May 25, 2024

Whitehorse councillor Jocelyn Curteanu

In 2012, Jocelyn Curteanu became the first Canadian Filipino to win a seat in the city council of Whitehorse, the capital of Yukon.

The mother of four, who is a longstanding federal employee, won a second term in 2015, garnering the most number of votes among the candidates for council.

Curteanu, who came to Canada from the Philippines with her family when she was six, wants to do more for her community.

Curteanu is seeking a nomination with the Yukon Liberal Party to run as its candidate in the constituency of Copperbelt South in the territorial election expected to be held in October 2016.

If she wins the nomination scheduled on July 28, 2016 and goes on to win her seat, Curteanu will become the first Canadian of Filipino ancestry to become a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Yukon.

“My community means everything to me,” Curteanu states on her website. “In my role as a Whitehorse City Councillor, it has been my privilege to meet Yukoners of all ages – thousands of inspirational northerners who have important stories to tell about their families, their careers, their ambitions and their challenges.”

“Many have told me they are working harder than ever to make ends meet – but many of the challenges facing our families cannot be addressed at City Hall,” she stated. “I want to do more for my community – to build on success and deliver progressive change on a territorial stage.”

When Curteanu’s family arrived in Canada, they first settled in Vancouver. Curteanu lived in Whitehorse from 2003-2006, managing the local Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) office. She moved to Alberta later, and returned to the Yukon in 2011.

A report by the Yukon News notes that building better relationships between the territorial and municipal governments will be one of Curteanu’s priorities if she is elected MLA.

Curteanu said in the report that she thinks visible minorities are underrepresented in Yukon politics.

“They’re still trying to build their lives. They’re still trying to adjust, adapt to our community,” she said in the Yukon News report.

Curteanu noted as an example that Filipino immigrants often work multiple jobs, and don’t have time for politics.

NDP MLA Lois Moorcroft currently holds Copperbelt South. Moorcroft is seeking re-election.

“As a city councillor, I learned very quickly how important it is to work with other orders of government, community partners and stakeholders to deliver services to our citizens efficiently, effectively and economically,” Curteanu said in a report by the Whitehorse Daily Star.

Curteanu added: “If elected (territorially), I look forward to engaging our citizens on an ongoing basis so that we can carry out a citizen-centred approach to governance where Yukoners of all political stripes can work cooperatively and collaboratively for Yukon.”

Curteanu is currently the regional coordinator of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.

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