PHILIPPINE HERITAGE MONTH
Canada House of Commons
declares June as Filipino Heritage Month
In a historic proclamation, the House of Commons of Canada adopted Motion 155 declaring June as Filipino Heritage Month in Canada from coast to coast. The landmark unanimous vote of 290 in favour to none against was taken on October 30, 2018 in the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa.
Federal Liberal Salma Zahid, who is Member of Parliament for Scarborough Centre in Ontario, sponsored the motion beginning in February 2018. In her privilege speech, MP Zahid reasoned out that in the opinion of the House of Commons, the government should recognize the contributions that Filipino-Canadians have made to Canadian society, the richness of the Filipino language and culture, and the importance of reflecting upon Filipino heritage for future generations by declaring June, every year, Filipino Heritage Month.
Furthermore, Motion 155 speaks to officially designating the month of June as Filipino Heritage Month across Canada from coast to coast to coast. I do this on behalf of a vibrant and dynamic Filipino Canadian community that is proud of its culture and heritage and equally proud of its new home, Canada, a community that makes immeasurable contributions to Canadian life and citing official statistics said, the Filipino population, since 2011 has grown by 27% to 851,400 and is now the fastest growing ethnic group in Canada.
Source: San Juan, Tony A. Philippine Canadian Inquirer. November 2018
Alberta Legislature Proclaims
Philippine Heritage Month for the month of June
Edmonton - On Friday June 1, 2018, the office of Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman announced that Premier Rachel Notley and Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell have signed the proclamation making the month of June as Philippine Heritage Month in perpetuity. This proclamation means that Philippine Heritage Month will be celebrated automatically every June, year after year.
In February, a group of individuals approached MLA Rodrigo Loyola to make June a Philippine Heritage Month in Alberta. This month coincides with the annual celebrations of Philippine Independence Day across Canada. 50 community leaders in Edmonton and surrounding areas supported the initiative.
A small hurdle delayed the process. A group in Calgary had petitioned for similar intentions but for the month of September. This was resolved when Deputy Premier Hoffman’s office received a letter from the proponents of the September petition, informing her of the group’s support for June to be declared as Heritage Month.
The proclamation required formal process with many steps that had to be taken, i.e. a governmental process, which involved, at the last stage, an in-house signing by the Premier and the Lieutenant Governor.
Municipal declarations have also occurred in the Cities of Edmonton, Calgary and Fort Saskatchewan.