Pinoys run in GTA polls

Community News & Features Sep 24, 2010 at 11:54 am

By Harija Riza Khamal

As the Oct. 25 municipal elections heat up with most of media and public attention focused on the mayoral race, candidates from the Filipino community are quietly working in the background.

Some of them are tested municipal election winners and others new in the field. All of them have their sights on the large and fast-growing Filipino community in the Greater Toronto Area expected to boost their votes.

Two are reelectionists and four are running for new positions.



ALEX CHIU, Ward 8 Councillor, Markham

ALEX CHIU, Ward 8 Councillor, Markham

“It looks like I’m in again for another term,” this is the assessment of Alex Chiu, currently a Councillor for Ward 8 in Markham, Ontario, as he campaigns for the same position in the coming election. He is running for his 9th term. “My constituents are very happy to see me run. As a living proof when I go out to do my door knocking, it looks like I’m in for another term,” says Chiu in an interview.

As Ward 8 Councillor, Chiu banks on the number of years he had served the community. His accessibility to his constituents and being able to respond to their needs are what he considers as his greatest achievement. “I stay in contact with my constituents, every time a call comes in, I’m there to respond to their problem or concern,” says Chiu, who is serving a constituency population of more than 40,000 which includes more than 200 Filipino families in Ward 8.

“People know me as a hard-working Councillor and they know that they can count on me for help. I attend to any function that I’m invited to, it doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small.”

Chiu has been councillor of Ward 8, Markham for the past 25 years. He continues to be involved in local schools, churches, children’s recreational programs and community fund raising events.

The boundaries of Ward 8 are: McCowan Road in the east, Highway 404 in the west, Steeles Ave. in the south and Highway 407 to the north.



MARLENE MOGADO, Catholic School Trustee, Markham

MARLENE MOGADO, Catholic School Trustee, Markham

A community volunteer for over 24 years in Markham and York Region, Marlene Mogado is presently a Catholic School Trustee, Area 2 – York Catholic District School Board (Markham/Milliken Mills: Wards 4,5,7,8).

Seeking for the same position in the coming October 25th election, Mogado is proud to say that she kept her campaign commitments.

During her stay as Trustee, through her initiative many programs were opened, such as the opening of San Lorenzo Ruiz Catholic Elementary School, the newest and state of the art school in Markham, named after a Filipino Saint; the first York Catholic French Immersion Program at St. Edward Catholic Elementary School serving Markham; and five new full time kindergarten classes serving her area.

She was also instrumental in having the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB World School) Diploma Program for Markham to be accredited at Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy in 2011; and in achieving for YCDSB a balanced budget through cost-saving and streamlining improvements she authored.

“I believe my experience, integrity and dedication are invaluable to the Board. I have been active as community volunteer, on social justice, integration and Catholic Education issues for over 30 years. My work is known and recognized. There is more I can contribute as a tireless advocate for our school children’s learning needs,” says Mogado.

In her next term some of her priorities will be policies that bring value to the tax dollar; a new Catholic Elementary School in Cornell growth area; greening and energy-saving initiatives; more welcoming, safe environment and healthy foods in schools; and nurturing and protecting publicly funded Catholic Education system.



LUZ DEL ROSARIO, for Councilor for Ward 11

LUZ DEL ROSARIO, for Councilor for Ward 11

“As a Separate School Board Trustee, I had provided a voice to parents and students in Wards 6 and 11 and have advocated strongly on a number of issues to foster a safe school environment for our children,” says Luz del Rosario, a proud parent herself, who is running for Councilor for Ward 11, Mississauga City Council.

Having llived in Mississauga for the past 25 years, she and her husband Resty along with their two children are proud to call Mississauga their home, which is why she considers giving her best service to the city is truly in her heart.

A Certified Human Resources Professional, Del Rosario was named Mississauga Citizen of the Year in 2006. As a separate school board trustee, Del Rosario chaired the Special Education Advisory Committee. She had also chaired and is known for volunteering for the Carassauga Festival, one of the biggest multicultural festivals in Ontario. She has held various positions in different organizations.

Challenged by the economic downturn, Del Rosario looks forward to ensure Mississauga residents will continue to receive high quality services for their hard-earned tax dollars when she gets elected.

“Leading by example, I promise that if elected, one of my first acts will be to put forward a motion to freeze the salary of Mississauga City Councilors, until the City is in a strong position, enough to accommodate an increase. I will advocate prudent use of public funds in order to eliminate or reduce increases in property taxes,” vows Del Rosario.

She promised to do what is best for the city working in cooperation with the Mayor and willing councillors.



