Winnipeg North was the riding won by Rey Pagtakhan in 1988, becoming the first Member of Parliament who is of Filipino descent.
In this year’s October 19 federal election, another Canadian of Filipino heritage will try to get the seat.
Singer and songwriter Levy Abad is running with the NDP. He immigrated to Canada in 2006.
Abad has taken a leave from his job as multicultural outreach coordinator for Flor Marcelino, a Manitoba MLA of Filipino ancestry and Minister of Multiculturalism and Literacy in the province.
In an interview with the Winnipeg Free Press, Abad said that his experience as an immigrant, and the desire to help new Canadians are huge reasons why he is seeking election in the House of Commons.
“I’m running because I want to pay it forward. I want to serve,” the 47-year-old Abad told the Winnipeg Free Press. “When I first arrived in Canada, I was so fortunate because Canada offers a better life for my family, for my wife and two kids. I’m so happy to be here. The people are friendly, welcoming and caring.
“But, I’ve had my struggles, which is connected with the reason I am running. When I first arrived I was lucky to have a job. I worked from 5:30 in the afternoon as a labourer to 7:30 in the morning. With that experience I can relate to the experience of people in Winnipeg North who are ordinary folks like me, ordinary people who have multiple jobs to survive. That’s the reason I wanted to pay it forward and serve.”