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CanadaIntermodalInternationalNewsRailTrucking

Canadian rail line blockades ‘need to come down now,’ Trudeau says

Canada’s prime minister calls two-week-long disruptions to country’s supply chains in protest of a gas pipeline ‘unacceptable and untenable’ as rail freight continues to shift to trucks.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for an immediate end to the rail blockades that have caused serious disruptions to the country’s supply chains for more than two weeks, calling them “unacceptable and untenable.”

“The barricades need to come down now,” Trudeau told reporters during a news conference on Friday.

Trudeau said his government had exhausted all efforts to bring a negotiated end to the protests opposing a gas pipeline’s proposed path through indigenous territory and that the economic costs to Canada had become too high.

“We cannot continue to watch as Canadians suffer shortages and layoffs,” Trudeau said.

The prime minister did not specifically call for any actions to bring down the barricades, calling them a matter for law enforcement, but said injunctions against them “must be obeyed and the law must be upheld.”

“How they do that and when they do that is their responsibility,” Trudeau said. 

The barricades, in place for more than two weeks, have brought rail freight to a standstill in key economic corridors. Canadian National shut down its Eastern Canada network in response to the blockades.

The resulting disruptions to the supply chain are continuing to worsen, particularly in eastern Canada, as ships divert from the Port of Halifax and trucking companies contend with a drop in intermodal volumes with an upstick in truckload freight.

At least one shipping line has begun diverting vessels from the port, where officials fear that a prolonged rail stoppage could steer business away for good.

“We need those trains to start moving again,” said Lane Farguson, a spokesperson for the Port of Halifax, where 60% of cargo volumes are tied to the rails.

For trucking, carriers are beginning to report an upsurge in volume as shippers seek to move rail and intermodal loads over the road.

The uptick is helping Classic Freight in Halifax make up for some of the losses from the drop-off in intermodal business. 

“It’s good for a short time. We’ll be as productive as we can with the additional freight to do everything we can do to offset what we’re losing,” General Manager Todd Seward told FreightWaves.

Seward said as of Friday the carrier and its 85 power units were fully booked up servicing freight throughout the country, with rates spiking above C$3 per mile — the highest since the strike by CN rail workers in November.

Steve Laskowski, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, told FreightWaves that any temporary uptick in truckload freight is a drop in the bucket compared to the ultimate harm the blockades will cause the industry.

“Make no mistake, this is very bad for the trucking industry,” Laskowski said.

Tags

Nate Tabak, Border and North America Correspondent

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist who covers cross-border trucking, logistics and trade for FreightWaves. Before moving to Canada, he spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at ntabak@freightwaves.com.

11 Comments

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

    One’s pain is another’s gain !

    Quote:

    “Seward said as of Friday the carrier and its 85 power units were fully booked up servicing freight throughout the country, with rates spiking above C$3 per mile — the highest since the strike by CN rail workers in November.”

    On another note , the First Nation Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and the Mohawk People were suppose to meet today on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory near Belleville Ontario . Yesterday a Mohawk asked a female reporter to remove herself from the property . When she resisted , he pushed the female reporter while telling her to get off the property . She told him not to touch her and another Mohawk replied that he will get a female to throw her a** on the ground . The reporter then retracted from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory .

    That’s the main FN tribe that typically acts a little more aggressively in such situations . They have a “warrior” division that should not be forgotten nor ignored . In my humble opinion ……..

    Let’s see what will come from their meeting .

    While writing this comment I checked if there was any news in regards to their meeting and I found this article which follows :

    Quote :
    February 21 2020
    Tyendinaga Mohawks, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs lay out ‘path to peace’

    The Tyendinaga Mohawk people and Hereditary Chiefs of Wet’suwet’en held a conference this afternoon and have released a unified statement following their meeting today.

    The two groups met and “stood in solidarity at the Mohawk Council House in Tyendinaga to affirm that they will not stand by and watch while Wet’suwet’en title and rights over their lands are ignored, and while human rights abuses continue to happen in Wet’suwet’en territory,” the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs said in a press release on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020.

    In contrast to yesterday’s announcement that the BC RCMP were withdrawing from Wet’suwet’en territory, the Hereditary Chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en asserted at the meeting that the BC RCMP and the RCMP Community Industry Response Group (CIRG) have actually increased harassment, made illegal arrests, and increased surveillance and monitoring of Wet’suwet’en people and their invited guests.

    “This is completely unacceptable and far from a show of good faith and contradicts the announcement by the BC RCMP, the Wet’suwet’en people and their supporters said,” the press release reads.

    Both the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and the Mohawk People in Tyendinaga said they “remain deeply concerned by the long list of laws that Canada has broken”, including: Wet’suwet’en law, the Canadian Constitution, the Supreme Court of Canada Delgamuukw decision of 1997, UNDRIP, and the Geneva Convention on Genocide.

