Updated: 8:15 PM, March 22, 2018
Updated: 7:45 PM. March 22, 2018
Appointment of Imperial and Nicolas a first
By Ted Alcuitas
The provincial government has appointed two Filipino-Canadian lawyers to the board of governors for BCIT and VCC recently.
The appointments are a first for the Filipino community, the fastest growing ethnic group in the province.
Alexander John Imperial is appointed to the Board of Governors for the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), the province’s premier technical school.
BCIT provides the majority of apprenticeship training in the province. It has 18,000 full-time and 29,000 part-time students enrolled in a year.
Rene John Nicolas is appointed to Vancouver City College(VCC).
Both appointments are for one year terms and is renewable.
Alexander John S. Imperial
A native of Naga City, the 49-year-old Imperial is a product of the Ateneo de Naga University where he finished his Bachelor of Arts degree before proceeding to law school at the Ateneo de Manila.
After completing his law degree and passing the Philippine Bar, he practiced law in Naga City opening up his own law office- Imperial law Group before immigrating to Canada in the 90s.
He was admitted to the B.C. Bar in May 2008.
Imperial previously worked as a legal advocate for the Community Legal Assistance Society and as worker’s adviser for the BC Ministry of Labour.
Imperial is currently a team leader of the Benefits Department at the Hospital Employees’ Union (HEU).
His community involvement includes volunteering with the Kalayaan Centre and the Philippine Women Centre (PWC) where he also served as chairperson of the British Columbia Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines.
Rene John -Nicolas
Nicolas with wife Maureen Mendoza. (FB)
Nicolas is a second generation Filipino Canadian who was born and raised in Vancouver. He finished his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of British Columbia and joined Victory Square Law after passing his bar exams.
He now works as an advocacy staff representative for the BC Government & Service Employees’ Union. Previously he was a labour relations staff representative for the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators.
Nicolas served as a past director for Tulayan, the BC Employment Standards Coalition, the Kaya Community Society, and the West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association.
Nicolas is the eldest son of Renato and Remedios Nicolas, originally from Minalin, Pampanga. His parents immigrated to Canada in the 60s.
He credits his involvement with fellow Filipino students at the UBC campus and later in the broader community,that led to his commitment to work on issues affecting the community.
A former Kalayaan Centre director with whom he had conversations about uniquely Filipino issues prompted Nicolas to consider studying law. “It was conversations with her that inspired me to consider pursuing law school as a means of potentially working on some of those issues,” he told Filipino canadian.net in an interview.
With his wife Maureen Mendoza and other UBC colleagues, they founded the Kababayan Academic Mentorship Program (KAMP) to help Filipino teens through programs that include academic tutoring, support in learning English and personal development.
As a member of VCC’s Board of Governors, Nicolas hopes to bring his experiences working with immigrant youth groups and labour organizations to the table.
“I believe those experiences help me connect with two key stakeholder groups in the VCC community: students and staff/faculty.”