Filipina Canadian in Mississauga chosen to run for parliament
THORNHILL, Ontario — When asked as a little girl what she wanted to be when she grew up, Angely Mary Quilon Pacis did not hesitate with her answer: “Prime Minister of Canada!”
Did she play pretend games being prime minister? “No, but I have drawings of myself giving speeches at press conferences. I wrote poems about my ambitions when I was a child.”
Angely Pacis has scaled down her goals from the federal to the provincial level. She has been nominated to run as the candidate for MPP (member of provincial Parliament) of the Progressive Conservatives for the Ontario riding of Mississauga Center.
WATCH: Fil-Canadian candidate for parliament Angely Pacis speak about her platform. INQUIRER/Marisa Roquer
As to her timeline for her dream job when she was seven: “For now, I’m happy (if I become) a cabinet minister,” she laughed. “We will see about that childhood dream when I’m actually in a position to assess if that’s actually what I would like to be.”
From bookworm to lawyer
She read a lot as a youngster. She had a library of biographies tailored for young readers. “I read about Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Georges Etienne Cartier, William Lyon Mackenzie King, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Jean Chretien,” she said.
The voracious bookworm’s steady diet of biographies of public figures shaped her ambitions. “I wanted to be a lawyer since I was seven years old, when I read my first biography–that of Abraham Lincoln,” she added.
And she did become a lawyer, advocating for immigrants as a senior immigration attorney, and for cultural communities, seniors, the underprivileged, and the disabled as a public interest attorney.
Pacis also served aboriginal First Nations’ communities in governance and land-based rights issues, aboriginal business development, sustainability, energy projects, comprehensive claims, treaties and community empowerment.
Fluently bilingual in Canada’s two official languages (French and English), and highly trained in immigration, constitutional law and aboriginal law, Pacis brings passion and commitment to the table.
Asked what platforms she proposes to espouse in Ontario’s Parliament, she pinpointed issues in health care, especially for the elderly and the disabled, education, job growth, and Ontario’s energy quandary. “Seniors and the poor should not have to decide on whether to heat or eat,” she said.
Pacis also wants to focus on the safety of abused women and the issue of lifting the barriers to recognition of foreign credentials for professionals who come to Ontario.
She is no stranger to the elected public servant’s quest to serve. In 2012, she was nominated and ran in the Quebec provincial elections for the fiscally conservative party, Coalition for Quebec’s Future (CAQ). She ran in a hotly contested race against a popular incumbent, building an effective team with minimal funding.
Pacis championed issues important to several communities–Filipino, South Asian, Black and Chinese, as well as established Canadians. She also addressed issues faced by the youth and by the elderly.
In 2014, she returned to Ontario and was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada in October 2015. In January 2017, Pacis was admitted to Osgoode Hall to commence studies toward an LL.M (master of laws) in Constitutional Law and International Trade -Treaties.
“I want to be your voice, your champion,” she told members of the Greater Toronto Area’s local Philippine media at Max’s Restaurant in Thornhill, Ontario on February 10. Patrick Brown, the leader of the Ontario Provincial Conservative Party, and MPP for Simcoe North, was the keynote speaker for the event.