Caldwell: A few suggestions from an environmentalist for the United We Roll Convoy

By Adam Caldwell, Ottawa Citizen, February 19, 2019

As I write this, news coverage of the “United We Roll Convoy for Canada,” carrying in equal measure the hopes of Alberta oil workers and the dread of environmentalists, culminates in local stories warning Ottawa residents to be prepared for significant delays and snarled traffic. For me, a longtime environmental and social advocate, the convoy brings a snarl of conflicting issues into my hometown, which happens to be Canada’s political centre.

Many of the issues that play out in the periphery from our capital do not get the same play here as they do in the West. While we have our own problems, they are not the same problems as those in the heart of Canada’s oil patch. This is clearly demonstrated by how reception to the convoy’s passing changes as it moves towards the capital – from roadside rallies in Alberta, to masked protesters in Winnipeg saluting with their middle fingers. This rolling protest, if it achieves nothing else, will definitely succeed in bringing into stark relief the disconnect between Canada’s political centre and its peripheries.

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