MP Doherty finds out about daughter’s labour while in Parliament

·2 min read

If he didn't know it before, Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty knows it now - they can come at the most unexpected times.

Shortly before he was about to ask a question during Question Period in the House of Commons last Monday, Doherty received a text from his wife Kelly, notifying him that their pregnant daughter's water just broke.

"I'm going to be a grandfather for the first time," Doherty told fellow MPs who responded with a round of applause.

Still a little flustered, Doherty then said he had completely forgotten what he was going to say, which drew a round of good-natured laughter.

Doherty was then able to gather his thoughts and ask health minister Patty Hadju about the extent of her commitment to bringing a 988 national suicide hotline to Canada. Earlier in November, Doherty had tabled a motion to establish the service, saying the easy-to-remember three-digit number could make the difference between a life saved and a life lost.

"Does the minister support a national 988 suicide hotline in Canada, and if you don't, if the minister doesn't, just have the courtesy to say so," he said.

Hadju, in turn, acknowledged the big news first.

"I can't help but say congratulations to the member opposite, because that's pretty exciting news to break to the House of Commons," she said.

Hadju went on to say she wants to continue to work with Doherty to bring the hotline to Canada and to find ways to make realize his proposal more quickly.

On Wednesday, back home in his riding and taking part in House business remotely, Doherty proudly showed his Parliamentary colleagues a picture of his granddaughter, Ren Kathleen.

Videos of both moments can be seen on Doherty’s Facebook page.

Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen