Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s answers, when asked about what he was doing to deal with anti-pipeline protestors, has barely updated—despite Monday being the 12th day of the #ShutDownCanada protests.
Across the country, “Wet’suwet’en solidarity protests” have halted Canadian cargo and passenger trains, and have frequently blocked streets and highways, throwing a major wrench into Canada’s economy.
On Feb. 13, Trudeau told media in Munich that the protests would be dealt with promptly.
“We’re following very closely, I had a long and constructive conversation with Premier Horgan… Obviously, we’re a country of the rule of law, and we need to make sure those laws are followed.”
Now, after arriving from his week-long tour of several African nations, Trudeau re-appeared with a new, familiar message—one that gives no insight as to when or how these problems will be taken care of.
“We had a good meeting with morning with the incident response group, discussions with ministers, I made some phone calls to Indigenous leadership as well as a number of premiers. I understand how worrisome this is for so many Canadians and difficult for many families across the country. We’re going to continue to focus on resolving the situation quickly and peacefully, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Since Trudeau’s first response, CN Rail has been put in a situation where they have to temporarily lay off employees after ceasing operations of its whole network east of Toronto due to protests. VIA Rail has since cancelled over 400 trains nationwide, and these protests, in a country where ‘we need to make sure [the] laws are followed,” has affected over 83,000 passengers.
A number of demonstrations continue to take place important bridges as well, including the International Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls.
Videos have also emerged of street blockades becoming potentially dangerous, as frustrated commuters have been seen keeping their foot on the gas pedal amidst a crowd.
Blockades have continued to cut off trains to the Maritimes, who are now feeling the serious effects.
On Sunday, Nathalie St-Pierre, the Canadian Propane Association president and CEO, told CBC that propane shortages will start to be seen in days, if things do not return to normal promptly.
“This is an emergency. People have to understand that, and those that are protesting have to understand that there needs to be a resumption of the services,” She said.
“We haven’t seen any progress in terms of finding solutions now for the issues of getting the transportation to be back to normal. So it’s very troublesome.”
“Some industries can switch back to oil or other sources, but that’s also going to run out eventually.”