Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Traffic on Trans-Canada Highway reopened after Sandy Bay blockade

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Traffic on the TransCanada Highway near Portage la Prairie reopened early Saturday evening after being rerouted around a First Nation blockade for part of the day.

In the morning, RCMP closed just one of two eastbound lanes to traffic at the junction of the Trans-Canada and Highway 16. Protestors from Sandy Bay First Nation were kept in one lane, while traffic used the other, for a stretch of about 200 metres.

Plans changed when protestors and traffic started coming too near to each other, said RCMP spokesman Cpl. Miles Hiebert.

Cars on both eastbound and westbound lanes had to take gravel-road detours for a few kilometres, adding an extra 10 minutes or so to their travels, Hiebert said.

The First Nation was protesting omnibus budget bill C45, which it says imposes on their rights.

History

Updated on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 2:17 PM CST: updates with full writethru

3:36 PM: adds photos

6:40 PM: Updates with highway reopened

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