Julius Tiangson: Pitching a better Canada
Julius Tiangson: Pitching a better Canada
Interview with Julius Tiangson, candidate for MP, York Centre
By Mila Astorga-Garcia
The Philippine Reporter
JULIUS Azarcon Tiangson, a well-known business and community leader in the Filipino-Canadian community, is running as official Federal Conservative candidate for Member of Parliament in the riding of York Centre.
He has founded business and non-profit organizations and is well known as the founder and former director of The Gateway Centre, an immigrant settlement and integration organization that worked with Filipino and other ethnic communities in the Greater Toronto Area.
After an impressive win in the Conservative Party nomination race in November 2014, he ran as the official Federal Conservative candidate for Member of Parliament in the new riding of Mississauga Centre and finished second to the winning candidate.
Tiangson came to Canada from the Philippines in 1985 through a job-exchange program in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He was granted landed immigrant status two years later. He moved to Mississauga, Ontario where he was an active advocate in the community, always taking on the Conservative Party position on issues.
The following are Tiangson’s written responses to interview questions by The Philippine Reporter:
THE PHILIPPINE REPORTER: You have distinguished yourself as a community and business leader persistent in your efforts to get elected to a political position in parliament. What is your reason for not being daunted by an unsuccessful attempt in the electoral process?
JULIUS TIANGSON: Seeking political office is a big decision and one that I believe is critical at this moment in Canada. My persistency in going through this the second time, speaks to my belief that I can be of service to people and to our country. Service to our country is an intrinsic call that must be cultivated in each of us. My response to this call to serve is active citizenship or participation in making our country better, giving people more opportunity and being a voice for those who don’t have one. I want to make sure our kids have a bright future in Canada – the one I was afforded when I came here.
TPR: You are running for a government position, this time during a health and economic crisis situation brought about by COVID-9. What prompted you to make such a decision at this time?
JT: The mishandling of the Trudeau Liberals in perhaps the greatest health and economic crises of our generation that prompted me to run for a seat in Canada’s House of Commons. The Trudeau Liberals mismanaged and neglected emergency preparedness for such a time as this. Their lack of action on a travel ban or flights coming from the country where COVID-9 first broke, in spite of knowing the facts. The lack of action from closing our borders more broadly and their slow response to approving rapid tests have resulted in a weak response that have put Canadians in danger. The economic priorities that the Trudeau Liberals do not take into consideration the general plight of ordinary Canadians, who are worried about their jobs, their families or their safety, but instead, this government is mired in corruption and scandal! They got caught in favouring only their friends with a so-called contribution agreement of over HALF A BILLION DOLLARS to bail out a charity that has over-leveraged real estate holdings. The liberals have left Canadians behind, small business owners, seniors and each one of us that are worried about the future.
TPR: What priority issues are you going to fight for as MP in your riding?
JT: York Centre is a microcosm of Canada. People from all over the world have settled here and continue to make this a place where they live, work, and connect with their communities. As in my past advocacy for Temporary Foreign Workers in the Live-in Caregiver Program and newcomers in general, I will continue to advocate for a regulatory change in their foreign credential recognition. There is no reason why the federal and provincial governments as well as professional bodies, couldn’t come with a framework that would recognize credentials and professional experiences gained in other countries. This is an equal opportunity issue for me. We’ve invited thousands of people to come to this country only to face barriers that often set them back from ever fully realizing economic integration. The consequence of this lack of framework are underemployed highly skilled immigrants whose hopes and a better future have been dimmed!
TPR: What do you think are the priority issues in the Filipino community? Many Filipino Canadians want Filipino representation in mainstream politics so they can work for the issues of the community. Is this something you can or cannot do in that position, as some others may expect you to represent everyone in the mainstream and all ethnic communities?
JT: The priorities of Filipinos are no different than the priorities of many immigrants and Canadians in general. We want jobs. We want our credentials recognized. We want safety for ourselves and families. We want our children to have opportunities in the future. We want better government and public officials to actually care for their priorities. Unfortunately, the Trudeau Liberals do not share our priorities and the priorities of Canadians in general. Scandal after scandal. Ethics violation by Prime Minister Trudeau and his Finance Minister has made it abundantly clear that they don’t have the interest of Canadians, but they are in power to serve their friends in Bay Street and the downtown elites.
Here in York Centre, home to thousands of Filipinos (latest 2016 census is that 17% are Filipinos and perhaps this year is about 20% already), are our lives better? Do the families that our Live-in Caregiver participants brought over have a sense that they have a brighter and hopeful future?
TPR: What will be your main platform? What bills are you contemplating to sponsor or initiate?
JT: The Conservative Party’s platform will always be about affordability, opportunity, choice and as Canadian priorities. We will ensure that a better economic recovery plan will be implemented that will prioritize the real economic engine of Canada – SMALL BUSINESSES. To make this happen, as a Party, we will look into programs that will support a robust kickstart of our small business through accessible funding, targeted government investment in specific business sectors and incentivizing “back to work” program addressing many precarious workers.
We will ensure that rapid COVID19 testing is implemented to address the health and safety of ALL CANADIANS!
TPR: Why York Centre? Why not Mississauga Centre where you reside? What is the riding’s population and social profile?
JT: As I have mentioned, York Centre is a microcosm of Canada. The priorities in this riding is similar to the priorities in Mississauga Centre, and quite frankly is similar to many ridings across Canada. Come to think of it, Canadians, regardless of our background, have a lot in common. Our dreams and aspirations for ourselves, family and community are the same. But the Trudeau Liberals would want us to believe that our priorities and interests are so vastly different and make us quite apprehensive of each other. We actually have a lot more in common than what we have as differences.
Population based is over 110,000 with 71,000 eligible electors.
TPR: What is your main campaign message to all voters? To the Filipino-Canadian community?
JT: As your Conservative Member of Parliament, I believe that my multifaceted experience in the non-profit sector and business, would serve the residents of York Centre better. I have over 30 years of real-life experience of raising my family, engaging the community and venturing out in business. I share the dreams and aspirations of people, specially my “kababayans” who came to make our lives and families live out the Canadian dream!
Thus, I will work hard to represent every resident of York Centre and call each one of us to serve our community, to look after our shared interests, to support small businesses, to ensure that our children and their future would retain, if not improve, the quality of life that this country has promised to ALL IMMIGRANTS AND CANADIANS!