CN Rail announced it would be shutting down all rail traffic in eastern Canada and Via Rail announced nearly all passenger traffic across Canada will halt as aboriginal and far-leftist protesters continue blockades against a natural gas pipeline project.
Both companies made their announcements Thursday, with Via Rail claiming that the massive disruption will be temporary stating, “Via Rail has no other option but to cancel all of its services on the network, with the exception of Sudbury-White River (CP Rail) and Churchill-The Pas (Hudson Bay Railway), until further notice,” CBC reports.
CN rail said that due to the protests, which are opposed to a $6.6 billion Coastal Gaslink natural gas pipeline project in northern British Columbia, that all rail travel east of Toronto would be systematically shut down as unions warn that up to 6,000 workers could lose their jobs as a result.
The rail blockades, led by far-left climate activists and First Nations members, centre around the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs opposing the pipeline project going through their historic territory.
The elected band council of the Wet’suwet’en, meanwhile, have approved of the project along with all 20 other First Nations councils who represent territories where the pipeline will pass through.
While the Wet’suwet’en territory is in British Columbia, the first train blockades took part thousands of miles away in Belleville, Ontario on February 6th. Since then the blockades have spread to Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
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Aboriginal First Nations members have been present at many protests, but far-left Antifa extremists have also been active in the blockade movement.
The Antifa website “North Shore Counter-Info” has not only called on supporters to sabotage rail lines “in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en” but has also made several posts taking credit for rail sabotage in Hamilton, Guelph, Burlington, and elsewhere in Ontario, claiming at least a dozen acts of sabotage.
“Rail sabotage works as both a tactic and a strategy, and so we’re calling for ongoing rail disruptions in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people who are currently defending their unceded territory from industry and police invasion,” the website states and gives tips to saboteurs to not leave DNA evidence or fingerprints.
Similar instructions for sabotage have been promoted by Antifa in Germany in the notorious “Prisma” document that also showed extremists how to build remote detonated bombs.
The activist youth group, Climate Justice Toronto, went as far as declaring the elected Canadian government and the entire state of Canada “illegitimate” stating, “Canada is an illegitimate settler state violating the sovereign rights of the Wet’suwet’en. Period.”
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Along with rail blockades, protesters have blocked politicians in British Columbia from entering the Provincial Legislature and recently blocked Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland from entering a Halifax City Hall until she was eventually aided by Halifax police.
Many Conservative Party politicians have called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to act against the illegal protests including leadership candidate Erin O’Toole who said on Twitter, “Enough is enough. Trudeau must end the illegal blockades,” and labelled the protesters “eco-extremists.”
Trudeau, meanwhile, is in Africa along with other members of his cabinet on a grand tour of the continent in hopes of securing votes for a United Nations Security Council seat.
The Canadian Prime Minister urged a speedy resolution to the protests and while in Senegal earlier this week he said, “Obviously it’s extremely important to respect the right to freely demonstrate peacefully, but we need to make sure the laws are respected. That’s why I’m going to be engaging with our ministers and looking at what possible next steps there are.”