Update on Wet’suweten territory Efforts to Stand with Land Protectors

SMITHERS BC – The efforts by land and water protectors in the unceded territory on Wet’suweten territory in British Columbia continue.

The federal Conservatives will hold a press conference on Friday.

Andrew Scheer, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives and of the Official Opposition, will hold a press conference tomorrow to address the ongoing illegal blockades across the country and Justin Trudeau’s failure to act.

Justin Trudeau is continuing his trip outside Canada.

Many of the people opposing the TransMountain Pipeline and its construction through the unceded territory of the Wet’suwet’en people are stating that “Canada is not a counrty, Canada is a corporation”.

In the video recorded by Denzel Sutherland-Wilson from atop a watchtower established on Gidimt’en territory, it shows heavily armed Royal Canadian Mounted Police as they moved into the Gidimt’en Checkpoint on Wet’suwet’en territory on February 7, 2020.

The land protectors say that the video shows an RCMP sniper pointing a rifle at Denzel Sutherland-Wilson of the Gitxsan Nation and Anne Spice of the Tlingit Nation. In a statement, the land protectors say, “It is one terrifying moment taken from a multi-hour operation led by more than sixty RCMP, including militarized tactical teams who were deployed via helicopter with assault rifles, snipers, and dogs. They arrested four unarmed Indigenous land defenders.”

CN Rail Shuts Down

CN Rail cars in Thunder Bay
CN Rail cars in Thunder Bay

“With over 400 trains canceled during the last week and new protests that emerged at strategic locations on our mainline, we have decided that a progressive shutdown of our Eastern Canadian operations is the responsible approach to take for the safety of our employees and the protestors,” said JJ Ruest, president, and chief executive officer at CN. “This situation is regrettable for its impact on the economy and on our railroaders as these protests are unrelated to CN’s activities, and beyond our control. Our shutdown will be progressive and methodical to ensure that we are well set up for recovery, which will come when the illegal blockades end completely.”

“Unfortunately, intercity Via Rail service will be discontinued across our Canadian network. However, commuter rail services, such as Metrolinx and Exo, can keep operating so long as they can do so safely. I would like to thank our customers, international supply-chain partners, and industry associations for their support to get this unprecedented ordeal resolved,” concluded Ruest.

CN Rail announced today that “The Company has been forced to initiate what it calls “a disciplined and progressive shutdown of its operations in Eastern Canada. This will include stopping and safely securing all trans-continental trains across its Canadian network and may imminently lead to temporary layoffs within the company’s Eastern Canadian operational staff.”

“CN sought and obtained court orders and requested the assistance of enforcement agencies for the illegal blockades in Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia. While the illegal blockades have come to an end in Manitoba and maybe ending imminently in British Columbia, the orders of the court in Ontario have yet to be enforced and continue to be ignored. The Company has tried to adjust its operations to serve customers in the face of these challenges, it is now left with the only remaining responsible option: progressively shutting down its Eastern Canadian operations until the end of the illegal blockade”.