‘A contempt of Parliament’

by Aaron Wherry

A statement this evening from the office of the Speaker of the Senate.

The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker of the Senate deplores the actions of a page, which constituted a contempt of Parliament, during the Opening of Parliament in the Senate Chamber today. 

All employees of the Senate are expected to serve the institution in a non-partisan manner, with competence, excellence, efficiency and objectivity.

The Senate has terminated the employee’s contract effective immediately for breaching the terms and conditions of employment. The incident raises serious security concerns which the Senate will fully investigate.

The Speaker of the Senate expresses to His Excellency the Governor General the apology of the Chamber for any embarrassment this incident may have caused.

Evan Solomon interviews Brigette DePape. Jason Kenney deems Ms. DePape a “lefty kook.” CP has reaction from Carolyn Bennett, Justin Trudeau and Senator Pierre Claude Nolin. Comments from Bob Rae and Elizabeth May after the jump.

Mr. Rae.

Well, I mean there is a right to freedom of expression in the country. I don’t think that a ceremony like this should be disrupted.  I think it’s – I think one has to respect the traditions that we have.  She, as a person, she has a right to express her point of view. Obviously as a page she had access to the floor of the Senate and she took advantage of that in order to express her own opinion. So she’ll have to live with the consequences of that.

Ms. May.

Well, [it was] inappropriate. That is the most solemn moment in a parliamentary democracy. We’re essentially in – in theory, we’re in the presence of Her Majesty and the Sovereign. That isn’t Stephen Harper’s room. That’s somebody else’s room. On the other hand, I thought that the act of personal courage was something that you couldn’t avoid. She didn’t shout. She wasn’t disrespectful. Clearly holding a sign up was not appropriate. She was in the wrong room. But her commitment and the concern that all – that many, many Canadian youth come to me all the time that this is their future and when they don’t see climate action, they see their future at stake. So I think that I, while understanding her reasons and feeling that that was a brave act, it was the wrong place.

‘A contempt of Parliament’

  1. Stephen Harper was found to be in contempt of Parliament and yet he got to be Prime Minister.  Not sure being found “in contempt of Parliament” means much anymore…

    • Nope, ‘contempt of parliament’ doesn’t mean a thing. And at least she had something to say, which is more than one can claim for the throne speech.

      I applaud her.

      Noel who?

      • “I applaud her.” Of course you would. 

        • New World Order….get used to it.

          • Kindly don’t use my posts to launch your bizarre economic theories

          • Bizarre…whats bizarre about the fraudulent nature of fractional reserve banking? Paul Martin cant even explain where money comes from in that documentary…thats bizarre…

          • There is nothing fraudulent about fractional reserve banking. Anybody can explain where money comes from….it’s not a secret you know.

            Perhaps Martin was trying to figure out what IQ of vegetable he was talking to, and how far back he had to go.

          • actually its completely fraudulent…if any other business operated that way there would be time to do in  prison. Where does money come from? its completely fraudulent are you kidding? There IS no money actually only debt. In fact we cant pay a debt with a note (a dollar bill is a debt instrument). We are only discharging debt not paying debts.

          • There is nothing fraudulent about it. Get a grip.

          • Its completely fraudulent.
             Money is created by commercial banks when the loan document is signed. They never had any money to loan. It is your promise to pay back funds you created with your signature that creates  the money.So you pay them back principle plus compound interest on funds they never had in their reserves.When the recipient of these  fiction debt funds deposits them into the bank it creates ten times or more the available dollars to loan out. It is complete slight of hand fraudulent counterfeiting. You get a grip.

          • You are talking utter rubbish. 

          • LOL you live in a dream world sunshine

  2. The little twit has no respect for democracy, no respect for democratic elections, no respect for the voters, and no respect for Canadian traditions.  What a twit. Of course her fellow left-wing kook Evan Solomon decided to give her an extra 15 minutes of fame for her deplorable actions.

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    • The little twit has no respect for democracy, no respect for democratic elections, no respect for the voters, and no respect for Canadian traditions.  What a twit. Of course her fellow left-wing kook Evan Solomon decided to give her an extra 15 minutes of fame for her deplorable actions.

      Oh. Until I got to the “left-wing” part, I thought you were speaking of Stephen Harper.

    • Your first sentence could describe either DePape or Stephen Harper. They’re both guilty of contempt of Parliament, remember. Of course Harper’s fellow right-wing kooks decided only to criticize Ms. DePape for her actions, when his struck at the very function of our democracy.

      • No, you’re mistaken.  That was the Toronto Police force in David Miller’s Toronto, along with the provincial police in Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario.

