Will any make history on Thursday?

By Ted Alcuitas

With the Ontario election just five days away on Thursday, June 7, we list the candidates hoping to win a seat in the legislature (MPP).

If any of them wins, it would be a first for the province where the largest Filipino population resides.

Manitoba made history in 1981 with the election of Conrad Santos (NDP) to the provincial legislature (MLA), followed by Dr. Rey Pagtakhan,(Liberal) the first and only Filipino elected to Parliament  in 1988 (MP).

Currently, Manitoba has three sitting MLAs – Jon Reyes (PC), Flor Marcelino and Ted Marcelino, both NDPs.

British Columbia has one sitting MLA, Mable Elmore (NDP).

Here are the five candidates:

Nerissa Cariño – (NDP)

A business owner, a professor of Pastry Arts at Centennial College, the mother of four is also a social justice advocate. She owns The Cupcake Place in Pickering where she is also a Pastry Chef and Cake Artist. She run unsuccessfully in the 2011 elections for Pickering—Scarborough East. Her social justice and human rights advocacy led to her in  2009 being awarded the Durham Region Peace Medallion for her  work on raising awareness on violence against women and children.

With the collapse of the Liberal Party vote and the NDP and Conservatives running neck-to-neck, she will have the best chance to be the first Filipino MPP in Ontario.

George Garvida-Trillium Party

Garvida is  a former Immigration and Refugee Law Consultant and worked for various agencies including Statistics Canada and Elections Canada. He currently practices family and divorce law. The father of three, she is married to Sheila Ortega . He hails from Ilocos Norte.


Ramon Estaris, Liberal
York Centre

Ramon Estaris Ramon is an entrepreneur, a business owner, a community activist,a fundraiser.

Ramon Estaris, a husband, father, real estate broker, and entrepreneur, active volunteer, community activist and a member of Council  of Leader of the PIDC (Philippine Independence Day Council).

Born and raised in the Philippines, Ramon and his family immigrated to Canada in 2001, after living and working in the United States and the Middle East. Ramon’s work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit allowed him to build a solid foundation for his family in Ontario.

He is a co-founder and part-owner of Pinoy Radio, and NGTV (Netglobal Television), a broadcaster based in York Centre which creates new and original content for viewers throughout Canada and around the world.  As a successful real estate agent and entrepreneur, firmly established in York Centre, Ramon is familiar with the challenges and issues that York Centre faces.



Carlos Lacuna -Trillium Party

Carlos “Lito” Lacuna immigrated to Canada on July 18, 1976 and became a Canadian citizen in 1979.

He has lived in the Scarborough – Agincourt area for the last 36 years where he helped raise his four sons, Carlos, Francis, William, and James and a granddaughter, Madison.

Carlos Lacuna -Stop the New Sex-Ed Agenda Party
Mississauga Centre

The entrepreneur and pastor of  The Church Planting Ministries, Inc. Pacis, manages Heaven Sent Café at Westdale Mall. He has also led, on a continuing basis, disaster rehabilitation and relief assistance to poverty/calamity-stricken areas, most recently, war-torn Marawi City, as a Member of EMMANUEL Organization (Philippines).

Married for 41 years, Alex and Rosalinda have four children.

First Filipino politician Conrad Santos dies at 81