By Greg Price
A mounting movement against Notley’s NDP provincial government will be making its way to the Taber Community Centre Auditorium on Saturday as part of Stand Up for Alberta.
“We are the original grass roots movement where we started in September when the announcements came out of the oilsands. And gradually all these other things have come out and popped up like Bill 6 and associated bills,” said Julie Franz, who comes from a farm family and is a co-organizer of the Stand Up for Alberta movement. “That includes Bill 8, the teacher bill which is a bad one. What we do is research and put that information out and anyone who reads it or listens to it can make a good educated decision on their own to which way they want to go. We are not influencing anyone. We are just putting up a little bit of resistance. We have break downs of the bills with clear information on the issues.”
Rallies with farmers were held across Alberta to protest Bill 6, Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, but for Franz, the bill was a smokescreen to push through more damaging bills.
“Bill 6 was a distraction so other bills could slide through that were more dangerous to farmers and to our general economy. But what can I say? These people are professionals. Bill 6 was a distraction where everyone was worried and upset about WCB and OHS, that’s fine. But then this other stuff came in where all it boils down to is a land grab. Bill 202 is the scary one. The Land Stewardship Act which was Bill 36 at one point and it was put in by the PCs, but was actually never used, thank God. It was there just in case and the NDP has decided to jump on that and that is the expropriation of land,” said Franz, claiming the Stand Up for Alberta Facebook Page/Web Site have been hacked, posting things like wrong times for rallies that cannot be changed no matter how hard rally organizers try, as it just defaults to the previous wrong time. “All of our sites that we have that are against this government or have something to say about this government, in the last couple of weeks we have been hacked. It’s been awful. But we are plugging forward and you’re not going to stop us. We will be slow and steady, but guess who won the race? The tortoise.”
Starting on the steps of the legislature back in Alberta on Sept. 13, the Stand Up for Alberta movement have made its way on a decked out Dodge dually, rigged up with different signs which has clocked more than 14,000 kilometres.
“It almost sounds preacher-ish, where we spread the word, but we are actually putting out information and letting people know they are not alone, and we can all stand together. Our voices will be heard,” said Franz. “It may or may not do anything. We are not going to be delusional saying we are going to topple the government, but we will put up as much resistance as we can.”
The Stand Up for Alberta Rally will go from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday at the Taber Community Centre Auditorium.
Guest speakers will start near the beginning of the rally, including George Clark who has also been collecting signatures across the province for two plebiscites expressing opposition to Bill 6 and the proposed carbon tax that will be presented to the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta at the start of the spring session.
Clark has noted in past interviews that the largest previous signature gathering for Alberta was back in 2002 by the Friends of Medicare who had over 80,000 signatures on their plebiscite and he claims Stand Up for Alberta has more than that already. Hoping to campaign for 35 days after the Christmas break, Clark has a team of over 2,500 volunteers who will take signatures up to Feb. 7 which will be presented to the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta for the start of the spring session on Feb. 9.
Other speakers who will be given 10-minute time slots will include a statistician/mathematician on the current economy and future trends, and a historian on the record of the NDP government. Also, there will be a speaker about wind mills, where they are built and how damaging they are.
“Also into that is the farmers that comply. That is fine, but be very well aware of the contract,” said Franz. “Especially when you see what is happening in Ontario with the windmills. Our researchers are phenomenal and everything we have you can’t dispute because it comes right from the Alberta government.”
There will also be an open mic and question-and-answer periods featured. Invitations have been sent out to the local MLAs in the area of Taber and Vauxhall, according to Franz where they have been encouraged to talk during the open mic session.
Organizers are encouraging people to bring monetary or non-perishable food item donations for the local food bank and warm clothing for the Coats for Kids initiative.
“Our food banks and shelters are running really, really low on supplies,” said Franz. “We are trying to redistribute to these areas to help out. The things the shelters need most are toques, gloves and socks, you can never have enough of those, and those are the things they are asking for.”