Lloydminster and area energy workers look to have their voice ring across the country as they look to change the conversation surrounding the oil and gas industry. An oil and gas truck convoy is planned for this Saturday to make the conversation louder.
Convoys have popped up across Western Canada after the first protest began in Grande Prairie on December 16 with close to 700 trucks taking part. In Calgary about a week ago truckers raised awareness of Bill C-69, which would change the National Energy Board, which would include an overhaul on how energy projects get approved, and Bill C-48, banning oil tanker traffic on B.C.’s northern coast. Estevan, Nisku and Medicine Hat are some of the cities who have had protests in the past couple weeks.
Lloydminster-based oilfield worker Dion Boser orchestrated the Lloydminster event to continue showing that people are looking for change within the oil and gas industry. Boser believes the foreseeable future looks bleak for oil and gas employment opportunities.
“In Lloydminster, many of our people either have severely reduced hours or severely reduced wages, if they even have a job at all anymore, and with us not being able to get our product to market at a decent price we’re seeing a cap at what we’re going to have from now on.”
Boser adds that the event looks to bring all companies together to send out a peaceful, yet impactful message: people are going through tough times.
“We’re not looking to stir up trouble or commit crimes we’re just looking for support from our community, which I am sure Lloydminster has if not a 100 per cent it is pretty close.”
Recent Lloydminster Yellow Vest rallies have popped up within the last couple weeks with the most recent one happening this Saturday, which is the same day as the convoy. Boser believes a lot of people in the vest rally are voicing disdain towards government pipeline decisions, but he says there are few ties but no correlation between the two rallies.
Boser says that around 100 trucks are planned to come with people travelling from places such as Bonnyville and Elk Point. Beginning at 11 am, the convoy will be guided through a route starting and finishing at Northern Livestock Sales.
Boser urges participants to follow the specific rules given to them by RCMP in order for the protest to run smoothly. Some of the rules include drivers not blocking traffic or intersections and that emergency vehicles and pedestrians have the right of way. All the rules can be found on the Convoy’s Facebook event page.