Mr. Speaker, this is the 50th anniversary of the Filipino community in Manitoba. What a heritage moment and historical milestone. From 1959, when four nurses settled in Winnipeg, there are now almost 50,000 Filipino residents in Manitoba.
Today, more immigrants come to Manitoba from the Philippines than from any other country, with the Filipino community making up a larger percentage of the population in Manitoba than they do in any other province.
They are a formidable force in the economic, social, cultural and spiritual life of my province and a key player in Canada's multicultural mosaic. They are living testimony to just how much immigration is needed to sustain economic development and strengthen respect for cultural diversity in Canada.
The 50th anniversary will be celebrated in conjunction with Philippine Heritage Week, starting with the flag-raising this weekend at the Philippine-Canadian Centre of Manitoba.
[Member spoke in Filipino as follows:]
Mabuhay sa mga Kababayang Pilipino. Maligayang pagbati sa anibersaryo. Salamat po.