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'A slap in our face': Highway 11 protesters rally against carbon tax

'It's decimating the economy and disabling people's ability to do the basic things,' says woman who vows to keep protesting until the carbon tax is shelved
A group of carbon tax protesters from around the province are camping on the side of Highway 11 despite rainy conditions today.

A group of people from around the province have been camping on the south side of Highway 11 in Severn Bridge in recent days to protest the controversial federal carbon prices.

Angel Godsoe, from north of Lindsay, has been camping on the side of the highway on and off since last Wednesday.  

"We are raising awareness about the federal carbon tax," said Godsoe, a farmer who runs a small riding stable business. "It's decimating the economy and disabling people's ability to do the basic things like buy groceries, pay rent, and put gas in their car to go to work."

Godsoe, 52, hopes the protest will become a national movement that helps abolish the carbon tax. 

"People can't afford my services any more," she said. "My clientele is down to half because I offer trail rides to the public and lessons to children and those are kind of luxury activities and the kinds of things people are cutting out of their budget."

While only six protesters were on site on a wet and rainy Friday afternoon, Godsoe, a mother of nine children, says more than 100 people have joined the protest since last week.

"The response has been pretty positive," she said. "People have been honking, waving, and telling us to keep standing."

Godsoe plans on staying put on Highway 11, rain or shine, until the tax is abolished.

"We have to put the power back into the hands of the people," she said.

Rick Beaudry, from St. Catharines, says he's protesting with the group because he fears most Canadians will soon be unable to afford food, clothes, and other necessities.

"Everything is going up in cost because of the carbon tax," said the father of three children, grandfather to seven, and great-grandfather to five. "It's going to increase 23 per cent this year. Next year they will just turn those numbers around. They aren't going to stop."

Brooklyn Harker, the regional media and communications coordinator for OPP Central Region, says police have been monitoring the protests happening in the Orillia area. 

"We do monitor it just to make sure that everybody respects public safety and peaceful assembly," she said, noting the police have not engaged with any protesters "lately." 

He fears his grandchildren will be impacted in a big way.

"They will never be able to afford a house," he said. "Right now, they can barely afford rent. That's why I'm here."

Beaudry, 70, says he's established in life but is worried for the next generation.

"The people starting out today aren't going to get anywhere," he said. "It's a slap in our face."

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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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