Pro-pipeline protesters and Sask. premier accuse Ottawa of leaving energy sector out in the cold

Frigid temperatures did not deter supporters from rallying outside of the Saskatchewan's Legislature Tuesday in support of pipelines and Canada's energy sector.

Event organized by Canada Action and Rally 4 Resources

Supporters of the oil and gas sector rallied in front of the Saskatchewan Legislature Tuesday. (CBC News)

Frigid temperatures did not deter supporters from rallying outside of the Saskatchewan's Legislature Tuesday in support of pipelines and Canada's energy sector. 

The -30 windchill served as a metaphor for Premier Scott Moe and the other speakers, who talked about how Western Canada is feeling in the current political climate. 

"We're out in the cold today because the federal government and some of these policies have been leaving our families out in the cold," said Canada Action founder Cody Battershill, after the event. 

"It goes to show you how bad things are."

Premier Scott Moe says his government will advocate for workers in the resource sector. (CBC)

'It just seems like no one is listening to us'

Other political leaders at the protest besides Moe included Senator Denise Batters, Regina Mayor Michael Fougere and members of the provincial NDP and the Regina Chamber of Commerce. 

Union workers were also present. 

Moe, donning a winter jacket with fluorescent safety strips, spoke about his government's fight against what he calls the "job-killing carbon tax," and his belief that Ottawa needs to scrap Bill C- 69, which he called the "no more pipelines bill."

"It just seems like no one is listening to us," Moe said. 

"The government of Saskatchewan hears you," he said, adding his government will advocate for those employed by and in support of the energy sector. 

The event, organized by Canada Action and Rally 4 Resources, was held to support the country's resource sector, including everything from oil and gas to mining and potash. 

Organizers requested no one come wearing yellow vests. 

Protestors held signs to show their support for pipelines and the energy sector. (CBC News)

Battershill said the request was in order to stay on track with the group's efforts and not go off topic, talking about other issues. 

"It's not a Canadian movement." he said of the yellow vests.

Pro-pipeline group distances itself from yellow vests

Originating in France, the yellow vest protests began against the government's plan to levy a fuel tax, but expanded to general discontent about the leadership of President Emmanuel Macron. 

The demonstrations erupted into violence and have lead to civic unrest, with the government now saying it plans to introduce legislation to toughen up sanctions against 'undeclared protests.'

The yellow vest movement has spread to Canada, but are much quieter. Protesters here have decried a wide range of issues from the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to immigration and the carbon tax. 

In response to a yellow vest-led convoy in Alberta departing Red Deer on Feb. 14, Canada Action, which is organizing its own convoy leaving the day before, said it is not affiliated with the group. 

Moe says resources rally is a legal protest. 

Yesterday Moe's announced attendance was questioned after his refusal to meet with Indigenous protesters this summer.

Protesters camped out in Wascana Park for more than 100 days, erecting teepees and calling out the treatment of Indigenous people in the justice and child welfare systems. Moe said he would not pay them a visit. 

"I don't think I've visited any protest that has been in front of the legislature and I won't be visiting this camp," Moe said at the time. 

On Monday, he called the resources rally a legal protest. 

"That is laughable," said opposition NDP leader Ryan Meili. 

"Suddenly, a protest that he's agreeing with, he's out there with no problem."

About the Author

Stephanie Taylor

Reporter, CBC Saskatchewan

Stephanie Taylor is a reporter based in Saskatchewan. Before joining CBC News in Regina, she covered municipal politics in her hometown of Winnipeg and in Halifax. Reach her at stephanie.taylor@cbc.ca

With files from The Canadian Press, Sarah Rieger