New Mississauga-Streetsville MP heads to Ottawa as first-ever Filipina-Canadian in House of Commons
Published September 27, 2021 at 2:42 pm
In becoming the first-ever Filipina-Canadian to be elected a Member of Parliament, Rechie Valdez says she has many people to thank.
Topping the list, perhaps, of those most responsible for her victory last week in Mississauga-Streetsville is the younger of her two children, six-year-old Cassidy.
“Cassidy converted from eating her Nutella sandwiches to cereal in hopes that by eating Lucky Charms that the luck would rub off on me,” an emotional Valdez, her family beside her, said during her federal election night victory speech to supporters, which was posted online.
Her son, Kyle, 12, recently started studying political parties in his history class at school, Valdez said, adding “and being able to speak about his mom’s candidacy was very special.”
“I’m so grateful for my two kids,” Valdez told the celebratory gathering of supporters, with whom she vowed to continue having open lines of communication as she prepares to join the Liberal caucus in the 44th Parliament.
“It’s been a two-way conversation with you, and that will not stop,” she said.
Valdez, who handily defeated Conservative Jasveen Rattan as part of a Liberal sweep in Mississauga, is the second Filipino-Canadian to be in the House of Commons. Rey Pagtakhan represented the Liberals in Winnipeg North from 1988 to 2004.
“I am so proud to stand here with all of you in this history-making moment,” Valdez, who succeeds outgoing Liberal MP Gagan Sikand in the riding, told supporters. “Today we make history and her-story, as you helped elect the first Filipina in parliament. I thank you for believing in me, for trusting me…and for being present.
“This election day, Canadians chose the path of unity…we succeed as a country when we’re united together.”
Having spent 15 years in corporate banking, Valdez also boasts a wide range of entrepreneurial and community service experiences. As she states, 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, described in her campaign biography as “vice-president of marketing and creative head of multiple brands that span the print, marketing, apparel, food and sports industry,” decided the time was right to jump head-first into federal politics.
“I’ve always been a community builder,” she said. “And it’s an incredible opportunity I see ahead.”insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies