No clear end in sight as Ontario blockade nears 2 weeks of halting rail traffic
The blockade near Belleville, Ont., that has stopped rail service in most of eastern Canada over the last two weeks is in its 13th day Tuesday.
Despite meeting with federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller Saturday for hours near the Tyendinaga, Ont., blockade, there has been no movement from the protesters, many of which are Mohawk First Nation members from the nearby Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.
The blockade originally took up camp at the rail crossing at Wyman Road on the evening of Feb. 6 and stopped rail traffic only between Toronto and Montreal until Feb. 13, when Via announced it would be cancelling trips across the country due to this blockade and others like it across the country.
That same day, CN also announced it “has been forced to initiate a disciplined and progressive shutdown” of its Eastern Canada operations.
Those cancellations, which do not include the Sudbury-White River and the Churchill-The Pas lines, are still ongoing. Nevertheless, Via announced Tuesday that it will be resuming services between Québec City – Montréal – Ottawa by Thursday, Feb. 20.
After Saturday’s meeting with the Tyendinaga protesters, Miller called the situation “volatile” and said most of Canada was hurting, especially the economy.
“The economy is slowing down. Everyone knows the reports about supply shortages,” Miller said in an interview.
He told reporters “some modest progress” had been made but said there was a lot of work left to be done. The minister then later went onto Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory for a further private meeting. Media were not allowed in for the meeting but people were seen “storming out” of the Mohawk community centre.
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