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Senate page fired for anti-Harper protest

HavokFour

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Senate page fired for anti-Harper protest

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A 21-year-old page lost her job Friday after walking onto the Senate floor during the speech from the throne to protest against Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Brigette DePape, a recent University of Ottawa graduate, carried a sign reading "Stop Harper" and walked out in front of Gov. Gen. David Johnston as he read the afternoon speech.

Senate pages are hired for one to two years to work in the upper chamber, providing basic support to the senators during sittings and in committee meetings, which generally means fetching water, photocopying documents and passing messages. They tend to be politically engaged, but this type of protest is unprecedented.

DePape went as far as to prepare a news release, which a friend distributed after she was removed from the Senate chamber by security. The release identified her as Brigette Marcelle, but the Senate website and her email address identify her as Brigette DePape.

"Harper's agenda is disastrous for this country and for my generation," DePape said in the release. "We have to stop him from wasting billions on fighter jets, military bases, and corporate tax cuts while cutting social programs and destroying the climate. Most people in this country know what we need are green jobs, better medicare, and a healthy environment for future generations."

Wishes for Canadian 'spring'

The release said she was a page for a year but realized that working in that job "wouldn't stop Harper's agenda."

"This country needs a Canadian version of an Arab Spring, a flowering of popular movements that demonstrate that real power to change things lies not with Harper but in the hands of the people, when we act together in our streets, neighbourhoods and workplaces."

A release from Senate Speaker Noël Kinsella said he the page's actions constituted a contempt of Parliament.

"All employees of the Senate are expected to serve the institution in a non-partisan manner, with competence, excellence, efficiency and objectivity," Kinsella said. "The incident raises serious security concerns which the Senate will fully investigate."

Kinsella's statement included an apology to Johnston.

A spokeswoman for the Senate said DePape has been removed from her position.

DePape's contract would have ended in three weeks when the Senate rises for the summer. Pages must be university students to hold the job.

The Senate's page program website says DePape is from Winnipeg and studying international development and globalization. She interned last summer at the Manitoba office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and wrote about travelling in a van with other activists to the G20 protests in Toronto last June.

Mike Duffy, a Conservative senator, said "stunts" such as the one DePape pulled Friday hurt democracy, rather than further it.

"These things are unfortunate because every time there's some kind of event like this it means security gets tightened," Duffy said. "And we want this to be the people's place, where people can come and talk to politicians and make their point, and so now who knows what the end result will be, but it will not be more relaxed security. It will mean tighter security.

Taken by surprise

Liberal Sen. Jim Munson says everyone in the chamber seemed startled by the small protest.

"The GG [Governor General) didn't flinch, and as senators we just kept looking at each saying, 'Did this really happen?'" Munson said. "It's probably one of the more exciting things I've seen in the Senate in a long time."

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said the protest was inappropriate and in the wrong place.

"I sympathize enormously with youth in this country who feel they've been abandoned when the single greatest threat to their future isn't mentioned in the speech from the throne, and that, of course, is the climate crisis."

DePape said Senate security decided not to press charges.
 

Daidalous

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I would assume she knew what she was doing, and will reap the rewards/backlash for it.

  Personally  wrong thing to do at the wrong place.

 

HavokFour

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The Senate's page program website says DePape is from Winnipeg and studying international development and globalization. She interned last summer at the Manitoba office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and wrote about travelling in a van with other activists to the G20 protests in Toronto last June.

Yikes, was she one of the many dressed in black during the G20? And she wants a "Canadian Spring"? I think she needs a trip to Libya.

What I want to know is that if any of the other parties encouraged this to happen. It's going to be a long 4 years.

:facepalm:
 

Dennis Ruhl

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Some people must miss the point of an election.  Harper is Prime Minister because he was preferred by the most voters to the exclusion of others.  A pretty simple concept.  I wonder who she would have as unelected dictator as opposed to Harper.  I'm sure she sees herself as a hero/martyr instead of a nut job.
 

medicineman

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Dennis Ruhl said:
Some people must miss the point of an election.  Harper is Prime Minister because he was preferred by the most voters to the exclusion of others.  A pretty simple concept.  I wonder who she would have as unelected dictator as opposed to Harper.  I'm sure she sees herself as a hero/martyr instead of a nut WITHOUT A job.

