Demonstrations included blockades and rallies in six provinces, delaying traffic at highways, bridges and border crossings
Hundreds of protesters from the Tsawout and Tsartlip first nations brought traffic to a stop on the Pat Bay Highway on Vancouver Island on Wednesday morning. The demonstrators, who beat drums and waved placards for about half an hour, created a bottleneck between the island’s ferry terminal and airport.
Later, a Via Rail train was forced to turn around near Kitwanga and return to Terrace when demonstrators blocked the track. As a result, CN decided to hold all eastbound freight trains and a Via passenger train at Terrace.
Gloria Galloway and Josh Wingrove
Quebec, Atlantic Canada
The Algonquins of Barriere Lake slowed traffic along Highway 117 in Quebec, a few hours drive north of Ottawa, to draw attention to forestry operations that they oppose on their lands.
A small number of protesters also turned up on the south shore of the Honoré Mercier Bridge, which connects the Montreal suburb of LaSalle with the Mohawk reserve of Kahnawake. Drivers who passed the roadblock were given leaflets.
In Fredericton, about 150 people marched across the Westmorland Street Bridge and then rallied outside the residence of New Brunswick Lieutenant-Governor Graydon Nicholas.
Chief Calvin Bruneau, middle, joins demonstrators as they stop traffic on the QEII highway south of Edmonton. DAN RIEDLHUBER
Idle No More protesters briefly closed a major Alberta highway in one of a series of demonstrations on Wednesday.
Members of the Papaschase First Nation, other aboriginals, supporters and environmental activists blocked the northbound lanes of the Queen Elizabeth II highway into Edmonton at 1 p.m. A pickup truck pushed through the blockade soon after it began, with protesters screaming that the driver could kill someone. The truck made it through, and there were no injuries.
Other, smaller protests took place throughout the province, including in Calgary and near the oil sands city of Cold Lake, with no major disruptions.
Idle No More demonstrators block a CN east-west track just west of Portage La Prairie, Man., on Jan. 16, 2013. JOHN WOODS
Protesters stood on the main rail line in Manitoba, near Portage la Prairie, causing all train traffic in the immediate area to stop. The demonstration also blocked traffic on the highway crossing the track.
CN obtained a court injunction to have the flag wavers removed, but some continued the highway blockade. Terrence Nelson, the former chief of the Roseau River First Nation, told reporters he would block the rail line for as long as it took to make a change in government, but he left when faced with the injunction.
Other demonstrators marched through Winnipeg and rallied outside Manitoba’s legislature.
Idle No More protesters march towards the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ont. GEOFF ROBINS
The first real indication of protests in Ontario came when a convoy of demonstrators slowed traffic on Highway 401 heading to Windsor. They then blocked one of two access roads to the Ambassador Bridge.
The Trans-Canada Highway was closed for about an hour at Nipigon.
A round dance in Barrie blocked an on-ramp from Highway 400. There was a march through the streets of Toronto that ended at the British consulate.
And Via Rail passenger trains in both directions were stopped in the Marysville area between Belleville and Kingston, where Tyendinaga Mohawks had pledged to block the line.