Paging all protesters: Page protests Harper government on Senate floor

By Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press –

Via: The Canadian Press:

OTTAWA — Paging all protesters!

A 21-year-old Senate page put her job on the line Friday in a silent call for Canadians to give some sober second thought to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s majority Conservative government.

Brigette DePape staged an unprecedented protest on the floor of the Senate chamber, walking out into the red-carpeted centre aisle carrying a red “Stop Harper” sign that she’d pulled from beneath her skirt as Gov. Gen. David Johnston read the new government’s speech from the throne.

The University of Ottawa graduate stood silently holding her hand-painted sign for at least 20 seconds — while the vice-regal made a barely perceptible hitch in his address and a stunned room full of dignitaries and invited guests stared in mute astonishment.

With Harper, RCMP Commissioner William Elliott and Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walter Natynczyk — among others — looking on, the sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons finally escorted DePape out of the Senate.

Six seated justices of the Supreme Court of Canada sat in their ermine robes with their backs to DePape, seemingly oblivious to the drama unfolding three paces behind them.

DePape was nearing the end of her year-long job as a page, and the Senate communications staff said her employment has been terminated.

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