Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

The federal Liberal Party has moved a fundraising event featuring Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that was originally booked on a Canadian Forces base — and might have violated military rules.

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400. Initially slated to occur in the Vimy Officers Mess at CFB Kingston, it has since been moved across town to St. Lawrence College.

Party spokesman Braeden Caley blamed capacity, accessibility and other logistical issues for the decision to change venues, saying in an email that “there’s been a very strong response to the upcoming event.”

READ MORE: Trudeau criticized for tweet to Trevor Noah pledging $50M charity gift

The largest space in the officers’ mess holds 240 people, according to CFB Kingston. St. Lawrence College has a conference centre that can hold 350.

While the officers’ mess is regularly rented out for private functions such as weddings, CFB Kingston spokesman Capt. Jeremy Mathews said the staff members who booked the Liberal event “were not aware of its fundraising nature.”

“While CFB Kingston staff were checking into the issue, the booking party moved the event to another location, thus resolving the issue,” Mathews said in an email, adding: “CFB Kingston is apolitical, and does not allow political meetings on the base.”

Even if the mess is available for private functions, lawyer and retired colonel Michel Drapeau said protecting the military from real or perceived political bias is essential — which is why such fundraising events are banned.

READ MORE: Trudeau wants new relationship with Indigenous people to be his legacy as PM

“The military has to be seen and to be perceived as apolitical and it would be wrong to use a defence establishment, a government property established under military control, for any political purposes,” Drapeau said. “The optics of that would go against the apolitical status of the military in a democracy.”

The Liberals began to give advance notice of political fundraising events last year after the prime minister was roasted for months for attending exclusive events at private homes, where donors paid up to $1,550 to rub shoulders with him.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria’s top 10 worst intersections for crashes in 2019

Last year saw 2,560 crashes in Victoria

Excitement building around Esquimalt Town Square

Residential, commercial and library project will add vibrancy, amenities to area, mayor says

VIDEO: Annual artist studio tour goes virtual on Saanich Peninsula

ArtSea converts popular event to online format with personalized artist videos

Langford boy wakes up from surgery to find stuffed puppy wearing the same cast

Hospital staff outfitted ‘Eddy’ the puppy to match the young patient

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Most Read