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Idle No More protests across country

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in several cities across Canada today as momentum continued to build for the Idle No More movement.

The cause, which began last month, is in protest of the federal government's omnibus Bill C-45, which First Nations groups claim eliminates treaty rights set out in the Constitution.

Waving flags and carrying placards, many of the demonstrators marched along roadways, highways and bridges prompting police to report several delays and closures.

Police in Cornwall, Ont., closed the Seaway International Bridge early Saturday as a public safety precaution.

It's unclear when the usually-busy toll bridge, which connects the southeastern Ontario city and Akwesasne, Ont., to Massena, N.Y., will be re-opened.

Cornwall Sgt. Marc Bissonnette says there are about 100 to 150 demonstrators marching on the bridge.

Police are continuing to monitor the protest, which has been peaceful. No incidents have been reported.

The border crossing between Sarnia, Ont., and Port Huron, Mich., was also temporarily shut down for a few hours Saturday to an Idle No More protest there. It has since re-opened.

Similar demonstrations have been planned at several other locations, including the Peace Arch crossing in Surrey, B.C., the Peace Bridge between Fort Erie, Ont., and Buffalo, N.Y., and the Queenston/Lewiston Bridge in Niagara Falls.

Police in Ontario also warn travellers to plan ahead because some roads and highways in these areas may face longer than usual traffic delays due to the demonstrations.

The Idle No More actions are also to show support for Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, who has been on a liquid diet since Dec. 11.

Spence has vowed that she will not eat until she can get an audience with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Governor General and other First Nations chiefs.

On Friday, Harper agreed to a meeting with Spence, which has been set for Jan. 11.

The Canadian Press


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