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

Final phase of stormwater management upgrade to be completed in Williams Lake River Valley

Much of the work was previously funded with grants, the final phase will not

Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Campaign benefits Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre

The week-long fundraiser held at both restaurants raised $8,800.13

Mount Polley Mine eyes drilling permits for further exploration

Imperial Metals president Brian Kynoch said the company wants to explore new ground for copper

Trial dates set for Derrick O’Connor in Williams Lake Provincial Court

O’Connor faces multiple charges from several investigations

Secwepemc salmon heritage celebrated in art exhibit

This exhibit catalogues salmon fishing and smoking over the last two decades

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Wet’suwet’en return to northern B.C. forest road pipeline workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

Over a dozen birds found mysteriously dead on rural B.C road

Ministry of Agriculture notified of the strange occurrence on No. 4 Road in Abbotsford

PHOTOS: Trans Mountain hosts mock oil spill response practice in Kamloops

Practice comes after an excavator accidentally struck the pipeline near Jacko Lake in mid-February

Federal Indigenous services minister meets First Nation at rail blockade

Blockade on Tyendinaga Mohawk territory near Belleville, Ont., is in its 10th day

Canada’s flag was flown for first time 55 years ago today

The flag is used to celebrate wins in sports, honour Canada Day, and flown at half-mast after tragedy

No shirts, no city services: Firefighter calendar too steamy for Ontario officials

The city has never funded the calendars, but has OK’d photoshoots at city-owned properties

Most Read