Justin Trudeau
(Colin Smith Photography)

Judging by the number of responses to a planned protest on Facebook, the weather won’t be the only thing that gives Prime Minister a dismal welcome to Victoria today.

The event, planned by the Wilderness Committee, who plan to gather at the Canadian Coast Guard Base on Huron St in James Bay, has garnered over 500 RSVPs.

“Join us and let Trudeau know that there is no way to safely transport tarsands bitumen, that climate leaders don’t build pipelines, and that he can’t build Kinder Morgan without consent from Indigenous and local communities!” The event’s description reads.

It also encourages attendees to bring noisemakers, banners, and to chant.

Trudeau’s Western Road Show

The Prime Minister’s visit to BC’s capital city marks the beginning of a larger tour of western provinces.

The visit to the coast guard facility will be accompanied by an announcement on marine safety and oil spill prevention.

Immediately after the stop in Victoria, the PM is scheduled to travel to a clean tech industry round table in Vancouver, before appearing at a $1,000-a-plate Liberal party fundraiser in the evening.

Protests are also planned to take place outside the fundraiser this evening, with an emphasis on making loud, distracting noise. So far, over 3000 people have RSVPed to that Facebook event.

Conflict Between Environmentalists and Oil Industry

The tension surrounding the trip arises from conflict between the portion of the Canadian population who want to see the end of fossil fuel development and those who support the oil industry.

The latter will be met with on Friday, when Trudeau visits Alberta’s oil sands to tour a Suncor facility.

Recently, Suncor’s CEO Steve Williams warned that further investments from his company could be hindered by Canada’s regulatory regime and uncompetitive tax structure.

Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Project has also been a huge source of controversy nationally – approximately 200 people have been arrested near Kinder Morgan’s marine terminal in Burnaby in the last month – and protesters will no doubt continue to remind Trudeau that they don’t agree with his decision to approve it.

Notably, Trudeau’s last visit to Vancouver Island in February – which involved a town hall in Nanaimo – led to arguing, shouting, and protesters being removed.

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