The Council of Canadians Comox Valley organized a rally at the 17 st. Bridge in Courtenay on Thursday

The Council of Canadians Comox Valley organized a rally at the 17 st. Bridge in Courtenay on Thursday

Council of Canadians protest Harper visit

Rally at 17 st. bridge attracts federal Green Party candidate

  • Aug. 20, 2015 11:00 a.m.

Terry Farrell

Record staff

The Comox Valley Council of Canadians members were not a happy lot on Thursday and they were letting everyone who drove over the 17 St. Bridge at the noon hour know abut it.

They were upset that Prime Minister Stephen Harper came to the Comox Valley and did not make any public appearances.

He was in the area for a couple of events, including a private function at Coastal Black Winery Thursday night, but officials were being tight-lipped as to his schedule.

“The purpose of the rally was to let people other than Conservative party members know that Harper is here and to let everyone in the Valley know that there are many of us who are not very happy with the way he has been governing, and in fact, are really, really concerned about it,” said Council of Canadians spokesperson Alice de Wolff.

A couple of dozen protestors, including a three-piece band (tuba, trombone and kazoo), were waving signs and responding to horn-blowing of passing cars.

The rally had some unexpected political clout on site as well, as Green Party Courtenay-Alberni candidate Glenn Sollitt joined in.

“I was at my office and looked out the window and thought, what’s going on? So I came down to check it out,” he said.

“This (rally) was a wide-open event… the events we try to organize are as open as possible,” said de Wolff. “It’s great to see (Sollitt) here.”

When asked his opinion on the cloak of secrecy surrounding the PM’s visit, Sollitt said he did not agree with the strategy.

“I think it’s a poor choice, what he’s doing,” said Sollitt. “When the leaders don’t make themselves accessible to the general public and open themselves up to question then yeah, it’s a disingenuous move. He’s here, but not really. You have to open yourself up to the public.”

Although the Council of Canadians is an independent, non-partisan group, the C of C and Sollitt do share a common goal.

“They all say they want Harper out and we all want the Conservatives out, otherwise I wouldn’t be running for a different party,” he said.