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

BX Elementary to receive City of Vernon sewer services

Mayor says the school will be required to join the City of Vernon

A Gardener’s Diary: Prepping seedlings in winter

Before planting seedlings, pots must be scrubbed clean

Vernon gallery hosts Art After Dark

Event hosted by the Vernon Public Art Gallery Friday, Feb. 28

Vernon tennis player named Best of BC winner

Sport BC honours Vasek Pospisil for his comeback season after back surgery

Vernon golf course sinks construction on new clubhouse

Owners at The Rise are in a dispute with City of Vernon over tax assessment

Rail disruptions expected to continue after new protest sites emerge

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

Groundhogs got it wrong: spring isn’t coming soon, Weather Network says

The only part of B.C. to warm up early will be Victoria

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Fire crews battle large blaze in West Kelowna

Reports of multiple structures on fire in the Colleen Road area

From seed to salad: Providing purpose for Okanagan inmates

“I planted every one of these, it makes me feel good, they’re like all my little babies.” - inmate Kim

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Pink Shirt Day campaign urges Canadians to ‘Lift Each Other Up’

Annual anti-bullying effort returns Wednesday, Feb. 26

Kelowna man charged after naked driver leads RCMP on hit-and-run spree

A Kelowna man has been charged with numerous offences

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

Most Read