COPE candidate RJ Aquino supports creation of Pinoytown to recognize Filipino community in Vancouver

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      A Coalition of Progressive Electors candidate for city council has added his voice to calls for a section of Vancouver to be officially designated as Pinoytown.

      RJ Aquino argues that "official recognition of the Filipino community is an important step in creating a Vancouver for everyone".

      "The Filipino community represents an integral part of Vancouver, and that should be both recognized and celebrated," Aquino said in a news release today (October 8). "The Filipino population is the third largest ethnic minority in Vancouver, and the fastest growing minority in Canada."

      On Facebook, more than 1,000 people have joined a new group called Petition to Create Pinoytown in Vancouver BC.

      The group, which seeks to have the name applied to the part of Fraser Street between Kingsway and East 33rd Avenue—home to many Filipino businesses and organizations—was founded by Journey tribute artist Jojo Quimpo.

      Its description states: "If we can get every Filipino-Canadians to support this Petition to designate Pinoytown in Vancouver, that would be great. We can then ask the city council to introduce a motion for this purpose. Who knows, we'll have the creation of Pinoytown or Little Manila in Vancouver soon."

      On the group's wall, Aquino pledged his support for the cause.

      "I think this is a great idea and when I get elected to Vancouver City Hall, I'll make it a reality!" Aquino wrote.

      The calls for Pinoytown come in the wake of moves to name a section of Kingsway as Little Saigon.

      On October 6, Vancouver council approved a motion to have the city consult with the Vietnamese community and local residents on the designation of Little Saigon.

      You can follow Stephen Hui on Facebook and Twitter.

      Comments

      23 Comments

      Lawson1945

      Oct 8, 2011 at 8:44pm

      How about Canadian Town the whole of downtown to recognize born Canadians, Then British Town, Then German Town, Italian Town I do not think this guy will get elected, what is the purpose of coming to Canada make money then leave, I have lived in Metro Manila for two years they do not have this nonsense for Canadians.

      7 4Rating: +3

      election

      Oct 8, 2011 at 8:54pm

      not that many Filipino people actually live in the the city of Vancouver
      they all live in Burnaby,New West, Surrey .....do it there instead

      7 4Rating: +3

      Adanac

      Oct 8, 2011 at 9:46pm

      We need to stop creating "towns" and come together as a city. No neighbourhood can sustain a single culture, just look at Chinatown today. It just creates segregation and animosity. Let's stop now.

      6 5Rating: +1

      Jolene

      Oct 8, 2011 at 11:01pm

      sounds like a dumb idea. that neighborhood doesn't even have a big filipino population. Why is it on east vancouver we have to name neighbourhoods after ethic groups - its a poor idea that isolates everyone else who lives in the community

      6 6Rating: 0

      james green

      Oct 9, 2011 at 1:56am

      Dumb or not it's a damn election ploy and Aquino should state what he will work for and his vision for the entire city before he caters to any one group.
      Of course Filipino people are an important part of this city and like all Canadians deserve respect. That is why this type of cheap election ploy is disrespeceful to them and all of us.
      Aquino just lost my vote.

      7 4Rating: +3

      greggron

      Oct 9, 2011 at 3:55am

      And Trudeau's evil legacy lives on and on...

      7 5Rating: +2

      FatGuy

      Oct 9, 2011 at 8:56am

      Actually there are about 30,000 Filipino-Canadians in Vancouver, and over 83,000 in the wider metropolitan area, and that was according to the 2006 census, five years ago. Also, R.J. Aquino has quite a detailed set of ideas for Vancouver, visit his website to check it out.

      6 5Rating: +1

      janebouey

      Oct 9, 2011 at 9:12am

      RJ Aquino and COPE are working for a Vancouver for everyone. This is precisely why this initiative is so important. The Filipino community is one of the fastest growing in Vancouver. Yet, they have been largely ignored. As a trustee I know how important such recognition will be for Filipino students, and how important the celebration of Vancouver's diversity is for all students. Thanks RJ.

      6 6Rating: 0

      Second Nation

      Oct 9, 2011 at 10:11am

      This approach means that "we" are not we but instead there is "us" and "them".

      7 4Rating: +3

      James G

      Oct 9, 2011 at 11:04am

      Although I am of two minds on the matter, I will continue to support Aquino.

      The matter itself seems somewhat of a reaction to what is already proposed, namely Councillor Kerry Jang's proposal to designate the 12th and Kingsway area as "Little Saigon".

      It is a great thing that most people look at society as post-racial and are eager for a newer pan-Canadian identity. It shows how far we have come but we all know we are not really there yet.

      We know the current balance of ethnic groups in the City gives electable advantage (still) to those with ancestry in the British Isles or China. Just run by the surnames of previous city councilors if you doubt it. Playing ethnic politics may not be the best way to change the equation and I agree with James Green about that, but we can examine the question from a broader focus.

      We may not so large in area that every few blocks have designations but when I moved to Vancouver, it was not uncommon to see signs identifying Robson Street as Robsonstrasse. Commercial Drive was also referred to as Little Italy, so this is not at all a new phenomenon nor one reserved to people of colour.

      The telling point though is to walk through these neighborhoods. Both 12th and 33rd along Kingsway are areas that could use a boost and benefit from a bit of civic pride. If this can cause some community involvement and action to that end, I can see it's merit. Chinatown has come so very far in the past quarter decade, in spite of it's proximity to the very most troubled part of Vancouver.

      So, I think Aquino should be given a chance with his petition and effort and should there be substantial interest in the project proven, the City should consider it.

      7 6Rating: +1