Protesters block rail traffic in support of Wet’suwet’en First Nation west of Winnipeg

Protesters block rail traffic on two lines near Headingley, Man. Joe Scarpelli/Global News

Protesters have shut down a rail line west of Winnipeg on Wednesday as part of ongoing efforts to block a pipeline project in northern British Columbia.

About eight people are blocking a Canadian National Railway line adjacent to Wilkes Avenue west of Provincial Road 334, near Headingley, Manitoba.

A blockade spokesperson said he’s expecting more people to join to the group.

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“This is going to shape how traditional territories and resources are going to be accessed,” the spokesperson said.

“What’s happening can help our people and those who have conflict with the industry in the future.”


A train is seen stopped on the tracks west of Winnipeg. Joe Scarpelli/Global News

Blockades and protests have been happening across Canada the last few days in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, whose members are protesting the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline project in northern B.C.

The pipeline would cross the First Nation’s territory, which is unceded, meaning the Wet’suwet’en’s Aboriginal title was never officially surrendered.

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Click to play video: 'Wet’suwet’en rail blockades ‘illegal,’ but it’s up to provinces to act: Garneau'
Wet’suwet’en rail blockades ‘illegal,’ but it’s up to provinces to act: Garneau

CN Rail said it will be forced to close significant parts of its Canadian network unless protest blockades impeding its rail lines are removed.

“CN police and the RCMP are responding to a protest on CN tracks in Winnipeg. Train movements are currently stopped,” a CN Rail spokesperson said in an email to Global News.

“We are monitoring the situation and evaluating our legal options very closely.”

Premier Brian Pallister said he’s already instructed Manitoba’s attorney general to start the paperwork to file an injunction with the courts to remove the protesters.

“We respect the right of people to protest — you have a voice, you can use that,” Pallister told Global News radio 680 CJOB Wednesday afternoon.

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“But you don’t have a veto and you don’t have a right to disrespect others who need the services and the goods that are provided by a national rail network.”

On Monday, protesters shut down Portage and Main and two other intersections in Winnipeg during rush hour.

Demonstrators have also been occupying Winnipeg MP Dan Vandal’s office since last Tuesday.

Click to play video: 'RCMP enforce injunction, several arrests made at Coastal GasLink blockade'
RCMP enforce injunction, several arrests made at Coastal GasLink blockade

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