“Concerned Citizens of Sault Ste. Marie” — some may know them as the Yellow Vests of Canada — rallied on the weekend.
The aim of the gathering, at the corner of Bay and Brock streets in front of the Civic Centre, was to bring awareness to “the importance” of the federal government’s signing on to the UN’s Global Compact on Refugees, a political commitment to new protections and solutions for refugees.
The Sault Ste. Marie group also targets pipeline issues and with carbon tax.
It began its rallies a few Saturdays ago when Dave Selvers took to the streets and slowly grew local numbers of supporters.
The Rally on Sunday marked a day where Yellow Vests groups across Canada joined despite geographical distance in hopes of catching the ears and eyes of more Canadians and more Saultites, Selvers said.
George Brown, an active member of the Yellow Vests wants to make clear that he and fellow Yellow Vests are not against immigration.
It just needs to be “done legally and fulfil needs for Canadians”, to help Canada’s homeless and destitute, Canada’s veterans and first nations, Brown said.
Yellow Vesters are not against helping those who must flee their countries because of violence and corruption, he added.
“Those in the middle east both Christian and Muslim need to be looked after”.
The hope of the local chapter of the Yellow Vests is that their increase in numbers will exert pressure on the Sault’s Liberal MP Terry Sheehan, who, ideally, would then take their concerns to Ottawa.
The goal is discussion and decision based on the practices of a true democracy, he said.
Not enough people get the information regarding what some of these policies and taxes entail, said Brown.
For that, he blames the mainstream media, saying the media are “falling down on the job.”
Not enough Canadians are hearing all the facts and many, unfortunately, don’t even know what is happening with their government, he said.
Meanwhile, police in Edmonton kept factions divided in Edmonton Square downtown.
Speakers railed against a melange of topics, including the Trudeau government, “mass” immigration, lack of market access for oil and gas, Shariah law, free speech, a perceived marginalization of heterosexual people and restrictions on firearms ownership.
Counter protesters carried placards, including “migrants welcome,” “hate is not a family value” and “my Canada is inclusive and humane.”
One waved an antifa flag, another carried a Canadian Union of Postal Workers flag. Bingo cards were distributed containing buzzwords popular with right leaning groups, such as the claim protesters are paid by George Soros.
About a half-dozen people sporting patches of far-right groups like the Soldiers of Odin, Wolves of Odin and Canadian Infidels mingled among themselves.
Stephen Garvey, the head of the alliance, said those organizations were not associated with his group.
“They’re free to come and listen,” he said. “Are we going to give them a platform? No. But if one of them wants to talk within the realm of reason and no racism, no supremacy, then we’re open to that.”
Counter protesters carried placards, including “migrants welcome,” “hate is not a family value” and “my Canada is inclusive and humane.” One waved an antifa flag, another carried a Canadian Union of Postal Workers flag. Bingo cards were distributed containing buzzwords popular with right leaning groups, such as the claim protesters are paid by George Soros.
In Winnipeg, A yellow vest vehicle convoy protest was held Saturday in Southwest Manitoba with hundreds of people taking part.
Travelling down the Trans-Canada Highway from Virden to Brandon, the group protested Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a range of issues connected to the oil sector and taxation.
Manitoba organizer Damen MacGillivary, 27, told the CBC Saturday’s demonstration was held to protest against carbon taxes and illegal immigration and to show support for the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
The convoy had a police escort throughout its trip and the vehicles taking part kept to a single lane of the highway, never going much faster than 50 km/h. RCMP warned drivers to slow down near the convoy, and warned of delays.