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Hwy 401 westbound clear following protest

By Shawna O'Neill

Published on January 11, 2019

Stock photo. Shawna O'Neill.

CORNWALL, Ontario – At around 7 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, OPP reported that motorists could expect possible slowdowns travelling Westbound from Cornwall on Hwy 401. 

 “What we know is those motorists came on to the (Hwy) 401…about eight to 10 vehicles travelling about 50 km/h Westbound,” said OPP Sgt. Cynthia Savard. “We are unsure of the exact location where they’re heading.”

Just before 11 a.m. it was reported that the protest vehicles had cleared the highway. At 10:42 a.m., OPP Tweeted that the protest had reached Deseronto, ON.

Sgt. Savard explained that OPP officers attempted to contact the group to confirm the reason for protest and the destination of travel, but the group had yet to communication with police. Sgt. Savard said she was aware of numerous reports on social media stating the slowdown was in support of the Wet’suwet’en of B.C., some reporting organized by an activist of Akwesasne.

“The OPP's objective is to maintain the safe flow of traffic and, when delays occur, restore traffic flow in the safest manner possible,” read an OPP press release. “The OPP is also working with those who may organize protest events to provide a safe and peaceful opportunity to exercise their lawful rights while minimizing the impact on the traveling public, where possible.”

Sgt. Savard encouraged motorists to continue checking road advisory information in advance of travels, as well as to seek alternative routes.

“The OPP appreciates everyone's cooperation and patience during these occurrences,” read an OPP press release.

More information will be released as it becomes available.