Central Saanich Police have confirmed that contingency plans are in place for emergency vehicles to bypass a blockade of Pat Bay Highway this afternoon.
On Tuesday afternoon, social media posts announced a blockade of Pat Bay Highway at Mt Newton X Road in solidarity with the five Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose the construction of the Coastal GasLink LNG Pipeline in northern B.C.
This protest is expected to take place between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.
There is a planned protest in support of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs at Hwy 17 at Mt Newton X Rd from 2-5pm on Feb 26. Police will be on site. Heavy congestion on all through roads and in community cores. Plan extra time for travel. #csaan #yyjtraffic
— CS Police Service (@cspoliceservice) February 26, 2020
Although there is no exact number for how many people will be conducting the blockade, Sgt. Brailey of Central Saanich Police told Victoria Buzz that officers are planning for 100 to 200 protestors to show up.
This particular protest was planned by members of nearby Tsawout First Nation.
While Sgt. Brailey hopes that the protesters will allow emergency vehicles to pass through, BC Ambulance Service is aware of the situation and contingency plans have been put in place to allow ambulances to bypass the blockade through side roads.
“We’re hoping it’s going to be a peaceful protest and they’ll be there for a few hours,” Sgt. Braiely said in a phone call with Victoria Buzz.
“We’ll allow them the opportunity to protest and hope that after 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., they leave the highway and allow people to start transiting back and forth again.”
He also added that the municipality of Central Saanich have hired flaggers that will help regular motorists access side roads to travel past the protesters.
In their original post, the organizers of the blockade ask supporters to bring drums, dancers, and signs, and everyone is welcome to attend.
Here’s the post: