Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Blockade ends on northern highway

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A 10-day blockade of a northern highway -- which caused shortages of gasoline and groceries in Gillam -- has ended.

Members of the Tataskweyak Cree Nation took down their blockade of PR 280 Wednesday evening, after a visit from Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Eric Robinson and Manitoba Hydro president and CEO Scott Thomson.

"I don't think any people would disagree with the concerns of Hwy. 280 from Thompson to Gillam," Robinson said Thursday. "This is a major road in the province... and we have a hydro project and a lot of traffic is on it.

"We heard loud and clear from the people it is due for an upgrade... we have decided to move forward very quickly with major upgrades to Hwy. 280."

Blockade organizers are still sceptical.

"This is not the end," TCN band councillor Melanie Spence, and a blockade organizer, said on Thursday. "We will ensure they follow through and address the rest of the concerns too... we have the power to shut down Keeyask (dam) and Bipole (Three). It's our reserve land. We will stop them if we have to.

"We will say 'you will not get through unless you comply with your promises.' "

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 22, 2014 A2

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