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.
— Charles Bodi – 'Community Inclusion Manager' (@CharlesBodi) November 22, 2021
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.
Beyond irritated to be stuck in this protest traffic. Is the intent to be garnering support? Quite the opposite happening. #yyj #yyjtraffic #saanichpolice #frustrating #30litrefuelrationdwindlingquickly
— Melissa Riis (@MRiisxo) November 22, 2021
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