Plebiscite Warriors take battle to legislature
A movement of Albertans who are not fans of the NDP government took to the legislature Tuesday with two petitions in protest to Bill 6 and the new carbon tax.
Over the last few months, Alberta residents dubbed “Petition Warriors” have been gathering signatures to present. In the local area, there has been participation in supporting this endeavour, and on March 8, a number of residents made the trek to the capital to join the rally.
Shandele Battle of Delia has been on the forefront expressing her concerns regarding the Farm Safety Bill. She headed up to Edmonton along with a bus full of more concerned residents.
She said a bus left from Hanna with scheduled stops in Delia, Morrin and Byemoor on its way to the capital. She said about seven from Delia were heading up and there was another bus from Stettler going.
Battle said it was a good experience.
“Basically it was peaceful,” said Battle. “It was a nice day and it was nice to see everyone standing united.”
There have been wild estimates coming from all sides on the size of the crowd, everything from 800 to 8,000. Battle is incensed the media coverage reported numbers in the hundreds. She estimates there were a couple thousand people at the gathering.
Deb Wynia of Morrin also attended and was encouraged by the turnout.
“The one big disappointment was the caucus went in the back door,” said Wynia, but it is good.”
She became involved in collecting signatures because of her concerns over Bill 6.
“I saw a sign yesterday that kind of hurt. It said ‘ we love Alberta, except for the farmers and oiler workers,’” she said. “Maybe some of our signs hurt them, but that just hit me the wrong way.”
Leading the charge to the legislature is George Clark, who has become the face of the Albertans First movement who has organized the petitions. At the legislature they estimate there were about 180,000 signatures.
Wynia said the plan is
to present the signatures to the Lieutenant Governor.
“We are not going to present them until we get confirmation she is going to do something about it. The other confirmation is that none of these names are going to be shown to any people in the legislature for confidentiality reasons,” she said.
One of the Albertans First strategies was to join the NDP enmasse to have influence within the party.
Battle said while some have been wary, she has actually gone as far as taking out a membership in the NDP Party.
“A lot of us that are behind him have joined the NDP political party so we do have a say in some of the decisions she (Premier Notley) is making in the future,” said Battle.
Wynia also took out a NDP membership but was rejected.