Published on

Filipino Canadians

in Manitoba election

    Jon Reyes Malaya Marcelino
Jon Reyes
PC Waverley
Malaya Marcelino
NDP Notre Dame

The campaign for the Manitoba provincial election is in full swing with a little more than two weeks before election day on October 3.

PC leader Heather Stefanson visited Lt. General Anita Neville on September 5, marking the dissolution of the House and the official beginning of the election period.

At dissolution, the governing Progressive Conservatives held 35 of the 57 seats in Manitoba’s Legislature. The NDP had 18, the Liberals held three and one seat was vacant.

Seven Filipino Canadians have put their names in the hat. Two of them are running for re-election while the other five are looking to join provincial politics for the first time.

     Kelly Legaspi
Kelly Legaspi - NDP Tyndall Park
  Garry Alejo
Garry Alejo - MLP Burrows
  Chris Santos
Christopher Santos – PC Tyndall Park
  Gelynn dela Cruz
Jelynn Dela Cruz – NDP Radisson
  Randell Cacayuran
Randell Cacayuran – MLP
St. James

Let’s get to know our kababayan candidates.

Malaya Marcelino – NDP Notre Dame

Elected to the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba in the 2019 Manitoba General Election, Malaya Marcelino represents the electoral district of Notre Dame. She is the NDP critic for Labour and Immigration and a fierce advocate for better healthcare and safer communities for inner-city families.

If re-elected, Malaya would like to complete the projects they started in the constituency, such as removing decommissioned railroad tracks in the Weston area to make way for a usable community pathway and making the community clean and safe for everyone.

Malaya emigrated from the Philippines as a child, with her family. She lives in Winnipeg’s West End with her husband and two young children.

Jon Reyes - PC Waverley

Jon Reyes was first elected in the 2016 provincial election as MLA for St. Norbert and was re-elected in 2019 as MLA for Waverley. He was appointed to different government departments since being elected; first as Special Envoy for Military Affairs (2016-2021) and currently as Minister of Labour and Immigration, since January 2023 in the Progressing Conservative government.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Jon served 10 years in the Canadian Armed Forces. He is married and has two children.

Kelly Legaspi - NDP Tyndall Park

A registered nurse by profession, Kelly Legaspi immigrated to Canada in 2000 as a nurse through the Provincial Nominee Program. She has been an active member in service of the community through the years, including as an officer and member of the Board of Directors of the Filipino Seniors Group of Winnipeg and as founding Vice President of the Philippine Nurses Association of Manitoba.

Kelly has a fourth-degree black belt in modern Sikaran and Arnis, and together with her family, heads the Winnipeg Sikaran-Arnis martial arts school for youth. She previously ran in the 2019 Manitoba Election as the NDP candidate for Agassiz-Southern Manitoba. In this election Kelly is running for the NDP against incumbent Cindy Lamoureux of the Liberal Party in Tyndall Park.

Garry Alejo - MLP Burrows

Garry Alejo is from Ilocos province in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada in 2014 with his family.

He is currently working in the finance department of an airline company where he also served as a Union Board Member.

Garry organized the Northwest Bear Clan Patrol chapter with diverse active members from the community. He is also a Board Member of the organizations Caring for Our Environment Manitoba and the Tyndall Park Community Centre.

He said he decided to run this election because he wanted to see change in the Burrows area, particularly with regards to safety and crime prevention.

Garry is running for the Liberal Party against incumbent Diljeet Brar of the NDP and the PC’s Navraz Brar.

Christopher Santos – PC Tyndall Park

Motivated by his belief in inclusive, equitable governance, Chris Santos said he decided to enter politics to amplify the voice of marginalized communities. He has a strong background in the building designs industry and has been employed as a senior architectural technologist.

Chris is also a long-time community volunteer and has served as officer and member of the governing board of the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba and is currently the interim president of the Bulacan Association of Winnipeg, Inc.

Chris and his family have lived in Tyndall Park for 42 years and he said it would be an honour for him to serve for the betterment of the community. He is running against Liberal incumbent Cindy Lamoureux and fellow Filipino, Kelly Legaspi of the NDP.

Jelynn Dela Cruz – NDP Radisson

Jelynn is running as the NDP candidate for Radisson, in northeast Winnipeg. She is a long-time resident of Radisson and a proud first-generation Canadian. Jelynn works for L’Arche, a non-profit that creates homes and meaningful employment for people living with disabilities. 

She is also a former board member and senator of the University of Manitoba where she has served as president of the students’ union.

As part of the Manitoba NDP, Jelynn would work to fix healthcare and make life affordable.

Jelynn is running against PC incumbent James Teitsma and the Liberal’s Jean Luc Bouche.

Randell Cacayuran – St. James

Randell is running for the Liberal Party in St. James. He is a customer service representative for a Winnipeg manufacturer.

–  Lucille Nolasco-Garrido