OTTAWA – Whining and crying might not be anything new on Parliament Hill, but it took on a new context today during question period.
The high-pitched voice that briefly echoed through the House of Commons belonged not to a sitting member, but three-month-old Ulysses, perched on the knee of his father, Bloc Quebecois MPs Xavier Barsalou-Duval.
Barsalou-Duval is married to Bloc colleague Marilene Gill, the first-ever pair of sitting MPs to become parents.
The infant’s plaintive voice could be heard clearly as the end of question period drew near.
Babies have become more common in the House in recent years; little Ulysses is only the latest to enter the political limelight.
In the 1980s, then-MP Sheila Copps broke ground simply by bringing her baby daughter into the members’ lobby, behind the gold Commons curtains.
By the late 1990s, Michelle Dockrill had become the first MP to bring her young son into the chamber, holding him as she stood to vote.
In 2012, Sana Hassainia, then an NDP MP, thought she had been urged to leave her seat in the House just ahead of a vote because she had her infant son with her, although that was dismissed as a misunderstanding and she was told her son was welcome.