MNS Postpones Northern Roadblocks

Monday, February 07, 2005 at 13:49



Metis Nation of Saskatchewan officials say they will not be intimidated into shelving their plans for blocking a northern highway.


Two roadblocks were originally scheduled to go up on junctions on Highway 165 this morning — effectively cutting off commercial traffic to and from the McArthur River and Key Lake mine sites — but those plans were postponed to allow MNS officials a chance to attend the funeral of Dore Lake Metis Local president Richard Lafleur, who passed away suddenly late last week.


The MNS promises to release a new date for the roadblocks tomorrow.


In the meantime, MNS treasurer Ray Laliberte is not responding favourably to what he calls “bullying tactics” from industry.


Cameco officials are not ruling out seeking a court injunction to prevent the roadblocks from going up.


As well, northern contractor Rene Rediron told MBC last week that if the roadblocks went up, he and his supporters would go to the roadblock sites and dismantle them themselves.


Laliberte says the MNS has asked the RCMP to be present at the imminent roadblocks so that they remain peaceful.


Regardless, Laliberte says the MNS is not about to change its mind about staging the blockades.


Laliberte says workers at the mine sites might be inconvenienced for awhile, but be feels there’s a larger agenda at stake.


Meanwhile, a provincial government official is advising the MNS to reconsider its plans for the roadblocks in the North.


Metis Relations Deputy Minister Donovan Young says what the MNS is proposing is illegal, and isn’t the right way to try to kickstart talks with the province.


Young says the road has to remain open, and the province is looking into what it could do to make sure that it does stay open.