End of blockade in central Ontario clears way for train service to resume

TYENDINAGA MOHAWK TERRITORY, Ont. — A police operation that saw officers descend on a rail blockade on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in central Ontario and arrest several protesters has cleared the way for train service to resume.

Ontario Provincial Police say officers moved in Monday morning after efforts to negotiate a peaceful resolution were exhausted and a midnight deadline to clear the blockade, which has brought freight and passenger rail traffic in much of Eastern Canada to a virtual standstill, was ignored.

Politicians hailed the police raid but the use of force angered Indigenous leaders, community members and advocacy groups who had hoped for a peaceful resolution.

The protesters had set up the blockade in support of the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, who oppose the development of a natural gas pipeline project that crosses their traditional territory in northwestern British Columbia.

CN issued a brief statement Monday saying the company was please the “illegal blockade” had come to an end, but offered no indication when service would resume.

Via Rail announced its route between Montreal and Halifax will resume service on Friday.