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Five Filipino Canadians now running in British Columbia's municipal elections

Rowena Papasin | TFC News Vancouver

Posted at Oct 05 2022 08:44 AM

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Amie Peacock is a long-time community organizer who was recently honored as one of Canada's Top 25 Immigrants for 2022.

She may have filed her candidacy a bit later than the others for British Columbia's municipal elections, but this Filipino Canadian said she had always thought of running and she believes now is the right time to fight for the issues that affect Vancouver residents.

If she wins as city councilor, Peacock said she will advocate for 'social prescribing' to bring back connectedness among residents and that she will work to help combat anti-Asian hate crimes.

"When we care about each other, and when we feel a sense of belonging and connectedness, we feel like we take care of each other," Peacock said.

Peacock, a scholar of the Harvard Business School, has lived in Vancouver for 30 years. Like fellow city council candidate Lina Vargas, Peacock is also running as an independent.

She said it's time for the seats in the council to reflect the diverse communities of Vancouver.

"I call it an immigrant syndrome. We often think that we're not good enough to put our name to become leaders of our city... You are good enough and you have a voice and you have the credibility to put your name and run."

Maita Santiago, who's running for the Burnaby City Council, also urged Filipino Canadians to make their voices heard by electing fellow Filipinos to public office.

Santiago works as a constituency assistant to Filipino Canadian lawmaker Mable Elmore. She launched her campaign with a halo-halo festival.  

"Dahil ang gusto po natin ay makita, it’s for Burnaby, for the powers-that-be, to say 'No more, that the Filipinos are an invisible community'," Santiago said.

(Because we want to show, it's for Burnaby and the powers-that-be, to say, 'No more, that the Filipinos are an invisible community.')

Vancouver City Hall has released the first ever Tagalog election guide barely two weeks before the municipal elections.

With 137 candidates in Vancouver - 15 for mayor, 59 for councilors, 32 for the park board and 31 for the school trustees - the city will have the longest ballot in BC and the voters guide can help answer the questions of Filipino voters.

"We know that one of the barriers is language for a lot of people when it comes to voting. Translating to Tagalog is one of the better ways to help people to vote, at saka maintindihan yung process dito sa municipal election, kasi ang dami hong election, right?," 2022 Vancouver Election communications manager Justinne Ramirez said.

(Translating to Tagalog is one of the better ways to help people to vote, and they will understand the process for the municipal election, because there are other different elections, right?)

Two other Filipino Canadian candidates are running in the municipal elections aside from Peacock, Vargas, and Santiago.

They are Filipino Canadian National Congress president Narima Dela Cruz and financial expert Ramon Bandong Jr., both of whom are running for council seats in the city of Surrey.