Federal Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, and Saskatchewan Senator Denise Batters will visit Moosomin on the February long weekend to speak at a pro-pipeline, pro-resource rally.
The rally will take place Saturday, February 16 at the new IJack assembly plant just north of Moosomin on Highway 8.
The rally will start at 11 a.m. sharp, and will be followed by a barbecue.
Brandon-Souris MP Larry Maguire, Dauphin-Swan River MP Robert Sopuck and Saskatchewan MLAs Steven Bonk, Warren Steinley and Warren Kaeding have all confirmed that they will attend the event as well.
The plan for the rally grew out of efforts by the town and RM of Moosomin to bring discussion of Energy East back to the national agenda.
The town and RM submitted parallel resolutions to SUMA and SARM last winter to ask those organizations to raise the issue with higher levels of government. The town and RM then appointed Sinc Harrison to take the lead on the issue.
“The voice of the silent majority needs to be heard,” said Harrison. “Polls that have been done across Canada show there is support for pipelines. To sit back and do nothing is unacceptable, so we will do what we can. “We were very fortunate to have the Leader of the Opposition, and then Senator Batters, and then the Premier of Saskatchewan agree to come speak at the rally. Hopefully that will help attract the national media, because we want to get our message out to the whole country.
“It took a lot of work by a few people to secure Andrew Scheer as a speaker, but because of his national profile, our event should get a lot of attention, and we want that attention because we have a message that we want to get out to the country — that for places like Moosomin, where people are familiar with pipelines, where people know what pipelines are all about, there’s a lot of support for pipelines.”
Did he think the group would be able to attract such high-profile speakers?
“I’m an eternal optimist,” he says. “When we started on this, we were very hopeful that we could bring in some speakers of a very high calibre. To have Andrew Scheer here and Premier Moe and Senator Batters is what we hoped for. We’re still hopeful the premiers of Manitoba and New Brunswick will be able to come as well. When I found out Premier Moe was coming, I reached out to him and asked if he could speak with those two premiers, and he said he would.”
Invitations had been sent to the premiers of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick to attend, but the Ontario and Alberta premiers have declined.
He said planning for the rally has gone well so far. “The committee that’s been working on this has been wonderful to work with,” he said.
“We have had lots of enthusiasm, we’ve had lots of people offer to help in the community and we’ve had financial contributions from outside the area. We're still finalizing all the details, but I’m sure we’ll get a lot of support, and I’m sure we will have a great rally.”
“The good thing about the location is we have a quarter section of parking, so parking definitely shouldn’t be an issue. We hope that everyone who has concerns over the future of pipelines and our oil and gas industry can come out and have their voice heard,” he said.He said he expects a large crowd for the rally, but how large is anyone’s guess.
“It could be 500 or it could be 5,000,” he said. “If it’s 5,000, we’ll have to set up some speakers outside!”
What does he see as the ideal result of efforts to bring attention to the crisis in getting resources to market? “The first thing would be that the Senate would reject Bill C-69. The second would be that TransCanada would reconsider their application to the National Energy Board, and Energy East would get under way, and the Trans-Mountain Pipeline would get under way.”
The three speakers should have a lot to say about the oil and gas industry and pipelines.
In a 2018 interview, Andrew Scheersaid he supports pipelines. “There is still a market in eastern Canada for western energy,” he said.
“I don’t believe that motorists in Quebec or Ontario or Atlantic Canada are happy that they are importing oil from other countries . . .
“I believe that by removing those conditions and by repealing C69 we could show the investors and companies that you have a government that is going to be a champion of the sector, and hopefully they would come back to the table, so I do think that is possible. Energy East was one of those grand nation-building projects that would have brought our country closer together.
Premier Scott Moehas spoken on the importance of the oil and gas industry to Saskatchewan.
“This is an industry that creates wealth for all Saskatchewan people and all Canadians, and an industry that we need to support across this country, and we need to speak and speak loudly,” he said at the Rally 4 Resources in Regina in January.
“There are some headwinds coming from our federal government,” he added.
Senator Denise Battershas spoken on the importance of defeating Bill C-69.
“We know the oil industry downturn, which has devastated Alberta, has also harmed Saskatchewan’s economy,” she said at the Regina rally.
“We are fighting for pipelines, and for resources development, and against Trudeau’s do-nothing, costly carbon tax,” she told the crowd at the Regina rally.
Oil and gas companies, pipeline workers and contractors are welcome to bring their trucks and line them up along the North Service Road north of the Trans-Canada Highway.