March 17, 2015 - 8:27 AM
WEST KELOWNA - A group of breast-feeding supporters are planning a mass 'feed-in' at the next West Kelowna council meeting, dissatisfied with the reception given by councillors to a delegation promoting breast-feeding at the last council meeting.
Last week, as part of a class project, a delegation of UBC Okanagan nursing students and a public health nurse from Interior Health asked council to support the Baby Friendly initiative. They wanted council to affirm their support for public breast-feeding by displaying universal symbol stickers in city-owned facilities, as well as educating employees and local businesses about the rights of nursing mothers.
The right to breast-feed in public is already enshrined within the B.C. Human Rights Code and has received support from Kelowna and Lake Country, but several councillors asked hard questions of the group. No councillor moved to support the Baby Friendly initiative and Mayor Doug Findlater told them only that they would consider their request at a later date.
Now a Facebook group called West Kelowna Feed-In is vowing to show support for breast-feeding at the district offices. Members were busy yesterday designing placards for the demonstration.
"Local women are disheartened by the comments made by their city councillors and disappointed in the council's decision to decline the request,” said group representative Lisa Ford, in a press release. "Women, mothers, fathers and friends plan to gather at West Kelowna city council chambers on Tuesday, March 24 at 5:30 p.m. to show this council that The Baby Friendly Initiative is important to the city of West Kelowna."
On Monday, West Kelowna issued a press release of its own, denying that council had turned down the request and stating that Findlater would be making a noice of motion at next Tuesday’s council meeting, for consideration at the April 14 meeting.
The motion would direct staff to report on the costs and implications of implementing a Baby Friendly policy in the district.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015