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HomeBusinessTrudeau’s West Van guest list small, but big names, Grit faithful showed-up amid anti-LNG protest

Trudeau’s West Van guest list small, but big names, Grit faithful showed-up amid anti-LNG protest


Bob Mackin

Apparently quality of donors, not quantity, was the theme of the Nov. 1 Liberal fundraiser starring Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in West Vancouver.

The clubhouse at the Gleneagles public golf course was the scene of what was billed as a night with the PM. Donors got much less than a night, because the Liberal leader and his security entourage showed up unfashionably late with less than an hour to go. Area MP Pamela Goldsmith-Jones had spent much of the night waiting at the door. She keeps waiting for a cabinet post. 

A list published on the party website shows 76 names of attendees who paid between $750 and $1,500 for admission. The number of people outside protesting Trudeau’s approval of the Woodfibre LNG plant near Squamish rivalled the number on the guest list.

Attendees of the Nov. 1 Liberal fundraiser with Prime Minister Trudeau included Patrisse Chan (Chan)

Mansoor Lalji, one of three brothers behind Park Royal shopping centre landlord Larco Holdings, was the most-prominent name on Trudeau’s guest list. Larco bought federal office buildings (including ones that house the RCMP and Canada Revenue Agency) in five cities for $1.7 billion under the Conservatives in 2007. In 2016, Business in Vancouver reported that Larco had ties to Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm exposed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in the Panama Papers.

Valor Invest Ltd. merchant banker Aly Nazeerali, Quark Venture CEO Karima Es Sabar, Capital Now Financial president Feisal Dedhar and Chase Realty president Farouk Verjee were listed. All of the above are followers of the Aga Khan. Trudeau was found in violation of federal ethics rules for taking a free family trip after Christmas 2016 to the wealthy Ismaili Muslim religious leader’s private island in the Bahamas.

Who else went straight to to the 19th hole?

Saree Chan, chair of the Richmond-based Canada Fei Cui International Industrial Group Ltd., and daughter Patrisse Chan.

Enbridge directors David Unruh and Michael Phelps. Mining tycoon Ross Beaty. Western Stevedoring president Brad Eshleman.

The security detail at a Nov. 1 Justin Trudeau fundraising party in West Vancouver included an RCMP cruiser from Richmond (Mackin)

D-Wave COO Warren Wall. Laura Ballance Media Group owner Laura Ballance and vice-president and Dale Steeves. Former aide to Joyce Murray and Christy Clark, ex-lobbyist Gabe Garfinkel. Garfinkel is now GM of Native Northwest crafts. Miller Thomson lawyer Jane Shackell. Lawson Lundell lawyer Nolan Hurlburt.

An interesting name on the list was Chief Bob Chamberlin of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, who opposed Trudeau’s purchase of Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain Pipeline project. He was there with his partner, Melissa Louie of Morgan and Associates. Chamberlin did not respond to questions about his attendance at the fundraiser.

Trudeau once taught snowboarding on the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb. Ex-owner Joe Houssian, was another supporter in attendance.

One of the last to arrive was Mary-Ann Booth, the West Vancouver district councillor whose slim 21-vote win over Mark Sager was confirmed by a judicial recount earlier in the day. Booth was accompanied by her husband, real estate lawyer John Sampson of Norton Rose Fulbright. 

Trudeau was in Vancouver earlier in the day to appear at a Vancouver Board of Trade event and for short private meetings with the new mayors of Vancouver and Surrey, Kennedy Stewart and Doug McCallum. Trudeau’s motorcade showed up more than an hour late at the golf club, owing to traffic congestion and a police incident on the Lions Gate Bridge.

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