More than a hundred people lined up along Gaetz Avenue in front of the Sheraton Hotel in Red Deer on Saturday for a rally voicing support for the Canadian energy industry and the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.
Throughout the demonstration, there were chants of “build that pipe.” Passing motorists honked their horns in agreement and there was even a ring of the bell by a cyclist.
A banner from Canada Action, an advocacy group for the energy sector, was also displayed on site.
Haley Wile is a Red Deer resident and supporter of the Rally 4 Resources.
“I am so excited to see such a great turnout here today. Everyone's out here because we all support Canadian energy and we also support pipelines,” Wile said. “We realize the importance of pipelines is prosperity for the whole country and it's really nice, especially I'm from Nova Scotia and I couldn't be in more support of pipelines.”
Wile said their hope for what will transpire afterward is simple: get pipelines built, including the Trans Mountain expansion that would triple the amount of oil going from Strathcona County to Burnaby, B.C.
Behind the assembly, the Sheraton Hotel was hosting the United Conservative Party's founding convention. A number of members and MLAs participated in the demonstration.
Wile said she appreciated their presence but maintained that the event was intended to be non-partisan.
“It's been approved by our prime minister and he champions the project as well as our Premier. We really appreciate their support and their confidence. So we're out here to say, 'thank you, we stand with you,' and this is a great project,” she said.
“I appreciate what they've done so far. They're very confident and so are we. This project will get built and we're excited about it.”
Wile said Rally 4 Resources started a few years ago during the economic downturn as a way to gather people together to show support for the energy sector.
Most rallies, like the one on Saturday, are organized over Facebook, she added.
According to its Facebook page, in addition to Red Deer, the group has also held them in Edmonton, Calgary and as far as Winnipeg.
The next one on the schedule is May 9 in Kamloops, B.C. and on June 7, another is scheduled in Edmonton to protest the University of Alberta's decision to grant an honourary degree to David Suzuki.