Yellow vest protest hits Medicine Hat

By Taylor Chartrand
December 15, 2018 - 2:28pm Updated: December 17, 2018 - 7:14pm


Medicine Hat, AB - Over 100 protesters from Medicine Hat flooded 13th Ave today to voice their frustrations with the Liberal Government and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Representatives from the oil and gas industry, as well as members from the agriculture sector were frustrated with how things have gone under the Liberal Government.

There were many conversations surrounding displeasure with the potential implementation of Bill C-69, the carbon tax and concerns around the United Nations (UN) Migration Pact.

Resident Sheldon Johnston said when it comes to these issues, the Federal Government isn't listening.

"This is an example of the future of this country if we continue to have representatives that don't represent the will of our people,” said Johnston. “When we hand over our rights to the UN, when we hand over our rights to immigration on trade and taxation, this is the result that you're seeing here today."

Johnston said it was unfortunate that people felt they needed to protest to have their voices heard.

"This is an expression of our voice and our will. We don't feel the democratic institutions are listening. We feel there is an international agenda and we feel they're pushing those views upon the people of this country. We're tired of it and we want to have fair representation in this country."

Johnston then explained that he will not be silenced when it comes to voicing his opinions on these matters.

"This past Wednesday I had one elected official here in Medicine Hat tell me to shut up. I'm not going to shut up and the people here are not going to shut up either. The elected officials had better start listening. That's what we have to say."

Another individual at the rally was Kelly Torresan. Torresan said he's been working in the oil and gas industry for over 30 years and he's never seen anything quite like this in Canada.

"There's just no way we can do without the oil and gas in Canada," explained Torresan. "The carbon tax and the carbon credits that they're trying to do, it's just ludicrous. It's hypocrisy from the east to suggest that we can do without the oil and gas sector."

Torresan said as an Albertan and ultimately a Canadian, he felt it was his time to speak up.

"I gotta say my piece here and put in my two-cents, otherwise democracy is broken. The Liberal Government isn't representing Canada, they seem to be representing the UN. "

One gentleman, who only wanted to be known as Stephen, said although he isn't directly involved in the oil and gas industry, it directly impacts his line of work, like many other Albertans.

"I'm a hard working man and I have never been political in my life until Trudeau got into power. I'm so tired of what he's doing and I'm a very passive fella, but this is too much. He has to know the people of Canada aren't happy." 

Stephen then reiterated what Torresan said on Trudeaus UN agenda.

"He signed the UN Pact, his migration pact thing and the people cannot afford any more foreigners coming into this country. They're coming into this country and it's costing the people. Our kids will be working until they're 70 and that's what he's trying to do. It can't be done anymore, we just can't take it." 

Grain farmer Cory Schell echoed Stephen’s concerns.

"Trudeau's a globalist," said Schell. "He wants everyone to be in the United Nations and he wants to see it on the UN. He doesn't give a crap about Canada."

Schell said as a grain farmer, he feels the Federal Government has their own agenda and as mentioned, doesn't 'give a crap' about Canadians.

"The carbon tax which Trudeau wants to promote is going to kill the agriculture industry. I have 300 tires, 80 batteries and all my steel equipment that will be carbon taxed. It's going to cost me roughly $50,000 more to do business next year. I've tried voicing these concerns to the Liberals, they simply do not listen.”

Medicine Hat - Cardston - Warner Member of Parliament Glen Motz attended the rally and offered his thoughts on the protest.

"At the moment, we're getting attacked,” said Motz. “The Trudeau Government, the Liberal Government, isn't doing anything to help Alberta. They are doing everything possible to absolutely destroy the energy sector in this country and we gotta stop."

Motz stated the Liberal Government clearly isn’t listening on such matters like the implementation of Bill C-69.

“If you speak to those that are in the industry, they're very concerned that this will be the death of the energy industry moving forward. Mr. Scheer, our Conservative Leader, has made it very clear that along with some of the other energy issues that we'll be adjusting, C-69 will be of the first things we'll be repealing. We have to. It's damaging to our economy."

Motz said there needs to be balance.

“Canada has the most socially responsible, environmentally friendly energy production in the world, bar-none. Why we are punishing this segment of our society, economy and energy sector makes no sense to me."

Whether it be the implementation of Bill C-69, the carbon tax or the UN Migration Pact, Motz said he was proud to see so many people out voicing their concerns for what they believe in.

"People here are free to express themselves and voice their frustrations in a peaceful way. That's how it should be. We also have a way to it at a ballot box and I'm encouraging folks to make sure they vote. Don't be silent. The government is the people.”

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