Drivers in the pro-pipeline convoy leaving Red Deer for Ottawa on Thursday have a personal interest in putting safety first and following the rules of the road, says the organizer.
Although $43,400 has been raised on GoFundMe for gas and other expenses, Glen Carritt maintains that participating drivers have signed a contract stating they will be held individually liable in case of accidents or traffic infractions.
“Everybody is responsible for themselves,” he says.
With concerns expressed about the convoy causing a potential highway hazard, the drivers of 200 to 400 trucks that will converge on Parliament Hill from across Canada are being reminded to be courteous to other motorists — to yield to traffic and allow vehicles to pass and merge accordingly, Carritt adds.
Stopping at red lights and stop signs is mandatory — unless a municipality decides to provide traffic officers to wave them along.
“Certain cities might decide to move us through, but this would be their choice.”
Carritt says getting safely to Ottawa is the main point, because local convoys haven’t made much impact on the government.
“We have to push the narrative” by uniting on Parliament Hill.
Having given RCMP the heads-up about the convoy’s route, he’s busy preparing for the large-scale deployment of semi tractor trailers, pickups and service trucks. The convoy will leave Gorts Truck Wash in Edgar Industrial Park in Red Deer at 8 a.m.
The first stage looks like it will have about 200 vehicles. But Carritt expects to have about 300 to 400 by the time the eastern trucks from as far as Atlantic Canada meet up with western vehicles in Ottawa.
Although the convoy changed its name last month to United We Roll! Convoy for Canada! from a former yellow vest title, Carritt maintains that anyone who’s dissatisfied with the government’s response to Alberta’s oilfield crisis is welcome to join up.
“We welcome everybody… it doesn’t matter whether you wear a white hardhat, black overalls or a yellow vest… if you’re a peaceful, respectful Canadian, you can join us…”
Carritt hopes other vehicles will show their support, even if they can’t drive all the way to the nation’s capital. Trucks can be part of the convoy for a few kilometres or a thousand, he adds.
After leaving Red Deer, the convoy plans to pass through Strathmore at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Brooks at noon, Medicine Hat at 1:30 p.m., and the Saskatchewan border at 2:30 p.m.
It will continue to Gull Lake, Sask., by 5 p.m., Swift Current by 6:30 p.m. and get to Regina at 9 p.m.
At 8 a.m. on Friday, it will pull out of Regina, pass through Indian Head at 9 a.m., Moosomin at 10:30 a.m., and the Manitoba border by 10:45 a.m. A convoy from southeast Saskatchewan plans to join up in Virden, Man., at 11:30 a.m.
More schedule information is available at www.unitedwerollconvoyforcanada.online.