AFTER BEING INVITED TO RUN FOR MLA BY MINISTER SOHI

AFTER BEING INVITED TO RUN FOR MLA BY MINISTER SOHI

Journal editor to get support from Pinoy community leaders

Alberta Filipino Journal editor Lito Velasco (center) with Federal Minister Amarjeet Sohi (left) and Parliamentary Secretary for the Federal Ministry of Heritage and Multiculturalism, Gary Anandasangaree, at the Edmonton Millwoods Constituency Office, November 16 last year. (Contributed photo)

Filipino community leaders have warmly welcomed the news of Filipino Journal editor Lito Velasco’s invitation to run for Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) in Alberta Province this year.

Federal Minister Amarjeet Sohi on November 14 invited the editor to join provincial politics by running under the Liberal Party. Velasco said that he is willing to serve but does not have the campaign funds to support his run, if he accepts the invitation.

“It’s his call,” said Celso Andrade, owner of Sunfreight Cargo Forwarders and president of the Philippine Business Society of Alberta (PBSA) who added that Velasco is his friend.

Philippine Sport Association (PSA) president Gary Perpetua said that it’s about time there’s someone from the Filipino community who will serve in the Legislative Assembly.

“Kung siya talaga ay tatakbo, dapat nating suportahan, dahil siya ay Pilipino na gusto talagang maglingkod,” said Perpetua.

Alberta Province had only one MLA of Filipino-descent, Carl Benito who served one term. He was elected in 2008 under the Conservative Party and sought the same post as an independent in 2012 but lost.

Filipino Journal columnist Marjorie Carmona-Newman is also running for MLA under the United Conservative Party(UCP) and if she wins, she will be first Filipina to serve in the Legislature. Another Filipina, Jovita Mendita is also seeking a post under UCP.

Velasco said he is yet to meet Minister Sohi again this month.

The Alberta general election is scheduled this coming May.

When news broke out that Velasco was invited to run, Philippine Media Association of Alberta (PMAA) president Nicky Gocuan said it was a welcome development and that political leaders, like Minister Sohi, has recognized the newspaper editor’s capacity to be a public servant.

PMAA member Rolan Latorre said he is just waiting for Velasco to accept the invitation.

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