Trudeau convenes Incident Response Group amid blockade arrests

by Rachel Gilmore Writer @atRachelGilmore Contact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has convened his Incident Response Group to discuss the current blockades, as the Ontario Provincial Police move in on a Mohawk blockade in Tyendinaga, Ont.

Several people have been arrested at the protest site after the blockade was not dismantled before a midnight deadline, which the OPP had reportedly given to the protesters as an option to avoid charges.

The Incident Response Group includes senior cabinet ministers who hold relevant portfolios to the blockade issue.

“We are committed to reconciliation and we are committed to sitting down and having a dialogue over the specific problem that exists at the moment with the Wet’suwet’en, but at the same time the barricades had to come down because it was having a profound effect on the economy,” Transport Minister Marc Garneau said as he stepped outside the meeting on Monday.

Protesters have been protesting next to rail lines near Belleville, Ont. in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose the proposed construction of a natural gas pipeline through their territory in northern B.C. Other blockades have sprung up across the country.

These blockades have caused rail cancellations, which have in turn disrupted the transport of goods and prompted Via Rail to issue temporary layoff notices for “close to” 1,000 employees.

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