Federal Liberals and B.C. government move to meet Mohawks of Tyendinaga over rail protests


Ongoing blockades are hobbling parts of the country’s rail transportation network

As protests by First Nations and their allies continued around the country on Thursday, the British Columbia government and the federal Liberal government in Ottawa moved to schedule meetings with protesters, in an attempt to end blockades hobbling parts of the country’s rail transportation network.

Marc Miller, the federal Indigenous services minister, asked to meet with the Mohawks of Tyendinaga on the weekend regarding their protests, which have snarled train traffic through a busy Ontario rail corridor.

“My request, that I ask you kindly to consider, is to discontinue the protest and barricade of the train tracks as soon as practicable,” Miller wrote. “I hope you will agree to this request and that we can meet in the spirit of peace and cooperation that should guide our relationship.”

In Quebec, where members of the Kahnawake Mohawk Nation had blocked a Canadian Pacific rail line, politicians were calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to put an end to a protest that has, according to Exo, which  operates regional commuter trains around Montreal, shut down service on the Candiac-Montreal line indefinitely.

“The only way they’re going to pay attention is if we hit them where it hurts: their economy,” said Sedalia Kawennotas, a Mohawk elder, to the Montreal Gazette earlier this week. “If this is an inconvenience for commuters, think about us. We’ve been inconvenienced for 500 years. This isn’t just for us: how will they feel if their grand children don’t have clean drinking water?

Read full article here.

Tyler Dawson – National Post – February 13, 2020.

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