‘We are taking this incident very seriously’

by Aaron Wherry

Senator David Tkachuk, chair of the Senate standing committee on internal economy, budgets and administration, rose in the Senate yesterday to offer his colleagues the following update on the rogue page situation.

Honourable Senators, all of you will be familiar with the following: I do swear that I will be faithful and bear True allegiance to Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors. So help me God.

That is the oath of a Senate Page.

A regrettable incident took place on Friday during the Throne Speech. A Senate Page, Brigitte DePape, chose to disrupt proceedings.

She broke her oath to the Queen and her signed contract with Parliament not to behave in a way that brings her impartiality into question.

We were all surprised by what she did. Being a familiar face, it struck few of us as odd when she made her way from her place into the middle of the chamber. Many of us thought she was there to assist someone, not to protest. She walked back and forth with her STOP Harper sign until the Sergeant-at-Arms from the House acted to remove her.

This was clear contempt for the Parliament she had sworn to serve, taking place as it did in the middle of one of the most democratic acts in the world — a post election address from the Queen’s representative, who was flanked by a newly elected Prime Minister and the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Onlookers were MPs lead by a speaker who won a seat in this great institution at the age of 25, only a few years older than the protesting page.

Brigitte dishonoured her fellow Pages. She sullied the Page program itself. She betrayed those who put their trust in her. And she insulted this institution.

There are those who have characterized what she did as heroic.

No. Heroic are the men and women, many of them her age or younger, who serve in Afghanistan, defending the principles and practices of democracy that resulted, most recently, in the election we just had.

What she did was not heroic. She was surrounded not by enemies but by people she could trust not to harm her. People unlike her, who believe in and adhere to a code of civil behaviour.

All of us here should be offended by what she did. We expect – in fact demand — that our Pages behave in a neutral fashion. That is the only way the program can work. They are allowed to have political opinions. In fact, I hope they all do. But for the duration of their time as Pages those opinions, those leanings are to be left outside this chamber.

We are taking this incident very seriously. The Page was fired immediately. She has also been banned from the Senate, the House and the Library buildings.

The Security Sub-Committee of Internal Economy met this morning and the Steering Committee will be meeting this afternoon to discuss what the implications are for security in the Senate and for the conduct of the Page program itself. We will be looking into the hiring practices for Pages, including the background checks that are done related to those. I pray that no one else here assisted her in this stunt.

Honourable Senators, I can assure you that after due consideration, we will take all the appropriate measures that the circumstances dictate. I don’t have to tell you what would have happened if she had something else inside her jacket instead of a poster. I will keep you informed of developments.




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‘We are taking this incident very seriously’

  1. “This was clear contempt for the Parliament she had sworn to serve”
    I seem to remember another contempt of Parliament.  Funny how that one got a pass.

    • Actually voters passed judgement on the kangaroo court findings by the opposition parties. The results removed any doubt which party and which leaders were found in contempt of our democracy.

      • You mean by voting 60% in favour of them? 

        • You math skills are bordering on mystical. We had 308 mini-elections and sent 166 MPs from the Blue team.
          In your school of logic: you can suggest ballots from different parties with different platforms are used as a vote against.
          Same logic means 75% voted against Orange Team in Ontario but they picked up 2x the number of seats with only a fraction in popular vote diff than Red Team.

          Too much catnip or is losing elections since 2006 not clear enough a rejection of your party and its platform?

          • what are you talking about. You must be an accountant. Tha facts are simple. 61% fo the voting public voted AGAINST Harper. Fact!!!!!!Harper is running his government like he got A HUGE legitamate majority. The NDP was the big winner in that election, by increased populate vote. Harper can kiss my ass! Too much catnip bud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Populism doesn’t have a veto over our parliamentary system of rules and conventions. Millikin made it clear that while the contempt finding [ which never came to a vote - there was a motion of non confidence instead] does not carry over into the present majority, but neither can it be undone either. It was passed by a democratically elected parliament; one that allowed for such a motion to be brought forward precisely because it was a minority [ in different circumstances the tories could do the same thing] What you’re saying essentially is it was a kangeroo court because your side couldn’t avoid it – that’s simply daft. Does evrything have to be decided by public expression of consent through elections now? Do only majority govt’s reflect popular consent and legitmacy? Or are your views flexible, depending upon whether your preferred party holds the reins or not?

        • The similar situation in a majority parliament would be for some member of the Opposition side to somehow get fouled up with some action that was subsequently found to be in contempt of parliament.

