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Carbon Tax protesters continue along Trans-Canada Highway west of Calgary

Carbon tax protests continue along both sides of the Trans-Canada Highway in Southwest Alberta, well into the weekend of April 6.
Carbon tax protests continue well into the weekend of April 6, as demonstrators can be found along both ends of the Trans-Canada Highway 10 minutes south of Cochrane.

Ten minutes south of Cochrane, protests regarding the recent changes to the carbon tax continued well into the weekend of April 6, as demonstrators can be found along both ends of Highway 1.

A sea of flags and protesters are located at the Cochrane Alberta Government Weigh Scale and Vehicle Inspection Station to the north, accompanied by more vehicles and a large “AXE THE TAX” coming from the Trans Canada Highway parking on the south end.

Judy Martens, part of the nationwide protest against the recent carbon tax that came into effect on April 1, said she’s been at the protest site since Mar. 31.

“We intend to stay here until the Carbon Tax is removed,” Martens said.

Despite some snow throughout the week, Martens said the group braved the weather and continued to rally.

“Morale is good, a lot of enthusiasm from the traffic driving by, a lot of honking and support,” she said. “Tuesday [April 2], we had the police in the ditch [and] facing us, but tension dissipated because that day we had not intended to even go near the highway. The communication’s been great with the liaisons, they’re really good people.”

She added that support has been pouring in for everyone who’s taking part in the protest.

“Everyone’s excited, a lot of donations are coming in, and everyone’s being well fed and there’s a lot of water,” Martens said. “Everyone’s looking out for each other, and it’s been wonderful.”

A major goal for the protesters is to start meaningful conversation on the recent Carbon Tax.

“I believe it is still seven out of 10 premiers of provinces that didn’t want to bring in the Carbon Tax on April 1,” Martens explained. “And that to me should be a democracy. People should be able to vote on that.

“And it doesn’t matter what we say or do, it’s getting pushed forward. This is just basically to bring awareness to it. This is something that can unite all Canadians. Doesn’t matter what flag you fly; the Carbon Tax affects us all.”

Over the last few days, Martens said there is a growing number of new faces who are coming out to protest.

“And it’s not just at this location, but all the other protest locations across Canada,” Martens said.

With the protest just 10 minutes outside of Cochrane, Martens said the best way to actually learn about the protest and the group themselves, is to come on down and see it first-hand.

“There’s lots of food, and great conversations,” she said. “We’re all in this together. We’re all Canadians.”

As a former “Trudeau-loving lefty,” Martens said being part of this group allowed for good discussion and a sense of camaraderie that can be shared with others.

“Come on down,” Martens said. “We are not un-friendly, we would be more than happy to answer any questions, and it’s mostly about networking too.”

Through the loud and clear horns of the truckers running along Highway 1, Martens said it is a fantastic feeling to see the support their group receives on a regular basis.

“This location particularly, we’re located on a [truck] scale, where the truckers come in,” she said. “They’ll pull in, they’ll weigh themselves, and as they’re here, they’ll roll down their windows and there’s this big outpouring of support.”

Overall, Martens said it is great to be part of something like the group of demonstrators along Highway 1.

“What I’ve seen out here is an outpour of generosity from every-day Canadians,” Martens said. “It’s the Canadian Spirit, is the only way I can sum it up. If there’s a need, someone will fill it, and it’s beautiful to see it come together like this.

“It’s really good people, very enthusiastic, and everyone with the same purpose; we just want Canada to be a better place for everybody.”

Martens said she would like to thank the individual who donated Porta Potties to the site, donations from local churches and all supporters on site.

“Not just this location, but people who came out to all the different protest locations across Canada, and all the support online,” Martens said. “I also want to thank the media for being here, and of course the liaisons who’ve been wonderful, the RCMP who have a lot of good communication, and everyday Canadians.

“You just get them talking too, and you find out how this is affecting them as well, and it is something that can really unite us all.”


Daniel Gonzalez

About the Author: Daniel Gonzalez

Daniel Gonzalez joined the Cochrane Eagle in 2022. He is a graduate of the Mount Royal University Journalism program. He has worked for the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta and as a reporter in rural Alberta for the ECA Review.
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