MP’s across the country are making their rounds on the yearly summer barbecue circuit, which is a convenient way for them to meet with constituents before Parliament resumes on September 17.
Nathan Cullen is no exception to this, and was in Prince Rupert on Saturday to hold a barbecue fundraiser for the Prince Rupert SPCA in Mariner’s Park.
“Every year since I was elected we’ve helped a community group raise some money, rather than do the usual political-flipping-burgers-thing. And this year’s recipient gets to choose next year’s,” says Cullen.
This year’s recipient was the Prince Rupert SPCA, an organization that has seen its financial support from places such as the City of Prince Rupert cut back sharply in recent years. So the SPCA needs all the funding it can get.
All of the money from the barbecue will go towards their everyday operating expenses.
“They chose us as this year’s beneficiary. The barbecue is all by donation and it all goes to us. It’s pretty awesome,” says the manager of the Prince Rupert SPCA, Anna Terebka
The SPCA is on the front lines of trying to deal with Prince Rupert and Port Edward’s out of control cat population. Terebka says that they are applying to the city for a grant to help set up a spay and neuter program.
In an attempt to more adult cats at the shelter adopted, the BC SPCA is holding a Cat Adoption Week from August 23 to the 25 where people can take home a cat over 6 months old for whatever price they’re willing to pay.
“We’re really full right now, we’ve got a ton of cats. It’s kitten season right now and all the older cats get overlooked,” says Terebka.
While the barbecue was focused on the SPCA and the animals (many people came out with their dogs to the event), there was a fair share of politicking going on. Cullen was posing for pictures and talking with constituents while volunteers and his provincial counterpart Gary Coons manned the grills.
“[We’ve been talking about] everything under the sun: immigration, Enbridge, what’s been going on with the Port, anything that happens in town. It’s what the barbecue accomplishes, it’s a much more relaxed atmosphere than having to book a meeting,” says Cullen.
“Sometimes I meet with dozens and dozens of people in just a few hours. I don’t get to flip many burgers, but then again I’m not the best burger flipper.”