Vehicles were honking their horns on central Alberta highways in support of the oil and gas industry.
Hundreds took part in an oil and gas convoy, which began at the Red Deer Cardlock Co-op on Queens Drive, Saturday afternoon.
“We’re here to make a stand and say we want pipelines,” said Rimbey’s Dani Howells, convoy organizer. “I wanted to get everyone to come here and get our voices heard.”
Howells said she was pleasantly surprised by how many people attended the convoy.
“I’m so proud of everyone who’s come out here,” said Howells. “I never expected this turnout. I just expected a couple people to come, pat me on the back and say, ‘Hey, thanks for trying. Let’s go for a beer.’”
Other oil and gas convoys across the province inspired Howells to organize one in Red Deer.
“Nisku had one, Medicine Hat had one, but Red Deer never had one. This is a major hub for oil and gas so I thought what can I lose by doing this?”
The oil and gas industry is crucial to the Canadian economy, Howells added.
“It affects Alberta because we’re the main oil hub and we’re not getting treated very well,” she said. “We line the pockets of all these politicians, so they’re kind of biting the hand that feeds them.”
The convoy went from the Cardlock Co-op, east on Hwy 11A, south on Hwy 2, west on Hwy 11 towards Sylvan Lake, north on Hwy 20 and then back towards Red Deer on Hwy 11A.
An oil and gas rally was held in Rocky Mountain House two weeks prior to the Red Deer convoy.
Another convoy, organized by Innisfail’s Glen Carritt, will go from Red Deer to Ottawa starting Feb. 15. That four-day convoy, which is pushing for the Trans Mountain Pipeline, is planning to meet up on Parliament Hill with another convoy from Atlantic Canada, which is lobbying for the Energy East Pipeline.