Judge slams Ontario police for not ending First Nations protest - InfoNews

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Judge slams Ontario police for not ending First Nations protest

First Nations protesters block the main rail line near Tyendinaga, east of Belleville, Ont., Saturday, January 5, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg
January 07, 2013 - 8:18 AM

TORONTO - An Ontario judge who issued an injunction to end a blockade of the main rail line between Toronto and Montreal is slamming police inaction on dealing with the Idle No More protest.

A small group of protesters blocked the railway Saturday afternoon near Kingston, Ont., affecting freight and passenger train service, and CN Rail (TSX:CNR) went to court Saturday night for an injunction.

Ontario Superior Court Justice David Brown ordered them to leave by 12:01 a.m. Sunday and they left the site about then anyway, but as Brown notes, not because police enforced the order.

Brown says the Ontario provincial police decided it was too dangerous to serve the injunction, which the judge criticizes in his reasons issued today, saying "we seem to be drifting into dangerous waters."

Brown also says the police "enjoy adequate powers of arrest" when people are breaking the law, and he questioned why CN had to turn to the courts in the first place.

The Idle No More movement, which began last month, is in protest of the federal government's omnibus Bill C-45, which First Nations groups claim threatens their treaty rights set out in the Constitution.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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