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ContainerNewsRailTrucking

Canadian National ‘pleased’ as rail blockade ends

Canadian National (NYSE: CNI) expressed relief Monday that a rail blockade that had prevented freight trains from moving between Toronto and Montreal is over.

Canadian National (CN) “is pleased that the illegal blockade in Tyendinaga has come to an end. The track is currently being inspected for the safety of the public and our employees,” CN said in a statement. “We are also monitoring our network for any further disruptions at this time.”

Protesters began blocking portions of the freight rail network after Feb. 6 in support of a First Nations group’s objections to a proposed pipeline location in British Columbia. A blockade in Mohawk territory near Belleville, Ontario, began in solidarity with efforts by the hereditary leaders of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in British Columbia to fight the proposed route of the Coastal Gaslink pipeline through their territory in British Columbia.

But the blockades have brought freight to a standstill on a key portion of CN’s network for more than two weeks, causing supply chain disruptions throughout Canada.

Earlier Monday morning, Ontario Provincial Police moved to enforce a court injunction and remove the protest encampments near Belleville after a midnight deadline expired to clear the area. 

The blockade near Bellevillle is significant because it contributed to CN’s decision to shut down its eastern operations. Passenger rail service was also cancelled for a period of time.

Government leaders have been pressing for a peaceful resolution to the standoff.

“The barricades had to come down because they were having a profound effect on the economy,” Transport Minister Marc Garneau told reporters Monday outside a Cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa.

“We’re focused on ending the blockades and supporting the Canadians impacted across the country,” Trudeau tweeted earlier Monday. “I called opposition leaders earlier today to give them an update on the situation and the work we’re continuing to do to find a peaceful and lasting resolution.”

This story is developing. FreightWaves Canadian correspondent Nate Tabak contributed to this report.

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.

6 Comments

  1. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

    I believe it’s unfortunately going to escalate from here . The Belleville OPP move has was equivalent to putting gas on a fire .

    In my humble opinion ……..

    Quote :
    First Nations in Quebec stage protests after police move in on Ontario railway blockade

    “We are really, really upset that the OPP acted this way at this time,” said Kenneth Deer, a follower of the traditional Iroquois Longhouse political system and secretary of the Mohawk Nation in Kahnawake.
    “It could have been avoided.”
    END QUOTE .

    More news and this morning’s event can be seen on ” Real Peoples Media” on Facebook .

    1. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

      Apologies for omitting to include this important part :

      Quote :

      “Mohawks will maintain their barricades in Kahnawake and could take further action, Deer said.”
      End quote .

      Silly politicians , not look at what you’ve ignited AGAIN !

      In my humble opinion …….

  2. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

    @ this link :

    Indigenous protesters impede traffic on Quebec highways after multiple arrests in Tyendinaga

    You can see & listen to Kenneth Deer speak about what occurred this morning on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory near Belleville, Ontario in regards to the OPP actions .

  3. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

    Quote :

    Wet’suwet’en is an Indigenous nation whose territory covers around 22,000 sq km of land (would have been much larger before contact) in northwest B.C.

    Before first contact, you need to visualize Canada (aka Turtle Island) as a territory that held many, many sovereign nations, each with their own unique cultures, laws, and governance systems. For all intents and purposes, it would have looked more like present-day Europe in that it was a land of many distinct nations.

    Each nation has jurisdiction over their lands and peoples, so those laws and protocols would have looked different depending on whose territory you were on. Again, think of the difference when you travel from Italy to Sweden. Colonization has brainwashed people into believing you can say “Indigenous” and it’s all the same (hence the term pan-Indigenous), but this is not true. Would you say all Europeans love schnitzel? No.

    Upon contact, this did not change. Nations continued as they always had. When settlers established trading posts, they did so with the consent of the nation of whose territory they wanted to work on. Let me be very clear – they would have NEVER survived without the knowledge, wisdom, and generosity of the Indigenous nations they were living with.

    In 1867 came the “birth” of Canada. This is when Parliament decided, with no consent of Indigenous nations, to assert jurisdiction over them and claim the land as their own. They did this most notably through the Indian Act, which is still in place today.

    Part of the Indian Act, which I believe we are becoming more familiar with, were the tactics of assimilation through Residential Schools. But another thing the Indian Act did was create and forcibly implement a new governance system, the band council (aka “elected chiefs”), onto Indigenous nations.

    This governance system was specifically designed to mimic the Canadian system and ignore traditional First Nations governance. Essentially, the band council is an extension of the Canadian government and is designed to assimilate the nation into Canada to facilitate colonial settlement and resource extraction.

