B.C. NDP will anger Filipino community if Mable Elmore is ignored again for cabinet

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  • The Filipino community has united behind the call for Mable Elmore to get a seat in the incoming cabinet of B.C. NDP Premier John Horgan.

    More than 50 community associations have backed up a petition asking Horgan not to bypass Elmore again for cabinet.

    Failure to do so would alienate the B.C. NDP from the community.

    This was categorically indicated in an open letter asking Horgan to name the only Filipino-Canadian member of the legislative assembly (MLA) to a cabinet post.

    “Anything less amounts to the continued marginalization of our community and is an affront to the dedication and service of Filipinos to BC over the years,” stated the letter.

    When the B.C. NDP first formed government in 2017, many members of the community were disappointed when Elmore did not get a seat at the cabinet table.

    The frustration was kept mostly within the community.

    Based on an account that is quite well known in a number of circles, a member personally complained to an influential figure in Horgan’s government.

    The person’s concern was dismissed, and reportedly told to this effect: “Your community will get over it.”

    Elmore is the first and only Filipino-Canadian to become a member of the B.C. legislative assembly.

    B.C. NDP Premier John Horgan and the B.C. NDP won a majority mandate in the October 24, 2020 election.

    In that election, Elmore also earned her fourth term as MLA for Vancouver-Kensington.

    In the open letter, the community told Horgan that “now is the time to recognize the importance of the Filipino community by appointing Ms. Elmore to a leadership position”.

    “For your Cabinet to genuinely reflect the diversity of the people it serves it needs to include Ms. Elmore,” the letter stated.

    Moreover, “Your party has the unique opportunity to elevate the Filipino community and we hope you will consider doing so by inviting Ms. Elmore to your Cabinet.”

    Below is the open letter and list of Filipino community associations behind it.

    Open Letter to Premier-elect John Horgan from Filipino Community Organizations in BC

    November 23, 2020

    Dear Premier-elect John Horgan,

    On behalf of the Filipino community in BC and supporting organizations listed below, we strongly urge you to consider veteran MLA Mable Elmore for your Cabinet. The organizations we represent are a broad cross section of Filipinos that includes youth, seniors, alumni organizations, sports organizations, as well as geographic and social justice formations. We are an active and dynamic community and the numerous groups we have reflects our strength.

    Filipinos comprise the third largest ethnic group in BC and are among its fastest growing immigrant populations. As it stands, we are more than 145,000 who are proud to call BC home. While our community is a young one, with most immigrants first arriving during the 1970s, our contributions to the health and welfare of this province are immeasurable.

    Along with emigrating as professionals in various fields, many of us also came to care for the young, the elderly, the sick, and the infirm. Amidst the current pandemic, we continue to tirelessly work on the frontlines helping to ensure British Columbians stay safe.

    Considering the systemic barriers Filipinos face as they try to excel in their varied fields – it is with immense pride that we celebrate Ms. Elmore’s historic election as BC’s first-ever MLA of Filipino descent. With her recent re-election to a 4th term, along with your party’s return to government with an overwhelming majority, now is the time to recognize the importance of the Filipino community by appointing Ms. Elmore to a leadership position.

    Cabinet members are appointees that serve at the pleasure of the Premier and their composition (which includes the communities and sectors they represent) reflect his priorities. For your Cabinet to genuinely reflect the diversity of the people it serves it needs to include Ms. Elmore. Anything less amounts to the continued marginalization of our community and is an affront to the dedication and service of Filipinos to BC over the years. Your party has the unique opportunity to elevate the Filipino community and we hope you will consider doing so by inviting Ms. Elmore to your Cabinet.

    Thank you for considering our request and we look forward to your response. You may reach us through our following contact persons for this letter:

    RJ Aquino and Rudy Antonio

    Sincerely,

    Adamson University Alumni Association (Vancouver Chapter) – Rudy Antonio,

    Aklanon Sto. Nino Association – Kirv Wendale Lamsen, President

    Alpha Phi Omega Alumni Association of B.C. – Cora De Jesus, President

    Antiqueno Cultural Association of B.C. – Mirasol Kahila, President

    Bagong Pag-Asa – Pepita Hernandez, President

    Bohol Foundation – Dario Galon, President

    Caring Hearts Dentistry Society – Dr. Gloria Samosa, cofounder

    Circulo Cagayano – Rudy Tuliao, President

    Circulo Pampangueno – Christian Cunanan , President

    Confederation of Filipino Canadian Association – Romeo Mercado, President

    Daloy Puso Network

    Dimasalang III – Leo Cunanan Jr., President

    FilCan Seniors Warriors for Change

    Filipino Association of BC – Celyna Scherst, President

    Filipino Association of Chilliwack – Charles Sebastian, President

    Filipino Canadian Construction Society – Ferdie Lontoc, President

    Filipino Canadian Cultural Heritage Society – Prima Roine – President

    Filipino Patriots Society of Canada – Rene Bahena, President

    First Filipino Canadian Cultural Society of Nanaimo – Tessie Fumerton, President

    Fraser Valley Filipino Association – Dexter Tarampi, President

    Global Pinoy Diaspora Canada

    Ilocano Association of B.C. – Ana Napieralski , President

    Kilusang Pagbabago – Vancouver Chapter – Rupie Payot, President

    Mapua Institute Alumni Association

    Masskara Cultural Society – Agnes Uguil, President

    Nanaimo Filipino Canadian Association – Maru Schwager, President

    Nanaimo Filipino Community Organization – Josie Morse, President

    National Pilipino Canadian Cultural Centre (NPC3) – Nora Angeles

    Negrenses Association of BC – Cris Sotana, President

    Pangasinan Ilocano Association – Rudy Antonio, President

    Philippine Cordillera Society – Josie Bangaan, President

    Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants

    Richmond Filipino Canadian Bayanihan Society

    Rinconada Society of Canada – B.C. Chapter – Mel Abonita, President

    Royal City Sister City Society – Annie Miles, President

    Seniors Brigade Seniors Society – Chiching Orquiola, President

    Sigma Rho Alumni Association – Vancouver – Cris Sotana, President

    Sons and Daughters of Santo Domingo – Marino Dulay, President

    Surrey Philippine Independence Society – Narima dela Cruz, President

    TAPSILOG – FilCan Network for Truth and Justice – Freddie Bagunu, President

    Tau Gamma Phi / Sigma – Francis (Bong) Valeriano, President

    Tulayan

    United Filipino Canadian Associations of B.C. – Joel Castillo, President

    University of the Philippines Alumni Association of B.C. – Mylene Lim, President

    Vancouver Island Cordillera Association – Amando Pitag, President

    Vancouver Island Visayan Association – Evelyn Rocic, President

    Victoria Bayanihan Community Centre – Dominga Passmore, President

    Victoria Filipino Canadian Association – Agnes Mhyre, President

    Victoria Filipino Canadian Caregivers Association – Annette Beech, President

    Victoria Filipino Canadian Seniors Association – Connie Custodio, President

    Viva Senor Sto. Nino Association of BC – Edgar Sy, President

    Waray Association of Canada – Luis Pedroso , President

    Zambales Dance Group – Merlina Fayusal, President

    Zambales Society of BC – Merlina Fayusal, President

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