The pro-pipeline convoy that left Red Deer on Thursday was going strong on Monday and was closing in on Sudbury, Ont. with more than 70 vehicles on the road.
The convoy — United We Roll! Convoy for Canada! — left Red Deer with about 160 pickups and semi trailers intent on making it to Parliament Hill in Ottawa for a rally on Tuesday.
“We’re driving through towns and families are running out to the road to hold up their sign and their Canadian flag. It’s amazing. It’s just super special. They are cheering us on and I feel like we’re providing them hope,” said Red Deer convoy participant Haley Wile on Monday from inside the lead semi truck while en route and honking at supporters.
“Last night we pulled into Sault Ste. Marie, there at least 1,500 people there. Six barbecues going. It was all in a huge mall parking lot. We had well over 100 trucks parked there overnight.”
“There were fireworks set off for us. There were paper lanterns lit into the sky. We’re literally driving around balling at the support. I can’t even explain the experience.”
She said people are excited and they want to meet the drivers and sign the hood of the lead truck. The barriers that exists between provinces have been broken.
“It’s nice to know the rest of the country does support Alberta. They do care about us. It’s a great feeling actually, especially on Family Day.”
She has seen — Go Alberta Truckers — spray painted in the snow and Canadian flags mounted on top of a back hoe, and signs supporting Alberta oil and pipeline construction.
“I just love feeling that people do love Albertans because we’re hurting. My husband works in the oil field and he’s working for three companies right now just trying to keep a full-time job. I work at a local small dealership that is suffering, so to have them shout out to keep going, keep fighting for us, it feels great. I’m really proud.”
She said people in the convoy want prosperity for the whole country and it was time to take their message to Ottawa.
“You have the feeling that we’re so alienated and so much talk of separatism. That’s the last thing we need. Why would be give up our country because of some bad government? Why don’t we just make the government listen to us?” Wile said.
Beverley Smith, of Calgary, who has been following the progress of the convoy on social media, said the convoy was a unique way to garner attention.
“I’ve calculated the distance. If you were in Europe, you’d be driving from Paris to Syria so that’s a big distance and they are doing it in the winter on a two-lane road. It’s a pretty good road, but it’s remote,” she said about Ontario’s highway that the convoy was travelling.
“Driving around our own town, what sense does that make. Ottawa isn’t watching us. We have to go to Ottawa,” said Smith who participated in a similar conference for women’s right on Parliament Hill in 2006.