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David Chesney, White Rock city councillor, calls pregnant women's bellies 'sausage casings'

05/01/2015 12:52 EDT | Updated 08/10/2015 12:59 EDT
A White Rock City councillor says pregnant women's bellies look like "sausage casings" and disparaged their choice to wear tighter-fitting clothes. 

David Chesney made the comments while appearing as a guest on broadcaster Jim Goddard's online show called the Goddard Report earlier this month. 

They were chatting about a pregnant television meteorologist who received hate mail for her appearance on screen, and that prompted Chesney, who is the editor and publisher of the White Rock Sun, to offer his opinion of how some pregnant women dress.

"They can't get on any more skin tight, it looks like sausage casings. Their belly button is pushing through the material and I kinda look at that and I go I get it, you're pregnant alright. Now why, why, why such a desire to push that out in front of everyone and and again, as I say I know ... I can hear some people screaming at me right now."

Chesney says during the interview that he doesn't advocate that pregnant women wear "tents" but in thinking of his mother's generation, he says there is more appropriate maternity wear.

"The fact is that the styling was much different through the 50s, 60s, 70s — even in the 80s women wore a little bit more loose-fitting clothes, but as I say nowadays, how they can yank on those Lululemon sweat pants and body dance skins and go out in public at eight months pregnant ... I don't find it repulsive. I just really have to question why that."

Chesney also shared his thoughts on maternity leave.

"You get one year maternity leave, so women want to come to work until their water breaks so they can have one year off from the time the baby is born. They are not taking a month off ahead of time. They are coming to work. They are barely able to walk. They can't sit down. They are not comfortable."

'He does not speak for White Rock Council'

CBC News attempted to get an interview with Chesney, but he was not immediately available. 

White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin called Chesney's comments "unfortunate."

"He does not speak for White Rock Council," Baldwin told CBC. "And definitely it's an unfortunate remark that he's made and it's disturbing, but it's nothing we can take responsibility for."

This isn't the first-time, the first-term councillor has got into trouble. Baldwin says Chesney made some defamatory comments about another a councillor and as a result, he was censured and taken off council committees. 

"There definitely seems to be a pattern and that's unfortunate."

Social media backlash

Leah Emmons, a Ladner woman who gave birth five months ago, says she just brushed away Chesney's remarks. 

"Those nine months are the most exciting time of your life," she said. "Yes, you have to exercise decency in terms of what you wear ... but I think you basically just have to wear what you're comfortable in."

Here are some other comments on Twitter:

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