Keith Ashfield samples baked goods, speculates on future matrimonial qualities -

Keith Ashfield samples baked goods, speculates on future matrimonial qualities

When photo ops get awkward


On Friday, Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield staged a photo op in Fredericton.

In Fredericton, MP and federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield, invited the media to a staged family conversation about the budget with Roland and Gina Moreno and their two daughters.

It was an opportunity to highlight the government’s emphasis on training young people for jobs the economy needs, but things went awkwardly off-script at the start as Ashfield sampled baked goods and chatted with eldest daughter Grace Moreno, a local high school student leader. “Grace, you’re a great cook,” Ashfield said. “You’re going to make a wonderful wife for somebody.”

This afternoon in QP, Megan Leslie—who seemed to tweet a reference to Mr. Ashfield’s remarks this weekend—asked the minister to account for his comments.

Megan Leslie: Monsieur le Président, vendredi dernier, le ministre des Pêches et des Océans a affirmé, et je cite: « Grace, vous êtes une excellente cuisinière. Vous allez faire une merveilleuse épouse. » Le ministre des Pêches et des Océans peut-il confirmer ces propos tenus dans le cadre de la promotion du budget?

Keith Ashfield: Mr. Speaker, I am glad the member opposite is following the newscast and our talk about the federal budget. It was indeed a great day to promote our budget on Friday. We had significant interest in it.

Megan Leslie: Mr. Speaker, leave it to the Conservatives to encourage young women to get married as part of their economic action plan. When the member said, “Grace, you’re a great cook. You’re going to make a wonderful wife for somebody”, his comments were disrespectful. In other words, it is like saying: there, there, stop planning for your future. Is this the kind of response that women can expect from the Conservatives with their economic action plan?

Keith Ashfield: Mr. Speaker, obviously the opposition members have little fault to find in our budget if this is the only type of question they can ask in this House.

Update 5:28pm. A statement from Mr. Ashfield.

“I would like to thank the Moreno family for taking the time to discuss Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2013. The family’s insightful comments and feedback are valuable to me and our Government as we continue to build a strong and prosperous nation.

“My comments to Grace Moreno have been taken out of context and were simply meant to compliment her on her genuine hospitality.

“Ms. Moreno is a gifted and active young member of her high school and our greater community. And she has a great future ahead of her.

“I am proud of our youth and I appreciate the contributions that she and other youth continue to make to our community and country.”

Update 11:24am. Via Facebook, a comment from Grace Moreno.

In regards to what Honourable Keith Ashfield said, I feel that it was a compliment. On the day that he visited, our family welcomed him as our guest and treated him with Filipino hospitality. I personally made him a FIlipino bread called “Ensaymada” (a delicacy that my mother taught me to make). He complimented me on the bread, and I appreciated the thanks. I was not offended whatsoever and it is unfair that the Minister’s comment was taken out of context.


Keith Ashfield samples baked goods, speculates on future matrimonial qualities

  1. Megan Leslie is great.

  2. Really? Ms Leslie took a simple compliment given to someone else and perceived it as an insult and discussed it in QP rather than talk about the budget.

    How much are we paying her?

    • Good heavens! A prairie muffin!

      • Oh, poor EmilyOne: being afraid of a little feminine expressions. You feel jealous, EmilyOne, when other women have not completely shut off their feminine side?

      • That’s the best you can do? Apparently you have no point of view so you just spew garbage and consider it a comment.

        • LOL oh go have another ten kids and stop boring others.

          • My point has been proven. Apparently EmilyOne is so insecure she must attack others to make herself feel better. It’s people like you who give women a bad rap.

          • Yada, yada

    • Megan showed up Ashfield for what he is – a jerk. Is he the kind of twit you want representing Canadians? Megan is one of the few members who earns her pay and then some.

      • Do you not realize that you are the jerk? Apparently not. That’s what makes the jerk- the not realizing part.

      • So a man who compliments a woman is a jerk? Only an insecure woman would react the way Megan did. I’d rather have Mr Ashfield represent Canada than a woman who doesn’t understand what a compliment is. Ms Leslie did not earn her pay when she brought this up in QP, she wasted taxpayers dollars.

    • It is an insult and it’s indicative of how most Conservatives view woman. And if you are a woman, it’s unfortunate that you don’t see that.

