One of two duelling convoys that had been planning separate odysseys to Ottawa to raise awareness about Alberta’s economic woes has parked its plans, saying it’s no longer viable.
A schism between the two groups arose earlier this month, after Canada Action — which was planning the now-cancelled Resource Coalition Convoy to Ottawa — said they wouldn’t join forces with the Yellow Vest (official) Convoy to Ottawa, citing concerns about what an organizer called the “very extreme opinions” of some of the movement’s adherents.
Canada Action’s planned convoy posted a message on its Go Fund Me page Monday, explaining “unexpected challenges” made it unfeasible to make the mid-February trek to the nation’s capital.
Organizer Cody Battershill said he couldn’t discuss the reasons for the cancellation, but said some $50,000 raised for the venture through Go Fund Me will be returned to donors, while the group reverts to holding rallies similar to the one held at city hall last month that saw some participants heckle and boo members of city council.
“We unfortunately encountered some unexpected issues that we couldn’t mitigate,” Battershill said of the convoy.
“We really did have overwhelming support but there was just a lot of variables. The best decision for us was to continue to keep our work heading in the right direction.”
Last week, Battershill said despite a competing convoy also raising money and support for a similar endeavor, his group had no plans to merge causes due to the fact its organizers had fully embraced the yellow vest movement, which began last year as a push for economic justice in France but became a popular symbol in Canada, with supporters using it as a platform to protest a variety of beefs, from stalled pipeline projects to immigration policies to discontent with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
While one convoy was hitting the brakes, the one wrapping itself in the yellow vest movement continues to push forward, according to organizer and Innisfail town Coun. Glen Carritt.
“We’re full steam ahead and leaving Feb. 14 from Red Deer,” he said Monday, noting despite overtures for the groups to join forces, the rift never healed.
“They really haven’t wanted to work with us from the beginning. We want to unite all the groups we can and all work together — we welcome every truck, every person who wants to get on board, yellow vest or not.”
Two separate online fundraising campaigns for Carritt’s group, one to cover fuel and vehicular costs, and another to cover costs such as meals, hotels and incidentals, had raised nearly $120,000 as of Monday evening.
Caritt said he expects about 1,000 trucks to participate in February’s convoy, while a team in eastern Canada is organizing a supporting convoy as well. He added that permits are already in place for Ottawa and future convoys are in the planning stages for April and June.
On Twitter: @ShawnLogan403
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