Saanich police are looking for video footage and witness accounts 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.
Saanich police were on scene monitoring the protest. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms affords everyone the right to peaceful, safe and lawful assemblies, Saanich police said in a statement released Monday afternoon. While the group was peaceful, member actions were not safe or lawful. The department is conducting a criminal investigation which 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
Officers are appealing to the public for video. Witnesses may contact the Saanich police non-emergency line at 250-475-4321 or Detective Leanne Rowan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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