Julius Tiangson, the Filipino representative for Progressive Conservative Party is running for election this October 26 for Member of Parliament in York Centre.
Julius Azarcon Tiangson graduated with an accounting degree and was brought to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in Canada to work for Deloitte Haskins & Sells. He initially was given 20 weeks to work the job but the company decided to hire him full-time. Consequently, Tiangson applied for citizenship two years later. While in Saskatoon, he volunteered to be a board member of the Saskatoon Multicultural Council, Saskatoon Refugee Coalition, Filipino-Canadian Association of Saskatoon.
Besides volunteering and being an accountant, Tiangson has a strong connection with his faith. He attended bible college and eventually became a pastor in a local church in Saskatoon. He continued to serve his community and honour his lord and saviour, Jesus Christ.
In 2000, he moved to Mississauga, Ontario with his family. He continued to be a volunteer board/councillor advisory member of the Canada Institute for Canadian Citizenship Mississauga Committee. He also was called on as an expert witness to the Justice and Human Rights Committee and as participant at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Mississauga Round Table on Immigration Level. In addition, Tiangson was part of Filipino International Network (FIN), an organization that connects Filipino Contract Workers around the world.
Eventually, he became a co-founder of the Gateway Centre for New Canadians, a settlement agency in Mississauga. Gateway Centre also hosted a Settlement Worker In Schools or (SWIS) program where new coming students and their families were connected to available programs and services in their local communities. Tiangson and Gateway Centre was able to help more than 35,000-40,000 newcomers a year.
By 2012, Tiangson was concerned about his health and decided to take time off from the company. He left the Gateway Centre due to stress and decided to take on financial services once again. Leaving the Gateway Centre did not mean he had no desire to help people, in fact, it was the exact opposite. Tiangson wanted to help the community more by using his involvement in politics through supporting his friend Nina Tangri, a Member of Provincial Parliament in politics. Instead, Nina strongly encouraged Tiangson to pursue and take on politics himself.
Mississauga Erindale, the electoral district in Ontario, was created in 2003 and by 2013, Mississauga Erindale was abolished into 3 districts, Mississauga Centre, Mississauga Erin Mills and Mississauga Lakeshore. By 2014, a patron/friend encouraged Tiangson to run for nomination as Member Parliament for the Mississauga Centre. He won the nomination as a Progressive Conservative Party. It was a long and gruelling process, using the campaign method of door-knocking during the winter from January to October in 2015.
In the show Real Talk with Anjo P. a talk show on Filipino TV, Tiangson mentioned “What I like about the politics in Canada is that even though you are not one of those called elite or someone who has money or well-known or you have status in the community. Even if you are a nobody or you come from a very obscure background. Yet, if you are passionate about your campaign, you have a chance to win the election,” Tiangson said.
Unfortunately, Tiangson was defeated by Omar Alghabra, a Liberal representative, in a newly formed riding of Mississauga Centre as a Member of Parliament. Alghabra accumulated 28,735 votes and Tiangson received 17,304 votes. He ended up by thanking his volunteers, campaign staff and family members for their dedication. He noted, “I am proud to be the only Filipino contested in the election cycle.”
Recently, Michael Levitt resigned as Member of Parliament in York Centre in September of 2020, to become the president and CEO of the Canadian Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies. This opened up an opportunity for Tiangson to run for a Member of Parliament. York Centre is a dominating Filipino community, also known as “Little Manila”. Tiangson wants to be the first Filipino Member of Parliament since Rey D. Pagtakhan in 1988. “We don’t have any representation in the Parliament,” he stated. He also plans to help those who immigrated to Canada who can not find jobs because their credentials do not meet standards in Canada.
On September 18, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced two Toronto by-elections for the Toronto Centre and the York Centre to be held on October 26, 2020. Tiangson is running for Member of Parliament for the York Centre. He plans to focus on helping young entrepreneurs and immigrant medical professionals who are struggling finding jobs.
To show your support, vote for Julius Tiangson at https://www.votejulius.ca/vote-now/ or in the Elections Canada Office: 117 Finch Avenue West, Suite A Toronto, Ontario M3J 2P7.