Idle No More members march in Montreal to protest omnibus bill
Kahnawake community members block traffic to protest Bill C-45
Dozens of members of the Kahnawake Mohawk community blocked traffic today in Montreal as part of the national Idle No More movement, in protest of a federal omnibus budget bill that includes changes to laws on the environment.
Supporters of the movement say they are concerned about the effects of Bill C-45. First Nations groups are upset the legislative changes were made without consultation and could dramatically affect how waterways are protected.
The most contentious changes are those to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, which remove thousands of lakes and streams from federal protection under that law.
On Thursday, as part of the grassroots movement, members of the Kahnawake community marched two kilometres up and down the 132 on-ramp to the Mercier Bridge.
The protesters braved the cold to wave their flags, beat their drums and chant. Some cars driving by honked to show their support.
Protesters said they feel the bill would violate their treaty rights and takes away any control they have over their land.
In the past few weeks, the Idle No More movement has crossed the country.
Most recently, Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence is on the 10th day of a hunger strike on Parliament Hill, in an attempt to get a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Many at Thursday's protest said they were inspired by Spence's sacrifice. On Friday, some of them will be boarding buses to head to Parliament Hill to continue their support for the movement.