June 4, 2011

Stop Harper rogue page Brigette DePape fired

CANADA - A young woman working as a parliamentary page in the House of Commons has been fired for carrying a STOP HARPER! sign during the Governor General David Johnston's throne speech. The young woman was expressing her disillusionment with Stephen Harper's government.

Brigette DePape, 21, wearing the black bow tie and white gloves which are part of the page's uniform, was escorted from the House of Commons during the speech and promptly fired.

“I was kind of nervous as I was walking down that I would trip or something like that, but everything went smoothly,” says DePape.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper looked on as DePape stood silently with her sign, long brown braid thrown over her shoulder. The parliamentary sergeant-at-arms escorted her out of the chamber for "contempt of parliament". (Ironically Stephen Harper's government was not so long ago thrown out of the House of Commons for contempt of parliament and later 'rewarded' with a majority government.)

Within moments DePape issued an emailed news release explaining her civil disobedience and “Stop Harper!” message.

“Harper's agenda is disastrous for this country and for my generation,” DePape writes. “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 graduate from the University of Ottawa, where Brigette DePape studied international development and globalization, the Winnipeg-raised activist is now fielding questions from the curious media.

DePape's former boss at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives said DePape was opinionated but easy to work with. “She's just very passionate about the issues that are important to her and we certainly saw that in her last summer, so I guess it doesn't entirely surprise me,” said the executive director at the Manitoba office.

“She's just very gutsy and very passionate and has a very different vision than the Stephen Harper vision and also someone who's probably disillusioned by the political process and so I guess she felt that this was something she needed to do.”

DePape dismissed the suggestion that she had been disrespectful in her act of civil disobedience.

“I think what is more disrespectful and dangerous are Harper's policies,” DePape said.

During the throne speech it was revealed Stephen Harper's agenda includes the following:

Economic Reforms

Immigration Reform, making it harder for people to immigrate to Canada and making it more difficult for "marriages of convenience" to speed up citizenship status.

A Crackdown on Human Smuggling of illegal immigrants.

Prison Expansion and GPS tracking for sex criminals.

Senate Reform

New Free Trade Agreements with the European Union by 2012 and India by 2013.

Copyright Laws

A Border Security deal with the USA

A series of broad cuts across the board in an effort to balance the budget by 2014.

Scrapping of the Long-Gun registry

Privatization of wheat and barley boards

Elimination of mandatory retirement

Extending the mission in Afghanistan

Attacking Libya

A new office of Religious Freedom (a vague concept which hasn't been explained yet).

Demanding Native band chiefs and councils report salaries and expenses.

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