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Rail disruptions expected to continue after new protest sites emerge

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

  • Feb. 26, 2020 12:00 a.m.

Widespread travel disruptions are expected to continue today after new blockades emerged in Ontario as part of ongoing protests in support of a British Columbia First Nation.

Commuter train trips west of Toronto could be delayed after protesters targeted a rail line in the city’s west end Tuesday evening.

The company that operates GO Transit warns a detour to get around demonstrations affecting a rail line to Milton, Ont., could add 30 to 45 minutes to travel times.

Toronto police say they were called to the demonstration Tuesday to keep the peace and limit disruption to “critical infrastructure.”

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks as a show of support for the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in northwestern B.C. who oppose a natural gas pipeline project cutting across their traditional territory.

In the last two days, demonstrators set up new sites in Ontario and Quebec, including one that has affected a major commuter rail system serving a huge swath of southern Ontario.

The protest at a Hamilton GO station has caused numerous cancellations and delays since Monday evening. The Hamilton Police Service said protesters left the blockade site in the city peacefully at around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Other new disruptions that surfaced Tuesday include a blockade along a highway near the site of an ongoing land dispute in Caledonia, Ont., and one along a stretch of rail in Sherbrooke, Que., about 150 kilometres east of Montreal.

Several high-profile blockades were dismantled by police in B.C. and Ontario earlier this week.

Federal Indigenous Services Minister Mark Miller has said Ottawa is still committed to peacefully resolving the situation that has hampered freight and passenger travel in much of the country for nearly three weeks.

The Canadian Press

Abbotsford News

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