First in Canada: Toronto declares June Filipino Heritage Month
TORONTO, Ontario – The Toronto City Council passed Councillor Neethan Shan’s motion for June to be declared Filipino Heritage Month and for the City Council to ask the province and the federal government to do the same.
“I congratulate all those individuals and organizations within the Filipino community in Toronto and around Canada that have been working for a long time for this day to happen,” said Shan, Councillor for Scarborough-Rouge River, Ward 42.
“I am very pleased that today (November 13) the City Council supported my motion and decided to give back to Filipino Canadians by recognizing their important contributions to our city, and their many years of hard work that has greatly improved our quality of life here in Toronto, across the province and the country.”
This is the first time in Canada that Filipino Heritage Month has been approved by any level of government.
In Toronto, the population of the Filipino community numbers over 160,000, while Tagalog is one of the top most spoken languages in the city’s neighbourhoods. Tagalog is also the fastest growing language in the country that speaks to the growing numbers of Filipinos calling Canada home.
“Proclaiming June as Filipino Heritage Month will give Filipino Canadians, Torontonians, Ontarians and Canadians of all backgrounds an opportunity to learn, celebrate, enjoy and experience the rich heritage and histories of the Filipino Canadian community,” said Shan.
“It will also provide our City with an opportunity to reflect on the many outstanding contributions Filipino Canadians have made in Canada, and in the world.”
Councillor Shan’s motion recommended that City Council formally declare June as Filipino Heritage Month for the City of Toronto in 2018, and for future years, and calls on Toronto City Council to formally request that the province and the federal government do the same.