Rogue page doesn't regret 2011 'Stop Harper' stunt
Michelle Zilio, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, March 24, 2015 10:10AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 24, 2015 11:07AM EDT
Former Senate page Brigette DePape says she does not regret holding up a sign reading "Stop Harper" during the 2011 throne speech, a stunt that made national headlines.
Speaking to CTV's Canada AM on Tuesday, DePape said she was scared to brandish the sign, but felt the need to express her dissatisfaction with the direction of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government.
"That was one the hardest, but also best decisions of my entire life," said DePape. "I felt I needed to do it because I felt really discouraged and disempowered by the direction was government was headed and feeling like it's really going against the interests of the majority of people in this country."
DePape was briskly removed from the Senate chamber by security, and lost her job as a result.
More than three years after DePape became a household name, she is on a mission to encourage young people to better engage in politics. She's part of the 2015 Game-Changers Tour, which calls on Canadian youth to vote in the next federal election.
"Nearly two thirds of young people did not vote in the last election," said DePape. "I think it's time to break that vicious cycle of feeling like politicians aren't listening to us and so we're not voting."
In her conversations with young people, DePape said she has heard concerns about high tuition fees, youth unemployment and protection of the environment.
DePape said she is personally concerned about the government's current value of "fear and war" over "compassion."
The Game Changers tour has also launched a funding campaign, with hopes of raising $50,000 to travel across Canada to connect with a million young voters and provide them with election resources. DePape said a donor – she did not specify who – will match all donations dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000. So far, the group has raised nearly $8,000.