A protester who said he does not want the province of Alberta “to be polluted” stormed the stage at the 2019 Global Petroleum Show in Calgary on Tuesday.
Speakers at the 2019 show include Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Danielle Smith from Global News Radio 770 CHQR, philanthropist Brett Wilson and Petroleum Service Association of Canada president and CEO Gary Mar.
On Tuesday, shortly before Kenney was about to address the crowd, a protester climbed onto the stage and grabbed the microphone.
“Before we have a chance to hear from the premier, I just want to say he does not represent me,” the man, identified as Tony Scott, said. “This is a cesspool of hypocrisy.”
LISTEN BELOW: Tony Scott joins Ryan Jespersen on 630 CHED
He continued to address the crowd as event organizers attempted to get him to leave.
Officers then approached the man, handcuffing him and removing him from the stage.
WATCH: A second angle shows a protester rush the stage ahead of Jason Kenney’s speech at the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary on Tuesday.
Kenney addressed the incident when he took the stage to speak, saying there are “very few energy producers around the world where you’d see that happen.”
“This is a free, liberal democracy with freedom of speech — and we embrace that.”
“So let me just say, as that gentleman got his voice share, Albertans got their voice share in the last election – 55 per cent of them choosing a government that wants to champion prosperity and environmentally responsible resource development,” Kenney said.
In response to the incident, officials tweeted “never a dull moment at the Global Petroleum Show. We respect the opinions and expertise of all of our vendors, sponsors and speakers and we hope that our attendees can do the same.”
Scott told Global News he infiltrated a volunteer group to gain access to the stage. He said he takes no issue with the way police handled the situation.
“The reason I felt the need to wrestle the stage away is unfortunately, free speech is very expensive in this province,” he said.
“I could have been outside on the street corner yelling until my face turned blue and there would have been no notice of my message. I could have spent thousands in order to purchase speaking time at the oil and gas rally, but I do not have that much money.
“I had to take the stage and put both my body and liberty on the line.”
Calgary police told Global News the protester faces a charge of trespassing. On Tuesday night, the Calgary Stampede told Global News the protester has been given a five-year ban from accessing the Stampede grounds.
WATCH: Thousands gathered outside the Big Four Building on Calgary Stampede grounds on Tuesday, blasting the federal government for policies they say would cripple the energy sector. As Christa Dao reports, there was plenty of commotion inside too.
During his speech, Kenney said new sources of oil and gas must be found and developed.
“They must be developed with an increasing sensitivity to the imperative to reduce the environmental impact of industry and of the energy sector in particular.”
“We’ve been through some challenging years recently,” Kenney added. “Even though we continue to be proud leaders in global energy, due to a lack of regulatory certainty and market access – together with certain policies, such as higher taxes – we’ve seen the shift of capital from Alberta’s energy sector.”
“The message I want you to take away from me today is that Alberta is open for business.”
Kenney closed his speech by assuring the crowd they have “partners in government” all across Canada.
“Let’s get ‘er done,” he added.
Canada’s place in the international oil and gas market will be among the topics discussed at the 2019 Global Petroleum Show.
Some 50,000 people are expected to attend the three-day event at Stampede Park, which brings together energy professionals, international delegates and exhibitors from 115 countries around the world.
Organizer Nick Samain said the event used to be focused on showcasing the latest oil and gas technology but has transitioned to more of a summit since a downturn in the industry.
“You’ve got closed-door meetings happening here. You’ve got western premiers meeting with major CEOs — both international and domestic — holding those meetings, speaking at conferences, talking about different, very specific themes,” Samain said.
“A lot of big, big projects are hinging on policy — and that is exactly what is going to be debated here and, perhaps, influenced.
WATCH: Canada’s largest oil and gas show is underway in Calgary. Global’s Tomasia DaSilva gauges the mood among participants, and showcases some of the investment opportunities.
“There is some optimism that things are going to change, and we’re on the cusp of that… but there is also a lot of ongoing pessimism,” Samain added. “It’s a very, very tough market.”
The 51st Global Petroleum Show runs from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on June 11 and 12 and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on June 13. For more information, you can visit the event’s website.
Visitors to the 2019 Global Petroleum Show on Tuesday were witness to a large rally in support of Canada’s oil and gas industry.
LISTEN: Canada Action’s Cody Battershill joins Rob Breakenridge after the pro-pipeline rally
A large group of oil and gas industry supporters gathered on the grounds to hear speakers take turns blasting the federal Liberal government for policies they blame for the sector’s low level of activity and investment.
Many people were wearing black T-shirts reading “The world needs more Canadian energy.”
The crowd cheered and chanted “build that pipe” as Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe called for a national conversation around federal bills C-69 and C-48, reviled by those in the energy industry, because they affect the entire economy of Canada.
He also condemned the federal carbon tax, noting that Alberta will soon likely be subject to it — as is Saskatchewan — because the new United Conservative government eliminated the provincial carbon tax soon after being elected.
“What you’re seeing today is the coming together of people from across the nation in their belief of our nation,” Moe told reporters as the rally ended.
“What we’re seeing federally is a very divisive federal government that is putting forward policies that are dividing our nation, putting forward policies that are picking winners by the industry they operate in.”
The crowd booed when newly appointed Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage listed energy sector grievances — including the failures of the Northern Gateway and Energy East pipelines, delays to the Keystone XL and Trans Mountain pipelines, and the previously mentioned federal bills to revamp the way big energy projects are approved and to declare an oil tanker ban on the north coast of B.C.
They cheered when B.C. Liberal MLA Ellis Ross declared that he supports Kenney’s establishment of a $30-million “war room” to fight back against opponents who unfairly or inaccurately disparage the energy industry.
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