Police stand ready outside blockade south of Montreal - APTN NewsAPTN News

Police stand ready outside blockade south of Montreal

Lindsay Richardson
APTN News
About two dozen people have remained at a blockade in St. Lambert, Que., south of Montreal in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in British Columbia.

But it’s not clear how long that will last.

A number of police cars are parked down the road from the blockade along Canadian National Rail tracks – but there is also no sign people there are ready to leave.

Earlier this afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a news conference in Ottawa to say that the protests have gone on long enough and it was “time the blockades came down.”

Quebec Premier Francois Legault says it will be up to police to enforce the injunction but he hopes they will act “rapidly.”

The blockade has interrupted rail service for commuters around suburban Montreal and for Via Rail travellers between Montreal and Quebec City.

In Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, 360 km west of St. Lambert, Mohawks on a protest site along the rail line say that despite Trudeau’s words, they’re not moving until the RCMP get of Wet’suwet’en territory.

“We’ll allow the trains to pass through our territory once the RCMP have been removed from the Wet’suwet’en territory and that has been confirmed by the hereditary chiefs,” said Kanenhariyo, Seth Lefort. “And not before that.”

The $6.6-billion pipeline runs from Dawson Creek to Kitimat, B.C., and has been approved by provincial political, environmental and regulatory agencies.

Twenty elected First Nation councils along the route have signed impact benefit agreements worth millions in employment spinoffs according to the company.

But the clans, who claim jurisdiction over their traditional territory, continue to reject the project. And they’ve received support from Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples across the country, including the Mohawks of Tyendinaga and Kahnawake outside Montreal.

Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Woos (Frank Alec) said there would be no meeting with the country’s top politicians until their demands are met.

lrichardson@aptn.ca

@sentmtl

With files from Kathleen Martens 

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