Update May 7 – Jason and Shawn made it to Edmonton May 5.
“Yesterday was a great day. I would like to start out by thanking all the supporters. You the people have made this all possible.
I hope the words that were spoken yesterday made an impact.
Alberta is going through so much right now.
We need to continue to stick together.
Nothing has amazed us more than to see everyone come together when others are in need.” – Jason
This will not be the last time you see these boys gather a rally, at the legislature.
They are setting up another rally for the second week of June and put some serious planning into it.
You can continue to follow Jason on his Facebook page.
April 27 story – It is a long walk and weeks away from his home and family.
It started with one man wanting to make a difference.
He had a simple mission in mind – to raise awareness for Alberta families losing everything they worked hard for due to the economy.
Jason Dubrule’s personal flag waves in the wind attached to a wagon, next to the Canadian and Alberta flag.
It reads: Going to provincial building to see if the gov’t will use tax payers money to save the homes of unemployed families and give back 100,000 jobs.
When Fox in Focus met up with Jason, he was on the last four kilometers on Highway 43 before Fox Creek, from the west on Sunday, April 24th.
He was almost halfway on his journey to Edmonton and 170 kms walked in four days. Messages were coming in from residents in the area advising us of Jason’s location and the link to his Facebook page.
He was treated with hospitality, food, water, foot care and many words of encouragement and support.
Jason and his friend Shawn Paquette were provided a place to stay at Matt Donly’s by Little Smoky, breakfast by the Sawley Family/Rival Trucking and two nights at the Foxwood Inn and Suites in Fox Creek free of charge.
A local artist donated a 5 x 7 painted picture. Jason would like all proceeds to be donated to the Edmonton’s Children’s Stollery and the painting is being auctioned on his Facebook page.
The same lady generously purchased ankle supports, athlete tape and foot care supplies for the walkers and asked for nothing in return. At least ten people messaged opening their home for a place to stay for the walkers in Fox Creek.
President of the Fox Creek Legion, Lisa Peterson and Josh Donly helped pilot the walkers into town. Then Lisa joined them on foot, setting out the next morning heading to Whitecourt.
Lisa’s husband Kurt mentioned Jason’s journey and they thought it was fitting to help him; especially when so many helped them, The Long Way Home team a year ago.
She said, “It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since I was getting ready to go on the road for three months and a 3,000 km journey by foot and horse; raising awareness for Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“Tonight I found Jason and Shawn 13 kms from Fox Creek; pulled over and offered my support, ran pilot truck for them; for about three hours. Brrrrr it was chilly. I continued with them all the way to town. Tomorrow I am boots to the ground and trucking up to join Jason and Shawn on part of their journey. I’m not to sure how far I’ll walk; hopefully the shin splits will behave, if not Ian Mercer has graciously offered to be on stand by to rescue me.
I remember how humbling and self gratifying it was being part of a journey and walking for something you truly believe in. Some days were a struggle but; your journey, your driven purpose and supporters keep you going forward. A Hope for Change. United We Stand Divided We Fall.” – Lisa Peterson.
MLA Todd Loewen, Grande Prairie/Smoky Constituency happened to be on his way home to Valleyview from Edmonton and heard of Jason’s mission. MLA Loewen parked his vehicle on the side of the highway, 7 kms from Fox Creek and willingly walked the last stretch of the day to town.
He helped pull Jason’s wagon, discussed politics and provided an optimistic outlook for Jason, sharing his words and gaining the awareness he set out for.
As it neared 9 pm on Sunday night, Jason and Shawn pulled the wagon down 1st Avenue and parked at the Foxwood Inn and Suites for the night. Sore muscles, aching knees and legs, the duo were set to start the day all over again the next morning.
He was prepared to sleep three nights in a ditch if need be, but thanks to the kindness of new friends, a warm bed was offered and chauffeurs were there in a moments notice to provide rides.
“The longer it takes, the more support we get,” said Jason. “My whole motivation in the first place was because I couldn’t sit back and watch…watch people get laid off, lose their jobs, their homes…”
He left his home in Falher, Alberta 430 kilometers from Edmonton on April 21. The 43 year old is a husband, father of four and grandfather. He wants answer from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and wants to gain awareness of the impact of Trudeau’s decisions on Alberta families.
There were many comments from people, including his own family, thinking he was “crazy.” How can one just start walking from their front steps with no money, no food or accommodations?
But he did.
“Crazy is what the government is doing,” in Jason’s humbled opinion. “First wages were being decreased; oilfield companies are dropping their rates, shutting their doors and selling equipment at auctions. Its nuts! The government has not created one job and 100,000 jobs have been lost.”
Jason is on unemployment and hasn’t worked for two and half months.
“We need to talk to our MLA’s and Rona Ambrose, the interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Leader of the Opposition. Once we all get to Edmonton; we need them to be our voice.” – Jason.
His mission is attracting media outlets and radio stations along the way; Global, CBC and CTV have committed to being in Edmonton at the legislature building.
“I think everything will fall into place. I am taking it day by day,” said Jason. “I walk, step by step, to save what I believe in. I don’t know what tomorrow or tonight is going to bring, but everyday gives me more motivation.”
He credits a lot of support to his family and friends, and particularly to his “campaign manager” a friend Katelyn that is managing his Facebook page and networking.
“She has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help, I can’t thank her enough!” said Jason.
He is overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers and the response his walking generated. “Sometimes its almost too much!” he said.
A simple man, who worked the rigs for 13 years and was employed in the oil patch for 20 years, all over Alberta, wants answers from the government on their the morals, values and standards for Alberta families.
He estimates it will take them another 11-12 days of walking until they get to Edmonton. Once they reach Edmonton, any extra food will be donated to the food bank.Watch his Facebook page for regular updates.
Jason and Shawn are walking an averaging of 40 kms a day. Shawn joined Jason in Valleyview. Jason quickly nicknamed Shawn his “one man posse.”
“I love what he is doing and fully support him. There is never a dull moment,” said Shawn.
Jason’s former company, Rewards Oilfield made him a custom wagon after hearing he was pulling his nephew’s little tyke wagon.
He doesn’t want to hear another story about a family being kicked out of their homes with no work.
“It’s crazy and makes me sick – think of the kids,” said Jason.
They welcome anyone to join them and particularly on the last stretch walking to the Legislature building.
“It takes one person to start it, then another person and another person, all fighting for the same cause,” said Jason.