Plebiscite War­riors take bat­tle to leg­is­la­ture

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

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.

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