    When the media/elected officials start blasting, “but the band council says this,” this is what you need to keep in mind. Do you think it’s a coincidence that the Canadian government didn’t go to the hereditary chiefs (traditional governance) and instead went to, and continue to publicly proclaim the decisions of elected officials in a system the government themselves created? No, it’s not a coincidence, it’s strategy.

    However, traditional forms of governance did not end in 1867 and they did not end with the Indian Act.

    They have never ended. Nations never surrendered their sovereignty over to the Canadian government and protocol has always been that the band council has jurisdiction over what happens on reserve, but hereditary chiefs have, and have always had, jurisdiction over traditional territory.

    So, remember the 22,000 sq km I talked about before? That’s what the hereditary chiefs have control over and what is in contention with Coastal Gas Link today. So, when you hear the band council say yes to pipelines but the hereditary chiefs say no (or propose alternate pipeline routes), all that matters is what the chiefs say.

    That 22,000 sq km is not reserve, it’s traditional territory, which, again, can be confusing because we have been brainwashed into believing Indigenous peoples only live on reserves. No. The Canadian government has done what they can to forcibly remove Indigenous peoples off of their traditional territories and onto reserves.

    So yes, the reserves do exist absolutely, but this is different. This is sovereign, never surrendered, traditional territory. Consent lies with the hereditary chiefs.

    Fast forward to 1984. The Gitxsan (a neighbouring nation) and Wet’suwet’en leaders took the provincial government to court to establish clear jurisdiction of their traditional territories as the government wanted to log it extensively. The case ended up going to the Supreme Court of Canada and after 13 YEARS the decision of Delgamuukw v. BC on December 11, 1997, was historic: The SCC found that BC had no authority to extinguish Aboriginal rights.

    The decision also defined Aboriginal title as Indigenous peoples’ exclusive right to the land and clarified it is the government’s duty to consult with Indigenous peoples.

    It also states that Aboriginal title rights include not only land but the right to extract resources from the land. In the case of the Wet’suwet’en, that means the hereditary chiefs have the rights and titles to their land so therefore any consultation for industry projects must go through them.

    Furthermore, under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which BC provincial government adopted into law in 2019 (!!!), the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples must be obtained before government and industry can go through with any project.

    Therefore, Wet’suwet’en, Canadian, and international laws do in fact recognize the hereditary chiefs as the rightful decision-makers on their respective territories. These rights and titles have never been extinguished or surrendered. By all legal rights, they are sovereign people.

    Furthermore, in Canada, the duty to consult is a statutory, contractual, and common law obligation that must be fulfilled by the Crown prior to taking actions or making decisions that may have consequences for the rights of Indigenous peoples. This has been affirmed and clarified by various SCC rules including the Haida case in 2004, Beckham v. little Salmon/Carmacks case in 2010, and Tsilhqot’in Nation v. BC in 2014.

    So, when consultation happened, the hereditary chiefs of all five clans of Wet’suwet’en unanimously opposed the pipeline proposal and did not give consent for Coastal Gas Link/Trans Canada to work on their lands. The Wet’Suwet’en hereditary chiefs instead proposed an alternate route for the pipeline that wouldn’t go through sensitive cultural and ecological areas.

    On December 31, 2019, the Supreme Court of BC ruled that the permits of Coastal Gas Link trumped Wet’suwet’en law.

    Read that again. Industry permit somehow was chosen over law that has been in place since time immemorial. What is our justice system?

    This ruling in a court in BC against Indigenous rights and reconciliation truly proves that industry, not people, can control the government and its “laws.”

    After this ruling, the Wet’suwet’en respectfully evicted CGL from their territories – as a reminder, only the Wet’suwet’en have the say as to who can be on their lands as shown by traditional, national, and international, laws. The Wet’suwet’en then put the blockade back in place and the BC government decided to utilize the RCMP as hired guns to uphold the court ruling for an industry injunction.

    I’ll say it again: the BC government hired the federal police force to uphold an illegitimate injunction on a sovereign nation.

    (The original author’s name has been withheld for their safety; the RCMP have gone to their workplace twice so far in an effort to have them fired/intimidated/muzzled.”

    END QUOTE ……

  4. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

    …..

    HERE IS AN EYE OPENER ! Look it up on Youtube

    EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Before the raid: Tour of the Wyman Rd camp on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. 23/02/20

    FAST FORWARD TO 8:15

    It shows you that the Mohawks never blocked the railroad on their Tyendinaga Territory near Belleville Ontario as the media would have the public believe . There was no FN barricade on that railroad !!! NONE ! They were around it but never blocked it !

