Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Francisco Noel R. Fernandez III of the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa exchanged ideas with Senator Flordeliz “Gigi” Osler on programs to support the Filipino diaspora across Canada.

Over the luncheon on Thursday, 8 December 2022, Fernandez provided updates on the Credentials Recognition in Canada (CRC) Project being implemented by the Philippine Posts in Canada (PPC).  In addition to the issue of credentials recognition, Fernandez shared his views on the challenges Filipino temporary foreign workers face in Canada and offered suggestions for maximizing the contribution of Filipino professionals to their adopted communities. 

Senator Osler was appointed to the Senate last September 2022 by Governor General Mary Simon, upon advice by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to represent the province of Manitoba. She was the first woman surgeon and racialized woman elected President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). Her mother, Flor Sharma, is a nurse from the Philippines who migrated to Canada in 1966.

F Gigi Osler, MD FRCSC ICD.D

Flordeliz (Gigi) Osler is an internationally renowned surgeon, an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba, and a dedicated advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Dr. Osler currently operates out of two clinics, including one in the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Section of the St. Boniface Hospital, where she served as Section Head from 2010 to 2019. In 2018, Dr. Osler became the first woman surgeon and the first racialized woman elected President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), where she led the development of the CMA’s first-ever policy on equity and diversity. Dr. Osler has also been the President of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada since 2021, the Chair of the Canadian Medical Forum since 2020, and Co-Chair of the Virtual Care Task Force since 2019.

Born in Winnipeg to immigrant parents from the Philippines and India, Dr. Osler serves as a role model, research supervisor, and mentor for Filipino and other racialized medical students in Manitoba and across Canada, including within the Filipino Association of Medical Students in Manitoba. She also volunteers annually to train other surgeons in Africa and has been a key voice in raising awareness of the health impacts of climate change in Canada.

Dr. Osler holds a medical degree from the University of Manitoba, where she completed her residency training and a Graduate Certificate in Global Surgical Care from the University of British Columbia. She also completed a Rhinology fellowship at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Dr. Osler is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the University of Manitoba Distinguished Alumni Award and the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada May Cohen Equity, Diversity and Gender Award. She has been named a Women’s Executive Network (WXN) 2019 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner and to the Medical Post’s 2021 Power List. Dr. Osler was also inducted into the Government of Canada’s Women of Impact in Canada online gallery in 2022.