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Canada Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

23:45  16 february  2020
23:45  16 february  2020 Source:   msn.com

CN Rail: 'significant' parts of Canadian rail network will close if blockades remain

  CN Rail: 'significant' parts of Canadian rail network will close if blockades remain CN Rail: 'significant' parts of Canadian rail network will close if blockades remainCN says more than 150 freight trains have been halted since Thursday evening, when demonstrators set up blockades in British Columbia and Ontario in solidarity with opponents of the Coastal GasLink pipeline project that crosses the traditional territory of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation in northwestern British Columbia.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in talks over the weekend with federal cabinet ministers as protesters opposed to a pipeline project in British Blockades in support of the Wet'suwet'en across the country have cut both passenger and freight rail services, including GO Transit services between

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has written to the Indigenous chiefs at the centre of a rail blockade Federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller also offered to meet Saturday with the Mohawks of The Ontario Superior Court issued an injunction last Friday prohibiting continued interference with

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in talks over the weekend with federal cabinet ministers as protesters opposed to a pipeline project in British Columbia continued to halt train service across parts of the country.

Trudeau's spokeswoman Chantal Gagnon said Sunday the prime minister had already spoken to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Transport Minister Marc Garneau, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Carolyn Bennett, the minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations.

Gagnon said Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller also briefed Trudeau about his hours-long meeting Saturday with representatives of the Mohawk First Nation near Belleville, Ont., where a rail blockade has shut down train service across much of Eastern Canada.

More than 40 ships backlogged in Port of Vancouver due to rail blockades

  More than 40 ships backlogged in Port of Vancouver due to rail blockades One economist says the backlog caused by rail blockades will have impacts on the consumer — from higher gas prices to fewer goods and services.Recent blockades in support of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs who want to stop construction of a Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern B.C. will cause impacts on the consumer — from higher gas prices to a decreased availability of goods and services, one economist says.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday the CN and Via rail stoppages have made life "really difficult" for Canadians, but the best way to resolve ongoing Indigenous blockades that have stopped service is through "constructive dialogue" with the First Nations protesters.

Canada’s transport minister Marc Garneau warned that the rail blockade could have grave economic consequences. Speaking while on a visit to Senegal, the prime minister , Justin Trudeau , said: “We recognize the important democratic right – and will always defend it – of peaceful protest.

Gagnon did not reveal what Miller told the prime minister, and said the government would provide updates as they become available.

Miller said during an appearance on CTV's "Question Period" political show on Sunday that he believes a peaceful resolution could be reached as he pointed to the Oka and Ipperwash crises as reasons why dialogue is preferable over police intervention.

"Thirty years ago, police moved in in Kahnesatake and someone died," he said. "And did we learn from that? Did we learn from Ipperwash?"

A police officer died during a police raid in 1990 when Mohawks at the Kahnawake reserve south of Montreal blocked the Mercier Bridge, which became the Oka crisis. Five years later at Ipperwash, Ont., one man was killed during a standoff over a land claim by Chippewa protesters outside a provincial park.

Trudeau says Wet'suwet'en crisis, rail blockades a critical moment for country

  Trudeau says Wet'suwet'en crisis, rail blockades a critical moment for country Trudeau says Wet'suwet'en crisis, rail blockades a critical moment for countrySpeaking in the House of Commons Tuesday morning, the prime minister warned that a path forward won't be easily found, but says everyone has a stake in getting this right.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government will not interfere with police operations related to ongoing Dickson said the OPP will continue to follow its Framework for Police Preparedness for "These blockades are illegal. So far, the prime minister has refused to come out and call them that

Amid pressure to end Indigenous protest blockades of vital Canadian rail links, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the disruptions must be resolved through dialogue, not by ordering in the police. Trudeau acknowledged the difficulties the blockades have caused for travellers and businesses

Miller said the economy is suffering as a result of the blockades, but the government's response is a test of Canada's ability to find peaceful resolutions to such disputes.

"Do we believe in peace and dialogue with people that we don't necessarily agree with?" he asked.

"And the challenge I ask myself at the end of the day is do we use all means to ensure that there's a peaceful resolution to this or do we just dig in like we've done for years and decades and come to the same conclusion? We keep repeating the same errors. So my advice to my colleagues is: Let's ensure that we get to a peaceful solution. That involves dialogue."

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades, which have been erected to protest the Coastal GasLink project in northern B.C., which is part of a $40-billion LNG Canada export project in Kitimat.

Tyendinaga Chief Donald Maracle said he was not involved in Saturday's talks and declined comment. Members of the First Nation at the blockade declined comment.

Small business owners demand an end to rail blockades, warn of consequences

  Small business owners demand an end to rail blockades, warn of consequences Small business owners demand an end to rail blockades, warn of consequencesCFIB head Dan Kelly is calling on Ottawa to work with the provinces and law enforcement to get trains back on the tracks as protests in support of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs who oppose a natural gas pipeline in British Columbia enter their 14th day.

