When Senate pages attack - Macleans.ca

When Senate pages attack


From his scrum after QP yesterday, Bob Rae suggests we not overreact—ANTHRAX!—to Brigette DePape’s breach of decorum.

No, I mean I think – let’s not get paranoid about this. Let’s recognize that you know, we are a country where people are free to speak. There was no security threat represented by Brigette Depape. She just expressed her point of view. You can say it was inappropriate to do it in a particular way, but the notion that somehow this is – poses some kind of a security risk is – is a gross exaggeration and I don’t think we need to go there at all. I think we need to make sure that people are protected, but I don’t think we want to prevent people from being able to express themselves.


When Senate pages attack

  1. Is he saying that he wants to see more of this in the future?

    • Your Inferencium – a part of the brain that modulates faux surprise, fear and paranoia – is working overtime.

      • ” I think we need to make sure that people are protected, but I don’t
        think we want to prevent people from being able to express themselves.”You really think, that after all the publicity that she has received, that this won;t happen again? Guess you are right, I am afraid an paranoid. (insert sarcasm)

        • But what is the solution? A more rigorous security check than hill security staff… frisks, lie detectors, strip searches, cavity searches? And do we start applying the same level of scrutiny to gallery spectators, who could also sneak in signs? And what about MPs? What is preventing an MP from holding up a piece of paper in Parliament?

          At some point, you have to consider that enforcing the required processes  to prevent a page from holding up a piece of paper in Parliament would be a bigger issue than a page holding up a piece of paper in Parliament.

          • First of all, nothing I wrote says that I am for ‘enforced security’ in the commons. I am only talking about stunts like this in the future.

            It is easy to prevent. They sign a contract. Have financial penalties put in, if they do something like this. Easy and simple.

          • She broke the rules. She lost her job.  Just ask Tony Clement.

        • Acceptance is the first, and bravest, step towards a cure.

          • Easier than making a point, I guess.

    • He’s certainly not saying that he wants to see less of it.

      • I’m not sure I want to see less of it.

        When was the last time such a mild and modest protest happened on Parliament Hill?  I don’t think I’d agree with any potential measures that would have to be implemented to stop this type of innocuous protest.

        I’m pretty sure that any “cure” to the plague of pages holding up pieces of paper in Parliament would be far worse than the disease.

    • No, He  is saying let’s not over-react. Brigette DePape, just like me, is sick of Harper’s attempting to turn Canada in Harperville!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • I am not over reacting. I am only saying, regardless of what a page’s political views are, we should expect that they don’t show them there. If something isn’t done to change it, we will see more stunts in the future. There are other places and ways she could have used to make her point.

        I would submit you are in favor of her stunt, only because you believe as she does. I am against her stunt, regardless of her views.

        Harperville? – people who say silly things lose credibility.

        • “There are other places and ways she could have made her point”. Where and how? her point was made loudly enough that the media got a hold of it and put it out there for everbody to see…. otherwise her point would have disappeared and nobody would have hear it! Just another “crazy” left-winged protestor. I am absolutely in favour of her “stunt”, pardon me action, and , yes , Harper is trying to turn Canada into a Harper-like vision of Canada, a very elitist Canada where the rich get richer and the rest, the working class, keep them in there place. Harperville!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   

          • If you didn’t see the substance of my point, I would submit you were blinded by your political views. Again, talk silly and you lose credibility.
            It was a stunt. A publicity stunt. We will have more in the future, if we don’t make a change to the Senate page’s contracts. That you agree with her clouds your judgement. If she had stood up with a sign that said ‘Harper is dreamy’ you would be against it. That is wrong. There is a time and a place for everything. Again, if we don’t make a change, we will see stunts like this more and more.
            I am not saying that she go to jail, I am saying that her contract should have a huge financial penalty if something like this is done. That way, in the future, there will be repercussions for something like this.

            Oh, yeah, nobody every hears what a left wing person says. They have no way to be heard, and no one covers what they have to say. (Please read that with sarcasm.)

          • You say that “there is a place and time for everything.” The porblem is that the G-20 was suppose to be a time for protest and look what happened. Don’t say that Harper’s government didn’t have a hand in the police reaction. Amnesty International question the police tactic’s, All she did was point out that she believes that Harper’s philosophy is dangerous for this country. She could have stood by herself outside the parliament building in Ottawa with her sign and nobody would have heard, she choose to hold up the sign in the Senate during the throne speech and everybody heard. Smart move I think. 

          • @facebook-100001637979611:disqus
            First of all, I don’t think the G-20 is held so that people can protest. Secondly, it attracts all the nut-bars from around the world. Some will protest peacefully, and some are there for less than peaceful reasons. When you put them all together in one place, it can turn bad. Look at Vancouver for a peek into ‘mob mentality’. The Gov’t and police first job was to keep the peace, not to stage a venue for protestors.
            I have seen Amnesty International defend and attack thing that I would say were totally out in left field. They see the world through their glasses, and aren’t always right.

