Fil-Can Pastor Alex Pacis to run for small new political party in Mississauga Centre
By Jose Victor Salamena
posted 22-May-2018  ·  
0 comments
FIL-CAN PASTOR ALEX PACIS. Alex Pacis will join the Party calling itself the “Stop the New Sex Ed Agenda” Party, on the heels of the ouster of Tanya Granic Allen as the Progressive Conservative Candidate for Mississauga Centre

On the heels of the ouster of social conservative candidate Tanya Granic Allen, Filipino-Canadian Pastor Alex Pacis has confirmed via phone call that he has officially submitted the paperwork to Elections Ontario to run as a candidate in the riding of Mississauga Centre under the Stop the New Sex Ed Agenda Party, a small social conservative party founded in 2015 by Queenie Yu, with the focus on stopping the new sex ed curriculum currently being imposed upon by the governing Ontario Liberal Party, as well as strong opposition to Bill 89.

In a phone interview, Alex Pacis described is political leanings as a social conservative, also libertarian in some aspects. In Mississauga, he was involved in the political campaigns of Federal Conservatives and Ontario Progressive Conservatives. His attraction to politics was existent even from childhood, as he recalled how involved his grandmother was in the political campaigns back home in the Philippines. He says he still keeps in touch to the political news and opinions from back home.

Alex Pacis commented that he was encouraged to run by Queenie Yu, the leader of the Stop the New Sex Ed Agenda Party, and by Tanya Granic Allen, although they warned him that if he ran, he would be “ostracized” by those in the Ontario PC Party. To which he said, “I don’t have any intentions to run as a candidate for the Ontario PC Party.” He said that the importance of these issues supersedes any political ambitions of his.

 

The riding of Mississauga Centre has featured two Filipina-Canadians running of party nominations. In 2016, Angely Pacis (to whom Alex Pacis has confirmed is a distant relative of his) ran for and succeeded in the nomination for the Ontario PC Party, until she was kicked out of the candidacy in early 2018. The Fil-Can community mounted a valiant effort to re-take the nomination in Fil-Can hands by running Rosemer Enverga, the widow of the late Senator Tobias Enverga, but were defeated by Tanya Granic Allen, who then was also kicked out of the candidacy two weeks later due to pressure from the Ontario Liberals and the NDP for Allen’s comments in the past regarding Muslims and the LGBTQ community.

Along with Angely Pacis and Rosemer Enverga, Alex Pacis is joining fellow Filipino-Canadians Tony Villarin (whose Scarborough Centre riding was not given a nomination by the Ontario PCs as Doug Ford appointed the candidate there), Ramon Estaris (who won the Liberal nomination for York Centre), George Garvida (running under the Trillium Party banner in Scarborough – Guildwood), and Carlos Lacuna (also running with Trillium in Scarborough – Agincourt). However, together with Garvida and Lacuna, Alex Pacis is running under a small party banner, who historically have not won, making their chances of victory in their ridings very slim.

So if their chances of victory are very slim, why is Alex Pacis still running?

The ouster of Tanya Granic Allen is the first reason. A source close to Pastor Pacis’ campaign (who has requested not to be named due to their strong affiliations within the PC Party) said, “With Tanya gone, we lost a big voice in the social conservative movement”. The source explained that many of Allen’s supporters were shocked, disappointed, and angry. They added: “Tanya was a democratically elected candidate. She won around 55% of the votes, and won on the first ballot”. The candidate, Mr. Pacis, agreed with the sentiment. “We [social conservatives] lost the best voice we could have in Tanya”, he said in the phone interview.

But the foremost and primary reason why Alex Pacis is running is to bring attention to what he and many social conservatives call the “radical” nature of the sex education curriculum being imposed by the governing Liberals. People who are aligned with the campaign agree that the sex ed curriculum is not “age-appropriate”, and mentioning that teachers, psychologists, and faith groups were not consulted about the formation of this sex ed curriculum. Mr. Pacis has also grown concerned about the stories of parents from his church and other churches affiliated with his ministry regarding what is being actively taught in schools regarding sex education. In short, he is running for the parents and their children.

Also at the forefront to his campaign is the controversy surrounding Ontario Bill 89, officially named Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act, 2017. While mainstream news media have downplayed the bill as a bill to further ensure the protection and rights of children, the conservative media have sounded the alarm on what social conservatives see are provisions within the bill that can be interpreted as possibly providing the provincial government extraordinary powers to separate children from parents at the government’s discretion. Ultimately, Mr. Pacis and the campaign see the issue in Bill 89 as an issue of parent’s rights.  

Being involved prior in the Allen campaign has given the impression to Mr. Allen that these issues hold traction in Mississauga Centre. The riding of Mississauga Centre is family-oriented, and has many first-generation immigrant communities, and visible minorities. A source who volunteered heavily in Tanya’s campaign said, “Tanya had the support of as much as 13 or 14 different ethnic groups. Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, Sikh – even atheists were giving their support for Tanya and wanted the repeal of the sex ed curriculum.”

There is also an underlying current of voter dissatisfaction and anger with the nomination processes of the PC Party and the Liberals. Alex Pacis commented on the issues in the Mississauga Centre PC Party nomination, “I helped out in Angely Pacis’ campaign – then she was removed by the party. I then helped out Tanya’s campaign – she was removed as well. I also wanted to help out our fellow kababayan Tony Villarin’s campaign – and then Doug Ford appointed a candidate there”. A source in the Pakistan community has relayed that volunteers in the South Asian Canadian community who were involved in the Liberal Party nominations in Mississauga Centre are likewise upset over the Liberal Party appointing Bobbie Daid over Harinder Takhar and Shafqat Ali. A source close to both parties reveal that the levels of dissatisfaction in the Ontario Liberal Party’s members are akin to those in the Ontario PCs.

Alex Pacis also took the opportunity to defend his decision to support Tanya Granic Allen over fellow Filipino-Canadian Rosemer Enverga, saying that he did his due-diligence, and in the end, it was Tanya’s boldness and strong convictions that won him over. He is also aware that there are Filipinos who were in the Rosemer camp that were very upset with him over his support of Allen over Enverga. He doesn’t see the differences of opinions as “disagreements”, he says that “I was just exercising my democratic rights, as they were exercising theirs”. He reiterated that he holds no bitterness towards the sometimes heated exchanges between the Allen and Enverga camps, thereby opening the door for reconciliation with the Filipinos that backed Rosemer in her campaign and the Filipinos that voted for Tanya in the nomination.

Pacis then re-iterated his commitment to his cause, even as the challenges to win the riding are daunting: “I’m doing this to make a point. I’m doing this to win”. Although he confessed that “it’s a long-shot, at the end of the day, it is God who will decide. If we lose, if we get a decent number of votes, we would have a point.”

And if he wins? “If we win, we will be shocked,” as he chuckled over the phone.

0 comments
New to ugnayan?
leave a comment, you need to connect.
Connect thru
Cancel
Cancel
Cancel
1,846
views
share
like
posted
22-May-2018
article photos: