News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

February 11, 2008

MANITOBA TEAMS UP WITH FILIPINO COMMUNITY TO BUILD TWO NEW CLASSROOMS IN MANILA



MANILA, Philippines—Joined by Manila Mayor Alfred Lim, Premier Gary Doer today announced $10,000 to help build two new classrooms at Jose Rizal Elementary School, a donation that includes funding from both the provincial government and Manitoba’s Filipino community.
 
The announcement was made today during a mission to the Philippines that runs until Feb. 13. The mission is part of regular visits to the Philippines by Manitoba trade and immigration officials. It features Doer leading discussions on immigration and investment and includes business, community and other leaders representing a range of companies and organizations.
 
“The community asked us to join them in this worthy effort and we agreed it would be a great way to demonstrate our friendship with the Philippines,” Doer said. “Filipino immigrants are helping to build our province and our economy. By contributing to education, this is one small way in which we can give back to the country.”
 
More immigrants come to Manitoba from the Philippines than any other country, with Filipino newcomers accounting for more than 25 per cent of the province’s total immigration. Manitoba’s growing Filipino community now has nearly 50,000 residents. In 2007, Manitoba attracted about 12,000 immigrants to the province, a dramatic increase over a decade ago.
 
“It’s important that we keep raising Manitoba’s profile, as more jurisdictions are looking to replicate the success we have had with our immigration programs,” Doer said. “Immigration is helping to build our province and ensure we remain competitive into the future.”
 
Jose Rizal Elementary School is named after the Philippines independence hero and is located in Manila, Winnipeg’s sister city. The Canadian Embassy in the Philippines said it supports Manitoba’s contribution to the school and will work with officials on the development of the new classrooms.
 
Just prior to the school ceremony, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim welcomed Doer and other members of the Manitoba delegation, including Winnipeg City Councillor Mike Pagtakhan and MLA Flor Marcelino. The premier also participated in a Canadian food event that introduced a number of Manitoba agricultural products including bison, pork, wild rice and hemp oil.
  
Earlier in the mission, Doer signed an agreement with the Philippines government to work together on ways to streamline the immigration process including better connecting of Filipino applicants to potential employers in Manitoba, strengthening worker protection and ensuring the ethical movement of immigrants.
 
The premier also announced the launch of a pilot project that will provide pre-migration information and orientation to provincial nominees and other workers destined for Manitoba. The project is the first-of-its-kind to be offered by a Canadian province and will be delivered through the Canadian Immigration Integration Program office in Manila.
 
The overall aim of Manitoba’s mission to the Philippines is to promote the province as a prime location for immigration and investment, introduce Manitoba businesses to new opportunities in the Philippines and further diversify Manitoba’s export markets.
 
- 30 -