The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) conducted several town hall meetings last week to meet with ethnic communities in an effort to hear their concerns and suggestions. The move is in preparation for an election coming up, and the CPC wanted to involve the communities in the dialogue for change.
The first one organized by Senator Yonah Martin and several MPs including Alice Wong, Jasraj Hallan, Garnett Genuis, Ziad Aboultaif, Kenny Chiu, Nelly Shin, Tako Van Popta and Marc Dalton, was held via Zoom on Tuesday and attended by around 30 Fil-Can leaders. Consul General Andrelita Austria was also present, as she rallied the leaders to make Filipinos known to the community at large, not just being “the best kept secret of Canada.” The topic of most importance was the search for the Fil-Canadian who will represent the community in the realm of politics under the CPC, one that has yet to come to fruition. Several other issues included the recognition of foreign credentials, the pathways for OFWs especially caregivers for residency, COVID-19 concerns, as well as many others. The event by hosted by Amy Sundberg.
The second meeting of the CPC was with leader Erin O’Toole to discuss the issues and concerns of the ethnic media. Reyfort Media was the only Fil-Canadian press present in the meeting and was able to raise concerns from the Fil-Can news community. The biggest concern of the group was the lack of assistance of the government to ethnic media especially during the pandemic, when a number of media outlets have shut down due to lack of help in funding their programs. O’Toole ensured the group that the CPC has laid out in its plans an equity in the distribution of media funding to both ethnic and federally run outlets such as CBC. He said that the party saw the disparity in how disparate and unbalanced funding is distributed by the Liberal party to media outlets, and how ethnic media is not given any at all. He assured the group that part of the CPC’s plan is also to redistribute federal advertising funds to ethnic media as well.
The third CPC meeting, also attended by Reyfort Media as the only Fil-Can media rep, was the CPC Townhall meeting hosted by the MPs from Ottawa, in particular MP Garnett Genuis’ office. The meeting was co-organized and hosted by Rosemer Enverga, the widow of Sentaor Tobias Enverga, who invited the representatives from the different organizations of the Fil_can community all over Canada. MPs Genuis, Hallan, Chiu, Tracy Gray, The Fil-Can leaders asked many questions, which included asking the party its stand on Bill C-7 and Bill C-233 both of which are known to be pro-life issues that the Fil-Can community is very much concerned about. Reyfort Media Group’s Rosette Correa asked about the stand of the party regarding these issues as well, including the increase in funding of palliative care to ensure that seniors and the disabled are not forced to choose MAID (medical assistance in dying) because of costs for care. MP Genuis responded that while not all CPC members are in agreement on the issue, there is certainty that a majority of its members are pro-life, and that they adhere to their conservative views regarding the care of children and most especially the elderly, and would fight for palliative care funding and start a respectful a dialogue within the parliament to give voice to pro-life advicates regarding these issues.