Karina Gould applauded for breastfeeding son in House of Commons
Published Thursday, June 21, 2018 8:19AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 21, 2018 9:28AM EDT
Liberal MP Karina Gould made history back in March when she became the first cabinet minister to have a baby while in office.
On Tuesday, she made headlines again when she chose to breastfeed her three-month-old son during question period in the House of Commons.
Gould, who serves as democratic institutions minister, could be seen tending to her son’s feeding during question period as Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor took questions about marijuana legalization.
As news items emerged about the moment, Gould seemed to downplay the moment.
“No shame in breastfeeding!” she tweeted, “Baby's gotta eat & I had votes. Clearly still work to do... Glad @HoCSpeaker & parl colleagues supportive! :)”
Canadian Press reporter Teresa Wright responded: "I'm glad I live in a country where this is normal and accepted (as it should be)."
Though dozens of others responded to the tweet with praise and congratulations, some told Gould she should have used a cover-up and been more “discreet.”
The MP for Burlington, Ont., gave birth to her son, Oliver, in March, becoming the first federal cabinet minister to take maternity leave. She returned to work in May with little Oliver in tow.
Though MPs do not officially qualify for parental leave because they don’t pay into employment insurance, they can work out an arrangement with their party leadership and whip to take time beyond the 21 days of medical leave that each MP is allowed.
That could be about to change, though.
In the federal budget released in February, the Liberals promised to amend the Parliament of Canada Act to make it possible for MPs to take maternity and parental leave.