Americas

Canada’s Trudeau orders train blockades removed

Two-week shutdown of trains ‘unacceptable and untenable,’ says Canada PM

Barry Ellsworth   | 22.02.2020
Canada’s Trudeau orders train blockades removed

TRENTON, Canada 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that the blockades that have crippled much of the train transportation in Canada must come down now.

It is a dramatic change from his earlier calls for “dialogue” with Wet’suwet’en and Mohawk bands to try to end the two-week blockades.

Canadian National Railway had obtained court injunctions to have the barricades removed but Trudeau was reluctant to urge police to enforce them.

The reversal came Friday.

“The injunctions must be obeyed,” he said. “Canadians who are feeling the very real impact of these blockades are running out of patience.”

His announcement came after he emerged from consultation with senior government ministers.

“Every attempt at dialogue has been made,” he said. “Canadians have been patient, our government has been patient. But it has been two weeks and the barricades need to come down now.”

Indigenous bands erected train barriers in various locations to show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose the construction of a $6 billion natural gas pipeline across their territory in the west coast province of British Columbia.

That paralyzed freight and passenger service across the country.

Trudeau also said that his government will remain committed to finding a “peaceful and lasting resolution” to the problem.

“That focus does not change,” Trudeau said.

Police are ready to move in to dismantle one of the blockades near Montreal in Quebec. But Trudeau did not say who would dismantle the blockades in other provinces.

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