Jeff Bryde, a former employee of the Okanagan Tree Fruit Co-operative, is getting ready to walk nearly 500 km because he says he’s got “nothing left to lose.”
Bryde first made waves in September 2011 after he wrote letters to the editors of local newspapers criticizing the co-op’s business practices.
His objection stemmed from B.C. Tree Fruit’s decision to sell Washington State apples when certain varieties weren’t available from local growers.
Bryde’s protest included a five-day hunger strike. He was suspended, but returned to work in April 2012.
He got into hot water again last October when he publicly claimed fruit packing bins contaminated with pigeon feces resulted in him getting sick earlier that year.
Now without a job or a house, Bryde said he is making one last effort because he “believes in the truth.”
“I’m going to walk with my dog—we’re walking to Victoria and I’m going to try to get the government to do an investigation into what I’ve perceived as being a coverup in the fruit industry with the contamination with the fruit packing bins,” said Bryde.
Bryde has struggled to find employment since being terminated from the co-op.
“I’m blacklisted as being a whistleblower and I’m paying the consequences right now.”
He said he plans to begin the journey around April 2.