Coun. Jasmine Mian is pretty sure she’ll still only get one vote at city council meetings, though two will technically be sitting in her seat in chambers.
Mian, councillor for Ward 3, posted to social media that she and her partner, Jake, are expecting a baby in September. It would be the couple’s first.
Outside council chambers on Tuesday, Mian said that thanks to virtual work and Jake’s planned parental leave, she actually doesn’t expect to miss many council meetings.
“It all depends exactly when I go into labour and what that looks like; you can never fully know what a baby will bring but I’m not planning to take any extended period of time off,” she told media Tuesday afternoon.
Mian said 12 of the 15 council members are also parents.
“A handful of them have children under the age of 10, and so I’m not on the parenting journey alone,” she said.
The City of Calgary’s Maternity and Parental Leave for Members of Council bylaw provides up to 26 weeks (16 weeks maternity and 10 weeks parental) for councillors. It was brought into effect in the summer of 2018.
Mian said she’s thankful there’s an established policy, she just doesn’t plan to use it to the fullest extent. Many people, depending on their family situation, might choose to take the full leave, Mian said.
“That’s not something I’m currently planning to utilize because of the next thing that I think has been so game-changing for accessibility, which is remote work,” she said.
Last year, Mian also championed a notice of motion to review parental leave for members of the city’s boards committee and commissions.
While many councillors past and present have had children, Mian wasn’t sure if she was the first sitting councillor to be pregnant.
According to a CBC news story from 2017, now-Ward 2 Coun. Jennifer Wyness said she experienced shaming at the time for being pregnant and on the campaign trail.
She lost in that election to then-incumbent Joe Magliocca.
We have asked the city if they are able to confirm if Mian is the first to carry a pregnancy through a term in office. They’ve acknowledged the question but haven’t yet provided a response.
As far as the gender reveal, Mian knows there’s a divide between those who believe in a reveal and those that want the surprise on the day of birth.
“Our plan right now is to probably find out in advance. That way we get two surprises,” she said.
“But it’s a very divisive issue whether you find out or not, so we’ll see what happens.”