          Would that also be a kangaroo court?

          Wonder if that has ever happened….

          • The short answer for me is no, it wouldn’t. Obviously there is room here for a majority to abuse its position – whether it’s a majority govt or minority. But that doesn’t seem to be what a number of CPC partisans are saying.[ if they are they haven't offered any credible evidence so far] They appear to be argung that it doesn’t count because somehow the people have expressed their view on the matter during the election, and returned a majority govt. There are a number of problems with this view: first off it’s a logical fallacy. There are any number of variables and reasons why the public didn’t put the contempt issue at the top of their list. To assume it was simply because they didn’t agree with the finding of contempt is a big and unprovable assumption. For me at least its one more worrying sign of the lack of respect for process this govt and its supporters rountinely show. But the again, perhaps i’m reading too much into the babble of a few tory partisans? I should have a little more faith in the judgement of the Canadian electorate.
            That’s funny. I’ve just now read your post below…i could have saved myself and yourself the effort :)

          • To assume it was simply because they didn’t agree with the finding of contempt is a big and unprovable assumption.

            Harper increased his vote.  So, presumably the overwhelming majority of people who had voted Harper in the past did so again.  Clearly, if these people had agreed with the contempt charge, they would not have voted for Harper.  Contempt is a serious charge and I cant imagine that the 35 or so percent of voters who voted for Harper again did so agreeing with the contempt charges.  As for the 5 percent of new Harper voters, it seems plainly ridiculous to suggest that they switched their vote despite agreeing with the contempt.

            As for the 60%, they may or may not agree, but that’s besides the point, as clearly, enough Canadians were contemptuous of the finding of contempt to give Harper a majority.

        • I would add that the speaker of the House, who made the initial findings, was democratically elected, and received the overwhielming support of the Conservative party.  Convenient now that they choose not to respect his findings.

          • This is what Milliken says about the situation:

            ” Certainly the media have made big plays of my rulings on production of
            documents, two of them. But, in a majority House, you wouldn’t have had
            those issues come to the Speaker at all. You wouldn’t have had a demand
            to the government, passed by the House, that the government wasn’t
            prepared to meet. So I think that while [the rulings] have some
            importance in terms of the privileges of the House, you wouldn’t even
            have these issues come to the chair in a majority situation.”

            That is why most people don’t think it is a big deal.

        • I think he was talking about what Millikin was talking about here:

          ” Certainly the media have made big plays of my rulings on production of
          documents, two of them. But, in a majority House, you wouldn’t have had
          those issues come to the Speaker at all. You wouldn’t have had a demand
          to the government, passed by the House, that the government wasn’t
          prepared to meet. So I think that while [the rulings] have some
          importance in terms of the privileges of the House, you wouldn’t even
          have these issues come to the chair in a majority situation.”

          I love that quote – says it all.

          • Man even a child could parse that. He’s clearly saying that if the previous parliament had been a majority one the opposition would not have had an opportunity to hold the govt in contempt without some members of the govt agreeing with the outvoted opposition – they wouldn’t even have an opportunity to bother the speaker. No where at all does Millikin say the opposition was wrong to have brought the motion, or that it was invalid because the govt was reelected. In fact the speaker could have ruled against the opposition if he thought that had no grounds for contempt. Please don’t bother to reply on this issue anymore – you’re in some wierd state of denial. I don’t know why since the ruling can’t hurt the conservatives anymore – but not for the reasons you cite. If you’re determined to persist why don’t you send your opinion over to Millikin or the new speaker – i’m sure that’d appreciate a good laugh.  

          • Are you deliberately missing the point? I have never said that the opposition was ‘wrong’ to bring the motion. As a matter of fact, all I did was post a quote of Millikin. If you want to ‘interpret’ it for us, feel free. I think he was quite clear, and he makes 2 points.

            First, there wouldn’t be an issue in the first place, as the House would never make a demand on the gov’t that the gov’t wasn’t prepared to meet. Basically, the House wouldn’t have demanded that the gov’t do something that would make it embarrass itself, reveal secrets that they don’t want revealed, or release information that might embarrass any foreign gov’t's. That was the first point he made.

            The second point follows that. There would never be a ‘contempt’ charge, because the House would never demand info the gov’t wasn’t prepared to provide. This all boils down to the politics of a Majority vs. Minority gov’t. Us grown ups understand that.

            What he said was pretty simple, and last I checked, he was a  Liberal, so I am sure that he wasn’t ‘slanting’ the facts at all. It just is what it is.

