United We Roll Convoy stops to deliver message in Sudbury on route to Ottawa

A convoy of roughly 80 to 90 trucks and other vehicles pulled into Sudbury for a brief stop Monday afternoon. The United We Roll campaign is traveling east on the Trans Canada Highway, on its way to a large rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday.

More than 100 local supporters joined those from 70-80 vehicles in the convoy

Glen Carritt is the lead organizer of the United We Roll convoy which began in Red Deer, Alberta last week and plans to wrap up with a rally on Parliament Hill Tuesday. (Angela Gemmill/CBC)

A convoy of roughly 80 to 90 trucks and other vehicles pulled into Sudbury for a brief stop Monday afternoon.

The United We Roll campaign is traveling east on the Trans Canada Highway, on its way to a large rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday.

Glen Carritt, lead organizer, says their main message is about connecting the Canadian energy sector from the east and west through pipelines.

Blaine Meunier of Sudbury wanted to meet the convoy when it stopped in Sudbury Monday afternoon because he's worked in Alberta and says Canada should be using its own product, not oil from foreign countries. (Angela Gemmill/CBC)

However, he says there's been a huge disconnect with the government trying to separate east and west with the energy sector.

He says the support behind the United We Roll movement will hopefully show the federal government that eastern and western Canada are connected, and the energy sector is important to the whole country.

"We want our voices heard on Parliament Hill."

"There's been such a disconnect with the government that they're not listening. There's overspending. The list is endless of the problems that we have with our current government and people are tired," Carritt said.

The convoy started in Red Deer, Alberta last week.

"The further we go the bigger it gets," Carritt said while speaking with local supporters at the Petro Pass gas station on Regent Street, when the convoy stopped in Sudbury.

"We gained a few [trucks on the convoy] in Sault Ste. Marie, and we're going to gain...I think actually a couple are joining us here [Sudbury]. Renfrew: there's a few more joining us, and there's 40 or 50 trucks coming from the East, from Quebec and from Newfoundland and the Atlantic provinces and quite a few more from Ontario."

"People are coming out to support us and it's just overwhelming. It's phenomenal. You know we have so many issues and so many people that we're representing," he said.

Blaine Meunier of Sudbury felt it was important to meet the convoy and support the campaign because for the past 18 years he's traveled from Ontario to Alberta regularly to work in the oil fields.

"It's ridiculous what's going on when we import billions of dollars of oil from Saudia Arabia and our own oil sits out west. We need to support our country," said Meunier.

He was planning to drive with the convoy to North Bay, and was thrilled with the number of supporters who had come out in Sudbury.

"This is support for Canada, as far as I'm concerned."

Carritt says the convoy represents a number of different groups...from oil and gas, farmers, veterans and Indigenous peoples. However, there are fringe supporters — yellow vesters — who are concerned about immigration, also traveling with the convoy.

The main organizers are trying to distance themselves from these views. 

More than 200 transport trucks are expected on Parliament Hill for the rally Tuesday.

About the Author

Angela Gemmill

Journalist

Angela Gemmill is a CBC journalist who has covered news in Sudbury, Ont., for 13 years. Connect with her on Twitter @AngelaGemmill. Send story ideas to angela.gemmill@cbc.ca