If you happen to find yourself taking the B.C. ferry today, you should likely expect delays. As of this morning, B.C. Wet’suwet’en protests are preventing B.C. ferries from leaving the terminals and are causing major backups in traffic. The protests started early this morning. 

According to the Cowichan Valley Citizen, protesters are blocking the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal this morning, Monday, January 20. 

Due to the protests, ferries leaving Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen at 7 a.m this morning were held back. 

In addition, ferries at Otter Bay and Village Bay were also delayed due to safety concerns for protesting kayakers in the water. 

The movement is allegedly in response to an international call for action opposing the Coastal Gaslink’s (CGL) pipeline through Wet’suwet’en territory. 

According to a press release posted online, the protests targeted B.C. Ferries “because of the corporation’s deepening integration with the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) industry.”

The release explains that they are targeting the corporation because of proposed upgrades to two of the ferry service’s vessels.

They are claiming that the upgrades will make B.C. Ferries “reliant on the very product that CGL threatens to bring through Wet’suwet’en territory.”

“We emphasize that provincial infrastructure cannot be built or maintained through the colonization and deconstruction of the territories and waters that the Wet’suwet’en have governed since time immemorial,” outlines the document. 

Several photos have been posted online of the blockade. 

According to the images, several dozen cars have been stopped and traffic is now backed up. 

Along with the blocked cars, there are several protest signs stating various things like “respect Wet’suwet’en” and “respect indigenous law.”

A spokesperson with the protest told the Cowichan Valley Citizen that the protest is made up of allies and young First Nations people from across the province as there was a need to “stand in solidarity.”

According to the Nelson Star, RCMP are at the terminal but are not removing protestors at this time. 

B.C. has been home to a number of protests over the past several months. 

Throughout 2019, there were several climate action protests that took place in Vancouver. Some of the protests even shut down major streets and bridges. 

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