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A protester joins others on the sidewalk on Harvey Avenue near Gordon Drive Saturday. (Elisha Dacey - Castanet)
A protester joins others on the sidewalk on Harvey Avenue near Gordon Drive Saturday. (Elisha Dacey - Castanet)

Rally draws bigger crowd than expected

by - Story: 52236


More than 100 people showed up to a Kelowna rally to protest the proroguing of Parliament, one of just dozens of rallies held across the country Saturday afternoon.

"I asked for 50 and I have it and more, I'm really, really excited," says protest organizer Lisa Dahrouge before the rally.

Protesters gathered at the corner of Harvey and Gordon on Saturday afternoon, several carrying signs or putting signs together in the parking lot of the Capri Centre Mall.

"I went online and saw the great work that folks across the country were doing and it was inspirational," says Dahrouge. "Also, there was a live podcast of the demonstrations in Ottawa and they were fantastic. Our (rally) is going to be a lot smaller and a lot quieter ... but we're concerned citizens and that's all we need."

Dahrogue says while she was hoping MP Ron Cannan, whose constituency office is in the Capri Centre Mall, would be there, she knew he wouldn't be.

"I did speak to his assistant and I do understand that he knows about this rally. Unfortunately for us and for him he had other commitments."

Dahrouge says the group was putting together a petition and will present it to Cannon on Wednesday morning at his office.

Mike Mohammed says he and his wife came to the rally after hearing about it through the media.

"I heard about it through Castanet actually, I saw it on your website and I was really glad someone was putting a protest together."

Mohammed says he joined the protest because he felt it was wrong for Harper to prorogue government for so long.

"It was so brash and I just think it was wrong. I don't think they're working on the budget or whatever, I think he did it to duck out of answering questions about the torture of Afghan detainees and he let a lot of crime bills die. It wasn't right and I think most Canadians agree."

NDP Federal Candidate Tish Lakes was on hand for the rally and while she says she acknowledges that MPs do work while parliament is prorogued, this time there was a bigger issue.

"The concern for me when they shut down Parliament is the crass assessment that key issues around justice and law are only subject to public opinion. Harper thought the public wouldn't care. He went ahead and did it. I'm very glad to see the public does care."


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