Alberta’s pro-pipeline convoy returned earlier this week with its lead fire truck covered with about 10,000 signatures.
“It’s a pretty big petition, in more ways than one. It gave people a symbol of hope, to unite the east and west. I’m going to clear coat it, so the signatures get preserved,” said Glen Carritt, organizer of the United We Roll! Convoy for Canada!
People started signing their names and writing messages on the fire truck prior to the convoy leaving Red Deer on Feb. 14. The convoy took its message to Parliament Hill in Ottawa, arriving Feb. 19.
The convoy of about 60 semi trucks, pickups and other vehicles from Alberta grew to 200 vehicles at some points along its route, as others joined to show their support.
“We set out to get to Parliament Hill and thought that was going to be the story. The bigger part of the story is how people came out in droves along the way to meet with us and sign the fire truck.
“Every city we went through, streets were lined with flags and people waving us on.”
He said in Thunder Bay, Ont., close to 2,000 people came out. In Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., the convoy drew about 1,500 people.
“It made us realize all across the country, we have a common goal. We want to get our energy sector and our working-class people back working, and for a government to start listening to the people.”
Convoy participants wanted the carbon tax abolished, as well as Bill C-48, which prohibits tankers carrying crude oil from loading or unloading at ports in northern British Columbia, and Bill C-69, which overhauls how energy projects are approved.
On Friday, the National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline following a reconsideration of its impact on marine life off the B.C. coast.
“It’s encouraging that they’re moving forward. But have we started building the pipeline? The key to success is to start, so just start. Stop procrastination,” Carritt said.
Despite the success of the convoy, which returned to the region Monday, Carritt said he has no other convoys planned, but wants to use his fire truck for educational events to support the construction of the pipeline.