Pressure is growing on Ottawa to end railway blockades impeding freight, commuter and intercity trains. Montreal Gazette reporters and photographers are covering the story — from local blockades to the National Assembly. Questions/comments? [email protected]
10:20 a.m.: The scene in St. Lambert
Colleague Christopher Curtis is on the ground in St. Lambert, where police may soon move in.
10:10 a.m. RCMP have met protesters demands, Ottawa says
This just in from the Canadian Press:
OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says the RCMP in British Columbia have met conditions set by traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation opposing a pipeline project on their territory.
He says he believes barricades set up in solidarity with that nation should come down.
The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project that would bring natural gas to a liquefaction facility and export terminal on the B.C. coast.
Nationwide protests and blockades followed a move by RCMP to enforce a court injunction earlier this month against the hereditary chiefs and their supporters, who had been obstructing an access road to the company’s work site.
The hereditary chiefs have demanded the RCMP leave their traditional land.
10 a.m. Police may dismantle St. Lambert blockade: Legault
In Quebec City, Premier François Legault just told reporters that Longueuil police will dismantle the St. Lambert blockade if CN manages to get an injunction.
The premier indicated that the St. Lambert blockade is not the work of Indigenous protesters and is not on Indigenous land.
He said the situation is different in Kahnawake, where the blockade is occurring on Indigenous land and the Kahnawake Peacekeepers are responsible for policing.
Colleague Philip Authier is covering the premier. We’ll have his story up in a few minutes.
9:50 a.m. Grand Chief denounces ‘stubbornness’
Here’s what Kahnawake Grand Chief Joe Norton had to say on Tuesday:
9:40 a.m. Protests reach London
The blockades are having a devastating effect on Quebec businesses, industry groups say. They’re struggling to find alternative ways to receive supplies and ship goods. Some are laying off workers.
9:15 a.m. Commuters out of luck
Two Montreal commuter lines (Candiac and Mont-St-Hilaire) are shut down due to blockades.
This morning, Exo, the provincial agency that operates commuter trains, said it will not provide buses to replace the Mont-St-Hilaire trains. In contrast, buses are available for users of the Candiac line.
9 a.m. Losing patience
The simmering rail crisis is on the agenda in Quebec City today.
Transport Minister François Bonnardel says the Quebec government is losing patience. Speaking to reporters a few minutes ago, he also suggested Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not take the issue seriously enough last week.
Premier François Legault, who says he’s not happy with how Trudeau is handling the situation, will be scrumming in Quebec City this morning just before 10 a.m. He has previously raised the spectre of police breaking up blockades.
He’ll be asked about a Parti Québécois demand for an emergency debate, colleague Philip Authier reports. Even if that doesn’t happen, the issue is expected to come up during Question Period in the National Assembly today. Follow it live (starting at 10 a.m.) here.