Dr. Rey Pagtakhan:
Twenty years later – A retrospective
Twenty years ago, on November 21, 1988, Canadian history was made in north Winnipeg. The first Filipino Canadian, in the person of Dr. Rey D. Pagtakhan, won a seat in Canada’s Parliament. I was sixteen at the time and the political bug had not yet bitten me so I was not involved in that historic campaign. However, I remember very clearly the excitement of my Tatay and his friends who were all involved in helping to get “Doc” elected. I also remember the pride the community felt after it became official that Canada had its first ever Filipino Canadian Member of Parliament (MP).
From 1988 until 2004 Dr. Pagtakhan served as MP for Winnipeg North, and then Winnipeg North - St. Paul when the boundary was redistributed. During that time however, he did not confine his duties simply to those who resided within the geographical boundaries of his riding. Instead, Dr. Pagtakhan often assisted individuals and families from across Winnipeg and Canada.