            Millikin

            ” I think that while [the rulings] have some importance in terms of the privileges of the House, you wouldn’t even have these issues come to the chair in a majority situation.”

            And yes, the contempt charge is in no way invalid, but people with brains can see it was just a partisan move, and the only intent was to embarrass the CPC. It didn’t work, because Canadians are smarter than that.

      • It is unlikely that the contempt of parliament findings by that house committee was the factor that swung any more than a few votes either towards or away from any of the parties in the recent election.  When voters actually pick up the pencil and mark the X, they are merging a myriad of individual preferences, likes and dislikes into a single decision – to say that the CPC victory clearly vindicates past CPC actions is misguided.

        Ocassionally there are elections where we can look back and say this issue or that issue clearly had a huge impact on the results – this was not one of those elections.

    • It didnt get a pass, there was an election fought over it.  Canadians passed their judgment on what this ‘contempt’ was (namely, a bunch of partisan whining by the opposition).
       

      • ‘Canadians’? Formally, I suppose.

        More realistically, 1/3 or so of eligible voters split their allegiance from a party that simply didn’t have its act together.

    • It didnt get a pass.  There was an election fought over it.  And Canadians seems to have concluded that this so-called contempt was opposition bickering and nothing more.  

      • That’s a rather generous conclusion about the will of the electorate.  Considering that Harper himself said the election was all about economic stewardship, you might at least be inclined to give credence to your own leader’s assessment of what the real ballot question might’ve been.

  2. At some point someone is going to be crushed under the weight of those pompous hypocrits. That speech is far more offensive than anything that page did. Horrible.

    • “… crushed under the weight ….”

      No kidding. I could feel life slowly draining out of me while I was reading Tkachuk’s statement. 

      • Choking on the verbal hash browns, I was.

    • also, was pretty surprised in the midst of that pomposity to read that the honourable Senator referred to the page by her first name only, and not Ms….

      • First naming signals patronizing condescension.

  3. Empty pageantry continues.

    “We are saddened someone has sullied this institution…. who wasn’t appointed or elected then instructed to do so. We will huff, and we will puff, boy will we puff, and then huff some more, and we will continue to simulate people’s champions. We will act deliberately and strongly against this page’s actions, hoping people continue to neglect judging us by our own actions. Rabble rabble rabble.”

  4. Perhaps they will need not just intense screening to ensure future Page’s are loyal conservatives, but also reserve the right to fire without notice predator drone missiles at the Page’s lunch room should the threat of more protest seem imminent. This would be a proportionate response whenever our democratic institutions are threatened by unapproved signage.

  5. How do we control people or stop them from protesting? 

    A lot of hullabalo about nothing, in other words. World still turning, no revolutions have been started and people are moving on. 

    Senate wants to hold meetings, new regs, improve background check that will pinpoint potential employees who plan to disrupt Throne Speech. Surely they have better things to do with their time.

    More senseless rules won’t stop people from speaking out at inappropriate times, particularly lefties who think it is all about them, and they just might stop good people from joining.

    • ‘You lie!’ Remember that one?

      You were making a decent comment until you decided to sum it up with “lefties are evil, right can do no wrong”.

      • Not to mention, while we’re using U.S. examples, “lefties” have been known to come to town hall meetings holding signs.  “Righties” have been known to come to town hall meetings holding ASSAULT RIFLES.

        • ‘Every once in a while, you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary,” Rep. Michael Capuano (D., Mass.) told a February 22 union rally in Boston. 

          Even if union members and their supporters missed Capuano’s call to mayhem (or his subsequent tepid apology), many of them are on the same brutal wavelength.

          http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/print/261258

          People holding assault rifles in public – do you have problem with people following the law? They are actually allowed to do that, depending on what State live in.

          • “People holding assault rifles in public – do you have problem with people following the law? They are actually allowed to do that, depending on what State live in.”

            You’re delusional…citing calls to union violence as lefties being on the same brutal wavelength, while not criticising folks who take assault rifles to public rallies.

          • A man, who decided not to give his name, was walking around the pro-health care reform rally at Third and Washington streets, with a pistol on his hip and an AR-15 (a semi-automatic assault weapon) on a strap over his shoulder.

            “Because I can do it,” he said when asked why he was armed. “In Arizona, I still have some freedoms.”

            Two police officers were staying very close to the man.

            “What he is doing is perfectly legal,” Det. J. Oliver, of the Phoenix Police Department said. 

            http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/2009/08/17/20090817obama-scene.html

            Do you have a problem with people following the law. The guy with the gun in this story was also black. Do liberals or union members have problems with black people? 