    Even Freightwaves is showing you a bias picture in this article misleading you to believe that this is what occurred on Mohawk Tyendinaga Territory , which IS NOT THE CASE !

    Beware of the misleading Propaganda !

    IMHO ………..

  5. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

    …..

    Band Councils are not First Nations – 101

    Quote:
    The myth of band councils as First Nations

    In Canadian lore, the raconteurs of old spoke of La Chasse Galerie (the flying canoe) and among the Mohawk, the Raksothas (grandpas), told scary stories about the Flying Heads that roamed deep in the forests, but one of the most disturbing myths is the one in which Indian Act band councils are labelled as “First Nations.”
    They are not.

    Band councils were created from the 1876 Indian Act and designed to undermine and replace centuries of traditional governments across Canada. They were, and are extremely limited in their authority and entirely subject to officials in the federal government.
    Band councils are not sovereign, do not abide by ancestral law, have no definitive connection with traditional culture and govern nothing outside of their respective reserves. If they do have police services the laws that are imposed and enforced come from federal regulations and provincial statutes.

    Under international law a band council has no substance, no meaning, no standing. They cannot enter into treaty or trade compacts with a nation, they cannot abide by a distinct Native justice system, they cannot create their own banking system, they cannot design their own homes, they cannot buck the social service apparatus which has strangled any attempt by Indigenous people to rise above their oppressive circumstances.

    No law can be passed, enacted or enforce by the band councils without the express consent of the federal government. They are colonial entities imposed upon native peoples, whose only source of support is the money channelled to them from the provinces and Ottawa.

    The band councils have been effective in one instance: they have served the federal government by eclipsing the Indigenous entities that once exercised active jurisdiction across Canada and for generations prior to contact.

    Why call them “first nation” at all?

    This term began in 1980 when the former National Indian Brotherhood was looking for a more jazzy name, one that would better reflect the political and social activism of that time. Rather than, rightfully, call itself the National Association of Indian Act Band Councils, the NIB went for “First Nations” when it knew this was inaccurate and misleading. But it was trendy and, they thought, would give them a sense of empowerment outside of Ottawa.
    It did not.

    The crippling dependency of the newly minted AFN upon federal dollars simply affirmed its status as an extension of the agents of suppression.

    Among the Iroquois, the experience with the band councils was harsh and deadly. At Akwesasne, my home community, the Mohawk Nation Council oversaw the needs of the people with perfect adequacy. But when Canadian officials stole 7,240 hectares of land from the Mohawk territory (the Dundee tract) the traditional leaders protested.

    Further insult came about in May, 1899 when a contingent of RCMP invaded Akwesasne to impose the band council by force. When Jake Ice-Saiowisakeron came to the defence of the true chiefs he was shot and killed by Lt. Col. Sherwood, the commander of the Mountie platoon. The chiefs were taken to jail in Valleyfield, Que., where they were held without charge for a year while the federal government firmly placed the band council in control.

    In a gross breach of law and custom, the federal government then empowered the band council (formerly the St. Regis Band Council but now the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne) to hold a referendum to have the stolen Dundee lands compensated for — but not returned — with the money to go to the band council and not the Mohawk Nation from whom it was taken.
    So it was at the Six Nations Grand River territory (Ohsweken) when, in 1924, federal officials ordered the Mounties to invade their lands to replace the chiefs and clan mothers with a band council.

    Chief Levi General-Deskaheh went to the League of Nations in 1923 asking for its members to compel Canada and Britain to abide by their treaties with native nations and refrain from their efforts to eradicate Indigenous governance using the band councils. The result was the expulsion of the traditional government, the confiscations of invaluable cultural patrimony and the threat that opposition to the band council would be met with overwhelming force.

    To this day, the Iroquois have repeated our aspirations to return to the traditional systems. In every election for the band councils a very low percentage of potentials voters bother to turn out and if the band councils did not have federal monetary support, they would be ejected.

    What is needed to resolve the situation at Wet’suwet’en is the acknowledgment that they have a right to determine for themselves how they will be governed, along with the active exercise of unilateral jurisdiction over their ancestral lands.

    In accordance with Articles 26 and 27 of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, they can then begin to work out a resolution with the federal government based on mutual respect.

    But let us begin by acknowledging the fact that band councils are not First Nations, while beginning the process of restoring our peoples to true national status. Repeal the Indian Act, reorganize the Assembly of First Nations, empower a restoration of ancestral government.

    The Canadian people should rally for a return Indigenous governments that reflect the will of the people, the true First Nations of this continent.

    Doug George-Kanentiio, Akwesasne Mohawk, is a co-founder of the Native American Journalists Association. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Museum of the American Indian.
    END QUOTE .

    .

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