#ShutDownCanada protests could cause cities to run out of chlorine for drinking water
The ongoing #ShutDownCanada protests, which have put Canada to a grinding halt, could impact drinking water in major Canadian cities.
Cathy Campbell, the president of Responsible Distribution Canada—a non-profit trade association for the distribution sector of the Canadian chemical industry—told NewsTalk 1010 that protests have effectively stopped the transportation of chlorine, a disinfectant added to drinking water to reduce or eliminate microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses, which can be present in water supplies. Chlorine is considered an important chemical for water treatment.
Campbell says the blockades could be under boil-water advisories “within days.”
Some cities, Newstalk reports, will not be affected as they receive their chemicals via truck. This includes Toronto.
Cambell says another week of protests would be “critical.”
“We certainly don’t want to go another week … That would be seriously critical.”
Canadian drinking water supplies have used chlorine for over a century, with drinking water supplies having “greatly improved” due to its addition.
According to the federal government website, “Disinfecting our drinking water ensures it is free of the microorganisms that can cause serious and life-threatening diseases, such as cholera and typhoid fever.”
“To this day, chlorine remains the most commonly used drinking water disinfectant, and the disinfectant for which we have the most scientific information.”
Prime Minister Trudeau will hold a meeting with all the Canadian premiers in order to update what the federal government’s plan is to deal with the anti-pipeline protestors various blockades. Across the nation, railroads have been unusable for over the past two weeks.
Via Rail and CN Rail have now been shut down for 15 consecutive days, resulting in both companies being forced to lay off more than 1,000 total employees according to Global News.
“Today the prime minister will again engage with premiers in a call with the Council of the Federation. We’re working hard to reach a peaceful and lasting resolution.” said Cameron Ahmad, director of communications for the Prime Minister’s Office.“From Day 1 the prime minister and ministers have been directly engaging with provincial governments to resolve this complex situation,”
Protestors behind the blockades claim they are acting in solidarity with some of the hereditary chiefs of B.C.’s Wet’suwet’en First Nation who are opposed to the Coastal GasLink natural gas line project. This claim remains despite the fact that the majority of Wet’suwet’en people voted to approve the project.
The five hereditary chiefs who oppose the project are a minority of the 13 total hereditary chiefs of the community who do support the project. Members of the Mohawk community in Tyendinaga and Kahnawake said they are protesting in solidarity with those five Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who stand against the Coastal GasLink project.
The elected band council for the Wet’suwet’en people also support the pipeline, as do 20 other First Nations that are along the proposed route.
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is confident that this new meeting will bring a resolution to this ongoing dispute.
“These are opportunities to come to a peaceful resolution,” Miller told reporters in Ottawa. “I think this will give us an increased opportunity to have those discussions so we can de-escalate.”
RCMP in B.C. offered to leave the area of the territory the Wet’suwet’en claim as their traditional lands despite having a court injunction to remove the protestors from the area.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said he feels the RCMP’s move will show some good faith, “the conditions have now been met” for a resolution. “I believe the time has come for the barricades to come down,” he said.
CN Railway is investigating after a train derailment in Sainte-Marie-Salome in Quebec.
The derailment happened at roughly 12:45 am Wednesday night. Sainte-Marie Salome is roughly an hour north of Montreal, Quebec.
“Two cars derailed and there’s no danger for the public, no injuries, no fire and no dangerous goods are involved,” CN senior manager of public affairs Olivier Quenneville told CTV News.
A source reportedly told CTV News that they believe something was purposely put onto the tracks to derail the train. A CN spokesperson did not confirm whether or not that is true.
“The incident is still under investigation and we will not comment further,” said Quenneville.
CN is currently investigating the situation with a team on the ground.
This story will be updated.
A blockade has been set up at an Edmonton railway from a new environmental radical group, the self-proclaimed “Cuzzins of Wetsuweten.”
The protestors, roughly two dozen in size, say they set up on the railway in support of anti-pipeline Wet’suwet’en peoples.
The group was spotted setting up at roughly 4 a.m. MST, setting up a blockade made up of wooden pallets, a vehicle, tents, and several foot soldiers. One member of the group confirmed that they called CN Railway before setting up their blockade.
The group says they do not plan on leaving until their demands are met.
According to CTV, the group did manage to stop a train from progressing, eventually slamming on its brakes and retreating.
One spokesperson who spoke with CTV who went by the name “Poundmaker,” told reporters, “Our focus is to get Coastal GasLink to respect Wet’suwet’en law and remove themselves from their territory along with the royal colonial mountain police. were planning on staying here until those demands are met… as soon as that happens, we’re out of here.”
No Royal Canadian Mounted Police have reported to the scene.
Minister Doug Schweitzer posted on Twitter in response to the Cuzzins of Wetsuweten protests, calling the blocking of economic infrastructure “an offence [that] will not be tolerated.”
Minister Schweitzer also said in the tweet that the CN Rail is “seeking an emergency injunction this morning, which the Government of Alberta fully supports.”
Though it’s unclear who exactly is behind the Cuzzins of Wet’suwet’en group, there was a post from Extinction Rebellion Edmonton promoting the group. That group’s Twitter account was only opened in February of 2020.
Via Rail announced this morning that CN has notified them that partial routes between Quebec City, Montreal, and Ottawa will be back up and running as early as Thursday, Feb. 20.
Only trains that serve full trips between Quebec City and Ottawa will resume service. This comes after the better part of two weeks of being shut down as a result of protests in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people who are against the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
Trains 22, 24, 26, 28 leaving from Ottawa will be resuming as well as trains 33, 35, 37, and 39 leaving from Quebec City.
All other train services remain cancelled until further notice with the exception of Sudbury–White River (CP Rail) and Churchill–The Pas (Hudson Bay Railway).
The Minister of Indigneous, Marc Miller met with blockade protestors Saturday in Belleville in hopes to negotiate a swift and peaceful resolution. The meeting took place in a nearby community centre and lasted over eight hours, although the minister wasn’t able to give the press many details about what was discussed in said meeting.