Winnipeg's Filipino community holds town hall meeting
Dozens of people from Winnipeg's Filipino community met on Sunday afternoon to discuss ways to restore confidence in its leadership.
Organizers say the town hall meeting — a first for the local Filipino community — was called to boost morale following recent media reports about delays in sending donations for Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts.
"With the negative publicity that we have here over the last three weeks, we need some sort of understanding that we can move forward and do something positive," said Aida Champagne, president of Filipino Seniors Group of Winnipeg.
Last month, the Philippine-Canadian Centre of Manitoba apologized for sitting on $72,000 that had been raised and donated by Manitobans following the Nov. 8 storm.
- Filipino centre sorry for sitting on Haiyan relief donations
- Donors wait to hear if funds ever made it to the Philippines
The organization held on to the money for weeks, but it has since been sent to a relief group.
"I'm so thankful that it's been sent," Champagne said.
She added that the association could now "revisit their management on how to handle the situation like this, preventing it from happening again, because we need to build trust."
Champagne said Sunday's town hall was not about pointing fingers, but about restoring faith in local leaders.
But no one from the Philippine-Canadian Centre of Manitoba came to the meeting, even though they were invited to address people's concerns.
"As a community, you should be able to ask questions to the organization that you're donating to and not have to be afraid of, you know, asking them," said Ron Cantiveros, who publishes the Filipino Journal.
Centre president Lito Taruc told CBC News he was not able to attend the town hall because of health issues.