CP inspectors permitted to clear debris from tracks in Kahnawake, train service remains uncertain
Published Wednesday, March 4, 2020 1:07PM EST Last Updated Wednesday, March 4, 2020 10:17PM EST
MONTREAL -- An unexpected development has occurred in Kahnawake, where protesters have maintained a rail barricade since February 8.
The council issued a very brief press release Wednesday afternoon indicating that the protesters have given Canadian Pacific Railway access to the railway for an inspection.
CP inspectors cleared some debris from the tracks and finished their inspection around 6 p.m. According to the Kahnawake Peacekeepers, there is no train service planned in the coming days, but the track is clear.
The barricade has stopped people from using the exo4 commuter train line between Montreal and Candiac for three and a half weeks. Meantime, the Canadian Pacific Railway has been unable to transport goods on this stretch of railroad.
CP requested and obtained an injunction to remove the barricade, but it has so far remained in place. The Legault government has expressed its reluctance to involve the Sûreté du Québec in the territory, citing the alleged presence of military weapons on the Mohawk reserve.
Another barricade remains in place in Quebec, at Listuguj, in the Gaspé, where the Société du chemin de fer de la Gaspésie is paralyzed with more than 150 cars waiting for a right of way.
POLICE UNION WANTS ARMY TO ASSIST IN POSSIBLE INVERVENTION
The president of the union representing 5,400 Sûreté du Québec police officers is recommending to Premier François Legault to call upon the army if a police intervention were to take place to dismantle the Kahnawake railway barricade.
The president of the Association of provincial police officers of Quebec, Pierre Veilleux, suggested this move if information were to reveal a threat of the presence of military-type weapons at the time of an intervention.
His letter was sent to the premier two days after Legault's statement regarding the possible presence of AK-47 assault weapons on the reserve.
"Your comments also illustrate your concern for the safety of police officers who might be called upon to intervene in order to restore order," Veilleux wrote in a letter first published in La Presse.
On Jan. 7, Indigenous police seized a powerful .50-calibre machine gun on the Mohawk territory.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau firmly stated on Thursday morning that there was no chance of using the military.
The railroad barricade erected at Kahnawake in solidarity with the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en territory in British Columbia has been disrupting the rail network for almost a month.
As of Wednesday, the barricades were still in place on the Canadian Pacific Railway, not far from the Mercier Bridge.