'We will not stop': convoy of trucks, rally at Nisku show support for oil and gas industry


More than 1,000 Alberta truckers traversed the streets of Nisku in a Wednesday escort to show support for the oil and gas industry.

The train has caused delays in traffic in Nisku and neighboring Leduc Business Park, RCMP said in a press release.

There were also "extreme traffic delays" on Highway 19 and Airport Road in QEII, police said.

"I want to see the gas pipeline pass," said Mike Semeniuk, who came from Hinton, Alta, with Mackenzie Rogers to join the convoy.

The two work in the oil and gas industry.

The federal government needs to "listen" and get the message to go forward with the pipeline, Rogers said.

"This is our livelihood," he said. "The work is slower, everyone is affected, it's not just oil and gas."

The train coincided with a meeting organized by the leader of the Federal Conservative Party, Andrew Scheer, whose appearance was postponed by the convoy.

"We had to go over the overpass because the train was so long and so big," Scheer said during his keynote address at Ensign Drilling in Nisku. "I'm not going to lie to you, it was emotional.

"We are here today to send a very clear message. The Conservative Party is fighting for you."

Scheer told the crowd that $ 1.6 billion in financial aid for the energy industry that the Liberal government announced this week will not help put people back to work.

"All that will be needed is for the government to move away from what Albertans, who work hard, wanted to do for generations."

& # 39; Kicked in the gut & # 39;

In a campaign-style speech, Scheer said his government would fight to get Alberta workers back to work, but a conservative strategy would not include government aid packages.

"We've had recessions before," he said. "But what really hurts, what really looks like we're being kicked in the gut and trampled underfoot when we're down, is when it's our own government that's putting those obstacles in our way and pulling the rug under us."

Scheer said the Trudeau government aid package to support the province's energy sector was not well received by most Alberts.

"In typical Alberta fashion, the message sent back to Ottawa [was] loud and clear, "we do not need handouts, we just want to get back to work." And what a great message.

"Give a province $ 1.6 billion and you can feed them for a few weeks, but let them build a channel to bring our energy to market and you can feed them for a generation."

The conservative leader said that if his party formed the government he would suspend the carbon tax and create legislation that better recognizes that major energy projects such as gas pipelines are of national interest.

Scheer said he would also support legislation that further limits what individuals and groups are given at regulatory review hearings. Current legislation allows "literally someone" to come forward, he said.

Mark Schultz, of the Canadian Association of Drilling Companies at Oilwell, said Alberta workers who have fought a crisis are getting desperate.

Wednesday's train was a call for help, Schultz said.

"We need leadership"

"Today, as you saw in the background here in those wonderful horns, it's a shout for the federal government to take action," he said. "We need leadership in this country. We will not stop until this sector comes back online."

Nisku is an industrial park in Leduc County, about 25 miles south of downtown Edmonton. It is home to many manufacturing and service companies linked to the oil and gas industry.

Truckers for Pipelines is organizing a convoy that will take vehicles to this meeting and is encouraging trucks of all sizes and formats to "step out to show support for the Canadian oil and gas industry and Canadian families from coast to coast."

Organizers are expecting hundreds of vehicles from downtown Alberta and the Edmonton area to attend the event.

About 150 trucks left Drayton Valley, Alta., To join the convoy in Nisku, said Tom Hinderks, Volunteer Rally Canada's media coordinator on Wednesday. Later, he said the Nisku rally attracted 1,400 heavy trucks.

"We have an industry in crisis," and pipelines need to be built to get people back to work, Hinderks said.

"O [federal] the government has the constitutional power and the legislative authority to make it move forward, "he said.
When construction begins, confidence in the market will grow, he added.

"This is a Canadian priority. There are Canadian families from coast to coast that are tied in one way or another to the oil and gas industry that are hurting themselves," Hinderks said.

AN similar manifestation in Grande Prairie on Sunday attracted about 1,500 people and a train of more than 600 vehicles.

A second session of the prefecture with Scheer is scheduled for 16h. Wednesday at the Edmonton Inn.


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