Former prime minister Stephen Harper will speak at a Kelowna Chamber of Commerce lunch March 12 at the Coast Capri Hotel.

Former prime minister Stephen Harper is coming to Kelowna to promote his new book and warn us about the populism that has allowed Donald Trump and Brexit.

Harper, whose Conservatives were in power 2006-15, will be the guest speaker at a $100-a-plate lunch March 12 at the Coast Capri Hotel, hosted by the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.

“The chamber is very excited to welcome a former prime minister to Kelowna and feature this important conversation for our members,” said chamber president Carmen Sparg.

“We know there are a lot of political enthusiasts here in Kelowna, including a raft of former civil servants who will want to hear first-hand about some of the battles, particularly over populism, that are tearing at the fabric of nations across the globe.”

Harper’s book, Right Here, Right Now: Politics and Leadership in the Age of Disruption, focuses on what he characterizes as the harmful populism that saw Americans elect Donald Trump as president and the British public vote to leave the European Union.

“Every attendee will leave with a complimentary copy of Mr. Harper’s thought-provoking book and possibly a selfie with the former PM,” said Sparg.

Both the Trump and Brexit phenomena are the result of ordinary people wanting to put it to the government by trouncing established leadership in favour of a more protectionist stance.

It explains why Americans went from a liberal (Democrat) president, Barack Obama, who was all for universal health care and more immigration, to Trump, a Republican, who vowed to “make America great again.”

Tickets for the Harper lunch can be purchased at KelownaChamber.org.

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