By Brian Zinchuk
While one of two planned convoys to Ottawa has been scrapped, the other is full steam ahead.
The two protest convoys started organizing close to the same time. One called itself the Yellow Vest (Official) Convoy to Ottawa, and the other was being organized by a coalition of groups including Canada Action and Rally 4 Resources. The second one bowed out on Jan. 14.
Glen Carritt, a member of the Innisfail town council, has taken up the reins on the Yellow Vest convoy. He also owns and operates OP Fire & Safety based in Innisfail, Alta, and operates in Grande Prairie, Airdrie/Calgary, Fort St. John and Estevan.
Asked what is going on, Carritt said, “Right from the get-go, before I even decided to really get on board with doing this, I reached out to all the groups that were involved, including Canada Action and R4R (Rally 4 Resources), which are, of course, the same, and I asked if we could work together. Let’s just work together, you can do your own thing, but let’s make sure the coordination is working. This is a big, huge logistical nightmare that we’re trying to work with. And right from the get-go, they really didn’t want to associate with the Yellow Vests. And I tried to convince them, saying you can do your own thing. You don’t have to fly the yellow vests, let’s just make sure we’re communicating and being on the same page.
“They went out of their way trying to discredit Yellow Vests, by portraying that we were radicals, et cetera, in some of their newscasts. We still maintained the high road here. We respect your decision not to fly the yellow vest, but they just didn’t want to work with us,” he said.
He said he and his team have been working on getting the logistics sorted out for making this protest convoy happen. Carritt also felt the other convoy was not as far along in their preparations, and suggested that may have been a reason for them bowing out.
“We’re full steam ahead. We’ve got all that stuff handled. We’re stopping in Regina,” Carritt said. He also added the convoy will stay overnight in Regina the night of Feb. 14 and depart the morning of Feb. 15.
“We went ahead and registered our protest. We’re leaving a day early,” he said, noting that the departure date from Red Deer is now Feb. 14, not Feb. 15. It gives one to two days of contingency for bad weather. “We’re due to arrive Feb. 19, in Ottawa.” The rally is expected to be a three-day event, with trucks starting their way back on Feb. 22. “There’s one highway, with 1,000 trucks, so there will be a convoy coming back,” he said. But the return will be somewhat more loosely coordinated, as some drivers may drive shifts on the way back with multiple drivers.
Letters have been sent to every premier in the country, inviting them to speak. There’s a limit to how many units they’ll be able to get at Parliament Hill. Trucks will also have to park elsewhere. They’re not going to be able to totally clog Ottawa.
“There’s going to be some congestion, that’s for sure,” he said.
And trucks won’t be parked on Parliament Hill for three days, either. He’s working with Ron Barr in Ottawa for organizing that portion.
“We want to make sure it’s peaceful, but also that we’re heard. This is about bringing Canadians together. It’s a way of demonstrating and getting attention, so we can voice our concerns on Parliament Hill, all of us,” Carritt said.