June 17, 2024
Thousands rally as federal resource bills, pipeline delays roil the West
Some of the several thousand pro-pipeline protesters who rallied in Calgary on June 11, 2019.
Some of the several thousand pro-pipeline protesters who rallied in Calgary on June 11, 2019.

CALGARY — “We’re on the end of a friggin’ pendulum and we’re hanging on for dear life,” Lori Ackerman told the crowd gathered at Calgary’s Stampede Park Tuesday afternoon. The mayor of Fort St. John, the town in B.C.’s northeastern interior that is the heart of that province’s oil and gas industry, had come to southern Alberta to deliver her message to what organizers hoped would be the largest event in support of the industry in Canadian history. “Resource communities are foundational to this nation,” she declared.

Kill Bill C-69 signs, replete with images of Uma Thurman, sword in hand, from Quentin Tarantino’s film Kill Bill, dotted the crowd. As Ackerman left the stage, a man stopped her: “Good for you, ma’am,” he said.

With a federal cabinet decision looming on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the pro-energy industry advocacy group Canada Action convened the rally, perhaps 4,000 people strong, to show support for the project and lay into two pieces of legislation that have become the focal points for the anger roiling the West.

The pipeline expansion has been mired in delays since a Federal Court of Appeal decision last summer voided the project’s approval. Add to that Bill C-69 and C-48 — respectively, they propose to re-jig the pipeline approvals process and ban oil tanker traffic off the west coast of British Columbia — and there was enough fodder for all manner of protest signage, speeches and chants.


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