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CN Blockade: No End in Sight Yet

February 13, 2020

An Update from Canadian National Railway (CN):

A new blockade has been set up on our main line in Headingley, MB approximately 14KM west of Winnipeg, MB. The blockade is affecting traffic in all directions, including Western to Eastern Canada and Western Canada to the United States. It is becoming increasingly difficult to add traffic to our network and we will be communicating later today concerning this rapidly changing situation.

Due to the blockades in Tyendinaga, ON east of Belleville, ON and in New Hazelton, BC, west of Smithers, BC, we have already stopped moving traffic between Western and Eastern Canada to Prince Rupert, B.C. and traffic destined to Western Canada and the US Midwest from customers east of the Montreal area.

Upwards of 300 trains have been canceled since the blockades began seven days ago. Further shutdowns on our Canadian network will occur over the next few days unless the blockades come to an end immediately. We are staging and parking trains across our network forcing us to close off sections of the network to further traffic.

We know that rail transportation is critical to your business and the overall economic health of Canada and to the general public who rely on the many products that are shipped by rail. We truly regret the major disruption this has caused you and your business. 

Our entire team is committed to returning to the level of reliable service to which you are accustomed once the blockades are removed. We expect that the recovery will require time and a disciplined approach which will necessitate the full use of our assets, now greatly impeded by the Ministerial Order issued by the Transport Minister on February 6th. 

We thank you for your patience and remain committed to minimizing the impact, to the extent that we can, on our customers, our supply chain partners, the Canadian economy, trade in general and Canadians.

BACKGROUND

The blockade in Ontario is on our mainline in Tyendinaga, ON east of Belleville, ON. This blockade continues to block the movement of goods between Western and Eastern Canada and between Eastern Canada and Midwest USA. This is the 7th consecutive day that our double tracked mainline has been shut down.

The blockade in British Columbia is on our mainline in New Hazelton, BC, west of Smithers, BC. The blockade continues to block all traffic in and out of the Ports of Prince Rupert and Kitimat, BC. This is the 5th consecutive day that our main line has been shut down in this location.

A public statement from the individuals blocking the lines explained that their actions are in solidarity with the pipeline opposition movement and are unrelated to CN's activities. In Tyendinaga, ON and New Hazelton, BC, the court has issued Orders restraining any person from trespassing on CN’s right-of-way and interfering with CN’s operations. We continue to work with local enforcement agencies to enforce the orders; however, the protesters are refusing to comply.

Source: Canadian National Railway (CN)

 


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