Canadian government, indigenous groups reach tentative deal on pipeline protest

CN begins recalling laid off workers; VIA plans to restore more service
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Government officials and an indigenous group in British Columbia have reached a tentative deal on a gas pipeline, the subject of protests which led to blockades of rail lines across Canada. While one blockade remains in place, Canadian National has begun recalling workers laid off during the protests, while VIA Rail Canada expects to restore most service this week.

Reuters reports the deal involving provincial and federal ministers would allow pipeline construction to continue but would address future land-rights disputes.  The Wet’suwet’en First Nations group, whose protests over the pipeline sparked the blockades, will now review the deal, which should take about two weeks.

Despite the deal, Mohawk protesters in Kahnawake, Quebec, said they would continue to maintain their three-week-old blockade of Canadian Pacific tracks, saying there was likely to be a meeting at some point today to determine its future, the Montreal Gazette reports.

Meanwhile, CN, which had laid off 450 workers while shutting down some operations in Eastern Canada, told customers in an email sent Friday that it would start bringing back some workers, Reuters reported. It did not specify how many were being brought back.

VIA Rail Canada announced Friday evening that most of its services would resume this week, including Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto services on Tuesday, March 3; Senneterre-Jonquiere, Quebec, service on Wednesday, March 4; the westbound Canadian on Wednesday, March 4; and the eastbound Canadian on Friday, March 6. As of Friday, 940 trains had been cancelled with more than 164,000 passengers affected.

 

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