            And, do you ever know what you are talking about?

            Maybe libs would seem a bit more sincere in their desire to get rid of inequality if they weren’t apologists for appalling behaviour within their own ranks.

            At another protest, an interviewer asked what should be done with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. 

            “Put him back in the fields,” suggested Don Wallace, former head of the United Firefighters of Los Angeles.

          • Reply to TA…geez this system is wonky too.

            Where have a condoned union violence or any violence come to that. I have no problem with criticizing unions or anyone on the left. You’re making no sense – it might help if you’d quit all this cut and paste stuff…it makes it alot harder to follow.
            My point quite simpy was union violence is wrong, as is carrying an assault rifle to a politcal rally [  as some tea partiers did] Why is that so hard for you to grasp?

          • So, your uptight about a young, intelligent woman holding up a sign but your OK with people who carry guns. Thing that can kill people.  I’m left of centre so thanks for proving my point that the right is brutal. nasty, and hateful. As far as I am concerned guns should be banded, period. 

  6. Let no one say that her protest didn’t get the desired attention!

    Seriously.  A 600 word speech in the Senate, two committee hearings, and a complete review of the hiring process for pages? 

    Seriously?!?!?

    Well, I guess it’s nice to see the new government treating those who hold Parliament in contempt seriously.  That’s a nice change of pace.

    For now…

    • It does indeed seem the appropriate response for a well-oiled Canada, Inc. Stephen Harper, CEO. Three re-appointed stooges, ASAP.

  7. Members of parliament take the same oath, yet their impartiality is never an issue.  If impartiality was what that oath meant, there wouldn’t be an MP or Senator  left sitting by the time dissolution came. I am not shocked that Brigette lost her job but I am shocked that Bev Oda didn’t lose hers.  Obviously, Canadians are quite fine with ministers who purposely lie to them. At this point, it seems to me that Brigette is a victim of harassment from old sexist geezers, on tv-poubelle and in the Senate.

    • I’m almost certain that her actions did NOT violate her oath, only her contract.  However, portraying her as an oath-breaker is much more useful than portraying her as a kid who broke a contract.  It would seem to me that the Tories would like us all to perceive DePape much more as a “traitor” who violated a sacred oath than as a discontented young person who got fired from her part-time job.

      • You mean she DIDN’T break her oath to Queen Stephen?

      • Yes, it won’t do for the public to perceive her as nothing more than an employee of Canada, Incorporated, Est. 2011. There are too many, even those who voted for Mr. Harper, who still think of the place as a country.

      • But didn’t she break her oath technically? An oath of impartiality… [ is that actually the case?]… is obviously meaningless to an elected MP, but surely it applies to a page or a clerk or a speaker? Not that i’m condoning the overthe top senatorial pomposity…particularly given the  behaviour of parliament in general and in Harperland in the particular. And let’s not even get into the supreme irony of this coming from a partisan appointee to an unelected house. It’s amazing the place wasn’t struck by lightening.

        • The point is, I believe, that she didn’t TAKE an “oath of impartiality”.  She took an oath of allegiance, and signed a CONTRACT promising not to do anything to bring her impartiality in to question.  I think the Tories want to conflate the two and make it seem like she broke a sacred oath, but she broke her CONTRACT is all, and she was fired for breaking it.

          I still don’t see how she broke her oath to the Queen.

  8. Something for the duds to get fuddy about.

  9. What a bunch of hot pompous air. Contempt of parliament no longer matters. That was proven when you voted for your boss Stephen Harper.  You obviously don’t work for anyone but Harper. The main stream press and tv media in the country are a bought off joke.  So when are you expecting your senate seat Mr. Wherry?

    • Do you know what quotes indicate?

      • I bet Aaron is cherishing that one…i doubt he’s ever been accused of trolling for a senate seat before.

    • You are so right. the mainstream press and TV media are a joke. You can hear the lips-a-slappin’ around Harper’s ass.   

  10. It appears many in the left of centre posters don’t agree with Layton’s assessement either of the publicity stunt. Sore losers don’t respect the open and fair elections results.

    The Senator is correct our military, protesters in Syria, China, Iran who risk their lives are brave. The misguided adult had three weeks left in her employment and decided it was worthwhile to violate her oath to impartiality in her duties for 15 min of fame.

    Did this stunt find any support inside Parliament from the left leaning parties?

    • I don’t support Brigette’s actions.  I have no problem with her losing her job.  But I don’t support what the Senator is implying.  There is no oath to impartiality! 

    • Formally, they necessarily discountenance the page’s action. They are in the same situation as U.S. senators with respect to WikiLeaks.

      Only a few, the unpredictable but systematically principled Ron Paul, broke ranks with his robotized brethren.

    • Just to reiterate Loraine’s point, DePape didn’t violate any oath.  Her CONTRACT called upon her to avoid actions that might bring her impartiality in to question, and she was properly fired for breaking the terms of her contract.  There is no “oath of impartiality” though.

    • I’m left-of centre and I totally disagree with Jack Layton’s assessment of DePape’s protest. I think she is right–On I notice Jack’s starting to sound more like a Liberal every day.   

  11. “We will be looking into the hiring practices for Pages, including the background checks that are done related to those.”I’m sure they’ll be outsourcing their background checks to the people who did their facebook creeping during the election.

    • Does this mean that the page-hiring process will be politicized?  Oh lookie: a new plum for sons (and maybe a token few daughters) of CPC loyalists.

    • Yeah, no more hiring Loran scholars with impressive sports and theatre credentials.  Better the hire the dumb kids who would be too afraid to stand up for anything.  Hopefully, they still know how to get coffee and run pieces of paper across a room.

  12. Obviously these old fools don’t realize how absurd they sound….why it’s practically the ‘end of civilization as we know it’!

  13. This comment was deleted.

    • Goodness, are you going to survive this or should we get the smelling salts out for your attack of the vapours?

      • I’d say that’s more than “the vapors”.

        No one suffering from a mere attack of the vapours would pull out the C-word to describe some 20-something who silently held up a sign.  I think alphanerd may be having some sort of breakdown.

        • Yes, more vile than vapourish….but except for the language, a very Victorian reaction.

          Possible melt-down in progress. Who would have thought a simple protest would have brought out all this?

        • This comment was deleted.

          • And good riddance. Is he gone for all the playoffs?

          • sorry kcm2, i understand it’s difficult for you to be exposed to opinions different then your own, but they wont get rid of me so easily.

          • “… exposed to opinions different then your own …”

            Maclean’s let me post a lot of stuff here that they might not appreciate.

            It was your language, not your opinions.

  14. Brigitte DePape clearly violated her contract, and she deserved to be fired for what she did (and I’m sure that she EXPECTED to get fired for what she did).  However, can someone explain how exactly she violated her oath of allegiance to the Queen?  I don’t think the sign she held up said “Stop Elizabeth”.

    I think that claiming that she violated her oath of allegiance is going just a BIT over the top.  Holding up a sign, even an anti-Harper sign, does not violate one’s commitment to “be faithful and bear True allegiance to Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors”.  Unless Harper really DOES have a plan to succeed her Majesty and reign as King, lol.  Claiming that DePape violated her oath of allegiance is one step shy of claiming that her protest amounted to TREASON.  It’s just one in a long list of responses to this stunt that show that the government is taking it all entirely TOO seriously.

    • Just you wait until Queen Stephen gets his new prisons built for people like you who criticize him.

    • It’s not treason.  But she clearly violated her oath of allegiance.  Being faithful and bearing true allegiance to the queen, in this case, most definitely includes performing your duties with decorum and respect, and not using our democratic institutions to promote yourself as she did.  It was really disgraceful and a big f u to the country.

      She had a very sought-after position, and one of the reasons the pages are made to take an oath of allegiance is to try and prevent disgusting behavior like that.  She spat all over her oath, then shat on it, then pissed on it, then flushed it down the toilet.

      • LOL no she didn’t.  She remained quite loyal to the queen throughout her 20 seconds of silent protest.

        You, however, are way over the top.

      • So when Senator Ruth told people to STFU,  what bathroom function was she performing?

      • If that were so, Harper would have been fired.  Harper used his position as a members of the house of commons to smear Marlene Jennings, Navdeep Bains and Lucienne Robillard, to think of a few examples, in the house where he knows he can tell lies without fear of prosecution.  I think that’s called promoting yourself, and disgraceful.

      • If that’s the case, a lot of politicians have besmirched their allegiance to the queen.

        besmirched! Yes, besmirched! I say!

      • Being faithful and bearing true allegiance to the queen, in this case,
        most definitely includes performing your duties with decorum and
        respect, and not using our democratic institutions to promote yourself

        WHAT???  Performing one’s duties with decorum and respect?  Not using Parliament for self-promotion???  LOL  I’m pretty sure you just accused every Parliamentarian who’s every sat in the House or the Senate of violating their oath of allegiance!!! 

