Liberal candidate Rechie Valdez ends the 17-year drought for Filipino Canadians in Ottawa after winning the seat as the member of parliament for the Mississauga-Streetsville riding in Ontario.
Valdez was declared the winner after garnering 48% of the votes, or an edge of almost 5,000 against Conservative candidate Jasveen Rattan. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau personally endorsed Valdez's candidacy when he campaigned in Mississauga-Streetsville.
This is Valdez's first foray into politics. She is an entrepreneur who previously worked in corporate banking. In an interview with ABS-CBN News, the mother of two said she will prioritize childcare and healthcare when she gets to Ottawa. She also promised to push for programs on affordable housing, one of the concerns that have been raised during the campaign.
Valdez, who grew up in the riding where she ran, will be the second Filipino Canadian to have a seat in parliament after Dr. Rey Pagtakhan of Winnipeg, whose term ended in 2004.
Filipino Canadian National Congress director Narima Dela Cruz said Valdez's win is an inspiration to all Filipinos. Five other Filipinos ran in the recently-concluded federal elections but failed in their bid. Meanwhile, with the Liberals winning the most seats in the House of Commons, Justin Trudeau will remain as Canada's prime minister.