PEI

What about dad? Father questions Sobeys' parking spot for 'mothers'

A P.E.I. father who pulled into a parking spot at the Stratford Sobeys on Monday says he was met with a glare and an outdated sign.

Sobeys says it will be changing to more inclusive signs

Justin Simard thinks the signs for the store's parking spots should reference all parents. (Submitted by Justin Simard)

A P.E.I. father who pulled into a parking spot at the Stratford Sobeys on Monday says he was met with a glare and an outdated sign.

"I went to get out of the car and there was a woman, a mother, in the spot next to me who gave me a bit of a dirty look," Justin Simard said. 

It made me think about two-parent families or two fathers or two mothers or just a single father.- Justin Simard

"I can only assume that's because she assumed I was taking advantage of a good parking spot."

The sign by the parking spot reads Expecting Mothers [and] Mothers with Small Children.

It wasn't until he pulled his baby boy from the car that the woman went about her business, Simard said.

Annoyed with the sign and the woman's reaction, he decided to take a selfie and raise the issue in a tweet to Sobeys.

'Am I allowed to park here?'

"It made me think about two-parent families or two fathers or two mothers or just a single father — it should be for all parents and their kids, not just moms."

Sobeys quickly tweeted back saying "You are definitely entitled to that parking spot, Justin! Which location was this so we can update the signage? #SuperDad"

Simard was impressed with Sobeys' response.

"My grievance, even though it was kind of tongue-in-cheek, was met very sincerely with an actual call for action," he said.

But he said the experience points to a larger social issue.

"It annoys me on behalf of women, honestly, this idea that rearing children is just women's work. It's not a woman's work — it's parents work, equally for both parents."

Spot for all parents of small children

Sobeys, meanwhile, said in an email statement to CBC P.E.I. that "All expectant mothers and parents of small children are welcome to park in the expectant parents parking spots in all our Sobeys stores."

Sobeys said it is working to update the signs at the Stratford location to be more inclusive.

With files from Krystalle Ramlakhan

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