TOBIAS “JUN” ENVERGA, for Trustee, TCDSB, Ward 8, Scarborough

TOBIAS “JUN” ENVERGA, for Trustee, TCDSB, Ward 8, Scarborough

A candidate for Trustee, Toronto Catholic District School Board, Ward 8, city of Scarborough, Tobias “Jun” Enverga, had held many positions in various organizations such as former director in the Canadian Multicultural Council – Asians of Toronto and a former president of Philippine Independence Day Council. He’s known in the Filipino community for being visible in many cultural and charity programs and projects.

A graduate of Masters in Project Management, York University and Shulich School of Business, he is the project leader in sending over $500,000 worth of medical equipment to poor families in the Philippines. He led in building houses for the poor in the Philippines through the Canadian-registered charity ANCOP, (Answering the Cry of the Poor Foundation). These are just some of the many accomplishments Enverga has had in the past year.

“When elected, I will work for a legislation that trustees be allowed only two terms, aimed at eliminating a sense of entitlement for some and instill fresh ideas for consideration by the system.”

Tobias believes that as a Trustee, one must always adhere to Catholic teachings and must prioritize the provision of safe, caring and healthy learning environment of the students at all times. He also believes that there is a need to have visible ethnic representation in the Toronto District Catholic School Board.
For him, a trustee position is a volunteer work and not a job career or stepping stone for a higher position.



MARVIN MACARAIG, for Councillor, Ward 36, Scarborough

MARVIN MACARAIG, for Councillor, Ward 36, Scarborough

An Instructor and Teaching Assistant at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and presently finishing his Ph.D. on Metropolitan Governance, Marvin Macaraig is a candidate for Councillor in Ward 36, Toronto.
An academician, and has served on a number of university-wide committees throughout his career, Macaraig was named Screener for the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, $100,000 Go Green Challenge in 2009.

He considers himself a best candidate for Ward 36.

“I have the training and practical knowledge to immediately find solutions for the unique challenges facing Ward 36. At 33, I also bring a fresh perspective and new passion that is much needed at City Hall.

“We must build strong partnerships. My background as an educator and advocate is a proven asset when searching for common ground. I have experience teaching and working with diverse groups on local and city-wide issues and can bridge the divide between residents and City Hall.

“I have academic training in city planning from both York University and the University of Toronto. I possess expertise in metropolitan governance and sustainable urban development. I understand how to achieve greater livability and prosperity in our communities. Many issues facing Ward 36 and Toronto focus on growth, development and community values. I recognize the nuance needed to resolve these issues, and bring a strong voice of reason to City Council,” says Macaraig in an email interview.

Macaraig is passionate about all things urban, and believes that effective governance is only possible through carefully cultivated community partnerships. Over the past 7 years, he’d been working with organizations such as Friends of the Rouge Watershed, and more recently Our Community Speaks, on some of the environmental and planning issues facing our community.

When elected, he intends to work with City Staff, the developer and the community to find a suitable plan for the Quarry Lands. He will also support the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS) initiative in Scarborough Village.

“I will foster dialogue on community safety through regular town hall meetings with officers from 41 and 43 Division.”

“Similarly, I will voice residents’ concerns about wind turbines along our waterfront. I will see that the Revitalization plans for Birchcliff and Cliffside proceed in consultation with businesses and residents. I will ensure that Ward 36 gets its fair share of transit access as outlined in Transit City,” says Macaraig.



LOUROZ MERCADER,  for Councillor, Ward 7, Mississauga

LOUROZ MERCADER, for Councillor, Ward 7, Mississauga

Young but rich in experience as far as public service is concerned. Louroz Mercader, is a Filipino-born Canadian, with a big smile on his face and big dreams for the residents of Mississauga, especially in Ward 7, where he seeks for a seat. Ward 7 is home to over 5,000 Filipinos.

As a proven leader with over a decade of public sector experience, he had worked tirelessly to deliver solutions not excuses in the following priority areas: Support for local businesses and jobs; Innovate free programs for youth; Development of a sustainable transportation network and Building of strong, healthy and safe neighbourhoods.

“I want to make ward 7 into a place where people are proud to live. We need City Hall to help provide opportunities for jobs, boost our local businesses, invest in our youth and seniors, improve public transit and reduce gridlock, ensure our streets are safe and protect our homes from flooding,” says Mercader in an email interview.

“As City Councillor, I am committed to establishing a Cooksville Business Improvement Area, reopen our police station, plan for an underground Light Rapid Transit line and build a new community centre and library,” adds Mercader.

A prominent youth leader, he is the Founder and President of the Mississauga Youth Games (MY Games), a grassroots non-profit that provides free sporting and artistic programs to young people in Mississauga. He is a proud past participant of the Maytree Foundation’s Leaders for Change (2007-2008) and Schools4Civics (2008) programs. In 2009, Mercader was appointed to the inaugural DiverseCity Fellows: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project.

In 2000 he was a recipient of the Canada Day Youth Award, and awarded the 2001 Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.