The recent United We Roll convoy to Ottawa was organized by an Eckville native.
The pro-pipeline convoy, which started in Red Deer last month, saw almost 200 trucks on Parliament Hill during the rally’s first day in Ottawa.
Some of the trucks made the trip all the way from Red Deer, whereas others left partway through or joined in along the route. Others from Ontario and out east joined the rally on Parliament Hill when the convoy arrived.
“It accomplished more than it set out to do,” said convoy organizer Glen Carritt in a phone interview, adding the convoy’s original goal was to “make some noise on Parliament Hill” to show Ottawa Western Canada, and Canada as a whole, is not happy with what is going on in the oil and gas sector.
“The story became how much people all across the country, and especially in Ontario, absolutely love the oil and gas industry and love Western Canada and that we’re actually a united country and that it’s the government that has been trying to create a separation for years and years,” explained Carritt, who spent his school years in Eckville before leaving in 1984.
The trip, which was supposed to take four days, ended up taking five after they spent an extra 14 hours on the road due to the amount of support the convoy received.
“If we went through a town the size of Eckville, you know 900 people, there were 600 people along the sides of the road waving us on with Canadian flags [and] United We Roll [signs],” said Carritt. “It was phenomenal.”
Carritt says as the convoy pulled into Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. there was six BBQ’s set up and close to 2,000 people waiting to welcome them.
“It was just crazy,” said Carritt. “I thought the further we went into Ontario the less support we would get, but it just kept growing and growing.”
He credits a lot of what is happening right now on the political level to the awareness the convoy created, adding it had a huge impact on Alberta’s oil and gas industry.
“It’s a part of history. It’s one of the bigger things, I feel, that’s happened in Canadian history in a long time,” Carritt continued.
While on Parliament Hill the rally was joined by several MP’s including Blaine Calkins and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.
In terms of the GoFundMe, which raised over $140,000 in two months, Carritt is hoping to make payouts this week as they are still in the process of gathering receipts from everyone for expenses.
Follow Kaylyn Whibbs on Twitter