    Both Native groups stated it is important for Canada and the world to understand that Wet’suwet’en land was never ceded or surrendered and, as such, Canada’s actions amount to an illegal occupation in Wet’suwet’en territory. “The Canadian Government that the rail line shut downs could have ended many days ago if only Canada, BC, Costal GasLink pipeline (CGL), and the RCMP had honoured their own laws, as well as respected Wet’suwet’en laws,” the statement said.

    In an attempt to move forward from the current standstill, the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have put forward the following steps on a “path of peace” so that nation-to-nation discussions with Canada and BC may occur freely and without duress:
    “-…that the remote detachment (Community Industry Safety Office) established by the RCMP on Wet’suwet’en territory without our consent be immediately removed and that the RCMP are completely removed from our territory and cease patrols from our lands. Out means out, and

    -…that all CGL activities cease within Wet’suwet’en territory while nation-to-nation talks are ongoing as pursuant to the eviction notice that was delivered to them on January 4th, 2020.”

    “We commit to entering into nation-to-nation discussions with Canada and BC once the above two demands are met, and we insist when these discussions occur, that they will be held on Wet’suwet’en territory to ensure inclusivity for our nation’s Dini ze’ and Tsakiy ze’ (Hereditary Chiefs), and the members we are accountable to, in accordance with our law.”

    Today’s meeting follows the nine-hour meeting between the Mohawk People of Tyendinaga and Minister of Indigenous Services, Marc Miller on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. The Hereditary Chiefs indicated that all sides have said they are keeping the discussions open and remain hopeful.

    “Since the beginning, the Mohawk people of Tyendinaga have stated their willingness to allow the trains to pass through their territory and remain committed to do so once it is verified by the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and their appointed legal observers that the BC RCMP are, indeed, out of territory. Upon confirmation, the Mohawks have agreed to negotiate the peaceful exit plan as agreed upon between the Mohawks and the Minister Miller,” the press release continues.

    “The Wet’suweten Hereditary Chiefs also want to reiterate to Ministers Carolyn Bennett and Marc Miller that they remain willing to enter into nation-to-nation talks once the RCMP is out of their lands and all work by CGL has ceased.”

    The Tyendinaga Mohawk People have remained at the rail crossing at Wyman Road just outside of Shannonville since Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. Since then, VIA Rail and CN have progressively shut down rail services, some of which are starting to return to usual operations in the past few days.”

    REQUOTE :

    “Since the beginning, the Mohawk people of Tyendinaga have stated their willingness to allow the trains to pass through their territory and remain committed to do so once it is verified by the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and their appointed legal observers that the BC RCMP are, indeed, out of territory. Upon confirmation, the Mohawks have agreed to negotiate the peaceful exit plan as agreed upon between the Mohawks and the Minister Miller,” the press release continues.”
    End quote .

    So simply remove law enforcement from their territory and they’ll let the trains pass through !

    IMHO ……

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

      Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs hold news conference after Tyendinaga meeting

      You can view it on Youtube .

      Fast forward to 4 minutes for a little introduction/welcome by a Mohawk on their territory , then fast forward to 7 minutes for the English commencement of the conference .

      This is quite simple to understand from my perspective . First Nations have a little disagreement among themselves concerning the pipeline and its potential environmental impact as well as how certain indigenous women and girls have been treated by non indigenous workers in work camps in the past on their territory .

      They demand that during negotiations among themselves and government concerning their disagreements , to remove all Canadian law enforcement from their territories and for CGL to suspend pipeline work on their territory .

      So the least that should be done is to respect their wishes on their territory while they work out their disagreements among themselves and government in an attempt to arrive at an amicable mutual agreement . They want to ensure no negative environmental impact on their territory and that their women and girls will be safe , and respected by outsiders who work on their territory in work camps .

      Let them work it out in a civilized manner without bullying them . Those trains will be allowed through and Canada won’t lose what they are reporting is causing the Canadian economy to lose $100 million per day due to this protest .

      If we look back at certain issues that arose with first nations in the past , escalation could have been prevented . Ie: the Oka Crisis could have been rationally prevented if FN were not bullied and disrespected .

      IMHO

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

      UPDATE :

      Link:
      RCMP ‘temporarily’ close office on Wet’suwet’en land, chief says more talks next week

  2. Funny. Like the reason the indigenous people are protesting isn’t because they have been suffering all along, unlike the rest of Canada. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

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

    Check it out :

    ‘There’s lots of misrepresentation,’ says Wet’suwet’en woman who supports pipeline

    And ,

    Wet’suwet’en chief says they are waiting for RCMP to vacate, grateful for nationwide solidarity

    Read the comments under both . Pat Forest explains some points very well . dieulivol gets a little upset , LOL , but makes a very good point . Eusunt Dac and sassulusmagnus also explain certain points well .

    In my humble opinion ………..

