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(© 2017 Journal GlobaLinks


CHICAGO (JGL) – The first Filipino Canadian Sen. Tobias C. Enverga, Jr. died of heart attack on Thursday, Nov. 16, while on a parliamentary trip in

Colombia. He would have turned 62 on Dec. 2nd.

In Senator Enverga’s website, his staff James Campbell, Eric Parungao and Annavic Tapar said, “It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we confirm the passing of the Honourable Senator Tobias C. Enverga Jr., Senator from Ontario.   

“Senator Enverga passed away unexpectedly on the morning of November 16, 2017, with his beloved wife, Rosemer, by his side.  

“Always a beacon of light and hope, Senator Enverga truly cherished the opportunity to serve the people of Canada and did so with great pride. 

“Further information regarding funeral or memorial service arrangements will be forthcoming.”  

For his part, the Speaker of the Senate George J. Furey, Q.C. in a statement said, “It is with great sadness that I learned of the sudden passing of our friend and colleague, the Honourable Tobias C. Enverga Jr.”

Mr. Furey added that Senator Enverga – known affectionately as Jun – was “appointed to the Senate in September 2012 to represent the province of Ontario. The first Canadian of Filipino descent summoned to the Upper Chamber, Senator Enverga was a proud voice for his community and for the many diverse communities in the Greater Toronto Area.

“Of his many contributions, Senator Enverga will be most remembered as a fierce advocate for persons with disabilities and a tireless champion for multiculturalism. He was respected by all of his colleagues for his kindness, his warm sense of humour and his unparalleled work ethic,” the Speaker said.

“In every aspect of his parliamentary work, Senator Enverga was not shy about sharing his deep love for Canada. It has been a privilege to serve with him and I know he will be dearly missed by everyone in the Senate family.



A MEDIA-SHY AND JUBILANT SENATOR Tobias C. Enverga is at a loss for words when he said, “Panalo, ha, ha ha!" (I won, laughing), "Panalo, ha, ha, ha!" (I won, laughing) to the video camera of Romy Marquez, one of the respondents of the defamation suit he filed against Balita, a twice-monthly publication in Toronto suburb in Canada, that is  being trained on him on Sept. 26, 2017 in Mississauga, Canada. (Photograb courtesy of the Filipino Web Channel)

“On behalf of all Senators, I wish to extend sincere condolences to his wife Rosemer, and his three daughters, Rystle, Reeza and Rocel.”

Mr. Enverga was shocked to learn that he was appointed Senator by Conservative Stephen Harper in 2012 to represent Ontario, which has a huge Filipino Canadian population.


He would have been Senator while on good behavior upon reaching the age of 75. The annual basic salary of a Canadian senator is $142,400.

According to CBC News, Mr. Enverga was in the South American country to attend the ParlAmercas Annual Plenary Assembly, along with Liberal Members of Parliament Robert Nault and Randy Boissonnault, NDP MP Richard Cannings and Conservative MP Bev Shepley. 

Sen. Larry Smith, leader of the Conservative Senate caucus, said Enverga earned the respect and admiration of his colleagues.

 "He was a man of great conviction and a hardworking parliamentarian," he said. 

Many senators and former Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose flooded Twitter with their sympathies Thursday afternoon.


"Shocking and upsetting news. Senator Enverga was a good man. My heart goes out to his family including those of us in his political family," tweeted Senator Linda Frum. 

Conservative MP Erin O'Toole called him a "warm and caring person and a true role model." 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also tweeted condolences, calling Enverga "a member of our parliamentary family." 

"He was a dedicated senator for Ontario, strong voice for the Filipino community, and a friend to so many on the Hill. May he rest in peace," Trudeau wrote. 

Mr. Enverga’s website said the Senator was a co-chair of the Asian Heritage Month Celebration for the Greater Toronto Area and was previously a director of the Canadian Multicultural Council – Asians in Ontario. He founded the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, for his community work.


He is currently a member of at least two Senate Standing Committees: 

Aboriginal Peoples (APPA) committee that refers bills, messages, petitions, inquiries, papers and other matters relating to the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada. And 

Banking, Trade and Commerce (BANC), which has the mandate to examine legislation and to study issues related to banking, insurance, trust and loan companies, credit societies, caisses populaires and small loans companies. It is also responsible for considering customs and excise issues, taxation legislation, patents, royalties, corporate affairs, and bankruptcy-related issues. 

Mr. Enverga was born in Quezon province in the Philippines, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Letran College. He earned a Masters Certificate in Project Management from the Schulich School of Business at York University, and a Computer Studies Certificate from Centennial College. 

At the time of his appointment, he was a project manager at the Bank of Montreal, where he has worked for more than 30 years. He was the first Filipino-Canadian elected to public office in the City of Toronto, having served as a school trustee for the Toronto Catholic District School Board.


Mr. Enverga recently collected $410,000 in settlement from a libel suit he filed against Balita, a twice-monthly tabloid in Toronto, Canada, and Balita’s publisher, Tess Cusipag, for quoting two Filipino Canadian community leaders, who also had both died, for not turning over fund-raising monies in the late nineties to their own Filipino Canadian non-profit organization.

In Canada, except in Quebec Province, wrongdoing of an individual should only be reported AFTER (repeat AFTER), not before, the wrongdoing was presented to a jury so that news reporting could not influence the decision of the jurors. It will be libelous and premature to write an alleged wrongdoing when it has been merely reported to the police or had been filed in court. Wrongdoing allegation had to go past the jurors first before it can be reported in the mass media. 

In one of his last public appearances he attended during the opening of the Seafood City in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada on Sept. 26, when one of Balita’s staff, Romy Marquez, was trying to ask Mr. Enverga about his most significant accomplishments during the last five years in the Senate, the media-shy Mr. Enverga was at loss for words when he said, “Panalo! ha, ha, ha!” (I won while laughing), “Panalo!” ha, ha, ha!” (I won while laughing), obviously referring to the huge defamation award he won against Balita and Ms. Cusipag. 

Ms. Cusipag said, “Siguro (probably) it is God's will na (already). He (Enverga) still asked for the remaining interest on top of the $410K. He asked for another $4,700 dahil mali daw ang (because there was a mistake in) calculation. When my lawyer asked if they could drop the case against my children, he came back asking us to pay for the court cost of the law case in the amount of $25K. I said I would not pay that so my lawyer is fighting it. Now that he is dead, I don't know what would happen. Although the lawyer said he would file a motion to drop the case because the judgment is now paid.” (Contact reporter: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.