There’s been some turns in the road, but it looks like there will indeed be a convoy gathering steam and trucks rolling across Western Canada right up to Parliament Hill, letting the government know the energy sector has had enough.
After several fits and starts, a convoy of close to 300 units is coming together, according to organizer Glen Carritt.
The convoy will be leaving Red Deer, Alta., from Gort’s Truck Wash on Feb. 14 at 8 a.m. (Alberta time). From there it passes Strathmore, Brooks and Medicine Hat before crossing into Saskatchewan on Highway 1 at around 3:30 p.m. (Saskatchewan time). It is expected to hit Gull Lake at 5 p.m., then Swift Current and arrive in Regina around 9 p.m.
A few hotels have set aside blocks of rooms for booking.
On Feb. 15, the principal convoy is expected to depart Regina at 8 a.m., passing Moosomin at 10:30 and reaching Virden, Man., at about 11:30.
A group from southeast Saskatchewan is expected to congregate at the Fast Trucking Service yard in Carnduff the morning of Feb. 15, departing at 8 a.m. It is expected to join up with the main convoy at Virden at 11:30. Anyone from the southwest Manitoba oilfield will likely join in Virden at this time.
The convoy will drive through Manitoba and Ontario, and is scheduled to reach Arnprior on Feb. 17 at about 6 p.m. Arnprior is 50 kilometres as the crow flies from downtown Ottawa and Parliament Hill.
Feb. 18 is a day of grace, in case weather causes delays. Activities in Ottawa are expected to commence Feb. 19 with a convoy from Arnprior to Parliament Hill in the morning.
“It’ll take us a couple of hours,” Carritt said.
Speeches at Parliament Hill will begin at 11 a.m. and the rally will carry on until 4 p.m. As it’s winter in Ottawa, participants are expected to dress for the outdoor weather. The permit for the rally indicates it will take place near the Centennial Flame and the main stairs.
“This isn’t just oil and gas, this isn’t just the farming industry, this is all Canadians,” said Jason Corbeil, who has been organizing the trucks, in a Facebook live broadcast on Feb. 6.
Carritt said they will be coming back to Parliament Hill on Feb. 20, from 10 a.m. to noon for a few more speeches and to ensure everything is cleaned up. After that, he expects the convoy participants to disperse and head back home on their own timing and accord, whether they choose to leave that day or the next day.
“We’re tired of the carbon tax. We’re tired of Bill C-69,” Carritt said in the same Facebook broadcast.
Recognizing that some people might not be able to commit to the entire expedition, organizers are encouraging people to join the convoy at one of the points along the route and go for as long as they are able, whether that’s city to city or border to border.
Additionally, a few trucks are expected to come from Eastern Canada, including New Brunswick and Quebec.