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25 Feb 2020 | 06:51 PM UTC

Canada: Some rail service to resume by February 28 as protests continue /update 5

VIA Rail announces most service in eastern Canada will resume on February 28; service disruptions continue nationwide due to ongoing anti-oil pipeline protests

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transportation
CAN

Event

Some rail service across Canada is expected to resume by Friday, February 28, as protesters agree to end blockades in some areas. VIA Rail announced on Tuesday, February 25, that service in eastern parts of the country, including the Maritime and Ocean routes will resume full service on Friday. However, routes in western Canada remain disrupted, and trains between Prince George, Prince Rupert, and Jasper are canceled until at least Monday, March 2. Service on the Toronto-Ottawa, Toronto-Montreal, Senneterre-Jonquière, and Winnipeg-The Pas routes are also suspended until at least Saturday, February 29. Further service cancelations or delays to the resumption of trains are possible over the coming days and weeks. Additional information can be found on the VIA Rail website here.

In Quebec province, exo3 commuter rail service on the Mont-Saint-Hilaire line resumed on Monday, February 24. However, the exo4 Candiac line is experiencing service interruptions until further notice. Shuttle buses are replacing trains from Sainte-Catherine, Saint-Constant, Delson, and Candiac stations to the Mansfield terminal. Updates to exo service can be found on the company website here.

Protesters continue to block rail lines in British Columbia and other parts of the country as of February 25, in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who are opposing the Coastal GasLink pipeline. On Tuesday, demonstrators in Hamilton (Ontario province) agreed to end a blockade along a key commuter line after erecting it on February 24. Protesters also blocked Highway 6 at Caledonia on Tuesday, causing significant traffic disruptions in the area. Further rallies may be held along rail lines, highways, or in major cities across the country over the coming days and weeks.

Context

Demonstrations in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have been held in recent weeks throughout Canada. Tyendinaga Mohawk members have been blocking the railway near Belleville since February 6, to protest the arrest of demonstrators who are opposing the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia. The protesters said they will continue to block the tracks until police officers leave We'tsuwet'en territory in British Columbia.

Advice

Individuals in Canada are advised to keep abreast of the situation, avoid all public demonstrations as a precaution, confirm rail reservations, consider using alternative routes or modes of transportation, and allow additional time to travel.