Yellow Vest Protest comes to Winkler

Tania Peters represented the Yellow Vest Protest in Winkler, Jan. 12 with this sign getting plenty of honks from passing cars. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)

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Canada’s Yellow Vest Movement has come to Winkler and Altona, and so far it’s one person leading the charge.
Tania Peters was on the Main St. sidewalk outside Winkler City Hall on Jan. 12, carrying signs and wearing a yellow vest as a lone protester.
“I’m feeling that something isn’t right in Canada right now,” she said. “We the people are not being heard.”
Canada’s Yellow Vest Protests address several different issues.
They oppose over-taxation including the carbon tax, are advocates for energy self-sufficiency including pipelines, advocate for Canada’s sovereignty over its borders and withdrawal from the UN Global Compact for Migration, are seeking an end to illegal and irregular immigration, and advocate free speech while opposing censorship laws.
Peters said she’s protesting in part because it seems like Canada’s citizens no longer have any say.
“We’re supposed to be the ones who are in control of what’s happening,” she said, citing Trudeau signing the UN Compact on Migration. “Justin Trudeau just went ahead and did that.”
While non-legally binding, critics of the Compact say it takes away signing nations’ ability to control their own borders.
“I don’t feel like Canada will be able to sustain open borders,” Peters said.
The carbon tax is another issue that Peters said is alarming. She said the amount of C02 Canada contributes to the atmosphere (estimated to be 1.6 per cent of the worlds output) makes the tax ineffective. “Why we’re going to be paying carbon tax seems absolutely ridiculous,” she said.
She also advocates for use of Canadian oil, building pipelines when necessary. “Why are we buying oil from Saudi Arabia when we have it right here?” she asked.
Peters has never protested for a cause before, but said a near death experience this year made her more aware of what was important.
“This happened to be something that I just felt really strongly that I needed to step up as a Canadian to fight and stand for what us patriots believe Canada is about and should be,” she said.
Peters said nearly everyone she encounters is supportive of the yellow vest movement and her protest.
“I would say that 97 to 98 per cent of people are supportive,” she said. “I’ve had lots of people both in Altona and in Winkler who have brought coffee, Tim Bits, muffins, when they see me out here. Mostly it’s been positive.”
But Peters has also dealt with those who disagree. Both in Altona and Winkler she said some have yelled obscenities out vehicle windows. But she added, many people aren’t aware of what the movement is all about.
She puts some of that blame on Canadian media. “They are excluding what it’s really about,” she said. “Then when the media does put something out, it looks like we’re a racist movement.”
She said that’s simply not true.
“I believe that most of us yellow vesters here in Canada, we wish for peaceful protest, and that our leaders will listen to us,” she said. “We love that Canada is a wonderfully mixed country of people of different colours, culture and religion, but all of us who are citizens of Canada… we just feel like our rights or our freedoms are somewhat being suppressed or disregarded.”
Peters would love to see more people join the protest locally, (it’s scheduled for every Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. outside city hall) but she doesn’t expect to see change over night.
“Us standing here and protesting isn’t going to change anything to do with the laws of government, but what it does do is it gets the information out there for people so they know what is happening, why we’re protesting,” she said. “I’m hoping that everyone in Canada will stick together and make a difference peacefully.”
Keeping things peaceful is important to Peters.
“I don’t want what’s happening in France. That’s not what the yellow vest movement is about,” she said. “We’re not out here to riot… this is our home and I don’t want to ruin it and neither do most yellow vesters.”
Bill Kornelsen was one local resident who stopped to share his support with Peters.
He said Justin Trudeau has led this country poorly.
“My grandchildren and my great grandchildren are going to suffer because of what he’s doing,” Kornelsen said. “There’s a problem here, you can see it.”
He said he supports Peters and the work she is doing.
“I’m very happy to see her out here today,” he said.