By Rachelle Cruz, ABS-CBN News North America Bureau
TORONTO, CANADA – Julius Tiangson is painting the town blue. In the ongoing race for the new riding of Missisauga Centre, Tiangson is up against Liberal Omar Alghabra who is also a mechanical engineer, and social worker and NDP Farheen Khan.
Recent polls show he’s leading the pack.
Tiangson has been a pillar in his community – as the Founding Executive Director for Gateway Centre for New Canadians. His work focused on newcomer integration, refugee advocacy, spirituality and youth mentorship. But this time, he is setting his sights on a new platform– a political one.
“I think it’s about time for us to have representation in the House of Commons,” Tiangson said. “There are at least 800,000 Filipinos across Canada and we need to have representation there. We need to have a voice. My passion throughout my life has been to help the next generation, our young people.”
If elected, Tiangson will focus on three things: the economy, immigration system, and youth employment. But there’s one thing he thinks matters the most. “Jobs; it’s all that really matters to all Canadians, especially Filipinos.” Tiangson adds, “I’ve travelled across the country as well as around the world. I’ve met with a number of migrant workers in places like the Middle East, Europe and Asia and obviously across Canada. And the reason why people come to this country? Because of opportunity.”
In the last election in 2011, voters in his riding voted 41.6 percent for the Conservatives, and 36.7 percent for the Liberals.
Voter, Judith Gonzales says, “I’m voting for him because of his values. I would say what he fights for, because he was one of my mentors and whoever I am right now, is because of him. I was a caregiver. I was a caregiver and there were times that he would advocate for caregivers.”
Another Pinoy voter, Jun Naredo shares, “It is our pride, for Filipinos, that we’ll have a good representation sa Ottawa. And for one thing, I learned that Julius really represents, not just the Filipinos but all the Canadians as well. Besides the values, I happen to be coming from the same church affiliation. Yung faith-based values nia, which I also advocate and support, that’s why I’m supporting him for that reason.”
According to The Filipino Canadian Political Action Council, more than 70,000 Filipino-Canadians, whose birthplace is the Philippines, do not vote.
Community leaders are urging Filipino Canadians to register and vote on October 19th.