Conservative MP’s Stay Home Comments Insult Women, New Immigrants

“Moms can stay at home, which they’re used to.” – Conservative MP Bob Dechert

by: Obert Madondo  | Published Saturday, Dec 20, 2014

Conservative MP Bob Dechert and Xinhua News Agency reporter Shi Rong in an undated photo sent to government and media sources in 2011

Conservative MP Bob Dechert and Xinhua News Agency reporter Shi Rong in an undated photo sent to government and media sources in 2011

On Friday, Conservative MP Bob Dechert insulted Canadian women, new immigrant women and new Canadians’ cultures.

In a story on the federal Conservatives’ income-splitting plan, published by the Brampton Guardian , Dechert suggested that women belong at home looking after children. (The plan has been thoroughly discredited here, here and here: Baloney Meter: Liberals say Conservative income-splitting plan only benefits 15% of Canadians.)

Dechert, the MP for Mississauga-Erindale, said: “Instead of sending their kids to a big daycare, moms can stay at home, which they’re used to.”

Here’s a screen grab of the original story with Dechert’s exact words:

Conservative MP Dechert Stay Home Quote

Dechert’s comments especially denigrated new immigrant women and new Canadians’ cultures. The Brampton Guardian quotes him saying immigrant women “often told me that mainstream daycare centres that might be sponsored by the government, like a public school, don’t provide that kind of cultural learning.”

Do you feel the racism-inspired condescension and ignorance?

Dechert suggests that, rather than embrace their new home, immigrants would rather cling to every grain of their home country cultures. To the past. It’s the kind of thinking behind the Conservatives’ ongoing war against immigrants’ “barbaric cultural practices,” which currently finds its clearest expression in the so called Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act.

I’ll stick with Dechert and his apparent contempt for immigrant women. This is the same married Dechert who not long ago drooled over Shi Rong, a female Chinese reporter with whom he reportedly had an affair. Rong was the Chinese state-owned Xinhua News Agency’s Toronto correspondent at the time of the affair.

According to the Globe and Mail, in one email, dated April 17, 2010, Dechert told Rong:

You are so beautiful. I really like the picture of you by the water with your cheeks puffed. That look is so cute, I love it when you do that. Now, I miss you even more.

After the affair hit the headlines, Dechert claimed his “friendship” with “so beautiful” Rong was “innocent.” There’s no innocence in saying immigrant “moms can stay at home, which they’re used to.”

And, it’s absurd for a Canadian MP to assume that, in this era, there’s a country “where daycare is almost unheard of.”

The Brampton Guardian also quotes Employment minister Jason Kenney saying “helping stay-at-home parents would encourage stable families.”  Kenney is a former immigration minister.

As you can expect, most Canadians do not tolerate such backward thinking. They responded:

The Brampton Guardian responded to Canadians’ outrage, but in a way that neither confronts bigotry nor advances the progressive conversation. The paper tried to kill the conversation altogether.

In a revision to the story, dated 3.15pm on Dec 19, the Guardian disappeared Dechert’s insulting comments altogether.

The story now reads:

“Mississauga-Erindale MP Bob Dechert accompanied Bergen on her visit to Peel. He notes the median family income in his riding is $93,000, and those families will benefit from income-splitting.

“The response has been extremely positive. I haven’t heard anything negative,” he said.

Many new Canadians, Dechert said, prefer to receive the Universal Child Care Benefit – the actual cash – to use for childcare services because they want to send their children in their formative years to daycare provided by somebody from their community, somebody who can speak the language and knows the culture.

“They’ve often told me that mainstream daycare centres that might be sponsored by the government, like a public school, don’t provide that kind of cultural learning,” he said.”

Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow him on Twitter.com/Obiemad

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Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based independent journalist and progressive political blogger. He's the publisher and editor of The Canadian Progressive.
  • Wonder why the Xinhua ‘correspondent’ was interested in this guy…could not have been for his brain?

    • The Canadian Progressive

      Apparently, she was a spy for the Chinese government. And so Dechert was an easy, high-level target. A means to a higher end.