Tatianna Landsman in her yellow vest outside the Ponoka News April 10. Photo by Emily Jaycox

Young Ponoka political activist got a surprise on her birthday

Vehicle convoy for one

A young lady in Ponoka that has raised national interest with her essay on the state of Canada has become the youngest female member of the Canadian Yellow Vest movement, and a convoy of her peers showed up at her home April 5 to honour her.

It all started when Tatianna Landsman, then 16, was given an assignment from her teacher at the Brick Learning Centre to write about a Canadian revolution.

Rather than write a historical evolution, she says she wanted to go beyond the list on the assignment sheet and choose the hardest one of all: the Canadian Yellow Vest movement.

“Now it’s time … (to) start getting the country we know, the one soldiers fought for, the country we love, back,” a line of her essay reads.

“What Canadians want is for our government to be held accountable for their actions, and a government that will serve our country proudly.”

She’d become concerned with what she was hearing about the federal government and from “seeing people suffer in general,” she says.

Her goal with her essay was to fight for disadvantaged people, something she related to growing up, she says.

“(I want to) help people with what I’ve already been through.”

The Yellow Vest cause is about peaceful rallies that are pro- Alberta energy and pipelines, clean water for indigenous peoples, free speech and are against the United Nation’s immigration pact, over-taxation and the carbon tax.

The yellow vest is a sign of distress for motorists in France, and it became a symbol for the movement there, and now in Canada.

Tatianna become a member on March 24, 2019.

“It’s a big list on what Yellow Vest is trying to show Canada,” said Joe Landsman, Tatianna’s father, adding the movement wants to “educate, not aggravate.”

The convoys that have travelled across country to bring their message to parliament’s front door are a combination of Yellow Vest members and oil and gas workers.

“They’re ordinary people who want their jobs back,” he said.

Tatianna connected with Mark Friesen in Saskatchewan, a leader of the United We Roll convoy that went to Ottawa, f and interviewed him live on Facebook in March as research for her essay.

The video went viral, as have online readings of her completed essay on Facebook and YouTube.

On the day she turned 17, seven convoy members from Red Deer drove to her house and got her outside by blaring on their horns.

They paraded her around town for all to see, with their vehicles decked out in Canadian flags.

It was a welcome and a tribute and Tatianna said she “loved it.”

Her interview with Friesen “sparked everybody’s interest,” said Landsman.

“She touched the hearts of everybody in the convoy and everyone who follows the convoy on Facebook and YouTube,” he said.

Tatianna has been invited to read her essay on May 4, at a convoy rally in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in front of thousands of convoy truckers.

She will also be travelling to Ottawa, possibly with the convoy, arriving on May 27 to read her essay on parliament grounds.

“This is Our True North, Strong and Free, and nobody can disagree nor take that away from us, for as long as we live, in Canada,” the essay concludes.

“Our hope is stronger than our fears … It doesn’t matter what your ethnicity is. If you live in Canada and love the country the way it is, then you’re a Canadian.”

Her page can be found by searching “United Yellow Vest Youth Of Canada” on Facebook.

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Tatianna Landsman, centre, and convoy members outside her house April 5. Photo submitted

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