Minister offers to meet chiefs over cross-country anti-pipeline protests

Via Rail suspends passenger service across Canada

"I think Canadians are losing patience with this".

Via Rail announced on Thursday that it would have no choice but to shut down services, which mostly utilize CN track, as well.

CN rail said that due to the protests, which are opposed to a $6.6 billion Coastal Gaslink natural gas pipeline project in northern British Columbia, that all rail travel east of Toronto would be systematically shut down as unions warn that up to 6,000 workers could lose their jobs as a result.

Deputy MP of Ville-Marie-Le-Sud-Ouest-Île-des-Soeurs (Teiontiakon) and Minister of Indigenous Services, Marc Miller, has agreed to meet with two Chiefs in Tyendinaga Saturday, February 15 to discuss the barricade of the train tracks.

According to the Canadian Press, the company has sought and obtained court orders and assistance to end the blockades.

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Via Rail said the suspension of services will take effect immediately and remain in place until further notice.

A peaceful protest in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en First Nation is planned for today in Corner Brook.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters after landing in Munich, Germany, that his government is monitoring the situation very closely and he had a long and productive conversation with B.C. Premier John Horgan on the plane.

"Trudeau must end the illegal blockades", and labelled the protesters "eco-extremists".

One blockade was set up for 24 hours this week west of Winnipeg, and protesters are threatening more action in the days to come.

He said he supported people's right to protest, but also they had to acknowledge the impacts the protests were having.

Teamsters Canada, the country's largest union in the transportation sector, called on the federal government to intervene.

"Rail sabotage works as both a tactic and a strategy, and so we're calling for ongoing rail disruptions in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en people who are now defending their unceded territory from industry and police invasion", the website states and gives tips to saboteurs to not leave DNA evidence or fingerprints.

Boxall said dozens of ships in Vancouver are waiting to be loaded, while eight await shipments in Prince Rupert. Protesters also begin disruptions at ports in Vancouver and Delta, B.C. "We will not ask public servants to put themselves into any situation where they do not feel safe".

The challenge calls on the Federal Court to declare that Canada is constitutionally obliged to meet worldwide climate-change targets, which the chiefs contend would cancel approvals for the Coastal GasLink line.

Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with all 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route.

"The Wet'suwet'en people, under the governance of their hereditary chiefs, have never consented to the Coastal GasLink pipeline project", their statement reads.

- With files from Chris Purdy in Edmonton, David Reevely in Ottawa and Dirk Meissner in Victoria.

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