  3. I have no doubt she was put up to this by some leftist organization, and she’ll have a cushy job waiting for her at a union, or NGO, or something along those lines.

    Why do lefties always have to be such sore losers? The people have spoken, and they’ve voted for Stephen Harper.

    • LOL old Cold War rhetoric again

      PS 60% of the country doesn’t want Harper

      • 63% didn’t want Chretien in 1997, yet we got him. Suck it up sister. The electoral rules haven’t changed since Confederation and they continue to serve us well. Same for the rules that govern behaviour of Parliamentary staff. As the little girl found out today, those rules still work too. 

        • I saw what you did there.

          Sorry, no.

          And don’t be sexist

        • But the opposition to Chretien was split almost equally between the left and the right, allowing the Liberals to credibly claim to represent the centre. The 60% that voted against Harper all voted to his left. He can make no such claim.

          • Now you are going to start equivocating, Acme Sales Rep, instead of just accepting the fact that Stephen Harper has just as much of a mandate to lead this country as Chretien did.  In fact no Lib has had a majority of the popular vote since Trudeau got it in his first election in 1967.  The Cons could say that the Libs, even though they are left of the Cons are actually closer to the Cons in their policies than they are to the NDP.  In fact, hasn’t that been one of the main complaints of journalists like Andrew Coyne…that the Cons are so close to the centre that they are acting too much like the Liberal party?

          • But you assume that all, or even most voters primarily care about left-right issues. That simply isn’t the case – many don’t even know what right and left are. I remember seeing one survey in which 33% of Canadians placed the NDP on the “right” (which suggests that some of those correctly placing the NDP on the “left” were probably guessing). 

            What if my main issue was greater autonomy for Quebec? I would obviously support the Bloc, but after that the PC’s or Reform, both of whom advocated more power for the provinces (indeed, the Bloc muddies your theory quite a bit – it was originally led by a former Conservative, but thereafter by a former Communist). Or if I was a big fan of democratic reform, I might switch between the Reform party and the NDP.  

            Alternately, consider somebody who voted primarily based on leadership qualities – say they voted for the best orator. Their preferences in 1997 would have probably been Charest > McDonough > Manning > Chretien.

  4. This little girl (and she is a little girl) has already received more attention than she deserves. An insignificant nobody who pulls a PR stunt is still an insignificant nobody. Until the media makes her otherwise. We just had an election a month ago. The man she wants to “STOP” was democratically chosen as our Prime Minister under the same rules that have decided every majority government we’ve had since Confederation. 

    If a conservative supporter had pulled such a stunt against some other sitting government, I’d be ashamed and embarrassed and would immediately disassociate myself from such a buffoon.  Apparently the progressive types who agree with the little peach’s message feel she was justified. “I admire her” seems to be the most common sentiment. That one could express admiration for such a childish display of disrespect, self-importance and asinine attention-seeking says a lot about the admirer, none of it good.

    • You should re-read the tale of the Emperors New Clothes.  Lessons to be learned.

      • But in the Emperor’s New Clothes the child was making a point that nobody else was willing or able to make. In this case, we have just had an election, in which four opposition parties made the very same argument as this girl, and voters were exposed to mountains of opinions both pro and anti-Harper (many of which were more complex and interesting than a stop-sign).

        I think the better story is “the boy who cried wolf”. 

    • Well, no, actually she’s 21, so she IS an adult. If acting in a disruptive manner makes an adult into a little girl then our Minister of Foreign Affairs is… well, he’s something isn’t he? 

  5. How come Bev Oda didn’t step in and add a “don’t” to the sign?

  6. Well if her goal as becoming a page was make a grand political statement; mission accomplished.
    If her goal was to understand the inner mechanisms of Canadian democracy; she failed.
    If her goal was have this on her resume in the future; pending.
    I just really hope she didn’t think she was making a difference because after Monday, no one will remember her name again.

    • Yes, she should sharpen her political acumen and put it to better use.  She could work on becoming an MP and maybe even Prime Minister.  Then she can make real change.  Carrying a placard and interrupting the proceedings isn’t going to get her anything but 15 minutes of infamy.

  7. “ ….. and when they don’t see climate action, they see their future at stake.”

    They should be happy government not doing anything on ‘climate action’ because earth not warming, would be waste of money. Money for their parents or grand parents health care and pension instead.

    Ms May is already become professional pol, I see, with her ‘on the one hand, but on the other’ answer about what she thought of Ms Depape. 
    ————–

    Interview with Phil Jones is director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) …… 

    Q - Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?

    A – Yes, but only just.
    ————–
    Richard Moore, January 2010:  But scientists being people, typically in an academic research community, within a political society, there can be many a slip between cup and lip in the practice of science. There are the problems of getting funding, of peer pressure and career considerations, of dominant political dogmas, etc.

