Demonstrators have gathered on the P.E.I. side of the Confederation Bridge on Sunday in a show of support for the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.
Sporting flags and signs, demonstrators set up on the median at the road leading towards the bridge.
Unlike actions in other provinces where blockades have stalled traffic, rail service and port operations, there have been no efforts to shut down Confederation Bridge — the only fixed link between Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Protesters indicated that at this time, they are planning to slow traffic rather than block it entirely.
Traffic was still flowing across the bridge in both directions as of 3 p.m. AT.
Photos posted on Facebook show multiple RCMP vehicles on the scene. The Mounties told Global News that their presence at the demonstration has been to ensure traffic flow.
Supporters of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have set up blockades at rail lines and highways across the country in solidarity with the hereditary chiefs, who are opposed to the construction of a $6-billion, 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline that crosses their traditional territory in northwestern B.C.
The company has signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected Indigenous councils along the route. But hereditary chiefs who oppose the project say elected councils only have jurisdiction over First Nations reserves. The hereditary chiefs claim authority over rights and title to land that was never covered by treaty.
Blockades along Canada’s rail lines led Via Rail to cancel service between Montreal and Toronto while Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland was physically blocked from entering Halifax City Hall on Wednesday.
Sunday’s action comes after 100 people demonstrated at Province House in Charlottetown, PEI, on Saturday amidst a wave of other protests across the country.
—With files from Rachel D’Amore and Graeme Benjamin.