Organizers say they want "to promote the normalization of breastfeeding."
A gathering took place in Montreal's Eaton Centre on Sunday in solidarity with a mom who was recently kicked out of the downtown shopping centre for breastfeeding. One hundred and forty people marked themselves as attending the event on Facebook and 475 more marked themselves as "interested."
Earlier this week, Narcity Québec reported on the story that has been widely circulating on social media channels. According to a post by Isabelle Côté, a lawyer, psychiatric resident and mother of a 4-month-old baby, she was stopped by a security guard and the guard's supervisor who allegedly forbade her from breastfeeding in public and invited her to go to a nursing room.
"This is unacceptable and unconstitutional [...] Breastfeeding in public is a fundamental right," she wrote at the time, noting that breastfeeding is protected by the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Commission.
The breastfeeding rally was organized as a response.
"In solidarity and in order to promote the normalization of breastfeeding, we will gather this Sunday March 27 at 2:00 p.m. to feed our children in public!" reads the Facebook event page.
Côté, who has filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission, posted on Facebook that one of the group's other objectives is to encourage businesses and institutions to become leaders in breastfeeding by signing up for Route du lait, an interactive map of breastfeeding-friendly places.
"We apologize for the situation that occurred at the Montreal Eaton Centre and for any difficulties the customer may have encountered during her visit. The Eaton Centre encourages breastfeeding in all its common areas, as prescribed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and also offers breastfeeding rooms for those who prefer it," reads a public apology issued by The Eaton Centre on March 22, 2022.
Ivanohé Cambridge, owner of the shopping centre, said that "all administrative and support staff have been met by the property management team to reiterate the policies in place to ensure that such a situation does not occur again," according to a statement sent to several media outlets, including iHeartRadio.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.