Kelowna News

B.C. energy minister Michelle Mungall takes seat in legislature with baby Zavier

British Columbia Energy Minister Michelle Mungall holds her son Zavier, almost 3 months old, as she walks with her husband Zak along a corridor at the legislature in Victoria on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. Baby Zavier is first child permitted on floor of the British Columbia legislature chamber since legislation last spring where all parties voted to allow children on floor of legislature.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dirk Meissner

VICTORIA - Baby Zavier is barely three months old but he's already making history with his arrival at British Columbia's legislature.

Born in July, Zavier Matieschyn became the first child to take a seat in the chamber of the legislature when he arrived at a parliamentary session Monday in the arms of his mother, Energy Minister Michelle Mungall.

He is the first baby permitted a front row seat at the legislature after all parties unanimously supported rule changes last spring allowing infants on the chamber floor while in the care of a parent.

The policy followed previous changes over the past two decades that included adding change tables in the washrooms and allowing for maternity leave, Mungall said.

She carried her son into the chamber and introduced him to loud applause from politicians.

"I want to thank everybody in this house for making this moment possible and for making our democratic institutions more family friendly," she said inside the legislature.

Mungall, who held her son, was accompanied in the legislature hallway by her husband, Zak Matieschyn.

"People have been going out of their way to ask what can they do to support and make sure that this place is a family friendly place," Mungall said as Zavier let out a baby cheer. "He said it. He's quite in support of that as well."

Mungall said her son also met the legislature's dress code, wearing a sharp jacket and bow tie.

B.C. joined Alberta last March as the only other province that permits children in the chambers while the legislature is in session.

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