July 1, 2023 - The nonprofit that publishes Canadian Filipino Net has received a boost with the addition of Dr. Rey Pagtakhan to its board of directors.
Pagtakhan, who was the first Canadian Filipino to be elected to Parliament, joined the board of the Maple Bamboo Network Society during the association’s 7thannual general meeting on June 24, 2023.
This development follows Canadian Filipino Net’s redesign of its online platform, and the publication of the book “Indomitable Canadian Filipinos”, a collection of Canadian Filipino Net stories and commentaries curatedby editor Eleanor del RioLaquian and in which Pagtakhan wrote the introduction.
During his time as a parliamentarian, Pagtakhan served as cabinet minister in the governments of then prime ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin.
As a member of the House of Commons, Pagtakhan represented his Winnipeg constituents from 1988 to 2004. Prior to being an MP, he served on the Winnipeg Police Commission (1983-1986), CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) Program Planning Mission to the Philippines (1986), and St. Vital School Board (1986-1988).
In 2018, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation honoured Pagtakhan as a community champion.
The award recognized Pagtakhan for his “outstanding achievement in promoting harmonious race relations in Canada”.
The citation reads: “A retired physician, professor and parliamentarian, Dr. Pagtakhan is the only Filipino-born Canadian ever elected to Parliament and to serve as Cabinet Minister. His accomplishments in medicine, politics and community advocacy reflect his deep sense of others and Canada’s success at inclusion and integration. Community causes he helped championed include re-admission of two deportees, fair quasi-judicial tribunal decisions, compensation for aboriginal veterans and HIV-infected hemophiliac patients, infrastructure funding for cultural-community centers and theSeven-Oaks Wellness Institute, accreditation of foreign-obtained credentials, and designation ofWinnipeg as site for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. He has been inducted into the Order ofManitoba (2017) and had earlier received the first Philippine Heritage Council of Manitoba Award ofRecognition and the Queen Elizabeth II Silver, Golden, and Diamond Jubilee Medals. He currently serveson the Advisory Council of Immigration Partnership Winnipeg.”
He also serves on the Board of the St. Paul’s College Foundation at the University of Manitoba.
In 2022, a park in Winnipeg was dedicated in Pagtakhan’s honour.
The Philippine-born Pagtakhan is a regular contributor to and dear friend of Canadian FilipinoNet and MBNS.
Pagtakhan and his wife Gloria immigrated to Canada in 1968, raised their four sonsin St.Vital, and have settled since retirement in the Rural Municipality of East St. Paul, Manitoba.