            Again, I could care less about what she said, I care about how and where she said it. If something isn’t done to create a strong disincentive for others to do similar things, there will be folks like you who think it is a smart move, and we will see it at all the throne speeches. Regardless of someone’s political beliefs, we should do all we can to prevent this in the future.

            A lot of people who break the law get publicity, that doesn’t make it right, and we shouldn’t support it.

  2. Finally a sane response.

  3. I must admit I laughed over this title….yes, alarmists have gone completely overboard about it.

    When pages attack indeed!  LOL

    • I think every time I hear some right wing authoritarian chickenhawk squeal, I’m just going to say “ANTHRAX!” 

      I’m going to say it in all caps with quotes and an exclamation mark too if I can figure out how.

      • LOL good response….we’ll have people diving for cover!

  4. What I extrapolated from his statement is that we all should rise up and take back Parliament by force. I’m pretty sure he also said that increasing security against the pages would be futile because they have become to powerful and too entrenched (aided by ninja stop signs). He also suggested people flee the capital before Harper’s people start brutally putting down the uprising through military force and poisoning of the water supply.

    What Rae forgot to mention is “Charlie Charlie Dove Breaker. Initiate.” When the time comes, you will all find out what this means.

    Ohh wait, he didn’t say ‘Stop Harper!’ Please disregard the above. The revolution has been postponed due to hot summer weather.

    He did (basically) say people need to chill the f%^k out and keep this in perspective. 

    People have been trying to link DePape to violent anarchism, leading a coup d’état, a security breach… still, many days after the event. It really is pathetic.

    • All those old Liberal Red Book Covers just waiting to be cut into  octagon shapes and used to be overthrow Harper…

      • SHHHHHH. 

        Operation Lefty Ninja is underway and I’m pretty sure no one is aware. I will note that Agent 773 failed to sharpen the edges of her cardboard sign though. Not her fault though- her mom only let her use safety scissors. 

        • Part of the problem with Agent 773 is she went all non-violent on us. 
          Worst. Revolutionary. Ever.

  5. The alarmists are fantasizing, IMO.  They would have preferred violence over non-violence.

  6. Bob who?

  7. Of course Rae’s going to defend anybody who protests Harper in any way shape or form. After the way the media has glamorized this child, there’s no reason to think that other page’s won’t try to follow in her foot steps. Something absolutely needs to be done to prevent it from happening again.

    • Yes, cuz otherwise Canada will fall apart with all those revolutionary pages just waiting in the wings. LOL

      And she’s 21…NOT a child.

      • Looks like a child, sounds like a child, must be a child.

        It’s supremely ironic coming from you, who calls everybody else “fogies”, when in fact you’re one of the oldest people who comments here.

        • She’s 21, and not a child….even though her world view differs from your own.

          I call people ‘fogeys’ when they think in terms of the last century…not this one

          We now have young people acting older than old people…weird!

        • So does Pierre Poilievre, but he is a man.  Has been for years, despite his behavior.

        • looks like a idiot, sounds like an idiot, must be and idiot! By the way, I am an old guy!

    • Thanks. I didn’t have anyone else defending this position.

      • Just to be safe, you and Rick should stay in your bunkers until the revolution is over.

        • revolution? what are you talking about?

      • That’s because in reality it’s a waste of our time to even be commenting on this child’s self-promoting antics. Let the “progressives” hail their hero of the week, it’ll pass, and nobody will remember her name in a week. The only “change” she will have effected is that Senate Page’s will now have to go through security clearance.

        • The only “change” she will have effected is that Senate Page’s will now have to go through security clearance.

          She (DePape) has only given Senate officials the opportunity to review hiring practices and security and so on.

          It will actually fall to those Senate officials to effect whatever changes they want, including “Do Nothing”.

        • Hey, It;s been almost a month and people are still talking about her. Guess Your wrong!!!!!!!!! She will make a change and you will think that that change is crazy because nobody can make a big profit off it. God I hate the right!!!!!!!!

          • Does anything you believe make any sense whatsoever? Or does the tinfoil do something to your brain waves?

    • Something “ABSOLUTELY” has to be done to prevent a page from ever holding up a paper sign in Parliament again?


      I think it’s safe to wait until this happens a second time before we “absolutely” have to overreact.

      • She could have papercut someone to death in as little as 15 to 20 minutes.

        • Seriously, I think you’re overreacting. It would have taken at least 45 minutes.

      • I don’t think we can overreact enough when there is the possibility of nuclear weapons being smuggled into parliament.

