The Honourable Dr. Rey D. Pagtakhan, who immigrated from the Philippines in 1968, is the first-ever Filipino Canadian elected Member of Parliament. He served for nearly 16 years (1988-2004), starting as a Critic for Health in the Official Opposition and later as Chair of Standing Committees in the House of Commons (Human Rights and Status of Persons with Disabilities; Citizenship and Immigration) and of the Northern and Western Liberal Caucus. He went on to become Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Jean Chretien and senior cabinet minister in the Government of Canada.
Prior to his political calling, he was a Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine, and a lung specialist at the Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg and Director of its Cystic Fibrosis Center. Widely published and lectured and retired from his twin noble callings since 2004, he remains engaged in community advocacy and serves currently on the Advisory Council of Immigration Partnership Winnipeg. A life-time member of Our Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and a biography in Canadian Who’s Who, he has been the recipient of honors and awards, including two honorary doctorates and the Queen Elizabeth II Silver, Golden and Diamond  Jubilee Medals. He has been inducted recently to the Order of Manitoba. “He is the epitome of a socially committed Filipino achiever, indeed!” wrote Filipino historian and biographer Professor Isabelo T. Crisostomo in his book, Filipino Achievers in the USA and Canada: Profiles in Excellence.

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