Couva South MP Ramona Ramdial was told “breast is best” on her return to Parliament after recently giving birth.
But for this remark, Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon was chided by an unamused Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George.
As Ramdial earlier announced her return, she was welcomed back by Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, who then chided her as a member of the former government, which he said had bought “duds” for the Tobago airbridge.
Gopee-Scoon then wrapped up debate on duty exemptions on imports for industry, agriculture, tourism and mining, but began by addressing Ramdial.
“I too would like to congratulate the Member for Couva North on the arrival of her second baby, a baby girl,” she said. “But obviously the member is quite upset that she cannot benefit from the baby grant.”
Ramdial muttered something in protest. A grinning Gopee-Scoon teased, “What I want you to do is meet with the Minister of Social Development. You can get some kind of social assistance there to buy your baby...” Members laughed loudly.
At that Annisette-George rose and said, “Minister of Trade and Industry, I just ask you to not go down that road.”
A bubbling Gopee-Scoon, unfazed, resumed: “Thank you, Madam Speaker, but let me just advise her that breast milk is better than purchased milk.”
The Opposition erupted, while the minister’s colleagues enthusiastically pounded their desks in support.