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CanadaIntermodalInternationalNewsRailTrucking

Police investigate after truck drives through protester blockade in Canada

Incident captured on video on Manitoba highway underscores high stakes and worsening tensions across the country as anti-pipeline protests severely disrupt Canadian supply chains.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is investigating after a semi-truck drove through a temporary roadblock in Manitoba and possibly struck a demonstrator as tensions and supply chain disruptions intensified in Canada from protests over a proposed gas pipeline.

Investigators are reviewing footage captured Monday by Global News, which appears to show a semi-truck attempting to drive around the blockade before protesters got in front of it. One protester reported that the truck struck him and caused minor injuries.

Police officers monitoring the blockade quickly stopped the truck, RCMP Manitoba spokesperson Robert Cyrenne told FreightWaves. The unidentified driver cooperated with officers, who released him pending further investigation, Cyrenne said.

In addition to the footage, police are reviewing witnesses’ statements.

“There’s a lot to be taken into consideration,” Cyrenne said.

The blockade is part of protests happening throughout Canada in support of an indigenous group’s opposition to the route of the Coastal Gaslink pipeline. The pipeline is slated to go through the territory of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation — something its hereditary chiefs oppose.

The protests, however, have led to serious disruptions of Canadian National’s rail network. CN shut down the entire eastern portion of its network, including the Toronto-Montreal corridor, because of the protest blockades’ proximity to the tracks.

Via Rail, Canada’s largest passenger rail carrier, announced temporary layoffs of 1,000 employees because of continued disruptions along CN’s tracks.

Pressure, meanwhile, mounts on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from business leaders and conservative lawmakers who want the leader to bring the blockades to an end.

Trudeau, taking a similar approach to the strike by CN rail workers in November, is attempting to chart a middle path of pressing for a negotiated, peaceful end to the blockades amid worsening economic consequences, including backlogs at ports and reports of goods shortages.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance, a national industry group, also pressed for an end to the blockades. The CTA noted that many members rely on rail connections for their freight.

A Quebec-based intermodal trucking carrier, Transport Dsquare, told FreightWaves on Wednesday it has hundreds of containers on hold because of the CN disruption.

“The backlog is real. Truly starting to feel the slowdown,” Dsquare President Corey Darbyson wrote in a text message.

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Nate Tabak, Border & North America Correspondent

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist who covers Canada for FreightWaves. He spent seven years as an investigative 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. Contact Nate at ntabak@freightwaves.com.

7 Comments

  1. VERY BAD CALL ON THE TRUCKER’S PART !

    Yeah it sucks to be held up due to protesters , however, you DON’T enact dangerous driving and putting people’s lives in harms way because they are blocking you ! Very bad , EXTREMELY BAD truck driver judgment !

    That driver should have his driver’s license suspended, heavily fined , and put on probation .

    Those protesters were not a threat to that driver’s safety . He’s lucky they didn’t retaliate , very very lucky !

    IMHO !

      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:

        Two wrongs don’t make a right .

        When you use your faculty of reasoning and conform to ethical behavior you don’t need laws to guide you .

        In this event you have a group of people protesting due to disagreeing with a situation . Granted they are blocking the road which is wrong to do in the course of manifesting their disagreement .

        However, we should not counteract with a wrongful behavior towards a wrongful behavior . We should “reason” .

        You may not be able to “control” another’s behavior , however, you have a responsibility and the power to control your own in a reasonable fashion .

        Now we enter into the realm of right and wrong , moral principles aka “Ethics” .

        I’ll give you a very different example in a different situation using an event on a roadway .

        DUCKS !

        A family of wild ducks decide that they are going to cross the roadway . They decide that they won’t use a crosswalk , nor a streetlight . They proceed to cross and block traffic .

        We both know that these ducks are behaving wrongfully and shouldn’t be crossing the road and blocking traffic . Does this give us the “reasonable” right to just proceed and drive over them without taking their welfare into account due to their wrongful behavior and due to our belief that roads are for vehicles ?

        Or would you choose to stop and wait while they proceed to complete their wrongful act in crossing the road ?

        I would stop and wait ? Why ? Because it’s the reasonable thing to do within the realm of ethics . I don’t need someone to tell me , teach me , nor create a law to guide me to come to this conclusion and choice .

