30 September 2021, Toronto, Ontario – The Philippine Consulate General in Toronto is pleased to inform that The Honourable, Member of Parliament-elect Rechie Valdez, a member of the Liberal Party and the first Filipino Canadian woman to be elected in the Canadian Parliament (The House of Commons of Canada) representing the riding (equivalent to a legislative district) of Mississauga-Streetsville, visited today the Consulate General’s office at Eglinton Avenue East, City of Toronto.
Consul General Orontes V. Castro warmly welcomed MP-elect Valdez, who was accompanied by her daughter Cassidy, parents Mr. Zosimo I. Salazar Jr. and Ms. Normita B. Salazar, parents-in-law Mr. Crispino Valdez and Ms. Lerma S. Valdez, and Legislative Executive Assistant Mr. Ajay Rakhra.
In his welcome remarks, Consul General Castro said that he joined the entire Filipino community in Canada in congratulating MP-elect Valdez on her exceptional accomplishment of winning as Member of Parliament in last week’s parliamentary election in Canada. It was also noted that after seventeen (17) years, the Filipinos have a strong voice and an advocate in the Canadian Parliament. With her election victory, MP-elect Valdez becomes the first Filipino Canadian woman to win a seat in the Canadian Parliament and second since Mr. Rey Pagtakhan of Winnipeg-North in 2004. MP-elect Valdez’ achievement became an inspiration and a role model to young boys and girls.
Consul General Castro also noted that MP-elect Valdez’ campaign focused on environment and fighting climate change, investing in women entrepreneurs, advancing pay-equity legislation, continuing health care investment, and supporting first-time home buyers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners.
In her reply, MP-elect Valdez started her remarks by land acknowledgment and reminding that today is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada where “we honor the lost children and survivors of Residential Schools, their families and communities.” She conveyed her thanks for the visit to the Consulate General and said: “It is not a coincidence that I was elected on this particular year when we celebrate the Quincentennial Anniversary. So first and foremost, I would like to praise the Lord our God who made this possible. We all know how big of a moment this is for our community and what this election meant to us. I want you all to understand that this is not just about me or about us here. It’s about what this means for our Filipino Community as a whole and that finally we have a voice in Parliament.”
For her exceptional accomplishment, the Consulate General presented MP-elect Valdez the Quincentennial Award as her election victory coincides with this year’s Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines.