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Our blog about life behind the microphone....

                                                                                 RYR101-12-0200732_high.jpgOn Friday's show we couldn't keep up with the tide of calls denouncing an email sent out to Quebec employees for the federal department, Service Canada.

 Lindsay Michael and I scramble to track all the calls. At one point Claudia Sanchez, our technician, reachs back from the console to pick up a ringing line.

 People want to be heard - nearly every caller wants that directive overturned!


 (photo: courtesy Canadian Press)

ASMA tells host Bernard St-Laurent, she welcomes the bright lights:

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 NO-HA says she's also Muslim. "I personally don't have a problem saying 'Merry Christmas' to my Christian friends, same way I'd like them to tell me 'Happy Ramadan' or 'Happy Eid'.  ..We do live in a multicultural, pluralistic society, but part of that is 'live and let live'."

 A couple of callers took STEVE'S position. He says when he heard the news he was so upset, "I just wanted to come downtown and yell from the top of my lungs: No, No. No." Steve went on to say "This country is based on a Judeo-Christian Society, whether we like it or not".  He says he's not Christian, himself, but he enjoys Christmas music and the lights.

 We do hear from a very few who agree with the directive, including one caller who likes it for environmental reasons.

 (Ed.Note: before the day is over, Diane Finley who's the federal minister responsible for Service Canada, has overturned the decoration ban.)

ALSO A HUGE RESPONSE FROM OUR LISTENERS: Sad suicide of a bullied teen 
 Thursday: we talk about Marjorie Raymond, a fifteen year old in Eastern Quebec, who killed herself after being bullied.

 Former Radio Noon host ANNE LAGACÉ DOWSON who's now executive director of the Tolerance Foundation talks about workshops organized by the foundation to raise awareness and help reduce bullying.

 We hear from educators, other anti-violence organizations, and personal calls.

 We are all touched by AL, who calls in from Highway 20 to talk about his daughter who's being bullied, and the challenges he and his wife are facing - confronted by a teen who's withdrawing.

 Here's that call:

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 Budgets may be filled with dry numbers, but over the years I've learned they're anything but.

 They always generate a lot of passion and debate.

 Wednesday: Mayor Gérald Tremblay unveils the Montreal budget for 2012 containing an average tax hike of about 3%. He also wants to reduce pensions by $50M - and it's the pension talk that gets things rolling.

 Opposition councillor PETER McQUEEN tells Bernie, city spending is "out of control" and says Montreal needs to do more to bring pension spending in line, to consider pension cuts for city workers and retirees who live outside Montreal.

 Executive committee member MICHAEL APPLEBAUM says former Mayor Pierre Bourque had entertained something similar and learned it wasn't possible legally speaking. Later in the week he requested an apology from McQueen on behalf of city workers.

 Here's McQueen's interview with Bernie that ignited all the talk:

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 And here's a sample of some of the texts we got: 
 "The worst danger Mr. Tremblay could face at his work would be burning his tongue on coffee. Firefighters put their lives on the line every day to save Montrealers from a horrible end. Does he really think an earlier retirement for such dangerous work is undeserved?"

 "Civil servants should retire at 65. Many are retiring at 52 - 58!"

 "Penalizing a retired worker for living outside (Montreal) is outrageous. They have the right to live wherever they please after serving (Montreal) for their entire careers."

 "Do like Chicago and others and make it law that if u work for the city you have to live on the island, not St Bruno."

 Texts, calls, tweets, facebook messages, emails, phone calls -- you name it, we like it.
 Do give Radio Noon a listen and join in...

Sally Caudwell... Producer

Along with our host Bernard St-Laurent and me, the rest of the Radio Noon team includes Lindsay Michael and Claudia Sanchez.

Radio Noon is on air Monday to Friday between 12 and 1 pm on CBC Radio One.
Our phone-in number when we're on the air is 514 597 4500 or 1 877 597 4500 if you're outside Montreal.
Our talkback line is always open, so you can record your comments at 514 597 6161.
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