Millroy: Isn’t It Ironic: United We Roll Convoy


I find it ironic that the United We Roll for Canada convoy that began in Red Deer, Alta., and made a brief stop as it passed through the Sault last week, is looking to Ontario residents for support because things aren’t all that good in the western province at the moment, with jobs not as plentiful as they once were because of the province’s problems getting its oil to market.

Because when I lived in Alberta, from 1962 to 1975, one of the favourite bumper stickers for the latter part of my time there read: “Let the Eastern Bastards Freeze in the Dark.”

Coming from Dryden, Ont., naturally I wasn’t happy with this, although some of my friends fell right in step with their adopted province. My cries that we were Canadians first, Albertans second, fell on deaf ears.

Alberta does have a rather high unemployment rate at the moment, 6.8% compared to Ontario’s 5.4. But it wasn’t always this way. For most of the time, Alberta was the place to go if you were having trouble finding work.

Alberta at one time didn’t have a deficit but it is running one now and is counting on the completion of the Trans-Mountain pipeline project to get the deficit off its back.

I can recall when I was out there, the word was that any time a debt appeared the provincial government would simply open the natural gas taps a little wider.

And it should always be remembered that Alberta does not have a provincial sales tax.

Actually, it was the first province to have one, instituting it way back in 1936. But it removed it the following year and hasn’t had one since.

Considering I am in the process of paying more than $3,000 in provincial tax on a new vehicle, I find it very hard to feel sorry for our western cousins.

There was also a comment in Brian’s Kelly’s story in The Sault Star that really gave me pause.

Wayne Woywitka, a Vermilion resident travelling with the convoy, said he appreciated the chance to meet so many amazing people he “probably wouldn’t have given the time of day to two and half months ago.”


You’re OK now that you are offering the support he is looking for but you would have been nothing to him if you had met two and a half months ago.

The people on the road with the convoy and some of the local residents who met them in their stop in the Sault are blaming the federal government for the fact the Trans-Mountain pipeline project is on hold.

But it should be remembered that the federal government has announced its intention to purchase Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline system and it was a court, citing the government for a lack of consultation with some indigenous groups, that shut it down.

Yet some of comments were of the kind you would expect to come out of Trump country, not Sault Ste. Marie.

One local said he backed convoy participants using violence against Prime Minister Trudeau.

Another got into anti-Semitism, claiming the global banking system is controlled by the Rothschild family “to a point where it’s putting any kind of uniqueness of nationality gone,” a claim Kelly, thankfully, laid to rest by quoting an online fact-checking site that labelled it a long-held conspiracy theory.

Refugees were also a target, some saying they weren’t against immigration in one breath while saying they didn’t want them crossing our border and taking our jobs in another.

One also railed against carbon taxes, a tax I accept because I want to see as much as possible done to make the future safe for my children and their children down the line.

The comments in Kelly’s piece took me right back to the infamous English-only language resolution passed by council in 1990. With its misguided wording declaring English as the official language of the city, we were labelled as racists, bigots and rednecks across the country.

The resolution was later overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada, but the damage was done.

I can understand people being upset about things that are happening in this country, but when the word violence comes up in regard to a political figure they are going too far.

Somehow we have to come to the realization that we are all human beings and “taking care of our own” should be all-encompassing rather than territorial.

No matter our colour, we all bleed red.

And when a child is hungry anywhere, we should care, not just when it is in our country.




  1. Great article Doug.

    Some pretty soft coverage locally in the media relating to the yellow vest convoy. i call it that, because that’s what it was. Changing the name didn’t change the anger, ignorance and hatred behind the movement.

  2. He’s whining about how Alberta’s felt about Ontarian’s 50 years ago? Someone’s holding a grudge. Grant it, I know some Westerners still feel that way but if anything this brought East and West closer together isn’t that a good thing? Not worthy or reporting it though I guess eh Doug?
    We all have the same enemy in Ottawa, time to move on. This article only tries to further separate the people of this country, it serves no other purpose.
    The United We Roll campaign was and is about the Carbon Tax, the pipelines and “illegal” immigration, not refugees. The media just loves to spin that one.

