Aquino in Canada

Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomes Benigno Aquino III, President of the Philippines, to Canada. The three-day state visit, from May 7 to May 9, 2015, was President Aquino’s first to Canada and the first by a Filipino president since 1997. Photo: PMO.

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Benigno Aquino III, President of the Philippines, announced new initiatives on May 8, 2015 to strengthen relations between Canada and the Philippines.

The announcement was made at an event in Ottawa on Parliament Hill during President Aquino’s State visit to Canada from May 7 to 9, 2015, which included stops in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.

Aquino visit draws low turnout, protests

President Benigno Aquino III ended his first Canadian visit in Vancouver on May 9, 2015. He was met at every stop by admirers and protestors alike, such as the advocacy group Migrante B.C. Photo by Jane Ordinario of Migrante B.C.

By Ted Alcuitas

VANCOUVER After a whirlwind of quick stops that took him first to Chicago and then to Ottawa and Toronto, President Benigno Aquino III ended his first North American visit in Vancouver on Saturday, May 9, 2015.

But the small audiences that came to see him on the west coast marred whatever political mileage his host, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, was clearly aiming for.

Even more disconcerting were the dogged persistence of a small, but militant, advocacy group, Migrante Canada, which describes itself as “an active defender of the rights and welfare of overseas Filipino migrants” and in some ways was able to distract attention from Aquino during the Toronto and Vancouver visits.