Parliamentary Secretary’s statement on Filipino Heritage Month

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  • VICTORIA Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for AntiRacism

    Initiatives, has issued the following statement in celebration of Filipino
    Heritage Month:

    “June is Filipino Heritage Month and an opportunity to learn about Filipino
    culture and the unique contributions that this quickly growing community has
    brought to B.C.

    “It is my honour to be B.C.’s first Filipino MLA. I stand on the shoulders of the
    many remarkable Filipino British Columbians who came before me and helped
    make B.C. the diverse and vibrant province we know today.

    “The first migrant Filipinos came to B.C. in the late 1800s. Many were sailors
    who travelled from the Philippines and settled in New Westminster, then the
    capital of the new colony of British Columbia.

    “Today, there are approximately 174,000 people of Filipino descent living in
    B.C. and Vancouver is home to the second largest Filipino community in
    Canada.

    “However, many British Columbians of Filipino descent report feeling
    disadvantaged in multiple aspects of their lives. Almost onethird of Filipino
    women, for example, work in health care and the socialservices sector, which
    means they were frontline workers during the COVID19 pandemic. While we
    applaud their dedication in the care of others, we must also recognize that the
    result is Filipino women are disproportionately at higher risk than other groups
    of contracting communicable diseases while on the job.

    “Our government will continue to tackle racism by legislating racebased data
    collection through the AntiRacism Data Act and by addressing systemic
    racism in its programs and services by introducing broader antiracism
    legislation in 2024.

    “Our schools are also making important changes to help fight racism and
    discrimination. Earlier this year, we launched the K12 AntiRacism Action
    Plan, putting tools and resources into the hands of parents, teachers and
    students to better equip them to be active agents of change in their
    communities.
    “A project I’m especially excited about is the Filipino cultural centre, which I’ve
    been advocating for since I was first elected in 2009, and which is included in
    my mandate letter as Parliamentary Secretary for AntiRacism Initiatives. In
    April, government announced that it’s providing $250,000 to support public
    engagement for a Filipino cultural centre. This new centre promises to be a
    lasting legacy of the deep roots the Filipino community has in this province
    since first arriving over 160 years ago.

    “Filipino Heritage Month is a time to honour all the ways that people of Filipino
    descent enrich and contribute to making B.C. a vibrant place for all people to
    enjoy.”

    Learn More:

    For information about Filipino Canadian History,
    visit
    https://explorasian.org/learn/education/filipinocanadian/

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