FIRST FILIPINO-CANADIAN WOMAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT VISITS EDMONTON
MP Rechie Valdez, elected in 2021 to the seat of Missisagua, Ontario in the Canadian Parliament met with members of Philippine associations or NGOs in Edmonton. Prior to Edmonton, MP Valdez held similar forums with Filipino-Albertans in Calgary, Canmore, and Banff.
During the Edmonton Forum, MP Valdez shared her moving personal story of immigrating to Canada, including the challenges of settling into a new country and culture. She mentioned how it took some 15 years for her mother, who was already a qualified nurse in the Philippines, to finally attain her Registered Nurse status in Canada. MP Valdez urged association representatives in the Forum to maintain their Filipino heritage and identity as she pledged to promote the concerns of Filipino-Canadians, an essential part of her role as a Member of Parliament.
Leaders and representatives of several Philippine associations or NGOs in Edmonton introduced to MP Valdez the vision, mission, programs, advocacies and activities of their organizations and Some of the key issues raised included (a) urgent need for recognition and accreditation of qualifications of Philippine-educated and trained professionals (e.g., nurses, engineers, teachers, etc.); (b) approval of permanent residency status to Filipino temporary migrant workers, including undocumented individuals, thereby giving them due appreciation for their valuable contributions to the Canadian economy and society; (c) preventing the deportation of the undocumented Filipina migrant worker Vangie and McKenna, her child diagnosed with ADHD and ODD, back to the Philippines; (d) appealing to the Federal Government to strengthen Canada's policy on the conduct and operations of Canadian corporations in the Philippines, notably in the mining sector which has caused negative environmental and social impact on local and regional communities; and (e) increasing official Federal resources to fund programs and projects which serve the well -being of Filipino-Canadians in Edmonton and Alberta (e.g., learning of Filipino language in schools and communities; nurturing their Filipino identity among Filipino-Canadian youth; education on social justice, human rights, environmental care, and anti-racism; establishing a building to house the Edmonton Philippine International Centre that serve all Filipinos in Edmonton and surrounding communities in northern Alberta).
LINGAP-Canada is one of the twelve associations represented in the Forum.