I have to confess – I rally because I get a rush from it. There’s an energy to the crowd, and I love it. There’s even a little unpredictability that lends some excitement. Even though there has never been an incident at a pro-oil and gas rally that I have attended, there’s always a possibility that someone will go rogue. There’s a lot of passion in the people who are there, and we never know if a group of anti-pipeline activists are going to show up and inject chaos into our peaceful rally.
I rally because it’s genuinely fun. I get really excited; I’m like a little kid. There’s so much to see that my eyes continuously dart around the crowd, trying to take it all in at once. It’s truly energizing.
I rally to feel a sense of community. From CEOs of energy companies and field guys in their work gear, to regular ol’ office workers, such as myself, there’s a diverse group of people at every rally. It doesn’t matter who you are; we’re all equal at a rally because we’re all there for one common purpose. You can come with a group or come alone; it doesn’t matter because you’re part of the community.
Beyond the visceral excitement, I rally because we can’t take our comfortable standard of living in Canada for granted. Too many Canadians think that we are entitled to what we have and that it can never be taken from us. If you are fortunate enough to live in this country, you are part of a small, elite group who has a very comfortable life where all of your basic needs and more are met without a second thought. Many Canadians really do believe it’s our God-given right to have absolutely no discomfort. Unfortunately, that’s simply not true. We are not entitled to anything. Many Albertans have learned that lesson the hard way.
I rally because common-sense has left Canada. Aboriginal consultations have restarted for the TransMountain Pipeline; 45 Indigenous intervenors are being given an opportunity to state their case, including groups out of the USA. Yes, the USA. Another country. Why would a group from another country believe they should have a say in what goes on in our country, and why would our regulators agree and give it to them? Absurdity? Absolutely!
I rally because my voice is valid, as is yours. As a Westerner, I often feel alienated and undervalued in my own country where the more densely populated Eastern provinces continue to attract much of the attention of our federal political leaders.
One of the biggest reasons I rally is because I can. As a Canadian, I am free to gather peacefully and speak out against the policies and decisions of my government. Not everyone has that luxury, and I do not take it for granted.
If you haven’t attended a rally before, I hope this encourages you to join us at the next one.