Due to the on-going protests associated with the Coastal GasLink pipeline, the Canadian National Railway Co. CN has announced Via Rail will be cancelling all services.
As of 4 p.m. today, there will no longer be any train departures until further notice.
The protests are opposed to the new pipeline, due to the fact it crosses the traditional territories of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in northern B.C.
In order to continue to serving customers, CN obtained court orders to remove the illegal blockades.
However, while blockades in Manitoba were removed, and it appears blockades in B.C. will be removed shortly, the court orders in Ontario have yet to be enforced and are continuing to be ignored, which has forced CN to halt all eastern services.
“With over 400 trains cancelled during the last week and new protests that emerged at strategic locations on our mainline, we have decided that a progressive shutdown of our Eastern Canadian operations is the responsible approach to take for the safety of our employees and the protestors,” J.J. Ruest, president and chief executive officer at CN, said in a news release.
“This situation is regrettable for its impact on the economy and on our railroaders as these protests are unrelated to CN’s activities, and beyond our control. Our shutdown will be progressive and methodical to ensure that we are well set up for recovery, which will come when the illegal blockades end completely,” he continued.
“Unfortunately, intercity Via Rail service will be discontinued across our Canadian network. However, commuter rail services, such as Metrolinx and Exo, can keep operating so long as they can do so safely,” Ruest said.
“I would like to thank our customers, international supply-chain partners, and industry associations for their support to get this unprecedented ordeal resolved,” he added.
Cover photo courtesy of Via Rail Canada’s Instagram