The latest on protests across Canada in support of anti-pipeline demonstrators

The latest on protests across Canada in support of anti-pipeline demonstrators

Passenger and freight rail services have been hit particularly hard by the protests as demonstrators erect barricades on lines in different parts of the country.

Olin Corp., a Missouri-based chemical maker with a facility near Trois-Rivieres, Que., cautioned Ottawa that its tight distribution schedule means the 50-odd Canadian companies it serves will soon stop receiving chlorine - used in part to treat drinking water - which it says is only shipped by rail.

"We said that the situation is beyond our control and the safest thing for us to do - for all passengers - is to make sure they don't get stranded online in-train (by) canceling all service until further notice across the country".

Via Rail has cancelled another 33 train trips departing Toronto for points east Tuesday due to an ongoing demonstration in support of Wet'suwet'en pipeline opponents. "We understand the impact this unfortunate situation has on our passengers and regret the significant inconvenience this is causing to their travel plans", VIA Rail said in the statement.

"With over 400 trains cancelled during the last week and new protests that emerged at strategic locations on our mainline, we have decided that a progressive shutdown of our Eastern Canadian operations is the responsible approach to take for the safety of our employees and the protestors", CN Rail CEO JJ Ruest said in a statement issued Thursday. The 670-km. pipeline would carry liquified natural gas from northeastern B.C.to a port in Kitimat, where a conglomerate of companies is building a $40-billion export terminal that Ottawa has boasted as the largest private-sector project in Canadian history.

Meanwhile, two hereditary chiefs from the Wet'suwet'en First Nation have launched a constitutional challenge of fossil-fuel projects.

Blockades around the country have halted railway service for five days. "What else do you expect us to do to try to get some attention?"

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Factories and mines will be soon faced with very hard decisions.

All elected officials of the 20 indigenous communities along the pipeline route, including Wet'suwet'en elected leaders, support Coastal.

"The federal government needs to act, not only in meeting with these individuals of the Wet'suwet'en nation, but also by ensuring that the law of our nation is enforced and enforced very quickly".

One of the three recipients, Tyendinaga Mohawk Chief Donald Maracle, said he expects the meeting will take place but he can't comment on Mr. Miller's request to end the blockade because the protest wasn't initiated by its council.

"Intermodal containers carrying perishable goods including food and consumer items, Canadian grain, de-icing fluid at airports, construction materials, propane to Quebec and Atlantic Canada, natural resources creating rural jobs across Canada such as lumber, aluminum, coal and propane; all of these commodities are already impacted and will see their movements even more diminished".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau touched on the subject in Senegal, saying, "We recognize the important democratic right-and we will always defend it-of peaceful protests".

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