Pro-pipeline rally takes place on Parliament Hill

A convoy of Albertans and other westerners rolled up to Parliament Hill this morning to protest federal energy and environmental policies.

Hundreds of people gathered on the Hill lawn for morning speeches as part of the United We Roll rally.

Transport trucks and other vehicles arrived on Parliament Hill from Anrprior around 10a.m. and from the east and Gatineau as well. Originally, the convoy began in Red Deer, Alta., on Valentine's Day and made its way east over four days with stops for rallies along the way.

“The core message is we need immediate action for our pipelines to get in the ground, to get to tidewater and to the rest of Canada,” said lead organizer Glen Carritt, the owner of an oilfield fire and safety company in Innisfail, Alta.

The protesters want the Liberal government to scrap the carbon tax and two bills that overhaul environmental assessments of energy projects and ban oil tankers from the northern coast of British Columbia. Carritt said participants also are unhappy about the government's recently signing a non-binding United Nations compact on global migration.

Carritt said Canada's borders “need to be controlled” by Canada and its citizens, not the United Nations.

The group was met by anti-pipeline counter-protesters who posted up along Wellington St.

“I’m here to write an alternative - a counter narrative to the pipeline,” said counter-protester Crystal Semaganis.

Police officers monitored both protests using gates to keep the two apart.

The group is expected to return to Wellington St. tomorrow. During the demonstration Wellington between Kent St. and Elgin St. will be closed to regular traffic starting at 8:00 a.m.

With files from the Canadian Press

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