Narima Dela Cruz could be the first Filipino city councillor in the suburban city of Surrey.
Bakit hindi inimbita si Narima Dela Cruz?
By Ted Alcuitas
A prominent candidate for Surrey City Council and the one most expected to win a seat was not in a forum of Filipino-Canadian candidates.
Narima Dela Cruz was not among seven candidates running for various offices in the greater Vancouver area that met at Josephine’s Restaurant in Vancouver on October 9.
The forum was organized by Rey Fortaleza of Reyfort Media Group, according to stories in his own publications – The Philippine News Today (PNT) and Philippine Showbiz Today and Philippine Canada TV.
Carlito Pablo of the Georgia Straight wrote a story of the forum but did not mention the candidacy of Dela Cruz. The veteran journalist is Consulting Editor for Fortaleza’s publications.
“I respect the right of any organizer to invite and not to invite who they want and not want. How a media entity or any journalist choose to do their business, whether it’s according to or contrary to the Principles of Ethical and Responsible Journalism, is on them not on me. “
While Dela Cruz was not invited, Hector Bremmer of Yes Vancouver was present. The former NPA councillor who is running for Mayor of Vancouver is marred to a Filipina.
Fortaleza did not return a request to comment on why Dela Cruz was not invited.
The mother of two says she is focused on her campaign to win a seat in Surrey’s eight-person council. She is well-known in the community for founding the 10-year-old Surrey Philippine Independence Day Society (SPIDS) which puts up annual events in the city celebrating Philippine independence.
“I am proud that I was chosen to represent the 30,000 Filipinos in Surrey by such as a strong team as Surrey First.”
Several prominent citizens have endorsed Dela Cruz’s candidacy including Mable Elmore MLA, Vancouver-Kensington, the only woman and first Filipino to be elected as a member of the provincial legislature. Sue Hammell, a five-term Surrey MLA and former Mayor Dianne Watts have thrown their support behind Dela Cruz.
MLA Mable Elmore (third from right) beside Dela Cruz with her supporters. (Facebook)
Surrey First’s mayoralty candidate is Tom Gill, a veteran councillor whose party is leading in the polls to become the first mayor of Southeast Asian origin.
She supports the idea of a community centre as long as it is done with the “proper business business case by responsible individuals with the utmost transparency,” Dela Cruz emphasized.
There has been several attempts to build a community centre going on for decades including Fortaleza’s own moribund Filipino Canada Cultural Heritage Society. A number of them has been mired in controversy.
Election Day is this Saturday, October 20, 2018.