Making Sense of the Yellow Vest Protests


March 7, 2019 :: Dr. Trevor Harrison
Moderated by Terry Shillington

Inspired by, or at least imitating, the protests of France’s Gilets Jaunes, a Yellow Vest movement has similarly made headlines the past few months, especially in Alberta. In what ways does this movement echo the one in France – or even past movement in Canada? How, more broadly, should we understand the Yellow Vest protests?

On the surface, the concerns seem clear enough: stalled pipeline projects and fury over a federal and provincial the carbon tax. Economic concerns are understandable. Canada, one of the world’s largest oil exporters, has been hit hard by the slump in oil prices and a lack of pipelines to move its product to markets. Several companies have layed off workers and fears of widespread job losses in oil-rich province like Alberta and Saskachewan is growing. Close to 50,000 jobs were lost during the last oil market crash of 2014. However, will those jobs ever come back?

But the Yellow Vest protests, while focusing on energy issues like pipelines, Bill C-69 and tanker bans, have also included reference to the recent United Nations Migration Pact and other issues related to refugees and migration. Outside Alberta, yellow vest-inspired rallies have appeared across the country, but are much smaller than their French counterparts. A Yellow Vest rally in Toronto for example, drew less than 100 people. Are all Yellow Vesters alike? Will the movement take on the status of the French protesters?

The speaker will speculate on the deeper meaning of the Yellow Vest movement and whether it will have lasting implications , if any, upon provincial and federal politics/elections

Speaker: Dr. Trevor Harrison

Dr. Trevor Harrison is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Lethbridge and Director of Parkland Institute. He was born and raised in Edmonton. He holds a B.A. from the University of Winnipeg, an M.A. from the University of Calgary, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Alberta.

His broad areas of specialty include political sociology, political economy, and public policy. In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, Dr. Harrison is the author, co-author, or co-editor of nine books. His op-ed columns frequently appear in both local and national newspapers.

Moderator: TBA

Date: Thursday, March 7, 2019
Time: Doors open 11:30 am, Presentation 12 noon, buffet lunch 12:30 pm, Q&A 1 – 1:30 pm
Location: Royal Canadian Legion (north door) 324 Mayor Magrath Dr. S. Lethbridge
Cost: $14 buffet lunch with dessert/coffee/tea/juice or $2 coffee/tea/juice. RSVP not required


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