Four GTA FilCans vie for MPPs

Community News & Features Apr 13, 2018 at 4:45 pm

(Note: Ramon Estaris wins Liberal Party nomination contest.)

By Tony A. San Juan, OCT.

History is in the making….that is,  in the province of Ontario. Filipinos for the first time since  the diaspora in the early 50s have in its political radar four Filipino Canadians who are vying for nomination or elective posts in four electoral district associations, commonly called “riding,” in the Greater Toronto Area. These Filipino candidates who are considered to be ambitious, courageous, determined,  willing and able enough have entered the realm of Canadian parliamentary political system. They are hopeful and purposeful of passing the political litmus tests  in their respective party nomination (convention) process and once chosen, becoming the official candidates for Member of Provincial Parliament ( MPP) and then, meaningfully winning in the coming June seven provincial election.

Among them are three gentlemen and a lady across the political spectrum, namely:  Ramon Estaris of the Ontario Liberal  Party, George Garvida of the Trillium Party of Canada,  Antonio Villarin and Rosemer Enverga, both of the Progressive Conservative Party. Any one of the four, aspires to become the first Filipino MPP in Ontario and to represent the voice of more than 350,000 kababayans in the premier province of Canada.



Ramon Estaris

Estaris, a hard working Filipino Canadian, is a well- known community leader, real estate broker, small- business entrepreneur, and social- cause advocate.
He is running for the Ontario Liberal Party Member of Provincial Parliament -MPP nomination for York Centre.  Ramon is the experienced voice York Centre needs to ensure community issues are on the legislative halls  at Queen’s Park.   Given the chance, Estaris will fight for improved health care, better transit, excellent  education, best child care, dental and pharma care, senior care, fair minimum wage rates, reasonable tax cuts and excellent living conditions.

Estaris is a senior organizer and director of two popular  community- wide festivals, the “Taste of Manila” and the “Taste of Asia” annual events. He was active in  charity-driven social events doing fundraising efforts for calamity victims in the Philippines and other parts of the world. Estaris is a businessman in York Centre for 7 years and as a realtor, was a recipient of “100 Club Award Winner-ReMax” and “Top 25 Producer” North America of  ACN.

As a proud community organizer, Estaris  is a past director of the Pangasinan Association of North America – PANA  and also past president of San Jacinto, (Pangasinan) Association of North America.   Members of other cultural communities and small- business owners in the electoral riding have shown their admiration and they assuredly promised  to deliver the nomination plum for Estaris.



Atty. George M. Garvida

A solicitor – barrister, George Marcos Garvida, is the official MPP candidate for Scarborough- Guildwood of the Trillium Party of Canada. Atty, Garvida, who is from Ilocos Norte, is a practicing lawyer both in Canada and in the Philippines.  He has worked  with the Immigration and Refugee Board’s Immigration Appeals Division and also with the Toronto Children Aid Society, assigned to the Crown Prosecutor’s Office of the Attorney General of Ontario. Being a law professional, he has appeared both before the Immigration and Appeals and the Refugee Protection Divisions of the Immigration and Refugee Board, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, Ontario Provincial Court, Small Claims Court, as well as various courts and quasi-judicial tribunals in the Philippines.

Being an immigration law practitioner, he gained favourable decisions for humanitarian and refugee claimants and has also drafted numerous prenuptial, separation and divorce agreements as a family lawyer. As an MPP candidate and a lawyer with a ton of practical experience, Garvida  said that “together we can tackle any hurdle and find solutions to every challenge we may face- towards financial independence and creating opportunities for the betterment of the community as part of the Trillium team.”

Garvida has been a resident in Scarborough-Guildwood for more than than 10 years, understands the community, and believes in working together through diversity. Happily married to Sheila Ortega, Garvida  is father to Ryan, Reanne and Riley.



Atty. Antonio M. Villarin

A legal eagle, Atty. Antonio M. Villarin is seeking the official nomination as the Progressive Conservative Party  MPP candidate for Scarborough Centre.  A Juris Doctor graduate of the Ateneo De Manila University and the University of the Philippines, Villarin became a member of the Philippine Bar in  1995.  In Ontario, he  was  licensed   by the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2004 specializing in immigration, civil, family, probates and criminal laws. As a community leader, he was president for two terms of the Filipino Canadian Community House- FCCH, a community settlement organization;  a member of good standing of Robertson Lodge – Ancient Free & Accepted Masons; an officer of the Knights of Rizal- Toronto; and other professional, civic and non-profit organizations. Villarin, as a director of Asia Pacific Immigration Consultants, Inc., also provides pro bono advice and assistance in certain immigration cases.

In seeking the Scarborough Centre nomination, Atty. A. Villarin said that he would like “to address the many issues confronting our community in the higher level.” To be serving in Queen’s Park, Villarin specifically will propose legislation “to lower the cost of post-secondary education, increase the funding for seniors and affordable housing and for Ontarians to receive fair wages.”
Proudly married to Marisa Villarin, a real estate broker, Villarin confidently aspires and fervently hopes to be successfully selected in the recently reopened  MPP nomination process. Home to about 16 % Filipinos of the total population, the nomination meeting date in Scarborough Centre, however,  is still to decided and announced.



Rosemer A. Enverga

Under the Progressive Conservative Party, Rosemer Albovias Enverga, the widow of the late Senator Tobias Enverga, is running for Member of Provincial Parliament – MPP nomination candidate for Mississauga Centre in the Peel Region.

Enverga has attended St. Scholastica’s College in Manila with major in Business and was in the College Dean’s List. Her employment experience includes serving as, insurance company vice- president, and TV network consultant to GMA International. She is a co-founder, and currently an executive vice president of Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation (PCCF).

An active member or officer of faith-based organizations, she is a member of “Campaign For Life”; ministry head of temporalities of Our Lady of Assumption parish; director of Mother of the Poor Foundation; ardent supporter of Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity and the Archdiocesan of Filipino Catholic Missions (AFCM). Her charitable work includes fundraising projects and services for ANCOP- Answering the Cry of the Poor’s targeted low-cost housing and self- help initiatives in economically depressed communities in the home country; the Philippines Elsie Gaches Village for orphans and abandoned children; Down Syndrome Association in Toronto; and relief efforts and assistance for calamity victims in the Philippines, Japan and Nepal.

Enverga, as a woman of distinction, has received many awards among which are: “Most Outstanding Canadian” in 2004; “Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal” in 2012 and one of “100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World” in 2013. She is being supported by “FilCom for MPP” a Mississauga-based group and other members of cultural communities and organizations. Now a single mother, Rosemer Enverga is the loving mother of Rystel, Rocel and Reeza.

In the coming days and weeks, Filipino Canadians who registered as members of their respective provincial political parties will troop to the voting venues to select their own candidates , ang kanilang sariling manok.

Be counted!

Be a proud part of the cherished cusp of the kasaysayan ng ating lahi!

Get out and vote!