There, changed that for you  ;D.

MM
 

Neill McKay

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It strikes me as a pretty naive move for someone who is likely to be "politically engaged", as they put it.  Certainly not appropriate for reasons of partisanship and respect for the Governor General and, really, the whole institution of Parliament.
 

Occam

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It didn't bother her to collect a paycheque under this government for the last year, but three weeks before her contract is about to end, she develops a disliking for the voice of the electorate?  Cheeky two-faced hypocrite.
 

helpup

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Burn her she is a witch,,,,  No wait, after a moment of thought I would have to say that she is letting her naive ideas getting in the way of paying attention to one of the greatest places to learn about our democratic process................ OK that is a bust too. 

Would you believe I think Elizabeth May summed it up nicely........ I cant believe I said that but the last line is true.
 

Gunner98

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Interesting that attendees were screened and prevented from entering political rallies, but Senate pages are not screened in the same manner.  I am surprised that someone did not tackle her like a streaker who runs onto a sports field.  Her parents, classmates and teachers must be proud! :facepalm:

This reminds me of the Flight attendant story.  I wish her luck in finding a real job as a university grad.  Now she can hug trees full-time.
 

GAP

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Just another self-centered twit....
 

helpup

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Simian Turner said:
Interesting that attendees were screened and prevented from entering political rallies, but Senate pages are not screened in the same manner.  I am surprised that someone did not tackle her like a streaker who runs onto a sports field.  Her parents, classmates and teachers must be proud! :facepalm:

This reminds me of the Flight attendant story.  I wish her luck in finding a real job as a university grad.  Now she can hug trees full-time.
unfortunately there are going to be many who are proud of her.
 

Gunner98

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Her 15 minutes of fame will pass and Youtube/Facebook (or Failbook) will ensure she is remembered long after she wants to be.  In the future her children will have a sky's the limit chance to screw-up.
 

medicineman

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Simian Turner said:
This reminds me of the Flight attendant story.  I wish her luck in finding a real job as a university grad.  Now she can hug trees full-time.

Ahh man, not another one out here...

MM
 

Bird_Gunner45

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HavokFour said:
Yikes, was she one of the many dressed in black during the G20? And she wants a "Canadian Spring"? I think she needs a trip to Libya.

What I want to know is that if any of the other parties encouraged this to happen. It's going to be a long 4 years.

:facepalm:

Perhaps after a year or two of Conservative majority, when it becomes apparent that it wont result in complete facism, this non-sense will die down.  it's like listening to Igatieff go on about how the conservatives hate democracy.... from a man that took his leadership position in the least democratic form possible. 

I just want someone to explain how 40% of people voting conservative is not a majority, but the 34%-ish of those voting green and NDP can make up the majority of those bravely fighting the government.  ???
 

Rifleman62

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May she wear a burka, after marrying a recent immigrant, all the days of her life.
 

Haletown

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Bird_Gunner45 said:
I just want someone to explain how 40% of people voting conservative is not a majority, but the 34%-ish of those voting green and NDP can make up the majority of those bravely fighting the government.  ???

Unless you have advanced degrees in Socialist Mathematics, Algebra and Geometry I am afraid you will never be able to understand the idea of "MinoraJority".

If you are not a socialist at 20, you have no heart.
If you are still a socialist at 30, you have no brains.

We should cut this young zealot/bimbo/activist/wannbe social justice activist some slack . . .  looks like she has a few year to go before she gets un-raptured.



 

Fishbone Jones

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And yet people, even here, continue to discuss her, adding to her everlasting electronic 'look at me' legacy.

People like this pass anonymously into history when others stop talking about them.
 

Container

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shes a "writer", playwright, and stage actor who is enjoying everyones attention. I think we'll be seeing her on TV soon. Its seems to me that its just a stunt designed to get attention on herself. She is completely ignorant of what she talks about "Canadian Spring" etc.

She has stars in her eyes.
 
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