A pro-resource advocacy group will serve bagged lunches on Wednesday outside the venue of a pricey fundraiser event hosted by the Liberal Party of Canada, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will try to drum up support in advance of the Oct. 21 federal election.
“The average person does not go out and spend $300 for lunch too often, but the average person does go and put their bagged lunch and put their work boots on and go to work — and that’s what we’re trying to say,” Share BC board director Dennis Giesbrecht told KTW.
Tickets for the Liberal party event, which is called An Afternoon with the Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, are regularly priced at $300, but reduced for Victory Fund members ($200) and for those younger than 25 ($75).
Victory Fund members are Liberals who make monthly donations to the party.
It will be held at the Coast Kamloops Hotel and Conference Centre, at 1250 Rogers Way in Aberdeen, beginning at 11 a.m.
Giesbrecht said Share BC launched as a counterpoint to protestors during the War in the Woods, which resulted in environmentalists saving old-growth forests from clearcutting in Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island in the early 1990s.
Giesbrecht, an oil and gas worker who failed to secure a city council seat in the 2018 civic election, cited resources for building communities, providing jobs, supporting families and bolstering the Canadian economy. He said the “Tides groups” of the world are trying to shut down “basically every resource project.”
“We just need to get the message out there that people in Kamloops and people in B.C. support these resource-based jobs,” Giesbrecht said.
The Share BC event is not part of the Yellow Vests movement, but Giesbrecht said Share BC is “friends” with Rally 4 Resources, an Alberta-based group holding pro-pipeline rallies across the country.
Giesbrecht expects between 50 and 200 people to join the Share BC event, noting it will be peaceful. He is also inviting the prime minister to join and said a bagged lunch will be waiting for him with Justin Trudeau’s initials on it.
“Come on out and have lunch with us,” Giesbrecht said when asked about his message to Trudeau. “We’ll have a lunch bag for him and he can come and have a sandwich and talk to the people with boots on the ground.”
Giesbrecht said the group is willing to work with any government. Asked about the federal government’s purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline, for which Trudeau has been criticized by environmentalists, Giesbrecht said it was unnecessary.
“We had a private company who was willing to spend billions of dollars,” he said. “They had all the approvals in place. The thing that’s terrifying, we’ve had the announcements of natural gas, LNG projects, they’re starting to move ahead [in B.C.], but the same protest groups are shutting those down. Even though, whether it’s Trans Mountain or gas projects, they’ve ticket all the boxes, they’ve jumped through all the hoops and Trans Mountain still got shut down.”
Bagged lunches will be provided by donation. Proceeds collected above lunch costs will be donated to the Kamloops Food Bank. What will be on the bagged-lunch menu remains unclear.
“My original plan was bologna sandwiches,” Giesbrecht said.