A deadline for the removal of a blockade on the C-N mainline near Belleville has expired.

The OPP warned the Mohawks manning the barrier that they’d face criminal investigation if they did not clear the tracks by midnight last night.

The protesters are supporting hereditary chiefs in northern B-C, who are opposed to a natural gas pipeline running through their territory.

The protesters say they’re awaiting word from the chiefs that the RCMP has left their territory.

While the Mounties have pulled out of the area, they say they will still send in patrols, and the B-C chiefs say that doesn’t fulfill their demand that police activity ceases completely on their land.

The Belleville blockade and others around the country have paralyzed C-N freight traffic across much of the country.

Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald says it is essential that the Crown through both Federal and the BC governments fulfill their fiduciary obligation to First Nations.

She adds in Ontario, they look forward to the RCMP’s plan for withdrawal since it seems that there is a 30-day window of opportunity for everyone to get to the table and make real progress, so peace can be restored in Canada.

Several local-area First Nations also support the hereditary chiefs and have shown their support with roadside protests slowing down traffic on Highway 17.