Hispanics speak of civic and political participation in Canada

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Oscar Vigil

Toronto, Glen. A purpose of the celebrations of International Women's Month, She was in Toronto this week Senator Rosa Gálvez, the only Hispanic senator participating in the Canadian Senate, to encourage members of the Latino community to participate in civic and political life.

Senator Rosa Galvez arrived as a special speaker Civic Participation program (School4Civic Program) for the second consecutive year that implements the Canadian Council for Hispanic Heritage (HCHC for its acronym in English), and which seeks precisely to promote community participation in civic and political life of Canada.

"Political participation is very important, because when we are participating politically we are already giving way, character to the society where we live, It is a way to integrate some values ​​that we have in the place where we live ", said Sen., who resides in the province of Quebec.

the official, of Peruvian origin, It is the first Canadian with Latin American roots to occupy a seat in the Senate of Canada, which is the Upper House of the Federal Parliament, and he has always played an important role in the country's life, first as academic and scientific, and now in the political field.

civil engineer specializing in environmental, He was a professor at the prestigious University of Laval, Quebec, when she was appointed to the Senate by the current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in what was a first round of appointments of independent senators based on their merits, and not on party affiliations. Remember that before the Canadian Senate was divided into Liberal and Conservative groups, since they had been appointed on partisan criteria by only two political parties that have ruled the country, but now the new appointed senators are independent of political parties, as is the case with Senator Galvez.

I asked if he was satisfied with what he is doing to civic and political level in Canada, and told me that if the question had made it more than a year ago, "When I first came to Parliament, WE would have said 'what am I doing here!’”.

But nevertheless, More than a year later, and after living reality Canadian parliamentary, He says he now sees what he wants to do, "What is my ability, What are the advantages from my position to improve the quality of life of my ethnic group, my gender group, My professional group, because I have several hats that represent various groups, and I'm glad my post ".

"I worked hard to keep up what all these groups expect from me, is not only 'that good I'm there', but there is a lot of responsibility on my shoulders and try to keep up ", he said.

Asked about how difficult it has been to all the successes obtained, from the perspective of being a woman and therefore from a sunken land, He said: "I can not say that my life has been a calm lake, ¡no!, It has been a very turbulent sea, many obstacles I had to go, but today I can say that when one swims against the current no choice but to make muscles, and today the muscles are there ".

He explained that his first encounters with civility were helping communities improve water quality, soil and air, "It's how I joined the community relations, through solving their environmental problems ".

In the future, I had to put together a mayor, a minister, ministries, the political groups, to municipalities, and that prepared her to speak "different languages", the "language" of the industry with the "language" of the government, because the speeches are very different, Explain.

During the event School4Civic Program, which he was held at the University of Toronto and attended by about one hundred people, Galvez senator spoke candidly of his experience in the Federal Parliament, the study of the various legislative initiatives in which it has participated, and successes and unpleasantness obtained in these processes.

In conversation with the audience particularly he highlighted their involvement in the discussion of Bill C-45, whereby marijuana legalized, and as a group of independent senators, They made around fifty recommendations, as well as the passage of Bill S-218, by which the month of October each year was proclaimed as the “Latin American Heritage Month”, process in which he participated actively leading it.

Senator Rosa Gálvez was named to the Senate 6 from December to 2016 representing the province of Quebec, and it is currently the president of the Energy Commission, Environment and Natural Resources, and is also a member of the Committee on Transport and Communications of the Senate of Canada.

A community came to talk to her this week said that it is essential to participate in civic and political life, and to participate politically there are many ways to do, not only they are elected as mayors or deputies.

"To start, voting is done and that everyone can do. We can work with any political party, You may also be behind the scenes, someone can do volunteer work, someone can make some manifestation, any request, There are many ways to participate, not only the most visible, and all are important ", he explained.