Edmonton·Video

'Build that pipe': Protesters rally outside Sohi's speech to Edmonton chamber

Shouting "Pipelines now" and "Build that pipe," protesters rallied outside a downtown building Friday where federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi gave a speech to the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.

'We do need the oil and gas pipelines to go through,' steamfitter says

Protesters gathered outside the World Trade Centre in Edmonton on Friday where federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi was speaking to the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. (CBC)

Shouting "Pipelines now" and "Build that pipe," protesters rallied outside a downtown building Friday where federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi was speaking to the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.

Organized by a group called Rally 4 Resources, the protest supported pipeline development to get Canadian energy products to markets. The group also opposes Bill C-69, which would overhaul how energy projects are approved.

Sonia Heer, a steamfitter, said pipelines moving Canadian oil to markets outside the United States are desperately needed.

"The oil and gas industry affects us all directly or indirectly," said Heer, who has worked in the oil and gas industry for 10 years. "We do need the oil and gas pipelines to go through. It would make Canada self-sufficient in terms of energy.

"Right now we only have one customer, which [is] down south. They are buying our oil and selling it back to us, refined, which makes no business sense or economic sense."

About 50 protesters gathered and chanted outside of the building where Amarjeet Sohi was speaking to the Chamber of Commerce. 0:37

Heer said the federal government should start building pipelines after getting over existing hurdles such as negotiations with Indigenous communities along pipeline routes.

Earlier, on CBC Radio's Edmonton AM, Sohi was asked if the federal government is going to help Alberta in its bid to buy rail cars to ship more Alberta oil to market. 
Protester Sonia Heer, a steamfitter, said she and several other members of her family have all made their careers in the oil and gas industry. (CBC)

He said the long-term solution is to increase pipeline capacity to expand beyond the U.S. market.

Sohi represents the riding of Edmonton Mill Woods.