There’s a reason more than a hundred volunteers gathered outside Liberal MP Kent Hehr’s constituency office in late February in support of the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project.
They weren’t there just for the cold, windy weather. These grassroots supporters of a vibrant resource sector showed up on the sidewalk because they’re tired of the lack of action from the federal government in advancing the pipeline project.
Sure, the prime minister, during a visit to our province earlier in the year, stated he’d ensure the Kinder Morgan expansion project “gets built.” But many observers wonder exactly what actions the PM is taking to deliver on that promise. According to many who turned out, it just seems like a lot of talk.
Meanwhile, the clock is ticking. We’re approaching 500 days since this critical infrastructure project gained federal approval. That’s 500 days of selling fair trade Canadian oil and gas into the U.S. market – our only available option – at a deep discount from world prices. And it’s 500 days of depriving the rest of the world of our superior product, developed to the best environmental standards on earth.
But according to the folks who turned up at the Calgary rally in favour of moving the pipeline project forward, the obstructionism simply has to stop.
I can’t help feeling our supporters aren’t alone. The Calgary rally in favour of pipeline construction garnered coverage from eight different media outlets including TV, radio, print and online stories. Passersby proudly showed their support through friendly waves and the honking of horns.
And a common theme we saw in so much of the positive feedback following the event was the idea that such a rally should have happened a long time ago, and that more should be planned soon.
On that score, we also held a very successful rally in Vancouver in March that attracted great media coverage.
Why? Because we think there’s a silent majority right across the country that’s tired of being misrepresented by the forces of “no.” Canadians are starting to speak up and to express their views on key issues related to jobs, the environment and Canada’s prosperity.
Canadians see the pipeline project is part of that prosperity. And passionate, enthusiastic individuals and families like the ones who showed up at the Calgary rally are more than happy to carry that message to government.
Cody Battershill is a Calgary Realtor and founder/spokesperson for CanadaAction.ca, a volunteer organization that supports Canadian energy development and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.