REGINA — Multiple convoys converged on Regina to protest against the federally imposed carbon tax.
The convoys came from Estevan, Weyburn, Carnduff, Arcola, Davidson and North Regina on April 4. They all gathered at the Queensbury Convention Centre, where a rally was held.
Estevan-area farmer Jason LeBlanc, who was one of the organizers of the rally, told the attendees that agriculture producers in Canada have worked long, hard hours to build an industry that is well-respected around world.
“Global consumers have always had confidence in Canadian products, until the personal agenda of [Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau came into effect,” said LeBlanc.
Since then, there have been industry declines, land-locked resources, bin-locked crops, increased regulations and now the carbon tax.
He also accused Trudeau and Catherine McKenna, the federal minister of the Environment and Climate Change Canada, of not recognizing that Canadian farmers are well ahead of the curve on environmental issues.
“We have embraced zero-till, crop rotations, cover crops, GPS technologies, autosphere, irrigation, precise farming, shelter belts – the list goes on and on. Farmers have paid dearly for forced technological advancements in equipment just to satisfy government regulations,” he said.
Farmers have been successful through these practices, and have reduced carbon from the atmosphere.
LeBlanc cited the carbon capture and storage facility at SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Power Station as an example of using carbon dioxide in other industries as a way to reduce carbon emissions.
Souris-Moose Mountain MP Robert Kitchen also spoke at the rally. He claimed there were 2,000 people present and 700 trucks from all over the province that participated in convoys that met in Regina. Some participants were up as early as 5 am.
“You should be out getting ready for seeding … you should be out working on your trucks, getting yourself ready so that when road bans are done, you could be out and doing those things,” Kitchen said.
He believes it was important for people to participate in the convoy because of the impact the carbon tax will have on Saskatchewan people.
“This expense trickles down to every small businessman, every farmer, every oilfield worker and it cripples you and your family living your daily lives,” said Kitchen.
According to the Canadian Press, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe told the rally that climate change is real and human activity contributes to it, but a carbon tax is not the solution.
"What we don't accept is a federal government imposing this on our industries, on our provinces and our families across the nation," he said.
The crowd cheered when speakers on stage said it was time to boot Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government from office.
After the speeches, the participants in the rally dispersed and returned to their communities.
This article was written with files from the Estevan Mercury and the Canadian Press. The orginal Mercury article can be found here.