|Member of the Canadian Parliament
|Preceded by||Omar Alghabra|
|Succeeded by||Riding abolished|
May 18, 1958 |
Robert "Bob" Dechert (born May 18, 1958) is a former Canadian Member of Parliament. From 2008 to 2015, Dechert represented the riding of Mississauga—Erindale in the House of Commons of Canada, as a member of the Conservative Party.
Dechert was born in Brampton, Ontario and graduated from McMaster University in Hamilton with a Bachelor of Arts in economics. He attended law school at the University of Toronto and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1985. He joined the law firm of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP where he practiced corporate law and was a senior partner.
Dechert formed the "Blue Committee" in 1994. The Blue Committee was a group of provincial conservatives, primarily from Ontario, who desired a more conservative Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, and wanted to work together with the Reform Party of Canada. The Blue Committee was instrumental in the creation of the United Alternative movement, the Canadian Alliance and ultimately, the Conservative Party of Canada.
Dechert ran in the 2004 Canadian federal election in the electoral district of Mississauga—Erindale, losing to Carolyn Parrish. He ran in the same riding in the 2006 federal election, losing to Omar Alghabra. He defeated Alghabra in the 2008 federal election to become the Member of Parliament for that riding. He won re-election, again defeating Alghabra in the 2011 federal election. On October 19, 2015, he lost to Liberal candidate Iqra Khalid in the 2015 federal election.
On March 5, 2010, Dechert became the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice.
On September 9, 2011, it was revealed that Dechert had been engaging in "flirtatious e-mails" with a correspondent, Shi Rong, working for the Peoples' Republic of China news agency, Xinhua. The e-mails came to light when the correspondent's husband hacked into her e-mail account and made them public. Dechert acknowledged the "flirtatious" nature of his relationship and issued an apology, but denied any wrongdoing.
Controversy revolved around the fact that Dechert was, at the time of the relationship, parliamentary secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. Critics, including Charles Burton, a former Canadian diplomat to Beijing, raised concerns as to whether Shi Rong was a Chinese spy trying to gain access sensitive government information. Both Burton and the opposition asserted that Dechert must have known about Xinhua's espionage activities.
- "Election results...riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. June 29, 2004. p. A14.
- "Election results...riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. January 24, 2006. p. A16.
- "Ontario Results". The Toronto Star. October 15, 2008. p. U2.
- "Victory at long last for Dechert". Mississauga News. October 15, 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
- "Riding results from across Canada". Edmonton Journal. May 3, 2011. p. A6.
- "Dechert defeats a familiar foe in Mississauga-Erindale". The Toronto Star. May 2, 2011. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
- "Canada Votes". The Toronto Star. October 20, 2015. pp. GT13–GT15.
- "Iqra Khalid wins Mississauga-Erin Mills". The Toronto Star. October 19, 2015. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
- "Tory MP apologizes for flirty emails to Chinese journalist". CBC News. September 9, 2011. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
- Andrea Janus (September 17, 2011). "MP in email scandal fits profile of spy target: expert". CTV News. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
- The Canadian Press. "Reporter says Chinese news agency asked him to spy". CBC News. Retrieved August 6, 2016.