Page with 'Stop Harper' sign fired from Senate
Published Friday, June 3, 2011 7:35PM EDT
A Senate page who was fired Friday for holding a "Stop Harper" sign during the government's throne speech says she hopes to inspire more cases of "civil disobedience."
Brigette Marcelle, a 21-year-old graduate from the University of Ottawa, said that she only recently decided to put her job on the line and stage the silent protest.
Though she was immediately fired from the sought-after position, Marcelle said she doesn't regret upstaging the government on its coming out day in Ottawa.
In fact, Marcelle, who is also a theatre performer, called on people across the country to stage Canada's own version of the "Arab Spring" and stand up to the recently-elected Conservative majority government.
"This is the only way we're going to see real change," Marcelle told CTV News Channel, as she conceded that Harper's majority government will hold parliamentary sway for the next four years.
Marcelle managed to hold her sign up for about 20 seconds, and stood steps from Prime Minister Stephen Harper. She was quickly escorted out of the chamber and immediately fired.
Despite the protest, Gov. Gen. David Johnston didn't stop reading and the speech was not interrupted. The Conservative speech borrows heavily from the government's campaign platform, and it promises to keep the economy as the chief focus over the next year.
However, the speech also promises to get rid of the long-gun registry and break up the monopoly of the Canadian Wheat Board.
Marcelle had served in the Senate as a page for nearly a year, but she decided to take action a few days ago because she said Harper doesn't reflect the majority of Canadians.
"Harper's agenda is disastrous for this country and for my generation," Marcelle said.
She added that the government is "blowing billions of dollars" on fighter jets and corporate tax cuts, but ignoring important environmental issues like climate change.
But since Harper recently won a majority, Marcelle said that staging "creative" protests is the only way to fight back.
"I think that Harper's agenda is so damaging that it called for something that is different," she said. "I think we really need to take action."
Marcelle, who also uses the last name DePape, performed a self-penned, one-woman show called "She Rules with Iron Stix" onstage in Ottawa last year at TEDxYouthOttawa.
You can watch the performance below.