Energy sector protests Saturday

By Taylor Chartrand
December 21, 2018 - 4:42pm Updated: December 21, 2018 - 8:44pm

 

Medicine Hat, AB - A pair of pro pipeline protests will be hitting the streets of Medicine Hat on Saturday.

Representatives from the energy sector will be taking part in the Rally for Resources truck convoy, as well as the Yellow-Vest campaign in some of the busiest areas of town.

These events are going to be hard to miss and may slow down your Saturday commute.

Rally for Resources Organizer Keith Vanderloh lays out the route.

"We're going to line-up in front of the STEP Energy shop here on the old Trans-Canada Highway," said Vanderloh.  "We'll be entering Highway One from the Hays Highway (the 524), coming through Medicine Hat and going through the Dunmore scales, turning around and coming back through Medicine Hat."

Over 200 trucks from the oil and gas industry have already signed on to take part in the rally.

This rally follows similar protests that have been taking place across the province this month.

Over 1,200 trucks slowed traffic to a crawl on the QEII near Nisku on Wednesday.

While Saturday's convoy in Medicine Hat may not be as large, Vanderloh said the message will be.

"We're not looking for a handout, we just want to go to work. We need a pipeline to get our product to tidewater."

Yellow-Vest protest organizer Tamara Lich echoed Vanderloh's comments.

"It's really great to see everybody supporting each other," said Lich. "What happened in Grand Prairie on Sunday, what happened in Nisku this week when Andrew Scheer came into town, it's been really positive, right? People want to be heard."

Medicine Hat Police are aware hundreds of trucks will be rumbling through the hat on Saturday.

There is the potential for traffic delays, but police say as long as the protesters follow the rules of the road and stick to the right lane, they're free to do as they please.

"Our number one priority is always going to be public safety and we've communicated that very clearly to the organizers of the rally and our officers are well aware of that as well," explained Sergeant Paul Taylor of the MHPS Community Intelligence Team. "So, that's what's going to be our priority tomorrow."

In addition to the Rally for Resources demonstration, the Yellow-Vest campaign will also be hosting another protest in support of the energy sector outside of Staples from 12 - 2 p.m.

"It sounds like there are going to be lots of people coming out this weekend," said Lich. "We just want our voices to be heard and keep the momentum up with what's been happening across the province."
 

Rally for Resources Convoy underway