A Yellow Vest Convoy that organizers say will consist of hundreds of trucks, is departing from Red Deer Feb. 15th for Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The pro-pipeline convoy is calling on the federal government to speed up oil pipeline construction in wake of the energy sector crisis in the province.

‘Yellow Vest’ pro-pipeline convoy departing from Red Deer to Ottawa mid February

“We want to create awareness in Ottawa that we want pipeline shovels in the ground,” says organizer

Yet another ‘Yellow Vest’ movement has sprung up in Central Alberta resulting from the growing political discontent between the province and Ottawa over the struggling energy sector.

A Yellow Vest Convoy that organizers say will consist of hundreds of trucks, as well as smaller vehicles, is departing from Red Deer Feb. 15th for Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

It is calling on the federal government to speed up oil pipeline construction.

A GoFundMe page that raises money for fuel and expenses the Convoy will incur during the trip has reached $70,291 of its $200,000 goal as of Friday afternoon. A second GoFundMe page has raised $12,795 of its $100,000 goal.

Innisfail-resident Glen Carritt owns an oilfield safety company and is the lead liaison with the group making the four-day road trip across Canada. The aim, he said, is to ensure Ottawa knows Albertans are not happy with the current state of its energy industry.

He said he believes the Yellow Vest protests that took place in the province last month have not done enough.

READ MORE: Yellow Vests protesters take to Red Deer streets

“We want to create awareness in Ottawa that we want pipeline shovels in the ground,” he said.

While government action on the stalled Trans Mountain Pipeline is a focus, he said the Convoy is calling for any pipeline to get Alberta’s oil to the country’s coastlines.

The Federal Court of Appeal rejected the approval for the 1,150-km Alberta-to-West Coast Trans Mountain expansion last August. It stated insufficient consultations with First Nations and an insufficient examination of the effects on marine ecosystems as the reasons.

“I don’t know why the government didn’t appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal at the Supreme Court level,” he said. “Everybody feels that Trudeau and the people in power have not done enough to get these pipelines going. It is just procrastination, and delay after delay.”

The Convoy also calls for the reversal of Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act.

The federal bill bans tankers carrying more than 12,500 tonnes of crude oil from stopping and loading and unloading along British Columbia’s north coast.

Bill C-69, Impact Assessment Act is another point of contention for the group. Premier Rachel Notley has criticized the bill, saying the federal government is wading into the province’s territory when it comes to managing its energy sector.

“They are going to put a handcuff on any oil and gas companies in our province and in our country,” said Carritt. “We’ve got enough government regulations already in place and it has been hurting the industry.

“The more product we can get out to the world and stop backlogging all our product in Alberta then that price will come up so at least we can get work even if (oil pricing) has dropped somewhat.”

The federal government promised more than 1.6 billion dollars to help Alberta’s struggling energy sector in December. Much of the money, largely in the form of corporate loans, is for oil and gas exporters who want to invest in new technologies and diversify their markets.

Another $500 million is to be made available through the Business Development Bank of Canada over the next two years to help smaller oil and gas companies navigate the downturn.

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects.

But Carritt said he feels the money will not help the energy sector needs: “They give government handouts and want to have people dependent on government handouts.

”We’re hard-working Albertans who don’t want handouts,” he said. “We just want to get back to work.

Yellow Vest protests gained attention around the world in December when massive protests broke out in France. The protesters were objecting to the country’s high cost of living, income inequality and the policies of President Emmanuel Macron.

But Carritt said the Convoy has only adopted the symbol of the Yellow Vest movement. The group is very different from the one in France, he said. It also does not want to associate with extremist views that have been attached to the protests.

“We have taken on that symbol only because it is recognized,” he said, adding its Facebook page, Yellow Vest (Official) Convoy to Ottawa, is monitored by eight to 10 people, on a 24-hour basis to ensure there are no racial slurs, hate comments and other forms of misconduct.

Among other issues, the Convoy is protesting the carbon tax as well as Ottawa’s adoption of the UN Global Compact for Migration, a 36-page guide on how countries can address challenges related to human migration.

The UN compact has drawn criticism from the federal Conservatives who say the compact could erode Canada’s sovereignty. But advocates say it is not legally binding and will have no impact on Canadian sovereignty.

The Convoy departs Feb. 15th, the opening day of the 2019 Canada Winter Games, because it needs to make Parliament Hill by Feb. 20th to meet with a convoy coming from Atlantic Canada that is pushing for the Energy East pipeline.

“We certainly don’t want to take attention away from the Winter Games – that’s for sure,” he said.

-with files from the Canadian Press

Just Posted

PHOTO: Sylvan Lake business hosts free breakfast for Westerner Days

CWC Energy Services hosted a free pancake breakfast Thursday morning

Community mourns the deaths of two Maskwacis toddlers

Siblings found drowned on family’s property

Water Balance in the Sylvan Lake Watershed

The Sylvan Lake Watershed Stewardship Society submits a weekly column about the lake

A Beacon of Hope shines in Sylvan Lake

A fundraiser for the Safe Harbour Society to educate about opioid addiction was held on July 13

Gas prices in Sylvan Lake higher than surrounding area

The gas in town is being sold with a retail margin of about four to seven cents a litre

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate indecent act at By The Lake Park

Complaint said man exposed himself in Wetaskiwin

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Chiefs honour Indigenous leader wrongfully hanged in B.C. 154 years ago today

Chief Joe Alphonse says they want his remains returned to his homeland in B.C.’s Cariboo region

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate attempted armed robbery

Police seek information about alleged attack and identify suspect

Scrapie, a disease related to mad cow, found in two flocks of sheep in Alberta

Health Canada says there is no known link between scrapie and human health

Alberta oil and gas producer cleanup cost estimates set too low, says coalition

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. facing the largest bill at $11.9 billion to clean up 73,000 wells

Scheer on Trump: It’s ‘offensive’ to question the family background of critics

Trump is being called a racist for saying that the four congresswomen should go back where they came from

Instagram expands Canadian pilot removing ‘like’ counts to more countries

Social media giant plans to roll out the test in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, Italy and Ireland

Most Read