First Filipino in Canada’s Senate dies suddenly on parliamentary trip
TORONTO, Ontario — Senator Tobias Enverga, the first Filipino Canadian to be appointed to Canada’s Senate, has died at age 61 during a parliamentary trip to Colombia.
His office said Enverga died Thursday morning, November 16, with his wife by his side. Senate colleagues and many members of the Filipino Canadian community expressed shock and grief via social media at Enverga’s demise.
The Conservative senator from Ontario was in Colombia the ParlAmericas Annual Plenary Assembly along with Liberal MPs Robert Nault and Randy Boissonnault, NDP MP Richard Cannings and Conservative MP Bev Shipley, according a report by CBC.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued the following statement:
“Senator Enverga served Canadians long before his appointment to the Senate in 2012, and was the first Filipino-Canadian elected to public office in the City of Toronto. He was a tireless advocate for the Filipino community and people with disabilities, and founder of the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation. As a Senator, he continued to actively promote the values of multiculturalism, diversity, and inclusiveness. He was well respected by colleagues in both Houses of Parliament.”
Enverga was born in the Philippines and served as a school trustee for the Toronto Catholic District School Board. He was the first Filipino Canadian elected in the City of Toronto.
Enverga is survived by his wife, Rosemer, and three daughters. Rystle, Reeza and Rocel.
He is a well-known advocate in the Senate for people who have Down syndrome, like his daughter.
Speaker of the Senate George Furey said Enverga, affectionately known as Jun, was “a proud voice for his community and for the many diverse communities in the Greater Toronto Area.”
Other Conservative peers and Senate colleagues praise Enverga as a warm and caring person and a true role model.
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