Malaya Movement in Canada

Looking Towards a Long Fruitful Collaboration With MP Rechie Valdez

October 9, 2021

The Malaya Movement in Canada congratulates Rechie Valdez for winning the riding of Mississauga-Streetsville in Ottawa in the recent 2021 Canadian Federal Elections. She is the first Filipina and the second person of Philippine descent to be elected into the federal parliament.

As MP Valdez has celebrated, she is proud of this first. We are proud with her because MP Valdez is one of our own; not only because the Parliament of Canada will have a face like ours, but also because MP Valdez has let it known that she wishes to be a genuine representative. In her recent video that looked back on election night, she highlighted three qualities of a genuine representative:

  1. “Canadians succeed as a country when we are united together.” But what unites us as a country are our values. As the Canadian government’s Voices At Risk Guidelines state: “Canadians care about human rights. They expect their government to help build respect for human rights at home and around the world.”
  2. “I’m here, I’ve listened, and I will continue to listen. This is a two-way conversation that will continue. It will not stop.” What these values are in concrete reality are not something spun out of personal fantasy but come from the lived experiences of Canada’s various communities. They can only be discovered by consulting widely with Canada’s various communities.
  3. “I’m looking forward to reaching out and working with all the communities.” For that consultation to be a success, it has to be sought by those seeking to be our representatives. We welcome MP Valdez’s eagerness to listen to and work with Canada’s various communities.

For our part, as an organization of Filipinos across Canada with deep roots in the Filipino community, we ourselves look toward a long fruitful working relationship with MP Valdez. We welcome MP Valdez’s aspirations to be a genuine representative. We will be here, available, to hold ongoing conversations with MP Valdez on the issues that most affect the Filipino community.

We, therefore, propose to MP Valdez, as a first step in our collaboration, two ways that Canada can help realize our values at home and abroad: a) Replace Canada’s immigration system with a single-tier system because the current multi-tier system leaves many migrants, refugees, students, workers, and “undocumented” migrants in a precarious situation that renders them vulnerable to exploitation, abuses, and violations of their human and labour rights. Give all such persons full and permanent immigration status. b) Put pressure on the Duterte government to uphold the human rights of the Filipino people, and to end his genocidal war against the poor, critics, and human rights defenders.  The Human Rights Watch World Report on the Philippines reported that “the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights put the death toll at 8,663, although domestic human rights groups, including the [Philippine] government’s Commission on Human Rights, believe the real figure could be triple the number reported in the OHCHR report.”