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Update: Axe the Tax protests ongoing at provincial border highways

From Bonavista to Vancouver Island, Canadians are gearing up for a nationwide Axe the Tax protest April 1.

Update April 1: Saskatchewan RCMP told SaskToday that "officers are monitoring the protests on-scene, and continue to work with the planners to assist them in exercising their right to protest in a safe, peaceful and lawful way."

RCMP Headquarters in Ottawa said they are also monitoring the situation across the country.

 “The RCMP is aware of the ‘Nation-wide Protest Against the Carbon Ta’” initiative, and is monitoring to ensure public safety,” Marie-Eve Breton, Media Relations Officer, RCMP Ottawa, told SaskToday.ca in an email Monday morning.

Brenton said the RCMP acts to preserve the peace and maintain public safety, within its jurisdiction, and recognizes the rights of the general public, all road users, local residents and businesses to a safe environment.

“The RCMP and Police of Jurisdictions will act to preserve the peace, maintain public/traffic safety and investigate criminal wrongdoing, in accordance with its legislated responsibilities and in the best interests of all involved,” said Breton.

Original story:

From Bonavista to Vancouver Island, Canadians are gearing up for a nationwide Axe the Tax protest April 1  – the same day the federal government is hiking the carbon tax by 23 per cent.

The protests calling for the immediate and permanent removal of the carbon tax are mainly planned for the interprovincial borders across Canada.

In Saskatchewan, protests are anticipated at three highway locations. Two will be on the TransCanada Highway: Fleming, Sask., - Kirkella, Man.; Cypress County, Alta., - Maple Creek, Sask.; and one on the Yellowhead Highway between Lloydminster, Alta., - North Battleford, Sask.

Demonstrations will be on the highways and there are plans to camp at nearby camp sites.

“We will maintain at least one lane of travel throughout the demonstration while holding the line for an indefinite amount of time until the carbon tax has been ended,” said organizers on social media.

“This is a peaceful event aimed at uniting Canadians for a common cause, and we will be holding the line indefinitely until our mission objective is achieved.”

The organizers are asking all protesters to remain respectful and peaceful, and keep their pets in the vehicle or on a tight leash. They say it’s a family-oriented protest aimed at protecting children's future, supporting farmers, protecting small businesses, and all Canadians.

It isn’t certain how many will turn out for the protests, but thousands of Canadians have joined the group’s social media platforms. The Nationwide Protest Against the Carbon Tax Facebook group has 169,000 members. There are also individual provincial groups with members.

The group members are sharing information on Facebook but have been moving over to X (formerly Twitter) with the hashtag #AxeTheTax, and communicating with each other on Zello and Telegram private messaging apps.

The organizers say they are reaching out to truckers, farmers, business owners, police officers, and concerned citizens to join them.

Several businesses have already joined the group. A business in Yorkton donated sound equipment for the Saskatchewan – Manitoba border protest, according to organizers.

On their website, they have posted an open letter specifically to police officers saying, “We reach out to you today not as adversaries, but as fellow citizens united by a common thread of service and commitment to our community.”

Protests are also planned in communities across the country for those who can’t participate in the TransCanada interprovincial protests.

SaskToday.ca contacted RCMP Headquarters in Ottawa and RCMP Saskatchewan for comment about the planned protests on the highways across the country and the province.

In an email Monday morning, Saskatchewan RCMP told SaskToday that "officers are monitoring the protests on-scene, and continue to work with the planners to assist them in exercising their right to protest in a safe, peaceful and lawful way."

RCMP Headquarters in Ottawa said they are also monitoring the situation across the country.

 “The RCMP is aware of the ‘Nation-wide Protest Against the Carbon Tax’” initiative, and is monitoring to ensure public safety,” Marie-Eve Breton, Media Relations Officer, RCMP Ottawa, told SaskToday.ca in an email Monday morning.

Brenton said the RCMP acts to preserve the peace and maintain public safety, within its jurisdiction, and recognizes the rights of the general public, all road users, local residents and businesses to a safe environment.

“The RCMP and Police of Jurisdictions will act to preserve the peace, maintain public/traffic safety and investigate criminal wrongdoing, in accordance with its legislated responsibilities and in the best interests of all involved,” said Breton.

There has already been a loud outcry on social media about the soaring cost of living because of the current carbon tax. One meme depicts a girl saying, “It’s OK mommy, I don’t need food today,” as she hugs her mother who has her face in her hands in despair.

On April 1, the carbon tax will increase by $15 a tonne, from $65 to $80. The premiers of Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador have all urged the federal Liberal government to cancel the tax hike.

The federal government defends the carbon tax, saying Canadians get rebates.

This story by SaskToday first published on March 31, 2024, and updated on April 1.

ljoy@glaciermedia.ca

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