Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Oil and gas industry supporters gather at a pro-pipeline rally at city hall in Calgary, Monday.

Protesters boo Quebec, free trade at Calgary rally supporting oil industry

CALGARY — Angry protesters demanding that Canada build new pipelines interrupted speeches by Calgary’s mayor and councillors at a downtown rally on Monday.

City council had passed a resolution declaring its support for the oil and gas industry as well as calling for solutions to a low oil price crisis blamed on a lack of pipeline export capacity.

But loud boos rose from the protesters at any mention of Quebec or free trade.

Rally organizer Cody Battershill of Canada Action stepped up to ask the crowd of about 1,000 to stop shouting when Mayor Naheed Nenshi began to speak in French — a message the mayor said was aimed at the people of Quebec.

“It’s important to remember that standing up for Canadian energy doesn’t mean we don’t believe in and care about climate change,” said Nenshi to shouts and boos.

“For those of you saying, ‘No, I don’t believe in climate change,’ good luck changing any hearts and minds, because we have to be able to say there’s no difference between standing up for the economy and standing up for the environment.

“We can do both and that’s what people in the oil and gas sector do every single day.”

A volley of boos also rang out when Coun. Peter Demong pointed out that Quebec City council supports pipeline construction and, therefore, Calgary residents should buy Canadian cheese, not take part in trade boycotts.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault recently said that there was “no social acceptability” in his province for a “dirty energy” pipeline from Alberta.

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