More than 150 trucks and vehicles took off from Red Deer Thursday morning as part of the United We Roll, Official Convoy for Canada.
The truck convoy, which is making a four-day trip to Ottawa, aims to make the federal government aware of the economic hardship Albertans face as a result of the lack of pipeline capacity in the province.
Organizer Glen Carritt said about 100 trucks will be travelling through Alberta with 60 making the entire trip to Ottawa minutes before the convoy took off from Gorts Truck Wash on Edgar Industrial Crescent.
Trucks will also be joining the convoy along the way in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.
“It’s been pretty exciting. Everybody has been working very hard. We’re ready to carry it to Parliament Hill,” Carritt said.
“We’re United We Roll. That means our farmers, our veterans. Everybody is represented here. It’s going to be a peaceful and respectful rally. We’re representing all of Canada, we’re uniting Canada with this rally.”
Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins came out to show support on the frigid morning.
A big issue the truck convoy wants to bring to Ottawa, he said, is with some of the federal government’s policies and introduced bills, such as Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act and Bill C-69, Impact Assessment Act.
“They’re upset, they’re disappointed. They’re trying to go down to Ottawa to change Justin Trudeau’s mind.
“These policies have created a lack of confidence in the energy sector here in Western Canada. They are trying to change Justin Trudeau’s mind and if Justin Trudeau won’t change his mind then the only thing we can do is change Justin Trudeau,” Calkins continued.
Les Michaelson from Edmonton agreed. He said his work in housing is affected by the faltering oil industry and suffers as a result.
“Definitely there is a slump. The slump is felt in all industries in the province — not just oil.
“I think we need to get pipelines built. We’re having a lot of difficulty with employment in Alberta.”
He said he takes issue with both of the Trudeau government’s Bills because they make it difficult to get Alberta oil to tidewater.
Chris Gendreau from Airdrie said she thinks the country is going downhill. Her painting business is suffering and she hasn’t worked in three months.
“Trudeau isn’t helping people in Canada. He is helping other people who don’t need help. We need help,” she said. “The carbon tax is going to kill Canada. We can’t even afford basic living and then we’re going to have to pay taxes on top of it.”
The United We Roll Convoy used to be called the Yellow Vest (official) Convoy to Ottawa, however, it was changed to keep the focus on the issues facing the oil and gas industry.