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World Canada's Trudeau scraps Barbados trip to try to resolve anti-pipeline protests

05:35  17 february  2020
05:35  17 february  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has canceled his planned trip to Barbados to help resolve widespread rail disruptions caused by indigenous rights activists opposing the construction of a natural gas pipeline , his office said on Sunday.

Two federal MPs among more than 100 people arrested challenging 1,000km line .

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has canceled his planned trip to Barbados to help resolve widespread rail disruptions caused by indigenous rights activists opposing the construction of a natural gas pipeline, his office said on Sunday.

a sign on the side of a snow covered street: FILE PHOTO: Canada's Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller meets with representatives of the Mohawk Nation at the site of a rail stoppage© Reuters/Carlos Osorio FILE PHOTO: Canada's Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller meets with representatives of the Mohawk Nation at the site of a rail stoppage

Indigenous communities across Canada have been blocking some key railway lines for nearly two weeks in protest against the Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia, which has forced Canada's biggest railroad, Canadian National Railway Co, to shut operations in eastern Canada.

Trudeau calls for end to protests crippling Canada railways

  Trudeau calls for end to protests crippling Canada railways Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday urged a swift end to indigenous protests disrupting trains in Canada as police readied to clear tracks. Jagmeet Singh, an opposition leader, called on the prime minister to end his overseas trip and meet with the chiefs. "Across the country, the situation is escalating," he said.Police have warned protestors to leave a key rail corridor east of Toronto, or risk arrest. Ontario Provincial Police spokesman Bill Dickson told AFP they are "monitoring the situation" near Belleville, Ontario, while attempting to coax protestors off the tracks.

Indigenous protesters in Canada have called a growing police presence near their makeshift checkpoint “an act of war”, as tensions mount over a stalled pipeline project in northern British Columbia. Trudeau ' s environmental record on the line in Canada election year. Read more.

Trudeau said he still plans to travel to Barbados next week to meet with Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries to stump for votes for Canada ' s bid Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should call on the RCMP to clear protests that are crippling Canada ' s

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller, who held talks with some indigenous communities on Saturday, told a talk show on Sunday the unrest and its impact on the economy amounted to a national crisis.

"Following the government's ongoing efforts to address infrastructure disruptions across the country, the Prime Minister will convene the Incident Response Group tomorrow to discuss steps forward," Trudeau's office said in a statement.

The C$6.6 billion ($4.97 billion) pipeline at the heart of the dispute would move natural gas from northeastern British Columbia to the Pacific Coast, where the liquefied natural gas Canada export facility led by Royal Dutch Shell Plc is under construction. The pipeline will be operated by TC Energy Corp.

Canadian rail system shut over blockade

  Canadian rail system shut over blockade The rail disruptions come amid protests over a controversial pipeline that crosses indigenous land.CN Rail says it will be forced to shut down its eastern network, which will effectively stop all cross-country freight trains.

— Anti - pipeline protests that have shut down Via Rail operations in some parts of Canada are not affecting Regular afternoon trips from Vancouver east to Mission are now scheduled. —— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada has failed Indigenous peoples for generations and there is no

Indigenous groups are fighting construction of liquified natural gas pipeline which would cross through First Nations territory.

In December, private equity firm KKR & Co Inc and Alberta Investment Management Corp agreed to buy a majority stake in Coastal GasLink.

The protests were sparked by the arrests of people opposing the pipeline's construction on traditional land of the Wet'suwet'en community. Some 28% of the 670-km (420-mile) route passes through Wet'suwet'en lands.

The most damaging protest is near Belleville in Ontario, the most-populous Canadian province. Canadian National has won court injunctions to end the action but the Ontario Provincial Police, responsible for enforcing the measures, has so far not acted.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp reported on Saturday that at least 66 shipping vessels were stalled in British Columbia's waters because of rail blockades.

Trudeau was set to attend the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Barbados this week. Instead, Canada will be represented by Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne, the statement added.

(Reporting by Denny Thomas; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Canadian Rail Blockades Highlight Grievances of Indigenous Groups .
Over the past two weeks, protests across the country have thwarted traffic, blocked access to the British Columbia legislature and prevented vehicles from reaching the Port of Vancouver. Some protesters have focused their message on concerns hereditary chiefs weren’t adequately consulted on the pipeline project, while others have concentrated on the environmental impacts of the project.The railway protest in Tyendinaga is having the biggest economic impact because of its longevity and its location along the mainline of Canada’s biggest railroad, where it is preventing trains from moving between western Canada and the east.

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