A Calgary city councillor will have another citizen to be concerned about in around six months’ time.
On Tuesday, Ward 3 Coun. Jasmine Mian announced she was expecting to give birth to a baby in September.
Mian said her husband Jake will be taking paternal leave and she plans to participate in as many meetings as possible thanks to the city’s hybrid work arrangements.
“It’ll depend exactly when I go into labour and what that looks like. You can never know fully what a baby will bring,” the Ward 3 representative said.
Mian isn’t the first elected official to give birth while in office, but might be the first in Calgary.
In June 2018, Jacinda Ardern gave birth to a girl while she was New Zealand’s prime minister. Ardern followed in the footsteps of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who also gave birth to a daughter while in office in January 1990.
Before giving birth, Ardern said she was planning to take six weeks off, allowing the deputy prime minister to step in.
Mian is the only current woman councillor in Calgary who isn’t yet a mother. She will be joining 12 other council colleagues to become a parent while balancing the workload of being an elected official.
“I’ll balance it the same way all other members of council balance their family responsibilities,” she said. “Certainly many of my constituents have really important jobs and family priorities as well. And so I know I can make it happen.”
The city has a robust maternity and parental leave policy for councillors.
“That’s not something I’m currently planning to utilize,” the former Olympian said.
She plans to leverage remote work to be able to fulfil her duties.
“That’s something we gained from the pandemic that I don’t think we can afford to lose,” Mian said.
“I can be right back as my baby is very, very small, because we have the ability to vote and to debate virtually.”
But having another body in the seat with her while debating at meetings won’t necessarily add any weight to council decisions.
“I don’t think I get two votes. I still just get the one vote.”
– with files from Reuters