        We also know that we are not to put a pedestrian in harms way . No matter if they are in the right or not , we give them the right of way . Why ? Because it’s the “reasonable and ethical” thing to do . You don’t simply drive over them , or hit them with your vehicle because they are in the wrong .

        Therefore , I strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with ethics and logic due to your lack of it based on your response in your comment .

        Had that truck driver unfortunately drove over and killed one of these protestors , a judge would have questioned what a “reasonable person” would have likely done in such a situation . The answer : A reasonable person would have stopped . Therefore that truck driver even though he didn’t kill anyone due to his lack of good judgement , enacted unreasonably .

        Furthermore , speaking for myself , I would anticipate that protesters would indeed attempt to position themselves in front of the vehicle .

        A “professional” enacts good judgement , anticipates , prevents, and applies prudence in their duty . At least this is what is expected from them and I from myself .

        Once again speaking for myself , I would have put on my 4 way flashers , slowed down and stopped a few feet on the right side of the road before arriving face to face with them. I would have waited to see what their reaction would be as I anticipate they would walk towards me to speak to me .

        If they didn’t come towards me , I would have put a smile on my face and called out hey buddy come here , or do it as I stepped out of my vehicle while slowly approaching them in a friendly manner . I would engage in a conversation with them enacting concern for their cause . I would have made a few more friends that day .

        I would have explained that despite the hardship and injustice as a trucker that I face in the industry , I choose to cater to their consumer needs just the same . While sympathizing with their cause and as frustrated as they are in their cause as I am in mine , I wouldn’t want them to lack in their consumer needs .

        But that’s just me and how I would have approached the situation based on logic, ethics , and compassion .

        Best of luck to you in your human experience while on this planet .

        In my humble opinion ……….

        1. So you equate these protesters with a dumb animal. I couldn’t agree more. The driver was driving around the protesters (as one would with a family of ducks), the protesters ran to get in front of him. Sorry, game over.

  2. The wet’suwet’en issue could potentially become aggravated and escalate if the Quebec premier gets his way . That extremely foolish prime minister would like to send his police officers on native land to intervene in regards to First Nations wet’suwet’en protester blockades .

    That is the precise error that spiked and caused a protest to escalate into a crisis in that province back in 1990 . That Quebec prime minister is not only ignorant , he’s a dangerously foolish dictator . There are civil ways to deal with the wet’suwet’en concerns which lead to their protest . Address those concerns like gentlemen rather than attempt to bully them like an ignorant dictator .

    How that premier got elected is beyond reason . He certainly shouldn’t be voted in for a second term .

    Here’s a quote regarding the hypocrite :
    “Apology to Indigenous people, 2019
    Legault apologized to First Nations and Inuit people in October 2019 for discrimination they suffered in dealing with the state, noting the Province of Quebec had failed in its duty to them. He acknowledged, that apologies are but a first step, and more work needs to be done to break down barriers and rectify long-standing problems”

    He’s a separatist and a racist which was proven through his secularism Bill 21. Meanwhile the province’s flag is all about and represents religion . Even their “National birthday” on June 24th “Saint John the Baptist” is all about religion . Their silly fleur-de-lis symbol as well ! These French parties are poison . They are not about unity , they are about division .

    Quote:
    “Legault himself considers the CAQ to be a conservative party” .

    There you have it !

    IMHO

  3. Jihad truckers are everywhere in Canada. , People that don’t speak English are trucker’s in Canada. People that Coach other people to Hate America are trucker’s in Canada. Middle East trucker’s from Turkey that used to be in the military, Iran, packistan, Syria, Africa, Iraq, India , are truckers in Canada. Lead is in the coffee and fountain drinks making everyone get brain damage and a headache and you regurgitate your food after eating because the food is drugged in Canada. It was like that in 2016 when I had a job delivering around Toronto Ontario airport area like Brampton Ontario twice a week from random house books Westminster Maryland. Canadian trucker’s would threatened to sue the shipper or receiver I was at saying it’s illegal to do business with us trucker’s , Canada freight is for Canada truck’s, Canadian’s say your somebody’s slave now because your inside Canada and that’s not your truck anymore.

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