Traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway around the intersection of Tillicum Road is moving again but police are warning drivers to expect delays on the TCH in both directions after the protest group Save Old Growth blocked sections of roadway for more than half an hour.
Saanich police tweeted at about 4:15 p.m. Monday that several arrests had been made as they worked to clear the roadway and keep people safe. Some members of the group of 25 to 30 people had chained themselves together in their attempts to disrupt the flow of traffic and in total six people were taken into custody and later released with conditions and a court date.
Tuesday morning, Saanich police Const. Markus Anastasiades said the demonstration took place at a time when several officers were responding to priority emergency calls in Saanich. Officers from West Shore RCMP assisted at the scene.
“While people have the right to protest in a lawful manner, we have no tolerance for illegal protests that block our highways,” Anastasiades said in a release.
The blockade was part of a month-long commitment by Save Old Growth to disrupt traffic on the national highway. This fifth such blockade is the last expected until March, according to a release from Save Old Growth.
The group is calling on the provincial government to fulfill its campaign promises to protect at-risk old-growth forests on Vancouver Island and elsewhere in B.C.
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