Edmonton police are warning drivers to expect delays on Anthony Henday Drive Tuesday morning due to a planned truck convoy.
Those participating in the “Stand Up Canada Yellow Vest Pipeline Rally” and truck convoy are scheduled to gather in Lamont, Alta. at 9 a.m., according to the event’s co-organizer Roberta Graham.
The convoy is expected to leave Lamont and head north onto the Henday from Yellowhead Trail, Graham said, making a full loop around the Edmonton ring road. Most of the vehicles will finish the convoy by exiting at Highway 21, Graham said, adding some may choose to leave earlier.
“We will be going 60 kilometres an hour on the Henday, although we will be occupying the fast lane,” Graham said Monday afternoon.
“The RCMP and the Edmonton police are going to help us enter the Henday and exit the Henday. We will be travelling in the furthest left lane so that we can allow for traffic to exit and enter the Henday to not impede traffic too, too badly.”
Tuesday’s event is the latest in a series of truck rallies, convoys and protests held across Canada, organized by separate groups. It’s not clear if there’s a connection between the rallies, but they have touched on a multitude of issues including immigration, pipelines and the energy sector.
In mid-December, commuter chaos ensued on the Henday following a pro-pipeline rally and convoy that began south of the city hours earlier.
The afternoon rush hour slowed to a crawl as some of the estimated 1,200 truckers who attended the rally their protest by heading up the QEII, sometimes six abreast, and onto the south leg of Edmonton’s ring road.
Watch below: On Dec. 19, 2018, traffic remained heavily backed up into Edmonton hours after a pro-pipeline truck convoy in Nisku
The backlog moved onto Anthony Henday Drive, both east and westbound, travelling at a snail’s pace.
The December rally and convoy was organized by Truckers for Pipelines — a different group than the one organizing Tuesday’s convoy — to show their support of Alberta’s beleaguered energy industry. The initial convoy made its way through the Nisku industrial area, where many oil and gas companies have been affected by the low price of Alberta crude.
In a media release sent Monday, the Edmonton Police Service said Tuesday’s truck convoy is expected to hit the Henday at around 10:30 a.m. and last several hours. Trucks have been advised to drive in the inside lane, according to police.
“The Edmonton Police Service and the RCMP will be monitoring the situation in their respective jurisdictions to ensure access routes remain open to first responders.”
The group is expecting about 2,200 people to participate in Tuesday’s convoy. Although the organizers are calling it a “Yellow Vest Pipeline Rally,” Graham said they aim to shed light on a number of issues, including illegal immigration, pipelines and the carbon tax.
“We stand for the Yellow Vest manifesto. Our first stand is on immigration. We want an end put to illegal immigration and we want legal immigrants at a rate that they can come into Canada and get the help they need and get integrated into Canada,” Graham said. “We really need to get our message out and let people know what we stand for and that we’re not racist.
“That’s one of our stands,” she continued. “We’re definitely pro-pipeline and we’re definitely anti-carbon tax.”
Graham’s son, Jack Graham, who is helping organize the rally, described it as a peaceful movement.
“People have been labeling us as radicals and we’re not radicals. We just want to see a change,” he said. “We want the pipeline built, we want no carbon tax, and we want the UN (migration) compact to be voted in by the people.”
The yellow vest movement has recently seen a series of protests and rallies across Canada. The reasons for the protests range from opposition to the carbon tax and delays in pipeline construction to Canada’s signing of the United Nations migration pact.