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Protesters gather at Notley announcement

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They want pipelines. That’s what a group wearing yellow vests and carrying signs wanted to get across when they gathered outside Centre 2000 on Friday morning ahead of Premier Rachel Notley’s speech. Dan Novelli says he started Yellow Vests Grande Prairie to protest Justin Trudeau and the need for pipelines.

“I’m looking out for the best of us and the best of us says we need pipelines… Here in Grande Prairie, we’ve seen the worst of it. I work drilling, I work fracking, I’ve run through some terrible times because of what the economy has done and I don’t want to see that happen in the future.”

Before Notley spoke, the RCMP was called. The protesters were told they could stay but that they had to leave their signs and vests outside. After some back and forth, the group was allowed to stay.

The Trans Mountain pipeline Expansion Project involved twinning the existing 1,150-kilometre pipeline between Strathcona County and Burnaby, B.C. Justin Trudeau’s Government approved the expansion in 2016 but it was stopped by the Federal Court of Appeal on August 30.

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During her speech, Notley said that delay is costing the Canadian economy up to $80,000,000 a day. Because of that, she says she plans to push the federal government to build the pipeline which she believes will happen eventually.

“I ultimately am cautiously optimistic about the progress that we’re going to make. I think we’re going to get that pipeline built, I think we’re going to succeed in increasing our production… It is going to get better but at the same time we are still trying to come out of the biggest oil price drop we have seen in many generations and people are anxious and nervous about it.”

Some of the people at the protest today say they now plan to head to the oil and gas rally taking place at Muskoseepi Park on Sunday. That event is open to the public and will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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