Tomorrow, Thursday, April 4th, is the day of a large-scale convoy and rally in Regina. This event is called the Regina Rally Against the Carbon Tax and the number of participants has been increasing since the first announcement from organizers. The Regina Police Service has responsibility for public safety within our city, so our Police Service has been communicating with the organizers of this convoy and rally. Our goals are: maintaining public safety, including traffic safety, for all; protecting the rights of all, including the right of participants to express their opinions; and causing as little disruption as possible to the rest of the city.
We thought we’d share some of the questions we’ve been fielding, along with our responses. Please do consult our previous news releases on our website at www.reginapolice.ca. Read on:
Q: How many vehicles are you expecting?
A: As of Wednesday, April 3, 2019, the anticipated number of vehicles is approximately 600. This will include tractor power units (some with trailer, some without), vans, pickup trucks and other light vehicles. No over-dimensional vehicles or any vehicle conveying dangerous goods will be permitted in this convoy. We are assured that the organizers have clearly and firmly communicated this to the participants.
Q: What is the convoy route?
A: The description of the route is as follows. Convoy vehicles will:
- Enter Regina on Highway 33 (becomes Arcola Avenue);
- Proceed north-west toward city centre on Arcola Avenue;
- Cross Victoria Avenue and proceed west-bound on Saskatchewan Drive;
- Turn north onto Lewvan Drive, remaining in right-turning lane;
- Turn east into Evraz Place parking (11th Avenue into Evraz grounds).
Q: What time does the convoy arrive in Regina?
A: Bearing in mind that this is an event with, literally, lots of moving parts…we expect the convoy to stage at the outskirts of Regina at approximately 10:30 a.m. The convoy will have police escort into the city and officers staged at every intersection to ensure traffic runs as smoothly as possible.
Q: Will traffic be affected earlier than 10:30 a.m.?
A: Yes, to some extent. We believe there will be an influx of traffic and some advance vehicles associated to the convoy earlier than 10:30 a.m. This advance traffic may have an effect during the morning commute; for that reason, we are advising motorists to adjust their travel and departure times to allow for heavier traffic and potential delays. Best advice: leave from home early and go for coffee before work.
Q: What time does the rally start?
A: Our most recent information indicates speakers will address the rally beginning at 2:00 p.m. That means if you want to attend, you should be there well in advance of that hour. If you are not attending, you should notice traffic flow elsewhere in the city returning to normal levels.
Q: What time does the rally end?
A: The information we’ve received from organizers indicates things will be winding down by about 3:30 p.m. We expect the egress from Evraz Place to be a little more gradual, since rally participants and observers will disperse when they choose. We will have officers positioned at 11th Avenue/Evraz Place and Lewvan, as well as Saskatchewan Drive and 13th Avenue, to direct traffic immediately after the rally ends, but we will re-assign those officers as traffic flow ebbs.
Q: What’s the plan for emergency vehicles?
A: Glad you asked. We DO have contingency plans for first-responder vehicles. That’s part of every good traffic ops plan. We have to maintain emergency routes of travel. That is also part of tomorrow’s plan. We hope it will not happen, but if there is an emergency and we have to clear a way for first-responders, we will be able to do that. For motorists: please remember that, if you are approached by an emergency vehicle with lights and siren activated, please pull as far to the right as possible and stop to allow that emergency vehicle to go by.
Q: What if the north-south traffic is building up at intersections?
A: Our goal is to move the convoy vehicles through the city as smoothly and efficiently as possible, but our officers will be able to control (and interrupt) traffic flow if they deem it necessary to alleviate excessive traffic build-up on north-south roadways. Motorists in this area during the convoy should expect lengthy delays.
Q: Do you anticipate any disturbances?
A: We have not had any indication from the rally organizers or participants that they have anything in mind other than a peaceful, albeit large-scale, protest. Members of the public who have commented on our social media pages hold views on different sides of the carbon tax debate, but the discourse has been civil. We expect everyone to respect the rights of others. People can have their say and be law-abiding. That’s democracy at work.
Q: Did the organizers get a permit?
A: The organizers of this convoy and rally did request a permit and they have been very cooperative with our Traffic Safety unit. We granted the permit after having notified our Executive and the City of Regina.
Tomorrow will be a busy day in our city. We acknowledge that there will be traffic delays, but they will be for a short-term. Be patient and follow the directions of police officers. Let’s all get home safely at the end of the day.
The Regina Police Service thanks the public for its cooperation and understanding.