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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / CN begins ‘progressive shutdown’ in Eastern Canada (updated) NEWSWIRE

CN begins ‘progressive shutdown’ in Eastern Canada (updated) NEWSWIRE

By | February 13, 2020

Move leads VIA Rail Canada to halt all operations

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MONTREAL — Canadian National Railway is beginning “a disciplined and progressive shutdown of its operations in Eastern Canada,” the railroad announced today, as a result of ongoing blockades of its lines in Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia.

The move will lead to a halt to all VIA Rail Canada operations. VIA said in a statement on its website that it has “no other option but to cancel its services, effective immediately until further notice” following CN’s advisory “that they are ceasing to support our operations across their network.”

“With over 400 trains cancelled during the last week and new protests that emerged at strategic locations on our mainline, we have decided that a progressive shutdown of our Eastern Canadian operations is the responsible approach to take for the safety of our employees and the protestors,” Canadian National CEO JJ Ruest said in a press release. “This situation is regrettable for its impact on the economy and on our railroaders as these protests are unrelated to CN’s activities, and beyond our control. Our shutdown will be progressive and methodical to ensure that we are well set up for recovery, which will come when the illegal blockades end completely.”

CN has obtained court orders to end the blockades at multiple locations, the railroad said, but the injunction has yet to be enforced in Ontario. The railroad says that it “tried to adjust its operations to serve customers in the face of these challenges” but the shutdown is now “the only remaining responsible option.”

The shutdown may lead to layoffs of CN operational staff. While it halts VIA Rail Canada service, Ruest said commuter operations such as Toronto’s Metrolinx and Montreal’s Exco “can keep operating as long as they can do so safely.”

— Updated with VIA Rail Canada information at 4:05 p.m. CST.


9 thoughts on “CN begins ‘progressive shutdown’ in Eastern Canada (updated) NEWSWIRE

  1. So where is the Canadian Forces or Gendarmerie Royale Canadienne? Canada allows itself to be shut down? If these people won’t leave the tracks then get them off the tracks by whatever force is necessary. Give these terrorists five minutes’ warning to clear out. On minute number six move in.

    Canada landed at Dieppe in 1942 and on Juno Beach in 1944, but in 2020 Canada can’t get some fools off a railroad track?

    This isn’t as peaceful protest, not by any means. Canada is a free country. Anyone who doesn’t like what’s going on can stage a peaceful protest but this isn’t one.

  2. Charles Landey and Curt Warfel,

    Are you two gentleman(using the word very lightly here) from Canada? If not then I would suggest not commenting on how the Canadian Government is dealing with these First Nations protests. The only thing I know about Canada and how they interact with the First Nations is that it’s a lot different then here in the U.S. and unless someone with that knowledge is willing to comment and enlighten us as to whether this is normal(from past incidents it would seem to be) then those of us that are citizens of the U.S. should refrain from commenting.

    Also, since when is standing or sitting on railroad tracks not a peaceful protest, they aren’t damaging rail property or shooting, burning or destroying private property. It looks quite peaceful to me, and it does get the attention of those whose attention you’re trying to get.

  3. Gerald; perhaps you’d be so kind as to explain to Charles and I then; how blocking a rail line in Ontario serves to protest a proposed pipeline on tribal lands in British Columbia?

  4. And I’ll add one more question; are you just naturally condescending or have you had to work to develop the trait?

  5. “Also, since when is standing or sitting on railroad tracks not a peaceful protest, they aren’t damaging rail property or shooting, burning or destroying private property. It looks quite peaceful to me, and it does get the attention of those whose attention you’re trying to get.”

    Gerald has no regard for private property. Nor does he respect the danger of protesting on RoW.. So Gerald.. If we come to your front lawn and protest your comment will we have your attention?..

  6. GERALD – No I’m not Canook, I am a lifelong USA resident born and bred. So Gerald I can’t comment on Canadian politics but you can? How does that work? If you read my various posts it’s clear I know Canada intimately so I’m not really in need of being told what goes on there.

    In both countries USA and Canada there were grave injustices to the First Nations. And to our Afro population in USA and in both nations to Japanese. All that’s in the past. In both USA and Canada descendants of the First Nations get one vote per person plus the rights of petition and peaceful protest. That doesn’t include shutting down the rail system.

    Don’t get me started on the alleged poverty of the First Nations. They each have a share of Reserve land which may not be much but it’s infinitely more than my grandparents (both sets) had when they got off the boats in Boston. They had nothing.

    When my parents died my total inheritance came to a few things I took out of the house in Quincy Massachusetts. Total value maybe $25.00. Everything else I have, I earned. First Nations descendants have exactly the same opportunity I have had. Which included me twice moving to new states (Michigan then Wisconsin) for employment opportunities. Any person of First Nations ancestry could have done what I did.

    A few years ago I met a New Yorker who as a child lived in slave labor (he was very young) in Nazi Germany, in a family kidnapped by Hitler from Ukraine. US Catholic Social Services got them passage to New York City along with a twenty dollar bill for the entire family. The man built his share of the twenty dollars into a career as an aerospace engineer. Can everyone do that? No, of course not. But everyone can do something. Oher than cry poverty because their ancestors were disposed.

    So were mine. My minority ancestors also were disposed in eastern Europe, Ukraine and Belarus. That’s why they came here and that’s why I’ve had a wonderful life beyond measure. First Nations descendants have the same wonderful chances I have had. I have citizenship in a North American democracy and so do they. I am a minority and First Nations are a minority. I wouldn’t have it any other way. America and Canada both are lands of minorities and the descendants of immigrants and the dispossessed. Instead of moaning about how minorities are treated here, I celebrate how fortunate I am to be a minority in America..

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