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Canadian National announced that there have been new blockades on its network Feb. 15, one in Vancouver, B.C., and two in Vaughan, Ontario. CN has sought and obtained court orders and requested the assistance of enforcement agencies to end these illegal blockades. While both of the illegal blockades in Vaughan have ended and the other one in Vancouver may come to an end shortly, CN has deep concerns regarding the safety of its employees, the public, and the protestors.
“In Vaughan, protesters put their personal safety at risk by climbing on and between railcars,” said J.J. Ruest, president and chief executive officer at CN. “The protesters trespassed on active railway tracks and on active trains to hang their banners and take photos of themselves. Trespassing on railway property and tampering with railway equipment is not only illegal, but also exceedingly dangerous. A train can arrive or a railcar can move at any time. A serious and even fatal incident could be the outcome. Safety is a core value at CN and every time a breach like this occurs, we send railway experts to inspect the track and equipment for the safety of our employees and the public, which further slows the movement of goods.”
The illegal blockade of CN tracks at Tyendiaga, Ontario, continues into its ninth day. To this day, the orders of the court have yet to be enforced and continue to be ignored by protesters. The shutdown of CN’s Eastern Canadian network will continue until the illegal blockades end, affecting both freight and passenger trains.
“Unfortunately, service to VIA Rail and Amtrak has been discontinued across Canada. It is unsafe to allow passenger trains to start trips across our network when we have no control over where, when, or how an illegal blockade may occur. It would be irresponsible to allow the travelling public to be trapped in a blockade,” concluded Ruest.
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