Premier Eby signs letter mandating initiatives against racism, promotion of culture
By Charmaine Y. Rodriguez
The Government of British Columbia has officially mandated to advance proposals for the creation of a provincial Filipino cultural centre in the Lower Mainland.
“British Columbians continue to recover from and respond to the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate related natural disasters, while global inflation is driving up costs for more households and the world’s economic outlook is concerning. Now more than ever, we need to focus on building a secure, low emission, sustainable economy, and a province where everyone can find a good home – whether you live in a rural area, in a city, or in an Indigenous community,” read part of B.C. Premier David Eby’s letter to Mable Elmore, MLA, Parliamentary Secretary on Anti-Racism Initiatives.
Apart from developing and passing an Anti-Racism Act to better serve everyone in B.C., the mandate includes work to advance the anti-racism hotline, and anti-Asian and anti-Black racisms strategies.
She was also told to “support the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport in consultation with affected communities to advance emerging museum programs and proposals, including the Chinese Canadian museum, a South Asian museum, and a provincial Filipino cultural centre.”
Mabuhay House Society chairperson Sammie Jo Rumbaua said this is a dream come true for the Filipino Canadian community.
“The Mabuhay House Society is hoping to build the first provincial recognizable Filipino Cultural Centre in the Lower Mainland. It’s going to fulfill everyone’s dream, actually,” she told Omni News.
Rumbaua hopes the centre will be a place where Filipino language classes, like Tagalog and Ilocano, will be taught.
She also envisions classes on Philippine history and cooking as well as shows and performances to have a venue.
It should also promote affordable housing, shared kitchen, child care facilities, and multi-purpose rooms, she added.
B.C. MLA Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport said working with the community on the approach and model is very important.
“We are in the preliminary planning stages now on the Filipino Cultural Centre, but intend to work with the community on the approach and model to advance this work. It’s too early to say what the next steps will be,” she said in the same report.
“At the core of this work is listening and responding to the priorities of people in B.C. Together, we can deliver results in very real ways – ways that people can see, feel, and touch, and that change their lives for the better. Thank you for doing this important work with me.,” Eby further wrote in his letter to Elmore.
Rumbaua encouraged Filipino groups to write to their local MLAs and MPs and encourage them to pursue the same goal.
“We want to empower and encourage our kababayans to find out their local MLA or MP is and request . It’s their job to meet their constituencies and really talk about their experience and why they think this Filipino Cultural Centre is important to them,” she added.