Senate page fired for anti-Harper protest

image credit: Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press

Laura Payton
CBC News

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.”

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