Via Rail, Canada’s national passenger rail service, has decided to partially resume service between Quebec City and Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld-Canadian Press)

Via Rail partially resumes service in parts of eastern Canada

Via Rail, Canada’s national passenger rail service, has decided to partially resume service between Quebec City and Ottawa, according to a release on their website.

Trains that serve full trips will resume service between the provincial capitals on Feb. 20. 

In a statement to Radio-Canada International, Via Rail said that they received a notice from the Canadian National Railway (CN), which owns those rails lines, “allowing a partial resumption of service between Québec City, Montréal, [and] Ottawa only.”

All other Via Rail services, aside from service between Sudbury and White-River, as well as Churchill and The Pas, remain cancelled.

“Our passengers rely on VIA Rail for regular and safe intercity rail service and we are eager to resume operations,” the company said in a press release. “We remain hopeful for an end to the situation as soon as possible and encourage all relevant parties to continue their efforts towards a peaceful resolution.”

Via Rail cancelled most of their trains all across the country on Feb. 13 due to rail blockades. CN had begun shutting down its eastern railway network since protesters with or supporting the Mohawk of Tyendinaga have been set up besides the railway near Belleville, Ontario. 

Though the tracks themselves remain unblocked, CN said that it would shut down its eastern rail network in the interest of safety. 

The Mohawk of Tyendinaga have been set up next to the railway since Feb. 6, to protest the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s (RCMP) raid and their current presence on Wet’suwet’en territory.

Last Saturday, on Feb. 15, Canada’s Indigenous Service Minister, Marc Miller, met with the Mohawk of Tyendinaga to try to end the demonstrations along the tracks, and let some trains pass through. however his request went mostly unheard. According to CBC News, a phone call from a Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief saying that the RCMP remains on Wet’suwet’en territory, according to CBC News. 

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have opposed the construction of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline in northern British Columbia, which has support of the elected band council and other First Nation communities along the route. However the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs said the pipelines construction violates their recognized rights over the land.

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau had an emergency meeting with the cabinets Incident Response Group to discuss the anti-pipeline protests on Monday, Feb. 17. He told reporters that he was focused on “resolving the the situation quickly and peacefully.”

With files from CBC News, Jorge Barrera, and John Paul Tasker

Categories: Economy, Indigenous, Politics
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