One woman is taking a solitary stand against a convoy of about 400 trucks leaving Red Deer next week.
Calling the convoy to Ottawa “illegal,” Darlene Jacobsen said she’s as pro-pipeline as the next Albertan, but can’t support this kind of “dangerous” demonstration.
The United We Roll! Convoy for Canada! is supposed to be leaving for Ottawa from Gorts Car Wash in Red Deer’s Edgar Industrial Park at about 8 a.m. on Feb. 14.
Organizer Glen Carritt, of Innisfail, was not available to comment on Friday on how many trucks have signed up.
Jacobsen said she was told it would be about 400 by a group member she recently contacted through the Red Deer convoy to Ottawa Facebook page.
The retired special education assistant stressed that she’s all for getting Alberta oil to more overseas markets and stimulating investment in the energy industry — which is what convoy participants are pushing for.
What she can’t endorse is the kind of “intimidating” convoy demonstrations that she says are making highways unsafe and causing a disturbance and nuisance for other motorists.
“A 400-truck convoy would be four kilometres long,” said Jacobsen, who questioned how other drivers are supposed to make left-hand turns, merge, pass, or even cross a highway with this kind of traffic — especially on single-lane roadways.
She recently contacted RCMP and the Alberta government saying that if parades need special permits, then a long lineup of giant trucks should require them too. She also complained convoys break noise bylaws with their incessant honking.
But the answers she received pointed to a citizen’s right to hold peaceful protests.
An assistant to Transportation Minister Brian Mason replied that convoy protesters have to abide by the same rules of the road as other motorists. Those who don’t can be fined under the Traffic Safety Act.
RCMP spokesman Const. Mike Hibbs said the convoy will not get a special police escort, but various traffic officers will be watching out to ensure that traffic is flowing smoothly and safely.
A convoy member will not be able to get out and wave trucks through a red light, for example, said Hibbs. “They can’t obstruct traffic.”