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UPDATE: Police look at criminal charges after protesters block highway for hours

Angry motorists detoured Sunday evening as group occupies highway to support northern B.C. blockade
Protesters with a banner stating ‘RCMP off the yintah’ (Wet’suwet’en territory) blocked a section of the Pat Bay Highway near Elk Lake for approximately two hours Sunday evening. (Charles Bodi/Twitter)

Saanich police are seeking video footage as officers consider criminal charges after protesters blocked Highway 17 for more than two hours Sunday evening, driving angry motorists to social media to express their frustration.

Signalling their support for Wet’suwet’en demonstrations and the fight against fossil fuels, protesters blocked both directions of the Pat Bay Highway between Haliburton and Sayward roads in Saanich at around 5 p.m. on Nov. 21. The highway reopened shortly before 7:45 p.m.

The closure left traffic to detour through neighbourhoods with some motorists stuck on the highway until the roadway reopened.

Monday afternoon, Saanich Police Department issued a statement seeking witness accounts and video footage. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms affords everyone the right to peaceful, safe and lawful assemblies. While the group was peaceful, members’ actions were neither safe nor lawful, the statement read. While no arrests were made, a criminal investigation may result in a recommendation of charges.

ALSO READ: Wet’suwet’en solidarity protest hits the streets in Victoria


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