Canada'This is a Canadian conversation': Attendees rally at Global Petroleum Show
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The final decision from federal government to come by June 18 but regardless opponents vow to stop project if it is approved.
What was dubbed by organizers as the largest pro-oil and gas rally in Canadian history carried a unified national message on Tuesday afternoon, as politicians from across the country promised to take themessage straight to Ottawa.
Organized by Canada Action, at least 1,000 people — and up to 4,000, according to organizers — attended the rallyon the Calgary Stampede grounds, chanting the familiar “build that pipe” message and carrying signs opposing proposed federal legislation many believe .
Live: Protester tackled on stage ahead of Kenney's speech to Global Petroleum Show
Decrying pollution and Premier Jason Kenney’s environmental promises, a lone protester briefly had his voice heard before being tackled and removed at the kick off of Calgary’s annual Global Petroleum Show on Tuesday morning. The man rushed to the podium after Kenney was introduced and began entering onto the stage, telling the crowd that the premier doesn’t represent him. “It is imperative for all of you to do something,” he shouted while being handled by multiple police officers. “I’m sorry to do this my friends. Your time is important.” Some chanted “let him speak” while others responded, “get rid of him.
Speakers included right-leaning politicians from across Canada, including B.C., Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.
“When you look around, this is what community support looks like. This is what standing up for a balanced conversation about the energy sector looks like,” said Cody Battershill of Canada Action.
“This is not an Alberta conversation. This is a Canadian conversation.”
Many speakers took aim at Bill C-48, which would forbid the export of Alberta petroleum products off B.C.’s north coast, and Bill C-69, which seeks to overhaul Canada’s environmental assessment process for projects like pipelines and power lines.
Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage urged the crowd to “let your voices be heard” and contact Liberal representatives in Ottawa about the bills.
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“Thanks to Premier Kenney, we are no longer afraid to defend our energy sector,” she said.
“While there’s a real feeling of renewed hope and optimism, we have lots more to do to build pipelines.… We are asking to be heard. We are asking for a ‘yes’ to Trans Mountain and we are asking for a ‘no’ to (Bill) C-48 and C-69.”
Addressing the crowd, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe echoed that sentiment, targeting the federal carbon tax.
“What you’re seeing today is the coming together of people from across the nation,” he said. “Today, we now have five provinces that are resisting that federally imposed carbon tax. You might say we have a convoy; a convoy that is headed to the Supreme Court and a convoy that is headed to the federal election this fall.
“To our prime minister of this nation, if you’re wondering just how far we are going to go to defend these industries in western Canada, there’s a convoy forming and I suggest you just watch us because we’re coming.”
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The Golden State Warriors are playing their most important game of the season on Thursday night, and it will be an emotional one for a number of different reasons. Their rally towels are a reflection of that. Game 6 of the NBA Finals could be the Warriors’ final game of the season, but it will definitely be the last game they play at Oracle Arena in Oakland. They will also once again be playing without Kevin Durant, who suffered a torn Achilles in Game 5. The rally towels they are handing out give a nod to both Durant and the city of Oakland. Tonight, the #Warriors close out their 47-season run at @OracleArena.
Those in attendance, like Jane Mallen, said those who oppose Alberta’s oil and gas sector should educate themselves on the benefits it provides to the rest of the country.
“It’s a fundamental economic game for all of Canada,” she said. “We produce the cleanest, most ethical oil in the entire world and I am proud to say that I support Canadian oil from Alberta. It’s perfect.”
Gus Adolf, an oilfield worker who works north of Calgary, said that while the election of the United Conservative government in Alberta has provided hope, there’s still a sense of uncertainty.
“It seems like everybody’s kind of waiting around to see what happens with the federal election because Trudeau is doing everything he can to stop the energy sector from prospering,” he said.
“Everybody suffers if the energy sector dies.”
Moe said federal policies under Trudeau divide the nation and seek to pick “winners and losers by the industries that they operate in.”
“This is an industry that not only creates wealth in Alberta and Saskatchewan, but it most certainly creates wealth across Canada,” he said of the energy sector.
“We have a great story to tell and we ought to be telling it rather than trying to tax our families into the unemployment lines.”
The Latest: Police: 4 shot at Raptors rally in Toronto.
The Latest on a shooting at a rally for the NBA champion Raptors in Toronto (all times local):6:25 p.m.Toronto police now say four people were shot and wounded at a rally for the NBA champion Raptors, and two people were arrested. Police had initially said two people were shot. Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders says four people suffered gunshot wounds Monday and that none of the injuries were life-threatening. Saunders says others suffered minor injuries as they tried to get away from the shooting. He asked for witnesses and people who might have video from the scene to come forward.
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