The Yellow Vest Movement made its way to the Energy City on Saturday afternoon, with more than 50 protestors gathering in front of City Hall to say they’re fed up with many of the policies of the federal government.
Many of them sported yellow vests of some kind, and some toted signs with their opinions. It was largely a quiet initiative, with the loudest noise coming from passing motorists who supportively honked their horns.
Jay Riedel, who was an organizer of the protest, said they were joining up with other cities in Western Canada.
“All of the cities right now are pretty much out protesting all of the things that are going on with this country right now,” said Riedel.
He believes people in Western Canada are unhappy with the way they feel they are being treated by the federal government.
Riedel accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberal government of making decisions on their without having the consent of taxpayers.
Of particular contention is the carbon tax that the federal government is trying to force on a number of provinces, including Saskatchewan. Riedel believes it would shut down the oilfield and other industries.
“Especially in the west, where we need things going,” he said. “The pipeline we definitely need to go forward, get some jobs going, and get everybody back to the point where they can survive, and things go well.”
The Yellow Vest Movement in the west has other issues, he said. They’re opposed to the United Nations migration pact and they want to see an end to illegal immigration.
Riedel pointed out they support immigration, but they want it to be done legally.
“There is a process for people to get across the border and do the paperwork, than just migrating across,” said Riedel.
Those who go through the proper process often have to wait months before coming to Canada, he said. But those who cross the border illegally receive healthcare and everything else funded by taxpayer dollars.
Liebel said he sees a lot of veterans who fought for this country who aren’t being treated properly.
“The seniors that have been paying taxes for years, they don’t have anything coming for them. They’re struggling,” said Riedel.
Riedel was pleased with the attendance. While temperatures were several degrees warmer than normal, it was still a cool afternoon with a strong wind. But many of the protesters stood outside for two hours.
“The west has had enough. We’ve been alienated every time there’s a Liberal government in power. It’s a tough one for everybody that’s hard-working people to try and take it that way. We need help from the government, is what we need.”
This won’t be the last rally, either, he said. Another is planned for Dec. 22, again in front of city hall.
The Yellow Vest Movement started earlier this fall in France, in response to rising gasoline prices in that country. It has since spread to other parts of the world, and found its way to Canada on Dec. 8 with a few rallies in Western Canada.
Additional rallies were held in other communities on Dec. 15, including Estevan.
“It looks like it’s going to start bigger and bigger as time goes by. We want to be heard. That’s all we want.”