“Ms. Gould, a mild-mannered political neophyte who quickly rose the ranks in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s caucus to become the youngest-ever female federal cabinet minister, is set to become the first to have a baby while in office. In doing so, she is following the path forged by Liberal MP Sheila Copps, who made history as the first Member of Parliament to give birth in 1987 – the same year Ms. Gould was born.
Three decades on, Ms. Gould says women still face duelling pressures of having children and continuing their careers. But as more women enter politics, she said, the discussion is starting to shift.
‘I want to be ambitious and have a successful career, but I also want to have a family,” Ms. Gould said. “I don’t see those things as being mutually exclusive.’
Ms. Gould said she plans to return to the Commons for three weeks after Parliament’s winter break ends at the end of January. Then she intends to stay in Burlington for March and April, and return to the House in May. But, she said, “I understand that babies don’t always follow time frames.”
Ms. Gould said she hopes to set a precedent for future politicians: that “having it all” is possible, even if it’s not perfect.
‘I don’t want it to be 30 years before the next cabinet minister has a baby because what I did is not tenable,’ she said.”