    In the case of models there is a special problem that frequently arises. Researchers tend to become attached to their models, both psychologically and professionally. When new observations contradict the model, there is a tendency for the researchers to distort their model to fit the new data, rather than abandoning their model and looking for a better one. 

    Or they may even ignore the new observations, and simply declare that their model is right, and the observations must be in error. This problem is even worse with complex computer models, where it is difficult for reviewers to figure out how the model really works, and whether ‘fudging’ might be going on.

    • B – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?

      Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8511670.stm

      • “Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods …. ”

        Global warming is ‘taking a break’ – the scientific term I guess – and models did not predict any nap times.

        So their models are completely wrong in short term (decades) but they will be correct over long periods (centuries) – how does that work, exactly?

        Der Spiegel, Nov 2009: 

        The planet’s temperature curve rose sharply for almost 30 years, as global temperatures increased by an average of 0.7 degrees Celsius (1.25 degrees Fahrenheit) from the 1970s to the late 1990s. “At present, however, the warming is taking a break,” confirms meteorologist Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in the northern German city of Kiel. 

        Latif, one of Germany’s best-known climatologists, says that the temperature curve has reached a plateau. “There can be no argument about that,” he says. “We have to face that fact.”

        “It cannot be denied that this is one of the hottest issues in the scientific community,” says Jochem Marotzke, director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. “We don’t really know why this stagnation is taking place at this point.”

        • Don’t bother trying to argue climate change with me, we are all aware it’s occurring.

          • Thanks for laugh, Colbert.

            “At present, however, the warming is taking a break,” confirms meteorologist Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in the northern German city of Kiel.
            —–

            Q – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?

            A – Yes, but only just.
            ——-
            In the case of models there is a special problem that frequently arises. Researchers tend to become attached to their models, both psychologically and professionally.

            When new observations contradict the model, there is a tendency for the researchers to distort their model to fit the new data, rather than abandoning their model and looking for a better one. 

            Or they may even ignore the new observations, and simply declare that their model is right, and the observations must be in error.

          • I said, don’t bother arguing about climate change….we are all aware it’s occurring….so spare us your leaps in logic

          • The Great Global Warming Swindle
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtevF4B4RtQ
            Emily you are a prime example of walking talking indoctrination.
            Its ok one day you will grow up and be a “big girl”

          • Ahh it’s the Social Credit fuddy-duddy again.

            Sorry, I’m not interested in talking to ignorant old farts.

          • You interested only in your own perverted world view OE1 :) Your mind is closed but believes it understands world affairs. Who is the master that makes the grass green?

  8. If anyone needed any more proof of the vacuous output of our university system, this young lady is it.

    A clueless, shallow thinking, politically illiterate, illogical, narcissistic dimwit.

    Reality is a concept wasted on her and her little moonbat world of Harper hating bigotry.

    • Or, she’s an adult Canadian who dissents and she staged a peaceful protest…something she has the guaranteed right to do in a democracy like ours.

      • The two descriptions aren’t mutually exclusive.  The more accurate, however, is Fred’s.

    • Nice name-calling. Do you have an actual argument to make?

      • He’s wants to show all the so-called “Harper haters” how hating is really done. 

    • In which Fred,  in an attempt to stereotype ‘the enemy’,  becomes one himself.

    • Perhaps she knows more than you Fred. How long have you worked in parliament watching closely what is going on there? She is allowed her own opinion. She made her statement, quietly, gracefully and had the grand opportunity to do it in a high profile way.

      What university did she attend btw? What university did you attend? Her recorded statements place her opinion that Harper is not a leader that she wants, and the election results place her in the majority. And since a political party can have majority control of a country I live in when it receives the minority of voter support I think that the system is BROKEN and that WE all have the right to make that statement and get things changed for the better.

      I would love to see you act and write with such good manners about ideas, and situations, that you do not like/agree with. She is an excellent role model.

  9. In many respects this foolish page embodies the secret to Harper’s political success. When given an opportunity to seize the spotlight, and bring attention to a substantive issue or worthy cause, she went with empty partisan meanness. Stop Harper won the 2004 election (barely), but if you’ve noticed it has had diminishing returns ever since. 

    Harper is kind of like the billboard monsters from the Simpsons – he grows more powerful and destructive, the more he is made the centre of attention. His GOAL is to use wedge politics to split off just enough Canadians (40%) to keep him in power. If people want to stop Harper, they need to develop their own positive, sensible message. They need to introduce a new cleavage, other than whether or not people like Harper. 

