Carbon tax protest snarls Monday traffic on Highway 1 west of Calgary

Anyone heading west out of Calgary on Highway 1 on Monday was met with significant delays due to a demonstration protesting the increase to the federal carbon tax.

Westbound traffic on the highway was impacted for most of the day due to numerous vehicles and hundreds of protesters gathered on the shoulder of the highway near Highway 22, south of Cochrane.

Protesters began gathering at a Petro Canada gas station near the highway interchange around 8 a.m., causing significant traffic delays for most of the day.

In a post on X shortly before 6 p.m., Cochrane RCMP said they had closed the highway and started to divert westbound traffic onto the Highway 22 off-ramp.

The highway was reopened to motorists around 6:30 p.m. and the RCMP updated the traffic was flowing smoothly in both directions.

WATCH: Traffic moves slowly on Highway 1 west of Calgary due to demonstration

Nick Blakeney, CityNews

Some protesters told CityNews of their intention to return for another rally on Tuesday.

“I’m here because our country is falling apart and our government has been running us into the ground and it just needs to stop,” protester and military veteran Gary Lambert tells the Canadian Press.

“It’s not just about ‘axe the tax.’ It’s about the freedoms. It’s about our right to free speech.”

The event, organized by a group called Nationwide Protest Against Carbon Tax, was just one of many taking place across the country Monday.

The federal carbon tax increased by 3.3 cents to 17.6 cents a litre, or 24 per cent. Alberta’s own provincial fuel tax also came into effect Monday morning — pushing the cost per litre from nine cents to 13 cents.

Listen to CityNews660 for the latest on traffic and weather together every 10 minutes on the ones.

With files from The Canadian Press

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