Weyburn contingent prepares for Ottawa convoy

On Feb. 8, plans were being made at Jerry Mainil Ltd. in Weyburn for the upcoming convoy to Ottawa. L-R: Darcy McCormick, Dale Mainil, Josh Mainil, Calvin Tracey and Terry Benning (Benning Farms Inc.). Image: Brian Zinchuk/Pipeline News

Weyburn – A week before trucks were expected to roll through Saskatchewan as part of the United We Roll! Convoy to Ottawa, two Weyburn outfits were putting their final plans in place to take part.

Weyburn-based oilfield construction specialist Jerry Mainil Ltd. and Benning Farms Inc. will each be sending a semi as part of the convoy.

They plan to leave early in the morning on Feb. 15, joining the southeast Saskatchewan contingent at Fast Trucking Service’s yard in Carnduff. The whole group will then head to Virden, Man., to join the main convoy as it progresses eastward on the TransCanada Highway. The rally on Parliament Hill is planned for Feb. 19.

On Feb. 8, Dale Mainil, Calvin Tracey, Josh Mainil and Darcy McCormick, along with Terry Benning, were working out the final details, including hotel bookings.

Terry Benning doesn’t work in the oilpatch. Rather, he owns and operates a large farm in the Weyburn area.

“We’re going to Ottawa to support the oil industry, to let this guy know we’re not happy with what they’re doing,” said Tracey.

“They’re not supporting Western Canada,” added Mainil.

Benning said his reasons include “The no-pipeline bill (Bill C-69).”

“If people don’t think this will affect agriculture, they’re wrong,” he said. “Everything is going to go up.”

Mainil said, “It’s -40 C this morning. What are we without carbon fuels?”

“It doesn’t get much clearer than that,” Benning said.

“That’s why we’re going to Ottawa. We have to draw a line in the sand,” Mainil said, noting that both the oil and the agriculture industries are very good stewards of the land.

“We need to start promoting that,” he added.

So Jerry Mainil Ltd. will be sending one semi, bobtailing it to Ottawa. Benning Farms Inc. will send one as well, but Benning said, “I’m taking a grain trailer, with a little bit of weight for traction.”

Josh Mainil and Kent LaCoste will be driving for Jerry Mainil Ltd., while Dale Mainil and Tracey are going to fly to Ottawa to make it to the rally on Feb. 19. “We’ll have a contingency of boots on the ground,” Mainil said.

Tracey noted they are doing this for the 93 people they have on payroll at Jerry Mainil Ltd. “We’ve got a lot of guys who work here.”

Benning noted that there are people in in the industry out of work, who want to work.

Sending a rig and a driver or two is not going to be cheap. Benning estimated the venture will set him back around $5,000, once you count wages, fuel, hotels and food. The Mainils, who will have people flying out as well, are expecting to spend even more.

- Pipeline News