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

    Listen very carefully to this one . For this is what could potentially reoccur and could so easily be prevented from escalating to such a point .

    Check it out on YouTube
    How the Oka Crisis of 1990 sparked the resurgence of Indigenous identity | CBC Docs POV

    Listen very carefully at 4:40

    Quote :

    ” Long before any bullets were fired , Kanesatake had been peacefully protesting the municipality of Oka’s plans to expand a golf course onto UNCEDED Mohawk land known as The Pines which included the community’s sacred burial grounds ”

    Then they proceeded to blockades , then it exploded once police were sent in on UNCEDED FN territory .

    Now it’s about a wet’suwet’en peaceful protest that has shifted into barricades due to TC Energy wanting to build a Pipeline running through wet’suwet’en UNCEDED land . Mohawks are standing by wet’suwet’en in solidarity in their protest along with other FN’s support . Now police once again are being sent in and occupying UNCEDED FN territory .

    Now once again this has attracted enormous attention and is unfortunately escalating . Will history repeat ? Or will government behave a little more respectful , wiser , and civilized this time around ?

    Stay tuned !

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

      Oka Crisis 1990 part 1

      Oka Crisis 1990 part 2

      Oka Crisis 1990 part 3

      Imagine this sort of insanity escalated due to attempting to enforce extending a freaking golf course on their land and of all places on their sacred burial grounds ?

      Then government calls in their brainwashed soldiers of which among one of them stabs an unarmed woman in the chest with a bayonet at the end of his machine gun while she’s protecting her little sister . WOW what a disgrace !

      It’s one thing to follow “orders” , it’s quite another to have brains and exercise good judgement while executing those orders . For a freaking “golf course” ??? This is how they use some of the taxes they extort from us ? Then they expect us to look upon these government brainwashed “soldiers” as heroes ??? I’m sorry but I beg to differ .

      BRAINS BEFORE LOYALTY ! Question what you’re being ordered to do . Then use your brains before executing .

      IMHO

  5. The protest should came down after 24 hours. They could still talk to news media. The truck drivers across Canada need to have a 24 hour plus shutdown like the school teachers did on Friday. The current insurance companies and government programs hurt the lower groups of people. The cost to the Country of a 3 week rail shut down is over 5 billion dollars in Canada. It would much cheaper to give every Indian family a new double wide home and a small wind generator to each Indian village in Canada. The reason the Indians did this is they no peaceful protest like have been doing for the last 4 weeks at queens park get little attention even if I go on a hunger strike in March 7168604681

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

    First Nations Residential Schools

    Quote:

    “The government stopped recording deaths of children in residential schools, we think, probably because the rates were so high,” Sinclair said, adding that up to 6,000 children may have died. “We think this is a situation that needs further study.”

    Students in the residential school system were faced with a multitude of abuses from teachers and administrators, including sexual and physical assault. They suffered from malnourishment and harsh discipline that would not have been tolerated in any other school system.

    Corporal punishment was often justified by a belief that it was the only way to save souls, civilize the savage, or punish and deter runaways – whose injuries or death sustained in their efforts to return home would become the legal responsibility of the school.

    Overcrowding, poor sanitation, inadequate heating, and a lack of medical care led to high rates of influenza and tuberculosis; in one school, the death rate reached 69 per cent. Federal policies that tied funding to enrollment numbers led to sick children being enrolled to boost numbers, thus introducing and spreading disease. The problem of unhealthy children was further exacerbated by the conditions of the schools themselves – overcrowding and poor ventilation, water quality and sewage.

    END QUOTE .

    I chose the video posted below due to it being a little less dramatic on the subject . However, what the FN’s have been put through and the unfortunate disgraceful abuse they’ve experienced at “Residential Schools” due to being forced to attend them is beyond what words can express .

    Check it out on YouTube :
    Canada’s Dark Secret | Featured Documentaries

    Listen to what a former RCMP officer Ron Shortt has to say on the subject especially at 30:06

    This is not some hocus pocus conspiracy theory . The irony of attempting to “civilize” the young and the people in an “uncivilized” way is the sort of BS propaganda religions & governments have been trying to brainwash us into accepting since ancient history . DAMN THEM !

    In my humble opinion ……….

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

    Thousands attend Toronto rally in support of Wet’suet’en hereditary Chiefs

    Quote:
    We are here and we are UNITED !

    Some of us put our lives on the line for this for everyone, not just indigenous people but all of humankind,” Eve Saint, whose father is one of the hereditary chiefs opposed to the construction of the pipeline, told the crowd.

    “Justin Trudeau, we are not going anywhere … racist Canada, we are not going anywhere. RCMP, we are not going anywhere,” she said.”

  8. Avatar 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 articles on the subject rendering you to believe that this is what occurred on Mohawk Tyendinaga Territory , which IS NOT THE CASE !

    Beware of the misleading Propaganda !

    IMHO ………..

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