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Pro-pipeline convoy arrives in city (6 photos)

United We Roll made a stop in Thunder Bay on Saturday on its cross-Canada trek to Ottawa

THUNDER BAY - Lisa Kleinsasser, who calls herself a proud oilfield wife, believes the federal government needs to do more to support workers in Canada’s oil and gas industry to bring more jobs to Canadians across the country.

“I think its important for Canada to stand together and show the government that we need to make some change and need to support areas like Alberta that may have different needs than eastern areas,” she said.

Kleinsasser was one of more than a dozen local supporters of the United We Roll convoy that arrived in Thunder Bay late Saturday afternoon.

The convoy, in support of the oil and gas industry, including building pipelines, eliminating the carbon tax, repealing Bill C-48 tanker ban, and stopping Bill C-16, departed Red Deer, Alta. on Feb. 14 destined for a demonstration in Ottawa.

More than 200 trucks are expected to arrive on Parliament Hill later next week and on Saturday more than 75 vehicles stopped in Thunder Bay. Originally scheduled to pass through the city earlier in the afternoon and stop in Sault Ste. Marie, organizers said supporters on the road caused delays.

Angie Reid, the east coast coordinator of the convoy and leading the way in a pace car, said the cross-Canada trek is about sending a message to the government of Canada.

“Canadians have issues that need to be dealt with that we feel are being ignored and we feel it’s time he pays attention to us,” she said. “Some of us are from Alberta and we want the pipeline built. Some of the bills are absolutely ridiculous.”

The convoy is also in opposition to the United Nations global compact on migration. Reid said she is not opposed to legal immigration, but believes there are a lot of struggling families in Canada and doing away with pipelines is hurting them.

“People from across Canada have gone to Alberta for prosperity, so I think the rest of Canada should stand up and help them,” she said. “There are multiple reasons for our people to be here and everybody has their own reasons to be here.”

The idea to use a convoy of trucks started in Alberta where convoys were once used to transport oil for the pipelines.

“It looked like a good idea, it got a lot of attention because they are big and loud and proud,” Reid said.

According to Reid, the convoy has received a lot of support throughout the Prairie Provinces. There was a small demonstration in opposition near Winnipeg and Reid said there might more pushback the closer the convoy gets to Ottawa.

“This is going to happen no matter where we go, from here on out, but the Yellow Vests will be there,” Reid said. “And we are taking the highway, so unless they want to jump out into traffic, there’s not much they can do.”

For Reid, the message behind United We Roll is taking advantage of Canadian resources and not relying on foreign markets.

“The fact that we are taking in Saudi oil but ours is not even being bought at the market anymore, it doesn’t make sense,” she said.

Kleinsasser agrees, adding that many people from Thunder Bay have travelled to Alberta to work in the oil sands, which is why she believes the United We Roll message resonates with people in the city.

“We need to be able to use Canada’s resources and they are available to us and supplying jobs for people who want to work,” she said. “This feeling of them coming through Thunder Bay is awesome. I think the more people that come through, they have no choice but to notice what is happening and they do need to make a change for these people and hopefully come October we can make a change.”

Doug Diaczuk

About the Author: Doug Diaczuk

Doug Diaczuk is a reporter and award-winning author from Thunder Bay. He has a master’s degree in English from Lakehead University
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