Philippine Ambassador Makes First Official Visit to Northwest Territories
Philippine Ambassador to Canada Petronila P. Garcia made her first official visit to the Northwest Territories on 14-18 September 2016. Ambassador Garcia was joined by Consul General Neil Frank Ferrer and the consular outreach team from the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver.
During her visit, Ambassador Garcia met with the Honourable Robert McLeod, Premier of Northwest Territories, His Worship Mayor Mark Heyck of the City of Yellowknife, Hon. R.J. Simpson, Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, LCol. Timothy Halfkenny, Acting Commander of the Joint Task Force North (JTFN) and Ms. Shaleen Woodward, Assistant Deputy Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations.
Ambassador Garcia’s visit to the Northwest Territories, two years after her assumption as the country’s top diplomat to Canada, coincided with the consular outreach of the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver, which was held on 16 September 2016 at the Northern United Place in Yellowknife.
Ms. Lea Leclere, president of the Philippine Cultural Association of Yellowknife (PCAY) led the Filipino community in welcoming Ambassador Garcia and the outreach team from Vancouver. Volunteers from the organization provided full support and assistance to the Consulate team during the outreach services. During the meeting with the Filipino community, Ms. Leclere thanked the Ambassador for visiting the Filipinos in Yellowknife and for bringing the services of the Philippine government closer to their community.
Yellowknife is known for its diamond mining industry, the third largest in the world, and as a favorite viewing site for the aurora borealis or Northern Lights which is why it is also called as the Aurora Capital of North America. Unofficial estimates place the number of Filipinos in the Northwest Territories around 3,000 majority of whom are residing in Yellowknife. Filipinos in the Northwest Territories are highly regarded for their contribution to the economic and social development of the Northwest Territories.