Introducing our first panel… Pinoys in Parliament! In this panel, we present our diplomatic speakers: Jane Spitz, Louroz Mercader, Mabel Elmore, and Jocelyn Curteanu.
Moderated by Lhori Webster
Jane’s passion for social impact began at the University of British Columbia, and evolved over years of working in politics. She has worked on both Parliament Hill and in the BC Legislature. After running for office in 2017, Jane realized the positive impact visual storytelling could make and decided to start her own business. A.I.M. Creative exists to help empower and connect communities of action-takers, innovators, and motivators. Her specialty is bringing brands to life through storytelling to ultimately improve awareness and impact.
Louroz is the Manager of the York Eglinton Business Improvement Area. He is responsible for implementing the Business Improvement Area (BIA)’s new strategic plan, leading the proposed streetscape projects and managing several key projects related to the Eglinton LRT Crosstown construction. He is an experienced city builder and communications professional with a progressive career in the public and not-for-profit sectors. He was the Manager of Communications and Public Engagement at Waterfront Toronto responsible for Sidewalk Toronto – a joint effort by Waterfront Toronto and Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs to create a new kind of mixed-use, complete community on Toronto’s Eastern Waterfront. Prior to this, he led a significant youth jobs initiative and mentorship at Civic Action. He was the Founder and Executive Director of the Mississauga Youth Games (MY Games), co-founder of RISE Tribe, and currently serves as Chair of Proud Politics – a national organization working to increase the number of LGBT leaders in public office and on public boards, commissions and agencies. Louroz is a proud recipient of the Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers awarded by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the 2009 Diverse City Fellowship, and is a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum.
Mable Tabotabo Elmore is a proven and passionate community leader and legislator. She is serving her fourth term as the MLA for Vancouver-Kensington, a diverse riding in the heart of Vancouver-British Columbia. When Mable was first elected in 2009, she was the first MLA of Filipino descent in the Legislative Assembly of BC. In addition to her work as MLA, Mable also serves as the Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services and Long-Term Care and is Chair of the Special Committee to Review the Personal Information Protection Act. Her previous files included: immigration and temporary foreign workers; finance; early learning and childcare; and multiculturalism. She has also been the Vice-Chair for the provincial government’s Committee on Finances and Government Services. Prior to being elected, she was a transit operator for 10 years. Over that time she played an active role in her union – the Canadian Auto Workers, Local 111 – and led successful campaigns as a transit advocate. Mable is passionate about building community engagement and connecting people around issues that matter to them. She has a long-standing record of public service, and has earned a great deal of respect for her hard work on many progressive causes. She has been an active member in the peace movement, and has worked tirelessly on a wide range of migrant, immigrant, social justice and worker’s rights issues. And she’s dedicated to doing whatever she can to make the lives of people in her community –and across her province and country – better.
Jocelyn Curteanu has proudly served on Whitehorse City Council since first elected in October 2012. She was re-elected in 2015 and 2018 and is serving her third term. Jocelyn originally immigrated from the Philippines as a child with her family in 1976. She has lived and worked in British Columbia, Yukon, and Alberta before finally settling in Whitehorse, YT with her husband and four children in 2011. She has been employed full-time with the Government of Canada for over 20 years, originally with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and currently with the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CANNOR). In her role as City Councillor, Jocelyn was formerly the Vice President at Large for the Association of Yukon Communities (AYC) and continues to be a board member for the City of Whitehorse. She had been Council representative for the City’s Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee (PDAC) and the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD) Advisory Committee. She was then appointed to the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities (CIM) Advisory Committee for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO in Ottawa. In 2016, Jocelyn won the nomination to be the Yukon Liberal Party candidate for the Copperbelt South constituency in Yukon’s territorial election. Being active in the community is a priority for Jocelyn. She is a member of the Whitehorse Regional Women’s Committee; PSAC’s Racially Visible Committee; former Vice-President and current member of the Canadian Filipino Association of Yukon; and a former member of Yukon Cultures Connect and the Yukon Area Council. Jocelyn was also appointed by the Yukon Government to the Yukon University Board of Governors. In 2013, Jocelyn was honored with a Maharlika Award by the Filipino Canadian Cultural Heritage Society in British Columbia, which recognizes outstanding men and women in the Canadian Filipino community for their contributions in various areas like Leadership, Arts & Culture, and Business Excellence.
Lhori Webster is a Filipina-Canadian from Kelowna, B.C., who is passionate about civic engagement and politics.
She works for Canada’s Minister of Health as a Policy Advisor. Lhori has worked in politics and the federal government in a variety of positions including on the Liberal Party of Canada’s Central Campaign in the 2019 Federal Election, and as a Special Assistant at the Liberal Research Bureau. While enrolled at the University of Ottawa she worked as an Analyst on the Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Secretariat. Lhori graduated from the University of Ottawa in 2019 where she studied political science and communications.
In 2019 she and the team at the Filipino Students Association at the University of Ottawa established the first Pinoys on Parliament Conference in Ottawa, Ontario where they welcomed more than 150 people to Canada’s capital for the first national youth conference for Filipino-Canadian youth, by Filipino-Canadian youth. As well as being active in the Filipino community through organizing and cultural exchange she remains active in other community groups as well, such as Rotary International.
She is the 2019 recipient of the Golden Balangay Kubo Young Leader Award, the 2018 Senator Tobias C. Enverga Medal of Excellence, and the Deputy Minister of Health Canada’s Awards for Excellence and Leadership. In her free time she likes to hike, ski, bake, and talk about BC.