  3. Doug Mllroy, your article is tainted with statements that are simply not true. You have written this based on some bumper stickers you saw when? Your entire article is made up of false accusations that are simply NOT TRUE!!! Your statements incite hatred!! I thought that a good reporter reported the facts as they actually are…Your statements are “One guy said this” … facts…name names!! One guy said that!! Name Names!!! Also saying that ” One local said he backed convoy participants using violence against Prime Minister Trudeau” is you trying to discredit all members of United We Roll, when actually I think that we all know that there was one…only one person that said that and United We Roll was very quick to distance themselves from this person who lives here in the Sault. United We Roll invited anyone and everyone to join them and come out and meet them. When you invite the public to attend anything, you will sometimes get one bad apple in the bunch….but, you are inferring that all members of United We Roll are like this. ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE!!! Did you take any time at all to research this group before you started spewing your false accusations!! You are a dangerous man Doug Milroy!!! Why aren’t you reporting that they staged a beautiful peaceful protest on Parliament Hill?? You did nothing in this article but throw false accusations around like it was candy, with no thought for the fact that these are hard-working Canadians too…lots of them work in the oil fields but have family right here in Ontario. United We Roll is a group of people that came from British Columbia right through to Newfoundland…so it is not just a convoy made up of Westerners. This group staged a very respectful protest that would have no part of being disrespectful to anyone. They stopped at each and every little town to shake hands along the way….What did become apparent, is how much the media is controlled by the Government, in that there is an understanding between the media and the government. “United We Roll” are NOT racists and for you to drop words that disparage their reputations all the way through your article is WRONG!!! Is it wrong to ask that anyone coming into our country go through the legal process that was put in place to protect all Canadian citizens, because that is all this group is asking for. Throughout their journey they have repeatedly said they are NOT against immigrants….they are against people entering our country without going through the proper process….the legal process that was put in place to ensure that we are ensuring the safety of all Canadians. How about writing some truth here Doug Milroy. In the past when you were reporting for the Sault Star, I found many of your editorials to be skewed with inaccuracies and inadequate research on your part. What the people need right now is to know the truth as it actually is.

    • I’m with you, no Yellow Vests I know see colour or any identity politics for that matter as valid reason for exclusions, We all celebrate intelligence and work ethic in individuals. Thomas Sowell is a hero of mine…he is a great intellect.

      Dinesh D’Souza is another delightfully cogent writer and historian.

      Don’t look at FakeNews for facts they are all about left-wing slant, spin and opinion.

  4. Excellent article Doug.

    Life looks a whole lot different when you’re standing at the top of an economic mountain digging money out of the ground than it does when you’ve managed to turn your economic mountain into a hole by digging too fast and too far.

    Standing at the top you say, “We don’t need anyone.”

    Standing in the hole you say, “Thank goodness there’s a Trudeau running the show. His father’s ideas to have the country share Canada’s wealth weren’t that bad after all.”

    Living in an impoverished state. like the oil and gas workers of Alberta, tends to develop empathy and a feeling of kinship with others who have been impoverished.

    That’s why they’re reaching out for help Doug.

    These oil and gas workers are not the same oil and gas workers of the 70’s, or the 30’s. These oil and gas workers are feeling impoverished. They’re standing in the centre of an economic hole.

    But their solution is one that their fossil fuel baron bosses want: Quick access to larger markets through pipelines.

    Their bosses are saying they want to dig the hole quicker and faster.

    As history has shown, this is a very bad idea.

    Look at where this idea has gotten them so far: From shouting “We’re the greatest. We don’t need anyone” at the top of a mountain of cash, to rolling across the country saying “we need help to get us back to the glory days” by getting the government to give us pipelines.

    This convoy is the fossil fuel baron bosses using the underemployed workers to put pressure on the government because that’s what people who feel economic pain do. Have you ever seen a Social Assistance recipient ask their Case Worker for “just a few dollars more to tide me over until the next Social Assistance Cheque?”

    This is EXACTLY the same thing: Corporate fossil fuel barons (Social Assistance Recipient) asking the government (their Case Worker) to give them pipelines (a little extra money to tide them over) until they can pull out of the unprofitable tar fields leaving their workers high and dry with no work whatsoever, and move on to the next baron boss opportunity that their money can buy (the next Social Assistance Cheque).

