New Canadian Media

By: Ted Alciutas in Vancouver, BC

Died in Columbia of Apparent Heart Attack

The first and only Filipino-Canadian senator died today (November 16, 2017) in Medellin, Columbia where he was attending a parliamentary meeting.

The Ontario senator was in the South American country for the ParlAmericas Annual Plenary Assembly, along with Liberal MPs Robert Nault and Randy Boissonnault, NDP MP Richard Cannings and Conservative MP Bev Shipley.

Tobias ‘Jun’ Enverga, Jr. was 61. His wife Rosemer Enverga was with him when he died according to his senate office.

“I offer my condolences to the family who is obviously in mourning and in grief right now,” says Dr. Rey Pagtakhan when reached from his home in Winnipeg.

“The community suffered a loss,” adds the retired parliamentarian, the first Filipino-Canadian elected to the House of Commons. The two never met each other.

Enverga was appointed to the senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2012 for the province of Ontario. He was first elected  as a school trustee for the Toronto Catholic School Board.

The former banker’s appointment was hailed by the Filipino community but he became a lightning rod for a vicious campaign by his criics.

Among the fiercest criticism came from Toronto’s Balita newspaper who constantly ridiculed the senator for his alleged incompentency for the job.

He was labelled the ‘karaoke senator’ by Balita’s Romeo P.Marquez for his first speech in the senate where he alluded to Filipinos as good karaoke singers.

Balita followed his every activity in Toronto and suburbs and hammered on his alleged failure to account for monies raised by the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation (PCCF) a charitable organization that he was involved with before being appointed to the senate.

Senator Enverga with Toronto Mayor Tory and Councillor Pasternak in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Eventually Enverga filed a libel suit against the paper, its publisher Tess Cuispag and Romeo P. Marquez for defaming him. Last year,  Enverga won a judgement against the defendants and as awarded $350,00 in damages, one of the largest award in Canada.

Cusipag went to prison

Cusipag was also sentenced to 31 days in jail for contempt of court for violating the injunction imposed in connection with the libel case. She served 13 days of her sentence and released.

It is not known if the award has already been already paid as of this writing. Queries to Enverga’s senate office and his lawyer were not answered.

Enverga emigrated to Canada in the early 1980s after earning a bachelor of arts degree in the Philippines. He was 28 years old.

He took an MA at York University and his tenure at the Bank of Montreal lasted for three decades.

Enverga, who hails from Lucena, Quezon province, is survived by his wife Rosemer and three daughters Rystle, Reeza and Rocel.


Published under arrangement with the Philippine Canadian News. 

Published in Top Stories

by Susan Korah in Ottawa

Canada’s foreign policy is caught in a precarious balancing act between the “sunny ways” of election promises and the realpolitik of weapons sales to countries with dubious human rights records.

In his new book, Two Freedoms: Canada’s Global Future, former Senator Hugh Segal suggests a solution that he says is focused, principled, and based on two foundational principles – freedom from fear and freedom from want.

Segal’s expertise in foreign policy was acquired through more than 30 years of involvement in foreign and security policy. This included chairing the Senate Foreign Affairs and Special Anti-Terrorism committees and the Canadian Institute for Strategic Studies, as well as a serving term as President of the Institute for Research and Public Policy (IRPP), a non-partisan think tank and research institution.

Introducing his book at a launch hosted by the IRPP in partnership with the Ottawa International Writers’ Festival, he explained that while he has the highest regard for some of Canada’s hardworking diplomats and other foreign service personnel, he is concerned that foreign policy is a mess of shifting priorities swinging from right to left, according to the ideology of the government that happens to be in power.

His aim, he said, is to give some clarity and direction to foreign policy, which in his opinion, should not be dependent on party politics.

The launch took the form of a conversation between Segal and Jennifer Ditchburn, Editor-in-Chief of Policy Options, the magazine affiliated with IRPP.

“Living in a state of economic and social despair can produce huge and even cataclysmic consequences . . ."

More foreign aid

Elaborating on freedom from want, Segal said it is in Canada’s interest to see that families, communities and nations around the world live in reasonable prosperity, buoyed by a sense of hope for the future.

“Living in a state of economic and social despair can produce huge and even cataclysmic consequences, not only for those living in despair, but for their neighbouring communities and countries,” he pointed out, adding that the total absence of hope leads to violent behaviour based on a “nothing-to-lose” attitude.

“Putting those two freedoms – freedom from want and from fear – at the centre of our foreign policy would make it more coherent and the world would understand better what we stand for as Canadians,” Segal said.

He added that if extreme poverty is the root cause of violence, we have to ask ourselves what we can do to diminish this cause.

“I think that both in terms of foreign aid and international development and in terms of doing our fair share militarily, we are not doing enough,” he said. “In the [Prime Minister] Lester Pearson era we contributed 0.7 per cent of our gross domestic product (GDP) to foreign aid, but in recent years our numbers have been much lower.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently pledged to boost funding to the global fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, but said Ottawa will not meet the goal to spend 0.7 per cent of GDP on foreign aid anytime soon.

“We have a big hat, but no cattle,” a reference to cowboys whose boastful talk is not matched by action . . . 

Increase military capacity

Another key point that Segal makes in his book and highlighted at the event, is that Canada needs to reinforce its values-based foreign policy with an appropriate military capacity.

“We have a great military, but we need more of them,” he said. “Canada should probably have Armed Forces of 150,000, of which 100,000 are regular forces and 50,000 are reserves rather than our present number which is in the 50,000 to 60,000 range.”

