Lac La Biche-Alberta — An Elder’s prayer for peace will begin Canada’s first pro-pipeline, pro-oil and gas rally and convoy co-organized by an Aboriginal group on February 10 in Lac La Biche.
Organizers are expecting up to 1,000 people to attend the rally, which is open to anyone affected by challenges facing the oil and gas industry. Aboriginal drumming and Metis and Traditional dancers will also help to open the rally.
Under the nation-wide Rally4Resources (R4R) banner, the peaceful, non-political and informative rally is being coordinated by the Lac La Biche-based Region One Aboriginal Business Association (ROABA) with the full support of the Lac La Biche County Council, the Lac La Biche and District Chamber of Commerce, and the Community Futures office in Lac La Biche. The event, like other R4R rallies, is coordinated with Canada Action and Canada’s Energy Citizens.
The R4R event will draw attention to the need to create larger markets for the industry, the need for more pipeline development, and the need for more global respect of the environmental standards in Alberta’s oil and gas industry. The rally will also focus on aspects of the federal government’s Bill C-69, proposed legislation that industry officials fear will slow down new development because of over-reaching consultation process changes.
The rally will feature invited guest speakers and a convoy through the community. Organizers hope to draw participation from anyone directly or indirectly affected by the economic challenges facing the region.
“We have to all work in a partnership — local communities, the industry, local, provincial and federal governments, our Indigenous communities … all of us. We’re all in this together,” said Shawn McDonald, the president of ROABA — a community-level organization representing Aboriginal-owned and supported businesses in northeastern Alberta.
McDonald and the board directors of ROABA are very clear to point out that the R4R movement and the Lac La Biche rally is not affiliated with the Yellow Vest movement. He encourages participants to wear blue work coveralls and demonstrate in a professional and proud manner.
ROABA is a non-profit organization that builds relationships and creates opportunities by promoting Aboriginal business in partnership with industry; thereby supporting economic development of Aboriginal people and the communities We reside in.
Lac La Biche County Mayor Omer Moghrabi didn’t need much convincing to get involved with the R4R event.
“You either do something, or you do nothing,” he said.
A lunch will be provided for all attendees.
Anyone wishing to join the convoy can register with the ROABA office at 780-623-3144 or email mailto:[email protected] All signage and speech content must be approved by organizers.
Sunday, February 10 Lac La Biche Bold Center
Noon — Indigenous drumming, Metis and Traditional dancers
Elder’s Prayer • Guest speakers & presentations • Lunch of Bannock and Stew provided
2 pm. — Convoy of tractor trailer units, service vehicles and any interested participants
Convoy Route will be a 50-kilometre circuit from Lac La Biche to Plamondon and back