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Filipino Canadian Lawyer Runs For Toronto Centre Member Of Parliament Nomination

Once anew, the Filipino Canadian community in the Greater Toronto Area is agog and delighted to have a “kababayan”  throwing his hat in the political arena. Yes, folks! There is a fresh Filipino Canadian political “kid on the block”.

Paul Jonathan Saguil, a 38-year old Filipino Canadian lawyer, is running for the nomination to become the Liberal Member of Parliament Candidate for the Toronto Centre Riding in Toronto, Ontario. He hopes to be the progressive voice for Toronto Centre as well as the Filipinos and other ethnic & minority groups in the Canadian Parliament should he win the Toronto Centre riding nomination and onwards, in the next Federal election by way of either a byelection or a snap election.  He is the second MP nomination candidate in Toronto who is a Filipino Canadian lawyer after the candidacy of barrister-solicitor Rafael Fabregas in 2014.

A practising barrister- solicitor in Ontario, Paul Saguil was called to the bar in 2008 by the Law Society of Ontario.  Paul is a graduate of the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in-2007. He received his Bachelor of Arts( Honours)-Philosophy degree from York University in 2004. Paul came to Canada with his parents in 1991 at 9 years of age.  Paul completed his high school studies at Chaminade College School in Toronto.  He is an openly gay individual and solidly supports BIPOC and queer youths.

His professional background and experience include the practice of law and executive management roles. He is currently the Deputy Head of TD Bank Group’s Global Sanctions Compliance and Anti-Bribery/Anti-Corruption Program since December 2019 rising from being the Associate Vice President, Innovation, Governance, and Risk Strategies from November 2016 to December 2016,  as Senior Counsel, Disputes and Investigations from January 2016 – October 2016 and Counsel, Litigation December 2012 – December 2015. Formerly, he served as an Associate at Stockwoods LLP in 2008 until 2012 providing legal advice to and litigating on behalf of individuals, public and private companies, and public and quasi-governmental institutions in regulatory and professional discipline matters, appeals and applications for judicial review, general civil, commercial, and criminal proceedings.

Paul also worked an  Adjunct Faculty/Course Instructor in the Internationally- Trained Lawyers Program at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law May 2011 – August. 2011 and has taught “Foundations of Canadian Law” in a program designed to assist foreign-trained lawyers to qualify for licensing and obtain certification from National Committee on Accreditation of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. He served also in the Federal Court (Canada) from July 2007 -to July 2008 as a Judicial Clerk to the Honourable Justice Michael Phelan and has drafted case summaries and court decisions concerning various legal issues, including regulatory/administrative law, and intellectual property.

A recipient of numerous awards and recognition, Paul as a lawyer and community issues- advocate has been given the recognition for excellence, leadership, community-building and precedent-setting among others by prestigious organizations like the Ontario Bar Association, Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, Canadian Corporate Counsel Association and Precedent Magazine. As a university student, a member of the Dean’s Honour Roll and alumnus, he was awarded prizes and cited with distinctions for academic excellence & scholarship, outstanding contribution and exceptional commitment.

Paul Saguil’s active involvement in the community includes voluntary- and -advocacy service as a chair or member of the board, corporate secretary or treasurer, with 1) Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee, GTA, 2) 519 Community Centre, 3) “Start Proud/Out On Bay Street”, 4) Law Society of Ontario EquityAdvisory Group, 5)  Ontario Justice Education Network and a host of other progressive community action groups.

As a legal scholar and writer, he has published materials in journals and magazines from 2004 to 2013 on topics dealing with diversity, hate speech, hate crime, freedom of speech, common law, ethical lawyering, legal services, statutory interpretations, wrongful conviction lessons, legal ethics concepts, and emotional implications

Paul, from a new beginning in Canada, when his family emigrated here as a child to serve as a lawyer, he was blessed and fortunate. He is also proud of what he has been able to accomplish as a solicitor-barrister, bank executive, community leader and advocate.  WFG Senior Executive Vice-Chairman Agnes P. Miranda, a  Toronto old-timer and community leader opined that “While the past many years have felt like a lifetime in many political ways, the community must continue to push forward. Whether we are ready for it or not, now is the time again for the community to come together and face the challenges” adding that “this opportunity has given us cause for both reflection and solidarity”.

As another well-known community, PIDC Mabuhay Philippines Chair Emerita Norma Carpio said, “We must be grateful for the opportunities that we have had in our lives so far. We need to help and support Paul in his political journey, not only he being a “kababayan” but I believe he is a well-qualified individual to lead and represent our voice in the halls of governance in Canada.  We really need to rally and reach out to everyone in the Toronto Centre electoral riding.”

The political boundaries of Toronto Centre consist of the parts of East of Yonge & Bay Streets, West of Don Valley &  Rosedale Valley, North of Front Street, the Esplanade & Mill  Street, and South of Charles & Bloor Streets East. Demographically, Canada Census 2016 showed the riding has a population of 103,805 with Filipinos comprising 5% or 5,190, the sixth-largest ethnic population group and 2.7%  are Filipino(Tagal0g-based) speaking residents. In the 2019 Federal election, it recorded  83,076 eligible voters of which 66% or 54,896 voted. There are 23.5 % Catholics in the district covering Downtown Toronto, Regent Park, St. Jamestown, Cabbagetown, and Church-Wellesley, the historic LGBTQ2 community. https://www.elections.ca/res/cir/maps2/mapprov.asp?map=35108&lang=e]

Please visit and register to www.votesaguil.ca.  Paul can be reached at info@votesaguil.ca.

( Tony A. San Juan, OCT-Ret.) 

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