Karina Gould’s baby takes over Parliament Hill

The democratic institutions minister was back at work, baby in tow. Everyone, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, wanted to meet Oliver.

After Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould told her family she was pregnant, next up was the Prime Minister. “I gave him a call and asked him what was the protocol for having a baby in Cabinet,” she recalls. She says he replied, “That’s excellent, Karina, congratulations. We’re going to make this work.”

On Tuesday, Gould returned to work after 10 weeks of maternity leave, bringing her new, approximately 14-lb constituent, Oliver. She attended a Cabinet meeting and question period, and brought Oliver back to her office in the car seat she has attached in her ministerial car.

When she’s not in Ottawa, Gould lives in her riding of Burlington, Ont., with her husband, Alberto Gerones, whom she met in Mexico and who was previously a manager at a veterinary clinic. Gould says her current role doesn’t require as much travel as her previous position of parliamentary secretary to the minister of international development, but she is newly dividing her time between politics and the child with whom she has read two books so far (Look Look Outside and If I Were a Puppy). Gould has stacks of diapers on her office shelf and sets down a mat by her desk where Oliver can do some kicking, and as the first sitting Cabinet minister in Canada to give birth, on her first day back, this is how she makes it work.

Karina Gould, minister for democratic institutions, with three-month-old son Oliver and husband Alberto Gerones, arrives at Parliament Hill on May 22, 2018.  (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

Gould is greeted back to work with a hug from Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland (while Gerones demonstrates astute parental reflexes with a quick shoulder dab). (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

Gould introduces Oliver to fellow cabinet ministers Scott Brison, president of the Treasury Board, Ahmed Hussen, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, and Seamus O’Regan, minister of veterans affairs and associate minister of national defence. (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

The family fits in a quick group photo with Jean-Yves Duclos, minister of families, children and social development. (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

Oliver seems unfazed during a brief media scrum. (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

A brief family moment in the hallway. (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

Oliver sits out a meeting (with his dad). (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

A quick check-in before a meeting. (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

Gould chats with staff. (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

A brief moment alone. (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

(Photograph by Peter Bregg)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds Oliver. (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

Gould and Gerones visit with the Prime Minister in his office. (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

Gould and Trudeau head off to a meeting with Oliver in tow. (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

Oliver gets the thousand-yard stare during a television media scrum. (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

Gould and Gerones share a quiet moment after Oliver falls asleep for a nap around 12:45 p.m.  (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

Issues manager Dani Keenan meets with Gould, who is breastfeeding Oliver. (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

Oliver snoozes while Gould consults with a colleague. (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

Oliver gets a nap in before his debut in the House of Commons. (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

Karina Gould and Oliver in the House of Commons. (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

A shelf in her Parliament office equipped with baby toys, diapers etc. (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

By 4pm it’s just Minister Gould and Oliver in her Parliament office. (Photograph by Peter Bregg)

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