Native Protest Delays Traffic On Major Highway

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 13:26



Hundreds of motorists on a major artery near North Battleford had their Victoria Day plans delayed a couple of hours yesterday by a blockade erected by Aboriginal protesters.


The demonstrators say they took the action to show solidarity with Native people involved in a tense land dispute in Caledonia, Ontario.


According to the RCMP, roughly 10 people began blocking a bridge just outside the city over the noon hour — affecting traffic on Highway 16 headed south and west.


Traffic was backed up on the highway and the ring road of North Battleford for about 3 kilometres.


The protesters eventually agreed to open traffic to one lane after negotiations with the RCMP.


Traffic returned to normal after the protesters took down their blockade just before 2:00 pm.


RCMP spokeswoman Heather Russell says traffic tickets have been issued to the ringleaders of yesterday’s demonstration. They must pay a fine or contest the tickets in court in July.


Russell adds the protest was peaceful.