        I completely agree that DePape’s actions lacked respect, violated decorum and were self-aggrandizing, but her silent protest wouldn’t even make the top ten list of disrespectful self-aggrandizing acts in Parliament, just in 2011  (Hell, when we look back on this Parliament I’ll bet that DePape’s protest will end up being one of the most respectful examples of protest during the whole year!).  If DePape’s actions constitute a violation of her oath of allegiance because she was disrespectful and self-aggrandizing in Parliament then I hate to burst your bubble, but under that line of reasoning I can show you videotape of every single member of the federal cabinet from the PM on down violating their oath of allegiance, and probably similar evidence of 99% of all MPs doing the same.

        • You’re correct in that what she did, per se, is no worse than the antics of MPs.  But MPs are there to represent constituent and to promote issues.  Self-aggrandizing and bringing issues forward is what they’re there to do.

          Not so pages.  They are there strictly to help with the functioning of our institutions, and are not supposed to be active players.  So, the same gesture may break the oath or not depending on whether it was performed by an MP or a page.

  15. “No. Heroic are the men and women, many of them her age or younger, who serve in Afghanistan, defending the principles and practices of democracy that resulted, most recently, in the election we just had.”

    That’s a very narrow definition of heroism. I would hope the senator is not saying serving your country in the military is the only to be heroic or defend democratic principles.Democracy is not the property of the state. Otherwise i have no problem with his characterization of he as direspecting our institutions and breaking her oath to serve impartially; her actions weren’t particularly heroic, nether were they anywhere close to some kind of treason.

    edit..hmmm, is it an oath of allegiance or impartiality? Is there a difference? She certainly abused her position, but the sight of all those hypocrites in both houses lording it over her is quite sickening.

    • My understanding is that the oath of allegiance is the only oath that pages swear.  Their CONTRACTS call on them to avoid actions that may call their impartiality into question, but there is no “oath of impartiality” as far as I know.

    • Yeah, heroic is fighting a war designed to install a dictator whose friendlier to oil interests than the Taliban were.  Sure. If kids didn’t keep volunteering to die in wars, the world would be forced to find other ways to solve its problems. 

  16. Who penned that leaden speech? Conrad Black?

    Not out of prison yet, and already lined up as a ghost-writer

    • Black’s been out of jail for a while now.  Back in 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that a statute that had been used to convict Black (and many others) was applied too broadly by prosecutors and courts, and Black was granted bail.  The Court of Appeals in Chicago overturned 2 of his 4 convictions and sent his case back to the lower court for re-sentencing on the two remaining charges.  He’s scheduled to be re-sentenced later this month (June 24th), but he’s out on bail until then.

  17. It sounds like he wished she had wielded a weapon instead of a non-violent statement.

  18. Amongst all this talk of oath breaking, Mr. Harper lost the confidence of the House.  

    The Prime Minister is the person who holds the confidence of the House.

    Until a vote of confidence is held, does Mr. Harper have the full power of the PM, or is he restricted to the residual powers of a PM that remain when an election is called?

    • ???

  19. Am I the only one here who thinks that they should make this a criminal offense? (as a deterrent – not that I think it is that big of a deal) Look at the publicity it has created. We can almost expect it from now on. . .

    • I’m guessing alfanerd would agree. That’s actually a helpful gauge as to whether it’s a good or terrible idea.

      • a) you are guessing.
        b) that was kind of mean (don’t know the guy, but kind of mean)
        c) then why not put some sort of financial penalty in their contract, to prevent stunts like these. I am saying this regardless of the message. It was a stunt, it created a lot of publicity, and it will be repeated. Putting in a deterrent to prevent against this sort of thing in the future shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Why are you against it?

        • Stick around here a bit, you won’t shed a lot of tears for alfanerd, or alfa_nerd, or whatever handle he uses after he’s banned for offensive language.

          And just to be clear – you think a 21-year-old page should suffer criminal charges for her tiny act of civil disobedience? What kind of jail time are you thinking? What if she had stood on the steps of Parliament instead? How about the sidewalk out front?

          • what is your hangup with the alfa guy?

            If not jail time, then some sort of financial penalty in her contract for pulling stunts like this.
            the steps and the sidewalk are totally different issues.

    • Yes.  I think being named to the Senate should become a criminal offense.

  20. Brigette DePape, where are you, we need you so please come back.

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