About 200 people dressed in bright yellow clothing, inspired by continuing protests in France, gathered on Regina’s Albert Memorial Bridge to protest a range of issues on Saturday.
The rally comes while the “yellow vest” protests continue in Paris, where weeks of protests began with outrage over a fuel tax increase, but have morphed into demonstrations against France’s high cost of living, income inequality, and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Those protests have inspired others elsewhere, including here in Canada. Last weekend, protesters at Alberta rallies decried the federal government’s proposed carbon tax, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and the country’s immigration policies.
Although many people at Regina’s rally said they are also against Canada’s plan to endorse the United Nations’ migration pact — which outlines objectives for treating global migrants humanely and efficiently — as well as a carbon tax, one of the organizers said the protest is meant to give everyone a voice.
“We’re protesting the fact that our government doesn’t listen to us,” said Rhonda Cwynar, as the sound of vehicle horns filled the air in support of the protest.
“We want the Governor General to do her job, because we have right now a [prime minister] who is overstepping the boundaries of what a prime minister should be doing,” she said.
Cwynar said she believes Canadian citizens should be consulted before the government signs UN agreements.
“We’re worried about Canada no longer controlling their own country, about us being controlled by a global government.”
She said one of the main concerns at the rally was also the level of taxes in Canada, including the proposed carbon tax.
“We are a high-taxed country and it has to stop,” she said, adding that a carbon tax could make it harder for families to make ends meet.
Cwynar said the group was “invoking our right to peaceful protest,” and emphasized the rallies would remain peaceful.
Trudeau ‘Canada’s Judas’
Although Cwynar said the rally is meant to be a voice for everyone, regardless of political or personal beliefs, the majority of the attendees were outspoken about their distaste for Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberal government.
Victor Teece attended out of curiosity, saying he agrees with what the rally is standing against.
He said he doesn’t agree with the carbon tax but thinks migration is a bigger issue, adding that he is a nationalist and against globalization.
“That’s something that can harm our country significantly in the future, the migration policy.”
He said the migration agreement is “destructive to Canada as a nation” because he believes Canada’s identity is centred around European, Judeo-Christian values.
“If we want to protect that, some of these policies and these things that Trudeau is doing is going to destroy it,” he said.
Teece said he is in favour of immigration, but he wants it done “intelligently.”
“We need to immigrate at a level and … at a rate where the people that are immigrating to Canada can assimilate in a way that’s healthy for Canada and a way that’s good for them.”
Teece referred to Trudeau as “Canada’s Judas” and said he wants him out of politics as soon as possible.
‘Globalist party’ not representing Canadians
Becki Schultz travelled from Moose Jaw, Sask., to be at the rally.
“I’m standing up for Canada and Canadian citizen taxpayers,” she said, while waving a Canadian flag at vehicles driving across the bridge.
“The globalist party in this country is not standing up, in my opinion, for Canada and Canadian citizen taxpayers,” she said.
“I want to see the Canadian people asked about things that affect the entire country.”
She believes Canada is giving up some of its sovereign rights by signing the UN Global Compact on Migration, even though it’s not legally binding.
Schultz said she’s against the carbon tax as well, saying Canadians weren’t asked if they wanted it.
Yellow vest rallies have been held in cities around Canada, including Saskatoon, Edmonton and Calgary.