Pipeline protests continue to snarl Exo, CN trains
MONTREAL -- Trains on Exo's Candiac line have been cancelled for the second day in a row due to a protest against the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
Exo confirmed it will once again have about 30 buses that will be deployed from the Candiac, Delson, Saint-Constant and Sainte-Catherine stations to bring commuters to the Mansfield terminal.
"If we continue to not be able to go through [this week], basically it's the plan with the buses that will stick," exo spokesperson Catherine Maurice told CTV News.
The journey time will be 25 to 55 minutes, depending on the departure time, the company noted.
Anyone looking for information is asked to call 514-281-2595.
'UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE'
The protesters warned Monday that they plan to block services "until further notice," stating they are standing in solidarity with the Indigenous communities in British Columbia against the pipeline.
"[For] people just trying to go to work, it's unfortunate for them, but unfortunately for us, it's something we struggle with all the time. We're always inconvenienced and we're also an inconvenience to the Canadian government," protester Wenhniseriio told CTV News Monday.
"The reason we're doing this here is because that way, we can be heard because otherwise, no one wants to listen to Indigenous issues. Nobody wants to hear about it and if they do hear about it, they don't really care unless it inconveniences them."
Wenhniseriio states if commuters want to "get on the train" any time this week, they should contact the federal government about the pipeline.
The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake has also added its support for the Wet'suwet'en people and hereditary chiefs.
"We remind British Columbia, Canada and the RCMP that it must use restraint, patience and common sense when dealing with the complex issues relating to Indigenous peoples and territories," Kahnawake Grand Chief Joe Norton said in a statement.
PROTESTS ACROSS CANADA
Protests across the country have caused multiple train blockages.
Near Belleville, Ont., a demonstration has led to the cancellation of VIA Rail services between Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto; it has also brought freight traffic to a halt.
Another protest near Hazelton, B.C., is stopping VIA Rail services between Prince Rupert and Prince George.
"The trains are stopped," said Sean Finn, CN head of corporate affairs and chief legal officer. "Nothing is going through ... You put any disruption anywhere on our track, it backs up all the way to our terminal and the ships in Halifax."
The rail provider notes more than 100 trains have been cancelled since demonstrations began last week, with more than 16,000 passengers affected.
"When you start blockading rail lines that precludes goods from moving across Canada, this impacts people's livelihoods, people's jobs, not to mention the travelling public," Finn said. "We recognize the right for people to protest when they don't agree on an issue in Canada, but they must do so peacefully, in a safe fashion -- not on a railway track, which is not a safe place to be."
The company says passengers are being given three-hour cancellation notices on the routes and refunded.
Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau called the protests unsafe and illegal, saying it is up to the provinces to enforce any injunctions to remove them.
However, Quebec Premier François Legault contested that assertion.
"It's not that clear that it's under our responsibility. I think that the federal government, they have a responsibility. We're talking about transport here," the premier said, adding that the Quebec government was communicating with the protesters in an effort to end the blockades.
-- with files from The Canadian Press.