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UN agreement, delayed pipelines protested at yellow vest rallies across Alberta

Click to play video: 'UN agreement, delayed pipelines protested at yellow vest rallies across Alberta' UN agreement, delayed pipelines protested at yellow vest rallies across Alberta
WATCH: Yellow vest rallies protesting a variety of issues were held across the province on Saturday, including in Edmonton, Calgary, Brooks, Edson and Medicine Hat – Dec 22, 2018

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

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.

READ MORE: Here’s what to know about ‘yellow vest’ protests happening across Canada

Derek Horneland attended the anti-racism rally, concerned with the potential of escalating violence towards immigrants.

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“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.

Click to play video: 'Fight at yellow vest protest and counter-protest' Fight at yellow vest protest and counter-protest
Fight at yellow vest protest and counter-protest – Dec 22, 2018

As yellow vest speakers expressed their complaints to the crowd, protesters chanted “Trudeau must go!”

“Our energy allies are laughing at us,” said oil and gas worker Mike Wipf. “They’re robbing us blind and our elected [representatives] in the Supreme Courts, at the elected positions, federally and provincially, are doing nothing but taking a fat paycheque.”
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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.

Supporters of the ‘yellow vest’ movement continue to protest in Edmonton, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018. Julia Wong/Global News

Calgary

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.

Vern Sparkes was one of them, upset there wasn’t a referendum on the UN migration pact, calling it a “global takeover.” Sparkes also criticized the prime minister, saying he’s “signing away [Canada’s] sovereignty.”

READ MORE: Canada is set to sign onto the UN migration pact. Here’s what you need to know

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.

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About 100 protesters dressed in yellow safety vests rallied outside Calgary’s city hall on Saturday. Global News

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.

“It has consequences for people who don’t share the views of this agreement.”

Edson

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.

READ MORE: Commuter chaos in Edmonton after Nisku pipeline convoy moves into the city

John Goodwin with Bumper to Bumper turned out to the event to bring attention to people affected by job losses.

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“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.

“We’re trying to make a point, a point so Ottawa listens to the plight of Alberta right now,” he said. “I don’t believe they are, [but] they need to and I believe that these rallies that are being organized across the province are making a point and I think people are hearing us, especially in eastern Canada.”

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.

Click to play video: 'Edson Pipeline Rally' Edson Pipeline Rally
Edson Pipeline Rally – Dec 22, 2018

Brooks

In Brooks, east of Calgary, nearly 450 trucks convoyed north of the Highway 873 overpass travelling south into the city on Saturday.

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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.

READ MORE: Yellow vest protesters come out across Canada inspired by French movement

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.

In Brooks, nearly 450 trucks convoyed north of the Highway 873 overpass travelling south into the city on Saturday. Michael King/Global News

Medicine Hat

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.

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READ MORE: Pro-pipeline rallies continue in Alberta: Truck convoy to hit the road in Medicine Hat Saturday

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.”

READ MORE: Western Canadian grassroots group plans ‘Convoy to Ottawa’ to push pipelines

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.”

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– With files from Kyle Benning, Michael King and Slav Kornik

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