On December 12, 2018, Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment of four new Canadian senators. The selection has filled all 105 seats in the Senate and brought to 49 the number of senators named by Trudeau since he became prime minister in 2015.
“These four new independent senators bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience that will greatly benefit Parliament and all of Canada,” Trudeau said in an official media release.
The four will represent Ontario, Nova Scotia, Yukon, and Northwest Territories.
“They know what it means to serve, and have dedicated their careers to making a difference in the lives of others,” Trudeau said. “I look forward to working with them on issues that matter most to Canadians.”
None of the four belong to the Canadian Filipino community.
One is a replacement for the seat vacated by Tobias Enverga Jr., who died on November 16, 2017 while on a parliamentary trip to Colombia.
The Philippine-born Enverga represented Ontario since his appointment to the Senate in 2012. He was the first Canadian Filipino to become a member of Canada’s Senate.
“Of his many contributions, Senator Enverga will be most remembered as a fierce advocate for persons with disabilities and a tireless champion for multiculturalism,” Speaker of the Senate George J. Furey said about the late senator. “He was respected by all of his colleagues for his kindness, his warm sense of humour and his unparalleled work ethic.”
There are 337,760 Canadians of Filipino heritage in Ontario, according to the 2016 Census.
A total of 837,130 Filipinos call Canada home, based on the same national census.
Trudeau will have the opportunity to appoint more senators in 2019 when five Conservative appointees will reach the mandatory retirement age of 75.