Taking the Leap: Filipino-Canadian Leadership in Politics and Community

Workshop description: Join us for an exciting opportunity to gain insights about how to shape your leadership journey! Learn about political leadership from Filipino-Canadians who have been political candidates, worked on Parliament Hill, and served as senior community leaders.

Grant Gonzales: Grant is a government and stakeholder relations professional, currently working as Senior Advisor, Strategic Engagement, at Metrolinx. Prior to joining Metrolinx, Grant was a government relations consultant at Counsel Public Affairs, and worked on public affairs files for public, private, and non-profit organizations in a wide range of sectors. Grant currently serves on the boards of the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre and Pride Toronto. He is a former member of the Ontario Liberal Party executive, student union leader, and member of the University of Toronto’s Governing Council.

Christiana Agustin: Christiana graduated in 2020 from the University of Toronto with a degree in International Development Studies and Natural Sciences and Environmental Management. She worked as an Outreach and Operations Assistant in the Office of the Prime Minister for the summers of 2018 and 2019. She recently was the Executive Assistant to the Managing Director and Outreach Advisor at the Liberal Research Bureau of U of T Scarborough. This month Christiana has moved into her new role as special assistant in policy at the Office of the Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development.

Rafael Fabregas: Rafael is a lawyer based in Toronto who practices exclusively in the area of Canadian immigration and citizenship law.  He grew up in the Philippines during the Marcos era, and his early heroes were the activists, including the human rights lawyers, who lead the opposition movement.He moved to Canada in 1999 to join his wife, Monique. They have 3 children, Talia, Koen, and Garon. In 2014, Rafael sought the Liberal Party nomination for Scarborough Centre. He remains hopeful that the Filipino-Canadian community in Ontario will soon celebrate the election of one of its own to the House of Commons.

Joseph Guiyab: Joe was born in Manila, Philippines and moved in Canada at the age of 2. He was educated at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law and is called to the Ontario Bar. Joe articled at McCarthy Tétrault and now works for RBC Capital Markets in regulatory strategy. He also teaches law and business strategy and the University of Toronto. Joe also has extensive political experience working as an aide to a former provincial minister and in a countless campaigns. He is an avid tennis and basketball fan, being a Raptors Season Ticketholder since 2014.

Paul Jonathan Saguil: Paul is a lawyer, serving in a senior role at TD Bank Group as Deputy Head of Global Sanctions Compliance and Anti-Bribery Program. Prior to joining TD, Paul was an associate at Stockwoods LLP and clerked at the Federal Court of Canada. Paul is heavily involved in the community, currently serving on the boards of the Ontario Justice Education Network, 519 Community Centre, and Start Proud.