Dr. Rey Pagtakhan's Appointment A Concern of
Veteran's Affair's Critic Roy Bailey

Edmonton - Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - by: Ron Thornton


I couldn't believe that Canadian Alliance MP Roy Bailey referred to new Veterans Affairs Minister Rey Pagtakhan as a "Chinese chap." Can you imagine anyone mistaking a Filipino gentleman for anyone of Chinese or even Asian decent? Then again, it probably would come as a surprise to the 1.3-billion citizens of China that to be mistakenly called "Chinese" in Canada is considered a bigoted insult.




Dr. Pagtakhan has not served in our armed forces and does not seem to have any previous involvement with military matters or policy prior to his appointment. This would raise some concern as to his qualifications to hold the portfolio. As Mr. Baily pointed out, Rey Pagtakhan has experience in Asia-Pacific concerns, including a term as president of the United Council of Filipino Canadians Associations in Canada prior to his political career. In addition to this, Dr. Pagtakhan has excellent credentials in matters of health, with further experience in such areas as citizenship, immigration, human rights, and the disabled. However, there isn't much in his background that seems to indicate any kind of tie with our veterans.




No doubt, Mr. Bailey's concern is that without having any emotional tie, through his personal or family history, to the sacrifice of Canadian military veterans, Dr. Pagtakhan makes a questionable choice for his new ministry. However, Rey Pagtakhan was not raised in either a pacifist nation nor one that has fought against Canadian veterans. Indeed, taking into consideration the history of World War II in the Philippines, he could well have very real empathy regarding our veterans. Trouble is, nobody in the media has bothered to find out.


Roy Bailey should have known better than to talk in familiar language with a reporter holding a tape recorder. Southam reporter James Parker should have been more interested in the truth and facts regarding Dr. Pagtakhan than coming up with the sensational but irrelevant story Mr. Bailey handed him on a silver platter. As for Rey Pagtakhan's credentials as the new Minister of Veterans Affairs, we simply do not know as no one in the media have gotten off their fat arses to bother to investigate.
  Ron Thornton
  Roy Bailey's Souris Manor constituency web site, excellent site includes a live web cam of parliament hill.
  Dr. Pagtakhan's Winnipeg North-St.Paul constituency web site, links to related issues.
  Web site announce the appointment of Dr. Pagtakhan to Veteran's Affairs