helped/supported you in the campaign will be given special favors should you win? For example friends and relatives will be given good positions, etc…Why/ why not?

Sevillano: Well to remove any misconceptions, an MLA has a total staffing budget of around $35,000 a year so that does not leave much room for any glorious appointments! Should I win, the people that work with me will be people that share my love for the community and my passion to make life a little easier for everyone.

Marcelino: The traditional politicians that you are referring to do not exist in Manitoba.

Aglugub: I do recognize and treat my friends and supporters who helped me throughout my political career in a special way. After all these are the people that I have been associating and depending on over the years whether or not I was in politics.

As to the Pinoy Culture, we are no longer in the Philippines. In Canada, or Manitoba, I do not see visible signs of Pinoy culture but for me, I do not hesitate for a second to recommend friend so long as he or she is fully qualified to do the job. If anyone wants to pursue an opportunity for advancement and thinks that I can be of help, I’d be glad to assist or be used as a reference.

What do you think sets Filipino politicians from other politicos?

Sevillano: The fact that they are Filipino, other than that I would sooner chose to believe that we all share the same ability and passion to serve. To answer the question in any other way would suggest otherwise. Martin Luther King hit the nail on the head when he said that our children will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Marcelino: I am honored to be part of Greg Selinger’s NDP team as I believe that the NDP have the experience to represent the diverse communities of Manitoba. As part of the next government I will stand up for the values of all the families in our community.

Aglugub: A Filipino politician I think has more patience and better sense compassion compared to other politicos.

Should you win in the election what would be your first agenda?

Sevillano: The first thing I’m going to do is remove all my signs, I’m getting sick of seeing my name everywhere! But all joking aside, its thanking God and the people that have helped me along the way. Gratitude is a dish best served immediately. Next to that, it’s jumping right in to see what is needed to bring resources back into the community.

Marcelino: This is the question that I liked best. The first thing I will do is rest for a day. Then, I will look for office space and get ready for the influx of constituents who will be needing the service I promised. I might even get down on my knees and grab a cleaning rag or two and start scrubbing the floor. This I do to clear my mind and relax all my senses.

Aglugub: I am going to take a couple of days off, get a good rest and catch up on my sleep. Just kidding!
My first agenda is to thank the people of Tyndall Park for giving me the honor to represent them and I will make sure that they will be proud of me as their representative.

Anything else you want to add?

Sevillano: I find politics to be a challenging and exciting venue to test your commitment to help others. However, you dont need to be a politician to accomplish great things. For as long as we share the capacity to love, we share the capacity to serve. As for me, whether I’m elected or not, the concerns of the community will continue to be my cause.

Marcelino: None.

Aglugub: It has been a privilege to represent Manitobans and members of this community in the past as an MLA. Serving the interest of the people I represent is a tremendous honour. I have always worked to support improvements for the community and to provide service and assistants to my constituents.

In this election I will be standing as a candidate for the Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party. While I served with the NDP in the past, unfortunately that party has moved away from me and the values that I represent.

If elected, I will build on my record of service, increase support for immigration and improving the provincial nominee program. I hope I can count on the support of our Kababayan once again.

With three Filipinos squaring off in the Tyndall riding come October 4th, it will be one of the most interesting races to watch. For the first time in the history of Manitoba, each major political party chose a member of the ‘visible minority’ to win them a desired seat in the Manitoba Legislature. The Liberals have Roldan Sevillano, Jr; the NDP has Ted Marcelino and the Conservatives is counting on Cris Aglugub.

The Tyndall riding was created out of parts of Inkster, Wellington and Burrows. It is in the northwestern area of Winnipeg, including the neighbourhoods of Weston, Brooklands, Lord Selkirk, and Tyndall Park.

Reports say it has the fourth largest immigrant population and the second largest visible minority population.

FJ asked residents in the area as to who they will vote for, and some of them said it doesn’t really matter, it’s going to be a sure win for a Filipino anyway! But others are still undecided who to vote for, regardless if all candidates are Filipinos. It doesn’t matter the ethnicity they say, as long as they are ready to serve the public as honestly and as efficiently as possible. So for those who are still unsure who to vote for on October 4th, FJ asked the three candidates some questions that we hope can help in anyway, in your decision when filling out the ballot.