Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced significant additional support for emergency relief activities in the Philippines. He made the announcement during a visit to Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Parish, where he met with members of Toronto’s Filipino-Canadian community to discuss Typhoon Haiyan and the government’s response to the crisis.
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those in the Philippines who have been devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. We are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Filipino-Canadian families who have loved ones that have been affected by this tragic natural disaster,” said the Prime Minister. “Our Government has taken decisive action to address the ravages of the typhoon by working closely with the Filipino-Canadian community, relief agencies and the Government of the Philippines to provide ongoing support to those who need it most. I am very pleased to announce that our Government will commit an additional $15 million towards emergency relief activities that should bring further comfort to the victims of this catastrophe. This brings the Government of Canada’s commitment to date to more than $20 million.”
Canada is responding to this disaster in coordination with the Government of the Philippines and Canada’s humanitarian partners, such as United Nations agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and non-governmental organizations, to ensure that humanitarian support meets the needs of the people affected by the typhoon. The additional $15 million announced today will be disbursed to a range of humanitarian relief efforts based on appeals from these partners, who have the expertise and capacity to deliver assistance on the ground.
The Prime Minister commended Rev. Fr. Ben Ebcas Jr. of Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Parish for his leadership in Toronto following the typhoon. Father Ebcas opened the doors of his Parish for prayer after hours and has started collecting donations to send to the Philippines.
Meanwhile the Canada for Philippines, a star studded evening of music and hope, featuring Toronto’s Original Miss Saigon, Ma-Anne Dionisio, Canadian Idol finalist Martha Joy, Broadway Star, Cornelia Luna of Toronto’s Les Miserables has raised much needed funds for aid to be sent to the Philippines.
Special performances were by Juno-award winning pop artist, Lights and Maria Aragon, Youtube sensation of Lady Gaga fame & award winning Canadian Singer-songwriter Amy Sky. The evening will be hosted by Filipino-Canadian VJ Jeff Rustia of BPM:TV, joined onstage by CBC personality, Jian Ghomeshi, HGTV’s Cheryl Torrenueva, Filipina supermodel Karina Cabiling and many more.