Wawa native organizes pipeline convoy

Postmedia Network File Photo Arthur Green/Postmedia Network

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A Wawa native is helping organize a convoy that will travel from Alberta to Ottawa to demand the federal government act on pipeline development.

Jason Corbeil has worked in the energy sector more than 20 years. A resident of Red Deer, Alta., he has worked with Husky as a well site supervisor for the last eight years.

We are uniting the people and the people aren’t standing for (the Liberal government) anymore,” Corbeil told The Sault Star. “People are unhappy with the government and it’s time that they start listening to us.”

He anticipates starting the nearly 3,500-kilometre trip with 180 vehicles in Red Deer on Thursday. The Michipicoten High School graduate anticipates there’ll be 400 big trucks in the nation’s capital and 1,500 personal vehicles for a demonstration Feb. 19 on Parliament Hill. Seven people from Sault Ste. Marie, travelling in two large trucks and three smaller vehicles, have signed on with United We Roll! Convoy for Canada!

We have trucks joining us all along the route,” said Corbeil, listing more than 10 cities where new vehicles will join the trek to southeastern Ontario.

The caravan is expected to arrive in the Sault early Saturday evening and depart by 8 a.m. Sunday. A meet-and-greet is planned with an expected location in the city’s east end.

The whole point of this is to unite Canada,” said Corbeil. “We want people to get to know each other.”

He doesn’t know yet if he’ll be able to make the trip. If he can, he’ll fill his pickup truck “full of people and we’re going go hit the road.” If not, Corbeil will be in Ottawa for the protest. One of the featured speakers is Sault native Pat King. He is a safety adviser in the oil patch, but hasn’t worked for the last few months.,

The convoy is pushing to end legal and political challenges to Trans Mountain and Energy East pipeline expansions

(Ottawa) is forcing us to do this – there’s a passion,” organizer Glen Carritt told Postmedia Network in early January. “We want pipelines started. There’s been way too much procrastination. We’re tired of it and we need to get to tidewater.”

He is also leading a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe to raise $100,000 for the convoy. The appeal, https://ca.gofundme.com/yellow-vest-official-convoy-to-ottawa-2019, has raised more than $42,000 to cover trip costs from 430 donors as of Sunday night.

The convoy cut its ties with the “yellow vest” movement because “differences were there,” Corbeil told Moose FM in Fort St. John, B.C., in a recent interview.

This convoy is for Canadians, not for one group or another,” he said. “It’s for everybody.”

Politicians, Corbeil said, must understand “that they work for us (and) we don’t work for them.

Canadians aren’t put first anymore,” he said. “We’re not being taken care of. It’s time that we put Canadians first and understand that we are a self-sufficient country. We could take care of ourselves and we don’t and that needs to change. That’s another part of the government that just needs to go away.”

The Ottawa protest comes days before the National Energy Board releases a report on Trans Mountain’s impacts on marine life on the West Coast, where the pipeline ends. The Liberal government will use the study in its final decision on Trans Mountain.

  • with files from Postmedia Network

btkelly@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @Saultreporter

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