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Filipino-Canadians to run in Manitoba provincial elections

Lucille Nolasco Garrido | TFC News Manitoba

Posted at Sep 23 2023 08:38 PM

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The campaign for the Manitoba provincial election is in full swing, with less than two weeks to go before residents troop to polling stations on Oct. 3.

Six Filipinos are among the candidates vying for seats in Manitoba's legislature, namely: Malaya Marcelino, Jon Reyes, Kelly Legaspi, Garry Alejo, Christopher Santos, and Jelynn dela Cruz.

Marcelino has spent the campaign period knocking on people's doors for their votes. Her team of volunteers include her parents Orli, and Flor, a former member of the legislative assembly.

As a reelectionist for the Notre Dame constituency, Marcelino said she will continue projects that her party has initiated.

"I certainly want to complete those projects including a $31-million Greenway," she said. "We want to remove the decommissioned railway tracks in the Weston-Brookland area and turn them into landscaped pathways."

Marcelino added that her priorities include healthcare, public order and safety, as well as job security.

"We need to keep our communities clean and safe for everybody so," she said. "There’s a lot to do and I would like to continue doing that for our constituency in Notre Dame."

Meanwhile, first-time candidate Garry Alejo is also busy knocking on doors and meeting with voters, including Filipinos.

"I don't argue with the voters. I just listen to them," he said. "Oftentimes, I just listen so that I can learn more about their experiences and issues."

Alejo is a finance officer for an airline company. He founded a citizen patrol group made up of volunteers who help prevent crime and maintain safety in the community.

While Alejo is running against an incumbent for the Burrows constituency, he said he remains unfazed.

"I see how the situation has worsened and many of our fellow FIlipinos have been complaining of break-ins, not getting enough help on this, and without anyone responding to the incidents," he said. "So, I would like to take that to a higher level."

Some 57 seats are up for grabs in the Manitoba legislature, which represent the 57 provincial ridings.

Election Day is on Oct. 3 but residents can cast their votes as early as Sept. 23.