It's been over a month since the United We Roll Convoy made their way into Ottawa and Parliament Hill to voice the concerns of the people affected by the government's shunning of Canada's oil sector. Since then, Red Deer, Alberta's Pat King and Estevan's Jay Riedel have started 'Rollin With Pat and Jay', a Facebook page that has follows the pair as they make their way through different towns to share their story of how the downturn in oil has affected them.
Since the beginning of their journey, they've ventured out to Medicine Hat, Drayton Valley, and Edson Alberta to not only share their stories, but also give people the chance to share theirs. Riedel has heard one story in particular that has made their journey worth it.
"We met one lady that came with us, she was a tow truck driver. She's been doing repos, and she's told us some of the stories, and it's devastating for her to actually have to do this, to come and take people's vehicles away and campers away, she's even had a gun pulled on her. She said it's the hardest job anybody could ever have to be in but she said she has to do it so she can feed her family."
Riedel adds, "It really puts into perspective what the pain everybody's feeling out here is like, and this is why we decided after the convoy that we were going to take it upon ourselves and show people the devastation from in the west because everybody in the east doesn't get to see this."
The major thing that has fuelled there mini convoy that's intended to start in the west and make it's way across the country is their social media presence. Whether they're on the road, setting up for one of their town hall meetings, or sitting in the hotel room, you can find daily live-streams of the two of them on their route, and sometimes joined by other people who want to get their story out as well. At almost any given point in their live-streams, close to 200 people are viewing from across the country, not just people in the heavy oil sector.
"I never even knew Pat before the convoy, so we just basically wanted to record everything and the fact that you'd have no room on a phone if you started videoing you'd be out of room on your phone. When it comes to the Facebook live-streams, you can just keep going and going and going it's saving on a hard drive somewhere, so that's how we kind of got doing that but we didn't realize the whole country was going to be following us when we did it, we just wanted it so we could look at it after we got back from the convoy and it went from there."
As mentioned before, the two plan on taking their movement towards the east in the next month, although no dates or locations have been set, but they're hoping that seeing unedited, raw and real stories broadcast over live-streams and in person events will help people better understand what exactly things are like out west.
"This is why we decided when we came back from the convoy we were going to take it upon ourselves to go around and show people the devastation in the west because everybody in the east doesn't get to see this."
After the Facebook crashed earlier this week, the two have now extended their platform to Youtube where they're going to start hosting their live-streams.
Pat and Jay say that while people of the opposing view when it comes to the oil field and building pipelines have come forward to speak with them, the conversations have remained respectful, hands were shaken, and almost everyone they've met has come to agree that something needs to be done to help the folks in the west.