    The solution is NOT single-use oil and gas pipelines.

    The solution is government ownership of, and reinvestment in, ALL RAIL BEDS that span our country in order to bring oil, gas, and any other goods to market in a RELIABLE way without having to slice and dice any more of our country’s great natural environments.

  5. Hi sickofthenewscanada,

    1. It’s working in BC where 100% gets reinvested.
    2. ?
    3. The fossil fuel barons will only shift if there is a profit motive to do so. A carbon fee lowers their profit, and reduces their market by getting increasing numbers of people not using fossil fuels. Doing nothing puts us at the mercy and the increasing prices and the timelines of the fossil fuel barons.
    4. We’re in the age of information, and when a government says it’s going to put 100% of the fees collected for carbon-based energy back into a conservation/renewal energy system we’ll know it if they don’t especially because there are a ton of people who hate carbon fees, and only a government who cares about future generations will institute a carbon fee that gets put 100% back into the renewable energy system. The corrupt governments institute a carbon tax, and then use the money to reduce their deficits leaving future generations “frozen in the dark” when fossil fuels eventually run out in a few short decades.

    Thanks for the opportunity to discuss this my friend.

  6. Growing up in Calgary in the 70s I remember kids singing/chanting while skipping or other types of things “I am proud to be a Canadian, I am proud to be free. And I wish I was a dog and Trudeau was a tree” Looks like not much has changed in 40 years

  7. I too remember those bumper stickers.. I worked for a company in London that had branch offices in every province in Canada and when in Calgary working at that time I found a very strong bias against anyone from eastern Canada. I had less problems working in Quebec even tho initially I couldn’t speak a word of French..Funny that those guys with the big rigs are so worried about work and paying their debt, yet they could take two weeks off and put upward of 5000 unpaid miles on the truck… They all seem to forget that it is mostly the natives that are holding this thing up…

    • … While a pile of them in the western provinces want to BUY INTO the pipeline! I think the First Nations should get together and collectively agree on what they’re going to do. Either buy into it and get out of the way or protest it in unity.

  8. Well stated Doug. Cynically, it sometimes seems that many locals cannot forfeit an opportunity to spew hateful misinformation.

  9. Doug, i have always agreed with you up to now, i am not a racist but do believe that immigration should be done legally not at illegal border crossings, with rcmps acting as bellhops, for people coming from upstate new york which is fair to say a safe space, my tax dollars pay for their needs, i work hard for my money,also carbon tax will not solve anything except create a new money grab, stopping drive thrus would help the environment more than this tax will. Also the help our own comment you made, ask the homeless under the gardiner bridge if they would like a room at the radisson motel

    • A fee on carbon-based fuels that gets 100% applied to transforming our lives and economy to one that is fueled by never-ending sources of energy like sun, wind, and water “will not solve anything, Nancy???

      Are you kidding me???

      Actually, it will solve the massive problems our grandchildren will face when, not if, all fossil fuels run out several decades from now.

      If we don’t transform to a renewable-fuel-based economy while we still have available fossil fuels it’ll be too late to develop large-scale renewable-fuel distribution networks.

      The clock is ticking my friend.

      Do it for the kids.

      • Mark Brown – there’s significant doubt as to IF the government’s promise of putting 100% of the carbon tax toward 100% climate change solution. Especially from a federal government showing a strong trend of lying & duplicity.
        The doubt is further compounded by our experiences from other promises- like the government’s promise to spend the inceeased budgeted amount to maintaining the sex offender registry. You know, the registry where NONE of that increased budgetary amount was actually spent on it.
        Carbon taxation has lost many of its supporters because:
        1. It failed when implemented in other countries.
        2. There has been an industry driving personal created by many proponents of climate change.
        3. We have had the ability to use viable alternative energies to power homes, vehicles, etc for decades but the wealthy & powerful fossil fuel lobbyists hold considerable sway with the government. Precisely why the well known gas price fixing is being allowed to continue by the government.
        4. We have been paying an eco tax in Ontario on many products for many years which we already known has been used inappropriately.

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