The rally meant to be a show of support for the energy industry at times turned heated, with one councillor abruptly ending his speech midway through
The pro-pipeline event, which was supported by all 14 Calgary councillors in addition to Mayor Naheed Nenshi, was organized by Canada Action, a movement that supports the natural resources sector. Thousands turned out at Municipal Plaza over the lunch hour, chanting “Build Our Future” as the rally got under way.
But some members of council were heckled as they stood at the podium to declare their solidarity with those in the struggling oil and gas sector, including Coun. Peter Demong.
“This is not a time to be talking about boycotts or trade embargoes. We want to encourage trade, not restrict it,” Demong said, describing Alberta oil as “one of most ethical sources of energy on planet.”
“We need to be spreading the word about how this industry is a world leader in gender equality. We should be talking about how to support Quebec’s dairy industry by buying Canadian cheese. We should be talking about supporting Ontar—” he said, stopping to address jeers from the crowd.
“Wow. Really? And you guys call yourselves Canadians? Wow,” said Demong, before stepping away from the podium.
Nenshi, who immediately took over, faced a mix of cheers and discontent from the audience.