    • Well said, although I don’t fully agree with everything you’ve stated.

      Hopefully the next four years will see less partisanship, and (where the opposition is concerned) developing a positive platform independent of people’s feelings towards Harper.

    • Let’s ride freedom buses to Nova Scotia and make our own salt! Hopefully someone beats us up…that would be like…totally symbolic

      • Having said that, she has a ‘Manson Family’ twinkle in her eye, along with a nervous twitch – just watchon P+P

        • Yikes - could she possibility be a witch – should we be gathering up those thin stick things - what did they used to call them – stakes?

          • “Yikes - could she possibility be a witch …. ”

            I don’t know, she looks like she weighs more than a duck – see if she floats before we burn her, she might not be made of wood. 

          • She turned me into a newt (I got better)

          • Who are you who are so wise in ways of science?

    • Interesting point, although I’m not sure that comparing activist strategies to political party strategies is entirely analogous.  Protesters have successfully stopped things such as the MAI and the mass logging of Clayoquot Sound through actions that many would consider substantially more negative than what Ms. DePape did.  They are not asking us to entrust them with the country, only to join in their opposition to certain decisions of government.  Whether Ms. DePape’s action can be seen as ultimately successful depends somewhat on whether she manages to trigger a larger sustained movement against Harper’s environmental agenda.  Political parties, on the other hand, do ask us to trust them with the country, and I agree that using “stop Harper” as substitute for a platform or a vision is a losing strategy.

      • Well exactly.  “Stop Harper” from what?  When you drill down on that with people like Ms. DePape, they start launching into this laundry list of stuff they don’t like (e.g., his environmental policies), but really it’s not like there’s a ton of consensus out there on where we want to go on, say, the 5-6 most pressing policy concerns of Canadians (e.g., health care, debt/deficit, taxes, crime policy, major spending initiatives, environment).  Canadians are all over the map on these issues.  Ms. DePape and her fellow travellers tend to be massively delusional in thinking that there’s a significant majority of Canadians that are unified with a single (leftish, of course) voice about where we want to go policy-wise.

        This is one of many reasons why her reference to the “Arab spring” is just plain idiotic.  In Syria, it’s pretty clear what the issue is, and what those people out on the streets want (i.e., not to get shot dead when demonstrating against an emphatically NON-elected regime).

        • I’m not so sure that progressive Canadians are particularly divided on the environment or health care, and and there seems to be a pretty strong consensus that Harper’s crime policy is out to lunch.  The trouble is, a large majority are just not motivated to do much about it.  It’s possible that the sight of a 21-year-old page sacrificing her job to make a point may light a fire under a few.  It remains to be seen.
           

          • Ageed. I think there is quite a bit of consensus amongst progressive Canadians on the environment in particular.[ although lots of inner bickering about how to move forward] It’s just spead widely amongst the 6o% of the electorate who didn’t vote CPC[ we shouldn't assume that the 40% who did are necessarily not concerned about the environment either] The first mistake this young lady makes is assuming the wonky workings of our FPTP system has given Harper carte blanche to do whatever he wants – it hasn’t – and her second one is in thinking because she didn’t vote for Harper her pov has been somehow unfairly excluded – it hasn’t. Democracy’s a messy business and often unfair and occasionally unjust.You rarely if ever get what you want exactly as you want it – she has yet to learn that bitter lesson. Still, other then the fact she acted disrespectfully and displayed youthful ignorance of how a democracy like ours actually functions, i don’t see all the reason for all the animosity directed against her – particularly given this govt’s track record in disrespecting our institutions and Parliamentary conventions.

    • Yes Dan, you guys do that and us Conservatives will go out and make a cash donation to our party.

      • I’m sure the fundraising request fron Doug Findley is on it’s way.  What an opportunuty to shake down the devotees.

  10. 3 components to civil disobediance – the act – the thoughtful, nuanced explanation of the act, and the judgement by the public

  11. How in heaven’s name was this a security threat, as Kinsella suggests?   She was unarmed and harmed nobody and clearly had no intention of doing so.  Parliamentary security — which is tighter than airline security in my experience — functioned just fine.   ….unless of course, by “security” you mean the “security” of never having to face dissent. 

    • If it follows the pattern of airport security – cardboard and red felt pens will now be banned from the precinct. 

  12. The young lady … and Heather Mallick … performed an important public service by
    getting all the right people sooooo upset.

  13. Someone was inspired by Ignatieff’s ‘rise up’ speech.  Now she can acquire celeberity status on Facebook while Ignatieff is where he never wanted to be, at a Canadian university.