        • What are you talking about? It was a paper sign.

      • Of course the reaction has been over the top and she doesnt represent a
        security threat, but Canadians are entitled not to be given a finger
        because of the way they voted.  The fact that she had the opportunity to give Canada the finger as publicly as she did, because of her functions as a page is what needs to be remedied.

        You must concede that had she pulled that stunt pretty much anywhere else but the throne speech it would be the very definition of non-event.  Individual Canadians are not entitled to hijack a national ceremony.

        And as a good remedy to the situation, i think something as simple as screening page applicants for those who have a penchant for ‘direct action’ and ‘civil disobedience’ would go a long way and wouldnt be too drastic.

        • The day Canadians lose the right to give each other the finger is the day the terrorists win.

          • I’m giving him the finger right now. God bless my right to free speech.

          • You’re still here?  I thought Harper would have locked you up by now and thrown away the key.

        • I see you’re getting around the banning by drawing even more attention to your name.  Very cunning.

          • Compare/contrast:

            –  in one event a person knowlingly abuses (employment) rules of conduct by holding up a sign that says “Stop Harper”
            –  she accepts the consequences
            –  the “Stop Harper” message gets a wide range of interpretations, including “I’ve been given the finger!”
            –  in the outfall of that event a second person knowlingly abuses (website) rules of conduct by using foul language in the course of criticizing the first event
            –  that person does not accept the consequences, and throws an explicit “web” finger at the web administrator


        • So we must screen page’s applications so this form of civil disobedience  won’t happen again. How? Only people who voted and believe in Harper’s philosophy can apply. SO GOES IMPARTIALITY!!

          • Actually, they can let anyone apply (who is competent) and have them sign a contract that has a big financial penalty if they pull a stunt like this. Simple and clean.

            You and your weird world view might even be able to be a senate page, as long as you can leave your political opinions at the door, and just do your job.

        • What I am hearing you say is that only those people who don’t have opnions should be allowed to be pages, or, those who agree with Harper should be allowed to be pages, Which one is it? 

          • You don’t hear well. Again, your opinions cloud your ability to read.

            I said anyone – how you can think that means people without opinions, or those who believe with Harper only is beyond me. Anyone means anyone. (competent means able to do the job. They can read, etc.)

            The people who do get the job are required to leave their political views (and they all have them) at the door. Do the job, go home and be political. That has always been expected of them, regardless of their political views.

            I am starting to understand your comment above. Sounds like an idiot, looks like an idiot, and comments like an idiot. Must be an idiot.

          • I hope you are not calling me an idiot. But judging from your twisted opinion you probably are calling me and idiot. I won’t go there because it shows low class!

          • @facebook-100001637979611:disqus
            Actually, this was the result of a mistake, and I apologize.
            I thought you were replying to my post, which said:

            “Actually, they can let anyone apply (who is competent) and have them
            sign a contract that has a big financial penalty if they pull a stunt
            like this. Simple and clean.

            You and your weird world view might
            even be able to be a senate page, as long as you can leave your
            political opinions at the door, and just do your job.”

            Basically, I thought you were twisting my words, and was a little upset. Don’t know how I got mixed up, and again, I apologize.

            Your post makes much more sense, now that I see it follows afa’s comment.

    • No, Something absolutely needs to be done to make sure that this sort of thing is done more and more often, Way to go Brigette

      • Brilliant idea. Let’s make sure that the rules are broken more and more often. That oath the pages took, bah, it means nothing!

          • Sounds, looks, and comments like a . . . ?

    • First of all, the media basically ingnored “this child”;  Secondly, I bet if she would have held up a sign that said” I Love Harper” you would have referred to her as a WOMAN and she would have been interviewed over and over again as a hero. That includes Canada AM, too. She is a woman, a very smart woman, but I guess that she doesn’t agree with your philosophy so she has become a child. Lastly, I hope other page do follow in her footsteps .  

      • Personally, if she had held up a sign that said ‘I love Harper’, I would be saying the exact same thing. It is you, though, because you believe in her opinion, seem to think her actions were good.

        I think they stunk no matter what her cause.

  8. I’m not really sure why anyone is still talking about this for pete’s sake.

    It’s got to be a seriously sloooow news cycle.

    Those jobs are hard to get and pay well, so how bloody often do you really think you’re going to see this happen given that?

    Almost any reaction is an over reaction at this point.

    • You wrote: “Almost any reaction is an over reaction at this point”

      Thanks for your, ah, over reaction.

    • She is still causing people to talk and that is a good thing. prehaps she will start people thinking???? 

  9. I have but two words for Rogue Senate Pages — predator drones.

    • Good point. Predator drones are great: they are very effective in killing al-qaeda operatives.  Obama loves them.

