Baby in council chambers was fine, Saskatoon politician says
A Saskatoon city council member says she had a positive experience taking her newborn daughter to council meetings.
Tiffany Paulsen, who has been on council since 2000, had a baby girl in 2011.
"I brought Eden [to council meetings] for the first three months after she was born," Paulsen told CBC News Wednesday. "Although I had just had a baby, I still felt a responsibility to my constituents so I brought my daughter."
Paulsen said she was concerned hearing the news that a federal member of parliament had difficulty bringing a baby into the House of Commons.
"We want to eliminate barriers for women running in politics, not create them," she said.
"Luckily I had a quiet baby and she would sit in my arms during council meetings and allow me to vote and speak to motions," she said. "It was a good environment."
Paulsen said her child would be with her, at her council chair, and she would use a nearby quiet area for feedings.
She said other council members, city administrators and the public were supportive.
"It would have been very difficult if I had a baby that was colicky," she noted.
Paulsen also believes that bringing a child to council sent a positive message to the community.
"I think city council seemed a little more of a human place when you have moms and babies there," she said.
She did miss some votes, however, because she was out of the room nursing.
Paulsen said she returned to council duties when Eden was one month old.
Today, however, Paulsen said her daughter does not come to meetings.
"At ten months, she's not as quiet as she used to be," she said.