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Crisis worsens as Canada train blockades force layoffs

Christian Fernsby ▼ | February 20, 2020
Canada’s CN Rail announced yesterday that it will lay off 1,000 workers due to the two-week-long blockades of parts of its network by Indigenous protestors and their supporters which have crippled the country’s ability to move essential goods.
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The laid off employees work for Via Rail, CN’s passenger train division, which has been curtailed by blockades like the one at Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory about two hours east of Toronto and the main line from Toronto to Montreal and Ottawa.

Topics: Crisis Canada train blockade layoffs

The protesters are showing support for the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation who are against a natural gas pipeline project that goes through their lands in British Columbia on Canada’s west coast.

Also Wednesday, the five hereditary chiefs announced they are leaving from British Columbia by plane to meet with the Tyendinaga protesters.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government is doing its best to find a solution that will end the blockades because he is concerned about the negative impact on Canada’s economy.

“We’re working extremely hard to resolve this situation,” he said. “We know that people are facing shortages, are facing disruptions, they’re facing layoffs. That’s unacceptable.”

While CN has obtained court injunctions to have the blockades removed and protesters arrested if they refuse to disband, the Ontario Provincial Police has so far declined to act on the injunctions.