Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday August 12, 2015
Justin Trudeau and the pregnant candidate: Too hands-on?
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is known for his family name, his youth and his well-coiffed hair, but he may have cemented his reputation Monday as a touchy-feely politician when he touched the pregnant belly of one of his candidates at a Montreal campaign event.
The mom-to-be in this case, Liberal candidate Christine Poirier, said she had no problem with Trudeau’s friendly gesture, one that occurs several times a day with strangers as she canvasses her Montreal riding for votes.
“It was a perfectly natural, normal gesture and I really don’t mind having my belly touched,” she said.
The news that Poirier will be delivering her second child just seven weeks ahead of the Oct. 19 election day is something that no candidate can prepare for. But the 35-year-old has learned there can be a strategic advantage in her growing belly.
“It doesn’t make me any more approachable. But it certainly makes a nice subject of conversation and it allows me to introduce the party policies on child benefits and makes me talk about it and makes me sound more genuine,” she said.
The entrepreneur and breastfeeding advocate, who co-founded a clothing line for new mothers, is running against Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe in the riding of Laurier—Sainte-Marie, currently held by the NDP’s Hélène Laverdière.
While the competition is tough, it’s nothing compared to the personal circumstances the Liberal candidate is managing with a campaign team that handles phone calls and posting signs as well as child-care duties when the need arises.
“One of the volunteering opportunities that I give to my volunteers is to babysit my 8-year-old daughter,” she said. “So during the campaign, my mom is going to be my main volunteer, following me around everywhere (with the newborn) and helping me out.” (Source: Toronto Star)