      • And how exactly do Liberals view their women? Does Sophie Trudeau make for a good wife because she wants to be or because she is forced to be?

        If you are a women, it is unfortunate that you cannot think beyond your own personal style of choosing. Choice is a right, you know. No one is being forced to think like you.

      • Yes, Conservatives hate women. Any woman who votes Conservative hates herself. Conservatives are bad people.

      • No, it is indicative of how the opposition and feminists have have become so lost and shallow that they must make a big deal out of a compliment, expressed with sincerity, Grace, who is the only woman affected by this compliment took it as a compliment and that’s all that matters.

        I am a woman, and I see more than you think. What I see is that “feminists” are destroying the women’s movement with their over reaction to insignificant matters. The reactions that I have seen from women about this non issue have been typical of women who are insecure in themselves.

        If you want to be considered equal, act like it. Stop acting like shrews. These reactions prove to men that women are overly emotional and reactive. A woman who is secure in herself and what she is capable of would react with a simple thank you knowing that she is more than just a good cook.

        Women have come so far but apparently not far enough…

  3. Obviously Ashfield is one more Harper Asshole!

    • And your wife would appreciate it if she would be addressed in your manners just so fluently expressed? I pity her if that were the case.

  4. Hoping to share a beer with Ms Leslie at the NDP Convention in Montreal next month.

  5. The compliment was about the cooking. The rest was a deeply personal remark about a young woman’s future. I think the choice should be hers. ‘Wife’ is very selective and narrow vision for someone who has yet to receive her majority. How about ‘You will make a great Prime Minister’ or ‘Minister of Baked Goods’ or ‘Minister of Finances’. Did the ability to bake and edible product define her whole being? Or how about, Thank You. However, he saved himself from selecting whom she might be a great wife, for as this was obviously not the place to select her future partner or speculate on her future in the marketplace.

  6. Good to see the Cons returning to their Reform roots – when men were men and women kept quiet.

    • Who said the young woman had to be kept quiet? Because she has not spoken out publicly does not automatically mean that she was told not to speak out? Perhaps she did not want to speak out against the compliment because she did take it as a compliment.

      Are you returning to which roots when making up stuff? Not-understanding-individual-freedom roots?

      I would feel sorry for any woman having to listen to your insults.

      • Oh, my. You really don’t know how these “kitchen table” events go, do you?

    • Probably worth noting here that the first Reform MP was a woman – I’m no fan of Ashfield’s comments, but by generalising “Reform roots” as equating to “women kept quiet”, you’re revising history to be what you want it to be, not what it actually is.

      • Shhh. Don’t remind them of inconvenient facts. That will upset their partisan hack narrative, and they don’t like that.

  7. Seriously Aaron?

    Dude…go bitch at your boss or something. You clearly need something else to do.

  8. I’m a great cook. Does that make me a wonderful husband?

    (I will admit that it helps my cause.)

    • LOL Yes it does.

      I’ve never understood why cooking has ever been seen as ‘feminine’….50’s BS no doubt…cooking is just cooking after all……but most of the great chefs in the world are men.

  9. I don’t really want to pile on Ashfield but, dammit, if you’re going to go with ‘my quote was taken out of context’, you’d better explain how. You can’t just haul that ol’ chestnut out when you say something that gets you into hot water.

    • His comment is in the news. That’s as out of context as something this innocuous can be.

      • hooooooooo boy.

        • Oh, John, don’t worry your pretty little head about this politics stuff…

  10. You’re going to make a wonderful wife for somebody

    Well, it’s at least non-gender specific. That’s positive.

  11. It’s been a few hours since the last update. Any new developments? When will we get the next update on this earth shattering story about a compliment gone awry? Aaron you are probably waiting outside Ashfield’s home right now…what’s the word from the field?

  12. Maybe he was saying it to a young man? You know, to show how open minded he is?



  13. What a shock. A person who received a warm compliment wasn’t offended in the slightest by it and thinks you’re all hacks who are fishing for a story, should get over yourselves, and focus on real news.

    I like this girl. She’d make a wonderful wife for somebody.

    • You’re more interested in this than anyone else here — well, you and Francien — you keep coming back and posting on this thread and so does she — hey maybe you’re the same person!