Protesters vow to keep up Kahnawake blockade until Ottawa meets demands
Published Sunday, February 23, 2020 10:38PM EST
MONTREAL -- Train service may soon return to normal on several Montreal Via Rail routes but protesters in Kahnawake said they will defy the federal government’s demands to leave.
A day after a visit from Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, people involved in the Kahnawake blockade that has closed the Candiac commuter rail line for weeks said they plan to remain until several demands are met.
“If the RCMP, Coastal GasLink and Canada weren’t doing what they’re doing to the hereditary chiefs and their territory, none of this would be happening,” said Kahteraks Goodleaf. “There would be no need for any of this.”
On Friday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called on the Indigenous leadership to end weeks of blockades that forced parts of the country’s rail system to a standstill. He said the RCMP had met some of the key demands by decommissioning its command post on Wet’suwet’en territory. But social media posts appear to show the RCMP continuing to patrol the territory.
On CTV’s Question Period, Public Security Minister Bill Blair said the RCMP are still in the territory due to their responsibility to protect those in the area.
While Via Rail service between Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa will resume Montreal, the lines to Toronto and Halifax remain closed.
Commuter rail service on the Mont-St-Hilaire line will also reopen Monday morning after a blockade in St-Lambert was torn down on Friday.