Third Filipino Heritage Month bill propped up anew at Queen’s Park

Community News & Features Dec 22, 2017 at 5:08 pm
 MPP Mike Colle (Eglinton-Lawrence)

MPP Mike Colle (Eglinton-Lawrence)

By Ysh Cabana

It’s not every year that Canada receives proposed laws to recognize the Filipino community. Then again, it’s not every year that province of Ontario is introduced with three bills to officially proclaim June as Filipino Heritage Month.
The latest in line, sponsored by Member of the Provincial Parliament (MPP) Mike Colle (Eglinton-Lawrence), is Bill 189 introduced on Tuesday December 12.

“This bill, if passed, celebrates both the importance of recognizing the heritage and history of Filipino-Canadians in Ontario, as well as the numerous achievements of Filipino-Canadians from all walks of life,” said Colle of the ruling Liberal Party.
Colle also asked the other parties, the New Democrats and Conservatives, to co-sponsor the bill as a joint Filipino proclamation.

“I will continue to engage my Opposition colleagues to not use this momentous occasion to politicize and divide members of the Filipino community. Instead, I request that they join me co-sponsor one joint bill by all three parties, incorporating elements from all three individuals’ bills that have been introduced to date, in order to enshrine in law the many contributions and accomplishments of our Filipino community to our province.”

On December 5, MPP Raymond Cho (Scarborough-Rouge River) tabled Bill 185 in the legislature with the similar aim to call on other parties to jump in and co-sponsor the Conservative version  of the proposed Filipino month. An earlier Bill 181 was also filed by New Democrat MPP Peter Tabuns (Toronto-Danforth) on November 23.

All three bills have passed the first reading and can be seen via the legislature’s website. They will advance to second reading when the sessions resume in February 2018.

The motion to proclaim June as a month to annually recognize Filipino heritage was adopted in the City of Toronto last Nov. 8, the first by any level of government in Canada.