“I think there’s no higher calling in terms of a career than public service, which is a chance to make a difference in people’s lives and improve the world.”
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — Members of the Filipino Canadian community in Surrey, British Columbia are agog over the candidacy of outstanding Fil-Can community leader Narima dela Cruz, handpicked by the #SurreyFirstforCouncil to run for member of the Surrey City Council.
“I believe that Surrey residents are looking for individuals who have the experience building community, and who have become engaged volunteer community leaders simply because they want to further improve this great city,” declared Dela Cruz, one of the most active and multi-awarded community leaders in the British Columbia.
Dela Cruz, founding director and president of the Surrey Philippine Independence Society (SPIDS), is being backed by the popular NDP MLA Mable Elmore of Vancouver, Kensington, the first Filipino to be elected in British Columbia legislative assembly.
She is running under the banner of mayoral candidate Tom Gill, who is being supported by former city mayor Dianne Watts.
“Our team, Surrey First is a thoughtful reflection of our community, with an incredible diversity of ideas, culture, and experiences to work with people and get things done,” she added.
A political science advocate and a licensed realtor, Dela Cruz and husband, Joel, a licensed engineer, and son, Daryl, arrived in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1998 as immigrants from Quezon Province. Their youngest daughter, Glisha, was born in Manitoba.
Before founding the massively expanding SPIDS, Dela Cruz became an active community servant and once worked as an administrative assistant utilizing her education and professional background in the Philippines where she worked around tourism, education, office administration, and law.
Dela Cruz won as Canada’s top 25 immigrants in 2012 and was presented the Realtors Care Award from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver in 2011 for her volunteer activity.
She enjoys the support of the cross section of the City of Surrey, the second largest city in British Columbia, with a population of over 500,000.
The city’s population continues to grow and by 2041 is estimated to surpass Vancouver as the largest city in BC.
MetroVan Independent News Team reported on September 6, 2018 that “Narima’s fondness and passion for public service and people-oriented activities had her initiate The Surrey Philippine Independence Day Society (SPIDS).”
It added: “Narima is also a court and medical interpreter, and long-time community advocate and volunteer. In addition to being a past chair of the Parent Advisory Council at Johnston Heights Secondary, she volunteers with the Canadian Cancer Society, Surrey Food Bank and BC Transplant Society.”
Dela Cruz is a community leader who received the following numerous awards and recognition:
-2018 Nominee Community Champion Category YWCA Women of Distinction Awards
-2017 Canada 150 Community Awards for Excellence in Volunteerism
-2017 Leadership Excellence Award, FilCan Network for Truth & Justice
-2017 First Surrey Cares Serving with Distinction Awards Nominee for Leadership
-2016 1st National Canadian Realtors Care Award, 1 of 4 BC Nominees
-2016 Global Exemplar Escolarian Award, CEU Outstanding Alumni
-2014 Most Outstanding Filipinos in North America, Bb. Pilipinas of the World
-2012 Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award
-2012 REALTORS CARE Award
-2012 Most Beautiful Filipinos in Canada Award
-2009 Sutton Group Director Award for Sales Excellence
-2011 Sutton Group Director Award for Sales Excellence
-Finalist, 2011 Surrey Women In Business Award, Surrey Board of Trade
-Recipient, Honourable Mention, 2011 Community Leader Award, 9th CLA Surrey-North Delta Leader
-2011 Surrey-North Delta Leader 1st Reader’s Choice Awards: #1 Realtor,
-2011 Surrey-North Delta Leader 1st Reader’s Choice Awards: #1 Business Person
-2011 Surrey-North Delta Leader 1st Reader’s Choice Awards: #1 Social Activist
Dela Cruz fellow candidates in the Surrey First are: Raminder Thomas, Upkar Tatlay, Mike Starchuk, Vera LeFranc, Paul Hillsdon, Trevor Halford, and Linda Annis Surrey.
The Fil-Can leader has been introduced in the campaign as “an active volunteer and voice for marginalized people, working to ensure immigrant communities feel included.”
Another Fil-Can, Jojo Quimpo, is running under the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) for the City of Vancouver.
Elections day is on October 20, 2018. There will be “Advance Voting Opportunities” on October 6, 10, 11 and 13, 2018