Karina Gould has become the first federal cabinet minister to have a baby in office,enjoy maternity leave.
Gould said, “My husband, Alberto, and I were thrilled to finally meet our son, Oliver, earlier this week. We are grateful to be able to say that everyone is happy and healthy.”
“As we join so many other Canadian parents who juggle the responsibilities of career and family, Alberto and I want to thank everyone for their kind words and support.”
The Burlington MP has temporarily handed over her duties as minister for Democratic Institutions, and has said she will go on maternity leave until at least May. Treasury Board President Scott Brison will help oversee her portfolio duties while she’s off.
Her constituency office is still staffed.
Gould was the first cabinet member in Canadian history to take maternity leave, 31 years after Liberal Sheila Copps became the first woman to have a baby while a sitting MP.
MPs and cabinet ministers do not pay into Employment Insurance and don’t officially qualify for maternity leave, but can work out an arrangement with their party leadership to take time beyond the 21 days of medical leave afforded any MP.
Right now, if MPs miss more than 21 days in a sitting session, their salary is clawed back by $120 a day.