Parliament approves motion recognizing June as Filipino Heritage Month in Canada

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  • On October 30, 2018, the House of Commons approved a motion recognizing June as Filipino Heritage Month every year across Canada.
    The private member’s motion M-155 was filed last year by Salma Zahid, MP for Scarborough Centre in Ontario.
    Zahid said in a statement on November 5 that the motion passed unanimously.
    “Diversity is Canada’s strength,” Zahid said. “We are a diverse and welcoming country where people of all backgrounds can have a real and fair chance at making a better life for themselves and their families, and a key part of that diversity is our Filipino-Canadian community.”
    According to Zahid, the motion “recognizes, celebrates and raises awareness of the Filipino community in Canada”.
    “It is also a way of showing our Government’s official appreciation of the Filipino community for their important contribution throughout Canadian history and for helping to make our country the rich and vibrant place it is today,” she said..
    Zahid said that Filipino Canadians are “making a difference in communities from coast to coast to coast and across all walks of life – from singers like Canadian Idol finalist Elena Juatco to athletes like soccer star Jonathan de Guzmán”.
    “Rey Pagtakhan was the first Filipino-Canadian MP and cabinet minister, and the late Senator Tobias Enverga was a champion for his community in the Senate. Filipino Heritage Month will help celebrate these important contributions, and many more, that have enriched our Canadian society,” she said.
    Zahid motion reads: “That, in the opinion of the House, the government should recognize the contributions that Filipino-Canadians have made to Canadian society, the richness of the Filipino language and culture, and the importance of reflecting upon Filipino heritage for future generations by declaring June, every year, Filipino Heritage Month.”
    Based on the 2016 Census, Filipinos in Canada number 837,130. Filipinos comprise the third biggest Asian community in the country after Chinese and East Indian.
    In June this year, the province of Alberta issued a proclamation designating June of every year as Filipino Heritage Month.
    It is not immediately known if British Columbia has either an existing proclamation or a plan to introduce a similar proclamation.

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