A variety of frustrations were on display across Alberta as yellow vest rallies and convoys took over the province on Saturday.
Events in Edmonton, Calgary, Brooks, Edson and Medicine Hat saw people sporting yellow vests and driving in convoys, protesting the UN migration pact, the struggling oil industry, pipeline delays and the Trudeau government in general.
Edmonton police broke up a fight during protests at the Alberta Legislature on Saturday morning.
Members of the yellow vest movement and a separate group rallying against racism in Canada were both at the legislature.
Derek Horneland attended the anti-racism rally, concerned with the potential of escalating violence towards immigrants.
“Ever since the yellow vest movement started, I’ve had a number of friends who immigrated here who have gotten death threats,” Horneland said.
“There’s just been a lot of hate towards them, and I think that frustration about jobs has been misdirected to immigrants and it’s becoming extremely violent.”
WATCH: A fight broke out during a yellow vest protest and counter-protest at the Alberta Legislature grounds in Edmonton on Saturday.
As yellow vest speakers expressed their complaints to the crowd, protesters chanted “Trudeau must go!”
Last weekend, counter-protests at Sir Winston Churchill Square also resulted in a fight, where police removed at least two people and worked to keep the opposing sides apart.
With signs reading “Quebec please separate,” “Build pipelines” and “The UN is a scam,” about 100 protesters dressed in yellow safety vests rallied outside Calgary Municipal Building on Saturday.
The pact is a non-legally binding, cooperative framework that “reaffirms the sovereign right of states to determine their national migration policy.” It means governments won’t sign away their rights to design migration policies by signing the pact.
Organizer Dwayne Croteau said the UN agreement deals with de-funding institutions that support intolerant views. His concern lies in what he calls the UN’s taking away of freedom of speech and expression.
“I feel like this is overarching — more law than we need,” he said.
“It has consequences for people who don’t share the views of this agreement.”
About 1,000 people participated in Edson’s rally and truck convoy in support of pipelines and in hopes of capturing the feds’ attention on Saturday.
John Goodwin with Bumper to Bumper turned out to the event to bring attention to people affected by job losses.
“The disheartening part of it: losing homes, losing lifestyles, some guys even losing families over this,” he said. “They’re not working and they need to work. This pipeline needs to go in the ground just to get people back to work.”
Jim Eglinski, Yellowhead MP, said he drove around with signs and flags on his vehicle to show his support for oil workers.
WATCH: Edson was one of several Alberta communities where pro-pipeline rallies were held Saturday. Hundreds of people gathered in the community in hopes of getting the federal government’s attention. Albert Delitala has the details.
In Brooks, east of Calgary, nearly 450 trucks convoyed north of the Highway 873 overpass travelling south into the city on Saturday.
A yellow vest rally was held at Veteran’s Park where supporters demanded changes on several topics, including higher standards for immigration, lower taxes and pipeline construction.
Protestors said the federal government’s announcement of $1.6 billion for the oil and gas sector has done nothing to solve the issues. They called it a bandage solution that won’t close the oil price differential or generate jobs.
A Rally for Resources encouraged trucks of “all shapes and sizes” to be part of the convoy in support of the Canadian oil and gas industry, protesting Bill C-48 and Bill C-69. Bill C-48 would ban oil tankers on B.C’s northern coast and Bill C-69 would revamp the National Energy Board.
Hundreds of people in the line of trucks travelled on Highway 1 east through Medicine Hat to send a message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the slowing oil and gas sector.
Roy Graf protested the two bills, saying they are limiting the industry and Canadian economy.
“We need to, as a community, show everybody that we’re behind our oil field guys, because without them, what do we have?” he said. “We have nothing.
“Our individuals that have been elected by our Canadians to lead our population have been faltering a little bit and not moving forward in a fashion that is conducive to having Canada be the prosperous country that it is.”
Jerry Sabine hopes Ottawa and the Alberta government take steps to ensure Canada’s resources continue to hit foreign markets as pipeline delays mount.
“This is a way that Alberta can show off or the people that are in the oil and gas industry can say, ‘Hey listen, this isn’t working,'” he said. “All these people aren’t working that are out here today, so that’s got to say something for you.”
– With files from Kyle Benning, Michael King and Slav Kornik