TORONTO, CANADA — Filipino Canadian Tobias C. Enverga Jr., a Toronto resident was appointed Senator of Canada’s parliament Sept. 7 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He fills one of the two vacant seats for Ontario and is one of the five distinguished Canadians named by Harper to join his Conservative Party. The rest of Harper’s appointees will represent Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. This gives the Prime Minister 62 seats of the Senate’s 105.Aside from Enverga, Prime Minister Harper named: Diane Bellamare, of Quebec, an economist and an author; Thanh Hai Ngo, of Ontario, a Vietnam-born teacher and a former citizenship judge; Thomas Johnson McInnis, a Halifax lawyer and businessman, of Nova Scotia; and Paul E.McIntyre, a lawyer and community activist from New Brunswick.
In announcing his appointments, Prime Minister Harper said in a news release: “I look forward to working with these talented individuals. “…Their skills and experience will help to further advance our shared goals of jobs growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians.”
It added that “all new appointees have pledged to support the Government in its efforts to make the Senate more democratic and accountable, including legislation to limit the term lengths of senators and encouraging the provinces and territories to establish a democratic process to select nominees for appointment to the Senate.”
The Global Filipino Nation (GFN) hailed the appointment of Enverga to Canada’s parliament. In a statement, it said that Enverga is a Convenor of GFN and Chair of Global Filipino Canada and cited several accomplishments of Enverga.
Meanwhile, GMA News quoted Philippine Ambassador to Canada Leslie Gatan as saying “Slowly but surely, Filipino excellence continues to gain recognition in the highest echelons of Canadian officialdom. We hope that his appointment will inspre other Filipino-Canadians to achieve their own high aspirations in this welcoming land of opportunity.”
Prior to his appointment, Enverga was a project manager at the Bank of Montreal, where he worked for more than 30 years. He graduated from Letran College with a degree in Economics and holds a Masters Certificate in Project Management from the Schulich school of Business at York University in Toronto and a Computer Studies Certificate from Centennial College.
He is the first Filipino Canadian elected in the City of Toronto. In 2010, he was elected trustee of the 12-member Board of Trustees of the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s Ward 8 representing Scarborough north of Hwy 401 and south of the highway east of Morningside Avenue.
Enverga is Co-Chair of the Asian Heritage Month Celebration for the Greater Toronto Area and was previously a Director of the Canadian Multicultural Council – Asians in Ontario. He is also the founder of the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation and a former president of the Philippine Independence Day Council. He is an active member of the Knights of Rizal and the Knights of Columbus.
The new Senator, whose appointment became effective as of the date of Prime Minister’s announcement, is from Lucena, Quezon in the Philippines and is married to Rosemer Albovias Enverga with whom he has three daughters: Rystle, Rocel and Reeza.
PHOTO CREDIT: Digital Journal