CN Shutting Down Rails in Eastern Canada
Company cites "illegal blockades" as reason
CN announced Thursday afternoon that it “has been forced to initiate a disciplined and progressive shutdown” of its eastern Canada operations over blockades, reports Global News.
“This will include stopping and safely securing all trans-continental trains across its Canadian network and may imminently lead to temporary layoffs within the company’s Eastern Canadian operational staff,” a statement on CN’s website said.
According to the statement, CN sought and obtained court orders and requested the assistance of enforcement agencies for the illegal blockades in Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia. While the illegal blockades have come to an end in Manitoba and may be ending imminently in British Columbia, the orders of the court in Ontario have yet to be enforced and continue to be ignored.
CN has tried to adjust its operations to serve customers in the face of these challenges, it is now left with the only remaining responsible option: progressively shutting down its Eastern Canadian operations until the illegal blockades end.
“With over 400 trains cancelled during the last week and new protests that emerged at strategic locations on our mainline, we have decided that a progressive shutdown of our Eastern Canadian operations is the responsible approach to take for the safety of our employees and the protestors,” says JJ Ruest, president and chief executive officer at CN. “This situation is regrettable for its impact on the economy and on our railroaders as these protests are unrelated to CN's activities, and beyond our control. Our shutdown will be progressive and methodical to ensure that we are well set up for recovery, which will come when the illegal blockades end completely.”
“Unfortunately, intercity Via Rail service will be discontinued across our Canadian network. However, commuter rail services, such as Metrolinx and Exo, can keep operating so long as they can do so safely. I would like to thank our customers, international supply-chain partners, and industry associations for their support to get this unprecedented ordeal resolved,” concluded Ruest.
CN is a backbone of the economy transporting more than C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network of approximately 20,000 route-miles spanning Canada and mid-America.