Prime Minister Trudeau will hold a meeting with all the Canadian premiers in order to update what the federal government’s plan is to deal with the anti-pipeline protestors various blockades. Across the nation, railroads have been unusable for over the past two weeks.
Via Rail and CN Rail have now been shut down for 15 consecutive days, resulting in both companies being forced to lay off more than 1,000 total employees according to Global News.
“Today the prime minister will again engage with premiers in a call with the Council of the Federation. We’re working hard to reach a peaceful and lasting resolution.” said Cameron Ahmad, director of communications for the Prime Minister’s Office.“From Day 1 the prime minister and ministers have been directly engaging with provincial governments to resolve this complex situation,”
Protestors behind the blockades claim they are acting in solidarity with some of the hereditary chiefs of B.C.’s Wet’suwet’en First Nation who are opposed to the Coastal GasLink natural gas line project. This claim remains despite the fact that the majority of Wet’suwet’en people voted to approve the project.
The five hereditary chiefs who oppose the project are a minority of the 13 total hereditary chiefs of the community who do support the project. Members of the Mohawk community in Tyendinaga and Kahnawake said they are protesting in solidarity with those five Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who stand against the Coastal GasLink project.
The elected band council for the Wet’suwet’en people also support the pipeline, as do 20 other First Nations that are along the proposed route.
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is confident that this new meeting will bring a resolution to this ongoing dispute.
“These are opportunities to come to a peaceful resolution,” Miller told reporters in Ottawa. “I think this will give us an increased opportunity to have those discussions so we can de-escalate.”
RCMP in B.C. offered to leave the area of the territory the Wet’suwet’en claim as their traditional lands despite having a court injunction to remove the protestors from the area.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said he feels the RCMP’s move will show some good faith, “the conditions have now been met” for a resolution. “I believe the time has come for the barricades to come down,” he said.