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Trudeau calls for dialogue as Indigenous blockades cripple rail network

Christian Fernsby ▼ | February 15, 2020
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the best way to resolve ongoing Indigenous blockades is dialogue with the protesters, as the country's cargo and passenger rail operators were forced to suspend all service Thursday amid the protests.
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Trudeau rejected opposition Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer's call to order police intervention.

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"We are a country that recognizes the right to protest, but we are also a country of the rule of law and we will ensure everything is done to resolve this through dialogue and constructive outcomes," he said.

"We are working on it with a whole of government of approach," Trudeau added.

Scheer expressed frustration with the ongoing demonstrations against construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia province, which is a key part of a multibillion liquefied natural gas export project.

Scheer told a press conference in Ottawa that protesters, blocking railway traffic across Canada in support of a small group of Indigenous leaders fighting construction of a natural gas pipeline through their traditional territory, need to "check their privilege."

Trudeau said his Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has been in contact with all of the provincial and territorial premiers to help resolve the crisis.

Canada's Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is also slated to meet with Indigenous leaders in Ontario.