He said Canada also needs a 60-ship fighting navy, rather than one that has 20 or 30 ships, that can be deployed on humanitarian and diplomatic missions “to send a clear message about Canadian values.”

Giving some examples of how such military strength could help Canadians and those abroad, Segal said, “We need to make sure the Chinese respect the territorial integrity of Taiwan and other people.”

“Our failure to engage with [Bashar al-] Assad three or four years ago is why we have such a horrendous situation now,” he added, referring to the ongoing civil war in Syria.

Using a Western Canadian expression, he said: “We have a big hat, but no cattle,” a reference to cowboys whose boastful talk is not matched by action or even the capacity for action.

“There has to be more cohesion between our foreign policy and defence policy.”

Decline since Chrétien era 

“There has to be more cohesion between our foreign policy and defence policy,” he emphasized.

Segal’s central thesis is strongly reminiscent of a 2003 publication While Canada Slept: How We Lost Our Place in the World by Ottawa writer Andrew Cohen. Both authors lament the decline of Canada’s foreign policy and its military, especially since the glory days of Prime Minister Pearson.

Both consider that it took a turn for the worse under the leadership of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. Segal points out that in that era, by sending delegations of Canadian business people and politicians around the world to increase trade, it became necessary to tread carefully so that no potential trading partner would be offended.

Both Segal and Cohen call for a values-based approach.

“The notion that this book might contribute to that debate in some constructive way would be my fondest hope,” said Segal.


This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Books
Thursday, 25 June 2015 23:00

Senator in Teen Sex Case Hires Lawyer

By Gerald V. Paul Canada’s first ever Jamaican-born senator has hired a lawyer over allegations he had a two-year relationship with a teenage girl, including sexual relations once she turned…

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The Caribbean Camera

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Published in Caribbean

News East West

TORONTO: The ruling Conservative Party has expelled Senator Don Meredith for having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl.

The expulsion follows media reports in which

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News East West

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Published in National

Senator Don Meredith used his training as an ordained minister to comfort political colleagues during a tense 10-hour lockdown in Parliament as a gunman opened fire before being slain.

The Share News

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Published in National

News East West

TORONTO: Indo-Canadian Senator Asha Seth says that Canada can be a crucial partner with India which is spending billions of dollars on its infrastructure development.

“India

News East West

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Published in India

 The arrest of a California senator and Chinese triad members has thrown up some troubling Canadian links

Asian Pacific Post

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Published in China


(Photo caption: (L-R) Rob Rai, Dr. Gira Bhatt, Senator Kelvin Ogilvie, and Jordan Buna.) WHEN Senator Kelvin Ogilvie looked for taxpayer-funded research projects that have demonstrable benefit to the lives of children and youth, he picked seven projects operating within Canadian universities. Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) federally funded “Acting Together” Community University Research Alliance (AT-CURA) […]

Indo-Canadian Voice

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Published in Education
The ethnic conflict in South Sudan is escalating with 10,000 people killed and a million displaced and the world just can’t stand by idly and watch, warns one of Canada’s two Black Senators. - See more at: http://sharenews.com/senator-calls-for-urgent-action-to-end-war-in-sudan/#sthash.igehOSfn.dpuf
The ethnic conflict in South Sudan is escalating with 10,000 people killed and a million displaced and the world just can’t stand by idly and watch, warns one of Canada’s two Black Senators. - See more at: http://sharenews.com/senator-calls-for-urgent-action-to-end-war-in-sudan/#sthash.igehOSfn.dpuf

The ethnic conflict in South Sudan is escalating with 10,000 people killed and a million displaced and the world just can’t stand by idly and watch, warns one of Canada’s two Black Senators.

The Share News

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Published in International
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 19:41

Vivienne Poy Book Launch

Dr. Vivienne Poy’s Passage to Promise Land: Voices of Chinese Immigrant Women to Canada was launched at York University in Toronto recently.

The retired Senator told those in attendance that she was the first Asian in the Senate of Canada and that her new book features the stories of remarkable Chinese immigrant women to Canada.

“I called the book Passage to Promise Land because 'Promise Land' is the name I gave Canada. Immigrants coming here call it the land of promise,” she said. “Simply put, (the title) means immigration to Canada.”

Many of the people profiled in her book are from an older generation “like me and older,” she said.  “I found that recording an oral history from them was a very effective way of relating their life stories in this book.”

Spanning more than six decades, Passage to Promise Land, examines Chinese immigration to Canada from after World War II to the present day. In doing so, Poy reveals the evolution of Canada’s immigration policy and captures the social, political and ethnic tensions of the time.

Martin Singer, Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, welcomed Poy and guests and declared that the book is a “tremendous contribution (to history)”.

He also explained that the cultural diversity of his faculty, in particular, and the university, in general, reflects the multiculturalism of Canada itself.

“The role we play in making our students engaged citizens, not only nationally, but globally, is a really sacred trust that we all take seriously,” said Singer.

Poy has been a benefactor of the university providing an award for students of Asian Studies to assist in their research. Philip Kelly, Director of the York Centre for Asian Research, announced that this year’s winner of the 2013 Vivienne Poy Research Award is Alyssa Brierley. While she was in Asia conducting her research, she was able to express her gratitude and explain her work in human rights issues in India in a video that was presented at the event.

Kelly also announced that Poy has created a permanent endowment for Asian studies at York with a donation which York matched to the Centre, to create an award in perpetuity. – Based on a York University News Release

Published in Books

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