The video above was taken by a convoy participant and provided in embeddable form on Facebook.
OTTAWA — Rumbling through North Bay and into Antrim aboard 160 transport trucks and other vehicles last night, a collection of prairie oil, energy and farm workers went on to reach Parliament Hill with their ‘United We Roll’ convoy late this morning.
Some wore the yellow vests popularized in France by protesters unhappy with that country’s carbon tax and a resulting rise in energy costs. The populist uprising has similarly taken root in Canada, where Justin Trudeau’s governing Liberals have imposed a national carbon tax that will take effect in April — a source of particular ire in the western oil patch.
“My main focus is make the public aware that the carbon tax is a killer for agriculture, too,” Jason Leblanc, operator of a cow-calf and cash-cropping farm in Saskatchewan, told Nation Valley News this morning.
“Twenty dollars a tonne, thirty dollars a tonne, it never quits rising, and if the predicted results are accurate, after eight years, you can’t have agriculture,” he said.
Organized by hard-hit oil and gas workers fed up with the Trudeau government’s perceived hostility toward their industry as it struggles with low prices and lack of pipeline capacity, the convoy has been a “rewarding” experience, said Leblanc, “as weird as it sounds.” He explained how he was touched to see “all of the families standing along the highway,” showing their solidarity with the oil sector as the vehicles went by.
“Some of these pipeline guys have been out of work for two years,” he pointed out.
“The whole message is, Canada has it all. Our country is bountiful with natural resources, and yet we’re being told by our government to leave them in the ground,” said Leblanc, adding the current situation comes at the financial detriment of the entire country, including the agricultural sector.
Tim Mount, president of the Carleton Landowners’ Association, complained to NVN about the convoy’s portrayal in the media. “The narrative you hear in the press is not what’s happening on the ground. They’re not listening to what we’re saying,” said Mount.
“It’s primarily about getting the pipelines built so we can supply Canadian oil to Canadians, instead of Canada bringing in oil from other countries with bad human rights records,” he said, also asserting that Trudeau’s carbon-tax is set to “make the cost of living more expensive for everyone” — to the tune of $2,200 for the average family this year alone.
Mount said the convoy was down to about 60 vehicles when it reached Thunder Bay but has since swelled closer to its original number as sympathetic Ontarians have joined in.
Accounts on social media show that a counter-protest by the left-leaning antifa group is also taking place on the Hill today.