The daycare caucus: How the Commons is coping with a baby boom

The House of Commons has been turning an official blind eye to a group that its rules regard as strangers — the newborn children of MPs.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a Toronto audience Thursday that he is going to ask the Commons to change the wording of those rules to permit MPs to work and look after their kids at the same time.

“So that infants can be cared for by their parents while they are on the floor of the House of Commons. Babies should never be considered strangers in the House,” said Trudeau.

‘Stranger’ is the parliamentary term for someone who isn’t a MP or Commons staffer and is therefore not permitted on the floor of the House while it’s in session.

NDP MP Michelle Dockrill holds her seven-week-old baby Kenzie James as she votes during proceedings in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 1998. (Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)

Liberal Sheila Copps was the first MP to give birth while in office in 1987, but it was Nova Scotia NDP MP Michelle Dockrill who first brought her young son to the floor of the Commons.

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