Vehicles honked their horns on central Alberta highways in support of the oil and gas industry on the weekend, just days before one of two convoys to Ottawa was cancelled.
Hundreds took part in Saturday’s oil and gas convoy, which began at the Red Deer Cardlock Co-op on Queens Drive.
“We’re here to make a stand and say we want pipelines,” said organizer Dani Howells of Rimbey. “I wanted to get everyone to come here and get our voices heard.”
Howells said she was pleasantly surprised by how many people attended the demonstration.
“I’m so proud of everyone who’s come out here,” said Howells. “I never expected this turnout. I just expected a couple people to come, pat me on the back and say, ‘Hey, thanks for trying. Let’s go for a beer.’”
Other oil and gas convoys across the province inspired Howells to organize one in Red Deer.
“Nisku had one, Medicine Hat had one, but Red Deer never had one. This is a major hub for oil and gas, so I thought, ‘what can I lose by doing this?’”
The oil and gas industry is crucial to the Canadian economy, Howells added.
“It affects Alberta because we’re the main oil hub, and we’re not getting treated very well,” she said. “We line the pockets of all these politicians, so they’re kind of biting the hand that feeds them.”
An oil and gas rally was held in Rocky Mountain House two weeks ago.
Another convoy, organized by Innisfail’s Glen Carritt, will go from Red Deer to Ottawa next month.
That four-day demonstration, which is pushing for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, is planning to meet up on Parliament Hill with another convoy from Atlantic Canada, which is lobbying for the Energy East pipeline.
Rally4 Resources had planned to stage its own convoy, but announced Monday it was abandoning the effort.
“Unfortunately, we have come to the decision that it is no longer viable to proceed with our planned convoy. We cannot confidently mitigate the unexpected challenges associated with this event. As such, we will be issuing full refunds to all of our donors. We greatly appreciate your support.”