A new set of officers of Migrante Alberta has vowed to advance the rights and interests of migrants and the toiling Filipino masses in general anew.
In its third general assembly on May 28 via Zoom, members of the advocacy group elected a 7-member executive committee who voted each committee member’s official designation after a week.
Chairperson Connie Monana comes from the caregiver sector who has immersed herself in issues affecting caregivers. She describes her new found advocacy as liberating. “Although I was experiencing the struggles of an immigrant worker and a caregiver, understanding the systemic issues that relate to these struggles is what joining Migrante has taught me,” she said.
Nova Porquia of Red Deer is Migrante’s vice chairperson. A graduate of BA Mass Communications in Western Visayas State University in Iloilo City, she was active as an organizer for an environmental group. She arrived in Canada in 2003 under the Live-in-Caregiver and is currently a member of the Human Rights Committee of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE).
Secretary General Jay Zapata was previously vice chairperson of Migrante Alberta and has been elected as secretary general. “In today’s society, serving the people is a just calling and a must,” he said. He has led many activities that have benefited precarious migrants especially those undocumented.
Cynthia Palmaria from Edmonton was reelected as the group’s treasurer. She has been an organizer of Migrante since her early activist days in Montreal, Quebec, and currently a member of the faculty at the University of Alberta.
This year, the general assembly had elected three members-at-large officers, namely Clarrize Trustcott, Ruben Acosta and Novie Mae Sambat.
Trustcott’s heart for underserved immigrants lies from her own family’s experience of being undocumented. She runs a printing business and a newspaper publisher in Fort Saskatchewan.
Sambat was involved in the workers’ movement in Montreal before she moved to Edmonton and became active in Migrante Alberta. She is a settlement practitioner working with different communities.
For his part, Acosta was active in trade union organizing in the Philippines before immigrating into Canada. He works in the telecoms industry and currently resides in Fort McMurray. (Migrante Alberta)