December 1, 2016 12:58 pm
Updated: December 1, 2016 7:22 pm

Pipeline approval protesters set up at Portage and Main Thursday evening

Protesters are expected to take to the streets in downtown Winnipeg Thursday evening, speaking out against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's recent approval of two large pipelines.

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WINNIPEG — Dozens of protesters set up at a busy intersection Thursday evening, speaking out about two recent pipeline approvals in Canada.

The protest started at 6 p.m. at Portage Avenue and Main Street. The protesters lined up along the side of the street with a banner.

It’s in retaliation to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent approval of two large pipelines – Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion and Enbridge’s Line 3.

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READ MORE: Justin Trudeau halts Northern Gateway, approves Kinder Morgan expansion, Line 3

The Winnipeg Jets take on the Edmonton Oilers at the MTS Centre Thursday evening at 7 p.m., meaning there will be a lot of traffic downtown.

This comes more than two weeks after protesters took to the streets at the busy intersection, speaking out against the Dakota Access pipeline.

READ MORE: Dakota pipeline protest closes Winnipeg’s Portage and Main during rush hour

Winnipeg police closed off the intersection and it remained closed until just after 6:30 p.m., as hockey fans were making their way to MTS Centre for the game between the Winnipeg Jets and the Chicago Blackhawks.

As a result, traffic was tied up in downtown Winnipeg for hours. Thursday evening’s protest did not spill into the streets.

WATCH:  Dakota pipeline protest closes Winnipeg’s Portage and Main during rush hour

Police spokesperson, Const. Rob Carver, who is a member of the Crowd Management Unit, said there is a fine balance when it comes to people’s rights.

“I have the right to assembly and I have the right to peacefully protest – I don’t necessarily have the right to block traffic,” Carver said.

“So, those are two competing rights and part of our job is to somehow balance those two competing rights with the rights of hundreds of motorists who are trying to get home or trying to get to a Jet game with the rights of individual to make a political statement.”

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