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A Canadian Writer Said She Tried To Secretly Breastfeed A Politician's Baby And People Are Confused

Also, she wasn't producing milk at the time.

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A Globe and Mail columnist said she once tried to breastfeed a politician's baby without permission, even though she was not lactating.

Globe and Mail

Leah McLaren's strange admission was included in a since-deleted column published online last Wednesday. She described attending a house party in her mid-20s and finding the baby alone in a bedroom, next to a baby monitor.

McLaren said she picked up the baby boy and realized that he was hungry.

"And I of course wanted to give him what he wanted," she wrote. "The only problem was, I had no milk. But would it be so bad, I wondered, if I just tried it out – just for a minute – just to see what it felt like?"

McLaren said she started to unbutton her blouse and was about to "nurse" the baby when the father walked in and politely asked for his son back.

The confused father, according to McLaren, was none other than Michael Chong, an Ontario MP who is currently running to be leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.


"I realize now that it was wrong and rude and frankly a bit weird of me to think I could breastfeed a stranger’s baby just for kicks," McLaren said. "I hate to think what would have happened if Mr. Chong – or worse, his wife – had walked in while I was in the act."

McLaren's column was only available online for a short time before it was taken down with no notice of a retraction.

Uhh, did anyone grab a copy of this column before it was 404'd?

The piece had evidently escaped wider notice, and only a few old tweets seemed to point to its existence.

But eventually an archived version of the column, republished on a news aggregator, came to light.

And then everyone lost their minds.

k wait no, this nursing column thing is a true nightmare


People had a lot of feelings.

I don't even know where to begin with that McLaren column... so strange.

FYI I will kick your ass if you try to breast feed my kid without permission

So, basically this?

Seriously, WTF?

After reading the Leah McLaren story


Number crunchers tried to figure out how the story could be true, given the ages of McLaren and Chong's three kids.

@iD4RO A 2015 Star profile said Chong's sons were 10, 7, and 5 at the time. But McLaren would've been 25 in 2000. So wtf?

Was there a mystery baby?

WHOSE BABY DID SHE TRY TO BREASTFEED THEN. Did she make up the story? I need to go to bed.......

This whole thing is a very strange Canadian episode.

American media scandal: report that Iraq has WMDs Canadian media scandal: illicit breastfeeding

And the hot takes have already started.

Part of the job of a Canadian columnist is being silenced so that the country's inherent sneering Presbyterianism may reassert itself.


It's still unclear how the piece came about, and why it was later spiked.

.@globeandmail folks tell me Leah's column "obviously meant 2 be funny" & that editors loved surreal premise. But taken down 4 legal reasons

According to Walrus magazine editor Jonathan Kay, Globe editors found the column humorous, but pulled it for "legal reasons."

Editor-in-chief David Walmsley, public editor Sylvia Stead, and McLaren did not respond to a request for comment.

Michael Chong, however, ultimately confirmed the story.

"This incident happened over 10 years ago," he said in a statement to BuzzFeed Canada. "It was odd, no doubt, but not of any real consequence."

Incident happened over 10 years ago. It was no doubt odd, but of no real consequence. Let's focus on the important challenges facing Canada


This post was updated with comment from Michael Chong.

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at

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