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Carbon Tax protest at the Manitoba-Saskatchewan could mean detours

It's no April fools joke, the carbon tax protest of April 1 seeks to send a message to Ottawa with cross Canada highway protests.

As of March 28, information has been sent to the Rural Municipality of Wallace-Woodworth, advising that traffic from the Trans-Canada Highway may be re-routed onto municipal roads to avoid a protest on the highway near the western Manitoba border.

The protest - Nationwide Protest Against the Carbon Tax – appears to be an organized Canada-wide peaceful protest with the goal being “the immediate removal of the Carbon Tax, without replacement by any other form of taxation.”

An interprovincial border strike is set to begin on Monday, April 1 at 8 a.m. The official website for the strike, explains that they do not plan to block the highway but says the strikers should maintain at least one center lane open for traffic.

However, extra traffic is expected on the rural municipal roads of Wallace-Woodworth. The RM of Wallace-Woodworth has posted a notice on their Facebook advising the RCMP have given notice of a possible re-routing of traffic off of the Trans-Canada Hwy between Elkhorn and the Saskatchewan border due to an April 1 carbon tax protest planned for the area.

The notice is on the Wallace-Woodworth Facebook and local ratepayers have weighed in wondering why roads that the municipality pays to maintain should be used to carry heavy traffic from the Trans-Canada Highway.

When the Empire-Advance asked about this, the municipality’s Chief Administrative Officer Garth Mitchell replied that extra traffic is never ideal in times when road conditions are not 100%.

He stated, “This essentially is being dealt with by the RCMP as an emergency situation and we are confident that they will be handling with the best of their ability with all parties best interest in mind.”

However, road bans have been in effect since March 1 in the RM, as in most places in Manitoba.

Mitchell assures, “Road bans are still in effect and heavy truck traffic will not be allowed on RM roads. Our understanding is that this is to be a one-day event and we trust that the RCMP will manage this situation and that we will be kept informed and work with them through this challenging event.”

A statement on the protest website says, “This is a peaceful event aimed at uniting Canadians for a common cause & We will be holding the line indefinitely until our mission objective is achieved.”

The protest has posted a letter to law enforcement:  A Call to Stand in Solidarity: An Open Letter to Our Police Officers

The letter begins,

“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. We, members of Nationwide Protest Against The Carbon Tax, stand on the brink of a pivotal moment, championing a cause we believe to be of critical importance to our community, economy, and environment.”

As of April 1st, the Trudeau government is set to raise an existing carbon tax by 23%. This comes at a time when Canadians have experienced sticker shock over most items including necessities such as groceries.

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