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Save Old Growth protesters block Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge

Vancouver, June 22: Commuters travelling between West Vancouver and downtown were told to expect delays Wednesday morning as a protest temporarily blocked traffic on a major crossing.

Members of Save Old Growth said they blocked lanes on the Lions Gate Bridge with a parked car shortly after 7:30 a.m.

“Expect major delays and congestion into Vancouver,” a notice on social media from the province’s Transportation Ministry said. “Assessment in progress, please consider an alternate route.”

It appeared a someone threw keys that may have been from the parked vehicle off the bridge. Two people at the scene were detained by police.

Crews diverted traffic to the bridge’s east lane, alternating north and south, but there was still a significant back up shortly before 8 a.m.

By about 8:10 a.m., most of the protest had been cleared, but drivers were still warned to expect continued delays and congestion.

Wednesday’s blockade is the latest in a string of traffic-disrupting protests that have aggravated commuters in recent months. The group says they want to see an end to logging of old growth forests in British Columbia through legislative changes.

“They might not like our tactics, but they want to save old growth,” protester Sam Nguyen said last week about the impacts the demonstrations are having on commuters.

The international Simon Fraser University student has been arrested 10 times at various climate-related protests since 2020. And on Feb. 15, he was sentenced to two weeks in jail for criminal contempt of court after violating an injunction involving the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Now, Haq is worried his climate activism has made him a target for deportation. The third-year student hails from Pakistan and is on a study permit, a document issued by Immigration Canada.

Some conditions for obtaining a study permit include obeying the law and the absence of a criminal record.

“It’s really important that our mobilization doesn’t collapse,” he said.

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