Filipino-Canadian community leader Rey Umlas has said he is “proud” of Vancouver-Kensington NDP MLA-elect Mable Elmore.
“I’m very proud to be a part of this community,” Umlas, who ran for a spot on Vision Vancouver’s council slate for the 2008 civic election, told the Straight by phone on May 13. “In fact, she’s the first Filipino-Canadian to be an MLA. I am proud of her.”
Initially, Umlas did not support Elmore’s nomination when she went up against Jinny Sims.
“The thing is, like any candidate, you have your choice,” Umlas said. “But once the candidate is selected, no matter what happens, you support. I support her.”
Bill Saunders, president of the Vancouver and District Labour Council, praised Elmore on election night at the NDP’s gathering at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown.
“The Filipino community hasn’t been very politically engaged in the city of Vancouver up to now,” Saunders said. “There are 70,000 of them and that’s a large number in this city. If they focus their efforts, and I think they did for Mable, then it’s shown that they could have some impact here.”
Looking exhausted after her election night wrapped up at the Hilton, Elmore said she felt “overjoyed and thrilled”.
“It’s a great privilege and, I think, a tribute to all my supporters from the campaign from the Filipino-Canadian community and their help in bringing this about,” she said. “We had support from community groups. We had support from community leaders. We had support from organizations. We had support from Filipino-Canadian businesses and from the media.”
Elmore was born in Langley. Her mother immigrated from Cebu as a nurse in 1965.