  14. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told Postmedia News DePape was a “lefty kook”

    I take it there’s a general consensus that the page’s protest was inappropriate – wrong place, wrong time. But you have to love Kenney’s reaction . She’s a young idealistic person, and she’s entitled to her view of this govt. If it had been say a majority liberal govt[ or dipper hee hee] and say a conservative minded individual had expressed their conscience, i have no doubt JK would be singing a different song. Why not just say that’s how she sees the world, but it’s not how our democratically elected govt see things – we have a wider responsibility…blah blah blah? Kenney’s an insufferable narrow minded little prig, who pretty much sums up the heart and soul of this govt power cadre…we are the righteous…only our opinion matters here.

    • Agreed.  Whatever Kenny thought of her actions, he just brought himself down to the same level with that childish comment. 

    • “Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told Postmedia News DePape was a “lefty kook”

      She is a lefty kook. Don’t you want more honesty in politics?

      • Yeah that’s a really appropriate thing for a minister of the crown to say now isn’t it? It doesn’t bother me in the least if you or i hold and express that opinion. But to hear it from Kenney, while not at all surprising, merely confirms my view of how narrow he is; and just how self righteous the little twerp is. His tolerance of views that differ from his own is pretty threadbare. It seems to have escaped your eagle eye that the very attitude of direspect for opposing and legimate pov that the ex-page is being condemned for, is being mirrored by JK; who’s supposed to be the adult.
          if this were a liberal minister expessing a similar opinion about your worldview i have little doubt you’d be singing a different song too.

  15. Love the headline AW. Just look at all the partisans who are taking her to task while remaining in complete denial that the Harper govt was actually found to be in contempt of Parliament. You bad lad you.

    Just watched her video – she’s definitely very young and naive,and yes a bit kooky, but you have to love her passion. Some of the very same people who worry about youth apathy are now all over her. However, she abused her position as a page…full stop…she got fired and that’s fine too. She’s young…that’s her excuse, what’s Kenney’s or Harpers?

    • Wow, other lefty kooks approve.  What a shock.

      • Dismissing everyone who ever disagrees with you as ‘lefty kooks’ isn’t going to get you very far in life.

        • OE1 ..”Dismissing everyone who ever disagrees with you ” is what you do. Take your own advice sunshine ;)

          • I dismiss ignorance, not disagreement.

        • Nor will being one, as Ms. DePape will eventually find out.

          • Well so far,she’s world famous and has a new high-profile job.

            And it’s only Cons who are calling her a ‘lefty kook’….taking their instructions from the Kenney doll.

      • Disappointing to see how easily even reasonable people can be goaded into intolerant statements OB. You aren’t setting your side up as the sole arbiter of whose view of society is the “correct” one, are you? Over generalizing is a mug’s game, don’t you think?

  16. It’s so funny. The left always accuses the right of forcing their views on others, yet here we have yet another actual example of a leftie trying to force their views on others and, as is often the case, they do it on the taxpayer’s dime. Again, funny.

    • You mean like Don Cherry taking a swipe at ‘left wing pinkos’ at Rob Ford’s inauguration?

      • No, don’t quite understand the similarity. Don Cherry is an opinionated commenter — one lonely conservative among many left-wingers at the CBC, by the way — who was invited by the mayor to make an address. This page, on the other hand, took it upon herself to use her taxpayer funded role as an non-partisan servant of the people to shout out her left-wing zealotry.

        • Both were solemn, supposedly non-partisan ceremonies. Not the right time, not the right place. Perfect analogy? No. Pretty good analogy? Sure is.

  17. @google-cbb83dfbc2c6e2ae7af687bdc9229d7c:disqus 
    No sunshine, I work in economics….and you are talking rubbish

    Learn some basics

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money

  18. I say thanks to this young woman for having the guts to stand up to the power of these twisted institutions of parliament.  Harper was found to be in contempt, he broke election laws by promoting his party on the radio on election day – complaint file, no response – he lied about a coalition government, he refused to reveal costs for jets, jails, cuts soon to be unleashed, he has fired civil servants who dared question him, he kicked voters out of his meetings because of his paranoia that maybe they’d been at another candidate’s event, Conservative candidates did not show up to debate or discuss issues at open forums during the campaign….it’s a long list.  Respect for parliament?  How can it be in a democracy that an extremist can become the PM with only 24% of support from eligible voters in this country?  Wake up people!!

  19. On the subject of the Page being in Contempt of Parliament and getting fired for her actions.  Seems to me that “The man who would be King…..Harper” was found in contempt of Parliament but he was not penalised in any way. In  fact he is CONTROLLING the Country, methinks there is a double standard here!!!  I dread to think what kind of financial mess the Country will be in after his 4 years in Office…….we will be destitute!!

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