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Jelynn dela Cruz: Youngest Woman MLA in Manitoba History

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Brought up by Filipino frontline worker parents, Jelynn dela Cruz embodies the values that shaped her character. 

Inspired by Philippine’s national hero, whose death anniversary falls on her birthday, MLA Jelynn Dela Cruz uses her position to empower and uplift her fellow Filipinos in Manitoba. Before becoming one of the youngest MLAs in Manitoba’s history, Cruz grew up in a regular household. Her mom is a nurse at Concordia Hospital, and her father is a caretaker at the Winnipeg School Division.  

After working at Concordia Hospital for almost two decades, her mother was among the many thousands of health care workers affected by PC and then Premier Brian Pallister’s health care reforms in 2017. Several years later, her father’s position was threatened by the policies of the same party. Such events encouraged her to advocate and organize groups to bring the voices of the families affected to the legislature. 

Being one of Manitoba’s youngest members of the legislative body comes with several challenges, including defining yourself as a leader. Jelynn believes one does not have to be constrained or limited by societal expectations, norms, or stereotypes and encourages youth to take advantage of different avenues to become more empowered. 

Bayanihan, a Filipino word meaning “working together for the common good,” is the value Cruz works hard to embody in her leadership style. She believes that to progress as a community, one needs to remain faithful to one’s values and remember the community that raised her by bringing as many people for the ride as she can. Cruz looks up to former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as an example of an exemplary leader due to her empathetic, humble, decisive, and steadfast leadership. 

In her first face-to-face event at Kildonan Place with the Radisson community members, she is inspired by the conversations concerning issues about health care and encourages members to participate in the Radisson Community Task Force. It is a non-partisan body of volunteers who will help their MLA drive engagement and local consultation and ensure that everyone in the province has equal access to health services.

– Lourdes Federis, U Multicultural

Community Focus: Manitoba Filipino Seniors Group Promoting well-being among both the young and elderly members of the community while preserving Filipino culture is a key aspect of the Filipino Seniors Group of Winnipeg (FSGW). FSGW hosted the first Seniors Sports Fest last March, featuring popular games, including pool, darts, chess and Filipino Sungka. The efforts promoted socialization,Continue Reading

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