Edmonton

Alberta man walks to legislature to demand action on economy

It’s one step at a time for Jason Dubrule. The oilfield construction worker is walking more than 430 kilometre from his hometown of Falher, Alta., to the legislature in Edmonton.

One-man mission to raise awareness about families facing financial hardship in current downturn

Jason Dubrule (left) and his friend pose for a photograph roadside during the fourth day of the journey. (Supplied)

It's one step at a time for Jason Dubrule.

The oilfield construction worker is walking more than 430 kilometres from his hometown of Falher, Alta., to the legislature in Edmonton.

The walk, titled Go Hard or lose your home, job and country, is Dubrule's one-man mission to raise awareness about Alberta families facing financial hardship in the downturn.

"We're trying to get back the over 100,000 jobs that people have lost in Alberta," Dubrule said. "We're getting kicked out of our homes, kicked out onto the streets.

"Let's approve some pipelines, get some oil moving to the east, and let's start exporting it and selling it and bringing money into the country, instead of racking up the deficit."

Although Dubrule still has a job, he hasn't been called in to work in more than two and a half months. Without money to make his mortgage payments, his family will soon lose their home.

Dubrule said a growing frustration with the lack of assistance from both the federal and provincial governments inspired him to start his walk on April 21.

"I just started walking without a dollar in my pocket, right out my front door step in Falher," he said. "I just grabbed my nephew's little wagon and just started walking.

"I was just tired of sitting around and watching families get kicked out of their houses because there's no work. It's crazy."

By Monday morning, Dubrule — with a ragged banner and a wagon full of supplies in tow — had made it south of Fox Creek on Highway 43, more than 170 kilometres so far. He expects to make it to Edmonton within a week.

Todd Loewen, Wildrose MLA for Grande Prairie-Smoky, pulled the wagon for the last 10 kilometre of Sunday's leg of the journey.

Dubrule said Loewen promised to set up a meeting for him with Wildrose Leader Brian Jean.

"Everything is going to come together," said Dubrule.

"Canadians want answers. Albertan families are getting kicked out into the ditch. Where are our priorities? Our values? Our standards?

Dubrule said if he doesn't get the "answers he's looking for" at the legislature, he plans to walk all the way to Ottawa.

"I might, we'll see."

And although some may think the walk is a fool's errand, Dubrule disagrees.

"Instead of trying to build infrastructure for jobs that don't even exist right now, let's use the infrastructure we already got. We're the leading country in the world for pipelines, oil and gas industry. We're the leader in the world, and we're not even allowed to sell our own oil?

"Anyone who is going to sit back and watch this, they're crazy."