Protest that blocked Canada-U.S. bridge ends
Thousand Islands Bridge between Ontario and New York shut down for about 2.5 hours
The anti-pipeline protest that closed the Thousands Island Bridge near the Ontario-New York border on Highway 137 early Monday afternoon ended about two and a half hours later.
Around 40 people began demonstrating around noon Monday, according to the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority.
Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Cynthia Savard said the protesters were "aligned" with the Mohawk First Nation protesters near Belleville, Ont., whose blockade near and along tracks has brought passenger and freight rail service in the region to a standstill since Feb. 6.
The blockade began after Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs in B.C. faced a raid from the RCMP enforcing a court injunction. The hereditary chiefs oppose the development of a liquefied natural gas pipeline crossing their traditional territory, though elected members of 20 band councils along the route support it.
That protest and others across Canada prompted CN Rail and Via Rail to shut down huge sections of their railway networks.
The Mohawks of Tyendinaga said while the people blocking the Thousand Islands Bridge were not the same people from their protest, the two are connected.
Savard said the bridge protesters were located near the toll booth on the Canadian side of the border, and were on foot, holding signs.
Photos from the scene showed a line of cars backed up onto Highway 401. According to the OPP, the off-ramp from Highway 401 was eventually closed.
The roads reopened at about 3 p.m.
That bridge is part of a multi-crossing stretch over the St. Lawrence River about 140 kilometres south of Ottawa that includes an international border crossing.