Canada CP Rail yard blockade in Coquitlam posing problems for Port of Vancouver
Rail services continue to feel brunt of anti-pipeline protests across country
Rail services continue to feel brunt of anti-pipeline protests across countryPassenger and freight rail services have been hit particularly hard by the protests as demonstrators erect barricades on lines in different parts of the country.
A blockade of the huge CP Rail Coquitlam rail yard that began Thursday is threatening major problems for the Port of Vancouver, Canada’s largest, and has shut down West Coast Express commuter trains.
About 25 protesters under the name Red Braid Alliance for Decolonial Socialism gathered to block rail traffic through the yard, which handles rail traffic to the port, said a spokeswoman, Isabel Krupp. She said they were acting in support of hereditary chiefs opposed to the routing of the Coastal GasLinks pipeline in northwestern B.C.
“We’re going to hold the blockade until the RCMP is out of the Wet’suwet’en (territory), or we’re forced to move along,” said Krupp. “We have supplies and we have reinforcements coming.”
More than 60 shipping vessels stalled off B.C. coast due to rail blockades
At least 66 shipping vessels are stalled in British Columbia's waters, according to the maritime shipping industry, as rail blockades continue in support of the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs' opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline in Northern B.C.Robert Lewis-Manning, president of the Chamber of Shipping of B.C., says Canadians will eventually notice consequences from the backlog.
The action came just as Gitxsan supporters of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs said they would lift, at least temporarily, a blockade of CN Rail’s main line near New Hazelton, which serves the Port of Prince Rupert.
Krupp said the group is attempting to repeat the impact of the New Hazelton blockade and actions in Manitoba and Ontario in hitting the economy.
“It’s not a protest, it’s land defence,” Krupp said. She said the intent is to stop the flow of what she characterized as “stolen commodities across stolen land to push the hand of officials and the RCMP to stand down and stop the raid in Wet’suwet’en.”
The Port of Vancouver handles more than $500 million worth of imports and exports every days.
Pipeline protests disrupt Ontario Via Rail service for 6th day in a row
Pipeline protests disrupt Ontario Via Rail service for 6th day in a rowOn its website, the company said none of its trains will operate until a blockade at a level rail crossing in Tyendinaga Township is resolved. A small group of protesters have blocked the rail line in support of the Wet'suwet'en Nation, whose members are protesting the Coastal GasLink pipeline project in northern British Columbia.
Port of Vancouver spokeswoman Danielle Jang said the CN Rail disruptions had not yet impacted traffic at Metro Vancouver terminals. However, that was before the rail blockade in Coquitlam.
TransLink cancelled all West Coast Express trains from downtown Vancouver on Thursday evening.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he talked at length with Premier John Horgan on Thursday about “the desire to work together closely toward a resolution as soon as possible,” according to a statement posted to the Prime Minister’s website.
“Both governments shared a commitment to meeting with Gitxsawn Simgyget, Wet’suwet’en Dini Ze and Ts’ake ze to engage in continuing dialogue,” the statement reads.
According to the statement, the Trudeau and Horgan discussed the importance of freedom of expression as a democratic right, but actions “must respect the courts and act within the law.”
Pipeline protesters stop blockade of rail line west of Winnipeg
An anti-pipeline blockade of a major rail line west of Winnipeg has come down. Protesters have dismantled barriers they set up one day earlier on an east-west Canadian National rail line, but the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition says more action is coming. Protesters have dismantled barriers they set up one day earlier on an east-west Canadian National rail line, but the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition says more action is coming.
Gitxsan hereditary chief Norm Stephens said the New Hazelton blockade would be dismantled during talks between Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders in meetings requested by B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser and federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett.
But he said it would go back up if government did not cancel construction permits for the pipeline.
The Port of Prince Rupert did not respond to requests for an interview but in an unattributed emailed statement said that with the New Hazelton blockade being dismantled, it expects “(the port) will resume operations as soon as possible.”
The statement said rail interruptions “severely impacts operations” at the port, which supports 3,600 direct and 2,600 indirect jobs and handles $50 billion a year of Canadian trade.
Tuesday, CN Rail CEO J.J. Ruest said the New Hazelton blockade had “effectively already shut down” the Port of Prince Rupert and by Thursday, the railway started an orderly shutdown of its Eastern Canadian operations because of a continuing blockade near Bellville, Ont.
“With over 400 trains cancelled during the last week and new protests that emerged at strategic locations on our mainline, we have decided a progressive shutdown of our Eastern Canadian operations is the responsible approach to take for the safety of our employees and the protesters,” Ruest said in a news release.
With files from Canadian Press and Scott Brown
Federal Indigenous services minister meets First Nation at rail blockade .
TYENDINAGA, Ont. — The federal Indigenous services minister began meetings today with representatives of the Mohawk Nation to discuss a rail blockade that has shut down rail services across Eastern Canada. Before the meeting, Marc Miller said he didn't want to predict its outcome, but talk between the two sides is needed as members of the Mohawk Nation block the line in support of the hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en in their opposition toBefore the meeting, Marc Miller said he didn't want to predict its outcome, but talk between the two sides is needed as members of the Mohawk Nation block the line in support of the hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en in their opposition to a natural gas pipeline across their tr