Resource towns need to stand up and have voices heard

For too long, the working people of Alberta’s resource towns like Red Deer haven’t had a real voice in the political decisions directly effecting their lives, and livelihoods – about pipeline projects, new mines, forestry tenures.

That’s not only a tragedy for Red Deer, it’s a travesty for resource development across Canada.

Last spring, we launched Suits and Boots to change that. Founded by six people in April, we have since grown to more than 3,200 people across Canada.

Suits in offices and boots out in the field alike doing the important work that makes Canada such a prosperous nation.

We have held rallies and flown banners over Parliament. We have written senators asking them to kill the current version of Bill C-69 and send it back to the House of Commons so this flawed attempt at reworking Canada’s environmental assessment regulations can be redone.

We have sat down with politicians in our capital to call for change. We have been invited to the Prime Minister’s Office to hear our side of the story.

We have been constructive, offering solutions and ensuring the perspectives of resource sector working Canadians finally gain a voice. We have an impact. Because you now have a voice.

We have only been successful because 3,200 Canadians have signed on to get involved – writing letters to senators and MPs, showing up at events and lending their support.

Bill C-69 will soon be going before the Senate environment and natural resources committee. The fate of Canada’s resource sector hangs in the balance.

Now is the time we need our voice. Now is the time for Red Deer and other resource towns across Canada to stand up, be counted, and speak up.

We can help you do that.

Rick Peterson, Edmonton

Rick Peterson is founder of Suits and Boots.

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