Train service between Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto delayed again amid Coastal GasLink pipeline protests

Via Rail has cancelled all trains running between Toronto and Ottawa Saturday, as well as trains between Toronto and Montreal, following the third day of protests near Belleville, Ont.

Members of the Tyendinaga Mohawk territory say they’ll stop train traffic until the RCMP leave We’tsuwet’en territory in British Columbia, where a recent court order cleared the way for work on the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Saturday’s cancellations affect trains running in both directions.  

Photos from the protests — which began Thursday evening — show a dump truck parked next to the rails and signs that read “RCMP get out” and “Indianland.”

Via Rail cancelled 28 trains between Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto on Friday. Belleville is located approximately halfway between Toronto and Ottawa.

“None of the trains on these two routes will operate until the issue is resolved,” a statement on Via Rail’s website reads. 

The $6-billion, 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline has been approved by the province, and 20 First Nations band councils signed agreements in support of it, including five of the six band councils in the Wet’suwet’en nation.  

But Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say those councils are only responsible for the territory within their individual reserve. 

The hereditary chiefs — leaders of the nation’s governance system in place before the imposition of the Indian Act — assert authority over 22,000 square kilometres of the nation’s traditional territory. 

That area was recognized as unceded by the Supreme Court of Canada in a 1997 decision.

Via Rail said it will refund those affected by this service delay. 

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