Langley's Tara Teng named Miss Canada
The newly crowned Miss Canada is ready to take on the world.
Miss B.C., Fort Langley's Tara Teng, earned the national crown at a ceremony in Montreal on Saturday.
But the Trinity Western University student wants it out there that her title is not about being a pretty face.
"I'm not a pageant girl. I'm not a beauty queen. I'm an abolitionist," said Teng, when she was featured in a September article in Our Langley Our People, a supplement to the Langley Times.
“I am so excited for this new opportunity ahead of me,” Teng said in a press release after being named the first Miss Canada since 1992 to come from B.C.
“Not only do I have the honour and privilege of representing my beautiful home of Canada to the world, I now have a larger platform to speak from. My goal as Miss Canada is unchanging from my mission as Miss British Columbia.”
Teng, 22, has taken up the cause of the estimated 27 million people in the bonds of slavery around the world.
Whether it's garment factories in Asia, cocoa production on the Ivory Coast or, most appalling, the sexual enslavement of children in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, Teng is using her crown to help draw attention to their plight.
"Unlike drugs, which you can only sell once, you can sell a human being over and over again until they die," she said.
But half the battle is simply getting people to care.
As Miss B.C., Teng approached Langley City council last summer about co-organizing a Freedom March, which she hopes to see take place next month through the downtown core.
Using the title of Miss Canada is a natural fit for an abolitionist platform, she said.
During the days of slavery in the U.S., Canada was a place to escape to freedom, Teng said.
"This is our legacy, this is our value system. We need to fight for it."