February 13, 2016 7:51 pm
Updated: February 13, 2016 8:43 pm

New Alberta cabinet minister gives birth, makes history

Global News

CALGARY- A Calgary MLA and cabinet minister has made history in Alberta: Stephanie McLean has become the first MLA to deliver a child while in office.

Calgary-Varsity MLA Stephanie McLean and her husband welcomed Patrick Shane McLean Bostock at 8:57 a.m. Friday.

McLean was promoted to cabinet by Premier Rachel Notley earlier this month.

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READ MORE: New Alberta cabinet minister expects to become new mother next week

McLean has previously said, both her family and the premier have been supportive and are confident she’ll be able to balance her work life and family responsibilities.

Current rules do not allow for sitting MLAs to take paid maternity or paternity leave because politicians do not pay Employment Insurance premiums. Further, the rules require an MLA to be docked $100 a day in pay if he or she misses more than 10 days in the House. There are exemptions, hoever, if the reason is illness, injury, bereavement or official business.

READ MORE: Alberta looks to change ‘archaic’ legislation around MLA parental leave

In November, Notley said her government would look into amending the rules to allow for more flexibility for new parents with seats in the Legislature.

“It’s, I would suggest, an archaic piece of legislation in that respect and probably would not withstand the test of a Charter challenge,” Notley said at the time.

Because no Alberta MLA had ever given birth while in office, the legislation did not received much attention until McLean’s pregnancy became public knowledge.

In the fall, the Wildrose said it would support changing rules to make life easier for politicians who are parents of young children, including allowing them to bring their babies to the legislature.

With files from Phil Heidenreich

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