Many truck convoys have been held across Alberta and Saskatchewan in recent weeks.
Chad Miller with the group “Oilfield Dads” told the crowd of about 1,000 gathered in Rocky Mountain House (that’s over 15% of the town’s population) that the province is suffering its “worst recession turned depression” in a generation, due to weakened oil prices, caused by—and severely worsened by a lack of pipeline capacity.
“Even those that put away for the rainy days and then some have had to use their savings, and more, to try to weather this never-ending hard times scenario,” Miller said.
The multiple rallies and truck convoy protest actions are being held across Alberta and Saskatchewan because of the recent actions the federal government has made negatively impacting the livelihoods of oil workers and their families.
These federal actions specifically make building pipelines more difficult. Two examples of such actions include Bill C-69, designed to revamp the National Energy Board and Bill C-48, which would ban oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s northern coast.
A convoy in Medicine Hat, AB last weekend garnered 650 vehicles, according to police estimates, and a similar event in Estevan, Sask., brought around 450 trucks. Groups are planning to hold another convoy in February that will make its journey from Western Canada to Ottawa
“Today, I say to Ottawa, can you hear us yet?” Miller asked the crowd during Saturday’s rally. “Don’t worry, you’ll see us in February when we convoy to Ottawa!”
These actions are aren’t going without notice, earlier this month, the federal government announced it would spend $1.6 billion to help the struggling energy sector.
But Jason Nixon, who represents Rocky Mountain House in the provincial legislature, said what Alberta really wants is pipelines. “Trudeau, we don’t want your money. We want you to get out of the way,” Nixon said to the crowd in Rocky Mountain House.
The groups “Rally 4 Resources” and “Canada Action” say in a Facebook event post that the convoy to Ottawa is intended to end Feb. 20 on Parliament Hill. The post says letters voicing support for the industry, as well as individual and family photos, will be delivered to the Senate.