OTTAWA – A new organization aiming to strengthen the relationship between the Canadian and the Philippine governments was founded in Ottawa on May 12.
The Canada–Philippines Parliamentary Friendship Group, a project of NDP Member of Parliament Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North), elected an executive representing all Canadian political parties and adopted a constitution during their inaugural meeting in the West Block of the House of Commons.
Wasylycia-Leis and Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge (Winnipeg South) were elected as Co-Chairs of the group.
“It is significant that the Co-Chairs of this new association are both from Manitoba, which is home to one of the largest Filipino communities in Canada,” said Wasylycia-Leis.
According to a press release, the purpose of the group, which is composed mainly of elected officials, is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and promote the expansion of relations between the two countries.
“There are many ties that bind our two nations making the establishment of our Parliamentary Friendship Group both important and timely,” said Wasylycia-Leis, adding: “Filipino Canadians have made an outstanding contribution to Canada’s social, economic, and political life. Given the large and vibrant presence of Filipinos in the Canadian mosaic, I felt it was long overdue that such a Friendship Group be established.”
Several members of the Canada-Philippines Parliamentary Friendship Group (standing) with co-chairs, MP for Winnipeg South, Rod Bruinooge & MP for Winnipeg North, Judy Wasylysia-Leis. Philippine Ambassador Jose Brillantes (sitting at right) with members of his staff and visitors from the Philippines