Amid pressure to end Indigenous protest blockades of vital Canadian rail links, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the disruptions must be resolved through dialogue, not by ordering in the police. Trudeau acknowledged the difficulties the blockades have caused for travellers and businesses

She took a targeted swipe at NDP cabinet minister Lisa Beare, her opponent in the next election, who fired off her own Tweet after the rail blockade . If the blockades continue , the demands for enforcement will get louder, and the pressure will increase on Horgan and Trudeau .

A spokesman for Miller said he was not available for an interview on Sunday.

After meeting with members of the Tyendinaga Mohawk First Nation on Saturday, Miller said "modest progress" was made, but he wouldn't elaborate.

"We talked openly, frankly, painfully at times, and sometimes with humour. There's a lot more work to be done," he said.

Miller said the focus of the discussions was on the natural gas pipeline that crosses Wet'suwet'en territory in British Columbia and is opposed by their hereditary chiefs. But he said other issues arose as well, without going into detail on what else was raised.

"The underlying issues did not arrive yesterday, they've been present in this community for hundreds of years."

Members of the Gitxsan First Nation temporarily took down a rail blockade near Hazelton, B.C., Thursday pending a proposed meeting with the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs, provincial and federal governments.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister's Office confirmed Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett would be available as soon as arrangements for the meeting are made. B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser has said he will represent the provincial government.

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as blockades drag on

  Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as blockades drag on Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as blockades drag onThe Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto routes for about two weeks due to the protests that have disrupted rail service across the country.

But while the talks have been represented as a joint meeting with the Gitxsan and Wet'suwet'en chiefs to engage in dialogue on how the impasse over the pipeline development arose, a Wet'suwet'en hereditary clan chief says leaders of his First Nation will only participate as witnesses.

Na'moks, who also goes by John Ridsdale, said the meeting was proposed by the neighbouring Gitxsan and the Wet'suwet'en chiefs planned to honour the invitation.

"We have a willingness to move forward positively, we still have that in our hearts," he said Sunday, while adding the Wet'suwet'en chiefs won't budge on the pipeline.

"Our answer isn't going to change. The pipeline won't happen on our territory."

Blockades in support of the Wet'suwet'en across the country have cut both passenger and freight rail services, including GO Transit services between Toronto and Barrie being affected on Saturday.

CN obtained a court injunction to end the demonstration near Belleville on Feb. 7, but the Ontario Provincial Police have not enforced it.

In Tyendinaga on Sunday, Karen Brant, who is non-Indigenous but lives on the reserve, said while the community is generally against the pipeline project, they're split on whether the blockade is the right way to protest.

"People believe in what they're fighting for, they're just wondering about the impact it's making on the economy," said Brant.

Planned meeting between feds, Wet’suwet’en now delayed due to Trudeau’s comments: chief

  Planned meeting between feds, Wet’suwet’en now delayed due to Trudeau’s comments: chief Chief Na'Moks says a meeting set for Monday has been delayed after the prime minister said it's up to Indigenous leaders and police to take down the rail blockades.Chief Na'Moks told Global News Radio CKNW Friday that he and the other four hereditary chiefs opposed to the Coastal GasLink pipeline project were speaking by phone with Crown–Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller, and had agreed to a meeting set for Monday.

"I think people are divided, but they believe in the cause and they want to fight for their cause."

However, she said the issue has brought people together, and throughout the weekend Indigenous and non-Indigenous people showed up at the blockade to bring blankets, toiletries and warm food.

"It does pull the community together. It does show that kind of support that you might not have known you had before," said Brant.

"It's just unfortunate that it had to go this way to make a point."

CN obtained fresh injunctions to stop three new blockades established on its rail network on Saturday — two in Vaughan, Ont., and one in Vancouver.

An injunction in B.C. was enforced earlier this month by the RCMP to give Coastal GasLink access to a work site for the pipeline. More than two dozen protesters were arrested for refusing to obey it.

Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with all 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route. However, Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs assert title to a vast 22,000-square-kilometre area and say band councils only have authority over reserve lands.

— With files from Salmaan Farooqui in Tyendinaga, Ont., and Amy Smart in Vancouver.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 16, 2020.

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs arrive in Kahnawake, Que. .
KAHNAWAKE, Que. — Traditional chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation have arrived in Kahnawake, Que., as they continue their tour of Mohawk communities in eastern Canada where rail blockades in solidarity with their cause have been erected. Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project that would carry natural gas to the B.C. coast, though others in the community support the pipeline. Countrywide protests and blockades followed a move by RCMP to enforce a court injunction this month against the hereditary chiefs and their supporters, who had been obstructing an access road to a Coastal GasLink work site.

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