‘A contempt of Parliament’

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.

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