Inside the Barriere Lake Algonquins' blockade of highway 117
by Dru Oja Jay
Posted originally in The Dominion
I'm perched on an embankment overlooking Highway 117, an obscure but economically important link between Montreal and northern Quebec. To look at most maps, there's nothing here, five hours north of Montreal, well out of the cottage towns and ski resorts of the Laurentians and still two hours short of the cluster of resource extraction economies around Val d'Or. I'm in the middle of a four hour stretch where most travellers could be forgiven for thinking was nothing but a few hunting lodges, logging roads and Hydro Quebec turnouts.
A girl, young enough that I have to bend down to hear what she's saying, climbs up the embankment and points at the highway.
"Look where we're colouring," she says.
I look. In the middle of the highway... read more