      Rogue senate pages are only good for those who want to give the finger to Canada because they’re sore about the last election result.

      • Yikes. I was trying to be droll. I fear you may not be.

    • lol – but to be fair, we should wait until she is in a field, all by herself. Gotta reduce the collateral damage.

  10. “Let’s recognize that you know, we are a country where people are free to speak.”

    Free speech for everyone, not just vacuous progressives.

    George Orwell ~ All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others

    “Bob Rae: Human Rights Commissions, like the Ontario Commission, provide a vital resource to the community.”


    •  I think we should get over ourselves, as they say. Freedom of speech and thought are still fundamental to our democracy. You have the freedom to say what you like and and I have the freedom to say you’re an idiot for saying it the way you did. Glad to see someone with a creative way of voicing her opinion.

      • I agree with you whole-heartedly. Glad to see a creative woman who feels strongly about voicing her opinion. 

        • You are only glad because you agree with her. You would shout bloody murder if her views had been the opposite.

          You wouldn’t be ‘glad to see a creative woman who feel strongly about voicing her opinion’ if you disagreed with her. I think that is funny – almost two faced.

          • What is your point? I agree with her opinion so I said that I agreed with her opinion. You disagree with her opinion and said that you disagree with her opinion. That is the beauty of this country, we are all allowed to have an opinion. Why is  that two-faced. U’m sorry, I forgot I am only allowed an opinion if it agrees with you and Harper.

          • Your whole post:

            “I agree with you whole-heartedly. Glad to see a creative woman who feels strongly about voicing her opinion”

            You aren’t saying that you agree with her opinion, only that you are glad to see her voicing her strongly held opinion. There is a difference.
            I am saying that you wouldn’t be ‘Glad to see a creative woman who feels strongly about voicing her opinion’, if it was an opinion that you didn’t like.
            I have never said that she shouldn’t be allowed to ‘voice her opinion’ the way she did because I disagreed with her. I have always said that any senate page should not be pulling stunts like this, regardless of their political views.

            You make the debate about what she said, I am saying that I dislike how and where she said it.

            I would say the same, regardless of what their beliefs were. You will defend her actions because she believes as you do, and you would say she shouldn’t be allowed to do that, if she wanted to support Harper. That is two faced.

      • And an employer has the freedom to ask people to sign a contract before they are hired. That would solve the problem.

  11. Clearly the page lost a well paying, high profil job that she may not want to mention on her CV now, but was disgusted enough to feel it neccesary to comment and lose that.

    Is that what we’re so desperate to limit that we’re discussing tightened security? A sudden burst of conscience?

    Control freak much?

    • One incident doesn’t make a trend.

      As a part of their deliberations the Senate should think about reviewing the past 10, 20 or even 30 years of Senate history to see if/when there were similar previous incidents.  Then we would know if there is a trend developing that is even remotely worth worrying about.

    • Odds are that she will end up financially benefiting from this, and this will probably help her job prospects.

  12. What exactly did Brigette Depape do that was so dangerous. Was she going to hit Harper with a that terribly dangerous sign. Harper, I’m sure will retalerate in the only way that Harper can, with heavy-hand police action, tear-gas, hand cuffs, etc.!!!!!!!! Can you say over-reaction.

    • I think you are the only one who has used the word ‘dangerous’.

  13. Beware the killer Page!! Get real. Funny how Bob Rae softened his criticism of DePape’s NON-VIOLENT form of civil disobedience now that he realized that others aren’t as critical of her actions and, like me, in some cases are very proud of her action. “Maybe there’s a vote there” muses Bob. 

  14. I said that she is creative because she acomplished what she set out to do and that is to make a very loud point. Secondly, I would not have screamed bloody murder if her view was different than mine. To be honest I wouldn’t even have commented on it. Brigette Depape gave me new hope that maybe there is somebody that maybe out there that will  attempt to do something about this menace. I am tired of reading comments that referred to her as “a Child” studip, crazy, among others. Kenny referred to her as a lefty-kook. That’s m point. I am saying that I agree with her and I think that she is an intellegent WOMAN tha has a point.

  15. to modster99, sorry oldster99, let’s see “nut-bar'” “child’ “lefty-kook” and the list goes on. Is everybody who disagrees with the political right some sort of wing-nut (you can use that if you want) I have this vision of right wing thinkers who see the world as a place where everybody who goes after money or puts profit before everything else, including the environmnet, as wonderful intelligent people while the left is full of crazy people who just doesn’t understand reality and who sit around the lava-lamp thinking of ways to disrupt the world and make it a terrible place. There are bright people on both side of the political spectrum and maybe calling everybody who disagrees with you some pegorative name is really out there don’t you think?