March 30, 2019 3:59 pm
Updated: March 30, 2019 9:06 pm

Drayton Valley hosts rally in support of Alberta’s oil and gas sector ahead of provincial election

WATCH ABOVE: Oil, gas, and politics were on the minds of many in drayton valley today. More than 100 people rallied to show their support for the energy sector. As Albert Delitala shows us, our province's election was front and centre.

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About 100 people attended a rally in Drayton Valley Saturday, hoping to hear what candidates in Alberta’s provincial election plan to do about their region’s struggling oil and gas sector.

The event was organized by Rally Canada, Rally4Resources and Canada Action.

READ MORE: Large rally in central Alberta town calls for immediate construction of new pipelines

In a news release to Global News, organizer Tim Cameron with Rally Canada said the group extended an invitation to all Drayton Valley-area representatives from all seven parties running the election.

“The government’s regulations and lack of market access for our oil & gas are suffocating the Canadian oil and gas industry and our economy. Bill C-48 and C-69 are opposed by many First Nations and Canadians. If passed, they will have further devastating effects on the entire country,” the release read.

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UCP candidate Mark Smith, who is running for re-election in the riding of Drayton Valley-Devon, spoke at the event.

“It’s time to move forward. It’s time to defend the oil economy of Alberta,” Smith told Global News. “It’s time to make sure that we have a tax regime and a regulatory regime that will support the progress of oil and gas in this province.”

“The Alberta NDP has been pro-oil for years,” said NDP candidate Kieran Quirke, who also addressed the crowd. “We’ve been fighting for the Trans Mountain pipeline – Rachel Notley has been fighting very hard for that for years – fighting bill C-69 in Ottawa and C-48.”

Organizers tell Global News there was no one in attendance representing the Alberta Freedom Conservative Party or the Alberta Party.

READ MORE: Notley and cabinet set legal wheels in motion to begin cutting oil production

WATCH: (Dec. 3, 2018) Alberta government to impose cap on the production of oil. 

It’s the first time a rally in support of oil and gas has been held in Drayton Valley since the election was called. Organizers say they have been trying to get their message across to provincial and federal governments since the industry began struggling.

Last December, dozens of business owners in the area signed a letter inviting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to visit the town and have an “open, non-partisan discussion” about the growing desperation some sectors of Alberta’s economy are facing. The price the province fetches for its oil on the market, they say, is low compared to other oil-producing regions.

READ MORE: Hard-hit Drayton Valley businesses invite prime minister to talk oil, economy: ‘We need your help’

Hundreds also turned up at a demonstration outside the Clean Energy Technology Centre in Drayton Valley late last year. Protesters held signs with slogans like “build the pipelines now.” Organizers also asked them to come with letters to send to lawmakers in the Alberta legislature.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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