Via Rail has stated that the rail service will take around 36 hours to recommence once the solidarity blockades are gone, according to CTV News.
On Wednesday, Marie-Anna Murat, a spokesperson for the company said, “Via Rail is working with the infrastructure owner on the specifics of the resumption of service which is estimated to take at least 36 hours from the time the line is cleared.”
The company announced on Tuesday that all services from Via Rail will be cancelled from Toronto-Ottawa and Toronto-Montreal until Thursday.
The protesters have been active for many days and caused a lot of interferences with travel throughout Canada. The protests are being held to show support for those of the Wet’suwet’en Nation who do not want the pipeline to be built on their land.
The 20 elected band councils along the route of the pipeline have allowed Coastal GasLink permission to follow through with the pipeline. However, there are some hereditary chiefs who don’t want the 670-kilometer pipeline project to go through.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau touched on the subject in Senegal, saying, “We recognize the important democratic right—and we will always defend it—of peaceful protests. This is an important part of our democracy in Canada, but we are also a country of the rule of law and we need to make sure those laws are respected.”
“That’s why I am encouraging all parties to dialogue to resolve this as quickly as possible,” he said.
It has now been five days since the railway service has been active. According to Via Rail, approximately 34,000 passengers will have been inconvenienced by the 223 trains that they have had to cancel.
“We know that this unfortunate situation has an impact on our passengers travelling plans and we apologize for the inconvenience it is causing,” said Via Rail.
“We encourage them, if they need to travel in the affected areas over the next 2 days, to use alternative modes of transportation.”
Conflict began last week when the RCMP made their way into the Wet’suwet’en land attempting to stop the protesters from obstructing roadways.
Via said, “since the blockade continues near New Hazelton, B.C., normal rail activities are interrupted between Prince Rupert-Prince George, in both directions until further notice.”
The company also made it clear that they would be giving customers full refunds for their inconvenience and because of the amount of requests this could take close to ten days for some.