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120208_iq1gg_sana-hassainia-bebe_sn635.jpgMOST TEXTS-AND-CALLS TOPIC IN A YEAR !!! Baby removed from the Commons

We take on many issues on Radio Noon, including several All-Party debates during the federal election last spring.

We've weighed the consequences of the Guy Turcotte verdict where he was found not criminally responsible for the stabbing deaths of his two children.

The Arab Spring, climate change and common-law relationships -- all discussed on Radio Noon.

But hands down -- Tuesday's removal of three-month-old Skander-Jack from the Commons before his mother, NDP MP Sana Hassainia, could vote got the most response from our listeners. 

Reaction to the story went right across the board: texts, calls, emails. Some topics seem to capture one age group, or one gender, or one community more than another. Not this one.

We heard from young mothers, grandparents, stay-at-home parents, students, careerists. Really, all of the above. And not in the way you'd expect. Nursing moms saying children in the Commons would be a distraction. Elderly callers saying it's about time to accept babies in the room.

A fascinating and surprising cross-section of callers.

Later in the week, the Speaker of the House made it clear he would treat infants in the Chamber on a case by case basis while reviewing the subject more deeply.

On our Friday show, Bernie and I played some calls to our talkback line and read out some texts. Even that recap got our listeners reacting.

Here's a sampling:

We start with a talkback call from a former student who felt empowered bringing her baby with her.

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We also heard from Zachary, who believes babies do not belong in Parliament: 

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And then this text reaction:

"Time check for Zack, this is 2012"

When you look at this story you realize it takes in many elements: Family and the home, the working world, perceptions of children: How distracting are they in a workplace? Do such actions discourage women from running for Parliament? What is acceptable behaviour? How does a parent manage the juggle and pressures of raising children? Why don't parliamentarians get maternity leave?

As well, many people just wanted to share their own experiences as young parents. Or if they are not yet parents, what they hope awaits them.

If only we could find such a stimulating and universal topic every day!

Here are a few more texts on the topic of Babies in Parliament...

"The Western attitude on child care is very compartmentalized whereas in many cultures people carry on all daily activities with babies worn." 

"I'm a mother of three. Babies are distracting for all in the work place." 

"I used to work in Kangiqsujuaq, Nunavik. People brought babies everywhere. It didn't stop life from going on. Babies love new faces."

"By forcing these choices, we're putting women at higher risk for post-partum depression and generally feeling trapped and dissatisfied with their lives." 

"Re: 'breastfeeding in any situation', I am doubtful about breastfeeding by performers on burlesque or strip-club stages." 

"The House already sounds like a daycare full of babies most of the time. What would one more do that would have an effect." 

"No mat leave for women MPs?!? We complain that there aren't enough women running but don't give them tools they need to do it." 

That's it for this week.

Remember we like all feedback: emails, texts, tweets, facebook messages and calls.

Bon weekend to all,

Sally Caudwell, Radio Noon
CBC Producer Montreal

Our Radnoon team includes host Bernard "Bernie" St-Laurent, Lindsay Michael, and Claudia Sanchez. Plus, help this week from Elvis Anber.

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