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Trudeau Says Rail Blockades Have to End

Trudeau Says Rail Blockades Have to End Photo: The White House, file

The Associated Press
Created: February 21, 2020 05:11 PM

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday the barricades blocking rail service in Canada have to come down now and court injunctions must be obeyed.

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Demonstrators have 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.

Hereditary chiefs in the Wet'suwet'en First Nation oppose the natural gas pipeline through their traditional territory, though it has received approval from elected band councils.

Trudeau said the situation is unacceptable and untenable and every attempt at dialogue has been made.

He noted some people can't get to work and others have lost their jobs. He said there's no point making the same overtures to indigenous leaders if they aren't accepted.

"We can't have dialogue when only one party is coming to the table," Trudeau said.

Via Rail, Canada's passenger train service, said this week it is temporarily laying off 1,000 employees due to the continued halt in service on CN Rail's tracks in eastern Canada caused by railway blockades protesting a British Columbia pipeline.

CN Rail also announced 450 temporary layoffs.

Trudeau has made reconciliation with Canada's First Nations a priority for his government.

Credits

The Associated Press

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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