Flap over baby in Canadian parliament

Feb. 9, 2012 at 11:14 AM
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OTTAWA, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A 3-month-old baby created a call for review of Canadian parliamentary rules and procedure after a female member was asked to remove her child.

During a vote Wednesday in the House of Commons, Quebec MP Sana Hassainia of the opposition socialist New Democratic Party was asked by a page to remove the child, Postmedia News reported.

That created a stir, as babies have been on the parliamentary floor with a parent before.

Hassainia said she hadn't intended to bring the boy with her, but couldn't find her husband before the vote was called.

A spokeswoman for Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer, who sent the page to Hassainia, said the speaker's intention was not to remove the child, but to stop her fellow MPs from snapping pictures and distracting from the vote, the Toronto Star said.

"Pictures are not allowed to be taken in the chamber, so that was the problem he had," spokeswoman Heather Bradley told the Star. "But he also wanted the vote to get started, so it had nothing to do with the baby."

Conservative Government House leader Peter Van Loan later said he would ask the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to clarify policies relating to children in Parliament, Postmedia said.

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