The Canadian government has been left with no other option but to talk things out as the country’s biggest railroad company demanded that the protestors be removed from various routes, and be prevented from obstructing movement.
Protestors across the provinces have chocker blocked rail networks making it difficult for regular life to function. Protesting and supporting local leaders, it started from the west coast to oppose the construction of a natural-gas pipeline in northern British Columbia.
The protest over the weeks has gradually spread to Ontario and Quebec, the country’s two biggest provinces. The protests are said to be affecting business, commuters and travelers, and the country’s biggest business groups say they are putting a chokehold on economic activity.
Recently, the Montreal based Canadian National Network closed its eastern Canadian network, in the wake of enforcement officials failing to use court order as force enough to get protestors off tracks.
The Canadian government is refraining from using any harsh hand on civilians, while it is admitted that protestors are breaking rules by obstructing movement of regular transport routes. But the representative of the Ontario Provincial Police said officers will exercise discretion, and that “is a valid, appropriate approach to de-escalating situations such as this. The proper exercise of police discretion should not be confused with a lack of enforcement.”
The protestors were initially trying to stop construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, based in British Columbia. But when enforcement officials were asked to move them post a court order, the groups moved towards major railroad routes, obstructing movement of goods and services. The pipeline, owned by TC Energy Corp., is intended to carry gas to the west coast for shipment to markets in Asia.
Continuous blockade has affected overall business. Many containers are not docking in Canada and moving towards US for offloading.
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