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Wet’suwet’en protests: CN Rail to lay off around 450 workers amid rail blockades

CN Rail issues approximately 450 temporary layoff notices amid Wet’suwet’en protests
WATCH: CN Rail issues approximately 450 temporary layoff notices amid Wet’suwet’en protests

CN Rail is laying off about 450 workers in its operations in Eastern Canada after cancelling more than 400 trains in the past week over a rail blockade protesting an LNG pipeline in British Columbia.

The layoffs will affect operational staff, including employees working at Autoport in Eastern Passage, Moncton, Charny and Montreal.

READ MORE: Via Rail to resume partial service as pressure to end blockades mounts

The Montreal-based railway says the situation is “regrettable” because the impact on the economy and its employees from the protests is unrelated to CN’s activities and beyond its control.

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CN said the shutdown is “progressive and methodical” to ensure it can be restarted when the blockades end completely.

Rail blockades cause emergency debate in the House of Commons
Rail blockades cause emergency debate in the House of Commons

Coastal GasLink signed agreements with 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route, including the Wet’suwet’en First Nation’s council.

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But Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs are opposed to the project and say the council does not have authority over the relevant land.

What will it take to end Ontario rail blockades?
What will it take to end Ontario rail blockades?