Money Small business owners demand an end to rail blockades, warn of consequences
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.
MONTREAL — The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warning of dire consequences if blockades that have disrupted rail service across the country continue.
CFIB 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.
The organization, which represents 110,000 small and medium businesses, says agriculture and natural resources are most affected, but that retailers and wholesalers are increasingly feeling the pinch — and have fewer financial resources to weather extended disruptions than large companies.
CN shuts down eastern rail network, Via service due to anti-pipeline blockades
OTTAWA — Canadian National Railway Co. says it must shut down its entire train network in Eastern Canada due to protesters blockades. The company says that means stopping all transcontinental trains across its Canadian network and it may lead to temporary layoffs for eastern Canadian staff. Via Rail says that also means shutting all its passenger service in Canada, which mostly uses CN track. CN Rail says in a statement it has sought and obtained court orders and requested the assistance of enforcement agencies for the blockades in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia.
RBC economist Nathan Janzen says the blockades, which have shut down one-quarter of Canadian National Railway Co.'s network and clogged its system from coast to coast, are clouding the economic outlook for Canadian manufacturing. Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters CEO Dennis Darby says the crisis is stranding an estimated $425 million in goods every day, while CN has temporarily laid off 450 workers.
The call from the CFIB comes amid mounting criticism of the Liberal government from Conservative MPs and provincial premiers, with some demanding Trudeau denounce the blockades and articulate a plan to end the them.
Via Rail's Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto routes remain closed due to a blockade east of Belleville, Ont., halting passenger trains.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 19, 2020.
Companies in this story: (TSX:CNR)
‘This has rapidly shifted’: Alberta companies raise alarm over lost business as rail blockades continue .
Alberta business owners are sounding the alarm over delays and lost business as ongoing rail blockades continue across Canada."It's a bit of a perfect storm," said Krisjan Jones, the operations director at Canadian Bio-Systems Inc., on Tuesday.
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