News

Idle protest blocks Pat Bay Highway

Idle No More protesters blocked traffic on the Pat Bay Highway today (Wed., Jan. 16). People from the four Peninsula First Nations communities turned out to speak up for indigenous rights and against the federal government
Idle No More protesters blocked traffic on the Pat Bay Highway today (Wed., Jan. 16). People from the four Peninsula First Nations communities turned out to speak up for indigenous rights and against the federal government's omnibus budget bill.
— image credit: Steven Heywood

Hundreds of residents of Saanich Peninsula First Nations communities joined the Idle No More movement and blocked traffic on the Pat Bay Highway at Mount Newton X Road today (Wed., Jan. 16), protesting the federal government's omnibus budget bill and demanding more say in local, provincial and national decision-making.

Organizer Eric Pelkey, an elder with the Tsawout First Nation in Central Saanich, addressed the crowd, stating the federal government's recent budget legislation infringed on indigenous land and resource rights as outlined in treaties across the country.

"Today, we are hoping that people recognize that we are still here," Pelkey said, "and we're still angry and we want to be able to go to the table and negotiate with (various levels of government)."

The event and Idle No More movement in general, is an awareness campaign about the conditions on First Nations reserves and the impact decisions being made at various levels of government are having on their communities.

While most the the traffic at the highway's intersection with Mount Newton X Road was let through, some was not as the protesters arrived and set up signs and chairs at around 11 a.m. Police and traffic services crews re-routed drivers onto West Saanich Road and other alternate routes, leaving few vehicles actually getting near the site of the event.

It is expected that traffic won't be running again on that section of Pat Bay Highway until the early afternoon.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Virk shuffled to new job after Kwantlen flap
 
Lava slows but still on track to hit Hawaii market
 
Farms devastated by flooding
Charges laid in fatal hit-and-run
 
Having fun at Hilton Centre
 
Community comes through for Kiwanis Hilton Centre
Regional District of Nanaimo repairs sewage pipe after storm
 
Coroner confirms body that of missing senior
 
Aerobatic jet team added to 2015 Abbotsford International Airshow lineup

Community Events, December 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Dec 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.