Protesters supporting Indigenous pipeline opponents in northern B.C. blocked access to the Port of Vancouver for the third straight day Saturday, creating heavy traffic backups.
A long line of trucks was seen stalled on Highway 1 at the McGill Street offramp leading to the Commissioner Street port entrance, with an entire lane blocked off to regular traffic.
Both the southbound and northbound off-ramps were blocked in the area, with police warning regular vehicle traffic in the surrounding area could also being impacted.
While the southbound off-ramp was later reopened, the Ministry of Transportation alerted the northbound off-ramp was fully closed until it was finally cleared at 1:30 p.m.
Traffic was later able to flow again on McGill despite protesters continuing to block the Commissioner Street port entrance.
The protesters also blocked off access to the port at Powell Street and Heatley Avenue, as well as the overpass near Clark Drive and East Hastings Street.
The blockades are a repeat of actions taken by demonstrators on Thursday and Friday, which were timed with the evening commutes.
The Port of Vancouver said the actions had not yet led to a full port shutdown, but added “some operations are immediately impacted.”
In Victoria, a group of Indigenous youth who took over the steps of the B.C. legislature Thursday have yet to leave, and appear to have set up a tent city in front of the building.
The group later marched through the streets and along the Johnston Street Bridge before returning to the legislature grounds.
The capital saw a large demonstration of protesters take to the streets Friday calling on the government to pull their support of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
Further east, demonstrators blocked Via Rail access in Ontario for the second straight day, along with another rail line in Toronto.
The protests follow a youth-led blockade of the Swartz Bay ferry terminal and occupations of two ministers’ offices last month.
Protesters are ramping up demonstrations across B.C. and elsewhere in Canada this week in solidarity with members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, who are attempting to block construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
Six people were arrested on Thursday and another four were taken into custody Friday by RCMP, who are enforcing a court injunction against the opponents who have dug in near Houston, B.C.
The $6.6-billion Coastal GasLink is intended to carry natural gas from northeastern B.C. to a massive new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export facility near Kitimat.
Twenty elected Indigenous councils along the route have signed agreements with the company, but opponents say only the hereditary chiefs have authority over unceded traditional territory.