Brad Schell and I appeared before the Senate Committee looking into Bill C-69 in Calgary on Tuesday – and by all counts it was a huge win for Suits and Boots.
As you can see in the first picture below, the room was packed – Brad and I are seated on the far left hand corner of the table at the back. And – one huge reason this was a big day for us, you’ll see about a dozen Suits and Boots supporters seated in the rows behind Brad and I! We were so deeply touched and thankful for everyone who came up and said hello. Your presence was recognized as well by Alberta Senator Paula Simons. Thank you so very, very much.
And in the second picture, you’ll see Brad speaking to the Committee, formally known as the Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources.
In my eyes, Brad’s presentation was the highlight of the session. Here is what he said:
“I started out at 17 years old working in the patch. I got my Class 1 license at 18 and started driving truck. I worked my way through the ranks, started a family owned and operated heavy haul outfit. My wife counted the beans and paid the bills. My son came to work alongside me in the field. When my daughter was going to school she worked part time in the office. In our prime, we employed 40 people. We had top shelf men and women. We paid well and treated them like gold. We had a few long term employees. They were key to our success. About 12 years ago we sold out. I had a lot of misgivings at the time. I had always dreamed my son and grandboys would take that company and run with it. But today, I’m very grateful we sold when we did. Because today I’d be flat-ass broke and pushing a shopping cart around downtown Calgary collecting bottles. When I go to a Ritchie Bros auction there will be four or five trucks sitting in the lineup all painted to same good looking rigging and you will hear people talking that they know the situation. The bank called his loans. This devastation is province wide. We need access to foreign markets. It’s come to a point in this country where we are almost ashamed to say they work in the oil and gas industry. I’m here today on behalf of the oil and gas industry and every Canadian that feels like I do.”
You can see why the Committee gave us and the two other presenters – Katie Smith from Young Women in Energy and Mick Dilger, CEO of Pembina Pipelines – a strong round of applause at the end of our session.
Brad conveyed the pain and frustration that all of us feel over the current issues surrounding the inability to get pipelines built in Canada. Both of us simply relayed what you, our Suits and Boots supporters, have been saying for months. We highlighted the 37 pages of your letters that we sent in, and feedback from the Senators in the Committee meeting made it very clear that those letters had been read. We’ll send you the link when they are translated into French and posted on the Senate website.
We will post the full transcript of our presentations as soon as they are posted on the Senate website.
Thanks so much for your support. More on all of this in the next few days.
One important thing you should know: we are the only group at these Committee meetings that is grassroots-funded. If you’d like to see us keep going, we need to keep the grassroots growing.
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All the best.
Rick Peterson, Founder