Pipeline supporters stage rally outside office of Calgary MP
Published Friday, March 22, 2019 4:49PM MDT
Last Updated Friday, March 22, 2019 7:07PM MDT
A big crowd of people gathered outside the constituency office of Calgary-Centre MP Kent Hehr on Friday, all demanding more action on pipelines in Canada.
The protesters say they want Bill C-69, a controversial piece of legislation that concerns new energy projects, to be scrapped, and the Trans Mountain Pipeline to be built.
“This is the most important issue for Canada as a whole,” said one man. “Alberta needs this pipeline and needs access to tidewater.”
“We’re at a crucial state right now; we’re at a crossroads,” said one woman. “I work with unemployed people in the trade industry and the social cost of unemployment is devastating. Addiction, homelessness, we see it downtown what high unemployment can do.”
She adds the poor oil and gas industry has really hurt young men between the ages of 16 and 28 who don’t have enough skills to compete in the job market.
“They’re facing hard times right now.”
Canada Action, an advocacy group working to promote Canadian industry and projects, hosted the rally and says Ottawa needs to focus on losing jobs in Alberta, not just Ontario and Quebec.
“We're hearing about jobs in Quebec; we're hearing about jobs in Ontario. What about the 150,000 or more jobs in the rest of the country that are connected to the energy sector? People aren't working, people are frustrated, people are desperate, people are going broke, they're losing their homes and we're racking up debt as a country, as a province. We need to get our resources to new international markets; no more delays," says Cody Battershill.
A month ago, the National Energy Board signalled its approval of the Trans Mountain project, but there hasn’t been any decision from the federal government so far.
As a result, many of the people at Friday’s rally wanted to demonstrate to put more pressure on the Trudeau government to move things along.
Battershill adds that since Trans Mountain is owned by taxpayers, it shouldn’t have to take so long for construction to begin.
The federal government also has two months to make a final decision on Trans Mountain.
(With files from Mark Villani and Bill Macfarlane)