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Canada and the Philippines mark 75 years

of diplomacy with special coin

by Kevin Lamoureux, MP for Winnipeg North

  Ambassador
 
Philippine Ambassador to Canada Maria Andrelita S. Austria at the Rizal Monument in Winnipeg with MP Kevin Lamoureux (5th from right) and MLA Cindy Lamoureux (4th from left) and the Knights of Rizal, April 2024. (Photo from Philippine Consulate General, Toronto, web site.)
  Filipino Heritage Month Coin

When it comes to Canada’s Filipino community, Winnipeg shines, as there is no other area in Canada that has a higher concentration of people with Filipino heritage than Winnipeg North.

In Ottawa’s parliamentary chamber, on May 27, I repeated what I often tell people not only in Canada but also in the Philippines.

“Mr. Speaker did you know that the heart of Canada’s Filipino heritage community is located in Winnipeg North.”

I have often brought special guests to the corner of Adsum Drive and Dr. Jose Rizal Way to visit the monument of Dr. Jose Rizal. In the fall of 2018, Motion 155 received unanimous support from the House of Commons recognizing June of every year as Filipino Heritage Month. The debates back on June 1, 2018, included some of the following statements.

Kevin Lamoureux (Liberal MP) – “To see a formal resolution to acknowledge the many contributions of the Filipino community is so wonderful and pleasing. I believe that in the month of June what we will see are extra activities that go beyond the Filipino community and a better understanding of the contributions this community has made not only to my home province of Manitoba but to Canada. No matter where one goes in Canada, we find that there is a healthy Filipino community that continues to grow and share its culture and heritage while becoming a part of Canadian heritage. When I think of people of Filipino heritage, I think of kind, loving, hard-working people with very strong ethics.”

Bob Saroya (Conservative MP) – “This motion seeks to recognize the contributions Filipino Canadians have made to Canada. It proposes that the month of June every year be observed as Filipino Heritage Month. The Filipino language and culture are very rich, and this motion recognizes that as well. Finally, it would identify how important it is to reflect upon Filipino heritage for generations to come … Filipino Canadians have made, and are making, a significant and important contribution to Canada. It is important that we recognize them for that. For this reason, I hope we can count on all sides of this House to support the month of June as Filipino Heritage Month.”

Jenny Quan (NDP MP) – The Philippines has consistently been a top source country for newcomers to Canada for years. In 2016, it was the number one source country with over 40,000 new permanent residents to Canada. Large, vibrant, and flourishing communities have been established in Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary and my home city of Vancouver. In my time in municipal, provincial, and now federal politics, I have had the opportunity to engage with Vancouver’s Filipino community and now with communities across the country. To say that this community contributes to Canadian society would be a massive understatement.”

This is a special year as Canada and the Philippines are celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations in 2024. Wanting to recognize both the 75 years of diplomacy and June as Philippine Heritage Month in Canada, I commissioned a limited-edition coin to be produced.

These coins will be given to people who have organized events in June and noted the significance of June being Filipino Heritage Month and acknowledge the 75 years of diplomacy between Canada and Philippines.

Please e-mail me by June 10, if you are aware of someone who you believe should be recognized. – kevin@mpkevin.ca.