Cricket Guest, an Anishinaabekwe Métis who demonstrated with Indigenous youth and climate change activists in Toronto on Tuesday, said disruption of traffic and business goods is "absolutely necessary" to bring attention to the injustices incurred by the government and police on Wet'suwet'en in B.C.
"It's not just passenger trains that are impacted by these blockades, it's all Canadian supply chains", Ruest said.
The protests in New Hazelton and Belleville are in support of eight Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and their supporters who were blocking construction of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline through their traditional territory from January 3 until Thursday when RCMP began enforcing a B.C. Supreme Court injunction to remove them.
Meanwhile, VIA Rail Canada Inc. advised yesterday that the blockade near Belleville has prompted the railroad to cancel all departures until the end of day tomorrow on the Montreal-Toronto and Toronto-Ottawa routes in both directions.
"CN will have no choice but to temporarily discontinue service in key corridors unless the blockades come to an end", he said in a statement Tuesday.More news: Decision to cancel the 2020 version of Mobile World Congress Party
Via has also said a blockade near New Hazelton, B.C., means normal rail service is being interrupted between Prince Rupert and Prince George.
The company also claims the blockades are also harming the country's reputation as a stable and viable supply chain partner.
Industry groups are expressing concern about the potential shutdown as shipments are delayed or cancelled.
"It's a real crisis", said Joel Neuheimer, head of global trade with the Forest Products Association of Canada.
"We ship massive amounts of pulp to the United States and to places like Asia, so big negative impacts there", Neuheimer said in a phone interview. "I understand that on receipt of this letter and a similar commitment from Canada, the blockade of the CN line will be removed to allow for a period of calm and peaceful dialogue".More news: Huawei Mate 30 Pro headed to the United Kingdom for £899
"We are an export-based province". "It's having an important impact on the economy of the country".
After almost a week of halting trains on the Ontario lines, OPP say they are still negotiating with the protesters.
CN Rail president J.J. Ruest said the blockades are stopping companies from shipping goods like lumber, aluminum, grain and other commodities.
"We have obtained court injunctions for both locations and we are working with local enforcement agencies to enforce the orders".
On Wednesday, two Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs launched a constitutional challenge in B.C. court against the 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline project.More news: China virus toll surges on switch to new methodology
"If you're a facility that's reliant on rail service in order to get your product to a site, then it's kind of like sand through the hourglass - when it runs out, the plant can't work anymore", he said.