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How a Filipino immigrant landed the ultimate Canadian job: driving a Zamboni

Friday - 26/05/2017 06:30
“I am a family oriented person, all I want for my family is a good life.”
New Canadian Gene De la Cruz pilots a Zamboni in Estevan, Sask.
New Canadian Gene De la Cruz pilots a Zamboni in Estevan, Sask.

When new Canadian citizen Gene De la Cruz first arrived in Estevan, Sask. after moving from Philippines, he set to work finding himself a new job.

"I came to Canada for greener pastures because I believe Canada is the land of opportunities and people who come to this country have a better life ahead of them. Like other immigrants, I want to have a better life in order to support my family, especially my mother," De la Cruz says. "I am a family oriented person, all I want for my family is a good life."

At one point, De la Cruz was working four jobs to earn money to send back home to Philippines.

"When I came to Canada, I started working at Boston Pizza as a cook for three years and as soon as I got my permanent residency, I decided to look for a second job. I wasn't content working two jobs, so I end up working four jobs, but having four jobs is not easy and that's the time when I decided to apply to the City of Estevan," De la Cruz says.

It was through his application to work for the city of Estevan that De la Cruz landed himself the quintessential Canadian job — driving a Zamboni.

Before I took the position I didn't have any formal training to drive a Zamboni , because in the Philippines we only have ice skating rinks inside the mall.

"I didn't expect to be hired in the city as custodial staff, but after a year, I was able to get the arena technician position," De la Cruz says. "Before I took the position I didn't have any formal training to drive a Zamboni, because in the Philippines we only have ice skating rinks inside the mall, but due to my proper training I learned to drive and apply the best techniques to drive a Zamboni without doing any damage to the ice."

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Source: CBC News:

 Key: Canada

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