Posts Tagged ‘Marc Garneau’

Blockades Continue to Slow Canadian Rail Traffic

February 28, 2020

Rail traffic remains in disruption mode in Canada even as the railroads have made progress in overcoming blockades put by protesters seeking to stop construction of a natural gas pipeline across First Nation land in northern British Columbia.

Police cleared protestors from a blockade near Belleville, Ontario, earlier this week, but another blockade remained in place on Mohawk land.

Even when they were not blocking tracks protestors in some area of Canada were setting fires adjacent to rail lines, which had the effect of stopping or slowing the movement of trains.

VIA Rail Canada has extended through March 1 the cancellation of service in the Toronto-Montreal, Toronto-Ottawa, and Senneterre-Jonquiere corridors.

Service to Prince Rupert in British Columbia has been canceled through at least March 4.

VIA said 859 trains have been canceled, which has affected 143,500 passengers.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the nation faces “many, many weeks” of delays as a result of the blockades.

He said recovery will be slow because there is “inertia in the system.

Some companies have virtually stopped their operations and 50 ships are waiting off the Pacific Coast to come pick up grain whose movement has been halted.