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Entrances to B.C. legislature blocked as pipeline protests flare across Canada

FILE - Wet'suwet'en protesters camp out in front of legislature before the speech from the throne in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

VICTORIA — Hundreds of protesters blocked the entrances to the British Columbia legislature today as demonstrations against a pipeline project continued to flare across the country.

Protesters hollered “Shame” as politicians tried to enter the building with help from security and others chanted “Shut down Canada” and “Stand up, fight back.”

Protesters have been camping outside the legislature since Friday.

Premier John Horgan’s New Democrat government was set to deliver its throne speech later in the day but the traditional military salute and honour guard that typically greets the lieutenant governor’s arrival has been cancelled because of the demonstration.

Demonstrations have sprung up across Canada since the RCMP began enforcing a court injunction last week against Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who have been blocking construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northwestern B.C.

The RCMP concluded major operations to enforce the injunction on Monday after arresting a 21 people.

Protesters also gathered outside a Helijet port in Victoria and a group of Indigenous youth who are occupying the federal Justice Department building in Ottawa say they’ve given the minister 24 hours to respond to their demands or they’ll consider reconciliation dead.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 11, 2020.

The Canadian Press