Ambassador Garcia addresses invited guests as Canadian parliamentarians who sponsored Motion 155 stood behind her.
Photo caption: Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen (left) represented the federal government as Member of Parliament Salma Zahid, principal author of Motion 155, welcomes guests.
Ambassador Petronila P. Garcia led leaders of various Filipino community organizations from Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto in expressing their appreciation for the parliamentary gesture which recognized the valuable contribution of the Filipino diaspora in Canada at a reception hosted by Member of Parliament Salma Zahid last night in Ottawa.
In a unanimous vote of 290 in favor and none against, the House of Commons of the Parliament of Canada adopted last Tuesday, 30 October, Motion 155 which declares the month of June of each year as Filipino Heritage Month throughout Canada. The private member’s bill was authored by MP Zahid who represents the Scarborough Centre district in the Greater Toronto Area.
At last night’s celebration, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen spoke on behalf of the federal government and assured the Filipino-Canadian community that a pathway towards permanent residency will always be made available to Filipino immigrants who now number more than 900,000 in the country, the second largest Filipino diaspora after those in the United States.
Photo caption: Ambassador Garcia joins MP Salma Zahid and her parliamentary colleagues, including Canada-Philippines Interparliamentary Friendship Group Chair Kevin Lamoureux (1st row, without coat).