Watch above: In Quebec, a mother has the right to breast feed in a public place. But a recent incident at a West Island shopping centre has been the source of controversy. Billy Shields has more on a nurse-in that was sparked after a Vaudreuil mother was told she couldn’t breast feed her child inside a Fairview Mall store.
POINTE-CLAIRE – After a Vaudreuil mother says she was told to leave the premises of a Browns shoe store inside the Fairview Mall, a group of mothers held a nurse-in outside the store.
“It’s important because a woman was made to feel that she was doing something wrong by feeding her child out in public,” said Stephanie Jacobs, a mother who joined the quiet protest. “[It's] silly and ignorant, and it needs to be addressed.”
The protest involved about a dozen people who congregated in front of the store. There was no confrontation between management or the mothers involved. It was completely organized on Facebook, after Vaudreuil mother Melinda Gadbois voiced her frustrations in a post.
“That’s actually how I found out about this,” said Kristie St-Martin, one of the mothers at the nurse-in. “I don’t actually know any of the other moms here.”
While St-Martin said she isn’t particularly given to activism, she told herself ‘I have to be there to support this mother.’
“I don’t want to make this dramatic feminist statement, I just want other moms to know they’re not alone, there are other moms to support them.”
Under Quebec law, breastfeeding must be allowed in public places, and store owners, restauranteurs or others have no right to say otherwise. The executive management of Browns was unavailable for comment until Monday, a receptionist told Global News over the phone. The mothers at the nurse-in had differing interpretations of the incident.
It was “a momentary lapse of judgement,” said Katherine Labelle. “After speaking to the manager and some of the employees there I truly believe that it’s not part of the Browns policy.”
Stephanie Jacobs, another participant, said: “I’m sure they’re trained about theft. I’m sure they’re trained about customer service. This is part of customer service.”
© Shaw Media, 2014