The federal government will likely table legislation tomorrow ordering an end to a strike by 3,300 Canadian Pacific Teamsters union members, but not in time to avert headaches during Monday's commute.
"It's more than an economic problem, it's going to be a very hard shock for everybody to try to find another method of transportation, especially with the weather we have right now," Robert Poeti, Quebec Transport Minister, told CTV Montreal Sunday.
The back-to-work legislation will likely be filed on Monday morning, which comes as no surprise, as the government hinted that it might do so Friday in the House of Commons when Federal Minister of Labour, Kellie Leitch, said she was “very disappointed by the work stoppage.”
The 3,300 CPR railway workers and conductors went on strike at 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning after a last-minute negotiation blitz failed to see the two sides reach an agreement.
The work stoppage will lead to disruptions in transportation of goods across the country but will also affect commuter services around Montreal.
Users of commuter rail lines Candiac, Vaudreuil-Hudson and St. Jerome's Metropolitan Transportation Agency (AMT) will be affected by the work stoppage.
The AMT will provide free and continuous bus service Monday to compensate for the lack of trains but Transport Minister Poeti acknowledged that only about 70 buses would be made available when about 500 would be needed.
Poeti said there might still be hope that the issue could be resolved. "I'm going to ask everybody to follow the news because in these kinds of negotiations, everything could change in an hour."
In 2012, the federal government passed a law to end a similar strike after a nine-day strike.
In a statement released Sunday, the Canadian Pacific said that management will take over some of the duties on the network
-With files from The Canadian Press