New Mississauga MP enjoys a ‘magical experience’ in Ottawa

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Published March 8, 2022 at 3:43 pm

Rechie Valdez

Ask Rechie Valdez about any learning curve she may be experiencing as she navigates her way through federal politics as a rookie MP for Mississauga-Streetsville and you’ll get a quick response. 

“It’s not a learning curve. It’s a direct climb upwards,” Valdez told insauga.com in an interview last night (March 7) on the eve of International Women’s Day.

The fledgling MP said she’s taking part in a number of events today (March 8) to mark International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Valdez handily defeated her Conservative opponent in last September’s federal election as part of a Liberal sweep in Mississauga to become the first-ever Filipina-Canadian to be elected a Member of Parliament.

The former corporate banker and entrepreneur, and present-day mother of two, is the second Filipino-Canadian to be in the House of Commons. Rey Pagtakhan represented the Liberals in Winnipeg North from 1988 to 2004. 

While there has been much to learn in a relatively short period of time since she landed the seat in Ottawa, Valdez insists she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Her unspoken motto, it seems, could well be “Bring it on!”

She says she’s thoroughly enjoying the learning process, and she’s also grateful for the opportunity to serve the residents of her riding.

“It’s a privilege when people open their minds and hearts (and tell you) what’s important to them,” said Valdez, noting one of the more memorable parts of her first six months on the job has been visiting with different faith groups in Mississauga in their places of worship.

In Ottawa, meanwhile, stepping inside the House of Commons for the first time–and every time since–has been something special for the self-described community builder.

“Sitting in the House of Commons is a real privilege…a magical experience,” said Valdez.

Closer to home, when not on the job or being recognized while out in public with her son Kyle, 13, and daughter Cassidy, who recently turned seven, Valdez says she takes on a more personal role.

“When I come home and walk through the front door, I’m Mom,” she said.

Still, Kyle and Cassidy are very much in tune with what “Mom” does for a living.

ParlVu, which offers live and on-demand streaming of House of Commons proceedings and public committees to mobile and desktop devices, allows them to watch their mother on the job.

“My role is so real to them. They’re very much connected to what I do. They know what I do,” said Valdez, adding her children are “very proud of me.”

While on the campaign trail last September, Valdez noted earlier that Kyle had recently begun studying political parties in his history class at school. 

And “being able to speak about his mom’s candidacy was very special,” Valdez said earlier.

As she gives thought to what’s being celebrated on this day, Valdez says it’s important her kids–particularly Cassidy–grow up in an environment that offers both love and support, no matter what they do.

“Especially for Cassidy, I want her to grow up in a world where she can choose what she wants to do…and do it while living in a world free from discrimination and hatred…and especially (free from) violence.”

Having spent 15 years in corporate banking, Valdez also boasts a wide range of entrepreneurial and community service experiences. As she stated earlier, she “became a baker, podcaster, non-profit executive, apparel marketer and basketball newbie in a few short years, just before turning 40.” 

With such a varied background, Valdez, who’s been described as “vice-president of marketing and creative head of multiple brands that span the print, marketing, apparel, food and sports industry,” decided last year the time was right to jump head-first into federal politics. 

“I’ve always been a community builder,” she said at the time. “And it’s an incredible opportunity I see ahead.” 

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