Kuddos to Cinira Longuinho, who did not accept to be thrown out of a privately owned swimming pool because she was breastfeeding her daughter in the water. She was asked to leave by the owner on the basis ofprovincial regulations prohibiting food and/or drinks in or around pools. The matter was brought to the Ontario’s Human Rights Tribunal and the owner of the Newmarket pool, Ellie Karkouti, had to apologise and agreed to donate $2000 to a women shelter as well as post signs stating that breastfeeding is allowed in and around the water. The provincial regulations are still unclear for pool owners, but this case should make it clearer. Women ARE allowed to breastfeed and babies are allowed to be breastfeed in and around swimming pools !
This case is very similar to one that happened in Quebec public swimming pool a few months ago, and where the mother also received (on top of a financial compensation) the apology of the city and got breastfeeding positive signs posted at the city’s facilities. Public breastfeeding needs to be encouraged and the right to do so has to be protected. Big thanks to the women who stand for their rights, it is empowering for all other women !
I’m also glad to say that this news made it to the second page of the Toronto Star on Saturday, January 16, 2010.