Filipino Canadian scientist Dr. Phil De Luna, a young, aspiring, and first-time politician, is an acclaimed candidate for Member of Parliament for Toronto-St. Paul’s under the Green Party for the next federal election. Phil will run in the political riding presently held by Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett. The 29-year-old scientist and cleantech researcher are the third Filipino Canadian to announce candidacy in federal politics following Paul Jonathan Saguil and Elizabeth R. Quinto, both solicitors-barristers, who are seeking Liberal Party nominations in Brampton Centre and Kitchener South-Hespeler, Ontario, respectively.
Dr. P. De Luna, who is currently on leave from his job at the National Research Council of Canada, is throwing his hat in the political arena to articulate his ideas in cleantech science and innovation. He said that “Technology is not enough but government policies can do much better and faster”. De Luna explained four main reasons why he is running:1)“we must move faster to combat the threat of climate change and sustainably renew our society and economy, 2) we need more diversity in parliament and more science in policy, 3) I want to lower the barriers for other non-traditional candidates, and 4) to consider running because a diverse government is a robust and resilient one.”
In his political quest, De Luna is focusing on three main issues which he considered deeply personal and important such as1) supporting our essential workers, 2) housing affordability, and 3) fighting for green, sustainable jobs. He explained that “we need to do everything we can to diversify and create a more sustainable economy for Canada, to ensure families have green jobs that will last.”
Born in Taiwan, Phil grew up in Windsor, Ontario. He came to Canada with his parents, Art and Joy De Luna in 1996 at age 4. His father, an autoworker, lost his job during the recession in 2008 and when the Ford car assembly plant closed. Phil knows firsthand what happens when an entire community is dependent on one industry.
A graduate of the University of Toronto with a Doctor of Philosophy(Ph.D.) degree in Materials Science and Engineering in 2018, Phil also completed his Master of Science(MSc) degree in Chemistry from the University of Ottawa in 2015 and BSc. Honours Chemistry with thesis at the University of Windsor, Ontario.
De Luna was the youngest-ever Director at the National Research Council of Canada and is an expert in clean technology. He served as Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors of CMC Research Institutes and was a member of the OECD Advanced Materials Steering Committee. Phil is an entrepreneur and innovator being a carbon tech co-founder. He currently serves as a founding Mentor of the Matter and Climate Streams in Creative Destruction Lab.
Since 2013 he has published more than 44 articles including op-eds in high-impact scientific journals and newspapers. As a co-host and produce podcast producer, he has given hundreds of talks, panels, podcast interviews, and speeches on topics in science, climate change, clean technology, diversity, and innovation.
Among Phil’s numerous achievements are: “Youngest Director in National Research Council’s 100-year history”; “Forbes Top 30 Under 30 – Energy”; “Forbes “Best of Canada” Top 30 Innovators”; “Clean50 Emerging Leader”, “Podcast Host Massey College Fellow, Governor-General Gold Medalist, Member of the OECD Advanced Materials Steering Committee, Member of the Institute of Corporate Directors.
De Luna’s family and fiancee are highly supportive of his candidacy after explaining his reasons. “I am running because I think we need a new kind of politics, one that listens to the science, one that represents a diversity of Canadians, and one that offers solutions instead of criticisms”. Part of his campaign objective is “to help and inspire others who are new to the political process, especially underrepresented groups”. Philosophically speaking, Dr.P. De Luna reasoned out “If we don’t have good people to run in politics, then what will we have left?
by Tony A. San Juan, OCT-Retired