Demonstrators block CN Railway tracks in New Hazelton, B.C. on Feb. 11, 2020. (Contributed photo by Randall Shoop)

CN Rail to shut down tracks in northern B.C. if pipeline blockade continues

Railway company has obtained court injunctions to remove both blockades and are working with RCMP

Canadian National Railway Co. says it will be forced to close a “significant” part of its rail network due to ongoing blockades by anti-pipeline protesters, including in New Hazelton.

Protesters have been blocking the tracks in opposition to the Coastal GasLink natural energy project since Sunday. The demonstration is one of many happening across the country in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en First Nation and its hereditary chiefs.

Meanwhile, a similar blockade is set up near Belleville, Ont. That demonstration has caused Via Rail to cancel more than 150 passenger trains connecting Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa.

In a news release Tuesday, CN said that hundreds of its freight trains have been canceled.

“The Port of Prince Rupert is effectively already shut down,” said CN president JJ Ruest. “The Ports of Montreal and Halifax are also already feeling the impact of these blockades which will have a trickledown effect on consumer goods in the next few weeks.”

The railway company says it has obtained court injunctions to remove both blockades and are working with RCMP to enforce the orders.

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau said he is working with the railways and his Ontario counterpart Caroline Mulroney to find a solution, and that blockage of tracks is “dangerous and illegal.”

On Tuesday, protesters blocked elected officials and journalists from entering the B.C. Legislature as part of ongoing solidarity protests in the province’s capital.

WATCH: B.C. legislature pipeline protest camp disrupts throne speech ceremonies

Meanwhile, RCMP said officers are winding down their enforcement of Morice West Forest Service Road, where Wet’suwet’en members and their supporters had been blocking Coastal GasLink workers from accessing a construction site on First Nation territory.

The pipeline project is set to run from Dawson Creek to Kitimat. Coastal GasLink has reached benefit agreements with all 20 elected band councils along the route, including five elected Wet’suwet’en councils. However, the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say the council established by the Indian Act only has authority over reserve lands.

The hereditary chiefs assert title to a vast 22,000-square-kilometre area because they have never signed a treaty ceding their traditional territories.

– with files from The Canadian Press


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coastal GasLink

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Campbell River Storm fall to down-Island rival Victoria Cougars

Cougars win 6-2 and continue to lead the VIJHL as playoffs approach

Five fun things to do on Family Day in Campbell River

Outside or inside, we’ve got you covered with ideas for both

Campbell River City Council to look at more protection measures for great blue herons

Initial recommendation report came back with a few options, which will now be fleshed out

Campbell River Midget Tyees claim semi-final victory in overtime over Peninsula Eagles

The Campbell River Midget Tyees won their semi-final playoff game at Rod… Continue reading

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

No dramatic shifts expected as B.C. government tables new budget today

Finance Minister Carole James has promised to stay the course when she tables the budget in the legislature

AFN national chief calls for calm on Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades

Hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation oppose the natural-gas pipeline

Federal, B.C. ministers seek meeting with Wet’suwet’en in hope of blockade solution

Coastal GasLink signed agreements with all 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route

Flight to evacuate Canadians from cruise ship ‘expected’ to depart Japan on Thursday

Canadians seeking to return to home by commercial means will be subject to the Quarantine Act

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Most Read