Dela Cruz could make history if she makes it to Surrey City Council on Saturday . (Facebook)
Narima Dela Cruz on the cusp of victory in Surrey
By Ted Alcuitas
“Salamat po sa lahat ng naninindigan, tumutulong at nagtitiwala sa ating pagpupugay at patuloy na paniniwala at pagdakila sa lahing Filipino! “
Just eight days to voting day and Surrey could see the first Filipino woman to be elected to city council.
Narima Dela Cruz, a community advocate and long-time resident of Surrey is running under Surrey First Team led by former councillor Tom Gill. Gill topped the councillors who won in the 2014 elections.
Dela Cruz is the first Filipino to be included in a major political party’s slate – a recognition of the increasing presence of the Filipino community in B.C.’s second-largest city after Vancouver.
Surrey First has led the municipality since 2008 and has been been elected to every seat in the last two elections.
In the 2014 elections, Dela Cruz, garnered 18,075 votes placing 15th out of 35 candidates. This year, there are 48 candidates running for council with eight to be elected.
Filipinos ranked second to Punjabi in terms of mother tongue spoken (2011)according to statistics in the city’s website.
In 2012, she was one of 25 Top Canadians chosen by Canadian Immigrant Magazine.
Among her numerous awards:
- 2018 Nominee Community Champion Category YWCA Women of Distinction Awards
- 2017 Canada 150 Community Awards for Excellence in Volunteerism
- 2017 Leadership Excellence Award, FilCan Network for Truth & Justice
- 2017 First Surrey Cares Serving with Distinction Awards Nominee for Leadership
- 2016 1st National Canadian Realtors Care Award, 1 of 4 BC Nominees
- 2016 Global Exemplar Escolarian Award, CEU Outstanding Alumni
- 2014 Most Outstanding Filipinos in North America, Bb. Pilipinas of the World
- 2012 Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award
- 2012 REALTORS CARE Award
- 2012 Most Beautiful Filipinos in Canada Award
- 2009 Sutton Group Director Award for Sales Excellence
- 2011 Sutton Group Director Award for Sales Excellence
- Finalist, 2011 Surrey Women In Business Award, Surrey Board of Trade
- Recipient, Honourable Mention, 2011 Community Leader Award, 9th CLA Surrey-North Delta Leader
- 2011 Surrey-North Delta Leader 1st Reader’s Choice Awards: #1 Realtor,
- 2011 Surrey-North Delta Leader 1st Reader’s Choice Awards: #1 Business Person
- 2011 Surrey-North Delta Leader 1st Reader’s Choice Awards: #1 Social Activist
Dela Cruz has been endorsed by a number of prominent politicians and individuals including MLA Mable Elmore (Vancouver Kensington) the first Filipino to be elected to the B.C. provincial legislature, MLA Jagrup Brar, five-term Surrey MLA and ex-Cabinet Minister, Sue Hammel.
Her Facebook page is active with endorsements from people in all walks of life including her own kababayans – a momentum of support that bodes well for the mother of two.
We asked her for comment as she faces a crossroad of her political struggle.
“We will go and work on this commitment until we achieve our goals. We will continue to carry the torch of Filipino pride in doing good and in caring for the welfare of many. And we will make this torch as brightly as possible before we hand it over to the future generation! “
With Premier John Horgan at a recent event. (Facebook)
Mga kababayang basketball team sumosuporta kay Narima. (Facebook)