CN Rail says blockades threaten east/west movement, including grain and propane

Rail blockades near Belleville, Ont. and in northern B.C. in support of a B.C. oil pipeline standoff in Wet’suwet’en territory will soon begin to significantly impact CN Rail’s network if they’re not removed, the company says.

CN Rail notes the blockades are unrelated to CN’s activities, however the Belleville line is CN’s only eastern link between Western Canada and Eastern Canada, and between Eastern Canada and the U.S. Midwest.

Blockades on CN’s northern mainline in B.C. between Prince George and Prince Rupert, are also impacting the ability to “move goods and enable trade.”

The rail company says there are currently no movements of any trains, freight or passenger, at both those locations. Hundreds of trains have been canceled since the blockades began five days ago. The impact is also being felt beyond Canada’s borders and is harming the country’s reputation as a stable and viable supply chain partner, CN Rail says in a statement.

“We are currently parking trains across our network, but due to limited available space for such, CN will have no choice but to temporarily discontinue service in key corridors unless the blockades come to an end,” says JJ Ruest, president and chief executive officer at CN

Intermodal containers impacted include those carrying food, Canadian grain, and propane to Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

The Port of Prince Rupert is effectively already shutdown, CN says. The Ports of Montreal and Halifax are also already feeling the impact of these blockades which will have a trickledown effect on consumer goods in the next few weeks, Ruest adds.

CN Rail has obtained court injunctions for both locations and are working with local enforcement agencies to enforce the orders.

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