The Canadian Parliamentary Budget Officer has revealed through a report that the #ShutDownCanada rail blockades cost the Canadian economy $275 million over a few weeks.
The report cited the VIA Rail layoffs, port disruptions, and the number of passenger trips, as the main sources that particularly affected the economy. They also used similar historical events as a point of reference—such as the 2014 Port of Vancouver trucker strike and the 2008 Ottawa transit strikes.
Considering that the rail blockades only lasted two-three weeks, it is clear that the protestors still managed to create significant economic harm for the country. This, combined with the drop in oil prices and the coronavirus epidemic, has put Canada into a difficult fiscal situation.
During the blockades, VIA Rail had to lay off 1,000 employees as the trains could not run between Canada’s capital and it’s two largest cities. This was because protestors were blockading the train tracks in response to the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
All across the country, infrastructure was paralyzed through anti-pipeline protests. The Port of Vancouver was blocked off, and highways and roads were shut down. As well as this, anti-pipeline protestors blocked MPs from entering their offices and even attempted to stop the BC legislature from sitting.