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GO Trains & VIA Rail Service Halted As Wet'suwet'en Blockades Continue (PHOTOS)

GO trains on the Barrie line and Toronto-Montreal VIA Rail trains are cancelled.
GO Trains & VIA Rail Service Halted As Wet'suwet'en Blockades Continue (PHOTOS)

If you have plans to take the train in Ontario and Quebec this Saturday, you might want to check your departure status. As a result of Wet'suwet'en pipeline protests on VIA Rail tracks, train service between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal has been suspended. The trains scheduled to travel between these cities today have been cancelled.

On February 8, VIA Rail announced several cancellations on routes between Ontario and Quebec because of the protest, which is blocking the tracks east of Belleville.

In an email to ATPN News, VIA Rail said that a total of 28 train departures were cancelled on Friday, followed by another 21 on Saturday.

Global reporter Ryan Roca states that GO Transit is now also being impacted. Service is suspended between Union and Downsview stations on the Barrie Line.

The CBC reports that members of the Tyendinaga Mohawk territory are there to show their support for the We'tsuwet'en Nation and will stay put until the RCMP leaves the territory.

At the tracks, the protesters put up a sign with #RCMP get out written on it and put a flag on the railroading crossing arm.

"None of the trains on these two routes will operate until the issue is resolved," VIA Rail stated in a notice to passengers on its website.

"We are asking passengers to check our online tools for departures and arrivals updates. VIA Rail will be automatically refunding all segments affected by this service disruption." 

The peaceful protest at the tracks east of Belleville has affected VIA Rail's Toronto-Ottawa route and the Toronto-Montreal route, reports ATPN.

"Our trains are prepared to leave on schedule should we achieve line clearance," Karl-Philip Marchand Giguere, VIA Rail spokesperson, told the CBC. "As the situation progresses, more trains might be cancelled."

With protests going on across the country, climate activist Greta Thunberg tweeted her support for people occupying the B.C. Legislature in support of the Wet’suwet’en Nation.

"Indigenous rights = Climate justice," Thunberg wrote.

On February 6, the RCMP moved in on the Wet’suwet’en territory and conducted an early morning raid in which activists were arrested, ATPN News reports.

The article says that the nation's hereditary chiefs and its people never gave consent for the Coastal GasLink, a natural gas pipeline that could be built right through their territory. 

Wet’suwet’en said in a statement that they will "continue to resist colonial and gendered violence against Wet’suwet’en people, and to protect Wet’suwet’en lands for future generations."

VIA Rail has yet to provide an update on the train schedule and when Ontario-Quebec departures will resume.

* Cover image used for illustrative purposes only.

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