All Hail Brigitte DePape!

By now, you may have already heard about the plucky young page that was fired yesterday from her post in the House of Parliament, after she mounted this protest against Stephen Harper and the Conservative government. Her press release echoed what most of us are thinking; “Harper’s agenda is disastrous for this country and for my generation”. I don’t know about you, but I was pretty moved. Yes, she’s only 21 and her contract was up in a couple of weeks anyway, but still, if you’re going to go out, you may as well go out in flames.

Official reaction to DePape’s protest has been pretty humourless. And unanimous – with Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella suggesting it raises security concerns, Elizabeth May essentially saying that there’s a time and a place, and Justin Trudeau complaining that it wasn’t in line with the decorum that should be observed during the throne speech. It’s true that this was an unprecedented protest, but this is an unprecedented government; Harper has prorogued parliament (twice!) when things weren’t going his way, renamed the Government of Canada the “Harper Government”, and his government was found in contempt of Parliament. I’d say they’ve done a fine job of not adhering to decorum themselves.


Author: Wanda Schmöckel

Wanda Schmockel is just trying to get by without shoving. You may follow her on twitter @vschmo

17 thoughts on “All Hail Brigitte DePape!”

  1. I hate the Harper agenda as much or more than anyone else but I think this girl was out of line. It is disrespectful to the institution of Parliament. There are much better channels to voice dissent.

  2. She’s kind of like the Avril Lavigne of pages! I’m getting a faint whiff of self-absorbed hipster vibes.

  3. Of course she was fired for her contempt of Parliament, but if recent history is any indication, she’ll get her old job back in about a month, only with stronger power.

  4. Now, if she’d had a year or more to go on her job as a page, I’d have considered her behaviour gutsy. As it is, no.

  5. I’m not sure how making a very peaceful (and not all that disruptive) protest carries the whiff of self-absorption–especially compared to, I dunno, posting anonymously on the Internet. DePape’s endearingly inept attempt at hiding her identity to avoid embarrassing her family suggest just the opposite.

  6. Given that Harper is the same Prime Minister whose government was three times cited for contempt of parliament, Cons going after this page for her unparliamentary actions is a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black. May not justify what she did, but look who’s talking ….

  7. Normally, I’m all for decorum (there really isn’t enough of it in this world), but when it comes to dealing with a government that has, itself, shown such contempt and lack of regard for Parliamentary conduct (not to mention the entire country) “polite” maybe isn’t the way to go. They don’t listen to “polite”. It’s not like she flipped them the bird or started spewing obscenities. It was silent protest, and (I thought) pretty powerful.

  8. Doesn’t really matter what WE think-young people don’t read blogs, and it is young people she is talking to. I really have to laugh when ANYBODY talks about ‘decorum’ in politics. Do you realize how crazy that is? Have EVER watched a question period? Holding up a sign is probably the MOST decorum we’ve seen on parliament hill in YEARS.

  9. Dear # 9, “young people don’t read blogs, and it is young people she is talking to”

    I’d have to disagree, I’m 19 and I usually read this particular blog every couple of days. Most people I know my age also read, share (via blogs, facebook, ect) and discuss politics and current events quite frequently. From what I can tell, “Harper’s agenda is disastrous for this country and for my generation,” is a pretty unanimous feeling along with terror and disgust. I say why not protest in the senate when the Harper Government shows little respect to most Canadian citizens, let alone the youth who’ll be stuck cleaning up whatever he leaves behind.

    Also, her sign is clever, anyone know if she sewed it?
    I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some real stop signs across canada being decorated in continuation of her protest.

  10. I hope she does spark a “Canadian Spring” protest movement. Whether rightwing nut or established leftwing public union hack, the 50+ generation does seem pretty content to shore up their own while neglecting the rest. I can’t sit thru a chat among 50-somethings w/o hearing about their plans for early retirement. Tho, I’ve heard them before and I highly doubt they will happen. Rather, stick around till 69 or retire and take another job.

  11. Yes, but scolded by the new Leader of the Opposition. We must respect Parliament. Not follow the Iceland precedent. Then there is Elizabeth May who agreed that this was not the place for protest. After all, the Page was “in the presence of Her Majesty and the Sovereign.” How far removed from the original Greens in Europe, who grew out of civil disobedience demonstrations.

  12. I think what she did was admirable, courageous and appropriate. That must have taken a lot of guts and gusto. Congratulations! I think we can all learn something from this young girl.

  13. Sorry to cut in on the little lefty party.
    DePape is an immature, self-serving, foolish little girl who has no respect. I am sure she will impress like Mikey Moore.Make with fries to go Bridgette!

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